In 1602, a famous Lithuanian soldier and owner of the Kretinga Manor, Jonas Karolis Chodkevičius, established a Franciscan monkhood, which was trusted to take care of the first church of Kretinga and the pastoral care of its residents.
The oldest surviving church in Samogitia was built in 1617. Gothic and Renaissance features are presented. Family members of city founders Chodkevičiai are buried underneath the central altar. All the sarcophagi in the crypt are unique cultural monuments. Significant sacred value is the Altar of St. Anthony and painting, which is supposed to have miraculous (healing) powers.
Soviet authorities closed the monastery, but the Franciscan brothers, who returned to Kretinga during the times of the Revival, continued the missionary and educational activity. The Franciscans activated the town's life by organizing the most beautiful festival of the town - St. Anthony's feast, a Mass on Christmas Night and poetry evenings.
Address: Vilniaus str. 2, Kretinga
Coordinate: 55.891864, 21.242603
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