Marching against communism - Procession of "Thanksgiving and Hope" from Tytuvėnai to Šiluva - Lithuania

Marching against communism - Procession of "Thanksgiving and Hope" from Tytuvėnai to Šiluva - Lithuania

During the Soviet era, since 1973, the movement “Friends of the Eucharist” gathered in Tytuvėnai on the last Sunday of August and went in procession to Šiluva asking Holy Mary to help preserve faith and hope, to help achieve a brighter future.

Pilgrims gather for procession to Šiluva, 1977.

Knowing the disastrous effect of such a procession, and above all hating its symbolic side, the ruling atheist communist government persecuted the marchers. Mečislovas Jurevičius, Sister Gemma Stanelyte, Vytautas Vaičiūnas were sentenced to prison for organizing marches do Šiluva.

To stop going to Šiluva, in 1981 a “swine fever” was even invented. And eventually Šiluva and Tytuvėnai were surrounded by communist soldiers and civil guards.

But twelve years later, in free Lithuania, the march to Šiluva was revived by the initiative of deputy Antanas Račas with the participation of the TFPs.

Aspect of the procession in 2015

Since then every year in a prominent position on the march a statue of the Virgin of Fatima is carried, surrounded by TFP members with capes and red standards. In the photos above, aspects of the march and other celebrations this year.

Last Procession on August 28, 2022

A procession is now an act of praise and thanksgiving to God and to Mary, the Mother of us all, for Lithuania’s regained independence and for those who worked to keep faith and hope alive despite persecution and imprisonment. Siauliu bishop Eugenius Bartulis leads the procession every year.

This year, as has traditionally been the case for 32 years, a delegation of TFP Student Action Europe members participated in the celebrations.

Click here to see more photos and videos from this year's celebrations.

To learn more about the epic campaign in defense of Lithuanian Freedom against the Soviet regime, click here

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TFP Student Action - Europe is the student sector formed by young volunteers from several European TFPs - Societies for the Defense of Tradition, Family, Property.

Networking with thousands of concerned students and parents, TFP Student Action defends traditional moral values on college campuses, schools, and in the streets, in direct contact with the public.

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