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Jesuit Stefano Antonio Morcelli, An Archbishop Candidate from the End of the Dubrovnik Republic

Relja Seferović ; Zavod za povijesne znanosti HAZU u Dubrovniku, Dubrovnik, Hrvatska

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 343 Kb

str. 263-291

preuzimanja: 284



Stefano Antonio Morcelli (1737-1821), cleric from the surroundings of Brescia, lectured in rhetoric and organised student performances at the Jesuit Collegium Ragusinum in the period 1761-1764, during which he also preached at the Cathedral (1762, 1764) and delivered a sermon on a topic from ecclesiastical history―Ad episcoporum Orientalium concilium pro Nestorio Acacii oratio elucubrata. The poems that he wrote during his days in Dubrovnik, in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Ad Deiparam Virginem Ode Alcaica; Ad Virginem natam phaleucium; In ejusdem B. Virginis Mariae phaleucium) and the missionary efforts of St Francis Xavier (Ad S. Franciscum Xaverium Elegia) also fall within an occasional frame. They have survived in a copy from the nineteenth century, here published in the appendix. Morcelli’s activity in Dubrovnik cannot be described as prominent, due mainly to his youth and inexperience. However, his professional success came later, upon his return to Italy, when he became an acclaimed expert in Christian archaeology and Latin epigraphy, member of many Italian Academies and published a number of books. He was also well known for his pastoral work in the spiritual service, acting as dean of the Cathedral chapter in his native Chiari. Despite Morcelli’s thirty-year absence from Dubrovnik, the Republic Senate elected him archbishop after the death of the Franciscan Luigi Spagnoletti in 1799. In the invitation letter, they emphasised his educational and spiritual work in Dubrovnik, but at the same time offered him a safe haven from the war developments in the north of Italy as result of the advancement of Napoleon’s troops. Expressing his sincere gratitude, Morcelli tactfully refused the Ragusan offer mainly on account of his mature age, poor health, grave general circumstances and his wish to remain loyal to the fellow-citizens of Chiari and the Society of Jesus, whose restoration he hoped for. If this well educated and energetic cleric had become the Archbishop of Dubrovnik, the local Church might have had better prospects than becoming by far the poorest Church in entire Dalmatia in early nineteenth century. Morcelli must have felt that the government of the Republic was responsible for this situation and thus he prudently avoided the inevitable clash with the Senate. This came as a hidden reason for his final decision.

Ključne riječi

Stefano Antonio Morcelli, Dubrovnik Republic, archbishops, Curia, Jesuits, 18th century, literature, Rajmund Kunić, Rafo Radelja, Nikola Banić

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