Type: Post stamp
The stamps have been issued in 20-stamp sheets, and the Croatian Post has also issued a First Day Cover (FDC).
Number: 851


Juraj Dobrila was born in Istrian village Veli Ježenj, near Pazin on 16 April 1812. In Istria Dobrila’s name is imprinted in folk’s but also in common collective memory.

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Value:1,6 HRK
Design:Sabina Rešić, painter and designer, Zagreb
Size:29,82 x 35,50 mm
Paper:white 102 g, gummed
Technique:Multicolor Offset Printing
Printed by:Zrinski d.d., Čakovec
Date of issue:19.04.2012.
JURAJ DOBRILA (1812-1882) Two centuries have passed from the birth of Juraj Dobrila, 130 years from his death but also full 180 years of the real presence of his physical personality, thought and spirit, of his programmatic ideas and until today recognisable trace in social, political, cultural, economic and religious tissue of Istria and a part of Croatia. Juraj Dobrila was born in Istrian village Veli Ježenj, near Pazin on 16 April 1812. His childhood, youth, schooling years in his native countryside (in the parish school of Tinjan and in Franciscan school in Pazin) and also in far away Karlovac, followed by the seminary in Gorica (two grades of philosophy and four of theology) as well as the study of theology at the Augustianeum in Vienna, present a long period of Dobrila’s upbringing and education, his spiritual evolution from folk’s faith to highly sophisticated theology, and especially his nourishment of the national idea - from his patriotism to cultural, political, economic and social recognition of Croatian ethnos/folk in Istria. In Istria Dobrila’s name is imprinted in folk’s but also in common collective memory: He helped the poor, advocated for loans for peasants for the improvement and growth of economy, he schooled (also at his own expense) talented children and youth, was active as curate, preacher, catechist but also the bishop of Poreč and Pula (1857-1875) and then the bishop of Koper and Trieste (1875-1882); he also took part as a respectable member in the work of the Regional Assembly in Poreč and as a representative in Viennese Parliament (from 1861 to his death). In Vienna he met Josip Juraj Strossmayer whose ideas he found applicable also to the situation in Istria. Dobrila supported Strossmayer’s efforts as concerns the development of the Roman-Catholic Church also at the First Vatican Council (1869-1870). Especially important are Dobrila’s educational and revival efforts. Already in 1848, by joining the Slavic Society in Trieste, Dobrila expressed his political commitment and at the same time developed strong activities in the field of schooling Croatian intellectuals who at that time in Istria (apart fro the lower clergy) were almost non-existent. The majority of Istrian educated people from that time came from “under Dobrila’ cloak”. In 1854 he published in Trieste a prayer book (Otče budi volja tvoja! Molitvena knjiga s podučenjem i naputjenjem na bogoljubno življenje) which for many years remained the only text in Croatian language in the region of Istria and Kvarner. In his total endeavour, and particularly from the end of the 60ties to his death, Dobrila was the unquestionable leader of the revival movement in Istria (and Trieste). Striving to intensify the awakening of consciousness and the politisation of Istrian Croatian folk, he encouraged and helped the issuing of first Croatian calendars and newspapers, whereof especially successful were the calendar Istran (Istrian, 1869) and the newspaper Naša sloga (Our Unity, 1870). His intensified engagement for the Croatian people in Istria, Dobrila justified by the backwardness of the folk and help needed in order to pull it out from poverty, misery and ignorance, but at the same time he was also a priest and a bishop of all believers, regardless of their nationality. Juraj Dobrila remains remembered in Istrian and Croatian history as an exceptional personality, as the Latin would say - ex adruis perpetuum nomen. The University in Pula proudly bears the famous and worthy name of Juraj Dobrila. Miroslav Bertoša

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