Bractwo św. Anny w Urzędowie (1593-1787)

Marian Surdacki

Abstrakt


Among the countless number of smaller or bigger social groups existing over the centuries, religious fraternities deserve our particular attention . Their origins go back to the beginning of Christian times.

Confraternities were erected by church authorities, functioned in the churches subordinate to bishops or religious orders. They had their own spiritual director and realized their own public, religious, and social aims contained in the statutes.

In medieval western Europe, fraternities were a common phenomenon. In Poland they first appeared in the 13th century in Silesia. The post-Tridentine period saw their most dynamic „development” in Poland and in the whole of the Catholic Church. They became important factors of church regeneration and the level of universal influence on the spiritual awareness of society, and played a crucial role in the struggle against Protestantism. The development of fraternities in the end of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries was closely connected with the development of Marian cult and the cult of the saints. Those fraternities which were well organized, and those bearing the character of religious communities, often had their own altar, chapels, and priests.

In the period of the 17th-18th century four religious fraternities were in Urzędów, a town which was the seat of decanate with the same, and which belonged at that time to the Zawichost archdeaconry and the Cracow diocese. Urzędów was a royal town established and located in 1405 by King Vladislav Jagiello. It was a seat of the administrative unit and belonged to the Lublin region.

Three of the Urzędów fraternities are the best known confraternities and popular at that time in Poland: Literary Fraternity, Fraternity of St. Ann, and the Rosary Fraternity. Aside to the above, there was for a short period the Fraternity of St. Sebastian which existed nowhere else.

The Fraternity of St. Ann in Urzędów was erected in 1593 on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. It was officially approved by the Lvov archbishop J.D. Solikowski in 1594. The founders and first benefactors of the confraternities were burghers from Urzędów. The fraternity had a side altar devoted to St. Ann. It was spread in Poland first of all by Bernardins and its main task was to discuss with infidels. In practice, however, in the 17th and 18th centuries it had a devotional character. In the initial stage of the confraternity of St. Ann congregations were held four times a years, whereas at the end of the 17th century they were organized annually only twice. Every Tuesday the representatives of the fraternity were obliged to participate in a weekly votive mass to the honour of St. Ann, receive the sacrament of reconciliation and Eucharist, above all to the late fellows friars. During the masses and congregations they collected money on behalf of their association and the church for wax, candles and missal wine.

In the Fraternity of St. Ann in Urzędów the administrative functions were held by two trusted members, mostly representatives of the magistrate authorities and, as a rule, rich people, called provisories or seniors. The Fraternity of St. Ann gained their basic funds from voluntary collections raised among fellow friars at masses and congregations, and the money donated and then invested in the burghers' estates, thereby bringing yearly interest. The dusk of the Fraternity of St. Ann occurred in the end of the 1780s when the majority of its legates were provided to build a parish church.


Słowa kluczowe


bractwo; św. Anna; skrzynka bracka; ołtarz bracki; uposażenie; seniorzy braccy; promotor (kapłan bracki); obowiązki braci

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