The church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is famous for the miraculous picture of the Mother of God in the central altar. For people of northern and central Lithuania this is a sacred place for veneration of Virgin Mary.
Krekenava is a small town in north central Lithuania, 28 km southwest from Panevėžys. The greater part of the town is on the bank of the Nevėžis river.
Krekenava is mentioned in historical chronicles of 1409. During the reign of Vytautas the Great (1392-1430) it was a township seat. The first church was built in 1416. A new brick church in the gothic style with two large and 13 smaller towers was built in 1896-1901.
The painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary
According to the legend, the pious knight Shiling brought the picture from Krakow and gave it to the missionary Albert proclaiming Gospel by the Nevėžis river. It is believed that the history of Catholicism in Krekenava started with this picture.
Written chronicles say that at first the picture was placed in a little chapel and later moved to the church where it became known for its alleged miraculousness. When the church was on fire in the 18th century, an old woman saved the picture and it has gained even more fame ever since.
The painting depicts Virgin Mary with the Baby in her arms. It was established in 1960 that the painting is that of an Italian school; the garment is made by Vilnius jewelers.
The day of the Mother of God of Krekenava is celebrated on the 15th of every month. The big devotion day is on the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.