Sodalicje Mariańskie na ziemiach polskich wobec wojny i odzyskania niepodle¬głości w 1918 r.
The attitude of the Sodality of Our Lady on the Polish lands towards Poland’s independence and the war of 1918
The Sodality of Our Lady is a Catholic society for lay persons, initiated by Jan Leunis SJ in Rome in the 2nd half of the 16th century. Originally, the Sodality comprised students and later all classes and professional groups. The aim of this elite society was the formation of lay Catholics aware of their vocation in the Church, and propagation of the rite and the cult of Virgin Mary. The supreme goal of the Sodality was obeying the rule “Per Mariam ad Jesum”. The rules of the Sodality concerned visiting prisoners, working in hospitals, helping the poor and the ill, teaching faith, and Christian upbringing of youth. Sodalities deteriorated after the secularization of the Jesuit order, which was their basis in 1773. Towards the end of the 19th century they were being revived on the Polish lands. Sodalities of Our Lady combined religious devotion with the love of the homeland and efforts for the country’s benefit. During World War I the society engaged in charity helping in hospitals, welfare institutions, taking care of the disabled and orphans. Sodalities contributed particularly to the upbringing of the new patriotic generation of Poles. Regaining independence helped sodalities to develop their activities and contributed significantly to the rebirth of religious life of the society in the Second Polish Republic.