Covering more than 1000 kilometres, the Pilgrimage of St. John Paul II route connects the most significant sacral places in Lithuania. Created by Lithuania Travel, the virtual route includes the shrines visited by or associated with John Paul II and other important religious sites in Lithuania.
It was estimated that John Paul II had travelled a total of 1.2 million kilometres as the Pope, visiting 129 countries. This is why he is often referred to as the great pilgrim or the great traveller. On the 4th of September 1993, John Paul II began his visit to Lithuania, the first by the Pope to the former USSR; after visiting Lithuania, he went to Latvia and Estonia.
- 1. The Cathedral Basilica of St Stanislaus and St Ladislaus of Vilnius
(Katedros a. 2, Vilnius)
John Paul II began his journey in Lithuania with a prayer at the Vilnius Cathedral on the 4th of September in 1993.
The Vilnius Cathedral Basilica is the most important Catholic shrine in the country and a symbol of Lithuania's baptism. The first cathedral on this site was built back in the 14th century. Much like the entire city, it was repeatedly burned and destroyed by enemy soldiers and had to be rebuilt as the centuries went by. The Cathedral we see today was reconstructed in the 18th century by architect Laurynas Stuoka-Gucevičius. It is built in the Classicism style but also displays Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque elements. The bell tower of the Cathedral was once part of the defensive wall that surrounded the city.
The Cathedral hosts one of the most valuable examples of early Baroque architecture in Lithuania – St. Casimir's Chapel. The Chapel houses the sarcophagus of St. Casimir, the patron saint of Lithuania. The Goštautai Chapel honours the painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the oldest coronated painting of the Virgin in Vilnius. One of the oldest frescoes in Lithuania can be found in the dungeons of the Cathedral, while the Royal Mausoleum below the St. Casimir's Chapel is the final resting place of numerous Lithuanian rulers.
Visitor information: the Vilnius Cathedral Basilica is open daily from 7:00 to 19:00. Guided tours of the Cathedral can be held only outside of service hours. If you wish to explore the Cathedral's dungeons, please contact the Museum of Ecclesiastical Heritage
Spiritual experience: the Feast of St. Casimir's Day. St. Casimir's Day is celebrated on the 4th of March every year, with the Holy Mass held in Vilnius Cathedral and the traditional Kaziukas Fair bustling throughout the city.
- 2. The Chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Mercy, the so-called Gate of Dawn Chapel, and St. Teresa's Church
(Aušros vartų g. 14, Vilnius)
Formerly a part of the city's defensive walls, the Gate of Dawn is an icon of Vilnius. Venerated at the Gate of Dawn Chapel, the miraculous painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Mercy, is one of the most famous Renaissance paintings in Lithuania. It is also called the Madonna of the Gate of Dawn or the Madonna of Vilnius. The numerous votive offerings left by the faithful next to the painting are signs of the many graces the Mother of Mercy has granted. During his visit to Lithuania, Pope John Paul II prayed the Rosary here. The Gate of Dawn and its Chapel of the Mother of Mercy belong to the European Marian Network that connects 20 Marian shrines across the Old Continent.
The nearby Church of St. Teresa of Avila and the adjoining monastery were built in the 17th century. The walls and vaults of the Church are decorated with frescoes depicting scenes from the life of St. Teresa of Avila, and the high altar hosts the Transverberation of St. Teresa's Heart, an 18th-century painting. St. Teresa's Church is one of the best examples of early Baroque architecture in Vilnius.
Visitor information: the Gate of Dawn Chapel is open daily from 7:00 to 19:00.
Spiritual experience: the Great Feast for the Patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Gate of Dawn is celebrated for eight days during the week of the 16th of November.
- 3. The Shrine of Divine Mercy
(Dominikonų g. 12, Vilnius)
The Shrine of Divine Mercy is one of Vilnius' most famous sacred sites, both with the local faithful and pilgrims from around the world. The original image of the Merciful Jesus, painted in Vilnius according to the visions of Sister Faustina, is venerated there.
The painting depicts Jesus wearing a white tunic, blessing the people with his right hand, his left touching his heart that emanates light. The rays symbolise the sacraments and graces that await those who will pray before this image and put their trust in Divine Mercy. The Pope also prayed before the image during his time in Vilnius.
A short distance away from Vilnius Old Town, pilgrims can also visit the house of St. Faustina, where she lived between 1933–1936 and experienced the visions described in her diary. The house is one of the stops of the Way of Divine Mercy, a pilgrimage route across Vilnius, the City of Divine Mercy.
Visitor information: the Shrine is open 24/7.
Spiritual experience: The Corona of Mercy is held daily at 15:00; it is a prayer the revealed Jesus dictated to Sister Faustina. The Divine Mercy Sunday is celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. The Procession of Light occurs on the evening before the Divine Mercy Sunday, starting from the Gate of Dawn Chapel and moving toward the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy.
- 4. The Vilnius Way of the Cross (the Vilnius Calvary)
In Vilnius' northern neighbourhood of Verkiai, the Baroque-style Church of the Discovery of the Holy Cross is a starting point of the Vilnius Way of the Cross. The 35 Stations of the Cross are scattered among the landscape resembling Jerusalem – the hills of Golgotha, Mary, Zion, and Olives and the stream of Cedron.
The 7-kilometre-long Way of the Cross, founded in the 17th century, has long attracted large numbers of pilgrims unable to travel to the Holy Land. Here, they can trace Jesus' last journey while contemplating the suffering of the Saviour.
Visitor information: pilgrims can walk the Way of the Cross in the Vilnius Calvary all year round. Service at the Church of the Discovery of the Holy Cross takes place on Sundays at 10:30, 12:00 and 16:00, Saturdays at 19:00, and weekdays at 7:00 and 19:00.
Spiritual experience: the Way of the Cross is celebrated on Good Friday; the three days of Pentecost, and on the first Saturday of every month, at 8:00.
- 5. The Basilica of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Trakai
(Birutės g. 5, Trakai)
The Basilica of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the Trakai peninsula is one of the eight basilicas in Lithuania. The church is famous for the painting of the Mother Protectrix, Patron of Lithuania, a witness to the belief that Lithuania is a land under the patronage of the Virgin Mary. It is the first painting of the Virgin Mary in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania that was coronated by the Vatican. Several hundreds of votive offerings around the painting testify to the graces and miracles experienced by the faithful.
It is believed that the Gothic church was built on this site in the 15th century by the same craftsmen who worked on the Trakai Castle on the island of Lake Galvė. The founder of the church was Vytautas, the Grand Duke of Lithuania, whose portrait still hangs in the sanctuary. After the reconstruction in the 17th–18th centuries, the church acquired some architectural features of the late Baroque era. A monument to Pope John Paul II stands in the churchyard.
Visitor information: the Basilica is open daily from 9:00 to 18:30.
Spiritual experience: the Trakai Feast, or the Feast of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, is celebrated on the 1st–8th of September. A pilgrimage from the Gate of Dawn in Vilnius to Trakai (about 30 km), as well as pilgrimages from the surrounding areas take place during the eight-day Feast.
- 6. The Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Pivašiūnai
(Trakų g. 6, Pivašiūnai, Alytus district.)
One of the most important centres of pilgrimage in Lithuania, Pivašiūnai is home to the painting of the Mother of God and the Child, famous for its miraculous graces and the tradition of indulgence feasts.
The current Pivašiūnai Church, built in the early 19th century, is a monument of Lithuanian wooden sacral Classicism-style architecture. It houses the miraculous painting of the Mother of God, made by an unknown Lithuanian artist in the middle of the 17th century. The plentiful votive offerings at the painting testify to the divine graces received by the believers.
Visitor information: the Church is open only during services.
Spiritual experience: the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated for eight days from the 15th to the 22nd of August.
- 7. The Marijampolė Basilica of St. Michael, the Archangel, and the Chapel of Blessed Jurgis Matulaitis in his native Lūginė
(The Basilica is located at J. Bendoriaus g. 1, Marijampolė, while the Chapel is located at Šunskai Eldership, Lūginė Village, Marijampolė municipality)
Marijampolė is the only town in Lithuania named after the Blessed Virgin Mary, the patron saint of the local Marian monastery. The town's present Basilica was erected at the site of the first wooden church, built in the 18th century and destroyed by a fire. The church, whose eclectic architecture contains features of Classicism and Neo-Baroque, was granted the status of minor basilica in 1992. The altar of the Basilica is dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua and houses the painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Child, which is believed to have survived the fire of the original church.
Both local and foreign pilgrims pray to the relics of the Blessed Archbishop Jurgis Matulaitis, buried at the Basilica. These include a painting depicting the Blessed in full height, his posthumous gypsum masks, liturgical vestments, and the wooden baptistry where Matulaitis was baptised in April of 1871.
A noted teacher and spiritual director, Matulaitis revived the Marijampolė Marian monastery, established two convents for women, became involved in Christian social activities, and spread the social teachings of the Church. In 1918, he was appointed the bishop of the Vilnius diocese, and later the apostolic visitor of the Holy See in Lithuania. His knowledge and efforts were crucial for the establishment of stronger ties between Lithuania and the Holy See. You can learn more about his life at the Museum of the Blessed Jurgis Matulaitis at the Marijampolė Marian Monastery. Pope John Paul II beatified Matulaitis in 1987. In 1991, a chapel was built in the village of Lūginė, Matulaitis' birthplace.
Visitor information: the Basilica is open daily from 7:00 to 19:00 PM. The chapel in Lūginė is open on the eighth day of the Feast of Blessed Jurgis Matulaitis from 10:00 to 17:00 or at other times if agreed beforehand.
Spiritual experience: the eight-day Feast of Blessed Jurgis Matulaitis, commemorating the day of his beatification, is held from the Sunday before the 12th of July to the Sunday after.
- 8. The Kaunas Cathedral Basilica of the Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul
(Vilnius g. 1, Kaunas)
The Kaunas Cathedral Basilica is one of the oldest churches in Lithuania and the country's largest Gothic-style sacral building. The Basilica is famous for its painting of the Gracious Mother.
The Basilica's predecessor, the Kaunas St. Peter's Church, was founded by Vytautas the Great, the Grand Duke of Lithuania, at the beginning of the 15th century, and later repeatedly reconstructed and rebuilt. From mid-19th century, the Church was the centre of the Samogitian diocese; from 1926 until the end of the Soviet era, it was known as the heart of the entire Catholic Church in Lithuania. The current Cathedral has nine altars, the most recent of which is the altar of Pope Saint John Paul II with a relic of the Holy Father. Famous clergymen and bishops rest in the crypt and churchyard of the Cathedral, and the first Lithuanian cardinal Vincentas Sladkevičius is buried in the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament.
During his visit in Lithuania, the Pope prayed in the sanctuary on the 6th of September, 1993. This event is immortalised in the memorial plaque at the side entrance to the Basilica.
Visitor information: the Cathedral is open daily from 7:00 to 19:00.
Spiritual experience: the Feast of the Sorrowful Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated on the Friday before Palm Sunday.
- 9. The Kaunas Christ's Resurrection Church
(Žemaičių g. 31A, Kaunas)
The Christ's Resurrection Basilica is a monument to the suffering, resurrection and freedom of the Lithuanian nation. It is the largest basilica church in the three Baltic states. The Church was built as a sign of gratitude to God for Lithuania regaining its independence in 1918. Erected in 1940, the Church was quickly repurposed as a radio factory following the Soviet occupation. The sanctuary was returned to the faithful only in 1990. The subsequent renovation and reconstruction of the Church took a decade. In 2015, Pope Francis granted the Christ's Resurrection Church the title of minor basilica. The altar of the Chapel of Our Lady of Šiluva on the roof of the Basilica houses a relic of St. Anthony.
Visitor information: the Church is open from 9:00 to 18:30, as well as during service.
Spiritual experience: the Feast of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary is celebrated on the 8th of September (the date is moved to the closest Sunday).
- 10. The Pažaislis Ensemble of the Church of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the former Monastery
(T. Masiulio g. 31, Kaunas)
The Church of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary with its former Monastery is one of the finest examples of late Baroque architecture in North-Eastern Europe. It is famous for the miraculous painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Fairest Love and Child, venerated by numerous pilgrims.
The construction of the Pažaislis Church and Monastery on the peninsula of the Kaunas Lagoon was initiated in the second half of the 17th century by Kristupas Zigmantas Pacas, the Chancellor of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. He enlisted the help of Italian artists, namely architects Giovanni Battista Frediani and Pietro Puttini, painter Michelangelo Palloni, and sculptor Giovanni Maria Merli. More than a hundred different frescoes have survived to this day. The Monastery is currently run by the Sisters of St. Casimir.
Visitor information: the ensemble can be visited Tuesday-Friday from 10:00 to 17:00, and on Saturdays from 10:00 to 16:00. The first Saturday of each month is for pilgrims and worshippers, with the Holy Mass being held at 12:00.
Spiritual experience: the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated on the 15th of August.
- 11. The Basilica of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Šiluva and the Šiluva Chapel of the Apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Often called the Lithuanian Lourdes, Šiluva is one of the most important spiritual centres in the country and a site of an apparition of the Virgin Mary. It is also the home to the traditional Feast of Šilinės, a religious celebration that has been taking place in Šiluva for almost 500 years.
A surviving written account tells the story of the Šiluva apparition. A couple of centuries after Protestants closed and demolished the local Catholic church, several shepherds tending a flock saw a girl crying on a large stone with a baby in her arms. When they asked for the reason for her distress, the girl replied: "I am crying because my Son was worshipped in this place before, and now this land is used to grow wheat." The locals remembered that a church had indeed once stood there, and soon found a chest with liturgical supplies and documents. The land was then returned to the Church, and a new wooden Catholic church was built. The Feast of Šilinės was also revived. The wooden church has since been replaced by the red-brick Basilica of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, erected in the second half of the 18th century. Its original interior décor has been preserved to this day. In 1974, Pope Paul VI granted the church the status of basilica. The Basilica also houses the painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Child, adorned with the papal crowns.
Architect Antanas Vivulskis designed the Chapel of the Apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the Marian apparition in Šiluva. Worshippers pray while walking around the Chapel's altar, built on the stone on which the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared in the early 17th century. Over the centuries, an extraordinary number of healing miracles took place here, thus the Virgin Mary of Šiluva received the title of Health of the Sick.
The Basilica of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Chapel of the Apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the square between them form a sacred space where the most important services are held during the Feast of Šilinės.
Pope John Paul II visited Šiluva on the 7th of September, 1993. He prayed at the Chapel of the Apparition, kissing the stone on which the Virgin Mary had appeared. Commemorating the 15th anniversary of the Pope's visit, a monument to the Holy Father was unveiled in the Šiluva square between the Basilica and the Chapel of the Apparition. There are more memorials commemorating the papal visit to Šiluva: the golden rosary, gifted by John Paul II, is kept at the Šiluva Museum; the street running along the Basilica and the Chapel was renamed after the Pope; the Pilgrim House of John Paul II was established in Šiluva, and a cross was erected on the site where his helicopter had landed.
Visitor information: the Basilica and the Chapel are open from 8:00 to 20:00 from May to October and from 8:00 to 16:00 from November to April.
Spiritual experience: the Feast of Šilinės or the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated on the 8th–15th of September.
- 12. The Tytuvėnai Church and Monastery Complex
(Maironio g. 2A, Tytuvėnai, Kelmė district.)
Tytuvėnai is home to one of the greatest examples of 17th–18th century sacral architecture in Lithuania. Pilgrims from across the world come to the Tytuvėnai Church to pray at the painting of the Mother of God and Child, famous for its graces, as well as at the Chapel of the Holy Steps. The monastery ensemble, initially built in the Gothic style, displays multiple Renaissance details, but its architectural appearance was decisively influenced by the late Baroque.
The gallery of the Stations of the Cross, housed in the 17th-century altar, is the largest Way of the Cross in Lithuania by the number of stations. There is a tradition to ascend the stairs on your knees and kiss the sacred relics, covered by glass, on every step of the stairs.
A drop of blood of Pope John Paul II is kept in the chapel of the Tytuvėnai Church.
Visitor information: the Church is open only during service, while the inner yard with the Chapel of the Holy Steps is open anytime.
Spiritual experience: the Pilgrimage from Tytuvėnai to Šiluva, the procession carrying a statue of Our Lady of Fatima, takes place on the last Sunday of August.
- 13. The Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Queen of Peace in Klaipėda
(Rumpiškės g. 6, Klaipėda)
Built between 1957–1960, the Church is the only Catholic sanctuary in the Baltics that was erected during the Soviet occupation. It was supposed to fill the shortage of Catholic places of worship in the port city of Klaipėda after most of them were destroyed during World War II. Unfortunately, the Soviets did not allow the Church to open, and the believers reclaimed it only in 1988. You can find out more about the Church's history from archival photos while climbing to the observation deck of the church tower, which stands at almost 47 metres in height. The churchyard hosts the restored Cross of Hope, which is the starting point for pilgrimages in Klaipėda.
Visitor information: it is the only Catholic church in Klaipėda that is open to visitors all day: from the morning Holy Mass at 8:00 to the end of the evening Holy Mass at 18:30. Visitors are accompanied to the tower by prior arrangement; call +370 46 410120 or +370 60164256. The tour is free, but a voluntary donation may be made.
Spiritual experience: the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Queen of Peace is celebrated on the 22nd of August (the date is moved to Sunday).
- 14. The Basilica of the Holy Mother Mary Visitation and the Chapels of the Way of the Cross in Žemaičių Kalvarija
(Vienuolyno g. 1A, Žemaičių Kalvarija, Plungė district.)
The pilgrimage centre of western Lithuania, Žemaičių Kalvarija (Lithuanian for Samogitian Calvary) is famous for its miraculous painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Child, the Queen of Christian Families, the authentic traditions of the Hill of Crosses, and the Great Calvary Feast.
We suggest you start your visit to Žemaičių Kalvarija with a prayer at the painting of the Mother of God, famous for its miracles, in the Basilica of the Holy Mother Visitation. In 2006, it was crowned by Pope Benedict XVI and given the title of the Queen of Christian Families. Pilgrims traditionally start and end their Way of the Cross here. The 4.5-kilometre-long Way of the Cross of Žemaičių Kalvarija consists of 20 stations in 19 folk-architecture chapels. The procession of the Way of the Cross takes about 3 hours, including the psalms and sermons at three stations.
Other important relics, venerated at the Church and the Chapels, are the largest relic of the Holy Cross in the Baltics, a piece of wood from the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, a copy of Christ's nail brought from Rome, a stone from Mount Golgotha in Jerusalem, and a photocopy of the Turin shroud.
In 1988, the Pope granted the Žemaičių Kalvarija Church the title of basilica and started the coronation process of the miraculous painting of the Mother of God and Child.
Visitor information: the Basilica is open from 9:00 to 20:00 in summer; in winter, it opens one hour before the Holy Mass, on Saturdays and Sundays – from 9:00 to 13:00.
Spiritual experience: the Great Feast of the Samogitian Calvary, or the Holy Mother Visitation Feast, is celebrated on the 2nd–12th of July.
- 15. The Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Šiauliai
(Aušros takas 3, Šiauliai)
The Šiauliai Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul is the most significant example of Renaissance-era Mannerist architecture in Lithuania. It is the start of the pilgrimage to the Hill of Crosses.
The brick church in Šiauliai was built in the first half of the 17th century, replacing the former wooden church. The sanctuary was severely damaged by wars and storms, with the roof burning down and the vaults caving in during World War II. New altars were built only in the 1960s. The Renaissance features of the Cathedral's architecture include the 70-metre-tall tower, the sundial on the southern wall, and the only churchyard gates with defensive towers and shooting openings in Lithuania.
Pilgrims pray at the painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Child while the relics of John Paul II are venerated in the Chapel of Mercy.
Visitor information: the Cathedral is open daily from 7:00 to 19:00.
Spiritual experience: the Feast of the Hill of Crosses and the pilgrimage to the Hill of Crosses, led by the bishop of the Šiauliai Cathedral, take place in July.
- 16. The Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in Šiauliai
(Vilniaus g. 247B, Šiauliai)
Visited by John Paul II in 1993, the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in Šiauliai is one of the most popular Catholic churches in Šiauliai.
The construction of the Church was initiated by Jesuit monks who came to Šiauliai in 1930. Unfortunately, the Church was closed and repurposed during the Soviet era, finding its way back to believers in 1990.
A 3-metre-tall monument to John Paul II was built in the churchyard commemorate the Pope's visit. The local believers remember the miraculous event that happened during the visit: while kneeling in the Church, the Pope smeared his white soutane with paint. Later, a red stain appeared at the same exact spot on a statue near the Church.
Visitor information: the Church opens one hour before service.
Spiritual experience: every Thursday, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is held at the Church following the evening Holy Mass.
- 17. The Hill of Crosses
(Piliakalnio g. 7, Domantų k., Meškuičių sen., Šiauliai district.)
With about 200,000 crosses, the Hill is a unique sacred place in the world. This mysterious site is a testament to Lithuania's unique traditions of piety and devotion of the faithful.
The Hill of Crosses has a long history. A wooden castle stood at the site between the 11th–14th centuries. The name Kryžių kalnas, or the Hill of Crosses, appears in written accounts in the 19th century. In 1850, the Hill was adorned by 20 crosses, while almost a century later there were almost 400. Some say that this tradition was born after miraculous healings experienced by people who would leave a cross on the Hill and pray to God for good health. Other sources claim that the first crosses were placed here in 1863 and onwards, in memory of the victims of the unsuccessful uprising against the Imperial Russian rule. Hosting religious celebrations in the interwar period, the Hill became a unique site for pilgrims during the Soviet occupation, withstanding the Soviet destruction efforts. Following the re-establishment of the Lithuanian independence, the Hill of Crosses was brought to international fame by the visit of Pope John Paul II. At his initiative, a Franciscan monastery was built near the Hill.
Visitor information: the Hill of Crosses is open to visitors at any time of the day all year round.
Spiritual experience: the Feast of the Hill of Crosses is celebrated on the last Sunday of July. Pilgrimage from the Šiauliai Cathedral to the Hill of Crosses takes place on the last weekend of July. Pilgrimage from the Hill of Crosses to Šiluva takes place on the first weekend of September. Pilgrimages usually start and end at the crucifix near the Hill of Crosses, gifted by John Paul II.
- 18. The Church of St. Matthew the Evangelist in Rokiškis
(Nepriklausomybės a. 1, Rokiškis)
One of the most beautiful ensembles of Neo-Gothic architecture in Lithuania, the Church of St. Matthew the Evangelist in Rokiškis was built in 1877 by Reinholdas Tyzenhauzas, the count of Rokiškis. The Church is characterised by its luxurious decorations – the altar cast out of bronze in Paris, the oak pulpit and the side altars made in Leuven, and the stained-glass windows sent from Vienna. The church tower was designed by Austrian architect George Verner, who modelled it on the St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna.
At Easter, impressive drumming ceremonies take place at the Church. On Good Friday and the evening of Holy Saturday, a 17th-century drum is played during the Holy Mass.
Visitor information: the Church is open daily from 13:00 to 17:00 and during the Holy Mass.
Spiritual experience: the Rokiškis Church hosts the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary every August.
- 19. The Krekenava Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
(Bažnyčios g. 19, Krekenava, Panevėžys district.)
The filial church of the Roman Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Lithuania, the Krekenava Basilica hosts a miraculous painting of the Mother of God and Child. Venerated for centuries, the painting is said to be brought to Krekenava at the dawn of Christianity in Lithuania. The sanctuary is also famous for the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The parish church of Krekenava dates back to the second half of the 15th century. In 1901, the construction of the present brick church was completed. Outside of celebrations, the Basilica's miraculous painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary is covered by Christ Among the Krekenava Residents, a painting by Romanas Švoinickis featuring depictions of Krekenava people. Following a long-standing tradition, pilgrims venerating the Krekenava's miraculous painting circle the altar on their knees to have their prayers heard.
On the side altar of the Basilica, believers can find the miraculous painting of the St. Anthony of Padua and the image of Pope John Paul II.
Visitor information: the Basilica is open daily from 8:00 to 17:00. Note: as the Basilica is under reconstruction, all services are held in the house of the parish.
Spiritual experience: the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated on the 15th of August.
Scenic route moments