2022 PASSION PLAY IN OBERAMMERGAU
POLAND, PRAGUE, SALZBURG, AND OBERAMMERGAU
DAY 1: DEPARTURE FROM US CITIES
Departure with possible connections! Dinner and breakfast typically provided on all gateway flights to Europe.
DAY 2: WARSAW ARRIVAL
Arrival to Warsaw. Meeting with the guide and transfer by coach to the city centre. Check-in at Hotel Sobieski. We will depart after some rest and refreshment to the Convent of the Sisters of Divine Mercy where Saint Faustina entered the religious life. Here we will celebrate Holy Mass. Dinner will follow in a local restaurant. Overnight at Hotel Sobieski.
DAY 3: WARSAW
After a delicious breakfast in the hotel we will visit Saint Stanislaw Kostka’s Church. It’s the burial site of Father Jerzy Popieluszko, who was kidnapped and brutally murdered by communist militia officers in 1984. Here we will celebrate Holy Mass. Before departing we will be guided through the museum here dedicated to Father Jerzy. We will then discover the capital city of Poland. Warsaw is a city of great charm with a unique, cosmopolitan atmosphere. It is the beating heart of a young and dynamic Poland, always proud of its history. This is modern Warsaw, a city destroyed during the Second World War, was rebuilt thanks to the huge efforts of the Polish Nation, always defending its roots. While walking along its wide, majestic streets, you may still sense the atmosphere of the post-war city. Today will feature a guided tour of Warsaw: Lazienki Park with the monument of Frederic Chopin, The Warsaw Ghetto, Umschlagplatz, (from here thousands of the Jews were deported to the concentration camps), The Tomb of The Unknown Soldier, Palace of Culture and Science, Krakowskie Przedmiescie Street, The Old Town, St. John’s Cathedral. We will enjoy some free time for lunch, and then visit the outstanding POLIN Museum which exhibits the history of Jews in Poland. Free time to freshen up then dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight at Hotel Sobieski.
DAY 4: WARSAW/NIEPOKALANOW/CZESTOCHOWA
This morning we start the day early with breakfast at the hotel and check out. We begin our way to Niepokalanow. We will visit the Sanctuary of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, which was founded by Saint Maximilian Kolbe. Here we will celebrate Holy Mass. We will then journey to Czestochowa. The Czestochowa Sanctuary, with its image of the Black Madonna, is one of the most important places of pilgrimage in Poland. Every year, 4 million people travel on foot to Czestochowa, taking part in a tradition that dates to medieval times. During his pontificate, St. John Paul II visited this sanctuary six times and presented it with a golden rose and his blood-soiled papal belt, which he’d been wearing during the assassination attempt in 1981. Arrival, check-in at Hotel Mercure. Dinner at the hotel. An evening walk to Jasna Gora Monastery in Czestochowa and prayer in front of the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary called the Black Madonna. The image is unveiled at 9:30 pm. Overnight at Hotel Mercure in Czestochowa.
DAY 5: CZESTOCHOWA/AUSCWITZ-BIRKENOW/KRAKOW
Today we can awaken early to be present for the 5:30 am unveiling of the miraculous image of Our Lady of Czestochowa. Holy Mass will be celebrated at 6:00 am in Polish under the icon of Our Lady. We are welcome to stay and participate. Return to the hotel for breakfast and checkout. We now return to Jasna Gora for a guided tour of the most important pilgrimage place in Poland. In the 17th century, it was under a month-long siege by Swedish forces. A small group of monks fought off the numerous Swedes and managed to save their sacred icon of the Black Madonna. Here we will celebrate Holy Mass. We then continue to Auschwitz – Birkenau with a stop for lunch along the way. During World War II, Auschwitz was established in 1940 by Nazi Germany. It is known all over the world as a symbol of terror, genocide, and The Holocaust. In 1942, it became the largest death camp in Europe. St. Maximillian Kolbe died in Auschwitz. The guided tour includes the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum (both parts Auschwitz and Birkenau). We will then begin our journey to Krakow, often called the City of a Thousand Churches, and since the 16th century has been called the second Rome. Krakow is distinguished for its architecture, both ancient and modern. It is also a place of religious interest for most of its inhabitants. It was Krakow, which Karol Wojtyla, left in 1978 to become the head of the Church as Pope John Paul II. Pilgrims from all over the world come to visit Saint Mary’s Church with the Veit Stoss Altar, Wawel Cathedral, St. Adalbert’s Church, the Papal Window, The Church of Saint Michael the Archangel, Tyniec Abbey, The Sanctuary of Divine Mercy in Łagiewniki, dedicated to the devotion of Divine Mercy and final resting place of St. Faustina Kowalska. Arrival and check-in for our four-night stay at Hotel Galaxy in Krakow. Dinner in the hotel this evening.
DAY 6: KRAKOW
This morning after breakfast in the hotel we begin to discover Krakow: starting at Wawel Hill with the magnificent view of the Castle and the Cathedral, then following the Royal Way: a walking tour through the beautiful streets to the biggest Market Square in Europe: The Cloth Halls, St. Mary’s Church with its most famous altar made by Wit Stwosz. Here we will celebrate Holy Mass. There will be free time for lunch and then a short drive to the Jewish district Kazimierz. Krakow’s Jewish Quarter is perfectly preserved and full of history and culture. For many years it was the centre of Jewish social and religious life, until the mass deportation of Jewish society during the Nazi occupation. We will visit the Ghetto Heroes Square situated in the Podgórze district, which in 1941 was turned into the Krakow Ghetto. The former Plac Zgody, (Concord Square) was designated ‘Umschlagplatz’ under the Nazi occupation, the place where the Jews had to congregate to be deported. We will also visit the famous Pharmacy under the Eagle in the same Square. A close walk is Schindler’s Factory, now a modern museum. A guided tour shows Krakow during the 2nd world war. This evening we will enjoy dinner in the Jewish Quarter accompanied by Klezmer music. Overnight at Hotel Galaxy.
DAY 7: KRAKOW/LAGIEWNIKI/WADOWICE/KALWARIA/KRAKOW
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Lagiewniki. ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy’. We will visit the monastery in Lagiewniki -The Sanctuary of Divine Mercy is where Saint Faustina Kowalska lived and died. Pope John Paull II consecrated the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy in 2002, which is where the image of Merciful Jesus and St. Faustinas’ relics are housed. The Sanctuary has been visited by pilgrims from 89 countries, exceeding any other Shrine in the world. This Monastery was proclaimed “The Centre of Divine Mercy” by Pope John Paul II during his visit to Poland in 2002. It is also a place related to Karol Wojtyla. He would pass here every day on this way to work at the local quarry during the WWII German occupation of Poland. A Sanctuary was built recently at the place called the White Seas, commemorating Saint John Paull II. Here we will celebrate Holy Mass. We then begin our journey to Wadowice, the birthplace of St. John Paul II. Wadowice is where everything began, the small city where we will start to follow in the footsteps of this great Pope. The house in which Karol Wojtyla was born and grew up has been converted into a museum that documents his life and papacy. We will have a guided tour of this magnificent museum and then visit the church where he was baptised just beside his family home. Free time for lunch around the beautiful square then we depart for Kalwaria Zebrzydowska – the Bernardine monastery. This is also one of the most important pilgrimage places in Poland. Karol Wojtyla visited this monastery several times during his childhood. We will return to Krakow for dinner at a local restaurant in the Square. Overnight at Hotel Galaxy.
DAY 8: KRAKOW/ZAKOPANE/KRAKOW
After breakfast we will depart for Zakopane, known as the winter capital of Poland. Zakopane is the most picturesque town in the Tatry Mountains. Tradition is alive and well in Zakopane: people still dwell in wooden houses; men work as shepherds and women are occupied with knitting. In their homes people speak the local dialect, and for religious occasions they wear traditional costume. At Krupowki, the town’s commercial centre, local products are sold. e.g. oscypek (ewe’s milk cheese), kierpce (sheepskin shoes), sweaters, gloves, scarves, and hats made of pure wool. Zakopane is also a town of artists, hosting many cultural events, concerts, and exhibitions. We will visit the traditional Jaszczurowka Chapel, then continue to Krzeptowki Shrine – the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima, built in 1982 to thank God for saving John Paul’s life. Here we will celebrate Holy Mass. Free time in Zakopane for lunch and shopping on Krupowki Street. Return to Krakow for dinner and our last overnight in Poland.
DAY 9: KRAKOW/LEGNICA/PRAGUE
Breakfast at the hotel and check out. Today we journey to Legnica stopping for lunch along the way. Arrive to the Sanctuary of St. Hyacinth. Here we will celebrate Holy Mass. It is here that we will view a Eucharistic Miracle. On December 25th, 2013 during the distribution of the Holy Communion, a host fell to the floor. It was retrieved and placed in a water filled vessel. After a short while, a red discoloration appeared on the host. The Bishop of Legnica at that time established a commission to monitor the phenomenon. In February 2014, a fragment of the matter was isolated and placed on the corporal for adoration and veneration. After some time in Legnica we will continue to the enchanting city of Prague, a city of domed rooftops, soaring steeples, and countless spires. Dinner and an overnight at Hotel Caruso in Prague. . Friday, September 18, 2020 PRAGUE After breakfast, we will transfer to the Church of Our Lady Victorious, home of the famous Child Jesus statue called the Infant Jesus of Prague. The statue, a 16th-century depiction of infant Jesus holding a globus cruciger, (the orb and the cross), was donated to the Carmelite friars in 1628. Here we will celebrate Holy Mass. We will then explore Old Town Prague. In Prague’s Castle district, visit St. Nicholas Church, St. Vitus Cathedral, St. George Basilica, Loreto Church and Strahov Monastery. Continue by crossing the Medieval Charles Bridge that is adorned with many baroque statues. View the Astronomical Clock of Prague and walk on Wenceslas Square, one of the main city squares. The square is named after Saint Wenceslas, the patron saint of Bohemia. It is part of the historic centre of Prague, a World Heritage Site. This evening we will enjoy dinner in a local restaurant overnight at Hotel Caruso.
DAY 10: PRAGUE
After breakfast, we will transfer to the Church of Our Lady Victorious, home of the famous Child Jesus statue called the Infant Jesus of Prague. The statue, a 16th-century depiction of infant Jesus holding a globus cruciger, (the orb and the cross), was donated to the Carmelite friars in 1628. Here we will celebrate Holy Mass. We will then explore Old Town Prague. In Prague’s Castle district, visit St. Nicholas Church, St. Vitus Cathedral, St. George Basilica, Loreto Church and Strahov Monastery. Continue by crossing the Medieval Charles Bridge that is adorned with many baroque statues. View the Astronomical Clock of Prague and walk on Wenceslas Square, one of the main city squares. The square is named after Saint Wenceslas, the patron saint of Bohemia. It is part of the historic centre of Prague, a World Heritage Site. This evening we will enjoy dinner in a local restaurant overnight at Hotel Caruso.
DAY 11: PRAGUE/CESKY KRUMLOV/SALZBURG
After breakfast and check out we will celebrate Holy Mass in Prague before departing to Cesky Krumlov, a city in the South Bohemian region of the Czech Republic. We will have some free time and lunch here in one of the most picturesque towns in Europe, a Unesco World Heritage Site. We will then continue to Salzburg, the lovely birth place of Mozart. Salzburg is the city of great houses, mansions, Festival Hall, and the Mirabell Gardens. Hear the bells of the great Glockenspiel Tower, performed to a melody of Mozart’s. Check in at Hotel Europa. Dinner and overnight.
Day 12: SALZBURG
After breakfast, we will transfer to St. Peter’s Abbey. Here we will celebrate Holy Mass. After mass, we explore the historic centre of Salzburg on foot. Its narrow streets and secluded passageways are evidence of its medieval roots. The heritage of the Catholic Church is evident in the Archbishop’s Residence at DomPlatz. Visit Mirabell Palace with its beautiful gardens. Mirabell Palace, is one of the most important shooting locations from the famous Hollywood musical “The Sound of Music” – Maria and the children dance around the Pegasus Fountain in front of the palace, singing the song “Do Re Mi”. Experience the unique views across Mirabell Gardens towards the Hohensalzburg Castle. You will have a chance to visit the mighty Romanesque Cathedral as well as the Nonnberg Convent of Benedictine nuns. In the Getreidegasse, view Mozart’s birthplace, now one of the most visited museums in Austria. Enjoy a delicious dinner at a local restaurant and overnight at Hotel Europa
DAY 13: SALZBURG/ALTOTTING/OBERAMMERGAU
After breakfast and check out we depart Salzburg for Altotting, one of Germany’s most celebrated shrines and a city whose purpose is pilgrimage. Here we will celebrate Holy Mass at the centre of the pilgrimage complex, The Chapel of Mercy. The chapel houses a 13th century statue of the Blessed Virgin to which numerous miraculous cures are credited. While there, we can visit the Basilica, the Panorama of the Crucifixion and St. Konrad’s Monastery. We will continue to Oberammergau, the home of the world-famous Passion Play. The incredible 2,000 Oberammergau citizens are the actual actors, singers, instrumentalists and stage technicians. They are ordinary citizens who lead everyday lives. We will check in to our hotel for dinner and a good rest.
DAY 14: OBERAMMERGAU PASSION PLAY PERFORMANCE DAY
After breakfast at hotel we will celebrate Holy Mass at a local church. We will enjoy some time exploring Oberammergau’s colorful frescos known as “Luftlmalereien” on house facades and visit wood carving shops with amazing array of nativity scenes and religious figures. Following lunch, we will make our way to the world-famous theatre to attend the performance of a lifetime, the 42nd Oberammergau Passion Play. The sleepy village springs to life every ten years to put on a play that draws the world upon it! We, too, will become part of mission of the Passion of Christ, the greatest story ever told. We all share His message of faith and love! The Oberammergau Passion Play tells the story of the Passion of Christ, beginning with His entry into Jerusalem, followed by His trial, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension. The play is held in a beautiful open-air theatre that is praised for its superb acoustics. There are 2,000 actors (and live animals), they include local wood carvers, hotel owners, students, teachers, children, all of them interrupt their schedules to become actors, singers, orchestra members and stagehands. Requirements are strict: all actors must be born in Oberammergau, or have lived there 20 years, or be married to a villager and a resident for 10 years. All-natural makeup, men let their hair and beards grow a year before the play. Female roles are limited to single women under age 35. Act I will begin at 2:30 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. (Intermission: From 5:30 P.M. to 7:30 P.M., you will have dinner at a restaurant that is walking distance from the theatre) Act II will begin at 8:00 P.M., and conclude at 10:30 P.M. What makes this performance so extraordinary is how the Stage truly comes alive! Not only in the decoration of the Set and the performance of the Actors, but with real animals and birds playing under the open sky. There are thirty-six (36) main actors who are dressed in white costumes, with their supporting cast dressed in greyish blue. The actors do not wear makeup, as that is their natural hair. Every scene is real, and live, so for example: the actor who is tied to the cross has to stay in that position for more than one (1) hour In between each scene, there are “Living Tableaus”, where the live actors perform intricate sets of the Old Testament. You can never describe the feeling you get, as you see these stories being performed right in front of you. After this magnificent play return to the hotel for overnight.
DAY 15 OBERAMMERGAU/DEPARTURE TO USA FROM MUNICH
After an early breakfast and checkout, we depart for Munich Airport for our flight back to the USA!