Modlivý důl (Prayer Valley) near Svojkov in the Liberec Region is one of the most haunting spots in the Lusatian Mountains. The monolithic rock chapel created in one of the sandstone rocks of a former mine is an old pilgrimage site that has been dubbed “the small Lourdes”.
The history of this pilgrimage site goes back to 1704 when a local farmer placed a picture of the Virgin Mary on the rock face and prayed for a happy marriage and sons. Others followed his example and in 1760 one of the locals replaced the image with a consecrated picture of the Virgin Mary.
People came to ask for blessings and rumors of answered prayers and miracles began to spread. The pious Countess Cervelli from Svojkov ordered the erection of a wooden chapel and the picture of the Virgin Mary was moved to the chapel.
But not everybody was happy with the new pilgrimage site. The pastor in Sloup resented the fact that local believers often went to the forest chapel to pray instead of going to his church. In 1807 the church denounced the processions to the chapel as idolatry and ordered it to be stripped of its interior and for the picture of the Virgin Mary to be transferred to the church in Sloup.
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Author: Daniela Lazarová