12 April 2008

St. Casimir Church, Swinice Warckie

"Where?" you ask. This is the church in which Helena Kowalska -- St. Faustina -- was baptized. When we were on pilgrimage in Poland a few years ago we ventured to the little village of Swinice Warckie, the provincial seat of Lodz, and there we found the simple country church.

We got terribly lost trying to find it, but an extremely kind and generous couple offered to show us the way. We didn't want to inconvenience them; however, they insisted. How little did we know just how much of a sacrifice they were making! We had gotten so lost that we had to follow them for what must have been an hour out through the countryside. And not content just with getting us there, they attended Mass so that they could lead us safely back to more familiar surroundings, since we were there long after the sun had set. I shall never forget those sweet and generous people.

It was cold in Swinice Warckie. And when I say cold, I mean way below freezing. The holy water was frozen solid in the stoup. As we breathed it was as though fog was surrounding us. The locals didn't seem to think it was that bad, but I don't think I've ever been as cold as I was on that occasion.

But the Holy Sacrament warmed us inside, and it was beautiful to be in the place where little Helena, the future St. Faustina, received the grace of Holy Baptism.