Jan Amos KOMENSKÝ - life, work, legacy

Instructio profecturis


Instructio profecturis e Majore Polonia in Lithvaniam ad uniformitatem rituum cum ecclesiis Minoris Pol(oniae) et M(agni) D(ucatus) L(ithvaniae) tractandam a senioribus et consenioribus Confessionis Bohemicae Lesnae 2 Julii 1633 congregatis data


Instructions sent from Greater Poland to Lithuania for the negotiations on the unification of rites with the Churches of Lesser Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, given by the seniors and conseniors of Bohemian Confession, gathered in Leszno on July 2nd 1633



Origin of the work:
  1633 Leszno

  1633 Leszo

1910 Yuriev, in: J. Kvačala, Analecta Comeniana



The instructions for the authorised representative of the Unitas Fratrum in Leszno, sent to Orla for the negotiations with other Polish and Lithuanian Brethren on the defence against the Catholics, who were then on the offensive.

At the beginning of the 17th century, the Unitas Fratrum in Poland suffered appreciable losses to the expanding activities of the Jesuit Order. The Lutherans and Reformists were also threatened. The priests of the Brethren requested the seniors that they work towards agreement and unity between the Bohemian, Moravian, Lesser Polish, Lithuanian and Great Polish Brethren. For this purpose, the co-religionists of Lesser Poland and Lithuania called a meeting at Orla in Lithuania for August 24th 1633. A synod of the Brethren at Leszno resolved to send its own representative there, and several of their speakers prepared, with Comenius’ collaboration, directions for him as to how to proceed in the meeting.

In these Latin instructions, emphasis is placed on the primary importance of retaining the well-established, extant order of the Bohemian Brethren. In terms of rite, concessions might be made if something better is suggested. Lesser known songs may be removed from the hymn-book, to be replaced by suitable works from the Polish hymnal, and translations of the psalms might be appended. The differences in the rites of the various Brethren Churches in Poland and Lithuania were described in greater depth.





The meeting did not reach a complete agreement. A union with the Polish Reformed Church was agreed in 1634 at the Wlodawa Synod, which Comenius too attended. Only after another decade were the Orla negotiations reopened, with agreements being reached on unity in rite, in accordance with the common Polish agenda, with a common hymnal and the retention and preservation of the old Czech order of the Unitas Fratrum, which was established as the ideal.



For further study, see also:

J. Kvačala, Analecta Comeniana. Yuriev 1910, pp1-12

J. V. Novák & J. Hendrich, Jan Amos Komenský, jeho život a spisy. Prague 1932, pp230-231




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