Shrines of Lithuania
Walk in the footsteps of St. Faustina and St. John Paul II
Affectionately referred to by Lithuanians as the “Land of St. Mary”, the country, in fact, was once a fascinating blend of faiths and cultures that thrived together side by side in tolerance and harmony. In the sea of Catholic crosses dominating the capital’s distinctive skyline of steeples, double-barred crosses of Orthodox domes and David stars donning Jewish Synagogues fill the nooks and crannies of the centuries’ old jigsaw in a harmonious blend of culture and tradition that has thrived here since the dawn of its history. The old street names of Vilnius still bear testimony to this melting pot of traditions and it doesn’t take a long stroll around the city center to come across a Tartar, Jewish, German, Russian and Polish Street, among others.
It was here amidst those winding cobbled streets bustling with a fusion of peoples and faiths that St. Faustina Kowalska lived and worked during her placement with the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Vilnius and here that she received her extraordinary revelations of Our Lord. Encouraged by her spiritual director Bl. Fr. M. Sopoćko of Vilnius University, it was here that Faustina started recording her visions of Divine Mercy in her famous diary. Painted by a local painter under Faustina’s guidance, it was here in Vilnius that the miraculous image of Divine Mercy was first venerated in public, received its initial recognition and gave rise to the spread of Divine Mercy devotion in Poland and across the world in its multiple forms of replications, reproductions and copies. Having found its permanent home in the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy in Vilnius old town, the image can now be venerated here in its full original glory.
A pilgrimage route following in the footsteps of St. Pope John Paul II will allow you to delve deeper in the roots of Lithuanian Catholic tradition. Journey outside the City of Mercy and into the pastoral landscapes and quaint towns of Lithuanian countryside, visiting the most significant shrines embedded here for centuries. The mysterious Hill of Crosses, the age-old Marian apparition site of Šiluva, the picturesque and historic religious monuments of Kaunas and Tytuvėnai and the UNESCO-protected traditional craft of crossmaking that is evident throghout the countryside all bear witness to the country’s far-reaching devotion to its Catholic traditions and faith.
- Currency: Euro (€, EUR)
- Local time: GMT +2 hours
- Airports: Vilnius (VNO) / Kaunas (KUN)
- Flight duration: 2 hours 50 minutes approximately
- Transfer time: 15 minutes from Vilnius (VNO) airport / 30 minutes from Kaunas (KUN) airport
- Languages: Lithuanian; many people speak English
- Climate: Typical European continental influenced climate with warm, dry summers and fairly severe winters; Best time to travel is mid -April to mid-October, when the days are warm and the nights are cool
- Voltage: 230V A/C, sockets outlets and sockets Type C 2 pin and Type F 2 pin are used
- Visa: not required for EU citizens; non-EU citizens are advised to check with the relevant authorities
- Passport: EU passport holders travelling to Lithuania must have an up-to-date passport valid for travel three months beyond the date of return; non-EU citizens are advised to check with the relevant authorities