Cleric, historian, writer and translator Vello Salo's funeral was held at St. Charles' Church in Tallinn on Thursday morning. Salo died late on the night of Holy Saturday, during Easter weekend, at age 94. He will be buried at Tallinn Forest Cemetery.
Vello Salo was born Endel Vaher in Võisiku Municipality, Võru County, on Nov. 5, 1925.
He joined the Finnish Army in 1943 as an upper secondary school student. Upon his return to Estonia as a so-called "Finnish boy" in 1944, he attempted to procure weapons for the resistance against the Red Army, but was imprisoned and taken to Germany.
Following battles in Silesia, he reached Italy, where he adopted the name Vello Salo in 1945 in order to spare his relatives in Estonia from Soviet repressions.
During the Soviet occupation, Salo studied and worked in several countries, remaining actively involved in preserving Estonian culture and working as a publisher, translator and journalist. He returned to Estonia in 1993.
From 1993-1994, Salo worked as guest lecturer at the School of Theology and Religious Studies of the University of Tartu, delivering lectures on Old Testament theology.
Since 2001, he served as a priest at St. Bridget's (Pirita) Convent, and was involved in the editing and publishing of a variety of books, primarily ecclesiastical in nature.
Salo has translated the works of several prominent Estonian poets into Italian as well as ecclesiastical poetry from original Biblical sources into Estonian. He has also published materials about Estonian culture as well as overviews of occupying forces' repressions on Estonian soil.
Vello Salo was awarded the Order of the White Star, Second Class and Order of the National Coat of Arms, Second Class. He joined the Estonian Students' Society (EÜS) in autumn 1989, and was elected honorary alumnus of the fraternity in 2018.
A documentary about his life, titled "Vello Salo: Everyday Mysticism," premiered in 2018.
Editor: Aili Vahtla