Sanctuary

Beginnings of the Hodyszewo village reach the 15th century. The first mention of its existence dates back to 1505 years. The village name is derived from the Slavic name Hodysz. At that time peasants were settled in Hodyszewo, mainly Rusyn origin and Orthodox religion. The oldest record on existing the Orthodox Church in Hodyszewo is dated from 1558. After the Union of Brest in 1596 the parish in Hodyszewo incorporated into its structures. It is not known the exact date of accession, but it was probably in the near future after its conclusion at the end of the sixteenth century. The local community recognized the sovereignty of the Pope of Rome and accepted Catholic dogmas. Uniates preserved Byzantine liturgy, marriage of priests and communion under both kinds. Uniate church in Hodyszewo belonged to the diocese of Brest.

The most valuable in Hodyszewo is obviously an image of the Virgin Mary with Child, dating back to about 1630 years. The legend about appearing of the icon of the Mother of God on the tree and about funding the chapel for her became famous.

This legend complements in some way a gap in our knowledge of the donor image, because it is obvious that such a small parish could not afford to purchase such a valuable image. Historical data shows that was an Orthodox church in Hodyszewo approx. 80 years before the painting was done and exactly there was placed miraculous image.

In 1775 thanks to the efforts of Rev. Antoni Bańkowski was built a new parish church contributions from parishioners and local pilgrims. Its appearance has been described during the bishop's visitation in 1808. The church was triple: the chancel, nave and porch index. They were built on to the chancel the sacristy and the treasure house. Roof crowned with a dome and was covered with the cross with shingle, whereas walls were lined with boards. During this time, increased the importance of the Sanctuary in Hodyszewo as evidenced by votive submitted to Our Lady. It slowly becomes a place known not only for the residents of the neighborhood.

To the Mother of God "miracles famous" arriving pilgrims from "especially Russians from Grodno Government and Masurians, Kurps with myszyniecka and ostrołęcka wilderness, indeed from Kolno, Novgorod and even East Prussia, as well as the province of Sokołów Podlaski and Łosice". The Mother of God Catholic pilgrims also arrived even from further areas of the Republic, at one of the three altars in the temple Catholic priests with the pilgrims celebrated Holy Mass.

Extremely colorful and important person in the history of the Uniate parish was Rev. Feliks Bańkowski, last pastor before the final abolition of the union and the inclusion of the parish of the Orthodox Church. Rev. Felix was a pastor in Hodyszewo for 44 years. Famous for its patriotism, despite the ban on Russian authorities preached in Polish.

Still followed by the tsarist police and threatened imprisonment or severe financial penalties during the liturgy in place of the name of the Tsar - as it was ordered by the Russian authorities - mentioned the name of the pope. In 1872 the authorities reported that at Easter with the faithful read and sang in Polish. This constant harassment by the Russian authorities has led to the fact that in September 1773 he submitted a request for retirement. For a short while other Uniate priest who arrived from Galicia took manage the parish, but only for in order to prepare Hodyszewo taking over by the Orthodox Church what finally took place in 1875.

The persecution, imprisonment and fines imposed on the Uniate and Catholic clergy who offered the sacraments for treatment units and parishioners who do not want to comply with the new religious orders of the tsarist government.

After the administration turned to the Orthodox Church Uniate began generous support of the parish in Hodyszewo. In 1776, a special commission decided to dismantling a wooden Uniate church and build a new brick church. At the time of construction standing next to church the bell tower was converted to a temporary church and placed there iconostasis with the miraculous image of Our Lady. Dismantling of the century-old Uniate church was started in 1878 and immediately began to build a new church in the Russian style. It was officially dedicated in 1881. Interestingly, the miraculous image was transferred to the new temple only in 1890 and placed in the iconostasis.

In summer 1915 Orthodox priest acting as the parish priest fled from the approaching German troops. Along with him a small number of members of the Orthodox Church inhabiting the parish went to the wandering. In the same year, on the turn of the July and the August, "psałmoszczyk" person who performing role as a organist in parish Hodyszewo, Ignacy Maksymowicz Orlański took and exported into Russia miraculous image of Our Lady with votive offerings and liturgical vestments. The image was taken away by him very far, as far as the province of Poltava, Jeremiejówka village in the Złotonosza district.

Abandoned church in Hodyszewo was taken over by Rev. Józef Gustajtis, who was the pastor of a nearby Catholic parish in Piekuty, where during World War I the temple burnt down. Rev. Józef began to celebrate Masses and service in the church in Hodyszewo, he start also creating the foundations of a new Roman Catholic parish there, which was founded in 1917. In 1919 Rev. Józef Gustajtis returned to Piekuty to built, a temporary chapel, and to the parish in Hodyszewo was directed Rev. Antoni Czerniewicz.

With the war wandering slowly began to return to Hodyszewo its residents. Serving in the Tsarist army Mr. Dominik Zaniewki after returning to Hodyszewo, established mail contact with Ignacy Maksymowicz Orlański and learned of the location of the image of Our Lady. About his discovery he notified the contemporary parish priest. After the Polish-Bolshevik war in 1921 on the basis of repossession agreements, there is a chance to recover the image.

A contemporary parish priest in Hodyszewo Rev. Szymon Bagiński sought it along with the bishop of Łomża Rev. Stanisław Kostka Łukomski. The painting was recovered, and in April 1926 he returned to Warsaw. Thanks to the efforts of the Polish President Mr. Ignacy Mościcki, the image after maintenance, framed in a new, beautiful frame, has been returned to Hodyszewo in May 1928.
The arrival of the image held by many of the faithful with the participation of the entire region.
At the train station in Szepietowo on image of Our Lady from Hodyszewo waited for more than 10 thousandth crowd of faithful in a procession to move the image first to Dąbrówka Kościelna - which gathered nearly 30,000 people – then to the Nowe Piekuty and finally to Hodyszewo. All the way turned over to Our Lady extraordinary honor and there was great joy.

Aged Orthodox Church after the war was in a very poor condition. After returning the image, the church soon proved too small to accommodate the incoming pilgrims. Besides its architecture, typical of the Russian Orthodox Church, was not accepted by the local people that his Polish and patriotism developed during the Russian persecution. That's all it caused, that they had started amassing funds for construction of the new temple. At first dealt with it parish priest Rev. Antoni Szwaluk who welcomed the image of the Mother of God to her earth. Rev. Marcjan Dąbrowski continued his work and established the Committee of Construction of the Church in Hodyszewo.
Selected project very well-known architect Mr. Oskar Sosnowski in 1932 and began excavations for the foundations. Until the outbreak of war, the temple of bricked walls, concrete vault and set the steel construction of the dome. The war interrupted the works for several years. After World War II work was resumed, starting them to repair the damage caused by the fighting in the area of Hodyszewo in 1944.

The Temple even without the dome was sacred by the bishop of Łomża Rev. Czeslaw Falkowski May 22, 1949 year. Complete the work on the dome took an extremely energetic priest Rev. Boleslaw Garbowski. He also ordered the temple plastering inside and painted its walls.

In 1976, Bishop Mikołaj Sasinowski submitted sanctuary to the care of the Pallottines Priests who are the custodians of the Miraculous Image of Mary to this day.

August 31, 1980, Father Archbishop of Krakow, Cardinal Franciszek Macharski made the coronation of the image of Our Lady from Hodyszewo as a Queen of Podlasie, and the whole diocese of Łomża gave under her care.