During his visit to Lithuania, together with the faithful from Lithuania and abroad, Pope John Paul II, recited the Rosary on September 4, 1993. Before the prayer, the Pope addressed the audience and said:
‘For many centuries, the shrine at Aušros Vartai has seen many pilgrims who daily bring their joys and woes to Our Lady of Mercy. For that reason, the gates have become a meeting place between the faithful and the Mother of Christ and His Church, and a symbol of unity for the faithful from Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and many other countries; this is a place where Christians can share their common faith as brothers and sisters in the presence of the Virgin Mary to express their common hope and charity.
There is a Lithuanian chapel in the Vatican, which hosts a copy of the same image that hangs here. The successor of St Peter in the Vatican often joins the common prayer of people in the Gates of Dawn in Vilnius – the prayer which ascends to God from this shrine. Today, at the beginning of my apostolic visit to the Baltic States, I am glad that I am here not only in spirit thorough my prayers, but also in my flesh. As a shepherd of the Universal Church, accompanied by your prayers, I come here today to lay my thanks and my prayers to the motherly hands of Mary.’