Saint Andrew Bobola, SJ
|Martyr of Poland|
Sandomir Palatine, Lesser Poland, Crown of the Kingdom of Poland, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.
|Died||16 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|
|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". He was tortured to death during the Khmelnytsky Uprising. He was canonized in 1938 by Pope Pius XI.
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.
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 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.
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.
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, often known by its Polish name Małopolska, is a historical region of Poland; its capital is the city of Kraków.
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 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 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, 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:
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.
Bobola's body was originally buried in the Jesuit church in Pinsk. It was later moved to their church in Polotsk.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.
In 1922, the Bolsheviks moved the corpse, later described by an American journalist as a "remarkably well-preserved mummy",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. 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. In May 1924, the relics were installed in Rome's Church of the Gesù, the main church of the Society of Jesus.
Since 19 June 1938 the body has been venerated at a shrine in Warsaw,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.His feast day was originally celebrated by the Jesuits on 23 May, but it is now generally celebrated on 16 May. In 2002, the Bishops' Conference of Poland declared Bobola a patron saint of Poland.
The devotion to the Sacred Heart is one of the most widely practiced and well-known Roman Catholic devotions, taking the heart of the resurrected Body as the representation of the love by Jesus Christ God, which is "his heart, pierced on the Cross", and "in the texts of the New Testament is revealed to us as God's boundless and passionate love for mankind".
Fr. Edmund Aloysius Walsh, S.J. was an American Jesuit Catholic priest, author, professor of geopolitics and founder of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, which he founded in 1919–six years before the U.S. Foreign Service itself existed–and served as its first regent.
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Stanisław Kostka S.J. was a Polish novice of the Society of Jesus. He is venerated in the Catholic Church as Saint Stanislaus Kostka.
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Very Rev. Franciszek Kareu, S.J. was a Jesuit priest, missionary and teacher in the lands of today's Belarus. He was Temporary Vicar General of the Society of Jesus in Russia from 1799 to 1801. After Pope Pius VII's official approval of the Jesuits' existence in Russia, he was declared Superior General of the Society of Jesus (1801–1802)
Blessed Jurgis Matulaitis-Matulevičius was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as the Bishop of Vilnius from late 1918 until his resignation in 1925. Matulaitis was also the founder of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception and the Handmaids of Jesus in the Eucharist; he served as the Superior-General of the Marian Fathers from 1911 until his death. He worked in secret to revive the Marian Fathers after the Russian authorities suppressed all religious orders and he even relinquished his teaching position to better dedicate himself to that secret revival. He was a noted teacher and spiritual director who set up other branches of the order in places such as Switzerland and the United States far from Russian authorities.
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Holy Trinity Church is an historic church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago located at 1118 North Noble Street. It is a prime example of the so-called 'Polish Cathedral style' of churches, in both its opulence and grand scale. Along with such monumental religious edifices as St. Mary of the Angels, St. Hedwig's or St. John Cantius, it is one of the many Polish churches that dominate over the Kennedy Expressway in the Pulaski Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois.
Invicti athletae is an encyclical of Pope Pius XII to the bishops of the world on the 300th anniversary of the martyrdom of Saint Andrew Bobola.
Pope Pius XII and Poland includes Church relations from 1939–1958. Pius XII became Pope on the eve of the Second World War. The invasion of predominantly Catholic Poland by Nazi Germany in 1939 ignited the conflict and was followed soon after by a Soviet invasion of the Eastern half of Poland, in accordance with an agreement reached between the dictators Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler. The Catholic Church in Poland was about to face decades of repression, both at Nazi and Communist hands. The Nazi persecution of the Catholic Church in Poland was followed by a Stalinist repression which was particularly intense through the years 1946–1956. Pope Pius XII's policies consisted in attempts to avoid World War II, extensive diplomatic activity on behalf of Poland and encouragement to the persecuted clergy and faithful.
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The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the Catholic Church:
The Catholic Church venerates five patron saints of Poland. The primary patron saints are the Blessed Virgin Mary the Queen of Poland, Saint Adalbert, and Saint Stanislaus of Szczepanów. The secondary patron saints are Saint Stanislaus Kostka and Saint Andrew Bobola. Historically, several other saints also were considered patrons of Poland.
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