WYCHOWANIE RELIGIJNE ELEMENTEM EDUKACJI PIJARSKIEJ W RZECZYPOSPOLITEJ OBOJGA NARODÓW NA PRZEŁOMIE XVII I XVIII WIEKU
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION AS A FOUNDATION OF THE PIARIST SCHOOLS IN THE COMMONWEALTH OF POLAND AND LITHUANIA AT THE TURN OF THE 17TH AND 18TH CENTURIES
Languages of publication
The organisation of Piarist schools in the Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania was mainly based on the provisions of the Piarist Order costitutions drawn by Joseph Calasanz. Part II titled „Constitutionum Congregationis Regularium Pauperum Matris Dei Scholarum Piarum” virtually focused on the education system. It set no rigid rules of teaching but gave the teacher a great deal of leeway in the selection of both the class topics and recommended reading. Calasanz’s constitutions were usually published in full by the specific provinces of the Order. In subsequent editions their contents were not changed but supplemented by further provisions set by the General Chapter and provincial chapters. This was in compliance with the assumptions adopted by Calasanz who took account of self-dependent actions in various provinces subject to the local opportunities and needs. Therefore the organisation of Piarist school system differed from one another in the provinces which may have made the impression of the lack of a normative document standardising operation of the Order educational units. Such a solution was, however, in compliance with the Piarist authorities’ assumptions. Each edition of the Order constitution in particular provinces contained the basic recommendations by Calasanz (which were finally revised by the General Chapter in 1694 and published by the superior general Joannes Franciscus Foci in Rome in 1698) and subsequent decisions by the General Chapter and the chapters of former provinces regarding the schools system organisation, selection of things to be taught and reading. The discretion in the organisation of schools, reading selection and openness to novelties or even experiments presumably allowed the Order to lay the foundations for the subsequent great reforms in a spirit of the Enlightenment in the territory of the then Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania. Presumably, the Piarist „ratio studiorum” enabled the Order to overtake, in the 18th century, other orders topped by the Society of Jesus who had played a leading role in that field amongst Catholics until the middle of the 18th century. In the period in question, the prime educational task of the Piarist schools and other units connected with the Catholic Church was the education of the youth in piety which was intended to protect boys from the perpetration of misdeed. It was a common view that teaching itself, disregarding ‘the fear of God’ is incapable of producing desired educational effects. During lessons, teachers did not confine themselves to deliver the curriculum contents but they were supposed to mould a passion of the students for religion and virtue so as to make them being ‘intense members of the Catholic Church and the pride of society’. All student of the Piarist schools had to attend Holy Mass every day and on Sundays and festive occasions they had to take part in two services. Students who failed to do so were punished. Newcomers to schools were obliged to make their confession and receive Communion. Students sang litanies every Saturday at 3 p.m. During oratory services elder students, who were members of religious brotherhoods, listened to homilies while younger ones listened to catechism excerpts. In the Piarist schools everything began, was conducted, and ended ‘in the name of God and for the sake of His holy glory’.
Publication order reference