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2014 | 15 | 53-65

Article title

Żywoty świętych polskich w relacji Kroniki księdza Stefana Ranatowicza CRL (1617-1694)


Title variants

The Lives of Polish Saints in a Chronicle by Father Stefan Ranatowicz, C.R.L. (1617-1694)

Languages of publication



The 17th century chronicle written by Father Stefan Ranatowicz has not yet been fully edited or published in print. It remains in the collections of the Library of the Jagiellonian University, and it is the subject of research. This article introduces the reader to the cult of saints and their biographies which are listed in the chronicle. The article merely overviews the discussed topic, and it could lay the groundwork for a more exhaustive study. Stefan Ranatowicz (1617-1694) was born and raised in Kazimierz which, at that time, was a separate town in the immediate vicinity of Kraków. After completing his education in the parish school at the Corpus Christi Church, he enlisted in the Academy of Kraków, where he studied in the Artium department in 1635-1636. In 1636, Ranatowicz joined the Order of the Canons Regular of the Lateran. He perfor- med different functions in the congregation, and he also researched and wrote down the history of the Order. Ranatowicz left behind a collection of sermons, entries in birth registries and brotherhood records. His most important work is the chronicle by Latin title of Casimiriae civitatis, urbi Cracoviensi confrontatae, origo (...). In most part, the chronicle is the history of the congregation of the Canons Regular of the Lateran, and it lists the accomplishments of subsequent provosts up to the chronic- ler's time. It also contains information of a general nature relating to historical, political and cultural events, extracts from the works of other historians or reports on «unusual» phenomena. The chronicle features biographies, with special emphasis "on persons who lived exceptionally holy lives. The lives of the saints presented in the chronicle were incorporated into the biographies of subsequent provosts. Stefan Ranatowicz devoted more attention only to the Blessed Stanislaus Kazimierczyk (Stanislaw Sołtys or Sołtyszewicz) whose biography appeared in three versions: in a short account in the biography of provost Andrzej, in a reference to the author's previous publication entitled Jasna Pochodnia Życia Apostolskiego. Żywot Świątobliwy B[łogo- sławionego] Stanisława Kazimierczyka (...) (The Bright Torch of Apostolic Life. The Holy Life of Blessed Stanislaus Kazimierczyk), and in the biography of Blessed Stanislaus written by Marcin Baroniusz. All biographies of saints and blesseds share a similar method of presentation. The characters are largely idealized, and their positive qualities are emphasized. The author devotes particular attention to supernatural phenomena and miracles that occurred after the saints' deaths. The lives of the saints were written with clearly didactic goal. In the chronicle, Ranatowicz drew upon the research of many different histo- rians, and his work, although not entirely free from errors, is a valuable source of knowledge about history and culture of the period.






Physical description


  • Instytut Nauk Historycznych, Uniwersytet Kardynała Stefana Wyszyńskiego w Warszawie


Document Type

Publication order reference


YADDA identifier

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