Anton Martin Slomšek

Anton Martin Slomšek (26 November 1800 – 24 September 1862) was a Slovene bishop, author, poet, and advocate of Slovene culture.

Slomšek was born to a peasant family in the hamlet of Slom near the village of Ponikva in the Municipality of Šentjur, Lower Styria. He studied theology and philosophy before being ordained in 1824 at the seminary in Klagenfurt. From 1829 to 1838 Slomšek was spiritual director of the seminary of Klagenfurt. In the latter year he became the priest of Saldenhofen an der Drau. In 1844 Slomšek moved to Sankt Andrä and headed the school of the Diocese of Lavant. He became a priest in Celje in 1846, and in the same year he was ordained Bishop of Lavant.

In the following years Slomšek strove for the transfer of the See of Lavant from Sankt Andrä in eastern Carinthia to Maribor in Lower Styria, which he achieved in 1859. He strove for religious education and education in Slovene, writing numerous books on the matter. Slomšek was considered an excellent preacher and a tireless and modest priest. He also wrote songs, some of which, such as the toast "En hribček bom kupil" (I Will Buy a Small Hill) have achieved widespread popularity and are still sung today.

Together with Andrej Einspieler and Anton Janežič, Slomšek was the co-founder of the Hermagoras Society, the oldest Slovene publishing house.

Slomšek died in Maribor in 1862.

In 1996, Slomšek was described as a "Venerable Servant of God" by Pope John Paul II. On 19 September 1999, John Paul II announced Slomšek's beatification in Maribor, instead of Rome, as is the usual custom.

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