|County||Biała Podlaska County|
Kodeń [ˈkɔdɛɲ] is a village in eastern Poland on the Bug River, which forms the border between Poland and Belarus. Administratively, it belongs to Biała Podlaska County in Lublin Voivodeship. It is the seat of the gmina (administrative district) called Gmina Kodeń. It has approximately 1,900 inhabitants (as at 2006). It lies approximately 37 kilometres (23 mi) south-east of Biała Podlaska and 102 km (63 mi) north-east of the regional capital Lublin. The village is the site of a famous Marian shrine.
The first written mention comes from the 16th century, stating a settlement existed at the same site a century earlier. The settlement was purchased by the voivode of Podlaskie Jan Sapieha, who fortified it and in 1511 established a town under Magdeburg law.
Our Lady of Kodeń
In the 17th century the fourth owner of Kodeń, Mikołaj Sapieha, returned to his home town with a painted icon portraying the Spanish statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe, said to have been painted by Archbishop Augustine of Canterbury at the request of then-Pope Gregory.
According to local legend, Sapieha stole the image from Pope Urban VIII in 1630 and was subsequently excommunicated. However, afterwards the pope lifted the excommunication and gave the icon along with many relics to the basilica in Kodeń in recognition of Sapieha's efforts in opposing the proposed marriage of King Władysław IV Vasa and Princess Elisabeth of the Palatinate. There are no documents confirming those events and most likely the icon was simply purchased during a pilgrimage to Spain. The icon was crowned in 1723 by the bishop Stefan Rupniewski with crowns conferred by Pope Innocent XIII.
In the dire time of the Partition of Poland, Kodeń fell under Russian rule. In 1869 the town was stripped of its city rights and in 1875 the basilica was occupied by Russians and the icon had to be taken to Poland's greatest Marian shrine in Jasna Góra where it was relatively safe. In 1905 following a weakening of the tsarist regime the faithful could return to the basilica and after Poland regained independence in 1919 the parish was reestablished. In 1927 Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate settled in Kodeń and restored the basilica to its former glory and the icon was returned after 52 years. In 1973 the church of St. Anne was granted the status of a minor basilica by Pope Paul VI.
Other sites of interest in Kodeń aside from the basilica include: the 16th century gothic church of the Holy Ghost with elements of renaissance and baroque, originally Greek Catholic, but in the 1960s adopted as filial church of the Roman Catholic parish due to the lack of Eastern Rite faithful; the cemetery chapel of St. Laurentius; the Calvary of Kodeń; palace ruins.
- Sanktuarium M.B. Kodeń (Polish)
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