Tomb of Motiejus Gustaitis

Motiejus Gustaitis (February 27, 1870 in Rokai – December 23, 1927 in Lazdijai) – Roman Catholic clergyman, priest, poet, translator, literary and cultural researcher, pedagogue. One of the first symbolists of poets. Parents – Kazimieras and Elzbieta Gustaičiai. He was a second child in the family. Brothers and sisters: Kazimieras, Juozas, Mykolas, Agota. When Motiejus was eight years old, his mother died. He studied at Aukštosios Panemunės Primary School, Marijampolė Gymnasium, Seinai Seminary of Priests. 1887 March 11 Ordained a priest in Warsaw. Priest in Marijampolė. Since 1897 studied church music in Regensburg (Germany), canon law in Rome, and literary and art history in Freiburg. 1903 defended his doctoral dissertation on the topic of Adam Mickiewicz’s “Crimean Sonnets”. One of the founders of the “Žiburis” society. 1907 Director of Marijampolė Girls’ Progymnasium established in 1914 visited America, collected donations for the Žiburis Society. During the First World War he moved to Russia together with the progymnasium. 1918 returned to Lithuania, was appointed the director of Seinai “Žiburis” gymnasium. After the Polish occupation of the Seinai in 1920 the gymnasium was moved to Lazdijai. He lived in Lazdijai until his death and continued to be the director of the gymnasium. Thanks to him, a house with a plot of land was bought for the gymnasium, student dormitories and a dining room were established. He wrote the first Lithuanian textbook on literary theory “Stylistics” (1923).
The tomb of M. Gustaitis in Lazdijai cemetery is a historical monument of local significance. The Motiejus Gustaitis Memorial Museum, located in his house, is located in Lazdijai. The exposition includes photos, books, letters, memories about the life and work of M. Gustaitis. One of Lazdijai streets is named after Motiejus Gustaitis. In 1995 Lazdijai Gymnasium is named after M. Gustaitis.