Olesnicki, Nicholaus

Olesnicki, Nicholaus lord of Pinagom, a noted Polish nobleman, who figured prominently in the Reformation movement, and decidedly leaned towards Protestantism, deserves a place here. In 1549 Olesnicki boldly defended the right of priests to marry; and a short time after he turned out the monks from a convent in his town, ejected the images from the church, and established there a public Protestant worship, according to the tenets and rites of Geneva. Of course Olesnicki was persecuted by the ecclesiastical authorities, but his influence at court prevented severe punishment for a long time. Three Roman Catholic writers assert that the king and senate favored the punishment of Olesnicki, but it seems unreasonable to suppose that Romish ecclesiastics would have suffered the offender to pass unmolested if they had dared to chastise him. Olesnicki died soon after, and thus the trouble came to a precipitate close. See Krasinski, History of the Reformation in Poland, 1:160-171. (J. H-. W.)

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