Swieta Lipka, Poland: Shrine of Our Lady of Swieta Lipka
The story of Our Lady of Swieta Lipka:
The history of Swieta Lipka dates from the 14th century. A convict, sentenced to death in Ketrzyn prison, had a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary, telling him to carve a wooden statuette of Madonna with the Child. He made a figurine overnight. When the judges found it the following morning, they took it as a sign and released the man.
Full of gratitude, he then placed the statuette on a roadside linden tree. Not long after, reports of miracles came from those who stopped to pause at the tree, and began to attract pilgrims from all over the country. Soon a brick stone chapel was built around the tree.
A chapel was built here, but was destroyed during the Protestant Reformation around 1525, and the linden tree was cut down. The chapel was rebuilt in 1619, and then later, around 1693, the magnificent church you see today was constructed, since the crowds of pilgrims were too small for the chapel. It remains under the care of the Jesuits.
About the Shrine of Our Lady of Swieta Lipka:
The Baroque architecture of the church is magnificent, along with beautiful fescoes and an 18th-century organ with moving figurines. But, of course, the main draw is the image of Our Lady of Swieta, preserved over the altar. Thousands of pilgrims come to visit each year.
The church is open daily, and Masses are according to what is shown on their website.
Traveling to Svieta Lipka:
Swieta Lipka is a bit out the way….no airports or trains stations nearby. The nearest international airport is Port Lotniczy Olsztyn Mazury, about 25 miles south of the Shrine. They have a few flights from such cities as London as well as from other cities in Europe. The nearest major Polish city is Warsaw, about 120 miles south of Swieta Lipka. and that airport connects with many international flights.
Click here for the official website of Our Lady of Swieta Lipka (in Polish)