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PHOTOS: Kozarica on Mljet gets new chapel after four decades 

Kozarica on the island of Mljet gets new chapel  

(Photo credit: Ivica Hajdić)

By Ivica Hajdić

Passing through the village of Blato, which is situated between high hills and a vast field, whose large uncultivated areas silently bear witness to the difficult life of our ancestors, the winding black asphalt road continues its way like a snake, towards the small once fishing, now tourist town of Kozarica.

With today’s story, we will be staying in Kozarica, which was founded by the inhabitants of Blato, who, leaving this village focused on agriculture, went in search of a better life, there on the harsh cliffs of Mljet, right next to the border of the National Park, whose natural beauty has equally spilled over to this place. 

On the slopes of the rocky hill, new houses, a new settlement, which today consists of families whose great-grandfathers created this small place of proud people with their bare hands, sprang up with hard labor.

Kozarica on the island of Mljet gets new chapel  

(Photo credit: Ivica Hajdić)

Over time, Kozarica built herself and her identity, so that the need for her cemetery, her church and her patron also grew. As far back as 1979, the united locals started arranging and cleaning the grounds for the future chapel, which will bring them together under the same roof in common prayer.

Stone by stone, mašur (a two-handed trough for carrying bulk) by mašur, day by day, the people of Kozarica patiently began to create their spiritual oasis here in Konštar, right next to Kozarica. And it took a very long time until the dream of its ancestors came true.

Kozarica on the island of Mljet gets new chapel  

(Photo credit: Ivica Hajdić)

The new generations of this village, with the indispensable support of the brother-sister villages of Blato and Ropa, continued to walk the same path, build and create their holy place, just as harmoniously. And precisely on Saturday, October 22nd, with the help of noble people and all benefactors, this story was happily completed.

Without diminishing anyone’s individual merit, I would say that this temple of God was first of all raised and built by good and hardworking people with big hearts, with a great community of locals, whose foundations are woven with the calluses and sweat of their grandfathers and fathers, who started all this.

And indeed, yesterday was both wonderful and festive in Kozarica, which marked its proud, but above all, historic day, which welcomed its new stone chapel of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, whose bells rang for the first time, marking the beginning of the holy mass.

It was difficult to hide the tears and emotions of many, because through those bells, in a way, the efforts, wishes, hopes and dreams of those who are no longer with us, who started long ago what has become a reality today, rang out.

Kozarica on the island of Mljet gets new chapel  

(Photo credit: Ivica Hajdić)

Many of our men and women from Mljet, many dignitaries and friends of Mljet came to witness this holy act and a great day for our diocese, but also for the Dubrovnik diocese.

We are particularly proud to point out that together with our priest Don Stipe Zadro, the Holy Mass was led by the Bishop of Dubrovnik Diocese Msgr Roko Glasnović who, with many warm, inspiring words and spiritual messages full of wisdom, further enriched the consecration of the chapel.

Kozarica on the island of Mljet gets new chapel  

(Photo credit: Ivica Hajdić)

Looking for some symbolism in this yesterday’s date, we cannot but mention that yesterday is also the Memorial Day of our unforgettable and beloved Pope, Saint John Paul II, who on October 22, 1978 held the first Holy Mass as Pope.

After the solemn mass, with the pleasant song of our Mljet church choir of St. Paul from Babino Polje and with the song of the very talented young Mljet spiritual singer Martin Hazdovac, whose voice that penetrates the soul and heart and stone would make you cry, this great event for our little the community.

Kozarica on the island of Mljet gets new chapel  

(Photo credit: Ivica Hajdić)

After that, there was a rich honoring and a festive lunch with thanks for all the guests, with special thanks for all those little people who incorporated their spark of kindness, their thread of nobility and their kiss of love into this mosaic spiritual story that was built for decades.

Kozarica on the island of Mljet gets new chapel  

(Photo credit: Ivica Hajdić)

The small but proud Kozarica fell asleep in her autumn dream for the first time in the arms of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, who since yesterday has been watching and guarding this small place of fishermen and farmers, this small village of good people with big hearts who built this stone chapel with a lot of love, to the pride of the entire island of Mljet.

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