Lichen Old is a small town in Wielkopolska province, in central Poland. Sanctuary located there is one of the greatest Marian shrines in Poland, visited annually by about 1.5 million pilgrims and tourists.
In 1813, the Battle of Leipzig, was seriously wounded soldier, Napoleonic Thomas Klosowski. He prayed to Our Lady for help, which appeared to him wander to the heart of a white eagle. She promised deliverance and asked him to find her image and surrounded the care of the family pages.
Only after 23 years, returning from a pilgrimage to Czestochowa, near the village of Lgota Klosowski saw the image. First took him to his home in Izabelin the Lichen, and 1844 years has placed in the chapel hung on the pine forest in the nearby grąblińskim.
When in 1848 he died Kłossowski took care of the chapel with Pastor Nicholas Sikatka. From 1850-1852 he was kilkaktrotne visions of Our Lady, which called for repentance and conversion of people. Initially, residents do not pay attention to the warnings until the outbreak of cholera. Before the chapel began to pray for the multitudes, many people rediscovered their faith, and even were healed.
September 29, 1852 the miraculous image was moved to the church in Lichen. The ceremony was attended by 80,000 faithful.
In 1949 the parish came to the Marian Fathers, and in 1967 Polish Primate Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski solemnly crowned the miraculous image, which was awarded the title Queen of Sorrows Polish. The ceremony was attended by 150,000 faithful from across the Polish and the episcopate.
Currently, around Lake Licheń is the third sanctuary Tysiąslecia, which consists of three churches, the 30-meter Way of the Cross of Calvary, and the pilgrim’s home.
One of the churches included in the sanctuary of the Holy Virgin is the monumental Basilica of Our Lady of Lichen. Its construction started in 1994 and completed in 2004. It is the largest in Poland, seven in Europe and eleventh in the world.
It is 139 meters long, 77 meters wide, the height of the tower is almost 130 meters. Visible from afar a huge dome of the basilica is 36-meters in diameter and 45 m in height.
The basilica is built on a cruciform plan. It consists of the main tower, bell tower and three porches. The bell weighs find myself almost 15 tons of bell Mary Mother of God, which is the biggest bell in Poland.
The temple has 365 windows and 52 doors, which symbolize the days and weeks a year, and leads to the Basilica of 33 degrees referring to the years of life of Jesus Christ.
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