SANCTUARY
OUR LICHEN'S MOTHER
THE SORROWFUL QUEEN OF POLAND

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In connection with the nationwide celebration of the Millennium Jubilee of the Baptism of Poland in 1966, the Polish Episcopate sent a request to Pope Paul VI for a coronation decree for the Miraculous Image of Our Lady of Licheń. The Pope issued such a decree, and the coronation was made on August 15, 1967 by the Venerable Servant of God, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, the Primate of Poland. The crown granted by the pope's decree is called the papal crown. The coronation was attended by over 20 bishops, numerous clergy, religious and a large number of the faithful. In front of the church of St. Dorothy, on the right, there is a memorial coronation altar overlooking the square, where about 100,000 people gathered at that time. The decision to coronate the Image of the Lichen Madonna was made because of the cult of the image of the faithful.

The world needs a Mother! The mother of Jesus Christ foresaw the longing of the human family and therefore sang in the Magnificat: From now on all nations will call me blessed. It is significant that the more people now seem to deviate from God, the more Mary is shown on the horizon of the twentieth century.

Fr. Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, Primate of Poland, excerpt from the homily delivered during the Holy Mass. coronation, August 15, 1967

The coronation ceremonies began at 11.30. After the painting was placed on the altar's mensa, Fr. Antoni Pawłowski, bishop ordinary of the Włocławek diocese, welcoming the distinguished guests, then Fr. the canon of Łasa read the coronation decree of the Holy Father. Paul VI. With the choir singing "Rejoice, Queen, nice", the four coronators, namely: Fr. Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, Primate of Poland, Fr. Bishop Antoni Pawłowski, Fr. Archbishop Antoni Baraniak and Fr. Bishop Wilhelm Pluta, wearing golden cape, miter and crosier in hand, proceeded to consecrate and incense the papal crown. When the crown was put on the holy Image, the solemn silence was broken by the orchestra's magnificent bugle-call, and a triumphant bell rang from the church tower.

On the day of the coronation of the Miraculous Image of Our Lady of Licheń, the Primate of Poland, Card. Stefan Wyszyński delivered two sermons. The first at Mass. with the participation of young people at 10.00, chaired by Fr. Bishop Bogdan Sikorski from Płock, and the other during the Holy Mass. at 12.00 with the participation of all the faithful.

The Licheń Coronation was a great religious meeting that surpassed all the previous ones and made the Sanctuary famous beyond the immediate vicinity. Preparations for the coronation ceremony contributed to ordering the church's surroundings and adapting it to the reception of pilgrims. At that time, there was a badly damaged church on a low hill, with a small, decaying presbytery. There was also a completely decayed chapel in the cemetery, piles of decaying trees, a rotten fence. Until the coronation, Lichen was known only in the diocese of Włocławek. As soon as the Miraculous Image was crowned, pilgrims from all over Poland and abroad began to come to the Licheń Sanctuary.

Before the coronation, the painting was put into conservation in Warsaw. The silver dress that had been hiding the national elements - the eagle and the inscription - was hidden from the eyes of the partitioning powers from the fall of the January Uprising. Our Lady was given a new robe and crown. The image was placed in a gilded frame with 8 Polish eagles carved. There are coats of arms: papal, primate, Marian and lichen. The background is lined with royal purple.

In preparation for the ceremony, the history of the Image famous for its graces was compiled and propagated among many believers. The distinction of the image with papal crowns was a kind of seal of the church authority for the cult existing in Licheń. This fact can be considered as an indirect recognition by the ecclesiastical authorities of the apparitions related to the local painting. The coronation started a new stage in the history of the Sanctuary.

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