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  • Day8

    Hill of Crosses

    August 13 in Lithuania ⋅ ☀️ 77 °F

    Hill of Crosses is a site of pilgrimage about 7.5 miles north of the city of Šiauliai, in northern Lithuania. The precise origin of the practice of leaving crosses on the hill is uncertain, but it is believed that the first crosses were placed on the former Jurgaičiai or Domantai hill fort after the 1831 Uprising. Over the generations, not only crosses and crucifixes, but statues of the Virgin Mary, carvings of Lithuanian patriots, and thousands of tiny effigies and rosaries have been brought here by pilgrims.

    On September 7, 1993, Pope John Paul II visited the Hill of Crosses, declaring it a place for hope, peace, love, and sacrifice. He said Mass in the open outside chapel.

    Scott and I brought crosses representing our families. I wrote the surnames of the Slykas, Klonis, Zibutis, and Perkauskaus families on my cross. Scott wrote the first names of many of his family members. We planted the crosses part way up the main hill and to the right side. I hope that we will return someday to find them again.

    This was also the day our "official" tour ended. Our guide, Gintas, returned us to the Artis Hotel in Vilnius. We both told Gintas how much we would miss him. He was a terrific guide!
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