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Original scientific paper

Filip Zubcevic and Josip Vasiljevic - Secular Priests from Herzegovina Educated in Zagreb

Rudolf Barišić orcid id ; Hrvatski studiji Sveučilišta u Zagrebu

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Among the twelve clerics, who were sent by Augustin Botos Okic to Zagreb to get educated for secular priests, there were three candidates from Herzegovina. All of them successfully completed the schooling, after which their lives diverged. One of them, Jure Kordic, joined the Franciscan Province of Bosna Srebrena (Bosnia Argentina), and his education was the subject of earlier historiographic research. Beside him, Filip Zubcevic and Josip Vasiljevic passed all the preparations for priesthood in Zagreb.
The paper presents, as faithfully as possible, the reconstruction of their entire education from the probable preparations to entering the novitiate in Kresevo until the completion of theology studies in Zagreb. Thanks to archival materials, such as preserved school reports, we could analyse all gymnasium and academic levels they had attended, the courses they registered for, and the results they achieved, following thus all the challenges and obstacles they encountered. In the lower grades of gymnasium, their problem was the low pre-knowledge of the Latin language as well as the fact that they attended classes with teenage boys much younger than themselves. During their study of philosophy, they met with very demanding material from natural science courses and had to face the temporary failures and repetitions of study years. Finally, their theology studies were constantly in the shadow of uncertain future because they were threatened by cancellation of the scholarship due to changes in the goals and intentions of the fund that supported them.
Prior to the study of philosophy, they attended the classes separately. Zubcevic started the school earlier. From his high school days, the most interesting fact in his biography was that he had attended the course of Hungarian for two years as one of the first students after the Croatian Parliament's decision to introduce Hungarian as an optional subject in 1791. On the other hand, some private data of his life remained rather vague. Thus, for the time being, it is possible to determine the place and date of his birth just approximately, while, unlike his colleagues, the name of neither of his parents was recorded. There was a wider range of information about Vasiljevic, for example, it was possible to determine that he was a native of Medjugorje, his parents' names were found, and thanks to his future life events, the exact date of his birth.
Their everyday life was full of problems with accommodation. In the early years, they lived in the Franciscan monastery in Zagreb, where Bosnian clergy quickly came into conflict with their hosts about disciplinary issues. The sources, for example, do not mention Zubcevic, but suggest that Vasiljevic's behaviour at that time was rather problematic. Finally, they left the monastery and found private accommodation, which later caused them various financial difficulties, the details of which, however, cannot be confirmed.
Until 1800, both successfully completed the study of theology after which their life paths diverged. Vasiljevic moved to the Diocese of Bosnia-Srijem and acted as a parish priest in Slavonia and Srijem. Zubcevic was last mentioned when he left Zagreb. It is possible that he eventually returned to Ottoman Bosnia and was pastorally active there as a secular priest of the Latin rite, in which capacity he was perhaps mentioned in 1813 by the apostolic vicar Augustin Miletic. The paper presents the arguments et pro et contra of this thesis, thus opening the way to future research.


Filip Zubcevic; Josip Vasiljevic; Royal Academy; Bishop's lycée; Zagreb; Joseph II Foundation

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