Miles Christi 2021 – “Call to Battle” – 3rd Annual Croatian Men’s Conference

Miles Christi 2021

Over the weekend of the 5-7th of March, 2021, the third annual Croatian Catholic Men’s conference – Miles Christi 2021, was held at St Benedict’s retreat Centre, Gross Vale. The conference saw 70 men, some with their sons, come together in Bratovstina, prayer, worship and hearing talks centred around the theme for this year – “Call to Battle”. The theme was inspired by the glorious event from our nation’s past back in 1900, when a staggering number of 160,000 young Croatians chose to engage in the battle, consecrating themselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Last year marked the 120th Anniversary of this amazing and unique event. In the introduction to the book marking this amazing event “Hrvatska Omladina” the then Archbishop of Zagreb Dr. Juraj Posilović wrote these words to the Croatian youth of the time.

“All of humanity is divided into two massive camps, two mighty armies, which engage in unceasing battle with each other. The one army is headed by Lucifer, the prince of this world; the other is headed by Jesus, the Living Son of God, our Divine Saviour.

 

Each person battles under the banner of one of these leaders because life on earth is a battle. Who is not with Christ, is against Christ. Dearest youth of Croatia! Under whose banner do you battle? To this question I hear……
“Isukrste, srcu Tvom s nama naš se kune dom:
dušom, tijelom vijek sam Tvoj, Za krst časni bijuć boj.”

 

Under the banner of the Sacred Heart of Jesus you battle, o blessed Croatian youth!”

Inspired by the example of our Croatian forefathers, the Holy Spirit and the love of God and their fellow man, the Croatian Australian men stood up to the Call to Battle. This battle which we see raging all around us, manifesting in ourselves, our families, our Church and our Homeland. For some it was their first time at the conference, while for others it was their second or third time.

Friday evening started with a talk by Jakov Periša, outlining the battle terrain. He spoke of the history of the spiritual battle and how with God, we can be victorious in Christ. Calling upon the memory of battles gone by, particularly the Croatian Alamo at the Siege of Gvozdansko, the Croatian man is called to be a witness to the Truth in this battle, living a life with a higher calling either as a white or red martyr. He reminded the men that the Croatian warrior has the highest calling to witness to Christ and it is engraved in our hearts and in our beloved grb. The witness of our Croatian forefathers is the seed on which our faith and nation was built on – rooted deeply in our Catholic faith. The brave Croatians, with fortitude and zeal, armed with the armour of God and their faith in Christ battled for centuries to defend their lands and Christianity from aggressors. The following video compiled for the conference recalls the heroic Croatian men.

Saturday, followed with more presentations, Mijo Tićinović talked about healing in both body and soul, a talk with his testimony, that touched a lot of the men. Ivica Kovac talked about brotherhood and that love that binds us Croatian men together as we battle for Christ under the Sacred Heart banner. Special guest, Danny Abdallah, spoke about fatherhood in the midst of tragedy as he shared his testimony and story of losing his 3 children and niece in a horrific accident just over a year ago. His story brought tears to the men’s eyes but strengthened their resolve to do battle as better men and fathers.

Fra Davor Filko was, as always, was forever present, serving the men saying Holy Mass and hearing Confessions assisted by TLM priest Fr Sypher on Saturday night. Men came forward to give their testimonies which greatly edified those present with their witness and conversion.

The Conference concluded on Sunday with a thanksgiving Mass, where all the men present, knelt and consecrated themselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus reciting the consecration prayer written by Pope Leo XIII, the same prayer used by the 160,000 Croatian Youth 120 years ago. After the consecration the men in unison with voices lifted to the heavens and full of heart, sealed their consecration by singing a song that was specifically written for the consecration 120 years ago “Do Nebesa Nek Se Ori” (all six verse’s). I firmly believe we had 160,000 Croatians in heaven rejoicing with us, as we repeated the consecration and answered the call to battle, first offered by our youth at the turn of the 19th Century at the call of Pope Leo XIII.

This occasion 120 years ago, is a monumental occasion for the Croatian people and nation, and one that should never be forgotten, but remembered annually, with a renewal of consecration to the Sacred Heart. This year also reminds us of many important dates in our Croatian nation’s past. Dates of important people, events and battles which forged the way for the independent and free country of Croatia which we see today. The following video outlines some of these important dates.

The Lord blessed us greatly over the weekend. The following are short written testimonies of men who attended Miles Christi 2021 conference. The first two, are from men who had already been to previous conferences.

“This was my 2nd Croatian Catholic Men’s conference. Last years was incredibly beneficial to my spiritual growth and needs. I wasn’t sure I could attend this year due to other commitments. But ultimately, I decided to attend. And how glad am I that I did! The testimonials and talks were just what I needed. It’s easy to fall back into old, not-so-holy ways. Everything I heard and learnt at this conference was exactly what my mind, heart and soul needed. The weapons for spiritual warfare that were handed out to all attendees are not for mass destruction; they’re for mass healing, forgiving and loving! Looking forward to the 2022 conference! Bog i Hrvati” – Vic (Vjekoslav) Ambrozije Livaja

 

“After attending the last 2 conferences, I was worried that there wouldn’t be a lot of topics that I would be interested in, and that it would just be “more of the same” …. Boy was I wrong, it just keeps getting better and better every year.… I was grateful when I learnt that everything was recorded in some format including presentations and I am now eager to get back home and listen again to some of the talks that inspired me most. I now have more tools to grow in my faith and to protect my family.” – Paul Luketic

The testimony by Steve is a great summary of every aspect of the conference:

“Thanks again for organising an awesome weekend! Being able to separate yourself from daily life and devote quality time to the Lord was an amazing experience! Here are some of my thoughts on the weekend:

 

The presenters did a fantastic job, giving us men some practical advice on how to become a better man of Christ. The talks on love and healing were spot on – we’re all carrying some baggage with us, and hearing someone talk about steps to help let go of that baggage was something positive I took away and can hopefully implement.

 

The testimonies are one of the highlights of the weekend. The honest, raw outpouring of emotion is truly beautiful, and their stories are so inspiring. Tomislav’s journey is an inspiration, and seeing someone overcome their demons and come out stronger on the other side is a wonderful example of God’s love and mercy.

 

Small groups and brotherhood are such an important part of us men growing in our faith and becoming stronger disciples in the world. The weekend has reinforced in me the need to make that a more regular part of my life to strengthen my devotion to the Lord and help me battle the demons that try to turn us away from God. I also met some great guys over the weekend and had an opportunity to reunite with some old friends. 2 days well spent. “– Steve Furjanić

One man, a first-time attendee, commented on how he was deeply moved and humbled by the event.

“To say I was touched by the Holy Spirit and humbled by the entire experience is an understatement.
What immediately took me by surprise was the warm and friendly welcome I had received by such Godly men. Every one of them personally made an effort with introductions which confirmed the fact that this was going to be a great weekend, and indeed it was.

 

So how do you get the attention of strong minded, stubborn, 1st generation Croatian-Australian men? Through a shot of Rakija, a great Croatian joke and presentations about Croatian history and our battles for the Catholic faith, that’s how. That definitely pulled at the heart strings for all of us patriotic men present. Learning in depth about the many battles fought and won against the Ottoman Empire, re-ignited my Croatian pride and made me feel blessed to be a Catholic.

 

Furthermore, the various guest speakers and group leaders where nothing short of inspiring, forcing us to examine and connect with our own lives intentionally, more deeply.

 

Fra Davor is a legend. A true man of God but also a great bloke who loved a good joke and laugh with us lay people. The masses he conducted were emotional, beautiful and meaningful. Took me right back to my childhood. That left me with a deeper connection to my Catholic faith. Praying, going to mass and receiving the Eucharist has a new meaning for me now.

 

This weekend humbled me in knowing that going to a Catholic school (thinking you know it all), going to church on Sundays, and being a ‘perceived’ good Christian man was enough. Far from it. Upon self-reflection, I needed and yearned for a deeper relationship with Christ and a mature spiritual prayer life. This weekend has reiterated that, whilst being surrounded by a group of great likeminded ‘Croatian Catholic brothers’ made all the difference. To end with mass and the Croatian National Anthem topped it off.” — Steve Pavlesic

Another first-time attendee, Marijan, reflected on his first conference:

“In the Presence of the Holy Spirit.
For a couple of years, my friend Mile, has asked me come to the Croatian Men’s Conference that is held each year. “Hvala Dragom Bogu” I listened to him this time around.

 

Last week, as we arrived on the Friday afternoon you could see in the Croatian men’s faces that there is something special here. Everyone was happy and pleased to meet you. That evening we all went to Holy Mass. 70 Croatian men praying and singing, led by the amazing voice of Darko Zorić. After Mass, you could feel and sense in the faces of the Croatian brothers, that the Holy Trinity reigned down inside the Chapel.

 

I have no doubt in my mind and am 100% convinced that the Holy Spirit was with the Croatian brothers all weekend. How could Our Lord Jesus refuse 70 Croatian men, sincerely praying from their hearts? I’m so proud to be a part of the Knights of the Precious Blood Brotherhood.

 

This weekend was truly amazing to be in the Presence of the Holy Spirit. Now, I understand why the Croatian brothers keep coming back each year very Spirit lifted and I will definitely be back next year – “ako Bog da”.

 

I would recommend to my fellow Croatian men to join us for the “Men’s Breakfast” held monthly on the last Sunday of the month at the Croatian Church Blacktown and/or “Summer Hill Men’s Group” held monthly on the first Wednesday of the month at the Croatian Church Summer Hill. I guarantee you won’t regret it. God Bless you all.” – Marijan Abramović

 

Likewise, Tomislav and Ivan, first time attendees share how the weekend helped them:

“It has been my first attendance at the Cro Men’s Conference. I have had a great time socialising with fellow men, learning about the spiritual growth and making plans for changes in my life. As a husband and father, I got many ideas how to enhance my family life. I cannot wait for the next one.” – Tomislav Miletić

 

“What a great way to escape from the everyday noise. I found the retreat was all about FRIENDSHIP. Friendship between our fellow Croatian men…as we bond together not only to serve but to grow our divine friendship between ourselves and GOD” – Ivan Babić

The Croatian brotherhood and the support for our fellow man and family in this battle was clearly visible over the weekend. All the men left as different men. Equipped with the weapons needed to enter into the battle as soldiers of Christ, the men understood the importance of engaging in the fight. The need for men to stop sitting on the sidelines and watch our lives, manhood, our families, our Church and Society, get attacked and suppressed was made evident. We praise the Lord who has given us life in His Son Jesus Christ and has given us the victory in His name as we join the battle for souls. We pray that the Lord continue to bless us, those who attended the conference and those who the men touch, their families, friends and society, with their testimony and witness to Jesus Christ. Certainly, the witness of the 160,000 youth who consecrated themselves to battle under the banner of the Sacred Heart, inspired the Croatian men of Australia to continue living up to the name “Antemurale Christianitatis” – The Bulwark of Christianity, given to the Croatian people by Pope Leo X in 1519 honouring the courageous Croatians who defended Christendom against the enemies of Christ.

Bog i Hrvati

Below is a short highlights video from the conference.

REPRINT EDITION OF THE MEMORIAL BOOK PUBLISHED ON THE CONSECRATION OF CROATIAN YOUTH TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS 1900

A reprint of the Memorial book on the Consecration of Croatian Youth to the Sacred Heart of Jesus from 1900 was published in Zagreb, Croatia, Christmas 2020. This reprint edition of the Memorial was published on the occasion of the 120th anniversary, of this unique event in the history of the Catholic Church in Croatia.

At the beginning of the 20th century, responding to the call of Pope Leo XIII, 160.000 Croatian youth from all over Croatia and Bosna and Herzegovina consecrated themselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus on June 22, 1900. when the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was celebrated that year. This Memorial book brings abundant documentation on this event, both written and with illustrations. The title of the Memorial reads: Croatian youth under the flag of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Memorial and Vigil.

The consecration of Croatian youth in 1900, was a unique manifestation of faith not only in the history of the Church among Croats, but also in the entire Catholic Church, because no country of Catholic tradition recorded a similar religious event at the beginning of the 20th century. The Memorial was prepared and supplemented with texts by Jesuit, Anton Puntigam, who was the originator of the idea of the whole enterprise. He was then in the service of the Archbishop’s Seminary and High School in Travnik, in Bosna, run by the Jesuit Fathers.

This reprint edition of the Memorial is in three parts. After the preface and introduction, part one, is a 32-page preparatory brochure entitled Celebrating Croatian Youth at the Dawn of the New Century. The brochure was published in the early 1900’s as a preparation for the Consecration itself – which took place on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, June 22, 1900. As many as 50,000 copies were printed and distributed throughout Croatia, Bosna and Herzegovina. Then follows the second and main part – the 238-page Memorial book itself, which was originally published in the following year, 1901. In it are reports and descriptions of how the Consecration was made in all Croatian dioceses. The third part, is an added appendix, which provides an overview of how the Consecration was renewed in later decades, specifically 1910, 2000, 2001, 2010, 2015 and 2020.


A reprint of this Memorial book on the Consecration of Croatian Youth to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was published jointly by the Basilica of the Heart of Jesus in Zagreb, and the Postulator of Blessed Ivan Merz. The foreword to this reprint edition, was written by the Archbishop and Metropolitan of Vrhbosna, Cardinal Vinko Puljić, as this idea was initiated from the Vrhbosna Archdiocese. Specifically from Travnik, where the Consecration hymn, “Do nebesa nek ori ” which was sung for the occasion of this Consecration was written by Petar Perica, a high school student at the time, who later became a Jesuit and ended his life by martyrdom in 1944 on the island of Daksi, near Dubrovnik shot by communists. This hymn has remained with the Croatian people to this day, as a lasting monument in the hearts of Croatian believers, for this magnificent event.

In his preface, Cardinal Vinko Puljić writes, among other things: “I look forward to this reprint edition of the Memorial in order to preserve the memory of this unique religious event in our nation, and in these times when hopelessness and collapse of values, both young and adults, solidifies hope and gains inspiration for a better future. It is necessary for young people to re-open the door of the Sacred Heart to be strengthened in faith and find the source of love and through that find the right path for their self-realisation. “

To this day, the Croatian people have three memories of this Consecration of the youth do Sacred Heart: the hymn Do Nebesa, the book Spomenica-Memorial, now re-issued as a reprint edition, and a large ceremonial flag, made in 1910 for the renewal of the Consecration.

It is the desire of the publisher that today’s generation of Croatian youth, as well as all the faithful Croatian Catholic people, encouraged by the example of our ancestors, continue to worship the Sacred Heart of Jesus and live the Consecration as expressed in the verses of the Consecration hymn: With my soul and body forevermore I am yours, fighting an honourable battle for the Cross. (“Dušom tijelom vjek sam tvoj za krst časni bijuć boj.”)

Bog i Hrvati

Translated from original article in Croatian ivanmerz.hr author p. Božidar Nagy. SJ

More articles on this momentous event from our nations past:

Pod Barjakom Presvetog Srca Isusova Series

Part 1 (120th Anniversary)

 Part 2 (Consecration of Croatian Youth to the Sacred Heart of Jesus AD1900)

 Part 3 (1910 – Year of renewal of the Consecration)

 Part 4 (The 100th anniversary of the consecration)

For more information on this event in Croatian see links below.

Consecration of Croatian Youth to the Sacred Heart of Jesus AD1900

Posveta hrvatske mladeži Srcu Isusovu 1900. god.

120 Godina Pjesme “Don Nebesa “

Treaty of Pope Agathon and the Croats – AD679

As Pope at the head of the Church, he occupied the chair of Peter from 678 to 681, in truth a brief period of time, but for us Croats it was of the utmost importance.

Although we know relatively little about Pope Agathon’s life, his name and memorial day should evoke a joyous memory in the heart of every Croatian believer. He stands as a bright figure at the dawn of our history that begins with the baptism of our people (who were the first of the Slavic people to become Christian). As Pope at the head of the Church, he occupied the chair of Peter from 678 to 681, in truth a brief period of time, but for us Croats it was of the utmost importance.

Pope Agathon was born in Palermo, Sicily. After 20 years of marriage, he became a widower and entered the community of Benedictines. After being appointed cardinal, he was elected Pope in 678. He occupied St. Peter’s chair for less than three years, but he conquered everything with his gentle and cheerful disposition. He convened a church council in Rome around Easter 680AD, from which he sent an epistle to Emperor Constantine IV in Constantinople. Along with the Pope, the epistle was signed by all 125 bishops present, including the bishop from Istria, while there were no signatories from the rest of the Croatian territory. The Pope’s letter reads, among other things: “Among the barbarian peoples, both the Lombards and the Slavs, also in the midst of the Franks and Gauls, are many of my servants (ie bishops), who, in view of the apostolic faith, do not cease to labour zealously . . .”

Our historians Marković, Sakač and especially Mandić, confirm the fact that from this Pope’s letter it can be seen that in the year 680, bishops worked in the midst of some Slavic peoples and that this people had already accepted Christianity prior to that year. This people can only be Croatian, because other Slavic peoples were baptized only at the end of the 8th and the beginning of the 9th century, and according to Agathon’s epistle, as early as 680 there were several bishops already ministering among Croats, and Croats were Christians at that time.

In addition to that historical data, for us is even more important what the Byzantine emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus, as a contemporary of the first Croatian King Tomislav (who reigned from 912 to 959) writes in his work “De administrando imperio”. He writes: “After their baptism, the Croats set up a treaty with their own hands and swore with a firm and unwavering faith to St. Peter that they would never invade other people’s lands or go to war there, but that they would rather live in peace with anyone who wanted to. And in return, they received from the Pope a prayer (a promise) that he would fight for them and that the God of the Croats would be at their aid whenever other nations invade the Croatian land and disturb them with war, and St. Peter, a disciple of Christ, will endow them with victory.”
In 1931, Jesuit Father Stjepan Krizin Sakač (1890-1973) wrote a notable and important treatise titled “Ugovor pape Agatona i Hrvata proti navalnom ratu (oko g. 679.)” (The non-aggression contract between Pope Agathon and the Croats circa 679AD), our first international peace treaty, which was once translated into Spanish and convincingly proves that this treaty would correspond to the truth, and the Pope, whom the Emperor does not name, would be none other than Pope Agathon.
This text, we would dare to say, enters into the sacred pages of our history and it would be worthwhile for us as Croats and as believers, to delve deeper into it more often. It speaks, as a matter of first priority, of a very significant event which stands at the beginning of all Christian nations, and that is our baptism. With this event, we entered the circle of “cultured” European nations with all the ensuing consequences, because as a nation we began to experience the Christian mystery, which dedicated its wealth to so many of our sons and daughters, and then built so many churches that became the most enduring and eloquent witnesses of our spiritual culture.

This text also speaks of our national connection with God and with Peter, a disciple of Christ. The Croats swore to St. Peter that they would not wage invading wars and would rather live in peace. History testifies to the extent they fulfilled that oath. As history is often biased, it is difficult to make an accurate judgement on the basis of all the written documents. They certainly closed the door to conquests with this oath, set it as an ideal, and we believe that they largely achieved it. Think of the beatitude that Jesus included in His sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God!” (Mt 5:9). That is why the Croats received the special protection of God, and through their truly difficult history, battered and suppressed from all sides in this windstorm, they still managed to survive as a nation until today.

The connection to St. Peter, the first pope, already at the beginning of our history, and the treaty with Pope Agathon, are probably the reasons that the Croats throughout their history remained faithful to the papacy and Rome, always resolutely rejecting temptation, whether schism, or heresy. And that, surely, was a great grace to our people and should be a sacred obligation for the future as well.

Pope Agathon also used his business skills when the English bishops turned to Rome for advice. It was when St. Wilfrid of York and St. Theodore of Canterbury addressed Rome to demarcate the dioceses. He returned the deposed Bishop Wilfrid to English York, and sent the Benedictine abbot, Archbishop John, to the British Isles, to teach the English Gregorian chant and thus expand the Roman liturgy.

The most important event of Agathon’s pontificate is the Sixth Ecumenical Council (also known as the Third Council of Constantinople), called the Council of Trullo. The Council was held from 680 to 681, but unfortunately the Pope did not see it through to the end. At that Council, a monotheistic heresy was condemned that claimed that there were two natures in Jesus, but only one will. Two of Agathon’s letters addressed to the Council were instrumental in the delivery of the outcome.

Pope Agathon died on January 10, 681, and his body rests in the church of St. Peter in Rome. Above his grave is a Latin inscription of a poem of 12 verses.

The name “Agathon” is of Greek origin and means “good”.

The original article in Croatian can be found here: Sveti Agaton, papa

KNIGHTS OF THE PRECIOUS BLOOD – SOLDIER OF CHRIST AWARD – 2020

Today marked the last men’s breakfast for 2020 as we begin to prepare ourselves for Christmas. A big part of today was to honour all the men that attend the monthly Men’s Breakfast, but in particular to recognise someone that has stood out to as a true soldier of Christ, someone who constantly displays the values of the Knights – Bog, Obitelj i Domovina (God, Family and Nation).

At our last meeting in October, all the men had the opportunity to nominate someone that stood out to them as a true soldier of Christ, someone who displays the values of the Knights in all that he does.

We truly believe that every single one of us is a soldier of Christ. It shows in the interactions we all have with each other, be it at the men’s breakfasts, men’s masses or various other gatherings. We had the honour of reading all the nominations, and we were inspired by what we read.

You would think after reading all the comments that you are reading the biography of saints. Well, in fact they all are. We are all called to be saints and the work that everyone puts in, does not go unnoticed, by us and more importantly by God. We all inspire each other and sadly a lot of times we don’t tell each other. So let us all make a conscious effort to let people know when they inspire us.

It’s not about bragging rights, but as saints in the making we all need some encouragement to know we are on the right path. We all struggle from time to time and kind words can never go astray. Which brings us to the Soldier of Christ for 2020, and hopefully for all eternity, Alec (Svetko) Petesic who was nominated by his peers as the Knights first “Soldier of Christ Award” recipient. Some of the comments about Svetko that we received included:

– being fully committed to God, family and country
– God works through him with all the people he meets/encounters
– A man of Faith, Hope and Charity
– Great example and inspiration

It was a tremendous moment being able to honour a true Soldier of Christ, by presenting him with one of the greatest weapons a soldier of Christ has at his disposal, a Spiritual Warfare Bible. Come and join us at the next men’s gathering where you will be truly inspired.

Bog i Hrvati.

HOW THE OLDEST CROATIAN IMAGE OF THE MOTHER OF GOD BECAME AN INSPIRATION

Our Lady of the Croatian Baptismal Covenant is especially revered by Croatian veterans, and she is the patroness of the Military Diocese

Our Lady’s Pralik – The Banner of Christian and National Unity  (see Note 1.)

August 14, 2018

That the Croats are a Marian-oriented people is confirmed by many facts from a long history, and one of them is the veneration of the oldest image of the Mother of God in Croatian art, which dates from the 11th century. The oldest image of Mary was elevated as “Croatian Our Lady of Pilgrimage” and the holy image was transformed into a monument and became the symbol of Our Lady of the Great Croatian Baptismal Covenant 41 years ago. As part of the great jubilee of the celebration of thirteen centuries of Christianity among the Croats the monument travelled around our homeland and in a visible way connected all the Marian shrines, all the jubilees, the whole church life of the people at that time. This monument symbolises the entire Marian spirit of Croatian history, from which in a way all later Marian depictions derive.

The gable of the altar partition

“When the guardian of our ancient heritage and the founder of Croatian national archaeology, the Franciscan Lujo Marun found the stone Romanesque gable of the altar partition from the cathedral of St. Marija in diocese near Knin, at the Crkvina site on May 14, 1892, he had no idea that his discovery would become the main symbol of the Marian renewal and national consciousness of the Croatian people. This original Romanesque period stone gable of the altar partition from the cathedral in Knin is the beginning and an archetype of the croatian sacral art, which testifies that we were and remain an integral part of the Christian family”, said academic painter and Franciscan Ante Branko Periša. He also pointed out that there are many stone fragments from the Pre-romanesque and Romanesque periods found within the archaeological remains in Croatia which are important for the study of the national history and sacred art.

Ante Jurčević, senior curator at the Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments in Split, agrees with him, whose collection includes the original gable, which has been reconstructed from three fragments. Under the catalogue number 1101 in the collection, there is a gable 65 cm high, 102 cm wide and 11 cm thick which has been preserved. “The basilica from which the gable originates was dedicated to St. Stephen and St. Mary and it is one of the oldest Marian shrines in Croatia, since an inscription was found with the title of the church from the 9th century, and the basilica was the cathedral church of the Croatian bishop from 1042. The gable, together with other parts of the altar partition in our museum, was erected around 1070-1080. Another, older depiction of the Mother of God carved on the window grille and the oldest crucifix originates from this locality.

In honour of this shrine, Ivan Meštrović built the votive church of Our Lady in the immediate vicinity in 1938, popularly known as the Church of the Croatian Baptismal Covenant, and during the consecration of the church in September 1938, Blessed Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac gave a significant prophetic speech which was published in the ‘Novo Doba’ newspaper “, senior curator Jurčević told Glas Koncila.

Our Lady of Intercession

Our Lady of the Great Croatian Baptismal Covenant is depicted in a prayer position, as Mary of Intercession, Father Periša explains as he gives a detailed interpretation of the figure “as Our Lady Intercessor – Maria Orans (latin orans, praying), arms raised on her chest, palms facing the faithful. Made according to the Byzantine Marian tradition, this bodily posture signifies surrender into the hands of God. Thus Our Lady is depicted in the gable image as the Mother of God – Theotokos, Mater Dei, because in a meditative way she establishes a sensitive relationship with the faithful. There are similar examples in Eastern iconography in the technique of tempera on wood, but our image is carved in stone relief. “

An unknown Croatian author made a flat relief using shallow incisions. Our Lady’s cloak shifted over her left shoulder so that the folds of her dress, which ran over her head and around her neck, descended obliquely down her body. He marked the figure of Our Lady with two crosses, one on the forehead and the other in a triangular end above the head, and a circle of light or a halo around her head. Avoiding the empty space (horror vacui), the horror of a void, the figure of Our Lady was bordered by a wide double decorative frame, and a Greek cross with four identical arms, the crux immissa (Latin cross), was inserted into the void in the upper triangle.

»By copying the sacred image into a sculptural relief, the author did not forget to add, according to the iconographic rules of the time, a small cross on the dress that wraps around Our Lady’s forehead. Thus, he completed the archetype with two crosses, one on the forehead, out of need, and the other in a triangle, out of necessity. Our Lady’s figure is framed by two different plaited ornaments, which appear so often on Croatian soil that we can call them Croatian pleter or Croatian interlace. The outer part of the border, on the left and the right side of the triangular gable, was decorated by the author with stylized hooks, or nines, which he placed in an opposite way than was usual in the Romanesque period style, which obviously made the frame more vivid. He decorated the inner part of the border with stylized palm tree ornaments or, as it is commonly said, palmettes, “said Father Periša.

The originality of the Our Lady’s Pralik (the oldest figure of Our Lady or archetype)

In the lower part of the triangular gable, which ends in the shape of an arch or an empty lunette, the author has carved an adapted abbreviated Latin inscription: SALV (e) (re)G(ina) S(alve) V(i)RGO – Hail Queen, Hail Virgin, which was partially damaged over time. It could be concluded from the inscription, says the interlocutor of Father Periša that the archetype depicts the Annunciation to The Blessed Virgin Mary in which Our Lady surrenders herself into God’s hands.

Our Lady’s archetype has a special value and uniqueness, as the painter Father Periša testifies: “The archetype is unique and special because it is the only one from that period that depicts the figure of the Mother of God in Croatian sacral art. And that is why we called it the image before all other images, a “Pralik” – archetype, that is, the first and original image of Marian iconography on Croatian soil. According to Romanesque decorations, it dates from the second half of the 11th century. Its author is an unknown Croatian sculptor, who used local stone, which is proof that it was not made in a Byzantine stonemason’s workshop”. At that time, Byzantine sacred art, as experts say, had a strong influence on Mediterranean and Croatian culture. However, the originality of the archetype in comparison with other Christian nations is especially emphasised by the fact that the Croatian sculptor, using the law of the frame of a triangular gable on the surface of the shallow relief, carved a real icon, a sacred image.

How demanding was it to make such a work of art, we ask the interlocutor, who replies that at that time it was difficult to carve a triangular stone block with girders, between which is a semicircular empty lunette, and place it on two pillars together with architraves and plutei as an altar partition between the apse and the nave.
“As a stonemason’s art, all parts of the sculptural iconostasis, so to speak, had to be incorporated into a harmonious whole, and the relief ornaments and the figure of Our Lady as a sacred image on the altar gable had to visibly dominate the space below the triumphal arch, separating the apse from the nave.”, says Father Periša.

Faithful Croatian Advocate

Apart from being the oldest figure of Our Lady in Croatian art, the figure of Our Lady has become the symbol of the manifestation “Thirteen Centuries of Christianity in Croats” and of the awakening of national consciousness. It all started at the solemn end of Jelena’s year, September 12, 1976, when more than a hundred thousand Croatian pilgrims gathered on Our Lady’s Island in Solin, when Cardinal Franjo Šeper blessed Our Lady’s Pralik at a celebration commemorating the 1000th anniversary of the great Croatian queen Jelena.

Pope John Paul II Blessing our Lady’s Pralik, 1979

The editors of Glas Koncila newspaper, who in their writings attached great importance to the image of Our Lady of the Great Covenant, made a special effort to make a work of art a “fuel” for the awakening of the faithful. »Since from the beginning She was the ‘Mother of our Church and our people in the centuries when we were born as a people and as a Church’ Our Lady of the Croatian Baptismal Covenant, as we called the oldest Marian image in Croatian sacral art, the Mother of God became a faithful Croatian Advocate because from the 8th century to the present day She has preserved our national Christian roots through thirteen centuries. In order for the dream to become state-building, Our Lady helped again her faithful people. It was with Our Lady of Biskupija that the spiritual renewal called ‘Thirteen Centuries of Christianity among Croats’ began. The celebration first began in Solin, on Our Lady’s Island on September 12, 1976, continued on September 17, 1978 on the historical soil in Biskupija near Knin and on September 2, 1979 in Nin near Zadar, and ended in Marija Bistrica on September 9. 1984. Thus, the Church in Croatia in a great way showed religious and national unity through the Pilgrimage of Our Lady’s Pralik which visited all parts of our beautiful homeland. In Our Lady’s Pralik, from the 11th century until today, therefore, lives the pious spirit of the Croatian faithful, which was a renewing force in the fateful years of the national being and spirit. We have similar examples in other Christian nations, which chose Our Lady as the leader, as evidenced by the national Marian shrines, but only Croats chose pralik, ie the oldest figure of Our Lady in fine arts, to be the banner of Christian and national unity “, said Father Periša.

Pralik also in the bishop’s coat of arms

As Glas Koncila newspaper in the 1970s wrote, in addition to the original, replicas were made with donations from believers from all over the nation, castings in silver and gold as a visible sign of the entire Croatian Catholic history. The Marian promoter, Father Kruno Vukušić, cast six figures of Our Lady of the Great Croatian Baptismal Covenant and presented them to the faithful for worship: the home for Croatian pilgrims in Rome, the monastery of St. Francis in Imotski, the shrine of Our Lady in Biskupija near Knin, the seat church of St. Stošija in Zadar, the Croatian Catholic Mission in Stuttgart and the Military Ordinariate of the Republic of Croatia when the Military Ordinariate was established in Zagreb in 1997. Our Lady of the Croatian Baptismal Covenant became the patron saint of Croatian veterans and the Military Diocese. For the faithful, on the other hand, small, metal copies of Our Lady’s Pralik were made and can still be found on the walls of houses.

Our Lady’s Pralik on Pilgramage

In the 1970s and 1980s, Our Lady’s Pralik travelled in magnificent processions of bishops, priests and believers throughout Croatia, and this pralik was mentioned in the bishop’s message in which they encouraged the people to continue and expand the jubilee “Thirteen Centuries of Christianity in Croats”. In a document issued at the end of 1976, they wrote: “Bishops believe that the significant transfer of this figure from diocese to diocese, from parish to parish, could usefully mark and encourage the connection of the entire Church in the Croatian people with the great messages of Solin.”
It is also interesting that the Bishop of Šibenik, Dr. Antun Tamarut, when he was appointed bishop in 1986, put the oldest sign of our Marian devotion in his episcopal coat of arms, in the year of the tenth anniversary of the veneration of this figure. Our Lady’s Pralik also received an anthem written by Živko Kustić, which mentions all the old and newer Croatian Marian shrines:

 


»Spomen slave pokraj Knina,
velik zavjet sred Solina,
znak pobjede iznad Nina,
za Hrvate moli Sina.

Zvonimir ti pralik diže,
Jelena Ti crkvu gradi,
ta baština do nas stiže,
preuzeše zavjet mladi.

Od Trsata do Aljmaša,
Ti si Majko snago naša.
Od Poreča do Škrpjela,
svetišta su Tvoja bijela.

Olovo, Sinj i Tekije,
svud nas Tvoja ljubav grije,
Brijeg Široki i Kondžilo,
štitilo je tvoje krilo.

Bistrica kraj Zagreb grada,
naše sloge nova nada,
Ti si sunce usred tmina,
za Hrvate moli Sina.«


»Memorial of glory near Knin,
great vow in the middle of Solin,
a sign of victory over Nin,
for the Croats She prays to the Son.

Zvonimir is raising Your pralik,
Jelena you build a church,
that heritage reaches us,
took the vow youth.

From Trsat to Aljmaš,
You are the Mother of our strength.
From Poreč to Škrpjelo,
Your shrines are white.

Olovo, Sinj and Tekija,
Your love warms us everywhere,
Brijeg Široki and Kondžilo,
protected by Your wing.

Bistrica near Zagreb city,
our harmony is a new hope,
You are the sun in the midst of darkness,
pray the Son for the Croats. ”


Notes:

  1. Article Published originally in Croatian by  Ivan Tašev -14. kolovoza 2018. (Glas Koncila)

 

25th Anniversary OLUJA – Men’s Mass – Homily

MONS. VALENTIN POZAIĆ, ASSISTANT BISHOP OF ZAGREB

Homily on the feast of Our Lady of the Snows (see Note 1)
Our Lady of the Snows – Homeland Thanksgiving Day – Veterans Day
5 August, 1995-2012
Marija Bistrica – 18th Sunday of the year (B)

Today’s liturgical readings from the Scriptures, which we have just heard, point us to a deeper foundation and understanding of the events in our human life and work. In different times, due to different life conditions, we are ready, and often mercilessly compelled, to undertake various and great acts of renunciation, which are not exactly harmless to regular personal, family, religious and social life.
And when we are without, we strive, at the very least, to provide for ourselves and others that most basic of necessities without which we cannot survive: food and drink. Food is a necessity for our physical survival, but its significance is much greater: it has both a social and a spiritual dimension. Man is not a machine which takes in fuel, rather he is a physical-spiritual, personal being who feeds and is nourished.

Whatever we celebrate, or whenever we socialise, in joy or in sorrow, we gather together alongside food and drink. In that way, regular meals at the family table or on a family outing, especially on feast days, uphold our fellowship, keep people together, shape and strengthen community.
In the Bible, it is often impossible to separate these two aspects of food and eating: the physical aspect, and the spiritual, mental, emotional aspect.
And so it was with Jesus. Seeing His audience was exhausted from hunger and from the journey because, ignoring their material needs, they followed Him instead, thirsting for the Bread and water of eternal life, Jesus responded by feeding them with food for this life, and directing them to loftier values.
He left this way of feeding as a legacy to his Apostles, His disciples, when at the Last Supper He said to them, ‘Do this in memory of me’ (1 Cor 11:24). And throughout history they remained faithful to that bequest. We are faithful to this will of Jesus today too in this holy celebration and partaking at the altar of the Lord.
Today’s date is also a feast day, one of those that are permanently inscribed in Croatian national history. We remember the day when, after several years of the relentless aggressions of evil and hatred, our beautiful homeland was magnificently defended.
It was, and remains, a day of victory, pride and glory. For that long awaited and deeply desired day many laid down their lives, their health, their loved ones at the altar of our Homeland, and our whole Homeland suffered innumerable cultural, intellectual, spiritual and material losses.
That day of victory, pride and glory occurred on the feast of the Mother of God – Our Lady of Snows. It was a blessing from heaven in response to the persistent and persevering prayers of both the defenders and the people. So many eyes were fixed on the sacred sign of the Cross of Christ, elevated in many places; and the Rosary on the neck of the defenders, the Croatian knights, and in the hands of the faithful people, became a beloved and inalienable possession, a sacred sign of the recognition of faith and hope and love, and the future of the Croatian people.
We admire all who managed to survive the war, and equally so, the post-war woes: we congratulate and thank them – and the deceased we treasure with deep reverence in our hearts and our prayers. And still the fate of many remains unknown, and this is an indelible pain.
The chosen people, as we could hear today, exiting slavery and entering the promised freedom of their land, quickly forgot all the terrible evils of slavery, and succumbed to the infection of an imposed submissive mentality, servitude; led astray by evil-doers amongst them, they grumbled against their God-given leaders and deliverers, against the wonderful land; they even wanted to go back – despite numerous sacrifices and glorious experiences.
They became ungrateful for all the gifts they received and belittled and insulted their liberators. Satan tempts man to despise the treasure he has, or to see only what is not good, or what seems so.
Many have stumbled on the path of elation and joy of a liberated Croatia. We hear serious grievances: ‘Croatia has been liberated, but it is not free’; ‘she will be punished because she was not supposed to be freed’, or ‘in Croatia, it is good – for those who did not want Croatia’.
The malicious evil of communist terror and intimidation has not dissipated; indeed, it continues to be renewed through the glorification of crimes and the erection of monuments. And though every day new atrocities and evils and new mass graves come to light, this society is not de-communised.
On the contrary, positions and powers and privileges are enjoyed by those who have committed crimes, those who protect and defend and glorify them, and still erect monuments to them. It is not known how many receive large profits even today.
Persecutors of people receive rewards – for promoting human rights. In today’s Croatia, the dark communist past is not punished, but rewarded. Moreover, mass murderers and terrorists are compared to Croatian defenders – which is a sign of extreme moral depravity. And although that ideology is one of the greatest evils in the history of mankind, they are not ashamed.
A well-known prayer of the Church is the ‘Litany of All Saints’. Through this prayer, which calls on the intercession of all the saints and martyrs, we cry out to the Divine Majesty to hear us, to grant our requests, in our numerous needs and tribulations. It is a long prayer of many invocations.
To these numerous invocations, we in Croatia should add a new one, an altogether special invocation for a very special need, which some other nations, delivered from the same communist terror and slavery, resolved in their own way quite long ago.
If there were among those many invocations that of ‘Holy purification: visit us, set us free! ‘, we should pray the ‘Litany of All Saints’ every day.
Let the purification go from Pantovčak, across St. Mark’s Square on both sides, let it go down to Zrinjevac, then across Prisavlje – let it visit our entire Homeland! And let it not forget the snake that sits in the Croatian bosom, and the one that breeds new anti-Croatian snakes.
Yes, today we celebrate Victory Day and Thanksgiving Day, Veterans’ Day. What today we celebrate symbolically, we should live out every day. Thanksgiving Day is a reminder that we have done a lot, but that we have been given a lot – from above. We nurture our life, but before that we received it as a gift. He who is grateful knows where he is and who is the foundation of his life.
Did we quickly forget the all-encompassing message of Cardinal Franjo Kuharić: love of God, love of neighbour, love of country?
Are we grateful when we take a stand against life, against family, against truths about Croatia’s past and present – and when in that way, consciously or unconsciously, we give up the future?
Are we grateful when we observe indifferently, and so in that way participate in, the shameful enactment of the law that betrays life, marriage, and family as it was conceived by the Creator and Lover of life (Wisdom 11:26)?
Are we living as a people of life for life or have we betrayed life? Holy Scripture loudly proclaims, ‘I call heaven and earth today to witness against you: I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live, by loving the Lord, your God, heeding his voice, and holding fast to him. For He is your life, your long life, that you may dwell peacefully on earth’ (Deut 30: 19-20).
When he was at the Croatian National Theatre last year, in front of the elected ones of Croatian society, the Holy Father Benedict XVI spoke about the importance of conscience. They applauded him with a great deal of clapping. Where was the conscience a year later, on Friday 13th July this year, 2012? Are we aware of the hand of the death Industry working within Parliament? This hand is for Satan, who is a liar and a murderer from the beginning, from Cain through to today (Jn 8:44).
Is there any believer, who performs his duty responsibly, able to claim that he has not learnt of and known God’s truth about marriage and the family, about the beginning and dignity of human life at all its stages – thanks to the civic initiatives of ‘Vigilare’, as well as the campaign ‘I too was an embryo’?

Is this the only way Croatian bishops have repeatedly spoken on this issue and reminded people that such a bill is “deeply immoral and inhumane in its content and nature” (Statement of the Permanent Council of the CBC on the final Bill on medically assisted insemination’, July 9, 2012 )?

Let us be grateful and not abandon our beautiful homeland: let us not despise her beauty and riches; let us not allow all that was created worthily to perish; let not the weeds overgrow our fertile fields and meadows, and vineyards and olive groves; let us love our blue sea not only for tourism, but far more as a rich fount of health and food and development; let us love our beautiful homeland not only in words but above all in deed and truth, with a wholehearted commitment to honesty and justice, so that our homeland is not overwhelmed by sorrow and pain from dismemberment and sale, but to rejoice in the flourishing progress, pride, and dignity of her sons and daughters.
Let us be grateful to all those generous individuals, families, mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, sisters and brothers, brave and joyful defenders, who lived, worked and prayed for this holy ground, in whom the spirit lives and the heart beats: As long as there is a heart, there will be Croatia!

Let us be appreciative by living and working so that this sacred little part of the universe always remains our happy and blessed beautiful homeland!
And you, Soul of the Croatian soul, Mother of Jesus, the most faithful advocate of the land of Croatia, stand on the defense of the faith, keep our holy faith and the Croatian home! Amen.

Note 1: The above English text is a direct translation from Croatian original homily which can be found here in PDF.

Bog i Hrvati

Modernism – Enemies of the Church

“It must be confessed that these latter days have witnessed a notable increase in the number of the enemies of the cross of Christ, who by acts entirely new and full of deceit, are striving to destroy the vital energy of the Church, and as far as in then lies, utterly to subvert the very Kingdom of Christ.”Pope ST. Pius X, Pascendi Dominicic Gregis, 1907

Men. It is time to wake up! “Probudi se”. Look around you. There is a great battle raging. Not just for your soul, but for those of your family members and the Catholic Church. The enemies are not only at the door of the Church, they have broken through and now as a trojan horse, cause havoc from within. It is no wonder that Pope St Pius X, over 100 years ago named “modernism” as the synthesis of all heresies in his encyclical “Pascendi Dominici Gregis” on the 8th September 1907. The serpent of modernism has definitely infiltrated the Church from within and it has laid its eggs which are now hatching and continue to hatch. It is more dangerous than any other heresy in that other heresies deny a certain aspect or dogma of faith and Catholic teaching or try to attack the Church from without.  But modernism is attacking from within, seeking to destroy all that is supernatural, the reigning school of Catholic thought for the existence of God and the authority of Scripture and Sacred Tradition. They instead prefer to look to intuition, human experience and inner yearnings as the basis of religious belief based on teachings of secular philosophy and liberal Protestantism with authors such as German’s Kant, Hegel and Friedrich Schleiermacher as well as some priests such as excommunicated Jesuit George Tyrell. But in this post-modern era, it isn’t hard to find on any street corner, a teacher, lecturer, politician, parishioner and even priest or bishop who doesn’t demonstrate and subscribe to the false teachings of modernism. These modernists are on the attack, and silent Catholics are letting them run riot. Pope St Pius X describes them as such:

“Moreover they lay the axe not to the branches and shoots, but to the very root, that is, to the faith and its deepest fires. And having struck at this root of immortality, they proceed to disseminate poison through the whole tree, so that there is no part of Catholic truth from which they hold their hand, none that they do not strive to corrupt.” (Pascendi, 3).

All we hear in this day and age is talk of political correctness. Words such as “left” and “right”, “forward” and “backward”, “progressive” and “regressive” take political discussion only so far, and some push their agendas as wolves in sheep’s clothing. But the reality is there is no “left” and “right”, but only “right” versus “wrong”. Eventually, any conversation must come down to sin and grace because as Cardinal Henry Edward Manning, Catholic Archbishop of Westminster observed “all human conflict is ultimately theological”. The only real directions we can go are up to glory or down to perdition. If we are to survive in this battle, we need to step “into the breach” (cf. Ezekiel 22:30).

During Pope Leo’s pontificate Liberal Catholicism and modernism started making inroads into the Church, causing Bishop Sarto (Later St Pope Pius X) to warn his priests:

“No type is more dangerous than this, and to be persuaded of it, it is sufficient to consider the obstinacy with which so- called ‘Liberal-Catholics’ cling to their false doctrine, trying to lure the Church herself into their way of thinking. Priests must watch against that hypocrisy which attempts to enter into the fold of Christ preaching Charity and Prudence, as though it were Charity to let the wolf tear the sheep to pieces, or Virtue to practice that prudence of the flesh which is reproved by God … Priests must watch, for the faith is threatened, less by open denial than by the subtlety and falsehood of those perfidious Liberal- Catholics, who, stopping scarcely on the brink of condemned error, find their strength in the appearance of pure doctrine.”

Bishop Sarto continues:

“Let priests take care not to accept from the Liberal any ideas which, under the mask of good, pretend to reconcile Justice with Iniquity. Liberal Catholics are wolves in sheep’s clothing. The priest must unveil to the people their perfidious plot, their iniquitous design. You will be called Papist, clerical, retrograde, intolerant, but pay no heed to the derision and mockery of the wicked. Have courage; you must never yield, nor is there any need to yield. You must go into the attack whole-heartedly, not in secret but in public, not behind barred doors, but in the open, in the view of all” (Father Hieronymo Dal-Gal, Pius X, The Life Story Of The Beatus, Dublin, M. H. Gill And Son Ltd., 1954, pp 73-74).

It is no wonder that one of the greatest encyclicals of Pope St Pius X, Pascendi Dominici Gregis (On the Dcoctrines of the Modernists) is relevant today as it was when it was written back in 1907. The warnings of Pope St Pius X have not been heeded and we see the modernists at work in todays society within and without the Church. We see a deep push from religious, including Bishops and priests of the Church to promote gender ideology, the acceptance of same sex marriage, abortion, euthanasia, women and married priests just to name a few. More recently we see a proposal for the Catholic schools in the Paramatta diocese to introduce teachings that include ideas of gender fluidity, identity politics and atheism promoting questions such as “Is sexuality optional? Does the Church’s teaching on sexuality have any value or relevance to modern life? How does social media construct sexual identity?” For those who have eyes to see, it isn’t hard to understand and realise that this is the error of modernism in action, breathing its error down the neck on our innocent youth in an attempt to drag them down with its scaly tail of immorality and denial of Scripture and Sacred Church teaching. Mixing some truth with errors in their teaching, the modernists are likened to someone who cunningly puts a drop of poison into a cup of pure water. One drop and the whole cup becomes poison!

Others are promoting erroneous practices with Eastern influence such as centering prayer or mindfulness instead of traditional prayers such as the Rosary, Divine Mercy prayers and devotions such as the Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart. They forsake spiritual works of mercy and the Sacraments such as Confession and Eucharistic adoration and reparation. Instead, they focus solely on social justice activities (ie. temporal works of mercy) although not wrong in itself and certainly inspired by Our Lord and taught by the Church, offer a place for them to hide from developing a deeper spirituality and an avenue to push their own agenda and ego.

These are just some examples of modernism at play. We were warned by Pope St Pius when he released his encyclical warning us of such errors developing. It is worth a read and can be found on the Vatican website. In an attempt to combat the spread of modernism, the Saint not only had the foresight and inspiration to warn us, he even wrote the Oath Against Modernism contained in the Motu Proprio Sacrorum Antistitum, 1st September, 1910 where he outlines an oath to be sworn by all clergy, pastors, confessors, preachers, religious superiors, and professors in philosophical-theological seminaries. This obligation was sadly rescinded in 1967(or dare I say hijacked by modernists in Vatican II) and the effects have been devastating.

We read in the Old Testament that God commanded Moses to remove his sandals as he was standing on holy ground (Exodus 3:5). And this is rightly so. It is a sign reverence, humility and respect. But men, do not take off your sandals! Keep them on! Do not accept the false teaching of modernists as holy ground. Do not take off your sandals and remain silent with their false teachings. Their teachings are not holy! The modernists have taken some holy ground away from us planting their weeds of destruction. We cannot sit back and remain silent. It is time we fight back. We have to call them out and not be lukewarm nor silent. Fight with prayer and trust in God. Uphold the Eternal and Sacred Teachings of the Church. Proclaim them to your families, to your schools and in your parishes. If they are trying to pollute you or your children with erroneous teaching, call them out. Direct them to the Truth. Do not be afraid. We need to once again proclaim the Oath as outlined by Pope St Pius (Oath against Modernism):

“I firmly hold, then, and shall hold to my dying breath the belief of the Fathers in the charism of truth, which certainly is, was, and always will be in the succession of the episcopacy from the apostles. The purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age; rather, that the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different, may never be understood in any other way”.

In the words of the Jesus we may summarize the modernists and the post conciliar hierarchy who have embraced this error by saying “they are blind, and leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both fall into the pit. ” (Matt 15:14). One way we can ensure we are not being led by the blind is to hold fast to the Holy Catholic Church and its teachings. This is threefold. Firstly, we need to hold fast to Holy Scripture and its teachings. The Bible is the Word of God. Secondly, we have the Magisterium of the Catholic Church which is guided by the Holy Spirit to interpret and teach the Word of God. Lastly, we have the examples of the Saints who have lived the Word of God. They have set us an example to follow and imitate. So if the teaching of the modernists is not Biblical, supported by the Magisterium and Sacred Tradition of the Church and not practiced by the Saints – it isn’t Catholic or true. We need to practice this discernment.

Moreover, as a specific solution to this modernist crisis we need to read the encyclical and with hand on heart and Bible, repeat the oath against modernism.  It seems clear that we must conclude with Pope St Pius X that:

“The impudence and the domineering of some, and the thoughtlessness and imprudence of others, have combined to generate a pestilence in the air which penetrates everywhere and spreads the contagion. (Pascendi, 34).

It is no wonder Pope St Pius X states:

“The greatest obstacle in the apostolate of the Church is the timidity or rather the cowardice of the faithful.”

Thus it is clear that despite the war being waged by Modernists in the name of progress and liberty its poisonous errors must be unmasked and refuted for restoration of the faith and civil society and right order to take effect. But how do we unmask them if we do not know them or even know True Catholic teaching against modernism. I encourage you all the read the encyclical by St Pope Pius X against modernism as well as the oath against modernism. Another great way is to read the Catechism on Modernism according to the encyclical “Pascendi Dominici Gregis”. This document highlights the history, modernist beliefs, causes and remedies. If we are to refute these false teachings we need to not only know what they are, but also how to refute them and learn the teaching of the Catholic Church. We are called to give an answer to all those who ask as well as defending the faith. Stay tuned for future blogs on this document of Catechism on Modernism. We aim to present excerpts of this catechism to equip and educate you in this battle. Take courage men. Do not be afraid. “Ne boj se.”

Bog i Hrvati.

Pascendi Dominici Gregis (Encyclical of Pope Pius X – On the Doctrines of the Modernists)

The Oath Against Modernism

Catechism on Modernism

Catechism on Modernism (PDF copy)

 

Pod Barjakom Presvetog Srca Isusova – Part 2 (Consecration of Croatian Youth to the Sacred Heart of Jesus)

In the year 2000, it was the one-hundred-year anniversary of the monumental event when over 160,000 young Croatian’s in 1900, consecrated themselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The memory of this consecration has remained in the Croatian people to this day: one of the most popular 20th century Croatian religious hymns “Do nebesa nek se ori”, was specially written and sung just for the occasion. We will outline how this consecration was organised and performed with this review. (see note: 1)

Preparatory Committee for Youth Consecration

Pope Leo XIII, together with all the Bishop’s of the world in 1899, consecrated the whole human race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This event was inspirational and in Croatia, the following year, 1900, an initiative was launched for Croatian youth to consecrate themselves, personally to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The main person behind this initiative was O. Antun Puntigam, D.I. a Jesuit priest stationed at the seminary in Travnik. In the early part of 1900, he inspired several priests in Zagreb who were involved with youth pastoral ministry with this idea and they established a special committee to organise the consecration. From their first meeting on February 24, 1900, they sent a public invitation to the Croatian youth for the consecration, which was also published in the press. The initiators of this consecration, in addition, to the response to Pope Leo XIII, wanted the end of one century, and the entry into the next, to be marked for the Croatian youth by their confirmation of faith and devotion to Jesus Christ. The Board members were: Dr Andrija Jagatić as president, K Matica vice president, Stj. Ćukac secretary, and board: Dr J. Lang, N. Kamenar, Dr K Bosnjak, Stj. Niemčić, Dr L Jambrekovic, M. Rukavina.

The Croatian Bishops and the provincial government approved of the idea

The committee immediately informed the Croatian bishops of this initiative. The entire Croatian episcopate readily approved, blessed and took it under its wing, and promised the necessary help. Some Bishops also confirmed their approval in writing. The Archbishop of Zagreb, Dr Juraj Posilović, appointed Dr Andrija Jagatić as the head of the committee, and sent the following words to the entire committee in writing: “I recommend and gladly bless the wonderful idea that our Croatian youth, this year consecrate themselves as solemnly as possible to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and in a special way pay homage to Pope Leo XIII”. Sarajevo Archbishop Josip Stadler, a great promoter of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Bosna warmly recommended to everyone in his diocese to “work as reverently as possible on this celebration.” Bishop of Đakovo J.J. Strossmayer especially advocated the realisation of the idea and issued a circular for the whole diocese approving the whole initiative, and giving very specific instructions on how this initiative should be implemented among young people in the diocese of Đakovo. The other Croatian Bishops did not lag behind in their recommendation and commitment to the consecration.

The High Provincial government to which the Board applied for patronage, gave its consent, and approved all the actions which were organised for the consecration by schools.

Accompanying actions with the consecration would be: an album with signatures and a golden heart for the Pope, a contribution to Peter’s Pence, and a pilgrimage to Rome.

After the “Call”, which was made public in the form of a leaflet, the committee published a special thirty-page brochure entitled “Celebration of Croatian Youth at the Dawn of the New Century”, in which it explained in more detail the meaning of the consecration and the way it should be performed. In this brochure, for the first time, the hymn of the consecration “Do nebesa” was published, written by the 19-year-old high school student, Petar Perica. In three months, 50,000 copies of this booklet were distributed throughout Croatia and Herzeg-Bosna.

The brochure explained all actions initiated in connection with the consecration, and aimed to give the whole venture a character of seriousness, visibility, and confirmation of its sincere adherence to Christ. All those actions consisted of a connection with the Pope – the Vicar of Christ, in Rome and consisted in this: preparing and creating the album with all the signatures of those who participated in the consecration, and gathering of a “spiritual bouquet”, ie: the prayers and acts of piety, for the Holy Father, collecting Peter’s Pence and the pilgrimage to Rome, to hand all the gifts over to the Pope.

 

 

Album containing Signatures

More than 160,000 Croatian young men and women responded to the call, all their signatures were collected, over several months, in a large album dedicated to the Holy Father. The “heart of gold” was created, this figure of gold was the size of the human heart, which represented the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Within this “heart of gold”, was placed a list containing the “spiritual bouquet”, i.e.: all the acts of piety that young Croatian Catholics undertook for the Holy Father over several months.

These acts of piety consisted of the following:
800 fasts, 1,200 Way of the Cross, 1,500 three-day Masses, 2,000 novenas, 5,000 Church pilgrimages, 8,000 golden rosaries, 40,000 sacramental Holy Communions, 60,000 Spiritual Communions, 90,000 Holy Masses, 126,000 Rosaries of Our Lady, 130,000 acts of self-denial, 150,000 Litanies, 575,000 other prayers. Total: 1,189,500 prayers and good deeds.

The book “Croatian Youth under the Flag of Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Remembrance -Awakening the People of Christ” tells of confirming the consecration of the youth and its devotion to Christ’s Vicar. This remembrance book was published in Zagreb in 1901 and it was presented with a wide-ranging display of numerous documents and photographs of how the celebration was prepared and took place in all Croatian dioceses. The book was written by O. Antun Puntigam, D.I. who was also the conceptual director of the entire celebration. On page 38 we read: “The Croatian youth would not give the Holy Father the heart of gold as he pleased, but the figure of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. They consecrated their innocent hearts to the Sacred Heart of Jesus; the Heart of Jesus and the heart of Croatian youth became one heart with this consecration. As an external sign of this inner consecration, young Croatian’s showed its heart in the Heart of Jesus to the visible Vicar of Christ. “

Together with the above actions, the action of collecting “Peter’s Pence” flowed. These are monetary contributions collected by Catholics around the world for the Pope and for the purpose of maintaining the central institutions of the Church. In this action, young Croatians collected 500 ducats that were handed over to the Holy Father during the Roman pilgrimage.

A solemn celebration for the consecration to the Heart of Jesus in Croatian dioceses

The celebration of the consecration of Croatian youth to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was performed in most Croatian dioceses on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Friday 22 June 1900, and some on, Sunday 24 June 1900, where there were outdoor celebrations of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The celebration of the Solemnity brought extensive descriptions from all Croatian dioceses. It was particularly solemn in Zagreb. According to Archbishop Posilović, the consecration of the youth, was performed in the Zagreb Cathedral, which was completely filled with young people. It’s calculated there were about 5,000 youth.

In the book of remembrance, pg 40-173, which is the largest part of the book, are listed reports and descriptions of how the consecration was performed in Zagreb and in many other places in all the other Croatian dioceses.

Liberal resistance to the Consecration

To be objective for this presentation of the actions of the youth, it needs to be mentioned, the fact that there was resistance to the consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which according to the organisers themselves only contributed to greater success of the consecration. The book of remembrance has a special chapter entitled “How the devil promoted the celebration”. (pg 35-37) speaks about the twelve Croatian students who studied in Prague, who issued their protest, in Croatia, stating: “We protest against this, among other things, that the fanatical worship of the Pope and the fanatical enthusiasm for the idea of clericalism, which has nothing in common with our people’s lives, kills ever more progressive and free voices. We want young people to be raised real and free, able to successfully solve life’s tasks.” (pg 36). Of course, they did not achieve what they wanted through their protest, and some public voices sent them harsh criticism. Thus “Vrhbosna” writes: “Can our people hope for any good and success from these people, with their absurd and laughable protests boasting in front of the educated world? From souls without a heart, and without any ideals, from souls which today shout and grumble longer, and tomorrow for a slightly thicker salary everyone’s superficial puppets, without even a little serious and thorough knowledge.” (Vrhbosna, no. 8, 1900). An even harsher critique was addressed to these liberal students from Zadar. After rejecting their protest against the Croatian clergy, they continued “Let us ask the twelve apostles of someone else’s thoughts, did your parents send you to study science and pay your costs to put yourself into conflict with their convictions with exotic doctrines, and to introduce to the people confusion with crazy innovations, for which even the corrupt west wouldn’t give a pipe of rotten tobacco? If you have learned nothing better than to plough in the garbage of foreigners, you better come home and accept the hoes or paddles!” (Croatia, Zadar, no. 27, 1900).

The consecration gained even more popularity, after this protest by the liberal students and the public criticism they received for their actions. The remembrance book cites the fact that the father of one of those “twelve” gave 20 kruna “for his misguided son” as a contribution to making a heart of gold. (p37)

Pilgrimage to Rome and meeting with Pope Leo XIII

At the beginning of July 1900, the great Croatian pilgrimage to Rome, took place during the Jubilee Year, which included more than 700 pilgrims, of which there were 50 young men and women and youth representatives, who consecrated themselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The pilgrimage was led by Croatian Bishops. On July 3, they were received by Pope Leo XIII in the Sistine Chapel. Two young men, high school student Petar Perica, author of the consecration song “Do nebesa”, and Franjo Scholz from Zagreb, presented the Holy Father with a large artistic album of Croatian Youth with over 160,000 signatures of young people. Three girls, in folk costumes, then handed over to the Pope a large heart of gold, containing within it the “spiritual bouquet” of prayers, sacrifices and good deeds that the young had undertaken for him, over the past few months. The Pope was visibly surprised and moved by this great gift of the Croatian youth. After that they handed over to the Holy Father, Peter’s Pence, ie: 500 ducats, which was also a gift from the Croatian youth. This heart of gold with the “spiritual bouquet” so overwhelmed Pope Leo XIII that he kept it in his private room, as he later confirmed verbally and in writing.

Thanks, from Pope Leo XIII for gifts from the Croatian youth

After the pilgrimage to Rome and the visit to the Holy Father, Pope Leo XIII, he sent a handwritten letter to Archbishop Juraj Posilović thanking him especially for the gifts that the Croatian youth gave him as a sign of their consecration to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Archbishop Posilovic read the Pope’s letter publicly at the opening of the first Croatian Catholic meeting in Zagreb on 3 October 1900.

Here’s this Pope’s letter in English translation:

“Honourable brother, I salute you with the apostolic blessing! Among the many joyful events, which, by the goodness of God, pleased our soul in this holy year, to comfort and strengthen an excellent place was taken by Croatian youth as the proof of love and loyalty they contributed to us. This witness is very dear to us not only for the sake of the large number of those who have participated and contributed, but most of all the reason that they solemnly committed, that under the flag of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, “pro aris et focis”, namely to fight consistently and courageously for their faith and homeland. As a sign of this vow, we are shown a heart of gold, which has pleased us so much, that to this day I have reserved it to myself. Therefore, to you, the honourable brother, according to your vocation, to express our gratitude to this youth again and to encourage them on our behalf, let them hold fast to their decisions, because from there they will draw abundance of consolation and sure hope of future bliss, if the Heart of Jesus is revered and zealously followed. In this name and for the pledge of our fatherliness, we gladly grant our Apostolic Blessing to you and all who have signed the album.”

Given in Rome at St. Peter’s, dated 15 August, 1900, and in the twenty-third year of pontificate “Leo PP. XIII.

Memorial to the Consecration: Book of Remembrance and the hymn “Do nebesa”

O. Petar Perica

In 1901, to preserve the history of this great event, the consecration by Croatian youth, a book was published – “Croatian Youth under the Flag of Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Remembrance – Awakening” – Zagreb, by Antun Scholz, 1901, 236 pp. Within it are detailed all the actions that prepared and accompanied the consecration, and the extensive description of the consecration in various places in all Croatian dioceses. It is a precious document of this unique event that took place on the threshold of the 20th century. In addition, to this book there is another memorial to the consecration throughout the 20th century throughout all Croatian regions: the hymn “Do nebesa” by Petar Perica, written for the very occasion, and sung all these hundred years, and is still sung as an expression of fidelity and loyalty to Christ of the entire Croatian people.


DO NEBESA NEK SE ORI
Pjesma posvetnica

Do nebesa nek se ori naših grudi gromki glas,
neka jeknu rajski dvori, nek nas čuje Isus spas.

Isukrste, Srcu tvom s nama naš se kune dom:
dušom, tijelom vijek sam tvoj za krst časni bijuć boj.

Čujte, puci širom svijeta, oci naši, čujte sad;
čujte, sluge pakla kleta, kako Hrvat kliče mlad:

Stijeg Hrvata, Srce Krista, tu nam rudi sreća, spas;
tu sloboda zlatna blista, tu se ori slavski glas.

Pređi naši kano lavi za krst časni biše boj.
Tko je sinak ovoj slavi, Kristu vjeran uvijek poj:

Neka grmi pako hudi, neka bjesni cijeli svijet
neka borba lomi grudi, čvrsto stoji zavjet svet:

Kralju slave silni, blagi, blagoslovi zavjet taj!
Blagoslovi rod nam dragi u svom srcu stan mu daj.

Spjevao Petar Perica 1900.g. za posvetu  hrvatske mladeži Srcu Isusovu.

Pod Barjakom Presvetog Srca Isusova Series

Part 1 (120th Anniversary)

– Part 2 (Consecration of Croatian Youth to the Sacred Heart of Jesus AD1900)

Part 3 (1910 – Year of renewal of the Consecration)

Part 4 (The 100th anniversary of the consecration)

Note:

  1. English text translated from original article in Croatian at  http://ivanmerz.hr/staro/glasilo/1999/1999-posveta.htm

 

Pod Barjakom Presvetog Srca Isusova – Part 3 (1910 – Year of renewal of the Consecration)

1910 – Year of renewal of the Consecration

For the 10th anniversary of 1910, a renewal of the consecration was organised. A booklet – “Celebration of Croatian Youth 1910”, about Petar Perica on pg64, printed 40,000 copies – spiritually prepared the renewal of consecration and was led by the central committee under the auspices of the Archbishop of Zagreb Juraj Posilović. The chairman of the committee, was assistant Bishop and vicar general, Dr Ivan Krapac. On 15 February, the committee sent a solemn proclamation to all dioceses’ calling on the youth for the renewal. The religious magazine, Glasnik Srca Isusova no 3-9, had extensive presentations of preparations and descriptions of the celebration of the renewal of the consecration that took place on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, June 1910. Thousands upon thousands of young Croats in all Croatian dioceses’, reaffirmed and witnessed to their faith and devotion to Jesus Christ.

 

In Zagreb, the renewal of the consecration was celebrated as solemnly as it was ten years prior. The ceremony of the renewal of the consecration began in the Cathedral, which was again filled with young people until the very last place. Then, in a large procession of all participants, a special memorial flag of this celebration was carried through the most beautiful parts of the city to the Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Palmotićeva Street, which was built in 1902. At the Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the celebration of the renewal of the consecration was completed by storing this memorial flag for permanent preservation.

 

This renewal of consecration, confirmed ties to the representative of Christ in Rome. The central committee sent St. Pope Pius X a special letter informing him of the renewal of the consecration on behalf of the Croatian youth reaffirming their faithfulness to Jesus Christ and his Sacred Heart, and requested the Holy Father’s Apostolic Blessing. On the day of the consecration, a telegram was received from the Pope with an Apostolic Blessing, sent by the Secretary of State Cardinal Merry de Val, to those Croatian youth that participated in the renewal, the greetings, thanks and blessings of the Pope.

Fierce reactions from liberals and anti-clericals against the renewal of consecration

After the celebration and consecration in the July issue, Glasnik Srca Isusova, brought an extensive account of the attempts of liberals and other anti-clerical associations who in any which way wanted to prevent or at least impede the holding of the renewal of the consecration. A shorter view of how it unfolded is described. In our present day it is difficult to comprehend this real battle between the organisers of the consecration and the Catholic youth on the one hand, and the liberal and anti-clerical elements on the other. (Glasnik Srca Isusova no7, 1910 p.128)

In late February, after the established committee for the renewal of the consecration launched various preparatory actions for the ceremony, the High Croatian Land Government issued order no. 4851. which granted on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, 3 June 1910, all Catholic youth a holiday, and that under the guidance of their catechists and teachers they could participate in Holy Mass and so to understand the meaning of the holiday and their own consecration. Secondly, the government approved the collection of donations among young people in school to cover the cost of holding a celebration for the anniversary of the consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

This government’s order was reacted to by the Liberals in the newspaper “Pokret”. The article states, among other things “Dr. Amruša’s order is nothing other than a direct provocation of all free-thinking elements in Croatia, and these elements will know and suppress it. Let the head of the department for worship with silk flags, Dr. Amruš, have no doubt about that.”(Pokret no. 56, 10.3.1910) Other atheistic newspapers had written similarly.

A few days before the ceremony, on 30 May, so-called “Progressive” students of two high schools began handing out leaflets issued by their senior fellow students in Zagreb. The leaflet was full of callous insults and slanders at the expense of the Pope, Archbishop and clergy, and against the collection of contributions for the consecration. Glasnik Srca Isusova unmasked those who stood behind it and called them enemies of God, “socialists, revolutionaries, freemasons.”

The next day, 31 May, a second leaflet was published, this time by the Catholic side, printed 10,000 copies, within it the “revolutionaries” are unmasked along with their intentions and mode of operation.

The day before the consecration, “the revolutionaries” with the aid of the social democrats issued a leaflet entitled: “Against clericalism” which read, among other things: “The celebration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 1900, in Croatia, made visible the origins of a clerical organisation. After that celebration it was followed by a Catholic congress, and then Jesuits arrived in Zagreb, and clerical institutes started to line up. No, as early as 1900, in the first place, the clerics set their gaze on the youth as yeast, from which a clerical guard would be born who would have to create clerical intelligence… What does it mean to hand over the school at the mercy and non-mercy of clerics? It means to plunge a knife in your living body, it means to cut your veins.”

The opponents of the consecration didn’t just settle for that flyer. A few days before the dedication in the “art pavilion”, there was an organised exhibition of images of erotic content rated by the secular media as immoral. Glasnik comments that it was “the greatest shamelessness of the kind not even pagans exhibited.” In the week before the celebration, they lowered the price of tickets for the youth, thinking that curious youth would flock to the exhibition. On the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, they announced that for school youth it was free of entry to the exhibition. Not even through this incentive could they attract the Catholic youth who were about to renew the consecration on that very day.

As an immediate preparation for the celebration of the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the anniversary of the consecration, in Zagreb’s Sokol Hall, a lecture with slides on the -Sacred Heart of Jesus was organised. “Enemies of God and of the Croatian people”, as the Glasnik named them, decided to disrupt this lecture and organised the same day, an hour earlier a protest assembly against the renewal of the consecration. The city was dogged by large billboards inviting citizens to their rally. A group of citizens outraged at their provocations disrupted their rally, which had to be disbanded. In their anger the “the revolutionaries” rushed to the Sokol Hall to prevent the presentation on the Sacred Heart of Jesus proceeding. There, they were prevented by members of the Catholic Society of “Domagoja” who stood guard at all the doors. However, the police had to intervene by using physical force to make orders so that the conference could take place. After the lecture, when visitors began to disperse to their houses, among them many priests and distinguished persons, they were greeted by “revolutionaries” who spewed various demeaning shouts and offensive expressions. Glasnik further describes:

“Only Satan could have put into their mouths their shameless expressions. The more they swore at the clergy and all that the Catholic’s hold near and dear to their heart, the more enthusiastic the faithful cheered: Long live the clerics! Long live victory! Long live the Priests!”

“The revolutionaries” continued to follow the clergy with their offensive shouts until they were dispersed by police in front of Kapitol. On the same evening, another group of “revolutionaries” gathered in front of the monastery of the Sisters of Mercy, which were especially associated with the consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and they stopped to shout: “Down with the Church! Down with the monastery!” The neighbours reacted sharply and they were forced to disperse. The peak of the opposition was on the day of the consecration. After a failed attempt by some libertarian principals to thwart the great procession that was planned for the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the civil authorities reacted immediately and again explicitly ordered all schools to participate in the procession together with their professors and educators.

When they failed to thwart the procession, a group of opponents decided to rush into the procession and hijack and burn the main symbol of the renewal of the consecration – the large flag of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. If it didn’t go to plan, after that, they would at least tear it apart with iron bars. However, on learning time of this true devil’s intent, the execution of this act was disabled. Both the consecration and the procession were solemnly held as programmed.

 

Pod Barjakom Presvetog Srca Isusova Series

Part 1 (120th Anniversary)

Part 2 (Consecration of Croatian Youth to the Sacred Heart of Jesus AD1900)

– Part 3 (1910 – Year of renewal of the Consecration)

Part 4 (The 100th anniversary of the consecration)

Note:

  1. English text translated from original article in Croatian at  http://ivanmerz.hr/staro/glasilo/1999/1999-posveta.htm

Pod Barjakom Presvetog Srca Isusova – Part 4 (The 100th anniversary of the consecration)

The 100th anniversary of the consecration – a challenge in 2000

The first article announcing the renewal of the 1900 consecration, on the tenth anniversary was in Glasnik Srca Isusova written with these words: ” If this first tenth anniversary is celebrated solemnly, then every further one, especially the fifth, which some young people will still experience, and the tenth, i.e. the hundredth anniversary of the first consecration, will surely be celebrated, in the year 2000, which, God willing, we will watch from heaven. In this way, the tree, which was planted by Croatian youth in 1900, will re-flourish and bear the fruit of life. And under by his centuries-old canopy, the Croatian youth will still sing to the Heart of Jesus: Dušom tijelom vijek sam tvoj, za krst časni bijuć boj (Glasnik Srca Isusova no 3 1910, p57)

The 100th anniversary of the consecration in 2000, which the organisers of the tenth anniversary have foreseen and announced, 2000 is coming to a close. Given the many positive fruits that the consecration has left in the hearts of young people, the question arises: whether to commemorate this event with articles in the press, or it could be a pastoral challenge to the Church to organise something similar for today’s generation of Croatian youth not only from one century to another, but from one millennium to another. One might notice, after 100 years the mentality of the modern man, especially the young, and his expression of faith has changed. That’s partly true. But the Sacred Heart of Jesus has not changed! Let us remember the motto of the Great Jubilee 2000 “Christ yesterday, today, and always!”

In addition, when analysing the content of the consecration from 100 years ago, it is clearly observed that the consecration was, in fact, a wonderful profession of the Christian faith of an entire generation of Croatian Catholic youth that they left us at the dawn of this century. It was their sincere testimony of their belonging to Jesus Christ, the Church and the Christ’s Vicar, from which remained a memorial until these days through the hymn of consecration – “Do nebesa”.

Previous initiatives to mark the 100th anniversary of the consecration

The Youth of the Eucharistic Movement (MEP) from Osijek, as in previous years, welcomed the New Year in 2000, in prayer and gathering before the Most Blessed Sacrament in the Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The reception of this last year of the second millennium was specially marked by the memory of the Croatian youth’s consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus from 100 years ago. Immediately, in the first minutes of the two thousandth year after Christ, present in the Eucharist, the youth jointly recited a special prayer composed in the spirit of consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. At the end of this prayer at the New Year’s vigil in a sign of communion with young Croats from 100 years ago who had performed their consecration, and in a sign of love and fidelity to Christ, they all sang the hymn – “Do nebesa” – whose 100th anniversary was that year. With this they wished to mark the beginning of 2000 jubilee year within the first minutes with this 100th anniversary.

Since the consecration of the youth in its external expression was closely tied to Rome and the Pope, as described above, the commemoration of this consecration in February 2000 was held in the eternal city of Rome. Two Croatian sculptor artists, Ernestinovačke sculptors, Mate Tijardović and Ivan Forjan, created in Slavonian oak a great relief of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and gifted it to the house of Croatian Pilgrims in Rome. The relief was solemnly placed and blessed on April 25, 2000 in memory of the 100th anniversary of the consecration of Croatian youth to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. (Glas Slavonije, 4.III.2000, p11)

The youth of the Eucharistic Movement (MEP), which in its spirituality cherishes in a special way the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, 30 June 2000 performed a similar consecration by following the example of those young Croats who did the same 100 years ago. This best marks the 100th anniversary of this wonderful testimony of Croatian youth from the beginning of this century till the end. The young MEP hoped that other young people from Croatia would join them, especially Catholic associations.

Although it is too late for this year to organise something on a broader scale in terms of renewing the consecration, one might still think that something similar is being organised next, in 2001 ie: in the first year of the new millennium. It would be nice if the current generation of Croatian youth, who entered the third millennium would leave some similar witness of their faith, to future generations that they received from their fathers and passed across the borders of two millennia of Christianity.

Pope John Paul II encourages

It is well known that Popes of this century, especially Pope John Paul II, often spoke of the value of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and recommended this devotion. In particular, Pope John Paul II, on numerous occasions, especially placed emphasis on the heart, that this piety be preserved in the Church. His message to the world on 11 September 11 2001, for the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the anniversary of the consecration of the human race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by Pope Leo XIII, is just the latest in a series of documents in which he speaks again and confirms how much he cares to preserve, promote and perfect devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to find new ways and methods that will present this piety to today’s man. In that message, Pope John Paul II among other things says:

“I want to express my approval and my encouragement to all in the Church who continue to nurture, deepen, and promote the veneration of the Sacred Heart of Christ, with language and forms that are appropriate to our time, in a way that may be passed on to future generations in the spirit it has always been led. Even today, it is working to encourage believers to focus on the mystery of Christ, the God-man, in order to become husbands and wives of inner life, persons who feel and live the call to a new life, to holiness, to offering, which means apostolic participation in the salvation of the world. People preparing for a new evangelization, recognising the Heart of Christ as the heart of the Church, should be aware of the urgency and the modern world understands that Christianity is the religion of love.” (Glas Koncila, No. 29, 18.VII.1990 p.10).


Pod Barjakom Presvetog Srca Isusova Series

Part 1 (120th Anniversary)

Part 2 (Consecration of Croatian Youth to the Sacred Heart of Jesus AD1900)

Part 3 (1910 – Year of renewal of the Consecration)

Part 4 (The 100th anniversary of the consecration)

Note:

  1. English text translated from original Croatian article at http://mep.putksuncu.hr/07-srce_isusovo/srce5.htm