History repeats itself. Almost a century before Thomas Becket was assassinated in Canterbury Cathedral, something very similar happened a thousand miles away in southern Poland. The victim on this occasion was Stanislaus of Szczepanów, who was the Archbishop of Kraków – a post held nine centuries later by Karol Wojtyła, who went on to become Pope John Paul II.
Like Karol Wojtyła, Stanislaus of Szczepanów found himself in conflict with the government of his time. In Wojtyła’s case it was the Communists – with Stanislaus it was King Bolesław the Bold. Being bold, the King didn’t waste time dropping subtle hints the way Henry II did a hundred years later. He went straight to Kraków Cathedral and dealt with the matter personally. He slew the archbishop as he was celebrating mass, and hacked his body into pieces.
As with Becket, the murder didn’t prove as universally popular as Bolesław might have hoped. He was ousted from power later the same year, and forced to flee the country... while Stanislaus was made a saint.
from "Conspiracy History" by Andrew May
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