Sacral heritage

Cibalae belongs to the most prominent early Christian centres. In early as 3rd it had a bishop, Eusebius, who died as a martyr in the persecution of Christians during Emperor Valerian in 258 AD. Eusebius of Cibalae is the earliest known bishop in all of Pannonia. In the persecutions during the reign of Emperors Diocletian and Maximilian, Polion, the “lead lector” of Cibalae, was also burned somewhere in the vicinity of the town – it is believed that the exact location of his burning was found at Kamenica site. St. Eusebius is worshipped along with St. Polion, their memorial day being on 29. may. The parish church of St. John of Nepomuk in Vinkovci 1972 changed its patron saint and since then it has been known as the Church of Sts. Eusebius and Polion.

The oldest sacral monument in Vinkovci is the early Romanesque church of St. Elijah at Meraja (turk. Meraja – cattle breeding ground). The foundations of that church can still be seen today. The small church was later demolished, and a Gothic single-nave building was built on part of its foundations at the beginning of the 14th. century. Until the 18. it was used as a sacral object. Year 1771. the construction of today’s new church (Velika crkva) began. It was originally dedicated to St. Ivan Nepomuk. Three bells and a painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which was considered very valuable, were taken from the old church at Meraja to the new church. This baroque church is full of valuable works of art and is dedicated to Sts. Eusebius and Polion. It survived huge destruction in the Homeland War, after which it was mostly rebuilt.

At the Vinkovci town cemetery you can see the Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene (before the chapel of the Transfiguration of Jesus). Eliza Šokčević Čolić, mother of the governor Josip Šokčević, had it built. Vinkovci also has chapels of St. Anne, St. Florian, and St. Roch.

The most famous shrine in the wider area is Ilača, which represents for Croatia what Lourdes is for France.

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