Anton Martin Slomšek was a priest, bishop, writer,
teacher and composer. He was born in 1800 in Slom, near Ponikva. Even during
his service as a spiritual leader in Klagenfurt (from 1829 to 1838) he was
writing extensively, as well as collecting folk songs, organising Slovenian
language courses, and writing sermons. He was speaking strongly in favour of
the Slovenian language being used in schools. In 1838, he applied for an open
position for a priest in Vuzenica. He dedicated most of his time to children,
for whom he wrote his well-known textbook for Sunday school, titled "Blaže
in Nežica v Nedeljski Šoli" (Blaže and Nežica in Sunday School). The book
was reprinted and translated many times.
Slomšek's great national act was transferring the
seat of the Lavantine diocese from Sankt Andrä (Šentandraž) to Maribor in 1859.
With this act, Slomšek contributed to a greater territorial as well as
spiritual wealth of Slovenia. In the same year, Slomšek founded a theological
seminary, which was the first institution of higher education in Maribor, the
predecessor of today's University of Maribor. Anton Martin Slomšek died in 1862