• August 16, 2016
  • 371

Mass at the Castle: On the 15th of August Poles and Lithuanians fought together

The inhabitants of the Vilnius soil, regardless of their origin and nationality, defended it against the red plague – father Ričardas Doveika said during the ceremony. Yesterday, he led a Mass in the intention of the 96th anniversary of the Battle of Warsaw and those who were killed in other battles with the Bolsheviks. The Mass was celebrated in the Saint Joseph Church at the Castle (Pilaitė). “Today’s day, the fifteenth of August, is also a symbolic date for the history of this land. And even though the Warsaw battle itself took place far from here, near Warsaw, victims of the fighting with the Bolsheviks  need to be mentioned now “- Doveika said. “They defended the faith of the fathers. They defended the tradition. They defended – often incurring the highest price. Together. It was obvious that they shared the same tradition, common history and faith “- the parish priest of the church at the Castle added. Not only parishioners came to the Mass, but also representatives of Polish organizations and local government of the area of Vilnius. Among those present ones were: Mer of Vilnius region Maria Rekść, Signatory of the Act of Independence of Lithuania Czeslaw Okińczyc, the governor of Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania fraction in Lithuanian parliament Rita Tamašunienė and Military, Air and Marine Attache of Embassy – Colonel Miroslaw Wojcik. After the Mass, there was a concert of a young artist from Warsaw Lidia Kitlińska – Chruszczyńska from the Drama Theatre, who performed works by Mozart, Bach, Faure and Franck. The artist was masterfully accompanied by Paulius Grigonis.

 Zw.lt managed to interview Lidia Kitlińska- Chruszczyńska.

 Is this your first time in Lithuania?

I’ve already been to Lithuania before as our friends live here. This is why Vilnius is important to me in some way. Moreover, I really like the climate of the city and its surroundings. Yesterday, we went to see the north-eastern region of Vilnius, the Lake District. I believe that this region has a great potential.

Do you have any connections with Vilnius or Lithuania?

I have no personal connections. I come from the central Poland. But I feel great in Vilnius, even though there is a language barrier.

 Why did you agree to perform?

It is a beautiful day. As a believer, I am very pleased that I can, in this way, participate right here in Vilnius in celebration of this day which is a double holiday – Assumption of Mary and the anniversary of the Battle of Warsaw.

Has 15th of August got a special significance for you? Could this day put together Poles and Lithuanians?

15th of August is a symbolic day because we recall then a landmark battle from the Polish-Bolshevik war. Many people forget that the Poles, Lithuanians, and all the inhabitants of these areas fought together against the Bolsheviks in defense of their land and faith. It is worth to remember and celebrate such events by always looking for what unites rather than what divides.


Translated by Aleksandra Nowakowska within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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