Oil Dedicated to Blessed Miroslav Duleste
The Blessed Miroslav Duleste is dedicated to the 20th century Croatian priest and martyr.
Miroslav Bulešić (13 May 1920 – 24 August 1947) was a Roman Catholic Croatian priest. He studied in Rome before being recalled to his native Croatia where he was ordained in 1943. Bulesic became a vocal critic of Communism. He renewed his parishes through well-organized pastoral activities. Also, he was a promoter of frequent sacramental reception. But his criticism of Communism saw him make enemies who soon set upon and succeeded in killing him.
He was beatified in Croatia on 28 September 2013. Cardinal Angelo Amato presided over the beatification on the behalf of Pope Francis.
Bulesic’ life story
Miroslav Bulešić was born on 13 May 1920 in Čabrunići – a village in Istria at the time in the Italian kingdom. His initial education was spent in Juršići where his religious education teacher was the priest Ivan Pavić. In 1930 he decided to commence his studies for the priesthood. Father Pavić sent him a letter of recommendation and said that he was a “wise, frank, pious and good” seminarian. In the fall of 1939 the Bishop of Poreč-Pula Trifone Pederzolli sent him to Rome for further studies.
He studied there in Rome at the Gregoriana for his philosophical and theological studies. Bulesic was present in Saint Peter’s Basilica when Pope Pius XII consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of the Mother of God. This was on 31st October 1942.
His bishop recalled him later to Croatia at the beginning of spring in 1943 for ordination. He received his ordaination in Istria to the priesthood on 11 April 1943 from his bishop Raffaele Mario Radossi. His parents and siblings were present and wept in happiness. Bulešić celebrated his first Mass two weeks later on 26 April in his old parish. He was assigned to the Baderna parish in the fall of 1943. There the Communist and Fascist forces fought with each other. Later, he was transferred to the parish of Kanfanar in the autumn of 1945.
Communists try to make him leave.
He was considered to be bold and fearless but was perceived as a great threat. Bulesic alluded to this in 1944 in his journal. Bulešić’s interventions in parish life made church events more attractive to people. He introduced adorations to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and His mother in the parish. He encouraged parishioners to recite rosaries together. Also. he encouraged them to receive the sacraments on a frequent basis more so for the children. But the Communists wanted to prevent the faithful from attending Masses. They introduced civil weddings and funerals. People still continued to attend the Masses and listen to their popular priest’s homilies. In 1946 some Communists were watching people file into the parish. They realized that the priest had to be killed for them to exert control over the people.
The regime even approached his relations to have them convince him to return to the Italian nation but he refused and said to them: “There is a bigger need for priests right here”. His relatives also advised him to be careful lest he be killed but he refused to do this.
In 1946 he was made the vice-principal and a teacher of seminarians at Pazin. At the start of March 1947 he returned a large cross to its original place in the atrium after unknown hooligans removed it. As the weeks went on it became clear to him that he might be targeted. He told his seminarians that to be a priest meant that the shedding of their blood for the faith was an attribute a priest needed to possess. In late June 1947 he wrote: “If it is Your will, I wish to come to You as soon as possible”.
Bulesic is martyred/Blessed Miroslav Duleste healing oil
One Mass was interrupted when Communists burst in and attempted to stop the Mass but he rushed to the tabernacle and defended it. He was pale but calm and said: “You can pass through here only over my dead body” to which the vandals asked whether he was afraid to go to Lanišće to which he said: “You can die only once”.
He went to Lanišće on 24 August 1947 for a Confirmation service and after Mass he and Ukmar went to the parish house where fifteen minutes later others who were late for the Mass were confirmed. But at around 11:00am several Communist supporters burst into the house and stabbed him to death multiple times in the neck after having been pinned to the ground. He had been close to the door when the attack happened. Ukmar fled to the bedroom but was beaten a minute later and left in a pool of blood on the floor though the attackers believed that he was dead. Blood was all over the walls in the aftermath of the attack and Bulešić twice cried out: “Jesus, take my soul!”
The regime did not allow for his remains to be buried in Svetvinčenant but to Lanišće instead. His remains were later relocated in 1958 to the former. His remains were reinterred later on in 2003.