The famous Sanctuary of St. Kinga in Stary Sącz owes a lot to Karol Wojtyła. It is he who, as Pope, canonised Kinga (also known as Cunegunda), the founder of the local convent of the sisters of St. Clare. The celebration of canonisation, which attracted 600 thousand believers, was held on 16 June 1999, on the spacious commons over Poprad, at the foot of the slope where Stary Sącz is situated. The altar, especially erected for the occasion, is still there today. Its wooden structure is a reference to the local architecture; the grass-covered slope and the brook running down the altar top are a reminder of the mountaineous landscape, which inspired the Pope to present the famous “review of geography” during the mass (when he listed from memory a number of local sites). Some of the memorabilia connected with the Pope’s visit have been gathered in a little exhibition room underneath the altar. The area surrounding the altar is now home to the John Paul II Regional Pilgrimage Centre, which includes a pilgrim’s hotel.
The John Paul II Pilgrimage Centre
ul. Papieska 10, 33-340 Stary Sącz, +48 18 4461439,