Lithuania in the News
23rd September 2018
New Digital Life Given to the Image of Divine Mercy in Vilnius
Divine Mercy 3D © VGTU LinkMenų fabrikas
For the occasion of Pope Francis’ visit to Lithuania, September 22 - 23, 2018, Lithuania’s capital city Vilnius is bringing religion into the digital age with an exciting new virtual reality project - a 3D version of the Shrine of Divine Mercy, complete with the world-famous image of Divine Mercy. Different versions of the painting can be found in Catholic churches throughout the world, although few know it originated in Vilnius. Painted in 1934 in Vilnius, the image of Divine Mercy has become an icon for Catholics around the world and is one of the Catholicism’s most sacred treasures.
Vilnius’ Mayor, Remigijus Šimašius, said: “Historically, religion always played a big role in Vilnius. The image of Divine Mercy that originated here has had a huge impact, spreading to churches all over the world. .... Now, with the help of technology, we hope to bring it back to life again so that millions can enjoy it. It’s an example that shows religion and technology can co-exist, and also perfectly represents how Vilnius is moving into the future with creativity and ingenuity without forgetting about our past.”
The project has been the initiative of Go Vilnius (the city’s tourism and business development agency) and carried out by VGTU’s LinkMenų fabrikas, the innovation and creativity centre of Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (VGTU) with support of Drone Team, a local 3D scanning and modelling company. VGTU LinkMenų fabrikas team used cutting-edge technology to meticulously scan every millimetre of the painting and all its surroundings in order to create a virtual environment that mirrors the shrine in every way. For last Christmas the team had also created the ground breaking nano-sized nativity scene. (See on this website, News, January 7, 2018 – “The 2017 Vilnius Christmas Festivities Astound the World”).
Boasting picturesque churches and narrow cobbled streets, Vilnius is a vibrant city of contrasts. The city attracts over 1 million tourists every year, with over 30,000 pilgrims. Vilnius has been an important religious destination for over 400 years. With its rich history and unique mosaic of churches, the image of Divine Mercy serves as the ultimate site of pilgrimage in the city, with visitors travelling many thousands of miles to see the painting and ask for blessing.
Vilnius has embraced the digital age, becoming a hi-tech hub and showcasing its use of innovative technologies in different areas, including religion.
Just recently August 24 -26, Melbourne in Australia hosted the 4th Oceania Apostolic Congress of Mercy, which was attended by the Archbishop of Vilnius Gintaras Grušas and Lithuanian Parliamentarian Rita Tamašunienė. They encouraged religious tourism to Lithuania, in particular to experience Vilnius as a witness to Divine Mercy. Rita Tamašunienė also met up with Lithuanian communities in Melbourne and Sydney.

This news item is based in part on a press release by Go Vilnius, September 21, 2018.
CONTACT - Gintarė Kavaliūnaitė, Go Vilnius Public Relations Manager, phone. +370 617 45202, email: , website:
Further information:
The 3D format of the Shrine of Divine Mercy is available for the whole world to see under
Video on how the Divine Mercy image and Divine Mercy Shrine was recreated in 3D:
Divine Mercy story and pilgrimage in Vilnius:
Vilnius pilgrim route: