Perhaps we would know very little about this village if it has not been for the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to boys shepherding in the area in 1608. It was the first apparition of Mary in Europe and one of five acknowledged by the Church. At the beginning of the 20th century a Chapel was built on the site of the Marian apparition. The majestic 40 metre high building was designed by the gifted architect Antanas Vivulskis. The altar within the Apparition Chapel is constructed on the same rock where the apparition supposedly took place. The central altar in the Basilica contains the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary portraying the figures of the Mother Mary and the Child Jesus. It is believed to have miraculous powers. The Chapel of the Church contains a sculpture of the Mother of God created in England in the 18th century. It also stores the old cross (1663) painted on wooden boards, which was shot during the fights between Calvinists and Catholics. For almost 500 years in September Šiluva has held the Indulgenced Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Huge crowds of pilgrims flock to this site from all over Europe. They have their own centre in Šiluva. On 7 September 1993 the site was visited by Pope John Paul II. The site of Šiluva brings the route in the pious land of Samogitia to its end. You can either return to Šiauliai or turn to the highway between Vilnius and Klaipėda.
For more information visit the website www.siluva.lt
Source: Lithuanian State Department of Tourism under The Ministry of Economy