Solemnity of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

date: 12.09.2005.

In the Parish Medjugorje, the Solemnity of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is traditionally celebrated on first Sunday after the Feast of the Nativity of Mary.

In honor of the Holy Year of Redemption 1933/34, inspired by their pastor Fr. Bernardin Smoljan, the parishioners built on the hill above Medjugorje a monumental cross, 8,5 m high and 3,5 m broad. Relics of the true cross of Jesus, received from Rome for the occasion, are embedded in the cross bar itself.

On March 16, 1934, the first Holy Mass was celebrated at the foot of the cross. In September 1935, bishop Alojzije Misic ordered that every year, on the Solemnity of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Holy Mass is celebrated there. Until 1981, this was a feast for the parishioners and friends from the neighboring villages, and since 1981, it became a feast for the pilgrims from all over the world.

During the whole week preceding the feast, the cross is illuminated with hundreds of lights, announcing so the coming celebration. (Something more about the Cross Mountain, see under Guide Through the Shrine)

Also this year, numerous local and foreign pilgrims came to Medjugorje to venerate the glorified Cross of Christ. A multitude of pilgrims was coming on foot during the night and in the early morning hours to the Shrine. At 10.30 am began the prayer of the Rosary, led by the Franciscans from Medjugorje. At 11 am, at the foot of the cross, began Holy Mass presided by Fr. Branimir Musa, superior of the monastery in Siroki Brijeg. 61 local and foreign priests were concelebrating. Fr. Gabriel Mioc led the singing.

For those who could not climb Cross Mountain, there was a solemn Holy Mass celebrated in the parish church at noon. It was presided by Fr. Tomislav Pervan. The summary of the homily was translated into German, French, English and Italian.

The evening Holy Mass, celebrated at the outside altar, was presided by Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic.