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Juozas Tumas-Vaižgantas (1869–1933) and the University
Priest, writer, press worker, literature historian, critic, public figure, lecturer at the University of Lithuania and honorary doctor.
The exhibition presents publications from the “University” collection and documents from the iconography set that are stored in the Stock of Rare Books, revealing the social and pedagogical activities of Juozas Tumas.
J. Tumas went to the primary school in Kunigiškės (Anykščiai district) from 1879 to 1881. After passing the exams of the primary school in Anykščiai, he enrolled in the Dinabarkas (Daugavpils) Gymnasium, from which he graduated in 1888.
After graduating from the Gymnasium, the question of whether to enter a seminary or a university arose. His parents wanted to see their son become a priest, and his sisters were calling him “our little priest” even from an early age. Poor health helped to make the decision. In the words of Tumas, “I chose the seminary not exactly because my parents and sisters wanted me to do so, but because I was preparing to die, and dying as a cleric, for whom so many of my friends were praying, seemed to be the most redeeming thing” (Vaižgantas, 1929, p. 267).
In 1888 Tumas entered the Kaunas Samogitian Priest Seminary, from which he graduated in 1893. On 28 November of the same year, Samogitian Bishop Antanas Baranauskas ordained Tumas a priest at Kaunas Cathedral. He held his first Mass in the Svedasai church which was his native parish.