Poland’s first St. Joseph church and sanctuary dates back to the 17th century, established through the generosity and ambitions of its founders. Magnates and affluent burghers willingly donated to the construction of a shrine modeled on Carmelite churches in Rome. The monks lived modest ascetic lives. They encouraged the faithful to pursue spiritual growth and strive for perfection. The Carmelite Monastery played a crucial role in the city’s life. When the Prussian Authorities attempted to shut it down in 1801, Poznań residents defended it day and night for a week.
The shrine, a symbol of the Counter-Reformation, replaced the destroyed church of the Bohemian Brethren. Poznań’s residents considered the Carmelite Church, located next to the Cemetery of Eminent Residents, to be a special place.
The church’s façade is adorned with the figures of St. Rafał Kalinowski and Sister Teresa Marchocka, two Poles associated with the Carmelite Order.