President of the Republic of Lithuania

The President visits Lithuanian Chapel in the Vatican

Monday, March 18, Vatican City - On the eve of Pope Francis' inauguration ceremony, President Dalia Grybauskaitė visited the Lithuanian Chapel in Saint Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. The President lit a candle for Lithuania and Lithuanian people wishing everybody concord, strength and love for the homeland.

"A unique Lithuanian chapel in the Vatican symbolizes Lithuania's fortitude and reminds the world of our country's history - baptism and deportations. We recently marked the anniversary of mass deportations; this year we will commemorate the 600th anniversary of the baptism of Samogitia. In the place which is sacred to each Lithuanian, I lit a candle for our nation's exclusive unity and strength accompanying us from the very origins of our state," the President said.

The chapel, established through the efforts of Lithuanian diaspora in 1970, is one of ten chapels in St. Peter's Basilica. On the eastern wall of the chapel are representations of King Mindaugas, Grand Dukes Vytautas and Jogaila as well as of the first churches built by them in Lithuania. The western wall reflects the painful history of deportations from our country, which is witnessed by the Kražiai Massacre, depicts St. Kazimieras, the blessed Josaphat Kuncevicius and the books of Lithuanians exiled to Siberia. Pope John Paul II also had visited the chapel immediately after his inauguration.

As Palm Sunday is approaching, the chapel will be decorated with Lithuanian Palm Sunday flowers verbas brought by the President from the Lithuanian folk arts and crafts fair - Kaziukas Fair.

The President also viewed the premises in Palazzo Blumenstihl given by the Italian Government to Lithuania as a compensation for Villa Lituania, the inter-war Lithuanian legation building in Rome.
Press Service of the President

Last updated 2013.03.18 16:16