Pontifical Croatian College of St. Jerome

Pontifical Croatian College of St. Jerome
The Pontifical Croatian College of St. Jerome

The Pontifical Croatian College of St. Jerome, in Italian the Pontificio Collegio Croato Di San Girolamo a Roma,[1] is a Roman Catholic college, church and a society in the city of Rome intended for the schooling of Croatian clerics. It is named after Saint Jerome. Since the founding of the modern college in 1901, it has schooled 311 clerics from all bishoprics of Croatia.



In an apostolic letter Piis fidelium votis, dated March 21, 1453, Pope Nicholas V granted the ruinous church of St. Marina and its precicts to a brotherhood of Croatian priests on the Borgo San Pietro, Rome.[2] At this location, next to the Mausoleum of Augustus on the left bank of the Tiber, they built a refuge and a hospital, and re-dedicated the institutions to Saint Jerome.

The brotherhood was renamed Congregatio (congregation) in 1544, and Pope Paul III sanctioned its bylaws and awarded it a Cardinal as a sponsor. Pope Pius V raised the Church of San Girolamo to the status of a Cardinal titulus on February 8, 1566. On November 20, 1570, Felice Cardinal Peretti of Montalto became its sponsor cardinal, and remained in this position until March 24, 1585 when he was made Pope Sixtus V.

Pope Sixtus V rebuilt the church of Saint Jerome (finished in 1589), to be used specifically for the people who spoke the Illyrian language, referring to the Croats from the eastern Adriatic, Dalmatia and Boka Kotorska. He also established the Capitol, a college of eleven Slavonic clerics at the Church, in his papal bull Sapientiam Sanctorum of August 1, 1589. He named Aleksandar Komulović (1548–1608) from Split the first arch-priest. Between the Capitol's establishment and its abolishment in 1901, over 120 Croatian priests worked in it.

In 1598, Pope Clement VIII gave permission for the hospice by the church to be transformed into a clerical college, but this did not actually happen until two centuries later, when on February 27, 1790 Pope Pius VI opened a seminary for men who previously used the services of the St. Jerome Capitol. But even then, the seminary functioned only for brief periods without interruption: 1793-1798, 1863–1871, and finally 1884-1901, after which point the Capitol was abolished.

The College was officially founded on August 1, 1901 by Pope Leo XIII. His apostolic letter Slavorum gentem called it Collegium Hieronymianum pro Croatica Gente ("Hieronymian College for the Croatian people"), but after diplomatic intervention from the Kingdom of Montenegro, on March 7, 1902 it was renamed to Collegium Hieronymianum Illyricorum (Illyrian Hieronymian College, San Girolamo degli Illirici in Italian).

Some Croatian priests received scholarships from the society in 1907, and in 1911 several students enrolled at the college, but this was again interrupted in 1915 due to the First World War. The College reopened after the war, as Italy and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes signed the Treaty of Rome, 1924 and acknowledged the clerical institution under the breve Slavorum gentem. A rebuilding of the College's facilities ensued in the period between May 28, 1938 and December 10, 1939, when six existing buildings were torn down to make way for new ones. The College has functioned without interruption ever since.

By decree of Pope Paul VI dated July 22, 1971, the College was renamed Pontificium Collegium Chroaticum Sancti Hieronymi (Pontifical Croatian College of St. Jerome), and this was accepted by Italy by decree of the President on October 11, 1982.

In 1999 the College was among the defendants in the Class action suit against the Vatican Bank and others to retrieve Nazi gold.

See also


  1. ^ Pontificio Collegio Croato Di San Girolamo a Roma
  2. ^ Venerabilis societas confallonorum sclavorum Burghi S. Petri.

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