Christian PilgrimagePilgrimages in LithuaniaJohn Paul II and Lithuania

The Son of God is worshipped here eternally.
Klaudijaus Driskiaus fotografija

John Paul II and Šiluva

Pope John Paul II visited Šiluva on September 7, 1993. In the Apparition Chapel, the Holy Father knelt in prayer, and in the Basilica he took part in a celebration of the Liturgy of the Word on the theme of the Christian family. At the request of Cardinal Vincentas Sladkevičius, he also crowned a statue of the Immaculate Heart of Mary brought from America where it had travelled through many Lithuanian parishes, entrusting the Lithuanian nation to Mary’s protection. The pope left a golden rosary made by Vatican craftsmen as a memento of his visit to Šiluva.

The Holy Father asked Our Lady of Šiluva to strengthen Lithuania’s resolve to hear Jesus’s word, the Word of Life, which was sown here centuries ago. He urged people to follow Mary’s example as a “pilgrim of faith”, to direct their entire life toward Christ, to listen to the God’s word and to live by it.

To commemorate the visit of Pope John Paul II to Šiluva, a cross was erected in 1994 on a small hill on the edge of town. In 2003, for the 10th anniversary of the Pope’s visit, the John Paul II House was blessed, while in 2008, a sculpture of this Pope was erected in the square between the Basilica and the Apparition Chapel, and the street adjacent to the square and monument was named in his honour.