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Gietrzwald Apparitions

Gietrzwald Apparitions

Q: What information do you have about the miracle in Gietrzwald?

A: Considered the Ermland Lourdes (Diocese of Warmia) already in the past century, Gietrzwald goes back to the Middle Ages (founded in 5/19/1352). The patronal feast since 1500 is of Mary's birth (September 8). The miraculous image revered in Gietrzwald, mentioned first in 1505, shows Mother and Child, surrounded by angels holding a transparent with the following inscription: Ave regina coelorum, ave domina angelorum, hailing thus the queen of angels. The image was crowned in 1717. The oldest witness to Marian devotion in Gietrzwald is a pieta dated 1425.

Our Lady appeared there in the period of June 27 to September 16, 1877 to two children, Justina Schaffrinski and Barbara Samulowski. Mary's message stressed the importance of the rosary. Pilgrimages ensued bringing together up to two thousand people thrice a day, on Sundays up to ten thousand pilgrims, even fifty thousand on the last day of the apparitions (September 16, when a statue of Mary was blessed and put in the small chapel).

Mary presented herself as the Immaculate Conception. The recognition of this apparition, which yielded a number of conversions and healings, was not granted until 1977. This happened in the presence of the future pope, John Paul II. One of the reasons given for the late recognition is of political origin (Polish nationalism and its connection with Gietrzwald).

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