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DONATUS - THE BISHOP SAINT


St Donatus (sveti Donat), the famous Bishop of Zadar, was mentioned by the distinguished Jesuit Daniele Farlati in his monumental work Illyricum sacrum, published in Venice in 1775.

 

DONATUS - THE BISHOP SAINT

 


St Donatus (sveti Donat), the famous Bishop of Zadar, was mentioned by the distinguished Jesuit Daniele Farlati in his monumental work Illyricum sacrum, published in Venice in 1775.

 

More detailed account of St Donatus´ life can be found in Einhard´s work Annales Regni Francorum. The local legend says that St Donatus originated from Zadar. According to Donald’s chronicle, Paul, the Doge of Venice, met with the Duke of Zadar and Donatus, the Bishop of Zadar at the court of Charlemagne in Salzburg in the year 805, just after Christmas. Donatus was the conciliator between the Franks and Byzantine.

 

During the reign of the Byzantine emperor Nicephorus, Donatus went to the Byzantine where he received the relics of the holy martyr Anastasia from Sirmium as a gift. St Donatus transferred the saint’s bones to his hometown Zadar and stored them in St Peter’s Cathedral, which was later dedicated to St Anastasia, or as the locals call her St Stošija. Some believe that during his visit in the Byzantine St Donatus also received the relic of the martyr Chrysogonus or Krševan, as Zadar’s citizens call him. With these relics, St Donatus has enriched the culture of his bishop town as well as the heritage of its churches.

 

St Donatus died around the year 811, and was buried in the magnificent Church of the Holy Trinity, which he rebuilt during his lifetime and which was later named after him. In 1622, according to the wish of Stella, the Archbishop of Zadar, the relics of St Donatus were placed under the church altar. In 1809, after the French invaded Zadar, the bones of St Donatus were transferred in St Anastasia’s cathedral, where they are still kept today.

 

St Donatus memorial is celebrated February, 25th.