Celebration of Holy Mass for killed Franciscans and parishioners from parish of Međugorje

date: 11.02.2015.

On Tuesday, February 10, 2015, on the day when we celebrate the Feast of Alojzije Stepinac, Holy Mass was celebrated for the killed Franciscans and parishioners from this parish who were killed during the World War II and recent Homeland War. Dr. Fr. Robert Jolic was the main celebrant and Fr. Marinko Sakota, the parish priest and 11 other priests concelebrating. Fr. Robert said in the beginning of his homily, as he spoke about killed priests and people: “During the World War II, especially at the end of the war and during the way of the cross of Croatian people that took place in 1945, 66 Franciscan priests were killed. They were all victims of partisan and communist hatred that was pointed at everything that was Catholic. The bones of some of them were discovered only recently, for instance in Zagvozd and Ljubuski, and bones of some will never be discovered because they were thrown at rivers or in woods. Ten of those 6 Franciscans were in various ways related to Medjugorje parish, either by being born here or by serving in this parish. We will offer this Holy Mass for them and for all other killed priests, religious sisters and for thousands of Croatian soldiers and civilians who were brutally killed at the end of the World War II. All these crimes were because they hated our religion and our freedom. Today, we also want to recall one great member of Croatian people – Bl. Alojzije Stepinac, Archbishop of Zagreb who was brutally executed by the communist authorities and who was finally sentenced to long imprisonment. While imprisoned, he was being poisoned for years and as a result of that, he died 55 years on this day. It is Kardinal Stepinac that is the symbol of suffering of one people and Catholic Church in Croatian people.” Fr. Robert said that Franciscans who were killed and were born in Medjugorje parish were: Fr. Jozo Bencun, Fr. Grgo Vasilj, Fr. Marko Dragićević, Fr. Mariofil Sivrić and Fr. Jenko Vasilj. Their graves have still not been discovered. Five Franciscans who were serving in Medjugorje parish were: Fr. Bernardin Smoljan, Fr. Paško Martinac, Fr. Bono Jelavić, Fr. Anđelko Nuić and Fr. Križan Galić . „We faithful are obliged to pray and to recall all victims of the war and of hatred. We were encouraged to do so by special desire of St. John Paul II, who asked us to memorise that each time we begin to pray, but also to put it in writing in our books about the witnesses of the faith. Our Franciscan Province has been remembering our innocent, executed brothers and the procedure for their beatification is ongoing”, said Fr. Robert at the end of his homily. The main choir of the Queen of Peace, conducted by Sr. Irena Azinovic, made this celebration more solemn and beautiful with their singing.