Reliquaries of St Stanislaus

A pilgrim sign

A pilgrim sign (the collection of the Royal Castle at Wawel) issued on the canonization of St Stanislaus in Cracow in 1254, with the earliest depiction of St Stanislaus.The issuing of pilgrim signs in lead, some of them probably gilded, was probably closely connected with the post-canonization ceremonies at Cracow Cathedral in 1254. They have the form of discs with four eyes through which it could be attached to a piece of clothing and have an image of St Stanislaus on the throne on the obverse. The bishop is accompanied by four eagles (two on each side) with their beaks turned towards him, with a star in a semicircle above from which five wavy flames go down to the head of the hierarch. This image of Stanislaus has become an “official” presentation of the new saint as a model to be followed. The iconographic scheme had probably been worked out a year earlier and used for the first time on the canonization banner during the ceremonies in Assisi. So far seven such signs have been found, of which four in Bohemia and Moravia, one in Silesia, Kuyavia and Cracow each (the latter on Wawel, in the layer from the 13th/14th century).

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