Shrine of Divine Mercy, Church of the Holy Spirit, Our Lady Gate of Dawn & Vilnius Cathedral
About Catholic places of interest in Vilnius:
Vilnius is the capitol of Lithuania, and the heart of its religious heritage as well. It was here that Saint Faustina began her mission under the direction of her spiritual director, Fr. Michael Sopocko. And it was here that the first painting of Divine Mercy was done in 1934 by Lithuanian artist Eugene Kazimierowski, under the direction of Saint Faustina. That original painting hangs here in Vilnius, in the Divine Mercy Sanctuary.
Once known as the “Jerusalem of the East”, Vilnius had a large Jewish population and a great number of scholars. Sadly, almost the entire Jewish population was destroyed during the Nazi occupation of World War II.
The old town is particularly interesting in its architecture, especially that of the churches. There are a total of 28 churches in Vilnius Old Town, of which 21 are Roman Catholic and 4 are Russian Orthodox. The Soviet occupation took its toll on most Catholic churches, as they were ransacked and put to other uses, such as warehouses or gymnasiums. Once Lithuania regained it independence, re-construction began, and today all but six of the Catholic churches are open.
Among the major Catholic sites in Vilnius are:
Cathedral of Vilnius (tomb of St. Casimir, patron saint of Lithuania)
Church of the Holy Spirit (copy of the painting of Divine Mercy)
Our Lady Gate of Dawn (miraculous image of Our Lady)
Shrine of Divine Mercy (original painting of Divine Mercy)
There is a center for Pilgrims in Vilnius that gives information about the pilgrimages in the Archdiocese of Vilnius:
Address: Dominikonų Street 6, Vilnius
Tel: +37 067721591
e-mail: [email protected]