Why the painting of Mary the Mother of God is outside the church

Thought the origin of the cult is veiled, it should most obviously be connected with the legend of miraculous spring “Studzienka” (A Little Well).

According to the story on the suburbs of the town there lived a poor but virtuous family of Stołowski. They often said their prayers to the picture of Blessed Virgin Mary, which was painted on a big wooden board. The parents devoutly asked God’s Mother for healing their blind son, a small kind-hearted boy who helped them in the household and pastured their goat on the hills of Kamionka. One night the boy had a dream in which the Blessed Virgin Mary came to him and announced he would soon regain his eyesight. On the very next day the goat led him to the Grudziądzka Gate. There he found a stream and when he put his hands into it, he recalled God’s Mother’s promise: “You shall wipe your eyes with the spring water and you shall see”.
Her words proved prophetic and he was healed. When the news of his miraculous recovery spread around, legions of believers arrived to the place in holy processions. On the spot where the spring flowed, a wonderful picture of the Blessed Virgin Mary from the Stołowskis’ hut was displayed and then a small chapel called “Studzienka” (A Holy Well) was erected.

It is believed, though not certified, that the first image of Our Sorrowful Lady of Chełmno was created on the turn of the 14th century. The painting, displayed on the Grudziądzka Gate, became a destination of numerous pilgrimages and an object of worship. In 1649 the parish-priest of Chełmno Jan Schmack ordered to move the picture into the Main Church to ensure it security. As the rumour has it, the picture got damage in the Swedish Wars (1655-1660) and that encouraged the priest to have a replica painted.