Berisha: His Eminence Nikollë Kaçorri, a saint of Albania Independence

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Pristina, February 14 2011 NOA – Prime Minister Sali Berisha attended today the mass celebrated at the Cathedral of St. Lucia in Durrës town, on occasion of repatriation after 94 years of the remains of the Renaissance man Don Nikollë Kaçorri.

The remains of His Eminence Nikollë Kaçorri were in Vienna, Austria, but following considerable efforts and support of the Kaçorri family in Albania and Canada while under the auspices of the embassy of the Republic of Albania in Vienna, the government of Austria as well as the Albanian Catholic Mission it was managed the exhumation of the remains of Albania founding statesman, the cleric and distinguished democrat, thus enabling the repatriation of his remains to the homeland.

Don Nikollë Kaçorri was a prominent figure of the National Renaissance of Albania. A signatory of Albanian Declaration of Independence, Don Kaçorri served as Vice Prime minister of the Provisional Government of Albania, after the independence. He used to be one of the main protagonists of the cultural and political developments of national weight. He was also a participant in the Congress of Manastir, which created the Albanian alphabet.

PM Berisha said:

We have gathered today to express deep gratitude for one of the most distinguished man of our history, one of the chief architects of the country independence, Don Nikollë Kaçorri. He is the man who would descend from Lura mountain crests so that to eternally remain a crest of Albanian virtues, a crest of Albanians inspiration and trust of the Albanians in God, their country, the flag and the future.

Don Nikollë Kaçorri belongs to the men who gave for this country and nation more than anyone else; they worked for the country independence, freedom and their dignity as well.

Don Nikollë Kaçorri managed to transform his diocese not only into a tower of trust in God, but also into a tower of invincible trust in the flag and Albania. It was not by coincidence that the thousands years old town was chosen as the place of having the independence flag fly high. It happened because of Don Nikollë Kaçorri being there like the invincible flag-bearer.

In his life of a priest he never separated Christ teachings from his activity. And it was the Christ teaching to “give Albania what it belongs to it” and this great man gave to Albania and the flag the one that belonged to it. Here is the reason that in the first meeting of the declaration of Independence, the fathers of independence would unanimously announce Don Nikollë Kaçorri as Vice Prime Minister of the Provisional Government of Albania. As a matter of fact this man used to be the architect and the truth is that Albania independence came like a conjectural act. It happened like that because 2/3 of the nation’s territory was left outside. The major insurrections of Kosova brought Albania Independence; they were led by great men like Hasan Prishtina, Isa Boletini and others, but in Albania Don Nikollë Kaçorri would come at the head of Albanian effort and further appointed the first deputy PM of the first Albanian government.

The father of Independence, Ismail Qemali, to whom the Albanians eternally owe for his greatest deed, succeeded to go beyond partition plans; he went to Durrës to declare independence and further, following the attempts of the Sublime Porte the delegation moved to Vlora and declared the Independence there and we wait with pleasure, dignity and deep gratitude its 100-th anniversary.

I would like to express gratitude to the Albanian Church, Austrian authorities and Church who enabled us to have the remains of Don Nikollë Kaçorri resting eternally in his own land.

The father of independence and leader of the first government along with Ismail Qemali, was forced to emigrate to Vienna where he developed a cancer. However, it was not the cancer which defeated him, but it was the grief over his country and nation that did. 2/3 of the Albanians were languishing under the enemy occupation. And it was not that the Albanians didn’t fight for the unity of their nation, but because the greatest military powers of the world were barbarously used against them so that the neighbors to wield their power.

The government of Vlora came under the attack of bashibozouks, mercenaries and anti-Albanians who under the slogan “long live the father and down with the eagle” would plunge the country into chaos. Albania would go into another agony trying to escape the enviable and unrestrained ambitions of the neighbors looking for its partition, hence one of the main founders of the independence died in concern over his country.

We are proud of Albania today, at present a NATO member and which has become the way he projected it. We should not forget also that Don Nikollë Kaçorri is one of the members of the Commission of the Congress of Manastir that standardized the Albanian alphabet along with Father Gjergj Fishta, Luigj Gurakuqi, Qiriazi sisters, and gave to the spoken word its character and to the alphabet the spiritual vocation of the Albanian nation.

At the mountain crests of Lura or the mountain peaks of Shala, the canon and other laws dominated in his time of childhood. But, as a scholar on Shala peaks says in her book, they are like that, of Western type. The crests of Lura and Shala were like-Western, and this man sacrificed his life for projecting the country and the nation as part of the European family of nations and countries.

Today, the remains of Don Nikollë Kaçorri are back in its own land because the Albanians are free, Kosova is free and the Albanians are free everywhere. Naturally, today certain Haxhi Qamil-type people may appear and call again “long live the father”, but these are the Don Quixote’s people of history. Nothing can hamper our movement, willing and determination to progress toward European integration. Don Nikollë Kaçorri is a great source of inspiration for Albania and the Albanians on this way.

I would like to conclude by expressing the deep conviction that for the Albanians of all religious belonging and everyone who calls Albania as such, Don Nikollë Kaçorri is and will remain the saint of Albanian nation independence.”