Krakow - the pilgrimage and religious centre
Krakow is known as the“Second Rome” – due to the large number of churches, sanctuaries andtombs of the Saints and Blessed. It is an important centre of religioustourism, both on a national and international scale.
Most pilgrims, morethan 2 million a year, are attracted by the Sanctuary of the DivineMercy in Łagiewniki. On the first Sunday after Easter, the faithful comefrom all over the world to participate in the Feast of the Divine Mercyand to pray before the painting of Merciful Jesus and relics of St.Faustina Kowalska. Important is also the cult of St. Stanislaus, bishopand martyr, who rests at the Cathedral on the Wawel Hill. Greatcelebrations in his honour are held on Sunday within the octave of 8May, when the procession with the relics is setting off from the WawelHill to Skałka. Also many other Saints rest in Krakow. The relics of St.Queen Jadwiga are in the Wawel Cathedral; of St. Simon of Lipnica inthe Bernardine Church, of St. Hyacinth in the Dominican Basilica, of St.John of Kanty in the Collegiate Church of St. Anne, of St. BrotherAlbert Chmielowski in the Ecce Homo Sanctuary, of St. Stanislaus ofKazimierz in the Church of Corpus Christi. Also, in other churches thereare the graves of the blessed and those who died in holiness. Inaddition to the cult of relics, the cult of Mary, associated with thebenevolent images, inter alia, in the Carmelites Church inPiasek, has been developing for centuries. The place of cult is alsoMogiła in Krakow, where in the Cistercian Church there is the Sanctuaryof Jesus Crucified. The cult of the miraculous crucifix has beendeveloping here since the middle ages. In particular, many pilgrimsarrive to Mogiła in the octave of the Feast of the Cross (14.09).Another important place is the Ecce Homo Sanctuary, with the miraculousimage of Christ Scourged. Many sacred and secular objects are related toBlessed Pope John Paul II, who spent much of his life in Krakow.Currently, near the Sanctuary in Łagiewniki, the “Have no Fear” Centreand the Sanctuary of Blessed Pope John Paul II are being built. Krakowis not only a pilgrimage centre for the Catholics but also for thefollowers of Judaism. In Kazimierz, in the former Jewish district, manypilgrims of this religion visit the grave of Rabbi Moses Isserlessituated at the Remuh Synagogue, which is still an active place ofprayers.
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