Jan Blahoslav


December 3, 2021

Jan Blahoslav (February 20, 1523 Přerov - November 24, 1571 Moravský Krumlov) was a priest and bishop of the Unity of Brethren, a writer, scholar, pedagogue and representative of domestic Reformation-oriented humanism. In his written communication, he also occasionally used Greek or Latinized forms of his name: Apteryx (after his mother, Kateřina Bezperová), or Makarius, or Blasius (after his father's name). He was Martin Abdon's brother.



He came from a wealthy fraternal burgher family from Přerov. He received his first education at fraternal schools, first studying for 7 years in his hometown with priest Jan Wolf, from 1540 he stayed in Prostějov with priest Martin Michalka. From there he was sent to Valentin Friedland-Trozendorf's humanities grammar school in 1543 in Goldberg, Silesia. After a year of study, he returned to Moravia, but then continued from 1544 at the University of Vitemberk. Here he was most influenced by Philipp Melanchthon and his Reformation-Humanist educational concept, to which he remained faithful throughout his life. In later years, Blahoslav also remembered attending services with a sermon by Martin Luther. After a year's stay in Vitemberk, Blahoslav returned to Prostějov, where he helped teach at the fraternal school as it corresponded to the career of a future clergyman. In July 1548 he was sent as an assistant to Bishop Jan Černý to Mladá Boleslav. From there, before Easter 1549, he went to further study in Královec, East Prussia, but very soon he had to leave the city due to the plague epidemic and stayed in Gilgenburg for a short time with the bishop of the fraternal exile corps of Mach Zion. As early as October 1549, he was sent from there to his last studies in Basel, an important center of contemporary education. He received care here in the house of the humanistic scholar Zikmund Hrubý from Jelení. After a few months, however, he became seriously ill and at the end of the spring of 1551 he returned to Prostějov, where he took the position of administrator of the fraternal school. In 1552, however, he moved again to Mladá Boleslav, where he worked for another five years.

Mladá Boleslav period

Blahoslav filled the years spent in Mladá Boleslav with intensive literary work and at the same time made progress in preparing for the spiritual career. In Hromnice in 1553 he was ordained a deacon and in the summer of the same year in Přerov a priest. His activities were hampered by the uncertain political situation, as Jednota was persecuted in Bohemia after the suppression of the resistance in 1547, and Blahoslav and Bishop Černý were forced to hide for some time. During this period, Blahoslav made four trips to Vienna between 1555 and 1557, where he negotiated with Jan Sebastian Pfauser, the court preacher of Archduke Maximilian, and tried to move King Ferdinand to release Jan Augusta from the Křivoklát prison. In Mladá Boleslav, Blahoslav created some fundamental writings. Above all, he took part in editing the collection of sources on the history of Jednota, but apparently his work on the translation of the New Testament had already begun. In May 1557, he was called to a narrow council at the synod in Slížany and was elected bishop only a few days later. In June 1558 he moved permanently to Ivančice, which became his last place of work.

Bishop of Ivančice

The last period of Blahoslav's life was filled mainly with the administration of the church. As a bishop, he was responsible for the priesthood of his diocese, he made visiting trips, but at the same time he was the administrator of the Ivančice congregation. He paid great attention to its development and Ivančice, especially thanks to Blahoslav, turned into an important center of the Unity of Brethren in Moravia. In 1562, he founded a printing house here and supervised its operation, running a fraternal school, which, thanks to his work, became a recognized educational institution beyond the borders of Jednota. Because he was also a bishop.

INSERT INTO `wiki_article`(`id`, `article_id`, `title`, `article`, `img_url`) VALUES ('NULL()','Jan_Blahoslav','Jan Blahoslav','Because he was also a bishop.','https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c5/Jan_Blahoslav.JPG')