Skepe, Poland Shrine of Our Lady of Mazovia Kuyavia (Virgin Mary of the Expectant)
About the Shrine in Skepe:
The Bernardine Monastery in Skepe was founded in the early 16th century. In 1508-1510 a stone church of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary was built; in the 18th century it was rebuilt in the Baroque style. On its main altar stands the statue of Our Lady of Skepe. Many miracles have been attributed to her intercession.
The history of this extraordinary place dates back to the 15th century. According to tradition, local inhabitants, including shepherds, kept seeing “an extraordinary light” at the same location; some reported that the Virgin Mary appeared to them. At the time there was a plague in the area; sick people began to be brought to Skepe and – according to legend – were miraculously healed. Around 1495 the first wooden chapel was built on the site.
One of the people healed in Skepe was Zofia Katarzyna, daughter of the Kruszwica castellan Mikolaj Koscielecki (1405-1479). It was she, in gratitude for the healing of her sick legs, who donated to the chapel a statue of the Mother of God. The small figure, 96 cm high, shows a pregnant Mary with her hands folded in prayer. The pedestal of the sculpture is inscribed with the date 1496. The figure became famous for the graces it bestowed and was instrumental in the development of the veneration of Our Lady of Skepe – Queen of Mazovia and Kuyavia.
In the beginning of the 16th century Skepe became a place of penitential and supplicatory pilgrimages. When the plague spread in Kuyavia in 1608, the residents of Wloclawek came to the Lady of Skepe to ask her to stop the epidemic. Since 1852, the residents of Plock come to Skepe each year for the indulgence of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. (PAP)
Traveling to Skepe:
Lipne is the nearest train station, about 15 miles away.
Address: Ul. Klasztorna 5, 87-640 Skepe, Poland