Andrew Bobola

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Saint Andrew Bobola, SJ
Bobola.jpg
Martyr of Poland
Born1591
Sandomir Palatine, Lesser Poland, Crown of the Kingdom of Poland, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.
Died16 May 1657
Janów, Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
Venerated in Roman Catholicism (by Poland and the Society of Jesus)
Beatified 30 October 1853, Rome, Papal States by Pope Pius IX
Canonized 17 April 1938, Vatican City by Pope Pius XI
Major shrine Shrine of Saint Andrew Bobola, Warsaw, Poland
Feast 16 May
Patronage Poland; Archdiocese of Warsaw

Saint Andrew Bobola, S.J. (Polish : Andrzej Bobola, 1591 – 16 May 1657) was a Polish missionary and martyr of the Society of Jesus, known as the Apostle of Lithuania and the "hunter of souls". [1] He was tortured to death during the Khmelnytsky Uprising. He was canonized in 1938 by Pope Pius XI.

Saint one who has been recognized for having an exceptional degree of holiness, sanctity, and virtue

A saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of holiness or likeness or closeness to God. However, the use of the term "saint" depends on the context and denomination. In Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Oriental Orthodox, and Lutheran doctrine, all of their faithful deceased in Heaven are considered to be saints, but some are considered worthy of greater honor or emulation; official ecclesiastical recognition, and consequently veneration, is given to some saints through the process of canonization in the Catholic Church or glorification in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Society of Jesus male religious congregation of the Catholic Church

The Society of Jesus is a scholarly religious congregation of the Catholic Church for men which originated in sixteenth-century Spain. The members are called Jesuits. The society is engaged in evangelization and apostolic ministry in 112 nations. Jesuits work in education, intellectual research, and cultural pursuits. Jesuits also give retreats, minister in hospitals and parishes, sponsor direct social ministries, and promote ecumenical dialogue.

Polish language West Slavic language spoken in Poland

Polish is a West Slavic language of the Lechitic group. It is spoken primarily in Poland and serves as the native language of the Poles. In addition to being an official language of Poland, it is also used by Polish minorities in other countries. There are over 50 million Polish language speakers around the world and it is one of the official languages of the European Union.

Contents

Life

Bobola was born in 1591 into a noble family in the Sandomir Palatinate in the Province of Lesser Poland of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland, then a constituent part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. In 1611 he entered the Society of Jesus in Vilnius, then in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the other part of the Commonwealth. He subsequently professed solemn vows and was ordained in 1622, after which he served for several years as an advisor, preacher, Superior of a Jesuit residence, and other jobs in various places. [2]

Sandomierz Voivodeship

Sandomierz Voivodeship was a unit of administration and local government in Poland from the 14th century to the partitions of Poland in 1772–1795. It was part of the Lesser Poland region. Originally Sandomierz Voivodeship also covered the area around Lublin, but in 1474 its three eastern counties were organized into Lublin Voivodeship. In the 16th century, it had 374 parishes, 100 towns and 2586 villages. The voivodeship was based on the Sandomerz ziemia, which earlier was the Duchy of Sandomierz. The Duchy of Sandomierz was created in 1138 by King Bolesław III Wrymouth, who in his testament divided Poland into five principalities. One of them, with the capital at Sandomierz, was assigned to Krzywousty's son, Henry of Sandomierz. Later on, with southern part of the Seniorate Province, the Duchy of Sandomierz created Lesser Poland, divided into Kraków and Sandomierz Voivodeships.

Lesser Poland Historical region of Poland

Lesser Poland, often known by its Polish name Małopolska, is a historical region of Poland; its capital is the city of Kraków.

Crown of the Kingdom of Poland

The Crown of the Kingdom of Poland, commonly known as the Polish Crown, or, simply, the Crown, is the common name for the historic Late Middle Ages territorial possessions of the King of Poland, including Poland proper. The Polish Crown was at the helm of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1569 to 1795.

From 1652 Bobola also worked as a country "missionary", in various locations of Lithuania: these included Polotsk, where he was probably stationed in 1655, and also Pinsk, (both now in Belarus). On 16 May 1657, during the Khmelnytsky Uprising, he was captured in the village of Janów (now Ivanava, Belarus) by the Cossacks of Bohdan Chmielnicki and, after being subjected to a variety of tortures, killed.

Polotsk City in Vitebsk Region, Belarus

Polotsk is a historical city in Belarus, situated on the Dvina River. It is the center of the Polotsk District in Vitsebsk Voblast. Its population is more than 80,000 people. It is served by Polotsk Airport and during the Cold War was home to Borovitsy air base.

Pinsk Place in Brest Region, Belarus

Pinsk is a city in Belarus, in the Polesia region, traversed by the river Pina, at the confluence of the Pina and Pripyat rivers. The region was known as the Marsh of Pinsk. It lies south-west of Minsk. The population is about 138,202.

Belarus country in Eastern Europe

Belarus, officially the Republic of Belarus, formerly known by its Russian name Byelorussia or Belorussia, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe bordered by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital and most populous city is Minsk. Over 40% of its 207,600 square kilometres (80,200 sq mi) is forested. Its major economic sectors are service industries and manufacturing. Until the 20th century, different states at various times controlled the lands of modern-day Belarus, including the Principality of Polotsk, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, and the Russian Empire.

One description of Bobola's death written in 1865 states: [3]

In the same year, the Cossacks surprised a holy Polish Jesuit, in the town of Pinsk, and conferred on him the palm of martyrdom, on the 16th of May, 1657. Father Andrew Bobola ... had just offered up the holy sacrifice, when a horde of Cossacks attacked the town. On beholding the barbarians, Father Bobola fell upon his knees, raised his eyes and his hands toward heaven, and, having a presentiment that his hour had arrived, exclaimed, "Lord, thy will be done!" At that moment, the Cossacks rushed upon him, stripped him of his holy habit, tied him to a tree, placed a crown upon his head, ...after which they scourged him, tore out one of his eyes, burned his body with torches, and one of the ruffians traced, with his poignard, the form of a tonsure on the head of the venerable Father, and on his back the figure of a chasuble! To do this, the executioner had to strip off the skin of the holy martyr! But this was not yet all. The fingers of the apostle had received the priestly unction. The executioner tore from them the skin, and forced needles under his nails! And during this indescribable torture, the hero prayed for his tormentors; he preached, both by word and example, until the schismatics tore out his tongue and crushed his head. Father Andrew Bobola, whom the Church declared Blessed, the 30th of October, 1853, was sixty-five years of age.

A second account states that when Bobola refused to renounce his religion, he was stripped, tied to a hedge and whipped. In mockery, the Cossacks placed a crown of twigs on his head and then dragged him to his place of execution, a butcher's shop. [4]

Veneration

Andrzej Bobola memorial church in Janow Poleski, 19th-century image Catholic Church in Janau.jpg
Andrzej Bobola memorial church in Janów Poleski, 19th-century image

Bobola's body was originally buried in the Jesuit church in Pinsk. It was later moved to their church in Polotsk. [2] By the beginning of the 18th century, however, nobody knew where Bobola's body was buried. In 1701 Father Martin Godebski, S.J., the Rector of the Pinsk College, reputedly had a vision of Bobola. This caused him to order a search for the body. It was reportedly found completely incorrupt, which is recognized by the Church and its supporters as evidence of holiness. In 1719 the casket was officially reopened and the body inspected by qualified medical personnel (five physicians and pharmacists). It was reportedly still completely incorrupt: pliable and with soft flesh.

The altar with the relics of the arm of Andrew Bobola in the church of Il Gesu in Rome. Il Gesu 014.JPG
The altar with the relics of the arm of Andrew Bobola in the church of Il Gesù in Rome.

In 1922, the Bolsheviks moved the corpse, later described by an American journalist as a "remarkably well-preserved mummy", [5] to the Museum of Hygiene of People's Commissioners of Health in Moscow. The whereabouts of the remains was not known to the Catholic authorities, and Pope Pius XI charged the Papal Famine Relief Mission in Russia, headed by American Jesuit Father Edmund A. Walsh, with the task of locating and "rescuing" them. [5] In October 1923—as a kind of "pay" for help during famine—the remains were released to Walsh and his Assistant Director, Father Louis J. Gallagher, S.J. Well-packed by the two Jesuits, they were delivered to the Holy See by Gallagher on All Saints' Day (1 November) 1923. [5] [6] In May 1924, the relics were installed in Rome's Church of the Gesù, the main church of the Society of Jesus. [6]

Since 19 June 1938 the body has been venerated at a shrine in Warsaw, [7] with an arm remaining at the original shrine in Rome (see photo at left).

Declared Blessed by Pope Pius IX on 30 October 1853, Bobola was canonized by Pope Pius XI on 17 April 1938. [7] His feast day was originally celebrated by the Jesuits on 23 May, [2] but it is now generally celebrated on 16 May. [8] In 2002, the Bishops' Conference of Poland declared Bobola a patron saint of Poland. [7]

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References

  1. Merrick, David Andrew (1891). Saints of the Society of Jesus: With a sketch of the Society. William H. Sadlier. p. 16.
  2. 1 2 3 "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: St. Andrew Bobola". www.newadvent.org. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  3. Daurignac, J. M. S. (1865). History of the Society of Jesus From Its Foundations to the Present Time (Volume II). John P. Walsh. pp. 12–13.
  4. "Who is St. Andrew Bobola? - St. Andrew Bobola Parish, Dudley, MA". www.standrewbobola.com. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  5. 1 2 3 Religion: Saints Time Magazine, Monday, Apr. 25, 1938. (The Time article says that Walsh personally transported the Holy Relics from Moscow to Rome; but this is apparently a mistake, both since Gallagher (1953) describes his own role as a diplomatic courier with the relics, and McNamara (2005), p. 45, mentions that Walsh stayed behind in Moscow after Gallagher's departure, and only left Moscow on 16 November 1923, and arrived in Rome on 3 December. The author of the book explicitly says in his blog that Gallagher was entrusted with that task.)
  6. 1 2 Jan Popłatek (1936). Błagosławiony Andrzej Bobola [Blessed Andrew Bobola](PDF) (in Polish). pp. 250–253. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 March 2010. This book uses as one of its sources L. J. Gallagher's article, "How we rescued the Relics of Blessed Andrew Bobola" (1924), which unfortunately was not available to this contributor.
  7. 1 2 3 Dziemska, Anna (28 May 2017). "Andrzej Bobola, patron of unity and peace". Jesuits in Europe. Society of Jesus. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  8. "Jesuit Liturgcal Calendar". The Jesuit Institute. Retrieved 14 May 2018.