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Krakow: Saint Stanislaw Kostka Church

About Saint Stansilaw Kostka Church in Krakow:

Don’t expect to find an old-world church here, as it was constructed in the 1930’s and its modern construction lacks some of the atmosphere of the ancient churches in Poland.  It does, however, have an interesting history and is well worth a visit. It can easily be seen in its location across the river from Wawel.  One of the things that makes it interesting was the fact that Karol Wojtyła was a parish member when he lived nearby and attended Mass here.  On November 3, 1946, he said his second-ever mass here.

Stained Glass Windows in the Church depicting important events in the life of Karol Wojtyla:

Two stained glass windows in the church depict the most important events of St. John Paul’s life. Reading upwards, the first window depicts young Lolek at his parish church in Wadowice, his family, the suffering Christ Stained glass windows in St Stansilaw Kostka Church in Krakowlooking at the young boy at Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, his Carmelite scapular, and Our Lady of Kalwaria.

Above we see Jan Tyranowski with Sts. John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila behind him, to the left is the young student with his confessor while German bombers fly over Kraków, and to the right is Karol the worker at the quarry. Further up is the young Wojtyła praying before the image of Mary Help of Christians, to the left is St. Brother Albert and to the right is Cardinal Sapieha whose secret seminary Wojtyła joined.

Continuing upward we see newly-ordained Fr. Wojtyła offering his first public Mass in this church, surrounded by St. Stanisław Kostka to the left and St. John Bosco to the right.

At the top is the elderly Pope during his 2002 visit to the parish, the Divine Mercy Shrine in Łagiewniki, and the parish church here.




Stained glass windows in St Stansilaw Kostka Church in KrakowIn the second window, we see the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul, his recovery in the hospital, Our Lady of Fatima in whose crown he placed the bullet that wounded him, Our Lady of Częstochowa to whom he offered his bloodstained sash, and the dying Pope clinging to the crucifix during his last Way of the Cross. On each side of the crucified Christ stand the martyred Salesians, with one anonymous saint looking toward Christ to represent all nameless Salesian martyrs.

The top images show the book of sacred Scripture on the Pope’s coffin during his funeral, while the image of the Holy Spirit accompanies the words “Santo Subito” chanted by the immense multinational crowd gathered for the funeral.

Finally, Saint John Paul is blessing the people from his window, expressing the words of Cardinal Ratzinger during the funeral: “We can be sure that our beloved pope is standing today at the window of the Father’s house, that he sees us and blesses us.”

Photo credits courtesy Stephen J. Binz


Finding Saint Stanislaw Kostka Church in Krakow:

As mentioned earlier it is easy to spot overlooking the city.

Address: Konfederacka 6, 30-306 Kraków, Poland

Tel: +48 12 269 16 18

To the best of our knowledge, there is no website for the church.

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