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Jasna Šego ; Sveučilište u Slavonskom Brodu, Odjel društveno-humanističkih znanosti,Učiteljski studij

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 314 Kb


str. 345-364

preuzimanja: 602



A priest’s persona is an interesting theme in both everyday life and literary work. It is not easy to be a priest because they are under the great magnifying glass of believers and nonbelievers, benefactors and evil people, dignitaries as well as common people. Every time certain demands are placed before a priest. Some people are well-meaning critics and evaluators of the work of the "servant of God", whilst others can hardly wait for their mistakes to belittle them. Although the characters of priests (although not as the leading ones) appear in Novak’s novel The Last Stipančićs (1899), they have not been written about in detail. This is why we want to explore the mentioned theme. We will analyse the characters of two priests: the character of Bishop Ćolić and the character of Canon Vukasović in the mentioned novel. Bishop Ćolić first appears in Valpurga’s dream, which wakens her memories of that Senj dignitary and motivates her to tell Lucija about an episode from the bishop’s life when evildoers and envious people slandered and accused him of seducing a girl from a respectable family. Valpurga points out that the mentioned bishop successfully justified himself before Pope Clement and so preserved his honour, reputation and dignity, and remained an exemplary preacher, clergyman, moral authority and fighter for justice and truth. Moreover, he forgave his slanderers and so expressed love for his enemy. In Valpurga’s storytelling about Ćolić his struggle for the truth is emphasised, the sincere and true way of living his (Catholic) faith, cultural activities (building churches, altars, encouraging wealthier people to restore sacral heritage), caring for the spiritual dimension of the life of the people of Senj and caring for the general public good. Canon Vukasović is also portrayed in a positive light - as a man from a respectable family, learned and wise, a true patriot, a fighter for the Croatian language, a defender and guardian of national identity, a man willing to sacrifice for the common good. The all-knowing narrator portrays Canon Vukasović as a man of strong spirit and imagination, a learned man who is aware of the pitfalls of foreign rule (which enslaves Croats, erases his memories of former glorious days, impacts the weakening of the awareness of Croatian identity, devalues the Croatian language, i.e. marginalises it, it acts so badly on the people that it is on no condition to control its own destiny), who teaches and guides the people, who fights for people’s rights, who expresses his patriotism by advocating for the Croatian language as the official language, who strives to preserve the heritage and tradition of his ancestors and to revive the memories of the once glorious Croatian kingdom, to renew the former pride and to awaken the people’s self-awareness. Such an image of a priest fits into the temporal context of the novel as well as in the spirit of that time, for example in the ideals of the priests proclaimed in the first phase of the Glasnik/Viesnik Đakovačke i Sriemske biskupije (which were supposed to have been valid throughout the region of Croatia) as well as in the actual activities of Bishop Mirko Ožegović in Senj of Novak’s time. Both Bishop Ćolić and Canon Vukasović are presented in Novak’s novel The Last Stipančićs as role models, morally upstanding, people with wide horizons. With this article, we have investigated just a drop in the ocean of treasures about the characters of priests in Croatian literature. Aware that the corpus of Croatian literature offers a huge space for further research on the touched upon subject we want to open the door slightly to new works.

Ključne riječi

a priest; Bishop Ćolić; Canon Vukasović; morally upstanding role models; patriots

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