On Saturday, June 11, 2022, the fourth annual St. Anthony of Padua Youth March took place in Zagreb, Croatia.
This event is a pilgrimage conducted in Croatia’s capitol city to honor St. Anthony of Padua. It was organized by the Vocation Promotion Center of the Province of St. Jerome in Croatia in collaboration with the two parishes in Zagreb that are named after St. Anthony of Padua. They are located in Zagreb’s Sesvetska Sela and Sveti Duh neighborhoods.
The main organizer of the march was Friar Stjepan BRČINA, the Provincial vocation promoter. Friar Stjepan led the prayer for the thousands of people who had gathered in Zagreb’s central square. More than one hundred young people helped him in this work. For months, they met with the evangelizing community at the Church of St. Anthony of Padua in Zagreb to prepare the technical and prayer dimensions of this event.
More than four thousand youth came to offer prayer and make vows to Jesus through the intercession of their favorite saint. Most of the pilgrims came from Zagreb, but there were many pilgrims from the rest of Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and even Austria, Switzerland and Germany.
Neither fatigue nor difficulties along the road stopped this army of believers from traveling 16 kilometers [10 miles], singing and dancing at every step. Of particular note was the performance in Ban Jelačić Square [Zagreb’s central square] carried out by a dance group from the Sveti Duh evangelization community. The dance represented the struggle and victory of good over evil.
Media covering this pilgrimage most often described it as “joyful.” It was an event showing the pride of youth who belong to the King of Kings and who fearlessly display it in the streets and neighborhoods, bringing Him to where He is needed most.
St. Anthony, pray for us!
Friar Zlatko VLAHEK, Provincial Secretary