Sunday, March 11, 2012

Michelle: The Rainy Day That Could

Polish sunset, in Oswiecim
I think that picture of the beautiful sun is a fitting start to a blog about the day that itself started with disgusting rain. This morning was murky, to say the least, but getting out really cured it. Our first stop was Wadowice, the hometown of the Holy Father John Paul II.

Such a small and quaint place, it felt so unassuming in the morning. However, the church was the focal point of the huge square and I was amazed by how... well... for lack of a better phrase, "un-quaint" it was. On the contrary to its surroundings, it was absolutely beautiful, intricate, and detailed. I could probably fill up this blog with hundreds of pictures of the interior and exterior of the place. I easily see how the atmosphere could have inspired the Pope.

Pope John Paul II's home parish church
We went to the 12:00 mass, and it was actually a children's mass for young ones preparing for their first communion. They were incredibly adorable, and even if I couldn't understand a word of their Polish, it was nice seeing them so into the idea of mass and learning about religion. We also went to a temporary Pope John Paul II exhibit since the one in his old home is being renovated. The building that held this exhibit actually had in it a stage where young John Paul, known then as Karol Wojtyla, used to act in plays.

A recreation of Karol (left) on stage
Who would have known that the young Pope was an actor? I found this out to be the most interesting part of the exhibit, because it showed him as a person, a relatable person. It reminds me of one of my high school religion teachers. He kept pictures of Pope John Paul II making funny faces on the chalk board so I saw them every day, and I never realized why he did this. Today I saw that there is more to someone than the appearance they are perceived to have. It is important to recognize and embrace this.  Everyone has human qualities, even one of the most outstanding people who ever lived.

My goodness, I talked so much about Wadowice without mentioning the second half of our day, Oswiecim. Oh well, I think I can sum it up in a picture:

The most delicious hot chocolate ever from Oswiecim, Poland
See you all tomorrow and dobranoc!


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