Legend of March Friday*

Vrboska, Island Hvar

Vrboska is a small village on the northern coast of Hvar island, built in the 15th century by inhabitants of a nearby village Vrbanj (Wikipedia, Maraški petak). At the end of the 16 century, villagers of Vrboska divided into two confraternities: one confraternity was in favor of separating Vrboska parish from the Vrbanj parish, and the other was against it. Within a few decades, discord between the two groups grew into true animosity.

Then, on 11 April 1614, a miracle happened. A girl Katarina Ordinanović (daughter of a sailor Petar Ordinanović) noticed tears of blood dropping from a crucifix in the Ordinanović family house. Shocked family called other villagers and pastor to witness the miracle. It was soon decided that the bleeding cross will be taken to the St. Mary fortress-church. While procession was taking place, a meteotsunami (šćiga) flooded the village – it was impossible to cross to the other side of village using a bridge – and procession had to go all the way around the bay, through disunited confraternities Podva and Pjaca. Christ’s tears of blood and šćiga symbolically united Vrboska, and were seen as a sign that villagers have to make peace among themselves. Ever since, the story has been passed from one generation to another, and March Friday is up to this date considered to be one of the most significant religious holidays in Vrboska.

Sv. Marija, Vrboska, Island Hvar
Sv. Marija, Vrboska, Island Hvar

*March Friday is a Croatian catholic holiday of Miraculous Holy Cross. It is called March Friday, because it is celebrated on the first Friday in March.