KRAKOW, 2 July 2019 – In the Sanctuary of John Paul II in Krakow, a painting called the Croatian Oratory was solemnly consecrated. It is a gilded mosaic showing the Mother of God with the Baby Jesus from the Sanctuary of Marija Bistrica in Croatia, alongside the figures of Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac and Pope John Paul II.
The Croatian Oratory is the only such mosaic showing the Mother of God with the Baby Jesus, John Paul II and another priest from another country, located in the Sanctuary of John Paul II in Krakow.
Pope John Paul II beatified in this sanctuary of the Croatian martyr, persecuted by the communist authorities, cardinal Alojzije Stepinac on 3 October 1998. On the twentieth anniversary of this event, at the initiative and support of the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Croatia in Krakow, the Croatian Oratory was made with the approval of the authorities of the Kraków church and the support of the Croatian church authorities.
The Croatian Oratory was placed in the Sanctuary of John Paul II, in the church of the relic to commemorate the sensitivity of John Paul II to the Croatian people, to express many thanks to the Croatian nation of Saint. John Paul II for three of his pilgrimages to Croatia and the showing his support for the Croatian people in their struggle to regain the independence of Croatian state and to strengthen the ties between the Croatian and Polish nations.
Also in Krakow, Croatian Statehood Day was celebrated recently. The Croatian Consulate in Krakow organized the official ceremony on Saturday, June 29. In the afternoon there was a ceremony of releasing 120 balloons in the colours of Croatia and Poland as a sign of friendship between both nations in the Main Market Square, in the heart of Krakow. Among the numerous citizens of Krakow, tourists and special guests, visitors could meet Goran Karan, who is a popular Croatian singer in Poland.
In the evening, at Juliusz Słowacki Theatre, a ceremonial Croatian-Polish Gala was organized by the Honorary Consul Pawel Wlodarczyk, attended by about 650 invited guests. After the official speeches, congratulations and decorations, a concert by Goran Karan and his band Vagabundo took place.
Among the guests of the gala, there was a 10-person delegation from Udruga Udovica Hrvatskih Branitelja and Domovinskog Rata, invited to Poland by the Honorary Consul, as a recognition for the effort and sacrifice made in their everyday difficult life.
They had the opportunity to visit the places connected with Pope John Paul II in Krakow and the papal museum in his family house in Wadowice and taste delicious papal cream cakes. The group also visited the world-famous underground salt mine in Wieliczka.