|Origins: A congregation born within the Roman catholic Church|
the end of the 19th century, Poland
was parcelled out and occupied by Russia,
and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In
the territory annexed by the Tsarist Russia, the Roman catholic Church
was dominated by the orthodoxe Church
and its role brought back to that of a secondary Church, even marginal.
The religious orders were gathered with prohibition to receive beginners
and all new creations of prohibited religious congregations.
this context, created for itself a nation strongly believing
and also a favourable atmosphere to a development of the religious feeling.
This deepening of the Faith and the life connected with the church appeared in various forms and in particular by the creation of new clandestine religious orders.
Thus, within the Roman catholic Church, on funds of moral rigour, laying the stress on a reform of the Church and the desire to record the religious and spiritual standard of living of the secular clergy (alcoholism of the clergy, abuse of power of the bishops), the movement mariavite appears.
Mariavitism comes from the fertile activity of the Father Honorat Kozminski, brother minor capuchin (1829-1916), that the Pope Jean Paul II blissed on October 16, 1988. The Honorat Father was the founder of more than twenty religious congregations; but later, suspicious papacy dislocated it its functions and recognized with reserve its congregations. All carried out a life hidden and clandestine because of persecutions and repressions on behalf of the Russian government.
the support of a religious life
but also the initiative of a social help
among the working and country milieu.
In 1883, joined a clandestine congregation of the Father Honorat Kosminski,Feliksa Magdalena Kozlowska. She had been born on May 27, 1852 in Wieliczna close from Wegrow in the east from Warsaw. She was the girl of Jakub and Anna Kozlowski. Her father took part in the insurrection of 1863 against the Russian occupants and died during the battle which the insurrectionists delivered against the Russian army, February 3, 1863.
In 1872, Anna Kozlowska, with her daughter, was withdrawn in Warsaw. Félicie Madeleine finished her studies in the College IV and started to work as private teacher. She was very gifted, especially for mathematics and knew perfectly French, English and Russian. Since childhood, she wished being nun and to be given to God, (she had an interior life filled of spirit of prayer).
to 1886, Félicie Madeleine,
become nun under the name of Marie-Francoise,
was sacrificed for the patients and the invalids, looking after especially
in residence in a district called "Przytulisko" in Warsaw where the
nuns franciscaines of suffering, founded by the Honorat Father
had their House.
In 1886, on the recommendation of the Father Honorat Kozminski, she came to Plock as inspector from the clandestine congregations and also founded a contemplative congregation Sisters of Holy Claire based on the second rule of Saint François.
September 8, 1887, in Plock, the congregation of the Sisters of Holy Claire was set up canonically. Later, this congregation will take the name of Mariavite Nuns of the Perpetual and Repairing Worship. The sisters pronounced the wishes of obedience, poverty and chastity and an additional wish, that of the Perpetual Worship of Blessed Sacrament.
After three years, in 1889, the number of the nuns increased considerably.
Also entered the community, the mother of Félicie Madeleine with the name of Marie Hortulana. For the needs for the congregation, she bought a house with a garden, place where the convent and the mariavite Cathedral are today.
At the beginning, according to the tradition of the Sisters of Holy Claire, alms constituted the base of the means for the support of the community. Then was organized a workshop of linen room then another of embroidery and clothes industry of the ornaments of church, chasubles, covers, etc., then a manufacture of weaving and a workshop of stocking.
Finally an artistic workshop of embroidery was organized, it will be, little by little, known in all the country and even abroad. Orders came from all Europe.
The workshops did not get only the tangible properties to support the community, they also made it possible to take an action of charity. Moreover, all this workshops were a good protection for the clandestine religious life towards the civil servants of the Tsar.
Old-catholicMariavite Church is founder
member of the World Council of Churches
of Geneva (WCC-COE),
of the Conference of the European Churches(KEK)
and the World Council of Churches of Poland.
The name comes from Mariae Vita :
Life of Marie. Spirituality centered on Eucharistie.
August 2, 1893 is born officially Mariavitism.
Congregation of priests mariavites - former
students of the ecclesiastical academy of Saint Pétersbourg (only
faculty of catholic theology authorized in Russia) gives each other the
rule of Saint François for model.
withdrawal of the Union of Utrecht, because of certain reforms considered
as heterodox by the conference of the Bishops Old Catholics.
links taken again with Utrecht; episcopal dedication of Mgr
Tymotheusz Kowalski (+ 8-8-1997) in
(Poland) by many bishops Old Catholics of which the archbishop of Utrecht.
The Old-Catholic Mariavite Church is in intercommunion
with the Old Catholics Churches of the
union of Utrecht, except for the Churches
of Germany and Switzerland.
The Province of France:
set up in 1989. Since the 18-2-1992, the episcopal jurisdiction is only
in the hands of Mgr André le Bec,
Eglise Sainte Marie, 47 rue de l'Echiquier,
|Birth of the Mariavite movement|
and the development of the
mariavitism are closely related to the
Marie-Francoise Mother and are inspired
by the revelation which it accepted on August 2, 1893 concerning
Divine mercy for our time.
The diffusion of the Infinite Mercy of God became one very important and decisive moment in the history of the Congregation of the sisters and the beginning of the Congregation of the Mariavites Priests of the Perpetual Worship. Those existed already under the name of Marial Association of Diocesan Priests.
In the revelations received by the Marie-Francoise Mother about the Mariavites Congregations, we read:
"In 1893, August 2, after having followed the Holy Mass, I was detached from my knowledge and setting in front of the Divine Majesty. An incomprehensible Light wrapped my heart and showed me the corruption of the world and times last, then the relaxation of morals, in particular in the clergy ".
|"I saw the divine
justice to be about to punish the world but the Mercy given also to the
world like ultimate rescue, the worship of Blessed Sacrament and the assistance
of Marie. A few minutes after, the Lord spoke: "I want that the congregation
of the Priests under the name of Mariavites be a mean to propagate this
worship. Their watchword will be : Everything for the greatest glory
of God and the honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They will be under
the guard of Our Lady of the Perpetual-Help ".
August 2, 1893 is born officially Mariavitisme.
The name of "MARIAVITE" comes from Mariae Vitae Imitating : "imitating the life of Marie" (and her mother kept all the things in its heart, Luc 2-51).
With the example of Marie who lived in the continual worship of her Lord, Mariavites must also be only turned towards their Saver and Lord, Jesus-Christ, in a spirit of deep worship: this is why the spirituality of Mariavites is primarily centered on Eucharistie.
As of this time, the number of priests mariavites increased mainly in the dioceses of Plock, Lublin and Warsaw. The authorities of these dioceses, fearing the development of the mariavites ideas and the increase in the number of priests in favour of these ideas, started has to move the priests towards the recesses most distant from their diocese. They thus hoped to weaken their force, and consequently to cause the fall of the movement. However, the ideal mariavite extended very quickly among the priests and the faithful ones from many parishes. At the beginning, the Mariavites Priests came from the theological academy of Saint Petersbourg (single faculty of theology authorized under the empire tsarist, the Polish territory under Russian occupation not having the right to open faculty of theology). They were dependent very narrowly with the reforming movement which was "very sharp" among the elite of the Polish clergy. These reformers disputed as of this time the formation and the studies followed by the future priests.
The Mariavites Priests postulated the fundamental reform of the theological studies. They claimed a renewal of the sacerdotal life. In addition, they propagated the characteristic forms of the Polish popular religious life, it is has to say the worship of Our Lady of the Perpetual-Help, the rosary, and the re-establishment of the practice of the Salvation of the Blessed Sacrament and the worship of the exposed Blessed Sacrament.
They also asked, as of the end of the 19th century, the practice of the frequent communion for the adults, the first communion of the children at the age of seven years, the introduction of the Polish language into the liturgy and the social help for the poor, especially in working milieu.
Mariavites built close to their
churches, manufactures, workshops,
stores loan banks.
At the end of ten years of foundation, in 1903, the Congregation had become sufficiently important to be divided into three provinces. Were elected like provincial, for Warsaw, the Father Jean-Michel KOWALSKI, for Lublin, the Father Romain Marie Jacques PROCHNIEWSKI, for Plock, the Father Leon Marie André GOLEBIOWSKI.
Provincial Mariavites gave to their Bishops memories containing the revelations of the Marie-Francoise Mother and a short history of the congregation:
They wished the canonical recognition of the congregation of the Mariavites Priests.
For many, they were the hope of the renewal of the spiritual and intellectual life of the clergy.
Very quickly, the Mariavites Priests were asked by the Bishops, especially Mgr CALL, faithful support of the congregation, to be professors and directors of seminars, preachers of the retirements and spiritual exercises of the clergy like for the parochial retirements.
The Father Honorat KOZMINSKI, itself,
gave an excellent testimony on them in his letters of 1897 and 1898, writing
amongst other things:
"They live under the rule
of the minor brothers, in so far as his observation and for them possible,
taking into account their activities. Almost all are professors of seminars
and have high university degrees ".
To the beginning of July 1903, the Bishop of Plock, Mgr Jerzy
SZEMBEK, which a time had sights on the incipient congregation,
but was not followed by the General Chapter, went to Rome to present at
the Pope the question of Mariavitism. Mariavites knowing the hostility
of the Bishop towards them decided to go personally to Rome to present
During the same period, Polish Bishop SZEMBEK
some bishops sent in Rome several tendentious information concerning Mariavites
with for objective to harm the movement and to arrive at his total liquidation.
Mariavites believing in the guarantees given by the Pope, awaited the decision
of the Vatican quietly. A little later in 1904, from Rome a decree arrived
ordering the dissolution of the Congregation and the transfer of the priests
in their dioceses of origin.
The Encyclical required of all the Mariavites Priests to be transfered
in their dioceses of origin under penalty of excommunication and prohibited
any communication with the Marie-Francoise Mother.
At that time there, persecution against Mariavites reached its apogee. All the churches built by them were taken again to them.
Ambushes were organized against the priests and the faithful ones. Several pogroms, carried out by a capuchin, the FELIX Father caused tens of killed and hundreds of wounded among Mariavites.
The Mariavites workmen were private of their work, the farmers were driven out their grounds. A "war of religion" was carried out against Mariavites in dimensions unknown in Poland.
|Foundation of the Mariavite Church|
|As of the end of 1906, all the religious
priests and Mariavites and approximately 44000 faithful adults founded
the Mariavite Church.
On December 24, 1906, the first Polish Mass was celebrated in Plock, in the Chapel of the Sisters.
Straight away new churches were built, in 2 months more than 16 parishes. In 1909, construction of 38 churches, 34 chapels and 16 houses "popular" where schools were installed, rooms of secondary courses and training, run for illiterates, guards of children, etc.
On October 10, 1907, a General Chapter confirmed the Father Jean Marie Michel KOWALSKI as General Minister and elected Bishop of the Church in formation.
On October 5, 1909 this one accepted the episcopal dedication of the hands of Mgr Gerard GUL, archbishop of Utrecht and the Bishops Old Catholics of Holland and Germany.
The following year, on September 4, 1910, in Lowicz, in Poland, took place the dedication of two other priests mariavites: Romain Maria Jacques PROCHNIEWSKI and Leon Maria Andre GOLEBIOWSKI. The Bishop consecrator was Mgr Jean Maria Michel KOWALSKI and the Bishops assistants, Mgr Gerard GUL, Archevêque of Utrecht and Mgr Jacques VAN THIEL, Évêque of Haarlem (Holland). Little after the Church took the name of the Old-Catholic Mariavite Church. The development of the mariavitism continued. The number of faithful increased considerably. Many churches and chapels were built. In addition, one also attended a significant development of the social, cultural, educational institutions and school directed by the priests and the sisters mariavites.
1911, the Mariavite Congregation built in
an important cathedral
convent which always exist and are still currently the seat
of the Church.
Construction was finished in 1914, on the eve of the First World War.
The Sanctuary of the Mercy with the wings of the convent are built in the field of the letter E, Eucharistie. The building is neogothic, of English Gothic style; The old house of the Mariavite Sisters (the small manor bought by the Mother of Marie-Francoise Mother) is located at the bedside of the sanctuary, behind the chorus. In these buildings exist always the chapel of the Sisters and the room of the Marie-Francoise Mother.
The sanctuary is of basilical type composed of 3 naves on a rectangular level with a very high central nave. In the chorus, there is the high altar built in the shape of confession, each side of the Gothic stalls and a Gothic balustrade of communion also.
Residence of the Bishop-Primacy with Plock
of Plock the High altar
|The chorus is overhung
by an vast cupola decorated with Gothic lanterns giving the natural light
on the confession and all the chorus.
An important platform located at the top of the two sides makes it possible
to accomodate many faithful.
The side aisles are illuminated by ogival windows. The benches, the doors and the floor are made of wood of oak. The interior is of white color, ivory and gold.
At outside, the pediment of the sanctuary ends in three Gothic towers and the cupola by a gilded monstrance
|Death of the Marie-Francoise Mother and posterior period|
|August 23, 1921, died the Marie-Francoise Mother. Its skin was deposited in the crypt of the Sanctuary of Plock. The year of its death, the Old-Catholic Mariavite Church counted approximately 45000 faithful (a dictionary of catholic theology Roman indicates the figure of 120000 faithful), 75 parishes, 41 subsidiary companies, 80 churches, 65 chapels, 7 convents of sisters, 75 parochial houses, 25 primary schools, 1 college, 45 nursery schools, 3 courses for the illiterates, 14 libraries with rooms of reading, 32 manufactures, 4 orphanages, 13 old people's homes, 4 dispensaries, 10 restaurants popular and free for the poor, 7 bakeries, 3 companies of saving and of loans, 2 bodies of firemen, 47 fields agricultural.|
was also in 1921, 24 companies of assistance for the poor children, 4 associations
of youth, 15 associations of young women, 4 caritatives associations women
helping the poor.
Finally the clergy then counted 3 bishops, 33 priests and 244 nuns.
After the death of Marie-Francoise Mother, the capacity in the Church was between the hands of only one person and without limitation : Mgr Jean Marie Michel KOWALSKI.
Its activity was marked by a théologico-dogmatic modernism. He introduced :
|According to historians'
mariavites, this modernism growing, expressed by other innovations even
a controversy with the centre of
the mariavitism. The opponents with these reforms were convinced
were not in agreement with
and catholic teaching.
Meanwhile, the Old-Catholic Mariavite Church had left the Union of Utrecht.
The General Chapter of January 29, 1935, bringing together the bishops, priests, nuns and representatives of the parishes mariavites deposited Mgr Jean Marie Michel KOWALSKI of his function. To the beginning, the Archbishop subordinated himself to the decisions of the Chapter. A residence was placed at its disposal, the field of Félicjanow, close of Plock, bought in 1910 by the Marie-Francoise Mother like place of rest of summer for the nuns. But very quickly, he withdrew the Church, forming with 2 priests, 80 nuns and 20% of faithful, a scission which lasts still today.
|The General Chapter of January
removed the majority of the innovations
by Archbishop KOWALSKI. The administration of the
was based on the collegial and synodal system.
Since, the Superior of the Church carries the title of Bishop-Primacy.
The first Bishop-Primacy, after the reform and the return to the sources
of Mariavitism was the Bishop
Klemens Maria Filip
The Church counted in 1935, in addition to the 3 bishops, 110 priests, 484 nuns and 45.000 faithful.
|The Second World War marked
the life of the Church tragically. Although he was separated from the Church,
the arrest by the Nazis of the companion of the first hours, Mgr Jean Marie
Michel KOWALSKI, his internment, then its death as a martyr in Dachau in
1942, at the 74 years age, were felt painfully by all the Mariavite Church.
In Plock, the Nazis occupied the convent, expelling approximately 400 people and stopping more than 300 mariavites (the quasi totality of the priests, many nuns and faithful were arrested and interned by the Nazis). The Bishop-Primacy, Klemens Maria Filip FELDMAN was transferred by force in Germany for obligatory work.
The gestapo destroyed a rich collection of books of the library of the convent of Plock, "confiscated" the chalices, the most invaluable ciboria and transported them to Germany. All the machines and apparatuses of printing works "were also confiscated". The Church thus lost all its printing works and workshops of binding for missels, breviaries, schoolbooks, etc.
|Lastly, many human losses
were undergone by the Church. Many Mariavites was transfered in Germany,
with forced work. Many also died in the concentration camps. Mariavites,
like specifically Polish confession, were the subject of ceaseless suspicions
and also of repression on behalf of the occupant. According to documents
discovered after the war, it results that entire Mariavitism was intended
for "total liquidation".
After 1945, with the "new conditions" (Communism), the life of the Church was standardized with the little number of survivors. The decree of September 5, 1945 controls the legal state of the Church and its legal existence, decree confirmed in 1967, then in 1989 and 1991, after liberalization.
In 1945, Mgr Roman Maria Jakub PROCHNIEWSKI was elected Bishop-Primacy and from 1953 to 1972 the Bishops followed one another :
|Contemporary period - Festivals of the centenary|
|On October 26, 1972, the General Chapter called Mgr Stanislaw Maria Tymoteusz KOWALSKI with becoming Bishop-Primacy. He had been devoted Bischop on August 6, 1972 in Plock. Took part as consecrators, in addition to the Mariavite Bishops, Mgr Marinus KOK, Bischop of Utrecht and President of the Union of Utrecht, Mgr Anselme G.VAN KLEEF, Bischop of Haarlem (Holland), the Bishops of the Polish Catholic Church Mgr Julian PEKALA and Mgr Tadeusz MAJEWSKI.|
|In 1972 also, the Roman catholic Episcopal Conference of Poland, via its President Mgr Wladyslaw MIZIOLEK and his secretary the Father Jesuit Stanislaw BAJKO, addressed a request for forgiveness to the Mariavite Church for all persecutions of which he was the object in the past on behalf of the Roman catholic Church.|
|On 1983, November 20, took place the episcopal dedications of Monseigneur Antoine Marie Roman NOWAK, Bischop of the Diocese of the Area of Podlaskie and Lublin and Monseigneur Zdzizlaw Maria Wlodzimierz JAWORSKI, Bischop of the Diocese of Silesia and Lodz.|
|On 1st October 1993, confirmation of the Episcopal Dedication of Mgr André le Bec, by all the Episcopate.|
|At the end of December 1995, Episcopal Dedication of Mgr Michal Maria Ludwik JABLONSKI..|
|The Old-Catholic Mariavite Church counts currently approximately thirty thousand members and a hundred places of worship.|
|Festivals of the centenary of the birth of the Mariavite Movement (1893 - 1993)|
1st and August 2nd, 1993
the Centenary of the Mariavite
movement in Plock. The mass was concelebrated by :
and the bishops Old Catholics of the Union of Utrecht,
in the presence of Delegated Churches catholic, orthodoxe, evangelic of Augsburg and evangelic reformed, representatives of the Civil authorities and a crowd the faithful ones of more than five thousand people
The faithful ones on the platform
The Father Henryk SEWERINIAK
From left to right: Mgr NOWAK - Mgr KOWALSKI - Mgr KOK
Mgr JAWORSKI - Mgr le Bec - Mgr HUMMEL
|A very important book : "Révélations" from Mother Marie-Françoise Koslowska -|
the lights of the Jubilee the publication of the book of Father
Rozyk presents a particular glare because
it completeley exonerates Mariavites of the charges, deviations and errors
which one attached them since 1906.
This Theologist writes that he did not found in the book "Revelations" of the Mother Marie Françoise Koslowska any point or contradiction with the roman catholic church doctrine.
On a beaucoup écrit au sujet des Mariavites. D’abord on les ridiculisait, on ironisait à leur sujet, on se moquait d’eux. Il suffit de rappeler les titres des publications des années 1906-1909 : « Là où le diable ne peut rien faire il y enverra une bonne femme », « La vérité sur les Kozlowites ou Mancherons afin d’avertir ceux qui n’ont encore perdu ni la raison ni la foi », « Malheureux possédés ». Pendant les vingt années entre les deux guerres la partie catholique romaine écrivait au sujet des Mariavites plus calmement quoique de façon toujours polémique, tandis que la partie mariavite manifestait toujours autant de vénération et d’admiration pour « Mateczka ». Durant ces dernières années, ont vu le jour quelques études plus sérieuses dans lesquelles on a clairement abandonné la polémique en faveur d’un objectivisme apaisant (père Daniel Olszewski, père Edward Warchol, frère M.Pawel Rudnicki…).
L’ouvrage du Père Dr Wojciech Rozyk, ancien élève de l’Institut Œcuménique de l’Université Catholique de Lublin, surpasse tout ce qu’on a écrit sur le Mariavitisme jusqu’à présent. L’auteur est le premier à soulever la question fondamentale sur son orthodoxie en cherchant la réponse dans la principale source que ses prédécesseurs n’ont jamais mise à profit , à savoir le « manuscrit du vatican », présenté au pape Pie X le 13 août 1903. Il n’existe pas une présentation plus officielle et authentique de leur position.
Est-ce que la théologie contenue dans le « manuscrit du vatican » justifie l’exclusion des Mariavites de la Communion de l’Eglise Catholique Romaine ? Les recherches de la réponse à cette question réalisées par le Père Wojciech Rozyk se métamorphosent en une belle aventure intellectuelle en y entraînant irréfutablement les lecteurs. Le dialogue officiel tenu en Pologne entre l’Eglise Catholique Romaine et L’Eglise Vieille Catholique Mariavite acquiert un point de référence fort.
Joint dans les annexes, le texte du « document du vatican » - aussi bien l’original en latin que sa première traduction en polonais - assure à cet ouvrage un succès auprès des larges cercles d’historiens. Désormais les études sérieuses sur le Mariavitisme doivent consulter Rozyk.
Le 31 décembre
2006 clôture le centenaire de l’Eglise Mariavite. Dans les
lumières du Jubilé la publication du Père Rozyk revêt
un éclat supplémentaire.
Père Professeur Stanislaw
Celestyn Napiorkowski OFM Conv
47, rue de l'Échiquier - 75 010 PARIS Métro : Bonne nouvelle
Téléphone : 01 40 22 93 25 Répondeur /Fax : 01 40 22 93 36
Internet : http://www.mariavite.org Courrier e-mail : email@example.com