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Our Lady of Gietrzwald (Poland)

The apparitions of Our Lady of Gietrzwałd in 1877 hold a special place in the annals of Marian apparitions, as they are considered the "Polish Fatima." Located in the village of Gietrzwałd, Poland, these supernatural events unfolded before the eyes of two young girls, Mary Barbara Samulowska and Justyna Szafryńska, imparting messages of faith, prayer, and devotion to the Eucharist.

In the summer of 1877, the quiet village of Gietrzwałd became the backdrop for a series of extraordinary encounters with the Virgin Mary. Mary Barbara Samulowska, a 14-year-old girl, and Justyna Szafryńska, a 12-year-old, were the chosen recipients of these apparitions.

The apparitions began on June 27, when Mary Barbara and Justyna were tending to their daily tasks. Suddenly, they found themselves in the presence of a radiant lady, identified as the Blessed Virgin Mary. Over the course of several months, the two girls experienced a total of 15 apparitions, each bringing forth a unique message of spiritual significance.

At the heart of the messages was a call to prayer and penance. The Virgin Mary, in her appearances, stressed the importance of a fervent prayer life and the need for penitential acts as a means of obtaining God's mercy for sinners. The visionary duo was entrusted with the task of spreading this call to their community and beyond, imploring others to turn their hearts toward God through prayer and repentance.

The Virgin Mary, as recounted by Mary Barbara and Justyna, expressed deep concern for the state of the world and the Church. She urged the faithful to attend Mass regularly, emphasizing the significance of the Eucharist as the true presence of Jesus Christ. This devotion to the Eucharist, she explained, would serve as a source of strength and grace for the individual believer and the broader Christian community.

The messages were delivered with a maternal tenderness, inviting all to embrace a life of faith and virtue. The Virgin Mary, in her appearances, conveyed a sense of compassion and love, inviting humanity to seek solace and refuge in the divine.

Word of the apparitions quickly spread, drawing pilgrims from near and far to Gietrzwałd. The village became a focal point for those seeking spiritual renewal and guidance. The impact of these apparitions extended beyond the local community, capturing the attention of the Catholic Church and leading to an investigation by ecclesiastical authorities.

In 1977, on the centenary of the Gietrzwałd apparitions, the Vatican officially recognized the events as worthy of belief. The messages conveyed by Our Lady of Gietrzwałd were deemed consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church, affirming the authenticity of the supernatural occurrences that transpired in the humble village over a century ago.

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