Białostocki pilgrim-tourist trail

„In the footsteps of Blessed Michael Sopocko”

Blessed Father Michał Sopoćko spent the last years of his life i.e. the period from 1947 to 1975 in Białystok. Traces of his apostolic presence still remain here and set the pilgrimage trail. Cracow has The Sanctuary in Lagiewniki, under the patronage of St. Faustina Kowalska, the Apostle of Divine Mercy Message. Białystok welcomed her confessor and confidant of her soul, blessed Father Michał Sopoćko, who continued the mission of proclaiming the truth of God the Merciful for nearly 30 years here. The act of providence joined their paths in Vilnius where their spiritual lives took the final shape and let them take the Message of Merciful Jesus around the world. The pilgrimage in the footsteps of Bl. Fr. Michael Sopocko in Bialystok reflects two paths determined by history and spirituality of the humble priest, a tireless and devoted apostle of Divine Mercy.

Father Michał took a glimpse of Białystok for the first time in autumn 1918 on his journey by train from Vilnius to Warsaw to continue his studies. Then he travelled this route several more times. Is it possible that he got off the train on one of these journeys? There is no mention of it, but assuming it did happen, he must have directed his steps towards the Chapel and then to Church of Saint Roch. And if we want to reconstruct the further route, it undoubtedly should include the streets: Lipowa and Rynek Kościuszki towards the Parish Church where the main axis of the city is located.

Fate or in religious terms God’s providence brought father Michał to Białystok in 1947 for good. From the train, which arrived from Vilnus, he must have taken the above mentioned route to get to Archbishop Romuald Jałbrzykowski who lived in the rectory of the Parish Church. Then he made his way to the Seminary in Słonimska street. As time went by, the life space of the Blessed Father in our city covered the following streets: Złota, Warszawska, Orzeszkowej, Traugutta, Poleska. While going on pilgrimage along these routes we recognise the extent of the works and achievements of Father Michał in the service of Divine Mercy. The chapel and the room at Poleska Street, the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy with the relics of the Blessed Father where the pilgrimage trail ends - these are the places where his spirituality flourished and the grace of Divine Mercy, to which he devoted his life, shone.

The pilgrimage trail following Blessed Father Michal Sopoćko shows places, reconstructs the stream of events and even transfers one into the apostolic space of Divine Mercy complemented with maturing to individual holiness in our times and in our city.