Stanislaus was born of noble parents on July 26, 1030 near Kraków, Poland. After his priestly ordination he became known for his preaching and good spiritual advice. At age 42, he was made bishop of Kraków (the future office of St. John Paul the Great, who nearly chose the name “Stanislaus” as pope.)
King Boleslaus the Bold oppressed the Church and hated Stanislaus for denouncing his reign’s injustices and cruelties. In hopes of the Polish king’s conversion, Stanislaus excommunicated the king, even ceasing cathedral liturgies upon his entrance. On April 11, 1079, the sword-wielding king murdered Stanislaus himself while the bishop was saying Mass in a chapel outside the city.
The martyr St. Stanislaus has long since been celebrated as the Polish nation’s beloved patron.