University professor, linguist, writer, historian and Jesuit priest Vladimir Horvat led the Croatian Catholic Mission in the French capital of Paris for a decade, where he joined the effort to found a Croatian studies department at the Sorbonne University. He lectured to his retirement at the University of Zagreb’s Faculty of Philosophy and Religious Studies and at the university’s Department of Croatian Studies. He also served as the director of the Croatian Institute of History in Vienna
University professor, linguist, writer, historian and Jesuit priest Vladimir Horvat died in the early morning of the 14th of September. The funeral was held on the 17th of September at Zagreb’s Mirogoj cemetery. A requiem mass was served following the burial at the Basilica of the Heart of Jesus on Zagreb’s Palmotićeva street.
Horvat joined the seminary in Zagreb’s Šalata quarter in 1946, and entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1952. He studied philosophy and theology and was ordained as a priest of the Roman Catholic church in Zagreb in 1964.
He served as a priest at the Saint Peter parish in Belgrade, where he studied at the University of Belgrade’s Faculty of Philosophy. He was a student catechist in Sarajevo from 1966 to 1968 before moving on to Zagreb as a Croatian language lecturer and student catechist. He moved to Dubrovnik in 1973 to work as a professor. He also earned his master’s degree at the time with a dissertation on the poetry of A. G. Matoš. He led the Croatian Catholic Mission in Paris, France from 1975 to 1985, where he joined the effort to found a Croatian studies department at the Sorbonne University. In 1981 he published a French-language book exploring the role of Cardinal Stepinac as a martyr for human rights under the pen name M. Landercy. A Croatian language translation of the book was published in 1989. He also penned the book Crkva u Hrvatskom narodnom preporodu (“The Church in the Croatian National Revival”). He joined Dominican priest Vjekoslav Lasić in performing the funeral services at the burial of Bruno Bušić.
He earned his doctorate in Zagreb in 1996 with a dissertation on Bartol Kašić – The Father of Croatian Linguistics and it was at Horvat’s proposal that Croatian Parliament declared 1999 the Year of Bartol Kašić. He prepared a Croatian-Italian dictionary he attributed to Kašić for publication in 1990, and in 1993 published and penned the afterword for Kašić’s 1640 Rimski ritual (“The Roman Rite”). He compiled the book Bartol Kašić in 1999 based on Kašić’s autobiography (covering the period from 1575 to 1625) and other material (covering the period from 1625 to 1650).
He lectured from 1992 to his retirement at the Faculty of Philosophy of the Society of Jesus in Zagreb (now the University of Zagreb’s Faculty of Philosophy and Religious Studies) and at the University of Zagreb’s Department of Croatian Studies. He served as the director of the Croatian Institute of History in Vienna.
He continued his scholarly work after retiring to the Jesuit residence for the infirm and elderly on Zagreb’s Fratrovac street until his final hospitalisation. He spent his final years focusing on the study of modern Croatian history and, in particular, the crimes of the communist regime. (IKA)