Following the Cross Procession: Meet the Crossbearers – Danijel Plenković From Svirče

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We continue the series of interviews done by Vilma Stojković from Hvar / Unesco website with the crossbearers. Svirče is next.
Danijel Plenković – Crossbearer for Svirče in 2016.
(photo: Vilma Stojković)
Danijel Plenković (27) was 15 years old when he signed up voluntarily for carrying the Cross. His family has a long crossbearing tradition, his grandfather carried the cross in 1942, his great-grandfather was a crossbearer twice, in 1934 and 1955 and his brother Don Toni (33) was a crossbearer 10 years ago and signed up again this year – to carry the cross in 2029. Danijel lives with his family in Stari Grad, but his heart belongs to Svirče. Danijel and his brother Ivica are a long-time singers of the Our Lady´s Tears and the actively participate in the processions more than 10 years. When asked about his first procession, he recalls being 7 years old, when he managed to persuade his parents into letting him go for the first time.
(photo: personal archive of Danijel Plenković)
His motivation comes from a personal vow and during the procession, he will be praying to God out of gratefulness for all gifts he received, especially his family. His wife Marija supports him greatly and she will, along with many friends and fellow villagers walk with him in the procession and pray for him. Of course, even the Svirče procession has its specialities. It is interesting, that along the official accompaniment, the church choir is also walking and singing the whole night of the procession.
(photo: personal archive of Danijel Plenković)
When asked about how he prepares for the procession, he says, that it might be unconsciously, but as a driving instructor, he was driving with his students through the Svirče route, at least the part that goes through the main road. As we approach the Holy Thursday, there are more and more obligations, cakes need to be prepared, dinners and “jutrine” organized. The whole family and friends help him, as everything needs to run smoothly.
(photo: personal archive of Danijel Plenković)
Danijel will walk in socks, dressed in a white tunic, accompanied by his father and brother Don Toni. His friends and other locals in white tunics will carry lanterns (ferale) and candles (kandilire). These used to be carried by members of two brotherhoods, which are unfortunately no longer active in Svirče nowadays. His brother Ivica will be the main singer of the Our Lady´s Tears. It is a custom in Svirče to select the singers on Palm Sunday, after checking which voices are going together to create the best possible harmony.
(photo: personal archive of Danijel Plenković)
Crossbearer chooses the route of the procession (except for the main parish churches) and this year the Svirče procession will go to the Church of Our Lady of Health in Jelsa. Another custom in Svirče is, that the crossbearer donates something to the church after the procession.
(photo: Vilma Stojković)

For every crossbearer, these are very emotional moments. Danijel is full of joy and hope, that he, just like his predecessors will fulfill his vow and keep the tradition proudly preserved in his home-town and his family.

Continue reading about the crossbearer from Vrisnik.

Read about the crossbearer from Pitve.


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