The CCEE Presidency in Vilnius


Beatification of the Venerable Archbishop Theophilus Matulionis
Vilnius Cathedral, 25 June 2017

The President of CCEE, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, Archbishop of Genoa, and the Vice-presidents of the body which brings together the episcopate on the European continent, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, and His Grace Mgr Stanisław Gądecki, Archbishop of Poznań, will participate in the Beatification of the Venerable Archbishop Theophilus Matulionis (1873-1962).

The Beatification of Matulionis is the first beatification to be celebrated in Lithuania since the end of the era of Soviet totalitarianism. The last beatification of a venerable Lithuanian dates back to 30 years ago, but it took place in Rome due to the Soviet occupation.

In the Lithuanian capital, famous for being the place which houses the first painting of Merciful Jesus, carried out under the indications of Sr Faustina Kowalska, and the painting of Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn, numerous civil and religious authorities, coming from various European nations, will participate in the beatification celebration (see the attached list).

Commenting on the participation of the CCEE Presidency, the General Secretary of the European body, Mgr Duarte da Cunha, stated: “Europe was built also on the blood of the martyrs, such as Venerable Theophilus Matulionis, who under the Soviet, totalitarian and agnostic regime, spared no effort in defending the fundamental rights of each person and did all he could in particular to protect freedom of conscience. So by coming to Vilnius to share in the joy of the Lithuanian people, the CCEE Presidency wants to pay homage to Venerable Matulionis as the model of faithfulness to Christ, to the Church and to the Holy See, and to remind the continent of the need to protect religious freedom, looking to the testimony which people such as the Lithuanian Archbishop have given in defending the dignity of the person and the values by which Europe was shaped”.

The beatification ceremony will be preceded by a two-day Youth Festival. For further information:

Attached is a biography of Venerable Theophilus Matulionis (English, Polish, Italian).


Information for the media

Access to certain areas of the Cathedral as well as areas reserved for the media is reserved exclusively for accredited journalists.

Accreditation requests are open to:

– journalists who intend to cover the beatification of Theophilus Matulionis;

– to photographers and video reporters (and their crews), who intend to photograph or film the beatification.

Accreditation can be requested here.

After registration, a confirmation message will indicate the precise time and place where badges will be distributed on 25 June.

Those unable to attend the Beatification in Vilnius, but who still wish to cover the event, are requested to register on line here in order to receive the communiqués.

Immediately after the beatification (by Monday 26, a 0900) a HD quality video (up to 2 minutes) of the Mass will be prepared; accompanied by a text, it can be downloaded freely from the site and used for multimedia purposes without licence.

High-quality photos from the whole of the ceremony will be made freely available as soon as possible on the Archdiocesan Flickr account!

If there are any further requests, please contact:

Živile Peluritiene

Communications co-ordinator

Curia of the Archdiocese of Vilnius

P: + 370 5 268 59 48