Dominican observance and the cults of new saints in South Dalmatia

Valentina Živković, Institute for Balkan Studies, Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (

The aim of my presentation is to examine the appearance, diffusion and meanings of the cults of saints among the reformed Dominican order in South Dalmatia, that is on the territory of Dubrovnik and Kotor.

Following the chronology of events within the Dominican order, the paper will focus on three types of cults of saints: 1. the old, traditional cults, not specifically Dominicans (such as St Nicholas and the Holy Cross); 2. the cults of the Dominican saints (Pietro Martire, Margherita d’Ungheria, as well as Caterina da Siena and Vincent Ferrer as the symbols of the Observant reform); 3. the cults of the Observant Dominicans (Marcolino da Forlì, Roberto da Napoli, Antonino Pierozzi and the local santa viva Osanna da Cattaro). The first type of the cults is characteristic for the very beginning of the Observant reform not only in the south, but rather in all Dalmatia. A more complex story lies behind the second and third types, revealing the religious, political and cultural context of the formation, acceptance and veneration of the cults of new Dominican and Observant saints.

Božidar Vlatković, St Vincent Ferrer, 1495?,  St Tryphon Cathedral, Kotor (photo by Stevan Kordić)

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