Lichen is the second-largest centre of pilgrimage in Poland after Częstochowa. The object of cult around which it is built up is a diminutive miraculous image of Our Lady of Sorrows, Queen of Poland. The image is now held in a new basilica, consecrated in 2004, which is the biggest church in Poland and one of the largest in the world.
The image of Our Lady was found in a wood by a returning veteran of the Napoleonic Wars, Tomasz Kłossowski, who hung it on a tree. The local people soon started to venerate it, especially after a poor shepherd, Mikołaj Sikatka, had a series of Marian visions when praying before it in 1850. On these occasions, Our Lady asked Sikatka to urge people to say the rosary and contemplate the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. In her second appearance, she advised him that priests should explore the meaning of the Holy Mass more profoundly and celebrate it with greater veneration. When she revealed herself to him for the third time, she promised the rebirth of Poland; this was at a time when the country was divided between Prussia and Russia.