Mato Vodopić (Serbian Cyrillic: Мато Водопић; Dubrovnik,
13 December 1816 - 13 March 1893) was the bishop of
Dubrovnik from 3
July 1882 until his death in 1893, and wrote poems for some special
occasions, and was a storyteller and collector of folk ballads. He was
a fierce supporter of a Yugoslavian unification.
Mato Vodopić is related to Bishop Ivan Pavlović Lučić (1755-1818)
of Makarska, also known as Vodopić, who published Ivan Tomko
Marnavić's "Saint Sava" and declared himself a Serb, though Roman
Catholic by confession.
After 1849 the home of the
Pucić brothers became the gathering center
of Dubrovnik's intelligentsia, often being attended by Mato Vodopić
among others, including Medo Pucić, Niko Pucić, Antun Kaznačić and
his brother Ivan August Kaznačić, Antun Paško Kazali, Mato Natali,
Pero Marinović, Marin Giorgi, Bishop Frano Ucellini-Tice of Kotor,
Ivo Vojnović, Frano Supilo, Milorad Medini, and Dragutin Pretner.
Joining with the Serb-Catholic circle, meeting in other locations like
the Šarićs' drugstore, Vodopić supported the Croatian romantic idea
of uniting Dalmatia with Croatia, as well as with Serbs and Italians
into one state. The life of this popular cleric represents a pattern
of cultural revival activities, which greatly contributed to the
shaping of the Serb Catholic circle. Though they were all Roman
Catholics by confession, they considered themselves to be one with the
Serbs and Italians.
His first work, the novel Maria the Canalite (Marija Konavoka), was
left unfinished. It was published in parts since 1863. As interesting
thing is this work was finished in cooperation of his brother Niko
Vodopić, Juraj Carić and Marcel Kušar. His second work, a short
novel called Tužna Jele, was from 1868. This work was very popular
among Dubrovnikans and Konavleans (many times played on Dubrovačke
ljetnje igre or Dubrovnik's Summer Games).
Mato's third work, unfinished like the first, Na doborskijem
razvalinam, was published in its finished form in 1881.
All three of Vodopić's books were printed by Dragutin Pretner's
Serbian-language (Cyrillic) printing press in Dubrovnik, together with
numerous others works in 1878 in the collection Serbian Dubrovnik
Library. Between 1878 and 1884
Mato Vodopić wrote in the pro-Serbian,
literary journal Slovinac. He also wrote "Đenevrija: pilarska
pripovijest", and "Pesme Mate Vodopića".
On 9 March 1880 Dubrovnik's municipal council accepted the proposal of
Dubrovnik Youth to raise a monument on 300th anniversary
of Dživo Gundulić's birth (a very famous Dubrovnik's poet) and named
the proposed board, which aside from Medo Pucić, Pero Budmani, Ivo
Kaznačić and Luko Zore, also included Vodopić, to organize the
Vodopić's fourth book is a novel entitled Đenevrija, a story from
the old Dubrovnik's suburb of Pile. Its manuscript was discovered only
after Vodopić's death. Vice Medini and Niko Vodopić found it among
Mato's personal belongings.
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