Third Fraknói Workshop Lecture


On 24 January 2023, at 17:00, the third Frakno Workshop Lecture was held, organised by the Vilmos Fraknói Vatican Historical Research Group. Katalin Nagy, the Fraknói Research Group's Vatican Archives Research Resident and Giulio Merlani, a doctoral student at La Sapienza University of Rome, gave a lecture on a 16th century topic entitled 'Gregorio XIII e l'Europa orientale: La visita apostolica del vescovo di Stagno Bonifacio de Stefani'.
The workshop was opened by Péter Tusor, head of the Research Group. In his speech he welcomed and thanked the participants for their presence, presented the activities of the Research Group and summarised the future projects of the Collectanea Vaticana Hungraiae series. He mentioned that the series will soon include the publication of a monograph on Buonvisi. He also underlined that this is the first Italian-language lecture in the series of Fraknói Workshop Lectures.
Giulio Merlani then gave the first part of the lecture. His presentation focused on the background to the apostolic visit and the way it was organised. He explained how, in the last decades of the sixteenth century, the Council of Trent and the Battle of Lepanto brought Central and Eastern Europe to the attention of Rome, with the aim of bringing the heterogeneous Danube-Balkan world back within the spiritual and geopolitical boundaries of Catholic Christianity by eliminating Ottoman domination. Thus, in 1580, Pope Gregory XIII commissioned Bishop Boniface of Raguza and some Jesuit missionaries to make apostolic visits to territories such as Dalmatia, Bosnia and Hungary, to check on the living conditions of Catholics and Orthodox who were subjects of the Sultan and their multiple relations with the Ottoman world. In particular, Merlani referred to documents found in the Vatican Apostolic Archives, including an Instructio sent by Pope Gregory XIII to Boniface of Raguza, summarising the purpose of the apostolic visit: to verify the application of the Tridentine dictates.
The second part of the lecture was given by Katalin Nagy. In her speech, she presented the most important details of the biography of the Bishop of Stagno, explaining why De Stefani was entrusted with this extremely important task by the Pope. Then, through an analysis of original documents from the Apostolic Archives and the archives of the Jesuits in Rome, she described the main stages of the apostolic visit.
The Hungarian and Italian researcher's workshop presentation highlighted the fact that, although the apostolic visit of Boniface of Raguza is a well-known topic for older and more recent Hungarian research, it is still a figure who is in many respects unknown to international scholarship, as is confirmed by the newly discovered archival documents used on the subject.

The Fraknói Research Group's latest initiative, a workshop lecture in Italian, has also attracted international attention: the online lecture was followed from Hungary, Italy, mainly Rome and Viterbo, and now also from France and China.

The ppt of these presentations are available here.