St Stanislaw

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Bishop and martyr. Patron saint of Poland. St Stanislaw was born in 1010 to a noble family in Szczepanow. After his ordination, he received a canonry in Krakow.

In 1072 he was consecrated bishop and became a reformer, a tireless preacher and generous benefactor to the poor.

At that time, the king, Boleslaw II, was abusing his power in many ways. On one occasion he abducted someone else's wife. St Stanislaw asked him to free the woman and then threatened to excommunicate the king he did not amend his ways. Boleslaw refused and went to the Cathedral where St Stanislaw was saying Mass. He ordered his soldiers to kill the saint. When they refused he pursued St Stanislaw to the chapel of St Michael outside the city and killed him with his own sword.

Pope Gregory placed an interdict on Poland and the king eventually fell from power.

St Stanislaw was canonised in 1223. Besides being very popular in Poland, he has a strong following in Lithuania, Byelorussia and the Ukraine.

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