pilgrimage from Hidasnémeti, Hungary
to the World center of veneration of the Image
of the Divine Mercy - Cracow
(Krakow) Lagiewniki, Poland.
Jun 29 - Jul 07, 2012
kms / 175 miles during 9 days
lead by Salvatorian
the sake of His
sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
can join our
walking pilgrimage in Hungary, Slovakia or in Poland
The Pilgrimage begins at the Church in
GPS point: N48°30.197 E21°13.682 (Garmin)
There will be a registration (following the Mass), which will cost
around 40 euros, for the whole pilgrimage.
contact: aw(at)wapm.pl - Fr. Andrzej Wasko SDS
(polish or english)
The works of mercy are charitable actions by which we come to the aid
of our neighbor in his spiritual and bodily necessities.
Instructing, advising, consoling, comforting are spiritual works of
mercy, as are forgiving and bearing wrongs patiently. The corporal
works of mercy consist especially in feeding the hungry, sheltering the
homeless, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned, and
burying the dead. Among all these, giving alms to the poor is one of
the chief witnesses to fraternal charity: it is also a work of justice
pleasing to God.
He who has two
coats, let him
share with him who has none and he who has food must do likewise. But
give for alms those things which are within; and behold, everything is
clean for you. If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily
food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled,"
without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit?
From a sermon by Saint Gregory of
Nazianzen, bishop and doctor of the Church
(Oratio 14, De pauperum amore,
38. 40: PG 35,
Christ in the poor
Blessed are the merciful, because they shall obtain mercy, says the
Scripture. Mercy is not the least of the beatitudes. Again: Blessed is
he who is considerate to the needy and the poor. Once more: Generous is
the man who is merciful and lends. In another place: All day the just
man is merciful and lends. Let us lay hold of this blessing, let us
earn the name of being considerate, let us be generous.
Not even night should interrupt you in your duty of mercy. Do not say:
Come back and I will give you something tomorrow. There should be no
delay between your intention and your good deed. Generosity is the one
thing that cannot admit of delay.
Share your bread with the hungry, and bring the needy and the homeless
into your house, with a joyful and eager heart. He who does acts of
mercy should do so with cheerfulness. The grace of a good deed is
doubled when it is done with promptness and speed. What is given with a
bad grace or against one’s will is distasteful and far from
When we perform an act of kindness we should rejoice and not be sad
about it. If you undo the shackles and the thongs, says Isaiah, that
is, if you do away with miserliness and counting the cost, with
hesitation and grumbling, what will be the result? Something great and
wonderful! What a marvellous reward there will be: Your light will
break forth like the dawn, and your healing will rise up quickly. Who
would not aspire to light and healing.
If you think that I have something to say, servants of Christ, his
brethren and co-heirs, let us visit Christ whenever we may; let us care
for him, feed him, clothe him, welcome him, honor him, not only at a
meal, as some have done, or by anointing him, as Mary did, or only by
lending him a tomb, like Joseph of Arimathaea, or by arranging for his
burial, like Nicodemus, who loved Christ half-heartedly, or by giving
him gold, frankincense and myrrh, like the Magi before all these others.
The Lord of all asks for mercy, not sacrifice, and mercy is greater
than myriads of fattened lambs. Let us then show him mercy in the
persons of the poor and those who today are lying on the ground, so
that when we come to leave this world they may receive us into
everlasting dwelling places, in Christ our Lord himself, to whom be
glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Matthew 25:35, 40; John 15:12 I was hungry
and you gave
me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was homeless and you
took me in. –
Now I tell you
this: When you did these things for the most neglected of my brothers,
you did them for me. This is what
you: love one another as I have loved you. –
Now I tell you
this: When you did these things for the most neglected of my brothers,
you did them for me.
'Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy'. Sweet is the
name of mercy, dearest brethren; and if the name is sweet, how much
sweeter is the quality itself? Yet though all men would wish to receive
it, alas! their own conduct is not such as to deserve it. All wish to
receive mercy, few are ready to show mercy to others.
What effrontery to want to receive what you neglect to give! You must
show mercy in this life if you hope to receive in it the next. And so,
dearest brethren, since we all wish for mercy, let us make her our
patroness in this age that she may free us in the future. For there is
mercy in heaven, and we attain it through the acts of mercy that we
perform on earth. This is what scripture says: 'O Lord, your mercy is
There are two kinds of mercy then, mercy on earth and mercy in heaven,
human mercy and divine mercy. What is human mercy like? It makes you
conserned for the hardship of the poor. What is divine mercy like? It
forgives sinners. Whatever generosity human mercy shows during our life
on earth divine mercy repays when we reach our fatherland. In this
world God is cold and hungry in all the poor, as he himself said: 'As
you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you di it to me.'
God then is pleased to give from heaven, but he desires to receive on
What sort of people are we - when God gives, we want to receive, when
he asks, we refuse to give? When a poor man is hungry, Christ is in
need, as he said himself: 'I was hungry and you give me no food'. Take
care not to despite the hardship of the poor, if you would hope, witout
fear, to have your sins forgiven. My dear brethren, Christ is now
hungry, he is hungry and thirsty in all the poor; and what he receives
on earth he returns in heaven.
I put you this question, dearly beloved: what is it to you want, what
is it to you are looking for, when you came to church? What indeed if
not mercy? Show mercy on earth, and you will receive mercy in heaven. A
poor man is begging from you, and you are begging from God: he asks for
a scrap, you ask for eternal life. Give to the beggar, so that you may
deserve to receive from Christ. Listen to his words: 'Give and it
shall be given you'. What effrontery it is for you when you come to
church give whatever alms you can to the poor in accordance with your
6: 36; Mt 5:7 Be merciful,
just as your
Father is merciful; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and gifts
will be yours. Blessed are
for they shall obtain mercy. Forgive, and
you will be
forgiven; give, and gifts will be yours.
There are three things, my brethren, by which faith stands firm,
devotion remains constant, and virtue endures. They are prayer, fasting
and mercy. Prayer knocks at the door, fasting obtains, mercy receives.
Prayer, mercy and fasting: these three are one, and they give life to
Fasting is the soul of prayer, mercy is the lifeblood of
fasting. Let no one try to separate them; they cannot be separated. If
you have only one of them or not all together, you have nothing. So if
you pray, fast; if you fast, show mercy; if you want your petition to
be heard, hear the petition of others. If you do not close your ear to
others you open God’s ear to yourself.
When you fast, see the fasting of others. If you want God to
know that you are hungry, know that another is hungry. If you hope for
mercy, show mercy. If you look for kindness, show kindness. If you want
to receive, give. If you ask for yourself what you deny to others, your
asking is a mockery.
Let this be the pattern for all men when they practise
show mercy to others in the same way, with the same generosity, with
the same promptness, as you want others to show mercy to you.
Therefore, let prayer, mercy and fasting be one single plea
God on our behalf, one speech in our defence, a threefold united prayer
in our favour.
Let us use fasting to make up for what we have lost by
others. Let us offer our souls in sacrifice by means of fasting. There
is nothing more pleasing that we can offer to God, as the psalmist said
in prophecy: A sacrifice to God is a broken spirit; God does not
despise a bruised and humbled heart.
Offer your soul to God, make him an oblation of your
that your soul may be a pure offering, a holy sacrifice, a living
victim, remaining your own and at the same time made over to God.
Whoever fails to give this to God will not be excused, for if you are
to give him yourself you are never without the means of giving.
To make these acceptable, mercy must be added. Fasting bears
fruit unless it is watered by mercy. Fasting dries up when mercy dries
up. Mercy is to fasting as rain is to earth. However much you may
cultivate your heart, clear the soil of your nature, root out vices,
sow virtues, if you do not release the springs of mercy, your fasting
will bear no fruit.
When you fast, if your mercy is thin your harvest will be
when you fast, what you pour out in mercy overflows into your barn.
Therefore, do not lose by saving, but gather in by scattering. Give to
the poor, and you give to yourself. You will not be allowed to keep
what you have refused to give to others.
"The heralds of the truth and ministers of divine grace, who have
explained to us from the beginning right down to our own time each in
his own day the saving will of God, say that nothing is so dear and
loved by him as when men turn to him with true repentance.
Wishing to show that this is by far the most holy thing of all, the
Divine Word of God the Father (the supreme and only revelation of
infinite goodness) deigned to dwell with us in the flesh, humbling
himself in a way no words can explain. He said, he did, and he suffered
those things which were necessary to reconcile us, while we were yet
enemies, with God the Father, and to call us back again to the life of
blessedness from which we had been alienated. Not only did he heal our
diseases with his miracles, and take away our infirmities by his
sufferings, and, though sinless, pay our debt for us by his death like
a guilty man. It was also his desire that we should aim to become like
himself in love of men and in perfect mutual charity, and he taught us
this in many ways.
He taught it when he proclaimed, ‘I came not to call the
righteous but sinners, to repentance.’ And again,
who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are
sick.’ He also said that he had come to seek and to save the
sheep; and on another occasion, that he had been sent to the lost sheep
of the house of Israel. In the same way, in the parable of the lost
coin, he referred in a symbolic way to the fact that he had come to
restore in men the royal likeness which had been lost by the
evil-smelling filthiness of passions. Likewise, he said:
so, I tell you, there is joy in heaven over one sinner who
He taught it when he brought relief, with oil, wine and bandages, to
the man who had fallen among thieves and had been stripped of all his
clothing and left half-dead from his injuries. Having placed him on his
own beast, he entrusted him to the innkeeper; after paying what was
needed for his care, he promised that when he came back he would repay
whatever more was spent.
He taught it when ‘he said that the prodigal son's all-loving
father took pity on him and kissing him as he came running back
repentant, clothed him once more with the beauty of his glory, and did
not reproach him in any way for what he had done.
He taught it when he found the sheep which had strayed from the divine
flock of a hundred, wandering over hills and mountains. He did not
drive it or beat it but brought it back to the fold. In his mercy,
placing it on his shoulders, he restored it, with compassion, unharmed
to the rest of the flock.
He taught it when he cried, ‘Come to me all who labour and
heavy laden and I will give you rest’, and ‘Take my
upon you.' By ‘yoke’ of course he meant
‘commandments’ or a life lived according to the
of the gospel; by ‘burden’ he meant the labour
repentance seems to involve. ‘For my yoke,’ he
‘is easy and my burden light.’
Again teaching divine righteousness and goodness he commanded,
‘Be holy, be perfect, be merciful as your heavenly Father is
merciful’, and, ‘Forgive and it shall be forgiven
you’' and ‘whatever you wish that men would do to
so to them’."
In the gospel of John the Lord says: In this will all men know that you
are my disciples, if you have love for each other. In a letter of the
same apostle we read: Beloved, let us love one another, for love is
from God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God; he who
does not love does not know God, for God is love.
The faithful should therefore enter into themselves and make a true
judgment on their attitudes of mind and heart. If they find some store
of love’s fruit in their hearts, they must not doubt
presence within them. If they would increase their capacity to receive
so great a guest, they should practice greater generosity in doing
good, with persevering charity.
If God is love, charity should know no limit, for God cannot be
Any time is the right time for works of charity, but these days of Lent
provide a special encouragement. Those who want to be present at the
Lord’s Passover in holiness of mind and body should seek
all to win this grace, for charity contains all other virtues and
covers a multitude of sins.
As we prepare to celebrate that greatest of all mysteries, by which the
blood of Jesus Christ did away with our sins, let us first of all make
ready the sacrificial offerings of works
of mercy. In this way we shall give to those who have
against us what God in his goodness has already given us.
Let us now extend to the poor and those afflicted in different ways a
more open-handed generosity, so that God may be thanked through many
voices and the relief of the needy supported by our fasting. No act of
devotion on the part of the faithful gives God more pleasure than that
which is lavished on his poor. Where he finds charity with its loving
concern, there he recognizes the reflection of his own fatherly care.
In these acts of giving do not fear a lack of means. A generous spirit
is itself great wealth. There can be no shortage of material for
generosity where it is Christ who feeds and Christ who is fed. In all
this activity there is present the hand of him who multiplies the bread
by breaking it, and increasing it by giving it away.
The giver of alms should be free from anxiety and full of joy. His gain
will be greatest when he keeps back least for himself. The holy apostle
Paul tells us: He who provides seed for the sower will also provide
bread for eating; he will provide you with more seed, and will increase
the harvest of your goodness, in Christ Jesus our Lord, who lives and
reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.
RESPONSORY Luke 6:38; Colossians 3:13 Give
to others and
you will receive; –
pressed down, shaken together and running over will be poured into your
lap. As God has
given to you,
so you must give to others. –
pressed down, shaken together and running over will be poured into your
Repentence by St. Jerome, doctor of the Church
Doct 13, 2-3
early Church Father and Doctor of the Church In
from his commentary on the book of the prophet Joel (PL 25, 967-968),
Saint Jerome teaches the nature of true repentence and expounds on the
gracious mercy of God, our loving Father. This reading is
the Roman Office of Readings on Friday of the 21st week in ordinary
Return to me with all your heart and show a spirit of repentance with
fasting, weeping and mourning; so that while you fast now, later you
may be satisfied, while you weep now, later you may laugh, while you
mourn now, you may some day enjoy consolation. It is customary for
those in sorrow or adversity to tear their garments. The gospel records
that the high priest did this to exaggerate the charge against our Lord
and Savior; and we read that Paul and Barnabas did so when they heard
words of blasphemy. I bid you not to tear your garments but rather to
rend your hearts which are laden with sin. Like wine skins, unless they
have been cut open, they will burst of their own accord. After you have
done this, return to the Lord your God, from whom you had been
alienated by your sins. Do not despair of his mercy, no matter how
great your sins, for great
mercy will take away great sins.
For the Lord is gracious and merciful and prefers the conversion of a
sinner rather than his death. Patient and generous in his mercy,
he does not give in to human impatience but is willing to wait a long
time for our repentance. So extraordinary is the Lord’s mercy
the face of evil, that if we do penance for our sins, he regrets his
own threat and does not carry out against us the sanctions he had
threatened. So by the changing of our attitude, he himself is changed.
But in this passage we should interpret “evil” to
the opposite of virtue, but affliction, as we read in another place:
Sufficient for the day are its own evils. And, again: If there is evil
in the city, God did not create it.
In like manner, given all that we have said above – that God
is kind and merciful,
patient, generous with his forgiveness, and extraordinary in his mercy
toward evil – lest the magnitude of his clemency make us lax
negligent, he adds this word through his prophet: Who knows whether he
will not turn and repent and leave behind him a blessing? In other
words, he says: “I exhort you to repentance, because it is my
duty, and I know that God is inexhaustibly merciful, as David says:
Have mercy on me, God, according to your great mercy,
and in the depths of your compassion, blot out all my iniquities. But
since we cannot know the depth of the riches and of the wisdom and
knowledge of God, I will temper my statement, expressing a wish rather
than taking anything for granted, and I will say: Who knows whether he
will not turn and repent? “ Since he says, Who, it must be
understood that it is impossible or difficult to know for sure.
To these words the prophet adds: Offerings and tribulations for the
Lord our God. What he is saying to us in other words is that, God
having blessed us and forgiven us our sins, we will then be able to
offer sacrifice to God.
From a sermon by Saint Augustine of Hippo, bishop
and doctor of the Church
23 A, 1-4
has had mercy on us
Happy are we if we do the deeds of which we have heard and sung. Our
hearing of them means having them planted in us, while our doing them
shows that the seed has borne fruit. By saying this, I wish to caution
you, dearly beloved, not to enter the Church fruitlessly, satisfied
with mere hearing of such mighty blessings and failing to do good
works. For we have been saved by his grace, says the Apostle, and not
by our works, lest anyone may boast; for it is by his grace that we
have been saved. It is not as if a good life of some sort came first,
and that thereupon God showed his love and esteem for it from on high,
saying: “Let us come to the aid of these men and assist them
quickly because they are living a good life.” No, our life
displeasing to him. He will, therefore, condemn what we have done but
he will save what he himself has done in us.
We were not vituous, then. But God had mercy
on us and sent his Son to die, not for good men but for bad ones, not
for the just but for the wicked. Yes, Christ died for the ungodly.
Notice what is written next: One will hardly die for a righteous man,
though perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die. Perhaps
someone can be found who will dare to die for a good man; but for the
unjust man, for the wicked one, the sinner, who would be willing to die
except Christ alone who is so just that he justifies even the unjust?
And so, my brothers, we had no good works, for all our works
were evil. Yet although men’s actions were such, God in his mercy
did not abandon men. He sent his Son to redeem us, not with gold or
silver but at the price of his blood poured out for us. Christ, the
spotless lamb, became the sacrificial victim, led to the slaughter for
the sheep that were blemished – if indeed one can say that
were blemished and not entirely corrupt. Such is the grace we have
received! Let us live so as to be worthy of that great grace, and not
do injury to it. So mighty is the physician who has come to us that he
has healed all our sins! If we choose to be sick once again, we will
not only harm ourselves, but show ingratitude to the physician as well.
Let us then follow Christ’s paths which he has
us, above all the path of humility, which he himself became for us. He
showed us that path by his precepts, and he himself followed it by his
suffering on our behalf. In order to die for us – because as
he could not die – the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
immortal One took on mortality that he might die for us, and by dying
put to death our death. This is what the Lord did, this the gift he
granted to us. The mighty one was brought low, the lowly one was slain,
and after he was slain, he rose again and was exalted. For he did not
intend to leave us dead in hell, but to exalt in himself at the
resurrection of the dead those whom he had already exalted and made
just by the faith and praise they gave him. Yes, he gave us the path of
humility. If we keep to it we shall confess our belief in the Lord and
have good reason to sing: We shall praise you, God, we shall praise you
and call upon your name.
From the colloquies of St
Doct 13, 2-3
Whenever some sort of inconvenience or penalty or dishonor or trouble
of any kind happens to one who is ready to find fault with himself, he
bears it with a smile, considers that he deserves it and so is not in
the least put out by it. Who could be more peacefull than such a person?
Perphaps someone will object, 'But what if a brother should vex me and
after examining myself I find that I have given him no cause, how then
can I blame myself?
But surely if a person were to examine himself carefully in the light
of the fear of God he will never find that he is blameless. He will see
that he has provided an occasion by some action or word or attitude.
Even if such a one finds himself guiltless in all these ways at the
present time, it is quite likely that at some other time he has vexed
his brother by the very same deed or by some other. Or he may have
upset onother brother. Hence he deservedly suffers for that sin or many
other sins that he has committed elsewhere.
Another may ask why he should accuse himself when he has been sitting
in peace and quiet and a brother has come up and upset him with some
hurtful or insulting word. Since he is not going to put up with that,
he feels that it is reasonable for him to be annoyed and upset. For, if
the other had not intruded and spoken and made trouble he would not
This is indeed ridiculous and it is bad logie. Surely that brother did
not inject the passion of anger into him by saying what he did? Rather
he revealed the passion already within him, so that if he so wishes he
may repent of it. This brother is like early wheat, outwardly bright
and shinnig and when it is crushed its rottenness appears.
So this man who sits in peace and quiet, as he thinks, has within him a
passion he does not see. One hurtful word spoken by another who happens
by and immediately all the poison and rottenness within gushes out. If
he wishes to gain mercy
him repent and purify himself and make serious efforts to do better and
he will see that instead of insults he should give thanks so that
brother as one responsible for bringing him such a benefit. Temptations
will not trouble him so much in the future because the more he
progresses the easier he will be able to handle them. For as the soul
advances it becomes stronger and better able to put up with whatever
hardships may come its way.
The Church must consider it one of her
duties-at every stage of history and especially in our modern age-to
proclaim and to introduce into life the mystery of mercy, supremely
revealed in Jesus Christ. Not only for the Church herself as the
community of believers but also in a certain sense for all humanity,
this mystery is the source of a life different from the life which can
be built by man, who is exposed to the oppressive forces of the
threefold concupiscence active within him.
The Church proclaims the truth
mercy revealed in the crucified
and risen Christ, and she professes it in various ways. Furthermore,
she seeks to practice mercy towards people through people, and she sees
in this an indispensable condition for solicitude for a better and
"more human" world, today and tomorrow. However, at no time and in no
historical period-especially at a moment as critical as our own-can the
Church forget the prayer that is a cry for the mercy of God amid the
many forms of evil which weigh upon humanity and threaten it. Precisely
this is the fundamental right and duty of the Church in Christ Jesus,
her right and duty towards God and towards humanity.
From a sermon by Saint Peter
bishop Each one of
us is called to be both a sacrifice to God and his priest
I appeal to you by the mercy of
God. This appeal is made
Paul, or rather, it is made by God through Paul, because of
desire to be loved rather than feared, to be a father rather than a
Lord. God appeals to us in his mercy to avoid having to punish us in
Listen to the Lord’s
appeal: In me, I want you to
own body, your members, your heart, your bones, your blood. You may
fear what is divine, but why not love what is human? You may run away
from me as the Lord, but why not run to me as your father? Perhaps you
are filled with shame for causing my bitter passion. Do not be afraid.
This cross inflicts a mortal injury, not on me, but on death. These
nails no longer pain me, but only deepen your love for me. I do not cry
out because of these wounds, but through them I draw you into my heart.
My body was stretched on the cross as a symbol, not of how much I
suffered, but of my all-embracing love. I count it no less to shed my
blood: it is the price I have paid for your ransom. Come, then, return
to me and learn to know me as your father, who repays good for evil,
love for injury, and boundless charity for piercing wounds.
Listen now to what the Apostle
urges us to do. I
appeal to you, he says, to
bodies as a living sacrifice. By this exhortation of his,
has raised all men to priestly status.
How marvelous is the priesthood of
the Christian, for he is
the victim that is offered on his own behalf, and the priest who makes
the offering. He does not need to go beyond himself to seek what he is
to immolate to God: with himself and in himself he brings the sacrifice
he is to offer God for himself. The victim remains and the priest
remains, always one and the same. Immolated, the victim still lives:
the priest who immolates cannot kill. Truly it is an amazing sacrifice
in which a body is offered without being slain and blood is offered
without being shed.
The Apostle says:
I appeal to
you by the mercy of God to present your bodies as a living sacrifice.
Brethren, this sacrifice follows the pattern of Christ’s
sacrifice by which he gave his body as a living immolation for the life
of the world. He really made his body a living sacrifice, because,
though slain, he continues to live. In such a victim death receives its
ransom, but the victim remains alive. Death itself suffers the
punishment. This is why death for the martyrs is actually a birth, and
their end a beginning. Their execution is the door to life, and those
who were thought to have been blotted out from the earth shine
brilliantly in heaven.
Paul says: I
appeal to you by
the mercy of God to present your bodies as a sacrifice, living and holy.
The prophet said the same thing: Sacrifice
and offering you did not desire, but you have prepared a body for me.
Each of us is called to be both a sacrifice to God and his priest. Do
not forfeit what divine authority confers on you. Put on the garment of
holiness, gird yourself with the belt of chastity. Let Christ be your
helmet, let the cross on your forehead be your unfailing protection.
Your breastplate should be the knowledge of God that he himself has
given you. Keep burning continually the sweet smelling incense of
prayer. Take up the sword of the Spirit. Let your heart be an altar.
Then, with full confidence in God, present your body for sacrifice. God
desires not death, but faith; God thirsts not for blood, but for
self-surrender; God is appeased not by slaughter, but by the offering
of your free will.
WAPM is an annual pilgrimage from Warsaw to Czestochowa, the religious
heart of Poland and site of the Black Madonna Shrine.
Approximately 4,000 people, mostly youth, walk the 300+kms (160 miles)
over a 10 day period. The pilgrims are staggered into smaller
consisting of a few hundred each. Every morning is celebrated with Mass
followed by many hours walking (with sufficient rest-stops) while
praying the Rosary or Divine Mercy Chaplet, singing songs and spending
time in reflection. Evenings are concluded with a prayer followed by
pilgrims taking their rest in a tent. Upon arrival in Czestochowa,
pilgrims merge with many other pilgrims groups arriving from all
corners of the country, creating a mass of faithful, honouring Our Lady
the Queen of Poland. August the 14th in Czestochowa there is a 1pm
(1300h) Mass to conclude the event.
How do I take part?
Registration - Green Group :) - is ongoing in August 1st with the
evening of August 4th being the deadline. The registration point is St.
Anne's Church, Warsaw and it also acts as the starting point for the
pilgrimage. The Opening Mass begins at 5:30am (0530h) although I had to
negotiate with my Youth Hostel to let me out that early. After Mass the
smaller groups assemble and depart Warsaw amid waves from Babcia's
(grandmothers) lining the streets!
I don't speak Polish, is that a problem?
No, from personal experience I can guarantee that every Pole will do
their best to make you feel welcome, especially if you don't speak
Polish. A large number of pilgrims are capable of conversational
English and after some initial shyness, will happily engage you.
Remember that they are touched by you joining them in pilgrimage.
Food is plentiful. Is is a good idea to bring some of your own but
Poles are exceedingly generous and you may end up with multiple dinner
invitations! Vans stocked with drinks, pastries and sausage rolls also
cater for pilgrims along the route so for a few zloty each day, you
won't go hungry.
Do I have to be Catholic?
No, while prayers and songs are undoubtedly Catholic, everyone is
welcome. We are all children of God.
What should I bring?
Tent, sleeping bag and mat
Adequate supply of socks
Large metal mug (for soup)
Sunscreen and hat
Raincoat (no umbrellas)
Basin (for washing)
Your national flag!
Friends (optional of course!)
Money to buy food and drinks (150PLN is sufficient)
How do I get back from Czestochowa to Warsaw?
Buses and trains will take you back to Warsaw (3 hours) following the
conclusion of WAPM. For peace of mind, yuo should book your flight
departure from Warsaw on the August 15th or later.
The route of the pilgrimage
more or less 160 miles (daily walk of 16-17 miles), regardless of the
rain or the sun. Piglrimage bypasess big cities; our way leads through
some villages, forests, open fields. Night's lodging is your own tent.
Our bags and tents during the day are transported by the tracks. No
smoking, no alcohol, no co-education, no drugs, no bath in the rivers,
proper dress. Categorically do not use the candle-lights in your tents.
It is very important to
comfortable shoes and socks - forget about quite new ones. During the
way you need small rucksack with food and drink for all day, a
sunscreen cap, a spoon, a cup, a sweater; take also something against
the rain (not umbrella!); basin, basic medicine. Don't forget your
national flag :) A high number of pilgrims can speak English and
German. Traditionally we call one another "sister" and "brother".
"Now as I pour
soul, I remember all this - how I used to lead the faithful in
procession to the house of God, amid shouts of joy and thanksgiving,
among the feasting throng."
Yahweh, the God of hosts
will come from other nations people from great cities. The inhabitans
of one town will talk with those of another. Then they will say: 'Come,
let us go and implore the favor of Yahweh, and I, too, will seek
Yahweh'. Many great peoples and powerful nations will come seeking
Yahweh, God of hosts, in Jerusalem and pray to him".
Yahweh, the God of hosts
you, "In those days ten men of different languages spoken in
various lands, will take hold of a Jew by the hem of his garment and
say: We, too, want to go with you for we have heard that God is with
Zec 8, 20-23
The pilgrim church of God,
We mount the narrow way,
We tread the path that Jesus trod,
His call obey:
To whom God sent his Son,
On whom the Spirit came,
Who in the faith of Christ are one
And in his name.
What though the way
Be dark, or faith be dim?
We look to Christ our risen Head
And walk with him.
So lead your children on
In love and truth and grace,
To come where Christ himself has gone
And see his face.
We are a pilgrim
the varied landscapes of life, on our way to the heavenly Jerusalem.
Let us travel light, unburdened by useless baggage - material or
spiritual - and sing this pilgrim psalm to the God who has given us
such a glorious gol in life.
Keith Wheeler has been to WAPM
INTERNET FAMILY AND FRIENDS,
Praise the Lord!! Amazing!
unbelievable! What a glorious trip! This had to be one of the most
awesome times I have ever experienced in carrying the cross around the
world! In August 2005, with God's help, I had the great joy of
traveling with two of my longtime friends, Tim Maxson and Nate
Gustafson. Both of these men are like brothers to me and it was a joy
to walk together. We had the privilege of walking with tens of
thousands of pilgrims across Poland! It was truly glorious!
A year ago, I received an
inviting me to be a part of an annual pilgrimage across Poland. For
hundreds of years, pilgrimages have been made from all over Poland to
the city of Czestochowa. The tradition still continues with many groups
even walking from other locations across Europe! There are groups of
tens of thousands of people who walked along the highway, through
forests and fields to this city. These groups are made up of children,
young and old people, babies in carriages, and even families. Soldiers
from the Polish, Czech, and Slovakian Armies even had large groups,
along with the Polish Navy. Each group was divided into smaller groups
with a priest who would help lead the teaching and singing. Every group
had a public address system that was carried like a backpack by
different volunteers each day. It often stretched hundreds of yards
(the length of each group) so that everyone in the group was able to
We began at St. Ann's
the edge of the Old City in Warsaw and began walking through the
streets. Tens of thousands of people lined the streets crying,
clapping, and encouraging us on. We walked ten days (about 160 miles)
for our arrival in Czestochowa. For miles in front and miles in back,
all you could see was people! It was one of the most amazing sights I
have ever seen! As the groups began to arrive in Czestochowa, I
couldn't help but think how closely this must resemble the pilgrimages
in the Bible up to Jerusalem! It was awesome to see as tens of
thousands of people were arriving!
I don't know if I have ever
with a more spiritually hungry group of people anywhere in the world!
It is almost impossible to describe how open the people were and how
much love there was. Each day, different priests and groups would
invite me to speak with their individual group. I had the privilege of
sharing about Jesus and how we can be forgiven and know Him personally.
I would explain how He wants to come and live in our life and how he
will join us in our pilgrimage through life; and that He will never
ever leave us. Then, I would have the honor of leading that group in
prayer. Most days it was constant preaching, praying, and counseling
from one group to the next. It seemed like there was never a moment of
rest! Even at night I would be often be speaking with people and
counseling late into the night. One day, I literally preached,
counseled, or prayed with people nonstop from four in the morning until
midnight that night! At night, we would sleep in the fields or in barns
that people along the way had volunteered for the pilgrimage. Each day
I would go to sleep totally exhausted, physically, mentally, and
emotionally. Oh, but what a way to go!
Not only did I walk with
thousands of people -- as we walked into a city or village, there would
often be thousands of people lining the streets! Even out in the
countryside!! Many days, the cross would be covered with flowers and
often, food and water would be tied onto it. People would often be
crying and give me a hug and kiss, or they would touch and kiss the
cross. Over and over again, I would have people thank us for coming to
their group. So many would tell us, "Now, I know Jesus!" or "Your
message and the cross changed my life!" One day, a young lady ran up to
the cross and pulled off my sunglasses and looked into my eyes. "Yes,
yes!! I heard that you have Jesus and I want Him too!"
There was so much love!
with these beautiful people was amazing!! The people of Poland seem to
understand the cross like very few other places in this world. They are
true friends of the cross! They are so humble, and open and hungry to
follow Jesus! I can't tell you how much I learned by walking with these
precious people; my life was truly enriched! I only pray that God would
give me grace to return one day!
Thank you!! Thanks for
Jesus so much and for your desire to follow Him! Thanks for the love,
friendship, graciousness, and example that you have shown Cherie, the
kids, and I. Thanks for enduring with us through these last two letters
(we promise the next ones won't be so long!)! It's your prayers and
gifts that continue to send us out. Your love and encouragement is a
real treasure! As we carried the cross through Poland I saw such a
clear picture of how the Body of Christ is connected together. There
were those who actually walked to Czestochowa on the pilgrimage and
those who wanted to join us, but weren't able. The ones who weren't
physically on the pilgrimage would line the streets and cheer us on.
They would open up their fields and barns for us to sleep in. And they
would give us food along the way. At times, we almost had too much to
eat! They would insist that we accept their hospitality. They said, "We
want to go but we can't. You have to eat our food, and stay in our
barns so that we can go with you." What a picture! And oh, so true!
There are only a few who have ever actually physically been with our
family out on the road with the cross, but so many of you have truly
joined us with your precious prayers and gifts! You are truly together
with us on this pilgrimage. Thanks!!
God Bless You!!
Keith, Cherie, Hannah, and Josiah
Pilgrim Followers of Jesus
I want to know him; I want to experience the power of his resurrection
and share in his sufferings and become like him in his death.
Stan & Liz - Australians
from Perth in 2003 Dear
and Brothers, We are
home now in
and back at work in our surgery at Glen
Forrest. We wanted to let you know how profoundly the pilgrimage with
your group has affected us. It was the most wonderful experience to see
our Faith so alive and vibrant and to see so many young people with
such strong belief. Please thank all those who were so kind to us and
took the time to speak to us, to help us with food and water, to help
carry the flag etc etc It made such a difference to us and made us feel
very much a part of the Green Group WAPM. We feel very privileged to
have taken part in such a special event. Our
helped us grow in our Faith and in our
commitment to the Lord. We are enjoying an intimate relationship with
the blessed Virgin Mary that was missing in our lives before this.
Thank you for the great dancing We will practice some Australian Dances
and come prepared with music next time, hopefully in another 2 years !! May
God bless you
in your work Love
Liz and Colin Perth,
I am interested in participating in the Warsaw Academic Metropolitan
Youth Pilgrimage. I need your help urgently as I am organising a trip
to India (to be followed by WAMP in Poland and World Youth Day in
Germany). My tickets, including transport to Cologne for WYD2005, need
to be organised in the next few days.
While I am in Poland I hope to complete the pilgrimage at Czestochowa
followed by a visit to Auschwitz and onto Cologne via train.
My problem is that I don't have a precise time of when the pilgrimage
to Czestochowa ends. This means that I cannot safely book a train
ticket from Krakow or Warsaw until I can estimate the time it will take
to visit Auschwitz and get to the relevant train station.
Could you kindly provide me with the time that WAPM is planned to end
(or the earliest time I could leave for Warsaw, without missing
anything) or inform me if I could accompany a group from WAMP to
WYD2005 (while still being able to visit Auschwitz).
Your help would be most appreciated.
God Bless, Mark M. (I can't speak Polish)
* * * *
I live in Toronto, Canada and came across your web site. I don't know
if I would qualify as a "young person" because I'm 37 years old. But, I
wanted to know if I would be able to walk with the Warsaw Academic
Metropolitan Pilgrimage GreenGroup. I would greatly appreciate any
information you could give me. I was inspired by the pilgrims at World
Youth Day July 2002 -- in fact, I was almost heartbroken when they left
Toronto because they brought so much hope and joy to our city. My Dad
is Polish and I have always had a strong devotion to Our Lady, so a
pilgrimage to Czestochowa just seems like the natural thing to do.
Looking forward to hearing back from you.
Dear Andrew, thak you for your informations about pilgrimage. I have
just booked my flight to Poland, so I will definitely be joining your
Green Group WAPM on the pilgrimage in August 2003!
peace & love,
* * * *
Could I please have more
the pilgrimage from warsaw-czestochowa? I want to know if somebody here
in italy organizes the trip for italian students, thank you!
greetings from rome! samira
* * * *
I am a 19 year old American/Polish girl living in Spain (I do not speak
Polish though :) :)...). I came across the pilgrimage website and am
very interested in paricipating. I would appreciate any additional
information you could give me regarding this. I do not think I know of
anyone else that would be able to come with me or a priest that speaks
one of my languages...English/Spanish....and would be able to come.
Maybe I could join in with another group coming from Spain or the
Thanks for your time!
Sincerely, Danielle Danowski(a)
* * * *
On the internet I have read
the yearly pedestrian pilgrimage from Warszawa to Chestochowa. On the
website you spoke about joining with a group of your own language. I am
very interested in joining this year but I don't know if it's possible:
Im am 30 years old (too old ?). Iam from Maastricht, Holland and till
now I haven't discovered a Dutch group who is walking in 2004. Could
you give me some adresses or links to a Dutch group? A german adress
isn't also a problem because I speak german very well and I live very
close to the German border (region of NordRhein-Westfalen). Could you
also tell me something more about the specific programm. (When you
arrive in Warsawa: where is the meeting point, timetable of departing
to Czestochowa, places where I can stay for the first night.) Is there
a central information-point? Thank you very much for your cooperation
and with God's help I see you in August.
With kind regards, Marco
* * * *
Order for the
blessing of pilgrims on their departure.
Sisters and brothers, as we set out, we should remind ourselves of the
reasons for our resolve to go on this holy pilgrimage. Czestochowa,
Jasna Gora we intend to visit is a monument to the devotion of the
people of God. They have gone there in great numbers to be strengthened
in the Christian way of life and to become more determined to devote
themselves to the works of charity. We must also try to bring something
to the faithful who live there: our example of faith, hope and love. In
this way both they and we will be enriched by the help we give each
brothers, listen to the words of the second letter of saint Paul to the
Corinthians: (we are away
So we are always courageous, although we know that while we are at home
in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by
sight. Yet we are courageous, and we would rather leave the body and go
home to the Lord. Therefore, we aspire to please him, whether we are at
home or away. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of
Christ, so that each one may receive recompense, according to what he
did in the body, whether good or evil.
The word of the Lord.
R: Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
The Lord’s are the earth and its fullness;
The world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
and establish it upon the rivers.
Who can ascend the mountain of the Lord
or who may stand in his holy place?
He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
who desires not what is vain.
He shall receive a blessing from the Lord
a reward from God his Savior.
Such is the race that seek for him
that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.
God is the beginning and the end of life’s pilgrimage. Let us
call on him with confidence, saying:
Lord, be the companion of our journey.
Father all holy, of old you made yourself the guide and the way for
your people as they wandered in the desert; be our protection as we
begin this journey, so that we may return home again in safety.
You have given us your holy only Son to be our way to you; make us
follow him faithfully and unswervingly.
You gave us Mary as the image and model for following Christ; grant
that through her example we may live a new life.
You guide your pilgrim Church on earth through the Holy Spirit; may we
seek you in all thongs and walk always in the way of your commandments.
You lead us along right and peaceful paths; grant that we may see you
face to face in heaven.
Prayer of blessing
With hand outstretched, the celebrant continues with the prayer of
you always show mercy toward those who love you and
you are never far away for those who seek you.
Remain with your servants on this holy pilgrimage
and guide their way in accord with your will.
Shelter them with your protection by day,
give them the light of your grace by night,
and, as their companion on the journey,
bring them to their destination in safety.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
May the Lord guide us and direct our journey in safety.
May the Lord be our companion along the way.
May the Lord grant that the pilgrimage
we begin, relying on him,
will end happily through his protection.