The history of Szczepanow is strictly associated with the cult of St.
The village is located on the Carpathian plateau, on sandy soils,
which in the past was surrounded by forests. The name of the village
Szczepanow is derived from the name Szczepan who was the owner of
these lands, also from the name Stefan (popular polish name). Others
derive Szczepanow from the word "szczapa" that is pine wood saturated
by resin. This village is associated with the legend of St. Stanislav
Szczepanowski, bishop of Krakow who was born here in the year 1030.
In the place where the later bishop was to be born there is a chapel
in which relic is kept - an oak trunk - under which St. Stanislav was
to be born.
According to the tradition his mother Bogna delivered him under this
tree, as she was coming back from the field. Later she washed him in
the water from the spring. Today there is a well in place of the
spring, with the water which is supposed to be miraculous.
According to some historians the first church was erected by
Stainislav's parents as a votum to God for the child's birth in the
extreme old age. Others (like W. Sawicki) think that the church was
funded by the bishop Stanislav himself. The Cracow canon, polish
priest Jan Dlugosz in 1470 built a brick church in place of the
crumbling wooden church and surrounded him bay walls.
Above the main entrance to the church is inserted coat of arms of
This is a gothic church, which before 1914 was covered by shingle,
was destroyed in the time of the first world war and rebuilt in
1920-1921 under the invocation of St. Magdalena. The church has one
aisle, a narrow presbytery closed on three sides. Near the aisle
there is a small chapel (before it was a vestibule) in which one of
the walls there is a board embedded with the heraldic arms of Prusy,
Wieniawa, Debno and Leliwa.
The presbytery has a ribbed-groined vault that was constructed in
1921, underneath it there are stone cantilevers shaped like shields
with heraldic arms of Wienawa. In the aisle is a caisson ceiling. In
the southern part is a visible entrance to the unpreserved choir.
Outside is Ogrojec (dated 1883) with visible excavations of gothic
At the beginning of the 20th century parish priest W. Kosecki
commenced the construction of a new neogothic church with two aisles
made from brick and stone. After the destruction of the northern wall
of Dlugoszowski church this represents a whole sacral harmonic
structure. Looking from the front a five floor tall spire rises
toward the sky. The ceiling is ribbed-groined. A stone portal (17th
century) is near the entrance to the vestry, it was taken from the
old church (coat of arms of Ostaoja and Debno). On the outside there
are visible buttresses arcade framings and rich detail of neogothic
and eclectic architecture. The church was consecrated on 26th may
1930 by bishop Komar. During 1959-1961 was painted by M. Makarewicz
The main altar was constructed according to the design of Sas
Zubrzycki who also designed the church based on the triptych. In the
main part there is a painting of St. Stanislav, close to the statue
of Saints Peter and Paul, on the sides scenes from his life, above
the main painting piast's eagle. In the base of altar mense, four
scenes from the Bible (theme: gifts sacrificed to God). Neogothic
pulpit (dated 1920) with four bas-reliefs of the Evangelists
Altars: main (late baroque dated 18th century) taken from a parish
church in Bochnia. The second alter- The heart of Jesus Christ is
dated 1923, neobaroc. In the Dlugoszowski church the main alter in
the shape of painted triptych is dated 15th century. In the center
Virgin Mary with the child, St Stanislav with Mary Magdalene on the
sides scenes from the Bible and the life of the saints (Mikolaj with
daughters). The gothic font (from 1534) moulded in bronze was
incorporated to the baptismal alter in 1970. Stals, benches and
confessionals are dated 1920-1930. Feretrums are dated 17-19th
century, on the walls of both churches there are several epitathies.
In the fencing looking from the southern side there are remains of
the Dlugosz wall which were raised in 18th and 20th century. In the
wall there is a forged gate, on the sides stone sculptures of St
Stanislav and St Adalbert. The remaining fencing was built in the
years 1955-1960 according to the design of B Kulka with four chapels
which were constructed thanks to priest W Mendrala.
In the cemetery the St Stanislav's church was built in place of the
residence of the bishop's family. In the same place where the first
wooden church was build around the middle of the 13th century there
was a second brick church constructed. The board in the front of the
church has the following inscription " This chapel was built from
wood in 1601 in the same place where St Stanislav Szczepanowski has
seen daylight where due to the old age it turned to decline.
Stanislav Lubomirski the prince of the roman empire the great
marshall of polish kingdom and the lord of Szczepanow to keep such
great remembrance of the bishop martyr built the church from the base
in 1781. This is a classicist structure made from crick, plastered
with one aisle and vestry and the gallery (organs from 18th century).
It was consecrated by bishop Zinger in 1824.
The chapel has three bricked alters: main St Stanislav (16th century)
and two on the sides with scenes from his life. The free standing
pulpit is dated 1879. In the vestry there can be seen paintings: St
Stanislav-reviver of Piotrowin. Close to the church there is a stone
mission cross from 1879 and the epitaphs of the family of the parish
priest Kosecki. The chapel of the birth of St Stanislav is on the
other side of the road. In the beginning it was wooden (1596) later
due to the efforts of priest Bobka since 1861 it is bricked the 19th
century altar presents the scene of the birth of saint it is
decorated by wooden framing with a vegetation theme.
Behind the altar is a framed tree trunk (oak) under which as
tradition recalls St Stanislav was born (Bogna who was coming back
from the field has delivered him under that tree, washed him in water
- today in this place there is a well with water which is supposed to
On the western side there can be seen a stone obelisk with the figure
of St Stanislav (from 18th century) it is a votum of the Sczepanow
parish for the protection from the hail storm.
In the center of the main square in Szczepanow we can see an 900 year
old lime tree, inside it is totally decayed but every year its green.
Some people say that when Stanislav was a small boy he was to plant
this tree with the roots upside down. Nearby the road we can see a
statue dedicated to St Ziomek which was exhibited for remembrance of
priest Stanislav Stojakowski " a rebel of people's laws" On the
premises of the parish we can find many statues associated with the
live cult of the saint. One of the signs of deep faith is a weekly
church fair attended by thousands of pilgrims in may each year. A
large number of ministries of priests and monks give proof to the
worship. Szczepanow is considered a Saint's sanctuary on polish