Archbishop Duka will celebrate Mass under František Skorina. It connects Prague, Krakow, Vilnius and Belarus
Renaissanceist František Skorina is sought after as one of the founders of modern Belarusian culture. His story is very strongly connected with Prague. On Thursday, January 20, his personality will be commemorated in six European cities.
The service will commemorate this need not only the Renaissance personality will be in Prague, where František Skorina lived part of his life, but also in European cities: Belarus in Minsk and Polotsk, Skorin’s hometown, Vilnius, Warsaw and Padua, Italy, where Skorina graduated medicine.
Archbishop Dominik Duka will serve the Prague service in the Basilica of St. Peter and Paul at Vyšehrad on Thursday, January 20 from 5:00 p.m. The President of the Senate, Miloš Vystrčil, will also take part.
František Skorina was born on the territory of the then Grand Duchy of Lithuania. He began studying in Krakow, the second capital of the Jagiellonian region. He then spent most of his active life in Vilnius and Prague. Here he also published his most important work, the Ruthenian Bible, which he began publishing in 1517. He returned to Prague for the second time around 1534 and worked there as the first royal gardener at the court of Ferdinand I. Based on his conceptual design, the Royal Garden of Prague castle.
“Skorina is a personality who connects Prague and the capital of Lithuania,” says Laimonas Talat-Kelpša, Lithuania’s ambassador to Prague. “In 1522 in Vilnius, he published the first book printing in the territory of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania entitled The Little Travel Book. With regard to the 500th anniversary of this event, the year 2022 was declared the year of František Skorina in Lithuania. “
Skorin’s Bible is bilingual: the Bible books themselves are in Church Slavonic, and the author’s commentaries are in Ruthenian. Ruthenian, the literary language of the western part of the East Slavic area, was the official language of the entire Grand Duchy of Lithuania and is a common forerunner of modern Ukrainian and modern Belarusian.
“Skorina could be one of the symbols of the Polish-Lithuanian Union, this unique set of many languages, cultures and religious beliefs by European standards,” says the director of the Polish Institute, Maciej Ruczaj. “It also points to sources of Belarusian culture and identity much older than the Soviet Union, to which the current ruler of Belarus refers. It points to its cultural and historical affiliation with the area of Central and Jagiellonian Europe. “