In the Parish of Medjugorje, the Solemnity of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is called “Križevac” and is traditionally celebrated on the first Sunday after the Feast of the Nativity of Mary. In honour of the Holy Year of Redemption 1933/34, and inspired by their pastor Fr. Bernardin Smoljan, the parishioners, despite their poverty, built a monumental cross, 8.5 m high and 3.5 m wide, on the hill above Medjugorje. Relics of the true cross of Jesus, received from Rome for the occasion, are embedded in the crossbar itself.
On March 16, 1934, the first Holy Mass was celebrated at the foot of the cross. In September 1935, bishop Alojzije Misic ordered the Solemnity of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross to be celebrated every year on the first Sunday after the Feast of the Nativity of Mary. Ever since, Holy Mass is celebrated there. Until 1981, this was a feast for parishioners and their friends from the neighbouring villages, but since 1981, it became a feast for the pilgrims from all over the world as well.
Throughout the whole week preceding the feast, the cross is illuminated with hundreds of lights, to proclaim the approaching celebration.
In Medjugorje, Our Lady constantly calls us to pray before the cross and to venerate the Cross of Christ.
Again this year, numerous local and foreign pilgrims responded to her call. A multitude of pilgrims arrived at the Shrine on foot throughout the night and the early hours of the morning. At 10.00am the prayer of the Rosary was begun at the foot of Cross Mountain. It was led by the Franciscans from Medjugorje. At 11.00am, Holy Mass was presided over by Fr. Mate Dragićević.
During the morning of this particular Feast, no further Masses are celebrated in other languages. However, a solemn Holy Mass was celebrated at noon in the parish church, which was presided over by Fr. Tomislav Pervan.
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