The independence traditions in the Wąchock Abbey date back to the Kościuszko Uprising (1794). The Cistercians supported the uprising of Kościuszko, bringing help and making sacrifices. Presumably, the Cistercian plant in Wąchock provided Kosciuszko with white and firearms, including cannonballs or even cast light cannons. The rebels were fed with the money. The prior of the Gorchock on. Onufry Adamski, remembering Kosciuszko’s insurrection from his youth, was friends with former officers Tadeusz Kosciuszko. During the Napoleonic wars and the Duchy of Warsaw (1807-15), the monastery’s facilities manufactured weapons and for the army of Prince Józef Poniatowski. In 1811, Prior Adamski visited the monastery of the former adjutant of Kościuszko, Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz, during his journey to Krakow. The post-Cistercian industry also played an important role during the November Uprising (1830-31), when these plants supplied the insurgent army with weapons. Wąchock made a permanent mark on the history of Poland fighting during the January Uprising (1863-64). In 1863, the headquarters of the semi-colonel Marian Langiewicz, head of the Sandomierz province, later appointed general, was located in Wąchock. In the period from January 23 to February 1863, the town became an insurgent center. Marian Langiewicz founded an insurgent camp in the mountainous area of ​​Wąchock, where numerous factories and Smith’s forges provided him with war material. In Wąchock itself, it was swarming with incoming volunteers. Cavalry, riflemen and scythemen were formed. Infantry consisted of three battalions. Due to his organizational skills, Langiewicz brought order and order to the Wąchocki camp. A spirit of noble sacrifices and hopes hovered over the insurgent camp. The former Cistercian monastery became the base of Langiewicz’s insurgent troops. The general himself resided in the Brewków house (currently a manor house on Langiewicza Street). The commander created a temporary center of activity in Wąchcok and the presence of his small army gave the town an unusual appearance. The insurgent band played Dąbrowski’s Mazurka and patriotic songs. A staff lateral office was created, a military hospital was established in the mining hospital located in the Cistercian monastery, where the sick and wounded insurgents were laid during the uprising. There was a printing house in which Langiewicz had his first appeal to the inhabitants of the Koviat region dated 26 January, in which he called them to fight against the Russians. Wąchock was considered at home and abroad as the second largest concentration of insurgent forces after Węgrów. Exaggerated Langiewicz’s strength was calculated at 8,000. people, when in reality they had about 1.5 thousand insurgents. Shooting training took place in the surrounding forests (on “Langiewicz’s Glade”). On January 24, 1863, after the Holy Mass, the first insurgent battalion of 400 people was created in the Cistercian church under the command of Maj. Klimaszewski. Kraków painter Jan Matejko, who was a painter from Kraków, temporarily stayed in the ward of Langiewicz.

Russian troops in the strength of 3,000 set off in January to destroy Langiewicz’s base in Wąchock. Warning Langiewicz managed to leave the town before the overwhelming Russian forces. On February 2, 1863, the battle of the insurgents led by Langiewicz and the Russians took place near Wąchock. In the skirmishes, the insurgents lost 3 killed and 11 wounded. The Russians entered Wąchock, abandoned by the population and insurgents, committing robberies and rapes on the few remaining inhabitants. At the end, the unfortunate town was set on fire. Langiewicz withdrew from his position towards Bodzentyn and disappeared completely from the enemy’s eyes. On March 19, 1863, he crossed the Galician border; arrested by the Austrians, he was imprisoned for two years, then he went to Turkey. He died in 1887 in Vienna. There was a legend left behind him and his insurgents, as well as graves in Wąchock. The tsarist authorities deprived Wąchock of city rights for participating in the January Uprising in 1869, degrading it to the degree of settlement. Many inhabitants were exiled to Siberia, to the labor camp. In 1927, on the centenary of the birth of General Marian Langiewicz, a commemorative marble slab was built in the church. On May 23, 1927, a meeting of veterans of the Uprising with the occasional Holy Mass in the parish church took place in Wąchock.

We present a film by Tomasz Szczykutowicz from the celebration of the 147th anniversary of the Uprising outbreak:

During World War II, the surrounding forests were a guerrilla base. The legendary commander of the Świętokrzyskie partisan detachments of the Home Army, especially Jan Piwnik “Ponury”, was especially famous for his heroism, who fell in battle with the Germans in Novgorod on 16 June 1944.

Another material of Mr. Tomasz Szczykutowicz “Two Groby Grimmy”.
The film in the full DVD version is available in our monastery shop.

Cistercians from Mogiła after taking over the monastery in Wąchock cultivate patriotic traditions. His two priors: father Wincenty Szlęzak and father Robert Kuchar were prisoners of the Dachau concentration camp during World War II. The first abbot of the renewed Cistercian abbey in Wąchock, Father Benedykt Matejkiewicz, during World War II as a Cistercian cleric in Mogiła was associated with the Home Army, he was captain; he wore a conspiratorial nickname “Orkan”. While consecrating the guerrilla chapel, an milieu of soldiers of Major was established in Wykus (near Wąchock) in 1957. “Grim” and Maj. “Nurta” of the Świętokrzyskie Home Army Groupings. They were supported by the Cistercian abbot in Wąchock, Father Benedykt Matejkiewicz, who became an honorary chaplain of the community.

 From 1970, with the consent of Abbot Matejkiewicz, the commemoration of AK memorial plaques began at the annual guerrilla ceremony in Wąchock. In 1981 all combatants of “Grim” and “Nurt” were verified, in 1984 a monument of Maj. “Grim” on the market in Wąchock., And its replica was placed in the cloister of the monastery. In 1988, thanks to the efforts of the community and the abbot of Benedykt Matejkiewicz, the ashes of a guerrilla hero were brought from Nowogrodczyzna to Wąchock – Maj. “Grim”. The second solemn funeral lasted three days. The “Grim” coffin was transported by cart through the Świętokrzyskie Mountains to Wykus (during World War II a camp and place of concentration of guerrilla units) where a Holy Mass was celebrated, and then to the village of Rataje near the forest complex. On Sunday, June 12, the funeral procession reached Wąchock. Before the Cistercian abbey, a solemn Holy Mass was celebrated by Fr. Card. Henryk Gulbinowicz. The ashes of the heroic guerrilla commander were laid within the abbey walls, funding him an epitaph in the cloister of the monastery. From then on, every year after June 16, Saturday and Sunday, partisans gather in the abbey to participate in patriotic ceremonies.

 In 1994, the abbey held funeral ceremonies of the Home Army Major “Nurt” – Eugeniusz Kaszyński, whose ashes were brought from London and buried on June 11 in the Świętokrzyskie Mountains in Wykus. Commemorative Mass The Bishop of Radom, Edward Materski, and the Abbot of Cistercians, Father Alberk Siwek, said. On June 16, 1994, the 50th anniversary of the death of major “Grim” with the participation of several thousand people was celebrated.

 With the Cistercian abbey, the priest was associated with Lieutenant Colonel Walenty Ślusarczyk, a retired parish priest from Nowa Słupia, who lived in the Wąchock monastery at the end of his life. A friend of Abbot Benedykt Matejkiewicz, son of Kielce Land, came from a family with insurgent traditions. As an officer of the Polish Army in 1933 he was ordained priest. During World War II, being a parish priest in Borkowice, he was associated with the underground – the Union of Armed Struggle (ZWZ) and the Home Army (AK). After the war, the chaplain of the Polish Army and parish priest in Nowa Słupia. He was an outstanding collector, passionate about the tradition of patriotic uprisings, especially the January Uprising, strongly associated with the Kielce region. He managed to collect an impressive collection of military items, documents, banners and other patriotic memorabilia, thus saving them from destruction. During the celebration of the 800th anniversary of the Cistercian abbey in Wąchock, priest Ślusarczyk, at the request of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, who took part in the celebrations together with Cardinal Franciszek Macharski of Krakow, handed his collection to the abbey in Wąchock (October 7, 1979), where they were to be made available in the collection museum. In this way, Primate Wyszyński wanted to honor the abbey’s services to the Church and the Świętokrzyskie Land. Father Ślusarczyk died in Wąchock on January 3, 1981 at the age of 75. Due to the lack of museum rooms, the collections were stored in a warehouse. After the death of Father Ślusarczyk, at the beginning of the eighties academic workers of the Catholic University of Lublin? Aniela Zinkiewicz-Ryndziewicz and Zygmunt Ryndziewicz conducted an inventory of the collections and cataloged them. Continuing the tradition, abbot Alberyk Siwek arranged a Cistercian museum in the monastery with the help of the Ryndzewicz family, opened in June 1991.

 In the monastery garden they kept a Cistercian monument to the fallen residents of Wąchock in the Polish-Soviet war (1920); currently it is set on a square near the monastery. Every year, patriotic ceremonies of the Home Army take place in the abbey.

Na podstawie: Alojzy A. Dudek, Przewodnik po opactwie cystersów w Wąchocku,
wyd. Lamart – Sport, Kielce
materiał video: Tomasz Szczykutowicz

Based on: Alojzy A. Dudek, Guide to the Cistercian Abbey in Wąchock,
ed. Lamart – Sport, Kielce
video material: Tomasz Szczykutowicz

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