In the quiet shelter of green forests and beautifull orchards lies the village Šentjošt.
It's speciality is two churches, one beside the other. Strangers and tourists who come to this place can ask, why two churches?
Were people once so rich, or so boasthful, that they built two churches in this really small village?
Probably not one or the other, but for different reasons.
The older establishment goes back to the 12th century, as says tradition. It carres the name Saint Jošt (Šentjošt).
The younger parish church was constructed in 1664 and dedicated to St. John the Evangelist. Soon it will be 335 years old,
meanwhile its neighbour will have survived around seven centuries. The first Roman church was gothicized by its forefathers in the 16th
century, but in the 18th century it was baroquized. Evidence of it's old age is given by two small bells, around 50 kg weight.
One is from 1354 and upon it is written: »Vincenci molded me«. The second is from around the year 1400, as tradition says. Upon it
is inscribed: »Mother Mary, Mother of Grace«. It is decorated with small reliefs mother with child, which of course represents Mary and
baby Jesus.Interesting about the church is an old crypt beneath the church pavement, and a beautifull wooden baroque altar from the year
1746. Preserved in it is a divine grave on »columns«, which during Easter time is decorated and illuminated. From here on Easter morning,
begins the fesurrection procession.
The younger parish church St. John, stands below the road in a picturesque environment of two large linden trees which decorate
the church and village. A century ago (from 01. 1296 to 01. 1653) Šentjošt with all the other loranches, fell under the Polhov Gradec
Parish. Becouse of the large distances, movement to begin separate parishes began. With this in mind it was necessary to have more
churches and new rectory s for priests. Both of these were built by parishioners and then Rabatta, the Ljubljana Bishop at the time,
was asked to creste a permanent Chaplain. When all conditions were completed, was an establishment confirmed in 1681. The church was
thus already built.
Old traditions say, before they started to build the church, that the Polhov Gradec Count like master of the land, rode
around on a horse over the spot destined for building the church. When they began to dig in this spot, where the main altar was
to be, they came upon a big rock. With unnatural ease they raised it anyway, but they shot ont a snake. And the church was thus
dedicated to St. John the Evangelist, who has a chalice in his hand on which a snake looks ont from. Builders from Furlanija Webked
the arch with gothic ribbing.
The bell tower was completed in 1697. Characteristic is its baroque roof. The church was consecrated by the Ljubljana Bishop
Ernest Anodeo. Somehow, from that time baroque statues are on the altars, which are only around 160 years old. First was finished the
main altar in 1669, and the present one in 1835. The church preserves remarkable relics of St. Francis of Assisi from the year 1758,
a gift from count Francis Lamberg and rather old corpus christi from 1617.
In 1964 they celebrated the 300th years of the church with a big and beautifull ceremony. Šentjošt has been an independent parish
since 1862, so last year they celebrated 125 years of theirs independent parish.
The oldest bell in Slovenia was until recently a cadaverous bell of the Ljubljana Cathedral, molded in 1328. Of what they know,
the bell feel through the bell-tower and cracked. That is how it remained the oldest bell in Slovenia, ours from 1354.
In 1812 two new bells were bought for the church St. John. Another two bells were bought after in 1843. At that time one of the
previous two was sold to a branch in Smrecje, and one was kept. So, there were three beautifull bells until the first world war. The
war claimed the larger bell, leftover was the smaller from 1812 - 735 pounds (the other two took weighed 4249 and 2160 pounds). After
the war the parishioners purchased from the foundry in Jesenice, two rather heavy iron bells (1922) and joined them with the smaller;
before bell in the bell-tower then 110 years old. This bell-ringing was preserved 65 years until the past year.
The small bell weighs 407 kg, the new bell weight 687 kg and the larger one 1480 kg. A lot of iron which will remain in the bell-tower
weighs around 2500 kg. It is very big and has a strong sound. Thus the present bells, becouse of time will have each their own meaning.
The small bell is from the time after Napolean's conquer, but the big bell is from the fire after the first world war. Two bronze bells
(Smaller in Larger),
the middle ones will be before the 3 millenium threshold, as Announcers of the future which is unknown to us, and is with us in God's hards.
And a little more about decorations on the bells. The small bell in the parish bell-tower is equiped with an inscription in Latin:
»OPUS VINCETI SAMASSA LABACI, anno 1912« (wrote from Vincence Samasse from Ljubljana). On it is an image of St. John Evangelist, Jesus
on the crucifix and Mary Assumptioned. The smaller new bell has a wreath of evergreen branches and cones beneath at the top. In the middle
is an image of St. Anton and St. Rok, where is also an inscription : St. Anton and St. Rok pray for us!
The bigger new bell has an upper wreath of linden leaves and blossoms, undeneath them is inscribed: Donated by John Kavcic,
our fellow Countrryman in Canada. In the middle it has an image of Mary the saviour and a inscription : Mary the saviour, protect us!
The big iron bell is not decorated except for a small heart with a cross between the letters IHS and a year of elaboration, LCMXXII/1922.
Pray to God that the bells ring long for our believers and coax them towards a God loving life, wander towards happiness,
and help the deceased to salvation and prosperity.