Watch Mass Online

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages

Who is the patron saint of Poland?

On April 11 of this year, the Church celebrates the Memorial of St. Stanislaus of Szczepanów. A man of God who was unafraid to stand against the political powers of his time, Stanislaus is the patron saint of Poland. As we remember his legacy of unflinching bravery, we invite you to learn more about his life and where he is portrayed in the Basilica.

Early Life

St. Stanislaus was born near Kraków, Poland, on July 26, 1030. The son of nobility, he studied at Paris, as well as one of the cathedral schools of Gnesen, where he was also ordained. After Bishop Lampert Zula of Kraków appointed him as archbishop, he gained notoriety as a gifted preacher and spiritual advisor, inspiring many conversions.

Saint Stanislaus portrayed in the Our Lady of Czestochowa Chapel

St. Stanislaus’ Conflict with King Boleslaus

In 1072, he assumed the role of bishop of Kraków, where he initially found favor with King Bolesalus. However, as Stanislaus became more embroiled in politics, their relationship began to deteriorate. Not only did Stanislaus participate in an expedition against the Grand Duchy Kiev, but he grew increasingly bold in criticizing both the king and the peasants. His invectives against Boleslaus targeted his injustices, which included the kidnapping of a nobleman’s wife.

At first, Boleslaus affected a contrite heart. But it was not long before he returned to his old ways, inspiring Stanislaus to oppose him once more. Even as he was threatened with penalty of death, Stanislaus ultimately excommunicated the king.

King Boleslaus Kills Stanislaus

Boleslaus was furious. He commanded his guards to execute Stanislaus, but they refused to breach the chapel of St. Michael where Stanislaus hid. Still, Boleslaus would not be stopped; following the guard’s refusal, he charged in and killed Stanislaus himself.

It is said that Boleslaus then left the country, living the remainder of his days as a penitent in a Hungarian Benedictine abbey. Today, St. Stanislaus serves as the patron saint of Poland and is remembered as a great hero of the faith. You can find him portrayed in the Basilica in mosaic tile in the Our Lady of Czestochowa Chapel.


Butler’s Lives of the Saints (ed. by Bernard Bangley)
Saint Stanislaus,” Franciscan Media.
St. Stanislaus of Krakow,” Catholic Online

Today in History: The National Shrine’s First Public Mass
Download the Spring-Summer 2024 Edition of the Mary’s Shrine Newsletter