On March 22, 2024, the Most Reverend Darius TRIJONIS, Auxiliary Bishop of Vilnius, Lithuania presided over the blessing of a statue of Our Lady and the dedication of a monument to commemorate the insurgents of the January 1863 Uprising. The ceremony took place at the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Those attending the dedication included representatives of other Churches; the Ambassador and Consul of the Republic of Poland; the Grand Master of the Chapter of the Order of Restored Poland; the creator of the statue and monument, Tomasz SOBISZ; representatives of the Polish National Foundation; some soldiers of the NATO Forces and the Territorial Defense of Lithuania; some boy scouts and some high school students.
The Vicar of the friary in Vilnius, Friar Marek DETTLAFF, said: “the history of the January 1863 uprising in Vilnius, is closely linked to our church.” In 1862, six months before the outbreak of the uprising, the people of Vilnius gathered in the church to protest tsarist rule by singing religious and patriotic songs. They gathered in the church again, just before the outbreak, to swear a loyalty oath to God and to their homeland, during Mass, in the presence of the friars.
The newly dedicated monument features four bronze figures. Three of them depict the leaders of the uprising: Zygmunt SIERAKOWSKI, Konstanty KALINOWSKI and Tytus DALEWSKI. The fourth figure is a Franciscan friar with a cross in his hand, blessing the leaders.
The monument was created with the financial support of the Polish National Foundation. Its creator, sculptor Tomasz SOBISZ, is a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk. Professor SOBISZ said he was able to reproduce the faces of the heroes “based on research and engravings from the period.” The figures were arranged so that they faced the statue of Mary which was installed against one of the buttresses of the church. The statue was modeled after the ancient wooden statue of Mary that the insurgents stood before when they swore their oaths.
During the ceremony, the Consul of the Republic of Poland in Lithuania read a letter from the President of the Republic of Poland and, together with the Polish Ambassador, they presented Friar Marek DETTLAFF with the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland and the Cross of Honor commemorating the 160th anniversary of the January Uprising.
At the end of the celebration, Friar Wojciech KULIG, the Minister Provincial of the Province of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe in Poland (Gdańsk) thanked everyone, including Friar Marek, for their commitment in promoting the Polish spirit.
After the celebration, the participants gathered around a bonfire in the courtyard of the neighboring friary, where they enjoyed a meal and sang patriotic songs.