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The Catholic Defender: saint stanislaus

St. Stanislaus is known as the patron saint of novices, youth, young students and seminarians. His intercession is also sought by those who suffer from serious illness.

Anyone who reads the history of Eastern Europe cannot help but chance on the name of Stanislaus, the saintly but tragic bishop of Kraków, patron of Poland. He is remembered with Saints Thomas More and Thomas Becket for vigorous opposition to the evils of an unjust government.

Born in Szczepanow near Kraków on July 26, 1030, he was ordained a priest after being educated in the cathedral schools of Gniezno, then capital of Poland, and at Paris. He was appointed preacher and archdeacon to the bishop of Kraków, where his eloquence and example brought about real conversion in many of his penitents, both clergy and laity. He became bishop of Kraków in 1072.

During an expedition against the Grand Duchy of Kiev, Stanislaus became involved in the political situation of Poland. Known for his outspokenness, he aimed his attacks at the evils of the peasantry and the king, especially the unjust wars and immoral acts of King Boleslaus II.

The king first excused himself, then made a show of penance, then relapsed into his old ways. Stanislaus continued his open opposition in spite of charges of treason and threats of death, finally excommunicating the king. Enraged, the latter ordered soldiers to kill the bishop. When they refused, the king killed Stanislaus with his own hands.

Forced to flee to Hungary, Boleslaus supposedly spent the rest of his life as a penitent in the Benedictine abbey in Osiak.

The canonization miracle through the intercession of Blessed Stanislaus involved the physical healing of a 20-year-old Polish woman, shortly after Blessed Stanislaus' beatification in 2007. This woman, who was engaged to be married, had been suffering from what appeared to be a bad cold.

Stanislaus Kostka is considered to be the patron saint of youth, young students, and seminarians. He is also invoked for broken bones, heart palpitations and serious illness. He is sometimes depicted receiving Holy Communion from the hands of angels; sometimes receiving the Infant Jesus from the hands of the Virgin.

Saints John the Baptist, Thomas Becket, Thomas More, and Stanislaus are a few of the prophets who dared to denounce corruption in high places. They followed in the footsteps of Jesus himself, who pointed out the moral corruption in the religious leadership of his day. It is a risky business.

Stanislaus of Krakow, who died for the faith at the hands of King Boleslaus II. Canonized in 1253, St. Stanislaus is a beloved patron of the Polish nation and people. In his own country he is commemorated May 8, the date of his death in 1079.


Patron Saint of Poland, soldiers in battle, moral order

Canonized by Pope Innocent IV on September 17, 1253, in Assisi, Italy

Just as a baptized person comes to Christian maturity by means of this sacrament of Confirmation, so Divine Providence gave to our nation, after its Baptism, the historical moment of Confirmation. Saint Stanislaus, who was separated by almost a whole century from the period of the Baptism and from the mission of Saint Adalbert, especially symbolizes this moment by the fact that he rendered witness to Christ by his own blood. ~1979 homily of Saint John Paul II in Poland

Saint Stanislaus, your birth was a gift from Heaven, and your life of virtue, courage, and charity was a gift to the Church of Poland. Please pray for me, that I will never cower in the face of opposition, always preferring persecution over sin, and a holy life over fear of death. Like you, may I become a true witness of my faith and a source of inspiration to others. Saint Stanislaus, pray for me. Jesus, I trust in You.


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