Piotr Skarga

skarga resize

Piotr Skarga of the Powęż coat of arms was born in 1536. He studied philosophy at the Krakow Academy in the years 1552-1555, in 1564 in Lviv he was ordained a priest, and in 1569 in Rome he joined the Jesuit order. King Sigismund III Vasa bestowed upon him the Powęża coat of arms of the Skarga-Powęski. He was a court preacher of king Zygmunt II Waza, a defender of national values and traditions and the Christian faith, the author of The Lives of Saints and Sejm Sermons.
The figure of Piotr Skarga has been immortalized by poets such as Adam Mickiewicz or Cyprian Kamil Norwid and painter Jan Matejko as a national preacher. He criticized the Warsaw Confederation (1573), which introduced tolerance for heretics, as an anti-Catholic and anti-Polish thing. He was a supporter of the merger of the Catholic and Orthodox Church. Author of the famous saying that "Poland will be Catholic, or it will not be at all". Lives of the Saints were among the most widely read books in Poland.

The above-mentioned artists, such as Mickiewicz, Norwid and Matejko, wrote their works during the period of partitions, when Poland was divided between three neighbouring empires: Russian, German and Austrian, and at that time Skarga's speeches, calling for patriotism, were a kind of "hate speech" for the occupants and as such were fought against by the occupying authorities. The above-mentioned artists, in a way smuggling into the social consciousness the figure of Skarga, known as a patriotic preacher, as an element of literature and art, waged a clever, because not conflicting with the law, fight against the anti-Polish propaganda of the occupation authorities. This Polish style of fighting for freedom and independence through theoretically politically neutral literature and art was also used in later years.

(Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator)

Related Articles

Subscribe to the list of subscribers of POLISH STYLE for updates!

Contact form