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Presentation of the sacrifice by a Maravite priest in front of the exposed Blessed Sacrament

The Mariavite Church is a religious movement that in 1893 in Russian Poland had its origin and first within the Roman Catholic Church was located until 1904, the recognition was rejected by the pope.


Since 1883 the nun Feliksa Kozłowska (1862–1921) was a member of the congregation founded by the beatified Capuchin Honorat Koźmiński . In 1887 she founded the congregation according to the rule of Clare of Assisi (Poor Clares), which was later called the Order of the Mariavites . They adopted the Rule of Francis of Assisi , the Sisters the Rule of the Poor Clares, the Tertiary the Rule of the Third Order of St. Francis.

Poland was divided between Russia , Prussia and Austria at the time of the emergence of the Mariavite movement . After the Polish uprising in January 1863, the tsarist authorities forbade the establishment of Polish national organizations and all non-Orthodox monasteries and communities. Because they were unlawful under Russian law, many Roman Catholic monasteries were closed. During this period the burgeoning Mariavite movement was one of many Roman Catholic congregations. Because of the veneration Feliksa Kozłowska enjoyed for her private revelations, the Polish bishops intervened against her. Their liturgy is a Polish or Lithuanian translation of the Roman.

Feliksa Kozłowska's private revelations

Maria Franciszka Kozłowska is said to have received visions in 1893 . On August 2, 1893, the "Mariavite" movement was founded. The name “Mariaviten” derives from the Latin Mariae vitam imitans (“emulating the life of Mary”) or from Mariae vitae cultores (“worshiper of the life of Mary”).

Kozlowska's visions between 1893 and 1918 were published in 1922 in the anthology “Dzieło Wielkiego Miłosierdzia” - “Work of great grace”. Along with the Bible, these “revelations” are the spiritual source of the Mariavites. In the visions, Feliksa Kozłowska fights against the moral decline of the world, especially that of the clergy . In the first vision it was ordered to reorganize the order of the Catholic clergy. Holy Communion is the most important sacrament for baptized Christians. The Mariavites undertook to disseminate the content of these private revelations .

Church condemnation

Feliksa Kozłowska and the priests close to her saw the Mariavite movement as an instrument of God for internal mission and reform in the Catholic Church. The Bishop of Płock initiated the approbation of the Mariavites and instructed their leadership to send the documents to Rome. A month later Pope Pius X received their delegation. At the same time, the Mariavites elected Jan Maria Michał Kowalski as the first general minister. In June 1904 another delegation then traveled to Rome and again presented to the Curia the importance and urgency of their mission, so that Pius X promised the recognition of the congregation.

However, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith decided against approving the Mariavites, and in December 1904 Pius X refused recognition. Pius X dissolved the movement and forbade any contact between the priests and Feliksa Kozłowska. Two further delegations to Rome were unsuccessful. The Mariavites rebelled against it. In February 1906 they refused to obey the bishops in Poland. The Pope reacted with the encyclical Tribus circiter , whereby Pius X made the recognition of the Mariavites dependent on the rejection of Feliksa Kozłowska's private revelations. From these revelations the commission of the Mariavites is derived and so they refused, whereupon Pius X pronounced the great excommunication. Feliksa Kozłowska and Jan Maria Michał Kowalski were then excommunicated on April 5, 1906. Feliksa Kozłowska was also the first woman to be excommunicated by the Holy See .

From 1972 to 1974 the Jesuit Stanisław Bajko visited the Order of Mary on behalf of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity . The reason for and the result of the review are unknown.

Old Catholic Church of the Mariavites

From 1909 the Old Catholic Church of the Mariavites was a member of the Union of Utrecht , but was excluded from the Union in 1924 due to the tendencies not tolerated by the Union. The reason was so-called mystical marriages between priests and nuns. In 1935 the church split into two branches:

On April 1, 2014, it was decided to re-admit the Old Catholic Church of the Mariavites to the Union of Utrecht, although membership will only come into force when the Mariavite bishops sign the agreement, which includes certain voluntary commitments on the part of the Mariavites.

Order of the Mariavites in Germany - foreign jurisdiction

The "Order of the Mariavites in Germany - Foreign Jurisdiction" has its seat in Cologne. Its head is attributed to the vagabond bishops and is neither recognized by the Old Catholic Church of the Mariavites (AKM) nor by the Catholic Church of the Mariavites (KKM).

The Diocese of Limburg warned in its official gazette of November 2004, the Archdiocese of Cologne in the official gazette of May 2007 against “Activities of the Cologne-based foreign jurisdiction of the so-called Order of the Mariavites in Germany”. The Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart also warned in May 2007 against one alleged prelate of the Mariavites, who solicited donations for an activity in Paraguay. All ecclesiastical official gazettes emphasize that there is no connection between the Roman Catholic Church and the Mariavites.

Head of the Order of the Mariavites - foreign jurisdiction


  • Arthur Rhode : With the Mariavites. Impressions of a new Roman-free Catholic Church ; Lichterfelde-Berlin: Runge, 1911
  • Konrad Algermissen: denominational studies ; Celle: Giesel, 1957 7 ; Pp. 746, 752, 759
  • Karol Karski: Art. Mariaviten ; in: Evangelisches Kirchenlexikon , 3rd edition, Volume 3; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1992; ISBN 3525501374 ; Sp. 282f.

Web links


  1. Old Catholic Church Gazette No. 12/72, p. 7, author Hans A. Frei (Bern)
  2. Insight: The Utrecht Schism and Old Catholicism. (PDF; 906 kB) (No longer available online.) In: Einsicht . P. 97 , archived from the original on March 5, 2016 ; Retrieved May 3, 2014 (Vol. 27 (1997), No. 4 (October)). Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. ^ Resumption of the Mariavites decided. In: Messages from the Old Catholic Church in Germany. April 2, 2014, accessed May 3, 2014 .
  4. Dariusz P. Bruncz: 100 years of fascinating history. The Mariavites in Poland ( Memento of the original from November 2, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 587 kB) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  5. Official Journal of the Diocese of Limburg (Online pdf; 145 kB) ( Memento of the original from June 28, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. No. 11 of November 1, 2004, No. 550 (accessed July 21, 2008) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  6. Warning. (PDF; 103 kB) In: Official Gazette of the Archdiocese of Cologne. Archdiocese of Cologne, May 1, 2007, p. 138 , accessed May 3, 2014 .
  7. Ecclesiastical gazette for the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart , May 15, 2007, p. 121.