Pray to Our Lady for the protection of Our Lady of Vilnius Parish, NYC. May her presence be a comfort and inspiration to us all.1522 – Responding to fears of attack from Crimean Tartars, Grand Duke Aleksandras of Lithuania fortifies the city of Vilnius with a wall with five gates. The present Gates of Dawn was the easternmost, and most dangerous access to the city.
1626 – Carmelite monks establish a monastery next to the Gates, and began to care for the icon of Our Lady of Vilnius.
1671 - A wooden chapel was erected atop the Gates to house the icon. At least 17 miracles were recorded around this time.
1655-1661 – Our Lady frequently appears in the city’s night time sky to residents praying for her intercession, while defending the Gates from Russian attack.
1671 – The icon is “clothed” in fine metallic robes, the work of Vilnius goldsmiths.
1702 – Sweden captures Vilnius, and outlaws public worship of the icon. The icon gets hit with a bullet during a battle at the Gates.
1715 – The wooden chapel burns in a fire. The icon is saved and put into a new cement chapel.
1799-1802 – Although the wall around the city is demolished, the Gates are spared because of the miracles that occurred here.
1927 – The icon undergoes restoration, and is crowned in an elaborate ceremony.
1945-1991 – Scores of pilgrims from Byelorussia come to worship at the chapel, as most of their churches have been closed by the Soviet Union.
1993 – His Holy Father Pope John Paul II prays the rosary in the chapel, fulfilling a dream he first had while praying in the chapel of Our Lady of Vilnius in the Vatican when he first become Pope.
1997 – The Orthodox Patriarch Aleksei II and the Archbishop of Vilnius Audrys Bačkis pray together for peace in the chapel, as thousands in the streets below kneel in prayer.