Miroslav Peris is a Croatian Hero born in the town of Sošice in the region of Žumberak, in a proud Uskok family. He tragically died in 1993 as a member of Croatian Air Forces in his MIG 21. He had important missions in destroying enemy rocket bases from which various Croatian towns were mercelessly attacked. The photo below is from Žumberački krijes 2007, published by the Croatian Greek Catholic community.
The region of Žumberak is south-west of Zagreb. Photo from www.camping.hr
A unique Žumberak Museum can be seen in a small and lovely village of Stojdraga. It is placed immediately by the Greek Catholic Parish building, directed by rev. Mile Vranešić. My dear friend Juraj Filipić is on the left, with my brother Mladen.
In Stojdraga there is a small Greek Catholic Church of Sv. Juraj (St. George).
Blessing of the fields, forests and crops in Žumberak on the beautiful day of Sv. Juraj, April 23, 2008. Attentive flock carefully listening to centuries old custom of blessing. Many of them came from Zagreb, Greek Catholics as well as Roman Catholics. Rev. Mile Vranešić is second from the right, previously a Dean of the entire Greek Catholic community in Žumberak (Žumberak Deanery). His son Danijel, also a Greek Catholic priest, is with the microphone.
After about half an hour of ceremonial blessing around the churhc, with a lots of nice singing, the last part of the blessing of fields takes place in front of the entrence to the church. On the left is a group of women - singers invited from Slovenia, Krško, to take part in the ceremony. They accompanied the event a moment later, before entering the church. The village of Stojdraga is very near the Croatian border with the Republic of Slovenia, with spectacular view to the Krško valley.
My dear friend Juraj Filipić inside the church of Sv. Juraj, on the day of Sv. Juraj. Please, note the Croatian Coat of Arms
on the left side of iconostas in this lovely Croatian Greek Catholic church. The coat of arms is here from the beginning of the 20th century, i.e. for more than 100 years.
Let's have a closer look on the Croatian Coat of Arms. Below is an inscription in Croatian Glagolitic Script
:BOŽE BLAGOSLOVI HRVATSKU - GOD BLESS CROATIA
And the continuation can be seen on the right-hand side of the iconostas. It sais, again in the Croatian Glagolitic Script:
ČUVAJ NAŠ ŽUMBERAK - PROTECT OUR ŽUMBERAK
On the main square in front of the church we can see a memorial plaque dedicated to Dr. Tomo Severović. We read that he was born in Stojdraga in 1879, and died in Zagreb in 1951. He was a director of the Greek Catholic Seminary in Zagreb, vicar of the Church of Sts Cyrill and Methodius in Zagreb, clergiman - cantor and reader of the Križevac Greek Catholic Bishopric, wise archdeacon and colonel (sic!), writer and Croatian patriot.
The town of Sošice in the Žumberak region has a fantastic symbol of church unity of Christians, regardless to (really inessential) differences in rite: Greek Catholic church of Sv. Petar i Pavao on the right and Roman Catholic church of the Asscension of St. Mary on the left, side by side, like two sisters. It corresponds to the fact that in the town there are people of both Christian traditions. Greek Catholic tradition is a result of migrations since the 16th century from parts of Dalmatia occupied by the Turks. It is interesting that rev. Željko Pajić, Greek Catholic priest in Sošice, is serving in both churches, i.e. he is qualified both for Greek Catholic rite and Roman Catholic rite. He is also the current Dean of the Žumberak Greek Catholic Deanery. Greek Catholic rite is identical to the Byzantine Christian rite, the only difference being that Greek Catholics recognize the supreme authority of the Vatican Pope. This centuries old tradition is of great value for Croatian history and culture. On the photo is the wife of rev. Željko Pajić, and myself.
This is the inside of the Greek Catholic church of Sv. Petar i Pavao in Sošice, more precisely, its part behind the iconostas. And please, note again a very nice Croatian Coat of Arms.
The Greek Catholic church in Sošice is nicely decorated.
The front part of the iconostas in Croatian Greek Catholic church in Sošice.
Very nice Coat of Arms of Žumberak
Photos by D. Tudjan. We invite you to see other very nice panoramic photos from Žumberak by D. Tudjan onwww.zumberak.hr
.Information for bycicling on Žumberak and for tourists.
Many thanks to rev. Mile Vranešić and rev. Željko Pajić for their kind hospitality and permission to take the photos.
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