The idea of pilgrimages

The idea of bicycle pilgrimages arose very spontaneously during funeral ceremonies of John Paul II in Błonia Park in Krakow. We traveled there with our community and one of the locals watching the ceremony broadcasted from the Vatican on a huge large screen said: “So many times have I wanted to meet the Pope in person … for once I would like to go to his tomb”. A few months later we left for the Vatican. On bicycles – because it’s cheaper, because it is more of a pilgrimage. We wrote in the Pilgrimage Diary:

The homeless are often perceived as people who live without purpose and meaning, as if on the side of the life- road.

John Paul II, among other things, through his travels, convinced us that life is a path leading to a specific goal, a path that is full of meaning, although difficult, winding and often in the rain and uphill. Through hardship of a pilgrimage, struggling with our own weakness we want to start believing again on our strength and capabilities. Well, we believed in it quite effectively, so that we made two more pilgrimages, apart from the Vatican, on bicycles to holy places. First in 2006 to the Holy Land with the slogan: “Glory and Peace” (35 days, almost 3,000 kilometers by bicycle).

In 2011 we changed the way of our pilgrimage to running and walking :). In February 2011 four residents of our house and four volunteers took part in the marathon in Malta. Participation in this event was related to a fundraiser for heart surgery of 2-year-old Filip. All participants reached the finish line and also managed to collect approx. 17k PLN for his surgery, which was successfully performed on July 2011.

In 2014 we made a pilgrimage on foot from Jaworzno to Rome along the trail of Saint Francis of Assisi. Two people walked the entire distance (approx. 1600 km). The other 9 participants joined them in Ravenna and together they covered a distance of 500 km to Rome via Assisi. The pilgrims, those who traveled on foot were joined by a pilgrimage of our residents and friends in a bus. The culmination of the pilgrimage was a meeting with Pope Francis to whom on October 2014 we presented”The Manifesto of Remnants”, signed by over 1,000 residents of our city.

Pilgrimages have become an integral part of the life of our community. We take the trouble of trying ourselves to set ambitious and challenging goals, because participants of these events return to the everyday living with greater motivation and willingness. The memory of success in accomplishing a difficult task is washing away the bitterness of previous failures and giving hope for a lasting improvement.

Read also how we traveled on foot and on tractors the 1,500 km on the Path of Reconciliation to Lisieux and how despite the Covid-19 pandemic we went on a 40-day trip to Jerusalem.

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Stowarzyszenie Betlejem
ul. Długa 16
43-603 Jaworzno
NIP: 632-177-06-21
REGON: 272146684
Ph: 506 307 862 (8.00-16.00)


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