Hermitage of Saint Brother Albert on Kalatowki, Zakopane
First, at the end of the 19th century, the Albertine Brothers built their Monastery (to the left of the road and the hiking trail from Kuźnice to Kalatówki) as well as Brother Albert’s wooden hermitage. In 1902, the monks moved to a nearby new building and handed the older monastery over to the Albertine Sisters. The hermitage was often visited by Karol Wojtyła, who admired the activity of Adam Chmielowski. On the basis of his biography, he wrote the drama “Brat Naszego Boga” (“Our God’s Brother”). As Pope John Paul II, he beatified and canonised St. Brother Albert, and in 1997, he visited the saint's hermitage in the Tatra Mountains for the last time. Brother Albert – Adam Chmielowski was born on August 20, 1845 in Igołomia near Krakow. As an eighteen-year-old student of the Agricultural and Forestry School in Puławy, he took part in the January Uprising. In the lost battle of Mełchów, was wounded and his leg was amputated. Having escaped from captivity, he travelled to Paris. In 1865, he came to Warsaw to begin studying painting, which he continued in Munich. Upon his return to Poland, he created works in which religious themes appeared more and more often. He decided to dedicate his life to the exclusive service of God. He joined the Society of Jesus, but after six months, he left the novitiate and went to Podolia, where he joined the tertiary of St. Francis of Assisi and carried out apostolic work among the villagers. In 1884 he returned to Krakow. Out of love for God and of neighbour, he devoted his life to serving the abandoned and the unhappy. It is worth recalling that Brother Albert responded to the needs of the people of that time. The Congregations of Brothers and Sisters Serving the Poor that he founded were based on the Rule of St. Francis of Assisi. His apostolic work was centred on creating shelters for the homeless. Serving the homeless and destitute was a form of contemplating the Passion of Christ for him. He organised almshouses for the disabled and terminally ill, the sisters worked in military and epidemic hospitals, he created soup kitchens, nurseries and educational institutions for homeless children and adolescents.