Images of patron saints and helpers in human misery can be found in the church. Perhaps it’s because of the fact that the church was built thanks to the Cistercians from Koronowo. The founder of the order was St. Bernard who propagated the cult of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. People would recourse to them in different needs – patron saints were a sort of “heavenly emergency medical care”. It was believed that their intercession was extremely effective, especially in the case of diseases.
St. Bernard, the initiator of the cult.
St. Margaret was presented in a fight scene. The imprisoned woman saw Satan in the shape of dragon. When he was leading her into temptation, she fought him off with a sign of the cross. Margaret is a patron saint of nurses, helper of women in labour, advocate for the infertile, and she also protects from demons.
St. Catherine and St. Dorothy (added in Sweden at the end of the Middle Ages) among others belong to this group. St. Dorothy helps the newly-weds, brides and gardeners, and St. Catherine aids during headaches and sore throat, and she is also the patron saint of speakers, scientists and librarians.
The pictures of patron saints were painted on wooden boards and they can recognised by their attributes: St. Dorothy is shown with a basket full of apples (which she miraculously got when she went to her death), and St. Catherine with a wheel and a sword (tools which she was tortured with before her death). The paintings are around 450 years old.
When at night I go to sleep,
Fourteen angels watch do keep,
Two my head are guarding,
Two my feet are guiding;
Two upon my right hand,
Two upon my left hand.
Two who warmly cover
Two who o’er me hover,
Two to whom ’tis given
To guide my steps to heaven.
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Holy Mother the Queen of Poland’s day: May 3rd