Rosary beads will forever be part of Pelješac Bridge after two Croatian engineers revealed that they embedded them into the construction.
Engineers Ivica Granić and Franko Berović decided on this move a year ago, and now they have decided to share it with the public.
“The message of our move was that one day when we remember this we can tell our children that we have done something like this and that we can tell them that these little things are as important as the people around us, but especially God’s presence in all that we are and what we do,” Granić told Croatian Catholic Radio.
Ivica Granić received the Homeland rosary beads, with the cross of Prince Branimir, as a gift from a family friend, and he decided to embed them into the Pelješac Bridge construction.
“The Homeland rosary beads seemed very beautiful and symbolic to me because it has red and white beads reminiscent of our chequer board. In addition to the cross of Prince Branimir, it also contains images of Our Lady from all major Marian shrines in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina,” he added about the Homeland rosary, which is also internationally protected.
Granić said he suggested to his colleague Berović that they climb to the top of the S7 pylon, which is located one hundred meters above the sea, and that they say a prayer and place the rosary beads there as a small sign of God’s presence.
“We did this one year ago and did not want to tell anyone at the time. Now that works are coming to an end, I remembered those moments and I notice how much this bridge was photographed and filmed from all sides, in the context of the steel and concrete we make, for example, and to me people seemed more important, but also God’s presence seemed even more important to me in what we did so I decided to share this moment on my Facebook profile,” Granić said, recalling that it was a chilly day when they made the climb up to plant the rosemary beads.
“It was blowing a lot and we were freezing. Also, it was not easy to climb the temporary construction on top of the pylon. That was the tallest spot on the whole project, but we did it together as a gesture. To us it was very important and at the top we said a prayer. We dedicated the prayer to the Croatian people of the Blessed Virgin Mary,” Granić said.
Speaking about the reactions of people to this act, he said: “Initially, only a couple of the supervising engineers knew about it and approved it. There was no negative reaction, but it was our personal matter. Personally, while on some construction sites I was the chief engineer and foreman, I would call priests at the end of the work to bless them. I called Don Ivica Babić on Hvar, when we were working on a long section near Ploče, at the end of it I called Fr. Niko Glavinić and that is very important to me. We did not mention it here, but the two of us went to the highest point to leave that one small Croatian rosary beads as a memory and a sign of God’s presence in what we are doing.”
Since the beginning of the construction of the bridge, Granić and Berović have been present on the construction site.
“Berović and I first started working in the quality control department as part of a team of Croatian engineers. Among others, there were about twenty Croatian experts during the works. We had up to seven hundred people on the construction site. I was later appointed for one part of the work as a works manager, but at that moment Franko and I were dealing with the quality control of everything that was built into the construction of both concrete and steel structures. We still know every little detail of this bridge, which is otherwise an imposing construction,” he said, before concluding.
“Pelješac Bridge is of great importance for Croatia. This is one national project, a big project, interesting and also important in the engineering sense. I think it is important to all of us Croats, and especially to those who will travel often through it.”
Pelješac Bridge connects the southernmost parts of Croatia and the country’s mainland and will open to the public this summer.