The bishop of Lithuania
Lowlanders* Motiejus Valančius (1801 – 1875)
Motiejus Valančius, the bishop and the writer of Lithuanian Lowlanders, was one of the most distinguished cultural and public man in Lithuania of the 19 th century. He led the diocese of Lowlanders at the time of the czarist Russia‘s governing (1850-1875). In 1858 Motiejus Valančius organized the action of soberness, thanks to which Lithuanian had decreased using alcohol even for 8 times during short two years. He wrote about 50 books (in the dialect of Lowlanders ). The greatest of them can be mentioned : „The Diocese of Lowlanders“, consisting of two volumes, „Kantychkos“, „Palangos Juzė“ and others.
During the period of time of his bishopping, 49 churches were built, five hundred fifty ordinad‘s were concecrated on the priests, the reinforcement of sacrament was conferred for more than 900000 children. Motiejus Valančius also took care of establishment of Lithuanian schools and libraries. After the revolt of the national – liberation struggle (1863) the czarist government evicted the centre of Lowlanderd‘s diocese from Varniai to Kaunas. In the period of prohibition of Lithuanian printing (1864-1904) Motiejus Valančius organized and led the book – distributors*. At he some time he was writing Lithuanian books and took care of their printing in East Prussia. Motiejus Valančius died in 1875 may 17 and was buried in Kaunas Cathedral.
In 1969 there was founded the Museum of Motiejus Valančius in his native land Nasrėnai. The only authentic building five store – rooms granary, is left in the farm – stead of the native land. In is the national architectural monument of the 19 th century.
On the 14 th of october 1995, celebrating the bishop‘s birth anniversary of 200, two hundred small oaks were planted near the farm – stead.
* Lowlanders (Žemaičiai) – Lithuanian, living in West Lithuania.
* Book – distributors – people carrying secretely Lithuanian books from East Prussia to Lithuania under the oppression of czarist Russia in Lithuania.