Tradycje współczesność i przyszłość pielgrzymek w Kalwarii Zebrzydowskiej
Jackowski A. (red.), 1995, Tradycje współczesność i przyszłość pielgrzymek w Kalwarii Zebrzydowskiej, Peregrinus Cracoviensis, z.2.
Język publikacji: polski
Gdy myślę Kalwaria
Przemówienie na otwarcie sesji naukowej w Kalwarii Zebrzydowskiej dnia 24 kwietnia 1995 r.
Sanktuarium Kalwaryjskie jako umiłowane Sanktuarium Ojca Świętego Jana Pawła II
Geneza Kalwarii Zebrzydowskiej
Kalwaria jako polska Jerozolima
Kalwaryjskie drogi pielgrzymkowe"ogrodami modlitwy" (na przykładzie "Dróżek" Kalwarii Zebrzydowskiej)
Perspektywy rozwoju Kalwarii Zebrzydowskiej jako ośrodka pielgrzymkowego
Kalwaria Zebrzydowska w sieci ośrodków pielgrzymkowych w Polsce i w Europie
Kalwaria Zebrzydowska and Its Position in the Network of Polish and European Pilgrimage Centres
Summary: From its very foundation the Shrine of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska has always been the destination for numerous pilgrims. The town itself was established to receive the pilgrims coming to the 'Calvary', or outdoor place of worship depicting the story of Jesus' Passion. Initially the name of the town was Zebrzydów (founded around 1617), and later Nowy Zebrzydów. In the 19th century the present-day name came into official and general use. The original pilgrimages were associated with the cult of the Holy Passion, but a devotion to Our Lady appeared as early as by the first half of the 17th century. In 1641 a miraculous painting of the Virgin was brought here and installed in the Observantine Basilica. The combination of the Calvary with the holy picture of Mary brought about an increase in the number of pilgrimages. Another factor contributing to growth were the mysteries presenting the Passion of Jesus and the Life of Mary. Towards the close of the 18th century the impact of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska had already transcended the local borders of its region, and from the 19th century onwards it was more and more frequently referred to as the 'Częstochowa of Southern Poland' (Małopolska Jasna Góra, Częstochowa Południa). The coronation of the image of Our Lady of Kalwaria in 1887 was undoubtedly an event which increased the importance of the town as a centre of pilgrimage, while the construction in the 1880ťs of a railway connecting Kalwaria Zebrzydowska with Cracow, the Podhale Highland region, and Silesia enhanced pilgrim movement. It was Kalwaria's religious, national and patriotic significance that made it, ever since the end of the 18th century, Poland's second most important place for religious worship. In the 19th century its impressive record for pilgrimages made it one of the foremost sanctuaries in the Habsburg empire and in the whole of Europe. At the turn of the centuries it was in the top ten Roman Catholic shrines in Europe (Fig. 1), with an average annual figure of 300-350 thousand pilgrims visiting it. In years of special religious occasions, such as the Coronation year, 1887, or the third centenary jubilee of foundation in 1902, it was as much as 400-450 thousand. On the restoration of Poland's independence in 1918 the catchment area for pilgrimages to Kalwaria Zebrzydowska expanded. In the interwar period (1918-1939) pilgrims from all over Europe visited Kalwaria, which had a distinctly international character as a religious sanctuary, like Jasna Góra at Częstochowa and Ostra Brama in Wilno. In this period Kalwaria Zebrzydowska received at least 250 thousand pilgrims annually, which put it in second position in the Polish shrines after Częstochowa (Fig. 2). After the Second World War, after an initial lively growth in the years 1945-1947, in the mid 1950ťs there was a distinct decrease in numbers of pilgrims. This was associated with political and administrative obstacles making the organisation and conducting of pilgrimages more difficult. In spite of the potential risks to pilgrims from the state authorities, especially its police surveillance forces, such as various types of harassment up to and including the loss of jobs, there were still between 200 to 250 thousand pilgrims coming to Kalwaria every year. There was a marked rise in numbers of pilgrims from 1975, and especially from the election of Cardinal Karol Wojtyła to the papacy and his pontifical visit to Kalwaria on 7th June, 1979, when there were about 800 thousand pilgrims at the shrine. Over the well-nigh four centuries that have passed since Kalwaria Zebrzydowska was first established as a religious centre its place in the network of Polish sanctuaries has not changed in essence. It is still considered the second most important shrine after Jasna Góra in Częstochowa, and it is one of the handful of Polish sanctuaries with an international significance (Częstochowa, Niepokalanów, Warsaw, the site of the former Auschwitz concentration camp, and Grabarka the Eastern Orthodox shrine are among the others). Kalwaria Zebrzydowska is visited annually by 800 thousand to 1 million pilgrims, which constitutes 12-15% of the figures for pilgrimages in Poland (Fig. 3). The special devotion to the Passion of Jesus finds its particular expression in the annual Passion Mystery, which takes place in Holy Week and is attended by 100 thousand pilgrims, an increasing proportion of them from abroad. The chief feast of Our Lady is for the Assumption, 15th August, which is attended by pilgrim congregations totalling up to 100-150 thousand. Kalwaria Zebrzydowska has maintained its international standing as one of the most important Catholic centres of pilgrimage in Europe (Fig. 4). What has given Kalwaria this international status is a combination of its role as a religious shrine (with the cult of both the Passion and of Our Lady), with the several centuries of its traditions: the Basilica with the neighbouring Calvary, and the Passion Mysteries. Coupled with the August festivities in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Mystery for the Assumption, this gives Kalwaria Zebrzydowska a unique position among the famous European centres of worship, which has managed to preserve its international reputation in spite of the numerous successive historic periods of adversity it has suffered (the partitions of Poland, Nazi occupation during the Second World War, followed by a period of fifty years under Communism), always managing to kep its vitality and uphold its traditions. Pilgrim movement to and through Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, both from within Poland and abroad, is expected to grow in the coming years, as a result of the place's already existing religious, traditional and folkloric importance, and also due to Kalwaria's advantageous geographic location with respect to the main European communication routes for pilgrimages (Figs. 5 and 6). The routes followed by pilgrims may well prove to be an important element in the integration of East and West. Whatever the full picture of Kalwaria's future, it seems that its main outline has already been created by Pope John Paul II. Thanks to his remarks on the town in his recent book, To Cross the Threshold of Hope, the Holy Father has made Kalwaria Zebrzydowska famous throughout the world.
Peregrinus Cracoviensis, 1995, z.2, s. 65-75.
Instytut Geografii i Gospodarki Przestrzennej UJ
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O. Stanisław Szydełko (1935-1995)
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