The name of the city of Marijampolė has its origins in the Marian monks – it is the city of Marians, city of Maria. The first monks who settled in our city were Adalbertas Strachas and Hiacintas Vasiliauskas. The primary goals of the Marians back then were helping bishops in their parishes, praying for the dying ones and developing educational activities. Immediately after settling, the monks founded a primary school, they also helped the neighbouring bishops in carrying out missions and recollections.
After the 1863 uprising, the Tsarist government of Russia condemned the Marian monastery to extinction. Many monasteries were destroyed, and the Marians were left with only one monastery – that of Marijampolė, but only until the last Marian monk passed away. No new novices were allowed.
In 1909, in the city of Warsaw, bishop Jurgis Matulaitis secretly gave the Marian vows in witness of the last Marian monk alive, bishop Vincentas Senkus. Before long, more Marian candidates emerged.
After Lithuania regained independence in 1918, Marijampolė became the centre of the Marian monkhood. In the Interwar period, more than one hundred monks lived and worked here. In 1922, the monastery gained its current look after construction of a gallery connecting the second floor with the churchyard. One year later the Marian Gymnasium was built. This place was the home to one of the largest libraries in the country, which had around 50,000 books. The Marians had a publishing and printing house, wood workshop, orangery and great garden.
The first and second Soviet occupations ceased the Marian work. The Soviet government of Lithuania closed all monasteries and expropriated their property. The Marian monks had to live and work scattered until Independence.
Currently the Marian fathers and brothers of Marijampolė not only serve the God and Church, but also take care of the monastery’s heritage and tries to make it accessible for as many Lithuanian and foreign pilgrims as possible.