May 22, 2018


MAY 22


Pope John Paul II made his sixth visit to Poland to commemorate John Sarkander, patron saint of Silesia and Moravia. (The Pope visited: Skoczów, Bielsko-Biała, Żywiec.) (Pope John Paul II canonized Sarkander on his visit to the Czech Republic on May 21, 1995.  Sarkander was a Polish Roman Catholic priest who became active in the defense of the Christian faith during a period of hostile anti-Christian sentiment and conflict.  He was arrested on false accusations as a means of silencing him and he refused to give in to his tormentors who tortured him for a month before he died. His captors attempted to obtain secret information that he would not divulge, even under torture, because the seal of confession is sacred to a priest.


Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus' remains were reburied in Archcathedral Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Andrew, located in Frombork, Poland after a 200 year search for his tomb.  After his death on May 24, 1543,  his remains rested in an unmarked grave beneath the floor of the cathedral  but its exact location was unknown. At the urging of a local bishop, scientists began searching in 2004 for the astronomer's remains and eventually turned up the skull and bones of a 70-year-old man, the age Copernicus was when he died. DNA from teeth and bones matched that of hairs found in one of his books, leading the scientists to conclude in all probability that they had finally found Copernicus.  Copernicus worked as a canon in the Basilica  (1512–16 and 1522–43) where he wrote his epochal work, De revolutionibus orbium cœlestium in Frombork.  Shortly after its 1543 publication, Copernicus died and was buried in the Basilica. (read also February 19, 1473)

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