In the oldest Marian Shrine in Croatia - Remete

On Friday afternoon, September 21st, the faithful in Trnovcica were bidding Our Lady farewell with regret and great emotion.  She was leaving for the Shrine of Our Lady of Remete located in the northern part of Zagreb on the slopes of Mount Sljeme.  It is the oldest Marian shrine in Croatia, founded by the Pauline Emerites in 1288 A.D.  The name "Remete" comes from the Latin word for hermitage - eremus (hermit in Croatian).  The Pauline Fathers were all murdered during the Turkish invasion in 1591. Since 1963. the parish and monastery passed under the care of the Carmelites.  Our Blessed Mother in the Icon of Czestochowa visited the parish during its 200 year anniversary celebrations, which was a great sign for all gathered here.

The pastor, assisted by the Carmelite Fathers, the parishioners and numerous pilgrims, greeted Our Lady with great joy before entering the shrine.  Then, the Icon was solemnly brought inside the church, where numerous faithful participated in the mediation of the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary.

Father Vjenceslav Mihetec, the custodian of the shrine, presided over the Holy Liturgy of the Mass.  During his homily, he called on the Patron Saint of the Day - St. Matthew the Evangelist - who responded to Christ's call to follow Him, despite the fact that he was a notorious sinner.  The homilist presented the history of the Black Madonna and the significance of the Icon.  He also recalled that each one of us, in response to Our Lady's call, is called to follow Christ and do what He tells us.

While the continuous veneration of the Icon was taking place inside the church, a conference took place in the monastery conference room, entitled "Family - the Reflection of Church in family."  The lecture was given by dr. Petar-Krešimir Hodžić, the Director of the Office for Life and Family of the Croatian Bishops Conference, who is also the coordinator for the peregrination of the Icon in Croatia.

After the conference, those who attended went back to church in order to participate in the vigil before the figure of Our Lady of Remete, "The Advocate of Croatia," as well as before the Icon of Czestochowa.