It’s been half a century! On May 19, 1973, Blessed Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński consecrated our rebuilt church.
The construction of the church, founded by Queen Maria Kazimiera Sobieska as a vote of thanksgiving for King John III’s victory over the Turks at Vienna and designed by Tylman of Gameren, began in January 1688, when the king and queen laid the cornerstone. On June 27, the day the nuns who had come from France took over the foundation, the church was not yet finished, but it was already possible to celebrate liturgy and store the Blessed Sacrament. Work on finishing and equipping the temple continued for a long time, and was further delayed by the death of the king and Queen Marysieńka’s departure for Rome. The consecration of the church took place only on June 16, 1715, and was performed by the bishop of Poznań, Bartłomiej Tarło.
For the next 250 years the temple was a place of prayer for the inhabitants of Warsaw and nuns, a place where the Blessed Sacrament was worshipped continuously.
Destroyed during the Warsaw Uprising as a result of the German bombings of August 31 and September 1, 1944, the church turned into a pile of rubble. The scale of the destruction is best shown in photographs from 1945 and beyond.
The Capital Reconstruction Office started work on the reconstruction of the church only in 1947, the following year saw the start of debris removal, and in early 1949 construction work. The temple was opened for use on February 7, 1953.
The next 20 years were taken up with finishing work. Slowly, thanks to the work of the sisters and the generosity of benefactors from all over Poland, new interior furnishings were also created.
And finally came the day of consecration of the rebuilt church.
The chronicler noted that day:
His Eminence, Cardinal Primate Stefan Wyszyński, consecrated our church dedicated to St. Casimir and the great altar. The anointing with which he performed the consecration acts, was imparted to us, as well as to the numerous priests who came, and also to the faithful.
In the altar were placed the relics of St. Agnes and, with great joy offered by the Jesuit Fathers, the relics of St. Andrew Bobola.
The pontifical Mass was celebrated by Father Abbot Placyd Galiński, and Cardinal Primate delivered the Word of God. After the Holy Mass Father Abbot addressed with warm thanks both to His Eminence Primate and to all who came to this celebration to share with us the joy of this great day of our small temple, considered by many as a symbol of the Warsaw Uprising.
According to the opinion of people from Primate’s entourage, this was the most beautiful consecration ceremony they were lucky enough to experience after the war, and yet the Primate made so many of them!