Poland and Polish Discussion Group and Forum

Welcome to the original English language Poland and Polish discussion group board. This message forum is a place where English-speaking Poles, foreigners (expats) living in Poland, and anyone with a genuine interest in Poland can discuss and read the views of others concerning Poland. Subjects include: Polish news and current affairs; Life in Poland; politics; genealogy research; Polish culture and history; advice and tips on visiting Poland; Polish property and investment issues. The aim of our group is to increase awareness of wonderful Poland using the English language and allow and foster the honest debate and exchange of opinions on anything vaguely related to Poland and Polish - positive, negative and/or neutral! To state the obvious: all opinions and views expressed on this site are solely those of their respective authors and are not necessarily those of anyone else! Messages consisting of ads will be deleted.

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Poland and Polish Discussion Group and Forum
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Roadside Shrines and Crosses Poland

What use do Poles make of roadside shrines and crosses? Are they purely decorative or do people pray and do other things at them?

Re: Roadside Shrines and Crosses Poland

I've never seen anyone 'using' a shrine. I guess they may be useful as a kind of Church 'express' though. Anyone?

Some of the smaller crosses you see are not shrines, but mark where people have died road accidents.

Re: Roadside Shrines and Crosses Poland

We regularly have groups of people praying/gathering at the ones near us - or at least the shines to Mary, that is (especially in May) - haven't noticed what happens at the big crosses.

Also if there's a pilgrimage the folks walking from A to B will pause and pray (I think ... this is from distant observation as I'm not a member of the rcc)

Re: Roadside Shrines and Crosses Poland

I guess it's like having well dressings in the UK. A religious tradition that means a lot to some people.

Re: Roadside Shrines and Crosses Poland

If there isn't a local church the larger crosses and shrines serve as a place of worship.

Re: Roadside Shrines and Crosses Poland

Not that long ago the agrarian population did not have access to motorized transportation. When working distant fields during planting or harvest it was not uncommon for them to not even go home but to stay at the fields. Not withstanding Sundays there are no shortage of high holy days for commemoration and the shrines would serve the purpose of chapels.

The tradition of pilgrimage is strong in Poland and many of the shrines serve as way points along the traditional routes.

In most of Poland the shrines are devoted to Mary but in the now lost portions of Polish Galicia there was extensive devotion to Saint Joseph; this is seen in the large number of emigrant parish churches in the U.S. founded between 1880 and 1910 by émigrés from that region.

For me the most evocative are the simple shrines of the Highlanders featuring a seated pensive Christ.