FRANCISCAN CONTRIBUTIONS TO POPULAR WRITINGS: AN OUTLINE (Franciszkanski wklad w pismiennictwo popularne. Zarys zagadnienia)
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'Popular religious writings', within the meaning of this article, is any religious output designed for not-quite-sophisticated recipients, such as: lives of saints; moral/catechetic talks and cult-related publications (services, prayer-books, meditations, etc.), possibly - but very rarely indeed - some easy theological texts. Such writings first appeared only in 17th century and were widespread primarily in 19th c. and in the former half of 20th c. Such works were authored by Franciscans of all the branches active in the Polish lands - that is, the Friars Minor (colloquially referred to as Bernardines and Reformats), Friars Minor Conventual and Friars Minor Capuchin - who approached it as apostolate of the printed word. Sisters of the Second Franciscan Order (the Poor Clares, the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration) practised it on a lesser scale. Research needs being done on the corresponding contribution of Third-Order-Regular conventual assemblies. For literature of this sort, written by representatives of Franciscan orders in the Polish lands, the following thematic groups are discernible: (i) hagiographies; (ii) prayer-books, particularly, those referring to Via Dolorosa settings; (iii) periodicals, particularly those targeted at tertiaries and members of fraternities affiliated to Franciscan churches. Hagiographies would primarily deal with lives of Franciscan saints as well as of saints representing other spiritualities. Prayer-books include, in the first place, those associated with main Passion centres run by one of the Franciscan orders (Gora-Swietej-Anny, Kalwaria-Paclawska, Kalwaria-Zebrzydowska, Wejherowo). Between 1918 and 1939, male and female Franciscan orders (of the First, Second and Third Orders Regular) published in Poland a total of forty-five periodicals, including calendars and periodicals intended for internal use. The major publishing centres were Niepokalanow and Gora-Swietej-Anny as well as Katowice-Panewniki, Krakow and Warsaw.
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