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Sanctuary of Our Lady of Sorrows in Obory

n 1605, the former owners of the village, Anna and Łukasz Rudzowski, founded a wooden church on the Grodzisko hill. It was given to the Carmelites from the Bydgoszcz monastery to take care of and provide priestly services to. The church burnt down in 1612, but already 6 years later, on the opposite hill at the foot of Grodzisko, the Carmelites built a second church. It was repeatedly rebuilt later on, thus, its present brick structure does not resemble the wooden one at all. Near the monastery buildings on the hill, there is a cemetery with very interesting burial chapels of noble families as well as 19th-century two-storey catacombs.

The object of worship is the Statue of Our Lady of Sorrows brought here at the beginning of the 17th century by the Carmelites. The Obory Pietà probably dates back to the end of the 14th century. Its author remains unknown, but presumably it was a Pomeranian artist. The sculpture, carved in linden and covered with polychrome, is small, only 64.5 cm high and 42 cm wide. It depicts Our Lady of Sorrows bending over the dead body of the crucified Christ laid on her bosom. With her right hand, the Holy Maiden supports the head of her dead son, her left hand is placed on his hip. The hands of Jesus cover the left hand of his mother. The sculpture quickly became famous for numerous graces, the testimonies of which have been recorded in the monastery books.

During World War II, the statue was placed in a box and buried in the ground, where it remained for 6 years to stay safe and avoid destruction. Yet, the constant dampness caused damage to the polychrome and wood, thus, after the war, the statue had to be renovated. The Obory Pietà returned where it originally belonged – to the niche of the altar – on 10 December 1972, welcomed by thousands of people. On 18 July 1976, Our Lady of Sorrows was solemnly crowned. The papal crows were put on the statue’s head by the Primate of Poland, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński. The coronation contributed vastly to the revival of the statue’s cult.

Many pilgrims come to Obory from different regions of Poland. The local sanctuary belongs to the most frequently visited ones in Poland.