The Destruction of a Chapel

    In the middle of a large forest between Kuršėnai and Žarėnai-Latveliai stood an 8 meter by 5 meter concrete chapel. Surrounding it were over fifty cement, wooden, and metal crosses. They were erected mostly as tokens of thanksgiving to God for restored health and other favors since people considered the spot miraculous. A spring flowed some 50 meters from the chapel, and it too was considered miraculous. In the chapel hung the greatly revered picture of the Mother of God of Perpetual Help. Before the war thousands of people came here for the Feast of the Ascension.

    Recently the chapel was restored with the donations of the faithful; a beautiful Gothic altar was built, a floor was laid and a ceiling installed, and everything was repainted.

    Old people say that those who perished during the uprising of 1863 were buried here.

    During the fall of 1974, Šiauliai Rayon Executive Committee Chairman Beržinis and Party Secretary Rupšys, along with Forestry Director Kavaliauskas, Union Chairman Žaltauskas, and others, summoned a group of policemen and security agents and very early one morning before dawn demolished the chapel, burying it in a hole dug with a tractor. The statuettes were burned on the spot. The crosses were taken away 10 kilometers by truck and buried. The spring was covered with earth.