Church in southeastern Poland given title Basilica Minor by Pope

Following a decision of the Vatican, a church in Kalwaria Pacławska in southeastern Poland, where the Sanctuary of the Passion of Christ and Mother of God is located, was elevated to the rank of Basilica Minor. The decree was solemnly proclaimed on August 13th during the Great Calvary Indulgenced Feast by the Metropolitan of Przemyśl.

The honorary title of Basilica Minor was given by the Pope to a church distinguished by its pilgrimages and historical, liturgical and pastoral value. The "Jerusalem of the East", as some say, or "Jasna Góra of Podkarpackie", has waited almost four centuries for this moment.

The Provincial Minister of the Franciscans of Cracow, Fr Marian Gołąb reminded that this is the second distinction for Kalwaria Pacławska from the Vatican. In the nineteenth century the Vatican Chapter issued the coronation act approved by Pope Leo XIII and on August 15, 1882 the coronation with papal crowns of the famous Icon of Our Lady of Calvary took place.

The celebrations were to be presided over by the Apostolic Nuncio in Poland, Archbishop Salvatore Penacchio, but for epidemic reasons he could not come to Kalwaria Pacławska. Instead, he addressed a letter to the liturgy participants. He emphasised that with the granting of this honorary title it is hoped that the church's relationship with the bishop of Rome will deepen. At the same time it is a real challenge for the future.

"The church as a building deserves.. the honor, It builds the true Christian community, it fuels the faith, hope, and above all, love between fellow men in Christ. We deeply believe that the temple here will do its job to the extent of the rank to which it was exalted," he wrote in the letter.