Augustin Kažotić

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Blessed Augustin Kažotić
Augustin Kažotić (close-up).jpg
Bishop of Zagreb
Born c. 1260
Trogir
Died 1323
Lucera, Italy
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Beatified c.1700
Feast August 3

Augustin Kažotić OP (also known as Augustine Gazotich, Agostino Kazotic and Agostino Gasotti) (c. 1260–1323) was a Croatian humanist, a medieval Dominican friar, an orator and bishop of Zagreb. He was one of the first humanist figures to appear in southern Croatia.

Life[edit]

Kažotić was born around 1260 in Trogir into a noble family, and entered the Dominican Order at a young age, either in Trogir, or in nearby Split.[1] He completed his studies in Paris in 1287.

In 1303, Pope Benedict XI, himself a Dominican, named him Bishop of Zagreb. Bishop Kažotić established a library and a cathedral school which provided free schooling to underprivileged students. Augustin was particularly considerate to the poor; in his actions the prebendary of the Catholic school was provided a regular income, but Kazotic strictly forbade him to take money from his poorer students, or a request to any other service. From his salary as a bishop, he often turned to charity and donated some of his income to the needy.

According to the historian Baltazar Krčelić, while the Zagreb Cathedral was being built in 1312, there was a drought, and a source of water was dug out on today's Ban Jelačić Square by the request of Kažotić. The source is now known as "Manduševac".

In 1318 he travelled to Avignon to seek the pope's assistance in regard to ongoing conflicts with the King of Croatia and Hungary, Charles Robert of Anjou. Kažotić found himself exiled from the kingdom. He waited four years for the king to allow him to return to his see. During his stay in Avignon he wrote a treatise on the subject of superstition, divination and witchcraft in which he explained how uneducated people should not be prosecuted by the Inquisition because of their superstitions, but that they should be educated and not punished.[1]

In 1322, the pope assigned him to the newly restored Diocese of Lucera in southern Italy. The city was home to thousands of Muslim Saracens who served as Emperor Friedrich II's elite troops. Augustin Kažotić was given the task of rebuilding a Christian presence in Lucera. After a year he had done much, so much so that his presence was problematic for some in the Muslim population. A Saracen struck him in the head with an iron shaft, and he died from his injuries on August 3rd 1323 in Lucera, Italy.[1]

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