News item and accompanying photographs
Luka Ilić *
PHILADELPHIA, January 4, 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 semi-circle on the coin.
Truber, born thirty
kilometers south of Ljubljana on 8 June 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 and 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 and 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 which he eventually completed.
From 1561 he was general superintendent in Ljubljana from where 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 their
Protestant history and as a formative influence on the written Slovene language.
As a matter of fact, almost every larger city in the country has a street named
after him. To honor the 500th anniversary of their native son’s 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 the 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
* Note: Luka Ilić was a Ph.D. student at the Lutheran Theological Seminary
at Philadelphia at the time we received this information. He since
received his Ph.D. in 2012. Luka was born and raised in Croatia (ten miles from the
Slovenian border). Luka has done extensive research on the Protestant
history and theology in South East Europe, about which he has published several
articles. He is also a member of the Slovenian Protestant Society "Primus Truber".
As per "Class Notes" on the Lutheran Theological Seminary website dated August
2015, Luka is Pfarrer at Evangelische
Landeskirche in Württemberg and on the faculty at Leibniz Institute of European
History. He resides in Ravensburg, Germany with his wife and son.