Entering Brzozów from the north, from afar, you notice a majestic church with two towers topped with copper helmets. It is the late-baroque Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Stara Wieś, which has been basilica minor since 1927. A large monastery building adjoins the temple. It is known from the chronicles that in the second half of the 17th century the local church was made of wood. In 1698, the current one was built and the equipment of the older temple was probably moved to it.
At the beginning of the 18th century, bishop Aleksander Fredro brought the Pauline monks from Jasna Góra to Stara Wieś, who undertook the construction of a new temple and monastery. In 1782 the Pauline monks leave the village, and in 1821 the Jesuits embrace the church and monastery. The Jesuits transformed the monastery into their college and opened a novitiate in it in 1822 (closed in 2016). They are the hosts of this place to this day.
The religious, social, and cultural role of the College was especially visible in the 19th and early 20th centuries. During World War II, a secret gymnasium and high school operated in the monastery. It was the most thriving center of underground education in this area.
In the main altar of the basilica minor, there is a copy of the miraculous painting depicting the scene of the Dormition and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The original (painted at the beginning of the 16th century on linden and fir boards, crowned in 1877) burned down mysteriously in 1968. In 2006, the Institute of National Remembrance officially confirmed the burning of the painting by the communist secret police and classified the event as a communist crime. The perpetrator of the crime remained unknown.
For centuries, cardinals and bishops made pilgrimages to the miraculous image of Our Lady. On September 10, 1978, the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the coronation of the miraculous painting took place, presided over by Cardinal Karol Wojtyła, who was elected Pope a month later.
The museum founded by Father Kazimierz Kucharski in 1972 is located in the parish house, in new rooms, and in the so-called vault. It contains rich collections of Jesuit activities, numerous natural, ethnographic, and cult exhibits from the Jesuit mission areas in Africa, Asia, America, and Australia. A separate group is the products of the culture of the Sanok Region and the oil mining in Stara Wieś.
The museum’s collection includes, among others the remains of the miraculous painting of Our Lady of Old Town, burnt in 1968, a copy of the painting of Our Lady of Częstochowa from 1618, mementos of the Archbishop of Gniezno and the Primate of Poland, Ignacy Raczyński, SJ, and of the Jesuit Władysław Gurgacz, chaplain of the Polish Underground Army for Independence (1948-1949).
Visiting is possible from Monday to Saturday, except for celebrations, after a prior appointment by telephone. A guide takes you around.
Fee: PLN 10 for an adult, PLN 7 for a child
3 kilometers west of the college, the so-called Villa from 1889 is situated. The building has elements of the Swiss style, and some say it is a unique object from the period preceding the so-called Zakopane style. In the years 1903-1905, a chapel was added.
The villa is open to people looking for relaxation. There is a well-equipped kitchen, 1-, 4- and 8-person rooms for about 60 people, a fireplace room, a football and volleyball court.
Museum of the Society of Jesus
778 Stara Wieś
Phone: +48 13 44 40 760
826 Stara Wieś
Phone: +48 607 618 480 willa.jezuici.pl