Christian PilgrimagePilgrimages in LithuaniaJohn Paul II and Lithuania
Heavenly Mother!
In your image at Krekenava
you are famed for miracles
that pull people right out of the fire.
Jonas Mačiulis-Maironis
Vytauto Kandroto fotografija

Painting of the Mother of God and Child

According to tradition, a pious knight named Shiling brought the painting from Krakow and gave it as a gift to the missionary Albert who preached the Gospel on the banks of the Nevėžis River. It is believed that the history of Catholicism in Krekenava began with this image. Written sources say the painting at first hung in a small chapel and later was moved to the church, where it soon gained fame for miracles. After an old man, during an 18th century fire in the church, brought the painting out unscathed, its repute grew even more.

The style of the image suggests that it was painted in the 16th century. It depicts the Mother of God in keeping with the old iconography type Hodegetria (literally, “she who shows the way”). With one hand, the Blessed Virgin Mary holds her Son, and with the other she points to him, as though inviting viewers to follow him who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. In the painting, the Mother of God’s gaze is directed to her divine Son, who is reaching out to bless the viewers. A rich covering of worked silver is witness to the ages-old devotion that the image has enjoyed. In the covering, Mary’s cloak is covered with roses, lilies and other flowers, while small four-leaf blossoms embellish the Child’s garment.

Abundant votive offerings left recall the graces that many believers have obtained when seeking Our Lady’s intercession before this image. In 1980, the miraculous painting of Mary was adorned with a large amber Rosary which was given by the youth of the diocese of Panevėžys and now is kept with the other votive offerings.