History of Franciscan Friars of St. Anthony and Blessed Jakub Strzemię Province in Poland
Blessed Jakub Strzemię
History of the arts
History (General) and history of Europe
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AbstractAn attempt to show the history of the Franciscan Friars in Poland originated in the 13th century. The development o f the order in Slavonic territories, initiated by a provincial of Germany Jan of Pian del Carpini, was going through different organizational stages and experienced its ups and downs. Franciscan Friars arrived in Poland in 1234. From the start they witnessed and participated in consolidating Christianity in Poland; they were promoters of art and social development. Dialectic between continuity and up-dating their presence in the Polish socio-cultural and ecclesiastical context required constant verification of the way of experiencing their own identity as well as the criteria, owing to which they became a strong impulse in the evangelisation of the young Polish church and in the establishing new church structures in borderland areas. Since that time the borders have been changed many times and so has the organization of the order and the borders of the province. The growing importance o f Franciscan Friars resulted in taking up new pastoral and missionary initiatives. Franciscan Friars established Calvaries in Poland and Lithuania, introduced the tradition of Christmas crčches and penitential services. Last but not least, they evoked the cult of the Immaculate Virgin Mary. Since World Wbi* ÎĎ St. Anthony End the Blessed Jskub Strzemię Province hsts been developing steadily. A growing number of Franciscan Friars testifies to this development. In 1996 the Province had 423 professed monks, including 238 priests, 36 brothers, 28 clerics who have taken solemn vows. In St. Anthony and the Blessed Jakub Strzemię Province Franciscan monasteries are located in 24 places and 17 are abroad. The average age is slightly over 45 years. The Province of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, which is based in Warsaw, has also noted a steady growth and so has a new province that developed from it - St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe Province with the seat in Gdańsk. The Cracow Province entered the 21st century with the number of monks similar to that from its most thriving period, that is the times preceding the partition of Poland.