Polish preacher, b. at Lemberg, 1566; d. at Cracow, 1636. He completed his studies at the University of Cracow , where he also began to teach philosophy in 1587. After having taught there for five years he entered the Dominican Order (1592), and devoted himself for some time to a deeper study of theology. Thereupon he began his career as a preacher in the church of the Holy Trinity at Cracow where the king attended Divine worship. During fourteen years his fame as a preacher drew immense crowds. Sigismund III was much attached to him and often consulted him on matters temporal and spiritual. He induced Birkowski to follow the court when it was transferred to Warsaw. He also appointed him court-preacher to his son Wladislaw. In the crusades of 1617 and 1618 against Turkey, Russia and Walachia, the friar took no small part, and some of his best sermons were delivered to the soldiers. Two years before his death he retired to his monastery and never left it save to preach on some great occasion or in behalf of charity. Birkowski is considered one of the greatest orators of Poland. His contemporaries spoke of him as the "Sarmatian Chrysologus", and posterity has not found anyone superior to him in purity of diction in the sixteenth century. He uses Scripture quotations very often, though he also refers frequently to Virgil, Horace and Homer, and among letter writers to Justus Lipsius. He has no respect for the learning and temper of Erasmus. Of his sermons only a few have been published. There are three volumes of sermons for Sundays and Holy Days, besides panegyrics on St. Josaphat, Sigismund III, his wife Constantia, and sermons on the Blessed Virgin delivered in camp.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online