Poland: Saint Stanislaus Papczyński in the Warsaw neighborhood of Siekierki

On October 9, 2016, the Piarists’ parish of Our Lady Queen of the Faithful in Warsaw Siekierki received relics of St. Stanislaus Papczyński (1631-1701) and Father Wojciech Skóra, MIC, custodian of St. Stanislaus Papczyński Shrine in Gora Kalwaria-Marianki, delivered sermons during all Sunday Masses.

In his sermons, Fr. Skóra spoke of the person and life of St. Stanislaus, emphasizing the fact that, for many years, Fr. Papczyński was a Piarist, educated at a Piarist college, and later – as a priest and member of the Piarist Order – worked in Piarist schools. He was a renowned confessor and preacher, whose pastoral ministry benefited senior government officials and church dignitaries.

Although Fr. Stanislaus left the Piarists, until the end of his life he nurtured a great respect for this Order, Fr. Skóra said, adding that at some point Fr. Stanislaus even considered returning to the Piarists. After departing from the Piarist Order, in 1670, Fr. Papczyński – then a diocesan priest – founded the Congregation of Mary Immaculately Conceived or the Congregation of Marian Fathers, which has survived to this day being the only congregation of religious men originated in Poland.

The devotion with which the faithful embraced the tomb and the memory of the deceased Fr. Stanislaus, as well as numerous miracles and healings through his intercession, allowed the Marian Fathers to start efforts in the mid-18th century for the beatification of their Founder.

Father Stanislaus was beatified on Sept. 16, 2007, in Licheń, and canonized on June 5, 2016, during a solemn Mass in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican.

Father Papczyński is remembered as a propagator of the teaching on the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God, an advocate of praying for the dead, an ardent patriot, and an advisor to King Jan III Sobieski. Father Stanislaus’ textbook on rhetoric was used by generations of Poles, including the famous Piarist Fr. Stanislaus Konarski, author of books on politics, reformer of educational system, and founder of the Collegium Nobilium.1

Today, the Congregation of Marian Fathers, which originated in Poland, has its outposts on nearly all continents of the world. In accordance with its religious motto “For Christ and the Church,” the Congregation carries out apostolic and charitable works, runs the Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary and the Association of Marian Helpers, and spreads the Divine Mercy message and devotion worldwide.

1 The Collegium Nobilium was an elite boarding secondary school for sons of magnates and wealthy gentry (szlachta), founded in 1740 in Warsaw by Stanislaus Konarski and run by Piarist monks. The school existed until 1832 and was one of the predecessors of Warsaw University. It was at first called “Collegium Novum,” but its name was changed in the autumn of 1741. The goal of the Collegium Nobilium was to educate future elites of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and to prepare them for reforming the country. The school had a modern syllabus; it concentrated on natural sciences, mathematics, philosophy, and modern languages, with a lesser focus on Latin and Greek.

Anna Dziemska
After Biuletyn Tygodniowy CIZ nr. 41/ 2016 (398)