Mementote Josephum Woronowicz... The Collection of Liturgical Vessels of the Šakyna Church

Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis




Šakyna Church, Reverend Juozapas Antanas Varanavičius, liturgical vessels, commemorative inscription


During a historical and ethnographic field trip organised by the Šiauliai Aušros Mu-seum in 1938, primary data about the brick Šakyna Church built in 1789–90 and the parish cemetery chapel built in 1801–02 and its builder, Dean Juozapas Antanas Varanavičius (1747–1813), were collected. Attention was drawn not only to the unique architecture of these buildings, which has no analogues in Lithuania, but also to the personality of Varanavičius himself, testified by the surviving local residents’ stories, portraits of this person, and inscriptions commemorating his merits in several parts of the church and on the chapel’s masonry. The article presents a previously unrecorded part of Varanavičius’s memorial objects – a collection of liturgical vessels and utensils of the Šakyna Church. This collection, which, according to the current data, consists of a monstrance, a ciborium, an altar cross, three chalices, and three patens, could be identified thanks to Varanavičius’s wish to memorialise himself – although not all the vessels remained in their original place of storage, all of them bear commemorative inscriptions indicating the donor and the time of acquisition. It has been noticed that the vessels donated by Varanavičius were not expensive – many of them are functional and scantily decorated; at least some of them were made in the workshop of the famous Žemaitijan artisan Kristijonas Juozapas Štapeleris. Most attention is paid to the inscriptions and their historical value: the significance of the shapes and inscriptions of the vessels currently and formerly held in the Šakyna Church for the reconstruction of the biography and character description of the Žemaitija clergyman is revealed.

Author Biography

Dalia Vasiliūnienė, Lithuanian Culture Research institute, Vilnius, Lithuania

is an art historian, Doctor of Humanities (2003), senior research fellow of the Sacral Art Heritage Department of the Lithuanian Culture Research In­ stitute. Co­author of vol. I: Vilkaviškis Diocese, and vol. II, Šiauliai Diocese, within the series of Lithuanian Religious Art published since 1996, and the editor of some of its volumes. Main fields of scholarly interest include church art, the history and heritage of religious orders, sacred goldsmiths’ art. Authored the monograph Žemaičių Kalvarija: The History and Art of the Centre of Pilgrimage in the 17th–19th Centuries (2010) and compiled source editions: Power and Beauty in His Temple. Sacred Treasures of the Vilnius Archdiocese in the Church Heritage Museum (2013), Vilnius Monasteries and Their Treasuries. The Bernardine Convent of St Michael the Archangel (2019), The City of Heaven. The Legacy of Vilnius Monasteries in the Church Heritage Museum (2020). She has published several dozen articles in academic press, and taken part in various projects and popular scholarly and heritage protection initiatives.



How to Cite

Vasiliūnienė, D. (2023). Mementote Josephum Woronowicz. The Collection of Liturgical Vessels of the Šakyna Church: Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis. Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis, (110-111), 176–195.