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Raczki Area Wayside Shrines


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Poland is noted for local shrines built at crossroads or on roadsides; several such shrines are in the Raczki area. While many of the shrines I saw in other parts of Poland were built around statues of Mary or saints, those in the photos below, made of cast iron and/or stone and generally consisting of a crucifix, are characteristic of those I saw in Raczki. The variety of materials, the uniqueness of design of each, the care with which each was built, and the love with which each is maintained are powerful expressions of religious belief and devotion.

picture of my fatherI'd like to thank my father, Casimir Ostrowski, for his guidance and help in translating the inscriptions.

Shrine South of Town

This shrine is located in front of a residence
on the main road south of town;
the inscription on its concrete base states
that it was constructed in memory of
two local families.

Rudniki Area Shrine

This shrine with a delicately filigreed
wrought iron crucifix stands
in front of cropland on the Rudniki road;
it also was constructed in memory of someone.

Another Shrine in Rudniki

Further along the Rudniki road is
this stone shrine with an inscription reading
"Przez Krzyż i Mękę Twoją Zbaw Nas Jezu";
("Through the cross and your suffering save us[,] Jesus").
Another inscription at its base states that
it was funded by a local family.

A third Rudniki Shrine

The inscription on this shrine,
also in Rudniki, reads:
"Panie Jezu zawierzamy miłosierdziu twemu"
("Lord Jesus[,] we believe in your kind heart ['charity']").

Wasilowka Shrine
This shrine is located at an intersection
in Wasilówka. The upper inscription reads
"Odpowietrza Ognia Głodu i Wojny Zachowai[j] Nas Panie"
("From the fire of the air [,] famine and war protect us[,] Lord").
The lower inscription reads "Pamiątka Młodziezy 1918"
("In memory of the youth of 1918").

Wasilowka Shrine

This shrine at the same intersection as the one above
bears the initials "J Z" and a date of 1905 on the base.


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