On Tuesday May 11th 2021, the roof of the Budslau-based Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary caught on fire. The sanctuary is one of the most important and influential centres of spiritual life in the country, and also a heritage-listed building. The precious icon of the Mother of God, painted in Rome and donated to the Belarusians by Pope Clement VIII in 1598, a revered image for the Catholic Church in this region, was saved.
Around 8 am, shortly before the start of Holy Mass, a fire broke out in the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Budslaw, the most beloved shrine of Belarusian Catholics.
Firefighters were trying to put out the blaze for more than four hours. Unfortunately, the roof of the church burnt out. Volunteers managed to take a number of liturgical tools, icons, books out of the church.
The Blessed Sacrament and Our Lady of Budslau, one of the most famous Belarusian icons, have been rescued and delivered to a safe place. The icon dates back to the 16th century; its main celebration which takes place on July, 2 was added to the List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.
The Conference of Catholic Bishops of Belarus has appealed to all the faithful to help restore the church as soon as possible.