During his pilgrimage to Poland in 1999, St. John Paul II visited the Licheń sanctuary and blessed the temple under construction. The meeting with the pilgrims took place on June 7 in the morning on the steps of the basilica, from where the Pope presided over the service.
I look with admiration at this huge building, which in its architectural momentum is an expression of faith and love for Mary and her Son. Thanks be to God for this temple! Gratitude is also due to the custodians of this sanctuary - the Marian priests who have been caring for this place for years and faithfully serving the pilgrims.
Pope John Paul II
Saint John Paul II arrived by helicopter on June 6, 1999, in the evening around 21.00. The next day, he flew to Bydgoszcz and Toruń, and in the evening he returned to Licheń for the night. A papal house was built especially for his visit. The new building was connected to the existing religious house. The apartments at the disposal of the Holy Father have an area of 57.7 m2 and are composed of five rooms: dining room, chapel, living room, bedroom and bathroom. The remaining rooms were intended for people from the close circle of the Holy Father.
In the first room (the dining room) there is now a library and there are souvenirs associated with the Pope, namely: books written by the Holy Father, the stole he wore during the service in Licheń, a papal scarf with his own signature, and a chalice. , paten and rosary (currently these three souvenirs are in the lower basilica, in the chapel of St. John Paul II). There are also commemorative medals, banknotes, coins, stamps and postage stamps, photos.
The heart of the papal apartments is certainly the chapel. It was here that on the night of June 7th a miraculous painting of Our Lady of Lichen was brought so that the Holy Father could pray before it. Currently, there is a copy of the lichen image there. In the center of the chapel there is a white birch wood kneeler, decorated with the papal coat of arms. There is a small wooden chapel next to it. During the visit of the Holy Father, a tabernacle with the Blessed Sacrament was placed in it. The Stations of the Cross are hung on the walls, painted on glass in the highlander style.
The showroom includes, among others sofa, two armchairs, coffee table, desk with chair and cabinets. The furniture is made of dark, solid oak wood, without the use of nails. They are a gift from the Ludwik Styl company from Rogoźno Wielkopolski. On the massive desk there is a photo of little Karol with his mother.
The bedroom has a bed, a wardrobe and a chest of drawers. There is an oak cross above the bed. There are two photos on the chest of drawers: one shows Karol Wojtyła on the day of First Holy Communion, and the other - of a young priest Wojtyła shaving at a summer camp with young people. Above the chest of drawers hang three photos of mountains, so much loved by St. John Paul II.
The apartments can be visited from May to the end of August, recommending their intentions to the Holy Pope.