Croatia issues a postage stamp for the Jubilee of the Order

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Croatia issues a postage stamp for the Jubilee of the Order
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To the honour of the 800th anniversary of the Dominican Order Croatian Post issued a stamp with the lunette of the portal of the Church of St. Dominic in Trogir.  Depicted in the lunette is the most important Dominican in the history of the Order in Croatia, the bishop of Zagreb, blessed Augustin Kažotić (about 1260 – 1323).

 

 

Stamp has been issued in a 20-stamp sheet and there is also First Day Cover (FDC) issued by Croatian Post.

Author: Dubravka Zglavnik Horvat, designer from Zagreb

Size: 35.50 x 29.82 mm

Date of issue: 24/5/2016

 

 

They came to Croatia very early; the first monastery was founded in Dubrovnik in 1225. This beautiful building, one of the most beautiful monuments of Dubrovnik and Croatia is still today their novices' house wherefrom they spread all over Croatia. In their monastery in Zadar Raymond from Capua founded the first Croatian university in1396. Their mission in today's world has found an adequate field of work not only in traditional scientific and university environment but also in modern media.

Blessed Augustin Kažotić is among the most precious characters of Croatian history and culture.  Born in Trogir in 1260, he died in Lucera, in south Italy in 1323. He joined the order in Split. He studied in Paris at Sorbonne, took his doctor's degree and worked as professor in France and Italy. From 1303 to 1322 he was the bishop of Zagreb. He reformed the Cathedral School and showed an unusual social sensitivity through his care of poor pupils and teachers. He is the first Croatian bishop – author of theological scripts. He has merits for the promotion of sacred music. Because of the great respect which he enjoyed, he was invited to be an arbitrator in gentry’s disputes. He is the author of the “Zagreb liturgy” which survived until the days of Maksimilian Vrhovec. Due to his political position, always at the side of disempowered, he opposed the ruler Karl I. Robert. When he travelled to Avignon to complain about political situation to Pope John XXII, Karl forbade him to return to Croatia. Thus, he became a great model of political outcast. Pope made him a bishop in Lucera, where exceptionally favoured and esteemed as saint, he died in 1323. Although the day of his remembrance and the ceremony on that day were immediately entered into the calendar of the church in Zagreb, it was not until 1702 that he was beatified, which fact was to a high degree a merit of Italian church. He has not been proclaimed saint until today; our special care in recognising our own great national personalities was evident also in his case.

Still while he lived, blessed Augustin was believed to be a thaumaturgist. In the hymn dedicated to him the healing of Pope's hand through Augustin's touch is mentioned; numerous wonderful healings (which this too modest saint attributed to the healing power of lime leaves –very famous in this regard is the Kažotić lime in Cernik); the appearance of well (long-forgotten spring in Old Vlaška Street in Zagreb); turning of meat into fish when feast was demanded; and many other very impressive examples.

The making of the lunette of the Dominican Church in Trogir was ordered in 1372 by the bishop Nikola Kažotić, Augustin's „brother“, most probably by belonging  to the Dominican Order,  but certainly also  a descendant of the same family. The author of the lunette is a Venetian sculptor Nicola Dente. In the centre of the lunette is a figure of Madonna, on the right side next to her is Maria Magdalena, on the left is the blessed Augustin Kažotić (who in the Latin script under the depiction is already mentioned as saint), while next to him is a miniature figure of his sister Bitkula, the benefactor of the church.

A great European, the proponent of social and political justice, a scientist, an art admirer, one of those personalities through whom Croatia was acquiring its integrity, is the pride of the Dominican Order which can consider him as an ornament of its history. He is also the pride of entire Croatian history and culture in spite of how small contribution they have made to deserve him. 

 

(26 May 2016)