Thousands of pilgrims have taken over not just Krakow but many places around it, including Wadowice, the nearby hometown of St. John Paul II. The excitement will ramp up even more with the arrival of Pope Francis on Wednesday.
Over the next week, hundreds of Krakow’s churches, and even sports arenas, will hold catechesis sessions given by some of the world’s 844 bishops and 47 cardinals who are expected to attend this week. There will also be concerts, musical plays, a soccer championship and countless other activities - all part of World Youth Day (WYD), which isn’t actually a “day” but a week long youth rally. From the moment Pope Francis shows up Wednesday afternoon until Sunday evening when he departs, he’s scheduled to deliver nine speeches and three public homilies.