The Cross Mountain is situated not far from the town of Medugorje. The path leading to the peak is lined with stations of the Cross and awaiting you at the top is a huge white cross errected there in the beginning of the 20th century, some time before the Second World War. The mountain is not particularly steep but the path is uneven, full of jagged rocks of various sizes so good walking shoes are highly recommended. I was wearing a pair of sports sandals and if going up was uncomfortable but utherwise ok, the way down was a disater, all because of the weather, which turned into a storm once we reached the top. Believe me, descending a rocky path in a downpour that turns it into a stream is dangerous and difficult if you are wearing good walking shoes. If you're wearing sandals, it's no go! We were going down at snail's pace, we kept slipping and falling over, it's a mirracle none of us broke any bones, though we did earn some nasty bruises and cuts. However, we managed to find a way out of it. A few boys from our group were wearing sneakers, the rest of us, mostly girls, were wearing sandals or flipflops. So we asked the boys to go down, take the shoes off and then send one of them back with the shoes, so that we could put them on and come down as well. It took two or three rounds to bring everybody safely down, but we had fun. And it didn't matter that we were wet to the bones, smeared in mud, some of us bleeding, the girls looking ridiculous in shoes a few sizes bigger than their own. It was a great adventure. And the views after the storm were definitely rewarding. Here are two of some of the best pictures I've ever taken.
Most visitors to this place are Catholic pilgrims making a visit to the place where some children say they saw the Virgin Mary. This seems to always occur in remote areas of Catholic countries. Call me skeptical but it sounds a little "X Files" to me.
Thanks for the correction on info to margieoh.
Cenacolo is a community of men aged 15 right up to 50 who either have lived on the street or have had very bad drug problems. It is a safe haven where the men pray, work in construction and live in community. All of them learn Italian since the foundress is an Italian nun. They have men from 25 different nations and as many as 15 languages at once. A new man will be paired up with a man who has been in the Cenacolo for a while. The parents and family visit.
When a person has spent a few years in the Cenacolo, they can choose to live in mainstream society but they do it slowly, with room-mates of other men who have already made the transition. Some of the men choose to work in communities in Brazil where they help children who live on the streets because their parents are drug-addicted.
Some men in the Cenacolo have not been on drugs but just want to live there. Some men never leave the Cenacolo. They have their own chapel. There are many Cenacolos all over the world, 3 in the USA and now some for girls and women too.
Sometimes men who come to live in a Cenacolo, have AIDS because they were drug users. Some of them have died. A few of them created the amazing painting that now hangs in the Cenacolo chapel.
Apparition Hill is where Mary first started appearing in 1981. Millions of people from all over the world climb this hill to see the statue they've erected in honour of Mary. Once we got back down, we saw a few stores and I bought a beautiful picture of Mary and Jesus froma guy who was born in Mexico, raised in the USA, and he came to Medugorje 5 years ago and hasn't had the heart to leave since. He opened up a little store at the bottom of Apparition Hill.
Here they have daily confession, rosary and mass, followed by adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. The church is over-flowing with people of all different languages. It's truly amazing to see how many devout Catholics there are from all over the world. St. James is where all the action is. It's where Jesus is truly present and that's what Mary is appearing for ... she wants to bring people to her Son.