Kodeń

Kodeń

Settlement
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Kodeń

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Kodeń is a village and the site of a famous Marian shrine in eastern Poland, on the Bug River which forms the border between Poland and Belarus. Administratively, it belongs to Biała Podlaska County in Lublin Voivodeship. It is the seat of the gmina (administrative district) called Gmina Kodeń. It has about 1,900 inhabitants (2006). It lies approximately south-east of Biała Podlaska and north-east of the regional capital Lublin.

The first written mention comes from the 16th century, stating a settlement existed here already a century ago. This settlement was purchased by the voivode of Podlaskie Jan Sapieha, who fortified it and in 1511 established a town under Magdeburg law.

In the 17th century the fourth owner of Kodeń Mikołaj Sapieha brought to the town the wonder working icon portraying the Spanish statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe, said to have been painted by Archbishop Saint Augustine of Canterbury at the request of Pope Saint Gregory the Great. According to the local legend, Mikołaj Sapieha stole this image from Pope Urban VIII in 1630, however afterwards the Pope lifted the excommunication and gave the icon along with many relics to the basilica in Kodeń in recognition of Sapiehas actions in defense of the Church. There are no documents confirming those events and most likely the icon was simply purchased during a pilgrimage to Spain. The icon was crowned in 1723 by the bishop Stefan Rupniewski with crowns conferred by Pope Innocent XIII.

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