Climbing the Mountain
Cross Mountain is a mount above Medjugorje (520 m), where on March 15, 1934, the parishioners constructed a concrete cross 8.56 m high, built in remembrance of the 1900 years since the death of Jesus. On the Cross is written: "To Jesus Christ, Redeemer of the human race, as a sign of their faith, love and hope, in remembrance of the 1900 years since the death of Jesus".
Relics received from Rome for the occasion are embedded in the crossbar itself.
Since then, the custom was established of celebrating Holy Mass at the foot of the Cross in commemoration of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, on the 1st Sunday after the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
According to the visionaries, in the message of August 30, 1984, Our Lady said: "The cross was also in God's plan when you built it."
With Our Lady's apparitions, the faithful started to pray the Way of the Cross on Cross Mountain. In the beginning, the stations were marked with simple wooden crosses, and in 1988, bronze reliefs (the work of Carmelo Puzzolo) were placed there. On each one of them, with the exception of the Garden of Gethsemane, Our Lady is situated.
For the pilgrims, Cross Mountain is a call to meet Jesus in His Passion and to discover His love. —Medjugorje WebSite
Every time I walk up Cross Mountain in Medjugorje, I pray for a lesson or teaching from God. I remember being on a pilgrimage a few years ago, and I got up super early to walk Cross Mountain to see the sunrise from the top. That morning happened to be incredibly foggy, and although I did not see the sunrise through the thick cloud covering, I heard in my heart, "Will you still climb for Me even if you can not see Me?" Although it was foggy, the lesson was clear.
So here I am again in Medjugorje, but I choose a sunset hike this visit.
As I started up Cross Mountain, the path was wide, and there were many ways one could go and still remain on the right track. As I got closer to the Cross, the trail narrowed, yet it was clearly marked by the mountain's edge on one side and very thick brush on the other. Then at about the 13th station of the Cross, almost at the very top, the path was indistinguishable. It was steep and jagged rocks were everywhere. I could go straight, right, or left, it was no longer clearly marked, and it was dark, very dark, with only the moonlight and my small phone flashlight! I began to fall into fear and frustration and considered turning around, ready to talk myself into giving up the climb for "safety" reasons. Then I took a deep breath and questioned, "Am I safe to keep climbing?" I heard in my heart, "Yes, keep climbing."
Here was the moment that one truly had to go forward and trust. My phone flashlight could only help me take one step and then the next; it did not have the range to see far ahead. So it was in the knowing that the final steps to the Cross were right here for me. All I needed to do was trust in each step at a time. At last, I looked up and saw the large white Cross with the moon aglow and the stars as the backdrop. I stopped in awe, grateful to be standing on the top of this mountain, grateful to be led by faith, even when I could not see. And grateful that I arrived.
In that moment, I saw the entire path leading me to Jesus right there in front of me. In the beginning, there are many paths to Christ. As we get closer, the paths get fewer and more narrow. The more we know, the more is expected of us. We are called to a higher standard, and when we fall off our holy path, it hurts. The last part of our journey to the Cross is all done heart to heart, soul to soul, complete faith without seeing. Trusting. Just God and you. God never leaves us, no matter what.
—Amy D'Ambra/MSMH Founder and Co-Owner