The Warmian (Ermland) Braniewo (Braunsberg) burgher Regina Protmann founded the community of St Catherine of Alexandria the Virgin Martyr in 1571, which the Holy See confirmed as a congregation in 1602. The congregation of sisters took an oath of poverty, chastity and obedience, agreeing to serve people, to care for those who were suffering, and to educate society. The ideas of the Sisters of St Catherine reached the Diocese of Samogitia in the 17th century. Its bishop, Jerzy Tyszkiewicz (Tiškevičius), founded the Krakės (Kroki) convent in 1645. Due to political, cultural and other circumstances, the transformation of this convent into a community of the Sisters of St Catherine took longer than expected, happening only in 1689 when the papal nuncio Giaccomo Cantelmi confirmed the community based on the rule of St Catherine. This article seeks to show the foundation process, revealing the differences between the Samogitian Sisters of St Catherine and those in the Warmian bishopric.
This article reveals the life of the Holy Trinity Bernardine nuns in Kaunas (Kowno) in the years 1842 to 1864, the worsening situation at the convent due to the Russian occupying government’s policy, the actual closure of the convent, and the fate of the nuns after the closure of their home. The study aims to show how daily life at the convent affected the Russian administration’s decisions regarding its material provision and particular nuns living there, how they were affected by the closure of St George’s Bernardine Friary in Kaunas which used to be the main supporter of the Bernardine nuns, and relations between the Bernardine nuns and the bishop. The author analyses difficulties in community life and problems adhering to the constitution, and reveals the general mood of the nuns. The research is based on correspondence between the Bernardine nuns, the bishop and the convent visitator, memoirs, and material from visitations. This case study of the Kaunas Bernardine nuns helps us gain a better understanding of the situation of the Catholic Church in the Russian Empire.
This article focuses on the Book of Miracles (Morze łaski Bozey Maria Panna przy obraźie swym cudownym w kościele mińskim Panien Zakonnych S. Franciszka) printed at the Vilnius Jesuit printing house in 1672 on the initiative of the mother superior of the Bernardine nunnery in Minsk, Franciszka Judycka. The book depicts miracles which occurred after prayers were said in the presence of the painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Child of the Bernardines of Minsk. It portrays the illnesses and everyday life of the sixteen nuns. The book was dedicated to the castellan of Minsk and the elder of Josvainiai, Aleksander Judycki and highlighted the merits of Judycki who offered shelter for the Minsk Bernardines in his Josvainiai manor in Samogitia during the war with Russia in 1654–1667. The article shows the beliefs of society in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania during the Baroque epoque.