The Story of Our Lady of Šiluva
Patroness of Those who Pray for Lapsed Catholics
white text-- from an article by
Father Stasys Yla
Reprinted with permission from
The Lithuanian American News Journal.
Read the entire article from the
BRIDGES web site.)
Father Yla writes:
"Down through the centuries, the Mother of God has demonstrated that She is
deeply concerned about the faithful who were entrusted to Her by Her
Crucified Son on Mount Calvary. From time to time she has appeared in
different places throughout the world to impart a message of hope and
salvation to troubled mankind. In the early part of the 17th century, 1608,
She appeared in Lithuania
at a time when Lithuania was experiencing one of her darkest hours. The
place was Šiluva. (pronounced Shiluva)
was a small town in central Lithuania whose 2,000 or so inhabitants were for
the most part poor farmers. The land was very sandy, quite barren, and
overgrown with pine trees. In the Lithuanian language, a pine tree forest is
known as šilas. Hence, the name of the town, Šiluva.
was here that in 1608 Our Lady appeared to some small children almost under
the same circumstances as she did in Lourdes 250 years later."
|The article goes
on to tell of this Catholic town being influenced by the events of the
Reformation. Eventually the government ordered the Catholic church
closed. The priest, realizing that this would happen, buried several
of the sacred objects housed in the church--including an icon of the Blessed
Mother and the Child Jesus.
Years later, while praying near a large
boulder, a group of children saw a sorrowing mother, holding her child
and standing on the rock. She appeared at a later date when the entire
community was present. All saw her. When asked why she was
crying she told them her tears fell because the people had forgotten her
son. Miraculously, the hearts of the entire town were moved to
returned to the practice of Catholicism. Later, Our Lady even
disclosed the place where the sacred objects were burings, and her icon was
returned to its place in the church.
"Papal Approval Given
the bishops in the Šiluva diocese approved of the devotion on the part of
the faithful to Our Lady of Šiluva. This great devotion and the number of
miracles prompted the ecclesiastical authorities to seek papal approval of
the public devotion.
extensive investigations by the local bishop, Pope Pius VI approved of the
cult to Our Lady of Šiluva with enriched indulgences.
September 8th, 1786, with permission of the Chapter of St. Peter's Basilica
the Miraculous Image was solemnly crowned.
According to Bishop M. Valancius, who wrote a study of Šiluva's history, the
place was so popular that in 1629, during the annual ceremonies held on the
Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, more than 11,000 faithful
received Holy Communion."
Many miracles have been reported over the years by the faithful who pray at Siluva. To further demonstrate the blessings received, in the late
1700's a bishop commissioned at statue of Our Lady for the chapel that had
been built on the rock where she had appeared. It was titled "Health
of the Sick" and reportedly, many who prayed before it received the blessing
of "renewed health of the body and the soul."
Thus, we here at Marian Mantle go to Our Lady, under her many titles
images which proclaim that she will intercede for us and carry our prayers
to the feet of her son. We go to the Mother of Christ, the
Sorrowful Mother, Our Lady of the Rosary--Our Lady of Siluva--and we ask,
"pray for us and for our children."
to read the entire article about
Our Lady of