70th Anniversary of the Murder of Herzegovinian Franciscans marked by Hrvatska Pošta
According to info received by FindYourStampsValue.com the Croatian Post Ltd. Mostar has issued a commemorative postage stamp to mark the 70th Anniversary of the Murder of Herzegovinian Franciscans. The issue was released on the 7th of February and is now available for purchasing.
Prior to the arrival of the communists, the Herzegovinian Franciscan province was blossoming. It had its own Franciscan classical high school in which lectured around 15 professors (PhD), had their own theology, their own printing house, publishing facility... In May 1944 it had 231 full time members, while in May 1946 had continued with only 66. In other words, the communists had murdered one-third of them, one-third was not allowed to return, and one-third had remained in their homeland and were subjected to communistic prosecution and prison.
The symbol of the arrival of Franciscans to Široki Brijeg is the grandiose oak-tree in front of the monastery church, and a symbol of torment in Široki Brijeg in February 1945 and a symbol of the loss of Herzegovinian Franciscans in other places is the wounded church. The communists had attempted to tear down the church by artillery 304 times, but thank God they did not succeed. Today it is reconstructed of course.
Herzegovinian Franciscans had in spite of communistic prosecution endeavored to preserve the truth of their murdered brothers. The crown of these efforts is the activation in 2007 of the High Committee (Vicepostulatura), the procedure of martyrs "Father Leo Petrović i 65 of his fellow brothers". Their task is to collect all testimonies and documents about their murders so that the Holy Church may proclaim them one day as martyrs, or blessed or sacred.