Maria Michał Kowalski

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Maria Michał Kowalski
Jan Kowalski-arcybiskup (1926-27).jpg
ChurchOld Catholic Church of the Mariavites
In office1909–1935
SuccessorMaria Izabela Wiłucka-Kowalska
Other posts29 December 1929 in Old Catholic Mariavite Church
Continued in Catholic Mariavite Church
Consecration5 October 1909
by Gerardus Gul
Personal details
Birth nameJan Kowalski
Born(1871-12-25)December 25, 1871[a]
Latowicz, Vistula Land, Russian Empire
DiedMay 18, 1942(1942-05-18) (aged 70)
Hartheim Euthanasia Centre, Alkoven, Ostmark (Austria)
DenominationRoman Catholic (1871–1906[b])
Mariavite (1906–1942[c])
SpouseMaria Izabela Wiłucka-Kowalska[2]
Venerated inCatholic Mariavite Church
by popular acclaim
ShrinesFelicjanów, Płock County, Poland
Ordination history of
Maria Michał Kowalski
Episcopal consecration
Principal consecratorGerardus Gul
Co-consecratorsJacobus Johannes van Thiel [de; pl]
Nicolaus Bartholomeus Petrus Spit [de; pl]
Josef Demmel [de; pl]
Arnold Harris Mathew
Date5 October 1909
PlaceUtrecht, Netherlands
Episcopal succession
Bishops consecrated by Kowalski as principal consecrator
Maria Andrzej Gołębiowski [pl]4 September 1910[d]
Maria Jakub Próchniewski [pl]4 September 1910[d]
Maria Franciszek Rostworowski [pl]October 4, 1923
Maria Bartłomiej Przysiecki [pl]28 March 1929
Maria Filip Feldman [pl]28 March 1929
Maria Izabela Wiłucka-Kowalska28 March 1929[e]
Maria Szymon Bucholc [pl]13 April 1933
Maria Tytus Siedlecki [pl]May 1935[citation needed][f]
Marie Marc Fatôme [pl]September 1938
Maria Feliks Tułaba [pl]1939[citation needed][g]
Source(s): [5]

Jan Maria Michał Kowalski (25 December 1871 – 18 May 1942[6][a]) was a Polish priest, the first Minister General of the order of the Mariavites.

Early life[edit]

He came from a farming family in Latowicz, the son of Jan and Katarzyna Sitek Kowalski. He studied at the Warsaw seminary and was ordained a Roman Catholic priest on April 24, 1897, by Auxiliary Bishop of Mogilev, Francis Symon. Kowalski served in parishes in Lodz, Niesułków and Stara Sobotka. In 1900, he became a vicar at the Church of the Capuchins in Warsaw.


After a former seminary colleague introduced him to the Mariavite movement, he became a close collaborator of the foundress Feliksa Kozłowska.

At the time of his selection, he was the most important person in that Christian movement. He was consecrated bishop in 1909 by the Union of Utrecht of the Old Catholic Churches Gerardus Gul, archbishop of the Old Catholic Archdiocese of Utrecht. In 1919, the Mariavites officially changed their name to the Old Catholic Church of the Mariavites. Kowalski later called himself an archbishop.


Memorial plaque

Kowalski was killed, at 70, during World War II at the Nazi Hartheim Euthanasia Centre in Alkoven, Ostmark (Austria). He was one of the victims of the Nazi war criminal Karl Brandt, who led the euthanasia Action 14f13.[h]


Kowalski was deposed on 29 January 1935 by the General Chapter of the Old Catholic Mariavite Church in Płock; his successor in the Old Catholic Mariavite Church was Maria Filip Feldman [pl].[8]

When Kowalski was deposed, a faction of his followers separated from the Old Catholic Mariavite Church and became the Catholic Mariavite Church in Felicjanów. His successor in the Catholic Mariavite Church was his wife, Archpriestess Maria Izabela Wiłucka-Kowalska.


  1. ^ a b Peterkiewicz (1975, pp. 21–22) notes that biographical articles also give both 26 and 27 December as birth dates.
  2. ^ He was excommunicated from the Catholic Church in 1906.[1]
  3. ^ Mariavite was recognized as a sect in 1906.[1]
  4. ^ a b Co-consecrated with Old Catholic bishops.[4]
  5. ^ KSM & "Biskupi Mariawiccy" does not include this consecration.
  6. ^ Peterkiewicz (1975, p. 170) contradicts this and states Siedlecki was "consecrated by the bishopesses alone" at that time.
  7. ^ Peterkiewicz (1975) does not include this consecration.
  8. ^ Peterkiewicz (1975, p. 183) stated he was gassed on 18 May 1942.


  1. ^ a b Peterkiewicz 1975, p. 37.
  2. ^ Peterkiewicz 1975; Collinson 1994, p. 145: "the first of Kowalski's women and regarded by the law as his wife"
  3. ^ Peterkiewicz 1975, pp. 148, 190.
  4. ^ Peterkiewicz 1975, p. 41.
  5. ^ Peterkiewicz (1975, pp. 39, 142, 224); Rybak (n.d., pp. 107–108, 110) and KSM & "Biskupi Mariawiccy" only includes consecrations by Kowalski prior to the January 1935 deposition of Kowalski.
  6. ^ Peterkiewicz 1975, p. 183; KSM & "Biskupi Mariawiccy".
  7. ^ Peterkiewicz 1975, p. 7.
  8. ^ Peterkiewicz 1975, pp. 166–167.


  • Collinson, Patrick (1994). "Not sexual in the ordinary sense: women, men, and religious transactions". Elizabethan essays. London [u.a.]: Hambledon Press. pp. 143–146. ISBN 9781852850920. Read at the Renaissance Society in 1989.
  • Peterkiewicz, Jerzy (1975). The third Adam. London: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780192121981.
  • Rybak, Stanisław (n.d.). "Mariawityzm: studium historyczne" (PDF). (in Polish). Michał Rybak. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-03-16. [self-published source]
  • Old Catholic Mariavite Church (n.d.). "Biskupi Mariawiccy" [Mariavite bishops]. (in Polish). Płock, PL: Kościół Starokatolicki Mariawitów. Archived from the original on 2014-01-10.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)

External links[edit]