From Nazareth to Trsat Monument to the Holy Father
by Darko Belovic
translation by Hilda Foley
May 10, 2005. A monument to the great Pope John Paul II was solemnly unveiled in the park facing the entrance to the Trsat sanctuary. Franciscans are the guardians and servants of the Blessed Mother of Trsat sanctuary. According to tradition, the history of this sanctuary, which was only recorded by the 15th century, began with the transport of the little house of the Blessed Virgin Mary from Nazareth to Trsat on May 10, 1291. According to the same tradition, the little house was transported on Dec. 10, 1294 to Loretto. Prince Nikola Krcki-Frankopan had a chapel erected on Trsat which quickly became a place of pilgrimage.
In this chapel since 1367, the miraculous picture of the Mother of God is honored, which, again according to tradition, was presented to the Loretto pilgrims from the Croatian Primorje by Pope Urban V upon the request from Ivan and Stjepan Frankopan.
The bronze monument "Trsat Pilgrim", the work of Ante Jurkic, was unveiled by the Zagreb Archbishop and President of the Croatian Bishops' Conference Cardinal Josip Bozanic. The monument weighs a little less than one ton and its height is, including the base, 2.8 meters. After the unveiling of the monument, Cardinal Bozanic led a Eucharistic celebration.
The imposing monument in bronze portrays John Paul II at the moment of prayer in front of the miraculous picture of the Blessed Mother of Trsat (Gospa Trsatska) during his visit to this sanctuary on May 8, 2003, on his third pastoral visit to Croatia when he stayed five days in Rijeka.
Rijeka's best loved visitor Pope John Paul II came to the Trsat sanctuary to render homage the Blessed Mother. The Holy Father expressed the request that all people visiting this sanctuary pray for him during his life on earth and after his death.
Photos by Darko Belovic