TITLE

PAMALDUMAS ŠVENTIESIEMS VALDOVAMS. VALSTYBIŲ GLOBĖJAI ŠV. STEPONAS, ŠV. VACLOVAS, ŠV. VLADISLOVAS, ŠV. KAZIMIERAS

AUTHOR(S)
Maslauskaitė, Sigita
PUB. DATE
March 2011
SOURCE
Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis;2011, Issue 60, p51
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This article presents the history of the cult of the state's patron of royal origins, and the sources and prototypes of the tradition of the veneration of the sainted rulers. The article looks for an answer to the question of whether the circumstances that formed the cults of saints in 9th - 10th century and 16th - 17th century determined large differences in the hagiography and iconography of rulers, and how the cult of the Prince Casimir, the Saint of the Modern era, corresponded with "kindred" ruler saints of the Middle Ages. The history of the state patrons' cult shows that Christianity sought to reconcile the devotedness of an ascetic with the victories of a courageous hero, and virtuousness with royal origins and royal duties. The tradition of the ruler saints' veneration that ripened in the 12th century, post mortem events and the references that were made to Biblical figures were intended to reveal the main regulations of the Catholic Church: 1. to announce Catholicism's entrenchment within a young Christian state; 2. that the Christian ruler is a soldier of Christ and a mirror of virtues who is suited to declaring the teaching of the Church; 3. the ruler is a defender of the Catholic faith; that the kings following the faith's example will not lose their way of truth and will be diligent persecutors of those who are "steeped in prejudice". Specula principis are concluded with an incitement to follow the kings of the Old Testament and the rulers who were canonized as saints by the Catholic Church. Danes are invited to follow St. Canute, Germans - St. Henry, Hungarians - St. Stephen, Austrians - St. Leopold, Czechs - St. Vaclav, and French - St. Ludovico; from the 17th century Poles and Lithuanians are encouraged to follow St. Casimir. The political development of Lithuania in the 14th century rather resembles the development of pagan states of earlier centuries. The Hungarians were the last nation of Central Europe to convert to Christianity. The cult of St. Stephen spread in Hungary under the similar circumstances as the tradition of St. Casimir's veneration in Lithuania. The Christian world was given a message that thanks to St. Casimir, Catholicism had taken root in a state in which the seed of the Gospel had only recently been germinated. The Baroque hagiography of St. Casimir adopts the pronounced values of the Middle Ages; the images, rhetoric figures and symbols that are emphasised, repeated and used in his veneration are those that were formed during the Middle Ages. The changes that took place within the basic themes and subjects of the hagiographic and iconographic traditions reveal what the most relevant aspects of the saint rulers and state patrons and signs of the epochs were: sometimes larger emphasis is placed on Old Testament rulers, sometimes - on the New David the Messiah. The tradition of the rulers' veneration reveals what features of this image and hagiography were important to a specific community or even the whole Church. The initiative of the cult of the saints arose "from the believers" who in one way or another were acquainted with people who had, following their death, began to be venerated; moreover, devotion to the rulers was also prompted and expanded by the efforts of a family and dynasty. It is obvious that the example of life and holy death demonstrated by the young Jogailaitis was relevant to the rulers of Poland and Lithuania and for his exaltation they used the time honoured rhetoric and symbolism of the veneration of the saint kings. In the late 16th century, Lithuania with its Baptist rulers could not pretend to match the medieval "honour of the altar" of the saint patrons and state Baptists. However, soon Prince St. Casimir of Lithuanian origins took place next to St. Stephen, St. Vaclav and St. Ladislaus.
ACCESSION #
73308814

 

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