Monastery on Bistrik: People’s Place for gathering and their Encounter with God

December 3, 2017 3:00 PM

Monastery and Church of St. Ante Padovanski in the settlement of Bistrik in Sarajevo have not just the usual historical significance for Franciscans, but they are involved in their present as well. They are equally dear to other people of Sarajevo and tourists gladly visit them as well.

The Franciscans have been present in BiH for more than seven centuries (since 1291). Practically, they are the only human subject that lived and survived all the historical changes in this area, until current turbulent changes.

“The Franciscans are monks who inherit Saint Francis of Assisi and they belong to the Franciscan movement or the Franciscan Order. We do not like to talk about ourselves a lot, we are open to all people of good will,” says Fr. Slavko.

Fr. Slavko noted that the church of St. Ante on Bistrik is very dear and well-known for other citizens of Sarajevo as well. It is beautifully shaped, full of peace and compassion, it is silent and mystical. Believers are happy to come. People of other beliefs come as well at the mass (especially on Tuesdays at 6 PM).

“Different tourist groups that go through Sarajevo (Italians, Polish, Germans, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Czech, Hungarian, Slovenes and others) celebrate their masses in our church during the year. Their number has increased in the last few years,” he said.

Fr. Slavko also emphasized that this monastery is a meeting place with God, but it also represents the place of gathering for people.

The first church of St. Ante Padovanski was built in 1853 -1856 with beautiful and numerous gifts of the Emperor’s family. The church was destroyed by the fire in 1879. The Franciscans built a small and simple church in the same place. With the arrival of the First Archbishop of Vrhbosna Dr. Josip Stadler, it became his cathedral church, and the only Catholic church in Sarajevo. After the construction of the cathedral (1898), that church was used for some time.

The present church of St. Ante on Bistrik was built on its foundations in 1912, according to the plan of Josip Vancas, and its interior was restored according to the idea of sculptor Zdenko Grgic in the 1960’s. The church contains numerous works of art by famous artists.





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