Altar of St Stanislaus

ss. Adalbert and Ignatius

St Adalbert who originated from the Czech Slavnik family, the Bishop of Prague, decided to become a missionary and to preach the word of God to pagan Prussians who murdered him in 997. He was ranked among the earliest and most important patrons of Europe, mainly thanks to the efforts of Emperor Otto III. Gniezno Cathedral, which holds his relics, was for centuries the centre of his worship and of great patriotic significance for the Poles. At the end of the Middle Ages, the patronage of St Adalbert and that of St Stanislaus became polarised. St Adalbert is usually depicted in priest attire with the insignia of a bishop or even an archbishop. He sometimes holds a paddle with which, legend has it, he was killed by the Prussians.

St Ignatius of Loyola, died in 1556 and was canonized in 1622. Founder of the Jesuit Order. The worship of the most important and popular saints of the Church in the Counter-Reformation era was spread, in particular, by the all-powerful congregation. He is depicted in a cassock, with a book and the name JESUS in his hand.

We are all well aware that to enter this Cathedral can not be without emotion. More I say, you can not enter it without the internal tremor, without fear because it contains in it - as in almost no Cathedral of the world - the enormous size, which speaks to us in all our history, our entire past.

cardinal Karol Wojtyla
8 March 1964