Uniwersytet Rzeszowski
Centrum Dokumentacji Współczesnej Sztuki Sakralnej
pl. Ofiar Getta 4-5/35, 35-002 Rzeszów
tel. +48 17 872 20 98

Katarzyna Chrudzimska-Uhera

Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw

[1]

Abstract

The National Millennium celebrations in the archcathedral basilica of St John the Baptist in Warsaw took place between 23–24 June 1966. In order to facilitate the organisation of the event, on 15 August 1965, the primate of Poland, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, announced a decree establishing the Committee for Commemorating the Millennium of Christianity in the Warsaw Archdiocese, whose task was to prepare the programme for millennium celebrations and oversee its execution. To facilitate the work of the Committee, an Executive Commission of 7 people was selected, with Bishop Jerzy Modzelewski as its chairman. The Commission was divided into five sections, including the artistic section, which was responsible for the design and supervision of performance of various artistic forms and exhibitions as part of the celebration of the Millennium of the Baptism of Poland. The artistic section comprised of prelate Jan Penkała (the chair), artists, architects and craftsmen originating from the Primate Council for the Reconstruction of Warsaw Churches. The artistic works, in the interiors of the Warsaw cathedral, were kept in a unified and constant form (fairly modern). They were designed for the upcoming Millennium and to commence the process of reconstruction of the interiors of the cathedral, entirely destroyed during World War II. The interiors of the chancel (throne of the archprelate, main altar with The Visitation of the Mother of God) survived in the unchanged, millennium form till the end of the 1980s.

Keywords: Millennium of the Baptism of Poland in Warsaw, 1966, archcathedral basilica of St John the Baptist in Warsaw, “arrest of the Mother of God”, Primate Stefan Wyszyński, Primate Council for the Reconstruction of Warsaw Churches, Committee for Commemorating the Millennium of Christianity in the Warsaw Archdiocese

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The National Millennium celebrations in the archcathedral basilica of St John the Baptist in Warsaw were planned for 23–24 June 1966 as part of the national celebrations “Na szlaku Tysiąclecia” [On the Millennium Trail] with the participation of the entire Polish Episcopate. The celebrations were to commence on 22 June at 18.30 with the arrival of the Jasna Góra painting peregrinating through Poland. The painting was to be exhibited and adored by the faithful[2]. Beside liturgical celebrations in the basilica, the programme also included a series of academic lectures and the opening of an exhibition on the history of Christianity in the archcathedral, including the contribution of the Church in the life of the society[3],[4].

In order to facilitate the organisation of the event, on 15 August 1965, the primate of Poland and the metropolitan archbishop of Warsaw, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, announced a decree establishing the Committee for Commemorating the Millennium of Christianity in the Warsaw Archdiocese, whose task was to prepare the programme for millennium celebrations and oversee its execution[5]. The Committee coordinated the participation of the congregation in the services and “special pastoral activities”, such as the preparation of “the exhibition presenting various activities of the Church, monographs from individual parishes and archdioceses, religious concerts, personal and church mementos of the Millennium […], lectures and academic sessions”.[6] The Committee comprised of suffragan bishops of Warsaw, representatives of the chapter, deans and parish priests, monks and laity. The latter mainly comprised of visual artists and architects[7]. In order to facilitate the work of the Committee, an Executive Commission of 7 people was selected with Bishop Jerzy Modzelewski as its chairman. The Commission was divided into five sections: worship, pastoral, artistic, historical and homiletical.[8] The sections were to act in concert with the supervising Executive Commission, which defined the general programme of their activities[9]. The artistic section comprised of prelate Jan Penkała (the chair), Adam Jabłoński and Władysław Pieńkowski[10]. According to the guidelines of the Commission, the artistic section was responsible for “the design and supervision of the exhibitions of the history of the Church and various artistic forms representing the Millennium of Christianity”. In particular, the artistic section oversaw: “1. – preparation of the exhibition […] of the history of the Warsaw archdiocese, entitled Warsaw Archdiocese in the Millennium of the Baptism of Poland. […] The design of the script of the exhibition was prepared by the Primate Council for the Reconstruction of Warsaw Churches. 2. – assistance in the organisation of the parish exhibitions illustrating their history, or its fragments, of local churches and parishes. 3. – preparation and production of artistic millennium mementos, such as medallions, crosses, rings and stoups. 4 – design and setting of commemorative plaques, stoups, crosses, reliquaries, baptismal fonts and other forms of art that would remind future generations of the celebrations of the Millennium. 5. – obtaining from the government permission to build the Temple of Millennium in the archdiocese“[11].

[member]

The chair of the artistic section – prelate Jan Penkała (1912–1973) – represented the community which back then supported the artistic and architectural activities of the Church, namely the Primate Council for the Reconstruction of Warsaw Churches, where prelate Penkała was the director of the office. Adam Jabłoński, member of the artistic section of the Committee, was also a member of the Primate Council and the artistic director of the Artistic Handicraft Cooperative ORNO. The vice-president of the Council – architect Stanisław Marzyński (1904–1992) – also joined the Committee. The Primate Council was established in 1947 by primate and cardinal August Hlond[12]. The main activity of the Council was the reconstruction of the architecture and interiors of Warsaw churches destroyed during the war. On 24 June 1947, during an event to set the reconstruction act in the foundations of St John the Baptist Cathedral,[13] Primate Hlond referred in his address to the fifty-five churches and chapels of Warsaw lost during the war[14]. He said: “Accelerating the reconstruction of the Warsaw churches […] is becoming one of the most urgent tasks of my pastoral work in the post-war capital. Warsaw cannot be left without a temple. Indeed, Warsaw covered itself in blood more than any other Polish city fighting for the holy future of the nation. There must be room in churches for the generation who died for the freedom of the nation and faith. The capital, sacrificing itself, does not wish to be an urn for its dead heroes. With God’s power, it wishes to be reborn for its future mission. In order to bestow on its religious life a modern rhythm, it demands its churches, where every resident of Warsaw could join in common or private prayer”.[15] To complete his mission, Hlond relied heavily on the Primate Council for the Reconstruction of Warsaw Churches, and defined its main task as “general planning of the reconstruction of churches and investigating issues connected with it”. To the group of specialists gathered around the council, Hlond’s appointed, among many, Jan Zachwatowicz (1900–1983), the author of the design of the reconstruction of the cathedral in its modern regothisised form, and Zdzisław Mączyński and Konstanty Jakimowicz[16]. In 1948, the new Warsaw metropolitan archbishop and primate of Poland – Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński – became the chairman of the Council. In 1969, after one year of operation (focusing on the reconstruction of the Warsaw churches), the Council changed its name to the Primate Council for the Construction of Churches[17]. The important aspect of its activity was the preparation and the publication of monographs and guidebooks on the Warsaw churches and collective publications summarising the reconstruction works[18].

In the first years of operation of the Primate Council for the Reconstruction of Warsaw Churches, the most prestigious task was the reconstruction of St John the Baptist Cathedral. The church building shell was consecrated on 9 June 1960. The following years were centred around the interior decoration. The complete destruction of some interior elements (including the grand altar and the choir in the chancel) presented the artists with a great challenge, yet it was a unique opportunity for them to execute a design involving a complete reconstruction of a cathedral’s interior. When designing the interior of the cathedral in the beginning of the 1960s not only current liturgical needs had to be taken into consideration, but also its future function as the central venue for the celebration of the millennium events, which made the basilica a special place: a symbol of the Church, nation and country risen from ruins thanks to the dedication and enthusiasm of the congregation and the society.

On the occasion of the millennium celebrations of June 1966, the cathedral was decorated with 22 flags depicting the history of the national liberation uprisings: the Kościuszko, November and January uprisings; making references to the age of the Duchy of Warsaw and Congress Poland, and finally to the Warsaw Uprising and Fighting Poland. Reconstructed for that specific occasion, the tomb of the Mazovian princes, Stanisław and Janusz, gained a special meaning. The millennium documents stressed the fact that the ashes of the princes “guarded the historical events taking place […] in the cathedral“[19]. The reconstruction of the tombstone was prepared by the sculptor Leon Machowski (1916–1988). He based his work on a pre-war plaster cast from the Historical Museum in Warsaw[20].

The peregrinating copy of the Jasna Góra painting was to find its place in the chancel of the cathedral [fig. 1]. A humble, silver frame was mounted on a special construction, against the background of the stained-glass window, above the main altar, of which the retable and antependium were also made of silver by Adam Jabłoński, who earlier, in autumn 1955, delivered the main entrance doors to the cathedral with engraved scenes from the history of the church[21]. Next, he designed the main altarpiece reredos including the stained-glass of the chancel’s windows in his design. It was a horizontal composition made of six rectangular plaquettes placed one next to another that represent the Mysteries of the Rosary separated by a centrally located tabernacle. The same technique was applied to the antependium, with the coats of arms of the primate (in the middle), the parish and the chapter. After the celebrations of the millennium were completed, to commemorate the infamous events of “the arrest of the Mother of God”, the peregrinating painting was permanently set in the composition of the altar, centrally, in place of the tabernacle[22].

The copy of the painting of the Mother of God was a very important symbol of the millennium celebrations. It was painted in 1957 by Leonard Torwirth and commissioned by the primate and the Polish Episcopate, consecrated by Pope Pius XII who administered a blessing for its peregrination through the parishes in the years ending the Millennium novena [fig. 2]. The laity authorities quickly realised the importance of this symbol and its power to integrate the congregation by engaging them in religious practices. In the report from the millennium celebrations prepared by the Office for the Proclamation of Faith, the following was noted: “The dominating point of the millennium celebrations was not at all the millennium itself, but the celebrations connected with the peregrination of the Mother of God painting, its adoration, numerous welcomes on the route etc. The celebrations were organised mainly in order to gather as many people as possible on the route […] to manifest the power of the Church and support for the hierarchical policy of the Church”.[23] In a different operational source, a secret collaborator wrote that the communist authorities saw a political threat in the process of religious rebirth: “the underlying cause of the new formula of worship was clearly political with the aim to break the Polish nation and cause a ‘spontaneous fall of communism in Poland’ by ‘Christianisation’ [sic!] of the society”.[24]

The communist authorities effectively hindered the transport and the adoration of the painting. Supported by the argument that the religious cult was allegedly being used to demonstrate political sympathies, the transport of the painting was disrupted, the permission for its peregrination was not granted, and finally the painting was arrested. The arrest took place after the National Millennium celebrations on “Szlak Historyczny Tysiąclecia” [Millennium Historical Trail], running through Gniezno, Poznań, Kraków, Włocławek, Piekary, Gdańsk, Lublin and Frombork. The authorities demanded the transport of the “copy of the painting of the Mother of God of Częstochowa directly to the Archcathedral Basilica [and thus omitting the stop at St Stanisław Kostka church in Żoliborz planned for 21 and 22 June] in a covered car, and that it be transported back to Częstochowa in the same way, after the celebrations are over, taking the shortest route” agreed upon with[25] the Office for the Proclamation of Faith, Praesidium of the National Council of the Capital City of Warsaw. The authorities were very much concerned and took over the painting already on its way to Warsaw, somewhere around Pasłęk[26]. Once the painting had been delivered to Warsaw by the police officer, it is believed that Cardinal Wyszyński ordered the painting to be exhibited in public behind a barred window in the sacristy of the cathedral (overlooking Kanonia street) [fig. 3] as a symbol of the limits of liberties of faith in Poland, but also of the “arrest of the Mother of God” which was openly stated in the homily delivered in the cathedral on 22 and 23 June by Bishop Bronisław Dąbrowski, Warsaw suffragan, and Zygmunt Choromański[27]. Photographs of the Częstochowa painting were sold for PLN 10 as “photographs commemorating a sad but true fact – the Mother of God behind bars”.[28]

When the authorities definitively forbade the presence of the painting in the forthcoming celebrations, in the place designated for the painting an equally strong symbol was left – an empty frame, sometimes with a bunch of flowers, which was even more telling. It was a symbol of the oppressive censorship activities of the authorities[29]. The painting became the symbol of the Polish Millennium. It was described by the bishops in List pasterski na zakończenie Roku Jubileuszowego, saying that there was no need for a reminder of: “what her painting meant on the Millennium Route of Visitations. […] She, the Mother, called us in large numbers to unite with Jesus by Confession and the Eucharist. […] And when Her holy pilgrimage was abruptly halted, and the Painting was detained at Jasna Góra, the Queen of Poland in the empty frame […] still led the Millennium Route by spiritual presence, feeling her even closer and more present”.[30]

Beside the copy of the painting of the Mother of God of Częstochowa, an important element of the interior design of the chancel in the Warsaw cathedral during the jubilee period was the throne of the archprelate prepared for Primate Wyszyński [figs. 4, 5]. It was located on the left side of the chancel, by the wall, next to the niche of the tabernacle, on a low rectangular platform. The furniture had an economical, modernist form[31]. On both sides of the throne, on lower platforms, chairs were situated which were distinguished by the size of the backrest reaching only the height of the armrest. The furniture lacked ornaments or any kind of decorations. Their aesthetics was based on the purity of construction, functionality of form and natural qualities of the fabric. The throne was designed by Jan Bogusławski (1910–1982), a well-known architect with many pre-war and international successes, still appreciated after the war – a member of the Primate Council for the Reconstruction of Warsaw Churches, cooperating with the Office of the Reconstruction of the Capital City of Warsaw[32].

The background for the throne was a decorative canopy, made in the cordwain technique with the Piast eagle and the year “1414” [fig. 5] embroidered. From that year – as it was then accepted – the archbishops of Gniezno were given the title of the primate of Poland. The canopy was designed by Aniela Bogusławska (1918–2000), the wife of Jan Bogusławski. According to the report of Jerzy Bogusławski (son of Aniela and Jan), the artist’s idea was executed by the conservator of cordwain of the Wawel Royal Castle. The leather was decorated with a mesh of colourful gold and red patches (referring to the colours of the throne), separated with silver, punched straps. The distinctive figure of the eagle presented itself against the background – separated with a black line, covered with silver and embossed.

It must be stressed that the surroundings of the millennium celebrations in the interiors of the Warsaw cathedral were kept in a unified and constant form (fairly modern), designed in the years of the Great Novena in relation to the reconstruction of the building and the upcoming jubilee. The interiors of the chancel of the cathedral (throne, altar) survived in its unchanged, millennium form till the 1980s, when it was modified (the cordwain and throne were handed over to the Museum of Warsaw Archdiocese). Humble occasional ornaments were also found outside the cathedral in June 1966. Above the main entrance to the cathedral there was a sign reading: Te Deum Laudamus [fig. 6]; in the windows of the Dean’s house, the millennium sign of Warsaw was placed (letter M with a cross) [fig. 7], and above its door – national flags and church flags with the image of Mary and Pope Paul VI. The parish house in Kanonia street and the house of archbishops in Miodowa street were also decorated. On the balcony of the Primate house and the seminar, church flags with the millennium sign of Warsaw were hung[33].

The Programme of the Great Jubilee of the Millennium of the Baptism of Poland stipulated the need to permanently commemorate the Millennium for the next generations of the faithful. It was said that “apart from personal souvenirs (millennium medallion, […] home emblems […]), public mementos, like artistic works permanently decorating the cathedral, its furnishing (baptismal font, reliquary, chalice, monstrance, liturgical vestments) or the commemorative plaque set in the cathedral wall, play an important role”.[34] Support and advice for the clergymen in this kind of investment was offered by the artistic section of the Committee for Commemorating the Millennium of Christianity in the Warsaw Archdiocese. Assistance in the execution of artistic forms was given by the Office of the Primate Council for the Reconstruction of Warsaw, which in the special Design representing various artistic forms celebrating the Millennium offered support for the design works and other facilities as weel as providing execution services by the cooperative ORNO[35]. The assortment detailed in the Design encompassed jewellery (most likely produced by ORNO): metal medallions – symbols of the Millennium – for children baptised in 1966; millennium wedding rings for newly-weds, brooches – millennium symbols. The Design included also small objects in private homes and apartments: stoups, crosses, candlesticks, Madonna figures, loretan bells, aspergillum, devotional images. These objects were made of metal, ceramics, wood, fabric, enamel or reproduced on paper. The will and the possibility to execute monumental forms was also declared. These were monumental forms dedicated for church interiors, monasteries and parish houses (the offer included millennium crosses and bells, monumental plaques, baptismal fonts, stained-glass, altars and antependia, candlesticks, chalices, monstrances, missal, church doors, reliquaries). The building of millennium monuments, temples and chapels was even postulated[36]. The Design’s offer was dedicated to the residents of Poland and Polish communities abroad. It had a mercantile character; and the choice of the assortment reflected the competences and the technical abilities of the architects, sculptors and artists who were members of, or cooperating with, the Primate Council. It may be assumed that this document was created before 1966, in the period of the Great Novena (there is no date on the manuscript). An example artistic design connected with the millennium celebrations is a drawing of a badge commemorating the visitation of the Jasna Góra painting in the church and parish in Kazimierz on 30 June 1958 [fig. 9]. The design was signed with the name of Zygmunt Kamiński (1888–1969), the head of the Collective Department of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture of the Department of Architecture of the Warsaw University of Technology. He made the badge together with his wife – the sculptor, Zofia Trzcińska-Kamińska (1890–1977). This design was widely used – owing to the modification of the text of the inscription it became the universal sign commemorating the peregrination of the painting in various parishes and churches[37].

The Warsaw celebrations of the Great Jubilee of the Millennium of the Baptism of Poland were accompanied by the exhibition Millennium “Gniezno – Warszawa”, opened on 23 June 1966 in St Cross church. The object of the exhibition was to “show Polish society […] political, social and cultural activities of the Church under the leadership of the Primates of Poland”[38]. Cardinal Wyszyński, delivering his speech during the opening ceremony of the exhibition, underlined the disproportion of the preserved historical and cultural legacy of Warsaw in comparison to other Polish centres, especially Gniezno and Łowicz, from where the majority of the exhibit items were taken[39]. He noticed that the capital city “had lost all cultural values and become […] an almost […] young city”.[40] By this, he appreciated the importance of the traces and monuments of the capital city presented in the exhibition, stressing the merits of the Church for national culture – “religious, creative, social and artistic”.[41] Cardinal Wyszyński then made reference to the present situation – and the taking over of church belongings by the state, including monuments located now in museums rather than in churches. He called for them to be returned and argued that “their preservation for the future” requires an “almost religious atmosphere” necessary for the nation to survive; the nation which “with religious reverence approaches the future. The greater the losses the nation bore during the war, the greater the reverence for the monuments left”.[42]

Finishing his speech, Primate Wyszyński made reference to the modern culture, which he negatively assessed. He stated that “saving modern creative art and national culture shall depend on a return to religious inspirations”.[43] These critical words could not have referred to the communities gathered around Wyszyński and the Primate Council for the Reconstruction of Warsaw Churches, whose activity and successes were directly connected with Church patronage and sacred themes. Wyszyński must have been referring here to the modern art artists developing in the 1960s in the orbit of the state protectorate. In this context, one must recall the – very important in that decade – symposia and outdoor events presenting the success of Polish and foreign avant-garde artists, financed by the communist authorities. These events, in competition with the Church celebrations of the Millennium of the Polish state, were intended to diminish the importance of the millennium events, opposing the tradition symbolised by the Church by means of socialist propaganda of modernisation.

The patronage of the communist authorities attracted artists with opportunities to realise not only their artistic ambitions, but also socio-economic. Cardinal Wyszyński commented: “one thing is very unpopular in the modern world of artists, namely the understanding of the antinomy between the artistic work and the level of living […]. The following sentence continuously resounds: we don’t have the economic conditions, we cannot create. […] I would not like to apotheosize poverty, yet I think that the spiritual and mental condition of artists are strongly connected with their economic conditions, sometimes even their material poverty and bitter distress. […] But the convenient living conditions of our artists make their spirit fall hopelessly into the material, satiation and everything ends, all creativity is gone”.[44] From the perspective of time, these words sound bitter and reveal the primate’s faith, which is hard to understand, that the religious experience of asceticism could become for lay artists quite an attractive prospect, compensating them for their material shortcomings. Unfortunately, lack of financial stability was the reason why only professionally stable artists and architects decided to cooperate with the Church. They were mainly the lecturers at fine arts universities and universities of technology. The Church’s offer was attractive to them due to its long-term character – firstly it encompassed the reconstruction works, then the construction of new churches; it guaranteed permanent work and execution of public designs[45]. It must be underlined that such mature and successful artists were also easily accepted by the commissioning party.

The motivation of artists cooperating with the Church was varied – based on their private outlook of the world and politics as well as economic and professional reasons. The Church managed to gather artists of a certain stature who, to the present day, have kept their significant position in the history of Polish culture. Sacred art is usually valued less or entirely omitted in the assessment of their successes. It must be stated that the responsibility for this situation is partially borne by the patronage – the Church administration, which, overstating the importance of the aesthetic and spiritual aspects as a part of the artistic imperative, allowed themselves to forget their works and successes deserving to be, just as Cardinal Wyszyński said, “kept for the future”. In this context, the remaining part of the cardinal’s speech from June 1966 is still valid, in which he recalled that “the study of our cultural past, connected with the work of the Church and religious inspiration given by the Church to art […] is still open and very much needed”.[46]

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[1] Acknowledgements for help in obtaining materials and for the discussions about the celebrations of the Millennium of 1966 to: Jerzy Bogusławski, Małgorzata Skrzypczak, Maria Wójcik, Rev. Dominik Zamiatała, Prof., PhD. and Rev. Janusz Zbudniewek, Prof., PhD.

[2] Archiwum Instytutu Prymasa Wyszyńskiego in Częstochowa [The Archive of the Institute of Primate Wyszyński] (hereinafter referred to as: AIPW), inv. 757, Sacrum Poloniae Millenium w Archidiecezji Warszawskiej, Warszawa 1966, vol. II, appendix 6: Program Wielkiego Jubileuszu Tysiąclecia Chrztu Polski w Archidiecezji Warszawskiej 1966 r., p. 34.

[3] The series of lectures was planned for Friday, 24 June 1966. The programme included the lectures of prelate J. Wieteski Dzieje Kościoła Chrystusowego w Archidiecezji Warszawskiej, Bishop J. Modzelewski Święty Kościół Warszawski w Roku Millenijnym, a pastoral speech by Archbishop A. Baraniak, Millenijne pozdrowienie Macierzy Poznańskiej, closing lecture of Primate Cardinal S. Wyszyński; after: AIPW, inv. 757, Sacrum Poloniae… 1966 (fn. 2), vol. II, appendix 9: Program Sacrum Poloniae Millenium Archidiecezji Warszawskiej, Warszawa 21–26 czerwca 1966 roku, pp. 55–56.

[4] AIPW, inv. 757, Sacrum Poloniae… 1966 (fn. 2), vol. II, appendix 6, p. 34.

[5] AIPW, inv. 757, Sacrum Poloniae… 1966 (fn. 2), vol. II, decree 5226/D/65 dated 15 Aug. 1956, pp. 17–19.

[6] Ibidem, p. 18.

[7] The decree establishing the Committee listed the following persons: craftsman, jeweller Adam Jabłoński, two sculptors – Józef Trenarowski (1907–1965) and Zofia Trzcińska-Kamińska (1890–1977), architects – Stanisław Marzyński (1904–1992) and Władysław Pieńkowski (1907–1991), also craftsman Kazimierz Wrzesiński and author Jerzy Zawieyski, the president of the Catholic Intelligence Club (ibidem, pp. 17–18).

[8] Ibidem, p. 19. The Executive Committee comprised also of: the secretary, Rev. Stanisław Wierzejski and the members: prelate Teofil Bogucki, prelate Mieczysław Jabłonka, Cardinal Władysław Miziołek, prelate Józef Wieteska.

[9] AIPW, inv. 757, Sacrum Poloniae… 1966 (fn. 2), vol. II, Ramowe Wytyczne Komisji Wykonawczej Komitetu Uczczenia Tysiąclecia Chrześcijaństwa w Archidiecezji Warszawskiej dla poszczególnych Sekcji Komitetu dated 25 Aug. 1965, pp. 22–28.

[10] AIPW, inv. 757, Sacrum Poloniae… 1966 (fn. 2), vol. II, decree 5347/D/65 dated 20 Aug. 1965, p. 20. The other members: Rev. Tomasz Bojasiński, Leszek Dunin, Zbigniew Jezierski, Prof. Rev. Andrzej Luft, sister Michaela – sacrament sister, father Tadeusz Paluszkiewicz TJ.

[11] AIPW, inv. 757, Sacrum Poloniae… 1966 (fn. 2), vol. II, Ramowe Wytyczne Komisji Wykonawczej Komitetu Uczczenia Tysiąclecia Chrześcijaństwa w Archidiecezji Warszawskiej dla poszczególnych Sekcji Komitetu dated 25 Aug. 1965, pp. 25–26.

[12] Bishop August Hlond on 4 Mar. 1946 became the head of the Warsaw-Gniezno archdiocese, still keeping the title of the primate of Poland, see: E.G. Wiązowski, Kardynał August Hlond jako twórca podstaw administracji kościelnej na Pomorzu Środkowym po II wojnie światowej, “Studia Koszalińsko-Kołobrzeskie”, 2013, no. 20/1–2, p. 149.

[13] “The document, after the consecration by the cardinal, was locked in a metal box and it was built in by him in the plinth of the chancel wall on the side of the Loretan Chapel, opposite the entrance to the Sacristy”; Kościoły Warszawy, Warszawa 1982, p. 53. This event is also described in: A. Grabowski, Pamiętnik redaktora, http://www.pinezka.pl/byl-sobie-czlowiek-arch/2993-pamietnik-redaktora [accessed: 6 Feb. 2017].

[14] Kronika, “Nasza Przeszłość” 2, 1948, p. 370.

[15] Dział urzędowy, Odezwa Jego Eminencji Ks. Kard. Prymasa Hlonda do Polaków w kraju i zagranicą w sprawie odbudowy kościołów warszawskich, “Wiadomości Archidiecezjalne Warszawskie” 31, 1947, nos. 6–7, pp. 129–130; quoted after: Rev. H. Małecki, Kardynał August Hlond (1881–1948), “Warszawskie Studia Teologiczne” XI, 1998, p. 83 [available on-line: http://pwtw.pl/wp-content/uploads/wst/11/Ma%C5%82ecki2.pdf].

[16] The first Primate Council comprised of: chair – Bishop Wacław Majewski, vicechairs – Archbishop Antoni Szlagowski and Bishop Zygmunt Choromański, secretary – Stanisław Leśniowski, treasurer – Adam Grabowski, members – Rev. Feliks de Ville, Rev. Zygmunt Kaczyński, Rev. Wacław Murawski, Rev. Jan Szmigielski, Rev. Jan Sztuka and Rev. Stefan Ugniewski, Prof. Antoni Ponikowski, Prof. Zdzisław Mączyński, Prof. Jan Zachwatowicz, Prof. Tadeusz Butkiewicz, architect Stanisław Marzyński, lawyers Stanisław Janczewski, Władysław Jan Grabski, Jerzy Zawieyski, editors Bogdan Skąpski, Władysław Wrześniewski, architects Konstanty Jakimowicz, Tadeusz Sadowski. The composition of the Council, according to the Statute of the Council, was renewed every five years, its new members were Jan Bogusławski (1910–1982), Zbigniew Wasiutyński (1902–1974), Witold Kamler (1906–1983), Władysław Danilecki and Adam Jabłoński. There were four sections operating under the auspices of the Council: the section of propaganda (press section), the section of construction (where architect Stanisław Marzyński actively operated), the section of finance and economy; see: Grabowski (fn. 13).

[17] In the 1950s, during the internment of Primate Wyszyński, the name of the Council was changed to: Archdiocesan Council for the Reconstruction of Warsaw Churches.

[18] The following publications describe these circumstances: W.J. Grabski, Kościoły Warszawy w odbudowie, Warszawa 1956 and published 25 years later: Kościoły Warszawy, Warszawa 1982; many publications of Lech Dunin: Podziemia kościołów starej Warszawy: archikatedra św. Jana, kościół N. M. P. Łaskawej, Warszawa 1957; Skarby spod gruzów: niektóre zabytki ocalałe w kościołach warszawskich, Warszawa 1958; Przewodnik po kościołach Starego i Nowego Miasta Warszawy, Warszawa 1979; Przewodnik po Bazylice św. Jana Chrzciciela w Warszawie, Warszawa 1981.

[19] AIPW, inv. 757, Sacrum Poloniae… 1966 (fn. 2), vol. II, p. 10.

[20] Kościoły Warszawy… 1982 (fn. 18), p. 62.

[21] According to the design of Stanisław Marzyński(?). Door forged in copper sheets, divided into plots with the presentations of: relocation of the collegiate church from Czersk; the sermon of Piotr Skarga; the swearing-in ceremony of the 3rd May Constitution; consecration of Archbishop Achilles Ratti, later Pius XI, by Aleksander Kakowski. The main plots are devoted to the life of St John the Baptist (patron saint of the Cathedral). The frame of the plots was decorated with Polish eagles and mermaids (in various historical contexts), and above, the ogive finial – with the cross, coats of arms of the chapter and Primate Wyszyński; see: L. Dunin, Rev. J. Wysocki, Przewodnik po bazylice św. Jana Chrzciciela w Warszawie, Warszawa 1981, p. 12; Kościoły Warszawy… 1982 (fn. 18), pp. 61, 72.

[22] As reproduced in: Kościoły Warszawy… 1982 (fn. 18), pp. 73, 74.

[23] Archiwum Akt Nowych [Archive of New Files] (hereinafter referred to as: AAN), sign. 1587, 78/71, Urząd do Spraw Wyznań w Warszawie [Przebieg i ocena uroczystości millenijnych], Peregrynacja obrazu, p. 107.

[24] AAN), sign. 1587, 78/70, Urząd do Spraw Wyznań w Warszawie [Przygotowania kościoła do uroczystości milenijnych], Peregrynacja obrazu N.M.P. Częstochowskiej, author: TW, 22 Jun. 1966, p. 125.

[25] AAN), sign. 1587, 78/89a, Urząd do Spraw Wyznań w Warszawie, [Działalność Duszpasterska – Obchody “Millenijne” w Warszawie], Pismo kierownika Wydziału do Spraw Wyznań do Kurii Metropolitalnej Warszawskiej, Warsaw, 22 Jun. 1966, p. 35.

[26] Cardinal Wyszyński reported this event during the homily delivered in the church of St Stanisław Kostka in Żoliborz: “Gentlemen in white gloves detained us for 3 hours. Children were crying. The painting was taken and delivered to the cathedral. […] The rights of the nation, my own rights were trampled. I protest against it. The fact that they took over the painting is not only a profanation, but also sacrilege”; AAN, sign. 1587, 78/89a, Urząd do Spraw Wyznań w Warszawie, [Działalność Duszpasterska – Obchody “Millenijne” w Warszawie], Uroczystości Millenijne w Warszawie [Meldunek], p. 44.

[27] Ibidem, pp. 45–46.

[28] Ibidem, p. 46.

[29] The symbol found in the pro-cathedral in Białystok on 21 November, where thanksgiving Te Deum resounded for the last time in the millennium year. Due to “Mary’s arrest”, an empty frame, 100×70 cm, with a blue background hung above the main entrance to the church, yet the official press releases said nothing about this fact; cf. AAN), sign. 1587, 78/77, Urząd do Spraw Wyznań w Warszawie, [Działalność Duszpasterska – Obchody “Millenijne” uroczystości kościelne na terenie województwa białostockiego].

[30] AAN, sign. 1587, 78/74, Urząd do Spraw Wyznań w Warszawie, [Działalność Kościoła Rzymsko-katolickiego. Millenium – recenzje wstępne], List pasterski Episkopatu Polski na zakończenie Roku Jubileuszowego Tysiąclecia Chrześcijaństwa w Polsce, Olsztyn 6 Dec. 1966, p. 233.

[31] The base for the wooden frame of the chair was a big, square veneered board, on which a much narrower, square seat and backrest, upholstered with red leather, were placed. Four legs in the corners of the board had a light and openwork form built of three slats (of square section), running diagonally towards the base; the middle slat optically continued to the support of the upholstered armrests.

[32] Jan Bogusławski was involved in the reconstruction of the Royal Castle, executed prestigious designs (among many the interior of Ministers’ Council Office and Batory ship); he was also a very much appreciated lecturer at the Department of Architecture at the Warsaw University of Technology and National Higher School of Fine Arts in Poznań.

[33] AIPW, inv. 757, Sacrum Poloniae… 1966 (fn. 2), vol. I, pp. 11.

[34] AIPW, inv. 757, Sacrum Poloniae… 1966 (fn. 2), vol. II, appendix 6, p. 37. Yet another way of commemorating the Millennium, were historical papers (publications) prepared by the historical section of the Committee.

[35] The artistic director of the Cooperative – Adam Jabłoński was a member of the Council; AIPW, inv. (757) 1898, Projekt przedstawiający różne formy plastyczne uczczenia Millenium, pp. 1–3.

[36] Ibidem, pp. 1–2.

[37] Cf. reproduction in: Kościoły Warszawy… 1982 (fn. 18), p. 82.

[38] AIWP, inv. (757) 1192, Scenariusz Wystawy Millenium “Gniezno – Warszawa”, pp. 1–4.

[39] The exhibition had a didactic-problematic character. It comprised mostly of photographs printed on large boards. Materials arrived: from Łowicz collegiate church (photographs of chasubles, including those of Polish primates), as well as paintings (portraits of primates and works witnessing their patronage), printed materials and letters; from Gniezno – excavated wooden architecture, fragments of Roman architecture (casts or original works), paintings (portraits of primates), sculpture representing their patronage, printed materials, facsimiles of manuscripts; from Warsaw – besides the architecture of the archcathedral basilica interiors and furnishings in which the exhibition was embedded, also fabrics were shown (among many from the tomb of the Mazovian princes, the clothing of Parzniewski), exhibit items rescued from the previous Diocese Museum, paintings borrowed from Warsaw museums; see ibidem, p. 1.

[40] AIPW, inv. 757, Sacrum Poloniae… 1966 (fn. 2), vol. II, appendix 15: Stefan Kardynał Wyszyński Prymas Polski, Otwarcie Wystawy Millenijnej pt. “Archidiecezja Warszawska w Tysiącleciu Chrztu Polski”, Warszawa, kościół św. Krzyża 23.VI. Roku Millenijnego 1966 (godz. 16.30), p. 109.

[41] Ibidem.

[42] Ibidem, p. 110.

[43] Ibidem.

[44] Ibidem, pp. 110–111.

[45] “On 18 April 1969 the Primate Council for the Reconstruction of Churches changed its name to the Primate Council for the Construction of Churches, and, on this occasion, the Primate said: ‘The need to build churches is obvious. The Church authorities do everything in their power to start this process. We need to rush towards heaven since God is the one who can open the doors for such an urgent matter, a social matter – ensuring the congregation a place for a joint prayer’. Finally, at the beginning of the 1970s, the militant propaganda of atheism faded away. […] The first permits to commence the construction of churches were issued and the design stage gained momentum”; Grabowski (fn. 13).

[46] AIPW, inv. 757, Sacrum Poloniae… 1966 (fn. 2), vol. II, appendix 15: Stefan Kardynał Wyszyński Prymas Polski, Otwarcie Wystawy Millenijnej pt. “Archidiecezja Warszawska w Tysiącleciu Chrztu Polski”, Warszawa, kościół św. Krzyża 23.VI. Roku Millenijnego 1966 (godz. 16.30), p. 110.

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