Paulines in Lepoglava

Paulines, a monastic order of Saint Paul the First Hermit, were present in Croatia from the 13th century until 1786 when the Emperor Joseph II abolished their order.

Historical research tells how the Pauline monastery with the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Lepoglava was erected by Count Herman II of Celje in 1400.

Pauline monastery and the church were burnt to the ground under Turkish invasion in the 15th century, but rebuilt at the end of the 15th century with the help of the Croatian duke Ivan Korvin and in it the Paulines acted until their order was abolished.

The Paulines were expanding the education in these areas, and in Lepoglava they erected the first public gymnasium in continental Croatia. But in addition to the education they also contributed to the development of literature, sculpture, painting, medicine, agriculture and other fields.

Pauline monk Ivan Ranger is one of the most important Baroque artists in Croatia, who has painted numerous churches and chapels in this area, but he was most connected to the chapel of St. George in Purga Bednjanska.

Another prominent Pauline was Ivan Belostenec, who contributed to the development of the Croatian language with his dictionary Gazophilacium.

Legend of the Pauline monastery in Lepoglava

According to local legend, it is believed that the Pauline monastery was erected on the site near the water spring on the remains of the former covenant chapel in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, built by the lord of this region at that time. According to this legend, this lord lived with his deaf-mute daughter in a castle on the hill Gorica, where Lepoglava is located.

At the foot of the castle and the hill, there was a source of drinking water, where the master descended with his deaf-mute daughter and found a herd of young wolves who were drinking water from the spring under the watchful eye of a mother wolf. In thinking about how to protect his daughter, he suddenly heard his daughter’s joyful laughter, and then he heard her voice for the first time. In the meantime the mother wolf hid in the woods with the young wolves, and her father vowed to build a chapel in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the place near the spring.

Centuries later, archaeological excavations in the northeast corner of the Pauline Monastery revealed the foundations of a church that is believed to be older than the present one, and just below the apse they found a source of water.