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The Medjugorje Miracle: Anthony Burnside became a Herzegovinian friar

Release Date: 14.01.2019

Burnside has recently been a new Surname in Sujica. Croatian language with an Australian accent has also been heard lately in Šujica. In particular, they have the opportunity to listen to faithful Catholics in Holy Mass, almost every day, especially on Sundays.

fra Anthony celebrating Mass in Suica

fra Anthony and his love for animals

Although it only takes about two months, it was more than enough for Sujica to have time to listen constantly. Not because of the accent, though it is through laughter telling us, his speech is very sympathetic .. but because of his spirti! Between Anthony Stephen Burnside, a man who truly conquers the hearts of people he communicates with, regardless of religious and national affiliation.

Over 150 years, since this parish has existed, believers have always been faithful and consistent with God and the Church. That’s right today. In addition to Fr. Marija Ostojić who acts as a pastor, a chaplain in Šujica is a native of Australia, and today Anthony tells us, through joy and laughter, to Šujica. This is how it feels, and so is the Sujica himself. At each mission led by the believer is more and more. So how do you do it? Sermons about life through examples of love, family, forgiveness, and coexistence, in the time in which they live the hope and meaning they seem to be, need more than ever. But his words have a true weight due to his works, or to a marvelous life story – from Australia to Sujica,

The month is January. It’s freezing cold and the wind is blowing. It recalls the winter 30 years ago. It’s been the same amout of time since a young man from Australia changed his life completely. Today, life changes people’s lives around them.

„There was no snow in Međugorje today as in Šujica. But it was very cold. I was thirty years younger, „recalls Anthony of his first encounter with Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina, then Yugoslavia, and this part of Europe.


After a wonderful childhood with his parents and his brother and 2 sisters who he has always loved with all of his heart in an well educated and well-known Australian family, after two successful studies – horticulture and geography, from their family, according to Australian custom for completing the studies, was rewarded with traveling to Europe. He wanted to get to know England and Scotland, the land of his ancestors, what he did. Over time, after traveling to Europe, he wanted to visit Yugoslavia, the country he was thinking of as the country of coexistence.

Dubrovnik impressed me. Churches, chapels … a sense of the divine and a different feeling overwhelmed me there. After Dubrovnik, I extended to Mostar where I did not stay, Medjugorje was my next, but by the way. “

He planned to visit Split and Zagreb after which he would go to Macedonia, Kosovo, etc.

„On this cold winter evening there was no one outside on the streets, so I entered the Church. A scene that I will never forget. A people I do not know, I was astonished. I have never seen how many people in one place pray to God … that they were Croats. “

Although from a Catholic family whose ancestors and relatives were all Protestants, religious traditions were somewhat different. He had not given much attention to his faith during the study, and did not pray the rosary.

„Father Fr. Slavko Barbarić, then said that the day after, for pilgrims from the English speaking area to arrange a lecture. I decided to extend my stay for one day. Participating in the lecture, my head spun the question – what kind of person am I actually a believer? “

He wished to remain in Medjugorje another day, which he did.

„I wanted to visit the hill of Our Lady’s apparitions. In the morning mess I met a woman from England whose husband from the Jewish community in Medjugorje addressed a Catholic faith. She took me to the hill where we were again with the Croats ourselves. That people again made me admire. All generations prayed together. I was taken back with joy with the rosary in my hand and felt God’s voice – “I want to be in the center of your life. “


Through the community led by PadreLucianoProietti in Medjugorje, through the teaching of Croatian language, postulate, novitiate, study of philosophy and theology in which he was proclaimed a student of the year, through a bioethics master’s degree in Zagreb, a year of desert life in Italy to work in Čerino, Konjic, Tomislavgrad and Šujica – God is in the center of Anthony’s life.

This is the man who left his parents, two sisters and brother, all his material wealth and his land Australia, for God and the Croatian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

„My friends thought I was crazy, and my family was lost for words. They were against my decision to life here in Bosnia and Herzegovina.. Unfortunately, in a miracle of Medjugorje, they convinced themselves in a very difficult way. My sister Cheryl – Anne  was diagnosed with leukemia.

I gave her my bone marrow, and even my blood, but in the first place a common family prayer of Our Lady of Medjugorje. My sister is healthy today. We will always remain grateful to God and our Lady of Medjugorje for this miracle in the life of our family.  Naturally my family here have accepted my life in Bosnia and Hercegovina. “

The life here Brother Anthony lives is genuinely in  the spirit of St. Francis. Having left everything he had, he very authentically testifies his faith in God with his life. From Australia, he only brought his deep and sincere love for animals, God’s creatures with whom he grew up with his family and he is prepared to help animals in need even today in his day to day life. But in the first place he helps the people – with a smile, a warm kind and loving word, prayer, conversation, and offers his warm hand to everyone in need. This is what is true and authentic,  he is a genuine friar, this is what you feel when you are in his presence. This is experienced with  fra Anthony and regardless of everything  nothing can change this. This is what the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina have recognized,  the people in the parishes and especially the people in  Sujica where he is now working.