Pilgrimage of the Archdiocese of Vrhbosna and the Diocese of Banja Luka

The believers of the Archdiocese of Vrhbosna and the Diocese of Banja Luka made a pilgrimage for the 24th time to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Bistrica in Marija Bistrica on October 12th.

In front of several thousand believers who came to their Heavenly Mother to the Croatian National Shrine from various parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Europe, a ceremonial open-air celebration with concelebration of the Bishop of Banja Luka, Msgr. Franjo Komarica, Auxiliary Bishop of Banja Luka, Msgr. Marko Semren and several dozen priests, was led by Archbishop of Vrhbosna cardinal Vinko Puljić.

At the beginning of the sermon, the cardinal emphasized the joy that “for the first time since the pilgrimage of the Archdiocese of Vrhbosna and the Diocese of Banja Luka have been organized, so many Croat-catholics believers that originate from different parts of BiH have gathered”. From this he read two joys: one for coming to their mother and the other for meeting people who may not have seen each other for a long time.

“Many are wondering what will become of us and I don't know how to answer that. All I know is that our ancients had confidence in God. We have survived the Turks and the Communists, and we will survive this time, too”, the cardinal emphasized, repeating the importance of preserving roots.

He then spoke of “Europe slowly removing crosses from daily life as if it is ashamed”.

During the Mass, worshipers in folk costumes participated in the offering of the altar.

Traditionally, in the afternoon, a way of the Cross led by Bishop Komarica followed. As believers and priests led by cardinal Puljić walked from station to station silently, the texts of the Way of the Cross echoed for almost two hours at Calvary of Bistrica.