O Dominiku, Jacku i ich dziedzictwie – inaczej (na 800-lecie Zakonu)
A Different Take on Dominic, Hyacinth of Poland and Their Heritage – 800 Years of the Dominican Order
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In the politically complex situation that occurred in Latin Europe in connection with the rivalry between the empire with the papacy and the dispute over investiture on the one hand, and the crusades on the other, various religious trends, considered heretical at the time, were emerging. At the turn of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries the Cathar movement was the Catholic Church’s most dangerous rival, especially since they had highly skilled preachers. Pope Innocent III, an excellent priest and strategist, and his entourage, knew that military actions could destroy the armed Cathars, but not the vast numbers of their supporters. Hence the need for clerics who would live in poverty, and at the same time be excellent preachers. It is in these circumstances that the figure of Dominic de Guzmán rose to prominence. He established a preaching order, approved by Innocent III in 1217. Its representatives soon spread throughout Europe, including Central Europe. They came here (to Kraków) as early as 1221! Soon, they founded monasteries in a number of other cities across Poland, including Gdańsk, Sandomierz, Opole, Racibórz and Cieszyn. In 1228, Hyacinth (pol. Jacek), along with a group of confreres, also took up activities in Russia. All this gave rise to the creation of a separate Polish-Lithuanian-Ruthenian province in the future, which at its peak had 164 religious houses. The flourishing order was dissolved in the Polish lands at the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century, abolished by invaders. Nevertheless, the Dominican Order undertook actions aimed at rebuilding their structures on Polish soil. The biggest contributor to that process was prince Adam Woroniecki (as a Dominican priest – father Adam), a devout Catholic from the Russian Empire.
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