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Pilgrimage place of the Virgin Mary in Skála (Mariastein)

Pilgrimage place and resort Skála of the Virgin Mary (Mariastein) lies in a lovely, deep and by forest hillsides surrounded valley, in the northern part of territory of the market-town Spálov, at close quarters of the river Odry that makes up an old border between Moravia and Silesia. About beginning of the pilgrimage place a number of holy myths and legends was preserved in Spálov as well as in the surrounding villages.

At the end of the Thirty Years' War in a period of Swedish Wars (1642 až 1648) a hurt and enervate soldier was according to a legend miraculously cured and delivered from death in local rock cave by the water from its well namely under intervention of the Virgin Mary who found him after his earnest prayers. At that time an ordinary priest - an augustinian of Fulnek Jiří Václav Wolf (1636 - 1655) was administrator of the vicarage. Report of a miraculous cure of the soldier got soon abroad from Spálov to the whole surroundings. A miller from near Spálov mill is said to acquire to the cave a picture of the Virgin Mary and his handicapped \"small miller\" from the same mill took an exemplary care of this place and used to go there to make his regular prayers because it was very difficult for him to go to the church in Spálov. In the process there came to pray and to ask for help in illnesses and distresses in front of the gracious picture of the Virgin Mary more and more pilgrims from all the surroundings.

A Spálov vicarage and parish church of St. Jakub Starší are of a very old foundation date. Written documents about them reach the period round 1378 and the year 1408. In 1732 - 1734 the older church was adaptated and extended to Baroque temple nowadays. A body and tower were built new, and only older Gothic chancel from the 16th century was preserved. The building of the church was made by construction foreman Matyáš Schwarz from Olomouc, a vicar was from 1733 to 1749 Augustin Ambrož Handka, a native of Nový Jičín.

A legend tells that after building the temple the inhabitants of Spálov decided to transfer the miraculous picture of the Virgin Mary into their restored parish church. The legend tells further that the picture was transfered to Spálov at altar for three times but it uncannily disappeared each time and it was found again in Skála at Odra. It was considered to be a wish of the God's mother and since that time the picture has already been permanently left on its original place and the inhabitants of Spálov binded themself to perform annually on 8th September pilgrimage to Skála of the Virgin Mary. About performance of these pilgrimages records are preserved in Order of God_s services.


Because people were convinced about curative effects of local water, the suzerain of Spálov built here (Mořic free lord Záviš of Osenice, 1841 - 1873), bath spa for using hydrotherapy that was in the last century generally reputable and used. These bath spa were written documented already in 1848 and the first suzerain physician of Spálov Laurenz (Vavřinec) Tichý cured here with water and baths whose monument stands near to wall of sacristy of the church of Spálov. The first small pub at Skála of the Virgin Mary, house Nr. 210, was built in 1852 and its first publican was Josef Böss, a former lords' servant and joiner in manor of Spálov, a native of Valašské Meziříčí. Wooden bath spa were later destroyed by fire and unfortunately it was not restored.

The original picture of the Virgin Mary was more than 100 years ago replaced by stony statue of the Virgin Mary with Jesus-child in her arms that the owner of inn Marie Futschiková, born Bössová had in the village Gurava in Halič (today's Poland) by local monumental mason done and which stands up to this day on altar in the cave. The statue was brought at the end of 80th years not long before 1891 when a building of railway Suchdol - Budišov was finished and that is why it had to be brought to Suchdol by peasant vehicle. During transport over a stony ford in Odra by Klokočůvek the strokes of vehicle damaged it (head was broken off) and it had to be before standing onto altar first restored.
An interesting monument is stony round tank for spring water outgoing from the cave. According to old tellers it is said to be original stony font from the church of Spálov that served to its original purpose until 1619 when it was replaced by Renaissance tinny font which is in the church up to this day.

Author: František Šustek

LOKALIZACE

WGS-84

  • Northern latitude: 49° 43´ 7.98¨
  • Eastern longitude: 17° 44´ 1.44¨

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