Reliquaries of St Stanislaus

St Stanislaus mitre

St Stanislaus mitre.
Height 64, width 28 cm.

      The mitre or a ceremonial bishop’s headgear was made around the mid-13th century from Italian fabric. Considering the rich ornamentation (with sheet-metal elements calledmonilia, pearls and turquoises) the mitre belongs to the Mitra pretiosae type and was worn on the most important ceremonies of the Church calendar and on special occasions. It is believed that the mitre in question was donated for the canonization ceremony of St Stanislaus in Assisi or Cracow, but this thesis is not firmly grounded. However, it is known that its use was related with the worship of the Cracow martyr, as testified by traces of wax which were found during the most recent conservation (probably from candles on the altar dedicated to the saint by his reliquary). It was also noted as a memento of St Stanislaus in Cracow Cathedral’s inventory book dating from 1563 and in the earliest guidebooks to Wawel Hill.

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