Eustachijus Valavičius: neįvertinto herojaus curriculum vitae

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Mokslo publikacijos / Scientific publications
Document Type:
Straipsnis / Article
Lietuvių kalba / Lithuanian
Eustachijus Valavičius: neįvertinto herojaus curriculum vitae
Alternative Title:
Eustachius Wołłowicz: curriculum vitae of an undervalued hero
In the Journal:
Bažnyčios istorijos studijos . 2018, 9, p. 82-167, 369-370. Ganytojai ir broliai: biografistikos perspektyva
LDB Open.
Eustachijus Valavičius; Vilniaus vyskupai
Eustachius Wołłowicz; Bishops of Vilnius
Summary / Abstract:

ENThe paper is a biographical essay devoted to Eustachius Wołłowicz (1572– 1630), one of the most outstanding bishops of Vilnius in the seventeenth century. A son of the Protestant father and Orthodox / Greek Catholic mother, a minister in the court of the King, a post-Tridentine prelate of irreproachable moral conduct, a politician of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, a state vexed by the wars with Sweden and Muscovy at the time, Wołłowicz was, on one hand, a typical high-born clergyman of his age. On the other hand, Wołłowicz distinguished himself in numerous areas – as an unusually tolerant person with diplomatic skills (e. g. a personal friend of the leader of the Lithuanian Calvinists, Christopher II Radziwiłł), a staunch supporter of the Greek Catholic Church (in 1595, he took part in the proclamation of the Union of the Lithuanian and Polish Orthodox with the Roman Catholic Church in Rome), a politician with close ties and considerable authority in the Polish Crown. Being an enthusiastic promoter of religious orders, he invited Benedictine nuns, Lateran Canons, and Discalced Carmelites to settle in the city of Vilnius (and provided them with his help), and otherwise supported Observant Franciscans, and Jesuits. Wołłowicz was an educated person with a special sense of artistic taste, and well familiar with the European culture. A bibliophile, and an admirer of Justus Lipsius, he cared about his visual self-representation of high quality (e. g. commissioned his portrait engravings for Lucas Kilian in Augsburg). Wołłowicz converted his episcopal residence in Verkiai, in the neighbourhood of Vilnius, into the elaborate villa, abundant with both natural beauty and exquisite cultural charm (e. g. corpus of inscriptions).The efforts of the bishop of Vilnius to extend the local Jesuit University with faculties of Law and Medicine finally proved to be in vain but Wołłowicz successfully used the occasion of ad limina in Rome in 1620–1621 to secure the insertion of the feast of St Casimir into the universal calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. The life of Bishop Wołłowicz was marked by the oppositions characteristic to the Age of Baroque – the lavishness of a court of a high-born prelate, and the care for the poor and the sick; zealous and sincere Catholic religiosity, and friendship with the leaders of the Protestant party; publicly displayed stoical rationality, and certain light-mindedness in practical actions. Wołłowicz was critically regarded by some contemporaries for his (too much?) generous donations and expenses, and could have been considered as an opportunist, who might have been ready to betray his political (i. e. Lithuanian) or religious (i. e. Catholic) identity. Criticism, however, did not succeed to outlive generally positive estimation of the hero, which has been firmly, – and justly, though too much modestly – established in the current historiographical tradition. [From the publication]

Related Publications:
Apie Pauliaus Valavičiaus gyvenimą ir tragišką mirtį / Irena Valikonytė, Saulė Viskantaitė-Saviščevienė. Lietuvos istorijos studijos 2019, t. 44, p. 111-125.
2020-02-02 16:44:58
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