Folia Historica Cracoviensia (2015-12-01)

Bishop Marcin Szyszkowski (1616–1630) as the creator of the Service of Seven Krakow Churches

  • Bartłomiej Michał Wołyniec

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 21
pp. 189 – 208


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The religious tour of seven Roman basilicas described back in the 16th century by St Philip Neri is thought to have its roots in folk tradition, though undoubtedly was a product of recalling and adapting the memory of an old, ludic prayer tradition to the new circumstances. The itinerary described by the saint listed four major basilicas: St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican, St Paul’s Basilica Outside the Walls, Basilica of St John Lateran, Basilica of St Mary and three minor ones: Basilica of the Cross of Jerusalem, St Basilica of St Lawrence Outside the Walls, and St Sebastian’s Basilica. In 1621 the Krakow printing house of Franciszek Cezary issued a brochure entitled Siedm kościołów krakowskich. Its release was initiated by Marcin Szyszkowski, who had stayed in Rome for many years, where he acquainted himself with the work of St Philip Neri. The moment Szyszkowski became the Krakow bishop, he began to implement elements of post-Trent devotion of the Eternal City in his own diocese. One of such innovations was to initiate the Service of the Seven Krakow Churches, which was granted privileges and indulgences of the Roman pilgrimage trail.