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Posted November 5, 2015

Book: City of Saints: A pilgrimage to John Paul II's Krakow
Authors: George Weigel with Carrie Gress and Stephen Weigel
Image Books. New York. 2015. Pp. 305

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

In 1985, Pope John Paul II initiated World Youth Day, a worldwide encounter with the Pope for young people that draws millions across continents (3.7 million people attended the most recent WYD in Brazil in 2013). In 2016, the event will be held in Krakow, Poland, birthplace of its founder, newly canonized Saint Pope John Paul II. George Weigel now presents a spiritual travelogue that further illuminates the life and homeland of one of the most influential Catholic leaders of all time. Beautifully illustrated: City of Saint contains 92 black and white photos and 14 color photos.

An Excerpt from the Book:

To a brillian young Pole deprived of a normal academic life by the forces of irrationality wedded to overwhelming material force --- forces that denied his humanity and scorned his national culture --- the Jagiellonian University motto Plus ratio quam vis might have seemed romantic foolishness: this was obviously not how the world worked. Yet throughout the Nazi occupation of Poland and during the communist tyranny that followed, Karol Wojtyla never lost his conviction that Plus ratio quam vis expressed a deep truth of the human condition. Reason really is better than force, because reason is an expression of the human person's spiritual nature, which the proponents of brute force as the engine of history deny. To stand for reason, then, is to stand fast for some essential truths about human beings --- the truths that there is more to us than matter, that we are not just congealed stardust, that our existence is not an accident of impersonal cosmic biochemical forces, that we are animated by souls, and that our noblest aspirations are spiritual.

Table of Contents:

Krakow: St. John Paul II and the City where the twentieth century happened

Student Pathways

Wadowice: family, fatherhood and fatherland

Debniki: the mystery of vocation

The Jagiellonian University: faith and reason

World War II: the mystery of evil and the dignity of work

Pathways of a priest and bishop

Wawel: the royal castle and cathedral: salvation history and world history

Skalka: religious freedom, the first of human rights

St. Florian's: pastoral accompaniment, Srodowisko, and the beginning of World Youth Day

The metropolitan curia and the planty: the good shepherd in the modern world

The main square and the royal mile: the spaciousness of the church

Nowa Huta and the Ark church: the universal call to holiness

Kalwaria Zebrzydowska and Tyniec: prayer, contemplation, and living biblically

Papal Pathways

Blonia Krakowskie: living stones, confirmed in faith

Lagiewniki: trust in divine mercy

In thanksgiving: lessons in the Tatras


Polish pronunciation

Polish names in English