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The Samogitian Calvary Basilica of St. Virgin Mary's Visit
Koordinatės: 56.11000055430009, 22.01136589050293 Objekto adresas: Žemaičių Kalvarija, Plunge district, Lithuania Savivaldybė: Bezirk Plunge
The present brick basilica is the fourth church in the Samogitian Calvary. Testimonies indicate that the first wooden church was built in 1619, the second wooden church was erected some time later in the 17 century and the third wooden church was constructed in 1750. The currently standing church was built between 1780 and 1822. In 1896, it was badly damaged by the great fire. However, reconstruction works were carried out in the beginning of the 20 century. In 1988, the church was reclassified as a basilica. The current Samogitian Calvary Church, a rectangular structure with a three-fold nave and a three-wall apse, is one of the most significant works of art, created by architect Augustinas Kosakauskas (1737-1803).
The main altar highlights the religious imagery of the Virgin Mary and the Passion of the Christ. The magical painting of God's Mother with her Baby, encased in a gold-coated frame, fills in the first gap among the four columns of the altar. A cross and a statue of the Crucified One, known for its miracles, is located in the upper part of the altar. This portion of the altar houses the greatest relic – the Holy Cross.
The painting of God's Mother with her Baby is renown for its miracles. It is believed to have been painted in the beginning of the 17 century and brought to the Samogitian Calvary soon after. When the painting began to gain popularity due to its magical powers, the idea to start recording the miracles into a book was finally implemented. Unfortunately, the book was lost in 1896 during the fire. However, votive offerings prove the great miracles that happened because of this painting. In 2006, the painting was ceremoniously coronetted using special crowns that were blessed by pope Benedict XVI. It was also given the title of The Queen of the Christian Families.
The Samogitian Calvary Basilica of St. Virgin Mary's Visit is the central location of the Way of the Cross within the Samogitian Calvary. From this point, the procession of pilgrims would begin their journey and visit 19 chapels and 20 stations of the Cross, and would afterwards return to their initial location.
The basilica is also guarded by the photocopy of the Shroud of Turin. This valuable gift was given to the Samogitian Calvary Temple in 2004 by Severino Poletto, a Turin archbishop and cardinal.
Source: Jono Pauliaus II piligrimų kelio vadovas. Lietuvos Vyskupų Konferencija. 2008.
Submitted: Plungės rajono savivaldybės viešoji biblioteka | http://www.plunge.rvb.lt/lt/