Pope Francis Recognizes 625th Anniversary of Krakow University

Faculty of Theology at Pontifical University of John Paul II in Krakow

625th Anniversary of Krakow University
Photo - Polish Bishops' Conference

Pope Francis has recognized the 625th anniversary of Krakow University.

“Faithful to the centuries-old tradition, read the signs of the times, take up new challenges with courage in order to effectively bring the truth of the Gospel to contemporary people and the world. Let your University be a place of formation for new generations of Christians, not only through scientific research and searching for the truth, but also through the social testimony of living in faith,” wrote Pope Francis on the occasion of the 625th anniversary of the existence of the Faculty of Theology at the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Krakow.

In a letter to the Grand Chancellor of the University, Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski, the pope refers to the teaching of the patron of the Krakow University. He reminds us that “St. John Paul II pointed to the need for such a “ministry of thinking”, thanks to which university circles join the Church’s mission of spreading Christ’s message in the world ”. Professors and students are encouraged to read the signs of the times, faithful to the centuries-old tradition, to take up new challenges with courage in order to effectively bring the truth of the Gospel to contemporary people and the world. The Pope wishes that the University of Krakow will be a community in which “gaining knowledge is associated with the promotion of respect for every human being for the sake of God who created him, and with care for shaping hearts, opening them to what is most important, what is permanent and what it does not pass away ”. Reminds

The Faculty of Theology was established on January 11, 1397, by Pope Boniface IX at the then Krakow Academy, which is continued by today’s Pontifical University of John Paul II. The motto of the university is the call: “Go and teach.”

We publish the full text of the letter:

To the Venerable Brother
Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski,
Grand Chancellor
of the Pontifical University of John Paul II
in Krakow

On January 11, 1397, at the request of St. Jadwiga Królowej and her wife Władysław, Pope Boniface IX, with the bull “Eximiae devotionis affectus”, erected the Faculty of Theology of the then Krakow Academy, then the Jagiellonian University. Its continuation is today’s Faculty of Theology of the Pontifical University of John Paul II. Therefore, 625 years have passed since this momentous event, from which the history of your relatively young University begins. Together with you, I thank God for this more than six-century-long tradition, with all the scientific and didactic achievements, as well as the special spirituality created by the holy founders, professors and students.

The story on which you are building the present is extraordinary and significant, but at the same time obliging. Today’s times require all of us not to forget about tradition, but at the same time look to the future with hope and create the future. The motto of your University is the call: “Go and teach” (Mt 28:19), and in the document about its mission it was written that its activity consists in scientific reflection on the content of Revelation, using classical and modern research methods. St. John Paul II pointed to the need for such a “ministry of thinking”, thanks to which university circles join the Church’s mission of spreading Christ’s message in the world. Therefore, faithful to the centuries-old tradition, read the signs of the times, take up new challenges with courage, in order to effectively bring the truth of the Gospel to contemporary people and the world. May your University be a place for the formation of new generations of Christians, not only through scientific research and the search for truth but also through the social testimony of the life of faith. Let it be a community in which gaining knowledge is combined with the promotion of respect for every human being for the sake of God who created him, and with care for the formation of hearts, for opening them to what is most important, what is permanent and what does not pass away. Young people have their dreams and goals, and the Catholic University should help them pursue them based on truth, goodness, and beauty that have their source in God. Your service of thinking and searching for the truth is needed today by the Church in Poland and in the world. Perform it with a sense of responsibility for faithfulness to your mission:

In prayer to God, I entrust you, Dear Brother, Rector and Professors, Students and Staff of the University, invoking the intercession of St. Jadwiga Król, the founder of the Faculty and St. John Paul II, and I cordially impart to all of you my Apostolic Blessing.

From the Vatican on January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord, 2022.

FRANCISCUS

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