XX . Day of Prayer for the Homeland and XVIII. pilgrimage of the BiH Armed Forces to Bobovac

The twentieth day of prayer for the Homeland of the Vrhbosna Archdiocese and XVIII. pilgrimage to Bobovac of Catholics-members of the Ministry of Defense, the Armed Forces of BiH and the police forces, was organized on Saturday, October 23rd.

The program of the prayer march, which gathered a large number of believers this year as well, began with a traditional gathering by the river Bukovica at the foot of Bobovac, from where the prayer procession headed towards the destination. The celebration of Holy Mass on the plateau of the royal city was led by the Archbishop of Vrhbosna, cardinal Vinko Puljić, and was preached by the Archbishop Coadjutor of Vrhbosna and Apostolic Administrator of the Military Ordinariate in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Msgr. Dr. Tomo Vukšić. Among the 25 concelebrants were: Vicar General of the Military Ordinariate in Croatia, rev. Marko Medo, Vicar of the Military Vicariate in Slovenia, rev. Matej Jakopič and military chaplains in BiH headed by the Vicar General Msgr. Željko Čuturić.

Introducing in to the Holy Mass, Cardinal Puljić called for the building of peace based on justice and equality and pointed out: “We pray today for this Homeland, where we are at home, to be imbued with peace, harmony.”

At the beginning of the sermon, Archbishop Vukšić said that the prayer procession for the Homeland to Bobovac was started by the faithful of the Vrhbosna Archdiocese two decades ago, and two years later they were joined by Catholics - members of the Order and Armed Forces. “Because of all that, today it can be stated that over the past years, with these prayer campaigns, a spiritual gathering has grown and shaped from year to year, which can already be called a beautiful tradition. A tradition that will, we hope and firmly believe, happily continue in the years and decades to come. Because so far we, Catholic believers, have done and will continue to do all this with only one intention and goal: for the good of all people living in our Homeland, for understanding and happiness, for legal and real equality of its peoples and minority groups, for peace and harmony among them, for the progress of every kind. Among the values for which, due to the current situation and circumstances in the Homeland, this year we are called to pray in a special way and actively contribute to their protection, are human life and social peace”, called Archbishop Tomo, pointing out in the end of his preaching that human life, spirit and body and their health have a need for love because only love protects, keeps and keeps them at peace - and in this Homeland, too.

At the end of the Holy Mass, which was animated by the choir of theologians of the Vrhbosna Theological Seminary led by Dr. rev. Ivan Rak, Cardinal Puljić called on the faithful to pray for the Homeland.

After the Holy Mass, the faithful stayed to socialize with cooked beans prepared by members of the Armed Forces of BiH.

Although it was rainy and quite cold, the pilgrimage was attended by about 500 believers, including: President of the Federation of BiH Marinko Čavara, Deputy Minister of Security of BiH Mijo Krešić, Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia Ivan Sabolić, Generals Ivica Jerkić, Tomo Kolenda and Marko Stojčić and Brigadier Zdravko Rezo.

The prayer procession to Bobovac was initiated by the Archbishop of Vrhbosna Vinko in memory of the penultimate Bosnian queen Katarina Kosača who died on October 25th 1478, with the aim of uniting in prayer for personal needs, for the people and homeland Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also for all  the people and nations that live in it.