St. Simon’s church


St. Szymon’s church — St. Szymon: an eager speaker and a pleasant preacher

Turn in the direction of St. Szymon’s church. The object you see now is currently the only sanctuary in Poland dedicated to this patron. St. Szymon was born in Lipnica around 1435 in a poor but hardworking and pious family. His parents, Anna and Grzegorz, were local bakers. He was baptized in St. Andrew’s church, in a stone baptismal font, which we can observe today. 
Although no documents relating to his younghood have been preserved, the local tales describe his great piety and eagerness to help others. According to a legend, he put out a fire destroying the city with his prayer. His father’s purse was always filling up despite the fact that St. Szymon used to give bread loaves to the poor. He is also said to have had the ability to talk with the saints depicted in St. Leonard’s church.


1. Dear St. Szymon, a noble Bernardine
From Lipnica, famous for its many saints.
You are famous for your apostolic eagerness.
Teach us to pursue noble aims.

2. You gathered students around your person
Giving them knowledge and a role model.
The royal city of Cracow took pride in you.
Now lead us with the example of your virtues.

3. A plague got the better of you in your prime
And cut the thread of your life.
Protect us from sins, as the insult to God
Can close the doors of heaven for us.

/Words and music: Stanisław Ziemiański, priest/

His fame of sanctity lasts since his death in 1482. Until his last days, despite the associated danger, he helped the sick and dying in the royal city grasped by the epidemy of cholera. He died from the disease five days after he caught it, on July 18. He was buried in the crypt under the altar in St. Bernard’s church in Stradom. In 1685, that is almost 200 years after his departure, he was declared blessed on the base of the immemorial cult. There are texts describing visits paid to the suffering by Bernardines from Stradom with the cloak and belt of St. Szymon. Upon touching the relics, the sick were healed.

Although efforts leading to the canonization of Szymon were undertaken in the 18th century, he was raised to the altars yet by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007. The miracle enlisted in the canonization documents consisted in the healing of a Cracow pharmacist, Maria Piątek, originally from Lipnica, who suffered from cerebral congestion, was paralysed and lost the ability to speak. St. Szymon, the worshipper of the Mother of God, is particularly venerated in Lipnica Murowana and Cracow. The attributes with which he is commonly depicted include the cross, a loaf of bread and the Holy Scripture. The day of his death is the memorial of the saint.

On that day, the faithful may taste the bread rolls of St. Szymon, which he once gave away in Lipnica. The church fair, organized since 1990, includes a Review of Religious Songs with a reward in the form of St. Szymon’s figurine.

If the church is open, go inside. Before entering it, notice the relief of St. Szymon above the door and the stained-glass window depicting Holy Mary of Częstochowa.

Enter the church. St. Szymon’s church stands on the site of his former family house. It was built in 1636 thanks to the efforts of Stanisław Lubomirski, according to the order of King Władysław IV, who attributed his victory over the Turkish army in the battle of Chocim to the support of this saint. He ordered the erection of the church in the saint’s hometown as a votive offering. The temple was built in the baroque style, on a rectangular plan with two chapels. Take a look at the main altar made in 1860 in the rococo-neo-gothic style. It depicts St. Szymon in the company of his confreres. The church was rebuilt in the 1960s thanks to the generosity of Lipnica citizens living in America. The pipe organ inside comes from the 19th century.

Audiodescription – St. Szymon’s church