The Monastery of Jasna Góra in Częstochowa, Poland, is the
third-largest Catholic pilgrimage site in the world. The large
baroque monastery of Jasna Góra dominates a hilltop in Częstochowa
and is always bustling with pilgrims and worshippers.
The focus of pilgrims to Jasna Góra is not the monastery, but the
icon of Our Lady of Częstochowa, which is displayed in a altar in
the Chapel of the Black Madonna. The icon shows a serious Mary
holding the infant Jesus on her left arm and gesturing towards him
with her right hand. The Virgin's gaze is intense —pilgrims are
moved by the way she seems to look right at them
Wadowice, small city, southwest of Krakow,
has got international recognition as the birthplace of Pope
John Paul II.
Born in 1920 as Karol Wojtyla, the future Pontiff lived in Wadowice
till 1938 when he moved to Krakow to study at its ancient Jagiellonian
Yet to his last days the late Holy Father remembered fondly his
Wadowice youth and places associated with it, the schoolmates, his
teachers, and other local folks he had used to know.