St. Andrew’s church
From the vestibule, move to the main part of the temple. Upon entering turn your head upwards and examine the polychromes painted in the years 1893—1896 by Aleksander Miklasiński. In the main nave, there are scenes depicting the Ascension of Christ. Note the lancet shape of the rood beam separating the nave from the chancel and the shapes of the windows in the chancel: this is what remained from the previous gothic temple, which burnt. In the rood beam, there is a cross from the 17th century. Come closer and take a look at the vault in the chancel. Here you can observe a depiction of the Assumption of Mary, also referred to as the Mother of Mercy. Now move your sight a bit down to the main altar. It was made in 1887 in the neo-baroque style. The central painting presents the martyrdom of St. Andrew. Above the painting, there is a relief of St. Michael the Archangel. Look to the right and to the left from the altar. You will see the figures of the following saints: Peter, Paul, Adalbert and Stanisław.
Take a few steps to the left and observe the pulpit. This neo-baroque element and the main altar probably come from the same period. It features the images of the four Evangelists and the patron of the church. Move a few steps backward.
You now stand in front of an eclectic side altar dedicated to St. Joseph with the Child. The upper part of the alter houses a painting of St. Szymon of Lipnica.
Move left to the so-called “potters’” chapel. You can now admire a neo-baroque altar dedicated to Holy Mary, made in 1896. Formerly, a figure of Mary Immaculate was here, but after the beatification of John Paul II both the chapel and the altar were dedicated to him, as he was significantly connected to the Lipnica region and repeatedly visited this temple while still a cardinal, which is commemorated on a plaque embedded in the outer wall of the church.
You can see a wooden baroque altar dedicated to Jesus Crucified, which is the oldest and most valuable altar in this temple. The precise date of its origin is undetermined, but we know that it existed in the 18th century.
Walk along the nave toward the exit, turn left at the matroneum and go to the side chapel separated with a grating. Enter it. You can now see one of the most precious treasures of sacral art in the Małopolska Region.
It is the figure of the Beautiful Madonna and Child from 1370, a gift from King Casimir III the Great for the parish in Lipnica. Art historians call it the predecessor of all other Madonnas1 in the Małopolska Region because it is much older than the majority of medieval representation of the Mother of God preserved in the region. It is older even than the famous Madonna of Krużlowa kept in the collection of the National Museum in Cracow. The sculpture is placed in a shuttered recess in the rococo altar made in 1866. When the shutter is down, one can admire the likeness of the Holy Family with St. Anne and St. Joachim.
Two characters stand at both sides of Mary: St. Hyacinth and St. Dominic. Since 2011, a Rosary Procession of Light is held in Lipnica, during which a copy of the figure you are looking at is carried through the streets. The parishioners pray for their needs and a recoronation of Mary’s sculpture in Lipnica. On the opposite side of the altar stands a figure representing the Dormition of Holy Mary, probably one of the oldest elements in the church’s equipment, dated back to the second half of the 14th century.
WE, YOUR SERVANTS IN OUR GLOOMY DAILY LIFE
1. In our gloomy daily life, your figure shines like a crystal.
Mary, you are the beam of light in our lives on the days of uncertainty.
Chorus: Oh, our Mother, the Lady of Lipnica,
Who resides in this altar.
We are your servants, lead us,
And support us in hard moments. (…)
3. Oh Mother, give us your goodnight blessing, it is time to leave your chapel.
The week will soon be gone and we will venerate you again all together with our songs.
Chorus: Oh, our Mother, the Lady of Lipnica,
Lead us home.
And for those who cannot be with their families
Shorten the time of separation.
/Words: Krystyna Michalska; music: author unknown/
1. God has chosen you, who come from the land of Lipnica:
You, our countryman, Szymon, Teresa, and Urszula.
To make you the spokespersons in heaven
Of our needs, both in the times of happiness and sorrow.
2. Let this land that fed you
Have a powerful representation before God.
So that it will always be loyal to Christ,
And keep the heritage of its grandparents.
3. Always guard the city, Szymon,
Protect the faith, Blessed Teresa,
Mother Urszula, you know the sorrows of this land,
Put in a word for us at the throne of God.
4. Oh, the Land of Saints, how happy you are!
God looks upon you with such love.
May the stream of grace always fall upon us,
Support us in heaven, you the Saints of Lipnica.
/Words: sister Pawła Świerkosz, SJK; music: author unknown/