Saint Stanislaus of Kazimierz


Feast Day : 3 May

Saint Stanislaus of Kazimierz, C.R.L., (Polish: Stanisław Kazimierczyk) (27 September 1433 – 3 May 1489) was a Polish Roman Catholic canon regular, theologian and preacher.

Life

He was born 27 September 1433, the son of a pious couple, Maciej (Matthias) and Jadwiga (Hedwig) Sołtys, who gave him the name Louis at his baptism. They lived in the ancient quarter of Kraków called Kazimierz (Latin: Casimira), then located on an island, and which was heavily populated by the Jews of the city. He received his early education from the Canons Regular of the Lateran at their nearby school, which was attached to their monastery and to the parish church of Corpus Christi that they administered. Louis went on to receive doctorates in theology and philosophy from the Jagiellonian University in the same city.

After completing his university studies in 1456, Louis returned to the island and entered the community of canons regular who had given him his early education, becoming a novice of the Order. He then took the religious name Stanislaus. His choice was likely due to the island's heritage as the place of execution and shrine of the popular Saint Stanislaus the Martyr, a former Bishop of Krakow, to whom he had a strong devotion his entire life.

After his ordination as a priest, he was named as Vice-Prior of the community—despite his young age—and Novice Master in charge of new candidates to the Order. Additionally, Father Stanislaus dedicated himself to the care of the sick and the poor, and was noted for the devotion of the religious services he celebrated. He developed a reputation for great spiritual insight as a confessor. He preached widely in strong defense of the doctrine of the Real Presence in the Eucharist against the preachings of the Polish followers of Wycliff and Jan Hus. From this, he gained the title, "Apostle of the Blessed Sacrament". Saint John of Kanty, a colleague of his at the Jagiellonian and a major scientist of the period, was a close friend of his.


Veneration

A strong devotion developed to him among the populace of Krakow after his death on 3 May 1489, and he came to be commonly referred to as "Blessed" by the inhabitants of the city. Largely due to the political fortunes of the nation (which disappeared for nearly two centuries), this devotion, however, never received formal approval until the 20th century, when his cause was formally introduced to Rome by the then-Archbishop of Krakow, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla. This same prelate, by then elected to the papacy under the name of Pope John Paul II, beatified him in 1993. The Blessed Stanislaus was canonized in 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI.


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