The Croatian Armed Forces members, policemen and defenders took part in the 23rd traditional military…
Members of the Croatian Armed Forces and of the Police attended the 23 Military and Police Pilgrimage in Lourdes, running from 12 to 19 May 2015organised by the Military Ordinariate of Croatia, under the motto “Am I my brother’s keeper?“.
The Commander of the 23rd Croatian Military Pilgrimage to Lourdes, Brigadier General Blaž Beretin (the Commander of the Croatian Army’s Training and Doctrine Command „Fran Krsto Frankopan“), reminded of the origin of the International Military Pilgrimage in the post-World War II period and the initiative to bring peace and trust among the belligerent militaries and divided nations .
“The need for peace, trust and alliance continues to gather the militaries of the world here in Lourdes, joined by the Croatian Armed Forces 23 years ago, who have made a remarkable contribution too. Lourdes is the place joining the universal human messages of peace with the imperative of preserving it, which is the main mission of the militaries today“. Brig. Gen. Beretin expressed his pride over commanding the 23rd Pilgrimage, which in his view was one of the international missions where the Croatian Armed Forces did an excellent job promoting and establishing the relations of peace and trust among the allies.
The international pilgrimage to Lourdes, taking place for the 57th consecutive year was officialy opened on 15 May, by ceremonial procession of 43 participating militaries in the Saint Pius X Basilic in Lourdes (the underground Basilic).
The Pilgrimage featured numerous holy services recited in a number of languages, the Torchlight Procession, the homage to all fallen soldiers and concerts and performances by military bands. Croatian Military Ordinary, Msgr Josip Jezerinac served the traditional Holy Mass for the Croatian pilgrims in front of the Grotto ofApparitions, followed by the Via Crucis.
Among the Croatian partipants in the programme of the International Pilgrimage were the Croatian Armed Forces Orchestra , the Navy Vocal Ensemble „Sveti Juraj“, the members of the Honorary Battalion wearing period uniforms and the Croatian historic units (the Zrinski Guard and the Karlovac Civil Guard).