St. John Cantius' Church

Catalogue note author
Paulina Kluz

History of work

The church in Stryszów was mentioned in the Peter's pence census in the years 1325-1327. It originally belonged to the parish in Klecza.
Another, wooden church in Stryszów under the invocation of St. Nicholas was built at the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries. - In 1529, an independent parish was established in Stryszów.
The church was mentioned in the visitation records from 1598. It had three altars (two brick ones, one wooden), a stone baptismal font and a crucifix on the chancel arch. In 1617, a bell tower with three bells was also mentioned.
In that state the temple was mentioned in the visitation records in 1645, 1663 and 1670. In 1679, four altars were replaced. In post-visitation documents from 1708 and 1729 their invocations were stated, namely: the high altar was under the invocation of the Crucifixion of Jesus, and the side altars of St. Nicholas (right), the Blessed Virgin Mary (left) and the Descent from the Cross.
In 1739, the church burned down.
The present brick temple was built in 1742 thanks to the efforts of the heir to Stryszów – Kazimierz Wilkoński from Wilkowice of the Odrowąż coat of arms – and other benefactors. In the visitation records from 1748 three altars in the church were described – the high altar with the painting of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Casimir in the altar finial and two side altars, including the left one of St. Nicholas. The church had two confessionals, a loft, a new nine-tone organ and a pulpit.
There was a sacristy next to the chancel and epitaphs under the organ loft. The church had a shingled roof and a stone floor. The façade was two-towered with a portico, and in one of the towers there were three bells saved from fire.
In 1767, the church received the relics of Saint John Cantius from bishop Franciszek Potkański, which were taken out of the saint's coffin in St. Anne's Church in Cracow. Then, the temple was given a new invocation.
In the years 1840-1841, the church was rebuilt by the owner of Stryszów – Julian Gorczyński. The works included the construction of a tower with vestibules and the extension of the chancel. The temple was consecrated anew on 17 July 1842 by bishop Józef Wojtarowicz.


The former, wooden St. Nicholas' Church from the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries, burnt down in 1739. A new, brick temple was built in 1742 in its place with the effort of Kazimierz Wilkoński and other benefactors. In 1767, with regard to relics that were transferred to this temple, its invocation was changed to the invocation of St. John Cantius. In 1840-1841, on the initiative of Julian Gorczyński, choir, tower façade with annexes were added to church, as well as a chancel and its localness were extended. The original architecture of the church in Stryszów constitutes a typical example of single-nave parish temple with a narrower chancel - typical of the time of its creation. The elements added later are characterised by Neo-Gothic style.

How to cite?

Paulina Kluz, "St. John Cantius' Church", [in:] "The Sacred Lesser Poland Heritage", 2023, source:

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