Tuchow: an annual Shrine feast gathered thousands of pilgrims

Picture of Our Lady of Tuchow, in the sanctuary of the Shrine; photo: Tomasz Pasieka

After one year break due to the Covid-19 emergency, the well-known Marian redemptorist shrine in Tuchow, Poland, resumed the annual one-week celebration that starts on the liturgical feast of Our Lady of Tuchow, July 2. This year celebration was held under the motto: „Gathered with Our Mother of Tuchow to celebrate the Eucharist”. From July 1 to 10, several thousands of pilgrims visited the basilica of Tuchow. They took part in the Eucharist and Marian devotions celebrated mainly in the open air, in the courtyard at the church. 

photo: Krzysztof Jasiński

The possibility of visit the shrine was, for many pilgrims, an opportunity to express their gratitude to God for salvation from serious illness or death. The pilgrims thanked Mary for her intercession and the care they experienced thought the recent two years marked by the pandemic. 

The theme of the nine days was the mystery of the Eucharist. Each day, the preachers introduced the pilgrims to the essential parts of the Mass. For example, on the third day, the pilgrims were taught about the act of penance, while the motto of the day was the words of the Letter to the Ephesians: “That we may be holy and undefiled before Him”. The motto of the sixth day became the words of Jesus known from every Mass: “Behold My Body, Behold My Blood”, which focused the attention of the faithful on the mystery of consecration.

Among the pilgrims, as usual, were the bishops of the local diocese. Traditionally, particular days were devoted for the pilgrims of various social groups or professions, like children, seniors, sick persons, farmers, etc.  

However, the annual shrine feast is about what is not visible at first glance: numerous pilgrims did confession, over 35,000 hosts (communion) have been distributed during the masses. Hours of prayer, dozens of services and solemn liturgies transformed for one week the shrine courtyard and the church itself into a vibrant space where one could have experience of the intimacy of faith and community of the living Church.

Bro. Jakub Ciepły CSsR