Roman Catholicism in Lithuania
It is the most Catholic of all the Baltic states: there are two million Catholics, which is 79% of the total population. The country is divided into eight dioceses including two archdioceses and a military ordinariate. In 2007 there were 779 Roman Catholic priests and 677 parishes. Lithuania is the northernmost predominantly Roman Catholic country in the world, being slightly farther north than the Republic of Ireland.
St. Casimir (Kazimieras, 1458–1484) is the only canonized saint of Lithuania. He is the patron of the country and Lithuanian youth. Archbishop Jurgis Matulaitis-Matulevičius (1871–1927) was beatified in 1987.
Resistance to Communism
The Roman Catholic Church is an influential factor in the country, and some priests actively led the resistance against the Communist regime and, after independence was regained, against socialism and liberalism, especially in ethical questions.
The nationally renowned anti-communist resistance shrine, the Hill of Crosses, upon which thousands of Latin Rite crosses of all sizes have been placed, is located near the city of Šiauliai. Erecting Latin crosses on the hill was forbidden by the Czarist Russian Orthodox authorities in the 19th century. Later, in the 20th century, the Soviet authorities also forbade such explicit religious symbols. The crosses were removed in 1961 with tractors and bulldozers, but despite Soviet prohibitions, Catholics continued to put small crucifixes and larger crosses on the Hill of Crosses. Pope John Paul II visited the hill during his visit to Lithuania, primarily because it was a sign of anti-Communist Catholic resistance, as well as a Roman Catholic religious site. Lithuania was the only majority-Catholic Soviet republic.
The Catholic Church in Lithuania has after independence continued to campaign against some against socialist and liberal measures, especially in ethical questions.
- Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vilnius
- Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kaunas
- Military Ordinariate of Lithuania
Roman Catholic Cathedrals in Lithuania
- Cathedral Basilica of St Stanislaus and St Vladislaus (Šv. Stanislovo ir Šv. Vladislovo arkikatedra bazilika), Vilnius;
- Cathedral of Transfiguration of Christ (Kristaus Atsimainymo katedra), Kaišiadorys;
- Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul (Kauno šv. Petro ir Povilo arkikatedra bazilika), Kaunas;
- Basilica of Archangel Michael (Šv. arkangelo Mykolo bazilika), Marijampolė;
- Cathedral of Christ the King, Panevėžys;
- Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul (Šiaulių šv. Apaštalų Petro ir Pauliaus Katedra), Šiauliai;
- Basilica of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Šiluva;
- Cathedral of Saint Anthony of Padua (Šv. Antano Paduviečio katedra), Telšiai;
- Cathedral of the Visit of St. Virgin (Švč. M. Marijos Apsilankymo katedra), Vilkaviškis;
- Basilica of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Žemaičių Kalvarija.
- Christianization of Lithuania
- Cathedral of the Theotokos, Vilnius
- Saint Casimir
- Hill of Crosses
- Žemaičių Kalvarija
- (Lithuanian) "Romos katalikų daugiausia". Department of Statistics to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania. 2002-11-07.
- GigaCatholic Directory
- Catholic Hierarchy Catalog
- Foreword to the past: a cultural history of the Baltic people by Endre Bojtár, p. 140
- Lithuanian Saints and Witnesses of Faith on the Official Page of Catholic Church in Lithuania
- GCatholic Directory
- Katalikų Bažnyčia Lietuvoje / Catholic Church in Lithuania
- Official web site of Lithuanian Catholic Church
- Sanctuaries and Pilgrimage Sites in Lithuania
- "Lithuania". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.