TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Testimonies of the Life of Barbora Žagarietė.
2. Tradition of the Cult of Barbora Žagarietė.
3. History of the Mortal Remains of Barbora Žagarietė.
4. Registration Book of Barbora‘s Miracles.
5. The Process of Beatification and Canonisation.
6. Main Sources.
7. Scientific Works.
9. Graces of God Obtained through the Intercession of His Servant Barbora Žagarietė.
TESTIMONIES OF THE LIFE OF BARBORA ŽAGARIETĖ
According to continuous narrative and written traditions dating back over 400 years, Barbora Žagarietė was born in the second half of the 16th century. She was distinguished for heroic Christian virtues and died under obscure circumstances. The old Žagarė Church stands on the hill named after her.
It is known that the identity of the virgin of Žagarė was first officially mentioned by the Bishop of Samogitia Antanas Tiškevičius. In his report to the Holy See in 1755, he wrote: "I believe it worth mentioning the mortal remains of a virgin most dear to God. There is no one among the living who knows her name or descent – it is only in a dream that she has appeared to some people and named herself Barbora."
Based on a story passed from lip to lip, an extraordinary event occurring a few years after her death initiated the cult of Barbora claiming that she is a mediatrix and intercessor before God. It was during one of the military interventions of the Swedish troops into Lithuania back in 1655, that the invaders robbed and burnt down the Old Žagarė Church together with the mortal remains of the deceased in the crypt. Yet, the body of Barbora found in the ashes after the fire was intact, only blackened.
Having no doubts about the truthfulness of that unusual incident, Bishop Antanas Tiškevičius continued his thoughts in the above-mentioned report to the Holy See: "Though submerged in the ashes of the dead, untouched by the roaring fire, not burnt in any part, including the hair - the unharmed body of the virgin was taken out of the ashes and laid respectfully into a coffin as a true testimony to God's might and the virgin’s merits. Even now, it is intact, only blackened." In the same document, prior to describing the seven miracles that had been brought through Barbora's intercession during 1735 – 1748, the Bishop of Samogitia noted: "A great number of the ill-fated tormented by incurable illnesses seek safety at the virgin's coffin and experience it in no time. The narration would become immensely long if I were to at least take note of all the cured ailments."
TRADITION OF THE CULT OF BARBORA ŽAGARIETĖ
After transferring the mortal remains of Barbora to the crypt of the rebuilt Old Žagarė Church in 1712, the virgin of Žagarė became highly revered. Devoutness to her has lasted several centuries and has not ceased ever since believing that she is a saint.
In 1886, when Lithuania was under the oppression of the tsarist Russia, the crypt with the remains of Barbora was walled up on the orders of the local authorities. However, any such attempts to weaken the faith to God through Barbora's intercession were fruitless. On the contrary, when the church was undergoing renovation nineteen years later and the body of the virgin was found still intact, the devotion to Barbora grew to even greater extent.
HISTORY OF THE MORTAL REMAINS OF BARBORA ŽAGARIETĖ
The remains of Barbora Žagarietė reposed in a glass coffin in the crypt of the church beneath the High Altar. Since the occupation of Lithuania by the Soviet Union in 1940, the attacks against the phenomenon of Barbora Žagarietė had never stopped. Hostility had become especially strong during the period of 1957 - 1963. In 1963, the Soviet government had the church shut down and the mortal remains of Barbora taken somewhere else. Nowadays, only a symbolic casket placed in the same crypt and a memorial tablet on its entrance door remind us of the virgin.
To research deeper into the remarkable life of Barbora Žagarietė, further searches of archival documents are carried out and testimonies of witnesses are investigated and registered. Recent excavation works attempting to find a possible burial site of Barbora have not given any results.
REGISTRATION BOOK OF BARBORA'S MIRACLES
On 7 January 1860, a hundred years after the first mention of Barbora's identity in the middle of the 18th century, Bishop Motiejus Valančius commissioned Silvestras Limaževičius, a parish priest at the Old Žagarė Church, to register the miracles or other God's graces accomplished through Barbora's intercession. This task gave birth to the so-called registration book of miracles, where ninety-seven cases had been recorded until 14 December 1940. None of those miracles, however, had been canonically investigated. Moreover, the book was thought to have perished. Only when Lithuania restored its independence in 1990, Fr. Boleslovas Babrauskas S. J., a parish priest at St Peter and Paul's Church in Žagarė, commenced the search of it and, consequently, the book was found three years later in 1994.
This priceless registration book has survived thanks to Fr. Pranciškus Ščepavičius, who worked as a priest in the Old Žagarė Church during the Soviet period – the most difficult time to Lithuania's Church. The book undoubtedly remains the best testimony to the fame of sanctity (i.e. fama sanctitatis) of the miracle worker Barbora, which has never been interrupted by any changes or occupational regimes.
THE PROCESS OF BEATIFICATION AND CANONISATION
In response to request No. 0376/04 of 11 November 2004 of Bishop Eugenijus Bartulis of Šiauliai to start the Process of Beatification and Canonization of Barbora Žagarietė, on May 13, 2005, the Holy See informed that pursuant to the regulations issued by the same Congregation on February 7, 1983 and assigned for the bishops executing the investigation of the Causes of the Saints, there are no obstacles to initiate the Cause.
In accordance with the above-mentioned permission and in respect to the request of the faithful of the Šiauliai Diocese, Bishop Eugenijus Bartulis solemnly initiated the Process of Beatification and Canonization of Barbora Žagarietė on 24 September 2005.
To plead the Cause, the following Tribunal members have been appointed: the Postulator of the Cause - Fr. Marius Dyglys, the Delegate of Justice - Fr. Egidijus Venskus, Lc. D., the Counsel for the Defence - Fr. Saulius Paliūnas, Lc. D., the Notary Public of the Case - Fr. Tomas Kedušis, Lc. D.
1. Relat. Dioec. 713, An. 1755 D. no Antonio Tiskevicius, Dioecesis Samogitiae, vol. 64, fol. 220, in: Archivum Secretum Apostol. Vaticanum, Congr. Concilio, Lib. litt. visit. (1752–1758), fol. 299 r-301 r.
2. Relationes Status Dioecesium in Magno Ducatu Lituaniae [Žemaičių vyskupo Antano Tiškevičiaus reliacija popiežiui Benediktui XIV 1755 m.], vol I. Dioeceses Vilnensis et Samogitiae, red. Paulius Rabikauskas SJ, Roma: Academiae Lituana Catholica Scientiarum, 1971, p. 366–368.
3. Ištrauka iš 1755 m. vyskupo Antano Tiškevičiaus reliacijos nr. 713 popiežiui Benediktui XIV. Apie Dievo Tarnaitės Barboros Žagarietės užtarimu įvykusius stebuklus, iš lotynų kalbos vertė Stanislovas Poniškaitis, in: Šiaulių vyskupijos archyvo DTBŽbb fondas, orig.: Relationes Status Dioecesium in Magno Ducatu Lituaniae, vol. 1. Dioeceses Vilnensis et Samogitiae, Roma: Academiae Lituana Catholica Scientiarum, 1971, p. 366–368.
4. Barboros Žagarietės užtarimu įvykusių stebuklų registracijos knyga [lenkų ir lietuvių kalba, stebuklai pradėti registruoti vysk. Motiejaus Valančiaus įsakymu 1860-01-07, baigti registruoti 1940-12-14], in: Šiaulių vyskupijos archyvo DTBŽbb fondas.
5. Barboros Žagarietės užtarimu įvykusių stebuklų registracijos knyga, iš lenkų kalbos vertė Irena Katilienė, in: Lietuvių katalikų mokslo akademijos metraštis, Vilnius, 2000, t. 16, p. 454–523.
6. 1876 m. liepos mėn. 9 d. Kauno vicegubernatoriaus Ryžkovo raštas Žemaičių vyskupui Aleksandrui Beresnevičiui, In: LVIA. F. 1671. Ap. 4. B.500. L. 6, 6v., 7.
7. Paulius Guga, Biografijos: Barbora Žagarietė [savilaida, 1964], in: Šiaulių vyskupijos archyvo DTBŽbb fondas.
8. Congregazione delle Cause Dei Santi, prot. nr. 2644 – 1 / 04, Romae, die 13 Maii A.D. 2005.
9. Barboros Žagarietės užtarimu gautos Dievo malonės: per 2006–2008 metų mokslines ekspedicijas užrašyti atvejai, užrašė Rasa Račiūnaitė-Paužuolienė, in: Šiaulių vyskupijos archyvo DTBŽbb fondas.
10. Sofija Lažinskaitė, [asmenis liudijimas], in: Šiaulių vyskupijos archyvo DTBŽbb fondas.
1. Paulauskas A., Undeclared Saint of Lithuanian Nation, Bachelor Thesis in Religious Studies, Dr. Can. A. Kajackas, R. Adv.. Kaunas Seminary for Priests, Faculty of Divinity. Kaunas, 1993. 36 p.
2. Matulytė E., Opinion of Sanctity and Worship of Barbora Žagarietė in Žiemgala, [Bachelor Thesis in Religious Studies, Dr. A. Motuzas, R. Adv.]. St. Anthony Institute of Religious Studies. Kretinga, 1998. 37 p.
3. Margevičiūtė V., Barbora‘s Žagariete‘s Folk Saint of the Seventeenth Century Cult History in Lithuania, [Bachelor Thesis, Adv. Dr. Jonas Boruta SJ]. Vilnius University, Faculty of History, Department of Modern History. Vilnius, 1999. 38 p.
4. Karoblytė E., God's Graces Accomplished through the Intercession of Barbora Žagarietė[Bachelor Thesis in Religious Studies, R. Adv., Dr. A. Motuzas]. St. Anthony Institute of Religious Studies. Kretinga, 2001. 33 p.
5. Stupelytė J., Fame of Sanctity of the Servant of God Barbora Žagarietė in Lithuania: Traditions and the Present. [Master Thesis , Dr. A. Motuzas, R. Adv.]. Vilnius Pedagogical University, Faculty of History, Department of Catholic Faith. Vilnius, 2007. 72 p.
6. Mitrikas K., Žagarė Church History, [Bachelor Thesis, Dr. P. Spurgevičius, R. Adv., Dr. L. Klimka]. Vilnius Pedagogical University, Faculty of History, Department of Universal History. Vilnius, 2007. 43 p.
7. Dyglys M., Veneration of the Servant of God Barbora Žagarietė in Žiemgala. [Master Thesis, Dr. Jonas Boruta SJ, R. Adv.]. Telšiai Bishop Vincentas Borisevičius Priest Seminary. Telšiai, 2008. 65 p.
PRAYER FOR OBTAINING THE ALTAR HONOUR
FOR THE SERVANT OF GOD BARBORA ŽAGARIETĖ
† Eugenijus Bartulis
Bishop of Šiauliai
Our loving God, we sincerely implore you that the Servant of God Barbora Žagarietė who, inspired by great faith, took painstaking care of the poor, died at an early age and became famous for the miracles and abundant grace lasting for nearly four hundred years after her death, would be beatified by the Church. Let the grace obtained through her intercession encourage everybody, especially young Christians, facing the challenges of the modern world to develop their own steadfast faith and confidence in God. Amen.
V. Servant of God Barbora Žagarietė,
R. Pray for us!
OUR FATHER who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
HAIL MARY, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
GLORY BE TO THE FATHER, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
PRAYER FOR HEALTH AND HEALING THROUGH THE INTERCESSION OF THE SERVANT OF GOD BARBORA ŽAGARIETĖ
† Eugenijus Bartulis
Bishop of Šiauliai
Our loving Lord Jesus, you give us courage: “In truth I tell you once again, if two of you on earth agree to ask anything at all, it will be granted to you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three meet in my name, I am there among them.” (Matthew 18:19–20).
Gracious God, through the intercession of your Servant, Barbora Žagarietė, and if it corresponds to your will and you deem it merciful for the body and soul of [say the names of the sick], I humbly ask you to heal and bless [say the names of the sick] with good health.
“In you, O Lord, I seek refuge; do not let me ever be put to shame” (Psalm 31:2).
GRACES OF GOD OBTAINED THROUGH THE INTERCESSION OF HIS SERVANT BARBORA ŽAGARIETĖ
1. The miracles are listed based on the following sources:
a) Extract from Communiqué No. 713 sent in 1755 by Bishop Antanas Tiškevičius to Pope Benedict XIV about the graces of God obtained through the Servant of God Barbora Žagarietė, translated from Latin by Stanislovas Poniškaitis, in: DTBŽbb Fund of Šiauliai Diocese Archive, orig.: Relationes Status Dioecesium in Magno Ducatu Lituaniae, Vol. 1. Dioeceses Vilnensis et Samogitiae, Rome: Academiae Lituana Catholica Scientiarum, 1971, p. 366–368.
b) Registration Book of Miracles through the Intercession of Barbora Žagarietė, translated from Polish by Irena Katilienė, the rest of the miracles described in Lithuanian, in: Chronicle of the Lithuanian Catholic Academy of Science, Vilnius, 2000, Vol. 16, p. 454–523.
c) Graces of God obtained through the intercession of Barbora Žagarietė: cases occurring after 1940 and recorded during the scientific expeditions of 2006–2008, in: DTBŽbb Fund of Šiauliai Diocese Archive.
d) Paulius Guga, Biographies: Barbora Žagarietė [self-publishing, 1964], in: DTBŽbb Fund of Šiauliai Diocese Archive.
e) Sofija Lažinskaitė, [personal testimony], in: DTBŽbb Fund of Šiauliai Diocese Archive.
2. Based on the sources specified above (and by abbreviating, retelling or editing the narratives), the graces of God obtained through the intercession of Barbora Žagarietė are further categorized according to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) of the World Health Organization (WHO) with the purpose to show the diversity and variety of Barbora’s help to the people. The International Classification of Diseases encompasses diseases, various symptoms, pathological conditions, complaints, social circumstances, and causes of external injuries or diseases. (ICD-10-AM has been in use as of 1992). Other cases that cannot be classified according to this system are categorized as “real-life”.
3. Please find 116 (one hundred and sixteen) typical cases listed below that reveal their key qualities. The entry number in the brackets coincides with the source record number. The symptoms of the described diseases and miracle registration dates are indicated in italics.
GRACES OF GOD
AS NARRATED IN THE COMMUNIQUÉ OF
BISHOP ANTANAS TIŠKEVIČIUS
SAMOGITIAN BISHOP ANTANAS TIŠKEVIČIUS
(Reproduction of the painting by A. Ivinskis in Varniai,
Digital Archive of the Samogitian Diocese Museum)
Antanas Tiškevičius, Count of Lahoysk and Berdychiv and son of Emanuelis Vladislovas, was born in 1700 in Lahoysk. Having aspired to be a priest ever since his young days, Antanas Tiškevičius enrolled to become a clergyman. Antanas Tiškevičius served as a canon in Vilnius City. In 1744, he transferred the Samogitian Seminary from Kražiai to Varniai which is considered to be the capital of Samogitia. In 1752, he held a synod of Samogitian bishops in Varniai.
Bishop Antanas Tiškevičius followed in the footsteps of his ancestor Bishop Jurgis Tiškevičius and supported the Town of Žemaičių Kalvarija established by the latter however he could. In 1750, Bishop Antanas Tiškevičius built a new wooden church in Žemaičių Kalvarija. The remains of Bishop Jurgis Tiškevičius were transferred from Kaliningrad and reburied here under the high altar in 1762 (later the remains were transferred to Varniai). In 1744, Bishop Antanas Tiškevičius received the Order of the White Eagle and was later assigned to the position of a member of the Lithuanian Tribunal. Bishop Antanas Tiškevičius died in 1762 in a diocese manor in Alsėdžiai and was laid to rest in Varniai.
Antanas Tiškevičius was enrolled in Vilnius Academy where he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. For two years, he had studied theology. In 1715, he was consecrated as a priest. On July 20, 1739, Antanas Tiškevičius was appointed the Titular Bishop of Mennith and Assistant Bishop of Kiev. On 16 September 1740, he was appointed Bishop of Samogitia. Having arrived at the diocese, Bishop Antanas Tiškevičius visited the parishes, improved the level of clerical training by holding three-month long courses in Varniai, entrusted the seminary ordinands to the care of the Piarists and increased the number of ordinands, transferred the Varniai Seminary to new wooden facilities, and introduced seven-day spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola mandatory to both the ordinands and priests. Bishop Antanas Tiškevičius established the Brotherhood of Saint Roch in Varniai and gave permission to incorporate the Sisters of St. Mary Monastery, divided the diocese into 10 deaneries and established the procedure for pilgrims traveling to the great wake in Šiluva or Žemaičių Kalvarija. From June 4 to 6, 1752, Bishop Antanas Tiškevičius held a Diocesan Synod in Varniai and later published its decrees in Vilnius. He built a church in Žemaičių Kalvarija and established a clergy house for retired priests next to Mosėdis Church. Having brought in the remains of the Prussian Bishop J. Tiškevičius, Bishop Antanas Tiškevičius buried him in the cellar of the Žemaičių Kalvarija Church. He also published a few works, e.g. Krolewska Droga do Nieba Albo Žycie S. Kazimierza Krolewica Polskiego y W. Ks. L. (1752); Synodus Dioecesana Mednicensis seu Samogitiae“(1752) and Pedelis Miros Saldžiausi Medi Kryžiaus Jezusa Pona translated from Polish and dedicated to him (1750).
Bishop Antanas Tiškevičius died On January 31, 1762 in Alsėdžiai and was buried in the Bishop’s Crypt of Varniai Cathedral.
(The biography is based on:
On August 11, 1745, Bishop Antanas Tiškevičius consecrated the Old Žagarė Church. On this occasion, he also visited and took a look at the mortal remains of Barbora that had yet to be touched by decay. Bishop Antanas Tiškevičius relayed all known information on Barbora Žagarietė in his communiqué about the Diocese of Samogitia to Pope Benedict XIV in 1755. Descriptions of eight miracles occurring through the intercession of the Servant of God Barbora Žagarietė were presented by Bishop Antanas Tiškevičius to the Holy See. The Lithuanian Professor Paulius Rabikauskas, SJ, who lived in Rome and worked at the Pontifical Gregorian University, took an interest in this document, edited it and published it in 1971.
EXTRACT FROM THE COMMUNIQUÉ OF THE SAMOGITIAN BISHOP ANTANAS TIŠKEVIČIUS TO POPE BENEDICT XIV
I believe it worth mentioning the mortal remains of a virgin most dear to God, who became revered due to her many miracles. There is no one among the living who knows her name or descent – it is only in a dream that she has appeared to some people and named herself Barbora. [...]
Though submerged in the ashes of the dead, untouched by the roaring fire, not burnt in any part, including the hair - the unharmed body of the virgin was taken out (of the ashes) and laid respectfully into a coffin as a true testimony to God's might and the virgin’s merits. Even now, it is intact, only blackened. [...]
A great number of the ill-fated tormented by incurable illnesses seek safety (at the virgin's coffin) and experience it in no time. The narration would become immensely long if I were to at least take note of all the cured ailments...
(Bishop Antanas Tiškevičius).
F00-99. MENTAL AND BEHAVIOURAL DISORDERS
1. June 2, 1747. Ms. Marijona Karpovska, a resident of Ylakiai Village in Skuodas District had long been suffering from falling sickness (epilepsy), senility (dementia) and body swelling. She kept true to her promise to visit the virgin. As soon as she did so, Marijona became free of the epidemic misfortune (casibus epidemiae) and the hardships experienced due to swelling. (Entry No. 5).
2. June 29, 1737. Ms. Elžbieta Strebulavič residing in Tryškiai Parish personally told me about her six-year-old daughter Agota, who had lost her ability to speak for half a year. The mother decided to take her little daughter to Žagarė. Soon after such decision, the girl started talking, albeit with great difficulty. This came as a large surprise to everyone. Afterwards, both the mother and daughter visited the mortal remains of the virgin and even the parish priest witnessed how the girl suddenly started speaking quite clearly and fluently and continued to do so. (Entry No. 2).
G00-G99. DISEASES OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM
1. June 2, 1748. Mr. Jonas Vitoromanovičius, a young man of noble birth, suffered from paralysis of the right side of the body, i.e. head and arm. He received traditional treatment; however, as his condition did not improve, the young man came to a decision to ask for divine (divorum) help. For four weeks, Jonas had kept visiting places where his troubled heart led him to. Yet, nothing changed. Not until he once dreamed of Žagarė Church that he had never seen before. In his dream, four priests would lift up and down a coffin with the virgin’s body. The dreaming young man did not doubt for a moment that the virgin was a miracle maker and greatly humbled he kissed her right hand. As he fell deeper and deeper into sleep, Jonas saw himself once again healthy. Upon waking he found that to be completely true. Jonas attributed his recovery to the heaven-sent virgin (divae) and promised to visit her once a year for the next three years without fail. However, he traveled to Žagarė only once. Doubtful of whether or not his miraculous recovery was truly through the intercession of the virgin, Jonas broke his own promise. Once, deep in contemplation on the matter, he felt the sharp pain of renewed paralysis and the immobilization of his body was even stronger than before. He decided to see his promise through as he wept and, a day later, he was once again healthy. (Entry No. 8).
H00-H59. DISEASES OF THE EYE AND ADNEXA
1. June 29, 1747. For many years, Ms. Barbora Rimšova of Akmenė Parish had been tormented by severe eye pain. Tired of her sufferings, she started visiting various holy places but all was for naught. God’s plans were different. Once, Barbora dreamed of the Virgin of Žagarė who encouraged the woman to visit her and request a Mass. The virgin ensured that the eye pain will disappear completely and kept her word as after giving her promise in the dream, Barbora woke up healthy. (Entry No. 6).
Q00-Q99. CONGENITAL MALFORMATIONS, DEFORMATIONS AND CHROMOSOMAL ABNORMALITIES
1. February 25, 1748. Ms. Barbora Rimkevičiova of Rietavas Parish was looking for help for her son Ignacas who could not walk due to strained tendons (nervis contractis). For years, she kept visiting various places famous for divine grace. Having heard of the mortal remains of the miraculous Virgin of Žagarė visited by a great number of pilgrims, she brought her son there and soon witnessed his legs get better and his gait grow firmer with each taken step. (Entry No. 7).
2. July 2, 1746. Ms. Kristina Vasilkova of Grodno Region had been suffering from dropsy for three years. Her whole body was swollen. As her physical weakness had slightly passed, though the swelling remained as before, she listened to the recommendations of priests and prepared to leave to visit holy sites. While keeping to her promise, Kristina heard of the remains of the Virgin of Žagarė famous for her miracles. She left straight away and traveled for more than 60 German miles. When she was close to the goal of her journey, and two churches could be seen further ahead, Kristina asked a fellow traveler which of the churches was famous for the mortal remains so dear to God. As her friend pointed to the smaller church standing further away, Kristina started praying in earnest and calling for the help of the miracle-working virgin. At once, she felt her strength return to her and stepped forth with more energy than ever before. As she neared the coffin placed in the church, Kristina could feel the swelling of her body go down and her health be returned to her. (Entry No. 4).
Z00-Z99. FACTORS INFLUENCING HEALTH STATUS
1. May 8, 1735. Mr. Mykolas Mačiulskis dealing in book selling swore an oath that he had been bed-ridden with a severe illness for half a year. When treatment gave him no hope to get better, Mykolas suddenly recalled Barbora, the Virgin of Žagarė. He promised to visit her coffin and request a Mass for praying for health. Three days later, he rose from the bed feeling completely healthy. (Entry No. 1).
2. March 14, 1746. Rožė, wife to Mr. Kazimieras Narkevičius of Žemaičių Kalvarija Parish, was at death’s door due to a very severe disease. As all human endeavors to help her failed, Rožė prayed to Barbora to save her. She started feeling better and returned to full health on the same day. Soon after, she visited the mortal remains of her savior. (Entry No. 3).
GRACES OF GOD
AS NARRATED IN THE REGISTRATION BOOK OF MIRACLES
STARTED BY BISHOP MOTIEJUS VALANČIUS
(CASES FROM 1860 TO 1940)
MOTIEJUS VALANČIUS (1801–1875) – SAMOGITIAN BISHOP, EDUCATOR, WRITER, AND LEADER OF TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT
Motiejus was the fourth child of Mykolas Valančius and Ona Valančienė. He was born on February 28, 1801 in Nasrėnai Village, Salantai Parish, Telšiai District. At the beginning of the 19th century, the family of Valančius relocated from Nasrėnai to Klausgalviai-Medsėdžiai Village. Motiejus attended the Žemaičių Kalvarija Dominican Gymnasium (1816–1821) and later the Varniai Gymnasium (1822–1824). He studied in Vilnius Seminary from 1824 to 1828.
He was consecrated priest on September 1, 1828 in Vilnius Cathedral. Motiejus worked as a chaplain in Mozyr School (presently in Gomel Region, Belarus) and Kražiai School (1834–1840) and as a professor in Vilnius Priest Academy (1840–1842) and Petrapilis Priest Academy (presently Saint Petersburg, 1842–1844). He served as Chancellor of Varniai Seminary from 1845 to 1850 and supervised the Diocese of Samogitia from 1850 to 1875.
The bishop died on May 17, 1875, and was buried in Kaunas Arch-Cathedral Basilica.
Within 25 years of being a bishop, Motiejus Valančius had consecrated 550 ordinands, granted the sacrament of confirmation to over 700 thousand children and built 50 churches. As the Samogitian Bishop, he was responsible for the establishment of Lithuanian parish schools, libraries and bookstores. Bishop Motiejus Valančius also organized a temperance movement which led to eight times less of vodka being consumed in Lithuania within two years.
The operations of book smugglers were also supervised and organized by Bishop Motiejus Valančius during the period of Lithuanian press ban (1864–1904).
Bishop Motiejus Valančius wrote around 50 books, among which several of the most important ones were the Samogitian Bishop Life (Lith. Žemaičių Vyskupystė) (two parts), Kantyczkos, Juzė of Palanga (Lith. Palangos Juzė), Narratives of Antanas Tretininkas (Lith. Antano Tretininko Pasakojimai), Children’s Book (Lith. Vaikų Knygelė), Book for Adults (Lith. Paaugusių Žmonių Knygelė), etc.
Bishop Motiejus Valančius was the representative of the classical Lithuanian literature and a renowned author of didactic works.
(The biography is based on: http://samogitia.mch.mii.lt/mpkelias/ASMENYS/valancius.lt.htm)
REGISTRATION BOOK OF MIRACLES THROUGH THE INTERCESSION OF BARBORA ŽAGARIETĖ
The mortal remains of Barbora kept in the Old Žagarė have long been renowned for miracles. However, if not written down, the testimonies of such miracles are prone to change and quickly become unreliable. To prevent this from happening and to preserve the memory of these miracles for years to come, for some day in the future when God decides to have these mortal remains publicly venerated, we entrust you, our dear parish priest loved by God through Christ, with the task of recording in the Polish Language all the miracles that occurred or will occur later by the grave of Barbora. The recording should be done after carefully questioning the witnesses who must be reliable and of good morale and strong belief, and well educated on the circumstances of the miracles so that they could without a doubt swear an oath on such, if the clergy were to deem it necessary.
(Motiejus Valančius, Samogitian Bishop, Varniai, 1860)
A00-B99. CERTAIN INFECTIOUS AND PARASITIC DISEASES
1. June 26, 1860 . Ms. Barbora Kanvovska of Endriejavas Town, Raseiniai Region, had been suffering from yellow fever for 28 years and no medication had had any effect on her. After pledging herself to the blessed Barbora, she felt the disease immediately leave her body. (Entry No. 17).
2. August 29, 1862. Ms. Marijona Maciejauskienė of Kalvarija Town, Telšiai Region, had a painful chronic boil on her chest a bit beneath her heart. As no special treatment for boils existed, she tried to listen to every given piece of advice to alleviate the pain, yet, nothing helped. Marijona suffered like this for five long years. Soon after making a promise to the blessed Barbora, the boil cleared up on its own. (Entry No. 30.)
3. May 16, 1864. Ms. Antanina Šimaitienė of Klaišiai Village, Židikai Parish, Telšiai Region, had been suffering from boils for three years and could walk only with crutches. She immediately felt relief after making a promise to Barbora, the virgin buried in the cellar of the Old Žagarė Church and well-known for her miracles even in the far-away lands. Little-by-little, Antanina returned to full health within a year. (Entry No. 32).
4. June 10, 1871. Ms. Agnietė Jaraminienė of Sarakai Village, Gadunava Parish, Telšiai Region, told of two occurrences. Ms. Marcijona Petkevičiūtė had a furuncle in her loins. It was very painful and nothing helped. Even though the doctors helped her as they could, Maricijona was practically on death’s bed after 3 months with no relief. As she pledged herself to the blessed Barbora, the weakness disappeared and the furuncle cleared up without even bursting. The woman returned to full health. Another case: Ms. Domicėlė Viršilienė was paralyzed. Having no strength left in her body, she had lain in bed for 2 months and her entire body was swollen. After pledging herself to the blessed Barbora, Domicėlė immediately felt better, the swelling decreased, she could once again mover her limbs and her health returned. (Entry No. 66).
5. June 6, 1870. Ms. Ona Žakaitė of Viekšniai Town, Šiauliai Region, suffered from acute breast pain. She was told that it was erysipelas caused by fright. For eight months, Ona endured unbearable pain followed by severe weakness. After pledging to the blessed Barbora, the pain transferred from her breasts to legs. Boils emerged and later burst open. As the pus flew out, the pain disappeared and her wounds healed. The woman was once again completely healthy. (Entry No. 56).
6. June 29, 1939. Ms. Ona Navagreckienė of Venciškės Village, Akmenė Parish, was breastfeeding her newborn baby when at the end of June or the beginning of July 1933, a boil emerged. Later, large wounds opened up on both breasts. The woman was consulted by two physicians in Akmenė and Mažeikiai Regional Hospitals. Both of them said that a surgery was the only way out. On June 29, 1934 Ona visited the grave of Barbora in Žagarė, where she felt better. The wounds fully healed within the next few days. However, in August 1936. the illness came back. Jonas Navagreckis, Onas’ husband, decided that the relapse was caused by their failure to notify the church of the miracle. He knelt and prayed at the Žagarė Church and asked Barbora to heal his wife once again. He promised to say Hail Mary three nights in a row. His wife got better at the end of December 1938. (Entry No. 96).
1. May 27, 1870. Tomas Lakštas of Kalvarija Town, Telšiai Region, Kaunas Governorate had been suffering from sore lymph nodes under the chin to the point of nearly fatal suffocation. The fits would last for two to three weeks and would repeat twice or three times per year for ten years. He did not seek medical advice and though Tomas tried to alleviate pain with domestic remedies, the aches did not disappear. A beggar gave him a piece of advice and told him to pledge himself to the blessed Barbora. Tomas went to Žagarė and rubbed the nodes and glands on his neck and under his chin with a lock of Barbora’s hair. Ever since that day, neither the nodes nor the nearly fatal suffocation occurred again. (Entry No. 51).
2. May 29, 1872. Konstantinas Stulginskis, son of Jokūbas and a nobleman of Šiauliai Region residing in Babališkės Estate, Kurtuvėnai Parish, had been hearing of the miracles granted to his parents and other people through the intercession of Barbora in the Old Žagarė ever since he was a baby. He was told of such by his parents Jokūbas and Kotryna and the Matusevičius Stulginskis family. He, too, had been witness to miracles: “1) From 1865 to 1869 I was heavily ill with a disease that the doctors would call cancer and other horrible names; yet, by the will of the Lord our Chief Physician, through the intercession of Barbora, and without any piece of advice from the doctors, I myself found an efficient remedy that got me better; 2) In July 1863 and 3) on June 14, 1871 (last year), when Holy Mass was celebrated in my name in the Old Žagarė Church at the most critical moment for my honor and interests as brought upon me by the endeavor of the people wishing me ill, yes, on the very same day, I received a most favorable order from the government, and it was done with no assistance from the human hand or my own endeavor but only through the actions of God the Righteous Judge and through the intercession and help of Barbora. Thus it went in all other household matters as I cried for the help with all my heart addressing God through the intercession and merits of the said Barbora and experienced the miraculous and most effective salvation, advice, support and help.” (Entry No. 68).
3. June 23, 1876. Petras Šemeta of Žemalė Parish, Telšiai Region, Lėlaičiai Homestead, had a tumour developed on his face within three months. The doctors explained that it was cancer and scared Petras into thinking it was incurable. Seeing that neither human power not science are able to return his health, Petras turned to God praying for absolution and mercy through the intercession of Barbora. Ever since, his health has improved. Petras returned to full health within three weeks. (Entry No. 83).
D50-D89. DISEASES OF THE BLOOD AND BLOOD-FORMING ORGANS AND CERTAIN DISORDERS INVOLVING THE IMMUNE MECHANISM
1. July 12, 1874. Marcijona Stripinaitytė of Petrikai Village of Ylakiai Parish in Telšiai Region had suffered bleeding from her lip and nose for nine years. Her entire body was covered in painful lesions. She was poor and, thus, she could only afford home remedies. Throughout that time, the disease deprived the woman of all her strength and caused loss of consciousness. Once, she dreamed of an old man giving her a piece of advice to address the blessed Barbora of Žagarė who would stand before God and ask for her to recover. She listened to the man’s words and immediately felt better. Little by little, her strength returned to Marcijona, the bleeding stopped and the lesions healed over. Only the internal pain remained which, too, was not as severe as before. Marcijona traveled to Žagarė to pay her respects to the Lord and thank the blessed Barbora for her miraculous recovery. (Entry No. 81).
F00-F99. MENTAL AND BEHAVIOURAL DISORDERS
1. June 6, 1870. Ona Bazarienė of Stagintrakis Homestead, Lioliai Parish, Raseiniai Region had lost her mind from anxiety and fright to such point that she needed to be tied down for all that the woman could reach, she would tear into pieces, rip her own clothes off and pull her hair out. She would even throw her own children to the ground. This behavior had continued for ten months and her family was at their wit’s end. They decided to give a pledge to Barbora Žagarietė. As soon as Ona’s family did so, the woman regained her mind and fully recovered. (Entry No. 57).
G00-G99. DISEASES OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM
1. June 26, 1856. Barbora Paltakaitė of Vaiguva Parish, Šiauliai Region, suffered from contracture of leg. Having made a vow to the blessed Barbora, she immediately felt better and could come to Žagarė to fulfill her promise. (Entry No. 3).
2. May 25, 1859. Cecilija Nugarienė of Kalvarija Town had been paralyzed for eight long years. As soon as she made a vow to the blessed Barbora, the woman felt better and soon recovered fully. (Entry No. 6).
3. July 25, 1859. Petronėlė Alseikaitė of Kalvarija Town, Telšiai Region, suffered from contracture of leg and was often ill. After making a pledge to the blessed Barbora known far and wide for her miracle, she could soon walk without crutches as if she had never needed them. (Entry No. 8).
4. August 20, 1859. Agota Bartkienė of Kalvarija Town, Telšiai Region, suffered from severe headaches to the point of losing her mind. After pledging herself to Barbora in Žagarė, she recovered within a few short days. (Entry No. 12).
5. June 26, 1860. Monika Žemgulytė of Endriejavas Town and Parish, Raseiniai Region, had suffered from contracture of her legs: she had endured great pain and had been unable to walk without crutches for three years. The woman immediately got better after making a promise to the blessed Barbora and honestly confirmed so when she came to Žagarė. (Entry No. 14).
6. June 16, 1861. Magdalena Žoberienė of Vaiguva Town, Šiaulių Region, had contracture of leg. She had tried taking medication for half a year but nothing helped. The woman immediately got better after making a promise to Barbora. (Entry No. 21).
7. July 28, 1862. Petronėlė Alseikaitė of Kalvarija Parish, Telšiai Region, had suffered from unbearable headache for four months accompanied by severe general weakness. The doctors claimed that no medication could help the woman and that she would die. Having made a pledge to Barbora buried in the crypts of the Old Žagarė Church, the woman felt immensely better. Four weeks later, she could make the fifteen-mile-long trip to Žagarė to fulfill her promise. (Entry No. 26).
8. July 28, 1862. Domicėlė Alseikaitė of Kalvarija Town and Parish, Telšiai Region, had been suffering from the falling sickness for many years and had been almost blind in one eye. After making a vow, her seizures weakened and her eyesight in the weaker eye got better. (Entry No. 27).
9. May 26, 1865. Uršulė Aleknaitė of Seda Parish, Telšiai Region, Dimgailiai Village, had suffered from contracture of her right leg and arm. Having made a pledge to Barbora, she felt immediate relief and her leg got better to such a level that she herself came to Žagarė to say a prayer. Her arm remained stiff and could not be straightened. (Entry No. 35).
10. May 7, 1869. Ona Vyšniauskienė (65 years old) of Kretinga Town, born to Antanas and Marijona in Kartena Parish, Telšiai Region, Kaunas Governorate, had felt sudden unbearable headaches and pain originating in the face. She visited various sites renowned far and wide for their miracles; yet, all for naught. Her face was contorted from pain and had remained so for five weeks. One night, a woman came to her in a dream and said, “If you wish to be healthy again, make a pledge to Barbora in Žagarė”. “How would I ever do this? I am so sick and live too far away,” replied Ona. However, the stranger insisted, “You can recover as long as you have time to spare.” This happened not long after the New Year. When she woke up, Ona felt absolutely fine: her head did not ache, her face was no longer twisted with pain and she could walk as before. All witnesses were astonished by these miraculous changes. (Entry No. 44).
11. September 7, 1869. Justinas, son of Juozapota Landsbergienė, a widow from Riga, had been suffering from seizures, also referred to as the St. Vitus’ Dance, for eight years. They did everything to heal the boy but nothing helped. People would say that such a disease was impossible to heal. Then, someone advised them to ask the help of the blessed Barbora famous for her miracles. Justinas’ mother immediately made a promise to visit the virgin’s grave and say a prayer. As soon as she made the vow, her son Justinas started getting better. There was no relapse. Juozapota Landsbergienė herself testified of this miracle during a feast in the Naujoji Žagarė Rectory, when she came to Žagarė for the second time to thank God for the miraculous recovery of her son through the intercession of Barbora. (Entry No. 47).
12. June 5, 1870. Jonas Mileška of Tryškiai Parish, Birbiliškė Village, Šiauliai Region had been suffering from falling sickness for a year. All doctors claimed that he could not be healed. After making a vow to Barbora, Jonas started feeling better and made a full recovery. (Entry No. 52).
13. June 6 in the year of our Lord 1870. Barbora Vanagaitė of Kėdainiai Town, Raseiniai Region, had lesions appear on her arms, legs and face. The entire right side of her body was paralyzed and she could not move it. The woman had suffered of this condition and high general weakness for almost two years. She took a variety of medications prescribed by doctors. The lesions did not heal and she could not move her limbs due to stiff joints. She listened to a piece of advice given by someone and made a pledge to Barbora. Soon, she started feeling better and could freely mover her joints. The terrible weakness ailing the woman also disappeared. (Entry No. 53).
14. June 6, 1870. Elžbieta Valcienė of Naikiai Village, Viekšniai Parish, Šiauliai Region, had been frightened so much, her hands started shaking. She had suffered for six long months. Neither natural remedies nor homeopathy helped her. She made vows at various holy sites famous for miracles and, yet, no relief came. After pledging to Barbora, the shaking stopped and she had no relapse. (Entry No. 55).
15. May 30, 1873. Uršulė Šukiūtė, daughter of laborers Vincentas and Marijona of Juodeikiai Village, Šiauliai Region, suddenly came down with a headache and heart failure, experiencing shortness of breath every other minute. Her mother prayed to God to help Uršulė get better through the intercession of Barbora. When the girl woke, she told her mother: “Let’s go, mom.” She asked, “Where to?” and her daughter replied, “To Žagarė.” When the mother asked Uršulė why they should go there, the girl said: “Someone told me that I will get better by Sunday.” As of that miraculous moment, Uršulė started feeling better and eventually made a full recovery. (Entry No. 73).
16. June 14, 1873. Uršulė Gutinaitienė of Pagramantis Town, Raseiniai Region, Kaunas Governorate, had been suffering from contracture of legs for four months. No medication prescribed by doctors helped. Having made a pledge to the miraculous Barbora of Žagarė, she felt better on the third day and then made a full recovery some time later. (Entry No. 75).
H00-H59. DISEASES OF THE EYE AND ADNEXA
1. June 16, 1857. Emilija Eigvilaitė of Salantai Parish, Telšiai Region, Jogeliškė Area, had been suffering from terrible eye pain for several months and could not see properly. As soon as she gave a promise to the blessed Barbora, the pain stopped, the dangerous and treacherous disease retreated and the blindness was healed. (Entry No. 4).
2. June 12, 1859. Domicėlė Ulbaitė of Alsėdžiai Parish, Telšiai Region, had been suffering from an eye disease for many years almost from when she was but a baby. No pieces of advice on how to get better helped her. However, soon after making a pledge to Barbora, the woman recovered. (Entry No. 7).
3. July 27, 1859. Petronėlė Čekauskienė of Gegrėnai Town, Telšiai Region, had some sort of a severe eye disease for seven years. None of the recommendations given by doctors helped and the ailment would have taken her sight forever before long – the woman could hardly see the road under her feet. Yet, after pledging to Barbora renowned far and wide for her miracles, her sight started improving so rapidly that she came to Žagarė with no accompanying person to fulfill her promise and pray to Barbora. (Entry No. 9).
4. May 12, 1860. Domestic servant Feliksas Novickis of Šliupčiai Village, Kuršėnai Parish, Šiauliai Region had an incurable clouding of the lens in the eye (cataract). He once dreamed of an old man who told him to go to the blessed Barbora renowned for her miracles and buried in the crypts of the Old Žagarė Church. The man said he would then regain his sight. Feliksas vowed to do so and immediately got better. Later, he went to Žagarė to fulfill his promise. (Entry No. 13).
5. May 27, 1861. Ona Majevska and Agnietė Každailaitė of Alsėdžiai Town, Telšiai Region, told of how they both had had eye problems for a long time. After making a pledge to Barbora, the pain in the eyes ceased. (Entry No. 20).
6. August 29, 1862. Marcijona Jankauskienė of Lieplaukė Town, Telšiai Region, had eye pain for about a year and unbearable headaches. Medications were of no help. Having made a promise to the blessed Barbora known far and wide for her miracles and laid to rest in the crypts of the Old Žagarė Church, Marcijona soon felt much better. (Entry No. 29).
7. October 18, 1867. Antanas Soroka, a manor servant in Pagedotis Estate in Raseiniai Parish and Region, had suffered from near-total visual impairment for four years. After making a promise to the blessed Barbora, Antanas felt better. Four months later, he had almost regained his full sight and came to Žagarė to fulfill his promise to pay respect to the remains of Barbora and thank God for his miracles achieved through the intercession of his saints. (Entry No. 38).
8. May 29, 1868. Elžbieta Kondrotaitė of Veiviržėnai Parish, Telšiai Region, had been suffering from severe eye pain and leg joint pain for almost a year. For a long time, she has been taking medications prescribed by doctors. There was no relief. After making a promise to Barbora, Elžbieta experienced a slow recovery. Her eyes recovered almost fully within three months and the pain subsided to the point where she could fulfill her promise. (Entry No. 41).
9. September 21, 1868. Magdalena Rūkštelienė, a widow from Girkalnis Town and Parish, Raseiniai Region, had been blind for two years. No home remedies helped. At the end of the second year of her disease, Magdalena made a vow to the blessed Barbora. Her vision improved immediately. (Entry No. 42).
10. September 21, 1868. Petronėlė Giedraitytė of Girkalnis Town and Parish, Raseiniai Region, had been suffering from eye pain for more than two years. She also had a lesion on her neck looking like a boil or tumor. The malady manifesting in two forms caused her unbearable pain day and night. Neither home remedies nor prescribed medications helped. Then, someone told Petronėlė to make a vow to the blessed Barbora. Having done exactly so, the woman soon felt relief in her eyes and the boil burst open. Petronėlė recovered almost fully. (Entry No. 43).
11. July 18, 1869. Kunigunda Baranauskienė of Varniai Town, Telšiai Region, lost her eyesight in a fire. There was no hope that the doctors would help her. As soon as they witnessed the damaged eyes of Kunigunda, the people would say: “Only a miracle could ever heal that”. And so it happened. The medications Kunigunda had taken for three months were of no help. When all human efforts failed her, Kunigunda decided to seek the help of God. She recalled Barbora of the Old Žagarė, whose miracles Kunigunda had heard of ever since she was a child, and wished to see her. Having thought so, Kunigunda gave a vow: “Were her eyes to heal quickly, she would visit the grave of Barbora to fulfill the given vow”. She felt better immediately and her eyesight returned slowly within the next six weeks, as if the cloudiness in her eyes was clearing up. To the great surprise of everyone who knew of her, Kunigunda recovered fully and fulfilled her promise to Barbora. (Entry No. 46).
12. June 5, 1870. Teodora Malonjenkaitė of Viekšniai Town, Šiauliai Region, had been suffering unbearable eye pain. For over four years, the lenses of her eyes had been clouded. No home remedies or prescriptions helped. However, soon after making a vow, the pain subsided, her eyes cleared up and she could see as sharply as before. (Entry No. 54).
13. June 6, 1870. Rozalija Mickutė of Joniškėlis Town, Šiauliai Region, suffered from pain in her eyes. The eyes were swollen shut so tightly that she was unable to walk unaided. The condition had lasted for half a year. After making a pledge to Barbora, Rozalija immediately felt better and fully recovered. (Entry No. 58).
14. December 21, 1872. Jonas Paulauskis, a manor servant of Luokė, Šiauliai Region, brought half a ruble as an offering to Barbora on behalf of Bogomila Valantinaitė, a Lutheran who had had eye pain for years. She made the offering to Barbora with an unshakable belief and soon got better. (Entry No. 71).
15. June 26, 1873. Viktorija Paragaitytė of Endriejavas Town and Parish, Raseiniai Region, had severe eye pain. She had been treated by doctors for three years but the disease still persisted. One night, Viktorija had a dream of visiting the crypt of Barbora in Žagarė. There, she prayed to Barbora to intercede and ask God to return the light of day to her eyes. Barbora told the suffering woman to come closer and as the latter did so, she ran her hands over Viktorija’s eyes. It was as if some sort of a veil was lifted from her yes. When she woke, Viktorija felt much better. The pain stopped and her vision returned to normal. (Entry No. 76).
16. July 10, 1873. Magdalena Lydienė of Viešvėnai Town and Parish, Raseiniai Region, had been suffering from severe eye pain for about 16 years. No remedy, either home or prescribed ones, helped her. She made a vow to Barbora of Žagarė, yet, she failed to fulfill it. Thus, Magdalena had not gotten any better for two long years. Later she went to seek aid from doctors again but when Magdalena finally recovered, she admitted that her health was restored by God through the intercession of the blessed Barbora. (Entry No. 77).
17. June 30, 1879. Uršulė Pilypaitė of Tauragė Parish shelter for the elderly and the poor, Raseiniai Region, lost her eyesight when she was 5 years old. For 14 long years, she had remained blind. Uršulė had tried both home remedies and medications prescribed by doctors, but none helped. When she made a vow to the blessed Barbora, Uršulė soon started feeling better, yet, she forgot her promise. Her eyes clouded over once again. Uršulė then recalled she had failed to fulfill what she had promised to do. She felt great faith rise in her heart and rushed to fulfill her vow without further ado. On the fourth day of her quest, she felt immensely better, and when Uršulė reached Žagarė, she realized that she had recovered fully. (Entry No. 79).
18. May 16, 1875. Marijona Drazdauskienė of Sintautai (?) Parish, Sejny Diocese, the Kingdom of Poland, had had her eyes clouded over for many years. She took the advice of a neighbor girl to heart and addressed the blessed Barbora with a plea for help. Marijona vowed she would circle Barbora’s coffin on her knees. Immediately, she saw the light of day which brought her much confusion at first – Marijona could hardly believe she had regained her eyesight. From that day on, she could see clearly and the blindness tormenting her for seven years had disappeared completely. (Entry No. 82).
19. August 19, 1876. Mačikauskienė of Pryšmančiai Village, Žigaičiai Parish, Raseiniai Region, had been blind for 12 years. Her eyes were severely damaged and she suffered from bulging of her eyes anteriorly out of the orbit (proptosis). She tried both natural remedies and medications prescribed by doctors. Nothing helped. As soon as she made a pledge to the blessed Barbora of Žagarė, Mačikauskienė immediately felt relief in her eyes and could see better. (Entry No. 84).
20. August 5, 1883. Pranciška Skiparovova of Akmenė Town had been suffering from unbearable eye pain for five years. The doctors suggested excising one eye to preserve the other from going blind. Pranciška refused. Then, her mother told her: “You see now, no medications can help you. You need to pray to God through the intercession of his saints, to believe strongly in his mercy and to pledge to the blessed Barbora buried in the crypt of the church. Request a mass and pay 1 ruble and then walk to the Old Žagarė on foot”. Pranciška did as she was told. The pain subsided within two weeks and though one of her eyes was not recovered, the other one was fully healed. All of this occurred on the Feast of Saint Peter (June 29). (Entry No. 87).
H60-H95. DISEASES OF THE EAR AND MASTOID PROCESS
1. September 28, 1923. Ona Sukaitė, daughter to Mateušas and Ona, of Draginiai Village, Papilė Parish, came to the Old Žagarė to fulfill her promise to Barbora and thank God for healing her ears. The 27-year-old woman told that she had been unable to hear anything for half a year. The doctors claimed that she would never regain her hearing. She stopped taking any medications. Sometime around Easter (in 1923) she made a vow to visit the grave of Barbora and say a prayer. She did not even feel how the buzzing in her ears quieted down and her hearing returned to her gradually. (Entry No. 91).
I00-I99. DISEASES OF THE CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
1. July 30, 1859. Barbora Urbanavičiūtė of Tytuvėnai Parish shelter for the elderly and the poor, Raseiniai Region, had been covered in lesions for five years. She could not rise from the bed and the wounds were so deep that her bones could be seen protruding out. After making a vow to Barbora famous for her miracles, the wounds began to heal. Two months later, she could stand up and even walk. (Entry No. 10).
2. June 26, 1860. Leonas Jonušas, of Patyris Village, Endriejavas Parish, Raseiniai Region, had an ulcer in his leg that caused him unbearable pain. The lesion did not heal for one and a half year. As soon as Leonas gave a vow to the blessed Barbora, he started feeling better. The man made a full recovery within six weeks. (Entry No. 16).
3. May 16, 1864. Agnietė Žukauskienė of Stripiniai Village, Ylakiai Parish, Telšiai Region, had been suffering from lesions in her legs for three years. After making a promise, she immediately recovered. (Entry No. 31).
4. July 6, 1865. Antanina Suveikaitė of Salaučiai (?) Village, Židikai Parish, Telšiai Region, had been suffering from leg pain for three years and could hardly walk. Having made a promise to Barbora, Antanina immediately felt better. The pain disappeared and the wounds started healing. (Entry No. 37).
5. June 15, 1870. Ona Baškutė of Pabutkalnis Village, Užventis Parish, Šiauliai Region, got so frightened of a rabid dog that very painful lesions opened up on her arms and legs. The lesions were so deep that bones could be seen protruding out of the skin. The disease lasted for 10 years. No medications helped and visiting various sacral places gave no results either. When she gave linen sleeves to make clothing for Barbora, Ona immediately felt the pain recede. The wounds started healing and the woman made a full recovery in six months. (Entry No. 59).
6. May 14, 1873. Monika Klimavičiūtė of Varniai Town had had lesions on her arms and legs for almost eight years so deep that the bones could be seen. Some stranger who saw her in this state gave her a piece of advice and told to make a vow or give an offering to Barbora of Žagarė who was renowned for her miracles. As soon as she did so, Monika started feeling better. The pain quickly subsided and the wounds began to heal. She recovered in six months, though scars remained. One of her legs had been swelled for a longer period of time but the woman felt no pain. (Entry No. 72).
7. July 4, 1874. Barbora Trinkienė of Rudikiai Homestead, Papilė Parish, Šiauliai Region, had had lesions on her leg for several years. The doctors decided the leg was beyond saving and suggested amputation as no medications could help by that point. Three days after she pledged to Barbora, the woman felt the unbearable pain subside and the wounds started to heal. (Entry No. 80).
8. July 15, 1923. Michalina Paškevičienė and her mother Marcijona Martinkienė came to Žagarė from Telšiai Region to fulfill their vows to the blessed Barbora. For some time now, Michalina had been suffering from a horrible disease: large wounds had opened up in her legs and bones had started to shatter and protrude outwards causing unbearable pain. The woman had sought help from doctors; alas, it was all for naught. When the two learned of the blessed Barbora, they made a vow to come to the Old Žagarė. The women said a prayer next to Barbora’s coffin and then washed the wounded legs with crystal clear water. The lesions started diminishing, the pain subsided and receded and the leg became strong enough for the woman to walk on foot. (Entry No. 90).
9. May 4, 1880. Ieva Bernotaitė of Šilalė Parish, Raseiniai Region, had been tormented by unbearable pain for two years. Her entire body was covered in lesions which could not be healed by any medications or doctors. Taking home remedies or visiting sacral places did not help either. As soon as she made a vow to the blessed Barbora buried in the crypt of the Old Žagarė Church, Ieva saw her wounds start to heal and her health return her. Three weeks later, she could return to work and felt no signs of pain or weakness. (Entry No. 86).
K00-K93. DISEASES OF THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
1. May 15, 1856. Konstancija Pšialgovska of Kalvarija Town, Telšiai Region, came to Žagarė to fulfill her promise to Barbora. Prior to this testimony, she confessed her sins and prepared to give an honest retelling of how she had suffered unbearable spasms for several months and then felt much better and recovered after making a promise to the blessed Barbora. (Entry No. 2).
2. May 12, 1865. Domicėlė Toliušytė of Karklėnai Filial Church, Pašilė Parish, Raseiniai Region, Kaunas Governorate, had been suffering from unbearable toothache. The pain stopped immediately after making a vow. However, when Domicėlė decided to fulfill her promise through another person rather than do it herself, the toothache returned. She made another vow and then fulfilled them both. (Entry No. 34).
L00-L99. DISEASES OF THE SKIN AND SUBCUTANEOUS TISSUE
1. May 15, 1859. Agota Girdvainienė of Kalvarija Town, Telšiai Region, had been suffering from Polish plait since her youth. Her face was blotched in crayfish-shaped rose spots. She also felt severe bone pain. After making a vow to the blessed Barbora, the blotches on her face started disappearing and the bone pain diminished. (Entry No. 5).
2. May 29, 1861. Barbora Banevičiūtė of Eigaliai Village, Kurtuvėnai Parish, Šiauliai Region, had a swollen face and neck for half a year. No medications helped. The swelling receded as soon as the woman made a pledge to the blessed Barbora famous for her miracles. When she thought about ignoring her promise, a boil emerged on her leg. (Entry No. 19).
3. Eufemija Stanevičienė, a widow from Jurgialaukis (?) Village, Seda Parish, Telšiai Region, suffered from a boil on the face that refused to heal. The doctors decided that she would die from this boil. After a vow to the blessed Barbora renowned for her miracles and buried in the crypt of the Old Žagarė Church, the boil burst open and the woman recovered. (Entry No. 25).
4. October 26, 1885. Jonas Klema, a young single man from Vailabai Village, Viduklė Parish, Raseiniai Region, Kaunas Governorate, had been suffering from a sore on his face for an entire year. Almost all of his teeth fell out and neither prescriptions/ advices by the doctors nor visiting sacral places helped. However, as soon as he pledged to the blessed Barbora, Jonas started feeling better and recovered fully in several weeks. (Entry No. 88).
5. January 23, 1886. Barbora Kabelienė of Baltrimai Village, Ylakiai Community, Šačiai Parish, Telšiai Region, got frightened so hard when she was but a child that very painful leprous red blotches occurred on her face. Neither regional nor military doctors could prescribe any effective medication or determine the specific disease tormenting the woman. Then, some beggar who once had a similar red blotch told of how she made a vow to Barbora buried in the crypt of Žagarė Church and then got better. The woman listened to the beggar and, three weeks after making a vow to Barbora, she started feeling better and made a full recovery. (Entry No. 89).
6. September 18, 1937. Mikalina Urmonaitė of Žagarė visited the Old Žagarė Clergy House and told how back in 1914 she had some sort of a nose disease. Her nose would swell and become excessively red and painful. She did not visit any doctors. She grew very sick and tired of the disease and so, in 1927, she walked on foot from Buivydžiai Village to Žagarė, where the St. Peter Feast was celebrated. After confession she said a prayer and recovered from her disease on the third day. She has not fallen ill again for 10 years. (Entry No. 95).
M00-M99. DISEASES OF THE MUSCULOSKELETAL SYSTEM AND CONNECTIVE TISSUE
1. June 26, 1860. Ona Petrauskienė of Patyris Village, Endriejavas Parish, Raseiniai Region, had been suffering from unbearable leg pain for twenty years. After making a vow to the blessed Barbora renowned for her miracles, Ona immediately started feeling better and the pain disappeared completely. (Entry No. 15).
2. May 28, 1861. Domicėlė Sulaitė of Plungė Town, Telšiai Region, had been suffering from unbearable bone pain for many years. Even though she made an offerings at various sacral places and listened to the advice of the doctors, nothing could alleviate the pain. However, as soon as she made a vow to the blessed Barbora renowned for her miracles and buried in the crypt of the Old Žagarė Church, Domicėlė felt relief, the pain stopped and she made a full recovery in four weeks. (Entry No. 18).
3. June 17, 1861. Vincentas Jordanas of Gedaičiai Village, Tirkšliai Parish, Telšiai Region, had been suffering from leg pain for several years. No medical advice helped. After making a vow to Barbora renowned for her miracles, he soon got better. (Entry No. 22).
4. June 29, 1861. Barbora Vaseraitė of Paukys Village, Seda Parish, Telšiai Region, had been suffering from swollen legs and unbearable leg pain for half a year. She immediately recovered after making a promise to the blessed Barbora buried in the crypt of the Old Žagarė Church. (Entry No. 23).
5. May 26, 1862. Leonas Račkauskas of Visdargiai Village, Kuršėnai Parish, Šiauliai Region, had a hernia. He took medicine as advised by a homeopathist but nothing helped. Having made a vow to the blessed Barbora renowned for her miracles, Leonas recovered within two months. (Entry No. 24).
6. August 26, 1862. Ieva Šaveskytė of Viduklė Parish, Raseiniai Region, had been suffering from an ailment for five years: her legs were swollen and covered in red blotches. She also felt pain in her arms, which radiated to her head and later on to her joints and veins. Treatment was ineffective. After making a vow to the blessed Barbora renowned for her miracles, Ieva felt immediate relief: the pain diminished, the red blotches disappeared and the swelling got reduced. The woman recovered almost fully in six weeks and could travel over fifteen miles to fulfill her promise. (Entry No. 28).
7. June 28, 1865. Barbora Steponavičiūtė of Gonplaukis Village, Rietavas Parish, Telšiai Region, had been suffering from immense pain in arms and legs for a year. After making a vow to the blessed Barbora renowned for her miracles, she immediately felt better, the ache diminished and she could soon come to Žagarė to fulfill her promise. (Entry No. 36).
8. February 1, 1868. Anastazija Lukšienė of Šaukliai Village, Mosėdis Parish, Telšiai Region, had been suffering from unbearable leg pain in the area of the right hip for three months. She was tormented so much that for eight weeks Anastazija had been unable to lie on her side. Someone told her that a physician lived in Seda Town capable of successfully healing various aches and sores. Anastazija immediately prepared for a trip, even though she was unable to as much as climb into the carriage herself. The doctor have her medicinal powder to drink and an ointment to rub into the aching spots. Drinking the powdered medicine made her go very weak. Anastazija began to think she would not be able to bear it and would die before she came home. Her son who took her to the doctor asked Anastazija to make a vow to the blessed Barbora in Žagarė famous far and wide for her miracles. Moments after the mother and son both made the vow, the ailing woman started feeling much better. She was even capable of eating a bagel and felt a lot healthier. When the two entered the courtyard, their relatives welcomed the sick woman home with crutches as they had done when she left. However, Anastazija said, “Let me show you that I can get off the carriage without your help”. And show she did. That entire night she could sleep freely on any side. Anastazija told of this miraculous recovery when she came to Žagarė to fulfill her promise. (Entry No. 40).
9. September 24, 1869. Barbora Vaičiūnaitytė of Girkalnis Town and Parish, Raseiniai Administrative Unit, suffered from unbearable joint pain and nothing helped her. She then made a promise to the blessed Barbora. The suddenly decreased joint pain relocated to her head. The woman was so sick that she could no longer keep her promise. Distraught, she talked about this to her friends. Around four weeks later, Barbora herself surrounded by other saints came to her in a dream one night, cradled the woman’s head in her hands and said, “Go where you promised to go”. Upon waking the woman realized neither her head nor joints were aching. She fulfilled her promise and no pain whatsoever troubled her. (Entry No. 49).
10. October 24, 1869. Anelė Vaitkevičiūtė, a 42-year-old woman of Petrošiai Homestead, Šiaulėnai Parish, Šiauliai Region, had been suffering from rheumatism of both arms and fingers for several years to the point where she was unable to extend her arms. She consulted several doctors but all of them told Anelė the same – there are no medication from rheumatism. However, soon after making a promise to Barbora, Anelė felt much better: she could move her fingers and the rheumatic ache slowly disappeared. (Entry No. 50).
11. June 15, 1870. Elena Čerbaitė of Bambalai Village, Užventis Parish, Šiauliai Region, had been suffering from unbearable leg pain and had been unable to walk for seven long years. She took medications prescribed by several doctors. Yet, instead of diminishing, the pain only grew. Visiting holy sites known for miracles did not help either. Having made a promise to make an offering to Barbora in the form of a pair of socks, Elena soon felt relief. The pain disappeared within a week and she grew strong enough to walk to the church located 10 versts (approximately 6.6 miles) away and bring the promised offering. (Entry No. 60).
12. June 16, 1870. Antanas Barkus of Žiburiai Village, Seda Parish, Telšiai Region, had been suffering from unbearable leg pain for two long years. Neither home remedies nor advice by doctors helped. One night he dreamed of Barbora who asked the man if he wanted to be healthy once again. Then, she took off her socks and put them on Antanas’ feet. Then, the blessed Barbora said, “Come to Žagarė and bring me my socks”. When he woke, Antanas felt no pain and made a full recovery. He came to Žagarė and thanked God for his returned health through the intercession of the blessed Barbora. (Entry No. 61).
13. June 5, 1871. Ona Urbonienė of Kalvarija Town suffered from inhuman leg pain. She had been taking medication for six months with no results. However, as soon as she pledged herself to the blessed Barbora, her legs stopped aching immediately and the woman made a full recovery. (Entry No. 64).
14. June 3, 1873. Liudgarda Butkevičiūtė of Tičinai Village, Seda Parish, Telšiai Region, had been suffering from unbearable headache and bone pain followed by a swollen nose for two years. No medications helped. Someone advised her to pray to Barbora. Liudgarda did exactly that, promising to visit Barbora’s grave if she were to recover soon. At that very moment, the woman felt the pain recede and made a full recovery. (Entry No. 74).
15. June 3, 1929. Ona Jonaitytė, a twenty-year-old woman of Rozalimas Town had been sick since early childhood: she could not move due to some joint disease and had been unable to walk at all until she turned 5 years old. She took therapeutic baths and while these treatments helper her slightly, Ona remained so weak that she would fall as soon as she took a step. Having made a vow to the blessed Barbora, Ona became much stronger and recovered to the point that she managed to travel from Rozalimas to Žagarė on foot in but a day and a half. (Entry No. 94).
N00-N99. DISEASES OF THE GENITOURINARY SYSTEM
1. June 29, 1869. Ona, the daughter of Elžbieta Stumbrienė of Auksūdis Village, Laižuva Parish, Šiauliai Region, had been ill for an entire year and had been suffering from unbearable inner pain. It felt like tuberculosis coupled with breathlessness and sometimes she was unable to urinate. No medication helped and the poor woman did not know what to do. Then, she thought about making a vow to the blessed Barbora renowned for her miracles and buried in the Old Žagarė. Having done so, the stone which was the underlying reason of her illness passed out of her body. (Entry No. 45).
O00-O99. PREGNANCY, CHILDBIRTH AND THE PUERPERIUM
1. August 16, 1859. Petronėlė Venckienė of Gečaičiai Village, Kalvarija Parish, Telšiai Region, had been heavily ill after a traumatic delivery. After making a promise to the blessed Barbora known far and wide for her miracles, she felt immediate relief and started getting better. (Entry No. 11).
Q00-Q99. CONGENITAL MALFORMATIONS, DEFORMATIONS AND CHROMOSOMAL ABNORMALITIES
1. May 2, 1853. Ona, wife to the noble Liudvikas Moscickis of Maldeniai Manor, Tryškiai Parish, Šiauliai Region, told how her disease was considered untreatable by the medics: she had been suffering and taking medications for over a year with no results. As soon ashe made a vow to the blessed Barbora, Ona immediately felt better and made a full recovery. (Entry No. 1).
2. January 19, 1871. Bronytė, niece of Marijona Goštautaitė of Šimuliai Village, Kuliai Parish, Telšiai Region, had been weak ever since her birth: her head was lumpy and her legs ached with unbearable pain. The disease had not let up for 4 years. Neither home remedies nor prescriptions by doctors helped or gave any hope. However, after making a promise to Barbora, Bronytė felt miraculous relief, the pain stopped, the girl started getting better and soon made a full recovery. Bronytė and her aunt came to Žagarė together to fulfill the given promise. They prayed in the crypt next to the mortal remains of Barbora and attended the holy mass in the Žagarė Church to thank God for his grace through the intercession of Barbora. (Entry No. 62).
3. October 27, 1871. Janis Brinkis, Latvian citizen of Alkiškiai Village, Akmenė Parish, Šiauliai Region, had a two-year-old son Augustinas who had been ill ever since birth. Neither home remedies nor medical advice helped. As Janis lived in Samogitia among Catholics, he had had heard about the blessed Barbora of Žagarė who made miracles happen. He promised to give an offering of one ruble while firmly believing that his son would get better. And so it did. The boy started feeling better and soon recovered fully. (Entry No. 67).
4. June 20, 1874. Petronėlė Kazlauskaitė of Pašatrija Village, Luokė Parish, Telšiai Region, had been unable to work ever since her birth, though she was already three years old. Four days after making a vow to the blessed Barbora of Žagarė, the girl started walking. (Entry No. 78).
5. June 5, 1871. Ona Labžentienė of Kalvarija Town, Telšiai Region, had been sick with hydrocephalus for over half a year. She had been unable to control her own body and had been so weak she was close to death. Someone gave a piece of advice to cover the sick woman with a ribbon of the blessed Barbora. As soon as this was done, the disease left the body of Ona, her legs stopped hurting and she made a full recovery. (Entry No. 63).
S00-S98. INJURY, POISONING AND CERTAIN OTHER CONSEQUENCES OF EXTERNAL CAUSES
1. April 25, 1925. Barbora Milevičienė of Purviai Village, Papilė Parish, Old Žagarė Rectory, told how her fifteen-year-old nephew Jonas Lastauskas of Akmenė was hit by a stray bullet in the Old Žagarė in 1894. He was taken to Joniškis to be attended by the doctors but the latter decided that the young boy had barely three hours left to live. Having hear the verdict, Jonas immediately started praying to Barbora for help. He soon fell asleep as he had grown very weak from the wound. When Jonas woke up in the morning, he felt perfectly fine – neither the wound not the bullet stuck in his body gave him any pain. The doctors soon released him home. The bullet remained where it was in his body as it posed no danger to the life of the boy. (Entry No. 92).
Z00-Z99. FACTORS INFLUENCING HEALTH STATUS
1. May 12, 1865. Kotryna Toliušytė of Pašilė Parish, Karklėnai Filial Church, Raseiniai Region, had been suffering from a strong pain in breasts and high weakness for two years. She would feel weak to the point of fainting and was unable to even walk. Having made a vow to the blessed Barbora, she started feeling better. (Entry No. 33).
2. September 22, 1869. Domicėlė, wife to Jonas Paulauskis, of Plungė Parish, Telšiai Region, had been suffering from strange weakness for seven years: she would suddenly get fevers leaving her absolutely weak. She followed medical advice without any care for the cost but no relief came. Domicėlė had also visited many holy sites renowned for miracles till, finally, she decided to pray to the blessed Barbora. Soon after doing so, the weakness disappeared altogether. Domicėlė told of this when she came to fulfill her promise, i.e. to request holy mass and pray at Barbora’s grave. (Entry No. 48).
3. June 6, 1871. Domicėlė Urbonienė of Paburgė Village, Alsėdžiai Parish, Telšiai Region, got so frightened that she started suffering from immense headaches to the point of losing consciousness and from stomachaches. She paid 7 rubles in silver to the doctors but her condition remained the same. As soon as she gave a vow to the blessed Barbora, Domicėlė started feeling better and made a full recovery. (Entry No. 65).
4. June 16, 1872. Barbora Kontrimaitė of Lozoriai Village, Rietavas Parish, Raseiniai Region, had been suffering from atrophy and high weakness for eight years. She had been taking the prescribed medications and home remedies for a long time but none helped. The woman also took to visiting sites considered miraculous but her health did not improve. Yet, after making a promise to the blessed Barbora known far and wide for her miracles, the sick woman felt better immediately and soon made a full recovery. (Entry No. 69).
5. June 28, 1872. Antanina Šaltanienė of Sodalė Village, Kražiai Parish, Raseiniai Region, had been sick for 3 years. She had been bedridden and suffering from immense pain everywhere in her body. The disease only grew stronger and no medications helped. One night she dreamed of a voice saying, “Go to Žagarė and visit the blessed Barbora. Then, you will be healthy once again.” Antanina believed in her dream and promised to visit the place. The pain started receding and soon the woman came to Žagarė to fulfill her promise. (Entry No. 70).
6. April 25, 1925. Ona Pračkienė residing in England had been heavily ill. Right before Christmas of 1924, the doctors recommended her to undergo a surgery or she wouldn’t survive. The surgery was a complex one and the woman refused. The mother of Ona made a vow to the blessed Barbora and so did her daughter as well. Both thanked God that Ona remained healthy and no longer needed the surgery, and also to Barbora for her powerful intercession before the Lord. (Entry No. 93).
TRUE TO LIFE STORIES
1. October 18, 1867. Aleksandra Choževska, a widow and doctor of Kražiai Parish, Raseiniai Region, was attacked by two robbers. Hoping to preserve her own life, Aleksandra gave the men everything she had on herself – her money and a gold ring. Yet, the robbers did not let their victim go and decided to kill her. One of them grabbed the woman by her throat while the other searched for a rope. At this moment of horrific fear, the doctor managed to make a vow to Barbora. At once, the robber assaulting her seemed to freeze in place, his hand holding Aleksandra by the neck released her and thought the other hand still held onto her cloak, the grip was weak. With new hope rekindled by the miraculous help from Barbora, Aleksandra used the last of her strength to slip out of the cloak and the hands of the robber. She discarded her cloak and hid in the thick of the forest in the middle of a dark night.
It was summer-time and not that long ago
That she took a forest trail to fulfill her doctor’s oath.
The sun had set and shadows had covered the ground
As the night encroached flooding her full with doubt.
Troubled thoughts plagued her mind while on the road
When a bandit pounced and grabbed her by the throat.
“Oh Jesus Christ, sweet Mary, mother of God!” she cried
As she pleaded at the man and begged for her life.
Silver and gold she offered in heaps but all for naught
For the bandits were to hang her without a second thought.
“Go grab some ropes,” one yelled in glee as the woman prayed,
“Oh holy Barbora, your miracles great all the people praise
Your mercy knows no bounds, so help this widow now.”
As soon as the name holy was uttered with belief profound
The clutching fingers of the bandit gave out
She took it as the sign from the saints up above
And escaped the fate of death at the bandit’s hand.
“Praise be to the Lord almighty, I thank thee humbly,
For your saving grace has rescued me from a crime so heinous,
I hereby swear to proclaim this deed to all the people gracious
Every morning I wake till I close my eyes for sleep eternal
Now, and always, and to the ages of ages.”
(Entry No. 39).
2. December 14, 1940. Sister Marija Scholastika of Kaunas (Daughters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary) came to the Old Žagarė Rectory and told of the story of twenty-one-year-old Sister Teresė who visited her in Kaunas. Sister Teresė was preparing to take her vows. First, she had to perform the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola for eight days, which she had completed at 2 PM on December 8. Teresė gave her vows early in the morning and went to go to watch the Eucharistic adoration in the church; however, she was not feeling so good and laid down to rest as instructed by the Reverend Mother. Sister Teresė died that very same evening around 7 PM. On the night of December 8, the Revered Mother dreamt of Sister Teresė. She asked the late sister, “To whom should we pray for our land of Lithuania?” Sister Teresė replied, “You have your own saint by the name of Barborą Žagarietė, pray to her.” When she woke, Reverend Mother could not recall either the first or family name of the saint as she had never heard of Barbora of Žagarė before. For a long time, she had not mentioned the dream to anyone. On December 9, however, the subconscious mind of the Reverend Mother seemed to keep repeating that the saint was called Barbora. This was later confirmed by Father Kudirka, a priest who had known of the blessed Barbora of Žagarė. The Reverend Mother sent me here to Žagarė to pray and to report this incident. Recorded by Rev(d). K. Gedvila. (Entry No. 97).
GRACES OF GOD
RECORDED AFTER 1940
F00-F99. MENTAL AND BEHAVIOURAL DISORDERS
1. Stasė Daunoraitė-Grinienė (DOB: 14-NOV-1956):
My friend Rūta was a widow. She had one son Laurynas but she had difficulties raising and nurturing the child. Laurynas had attempted to poison himself as many as 3 times. Incidentally, it was the day of saying goodbye to Rev(d). Vytautas Grigaravičius holding his last holy mass. My husband and I went around to visit my friend. We found their home full of gas and Laurynas had already been unconscious. We brought Laurynas out of the room. Back then, he was barely 14 years old. That day, the crypt of Barbora was open. I pleaded with Barborą to help Laurynas find inner peace and his own road in life. I simply knelt there weeping and kept begging. Slowly, bit by bit, Laurynas changed immensely. He graduated from a higher education institution in Šiauliai and then enrolled and graduated from another one. I believe that God is truly all-powerful but I am too small to ask him anything directly. To me, Barbora has always been a sister who stayed nearby, even though invisible. I have constantly felt her protection. My belief in God first came through Barbora.
2. Liucija Domicelė Ginkutė (DOB: 02-JAN-1935):
I have lived in Skaistgiris since 1966. I was the sixth child in my family. My father was rather ill; he had been stamped on by a horse and his arm was broken. Thus, no one really had the time to supervise me closely or pay to me much attention. Ever since I was small, I had to take care of geese. Once, we led young foal to the pasture. I got scared by a foal and did not return home. I was six and the fright let such a trauma on me that I remained an invalid: I had gotten erysipelas in my hip. Later, the infection transferred to my face. My eyes became overly puffy and my lips were so thick they looked swollen. My face looked horrible. I would hide in my house to avoid being seen by the neighbors. When I was around 14 years old, I head a neighbor mention that Barbora of Žagarė was famous for her miracles. As the war had already been over, I made a trip to Žagarė without telling anyone anything. I asked around and people told me where I could find Barbora. For a very long time I stayed in the crypt praying to Barbora to treat my face. I did not even think that I could have asked her to heal my leg. At that time, my outer appearance seemed the most important thing in the world. Whether you believe it or not, my face returned to normal a month later: my eyes were wide and my lips normal with no part of my face swollen. I was immensely grateful to Barbora. My father, however, had already been dead and so he could not witness my joy.
H00-H59. DISEASES OF THE EYE AND ADNEXA
1. Valentina Adomaitytė-Janutienė (DOB: 12-FEB-1932):
Stanislova Jonutytė told of a blind boy who lived in Žagarė. The doctors were unable to help the child. The boy was saved from eternal blindness by his mother’s prayer to Barbora. The miracle occurred around 1927. Back then, the boy’s mother sold a cow and gave the received money as an offering to the church and a thank-you for the miraculous healing of her son’s blindness. Prior to examinations and on September 1, school children would go around the coffin of Barbora in the church crypt with masonry floors on their knees several times. Both the teachers and the students would visit Barbora’s coffin and all of them would solemnly pray.
2. Rev(d). Jordanas Urbonas (DOB: 24-SEP-1959): The residents of Žagarė would tell stories of miraculous recovery of a blind woman from Usoniai Village, Raseiniai District. The story came from the times Smetona ruled the land.
3. Emilija Vasiliauskaitė-Žemeckienė (DOB: 26-OCT-1920):
My mother once told about an old woman from Žagarė who was blind and unable to walk at all. The old woman prayed to St. Barbora and soon began to see and walk without any surgeries. Everyone said it was miracle. This happened sometime around 1936.
L00-L99. DISEASES OF THE SKIN AND SUBCUTANEOUS TISSUE
1. Liudvina Kigaitė-Baltulienė (DOB: 05-MAR-1925):
My sister had a large blotch on her face. She visited a number of doctors and took so many medications! Nothing helped. Mother said to try and pray to Barbora. She did exactly so and did not even notice how quick the blotch disappeared. This happened sometime before the war.
O00-O99. PREGNANCY, CHILDBIRTH AND THE PUERPERIUM
1. Stasė Daunoraitė-Grinienė (DOB: 14-NOV-1956):
My mother was pregnant when a tumor grew in her uterus. Uterine cancer and pregnancy all at the same time. My mother had to choose to either have a surgery or try to carry the baby to the term leaving the tumor alone. I was five years old then. I remember my mother praying at the coffin of Barbora and crying a lot. She refused the surgery. In 1962, she gave birth to my sister Vida. The tumor went away by itself.
S00-S98. INJURY, POISONING AND CERTAIN OTHER CONSEQUENCES OF EXTERNAL CAUSES
1. Juozas Adomaitis (DOB: 07-JUN-1928):
A tractor trailer fell on my shin. The wound was so deep that the bare bone could be seen. I received treatment at the Surgical Department of Joniškis Hospital. Surgeon Bendikas (who still works at Joniškis Hospital) honestly told me that he no longer knew how to help me and how to treat me. He suggested leg amputation. I prayed to Barbora. Nurse Jasaitienė of Žiūrai Village treated my leg by putting some herbs on the wound. My leg healed within a year. I thanked Barbora by saying a prayer and giving an offering. I also visited the church crypt where I once again inspected the coffin made by a smith.
Z00-Z99. FACTORS INFLUENCING HEALTH STATUS
1. Aleksandra Vingenskaitė (DOB: 04-OCT-1914):
Back in the Soviet times when the atheistic ideology had gained firm roots, an incident to be remembered for years to come occurred. Two brothers and a sister came to visit the grave of Barbora. They prayed in the church asking for God’s grace. When they met the parish priest, the siblings told their story. Their sister was riddled with an untreatable disease. A woman who once lay in the same hospital ward as her told her, “If you went to Žagarė and pray to Barbora, you would all recover.” Their sister then thought, “If only I could get at least a piece of Barbora’s clothing, I would certainly be able to get healthy again.” The belief in the power of Barbora helped. Having recovered, the sister and her brothers all came to Žagarė to thank Barbora. At that time, Rev(d). Povilaitis born in 1902 was the parish priest in Žagarė. He told everything he heard from the siblings to the local people in the sermon. The Soviet Government grew wary. However, the brothers of the sick woman were high up in the Government too and were capable of suppressing the news of the miraculous recovery of their sister along with the ideological uproar.
A00-B99. CERTAIN INFECTIOUS AND PARASITIC DISEASES
1. Sofija Lažinskaitė, Teacher (sister of Rev(d). Petras Lažinskas):
It was back in 1942. I was eighteen and had a surgery to treat angina. Following the surgery, I could hardly open my mouth and had trouble chewing food. About two months later, I felt an ache somewhere near my left ear, to be more precise, at the corner of my mandible. A neoplasm grew on my face. As the neoplasm did not go away for two weeks, I was hospitalized in Kaunas. I was diagnosed to have actinomycosis – a very rare and chronic purulent infectious disease. Antibiotics were not enough. I had to undergo radiation therapy which caused long-term pain in my neck and face. The neoplasms kept growing on the left side of my face covering my skin. The doctors would cut them open, insert drains to let the pus out and then repeat the procedure again and again, and again... I was unable to fall asleep at night so I took to walking along the corridors with a rosary in my hands. I would pray to the miraculous Our Lady of Lourdes for health. As I prayed, I would mention every saint by name that I could remember. Around two months later, I was released from the hospital though my disease remained untreated (no doctor could explain the reason behind this rare disease and so, it was impossible to select a proper treatment). Reverend Petras who worked in Kaunas decided to take care of me. I underwent another surgery at the Red Cross Hospital though it was performed by a different Professor. It took me a lot of time to wake up from anesthesia. My health condition remained as deteriorated as it was. I was once again released without being fully treated. The doctor told Rev(d). Petras, “Perhaps, they would be able to treat her abroad but we do not have such possibilities here”. My brother Vytautas was told, “Take your sister, it is impossible to treat her.” I returned to live with Rev(d). Petras. My mother nursed me. The disease continued to spread. The skin on my chest became a bluish red and I got an ear infection. The doctors once again told my case was hopeless and prescribed Rivanol for wound cleansing. I no longer walked, only lay in bed. I was then visited by my brother Romualdas who lived near Siesikai Town. IN hi distress, he told some of his good friends form Kaunas about my hopeless situation. Evidently, his friends were both understanding and merciful as they offered my brother a relic of Barbora Žagarietė. My brother brought it back but as Romualdas was of a sensitive heart and too timid to show his tears in front of me, he gave the relic to my mother to pass onto me. Mother told me of Barbora Žagarietė and everyone became once again hopeful. To escape the clutched of this horrible disease, I kept repeating, “Praise be to the Lord in the Heavens! Praise be to Barbora Žagarietė, through the intercession of whom God listened to our pleas and through the intercession of whom I was healed!“ This was what I found on actinomycosis in one medical book: “A temporary improvement is possible, yet, the disease comes back a few years later and ends in death.” Thank God, it’s been 44 years now and I am still alive.
The testimony was recorded on March 7, 1986.
TRUE TO LIFE STORIES
1. Paulius Guga (DOB/ DOD: 1873-1971):
The Samogitians have been worshipping Barbora as a saint for many years and have always gathered in masses to pray next to her coffin. Bishop M. Valančius made sure that Rome would investigate the miracles related to Barbora and for the Pope to canonize her, i.e. to give the late Barbora the status of a holy person. The procedure of canonization was impeded by the January 1863 Uprising. Having dealt with the uprising, the Government of Russia imposed certain sanctions on the nation, including preventing the people growing close to Barbora Žagarietė. In 1886, an order was passed to wall up the doors that led to the church crypt, where the mortal remains of Barbora were laid to rest. However, the Government failed to think about the windows reinforced with metal rods and they remained the only access to Barbora to the people. A number of believers would come to pray to these windows. In 1889, the Government decided to have the windows bricked over as well. Under the supervision of the Commander of Joniškis Police, a team of masons walled up the windows to the crypt. This happened during a feast day in Žagarė. The Christians cried both in anguish and anger. Despite the separation of Barbora from the people and all the other restrictions put in place, people kept coming not only from Samogitia but also from Aukštaitija, Dzūkija and other regions of Lithuania as well as Latvia. They would gather at the walled up doors and windows to the crypt to tell their woes to Barbora, to ask for her intercession or to say an honest prayer as a thank you for the received graces of God. Here, hope thrived giving strength to the bodies of the sick and the spirits of the healthy. Many people could clearly confirm that calling for the help of Barbora was not for naught. One such example was the tragic misfortune of my older sister Irena Radzivonienė and the miraculous end to her story. My sister Irena lived in Zvanagala Homestead in Vaškai Parish, Pasvalys District. In 1909, during the high season, someone kidnapped her half-year-old son and my godson. Both individual people and the police had searched for the boy high and low for several days. The search gave no results. The mother was sick with worry, ran around like mad and wept all the time. Her deep heartache and sobbing made her go deaf. Seeing that all the searching was hopeless, my sister walked a hundred miles all alone to Žagarė to ask Barbora for help. She returned almost a week later crying tears of joy and carrying her little baby in her arms. She walked to Žagarė taking the most direct route through Žeimelis, Kriukai, Joniškis and Skaistgiris. After saying a prayer from the bottom of her heart and weeping rivers of tears, my sister Irena prepared to take the trip home. Yet, as she walked back from Žeimelis, for some unexplainable reason, Irena decided to pass Linkuva and prolong her journey by another 20 miles. It was in Linkuva that she heard people speak of a woman who gave birth to a strangely large baby... My sister immediately took off to the house and recognized her own son upon seeing the child. Of course, the woman from Linkuva did not wish to return the child and my sister had to ask for the assistance of the police. Later, she carried her child found so miraculously from Linkuva to Vaškai (20 miles) as if the baby weighted next to nothing. It was as if Irena felt no fatigue, even though she had walked on foot over 200 miles during that week of searching.”
This was testified in writing in 1964 by Paulius Guga, brother of Irena Radzivonienė (1893-1971) and then once again on March 15, 2005 by his daughter Apolonija Barbora Gugaitė-Nistelienė.
PLEASE INFORM US ABOUT THE GRACES ACCOMPLISHED THROUGH THE INTERCESSION OF BARBORA ŽAGARIETĖ:
The Curia of the Diocese of Šiauliai
Tilžes str. 186
Lithuania Phone: +370 41 521110
Fax: +370 41 521114
Thank you in advance. Please provide your full contact details.
If new information about the life of Servant of God Barbora Žagarietė is discovered, this text will be altered respectively.
Information about the Servant of God Barbora Žagarietė on the Internet:
MAP OF ŽAGARĖ, LITHUANIA
MAP OF THE BALTIC SEA
† Eugenijus Bartulis,
Bishop of the Diocese of Šiauliai
The Servant of God Barbora Žagarietė’s Beatification Tribunal (DTBŽbb)
May 25, 2016, in the Year of Our Lord, is the commemoration day of Servant of God Barbora Žagarietė in the Diocese of Šiauliai
Translated by Language and Communication Center Mažas Pasaulis UAB