Vatican had Scholarships for Macedonians since 1600's

Local Skopje daily "Nova Makedonija" published documents and letters from the Vatican archives dating back to the 17th century, or to be more precise to 1619.

In those documents, the Vatican had a special program in which they provided scholarships to Macedonian bishops for 400 years.


The most interesting are two original letters written by Macedonian bishop Mardarije, member of the Ohrid Patriarchy sent to Cardinal Beberini in which he speaks of the problems created by the Turks and in particularly the Albanians in his diocese. Both letters were received by the Pope. The Macedonian priest was presented to the Pope as "he hails from the land of the big king, Alexander."

Interestingly enough, Vatican made a distinction between Macedonians, Serbians (Servians) and Bulgarians 400 years ago. Even more interesting, Greeks or Greece are not mentioned in any of the documents! Though this is expected since Greece at the time was mainly populated by Macedonians, Albanians and Turks. The nationality "Greek" begun circulating much later, in the 19th century, introduced by Germany.


In 1619, Dalmatian bishops requested from Pope Paul V to make a decision and relocate the College back to Loreto, and allocate more spots for bishops from Servia (Vatican's name for Serbia), Bulgaria and Macedonia who in the future will no longer need to contact the Wholy See for scholarships.

According to Vatican archives, in 1620, there were three Macedonian bishops at the College.

There are additional communications between Macedonian bishops and the College of Cardinals and the Pope in 1625 and later on.

Blaze Minevski


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