Blessed Anton Martin Slomsek
1800 – 1862
Born to a peasant family in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Seminarian at Klagenfurt. Ordained on 8 September 1824. Parish priest for five years. Spiritual director of the Klagenfurt seminary. Taught the Slovene language to seminarians; because the rulers of the empire spoke German, Slovenian was in danger of disappearing. Prince-bishop of Lavant on 30 May 1846, a diocese with a Slovene majority.
Bishop Slomsek began a campaign of patriotic education. He built new schools, encouraged Slovenian language and culture, wrote textbooks, and edited others. He founded a weekly newspaper, and published his sermons and episcopal statements. Founded the Saint Hermagoras Society publishing house to publish popular works in Slovenian. Today the region is nearly 100% literate, much of it due to Bishop Anton’s good work.