Constructed of wood, the Church of Sts. Philip and Jacob, the Apostles, and the Dominican monastery were built in the suburb of Lukiskes in 1642. Among the responsibilities of the Dominican monks were to provide free burial and attend to the spiritual needs of the poor. Prior to the arrival of the Dominicans, the poor had been buried in the city cemetery, which had been located on this site. The wooden Church was burned down during the wars with Moscow. In the 13th century the Church was reconstructed using masonry materials and remains almost unchanged to this day. During the Soviet occupation, the Church was used as a warehouse for fruit and vegetables, then a storage facility for the Opera and Ballet Theater. A hospital operated in the former monastery until 2004.
The image of the Mother of God of Lukiskes in this Church became renowned as miraculous at the end of the 17th century. This icon was brought back to Lithuania from wars with Russia by Motiejus Korvinas Gosievskis, artillery general of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Soon after, the faithful started experiencing miracles through the intercession of Our Lady of Lukiskes, which were, subsequently, recorded in the book “The Mystic Fountain”, published in 1737.
During the Soviet years it was thought that the miraculous icon was lost, but it was later discovered at St. Raphael Church, located across the river. After the restoration of Lithuania’s independence, Sts. Philip and Jacob Church and the image of Our Lady of Lukiskes were returned to the Dominicans. The Dominican general vicarage headquarters for Belarus, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were established here. In 2015, the newly-restored Church carillon – a unique 61 bell instrument – rang for the first time. This carillon is the largest in the Baltics.