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Osoršćica hiking transverse - The path of St. Gaudentius

The path of St. Gaudentius is the trail of thinking in motion. It represents the path of holiness, inner peace and inspiration; it is the life of forgiveness, understanding, and natural and spiritual beauty. It spans 10 centuries of man's spiritual quest, returning it to him and nature.

SPIRITUAL-ENERGY ANTI-STRESS PATH OF ST. GAUDENTIUS

Bishop St. Gaudentius, the patron saint of Osor and the island of Lošinj, was born in Mali Tržić on the slopes of Osoršćica in the late 10th century. After ordination he joined the Camaldolese monks (a branch of the Benedictine family) living the contemplative life of silence, prayer and work in hermitages (caves).

St. Gaudentius was Bishop of Osor between 1024 and 1042. He was much respected in the Croatian kingdom because he founded four monasteries: St. Peter and St. Mary of Mercy in Osor, St. Nicholas at the Osoršćica, and St. Michael on the island of Susak. Not wanting to step down from his holy life and church rules he objected to marriages between Osor patricians who were blood related. They therefore revolted and exiled him out of town to his cave at Osoršćica where he did penance invoking the grace of God over human toxicity. The legend says that precisely from this place he begged the God’s grace that no poisonous snakes or other poisonous beasts dwell on Lošinj, Cres and Unije. Instead of revenge and resentment of the citizens he gave them God’s blessing to be forever protected from nature’s poisons.

 After the exile he went to Rome where he resigned the bishop's honour and in 1042 entered the Camaldolese monastery of St. Mary in Porta Nuova near Ancona where he died on May 31, 1044.

The feast of St. Gaudentius is celebrated on June 1.

 

OSORŠĆICA HIKING TRANSVERSE

It stretches along the northerly part of the island of Lošinj for about 20 kilometres. Its highest peak is Televrin (588 m). It was the first island mountain in the Adriatic that attracted attention as a tourist destination, especially of the Austro-Hungarian Crown Prince Rudolf of Habsburg who climbed the Osoršćica back in 1887.

There are two routes to the top - from Osor and Nerezine, and as a reward waiting for you is a wonderful view from the top of Osoršćica of the entire Lošinj archipelago, the coast of the Istrian Peninsula and Mt. Velebit, and the view reaches all the way to Gorski Kotar, Triglav and the islands of Rab, Pag, and Silba.

As you follow the trail, do not forget to visit the church of St. Mikula below the top and the cave of St. Gaudentius and, as you get tired, relax and find refreshment at the only mountain lodge on the Croatian islands welcoming guests throughout the summer months. This mountain is a real challenge for mountain climbers, but also for those who enjoy walking.

MIRACLES OF ST. GAUDENTIUS

Two centuries after death of St. Gaudentius the chest with his preserved remains miraculously floated to the Osor city walls. The sarcophagus with the relics is kept in the treasury of the Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary in Osor.

For centuries, the miraculous crystallized limestone for coating diseased veins which is still believed to have the power to protect against poisonous snake bites was brought from the cave of St. Gaudentius.

The path of St. Gaudentius is the trail of thinking in motion. It represents the path of holiness, inner peace and inspiration; it is the life of forgiveness, understanding, and natural and spiritual beauty. It spans 10 centuries of man's spiritual quest, returning it to him and nature.

Length of the trail: 18 km (6 hour walk)

Points: 14

Starting point: Osor

Final point: Nerezine

The path of St. Gaudentius is tagged by the mountain pilgrimage symbol with four red squares that form the white cross inside the symbol.

 

SPIRITUAL-ENERGY TOUR POINTS WITH SUBJECTS OF REFLECTION

1. OSOR – CHURCH OF ST. GAUDENTIUS (wooden statue of a saint) - CHURCH OF THE ASSUMPTION OF MARY (relics and sarcophagus with the bones of St. Gaudentius) -CHAPEL OF ST. GAUDENTIUS (near the campground)

A prayer before departure, thanking the ancestors

2. GAUDENTIUS’ ARMCHAIR (little canyon and fairy forest)  

Inner strength, determination, consistency 

3. MALI TRŽIĆ

Family relations, preservation of family tradition

4. VELIKI TRŽIĆ

Collaboration with family, friends and colleagues

5. WATERING PLACE AND PAN (the tree with the image of the forest guardian)

Respect for and preservation of water - the source of life, giving support to others 

 6. CURVED PINE

Eternity of life, flexibility

 7. MOUNTAIN LODGE

Friendship, joy of friendship, enjoying in the little things and in the joys of life

8. LOOKOUT OF ST. GAUDENTIUS

Love for self and others, sensitivity, caution

9. TELEVRIN – the highest peak of Mt. Osoršćica (588 m)

Success, celebrating the victories of life, the birth of a vision

10. GAUDENTIUS’ PINE – GUARDIAN

Provision of care to others

11. CAVE OF ST. GAUDENTIUS (with blue walls symbolizing holiness)

Understanding, peace of mind in prayer, inner transformation

12. CHURCH OF ST. NICHOLAS (MIKULA) - A FOREST OF DANCING PINES

Inner peace, holiness, joy and the dance of life

13. POOL AND THE RESTING PLACE 

Balance and exaggeration in action and reflection, humility

 14. NEREZINE

Prayer of thanksgiving to St. Gaudentius, to nature and to thyself, enjoying the fruits and gifts of nature

 

 

 

GAUDENTIUS PLANTS AND FRUITS OF MT. OSORŠĆICA

By its plant diversity Osoršćica represents a wild botanical garden where the majority of the 1018 plant species of the Lošinj archipelago grow. The fragrant glades are dominated by aromatic and medicinal immortelle, sage, thyme, mint and basil, while in the forested areas and those rich in underbrush and low vegetation Aleppo pine, laurel, myrtle, strawberry trees, juniper, olive, pistachio and milkweed are found.

The Osoršćica massif regulates the climate of the whole island, Nerezine and Osor. In prehistoric times the whole massif was covered with forests and clear streams running down the slopes. Pine has always been a symbol of protection, and today the Aleppo pine from Osoršćica is used in aromatherapy as its essential oil helps with respiratory problems, especially asthma. Essential oils made from mastic, myrtle, rosemary, and St. John's wort are used as main ingredients in creams for varicose veins.

In October, November and December Osoršćica is mottled by red and yellow fruits of strawberry trees and blue myrtle the islanders use for making delicious marmalades and liqueurs.

The inhabitants of Nerezine believe that the beautiful flowers growing on the slopes of Mount Osoršćica are planted by fairies. The stories and legends of this region say that it pleases the fairies when the flowers are picked, but it angers them when the flowers are picked together with the roots. Therefore, respect and take care of the plant diversity of the sacred Mount Osoršćica.