Remembering the Murdered Franciscan Priests

Remembering the Killed Franciscans
From 4th to 7th February in Siroki Brijeg we remembered 66 years that passed since Herzegovinian Franciscans were killed, and the event is called Days of Killed Franciscans. 66 Franciscans were killed only from Herzegovinian Province during and after the World War II. Since 34 of them were from Siroki Brijeg monastery, and 12 were burned in the garden in front of the church, Siroki Brijeg was appointed as central place in the Province were this will take place and central day of celebration is on February 7th. February 10th is the Memorial Day of Blessed Alojzije Stepinac and day when we remember killed Franciscans from Medjugorje parish. Holy Mass at 6 p.m. will be celebrated for following late priests: Friar Krizan Galic, Friar Jozo Bencun, Friar Marko Dragicevic, Friar Mariofil Sivric, Friar Grgo Vasilj and Friar Jenko Vasilj who were brutally killed in the World War II. Holy Mass for seven Franciscans killed in Mostar will be celebrated on Monday, February 14th, and amongst those three were from Medjugorje parish: Friar Jozo Bencun, Friar Grgo Vasilj and Friar Bernardin Smoljan who built the cross on the Cross Mountain as a parish priest back in 1933. Medjugorje Official.
You see on your right here, there is a tomb, a very interesting tomb. When the Communists came here fifty-five years ago, they found thirty Franciscans here in the monastery and they told them that there was no more God. And those soldiers that came were inspired by terrorism telling them that there was no more God, there was no more church, there was no more priesthood nor the need for them.
They were told to remove their habits. But not one of those thirty Franciscans was willing to even enter into a debate about this. An enraged soldier took the crucifix from the wall, threw it at the feet of the Franciscans and said, "Now you can choose, this is your last chance, choose - death or life."
One by one the Franciscans came forth and embraced Jesus. Jesus humiliated at being thrown on the floor. And each one, one by one, said, "You are my God and my everything." One by one they were taken outside,and they were thrown into the flames to be burned, here in the garden. Those were thirty brothers who went forth to their death with song. Some of them sang Salve Regina, others sang The Litany of Our Lady. They all blessed their enemy and forgave them.

No comments: