The countdown begins as Poland awaits for Pope Francis' historic visit to the country, on the occasion World Youth Day in late July of 2016.
The archbishop of Krakow, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz gave all the details into the Pope's upcoming trip.
Pope Francis will once again be boarding a plane for his official papal trip to St. John Paul II's homeland. Cardinal Dziwisz confirmed that the Pope will be traveling to places like Czestochowa and Krakow.
Pope Francis will celebrate a Mass on the occasion of the 1,050th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity to Poland.
Like St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI, Pope Francis will visit and give a speech at the the former Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz.
Yet, the most important event on the Pope's itinerary will be the celebration of World Youth Day.
The Pope is expected to greet more than one million youths during a prayer vigil the night before he leaves, followed by a final Mass. During this Mass, the Pope will announce the location of the next WYD.
POPE'S DETAILED SCHEDULE
Day I: (Wednesday, July 27th, 2016)
Pope Francis’ visit to Poland will begin on the afternoon of Wednesday, July 27th, when the plane transporting the Holy Father lands at Krakow Airport. On the same day, Pope Francis will meet with the President of the Republic of Poland, state officials and Polish bishops.
In the evening – following the tradition started by St. John Paul II when visiting Krakow, and upheld by Pope Benedict XVI – Pope Francis will appear in the so-called Papal Window of the Bishop's House overlooking Franciszkaska Street to address young people.
Day II: (Thursday, July 28th, 2016)
The morning of Thursday, July 28th will be marked by a pilgrimage of the Holy Father to Jasna Góra Sanctuary in Czstochowa. It is possible that, on his way, the Pope will visit the Convent of the Presentation Sisters and meet with the students of the school. In Czstochowa, in the Chapel of the Black Madonna, there will be a moment for private prayer. Afterwards, on the defense shafts of Jasna Góra, the Pope will celebrate a Mass on the occasion of the 1050-year anniversary of the Baptism of Poland. It is worth mentioning that the visit of Pope Francis to the National Sanctuary in Jasna Góra will take place on the 25-year anniversary of the memorable World Youth Day in Czstochowa.
Day III: (Friday July 29th, 2016)
On the morning of Friday, July 29th, Pope Francis will visit the former German Nazi death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, where he will also give a speech.
The Stations of the Cross celebration will start at 5:30pm in Bonia Park, led by the Pope himself. The aim of this significant event is to show young people the meaning of the Cross in the context of mercy. This idea will be presented in a practical dimension of Mercy – corporal and spiritual works of mercy. The author of the reflection is auxiliary Bishop of Krakow Grzegorz Ry. The musical setting of this devotion will have a unique nature that deepens the spirit of reflections and meditation. The music, in the theme of Passion, will be combined with jazz improvisation. The theme of the evening will be "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy," which is the theme of WYD Krakow 2016.
Day IV: (Saturday July 30th, 2016)
On Saturday morning, the Holy Father will visit the Divine Mercy Sanctuary in agiewniki and the Chapel of Sister Faustina. He will pass through the Doors of Mercy and celebrate Mass with priests, consecrated persons, and Polish seminarians. After the Mass, the Pope will visit the Sanctuary of St. John Paul II, where five young people will have the opportunity to confess their sins to him: in Italian, Spanish, and French.
In the House of the Archbishop of Krakow, Pope Francis will have lunch with youth representatives from around the world, including two Poles. In total, 12 pilgrims will participate in this meeting.
In the evening, at 7:30pm, the Vigil of the Pope with youth will start at Campus Misericordiae. The subject of the vigil will be the guides of the youth on the road to Jesus: St. Faustina and St. John Paul II.
The most significant moment will be the Adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament. The vigil will end with a worship concert prepared by Adam Sztaba, based on the Credo.
Day V: (Sunday July 31st, 2016)
On Sunday, July 31st, at 10am the Final Mass will begin. The meeting will be on the topic: the universal dignity resulting from Holy Baptism as a Gate of Mercy – a sending out of young witnesses of Mercy.
During this Mass, the Pope will announce the location of the next WYD. The musical work "Mass of John Paul II” by Henryk Jan Botor will be performed during the Mass, a piece composed especially for WYD.
And finally, short farewell ceremony.