Skip to content
Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Archdiocese of Serajevo

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes


The healthy growth of the Church in Bosnia was blighted and stunted by Arianism and the disturbances caused by the wandering of the nations. Irreparable, however, was the damage inflicted by the Oriental Schism. To this day forty-three per cent of the population are Greek Orthodox, calling themselves Servians, and their religion and language Servian. From the earliest times the Church of Christ opposed the Bogomiles, a branch of the Manichæans, who, varying as to time and place, dress, and nomenclature, are well nigh a historical puzzle. They have been called Paulicians, Phundaites, Encratites, Marcionites, Christopolites, and, after a certain Bulgarian priest, Bogomiles. They were very numerous in Bosnia, as is proved by the great number of Bogomile graves. From 1292 onwards the Franciscan monks co-operated with the secular clergy in attending to the needs of the faithful.

When in 1463 Stephan Tomasevie, the last native sovereign of Bosnia, was taken prisoner by the Turks and decapitated, there were many Catholics, who in order to save their possessions, renounced their faith and became Mohammedans (now known as "Begs"). Nearly all the Bogomiles became Mohammedans at the same time, and the few who remained true to their faith were degraded to the position of "rayahs", i.e. serfs possessing no civil rights. The Catholic Church of Bosnia suffered the most severe of hardships during the succeeding four centuries. The faithful lost their possessions, and might not, without the Sultan's permission, build themselves a hut, let alone a church. From 1683 onwards, repeated inhuman oppressions drove them frequently to have recourse to arms, but each time only to make their position worse than before. The Franciscan Friars alone saved the Church in Bosnia. They disguised themselves as Turks and were addressed by the Catholics as ujaci (uncle). Often they were compelled to hold services and to bury their dead at night in the woods or in caves. They lived in the direst poverty and very many of them became martyrs. The old people instructed the younger generation during the winter months in the catechism, and during Lent the Franciscans examined the pupils. Nearly all Catholics in Bosnia bore a cross tattooed on breast or hand.

The subjection of the Bosnian people to the House of Habsburg marks the beginning of its growth in religion and in culture. In 1878 the European powers charged Austria-Hungary with the military government of Bosnia and Herzegovina , and in 1908 these two countries were declared part of the empire. In 1881 His Apostolic Majesty formed the ecclesiastical province of Serajevo, and appointed as archbishop J. Stadler, professor of theology at Agram. Native Franciscans were elevated to the sees of Mostar and Banjalika. The Society of Jesus took over and has retained charge of the seminary for priests in Serajevo, which supplies the entire province, and in Travnik conducts a seminary for boys, the gymnasium of which is frequented by pupils of all religions. The Franciscans maintain two schools of six classes each for the preparation of the young postulants of the order, while the Sisters of Charity conduct 32 Catholic primary schools.

The Archdiocese of Serajevo has 180,000 Catholics with 50 priests and 110 friars.

To all our readers,

Please don't scroll past this. We interrupt your reading to humbly ask you to defend Catholic Online School's independence. 98% of our readers don't give; they look the other way. If you are an exceptional reader who has already donated, we sincerely thank you. If you donate just $10.00, or whatever you can, Catholic Online School could keep thriving for years. Most people donate because Catholic Online School is useful. If Catholic Online School has given you $10.00 worth of knowledge this year, take a minute to donate. Show the world that access to Catholic education matters to you. Thank you.

Help Now >

Join the Movement
When you sign up below, you don't just join an email list - you're joining an entire movement for Free world class Catholic education.

Light a FREE virtual prayer candle

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter!