Men of Cyrene

• One Friday afternoon, three men, Brian, Izzy and Inky, arrived at the foot of Mt Krizevac when they were approached by Robert, a Frenchman in a wheelchair. Communication was difficult as Robert kept pointing up to the mountain. Izzy and Inky had never been up the mountain – this was their first pilgrimage to Medjugorje – but with the help of Brian they lifted Robert, a heavy man, out of his wheelchair and started to carry him up the steep and rocky path.

Soon they were joined by other willing helpers, Mario from Austria, Andrea from Italy, Dragan from Croatia, Jim from Ireland and Bertenauld from Reunion Island. It was a difficult and tiring climb as each man took a turn in supporting and helping to carry Robert. Priests on the mountain came forward to bless the group. Crowds parted to make way and joined hands to offer prayer and sing praises.

Eventually, the summit was reached and Brian, Inky and Izzy lifted Robert and sat him on the altar ledge at the foot of the white, concrete cross. Then Robert turned to each of them and said: “You my Simon, you my Simon, you my Simon.”

It was a special and humbling experience for all concerned, but particularly for Inky and Izzy, making their very first ascent up Mt Krizevac. Had they known what lay ahead they may have decided not to go to the mountain. But like Simon, they responded. This was their ‘Medjugorje’. How God works in mysterious ways!


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