From 1 to 9 July 2023, the Shrine of Our Lady in Tuchow hosted the celebration of the Great Patronal Feast with the motto: “Believing in Christ – we love the Church”, referring to the slogan of the pastoral year in Poland. During the annual feast, the Redemptorist Missionaries who animate the shrine’s pastoral care welcomed thousands of pilgrims who came to pray before the miraculous image of Our Lady.
This year’s feast included two important anniversaries for the diocese of Tarnów and the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer: 130 years since the arrival of the Redemptorists to Tuchów and the 90th anniversary of the death of Archbishop Leon Wałęga, who crowned the Miraculous Image of Our Lady of Tuchów and entrusted the cause of vocations of the entire diocese to the Blessed Mother.
On Sunday, 2 July, the feast of Our Lady of Tuchów, Msgr Andrzej Jeż, bishop of the diocese of Tarnów, presided at the solemn Mass and blessed the new main door of the basilica, on which scenes from the history of the shrine are engraved.
Another important event was the farewell to the Redemptorist Major Seminary, which will be based in Krakow from September. This farewell took place as part of one of the traditional Marian Evenings – concerts and other artistic events held in the evenings every day of the festival. On the evening of Thursday, 6 July, a youth vigil was held.
On foot, by bicycle and by bus, numerous pilgrimages arrived at the shrine in Tuchów, including the 1st walking pilgrimage from Nowy Sącz to Tuchów, with over 300 people. The pilgrims walked for two days, praying for new and holy vocations.
A group of pilgrims from the Redemptorist parish in Toruń came by bicycle, covering a distance of over 600 km.
There were 129 organised groups, with around 5,000 faithful participating. In addition, the shrine hosted many individual pilgrims every day.
During the week, some 400 priests and religious celebrated the Eucharist and administered the sacrament of reconciliation. Nuns from various congregations were also present and led devotions and prayers.
What is most important is not usually seen because it happens in the silence of people’s hearts – as they pray, make confessions, place the supplications addressed to God through the intercession of Our Lady of Tuchów, and give thanks for the graces received.
Bro Jakub Stanisz CSsR,
photos: Krzysztof Jasiński, Krzysztof Świderski, Bro Jakub Ciepły CSsR, Bro Patryk Czajkowski CSsR, Bro Jakub Stanisz CSsR