Saint Stanislas Kostka
Parmi les admirables Saints qui ont mérité de servir de patrons à la jeunesse chrétienne, saint Stanislas Kostka occupe une place de choix. Sa vie fut courte, mais mieux remplie que beaucoup de longues carrières, selon la parole de nos saints Livres. Il naquit d'une famille très illustre de Pologne, dont il devint, par sa sainteté, la principale gloire.
Son enfance se distingua par une extraordinaire piété, et sa modestie était si remarquable, qu'une seule parole malséante suffisait pour le faire s'évanouir. Son plaisir était d'être vêtu simplement et de s'entretenir avec les pauvres. Il fit ses études à Vienne, avec son frère, Paul, au collège des Jésuites, mais en qualité d'externe. Sa vertu ne fit que s'accroître, malgré les exemples et les persécutions de son frère. A mille épreuves de chaque instant, il joignait encore des mortifications volontaires et se donnait de fortes disciplines; deux oraisons journalières ne lui suffisant pas, il se levait la nuit, quelque temps qu'il fit, pour élever son âme vers Dieu. Le démon furieux vint l'assaillir dans son lit, où il gisait, malade, et se jeta sur lui sous la forme d'un horrible chien noir; mais l'enfant le chassa honteusement par le signe de la Croix.
Par l'assistance de sainte Barbe, qu'il avait invoquée, il reçut la visite de deux Anges, qui lui apportèrent la Sainte Communion. Quelques jours après, la Sainte Vierge lui apparut tenant l'Enfant Jésus dans Ses bras; Stanislas put caresser le Sauveur et obtint de Lui l'assurance qu'il entrerait dans la Compagnie de Jésus. Après sa guérison, il s'habilla en pèlerin et se dirigea vers Augsbourg, ville fort éloignée de Vienne. En route, il échappa miraculeusement aux poursuites de son frère et reçut la Communion des mains d'un Ange. D'Augsbourg, l'obéissance le conduisit à Rome, à travers deux cent soixante lieues de chemin; mais rien n'épouvantait cette grande âme, qui animait un si faible corps. Saint François de Borgia reçut avec joie un pareil trésor; mais la joie de Stanislas fut plus profonde encore, et il en versa un torrent de larmes. Hélas! Cette fleur allait bientôt être cueillie pour le Ciel; dix mois devaient suffire pour le porter à une rare perfection. Son humilité était si admirable, qu'il se regardait comme un grand pécheur et le dernier de ses frères. L'amour de Dieu consumait son coeur au point qu'il fallait, avec des linges mouillés, en tempérer les ardeurs. Cet ange incomparable de vertu s'éteignit presque sans maladie, assisté par sa Mère céleste, un jour de l'Assomption.
Abbé L. Jaud, Vie des Saints pour tous les jours de l'année, Tours, Mame, 1950
SOURCE : http://magnificat.ca/cal/fr/saints/saint_stanislas_kostka.html
Saint Stanislas Kostka
Novice jésuite (✝ 1568)
Jeune prince polonais, au caractère fin et décidé, il fit ses études à Vienne puis, à 16 ans, il entra au noviciat des Jésuites de Rome, sur la recommandation de saint Pierre Canisius. Il remit sa vie à Dieu dix mois plus tard.
"Né d'une grande famille de Pologne en 1550 à Rostkow, Stanislas s'adonna aux études classiques à Vienne à partir de 1564. Invité par la Vierge à entrer dans la Compagnie, afin de prévenir l'opposition de son père, il s'enfuit de chez lui en 1567, parcourant à pied toute l'Allemagne.
Arrivé à Rome, il fut admis au noviciat par saint François de Borgia. C'est là qu'il mourut le 15 août 1568, parvenu à une haute sainteté. Il fut canonisé par Benoît XIII en 1726." (site de la Province de France des Jésuites) Il figure au 15 août au martyrologe romain et la Compagnie de Jésus en fait mémoire au 13 novembre.
Lire aussi: La vie de saint Stanislas Kotstka, novice de la Compagnie de Jésus, Lyon 1836. Bibliothèque de l'abbaye Saint Benoît de Port-Valais (Suisse)
Au martyrologe romain au 15 août: À Rome, en 1568, saint Stanislas Kostka. Né en Pologne et désireux, malgré son père, d’entrer dans la Compagnie de Jésus, il prit la fuite pour quitter la maison familiale et gagner Rome à pied. Là, saint François de Borgia l’admit au noviciat, mais, arrivé au but en peu de temps, il mourut rayonnant d’une sainteté précoce, à l’âge de dix-huit ans.
Commémoré le 15 août (dies natalis) par le Martyrologe Romain et le 13 novembre dans l’Ordre des Jésuites.
Stanisław Kostka naît le 28 octobre 1550 à Rostkow, près de Varsovie. En 1564, à 14 ans, il fut envoyé à Vienne avec son frère aîné pour compléter ses études chez les Jésuites.
L’étude et la vie ordonnée du collège lui plaisaient beaucoup et il pensait déjà se consacrer à la vie religieuse. Malheureusement les Jésuites durent fermer le collège. Stanislas, son frère et leur précepteur furent contraints de s’en aller en acceptant l’hospitalité d’un noble luthérien. Stanislas garda un comportement religieux exemplaire malgré les pressions du frère, du précepteur et de l’hôte luthérien qui le critiquaient. Il acceptait tout avec patience et soumission si bien que la nuit il priait pour eux.
À 17 ans il tomba gravement malade. Il faut préciser que le jeune homme appartenait à la confraternité de Sainte Barbara dont les adeptes se confiaient à leur patronne pour recevoir la Communion au moment de la mort. Stanislas avait pleine confiance que cela arriverait. En effet, une nuit il réveilla le précepteur qui le veillait et s’exclama : « Voilà Sainte Barbara ! La voilà avec deux anges ! Elle m’apporte le très Saint Sacrement ! » Et ce fut ainsi : les Anges s’inclinèrent sur Lui et lui donnèrent la Communion. Le jeune homme, serein, se remit sur son lit. Quelques jours plus tard, à la surprise générale, Stanislas se leva parfaitement guéri affirmant qu’il voulait aller personnellement remercier le Seigneur en manifestant le désir de devenir prêtre. Le père régional des Jésuites le repoussa à cause de son jeune âge et du manque de permission paternelle.
Stanislas ne se découragea pas et tenta aussitôt d’aller en Allemagne et en Italie. Il enleva ses beaux vêtements pour mettre ceux d’un paysan et se dirigea vers Augusta où résidait le grand saint Pierre Canisio, père provincial des Jésuites en Allemagne.
En s’apercevant de son absence, son frère le chercha longtemps et fut pris de remords pour sa conduite hostile. Saint Pierre Canisio évalua avec grande attention la vocation du jeune homme et décida de l’envoyer au séminaire des Jésuites à Rome. Dans la lettre de présentation il écrivit : « Stanislas, noble polonais, jeune homme droit et plein de zèle, fut accueilli pendant un certain temps dans le collège des pensionnaires de Dillingen. Il fut toujours précis dans son propre devoir et solide dans sa vocation. [...] Nous attendons de grandes choses de lui. »
D'Augsbourg, l'obéissance le conduisit à Rome où saint François de Borgia reçut avec joie un pareil trésor ; mais la joie de Stanislas fut plus profonde encore, et il en versa un torrent de larmes.
Hélas ! Cette fleur allait bientôt être cueillie pour le Ciel ; dix mois devaient suffire pour le porter à une rare perfection. Son humilité était si admirable, qu'il se regardait comme un grand pécheur et le dernier de ses frères. L'amour de Dieu consumait son cœur au point qu'il fallait, avec des linges mouillés, en tempérer les ardeurs.
Cet ange incomparable de vertu s'éteignit, en 1568, presque sans maladie, assisté par sa Mère céleste, le jour de l'Assomption.
Stanisław Kostka a été béatifié par le pape Paul V (Camillo Borghese, 1605-1621) le 09 octobre 1605 et canonisé par le pape Benoît XIII (Pietro Francesco Orsini, 1724-1730) le 31 décembre 1726.
Pour un approfondissement biographique :
Source principale : forumreligioncatholique.com ; paroisseststan.ca ; wikipédia.org (« Rév. x gpm »).
SOURCE : http://levangileauquotidien.org/main.php?language=FR&module=saintfeast&localdate=20121113&id=5954&fd=0
Saint STANISLAS KOSTKA, religieux
Commun des religieux (p. 271).
OFFICE DES LECTURES
Extraits des Lettres Annuelles du Collège de la Compagnie de Jésus à Vienne et des lettres de saint Pierre Canisius, prêtre et docteur de l'Eglise.
Jésus et la Compagnie occupaient son cœur jour et nuit.
Un jeune Polonais, appartenant à une noble famille, mais encore plus noble par sa vertu, a passé deux années entières auprès des Nôtres à Vienne. Cependant, il n'était pas possible de le recevoir sans le consentement de ses parents, non seulement parce qu'il avait été notre pensionnaire et sans discontinuer élève de notre collège, mais aussi pour un certain nombre d'autres raisons (en effet, les Pères se sont engagés à n'accepter dans la Compagnie aucun de leurs pensionnaires sans le consentement de leurs parents) ; aussi a-t-il toujours essuyé un refus. Il y a peu de jours, désespérant d'entrer ici dans la Compagnie, il est parti ailleurs voir s'il lui serait possible de réaliser son désir en un autre lieu.
Il a été un grand exemple de constance et de piété ; aimé de tous, il ne fut à charge à personne ; enfant par l'âge, adulte par la prudence, petit de corps, grand de cœur. Chaque jour, il entendait deux messes ; plus souvent que les autres, il se confessait et recevait le Corps du Christ et priait longuement. Elève de rhétorique, non seulement il égalait, mais dépassait ses condisciples qui, peu de temps avant, lui étaient supérieurs. Jésus et la Compagnie étaient en son cœur jour et nuit ; en pleurant, il pressait les supérieurs de l'y recevoir. Il demandait même une lettre au Légat du Souverain Pontife pour contraindre les Nôtres. Mais ce fut toujours en vain.
C'est pourquoi il décida, malgré ses parents, son frère et toute sa famille, de prendre la route et de chercher par un autre chemin à entrer dans la Compagnie de Jésus. Au cas où cela ne réussirait pas, il prit la résolution de passer toute sa vie sur les routes et, par amour pour le Christ, de mener une vie de pauvreté et d'humiliation. Lorsque les Nôtres eurent connaissance de ses pensées, ils tentèrent de le dissuader et l'encouragèrent à voyager avec son frère qui pensait devoir bientôt partir pour la Pologne ; ils lui dirent que si ses parents voyaient sa constance, ils donneraient peut-être leur consentement à sa requête.
Mais lui demeurait inébranlé, disant qu'il était vain d'espérer cela de ses parents, car ils les connaissait mieux que les autres ; il se devait d'accomplir la promesse qu'il avait faite au Christ. C'est pourquoi, son précepteur et ses confesseurs ne parvenant pas à le faire changer d'avis et de résolution, un matin, après avoir reçu le Corps du Christ, à l'insu de son surveillant et de son frère, disant adieu aux richesses de son patrimoine, il laissa les vêtements qu'il portait à l'école et à la maison ; et s'habillant d'une toile de sac, il prit le bâton à la main et quitta Vienne à la manière d'un jeune paysan pauvre. Dieu seul sait ce qui lui arrivera. Nous espérons cependant qu'un tel départ n'a pas eu lieu sans un secret dessein de Dieu. En effet, il a toujours été d'une telle constance qu'il ne paraît pas avoir agi puérilement, mais mû par une inspiration du ciel.
C'est aussi ce que pensa Pierre Canisius, alors Provincial de Germanie Supérieure. En effet, comme Stanislas était arrivé à Dillingen, il ne tarda pas à l'envoyer à Rome, écrivant au Père Général, François de Borgia, les lignes suivantes : « Celui qui vous apportera cette lettre sous la conduite du Christ vous est envoyé par notre Province. Stanislas est un jeune Polonais, noble, bon et studieux, que nos Pères de Vienne n'ont pas osé recevoir comme novice de peur d'irriter sa famille. Il est venu me trouver dans le but de mettre à exécution le vœu qu'il avait fait depuis longtemps (en effet, il avait fait vœu d'entrer dans la Compagnie quelques années avant d'être admis). J'ai mis sa vocation à l'épreuve, durant quelque temps, dans le pensionnat de Dillingen ; on l'a toujours trouvé fidèle dans ses emplois et ferme dans sa vocation. Il désirait pourtant être envoyé à Rome pour s'éloigner davantage des siens, dont il redoutait les persécutions, et faire de plus grands progrès dans la piété. Jamais, jusqu'ici, il n'a vécu parmi nos novices ; mais on pourra le mettre parmi ceux de Rome pour faire son noviciat. Quant à nous, nous fondons sur lui de grandes espérances. »
(Litt. Ann. Coll. Vindobonensis, 1er sept. 1567 : Arch. Rom. S.J., Epist. Germaniae, 140, ff. 75r-v ; B. Petri Canisii s.j., Epistulae et Acta , ed. Braunsberger s.j., vol. 6, Fribourg-en-Brisgau, 1913, pp. 63-64).
Jésuites : serviteurs de la mission du Christ - © Compagnie de Jésus
St. Stanislas Kostka
Born at Rostkovo near Prasnysz, Poland, about 28 October, 1550; died at Rome during the night of 14-15 August, 1568. He entered the Society of Jesus at Rome, 28 October, 1567, and is said to have foretold his death a few days before it occurred. His father, John Kostka, was a senator of the Kingdom of Poland and Lord of Zakroczym; his mother was Margaret de Drobniy Kryska, the sister and niece of the Dukes Palatine of Masovia and the aunt of the celebrated Chancellor of Poland, Felix Kryski. The marriage was blessed with seven children, of whom Stanislas was the second. His older brother Paul survived him long enough to be present at the celebration of the beatification of Stanislas in 1605. The two brothers were first taught at home, the main feature of this early education being the firmness, even severity, of their training; its results were the excellent habits of piety, modesty, temperance, and submission. After this they were sent to Vienna with their tutor to attend the Jesuit college that had been opened four years before, reaching Vienna, 25 July, 1564. Among the students of the college Stanislas was soon conspicuous not only for his amiability and cheerfulness of expression, but also for his religious fervour and angelic piety. This spirit of devotion continued to grow during the three years he remained in Vienna. His brother Paul said of him during the process of beatification: "He devoted himself so completely to spiritual thing that he frequently became unconscious, especially in the church of the Jesuit Fathersat Vienna. It is true," added the witness, "that this had happened at home to my brother at Easter when he was seated at table with our parents and other persons." Among other practices of devotion he joined while at Viennathe Congregation of St. Barbara, to which many students of the Jesuit college belonged. If the confidences he then made to his tutor and later to a fellow-member of the Society at Rome are to be believed, it was Saint Barbara who brought two angels to him during the course of a serious illness, in order to give him the Eucharist.So much piety, however, did not please the older brother Paul; his exasperation led him to treat with violence the innocent Stanislas. The latter finally lost patience, and one night after Stanislas had again suffered the harshcomments and blows of his brother he turned on Paul with the words: "Your rough treatment will end in my going away never to return, and you will have to explain my leaving to our father and mother." Paul's sole reply was to swear violently at him.
Meantime the thought of joining the Society of Jesus had already entered the mind of the saintly young man. It was six months, however, before he ventured to speak of this to the superiors of the Society. At Vienna they hesitated to receive him, fearing the tempest that would probably be raised by his father against the Society, which had just quieted a storm that had broken out on account of other admissions to the Company. Stanislasquickly grasped the situation and formed the plan of applying to the general of the Society at Rome. The distance was five hundred leagues, which had to be made on foot, without equipment, or guide, or any other resources but the precarious charity that might be received on the road. The prospective dangers and humiliations of such a journey, however, did not alarm his courage. On the morning of the day on which he was to carry out his project he called his servant to him early and told him to notify his brother Paul and his tutor in the course of the morning that he would not be back that day to dinner. Then he started, taking the first opportunity to exchange the dress of gentleman for that of a mendicant, which was the only way to escape the curiosity of those he might meet. By nightfall Paul and the tutor comprehended that Stanislas had turned from them as he had threatened. They were seized with a fierce anger, and as the day was ended the fugitive had gained twenty-four hours over them. They started to follow him, but were not able to overtake him; either their exhausted horses refused to go farther, or a wheel of their carriage would break, or, as the tutor frankly declared, they had mistaken the route, having left the city by a different road from the one which Stanislas had taken. It is noticeable that in his testimony Paul gives no explanation of his ill-luck.
Stanislas stayed for a month at Dillingen, where the provincial of that time, the Blessed Peter Canisius, put the young aspirant's vocation to the test by employing him in the boarding-school. Subsequently he went on to Rome, where he arrived 25 October, 1567. As he was greatly exhausted by the journey, the general of the order,St. Francis Borgia, would not permit him to enter the novitiate of Saint Andrew until several days later. During the ten remaining months of his life, according the testimony of the master of novices, Father Giulio Fazio, he was a model and mirror of religious perfection. Notwithstanding his very delicate constitution he did not spare himself the slightest penance ("Monument hist. Societatis Jesu, Sanctus Franciscus Borgia", IV, 635). He had such a burning fever his chest that he was often obliged to apply cold compresses. On the eve of the feast of St. Lawrence, Stanislas felt a mortal weakness made worse by a high fever, and clearly saw that his last hour had come. He wrote a letter to the Blessed Virgin begging her to call him to the skies there to celebrate with her theglorious anniversary of her Assumption (ibid., 636). His confidence in the Blessed Virgin, which had already brought him many signal favours, was this time again rewarded; on 15 August, towards four in the morning, while he was wrapt in pious utterances to God, to the saints, and to the Virgin Mary, his beautiful soul passed to its Creator. His face shone with the most serene light. The entire city proclaimed him a saint and people hastened from all parts to venerate his remains and to obtain, if possible, some relics (ibid., 637). The Holy See ratified the popular verdict by his beatification in 1605; he was canonized on 31 December, 1726. St. Stanislas is one of the popular saints of Poland and many religious institutions have chosen him as the protector of their novitiates. The representations of him in art are very varied; he is sometimes depicted receiving Holy Communion from the hands of angels; sometimes receiving the Infant Jesus from the hands of the Virgin; or he is shown in the midst of a battle putting to flight the enemies of his country. At times he is depicted near a fountain putting a wet linen cloth on his breast. He is invoked for palpitations of the heart and for dangerous cases of illness (Cahier, "Caractéristiques des Saints").
This account has been drawn almost exclusively from the depositions of witnesses cited for the process of canonization of Stanislas (cf. Archivio della Postulazione generale d. C. d. G., Roma). The accompanying portrait is by Scipione Delfine and the oldest of St. Stanislas in existence. Having probably been painted at Rome the year of his death, perhaps after death, it may be regarded as the best likeness. The face is strikingly Slavonic, a fact that is not noticeable in his other portraits.
Lives of Stanislas were written at Rome in the year of his death by Fathers Fazio and Warsevitz (Brussels, 1895). The former remained in manuscript, but the substance of both has been given in later biographies. Among these latter the most complete and most fully based on documentary evidence is that of Ubaldindi in Analecta Bollandiana, IX-XVI (1890-1897). Equally worthy of recommendation are the works of Sacchini, Bartoli, Gruber, Goldie, and Michel.
Van Ortroy, Francis. "St. Stanislas Kostka." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 14. New York: Robert Appleton Company,1912. 9 Apr. 2015 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14245b.htm>.
Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Neil O'Sullivan. Alumnus of Kostka Hall in Melbourne, Australia.
Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Neil O'Sullivan. Alumnus of Kostka Hall in Melbourne, Australia.
Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. July 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.
Pierre Legros le Jeune (1666-1719). Saint Stanislas Kostka sur son lit de mort,
Rome, Couvent jésuite près de Sant'Andrea al Quirinale,
Stanislaus Kostka, SJ (RM)
Born in Rostkovo Castle, Poland, October 28, 1550; died 1568. Son of a Polish, Stanislaus was educated by a private tutor and then sent to the Jesuit college in Vienna when he was 14. He was soon known for his studious ways, deep religious fervor, and mortifications. After he recovered from a serious illness during which he experienced several visions, he decided to join the Jesuits. Opposed by his father he was refused admission by the Vienna provincial, who feared the father's reaction if he admitted the youth, Stanislaus walked 350 miles to Dillengen where Saint Peter Canisius, provincial of Upper Germany, took him in and then sent him to Rome to Francis Borgia, father general of the Society of Jesus, who accepted him into the Jesuits in October 1567, at age 17. He practiced the most severe mortifications, experienced ecstasies at Mass, and lived a life of great sanctity and angelic innocence. He died in Rome on August 15, only nine months after joining the Jesuits, and was canonized in 1726. He is one of the lesser patrons of Poland (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney). Saint Stanislaus is generally rendered in art as a very young Jesuit in adoration before a monstrance.
Sometimes (1) two angels and Saint Barbara bring him the Eucharist; (2) the Virgin and Child appear to him; or (3) there is a pilgrim's staff and hat near him (Roeder).
Venerated in Poland. Patron of young people (because of his youth). Invoked against broken limbs, eye troubles, fever, and palpitation. Also when in doubt (Roeder).
St. Stanislas Kostka, Confessor
YOUTH is the amiable bloom of age in which sanctity has particular advantages and charms; a circumstance which recommends to our admiration this saint, who in his tender years surpassed the most advanced in the gifts of grace and virtue. Stanislas was the youngest son of John Kostka, senator of Poland, and of Margaret Kriska, sister to the palatine of Masovia, and was born in the castle of Rostkou, on the 28th of October, in 1550. His mother engraved in his tender heart early and deep impressions of piety; and the first use the saint made of his reason was to consecrate himself to God with a fervour beyond his age. The first elements of letters he learned at home under a private tutor named John Bilinski, who attended him and his elder brother, Paul, to the numerous college of the Jesuits at Vienna, when the saint was fourteen years old. From the first dawn of reason he showed no inclination to any thing but to piety; and as soon as he was capable, he gave as much of his time as possible to prayer and study. His nicety in the point of purity, and his dread of detraction, and all dangers of sin, made him infinitely cautious in the choice of his company. When he arrived at Vienna, and was lodged among the pensioners of the Jesuits, every one was struck with admiration to see the profound recollection and devotion with which he poured forth his soul before God in prayer: the modesty and glowing fervour which appeared in his countenance at those times, raised in all who beheld him a veneration for his person. He sometimes fell into raptures, and often even at public prayer torrents of sweet tears gushed from his eyes with such impetuosity that he was not able to contain them. He always came from his devotions so full of the spirit of God, that he communicated the same to those who conversed with him. The fire of divine love which burnt in his breast, he kindled in the hearts of several devout companions, with whom it was his delight to discourse on God and heavenly things; on which subjects he spoke with such energy, as imparted to others some sparks of that joy with which his heart and words overflowed.
His innocence and virtue stood yet in need of being perfected by trials. Upon the death of the Emperor Ferdinand, in 1564, his successor Maximilian II., who had not the same zeal for religion, took from the Jesuits the house which Ferdinand had lent them for the lodging of their pensioners. Paul Kostka, who was two years older than the saint, and who had their tutor Bilinski always in his interest, was fond of liberty and diversions; and to indulge this inclination prevailed with Bilinski to take lodgings in a Lutheran’s house; and looking upon his brother’s conduct as a censure of his own, treated him continually with injuries, and often struck and beat him. Bilinski was still a more dangerous tempter and persecutor, not only by declaring always for the elder brother against him, but also by endeavouring to persuade him by flattering insinuations and severe rebukes that he ought to allow more to the world, and that so much was not necessary for a person in his station to save his soul. Stanislas, far from being overcome, stood the more firmly upon his guard, and opposed these assaults by redoubling his fervour. He communicated every Sunday and great holiday, and always fasted the day before his communion; never went to school morning or afternoon, without first going to church to salute the blessed sacrament; heard every day two masses, and made his meditation, slept little, and always rose at midnight to pray; he often wore a hair shirt; frequently took the discipline; never made his appearance in company only at table; and instantly rose up and left it, if any unbecoming word was let fall by any one in his presence. When he was not at church or college he was always to be found at his devotions or studies in his closet, except for a short time after meals. By this conduct he deserved to be interiorly enlightened and strengthened by the Holy Ghost, who, by his inspirations, showed him how opposite the false maxims of worldly prudence are to those of the gospel; that it is an error to pretend to salvation by following them, and that what is usually called learning the world, is properly learning its spirit and maxims, which is to forget those of Jesus Christ.
The saint suffered these dangerous solicitations and persecutions for two years, and then fell very ill. Finding his distemper dangerous, he desired to receive the viaticum; but his Lutheran landlord would not suffer it to be brought publicly to his house, and the tutor and brother would have it deferred. The pious youth, in extreme affliction, recommended himself to the intercession of St. Barbara, who is particularly invoked in the northern kingdoms, for the grace of a happy death and the benefit of receiving the last sacraments. His prayer was heard; and he seemed in a vision to be communicated by two angels. The Blessed Virgin, in another vision, told him, that the hour of his death was not yet come, and bade him devote himself to God in the Society of Jesus. He had then for about a year entertained thoughts of embracing that state; and after his recovery petitioned the superiors to be admitted. F. Magius, provincial of that part of Germany, who happened then to be at Vienna, durst not receive him, for fear of incurring the indignation of his father, who warmly declared, he never would consent that his son should become a religious man. Cardinal Commendon, legate of Pope Pius V. at Vienna, whom the saint desired to recommend him to the provincial, durst not undertake to do it. Stanislas, therefore, having discovered his resolution to his confessor, and by a tender and edifying letter laid in his room, left notice of his design to his tutor and brother, stole away privately to Ausburg, and thence went to Dilingen, to make the same request to the pious F. Canisius, provincial of Upper Germany. F. Canisius, to try his vocation, ordered him to wait on the pensioners of the college at table, and cleanse out their rooms; which the saint did with such extraordinary affection and humility, that the students were exceedingly astonished at his meekness, charity, devotion, and spirit of mortification, though he was utterly unknown to them. F. Canisius, after having kept him three weeks, sent him to Rome, where the saint threw himself at the feet of St. Francis Borgia, then general of the Society, and earnestly renewed his petition. St. Francis received him with great joy. Stanislas had no desire to see the curiosities of Rome, but without further delay entered upon a retreat under the master of novices, during the whole course of which he was favoured with the sweetest consolations of the Holy Ghost, and extraordinary heavenly communications. He took the habit on SS. Simon and Jude’s day in 1567; and a few days after received from his father a most passionate letter with threats that he would procure the banishment of the Jesuits out of Poland, and would make them feel the weight of his indignation for having concurred to such a dishonour of his family. Stanislas answered it in the most modest and dutiful manner, but expressed a firm purpose of serving God according to his vocation. And, without the least disturbance or trouble of mind, applied himself to his religious duties, calmly recommending all things to God.
It was the saint’s utmost study and endeavour to regulate and sanctify, in the most perfect manner, all his ordinary actions in every circumstance, particularly by the most pure and fervent intention of fulfilling the will of God, and by the greatest exactitude in every point of duty. Christianity teaches us that we are not to listen to the prudence of the flesh which is death to the soul. Stanislas, therefore, set no bounds to his mortifications but what obedience to his director prescribed him. In the practice of obedience to his superiors such was his exactitude, that as he was one day carrying wood with a fellow-novice, he would not help the other in taking up a load upon his shoulders, till he had made it less, because it was larger than the brother who superintended the work had directed, though the other had taken no notice of such an order. His own faults he always exaggerated with unfeigned simplicity, so as to set them in a light in which only humility, which makes a person most severe in condemning himself, could have represented them. Whence others said of him, that he was his own grievous calumniator. As pride feels a pleasure in public actions, so his greatest delight was secrecy, or some humbling circumstance whenever he made his appearance in public; as, a more than ordinary threadbare habit, by which he might seem to strangers to be a person of no consideration in the house, as he looked upon himself, and desired to be regarded by others. Nothing gave him so much confusion and displeasure as to hear himself commended; and he was ingenious in preventing all occasions of it, and in shunning every thing by which he might appear to others humble. The whole life of this fervent novice seemed almost a continual prayer: nor was his prayer almost any other than an uninterrupted exercise of the most tender love of God, which often vented itself in torrents of sweet tears, or in holy transports or raptures. By the habitual union of his heart with God he seemed, in the opinion of his directors, never to be molested with distractions at his prayers. Several, by having recommended themselves with confidence to his good thoughts, have suddenly found themselves comforted, and freed from bitter anguish of soul, and interior trouble of mind. The ardent love which the saint had for Jesus Christ in the holy sacrament was so sensible, that his face appeared all on fire as soon as he entered the church. He was often seen in a kind of ecstacy at mass, and always after receiving the holy communion. The whole day on which he communicated, he could not, without great difficulty and reluctance, speak of anything but the excess of the love which Jesus Christ has expressed for us in that adorable sacrament; and of this he discoursed with such interior feeling and joy, and in so pathetic a manner, that the most experienced and spiritual fathers took great delight in conversing with him.
This holy seraph, glowing with divine love, was inflamed with an uncommon ardour to be speedily united to the object of his love a considerable time before his happy death, which he distinctly foretold to several. In the beginning of August he said to several together, that all men are bound to watch, because they may die any day: but that this lesson particularly regarded him, because he should certainly die before the end of that month. Four days after, discoursing with F. Emmanuel Sa, concerning the feast of the Assumption of our Lady, he said, in a kind of transport of devotion: “O father, how happy a day to all the saints, was that on which the Blessed Virgin was received into heaven! I doubt not but they all celebrate the anniversary of it with extraordinary joy, as we do on earth. I hope myself to see the next feast they will keep of it.” His youth, and the perfect health which he then enjoyed, made others give no credit to this prediction. Yet they perceived that he made all immediate preparations for the great journey of eternity. On St. Laurence’s day, in the evening, he found himself indisposed: upon which he could not contain his joy that the end of his mortal pilgrimage drew near. Being carried to the infirmary he made the sign of the cross upon his bed, saying, he should never more rise out of it. His fever proved at first only intermitting; yet he repeated the same assurances. On the 14th day of the month he said, in the morning, that he should die the night following: a little after mid-day he fell into a swoon, which was followed with a cold sweat, and he demanded and received the viaticum and extreme unction with the most tender devotion; during which, according to his desire, he was laid upon a blanket on the floor. He begged pardon of all his brethren for whatever offences he had committed against any one, and continued repeating frequent aspirations of compunction and divine love. Some time after, he said that he saw the Blessed Virgin accompanied with many angels, and happily expired a little after three o’clock in the morning of the 15th of August, in 1568, having completed only nine months and eighteen days of his novitiate, and of his age seventeen years, nine months, and eighteen days. The sanctity of his life, and several manifest miracles engaged Clement VIII. to beatify him, that is, declare him happy, in 1604. Paul V. allowed an office to be said in his honour, in all the churches of Poland; Clement X. granted that privilege to the Society, and settled his feast on the 13th of November, on which his body, which was found sound, and without the least signs of decay or corruption, was translated from the old chapel and laid in the new church of the Novitiate at Rome, founded by Prince Pamphili. The saint was canonized by Benedict XIII., in 1727. The Poles have chosen him jointly with St. Casimir, chief patron of their kingdom: and he is particular patron of the cities of Warsaw, Posna, Lublin, and Leopold. The Poles ascribe to his intercession the deliverance of their country from a pestilence, and several victories of King Ladislas over the Turks, and others of his brother and successor, Casimir, over the Tartars and Cosaques, in 1651. Many miraculous cures have been wrought through his intervention. A relation of this that follows, with the attestations of five eminent physicians and a surgeon, and of all the Jesuits then living at Lima, and witnesses to the fact, approved by the vicariat, (the archbishopric being then vacant,) was printed at Madrid, in 1674. A novice in the convent of the Jesuits at Lima, after a malignant fever, in the month of October, was deprived by a palsy of all motion on the whole right side of his body, so that he was not able to stir in the least that hand or foot. A loathing of all food, with a fever, and other bad symptoms attended the disorder, which the physicians judged incurable. On the feast of St. Stanislas, the 13th of November, by applying a picture of the saint to that side, he found the motion and feeling in those parts instantly restored, and himself in perfect health. Certain companions who were present, called the rector, and the whole house followed him. The novice who was recovered, arose and dressed himself, and walked to the church as well as if he had never been sick. The whole community accompanied him, and sung a solemn Te Deum. See the new edition of this saint’s life, compiled by F. Orleans, published since his canonization.
Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume XI: November. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.
Voir aussi : Vie de Saint Stanislas Kostka, Novice de la Compagnie de Jésus.Lyon, 1836 : http://www.abbaye-saint-benoit.ch/saints/stanislas/index.htm