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Lichen, Poland (1813, 1850)

   
History

Traditionally Approved

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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 Lichen

Summary

According to legend, the Virgin Mary appeared in Lichen, Poland to Tomasz Klossowski, a wounded soldier, in 1813 who was healed and discovered a miraculous portrait of Our Lady. She then appeared to a poor shepherd, Mikolaj Sikatka, in 1850 who promoted her devotion. She foretold of a cholera epidemic and interceded for the healing of many who sought her help.

Timeline

 

Tomasz Klossowski was born in the late 18th century and was once a country gentleman, owner of a stately mansion and large farmlands. He was good to those who had worked for him. Given the invasion and loss of independence, he joined the army to defend Poland and its integrity. His property had already been confiscated and he was threatened with imprisonment and death by the invaders.

1813

Tomasz was to witness the death of his commander in battle, Prince Jozef Poniatowski, in the battle of Leipzig in 1813. Tomasz was shot through his right leg, his right side and he suffered a head injury which left him dying on the battlefield. He called on Our Lady to help him, asking her, to help him home to his family, so that he didn’t have to die alone and never see his wife and children again and whom he loved so much. Facing death, he began to invoke Our Lady, begging her not to let him die in a foreign land.

 

According to the legend, Our Lady was wearing a crown, an amaranth dress and a golden mantle. She appeared to him holding a white eagle in her right hand. She comforted the soldier and promised he would recover and return to Poland.

 

Moreover, she asked him to find a picture in her likeness and to make it known in his homeland. “She came to me and promised me my health,” says Tomasz, “She also promised that I could return to my family, but to have an image of Her made” He said that Our Lady instructed him to “take a good look at me so that in that image I may appear just as I look now” He was further instructed to place the image in a public place so that “ My people will pray before this image and shall draw many graces at My hands in the hardest times of trial.”

The healed soldier returned to his home near Lichen. Year after year he wandered about the countryside searching for the miraculous image of Our Lady.

1836

He decided to go on a walking pilgrimage to Czestochowa for the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the 8th of September. He prayed and complained to Our Lady that he could find nothing similar in any picture that he saw in any Church in the past 13 years and he looked everywhere. He decided to return home the next day, the 9th of September, and got as far as the village of Ligota when he noticed a small picture in a little shrine nailed to a tree, and realised that this was the picture he was looking for and that his prayers were indeed answered. In this picture he say Our Lady as She went to help him on the battlefield, from her half closed eyes looking down on the white eagle, Her sad look, Her countenance was full of serenity, majesty, and beauty, yet reassuring and full of hope. The Golden cloak did indeed have all the emblems of the Passion, the crown of thorns, the whips, the nails, and the spear that lanced the side of Jesus. On the head of the image was a golden crown with an inscription “Queen of Poland, Grant peace to us”

At first he placed the portrait in his own house, where he prayed before it and accorded it full reverence and veneration. It is said that the image wept every day and that Tomasz just wiped the tears away. He then hung it up on an old pine-tree in the nearby forest--puszcza grablinska.

1844

He fell ill and needed help, and the priest and doctor were called. Tomasz was left alone in his room for a time when he heard a voice, coming from the picture “Tomasz take Me out of this house, into the forest.” He complained that he was too ill and could not move when he heard again “you will recover.” He was cured immediately and jumped out of bed to meet all in the parlour of his house who were making arrangements for his funeral, to their surprise. He eventually did make a small chapel in the forest and placed the miraculous image there. He would visit the chapel every Sunday, where he was often seen in conversation alone with the image.

Aug 7, 1848

Tomasz Klossowski dies.

May 13, 1850

The Holy Virgin revealed herself to the shepherd Mikolaj Sikatka (born in Grablin 1787) who was pasturing cattle near the image in the forest. He had a good reputation for being honest, pious, prudent and a truthful man, he was also said to be deeply religious. He came across the small chapel that Tomasz had put up in the forest and he would go there to pray.

He says he was kneeling down and praying the rosary, when Our Lady appeared for the first time and said “Praised be Jesus Christ” He replied “Amen,” then he stood looking at Her in awe and silence. She called him by name “Mikolaj, tell people that God’s retribution for their sins is at hand. An infectious disease will trouble all the population of the locality. Thousands of people will die suddenly in the fields and in their houses. Encourage them to do penance and to pray, if they repent, the punishment will be averted. Let them pray by saying the rosary and contemplating the Life and Passion of Jesus” The Lady showed Mikolaj a long Rosary beads of fifteen mysteries and continued talking, saying “ People have been depraved. If they do not repent, there will come soon a terrible war (Crimean war) and many will suffer, a contagious disease will come and many will die.(cholera) I ask you to attend to this Holy Image and for people to come here and draw from it a stream of graces through it.” After these instructions the Lady remained and Mikolaj says that “She stood there very sad and full of suffering, almost weeping. She took another sorrowful glance at me and began to move away” He noticed that Her feet did not touch the ground but they seemed to be floating on a golden cloud, as She moved away, he tried to call her back but was unable to and knelt down realising who it was that spoke with him. Mikolaj took to heart what Our Lady said and did penance, prayed the Rosary, went to mass and confession, but apparently did not pass on the message, because he was afraid of malicious people and mocking tongues.

Aug 15, 1850

In her message to Mikolaj, Our Lady summoned people to conversion, to break with greed and licentiousness. She exhorted them to pray the rosary and reminded them to participate in celebration of the Sunday liturgy. She asked priests to celebrate the liturgy worthily. Finally, she also requested that her image be moved to a more fitting place. She promised that those who earnestly prayed before it would escape death during the plague, which was to be the punishment for the lack of conversion of sinners. Furthermore, the Holy Virgin predicted the foundation of the sanctuary and the monastery in Lichen, from where her glory would be made known.

 

Mikolaj, the poor shepherd, started to spread Our Lady's message, but he was persecuted and imprisoned by the Russian invaders. At first, people wouldn't believe him.

1852

According to Mary's prophecy, the cholera epidemic broke out and the people remembered her warning and then flocked to the image of the Holy Virgin to pray the rosary for the sick and dying.

 

The villagers called in the local parish priest, Father Kosinski, who wrote an official declaration which stated that for a few years in his parish, there was a picture of Our Lady in a small chapel in the forest. For the past two years a local farmer has said that he has been seeing an unknown, but beautiful woman from another world, who has been trying to get a message across through this farmer, stating that the people should sincerely do penance, to change their lives and to go to mass and have offered to God, three masses to implore God to turn away the imminent threat of punishment and disease hanging over the wicked. The farmer was subject to arrest and interrogation by the authorities on several occasions, but stood fast to the same story. He admitted that the woman asked this request many times and in fact insisting on it.

1852

A special episcopal committee examined the apparition.

Sept 29, 1852

At the request of the parish priest, Florian Kosinski, the committee decided to move the portrait to the parish church in Lichen.

 

During World War II both the church and the rectory were confiscated and used by the Youth Nazi Organization. The image was hidden and preserved.

1949

The parish of Lichen was entrusted to the Marian Fathers They started restoring the sanctuary damage incurred during the war.

1965

Pope Paul VI issued an edict announcing the confirmation of the gracious image of Our Lady of Lichen as miraculous and ordered its crowning with the Pope’s crown.

Aug 15, 1967

On the Feast of the Assumption, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski, then Primate of Poland, crowned the miraculous image of Our Lady of Lichen, in the presence of the Ordinary of the Wroclawska Diocese, Bishop Antoni Pawlowski. Many other bishops, hundreds of priests, religious, and about 150,000 lay people attended the ceremony.

June 7,1999

A new Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lichen was built in remembrance and thanksgiving for the two-thousandth anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ. Pope John Paul II blessed the cornerstone and consecrated Poland's largest church.

Sept 16, 2007

The Shrine is run by the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception, which were founded by Blessed Stanislaus Papczynski, and who was beatified in this Shrine.

Description of the Virgin

In Tomasz' own account, he states what happens next “almost with haste, She came to me, having heard my cries for help, I saw her coming, crossing the battlefield, dressed in a dark red gown and a golden cloak on which were the emblems of the Holy Passion of Our Lord and She wore a beautiful golden crown on Her head”. She was holding a white eagle in her right hand. In that moment at seeing Her, so beautiful did She look, all pain left him. “The Virgin’s ecstatically beautiful face was inexpressibly sorrowful; Her sad eyes looked down from under half closed eyelids onto a white eagle which, the Mother of God clasped to Her bosom.”

Messages


In 1813, the Virgin comforted Tomasz Klossowski, an injured soldier, and promised he would recover and return to Poland. Moreover, she asked him to find a picture in her likeness and to make it known in his homeland. “Take a good look at me so that in that image I may appear just as I look now” He was further instructed to place the image in a public place so that “ My people will pray before this image and shall draw many graces at My hands in the hardest times of trial.”

In May 13, 1850, the Holy Virgin revealed herself to Mikolaj Sikatka who was pasturing cattle near the image in the forest and came across the small chapel that Tomasz had put up in the forest and he would go there to pray.

He says he was kneeling down and praying the rosary, when Our Lady appeared for the first time and said “Praised be Jesus Christ” He replied “Amen,” then he stood looking at Her in awe and silence. She called him by name “Mikolaj, tell people that God’s retribution for their sins is at hand. An infectious disease will trouble all the population of the locality. Thousands of people will die suddenly in the fields and in their houses. Encourage them to do penance and to pray, if they repent, the punishment will be averted. Let them pray by saying the rosary and contemplating the Life and Passion of Jesus” The Lady showed Mikolaj a long Rosary beads of fifteen mysteries and continued talking, saying “ People have been depraved. If they do not repent, there will come soon a terrible war (Crimean war) and many will suffer, a contagious disease will come and many will die.(cholera) I ask you to attend to this Holy Image and for people to come here and draw from it a stream of graces through it.” After these instructions the Lady remained and Mikolaj says that “She stood there very sad and full of suffering, almost weeping. She took another sorrowful glance at me and began to move away” He noticed that Her feet did not touch the ground but they seemed to be floating on a golden cloud, as She moved away, he tried to call her back but was unable to and knelt down realising who it was that spoke with him. Mikolaj took to heart what Our Lady said and did penance, prayed the Rosary, went to mass and confession, but apparently did not pass on the message, because he was afraid of malicious people and mocking tongues.

A second apparition happened on August 15 again when he was at prayer, and She appeared to him and rebuked him for not having called the people to penance and prayer. The Lady said “people have become very bad; they are offending God with grave sins, My Son is very angry. He will punish the guilty very severely. I am begging My Son to refrain for a while still, and have Mercy, but I can no longer hold off His just retribution.” After a very lengthy message She continued “let the people recite the Rosary and beg for God’s mercy, Mikolaj you must collect offerings for Masses of expiation, let everyone make an offering, even the poorest for almsgiving, Masses are what saves sinners. So let the people listen to their priests and suffer not to be parted from them, for then they will be lost and perish” and Our Lady gives a very special message for priests “ O my priests, pray and bless the people, always bless the people, do not become discouraged. I am the most loving and caring of mothers for every priest. If he prays and does penance I shall lift him up and cleanse him, I shall strengthen and protect him, I shall fill his heart with joy. Multitudes of priests will come to this place. Here I shall endow them with special graces, and here they will recover their constancy of spirit and their pristine zeal”


Miracles and Signs

in the battle of Leipzig in 1813, soldier Tomasz Klossowski was shot through his right leg, his right side and he suffered a head injury which left him dying on the battlefield. Our Lady of Licen appeared to him and healed him. Again in 1844, he fell ill and needed help, and the priest and doctor were called. Tomasz was left alone in his room for a time when he heard a voice, coming from the picture “Tomasz take Me out of this house, into the forest.” He complained that he was too ill and could not move when he heard again “you will recover.” He was cured immediately and jumped out of bed to meet all in the parlour of his house who were making arrangements for his funeral, to their surprise. He eventually did make a small chapel in the forest and placed the miraculous image there.

Mikolaj, the poor shepherd, started to spread Our Lady's message, but he was persecuted and imprisoned by the Russian invaders. At first, people wouldn't believe him. Only two years later, when, according to Mary's prophecy, the cholera epidemic broke out, they remembered her warning. Then people flocked to the image of the Holy Virgin to pray the rosary for the sick and dying. Many healings ensued. (Up to1939, three-thousand answers to prayers were recorded, among them miraculous recoveries.)

Church Approval

A special episcopal committee examined the apparition. At the request of the parish priest, Florian Kosinski, the committee decided to move the portrait to the parish church in Lichen. This took place on September 29, 1852. Until 1939, three-thousand answers to prayers were recorded, among them miraculous recoveries.

Pope Paul VI issued an edict announcing the confirmation of the gracious image of Our Lady of Lichen as miraculous and ordered its crowning with the Pope’s crown.

In 1967, on the Feast of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski, then Primate of Poland, crowned the miraculous image of Our Lady of Lichen, in the presence of the Ordinary of the Wroclawska Diocese, Bishop Antoni Pawlowski. Many other bishops, hundreds of priests, religious, and about 150,000 lay people attended the ceremony.

A new Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lichen was built in remembrance and thanksgiving for the two-thousandth anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ. Pope John Paul II consecrated Poland's largest church on June 7,1999.


Shrines


After the examination of the apparition by a special episcopal committee, it was decided that the portrait be moved to the parish church in Lichen. During World War II both the church and the rectory were confiscated and used by the Youth Nazi Organization. Fortunately, the image could be hidden and preserved.

In 1949 the parish of Lichen was entrusted to the Marian Fathers who started restoring the sanctuary damage incurred during the war. It was completed in 1967.

A new Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lichen was built in remembrance and thanksgiving for the two-thousandth anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ. The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lichen, modeled after Saint Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, is the largest church in Poland, the seventh largest in Europe and the tenth largest in the world. It was constructed from 1994 through 2004 covering an area 120 m (393 ft) long and 77 m (252 ft) wide. It was built in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary and is home to a miraculous image known as “Our Lady of Sorrows, Queen of Poland.”

The sanctuary is located in Wielkopolska in a village called Lichen. It is located in southwestern Poland within traveling distance of Jasna Gora, (Mother of God of Czestochowa) and is one of Poland's important pilgrimage and apparition sites.

Links

Official Site of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lichen
The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute, Dayton, Ohio

 

 
   
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