Memorial to the martyrs and victims of the Banja Luka diocese and parish priest Nestor

On July 27th, Drvar celebrated the 21st day of prayerful remembrance of the martyrs and victims of the Banja Luka Diocese, commemorating all the martyrs and victims of wars and totalitarianisms of the 20th century from the territory of the Banja Luka Diocese.

Also, the 81st anniversary of the martyrdom of the Drvar parish priest Waldemar Maximilian Nestor and Drvar Catholics was marked in a special way.

The prayer meeting began in the new church under construction with the devotion of the Stations of the Cross led by deacon rev. Ilija Kelić, and then the bishop of Banja Luka Msgr. Franjo Komarica presided over the solemn Mass celebration, which was attended by about 100 believers.

Memorial Day was introduced in 2001.

Concelebrating with the bishop was the parish priest of Banja Luka, rev. Žarko Vladislav Ošap and parish priest of Drvar, rev. Davor Klečina, and deacon Kelić and several young people from the community Nanovo rođeni in Botinac, served at the altar. In addition to local believers, pilgrims from Zagreb, Siverić, Bihać, Tomislavgrad, Banja Luka and the parishes of the Livno deanery also came to celebrate Martyrs' Day. Government representatives included the President of the Herceg-Bosna County Government Ivan Vukadin with ministers, the President of the HBŽ Assembly Jozo Ćosić and the Chief of Kupres Zdravko Mioč.

At the beginning of the Holy Mass celebration, parish priest Klečina reminded that this memorial day was introduced in 2001 and was called the Day of the Martyrs of Drvar - in memory of the parish priest of Drvar, Waldemar Maksimilian Nestor, who was brutally murdered on July 27th, 1941 together with a group of his faithful returning from pilgrimage of St. Anthony in Knin. He informed that since 2008, by order of the Bishop Komarica of Banja Luka, the commemoration changed its name to the Day of Prayerful Remembrance of the Martyrs and Victims of the Diocese of Banja Luka, and thus became a commemoration at the level of the diocese. He then briefly recalled the sufferings of the Banja Luka diocese that began on July 27th, 1941, with the murder of priest Nestor.

The danger of turning your back on God

In an appropriate sermon, Bishop Komarica reminded of the “order” that St. John Paul II. gave to the bishops and priests about preserving the memory of the martyrs, and pointed out that the diocese of Banja Luka, as the diocese that suffered the most in Europe in the last century, tried to fulfill this task. Then, interpreting God's word, he warned about the danger of man's turning away from God and his greed to be like the Lord himself, which inevitably leads to wars, fights and quarrels. According to the bishop, it is necessary for a person to return to God in order to be able to build society and a peaceful and happy future with renewed faith. “I encourage you, therefore, to continue to strive, personally and collectively, to build a bright, peaceful and happy future for your families, for your children and young people, a future in solidarity and justice! I encourage you to send your daily prayers for such a future to God, from whom all good comes to us, and never any evil, because evil is the fruit of Satan and those who are his slaves”, he said towards the end of the homily and invited the faithful to pray so that parish priest martyr Nestor, like other priests for whom the process of beatification has begun, would be elevated to the honor of the altar as soon as possible.

Liturgical playing and singing were animated by the Sisters Servants of Little Jesus from Livno.

After the Holy Mass in front of the memorial cross of the fallen veterans, near the old worship space, the delegations laid wreaths and candles, and then Bishop Komarica prayed for the deceased.