By Luka Ilic´*
Reprinted by permission from Lutheran Quarterly 21, Summer 2007
On January 1, 2007, Slovenia became the thirteenth member state of
the European Union to adopt the Euro as its national currency. Although
the Euro is the uniform currency of the EU, all coins have a common European
side and an individual national side. Thus, the various member states
sometimes place images of important personalities from their history
on the backs
of the coins.
The new Slovenian 1-euro coin shows the bust of Primus Truber (Primož Trubar), 1508-1586, Lutheran reformer and author of the first printed
book in Slovenian in 1550, Catechism. The wording “Stati inu Obstati” (To
stand and withstand), which is taken from Truber’s sermon on faith
published in Catechism, is inscribed in a semicircle on the coin.
Truber, born 30 kilometers south of Ljubljana on June 8, 1508, was educated
in Rijeka, Trieste, Salzburg and Vienna. In 1530 he was ordained as a
Catholic priest. In the 1540s Truber began serving communion in both Catholic
Protestant ways in Ljubljana and as a result he was exiled from Slovenia
in 1548. He escaped to Nürnberg, where preacher Dietrich Veit offered
him refuge. It was only then that Trubar officially left the Catholic
Church and joined Lutheranism.
His first pastorate was in Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Later on he became
a pastor in Kempten and then in Urach. Early in 1557 Truber published
the translation of the four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles into Slovenian.
It was the first part of the New Testament translation that he eventually
completed. From 1561 he was general superintendent in Ljubljana from
he was exiled a second time in 1565. He returned to Germany again, where
he served as a pastor in Deredingen, a suburb of Tübingen, where he
died at the age of 78.
Today, Truber is recognized in Slovenia as the most important figure
of its Protestant history and as a formative influence on the written
Slovene language. As a matter of fact, almost every larger city in the country
a street named after him. To honor the 500th anniversary of its native
birth in 2008, the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts has announced
the publication of Truber’s 10-volume complete works.
Truber had previously been featured on the 10 Tolar bank note, the Slovenian
currency prior to the adoption of the Euro. Slovenia is so far the only
former Yugoslav republic to have joined the European Union (in 2004) and
the first one of the new member states to switch to the Euro.
*Luka Ilić is a Ph.D. student at the Lutheran Theological Seminary
at Philadelphia. He was born and raised in Croatia (10 miles from the
Slovenian border) and has done extensive research on the Protestant history
in southeast Europe, about which he has published several articles. He
is also a member of the Slovenian Protestant Society "Primus Truber."
Want to know more about Slovenia? Check the article from the
April 2006 issue of
Partners in the Spirit.
A delegation of eight Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod youth (3
males and 5 females), Kevin Remaly from St. John Windish, Bethlehem,
and synod secretary Barbara Taylor (St. Peter, Bethlehem) will
travel to Slovenia from July 1-21 to experience the life of the
people and the life of the Lutheran Church in Slovenia. Each
youth will stay in the home of the youth they hosted here in
July 06. The group will spend three weeks in the Premurska area,
just west of Hungary.
Watch for an article about their experiences!