Painting of St. Anthony
In the church of the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, it is easy to notice that the famous St. Anthony Of Padua altar is the most popular object. The painting in the altar is the most famous among believers: lots of them come to visit the church and see the painting. Even people who do not consider themselves religious are curious why St. Anthony is so special. The altar was already built in his honour at the middle of a XVII c. It is thought that this altar was not the first one, built for St. Anthony, however, there is no information left about other ones. The only thing known is that since then the cult of St. Anthony only got stronger – more and more believers arrived to visit the altar since the church got some of his relics that Motiejus Valancius himself confirmed to be real. When kneeling down to those relicts, people pray for various things: love, success to find something lost, and mostly important – health. The St. Anthony of Padua painting is the most famous for its health miracles- it is the second most visited object after Padua of Italy. The number of miracles is demonstrated by wotums-hearts arms and legs, made from precious metals. The wotums are signs of gratitude to St. Anthony for listening to health prayers. Locals of Kretinga could tell many stories how they were cured from scariest diseases by praying to St. Anthony.
Kretinga Lourdes with the Spring
Lithuanians always appreciated the powers of water. In Kretinga there are even two places, which are thought to have waters with special powers. The first one is called ‘‘Saltinelis‘‘ (Spring) which, according to the legends, is flowing from below St. Anthony of Padua‘s altar and is gushing in the homestead nearby, in the slope of Vilnius street. Not that long ago people brought the magical water home in big amounts. However, another spring is famous for miracles, it is gushing near the famous Kretinga Lourdes. The history of this spring started during the year 1933. That year marked the 75th anniversary of St. Anniversary of the apparition of the Virgin Mary in the Lourdes grotto in France. For such occasion, Kretinga Franciscans decided to build a France Lourdes equivalent. In the valley, near the Pastauninkas (Dopultis) river, they formed Lithuanian Lourdes from stones of a demolished monastery brewery. It is said that the water for Kretinga’s spring was brought from French Lourdes’s holy waters. Since then, the magic water and the power of prayers attract believers from the farthest places of Lithuania.
Jurgis Pabreza grave
Another place famous for its miracles – Jurgis Ambroziejus Pabreza grave. During XIX century father Ambroziejus was famous for his sermons and as a great educator, however people also knew him as a doctor. Father Ambroziejus studied botanical and medical sciences; he researched ‘plants healing properties and was highly appreciated as a folk healer. After his death, people never stopped asking him for help, this time by praying, instead of special herb mixes. The prayers were heard and the miraculous cases were registered in a special monastery book. Because of all the miracles, during the interwar period J. Pabreza beatification case began. The case was closed due to war, however, even now people are praying to father Ambroziejus for health – candles lit by praying believers near his grave chapel never fade away.
The Stone of Love
Kretinga region is a perfect place for people who want to improve their spiritual, mental and physical health. During your trip in the district, you will see beautiful views and fill your heart with the most positive emotions. Even if you do not believe in magic, you will be back home with endless impressions. After all, your well-being depends on how much love you have in your heart. That is why during your arrival to Kretinga to improve your health or to be acquainted with history, you should sit on the legendary Stone of Love. It is said that after sitting on this stone, you will soon meet your true love; it also strengthens your current romantic relationship and makes lost feelings come back.
Lourdes in Abakai Village
In case the miracles of Kretinga Lourdes are not enough, you can turn to Kartena‘s direction. There you will be greeted by an impressive Kartena mound, a charming relaxation zone in the mound valley, located near the river. There you can also find educational trail, meandering through the riverside, the forest and hilly cliffs. While walking through this trail you will get some vitamin d, breathe fresh air and get some vitamins by picking one or two nettle leaves, wood sorrels. This walk will help you to stretch your legs out and to reach the Lourdes in Abakai village, which is a charming place famous for its miracles. Kazimieras Navirauskas built the church and Lourdes after having a dream where he saw a Virgin Mary standing near the spring. He had this dream several times and then decided to build a Lourdes and a wooden church, which is now standing on the hill, the same place where the Virgin Mary stood in Kazimieras‘s dream. Near the Lourdes grotto a statue of Virgin Mary is standing. Pastor brought this statue from France. The spring, gushing near the grotto is famous for its healing powers since the oldest times, however, whether the powers work or not depends on your faith.
Let‘s admit – during quarantine we spent a lot of time staring at our phones and computers and the dry air did not do our eyes any justice. In such case, it is time to visit the place of the ancient pagan chapel, which nowadays is turned into a Samogitian cross- hill. Locals call this place Ersketynas. The Ersketynas spring is famous for its healing powers. Since the earliest times people wash their faces and eyes with spring water, because it is believed the water can help people with eye problems. Near the gushing spring, a chapel is located. One resident, Barbora Pocienė, saw a Virgin Mary, standing on the stone, under which the spring is. Every May sermons are held near the chapel. This place is also popular among people who love long walks because Ersketynas is surrounded by sandy paths, pine forests and wild strawberry bushes. If you feel thirsty, you can always refresh yourself with a healing spring water.
Lady‘s Bed Stone
It is said that by hugging a tree you can fill your body with energy. Kretinga has many trees; however, this time we suggest getting that energy from a stone. Not just any stone – this stone, included among the top 10 largest stones in Lithuania. 3 meters width and more than 3,5 meters length stone is located near the Old Įpiltis Mound. Locals call this stone a Lady‘s Bed. It is told that one noble woman loved to lay down on this stone. She came to rest there often and loved staying there for so long, that over time a hollow appeared. This hollow, especially when the sun warms the stone up, is a comfortable place to lay down and look how the clouds are floating. Besides such romance, the stone is believed to have healing energy. Such power is also present in the spring, gushing below the stone.