On 10th July, our first day in Medjugorje, we met up with our WYD friend (Moses) and we went for a walk to see the layout of the Church, the Franciscan Piety Stall, the outdoor altar and the huge area of seating that is capable of holding thousands of people, ( see post on Adoration), Fr Slavko’s grave, the outdoor statue of Our Lady at the front of the Church, the shrines made with a tile mosaic of the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary and more.
Fr Slavko Barbaric
This priest is famous for his work here.
He died at the age of 53. He worked tirelessly for the Lord. He built an orphanage (called ‘The Mother’s village’) to accommodate the orphans after the Bosnian war.(below is one of the chapels at the orphanage.)
Fr Slavko would get only 3 hours sleep per night. He died after he climbed the hill with the Cross. The climb has the Stations of the Cross. It is stony and rocky just like the Apparition Hill, only longer. When he got to the top he sat down and said he didn’t feel well. This was between the 13th and 14th Station. Then he died.
A stone memorial marks this spot. (See picture below left. ) His grave (on the right) is found in the area behind St James Church.)
There is a case where an American pilgrim had climbed this hill who had been away from the church for a long, long time. She met a priest on the way and he explained to her about Confession and the commandments.
She was so enthused she went straight to the church for Confession. Later, she noticed a picture of this priest hanging on the wall of the piety shop and pointed him out and said that she had just been speaking to this priest out on the hill. The only thing was that he had already been dead and buried.
The Outdoor Crucifix.
This crucifix is rather modern in its form and not to everyone’s liking. It is made of bronze (or brass). It shows the cloth wrapped around Jesus’ hips and which has one corner hanging down at the back and which is tied in a “bow” at the side. It all looks rather odd.
This sculpture has some cracks and seems to weep water, even if it is dry and hasn’t rained. People are seen mopping up the moisture with cloths.
It is asserted that a person who was blind received one of these cloths and put it on his eyes and was cured.