Celebration of the patron saint of the parish and sanctuary of St. Leopold Bogdan Mandić

Parish with the sanctuary of St. Leopold Bogdan Mandić in Maglaj officially celebrated it’s celestial patron on May 12th.

Written by: Lidija Pavlović-Grgić

Translated by: Ksenija Ninić

The celebration began with the mass for the sick that was led by rev. Željko Vlajić, parish priest in Bosanski Brod, and the central mass celebration was led by Msgr. Ante Meštrović, canon of the Priest’s captol of Vrhbosna and rector of the Sarajevo Cathedral of the Heart of Jesus.

Along with the local parish priest and guardian of the sanctuary, rev. Josip Jelić, the mass was concelebrated 20 priests.

In Maglaj, the river of pilgrims came from Rankovići, Bežlja, Komušina, Brčko, Bugojno, Novo Sarajevo, Breza and Zenica and other parishes of Travnik, Žepče and Zavidovići area, but also there was believers who arrived from Croatia.

Prior to the beginning of the Mass, the parish priest Jelić welcomed everyone, and then the mass leader addressed the congregation and congratulated the patron of the parish. He then encouraged believers to pray for old, sick, helpless, unemployed, those who are doing too much, neglected, forgotten, afflicted, those whose human rights are threatened, families, young people, children, those seeking their place in the world.

“We ask in the intercession of St. Leopold Bogdan Mandić that this communion awakens hope in us for a better, safer, more harmonious life in unity, peace and understanding”, said Msgr. Meštrović, who in particular emphasized the saints as  signs of faith, among which is St. Leopold, and in this context spoke about the values ​​of Christian life and the holiness Jesus refers to through his commandments.

“In addition to the great saints we often pray to, and one of them is surely St. Leopold Bogdan Mandić, there is a great number of those little, unknown saints who daily do God's will. We are called to inherit the saints”, said the preacher, recalling the biography and work of St. Leopold, who was a simple capuchin but also a missionary in the heart, a man of strong spirit and a great confessor who listened to confessions for 12 hours a day during 40 years, reconciled many people with God.

He also emphasized the importance of confessions and human reconciliation with God, but also the significance of priestly ministry who are sent to the people to bring the Good News and give them the sacrament of forgiveness, a path to the soul peace  and to the happier future of every devotee.

“May St. Leopold give us all a happier and blessed future, the happiness of our children, to love the land that our old people loved. When we read our books from the 16th and 17th century, we see how many children were born and how open they were They were unbreakable. May this toughness is to be prayed for by St. Leopold Bogdan Mandić, and let us be advocated by Mary, our Mother, Mother of Jesus, Mother of God Providence”,said canon Meštrović.

The central celebration was preceded by three days, and the Holy Masses were led by rev. Goran Košić, the econom at the Vrhbosana Seminary, OFM Vinko Ćuro, parish vicar in the parish of Novi Šeher, and venerable Marko Majstorović, parish priest of the cathedral parish and the Sarajevo dean. Let us mention that the faithful, before the celebrations of their heavenly patron, took part in the folklore devotion for Nine Wednesdays in honor of St. Leopold, and the liturgical singing was animated by the local parish choir.

Parish of St. Leopold in Maglaj was officially restored in 1970, and the first ever mentioning as a parish is dating back to 1623. After the foundation in 1973, it counted 1 600 believers, before the war 1 510, and today there are 500 parishioners in the parish.

L. P. G.