May 24, 2017

3062 ROMANIA (Suceava) - Assumption of the Holy Virgin Mary Basilica from Cacica

At the 2011 census, the Cacica commune (located in south Bukovina) had 74.8% of inhabitants  Romanians, 20.2% Poles and 4.4% Ukrainians. Its Polish inhabitants are descended from settlers who were brought there from Galicia at the turn of the 19th century, to work to the salt mine, opened in 1791. Historically part of Moldavia, the territory of what became known as Bukovina was, from 1774 to 1918, an administrative division of the the Habsburg Monarchy, the Austrian Empire, and Austria-Hungary.

The Roman-Catholic church from Cacica dedicated to the Assumption of the Holy Virgin Mary was erected between 1903 and 1904 by the Polish community from the village. Built of stone and red brick in neo-gothic style, following the design by architect Teodor Marian Talowski, a professor at the Polytechnic of Lvov, it has a height of 50 m at the bell tower, the length of 36 m, and the width of 22 m in the transverse ship.

The church is renowned for its Miracle-working Icon of the Virgin Mary, a copy of the Black Madonna from the Church of Jasna Gora in Czestochowa, and by means of the duplicate of the grotto in Lourdes, and was an important European pilgrimage place, mainly in interwar period. The grotto was built in 1908 from pieces of rock and enlarged in 1936. It is a Neo-Gothic one, shaped like a crescent, and it is 12m deep, 5m wide and 5m high.

The story goes that the icon was performed by a 70 year-old Polish painter, called Daniel, for a certain writer Dominic who, having prayed to the icon in Czestochowa, miraculously recovered. In 1809, the icon was brought to the first wooden church in Cacica, being moved in the new church after its built. In 2000, as an acknowledgment of its importance, the Basilica received, from the Pope Joan Paul the IInd, the title of Basilica Minor.

About the stamp
The stamp is part of the series Love Nature! Ceahlău National Park, about which I wrote here.

Cacica - Wikipedia
Bazilica Adormirea Maicii Domnului din Cacica (rom) - Wikipedia
Sanctuarul Marian Cacica (rom) - Official website

Sender: Raluca Cristescu (lottery)
Sent from Cluj-Napoca (Cluj / Romania), on 19.05.2017

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