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European Journal

Croatia: the monk island

Franciscan monks are the only inhabitants of the tiny Croatian island of Kosljun. They no longer see saving souls as their main task - instead they tend to their monastery and its gardens.

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St. Bernard of Siena wanted to renew the church in Europe in the spirit of Francis of Assisi and he relocated monks from city centers to the outskirts. The move was meant to strengthen the souls of the monks, who would then spread the values they had acquired in the peace of the monastery. But these days the Franciscan monks of Kosljun have abandoned their missionary zeal.