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Next WYD stop Poland!

by | Jul 28, 2013 | Vincentian Family

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Pope Francis invoked the intercession of the Virgin Mary in preparation for Krakòw, asking “for the light of the Holy Spirit upon the journey that will lead us to this next stage in our joyful celebration of faith and the love of Christ.”

The decision to hold World Youth Day in Poland’s second largest city will come as no surprise to many. Blessed Pope John Paul II, a Pole who led the Archdiocese of Krakòw for some 15 years and the Universal Church for nearly 27, is soon to be canonized, becoming one of the country’s newest saints.

Not long before departing for WYD in Brazil, on July 4, 2013, Pope Francis confirmed his approval of Karol Wojtyla’s canonization, in a process initiated in 2005 under the pontificate of Benedict XVI.

The Polish pontiff will be canonized together with Pope John XXIII in a special mass expected to take place before the end of 2013.
Hundreds of thousands of Poles came to Rome to mourn their beloved pope in April 2005 after John Paul II’s death. They credit him with the downfall of the former communist regime and the resurgence of Poland’s Catholic identity.

A university city, Kraków is a major national academic and artistic centre whose old town was one of UNESCO’s first World Heritage sites. Situated on the banks of the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Krakòw has a population of approximately 760,000 but some 8 million people live within a 100 km radius of the centre.

Vincentian Family has been present in Krakow since 1682 when the first Vincentians settled here to run the seminary located in the Royal Castle.
The Province of Poland in Warsaw was suppressed by Russian administration in 1863. Vincentians were banned from pastoral and community life in the Russian occupied part of Poland.  Houses   in German occupied territories where forbidden as well.  Only three houses in Austrian partition zone, in Krakow, remained active.
To ensure continuity of the Province, a new Province of Krakow was erected in 1865 with Krakow as the principal location.
When Poland became an independent country once again in 1918, the Province was renamed the Province of Poland.
In 1859 the Daughters of Charity Provincial house was moved to Krakow from Lviv.
The first statue of the Our Lady of Lourdes in Poland was brought by Vincentians to Krakow in 1863 and its devotion continues in St Vincent de Paul church in Kleparz.
The largest campus ministry in Poland is rooted in the Vincentian parish of Our Lady of Lourdes where  some 8,000 students reside.
The late Bishop Malysiak, then parish vicar, started the pastoral ministry for students: special religion instructions, devotion, activities in the parish in early 1950s.
Krakow sent Vincentian missionaries who started mission in New England (1904), Curitiba (1904) and China in 1930.

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