Every week, starting from February 16 and up until March 11 we will be sharing documents from Vilnius University Library collections that are of great significance in the history of freedom of Lithuania! #FreedomRestored
Maironis (real name Jonas Mačiulis, 1862–1932), a Roman Catholic priest, was one of the most eminent Lithuanian poets and the bard of the Lithuanian national renaissance. He wrote the poem Lithuania while graduating from Kaunas Priest Seminary. The poet dedicated it to the then-Bishop of Samogitia and famous Lithuanian poet Antanas Baranauskas (1835–1902) and personally delivered a copy to him. In his poetry, Maironis expressed the hopes and aspirations of the Lithuanian people at the time of their struggle for independence. He wrote of his love for the country: its past, countryside, language and legends.
Illustration: The first version of Maironis's poem Dear Lithuania (from VU Library’s manuscripts collections, F1-D68); Maironis, Professor at Saint Petersburg Spiritual Academy. Photo made circa 1900 (from VU Library’s manuscripts collections, F182-97). The entire manuscript can be seen on VU Library’s Digital Collections platform here.