On Saturday, April 17, 2021, the friars of the Friary of St. Francis of Assisi in Šibenik, Croatia, commemorated the 150th anniversary of the birth of their confrere, the Most Reverend Friar Jeronim MILETA, Bishop of his home diocese of Šibenik and Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Zadar, Croatia.
The friars, along with the Most Reverend Tomislav ROGIĆ, Bishop of Šibenik, spent time in prayer to commemorate this important date and to hear some biographical information about Bishop MILETA. Priests from the Diocese of Šibenik and local faithful also attended the event.
Bishop MILETA was born in Šibenik on April 17, 1871. His given name was Antun Vjekoslav IVAN. The church of St. Francis and its corresponding ancient friary were decisive in his life. At the time, there was a school at the friary which little Antun attended. He went on to finish his schooling in Cres, Croatia. In 1885 he entered the novitiate at the Friary of St. Francis in Cres, and took the name Friar Jeronim (Hieronymus) Maria. After studying theology in Croatia, he continued his studies in Rome where he obtained his doctorate in 1893. He was ordained a priest at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, in Rome and began serving in the Order’s Province of Croatia as a teacher of various subjects. Friar Jeronim is known as the author of several books, of which the best known is: Caeremonialis ordo Romanus ad usum totius Seraphici Ordinis Minorum S. Francisci Conventualium, Romae, 1904. In 1907, he was called to serve as an Associate and an Assistant General (socius et assistens generalis); later he was a Visitator to many Provinces. He was also appointed a Consultor of the Sacred Congregation of Rites.
On February 14, 1922, Friar Jeronim was appointed the bishop of his home Diocese of Šibenik, by Pope Benedict XV. Friar Jeronim was ordained a bishop on February 26, 1922, at the Basilica of the Twelve Holy Apostles in Rome. He began his service on April 2, 1922 in his native Šibenik, which received him with great enthusiasm. The bishop’s motto “Caritas Christi urget nos” [the love of Christ urges us on] was the guiding principle of his pastoral ministry which lasted for over twenty-five years. He died on November 23, 1947, and was buried next to the altar of St. Nicholas TAVELIĆ in the Church of St. Francis of Assisi in Šibenik, a church he loved very much.
Friar Ivan BRADARIĆ