The Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross and Saint Joseph was built in 1752-1766 on the order of Wacław Rzewuski, a Grand Crown Hetman (title of the highest military commander after the monarch) of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. He, according to some data, was the author of the project. The church was intended to become a copy of Baroque-Classicist Basilica of Superga, constructed in 1717-1731 in the vicinity of Turin, Italy.
The architect was Italian Carol Romanus. It was made of brick, with a diameter of 12 meters and the height of 27 meters. On the portico with 14 Corinthian style columns, 7 saint sculptures were placed (one of which was lost), including the one of Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph. The interior of the church was painted by numerous artists – both Ukrainian and from abroad. Walls were decorated with an opulent portrait of Wacław Rzewuski and epitaph plaques from grey marble to Aleksander Lubomirski (1804) and Rozalia Lubomirska (1794), who was among Queen Marie Antoinette of France’s favorite ladies-in-waiting and who died on the guillotine at Place de Grève in Paris together with her. Not too far there is a white marble Neo-Renaissance plaque to Leon Rzewuski (1869). There was also a commemorative plaque from pink marble in front for the event of erecting the church, dated 1763.
A beautiful straight path surrounded with symmetrical square-shaped planting beds lead from the Pidhirtsi castle to the church in the past. It created the sense of harmony and majesty as a worshipper was walking toward it.
Since 1861, it has become a parish church. During World War II, Saint Joseph's Church was shot with bullets, and one of the statues was destroyed by a shell. In 1945, it was closed. In the ‘70s, a lighting burned its dome, which was partly restored in 1976-1979, but inside the wall a large crack remained. Today, the shrine needs a major restoration, which can't be performed due to the absence of funding.
The Exaltation of the Holy Cross and Saint Joseph's Church is also repository of Saint Mykolaj Charnetskyj (1884-1959) relics – a Ukrainian bishop, Redemptorist, and professor of theological seminary - who suffered for 10 years in labor camps during Soviet regime. Among those who prayed to him, there are numerous cases of miraculous healings for desperately ill people with life-threatening diseases, and they continue to multiply to the present day.