Three Slovenias pilgrimage attracts 1,500 believers
Tarvisio, 6 August - More than 1,500 believers from Slovenia, its neighbours and other countries gathered on Sunday on the mountain Monte Santo di Lussari for a traditional pilgrimage on the border between Italy, Slovenia and Austria.
The Pilgrimage of Three Slovenias has both religious and social connotation, as it brings together Slovenians from the home country as well as those living abroad.
Ljubljana Archbishop Stanislav Zore, who gave mass together with diaspora priests, urged all pilgrims to reflect deeply and live as Slovenians and Christians.
In this way, Slovenians will live from the same roots everywhere, in all three Slovenias, enriching each other through our meetings, taking only the best from Monte Stanto di Lussars to the world, the archbishop stressed.
All three Slovenias - the home country, the Slovenian minorities in neighbouring countries and Slovenians in the rest of the world - should be as "one", according to jurist and political scientist Andrej Fink, who spoke to the pilgrims before the mass.
He regretted that sometimes the government and people in Slovenia paid little attention to what was going on among the Slovenians who are just an hour's drive away from Ljubljana in Austria and Italy.
Fink, who has recently moved to Slovenia from Argentina, said that things had changed for the better since 1991, but "Slovenians in Slovenia are still not aware of how links with fellow Slovenians living just outside of the border can make one happy".
Although scattered around the globe, Slovenians are close to Slovenia because "we have always been looking for inspiration in the Slovenian spiritual world".
Fink also believes that the past should be linked with the future-oriented present anew. "And if we don't like Slovenia as it is, it is our task to change it."
The pilgrimage to Svete Višarje, as the place is called in Slovenian, is organised by Rafaelova družba, an organisation promoting Slovenian and Catholic values among Slovenian expatriates, and the Association of Slovenian Diaspora Priests in Europe.