The Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary in the village of Darevo
Lyakhovichi, Darevo village
Churches, katolik churches, сathedral, monasteries
Snow-white temples, proudly raising their graceful steeples to the blue sky, enrapture everyone who sees them. Many of them become real symbols of the cities in which they are located (for example, The Church of Francis Xavier in Grodno or The Holy Spirit Cathedral in Minsk). One of the most beautiful churches is located in the village of Darevo (Lyakhovichsky district) and occupies an honourable place among the sights of the Brest region.
The history of the village Darevo and its Catholic parish
The village of Darevo is united with Darevo-Chizh and Lithuania villages into one settlement. It was first mentioned in written sources in the XV century. The first Catholic church appeared in the village at the same time: the owner of the land was the Montigerdovich dynasty, and in 1440 they initiated the construction of a Catholic church. It was built on the high bank of the Schara river and it was wooden (by the way, the modern building is located right on the same place). A century later, in 1540, a full-fledged Catholic parish was founded in Darevo and a new church was built.
The temple was first destroyed during the Thirteen Years War (1654-1667). There is information that it was rebuilt by 1841
The village, along with the temple was practically wiped out during the First World War: it was right on the front line. Only when, under the terms of the Riga Peace Treaty, the village was ceded to Poland, the temple was rebuilt and a stone Catholic church was built.
An interesting fact from VETLIVA: it is believed that due to the lack of funds and building materials, improvised materials were used in the construction of the Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary. The blocks, carved in the surrounding German pillboxes of the First World War were used.
From 1939 the village was part of the BSSR, during the Second World War (from 1941 to 1944) it was occupied. After the war, the temple was closed, the building was used as a warehouse. It was returned to believers only in the 90s of the 20th century.
Recent History of the Catholic Parish in Darevo
In the twentieth century, the Catholic parish in Darevo was going through hard times. During The Second World War, on the eve of the destruction of the village, the inhabitants managed to save the bells of the temple: they were simply removed from it and drowned in Schare river. For a long time there was not a full-fledged church: Father Casimir Vankovich founded a chapel in 1926, where services were held. In 1931, Stanislav Shaplevich became rector, who began to actively develop the design of the new church. In 1936, the chapel burned down, and that prompted local residents to build a full-fledged church. Already on August 15, 1538, the church was consecrated, but it worked for a year only. In 1939, it was closed down, and Stanislav Shaplevich was forced to hide from the authorities: first from the NKVD, then from the Germans, who suspected him of relations with the underground Polish army of Craiova. The priest was detained in 1947 and exiled to Inta for 25 years.
After his release in 1956, Shaplevich returned to his homeland. However, there was a warehouse in the temple, so he was not able to resume the service ...
An interesting fact from VETLIVA: the Church of the Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary was repeatedly near to be destroyed. It was under fire in 1944, in 1986 it was set on fire, but only the roof burned down: the walls of the German dugouts still survived.
In 1990, believers received their temple back. Divine services began to be held again, and two years later, Cardinal Kazimir Sventek had already consecrated it.
The church is still working today, it is the historical and cultural value of Belarus. It is surrounded by a beautiful fence with an arched entrance, and in memory of the legendary holy father, a bust of Stanislav Shaplevich is installed near it. Perfect contrast is created by its snow-white walls and multi-coloured stained-glass windows. Take a look here, travelling around Belarus as part of an excursion or a tour, and capture its elegant appearance in the photographs. Such a magnificent sight shall be remembered for a long time!
Sources: https://34travel.me/, https://deskgram.net/explore/tags/darevo