Holy Trinity Church in Zhodishki village

Holy Trinity Church in Zhodishki village


Churches, katolik churches, сathedral, monasteries

Holy Trinity Catholic Church of Zhodishki (Smorgon district) is famous for its ancient organ and the fact that its senior priest Vintsent Godlevsky was a well-known figure of national Renascence at one time. In addition, the temple belonged earlier to Calvinists... 

It has never been closed 

The first church in Zhodishki was built in 1553 by Ostikovich who owned the borough. The church was made of wood, so the new owners Komar family erected a stone church in 1612 (consecrated in the same year).

When Kishka came to Zhodishki, the church served as a Calvinist temple (according to another version, it was another building). Anyway, after the Counter-Reformation and with the coming of the Jesuits to the town (1708), the temple was taken to the Catholics in 1820.

It is known that after the uprising of 1863-64's, the senior priest of the church Vishnevsky was exiled to Kostroma, but the church was not closed by the authorities, although some valuable icons – “Heart of Jesus”, “St. Josaphat”, “Blessed Andrew Bobola” – were confiscated.

Mass at the Holy Trinity Church in Zhodishki took place in the most unfavorable days for the religion, but the Church had never been closed. However, during World War I, the temple suffered greatly – the bell tower was destroyed. In 1920, it underwent a renovation, but the bell tower was not restored. 

The architectural features of the temple

Church of Zhodishki is an architectural monument of the Renaissance style. It is a cross-shaped stone one-nave building with a square apse chancel, sacristy to the north and corner buttresses.

The nave is covered with a gable roof. The main facade is finished with a shield; the entrance portal is decorated with rustic stonework. Walls are decorated with flat blades and arched windows. Organ-loft is placed above the entrance.

Belarusians – to the left, Poles – to the right ...

In 1924, the senior priest of the church was a famous Belarusian priest and social activist Vintsent Godlevsky (a member of the Belarusian National Committee in 1917, a member of the BNR Rada in 1918, one of the founders of the Belarusian Christian Democracy).

Godlevsky was a supporter of Belarusization of Catholicism in our country. He is one of the first to preach in a church in the Belarusian language, for what he was persecuted by the Polish authorities. 

So, even the temple authorities created a special commission, which was to ascertain the nationality of the parishioners. After the evening Mass, representatives of the commission asked the parishioners to go out of the church and group in the yard, depending on what nationality he considers himself. Belarusians were to be on the left side of the temple, Poles – on the right one. The result disappointed Commission. Ninety percent of the parishioners were the Belarusians.

During all his activity, a priest Godlevsky spent two years in a Polish prison, but was released under pressure from parish that threatened government with a revolt. Church services in the temple are conducted in the Belarusian language even now.

Interesting Facts

  • Large, old organ is still functions in the Church of the Holy Trinity, which appeared in the temple in 1727.
  • The church has preserved paintings of famous Belarusian and Lithuanian painter and graphic artist Pyotr Sergievich (who was born in Braslav). He also created one of the icons of the Holy Trinity Church in Zhodishki.
  • In 2012, the church celebrated its 400th anniversary. The solemn Mass was led by Grodno Biskup Aleksandr Kashkevich.

The church belongs to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Grodno (eparchy) of Smorgon deanery of the Roman Catholic Church in Belarus.


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