The 15th Station of the Cross.
Is there a 15th station? I grew up learning 14.
'Cross Mountain' (Krizevac) is a 'must do' when pilgrims visit Medjugorje. Pilgrims climb day and night, taking their prayer intentions to place them at the foot of the cross on the summit. It is not unusual to see pilgrims ascending and descending in bare feet over the worn rocks. Many sit at the top, praying and singing through the night and come down at the crack of dawn. Priests are known to give the climb as penance to pilgrims in the confessional and visiting dignitaries who think they are going to be treated differently to the common pilgrim are told to climb the mountain if they wish to experience a true encounter.
Those of us willing and able were up early and at the base of Cross Mountain. Armed with pilgrim sticks, barley sugars and a few seconds of regret with the dawning realisation we'd be climbing over boulders the size of Gibraltar, the small but intrepid group trekked onward.
A bit higher to negotiate than Apparition Hill, Cross Mountain has 14 rest stops. Strictly speaking they are the 14 Stations of the Cross, but we claimed them as rest stops at only the second station!
Two hours later, happy and battle weary, God's army was more like 'Dad's Army' as the kiwi pilgrims descended the mountain. A couple of bruises, a minor sprain and a pilgrim stick split in half were the result of a climb all in the name of pilgrimage.
The intrepid group of New Zealand pilgrims had flown the flag for their sisters and brothers who couldn't climb and had limped home with war wounds to show for their efforts. What troupers! The 14 Stations of the Cross on Cross Mountain are now 15 stations and we claim the 15th with pride - The First Aid Station - visited via taxi on the return.
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Patricia is a pilgrim and encourages others to discover the timeless and biblical way of pilgrimage. As the pilgrim's pilgrim, she reports from the field, knowing The Way, showing The Way and going The Way.