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  4. Sanctuary of the Mother of God in Gietrzwałd

Marian Sanctuary in Gietrzwałd

The history of the Sanctuary begins in the 15th century. A wooden chapel was erected on a hill that gently fell towards the river and probably the first parish in this region was established here in the very same time period. Gietrzwałd became famous thanks to the Apparitions of the Mother of God which lasted from 27 June 27 to 16 September 1877.

This is the only place in Poland where the Catholic Church has approved the Holy Apparitions. Mary, appearing to the poor girls, called the faithful to conversion, deep prayer and everyday recitation of the Rosary. The real jewel of the Marian Sanctuary in Gietrzwałd is the image of the Mother of God, commonly known as the Gietrzwałd Mother of God. In 1967, the Primate of Poland, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, made the act of coronation of the painting, and Karol Wojtyła, then Metropolitan of Cracow, took part in the celebrations.

There is also a spring in the Sanctuary that has its own history. Before the revelations, it used to flood the fields, therefore, decision was taken to bury it. However, when the Gietrzwałd apparitions, it spurted again, parish priests, Father Augustine Weichsel, read it as a sign that the spring has a healing power, just like in Lourdes. At the children's request, Our Lady blessed this spring. That's why today Gietrzwałd is said to be the Polish Lourdes. Approximately one million pilgrims come to the Sanctuary every year and this number is growing steadily.


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