Monastery and Holy Cross Church

Paths Of The Hermit From Ciovo

First day

Arrival at the hotel, dinner. Overnight.

2nd day- pilgrimage two to three hours

Breakfast. Visits to churches where the hermits lived.

Visiting the church of St Jerolim, Church of Holy Monther of the Sea, and the Church of St. Anthony, built in a cave where hermits once lived. From the church of St. Anthony

pilgrimage to the Church of St. Moors in Žedno.


Visiting Trogir


Third day pilgrimage two to three hours


Pilgrimage to the Church of St. Cross, which is also a sanctuary declared 1600 years since Pope Pius XI. In front of all the people miracle happened next to the Church of Holy Mother of Prizidnice which is also dedicated to Holy Mother’s Shrine dedicated to the Immaculate Conception. The feast of the Immaculate Conception is celebrated in Prizidnica 308 years before they began to celebrate in Lourdes, and 308 years before the Church proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate conception.


Tours to Split and Salona



In the last centuries of the Roman rule in Dalmatia along the Adriatic coast and particularly on the islands, many hermits and monks voluntarily withdrew from worldly noise to be in a convenient place and devote to prayer and a deeper spiritual life, without anyone’s interference.

Hermits lived their solitary lives in small groups in modest huts or caves dedicated to prayers and reflection. By working in the gardens or orchards and by fishing they had a modest life.

A lot beautiful churches evoke memories of Prizidinice; Holy Cross Church, Church of St. Moors and Church of St. Anthony on Čiovo, where were the favorite abodes of priests, hermits and penitents.

People have a strange feeling when they walk into the sanctuary, not looking at its width and height, not watching the huge columns, not admiring the grandeur of the temple but tasting a loving heart and soul, loftiness of the place.

This island is often mentioned as a shelter for the refuges, the poor and the hermits. In the XV. century statute of the city Trogir prohibits settling on Čiovo to everyone except the lepers and hermits. It is obvious monasticism was very widespread and in late Roman times, the church and the cave gathered monks – hermits. They lived near the church of St. Mavro Abbot next to village Žedno, possibly around Church of Saint Antun and Mary Magdalene (now the monastery of St. Mary or Saint Anthony of Drid), where in a cave under the monastery was an altar dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene. A solitary place was also the Church of Holy Monther of Prizidnice, located on the cliffs on the south side of Čiovo. This church was once visited by the pilgrims from the surrounding areas as well as those from the hinterland, and the tradition still lasts because Holy Mother of Prizidinice is celebrated as the patron of maritime fortune.

With time hermit monks took also the church of St. Andrew on Vrh Balana, together with the brotherhood of fishermen. Many folk customs have been connected to this church even recently, and so it was believed in the miraculous power of healing the sick if they put their bodies on the cemetery stones.

On the area Miševac, an isolated village on the coast, the historian family Lucić raised a church dedicated to St.. Jerolim, Dalmatian hermit and patron. Testament of the Lucić family mentions that the church was supposed to be a place where hermits would live. Supposedly, next to the church of the Holy Monther of the Sea, women lived in solitude. This church, built in the once deserted, quiet countryside, where Berislavić as a young priest served his first Mass, is associated with a historic event – the victory over Split by Trogir in XIII. century. Island Čiovo is deeply linked to these centuries-old conflict between two cities and has historically been divided between two communes. That boundary is still kept in the yard of the parish house in Slatine. Sometimes people the name of Čiovo vividly explain as the phrase: Whose is this? (In Croatin Whose is this: Čije je ovo).

During the XIV. and XV. century on Čiovo monasteries started to raise. Above the cave, in the Drid’s mystical forest, a Franciscan Monastery of St. Anthony (St. Mary of Dridom) and Monastery of St. Lazarus (St. Joseph) were buit. Nuns were caring for lepers who were isolated there. Isolated on the coast of the Kaštela, Dominicans built Dominican Monastery of St. Cross, like a fortress with a tower and loopholes. During the years this monastery gathered valuable works of art and library, and during the struggle over Klis even served as a shelter for Uskok army.

Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Holy Mother in Prizidnica was built in 1546. Built by the Juraj Stojdražić, hermit who was very devoted, and really affected the spiritual building of believers.

Prizidnice was solitary abode still in an early age and Don. Francis Grisonio, delegate of Pope’s visitator Priuli, arrived at a solitary dwelling eremitorium- Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Prizidnica on Wednesday 15.03.1603. and recorded that everything is kept clean and tidy, and that solitary priest John Stojčić lives there, at the age of 63. He spent a continuous period of 30 years there. The hermit ruled praiseworthy. He had a clerk Tadija Uljević from Poljica with him for 20 years. Grisonio states that John served the Mass in the oratory or in the desert all the holidays and weekdays. He supported himself with a piece of land and with charity by its surrounding believers. 19.03.1603. Grisonio the hermit spoke with the third hermit Don. Grgo Dragnić who was said to be Don. John’s nephew. He was serving the Mass at the Old Slavic Glagolitic Missal, and that was good and faithful conduct. Responding to questions to Grisoniova he said: I serve as pastor of this church and celebrate Mass according to the agreement and contract, I was called by these people, but I do not dwell in the house in the village because I prefer to live with my uncle who was a hermit on this island, and I am ready to give sacraments to people on every occasion. Next papal envoy is mentioned in 1645 and he mentions Don. Frane and Don. Grgo. After them was Don. Mijo Jurcic and Don. GrgoPeričić and Don. Jerome Zoljević.

Guardians of the Holy Mother’s Shrine were:

17th century Francis Marchi Capogrosiju

18th century Don Baštijan Gjej

1719 Fr Anthony Molin,

In the 18th century in Prizidnica lived Don. John Mihi Pavlov.

Don Damijan Ljubenković came after Don John Mihić.

Ancient Painted Crucifix

Grgo Gamulin Prizidnice’s Crucifix called just a “Relic” because little is preserved from the character of Jesus because of the unfair practices, at least several centuries old. Boys from Slatine before going into the army would tore one little piece of the relic and it carried with them. Crucifix is dating back in 1325 years and is the work of Paolo Veneziano. The similar one is placed in the Benedictine monastery in Trogir.

Picture of grace of Holy Mother and her devotion

In Prizidnice monastery the Holy Monther’s picture with the child Jesus has been honored for centuries . It belongs to Crete’s art school and is among the better arts of 14th century.

The image is painted on wood, mounted on the beam and thus was sailed to coast of Čiovo where it was found in ancient times.

From there, it was transferred to a church in Prisidnice where the family Dinarčić had patronic right to it.

The picture with its miracles attracted people so at the feast of the Immaculate Conception it was pilgrimaged from the island of Dalmatia in Prizidnica. People from Slatine were envious and the picture was secretly seized, but arriving at the top of the hill which is about halfway, the picture become so immobile and fixed that the human strenght could not move it. Therefore, the farmers frightened of this miracle and the divine strenght, immediately returned it to the place where it was taken from.

God’s omnipotence added miracle to miracle, because in the place where the painting stopped, from the living stone two fertile rods grew, which are still there, still green and bearing fruit.

People from Prizidnice, full of joy because they brought back the treasure, offered the honor to the Blessed Mary with the most precious ornaments.

One priest after the Mass, who served at the altar, stole one gold earring, but after that he could not move, until he returned it.

It should be noted that (breve) Pope Leo XIII. released in Rome on December 14th 1883 that “all genuinely repentant, confessed and communion Christian pilgrims who come to the feast of Blessed Virgin Mary and on Holy Tuesday devoutly visit the church or shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary in a place that is called the Split Prizidnica Diocese” will have a complete remission of all temporal punishment for their sins. They should also pray for the harmony of Christian rulers, uprooting delusion, sin and repentance and glory of the church. This forgiveness could also be for the souls in purgatory.

This document is proof that this is the shrine of the 19th century and it attracted many pilgrims and church authority gave it great significance and importance. It should be noted that the Prizidnice church was dedicated to Mary conceived without sin 308 years before Pope Pius IX. declared that religious truth and made it obligatory for all Catholics.

At this place lived the priests who devoted their lives to prayer and penance, and we have to preserve the spirit of the shrine.

We will mention some of the descriptions of individual pilgrimages, which were recorded by Don. Dražin.

September 18th 1936 two ladies from Split came in to Prizidnica to take the vow.

One of them was a mother whose son Emil was suffering from meningitis. The mother and the boy’s aunt took the vow to walk barefoot to Holy Mother’s shrine if the child heels. The next day they did the vow because the boy heeled without having any consequence.

Under date of September 26th 1938 Don Mijo described private pilgrimage of Matija Buble and her son ordained Fr. Fabian.

She said: I am now with my son, Fr Fabian to fulfill vow to thank from my heart to Mother of God who has heard all my wishes and prayers. I suffered from breast cancer so I had to go 30 times to Zagreb to the clinic for my troubles and sickness. And all the women that were with me in the same room had the same disease and died. And only I stayed alive after five years of suffering and sickness, I can thank only the Holy Mother of Prizidinice. During dangerous surgery in my unconscious I was mentioning the Holy Mother of Prizidnice, so people asked me who she was. I clarified and told them my vow: If Holy Mother heals me and I live to see my son say the Mass, I’ll go with him to Holy Mother of Prizidnice, to give God a sacrifice of thanksgiving. I thank the good mother, she helped me.

It is touching to read Don. Mijo’s chronicle of the pilgrimage group from Slatine who returned from the army. On the April 14th 1941 they came barefoot to Prizidnice to thank God and the intercession of Mary, because they returned alive.

How deep was the attachment of Slatine people and Christian people from the area around to Holy Mother of Prizidnica is best demonstrated by the following two examples:

Paul Markov Nakir like many Croatian men put down by poverty in times of economic crisis left the homeland and settled in South America. He didn’t forget his homeland, nor Holy Mother’s shrine. It was so deep in his memories and feelings, that after nine years of living and working in distant foreign land he felt the need to draw a shrine.

He didn’t have any pictures with him so he drew everything from the mind. After that a South American artist drew all the colors over the drawing, and in 1936 he sent it as a vow gift to Prizidnica church, and it now hangs on the wall.

Anka Čarija wife of John, who lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina, suddenly became very ill. After detailed examination doctors told her that she will die.

When she realized that was the end, she burst out crying, kissed and hugged her two children telling her husband to be their father and mother, and then she fell into a stupor.

The doctor’s hand faucet and waited for her heart to stop tapping. But she suddenly gathered strength and came to her husband shouting “Ivo give me a picture of Prizidinice.” When he did as she said, she stood in front of the picture crying, “My Lady of Prizidnice, now or never, help me to stay alive.” With these and other woes vowed that she will send something to the sanctuary and give something to serve a holy mass. Shortly after that she suddenly completely discerned and asked for food. She told the surprised doctors about the Prizidnice shrine and the image of Holy Mother y. She added: I went to Her in my country when I was seven years old . “This is what her mother told to parish priest Dražijaninu. She received the letter on May 12th 1934, and four days later she came to Prizidnica to do the daughter’s vow.

Intercessions of Our Lady of Prizidnice are particularly vivid and asked by sailors, when they found themselves in the stormy sea who threatens to swallow them and their ship.

About this witnessed many models of ships that sailors gave to sanctuary after a happy and healthy lives and returning to their homes and families.

Lessons of St. Cross on Čiovo

Readings sung before the solemn Mass of Dry Friday (Friday of the salvation and worship of the Saint Cross), who are revered in the Dominican church of the Holy Cross on Čiovo.

Monastery of the Holy Cross was built in the year of our salvation 1450, and his founder was father Nikola Milanović citizen of Trogir, a man of holy life and excellence.

Few years later in this monastery lived Prior of Venice gender, and year of the apparitions does not say his name. This prior was often visited by one hermit of Blessed Virgin Mary of Prizidnice which is away from Holy Cross 4 miles walk and set on the other side of the island Čiovo. The Hermit was a Venetian, a good Servant of God. His name isn’t registered, but it is known that he was much known and loved by Prior.

One day, Prior and hermit talked and hermit showed a cross on his neck wanton. Prior asked him whether he made it, and the hermit replied that he made it with his own hands. Then he asked whether Prior would make a great Crucifixion in the great altar of the church. The hermit told him that he can’t do it and gave a lot of excuses. Prior was sad because of that and later when hermit was coming to see him, Prior was different, not so happy. So hermit was thinking how to please Prior. But he couldn’t think of anything.

So he went to rest. That night in his sleep he saw a place little away from his desert, and it had a convenient tool for all that he needed to do with the cross. When he awoke in the morning, he thought of the dream, and not knowing the will of God or what to believe, he went to visit the place what he had dreamed about. Arriving there, he saw everything he needed to make the holy cross. Now knowing God’s will he begun the action and in short time happily and successfully completed it. He was even more happy knowing that his act will please Prior.

In the evening on Friday, he put the cross on his shoulders and went from the desert to the monastery of St. Cross, by referring to Jesus Christ, who was caring hiss Cross from Jerusalem to Calvary.

Having come to the monastery he rang, and at the window appeared a young monk who saw the good hermit with a large cross on his shoulders and ran immediately to Prior’s chamber and told him what is waiting at the gates of monastery.

When Prior understood the words, he came to the doors as fast as he could and received the gift send from heaven. With his hugs and tears he washed the wounds of Jesus Crucified.

Then he hugged his friend Hermit and gave him many kisses of peace in the forehead. From that moment he had even more honor and respect to hermit.

Finally, both Prior and Hermit put a holy cross in the church, and laid him on the great altar, where it is even today glorified and praised.

In 1600 on the first of April, on the White Saturday this Cross did a new wonder. Fr. Andrew Maras Jadranin was cleaning the altar of Holy Cross, who was settled for the Holy Sepulchre of the Lord. Fr. Andrew was worthy to see this miracle; to the right side of the face of the Holy- blood was flowing. For he was afraid of this miracle, he called Fr. Benedito Vesanović originally from Split, who dwelt in this monastery. Fr. Benedito heard shouting and ran into the church where he found Fr. Andrew in the miracle.

Lajko asked him what happened and why he was shouting so much. Novitiate told to him: better quickly approach the altar, and see whether I had a reason to call you for help. This Sacred Cross is spilling precious blood, he said. Lajko approached the altar of the Holy Cross and clearly saw the blood of the Savior flowing on the right cheek. Then, he immediately ran to call Fr. Valerius from Split, lecturer of the monastery.

Father’s Valerius eyes couldn’t believe, and he wanted to touch with his own hands the miracle and he climbed the stairs and touched the place where the blood was.

The blood was on his fingers, however, little by little it disappeared. The blood flew not only from the right side of the Holy Face, but also from the left side.

Some bricklayers were operating there: Paval originally from Split, Ivan Marangum, Grgo Sinovic from Trogir and Manul Vicenco Kozlanić. All these people rushed into the church and saw with their own eyes the holy blood.

They also saw that this strange cross was a bit blue in the face and very sad.

The next day, on April 2nd , on Lord’s Resurrection on Sunday at noon many people were in this holy church. Greeks, Albanians and locals were praying under the Holy Cross. Novitiate Fr. Andriaj and Sakrstan and priest Dominic Ljubetić were kneeling at the altar, near the sacristy. Priest asked the novitiate at what side is the blood and at the same moment blood started to go from the forehead. The blood was flowing over the right eye, and over the whole face. When novitiate saw that, he immediately run to take the cup, to take the saint blood but he couldn’t make it Then blood started to go on the left side of the forehead. Suddenly everyone began to shout: a miracle, a miracle. They were weeping and crying: Jesus, mercy, mercy!

Novitiates seeing this great miracle and hearing people shouting quickly rang a bell. Then they started singing litanies of the Holy Name of Jesus and people were praying.

The blood was flowing slowly. Right eye of the crucifix opened three times, and lips moved twice. People told to everyone what they have seen.

The Greeks went to Cont to tell him about the miracle, and since he was sleeping they went to see the Bishop. They told him that they would be ready to leave their homes and go to the Holy Cross to do penance until the death. Later the Greeks started to shout over all Trogir saying that people of Trogir are worse than Lutherans and they have no love for God and do not believe in Him but they do and they saw him spill the blood with their own eyes.

The next night, after these miracles, some people came to sleep in the church. In the night when the monks finished the prayer, while the candles were burning, the body of Jesus Crucified appeared white as snow. And about midnight body of the Crucified turned blue, black, and when the morning came it had the normal color again. But the Holy face was different. After hearing about this, Holy Fathers of the Pope, Martin Fifth, Inccencije Eight, Bugenij Fourth, Nicholas Fifth, Sisto Fourth and Alexander Sixth allowed the validation of all sins to those who humbly confess their sins and receive the Body of the Lord in the church of St. Cross on the day of Ascension of Lord to heaven, and those who will be there in the same day will receive seven years and Fortieth of forgiveness. Saint Pope Pius Eleventh through Holy Apostolic on July 11th 1933 gave the indulgence to the faithful people who confess and pray on that Friday in March and if they attend devotions in the sanctuary of Holy Cross Čiovo, on Friday after Ascension, and go to shrine and sanctuary. Five hundred days of indulgence will go to those who attend the shrine at any time through a year, and pray to his decision.