Motiejus Valancius (February 28,
1801 in Nasrenai - May 29, 1875 in Kaunas). Initiator of Lithuanian national
revival. Rector of Varniai Seminary (1845-1850). Bishop ofSamogitia (1850).
He founded parish schools which taught in Lithuanian, and encouraged priests
to perform educational work, to write books, and to collect data on
folklore. Motiejus Valancius organized a sobriety movement. After the
imposition of a ban on Lithuanian writings, he took care of the publication
of Lithuanian writings in Prussia and their distribution in Lithuania. He
founded an organization of the supporters of press and bookcarriers.
Motiejus Valancius wrote about 70 educational narratives and stories, which
provide information on the rural life, material and spiritual culture of
Samogitia and Upland Lithuania in the middle of XIX c., and some data on the
history and geography of Lithuania. Those works arouse the national and
civic consciousness. His historical book Zemaiciu vyskupyste (The Diocese
of Samogitia, 1848) was the first scientific work published in
Lithuanian which describes the development of the Diocese in the XV-XVI c.
He was Professor at Vilnius Clerical Academy in 1840-1842, and in 1842-1845
- at St. Petersburg Clerical Academy.