Poland Krakow

Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Merciful Pilgrimage // Kraków World Youth Day 2016

A Spiritual Vigil Mass.

*Attention. Please tune in your FM radio to 105.4 for English translation. Sorry we are experiencing some technical difficulties. We shall come back in a sec.....


We had been preparing for this WYD pilgrimage for a year and finally we made it. Preparations were not easy. The 8 formations I only attended 1 due to I was very tied up with my job's schedule. Physical and Packing list had to be ready. The most important one was spiritual preparation like fasting, prayers and walk through the Doors Of Mercy. I felt guilty for not fulfilling all. Opening Mass, Arcbishop told us, you are here because you are called. Actually I think God had been calling me since the RIO WYD 2013. I didn't make it because of the money consent. I just have to say my faith in God wasn't strong enough by making such an excuse. So this time was Krakow WYD 2016. My phone rang. The call hit my phone again, I was kind of reluctant to say "I do" due to my high expenses commitment. But I had promised God I will be attending this round no matter what it takes. Its so unfaithful to break the promises again right. I didn't want to restrict my ability, I didn't want to doubt with the power of God. Even the possibility was slim, I took the challenge. That's why I decided to achieve this mission with God since it was an pilgrimage to reach out to Him. I always remember the story of 2 fishes and 5 loaves feed 5000 people. Jesus prayed with what he had and distributed the food to the large crowd. The people ate and satisfied. When we listened to this 2 fishes and 5 loaves story, we say we believe but in the real life we doesn't seem like we are believing at all. I think we should give more room for Jesus to excel and create miracles in our life. Don't wait for his call but work hard to impress Him.

Observe The Moment Of Silence
Regarding the pilgrimage. I think I had never felt so joyful before. We are living in a noisy and busy city. We are always occupied with our activities and works. Even in a church I'm busy with choir despite singing is double praising the Lord. During Mass at St Catherine, I tried my best to observe the moment of silence. I listened to myself, God and the church. I was so focused until it was like no one else can break into my thought. As if the world had stopped for a while. My mind worked so fast during the reflection of my life, I thought of my family, my friends, my enemy, my difficulties that I have gone through, my anger, my hurt, my anxiety and my fear. I knelt down and talked to Jesus. A golden bonding moment with God just like an up-close and a very personal one. I let go my past and leave it all to Him. For the 1st time I felt I have so much time to talk to God with an open heart. I was free and feeling peaceful. Some people ask what is the different between praying at home and church? I would say at home you are just praying alone but in church you are praying in the temple of the Holy Spirit. When you are praying in church your whole body is praying and  praying in a community is always more powerful than solo. Only church can give you that kind of peace and serenity. So it is important to attend mass weekly, as a recharge for your faith and keep your Holy Spirit burning. This is what I observed during this pilgrimage.

The Walk
We walked many km in this pilgrimage. My new walking shoes for this trip has gained 2 years of walking experience within 2 weeks due to the experiments on walking through the super heavy rain plus the angry thunder, the road and the off road which was wet and muddy. Suddenly we had become the swamp thing and shouting like Mariah "I can make it thru the rain, I can stand up once again.
Some long distance walk will cause your leg limped. Some long distance walk will make you cry, we call this a pilgrimage walk. We have a pilgrimage walk from John Paul II Sanctuary to Divine Mercy church. During the walk I heard some people reciting Divine Mercy, some people had their confession at the booths area. I was doing nothing but just walking. Out of the blue I thought of my family again, I was not missing them but the thought came in all of a sudden, Tears filled up my eyes when I thought of their unconditional loves to me. Many people from my circle of life came across my mind. I thought of my best friends' joke it made me laugh. That's life. Sometime you cry, sometime you smile, There are always ups and downs in our journey. I prayed for all of them. Maybe I was inspired by St John Paul II after visiting his beautiful Sanctuary, his holy spirit has filled me up. Thanks St John Paul II.

The Appearance Of Papa Francesco
I have no idea of how Poland Kraków looks like. I had only 1 intention. which I wanted to see Papa Francisco. I was very inspired by his actions and messages. I read his news every time. Finally I got the chance to see him passing by and witnessed him preaching on the big projector screen. The situation was like: We were living in the bible time. We knew Jesus will be passing by this area. We ran there and waited even we had'nt showered or brushed our teeth. We had to be like Mary, when Jesus came to visit, she put down all the house chores immediately and kept Jesus accompany. Should we be like Martha putting household chores before Jesus? Let's think about it. My friend told me God is everywhere and I replied yes, but this time was different. We had a date with Jesus at Krakow the City Of Mercy whether you could make it or not Jesus definitely will be appearing at that time and place. We will be dying to look at Him when he is passing by. By looking at him our brokenness will be healed. Our soul will be saved. Even just a glance we will be blessed.

Words couldn't express how joyful to see Papa Francisco. Many people sheded the tears of joy. When I looked at him, he reminded me of Him. When I looked at him again, he reminded me of love and mercy. He delivered the messages of Jesus. He was always smiling with joy. His sermons were super inspiring. He said no matter how many times you fell, just kept your head up and you will see Jesus hand was always there to pull you up again. The only thing he worried that you gave up and walked with your head down without realizing his hand was waiting for you. Jesus never stops forgiving us 777 millions time a day. The things he said I could relate to it so much, it made my tears shed like rain. I didn't know Jesus is so merciful. Jesus loves us even we are sinners, failure, a betrayer. If you go a wrong way just don't forget to turn around and go back to Him, his arm is always wide open and ready to embrace you. The greatest sin can be forgiven by Him as long as you repent. A simple prayer will be answered as long as you trust in Him.

The Challenge
We had celebrated a mini Mass in the chapel on the 5th day. That was the only empty room at Divine Mercy Church. We had been waiting for hours just for an hour slot. The room was small with no air con or fan, very stuffy and lack of oxygen. I was caught in the room. I guess 200 of us were squeezed in that small chapel. I was so dizzy and running out of breathe. I was thinking to give up n walk away but I forced myself to stay until the end of the mass. Truly thanks God I did it. The reason I insisted to stay was because I could see the effort of Archbishop Julian. The way he insisted, the way he grabbed the opportunity to celebrate a mass in this church. I guess he didn't want us to go home without receiving any spiritual food. We were so blessed to celebrate a Mass in Divine Mercy Church. I was touched that Archbishop Julian was smiling while he said sorry for the small room, I could tell the vestment he was wearing was heavier and felt even more hotter than us. I could see the sacrifice, endurance and humility in him. I remembered I shared with a friend over there. Following Christ is not easy, instead of praying for a smooth life please pray for a strong back.

It was so cold to sleep over night here

The Funny Moment
We all slept indoors of a basketball court with different models of "power generator", we never failed to wake up at 6 am because of the snoring alarm. We were never late before. Shower outdoors with the ice cold water which was very funny. It gave me a massive muscle contract when the water splashed on me. I struggled on the floor for a minute. At the moment I was like OH NO will they send me to the hospital like this(with only wearing a swimming trunk)? Another funny thing was one of our friend was sitting on a wheel chair due to ankle sprained and I was like "so envy of you, now you got the chance to be kissed by Papa Francisco".

My Point Of View
This WYD was a psychological earthquake, renew our faith and opportunity to encounter Jesus. God had united and connected all the people from different world, while we were holding hands and reciting Our Father In Heaven at the final Mass. I was so blessed to stay around my Malaysia contingent. Their faith and spirit rekindle my fire, They are spiritual and outstanding. You guys really gave me a lot of inspirations. I love the prayers and Jesus/Joy/Junk moment sharing every morning and night. I missed the time we used to pray in public places in Krakow city as well. Keep the fire burning strong my brothers sisters in Christ.

Don't let sin create a distance between you and God. Prayer can make you strong and the only way to get closer to God. After visiting and reading all their history, few questions come into my mind. Why Nazi's action was so inhuman? Was it because of unforgiveness? We got no right to hate them but we strongly disagreed with their actions. Let's pray for the soul of jews who had died in the death camp. The suffocation of Syria is devastating and it is still happening right now, may mercy of God lands on them as soon as possible. 

The prayer "I want to talk to Jesus." (I told the other pilgrims). Actually I had drafted this prayer before we dismissed from the school.

Dear Jesus. The son of living God. Thanks for walking this journey with us. Thanks for carrying us through the stormy weather. We love one another, take care of one another and share the pain together because all these events strongly remind us of you. After we check out from this school, we will go our own separate ways and continue our daily life. The WYD has ended, please don't let us stop here but continue to spread the seed of mercy in the coming days. Living in a big group is not easy. I admit my thought has sinned because of my judgmental behavior so I here to ask God: God......

Please give us your mouth so that we can speak the language of love.
Please give us your ear so that we can hear the people who are crying out there.
Please give us your nose so that we can breath in the air without sin.
Please give us your eye so that we can look at people with a correct angle.

St John Paul II. You are a hero. You are a warrior. You are strong as well as forgiving. You remind us the importance of human dignity, right to religious freedom and revolution of the spirit, not insurrection. Please fill us with your Powerful Holy Spirit. JPII pray for us.

Lastly. God please give us the courage to say the 3 words: I am sorry, I forgive you and I love you which stressed by Papa Francisco.

We say this prayer through Christ our Lord

Never Forget
Tix & Receipt
The Calling Of Panama 2019.
Will You Be There ?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The City Of Mercy Poland Kraków World Youth Day 2016.

My sharing for WYD Krakow 2016. Click here.

Day 1 // 24th Jul 2016
Checked in Hostel Dizzy Daisy, a room for 8 included the Spanish strangers. Attended a Mass at Krakow square St Ann conducted in polish. Night time we had couple of drink(Tyskie) and coffee beside the main square's road side.

Katowice Terminal
Krakow Main Square clock tower
St Ann Church
After St Ann Church. Showered by the Holy Spirit
Outside St Ann
Poland Beer

Day 2 // 25th Jul 2016
Morning we went to a Hill. After that we had our delicious lunch at Jewish Quarter. Afternoon we had our registration in a church. Collect the food coupons and had a short briefing. Night was the Eucharistic adoration we recited Divine Mercy in malay at St Mary Basilica. After church we collected our baggage from Dizzy daisy and moved to the school. We were sleeping in a basketball court, around 150+ people. Shower with the ice cold water in the middle of the night. My stomach's muscle had a terrible contraction due to the water was too cold. It was a great pain and suffer for almost 1 minute. Luckily it managed to recover.

Dizzy Daisy Hostel
Hold My Hand
Malaysia Contingent at the hill
Krakuski Cafe. Lovely ice cream and coffee
They called lody as ice cream
Jewish Quarter//Portofino Restaurant
St Mary Basalica
St Mary Basalica
Outside St Mary Basalica
Krakow Main Square
St Mary Basalica's interior
St Mary Basalica's interior
St Mary Basalica's interior
Outside of St Mary Basalica
St Mary Basalica
Tram Station with nice Typography
We stayed in a school, this basket ball court was
where we slept over nights.
This wa the part and place which I missed the most due to
the happenings and togetherness. 

Day 3 // 26th Jul 2016
We went to a laundry service in the morning, many pilgrims were doing their laundry there as well. A laundry shop which I serendipity pumped into while I lost my way back to Dizzy Daisy Hostel. We had couple of drink and food while waiting for the laundry to be done. Afternoon we went to Blonia Park for the opening Mass. "The World youth day has begun." proclaimed by the Arcbishop. Took a tram home after the Mass.

Blonia Park for the opening mass
Blonia Park. Dancing and Singing.
Symphony At Krakow Main Square.

Day 4 // 27th Jul 2016
Catechesis class in the morning at St Catherine. Afternoon we went to Tauron Arena Krakow. We went out at 5:30pm to have a dinner break, that time outside was surrounded by the huge crowd. When we wanted to get in again, an announcement displayed on the LED "Arena is full, no one else will be admitted tonight." Marcus, Raphael and I waited until 8pm. We took a tram back eventually. We had our dinner outside the school cafe.

Krakow Reporter. Video here
Outside St Catherine
St Catherine
St Catherine
Tauron Arena Krakow
Video here. Papa Francisco touches down 

Day 5 // 28th Jul 2016
Morning we went to John Paul II Sanctuary. Celebrated mass morning Mass in Divine Marcy church's chapel. Walk through the Divine Mercy Holy Door. Pilgrims' walk from John paul II sanctuary to Divine mercy church. Welcoming Papa Francisco and waiting for his present at Blonia park. We walked back from Blonia Park to Krakow square. Dined at main square. The tram took 1 hour to send us back due to the peoples were walking on the road. We were so tired like a dead corpse collapsed inside the sardine fish tram.

The invincible view. John Paul II Sanctuary
The Fire of the Holy Spirit
A panting of JPII
JPII's blood stain on his clothes
when assassin left him critically injured.
Divine Mercy Church. With some holy light
at the back
Confession booths. View from the tower
Divine Mercy Church with the
original illustration on the alter wall
Just walking in the rain, while queuing for
BBQ sausages and Pork
Jagiellonian University Kraków.
UNI shut down by NAZIS in 1939 when
JP II was half way studying here.
Reopened again in 1945
Outside the UNI
Roads were closed due to
Papa Francisco will be coming this way
Video here:
Waiting for Papa Francisco's Mobile
Krakow Square water fountain
10pm candle dinner

Day 6 // 29th Jul 2016
Catechesis in the morning St Catherine. Had a peace and serenity moment with Jesus. Choir sang beautifully. Nasi Biryani for our lunch. We had a 3 Złotti per scoop ice cream. Marcus and I had a coffee session before the Mass started. Evening was the way of the cross with Papa Francisco. We recited Divine Mercy with our group after the mass ended. Midnight we tried a Vodka for 3 zlotti recommended by Adrina.

Before the moment of silence made you cry
An spectacular interior of St Catherine church
Deluged by the sea of people.
All are walking toward Blonia Park
Performance during Way Of The Cross
Stage at the Blonia Park for Masses

Day 7 // 30th Jul 2016
We celebrated a Mass in the morning, which was outside our school. After that it was a Pilgrimage walk, we walked around 8km to reach the Campus Misericordiae. A huge field which can fit in millions of pilgrims. Vigil mass started on the evening. Everyone lighted up the candles with the fire of the Holy Spirit. Pilgrims shared a spectacular sunset moment with Holy Father before the day ended. We slept over night at the field. It was extremely cold during the mid night plus the damp grass and wet weather.

Malaysia Representative
Papa Francisco took a tram which was exactly same at this 1
Pilgrimage Walk
Walking to the Campus Misericordiae
Waiting for Vigil Mass
The place we sleep
After vigil mass
Fire of The Holy Spirit

Day 8 // 31st Jul 2016
I was waken up by the cold weather at 3am. Dew formed on the surface of the my raining coat and sleeping bag. I was a bit worried I might catch a cold. It was a challenge to sleep without a roof with this kind of low temperature. Morning,  I woke up at 7am in 1 piece and peacefully. Mass started at 9am. The Final Mass with lovely Pope Francis, I was hoping this Final Mass will never end. When we were waking back it was raining cats and dogs plus the angry thunder storm was so frightening. We walked 12km to reach our school with a soaking wet condition.

Good morning for the Closing Mass
with Papa Francisco
A very hot weather before it rained cats and dogs
Summer Blue Sky. Sun tanned
Group Photo
He stole the show for the whole week
Poland Fried Pork
Our sweet cafe for chilling

Day 9 // 1st Aug 2016
The Final day of staying in the school. We went to Auswitch in the afternoon. Night we had our dinner at krakow square. Before I slept, I blasted a message in the group chat. I suggested (I said I want to talk to Jesus) to have a farewell prayer before we splited up from the school. The next morning everyone was so curios and kept asking me what do u want to tell Jesus? Hahahaha

Poster of Poland Hero on the wall
MC D underground
German death camp. Aushwitz the place which Papa came
to pray for the soul & asked for forgiveness
Saint of Aushwitz. He volunteered to take place of a
married man who condemned to die.
To thank and welcome Papa. He was here
At the 2nd part of concentration camp
With Sweden pilgrims
A team
Brilliant bicycle
Our 10 stars hotel.
Memory that money cannot buy.

Day 10 // 2nd Sep 2016
We moved to "Salve Apartment." Pay a visit to Salt mine in the afternoon. After that we dinner at Va Banque. We had the JJJ sharing during the dinner. We prayed while we were on the way back to the apartment. Supper time we went out to have some supper pizza. Eric said he wanted to talk to Jesus before he slept.

Made by salt
130++ meter underground
Krakow WYD Logo
Had a very wonderful Jesus/Joy/Junk moment
 sharing with each other

Day 11 // 3rd Sept 2016
We went to Schindlers Factory. after that we went to Jewish quarter to have our dinner. supper at apartment and have a sharing before sleep.

Chamber gas mask
Step into the name of NAZI
All the pots are real inside the glass.
Not a printing
JP II's background
Stamped card from Nazi museum
Laughter and smile
Poland fried pork around 33 zlotti
Poland dessert
Final night gathering
Vietnam instant mee
Coke Cola Cherry

Day 12 // 4th Aug 2016
Morning Me and Eric have our quick breakfast at our favourite pastry shop plus Cappuccino before catching the bus.

Day13 // 5th Aug 2016
Touched down at Singapore. Had a final prayer within our small group before we went our separate way. Flight delayed 2 hours before taking off back to Malaysia due to some technique problems. Had a role-play-game. Marcus and I took a bus to PJ Paradigm mall.