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Dear friends,

Welcome to the web site of the National Sanctuary of the Mother of God of Budslau. This sanctuary is a place of a special veneration of the Mother of God, because in theheart of the church, in the main altar there is a miraculous icon of te Mother of God of Budslau who is the Patroness of our country.

Through her long history, the Church and herdedicated, faithful people have gone through many trials and much suffering; however, she has endured and preserved the message of God's greatness and splendour. Perhaps that is the greatest miracle of the Motherof God of Budslau.

During the Second World War, although thefront crossed this area three times, no bomb touched Budslau. Regardless of their religion, Catholics, Orthodox and Jews from neighbouring areas all found a shelter there. Also, all the attempts of the Stalinistsand NKVD (secret police) to blow up the Sanctuary were unsuccessful. It is believed, that after trying to destroy the icon, the head of the local authorities suddenly went mad and died violently.

Even in the darkest times of militant atheism, the church embraced and sustained thefaithful, allowing their Catholic faith and humanitysimply to survive.

Nobody can now say exactly when the first pilgrims came here, hoping for God's grace. Tradition says that the Mother of God miraculously appeared in this place to the Bernadinemonks as early as in 1588. The pilgrimages probably began shortly after that. In the expression of the local people "as in time of the Tsar, also of Poland and of the Soviets", on the feast days of the1st and 2nd of July pilgrims went to the Mother of God from all the shires of Belarus and even abroad, from Vilna and Warsaw. At lastin 1992, for the first time the pilgrimage was officially permitted by the authorities. Now, no longer in secret, tens ofthousands of the faithful come to Budslau to their Mother every year.

On the following pages you may learn more of the history of the icon and the Sanctuary, touch its spiritual richness and read testimonies of those who received the gracesthey needed from the Mother of God.

We also welcome you to visit the Sanctuary in order to touch the life history, to see beauty and splendour of the Sanctuaryand its icon with your own eyes.


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