February 27, 2020 – I am amazed at how few people in Croatia know about its only Vatican-authenticated miracle. An invitation to Zagreb Catholics to discover it during Sunday Mass.
There are many things that amaze – and continue to amaze – me about living in Croatia. Among them are the fabulous discoveries I am making here on a monthly basis, many of which are known about by only a few people. I summarised an overview of 2019 fun in an end of year post – Why I Live in Croatia: 30 Incredible Discoveries in 2019 Alone.
Among those discoveries was finding out that Croatia only has one Vatican-certified miracle, and one which you can actually visit. In contrast to Medjugorje, where there is actually nothing to see and which has not been endorsed by the Vatican, and which attracts more than a million tourists every year, Croatia has its very own authenticated miracle which you can actually see, along with the Papal Bull that was issued by the Vatican.
A one-hour drive from Zagreb.
The Eucharistic Miracle of Ludbreg is a fascinating story of three churches, which I have written about before (full story here), and it comes with some rather unusual additional touches, such as this very rare fresco of the Last Supper, with the Eucharistic Miracle featured, and the disciples replaced by prominent Croatian saints and religious figures – find out who they are here.
Ludbreg is best known, of course, as being ‘the centre of the world’, and if I ask locals what they know about Ludbreg, this is usually all that they come up with. And if I ask people here if they know which is the only certified miracle in Croatia that you can visit, only one person has so come up with the right answer.
In fact, it has become rather a fun hobby to tell Catholic friends the story of the three churches and then guess the location. Invariably, they get sucked in by the story, but still have no idea where it is.
You can read the whole story in the link above, but it is beautifully told in the frescoes on the original chapel where the miracle took place.
Having enjoyed the chapel, one of the many fascinating exhibits is the Papal Bull issued by Pope Leo X back in 1513, which confirmed the authenticity of the Eucharistic Miracle of Ludbreg.
The chalice holding the blood is not in the chapel where the miracle occurred, but in the main church just a few metres from the centre of the world.
With so many Zagreb Catholics going to Mass each Sunday, why not do something a little different for the Sunday worship – Holy Mass by the centre of the world in the presence of the only certified miracle in Croatia.
The very helpful Ludbreg Tourist Board provided me with information about Mass times on Sundays – 07:30, 09:30 and 11:00.
Ludbreg is just an hour by car from Zagreb, so not too far for a little day trip to discover a little of Croatia’s heritage as well as attending Mass.
And while many complain that things are shit on the Adriatic coast during winter, things are open all year in Ludbreg. In addition to the three hotels working all year, there are five restaurant choices for Sunday lunch, according to the tourist board:
Pivnica Mejasi (on the main square, next to hotel Amalia), Hotel Raj (across from the shrine), pizzeria “Shark” next to Hotel Raj), restaurant Crn-Bel (in the hills not far from the center of town) and Restaurant Arabela (outside the town on the main road to Koprivnica, maybe 10 min drive away from the center).
One thing to note for those interested in doing the day trip is that the frescoed chapel (which is REALLY impressive) is not open to the public, but can be opened by appointment. The Ludbreg Tourist Board would be happy to organise that after Sunday Mass for anyone interested, but only by making an appointment by email no later than the previous Wednesday. You can contact the Ludbreg Tourist Board via their website, which is in English and Croatian.
For the latest news from Ludbreg, follow the dedicated TCN section.