His Eminence Cardinal Dr. Franjo Kuharić, Archbishop of Zagreb
(Glas Koncila, August 15, 1993)
The place of the first apparitions of Our Lady, several hundreds meters above the Bijakovići hamlet called Podbrdo, is today called Apparition Hill.
A steep path leads from the houses to the very place of the apparitions, along which – in 1989 – bronze reliefs were placed representing the joyful and the sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary (the work of Prof. Carmelo Puzzolo).
On the way towards the place of the apparitions, a large wooden cross was erected, signalling the place where – through Marija Pavlović, on the third day of the apparitions – Our Lady gave the call to peace for the first time.
At the very place of the apparitions, in honour of the 20th anniversary of the apparitions, a statue of the Queen of Peace was placed, sculpted according to the model of the statue, which you can find in front of the parish church (the work of Dino Felici).
For the pilgrims, an encounter with Apparition Hill is encounter with Our Lady through personal prayer and prayer of the rosary.
In June 2002, bronze reliefs representing the glorious mysteries of the Rosary (the work of Prof. Carmelo Puzzolo) were placed on the path descending towards the Blue Cross.
At the foot of Apparition Hill is the Blue Cross, placed there in 1985. At this place, Ivan the visionary’s prayer group gathers regularly, ever since July 4th, 1982.
Cross Mountain is a mount above Medjugorje (520 m) where on March 15, 1934, the parishioners constructed a concrete cross 8.56 m high, built in remembrance of the 1900 years since the death of Jesus. On the cross is written: “To Jesus Christ, Redeemer of the human race, as a sign of their faith, love and hope, in remembrance of the 1900 years since the death of Jesus”.
Relics received from Rome for the occasion are embedded in the cross bar itself.
Since then, the custom was established of celebrating Holy Mass at the foot of the cross in commemoration of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, on the 1st Sunday after the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
According to the visionaries, in the message of August 30, 1984 , Our Lady said : “The cross was also in God's plan when you built it.”
With Our Lady’s apparitions, the faithful started to pray the Way of the Cross on Cross Mountain. In the beginning, the stations were marked with simple wooden crosses, and in 1988, bronze reliefs (the work of Carmelo Puzzolo) were placed there. On each one of them, with the exception of the Garden of Gethsemane, Our Lady is situated.
For the pilgrims, Cross Mountain is a call to meet Jesus in His Passion and to discover His love.
On the first death anniversary of Fr. Slavko Barbarić (November 24, 2001), on the place where he gave his soul into the hands of the Lord, a memorial was erected: Fr. Slavko’s relief in bronze encrusted in stone. Between two stations of the cross, it will remain as a sign and a memorial of a man who said what he thought and who did what he said, following the Gospel and the messages of the Mother of the Word Incarnate, the Queen of Peace.
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