Lithuania in the News
7th April 2013
Lithuanian Representation at the Inauguration of Pope Francis
President Dalia Grybauskaitė and Pope Francis. Photo courtesy
Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė attended the inauguration of Pope Francis at Vatican City on March 19, 2013. The President met the new Pope and spent some time in discussions with him. She also met up with other world leaders attending the inauguration.
On the eve of the inauguration ceremony, President Dalia Grybauskaitė visited the lovely and inspiring Lithuanian Chapel in Saint Peter's Basilica. The chapel was established at the height of the Cold War in 1970. It is one of ten chapels in St. Peter's Basilica and is dedicated to the Madonna of the Dawn Gate, which refers to the Shrine of the Virgin Mary in Vilnius, situated in a small upstairs chapel in the Dawn Gate, originally part of the medieval defensive wall of Vilnius. The late Pope John Paul II had a great devotion to the Madonna of the Dawn Gate, so much so that immediately after his inauguration he went to pray in the chapel.
President Grybauskaitė decorated the chapel with ‘verbas’, the traditional Lithuanian Palm Sunday decorations. The ‘verbas’ from the Vilnius region are particularly impressive and the President had bought them in the St Casimir’s fair in Vilnius earlier. A much larger ’verba’ was presented to the Pope as Lithuania’s gift for the inauguration.

Further information:
On this website: News Archive/ In Memoriam/ 02/04/2005 - Pope John Paul II