This year’s jubilee Feast of St. Blaise ended at noon with the lowering of the Saint’s flag. The closing ceremony of the Feast began with a pilgrimage to Gorica Svetog Vlaha, with a procession of trombonists, flag bearers, festivalgoers, and priests. The Holy Mass was celebrated, after the unfurling of the flags, led by our new bishop, Msgr. Roko Glasnović.
According to what historian Maja Nodari said to DuList, the people of Dubrovnik built the votive Church of St. Blaise in the parish of Gruž on the hill of Gorica in the 11th century, so it may as well be the oldest church dedicated to St. Blaise outside the City walls. Numerous sources testify to this particular church, the oldest source being from 1255. It has undergone many architectural changes, and due to the geomorphological characteristics of the terrain and the exposure of the site, it has survived several powerful earthquakes and endured harsh weather conditions.
Today’s church was rebuilt on the old foundations in 1857, but during the 19th and early 20th century it was renovated several times by benefactors from Dubrovnik. But despite numerous renovations, structural problems remain since it ‘lies’ on the fault of the hill. The suffering of the church continued with the bombing in World War II, the 1979 earthquake and finally the 1991 Homeland War.
After the celebration on Gorica, the people of Dubrovnik went down the City where they were greeted by Don Hrvoje Katušuć in front of the Church of Saint Blaise who, along with folding of the flags, the tumbling of trombones and the shouts of the people, solemnly closed yet another Feast with hope and anticipation of the next one.
Photo by: Zvonimir Pandža