Wambierzyce, Poland: Basilica of Our Lady Queen of Families & Calvary Chapels
About the Basilica of Our Lady Queen of Families:
One of Poland’s most popular shrines, it pays honor to the Blessed Mother in a special way.
The building you see today was built between 1695 and 1710, as designed to resemble the Temple in Jerusalem. The original facade had to be torn down only a few years later, and then in 1723, was replaced by what you see today. You will find 22 steps leading the first landing, signifying the first years of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s life, followed by 33 steps up to the next landing (representing the years of Christ on earth).
Inside you will find the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary with an interesting history:
According to tradition, a blind man regained his eyesight after praying before the statue, which had been placed in a tree. After that miracle a stone altar was erected in front of the tree.
A wooden chapel was built in 1263, and replaced by a church in 1512, which was subsequently destroyed in the 30 years war.
The Church was designated a Minor Basilica by Pope Pius XI in 1936, and then in 1980, Pope John Paul II awarded the title “Queen of Families”.
About “the Calvary of Poland”:
Of equal interest here is the outdoor Stations of the Cross, known as the Calvary of Poland. It is the largest in Poland, and one of the largest in Europe, consisting of about 130 chapels on the slope of the Basilica. It is closed off by 17 gates, just like Jerusalem, and takes about two hours to walk the entire Way of the Cross.
The Basilica is under the care of the Franciscans of the Province of Saint Hedwig, Order of Friars Minor.
Traveling to Wambierzyce & the Basilica of Our Lady Queen of Families:
Located near the Czech border, it is mainly accessible by car. There are accommodations for pilgrims available.
Address: Pl. Najswietszej Marii Panny 11, 57 – 420 Wambierzyce
Tel: +48 887 155 155 (pilgrims) +48 885 300 093 (pilgrim house..accommodation & meals)
Click here for the official website of the Basilica of Our Lady Queen of Families in Wambierzyce (in Polish)