The legends of the Pažaislis Monastery

How K. Z. Pac got rid of devils

A story popular in the vicinity of Pažaislis tells of the local devils who upon seeing such a majestic church being built to their perdition decided to turn it to ruins at any cost. To decide upon their plan, they gathered inside an old wheel hub they had found mislaid near the site. The patron of the church and the monastery Krzysztof Zygmunt Pac also happened to be nearby. Warned by the Holy Ghost about the devils plotting something nefarious, he ordered the wheel to be nailed up with a wedge made of mountain ash – its blows hit evil spirits the hardest – and to be thrown into the fire.

King Charles XII of Sweden

During the Northern War, at the beginning of the 18th century (some sources give a more exact date, the year of 1706), King Charles XII of Sweden – freezing from cold – reached the Pažaislis Monastery. In the foresteria, allured by an incredibly realistically painted burning fireplace in the Pac Hall, he wished to spend a while warming himself. Enraged upon realising it was merely a deception, he kicked the fireplace with his dirty shoe so hard that it even left a mark on the wall. The Camaldolese monks didn’t wash the stain and kept it as a testimony of the King of Sweden’s visit.

The Camaldolese monks

The legend tells that the Camaldolese never talked to each other; if two monks met, they would merely remind one another about the imminence of death, exchange memento mori, and part ways. Locals say that these monks’ lives were so ascetic that they even slept resting their heads on a brick.

The bell of the monastery

In the twentieth century, a legend spread which said that the bell from the bellfry in the hermitage once fell down and rolled over into Nemunas. According to the legend, one can still hear that bell ringing on the second of July of every year.