Saint Andrea Bobola - Catholic patrons of Poland

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Andrzej Bobola, coat of arms Leliwa, took not the path of knight like other representatives of this family (it is said that the last Bobola, Sigismund Bobola, died in the battle of Vienna), but the path of peace, without shedding blood, the path of clergyman. At the age of 15 he began his studies in a Jesuit college and then studied at Vilnius University. After being ordained to the priesthood in 1622 he performed various functions of the clergy: rector of churches, preacher, missionary. He also wrote the text of the famous Lvov vows made later by King Jan Kazimierz in 1656, in which the King of Poland entrusted the Republic of Poland to the care of the Mother of God, whom he called Queen of the Polish Crown, and paid respect to the bravery of peasants and townsmen, promising to intercede for the improvement of their lot.

In 1657 Andrzej Bobola went to the eastern territories for missionary purposes. In May of that year he stayed in the village of Mohilno.  The village was attacked by Cossacks, who were hostile towards Poles and the Catholic religion. Captured priest Bobola was subjected with particular cruelty to incredible tortures: his skin was ripped off, his nails were pulled out, his teeth were knocked out, his nose, ears, lips were cut off, his tongue was pulled out through his neck, his side was pierced, he was burnt with fire and finally his torments were shortened by a sabre slash in the neck.

After his death, contrary to the known laws of nature, the corpse of Andrzej Bobola did not decompose. In 1922 the Bolsheviks took this "curiosity" from Polotsk (where the Jesuit college, founded by King Stefan Batory and whose first rector was Piotr Skarga, was located) to the Hygienic Exhibition Building of the People's Commissariat of Health. In 1938 the body of Andrea Bobola was transported to Poland, and since 13 May 1989 it rests in the Sanctuary of Andrea Bobola in Warsaw at 61 Rakowiecka Street.

(Translated with

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