and Legend of Juro Jánošík,
Jánošík Was Granted Absolution
was told that he should go to confession.
me?’ he was surprised. “What sins should I confess? Let those do penance who
hardly let the poor people breathe.”
was in the summer.
the winter came, and Jánošík hid himself in seclusion in the region of Kysuce
where the days and nights seemed endless. Full of melancholy, grievous thoughts,
it really so?” Jánošík considered more than often enough. “Have I done no
injustice to innocent persons, have I not hurt anyone, does anyone other than
the lords had bad memories of me? Am I able to judge? Can I be sure that I
really do not live a life of sin? Shouldn’t someone else do so? Shouldn’t I
really go to confession?’
did try to go.
knocked at the gate of the first parish, but they would not even open the door
there when he told them his name. At another place, he was no sooner seen coming
than the guards were sent for. At last he found a priest who was not afraid of
the name of Jánošík, simply because he had not yet heard it. But when Juro
told him he was a highwayman, the priest refused to grant him absolution before
he could confess.
tried everything, but in vain.
spring passed and summer began.
day the outlaws captured two lads in a ravine on Strečno Mountain.
are you? Where are you coming from and going to?”
are students,” was their reply. “We are studying for the priesthood in
Bratislava, and now we are on our way home for vacation.”
are just the people who we are looking for!” the robbers shouted. “Our
captain wants to make a confession. Are you able to hear it?”
students looked at each other, embarrassed. To grant absolution? They did not
yet have the authority to do that, but you can’t play around with
outlaws blindfolded the students and took them to their hiding-place and, once
there, straight to the captain.
confirmed it, yes, he wanted to make a confession and, if the young gentlemen
were willing, he would give them ample reward.
startled students nodded acceptance.
the three of them went aside and Jánošík started speaking. He spoke about his
entire life, from his boyhood to becoming the highwaymen’s captain.
students were so thrilled they almost forgot to breathe.
waited with bated breath after he finished. Would he be granted absolution or
were granted it, captain, a long time ago,” the students said unhesitatingly.
“A kind of absolution we can never grant you. From God, as well as from the
people you helped, who will never forget.”
did not say anything more. However, what else could they say? They could only
have confirmed what was being said about Jánošík all over the country.
felt such relief that he did not ask about anything else.
just gave a bag of gold pieces to each of them as they were leaving the
outlaws’ hiding place.
you are, boys, this is for your studies. Such priests, as you will grow into
will really be needed one day.”
A book, Jánošík, Jánošík... written by Anton Marec, translated into English by Tatiana Strnadová and John Doyle and published in 1995 by Matica Slovenská, contains 33 tales of this famous outlaw captain. The information in this book was used to create this story. Check in the future for other stories.