Edmund Bojanowski

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Edmund Bojanowski monument, Luboń-Żabikowo
Stained glass window dedicated to Edmund Bojanowski in the Church of Saint Adalbert in Poznań

Edmund Bojanowski (1814-1871) was a Polish Catholic layman whose works of faith and charity led to him being beatified, a step towards canonization to sainthood.[1]

Early years[edit]

Edmund Bojanowski was born in the small village of Grabonóg, Poland, on 14 November 1814 to a family of Polish nobility (szlachta). His parents, Walenty Bojanowski and Teresa Umińska, were very religious which helped form Edmund’s deep religious convictions at an early age. At the age of four, Edmund became ill and appeared to die, only to appear to come to life a short while later. His parents considered this a form of miraculous healing based on their prayers. On his recovery, he vowed to dedicate his life to the Virgin Mary.[2]

Education[edit]

Edmund continued to suffer ill health throughout his lifetime. Because of this he could not attend school and had to be tutored at home. At the age of 20 he developed tuberculosis. He later continued his studies at the University of Wrocław and in Berlin, Germany. He was, however, too frail at this time to study for the priesthood, a vocation that he would attempt later in life.[3]

Good works[edit]

His interest in people led him to collect stories, songs, and proverbs from the rural countryside and publish them in “The Friend of the People” (Przyjacielu Ludu). With respect to his moral and religious views, he became involved in providing books for schools, establishing libraries, and orphanages for poor children. During the cholera epidemic during the period 1848-1849 he attended the sick, helping to medicate and comfort them. And, because of the sickness he saw around him, he helped organize the hospital, House of Mercy (Dom Miłosierdzia).

Founding religious orders[edit]

Because of what he saw as a need to serve the poor, Bojanowski was able to found an order of nuns, called the congregation of the Sisters Servants of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mother of God (Sióstr Służebniczek Bogarodzicy Dziewicy Niepokalanie Poczętej). This later led to the creation of the separate orders of the congregation of the Sisters Servants of the Immaculate Conception (Sióstr Służebniczek Najświętszej Maryi Panny Niepokalanie Poczętej) in Poznań, Przemyśl, Wrocław, and Dębica (Tarnow). In 1867 Bojanowski authorized the founding of the Congregation of the Poor Servants of the Mother of God headed by Frances Margaret Taylor in England.[4]

Beatification[edit]

During the last years of his life, Bojanowski studied for the priesthood; however, his health continued to deteriorate, and he died 7 August 1871 in Górka Duchowna without becoming ordained as a priest.

He was beatified by Pope John Paul II, in Warsaw, on 13 June 1999. His memory is celebrated in Polish Catholic churches on August 7 of each year.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]