Tytuvėnų Regioninis Parkas

Discover Tytuvenai regional park


Šiluva. Traces of history and the most interesting facts.

  • In 1457 the first church in Šiluva, founded by the nobleman Petras Simonas Gedgaudas, was built.

  • The town of Šiluva has been mentioned in written sources since 1517.

  • In the sixteenth century, the wave of Protestant Reformation reached Šiluva, and the evangelical reformers (Calvinists) settled in this town where the Calvinist parish school was also opened.

  • In 1608, St. Mary the Virgin standing on the stone with the baby in her hands appeared to the shepherds in the fields near Šeduva. It was the first place of an apparition of Mary in Europe recognised by the Vatican.

  • On 10 September 1786, the Bishop of Samogitia Tadas Juozapas Bukota consecrated the newly built brick church of Šiluva, which was the fifth.

  • At the time when the Lithuanian press was banned, the Indulgence Feast of Šilinės gave an opportunity to secretly purchase Lithuanian books delivered by booksellers. In the first half of the nineteenth century Kazimieras Rosenas, a famous bookseller and folk sculptor born in Šiluva, lived in this town.

  • In 1924, the brick Chapel of the Apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary was built in Šiluva.

  • In 1944–1953, Šiluva was the home town for General Jonas Žemaitis (a code name – Vytautas), the Officer of the Lithuanian Armed Forces and the leader of armed resistance – the actual President of Lithuania during 1949–1954, at the time of Soviet occupation. He was born in the village of Kiaulininkai (Šiluva parish), and later lived with his family for some time in a house near the central square of Šiluva.

  • On 7 September 1993, Pope John Paul II visited Šiluva.

  • In 2008, the 400th anniversary of the apparition of the Virgin Mary was celebrated, and a newly formed, spacious square was opened to the public.

  • On 13 September 2019, the new Chapel of Lights of the Šiluva Shrine was consecrated. It was solemnly consecrated by Bishop Algirdas Jurevičius.


Indulgence Feast in the Šiluva Ch
urch

          Šiluva is a famous place of the pilgrimage tradition, and the centuries-old Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary or Indulgence Feast of Šilinės. The Indulgence Feast has probably been celebrated since 1457, after the Lithuanian noble Petras Gedgaudas built the first church in Šiluva, and received from Rome the right to celebrate the Indulgence Feast.

          Every year, worshippers flooded Šiluva, and they came not only from the neighbouring area but also from Sudovia (Užnemunė) where the Protestant faith already prevailed. According to historians, during the Indulgence Feast of 1629, 11,000 communicants received the Sacred Host.  

          People were attracted to Šiluva not only by the Indulgence Feast but also by the spreading news about the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Šiluva, and since 1622 by the painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary with the Child which became famous for its special favours.

          From ancient times, worshippers travelled to Šiluva in processions. In 1866, during the Indulgence Feast where about 40,000 worshippers gathered, the centenary of the crowning of the miraculous painting was commemorated. After this huge event, the tsarist government banned any processions. The pilgrimage was renewed only in 1906, and in that year as many as 50,000 worshippers gathered in Šiluva.

          During the years of Soviet occupation, the press expressed a contemptuous attitude towards the Indulgence Feast of Šilinės, but its tradition remained alive. Nowadays, the Indulgence Feast of Šilinės celebrated in the Šiluva Church is a major annual celebration that attracts not only many pilgrims, but also tourists from other parts of the world.







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