Sanctuary of St John Paul II
ul. Totus Tuus 32
The modern church is a specific place of devotion to St John Paul II in Kraków, as the precious relics of the saint are stored here.
The most precious among them is some blood taken from the pope during one of the last examinations before his death at the Gemelli Clinic. Enclosed in a glass container, the ampoule with blood was placed inside a marble altar standing in the centre of the octagonal Church of the Relic (the so-called “lower church”). The personal secretary of John Paul II, Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz entrusted the Sanctuary with yet another relic: the blood-stained cassock that St John Paul II wore on 13 May 1981, on the day when he was shot by assassin Mehmet Ali Ağca during a general audience in St Peter’s Square. The relic is stored in a glass cabinet in the so-called “Upper Church”.
In the Priests’ Chapel, the congregation may also see the slab from the grave of St John Paul II in the Vatican Grottos of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Placed on the slab is a reliquary in the form of an open Gospel Book, whose pages were turned by the wind during the Pope’s funeral.
The sanctuary is part of the Be not afraid! John Paul II Centre: a complex standing in the so-called White Sees, still being expanded and besides the sanctuary encompassing an array of Catholic institutions.
Be sure to see:
- a viewing tower reached by 270 steps or a lift, which in good visibility commands a beautiful panorama of the Tatra Mountains (open on Saturdays and Sundays 9am-5pm)
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