Franciscan Saints




21st May



Blessed Ladislas of Gielniow

(Wladyslaw z Gielniowa)


Confessor, First Order

Feast day May 4th; His feast is celebrated by the Franciscans on May 21st and the Capuchins on the 11th. Born c 1440 in Gniezno, Poland; Died 4 May 1505 of natural causes. His cult received papal approbation by Benedict XIV on 11 February 1750. The same pope named him the patron of Poland and Lithuania on 19 August, 1753. Apparently, the dossier for his official canonisation is still in preparation.(below)


Blessed Ladislas was born at Gielniow, a town in the diocese of Gniezno, Poland.  He offered the very first fruits of his life to God, who alone had the right to them. In obedience to the wishes of his parents, he engages in his studies at the University of Cracow, and after making great progress in leaning and virtue, he recognized the call of God to renounce the world.


In 1464 Blessed Ladislas of Gielniow entered the convent of Friars Minor at Warsaw, which had been quite recently founded by St John Capistrano. There the young man strove so earnestly for perfection that the highest hopes were placed in him. He observed all the asceticism of the order most faithfully, and regarded interior mortification as the goal of all exterior practices of penance. His profound humility and perfect obedience enlightened all.


As soon as he was ordained to the priesthood, he asked, in his great passion for souls, for permission to go among the Kalmuks in neighbouring Russia, in order to preach the Gospel to this nation uninitiated into the ways of Christ. The permission was granted, but Ladislas met with so many obstacles in that country that he was obliged to return without achieving any success. He now laboured without tiring at his apostolic work in Poland.

 In towns and villages Blessed Ladislas of Gielniow preached the word of God, and his zeal, united with a holy life, produced holy results everywhere. He had a special way of presenting for the attention of the faithful the suffering of Christ and the glories of the Mother of God. Above all he recommended the recitation of the Crown of the Seven Joys of our Blessed Lady.

 Because of his outstanding credentials, Ladislas was five times elected to the office of provincial. During his supervision he sent many missionaries to Lithuania and to Russia, where it was now possible to convert many to Christendom, a task which he had once attempted in vain.

 In the year 1498 Poland was in great danger of being overwhelmed by an army of 70,000 Tartars, who were allies of the Turks. Blessed Ladislaus appealed to the frightened population, asking them to pray and believe in God. Before the enemy’s arrival the rivers overflowed, flooding the region. This was followed by freezing weather that turns the water to ice. Then came snow, and thousands of the enemy died. Those remaining were defeated in battle by Prince Stephen of Poland.


Broken with age and the fatigues of a gruelling apostolate, he completed his last term as provincial. The fathers who attended the chapter did not wish to assign him a definite convent for his residence, but left it to him to choose one for himself. But the holy old man said:


“My fathers, so you wish that at the end of my life I should live according to my own will and fancy! Never before have I done that, and far be it from me ever to follow my own will. Dispose of me entirely according to your own good pleasure.”


He was then appointed guardian of the convent at Warsaw where he had begun his religious life, there he was also to close it in the very next year.


On Good Friday Blessed Ladislas of Gielniow preached a sermon on the sufferings of Our Lord. All at once his features were transfigured. He fell into ecstasy and was raised in the air above the pulpit before the eyes of the astonished multitude. When the ecstasy ended, he was sized with a fever, and about a month later, on May 4, 1505, he went to his reward.

 Many miracles occurred at his tomb in the church of his order at Warsaw. He was Beatified in 1586 by Pope Sixtus V and his cult confirmed on 11 February 1750 by Pope Benedict XIV





Prayer of the Church


O God, who didst will that Blessed Ladislas should distinguish

himself before all in the practice of religious perfection,

mercifully grant, that imitating his example, we, too, may advance in virtue.

Through the same Christ Our Lord Who liveth and reigneth
with Thee and the Holy Spirit,  One God, now and forever.  Amen



Habig, Marion A., O.F.M., 1959, ed., The Franciscan book of Saints, Franciscan Herald press, Chicago, Illinois

Information beside Tau:  History web ring A co-production of Maarten van der Heijden and Bert Roest, ©  FRANCISCAN AUTHORS, 13TH - 18TH CENTURY: A CATALOGUE IN PROGRESS, Ladislaus de Gielniow (ca. 1440 - 4 May 1505) Beatus (1750),Modified 28 March 2013,, Accessed 22 April 2013, <>


May     Next


Last edited 13/09/2017 06:39 
(C) EFO 2013
Web administrator Wayne Benge