Visit of John Paul II
Bp. Bronisław Dembowski, ordinary of Diocesy of Włocławek (1992-2003) during his visit in Rome in 1998 mentioned John Paul II about Marian Shrine in Licheń and basilica which was built there. Pope said, he wanted to see this place. His dream came truth soon.
The Holy Father came to the Shrine at Sunday’s evening on June 6, 1999. On the following day at 8.15 Pope looked around basilica under construction. Then He celebrated
a service before the main entrance to the new basilica. John Paul II blessed the church under construction and the numerous faithful. During His homily, the Holy Father said:
“Gathered today for this morning prayer at the Shrine of Licheń, at the feet of Our Lady of Sorrows, let all of us (…) implore her to intercede for us with her Son, seeking to obtain for us: A living faith that will grow from a mustard seed to the tree of divine life; A faith that is nourished everyday by prayer, is strengthened by the holy sacraments and draws richness from Gospel of Christ; A strong faith that shrinks before no difficulty, suffering or lack of success, because it is sustained by the conviction that “nothing is impossible for God”
(cf. Lk 1:37) A mature faith without reservation, a faith that cooperates with the holy Church in the authentic building up of the Mystical Body of Christ.”
After the service John Paul II went to Bydgoszcz and Toruń and then returned for the night to Licheń. He slept over at Religious House of Marian Fathers. He prayed in front of the Miraculous Image brought from St. Dorothy’s Church to the papal apartments specially for Him. Nowadays we can visit the apartments four times a year: 2 April – John Paul II death, 18 Mai - his birthday, 6-8 June – anniversary of His visit in 1999 and on 16 October – the day when he became elected as the Pope. Marian Fathers are organizing a library with publications devoted to John Paul, works of his authorship and souvenirs after the Great Pole.