Geograficzny zasięg kultu św. Jakuba Starszego Apostoła w Polsce
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The aim of the paper is to present the geographical range of the cult of St. James the Great (or St. James the Apostle) as well as the spatial distribution of parishes, parish churches, filial churches and chapels dedicated to the saint in Poland. The second part of the publication presents a short description of the main centers of worship of St. James. Currently there are 147 registered Roman Catholic parishes of St. James the Apostle in Poland, which constitutes 1,4% of all parishes . Over 70% of the analyzed parishes date back to the 11th-15th centuries, which clearly confirms the lively cult of the saint in the Middle Ages on Polish soil. The biggest concentration of St. James the Apostle parishes can be found in the regions of Wielkopolska, Kujawy, Ziemia Łęczycka, and central Małopolska. Upon analysis of the distribution of St. James parishes on the map of Poland, it is clearly visible that they are located within a wide belt leading from Warmia (through Tolkmicko – Osetnik – Kwiecewo – Olsztyn – Bartołty Wielkie), through Kujawy and Ziemia Płocka, Ziemia Łęczycka, Wielkopolska and finally to Ziemia Lubuska and Dolny Śląsk. The distribution of the parishes in the former Kraków diocese is also apparent, within the belt from Sandomierz to Simoradz. Presently the biggest number of parishes of St. James the Great can be found within borders of the dioceses of Gniezno (11), Kielce (9), Pelplin (9), Poznań (9), Toruń (9), Włocławek (9), Opole (8), Płock (7), Bydgoszcz (6) and Warmia (6). Another characteristic feature in the distribution of the parishes of St. James is their low number in the Eastern and Northwestern regions of Poland. The group of churches and chapels of St. James the Apostle is decidedly more developed. In total, there are 150 parish churches, 28 filial or rectoral churches, and 3 chapels of St. James the Great currently acting in Poland. The most important centers of cult of St. James the Apostle are churches housing the relics of the saint, especially the two sanctuaries in Jakubów and Lębork, as well as centers in Brzesko, Leśna, Łeba, Podegrodzie, Szczyrk, Tuchów and Więcławice Stare.
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