J. J. Strossmayer

Josip Juraj Strossmayer

Josip Juraj Strossmayer was born in Osijek, February 4, 1815, his father was Ivan and mother Ana born Erdeljac. Six grades of Franciscan high school he graduated in Osijek, and then continued his education in the Seminary, Đakovo. Upon completion of the second year of studying philosophy he was sent to a seminary in central Pest, where he studied theology. He became a doctor of philosophy on 24 October 1837. He was ordained priest on February 16, 1838 in Đakovo. For two years he was a chaplain in Petrovaradin, and then went to Vienna as a cadet "Augustinum". At the University of Vienna, he became a doctor of theology in 1842. After returning to Đakovo he was appointed professor in the Seminary (teaching philosophy, mathematics and secular history, and biblical scholarship). With the success he was teaching canon law at the University of Vienna. By recommendation of the Bishop Kuković and in accordance with ban Jelačić, he was appointed Đakovo's bishop on November 18, 1849. He was named in Vienna where he even staggered bishop on 8 September, 1850. The ceremonial installation and taking over the diocese took place in Đakovo on Indian Summer (September 29) in 1850.

Bishop Strossmayer managed the diocese for fifty-five years. In the period from 1866 to 1882 he built the cathedral in Đakovo, which is hallowed: "Glory to God, the unity of the church, unity and love of his people." He participated in the First Vatican Council in 1869 and 1870 and became the voice of one of the first and greatest orators of his time. He helps to found the Academy of Sciences and Arts in Zagreb (1868), and for the purchase of books for the library of the Academy he donated 5,000 forints (for purchasing the library of Ivan Kukuljević). His merit in Đakovo come Sisters of Mercy of St. Cross in 1868, which is devoted to education of female youth. In 1873 the diocese launches newsletter "Messenger diocese of Đakovo and Sriemsko" which comes out today (137 years). In 1880, opened the diocesan printing house, which has developed a rich publishing activity to its closing in 1945 when it was nationalized. His valuable collection of paintings and artwork (235 of them) donates to the Picture Gallery, which was opened in 1884. Persistently and lovingly Bishop worked on cultural, educational, charitable and political field. He helped many cultural events outside the Croatian borders. Promoted and financially generously helped to open a secondary school in Croatian towns, national libraries, hospitals... For all this work he received the honorary title of Father of the homeland.

Bishop Strossmayer died in Đakovo, 8 April, 1905 at the age of 91. He was buried in the crypt of the Cathedral of Đakovo.

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