Thou whose tears did bathe the rock where once an altar stood…
The First Apparition of the Mother of God
in Europe 1608
Our Lady of Šiluva
“Mary console the children of a land
sprinkled with blood and tears.”
Thou who didst appear to the shepherds
in the fields at Siluva,
Thou whose tears did bathe the rock
where once an altar stood,
Thou who didst with plaintive voice say:
“You plow and seed here
where formerly my Son was honored,”
grant that we, moved by Thy tears,
may once as our Forefathers did,
revive the spirit of adoration of Thy Son
in our fallow hearts,
strengthen the tottering structure
of the shrine which is the family,
and seek forgiveness
for the negligences and sins of our nation.
O Mother of God,
we desire to raise up
the glory of Your revelation from forgotten ruins,
that we may all the more honor Thee,
the patroness of our country,
and with thy help obtain for our nation
the spirit of a living Faith.
Through Christ our Lord.
The Miraculous Image
One of the items hidden in the buried chest was the Miraculous Image of the Madonna and Child. Where it originally came from is not know but, it is possible that it was brought from Rome and given as a gift by Vytautas, the Great, to Petras Giedgaudas, who built the first church in Šiluva.
The image is a replica of the famous St. Luke pictures of Mary and similar to the image of Mary, now in the Church of Maria Maggiore in Rome and known as “Salus Populi Romani” (Salvation of the Roman People). It shows the Madonna in royal robes holding the Divine Child, also arrayed in royal garments.
When it was found in the hidden chest soon after the apparitions, it was intact and once again placed in the church. So many gold and silver votives were attached to it that in 1671, they were melted and the gold and silver were used to decorate the picture. Gold leaf and precious stones were added to enhance its rich beauty.