Krakow Trail of Saints

There is no other city in this part of Europe with so many graves of people recognised as saint or blessed by the Catholic Church. It was not without a reason that Jan Mucante, master of the ceremony in the delegation of Papal Legate Cardinal Gaetano, wrote in 1596: "If there was no Rome, Krakow would be Rome." Currently, the local churches hold the earthly remains of nine saints, seven blessed and a similar number of Servants of God who died in an aura of sanctity.

The prayer at the graves of people recognised as saints has been practised in Christianity for two thousand (and in Krakow for almost nine hundred) years. Individual centuries witnessed the lives of great characters enjoying special veneration and attracting thousands of tourists who wanted to pray at their graves. Such persons included St Stanislaus, St Hyacinth, and recently - St Mary Faustine Kowalska.

While visiting the Royal Capital City of Krakow, it is worth noticing that it is not only unique due to its historic buildings inscribed on the first list of the UNESCO Heritage Sites in 1978. Krakow owes its genius loci above all to the people that used to live here. The graves of some of them, located in nineteen beautiful churches in Krakow, compose the "Krakow Trail of Saints" and invite tourists to contemplate not only the magnificent architecture of the city, but also its spiritual history marked by the lives of saint bishops, missionaries, preachers, kings and princes, humble priests, ordained sisters and brothers, as well as the so-called lay people. The trail also includes three martyrs of the Second World War, whose graves can be found neither in Krakow's not in other sanctuaries. These people are still remembered in Krakow's churches in which they lived and worked.

The list of places included in the "Krakow Trail of Saints" is naturally an open one.

 

Archcathedral Basilica of Saints Stanislaus of Szczepanów and Wenceslaus on the Wawel Hill
- St Bishop Stanislaus of Szczepanów (+1079)
- St Queen Jadwiga of Poland (+1399)
- blessed Wincenty Kadłubek (+1223)
- Bishop Jan Prandota (+1266)

Holy Father John Paul II said about the cathedral on the Wawel Hill that it encompasses "enormous greatness that our entire history and our entire past apply to speak to us". It is the burial place of Polish kings, princes, bishops and distinguished writers. The centre of the cathedral is occupied with a Baroque tomb of St Stanislaus (deceased in 1079) with the remains of the famous Polish martyr. In the past, it functioned as the national altar – Ara Patriae. Kings and great leaders prayed and presented their war trophies from victorious battles at the foot of the Krakow's martyr. They also asked for miraculous, supernatural interventions here.

Jan Prandota, the Bishop of Krakow (deceased in an aura of sanctity in 1266), found his place of eternal rest in the chapel of the House of Vasa. The relics of blessed Wincenty Kadłubek (deceased in 1223) are honoured in a silver coffin at the altar of Bishop Piotr Tomicki. A captivating image of the Lord Jesus, dating from the second half of the 14th century, is situated next to the sacristy. According to the tradition, Christ spoke from this cross to St Queen Jadwiga. The earthly remains of saint monarch (deceased in 1399) lie in front of the crucifix. Her marriage with Lithuanian Prince Jagiełło led to the Christianisation of Lithuania. She cared for the poor and diseased, founded several hospitals and took care of sanctuaries. She was known for her exceptional devotion to God present in the Eucharist. In her last will, she allocated all of her jewels to the renovation of the Krakow Academy. She was beatified, and later canonised by John Paul II in the Błonia Park in Krakow. The celebration organised on 8 June 1997 was one of only a few held outside Vatican. A pupil of Jan Długosz, Saint Prince Casimir IV Jagiellon, whose grave is in the Vilnius Cathedral, spent a lot of time on prayer in the Wawel Cathedral.

During particularly solemn celebrations in the cathedral, worshippers may pray in front of the original painting of Gracious Mother of God – normally stored in the cathedrals' treasury – in front of which, in 1656 in Lviv, Polish King Casimir endowed the fate of Poland and its nations to Mary.

 

Pauline Basilica of St Michel Archangel and St Stanislaus of Szczepanów Basilica on Skałka (15 Skałeczna Street)
- St Bishop Stanislaus of Szczepanów (+1079)

Skałka has for centuries been the place of veneration of St Stanislaus of Szczepanów, bishop and martyr. According to the tradition, Bishop Stanislaus was killed as a martyr by Bolesław II the Bold while he was celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (in 1079). Stanislaus was first buried on Skałka, and some years later his earthly remains were transported to the Wawel Cathedral. When the martyr was canonised in Assisi in 1253, Krakow became the most important centre of religious practices in Poland. It is here that the future kings of Poland came on the eve of their coronation in a penitential pilgrimage. It was a form of redress for the murder of Bishop Stanislaus. That is why today, on the Sunday of St Stanislaus' octave (8 May), a procession departs from Wawel to Skałka in the honour of the martyr, the main patron saint of Poland and Krakow.

There is a pond in the courtyard in front of the basilica, in which, as the legend goes, the dismembered body of Bishop Stanislaus was thrown and soon miraculously knitted together. That is why in the times of feudal fragmentation, St Stanislaus became the symbol of unity.

A crypt of great Poles, called the national pantheon, is located under the church and includes the graves of e.g. Jan Długosz, Wincenty Pol, Stanisław Wyspiański, Jacek Malczewski, Karol Szymanowski and Czesław Miłosz.

 

Augustinian Church of St Catherine of Alexandria and St Margaret (7 Augustiańska Street)
- Izajasz Boner (+1471)

The Chapel with the grave of Izajasz Boner is located in a separate part of the cloister galleries adjacent to the church. A coffin with the earthly remains of the Augustinian monk (deceased in 1471), called blessed because immediately after his death he enjoyed popular veneration and was soon considered blessed by the people, lies at the altar.

Until the present day, this Professor of the Krakow University known for his piety and thorough knowledge enjoys unremitting veneration among Catholics. At present, measures are taken in order for the Holy See to officially confirm the veneration of the Augustinian, which will make it possible to include him among the blessed ones.

Izajasz was particularly devoted to the Mother of God, for which reason, next to his grave, there is an image of Our Lady of Consolation, in front of which the monk would pray each day. The image, which enjoys remittent veneration among Christians and was adorned with papal diadems in 2000, is one of the oldest benevolent images of Our Lady in Krakow.

 

Corpus Christi Basilica of the Canons Regular of the Lateran (26 Bożego Ciała Street)
- St Stanislaus of Kazimierz (+1489)

To the left from the entrance to the church, there is an altar with a coffin carrying the earthly remains of St Stanislaus called Kazimierczyk (deceased in 1489). This Canon of the Lateran has for centuries been a special patron saint of the inhabitants of Kazimierz, a district of Krakow which used to be a separate town. A student of the Krakow Academy, he was well-known not only for his piety, but also for his oratory skills and charism of spiritual guidance. His sermons were filled with love to the Mother of God. The sanctity of his life did not result from any exceptionalities or a martyr's death, but from a harmonious combination of love to God and excellence of spiritual life with diligence and conscientiousness in his everyday chores that consisted in serving others. The saint demonstrated considerable devotion to Passion and the Cross. The veneration of Stanislaus of Kazimierz developed right after his death and has continued to the present times. His relics used to be stored in the tower of the town hall in Kazimierz, and the day of his death – 3rd May – was celebrated by the whole town. The continuity of the veneration of Stanislaus has been confirmed by the Holy See; he was beatified by John Paul II on 18 April 1993, and canonised by Benedict XVI on 17 October 2010.

The chapel of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary features a benevolent image of the Mother of God with Infant Jesus (dating to the beginning of the 16th century). In May 2007, the painting was adorned with papal crowns by Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, Archbishop of Krakow.

 

Bernardine Church of St Bernardo Tolomei (2 Bernardyńska Street)
- St Simon of Lipnica (+1482)
- blessed Anastazy Pankiewicz (+1942)

A burial chapel with a sarcophagus and the relics of St Simon of Lipnica, called today Lipnica Murowana near Bochnia, (deceased in 1482) is located in the extension of the right aisle of the church. The saint was an example of exceptional sacrifice to his neighbours. The citizens of Krakow knew him as an excellent orator. Preaching the Gospel, he affected his listeners with great involvement and deep faith in what he was saying. He was also well-known for his devotion to the Mother of God. On the wall of his monastery cell he wrote: "When you live in this monastery cell, remember to worship Mary, Mother of Jesus."

In 1482 in Krakow, pest broke out, and Simon fell pray to it together with 25 other monks from St Bernardino's Monastery. He became infected when he tended to the city inhabitants. Hundreds of Christians have come to his grave to pray for his intercession or to thank for received mercies, which were often of spectacular nature. The wall of the chapel features St Simon's coat, which after his death used to be carried to ill people who were unable to come to his grave in person. In 1685, Simon of Lipnica was beatified, and in 2007 he was canonised by Benedict XVI. He is one of the patron saints of Krakow.

Anastazy Pankiewicz was a guardian in the local monastery in the years 1919-1930. He was one of 108 martyrs of the Second World War, and was beatified on 13 June 1999 by John Paul II. Blessed Anastazy died in 1942 as a prisoner in the Nazi concentration camp in Dachau. A painting representing blessed Father Anastazy is situated in the left aisle of the church.

A benevolent painting of Our Lady of Sokal, a faithful copy of a painting from a St Bernardino's monastery in Sokal, Ukraine, which burnt in 1951, is located in a chapel behind the sacristy. It was the third image of Mary, Mother of Jesus, in Poland crowned in 1724 with papal crowns.

 

Franciscan Basilica of St Francis of Assisi's (2 Franciszkańska Street)
- St Maximilian Maria Kolbe (+1941)
- blessed Salomea of Poland (+1268)
- blessed Aniela Salawa (+1922)

For centuries, the church has been a place of relics' veneration. The earthly remains of blessed Salomea of Poland (deceased in 1268), older sister of Bolesław V the Chaste, who in 1257 vested Krakow with Magdeburg (German) rights, rest in the chapel to the left from the chancel. As a princess and the Queen of Halych, and later the first Polish member of the Order of Poor Ladies, she tended with care to each person in need of help. With her life, she demonstrated the true dignity of a women resulting from the spiritual richness of her nature. Immediately after the death of Sister Salomea in Skała near Krakow, the first miracles through her intercession occurred. After her body was laid in the local church, the place became the destination of numerous pilgrimages. Also her brother Bolesław and his wife Kinga prayed at her grave. Salomea was beatified in 1673, and St Kinga of Poland was canonised by John Paul II in 1999.

The grave of blessed Aniela Salawa (deceased in 1922) is situated in the Chapel of Passion. Being a servant for almost 20 years, she performed her work with patience and high spirits, sharing everything she owned, which made a great impression on others. She treated her service to other people as a response to the graces received from God. Soon after her death, her grave became a place of religious practice. People came here to ask for help, and they received what they were praying for. The beatification celebrations on the Market Square in Krakow, led by John Paul II, were held on 13 August 1991.

St Francis's Basilica is also a place of veneration of Maximilian Maria Kolbe, a Franciscan Father who lived in the local monastery in the years 1919-1922 and was killed in the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz. A venerated painting representing St Maximilian can be found in a side-altar situated on the right side of the nave.

In the chapel to the right from the nave, there is a miraculous image of Our Lady of Sorrows, also referred to as the Doleful Benefactor of Krakow, crowned with papal diadems in 1908.

 

Dominican Basilica of the Holy Trinity (12 Stolarska Street)
- St Hyacinth Odrowąż (+1257)

A Baroque sarcophagus with the earthly remains of St Hyacinth Odrowąż (deceased in 1257), the first Polish Dominican Father, is located in a chapel on the first floor, where his cell used to be situated. In the present days, we may enter the chapel via stairs at the end of the left aisle. Hyacinth acted as a missionary i.a. in Ruthenia and Prussia. Everywhere he went, he strived to show the values of authentic Christianity and founded Dominican monasteries. He was very sensitive to the fate of each man. He cared in particular about mothers asking for the health of their little children, and tried to ease their suffering through his intermittence with God. The monk's grave was a place of veneration from the very beginning. The canonisation of Hyacinth Odrowąż, the first Polish monk, in 1594 was so notable all over the world that his popularity exceeded the popularity of all other saints at that time. A number of tales and legends are associated with the person of St Hyacinth. He is one of the patron saints of the Krakow Archdiocese and the City of Krakow. Biographers emphasise the particular role of the Mother of God in the life of St Hyacinth. In the Rosary Chapel, the visitors' attention is drawn to the benevolent image of Our Lady of Rosary crowned with papal crowns in 1921.

The sanctuary hosts the earthly remains of venerable Bishop Iwo Odrowąż (deceased in 1229), toast of the history of the Church in Krakow.

 

Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus(26 Kopernika Street)
- blessed Father Jan Beyzym (+1912)

Jan Beyzym was born in Volhynia as a son of a participant of the January Uprising. After he was ordained to priesthood in the Jesuit Order, he worked as a youth educator in the boarding schools of the Society of Jesus in Ternopil and Chyrów. When he was 48, he travelled to "serve the leprous" in Madagascar. For three years, he tended to 159 diseased people who were completely isolated in a settlement near Tananarive. In the mission on Madagascar, it was unheard of that a Father would move in permanently with the lepers, as Father Beyzym did. At the end of 1902, he moved to Marana, where he started to build a hospital for the leprous. With the support of generous donations of his countrymen, he managed to open it in 1911. Exhausted with excessive work and austere lifestyle, he died in an aura of sanctity on 2 October 1912. In December 1993, the earthly remains of Father Jan were transported to Poland and placed in the Jesuit Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Krakow. The basilica – constructed at the beginning of the 20th century after nation-wide fund-raising – is the main place of devotion to the Sacred Heart in Poland.

Father Jan Beyzym was beatified by John Paul II in the Błonia Park in Krakow on 18 August 2002.

 

St Florian's Basilica (1 Warszawska Street)
- St Florian (+304)

The first church at this site was founded to house the relics of St Florian (deceased in 304), a Roman martyr, which were transported to Krakow in 1184. As the legend goes, on their way to the Wawel Cathedral, the mules pulling the cart with the saint's body stopped at the outskirts of Krakow and would not move until the prince and the bishop vowed to build a church at that spot.

St Florian's relics (his arm) may also be found in the Wawel cathedral, yet the sanctuary in the district of Kleparz, formerly referred to as Florencja, is a particular place of veneration of the martyr. Florian was a Roman soldier in the times of Emperor Diocletian, who persecuted Christians. He was killed as a martyr by Prefect Aquilino for his open support of Christianity. As the legend goes, it was the supernatural intervention of St Florian that extinguished the fire that consumed a part of Krakow in 1528. Since that event, St Florian is considered the patron saint of fire fighters, both in Poland and in many countries all over the world. He is honoured on 4th May. This day is of particular importance to fire fighters and steelworkers.

Many centuries later, Rev. Karol Wojtyła worked in this parish as a vicar and priest in charge of academic youth.

 

Basilica of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven (Main Market Square)
- Świętosław the Silent (+1489)

The undergrounds of the basilica house the earthly remains of Świętosław, Servant of God, called the Silent (deceased in 1489), who lived as an ascetic in the 15th century. From the day he was ordained to priesthood, Świętosław acted as a vicar in the local church. He combined his hard work with zealous prayer and help for his neighbours, which earned him a high esteem among the citizens of Krakow. In order to be closer to God, he imposed various religious practices on him. These included, among others, silence and poverty. The biography of Świętosław emphasises his particular devotion to Crucified Jesus. As the legend goes, Christ was to speak to Świętosław, who was absorbed in prayer, from a miraculous crucifix made at the end of the 15th century by Veit Stoss. This work of his is still being venerated. The chancel in this church features one more masterpiece of Veit Stoss – the main altar.

The image of Black Madonna of Częstochowa is the most honoured object in the church. The icon received papal crowns on 15 December 1968 from Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, the Primate of Poland.

At present, a process leading to the official statement of the continuity of Świętosław's veneration, which will entail his beatification, is in progress.

 

Church of St John the Baptist and St John the Evangelist (7 Św. Jana Street)
- Sister Zofia Czeska (+1650)

At the junction of Św. Jana and Św. Tomasza Streets, there is a church devoted to St John the Baptist and St John the Evangelist, which was originally built in the Romanesque style in the 12th century, but was later modified in the Baroque style. Since 1715, the church has been in the custody of the Congregation of the Virgins of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose convent is located nearby. The Congregation was founded as an organised society in the first half of the 17th century by Zofia Czeska (born Maciejowska) in order to educate girls. Zofia got married at the age of 16, but became a widow six years later without offspring. From the days of her youth, she was associated with Krakow and the Brotherhood of Mercy. She supported the poor ones, especially young girls and orphans. In her house at 18 Szpitalna Street, in 1623, she organised an educational institute – the first officially established school for girls in Poland. She also strived for the formal confirmation of her congregation, but this did not take place until after her death in 1650. At first, she was buried in the basement of St Mary's Basilica, then her earthly remains were transported to the local church. Currently, her body rests in peace in the side chapel.

The main altar, in turn, features the benevolent image of Our Lady Świętojańska "of the redemption of slaves" dating back to the first quarter of the 16th century. The specific votive offerings hanging next to the altar include handcuffs, a curved sword and a Turkish sabre. In 1965, Archbishop Karol Wojtyła presented the painting with papal crowns.

 

St Mark's Church (10 Św. Marka Street)
- Michael of Giedraiciai (+1485)

Michael of Giedraiciai, called the blessed one, (deceased in 1485) was affiliated to the church and the former Order of Canons Regular of Penance. Brother Michael lived in a small cell next to the entrance to the church, which facilitated his duties as a sacrystian – reverent care of the beauty of the church's interiors. Michael was one of those people who devote their entire lives to the service of God by means of fasting and prayer. His pursuit of Christian excellence was not easy due to his serious physical disability. He showed particular devotion to Passion and Crucified Christ. His grave in the local church has for centuries attracted the city inhabitants. Michael was called blessed soon after his death, and the works on the official confirmation of his veneration by the Holy See are currently in progress.

The church's main altar features a greatly honoured sculpture of Crucified Christ, which – according to the tradition – was supposed to talk to Michael of Giedraiciai.

 

Church of the Resurrectionist Congregation (10 Łobzowska Street)
- Father Paweł Smolikowski (+1926)

The Resurrectionist Congregation is an order founded in Paris in the first half of the 19th century by Bogdan Jański (1807-1840), a layman. Members of the Resurrectionist Congregation came to Krakow in the second half of the 19th century and built a neo-Romanesque Church of the Resurrection at Krowoderska Street. The vestibule of the church is the place of eternal rest for Father Paweł Smolikowski (1849-1926), a philosopher, historian and Superior General of the Order, as well as one of its most distinguished members, born in Tver to the family of Polish deportees. After his return to Poland, he enrolled in a seminary. Sent by his superiors to study in Rome, he met the Resurrectionist Congregation there. Later on, he was ordained to priesthood in the eastern rite. He worked in Bulgaria, in Lviv, and directed the Polish Papal College in Rome. In Krakow, he was a master of novitiate and the confessor of Archbishop Sapieha. His legacy encompasses over 200 publications in different languages. He died in an aura of sanctity on 11 September 1926. His beatification process is now in progress in Vatican.

 

Basilica of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (11 Karmelicka Street)
- blessed Hilary Paweł Januszewski (+1945)

The corner between Karmelicka and Garbarska Streets is occupied by a church founded at the end of the 14th century by Queen Jadwiga for the Carmelite Fathers, who have been in charge of it since. Father Hilary Januszewski, a model monk, a zealous priest and a patriot was a prior of the monastery in the years 1939-1940. In 1940, seized by Germans, he was transported to the concentration camp in Sachzenhausen, and later to Dachau. Being exceptionally calm and composed, he earned the trust of the other prisoners. In 1945, two months before the release from the camp, he volunteered to tend to prisoners suffering from typhus (mostly to administer Holy Sacraments to them). After three weeks, he became infected, died on 25 March 1945, and was cremated in the crematory on the premises of the camp. In 1999, he was beatified by John Paul II among other martyrs of World War II. In the basilica, the Carmelites organised a place of veneration of blessed Hilary Januszewski.

The basilica also features the image of Our Lady of Piasek (dating from the end of the 15th century). For several centuries, Christians have received God's graces through the intermittence of this image designed by Jan Matejko  – the first image of Mary in Krakow that was crowned with papal crowns (in 1883). Official coronation took place on the 200th anniversary of the victory in the Battle of Vienna of a Christian army led by King John III Sobieski, who prayed i.a. in front of the image of Our Lady of Piasek before his departure to the battlefield.

 

St Anne's University Collegiate Church (11 Św. Anny Street)
- St John Cantius (+1473)
- Bishop Jan Pietraszko (+1988)
- Jerzy Ciesielski (+1970)

The church is a place of exceptional devotion to Saint John Cantius, Professor of the Krakow Academy and the patron saint of academic youth (deceased in 1473). Master John was a well-known and highly esteemed person in Krakow not only in academic circles, but also among the inhabitants of the city. He was characterised with profound piety combined with exceptional kindness, which enabled him to ignite lost faith in people. In Krakow, he was known for giving generous alms and tending to the poor. He was very much devoted to Our Lady of Sorrow and the suffering Christ.

The grave of John Cantius was greatly honoured from the very beginning, and as soon as a couple of years after his death, people started recording the miracles that occurred through his intercession. John Cantius was beatified in 1680. In 1737, Pope Clement XII announced him a patron saint of Poland, and 30 years later he was canonised. King John III Sobieski prayed at the grave of St John Cantius before the Vienna Campaign.

The sanctuary is also the place of eternal rest for two candidates to the altars: Jan Pietraszko, Bishop of Krakow (deceased in 1988), and Jerzy Ciesielski, a father (deceased in 1970).

Pope John Paul II said about Bishop Jan: "God graced him with exceptional wisdom, the gift of a special understanding of the Gospel and the gift of plainness and depth in his preaching. United with God, he remained open to the world, to the man, to the needs of human soul."

Jeczy Ciesielski, whose ashes rest next to the tomb of Saint John Cantius, was an exceptional personality of Krakow. During his whole life, he combined profound piety with family life and scientific work.

 

Felician Sisters' Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (6 Smoleńsk)
- blessed Mary Angela Truszkowska (+1899)

The Church of the Felician Sisters is a place of eternal rest for their founder – blessed Angela Truszkowska (deceased in 1899). Zofia Truszkowska (in the convent – Mary Angela) was exceptionally sensitive to suffering, as well as material and spiritual poverty. From her childhood years she tended to those in need. On her initiative, a small almshouse for orphans and deserted elderly women was created, which expanded fast. The day when Angela offered herself to the service of God (21 November 1855) is considered to be the date of the founding of the Congregation of Felician Sisters. The life of Mother Angela was marked with a practical implementation of the Franciscan love of neighbours – nothing for me, everything for the others. Angela died in an aura of sanctity, and after her death many people prayed through her intercession to God and received numerous graces. She was beatified on 18 April 1993 in Rome by John Paul II.

Mother Angela left her sisters a motto: "Everything through the intercession of the Heart of Mary, to the honour of the Most Holy Eucharist", which is why the Felician Sisters practice continuous adoration of the Eucharist.

 

Norbertine Sisters' Church of St Augustine and St John the Baptist (88 Kościuszki Street)
- blessed Bronisława (+1259)
- Sister Emilia Podoska (+1889)

The Baroque side-altar of this church is the place of eternal peace for blessed Bronisława, a Norbertine Sister (deceased in 1259). Her life demonstrates profound patriotism, as well as devotion to the city of Krakow in the moments of threat. Her path to God was characterised by a model execution of her duties and the rules of her convent. Often, tired with charity work, she would walk to a nearby hill (Sikornik) and pray zealously for God's mercy for Poland. In accordance with the tradition, that is where Jesus appeared and said to her: "Bronisława, my cross is your cross, but also my glory will be your glory." In accordance with the Premonstratensian spirituality, the nun demonstrated a particular devotion to the Eucharist and Our Lady. Her grave was the destination of a pilgrimage of, among others, King Stanisław August Poniatowski. She was beatified in 1839.

Under the chorus in the church, a different nun is honoured, namely Sister Emilia Podoska, Servant of God (deceased in 1889). She was known for her profound piety and kindness. She understood her life in the convent as a constant pursuit of unity with Christ. She was a distinguished mystic. As a pedagogue, she contributed to the improvement of the educational level of the convent's school. She demonstrated particular devotion to the prayer to the Holy Spirit and the service to the Holy Trinity, but at the same time said prayers to Our Lady of Sorrow.

 

Ecce Homo Sanctuary of Albertine Sisters (10 Woronicza Street)
- Saint Brother Albert Chmielowski (+1916)
- blessed Bernardyna Jabłońska (+1940)

The church is the place of veneration of St Brother Albert (Adam Chmielowski) and blessed Sister Bernardyna Jabłońska.

The earthly remains of St Brother Albert (deceased in 1916) rest under the altar stone. This insurgent, a renowned artist, and later a social and charity activist was called "St Francis of our times". In his life, he experienced both fame and extreme poverty. Having achieved artistic and social success, he started managing heating houses for homeless people and became one of them. He created decent life conditions, and administered jobs in order to save human dignity in people and show them the way to God. Apart from heating and alms houses, Brother Albert established houses for homeless children and teenagers, facilities for people with disabilities, for the elderly and the incurable. In 1888, he received a consent to found the Congregation of the Albertine Brothers, and in 1891 – the Albertine Sisters, which up to this day attract people who want to be good as bread to others. He perceived the service to those in greatest need as a form of devotion to Passion. Already during his lifetime, he was surrounded with an aura of sanctity, and after his death, his veneration increased even more. He was beatified in 1983, and canonised six years later (in 1989) by John Paul II, in whose life Brother Albert played a significant role.

Relics of blessed Bernardyna Jabłońska, the co-founder of the Congregation of the Albertine Sisters, (deceased in 1940) rest next to the grave of Saint Brother Albert. Meeting Brother Albert helped her to find her way of life. She was well-known for her all-embracing love for poor and diseased people. After the death of Brother Albert, she was able to preserve and pass his spirituality and ideals over. She was particularly devoted to Jesus present in the Eucharist. Sister Bernardyna was beatified by John Paul II on 6 June 1997 in Zakopane.

 

Divine Mercy Sanctuary in Łagiewniki (3-9 Siostry Faustyny Street)
- Saint Mary Faustina Kowalska (+1938)

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News author: JAKUB SZATYŃSKI
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