The Apostolic Nuncio to BiH, Archbishop Luigi Pezzuto, celebrated his Golden Mass

At the end of his service as Apostolic Nuncio to BiH and Montenegro, Archbishop Luigi Pezzuto celebrated his golden Holy Mass at the cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Sarajevo on Sunday September 12th.

The celebration of the Holy Mass was led by the bishop Pezzuto together with the Archbishop of Vrhbosna, cardinal Vinko Puljić; Archbishop Coadjutor Msgr. Tomo Vukšić; Bishop of Banja Luka, Msgr. Franjo Komarica; Auxiliary Bishop of Banja Luka, Msgr. Marko Semren; Bishop in Peace, Msgr. Ratko Perić; Provincials OFM Jozo Marinčić and OFM Miljenko Šteko and about 15 other priests.

Jubilee Holy Mass, which was animated by the mixed cathedral choir Josip Stadler with harmonious singing, under the direction of rev. Marko Stanušić, gathered a large number of believers, among whom were nuns from various societies of the city of Sarajevo, as well as theologians.

Words of thanks

At the beginning, congratulations and thanks to the bishop celebrating, for the years of service as the Pope’s representative in BiH, were said by cardinal Puljić who also introduced the nuncio’s 50-year long priestly journey.

“You came to this country on behalf of the Pope and you found yourself in a very complex situation. You sought to establish good relations with the state authorities as well as with the local Church. You have experienced many times that it is difficult to understand this political game that is happening in this area”, said the Cardinal, pointing to the problems in the implementation of the international agreement that BiH signed with the Holy See.

“With this thanksgiving Holy Mass, we want to glorify God for your 50 years of priesthood and pray for blessings for your further life in good health and peace of mind. At the same time, we ask the Pope to send his apostolic nuncio to this country as soon as possible, where many forces and many games intersect, to preserve human dignity and human rights”, said Archbishop Vinko.

Then a girl from Stadler's Children's home Egipat presented a bouquet of red roses to the nuncio on behalf of the Church of Vrhbosna.

Thanking the cardinal for his words, the Apostolic Nuncio said that at the end of his term he intends to present this Eucharist for the entire Catholic Church community that is present and active in this area. “May the Lord repay the efforts of zealous shepherds, bishops and priests, with great joy and renewed enthusiasm in faithful daily service to brothers and sisters in faith and those who are not, all of whom are the image of Christ by baptism or by being introduced into human history by similarities to the Father who - by the action of the Holy Spirit, imprinted the image and imprint of the Son into all created”, said Archbishop Luigi at the beginning.

Faithfulness to Christ leads to the loss of one’s own life for Him

After the biblical readings and the proclaimed Gospel, Msgr. Pezzuto delivered a sermon translated by Msgr. Vukšić.

Referring to the Gospel passage, he said that the Christian is faced with questions that are crucial for an authentic understanding of Christianity. “I name only two of them: A brief check by Jesus himself on his persona. This check is shaped by two questions: ‘What do people say who I am?’ and ‘Who do you say I am?’ It is obvious that of these two questions we are more interested in the second one (...) I would say that this question is central to the Christian faith because it relates to the foundation of our faith and to the reason for the Christian way of life and behaviour (...) Here, even before the answer, the question is important and the way we examine and question ourselves. We need to be educated for this healthy restlessness of the spirit”, the nuncio pointed out and referred to the answer of St. Peter emphasizing that this question “Who is Jesus?” Remains open to every Christian.

He then pointed out the need to follow Christ by pointing out the conditions for it. “It is about: renouncing ourselves and taking up our own cross (...) Therefore, in following Christ we should be aware that fidelity to Christ leads to the loss of one's own life for him”, said Archbishop Pezzuto, concluding his homily with a prayer.

At the end of the Holy Mass, which was broadcasted live by the Herceg-Bosna Radio and Television, Msgr. Pezzuto said his brief thanks.

He is, by the way, the fifth representative of the Holy Father in BiH. The first apostolic nuncio was the archbishop, now a cardinal, Francesco Monterisi (1993-1998), followed by the archbishops: Msgr. Giuseppe Leanza (1999-2003), Msgr. Santos Abril y Castelló (2003-2005) and Msgr. Alessandro D'Errico (2005-2012).