City of Saints: A Pilgrimage to John Paul II’s Krakow

“The two great mid-twentieth-century totalitarianisms – German National Socialism and Marxism-Leninism – embodied the worst of the twentieth century. Under Nazism and communism, lethally distorted and murderously false ideas about human nature, human community, and human destiny led to mass slaughter on an unprecedented historical scale. Krakow experienced those horrors in a singular way, and as the communist horror followed hard on the collapse of the Nazi horror, the student of politics may well conclude that Nazism and communism were two variant forms of the same evil political experiment: the complete subordination of the individual for the state.

In Krakow, however, something else happened.

For if Krakow was ‘the city where the twentieth century happened in a uniquely sinister way, Krakow was also the city where the answer to the horrors of the twentieth century were given, through a vision of the divine mercy that was carried to the world by a mission-driven man of God.” –George Weigel

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Pope John Paul II was often referred to as the people’s pope. He proved that faith can overcome the darkest of circumstances, and the sacredness of human existence cannot be overlooked even in a society that has been stripped of individual freedoms. Known for his humanitarian work, his focus on the dignity of human life, and his unflappable faith, Karol Wojtyla, later known as Pope John Paul II lived in Krakow for 4o years.

His story – of growing into a beloved saint and leader in the Catholic church – is as much rooted in his faith as the city of Krakow. This book serves as a guide to the beloved Polish city, and the history of a beloved religious figure. With maps, stunning images, historical content, and biographical data, this book beautifully blends insight on a Krakow and Pope John Paul II. City of Saints walks readers through the key historical event of this major city while giving powerful details about memorable cites within the area. This book is a must-read for those interested in Krakow, Pope John Paul II, and the history of the Catholic church. It is informative, but light, and insightful without being overwhelming. Well worth exploring.

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