personages of the Augustinian Order
František NAPP (1782-1867)
Cyril František Napp achieved exceptional prominence in the
first half of the 19th Century by the study of history and the
development of Czech nationalism and culture. He was a member
of the Order for 44 years altogether and managed to attract
gifted young men to the monastery who thus benefited from the
education that the Brno Order was ready to provide. Many of
them became famous.
Thaller became professor of mathematics and innovative builder
of the Brno Botanical Garden after taking his monastic vows.
It was on his inspiration that Abbot Napp ordered the
construction of experimental beds (1828) that later became the
basis for the works of Gregor Mendel.
František Matouš KLÁCEL (1808-1882)
Matouš Klácel (namesake of Klácel Street in Masaryk Quarter)
was a distinguished representative of the literary life of
Moravia a the time. His formation began in the Litomysl
Philosophical Institute and matured in the Brno Order of St.
Augustine. He became a professor of philosophy in 1835 in the
Philosophical Institute and began to publish as a poet. In the
technical field, he published Notes
on Czech Scientific Grammar.
František Tomáš BRATRÁNEK 1815-1884)
friend František Tomáš Bratránek replaced Klácel as
professor of philosophy in the Brno Bishopric School. His
specialisation was philosophy, aethetics, and the history of
German literature. He left for Poland in 1851 where he was
named professor of German literature at Jagellonsky University
Eduard ŠILINGER (1866-1913 )
Eduard Šilinger (the namesake of Šilinger Place in Brno) was
foremost a renowned Moravian journalist, political figure, and
Czech patriot. He began editing the Czech Catholic Daily Hlas
in 1896. In 1906, he became national- and later imperial
representative in Vienna. He was a fellow founder of Brno's
Czech nationalist movement.
Gregor Johann MENDEL
(Jan) Mendel (the namesake of Mendel Place in Brno)
joined the Order of St. Augustine in 1843. While he studied
theology, he studied agriculture and viniculture at the
Philosophical Institute of Brno. At the same time, he
completed two years' study of natural science in Vienna. For a
short time, he was a high-school teacher in Znojmo. Then he
became professor of physics and philosophy at the Realschule (non-classical
secondary school) in Brno (on the lower half of Jánská
was an active member of a range of natural science
associations, among which we name:
conducted experiments in crossing plants. He deduced his
theory of inheritance from the crossing peas and demonstrated
the meaning of this for enhancement of types. He experimented
in bee keeping in 1871 on the slopes of the Monastery, where
the hives, somewhat changed, are found to this day. He
operated a meteorological station in the Monastery. It was
first in 1910 that his works achieved world-wide recognition
and fame. A committee, composed of 150 natural scientists from
all over the world saw to the building of the Mendel Monument
in the part of the Monastery (created by Theodor Charlmont).
More information on: www.mendel-museum.org
Pavel KŘÍŽKOVSKÝ (1820
Křížkovský (namesake of Křížkovského Street in Old
Brno) was a central personage of Brno music and popular
culture at the close of the 19th Century. He was Silesian born
of a family in Holasovicích u Opavy and came to Brno to study
philosophy in 1843. Shortly after he arrived in Brno, he
joined the Order of Saint Augustine and, upon taking his vows,
he became director of the Old Brno cathedral and leader of the
choir, carrying on this work from 1848-1872. Křížkovský
composed his cantata Sv.
Cyril a Metoděj and personally conducted the performance
of a monumental number of singers for a monumental audience in
1863 on the great commemoration of Cyril and Methodus.
was for years advisor to the head of the Old Brno Thurn
Foundation that had been established in 1653. He lead and
taught performance, music, and organ. He was a renowned music
teacher, theoretician, and composer and not the less a pioneer
in choral song and chamber music. In the final years of his
life (1872), when he had moved to Olomouc, he was chaplain,
director of the choir, and composer at the Church of Saint Mořic.
At this time, he focused on the study and reform of church
music. Leoš Janáček took over his responsibilities for the
Old Brno choir.
Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928)
Janáček (namesake of Janáček Place and of the Janáček
Academy of Music in Brno), was not a member of the Order. But
he was very closely connected to the Order and to its Old Brno
Thurn Foundation throughout his life. He entered the Monastery
as a scholar in 1865 and was able to get musical and academic
education thanks to its charitable establishment. Seven years
after Janáček had been taken on as a scholar, Pavel Křížkovský
moved to Olomouc and Janáček became director of the choir.
leaving the foundation in 1925, Masaryk University awarded him
an honorary doctorate as a beloved and gifted son of the Order.
His works, jewels of the opera and concert podiums, are
honoured and treasured by concert and opera performers. The
Order of Saint Augustine of Brno carried him on his final
journey from the Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old Brno
Era of Nazi and
Nazi occupation began a new chapter in the history of the
Monastery of Saint Augustine in Brno. Let us remember the
sacrifices of these members of the order:
P. Alfons ZADRAŽIL, P. BAŘINA Prelate, P. DVOŘÁČEK,
P. Norbert DOLEŽAL, P. Alois PŘIBYL, P. Florián
Fulgence JANČÍK, Pastors.
were brought before a Nazi judge, having been denounced for
anti-German thought and activities; for concealing church
valuables from the German organs; and for listening to Western
broadcasts. P. Alfons Zadražil paid for this with his life.
He was executed, as was the Keeper of the Monastery, Martin
LUKÁŠ, in February 1945 at the Kounic Dormitory.
first few years after the Second World War were merely a hint
of freedom for members of the Order of Saint Augustine. As
early as 1950, the activities of the Abbey were prohibited,
most of the monks were imprisoned, sent to labour camps, or
driven into low-level civil occupations. Artifacts of the
monastery were removed and later used for the Archaeological
Institute. Spiritual activities were greatly restricted,
limited mostly to the pastoral care of the Cathedral. When the
Communist regime fall and democracy was established in 1989,
the monks could return to the Abbey where there awaited them
hard work at restoration and renovation that they will achieve
in stages with God's help.