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CROATIAN MARIAN SHRINES, the painting of Our Lady of Voćin

     

Code: 334097 Available

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CROATIAN MARIAN SHRINES, the painting of Our Lady of Voćin

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Number: 1213
Value: 3.10 HRK
Design: Dean Roksandić, designer, Zagreb
Photo:
Size: 29.82 x 35.50 mm
Paper: white 102 g, gummed
Perforation: Comb,14
Technique: Multicolored Offsetprint
Printed by: AKD d.o.o., Zagreb
Date of issue: 4/6/2019
Quantity: 100,000 per motif


The first record of the parish of Voćin dates back to 1334, but the church is certainly even older than that. It was erected by John Corvinus or, according to an alternative theory, by the dukes of the House of Ilok. It is the size of a cathedral: it is almost thirty-five metres long and, at one point, its tower was forty metres tall. In the words of Ivan Mažuranić’s Death of Smail-Aga Čengić, Our Lady of Voćin, the Mother of Refuge, reminds us that: “nor should you be proclaimed barbarians / just for dying


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Church of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Voćin The shrine of Our Lady of Voćin is a church that makes everyone’s heart skip a beat, if they have one. It epitomizes the events of Stanko Andrić’s “History of Slavonia in Seven Fires”, but also the history of Croatia in seventy-seven fires. The complexity and theatricality of its history are beyond compare. It therefore calls for a lengthier description. The first record of the parish of Voćin dates back to 1334, but the church is certainly even older than that. In the then important town of Voćin, an estate owned by the most powerful of Croatian noble families, with a Templar fort, ten to twenty clergymen, two monasteries and a significant number of young scholars dispersed throughout the world, John Corvinus or, according to a different theory, the dukes from the House of Ilok, erected this church. Its stellar vault above the shrine and the nave makes it a unique example of the influence of the Czech Gothic in this part of Central Europe. It is the size of a cathedral: it is almost thirty-five metres long and, at one point, its tower was forty metres tall. Amidst the civil war between John Zápolya and Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor, followed by the Ottoman conquest, the population underwent some profound changes. The church was not transformed into a mosque, but it was left to decay. Christianity was preserved by the Franciscans from the Province of Bosna Srebrena. After the expulsion of the Turks and the Treaty of Karlowitz in 1699, interest shown by the bishops of Zagreb encouraged the reconstruction of the church to begin in 1743. In 1748, the statue of the Mother of God, which came to be considered miraculous, was acquired in Osijek. In 1749, the church suffered severe lightning damage, but the statue was left unscathed. In 1756, “the church had everything it needed”. However, it was soon damaged by severe humidity. It was maintained by the Counts Janković and, in the period of the historicist restoration, the noble Jewish family Gutman, who even succeeded in introducing the railway to Voćin, also helped the church. In 1885, a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes, a new form adopted by the Marian cult, was installed in the church and it soon came to be worshipped as miraculous. The old statue, which suffered destruction in the meantime, is probably preserved in the 1770 painting, which is now the focus of worship in Voćin. During the Second World War, the painting was preserved by the pastor Martinac, who was killed by the Partisan movement in 1943. In 1944, without any opposition from the Croatian fascist movement Ustasha, the German army burnt down Voćin, considering it a potential Partisan stronghold. The church was demolished, pillaged and set on fire, suffering damage much worse than that inflicted by the Turks. An Eastern Orthodox church was also demolished. The reconstruction did not begin until 1971. In 1984, the church was consecrated to great elation. No more than seven years after it was reconstructed, on 13 December 1991, rebel Serbs and the Yugoslav army destroyed the church using explosives and grenades. The image of this ruin, pointing its finger to the sky, has been forever engraved in our memories. Due to the vital importance of the church in Voćin, it was decided that it should be reconstructed in its original form, in accordance with the plans provided by the architects Sena Sekulić Gvozdanović, Vladimir Bedenko and Boris Vučić Šneperger, who led the construction. The cornerstone was blessed by Saint John Paul II in 1998 and the church was consecrated in 2011. This reconstruction earned the First Bishop of Požega, Antun Škvorčević, the privilege of being one of the prominent bishops who shaped the history of this emblematic church. Bishop Škvorčević compensated for the loss of the historical collection by introducing select new works of art, authored by Ljubić, Poljan, Mikulin, as well as some drawings by Dulčić and Ivančić, and, above all, the brilliant Šime Vulas ensemble at the centre of the church. In a time when oblivion seems to come easily and our own (universal) values are degraded, the painting of Our Lady of Voćin, “The Mother of Refuge”, a light saved from the expanse of darkness, reminds us that in the words of Ivan Mažuranić’s Death of Smail-Aga Čengić: “nor should you be proclaimed barbarians / just for dying while they slept.” Our Lady of Voćin, the Mother of Refuge, could rightfully bear another name: the Mother of Perseverance. Željka Čorak, member of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts

Number: CROATIAN MARIAN SHRINES
Type: C
Description:   Motifs: the shrine of the Mother of God of Bistrica and the statue of the Mother of God of Bistrica the shrine of Our Lady of Voćin (the Church of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary) and the painting of Our Lady of Voćin The stamps have been issued in 8-stamp sheetlets with one label and in two self-adhesive 10-stamp booklets (5 + 5 stamps for each shrine). Croatian Post has also issued a First Day Cover (FDC).
Date: 4/6/2019

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