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Gietrzwald, Poland (1877)

   
History

Traditionally Approved

40 - 999 1400 - 1499
1000 - 1099 1500 - 1599
1100 - 1199 1600 - 1699
1200 - 1299 1700 - 1799
1300 - 1399 1800 - 1899

Vatican Approved
Bishop Approved
Coptic Approved
Approved for Faith Expression
Apparitions to Saints
Unapproved Apparitions
       
  Our Lady of Gietrzwald  

Summary

Our Lady appeared for the first time to Justyna Szafrynska (13) when she was returning home with her mother after having taken an examination prior to receiving the First Holy Communion. The next day, Barbara Samulowska (12) also saw the ‘Bright Lady’ sitting on the throne with Infant Christ among Angels over the maple tree in front of the church while reciting the rosary. The girls asked "Who are you?" she answered, "I am the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception!". "What do you require, Mother of God?", they asked, the answer was: "I wish you recite the rosary everyday!"

       

Timeline

May 19, 1352

Charter established for the founding of the village of Gietrzwald. A wooden chapel was erected and Father Jan Sterchen carried out his ministry there. During the wars between Poland and the Teutonic Knights, the village and the chapel were destroyed.

15th century

A shrine with no aisles was setup on the stone foundation.

1500

Consecration of shrine, under the invocation of the Nativity of Our Lady, by Auxiliary Bishop Jan Wilde.

1790

Bishop Ignacy Krasicki vested the church with two new titles: St. John Apostle and Sts. Peter and Paul Apostles.

19th century

Parish priest Jozef Jordan led an expansion of the church. He strengthened the foundation and walls. The shrine acquired the present shape of the Roman cross in the place of the previous rectangle. It is also during this time that they demolish the wooden tower and erected a brick one with a gothic capping. The church roof was covered with roofing tiles and the tower with sheet metal.

June 27, 1877

Our Lady appeared for the first time to Justyna when she was returning home with her mother after having taken an examination prior to receiving the First Holy Communion.

June 28, 1877

Barbara Samulowska also saw the ‘Bright Lady’ sitting on the throne with Infant Christ among Angels over the maple tree in front of the church while reciting the rosary. The girls asked "Who are you?" she answered, "I am the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception!". "What do you require, Mother of God?", they asked, the answer was: "I wish you recite the rosary everyday!"

June 27, 1877

Our Lady appeared for the first time to Justyna when she was returning home with her mother after having taken an examination prior to receiving the First Holy Communion.

June 28, 1877

Barbara Samulowska also saw the ‘Bright Lady’ sitting on the throne with Infant Christ among Angels over the maple tree in front of the church while reciting the rosary. The girls asked "Who are you?" she answered, "I am the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception!". "What do you require, Mother of God?", they asked, the answer was: "I wish you recite the rosary everyday!"

June 30, 1877

Justyna asked: "What You require Holy Mother"? and she heard the answer: "I require, so that you pray Rosary everyday!".

July 1, 1877

On this day, the children from the parish in Gietrzwa?d received their First Holy Communion. Justyna asked during the prayer of Rosary
under the maple-tree "Who are You?", and the Holy Mother answered: I am The Most Holy Virgin Mary Immaculately Conceived!"

July 3, 1877

The girls asked the Holy Mother "Whether the sick people who come here, will be healed?" The Holy Mother answered: "The miracle will
happen, and after that the sick people will be healed", and later said: "Let the sick people pray Rosary".

July 10, 1877

The first written account of the Gietrzwald apparitions was provided by the Pelplin "Pielgrzym" (Pilgrim) which compared the events with what had happened a year earlier in Marpingen.

July 28, 1877

On the question, what it means, if somebody swears falsely, the Holy Mother answered: "Such person is not deserving to go to Heaven,
such person is induced to do it by Satan".

Aug 1, 1877

Barbara asked: "Whether the orphaned parishes will receive the priests soon?" – The Holy Mother answered: If people pray zealously, at
the time the Church will not be persecuted, and the orphaned parishes will receive the priests!"

Sep 8, 1877

At about seven o’clock in the evening the Holy Mother blessed the spring and said the words: "Now, the sick people can take this water for their healing". Pilgrims have been taking healing water from it ever since.

Sep 16, 1877

At about five o’clock in the evening the Holy Mother blessed, at the beginning Her own figure in the small chapel, and after that She blessed all people who asked for it and all people. At the end, She said: "PRAY ROSARY ZEALOUSLY!"

 

Bishop Filip Krementz, administrator of the diocese, required a detailed report from the parish priest, and sent delegates to Gietrzwald to observe the state and behavior of the visionaries in the course of apparitions, to prepare the record of their testimonies and to collect observations of pilgrims and clergy.

The Bishop’s delegates confirmed that the apparitions did not appear fraudulent and that the girls behaved normally. They reported that the girls did not seem to be seeking profit or acknowledgment and possessed modesty, sincerity and simplicity.

Sept 16, 1877

The last apparition occurs.

1878

After receiving the results of the commissions to examine authenticity of the apparitions, Bishop Filip Krementz promoted the publication in German and in Polish of the study by Father Franciszek Hipler entitled "The Apparitions of Our Lady in Gietrzwald to the Catholic People According to the Official Documents".

Sept 18, 1927

On the fiftieth anniversary of the apparition, many pilgrims flocked to Gietrzwald. The Warsaw New Records Office tells us that more than 1500 people arrived from Poland.

Sept 10, 1967

Primate of Poland Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski visited the shrine to commemorate the ninetieth anniversary of the apparitions and crowned the miracle icon, saying: "We are placing the golden crowns on your temples, the Holy Mother of the Warmian Land, that You, being the Mother, could reign, we are kneeling down in front of you in the spirit of full devotion for your motherly work, just to provide Poland with peace and the spirit of unity. We ask you to teach us to always surrender to lordly powers of the Gospel, affection towards God and people, to all the requirements of fulfilled affection. We want to come to you, trustful that you always take care, always receive, always listen."

At the same time, the Holy See allowed introduction of the Gietrzwald Blessed Virgin Mary’s feast for the Warmia’s diocese on September 8 with special propers of the Mass and of the Breviary.

Feb 2, 1970

Pope Paul VI elevated the church in Gietrzwald to the rank of Basilica Minor.

Sept 11, 1977

One hundredth anniversary of Our Lady apparitions in Gietrzwald. Masses of faithful gathered with the representatives of the Episcopal Conference of Poland headed by Cardinal Karol Wojtyla who prayed: "Remember, Blessed Virgin Mary, no one has heard that anybody who has entrusted his needs to your maternal kindness has been disappointed. Therefore, full of trust in face of pleading might of your heart, we are laying down in your generous hands, the health of your servant and our Primate. Look at his loyalty and devotion, with which he has been serving you for many years as priest and bishop, and restore in full his strength so that he may see your glory in the days of the jubilee of the basilica of Our Lady of Czestochowa and direct the Church in Poland for many years."The primate who was too ill to attend recovered.

Sept 11, 1977

During the ceremonies, the decree of the Warmian Bishop, Jozef Drzazga, was read approving the devotion to Our Lady’s apparitions in Gietrzwald as not contradicting Christian faith and morality and recognizing the miraculous and divine nature of the events.

Description of the Virgin

The Virgin Mary appeared as a ‘Bright Lady’ sitting on the throne with Infant Christ among Angels.

Messages

Among many questions regarding health and salvation of various persons, the children also asked the following: "Will the Church in the Kingdom of Poland set free?" "Will the deserted parishes in southern Warmia receive their priests soon?" They heard in reply: "Yes, if people pray ardently, then the Church will not be oppressed, and the deserted parishes will receive the priests!"

To those questions was evidenced by oppressions of the Catholic Church in the Kingdom of Poland by tsarist Russia after the January 1863 Uprising and by limitation of its influence in the Prussian sector of partitioned Poland in the period of Kulturkampf.

Our Lady’s answers brought consolation to the Poles. They actually became true. Hence, a great number of Poles from all districts paid visits to Gietrzwald. Due to this fact, the Prussian authorities immediately assumed a resolute negative attitude towards the apparitions. The local administration, the German press and part of the clergy assumed them to be according to Bishop Jan Oblak, a political manifestation, a Polish national demonstration, fraud and superstition, allegedly dangerous to the state, progress and the public peace. They inflicted various punishments on Polish pilgrims, Poles fathers, the local parish priest Father Augustyn Weichsel, including imprisonment, imposition of fines and suspending in the capacity of ministration.


Miracles and Signs


The impact of the apparitions in Warmia was enormous. Most notably, there was a rebirth of moral life and a heightening of worshiper’s awareness. Five years after the events, in a report dated September 27, 1882, Father Augustyn Weichsel wrote: "Not only my parish, but the whole neighborhood has become more pious after the apparitions. This was evidenced by the common reciting of the Holy Rosary all the homes, admittance to the monastery by many people, regular attendance at the church (...) Good effects of the apparitions spread out everywhere, they also infiltrated to the Kingdom of Poland and Russia (...) An apparent result was the habit of the collective reciting of the Rosary everyday. In southern Warmia, the Rosary was prayed in almost at all homes, as well as in the homes of parishes of the Chelmno, Poznan and Wroclaw dioceses".

In the village on the Gilwa River, parishioners were reciting the Rosary in the church three times a day: in the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening. Moreover, there were numerous cases of conversions of sinners. The Holy Sacraments were frequently received.

Primate of Poland, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynskit, was too ill to attend the one hundredth anniversary of Our Lady apparitions in Gietrzwald. Large crowds of faithful gathered with the representatives of the Episcopal Conference of Poland headed by Cardinal Karol Wojtyla who prayed: "Remember, Blessed Virgin Mary, no one has heard that anybody who has entrusted his needs to your maternal kindness has been disappointed. Therefore, full of trust in face of pleading might of your heart, we are laying down in your generous hands, the health of your servant and our Primate. Look at his loyalty and devotion, with which he has been serving you for many years as priest and bishop, and restore in full his strength so that he may see your glory in the days of the jubilee of the basilica of Our Lady of Cz?stochowa and direct the Church in Poland for many years." The primate recovered from his illness.


Approval

After receiving the results of the commissions to examine authenticity of the apparitions, Bishop Filip Krementz in 1878 promoted the publication in German and in Polish of the study by Father Franciszek Hipler entitled "The Apparitions of Our Lady in Gietrzwald to the Catholic People According to the Official Documents".

During the ceremonies for the 100th anniversary of the apparitions, the decree of the Warmian Bishop, Jozef Drzazga, was read: "Taking into account the conformity of the Gietrzwald apparitions with faith and morality, the integrity of the recipients of those apparitions, and the blest effects of the Gietrzwald apparitions over the whole century, to a greater glory of the One God in Three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in praise of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception, by virtue of our ordinary Pastoral Office in the holy Diocese Warmian Church, we hereby approve the devotion to Our Lady’s Apparitions in Gietrzwald as not contradicting Christian faith and morality whose miraculous and divine nature cannot be excluded!"

The Memorial of Our Lady of Gietrzwald is celebrated on September 8.


Prayers

Hymn to the Blessed Virgin Mary of Gietrzwald
by Andrzej Samulowski

It was just the sunset,
When the wonderful brilliant star
Arose in the Warmian land
To shed light with its rays.
This news almost by a miracle
Was spread among the people,
Far and near, they would say:
In Warmia, there are new miracles.


Traditional Prayer

Mother of Our Lord, healer of human souls and bodies, Lady of Giettrzwald, you who blessed this place with your presence, please turn your loving eyes toward me and ask your son Jesus Christ for the favors I am in need of [mention request]. Compassionate and merciful Virgin Mother, I am forever yours.

Links

Official Website of the Shrine of Our Lady of Gietrwald

 
   
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