Sveti Vlaho – St. Blasius protector of Dubrovnik
An inevitable caracter of Dubrovnik history is certainly St. Blaise. How deeply is it rooted in the tradition of Dubrovnik, you would probably find out if you mention it to any inhabitant of the city. Whether you are coming from land or sea, his statue is welcoming you at the entrance of the town. Statue of St. Blaise is located above the main gate to the main entrances on the east and west, and those which are entering the harbor at Fort Minčeta, Fort of St. Lawrence and St. John and on many other fronts of monumental buildings.
St. Blaise (Parco was mentioned especially after independence 1358. The sculptures were made by best artists, both foreign and domestic. The phenomenon of St. Blaise is also placed in statute of Dubrovnik dating from 1272, his figure is also found in other oldest handwritten books, charters, sailing permit, and he was standing on the national flag of the Republic of Dubrovnik, which was wavering on statue of Orlando's Column, on fodder of Dubrovnik sailling ships, stamps, coins.
Fiesta of St. Blaise:The historical identity of Dubrovnik is certainly St. Blaise, an expression of divine power. Fiesta of St. Blaise, Dubrovnik's biggest festival, celebrated with a procession through the city streets, where there are thousands of Dubrovnik believers and those who are on a pilgrimage from other states. On St. Blasius day, relics are carried, a piece of the head in the form of Byzantine crown that is covered with golden plates, and which is thought to date back to 11th century.
St.. Blaise was not shown in his statues as a martyr, but proudly standing and holding onto Dubrovnik on the palm of his left hand. The statue of ST. Blaise of gilded silver, which is on the altar of the church of Sv. Blaise, is very interesting because it is the only metal item which was found after the previous church was burned into fire, which was destroyed by wildfires that occurred on 24.5.1706 and it is the truest representation of the town before the earthquake. It is believed that the statue and the models are not made at the same time. Given that the statue was placed temporarily in the church of Sv. Nicholas, where he had stood up to 1715 years, and was transferred at the time the new church of St. Blaise was built.
As a reminder to that significant story from history of Dubrovnik republic, it is written on altar:
D.O.M SIMULACRUM HOC ARGENTEUM D. BLASII MARTYRIS DEFLAGRATO EIUSVETERE TEMPLO A. MDCCVI E RUDERIBUS ET DINERE ERUTUM CAETERIS OMNIBUS SIGNIS ATQUE ORNAMENTIS EX AURO ARGENTO AERE OBTRITIS COLLIQUEFACTIS SENATUS RAGUSINI INCLYPTO PATRONO HANC AEDEM PRIORIBUS AMPLIATIS VESTIGIIS CUM AUGUSTIOREM EXCITASSET BURSUS IN ARA MAXIMA TANQUAM SUA IN SEDE STATUENDUM CENSUIT COLENDUMQUE A.S MDCCXV
Many books have been written about the honoring St. Blaise through a thousand years, with many legends about his life. It is believed that he was born in 3th century, at a very young age he became renowned physician and healer, and there is a legend about healing a child who was caught fish bone. After he was elected bishop, he had to hide from the persecution in the mountains. The Romans captured, tortured and finally beheaded him.
St. Blaise legend:There are no certain evidence under which circumstances St. Blaise has become protector of Dubrovnik, but historians believe that the Dubrovnik inhabitants have chosen him for the protector in between of 10th and 11th St. The legend says that Saint. Blaise have saved Dubrovnik from a Venetian warship that anchored off Dubrovnik. Legend says that St. Blaise turned to the priest, Stojko and told him that he is sent from the heaven in defense of this city.
In 1190 a custom called Liberty of St. Blase is accepted on council, according to which three days before and 3 days after the feast of St. Blaise, all debtors could freely stay in town, this would allow needed time to return their debts. A fiesta of St Blasé is of great importance for the city of Dubrovnik, inscribed on the UNESCO list of intangible assets of mankind. St.. Blaise has 972 years, passed from generation to posterity retains the distinctive qualities of linking material culture and spirituality of a people.
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