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City of Saints: A Pilgrimage to John Paul II's Kraków

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  124 ratings  ·  24 reviews
In this beautifully illustrated spiritual travelogue, New York Times bestselling author George Weigel leads readers through the historic streets of Kraków, Poland, introducing one of the world’s great cities through the life of one of the most influential Catholic leaders of all time.

“To follow Karol Wojtyła through Kraków is to follow an itinerary of sanctity while learni
Paperback, 336 pages
Published October 27th 2015 by Image
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Czarny Pies
Jun 08, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: religion
Like many GR members I have exhausted my PAL (i.e. pile-à-lire, pile to read) during the Covid 19 lockdown) and am now working the PALs of my family members. I discovered "City of Saints" unread in my son's room. It had been included in his kit at the World Catholic Youth Day of 2016 in Krakow. At first glance it looks like a rapidly thrown together guide for the young pilgrims. However, because I had Weigel's extraordinary two volume biography of John Paul II, I decided to read it anyway.
The a
Klara Rawdanowicz
Aug 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I love George Wiegel’s style of writing and absolutely loved how he incorporated St John Pul II’s biography with all these places in Kraków and their historical significance. George Wiegel not only knows his facts and has a thorough and detailed knowledge on the topics he writes on, but also knows how to pass that onto the reader in a clear, succinct, interesting and beautiful language!
Cristina Kiefer
Nov 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Very interesting... Learned a lot about Pope John Paul 2 and his hometown
May 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
George Weigel is best known for his book Witness to Hope, the definitive biography of the late Pope John Paul II. He has written many other books, including Letters to a Young Catholic and Evangelical Catholicism, but the ones that always pull my interest are the ones on Pope John Paul II. Today, I am going to tell you about one such book - City of Saints: A Pilgrimage to John Paul II's Krakow.

City of Saints is a travelogue through the city of Krakow by George Weigel, his son and photographer St
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book for Catholics traveling to Krakow and the surrounding region who also want to follow in the footsteps of St. John Paul II. I started this book while I was in Krakow, but I didn't get to visit 1/2 of the places mentioned/researched in this book so that has just fueled my desire to go back even more! What an amazing place full of holy people who lived out the Gospel in spite of the terror surrounding them. I also liked how the book wove in JP II's teachings. The maps are g ...more
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
Because I'm traveling to Krakow in the spring, I wanted to read a book that offered me some information about the city. In this case, the story of Krakow is largely background for a hagiography of John Paul II. While the book fulfilled my purpose to some extent by offering background about important places in Krakow, it is largely intended for devout Catholics who have an unquestioning belief in JPII's holiness. I would not recommend it for anyone like me (a gay man, lapsed) who has even a littl ...more
Ryan Moore
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Weigel's book deftly combines the story of one of my heroes with the city we both love. To visit Kraków is to learn about John Paul II. I came to Kraków with a deep respect and admiration for the man. I visited almost every spot Weigel mentions in his book. I came to love Kraków. Exploring the city and its connection to Father Karol deepened my affection for both. I can't wait to explore Kraków again. ...more
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you're planning a trip to Krakow or any of the other cities from JPII's childhood, let Weigel be your tour guide. You almost want to read it on the plane ride there to let it just sink into your pores, and then make notes so that when you're there you can reference the book. I wish I had this when I last went. Please God I'll remember to get this for a future trip! ...more
Apr 26, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Good book. Read it in preparation for my trip to Poland. While in Poland, I really felt like I knew the places we were visiting and knew a story about or the significance of that place.
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I purchased the book after my trip to Krakow, Poland. After reading it, I hope to travel to Poland again someday. The childhood and life of John Paul II, the Polish natives who have become saints and the geographical descriptions tell a richly woven historical account of deep faith and love.
Patricia Mckenna
Jan 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Against a prequel background to World Youth Day 2016 by a renowned author George Weigel is set the biography of a great saint. I learned so much about St. John Paul the II and I had not read anything about his life story before this book. The black and white photos are amazing surpassed only by the color photos in the center of the book taken by George Weigel's son, Stephen Weigel, while Carrie Gress has provided historical notes.
The book has an unusual format that is linked to maps and history
Karen Roberts
Jul 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Living inside the biblical story and the story of salvation history. That was the desire of Pope John Paul II, according toNew York Times bestselling author George Weigel. In City of Saints, Weigel creates a beautiful spiritual and pictorial travelogue of Krakow, the “city where the twentieth century happened.” (p. 1)

Karol Wojtyla, later Pope John Paul II, moved to Krakow in 1938 and lived in Krakow for 40 years as a student, actor, laborer, seminarian, poet, playwright, sportsman, member of the
Amanda Marie
I have wanted to read this book since I first heard it existed. I will be going to Kraków in 2016 for World Youth Day and so I almost purchased this book the day before I saw it available on Blogging for Books.

I have been slowly reading up on Kraków in preparation for World Youth Day which is coming up. I have been attempting to learn about the history of Kraków, both political and ecclesiastical. This book definitely fits that bill.

This biography of Pope Saint John Paul II is told through the b
Jul 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you’re planning a trip to Poland, this book might be a must-read guide-book, filled with interesting details, informative photographs, and even directions and maps. If you wish you could travel, the author provides the next best thing, combining travel details with a wealth of background, history, sociology, culture, and faith. And if you’d just like to know more about a famous Pope, where he came from, what he believed and why, and how he made such a difference in the world, City of Saints i ...more
Jeremy Keong
Aug 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was a great primer into the thought and life of Pope St. John Paul II, a man who died on the world stage, but who came from very humble beginnings. Author George Weigel does a great job at weaving theological teachings into JP II's life as he lived it out in Krakow and the surrounding areas in Poland. The book will definitely leave you wanting to learn more details about JP II (perhaps picking up Weigel's own full-scale biography on JP II's life, 'Witness to Hope.').

The book's chapter
Daniel Kukwa
Sep 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
When this book gets the balance between spiritual exploration & historical/geographical exploration spot on (which it does most of the time), it makes for a sumptuous, contemplative read. But too often there are moments of smug conservative Catholic apologia that simply aren't needed in a book such as this one; it spoils the taste of an otherwise gentle, almost ethereal experience. The concluding chapters don't help matters by transcribing portions of many of John Paul's sermons...portions that ...more
Dec 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy of this book from Goodreads Giveaways. As a dedicated armchair traveler, I found "City of Saints: A Pilgrimage to John Paul II's Karkow" an absolute delight. George Weigel arranged a magnificent tour of Krakow, Poland. Not only does the reader discover the history of the beautiful architecture of Krakow but also the significance of these locations with respect to the life of Pope John Paul II. I enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone interested in the history of Pola ...more
Janine Brouillette
Nov 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
Very well written historical book on John Paul II Kraków. It not only tells of stories of his childhood, pathway to priesthood, bishop, and Pope, it describes the beautiful towns, buildings, sites, and people that impacted his life. A reader is much more able to understand the Pope by understanding the places, people, and events that shaped him into the man he was. The book provides multiple pictures to show the historical items and places that are described in the book.
Nov 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a great way to tell some of the story of St. Pope John Paul II's life through the places that shaped him on his journey. The book is easy to read, interesting and enjoyable. It has inspired me to visit Poland and could very easily provide the itinerary for all of the places i'd like to visit. ...more
V Forr
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It is another excellent novel by George Weigel. Part biography, part history, and part travel guide, this novel explores Krakow through the lens of the city's influence on St. John Paul II. It will inspire you to want to visit Krakow and Poland. Happy reading! ...more
Mina Zalnasky
Mar 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Since St. John Paul II is my hero and George Weigel such a distinguished author I had to read this book. Reading about the City of Kraków and the affect on St. John Paul, this book was outstanding. Loved it. A book that one can read over and over again.
Jul 08, 2016 added it
okay I admit I skimmed parts of this to get through with it for our trip to World Youth Day (woooooooo!!!!!!) but it was really good!
Feb 23, 2016 added it
Shelves: own
I finally had time to finish the last ten, yes 10, pages.
Oct 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating hagiography regardless of what your religious preference is .
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American author and political and social activist. Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Weigel was the Founding President of the James Madison Foundation.

Each summer, Weigel and several other Catholic intellectuals from the United States, Poland, and across Europe conduct the Tertio Millennio Seminar on the Free Society in Krakow, in which they and an assortment of

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