Basilica of Corpus Christi in Kazimierz, or a beautiful church hiding the legend of a stolen golden host

Krakow is a unique city with a rich tradition and lots of monuments. Places of religious worship are particularly noteworthy, including beautiful, ancient churches that have survived various historical turmoil. One of the most beautiful and largest is the Basilica of Corpus Christi in the Kazimierz district, a mute witness of many momentous moments in the Polish history.

Blue glow and the causative power of the host abandoned by thieves

The origins of this impressive church were mentioned already by the famous chronicler Jan Długosz, who described it on the basis of ancient folk tales. Legend says that once, during the feast of Corpus Christi, a monstrance with a host was stolen from the parish church of All Saints by thieves. Soon, the evildoers realized that the liturgical vessel and the host were only gilded, which is why they abandoned stolen items in the surrounding swamps.

Apparently, later on and for a few days, the radiant glow of blue light stretched over the swamps, the source of which, as it turned out – was precisely the host. To commemorate the miraculous finding, in which the grace of God was perceived, the ruler Casimir the Great decided to build in this place a church – the today’s Basilica of Corpus Christi. The construction of the church began about 1341, and it was build mostly with the use of stone. However, after a few years break marked by the death of the aforementioned king (1370), due to the lack of sufficient funds, the basilica was finished with wood.

A beautiful architectural collage

The soaring tower with the church bell has as much as 80 m, while the main nave of the basilica is approx. 24 meters high. The architecture of the church is very diverse, because the interior of the Basilica of Corpus Christi is kept in the Baroque style, while the bells come from the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The center of the church is decorated with charming paintings from the Baroque era, including the “Adoration of shepherds” by Tomasz Dolabella and other paintings, such as numerous healings and conversions, being the fruit of the activity of priest Stanisław Kazimierczyk. In the church you can also admire the breathtaking and stimulating reflection of gothic stained glass windows.

House of the Blessed Father Kazimierczyk

The Basilica of Corpus Christi in Kazimierz is closely related to the presence of the nearby monastery of Canons Regular of the Lateran (dating back to 1405), whose circles included in the seventeenth century Fr. Kazimierczyk. Confirmation of this priest’s achievements was the inclusion of Stanisław Kazimierczyk to the group of blessed, which took place during a mass celebrated by Pope John Paul II in 1993.