Stanislaus of Krakow
Feast Day: April 11
Stanislaus is the patron saint of Poland. Some people call him the second John the Baptist because, like John, Stanislaus stood up for his faith.
Stanislaus was born to a noble family in 1030 in a small town near Krakow, Poland. When he was very young, he told his parents that he wanted to be a priest. They were proud that their son had a calling to serve God. They sent Stanislaus to schools as far away as Paris so that he would have the best training for his ministry.
Stanislaus became a famous preacher. He inspired people to be better followers of Jesus and encouraged sinners to repent and to join the Church. He always found time to listen to people, to give them advice, and to bless them.
People rejoiced when Stanislaus was appointed Bishop of Krakow. He became a great leader. He opened his house to the poor and cared for the sick and elderly people. He helped people remember how important it is to live according to Jesus’ teachings. He also spoke out against injustice.
The king of Poland, Boleslaus II, was feared by his people. He treated them cruelly. He ordered them to fight in unjust wars. He cheated the poor. He broke the Commandments. Bishop Stanislaus said that the king’s actions were so sinful that he could no longer be a member of the Church.
The king was filled with anger. He and his soldiers went to the bishop’s cathedral while Stanislaus was celebrating Mass. The king ordered his soldiers to kill Stanislaus, but they refused to obey him. Boleslaus used his own sword to kill the beloved bishop.
The Church honors St. Stanislaus as a martyr. He died in 1079 celebrating the Eucharist with the people he loved. Pope Innocent IV canonized him in 1253. We pray that receiving Holy Communion will help us to “go in peace to love and serve the Lord” as Stanislaus did.
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The Story of Our Church, unit 2