18:26 / 24.12.2021.

Author: Domagoj Ferenčić

Croatian faithful celebrate Christmas Eve

Christmas Wheat

Christmas Wheat

Foto: Slaven Branislav Babic / PIXSELL

The Christian faithful in Croatia celebrated Christmas Eve on Friday, the last day of Advent and the day before Christmas. For the first time in 141 years, midnight-mass will not be celebrated in the Zagreb Cathedral, which was damaged in the 5.5 magnitude earthquake that hit Zagreb on March 22nd of 2020.

The head of the Catholic Church in Croatia, Zagreb Archbishop Cardinal Josip Bozanić will hold midnight-mass in the parish of St. Jerome in the Maksimir neighborhood in Zagreb. Earlier in the day he issued his Christmas greeting to the faithful:

"Brothers and sisters, it is my hope that my Christmas greeting and the fact that God is close to us at all times in our lives, reaches all of you: the children, families, and especially those families who, in joy, are awaiting the birth of a new child.

It is my hope that it reaches your emotions, your labour, your intentions and your hopes. That it reaches those people who are alone, or far from their loved ones, all of those who cannot today participate in our joy and celebrations, out of illness, old age or any other reason.

With a special feeling in my soul, I wish that the sanctity of God's loyalty, presence and solace reaches all those in the health sector caring for the ill, and to all those who are mourning the loss of a loved one.

Dear brothers and sisters, dear people of good will; Merry Christmas!"

President Zoran Milanović also issued his Christmas greeting today: "I call on those responsible, first and foremost the decision makers, to, in the Christmas spirit, view differing opinions in search of solutions as a positive contribution, and not a problem. Because, Christmas is a holiday that instructs us to show tolerance for our fellow man."

For his part Prime Minister Andrej Plenković recalled his government's achievements in 2021, with a view to 2022: ''This was a year in which we succeeded in achieving a massive economic recovery. We demonstrated resilience, strength, knowledge and the desire for a better life. In this vein, and in the spirit of optimism for the coming year, which I hope will be one of solidarity, unity and with as little polarization in society as possible, I wish everyone, from my heart, a Merry Christmas and all the best in 2022."

Meanwhile, in his Christmas greeting Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković called for dialogue in bridging divisions in society: "Over these past two years that have been marked by the global pandemic, and in our homeland, two destructive earthquakes, we have first and foremost been committed to preserving the health and lives of our citizens. Our solidarity, unity and the way of life we once knew have been put to the test. Respecting all of our differences, and continued and constructive dialogue is one of the key ways we can bridge our differences."

Source: HRT

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