The Roman Catholic Diocese of Novo mesto (Slovenia) is a part of the Catholic Church in Slovenia. Pope Benedict XVI erected it on April 7 th 2006 as a former part of the Archdiocese of Ljubljana with the intention to enable a greater closeness of the bishop to his priests and the faithful and to stimulate in that way a stronger life of faith in the region of Dolenjska. The patron of the diocese is Saint Joseph in the role of protector of the Church and intercessor of the Slovene countries. The cathedral is the Saint Nicolas chapter church in Novo mesto. The pilgrim center is the sanctuary of Mary’s Assumption at Zaplaz, which from 2011 keeps also the relics of blessed Alojzij Grozde, the first proclaimed Slovenian martyr.
The Diocese of Novo mesto covers the territory of South-east Slovenia, which are in general the regions of Dolenjska, Kočevska and Bela Krajina. In six deanships, there are 71 parishes. Among altogether 160.000 inhabitants of the diocese there are around 144.000 Catholics. Among different religious orders, we can mention especially two contemplative orders, the men’s monastery of Carthusians at Pleterje and the women’s monastery of Carmelites at Mirna Peč.
The diocese is rich with official candidates for sainthood. There is blessed Alojzij Grozde, a young student who was martyred during world war II and was proclaimed blessed on the Slovenian Eucharistic Congress on June 13 th 2010. Then there are blessed Antonija Fabijan and Krizina Bojanc two of the five religious sisters called the Martyrs of the Drina. They were proclaimed blessed on September 24 th 2010 in Sarajevo. There are also many missionaries: Venerable Servant of God bishop Friderik Irenej Baraga, a great missionary among the Michigan Indians in the USA; Venerable Servant of God Janez Gnidovec, bishop of Skopje; Servant of God Andrej Majcen S.D.B. missionary in China and Vietnam; and Ignacij Knoblehar, one of the first missionaries in Central Africa on the banks of the Nile. All of these come from the today’s territory of the Diocese of Novo mesto.
In 2015-2016 the Diocese celebrated its 10 th anniversary with many different initiatives and events. The main goals of these were to stimulate the pastoral of the youth, of the Cristian family, to work for the Slovene national reconciliation (after the brute events of World War II.) and to strengthen the inner connection within the newly formed diocese. All of these motives and the religious vocations remain a constant program for our pastoral life. In that sense, the diocesan offices tend to help the parish priests and all of the faithful.
This is only a short first presentation of the young Diocese of Novo mesto. Our web-site is meant as a glance at our life, work and intentions. You can see much more of it on the Slovene section of the site, where the different fields of pastoral are presented in the main menu, and the current events in the news section. May God help us to fulfil our mission to spread his faith, hope and love everywhere. We invite you to further reading!
The diocesan coat-of-arms is divided in three fields. The lower one has a red background, which symbolises the many martyrs of the time during and after World War II. in the Kočevska region (Kočevski rog). In the middle of the field stands a golden horse, which is a connection to the historical collegiate chapter of Novo mesto, which preserves this symbol till its second provost Jurij (Georg) Slatkonja, who became famous as the first bishop of Vienna (1513) and the founder of the Wiener Sängerknaben choir. The golden horse in the Slovene language makes a connection with his surname, as Zlat-konj-a can be translated as Golden- horse.
The right field of the coat-armour is on green background, which symbolises the natural wealth of the Dolenjska and Kočevska regions with its wide green fields and forests. In the middle of this section, there are three golden apples, which is the attribute of Saint Nicolas, patron of the cathedral of Novo mesto and at the same time a symbol of the Christian charity and the serving mission of the bishop.
The left field of the coat-armour is in white colour, which represents the Bela Krajina region (translated as White region for its white regional costume and the birch trees). The white colour is also a symbol of Mary, Mother of God. In this field, there is a blue bunch of grapes, which remembers of the wine growing region, which connects a great part of the diocese. The grapes are also a symbol of the Eucharist. In the Eucharist Jesus gives himself to us as the real food and beverage for the life of the world.