The Catholic Church of St. John the Baptist in Volpa village

Volkovysk district of the Republic of Belarus is considered the richest treasury of our state, which keeps a lot of amazing historical moments. Volpa village has a historical-architectural monument – the Catholic Church of St. John the Baptist. This сhurch is included in the list of historical-cultural heritage of our state.  

The construction of this sanctuary dates back to 1773. However, you should look into history a little deeper, in 1478, when there lived Chancellor Olekhno Sudzimontovich with his wife Yadviga. In fact, those historical figures were directly relevant to the construction of this Catholic Church on those lands.        

The Sudzimontovich family supported that Shrine financially, and the priests, in turn, pledged to hold services twice a week. The first service was for great grandfathers of the Sudzimontovich family, and the other one was directly for the master and his wife. In 1526, that Catholic Church was one of the richest Shrines, and a significant role was played by Metropolitan Paul, who was a grandson of the Sudzimontovich family.

The years went by, the church in the Belarusian settlement of Volpa was moribund, and a new wooden church was built again on its place in 1753. Two decades later, the priest Yuzef Kosakovsky, who considered the condition of the old church dilapidated, constructed a new, but also wooden building. The Shrine of amazing beauty, built in the style of late Baroque, has two majestic towers on a square base and two small towers over a triangle butt-end.

The spiritual father served faithfully the church and the people living on those lands for 12 years. The priest also built many houses and outhouses.

It is difficult to imagine, however, the Catholic Church of St. John the Baptist in Volpa village, being a wooden structure of 1773, has been preserved almost intact to our time. Of course, many temples of the Republic of Belarus, during their centuries-old history, experienced a lot of modifications, both architectural and caused by various events. However, that temple remained intact by neither cold wars, nor uprisings, nor revolutions. If you are going to study the heritage of the Republic of Belarus, you should definitely mark on your tourist route this amazing Catholic Church of St. John the Baptist in Volpa village. In addition, the church has a quite rare, one might even say, unique work — the ancient altar, analogues of which are nowhere else on the Belarusian lands. The altar is made in dark colors with gold-plated elements. It is decorated with columns, which are surrounded with grape leaves at the base. The image of the Crucifix is depicted in the very center of the altar, and there are the images of St. John and St. Casimir around it. The altar is crowned with two images of angels and a figured pediment. The image of the Creator seated on a cloud is in the center of the altar.

There is a small chapel that is located not far from the Catholic Church of St. John the Baptist. It is unknown today who was buried in the chapel. From the memories of local old-timers, it can be concluded that, most likely, the founder of the temple was buried there.