At 3pm on the 7th February 1945, Communist soldiers arrived at the Church in Široki Brijeg and said to the Franciscan Friars, “God is dead, there is no God, there is no Pope, there is no Church, there is no need of you, you also go into the world and work.”  Many of the Franciscans Priests were teachers.

The communists ordered them to remove their habits. The Franciscans refused. One angry soldier took the Crucifix and threw it on the floor. He said, “Now, you can  choose either life or death.”

Each of the Franciscans knelt down, one by one and embraced the Crucifix and held it to their heart saying,

YOU ARE MY GOD AND MY ALL .”  They sang the Litany of Our Lady as they were being killed.

The thirty Franciscans were taken out and slaughtered and their bodies burned with gasoline in a nearby cave where their remains lay for many years. Today they are buried inside the Franciscan church. Six of them were only twenty years old. They also killed 874 parishioners, burned the Monastery, the school, the seminary and when they couldn’t burn the Church, they put horses in it.

One of the soldiers in the firing squad at Široki Brijeg later said, “Since I was a child, I had always heard from my mother that God exists. To the contrary, Stalin, Lenin and  Tito had always proclaimed and taught each one of us: there is no God. God does not exist! But when I stood in front of the martyrs of Široki Brijeg and I saw how those friars faced death, praying and blessing their persecutors, asking God to forgive the faults of their executioners, It was then that I recalled to my mind the words of my mother and I thought that my mother was right: God exists!” That soldier converted and his son became a priest and a daughter a nun.

BRUNO Adamčík FRA,

FRA MARKO BARBARIC,

FRA JOZO Bencun,

FRA MARKO Dragicevic,

FRA MILJENKO IVANKOVIC,

ANDRIJA Jelcic FRA,

FRA RUDO JURIC,

FRA Fabijan Kordic,

FRA VIKTOR Košir,

FRA Tadija Kozul,

FRA KRSTO KRALJEVIC,

STANKO KRALIEVIC FRA,

FRA ZARKO Leventic,

FRA BONIFACIJE MAJIC,

STJEPAN MAJIC FRA,

FRA ARKADEO NUIC,

FRA BORISLAV Pandzic,

Fra Kresimir Pandzic,

Fabijan Paponja FRA,

FRA NENAD VENANCIJE Pehar

FRA MELHIOR PRLIC,

Ludovik RADOS FRA,

FRA LEONARD Rupcic,

FRA MARIOFIL Sivric,

FRA IVO Slišković ,

FRA Kornelije SUSAC,

FRA Dobroslav Simovic,

FRA RADOSLAV Vuksic,

ROLAND ZLOPASIA,

LEOPOLD AUGUSTIN Zubac