Croatia Proclaims Year to Celebrate Jesuit Scientist

ZAGREB, Croatia, JAN. 11, 2011 ( The Croatian Parliament proclaimed 2011 a national «Boscovich Year,» marking the 300th anniversary of the birth of a learned Croatian Jesuit, Father Rogelio Joseph Boscovich Bettera.

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Father Boscovich Bettera (1711-1787) was a physicist, astronomer, mathematician, architect, philosopher and diplomat. He was born in Dubrovnik and died in Milan in 1787. 

The inventor of the achromatic telescope and a precursor of modern atomism, Father Boscovich Bettera received several scientific and diplomatic missions from popes. For example, he consolidated the cupola of St. Peter’s Basilica and the central tower of Milan’s cathedral. 

UNESCO also chose to mark the 300th anniversary of his birth. 

The decision of the Croatian Parliament to proclaim 2011 «Boscovich Year» will be an opportunity for Jesuits to «promote their mission and awaken new vocations in university and educational institutions,» stated a communiqué from the Society of Jesus. 

The Jesuits also reported that the Faculty of Philosophy of Zagreb will organize an international conference in November focusing on the figure of the learned priest.

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