Stanig Valentin (1774-1847)

20/03/2020

Don Valentin Stanig was one of the protagonists of the mountaineering of the origins, as well as a naturalist and shepherd of souls, and carried out most of his activity in Gorizia and its surroundings. Born on February 12, 1774 in Bodrez, near Canale, Valentin Stanig attended schools first in Gorizia, then in Klagenfurt and Salzburg, where he studied theology and was ordained priest.

 At first he was chaplain in Nonnenberg, then he was for a long time cared for in Gorizia, in Bainsizza and Ronzina. In addition to being a priest, he was a guide and teacher for his parishioners, teaching children to read, farmers to grow fruit, and spreading vaccination against smallpox, which he practiced in person. Later appointed canon of the cathedral of Gorizia, he also brought to our city his tireless activity in favour of the less fortunate. Thanks to him in 1842 the deaf-mute institute was opened, to which Stanig dedicated himself until his death. He also composed or translated into Slovenian prayers, songs, poems and lyrics of religious education, in an intense work of teaching the Slovenian people. He also promoted an awareness campaign against animal abuse, and was an inspector of schools in the archdiocese of Gorizia. His love for nature had led him from his youth to climb the peaks of Salzburg and Gorizia. He climbed alone Watzmann and Hoher Göll, participated in the climb to the Grossglockner organized by the Archbishop of Salzburg in 1800 and climbed Tricorno, Mangart, Monte Nero, Matajur, Canin and many others of our mountains, writing in German precise reports of the climbs that were published by the specialized press. He was a pioneer of mountaineering, in whose history he entered in his own right. On the mountains, be it the peaks just mentioned or the mountains around Gorizia (San Valentin, Montesanto), his relationship with God was sublimated through contemplation of nature and the greatness of creation. He died on April 29th 1847, at the hospital of Gorizia where he had been hospitalized after a serious illness that had caught him while, despite his seventy-three years, he was working on the construction of a stone wall. A monument to Valentin Stanig was erected in Canale, and the refuge on Mount Tricorno and a square in Munich bear his name.