The Croats embraced Catholicism
more than 1,300 years ago. Their first contact with the Holy See
occurred as early as 641 when they received the Pope's envoy
Martin who came to ransom Christian slaves and martyrs' bones.
Pope St. Caius (283-296). Also called Gaius was of
Gaius also spelled CAIUS (b. Dalmatia?--d. April 22?,
296, Rome; feast day April 22), pope from 283 (possibly December
17) to 296. Nothing about him is known with certainty.
Supposedly a relative of the Roman emperor Diocletian, he
conducted his pontificate at a period of Diocletian's reign when
Christians were tacitly tolerated. Gaius is said, nevertheless,
to have carried on his religious work for his last eight years
concealed in the catacombs. His epitaph was found in the
Cemetery of Calixtus. (Copyright © 1997 Encyclopedia Britannica).
Short biography of St. Caius (in Croatian)
by Inoslav Besker.
Sv. Kaja: javlja se kao Caius ili Gaius
- na njegovu epitafu u katakombama sv. Kaliksta ime mu je pisano
grčki s gamom (bio bi, dakle, Gaj!) - ali u tradiciji je kao
Kaja ili Kajo (vidi naziv lokaliteta Sv. Kaja, luka između
Vranjica i Solina, pored nekadašnje njegove crkvice, gdje je
sada Brodospasovo rezalište). Nema dokaza da je bio Dalmatinac,
ali ga tako navodi tradicija (koja je od nečega ipak počela), pa
ga tako i službena vatikanska kronotaksa navodi kao Dalmatinca
(v. Annuario Pontificio). Naziv lokaliteta možda je
predslavenski, pa bi govorio i o lokalnom utemeljenju tradicije.
Na svaki način - nitko drugi ne svojata tog papu kao zemljaka,
pa je krajnje vjerojatno da doista jest Dalmatinac. Vjerojatno
je bio iz Solina (Salone) ili okolice. Smatra se naknadnom
legendom da je bio Dioklecijanov rođak i da je poginuo
mučenickom smrću (tim prije sto ga Rimski kalendar iz 354. ne
ubraja u mučenike). Dapače,
čini se da je bio papa u periodu
relativnog mira i prosperiteta, koji je potrajao i s njegovim
nasljednikom, Marcelinom, sve do 303., kada počinju
Dioklecijanovi progoni. Izvori o sv. Kaji: Eusebius, Historia
Ecclesiae, 7, 32; Liber Pontificalis I, XCVIII-XCIX, 6f, 71f,
161. Sekundarna bibliografija na engleskome: Dictionary of
Christian Biography (London, 1877-87); C. H. Turner, The Papal
Chronology of the Third Century; J. N. D. Kelly, The Oxford
Dictionary of Popes. Britannica je u tome površna, kao i obično
(prenosi npr. legendu o srodstvu s Dioklecijanom, koju su
osporili bolandisti još u prošlom stoljeću).
St. Caius or Gaius: appears as Caius or Gaius - on his epitaph in the
catacombs of St. Calixtus his name is written in Greek with Gama
(he would, therefore be, Gaius!) - But the tradition is named as Kaja and
Kajo (see the name of the St. Kaja locallity, between the port and
Vranjica and Solin, in addition to his former church, where
there are now Brodospasovo yards ). There is no evidence that he
was Dalmatian, but it also cites a tradition (which must have
something), thus the Vatican official chronicle ascribes him Dalmatian
origin (see Annuario Pontificio). The name of
the place may have been pre Slavic, so it would have discussed
the established local tradition. In every way - no one else
claims the pope as their countryman, thus it is extremely likely
that really is a Dalmatian. He was probably from Solin (Salona)
or the surrounding area. It is believed, as per the subsequent
legend that he was
Diocletian's cousin, and that he died a martyr (especially
since the Roman calendar from the year 354 does not name him as
one of the martyrs). Indeed, it seems that his Papacy took place
during a period of relative peace
and prosperity, which continued with his successor, Marcelino,
up to the the year 303, when Diocletian's persecutions began.
St. Caius: Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiae, 7, 32; Liber Pontificalis I, XCVIII-XCIX, 6f, 71f,
161. Secondary Bibliography in English: Dictionary of Christian
Biography (London, 1877-87); C. H. Turner, The Papal Chronology
of the Third Century; J. N. D. Kelly, The Oxford Dictionary of
Popes. In this respect,
Britannica is superficial,
as usual (eg. it transmits the legend of kinship with Diocletian,
which was challenged by Bollandists in the last century).
Above article, courtesy of:
Inoslav Besker <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sun, 30 Nov 1997 12:51:56 +0100
Pope John IV
(640 - 642)
John, a native of Dalmatia and the son of a lawyer, was
chosen to succeed Severinus. John had been archdeacon of Rome
and as such had played a prominent part in ruling the see. He
was consecrated on Christmas Eve 640.
A native of
Dalmatia, and the son of the
The date of his birth is uncertain; d. 12 October, 642. At
the time of his election
he was archdeacon of the
consecration followed very soon after his
election, it is supposed that the
papal elections were now
confirmed by the
exarchs resident at
Troubles in his native land,
caused by invasions of
attention there. To alleviate the distress of the
inhabitants, John sent
the abbot Martin into
Dalmatia and Istria with large sums of money for the
captives. As the ruined
churches could not be rebuilt, the
of some of the more important
were brought to
erected an oratory in
their honour which still stands. It was adorned by the
with mosaics depicting John
himself holding in his hands a model of his
apparently did not content himself with palliating the
evils wrought by the
He endeavoured to convert
Constantine Porphyrogenitus says that Porga, a
prince of the Croats who
had been invited into
Dalmatia by Heraclius
I, sent to an Emperor
Christian teachers. It is supposed that the emperor to
whom this message was sent was
Heraclius I himself, and that the
to whom he sent was John
While still only
John, with the other rulers of the
Church, wrote to the
of the North of
to tell them of the mistakes they were making with regard to
the time of keeping Easter, and exhorting them to be on
their guard against the
About the same time he condemned
Heraclius immediately disowned the
Monothelite document known as the "Ecthesis". To his
son, Constantine III,
John addressed his
apology for Pope
Honorius, in which he deprecated the attempt to
connect the name of Honorius
with Monothelism. Honorius,
he declared, in speaking of one
Christ, only meant to assert that there were not two
contrary wills in Him.
John was buried
Copyright © 2009 by
Knight. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Pope John IV proved
to be a vigorous foe of the Monothelite or One Will heresy. He
promptly held a synod at Rome and condemned both the heresy
itself and the compromise formula called the Ecthisis. This firm
stand produced good results, for Emperor Heraclius now dropped
the Ecthisis and returned to Catholic orthodoxy. And when
Heraclius died in 641 the Pope encouraged his successors to
remain constant in the faith.
John also defended
the memory of Pope Honorius and rebuked those who tried to make
him a friend of the Monothelites. In a letter to the sons of the
Emperor Heraclius, John explained the real meaning of the
Pope Honorius had
succeeded in bringing Southern Ireland--Mogh's half of Ireland
as it was called by the ancient Gaels--into line with the
current corrected date for celebrating Easter. John IV tried to
do the same for the Northern Irish and the frontier Gaels in
Scotland--in vain. It took another lifetime to convince the
stubborn men of Conn's half of Ireland that there had been an
improvement in the reckoning of Easter since 432 when good St.
Pope John did not
forget his native Dalmatia. This land badly needed a little
friendly aid, for it was being harried by the still untamed
Serbs and Croats. To the distressed country the Pope sent an
abbot named Martin with an ample supply of money to see what he
could do about redeeming poor Dalmatians who had been carried
off by the barbarians.
Through this abbot
the Pope also secured the translation of relics of the saints
from the troubled churches of Dalmatia to the haven of Rome. To
receive these relics the Pope built a church which still stands.
Pope John IV died
in October 642. He was buried in St. Peter's.
Excerpted from "Popes Through the Ages" by Joseph Brusher,
S.J. Electronic version copyright © 1996 New Advent, Inc.
Pope Sixtus V
(1521 - 1590) was of Croatian parents from southern Dalmatia.
SIXTUS V 1585-1590
THE FIRST CROATIAN POPE
Adam S. Eterovich,
San Carlos, California - USA
Pope Sixtus V was a decendant of a Dalmatian family that fled to
Italy as many others had to escape the Turks during the 15th
century. His family settled at Montalto in the Marches near the
Adriatic Sea. They later moved to Grottammare and the Pope was
born on December 13, 1520 as Felice Peretti. He was the son of a
farm worker and became a Franciscan friar. He is listed in all
Italian biographies as Italian.
He was responsible for the present Pope’s apartments in the
Vatican, the Vatican Library, the Lateran Palace, the Spanish
Steps, he placed the obelisk from the Circus Maximus in the
middle of St Peter’s Square. He completed the gigantic cupola of
St Peter’s basilica. He organized the administration of the
Church-State, eliminated bandits, and reformed church
institutions. He also organized the Vatican Press and organized
the Vatican Navy.
He built the Church of St Jerome with the proviso that the
priests should be of Croatian origin. He created a Chapter in
the church which later became an academic college for Croatians.
A number of books have been written about him. In a Cambridge
History they mention he is from Illyria and that he erected the
church and hospice of San Girolamo degli Schiavoni (Croatians-Slavonians).
In The Life and Times of Sixtus V it states he did not forget
his Slavonian origin and that other Slavonian refugees founded
that miserable quarter called Schiavonia in Rome. In the book
Elizabeth and Sixtus V, he published the Bull of Excommunication
against Queen Elizabeth of England.
His family name and origin in Croatia has been written about by
historians Vidov, Pandzic, Krasic, Mlivoncic and others. His
coat of arms includes a lion, three golden pears, a castle and a
star. It is said he is from Krusevica, Kruscica or Krusevo in
Croatia. In Italian Pero means pear and in Croatian Kruska means
pear and his name is Peretti. I do believe he came from
Krusevica, Boka Kotor, Dalmatia and that the family name is not
Peretich. I am certain the archives in Herceg Novi will reveal
their true family name. It was common at that time to adopt your
place of origin as your name such as many Dalmatians that
settled in Venice would use Pero de Brazza (Brac) or Mateo de
Lesina (Hvar). Pope Felice Peretti would be Srecko of Krusevica.
CROATIAN Pope Sixtus V wanted to expand his navy, a report
was made: "Concerning the galley crews which the Pope desired, I
have been informed from Rome that in the last few days His
Holiness gave instructions to the chiefs at SEGNA-SENJ and
FIUME-RIJEKA to make him in those regions some two thousand
slaves subject to the Turk--who are called MORLACCHI-
DALMATIANS-- so that he can use them as crews for his galleys."
This was a report from Venice dated March 12, 1588.
He requested his own CROATIANS as he knew they were excellent
mariners and fighters.
autor of the above article ignored the existence of two previous Croatian
also this article on Pope Sixtus V by Wikipedia.
See also: Bibliography of Croatian Popes