After three years of planning, World Youth Day 2016 begins this week in Kraków. Organizers expect the event will draw more than two million people from around the world. Poland’s archdioceses and dioceses have pledged to offer accommodations for over 373,000 foreign visitors. The festive gathering of youth and young adults represents the chance to share in prayer, worship, and a celebration of the Catholic faith. From Pope Francis to dancing nuns, Catholic leaders will welcome everyone in attendance.
After the outbreak of World War II and invasion of Poland, Father Maximillian Kolbe sheltered refugees including 2,000 Jews whom he hid from Nazi persecution in his friary. Germans arrested him on February 17, 1941 and imprisoned him first in the notorious Pawiak Prison in Warsaw, then transferred him to Auschwitz on May 28, 1941. He became Prisoner #16670.