On March 16 we will celebrate the 85th anniversary of construction of the cross on Cross Mountain and of the first Holy Mass that was celebrated at the foot of that cross.
This Hill became famous in the last decades all over the world, while the idea for the construction of the cross was suggested by the parish priest in those days, Fr. Bernardin Smoljan. It took parishioners only 52 days to build the cross, after their parish priest Fr. Bernardin Smoljan, had given them that proposal on January 21, 1934, all because the whole world was celebrating Jubilee Year of our Salvation. The cross was built from February 12 to March 10, 1934.
The holy relics that the parish priest received from Rome just before the construction were carved in the cross, and the parish priest asked Bishop Misic at that time to allow him to bless the cross on one day in the week and the Bishop gladly agreed to that. The cross was blessed on Friday, March 16, 1934 and the parish priest wrote that the “News about this cross spread quickly all over the parish and everyone was anxiously waiting for the works to start and to be completed. Each invitation from the altar was answered and everyone competed in offering more for this matter. Contributions were many, while some houses supplied working strength and this whole project advanced more and more…The project was made by Simun Boras from Mostar and Ante Dugandzic Redzo from Medjugorje led the works. It was on March 16, at 9 am that procession with many people including Franciscan Secular Order carrying a flag of the name of Jesus, school children, priesthood and many other people. The church bells rang all the time, Rosary was prayed, litanies and Our Lady’s Wept sang, and the top of the hill was packed with many who were expecting this Procession…At 10 am, the Service started. I gave a speech, read letter of the Bishop, as well as other greetings. Then, the solemn blessing of the Cross was held and with shouts of joy, the hill was renamed from Sipovac to Cross Mountain. Holy Mass was celebrated by parish priest from Studenci, Fr. Grgo Vasilj’’.
In 1988, after the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Cross was reconstructed as well as the area around it. The Stations of the Way of the Cross, the work of the Italian artist, Carmelo Puzzolo are there too, made of bronze and financed by some Italian business people. The stations arrived to Medjugorje earlier, but the government allowed those to be put there only in 1988. The stations are true work of art and huge help to pilgrims in prayer and devotion to Suffering Jesus.
Today, Cross Mountain is one of the most visited pilgrims’ destinations in Medjugorje, and parishioners and pilgrims gather every Friday for prayer of the Way of the Cross at this mountain. Every stone leading to the top has been polished by millions of feet who climbed this place in personal prayer and devotion.
Holy Mass on Cross Mountain is celebrated each year on first Sunday after the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and this year it will be on September 15, 2019. You can see how Cross Mountain looked throughout the history and how it developed in all of these years in our photo gallery.