|Born||9 April, c. 1592
|Died||29 May 1637 (aged approx. 46)
Liptovský Sv. Mikuláš, Upper Hungary
|Venerated in||Lutheran Church|
Jiří Třanovský (Polish: Jerzy Trzanowski, Slovak: Juraj Tranovský, Latin: Georgius Tranoscius) (9 April 1592, Teschen, Silesia – 29 May 1637, Liptovský Sv. Mikuláš, Upper Hungary), was a Lutheran priest and hymnwriter from the Cieszyn Silesia. Sometimes called the father of Slovak hymnody and the "Luther of the Slavs," Třanovský's name is sometimes anglicized to George Tranoscius.
Early Life and Education
Třanovský was born in Teschen, and studied at Guben and Kolberg. In 1607, he was admitted to the University of Wittenberg where Martin Luther had taught less than a century earlier. Upon graduation, he traveled in Bohemia and Silesia and in 1612 and became a teacher at St. Nicholas Gymnasium in Prague. Later, he became rector of a school in Holešov, Moravia.
In 1616 Třanovský was ordained a priest in Meziříčí and served as a pastor for four years. Persecution of Lutherans in Bohemia under Ferdinand II forced him into exile. After imprisonment in 1623 and the deaths of two of his children from plague the following year, Třanovský accepted a call to be pastor to a church in Bielitz, Teschen Silesia. In 1627, he also became personal chaplain to Count Kasper Illehazy (of the Hohenem dynasty which sought to establish a buffer state between Austria and Switzerland, although citizens resented paying taxes to both the Holy Roman Empire and the Swabian League and the area which became Lichtenstein became embroiled in Thirty Years War beginning in 1618). From 1631 until 1637, Třanovský served as pastor at a church in Liptovský Svätý Mikuláš in present-day Slovakia.
Třanovský appreciated poetry and hymns, and wrote as well as compiled both. In 1629, he published his first hymnal, oddly named in Latin Odarum Sacrarum sive Hymnorum Libri III. His most important and most famous work was Cithara Sanctorum (Lyre of the Saints), written in Czech, which appeared in 1636 in Levoča. This latter volume has formed the basis of Czech and Slovak Lutheran hymnody to the present day. In 1620 Rev. Třanovský also translated the Augsburg Confession into Czech. This and the Bible of Kralice became the cornerstones of the Slovak Reformation.
Death and Legacy
Třanovský died, aged forty-six, on 29 May 1637 and was buried in an unmarked grave at his church in Liptovský Mikuláš. Both the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada remember his life an work annually on the anniversary of his death.
- Daniel, David Paul, "Juraj Tranovsky: Slavic Hymnodist," Lutheran Witness, Vol. XCIX (1980), pp. 378–379
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