John Sarkander

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Saint John Sarkander
Holy Trinity Column-John Sarkander.jpg
Statue of John Sarkander at Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc
Saint and martyr
Born (1576-12-20)December 20, 1576
Skoczów, Silesia, Crown of Bohemia (now Poland)
Died March 17, 1620(1620-03-17)
Olomouc, Moravia, Crown of Bohemia (now Czech Republic)
Beatified May 6, 1860, Rome, Italy by Pope Pius IX
Canonized May 21, 1995, Olomouc by Pope John Paul II
Feast March 17

Saint John Sarkander (Czech and Polish: Jan Sarkander) (December 20, 1576 – March 17, 1620) was a Polish and Moravian priest.

Jan Sarkander was born into a Silesian (Bohemian-Polish) family, father Gregory Matthias Sarkander and mother Helena née Górecka of Kornicz (Kornitz), at Skoczów in Duchy of Teschen (Silesia).

He studied since 1597 at the University of Olomouc and then since 1600 at the Charles University in Prague, where he became doctor of philosophy. Later, he studied theology at University of Graz. He was ordained in 1609 and worked in Holešov from 1616.

Relief of torturing of John Sarkander on torturing rack at Sarkander's gravestone

In 1620, during the ongoing Bohemian Revolt, Sarkander was by Protestant Moravian Estates accused of betrayal and tortured in Olomouc prison, partially due to his refusal to divulge what was said in confession.[1] Today the St. Jan Sarkander chapel stands on the place of his torture, at the top of the Michaels hill. The original torturing rack and Sarkander's gravestone are preserved here. Sarkander was canonized by Pope John Paul II during his visit to Olomouc in 1995.


Frescos in Chapel of Saint John Sarkander in Olomouc:


  1. ^ PD-icon.svg "Bl. John Sarkander". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.