After eight years of construction, the shrine dedicated to Pope John Paul II in Krakow is finished in time for the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims who will venture to Poland later this July.
A statue of the late pope stands in the center, outside the church, welcoming all those to the Holy Door of Mercy with his famous words above the main door, "Have no fear! Open wide the door to Christ!”
Inside, the sanctuary is beautifully adorned with paintings and gold-trimmed mosaics representing the life of John Paul II and Gospel parables.
The idea for the center was proposed by Cardinal Stanisaw Dziwisz, the private secretary of John Paul II. He wanted to have a space built to remember the life of the Polish Pope in his home country, in the place where a young Karol Wojtya worked during World War II as a factory worker.
As a result, there are various relics and memorablia from the late saint, including an ampulla with his blood and one of his papal cassocks.
The John Paul II Shrine is not only limited to the Shrine, but includes the John Paul II Institute, outdoor Stations of the Cross, a volunteer center, a hotel and a pilgrim house, a retreat center, an amphitheatre, a rehabilitation centre, and a meditation and recreational park.
The two-level church is a glimpse into the life of the late pope and a way to experience a closeness to the saint like never before.
TV WYD 2016