For any study of the feast of St Blaise in Dubrovnik from religious, historical, literary and musical aspects, particularly from the perspective of the 18th century, the Officium proprium Sancti Blasii episcopi et martyris, Reipublicæ Ragusinæ Protectoris (1723) is a very important booklet. As document that the Sacred Congregation for Rites (Sacra rituum Congregatio) approved for use and printing on September 25, 1723, for the Dubrovnik Republic, it reveals the sustained efforts of the Dubrovnik patricians after the Great Earthquake of 1667 to institutionalise, in ecclesiastical and in particular in liturgical terms the feast of its Patron and illuminates the relations between the Dubrovnik Republic and the Holy See in this important area, indeed it meant a great liturgical victory for the Dubrovnik Republic: in its territory the Feast of St Blaise obtained the highest liturgical status (duplex primae classis cum octava).
After 1723 when the breviary was officially approved and printed, the Officium proprium Sancti Blasii moulded the experience of prayer of many generations of Dubrovnik priests and religious, all, indeed, who ventured into a deeper devotional experience of the Patron’s feast day, and as the manuscripts show, there must have been many of them in Dubrovnik among the nuns and among the nobles and the commons. In one part, relating to the vespers, matins and lauds, this little booklet contains texts experienced in Dubrovnik as mandatory prototype for Croatian versions and for composing and singing. Three Latin hymns of the Dubrovnik Jesuit Benedikt Rogačić (1646–1719), who sent them in a polished form to Dubrovnik as early as 1687, became a permanent prompting for literary and musical expression.