This year we are remembering 49 years since the church of St. James was built and solemnly blessed. After the parish was founded in 1892, the first parish church, very spacious and beautiful for the circumstances back then, was soon completed in 1897. Due to the unstable ground on which it was built, the walls began to crack and the building began to sink, so immediately after the World War I, parishioners began to think about the construction of the new church. The works were initiated in 1934, and were completed on January 19, 1969, when this church was blessed. The church of St. James today is the centre of sacramental and prayer life not just of the parishioners, rather of pilgrims from all over the world.
On Sunday, January 21, we will commemorate the 16th anniversary of death of former Medjugorje parish priest and the founder of religious – humanitarian organization “Medjugorje – Mir”, Fr. Leonard Orec (born in Posuski Gradac, 1928 – died in Zagreb, 2002). Fr. Leonard served in Medjugorje from 1988 to 1991, in that period he served as a parish priest for more than one year. During those three years, he indeed left a permanent mark as a wise and experienced priest, and fervour promoter of Our Lady’s messages of peace and reconciliation. In 1992, he established humanitarian association “Medjugorje – Mir”, that is still active. Since 1997, Fr. Leonard was active in the General Curia of the Franciscan Order in Split, until 2001, when he got seriously ill. It was in those last days that he had celebrated his 50th Jubilee of Priesthood and then he died in Zagreb on January 21, 2002. He was buried on January 23, in Posusje.
In this recent year a total of 1 571 100 Holy Communions were ministered, and there were 36 856 priests concelebrating at the Holy Masses.
75 children were baptised (36 girls and 39 boys).
41 persons died (23 female and 18 male)
34 couples were married.
The Feast of the Epiphany was solemnly celebrated in Medjugorje on January 6, 2018. Along with the parishioners, there were pilgrims from Korea, Italy, Germany and the United States. Six Holy Masses were celebrated during that day. In the Christmas time, homes in our parish are always blessed and the parish facilities are blessed on the feast of the Epiphany.
On Saturday, January 6, we celebrate the Feast of Epiphany and Holy Masses in the church of St. James will be at 7, 8, 11 and at 6 pm, while in Vionica, Surmanci and Miletina at 9 am. The blessing of salt and water will take place at all Holy Masses.
Number of Holy Communions: 66 000
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 1308 (42 per day)
In the previous 2017 there have been 1 571 100 Holy Communions given in the church, and total of 36 856 priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses.
Many pilgrims, especially the youth, are expected to come to Medugorje from all over the world for the prayer vigil on New Year’s Eve. The prayer programme begins with the Rosary at 5 pm, followed by the Thanksgiving Holy Mass at 6 pm. After this Holy Mass, Community Cenacolo will give another live Nativity scene performance in the area in front of the church.
The first live Nativity Scene performance given by Cenacolo community was held on the Christmas Eve, after the evening Holy Mass at 6 pm, in the area in front of the church of St. James. This year, youth from Medjugorje also participated. The following performance shall take place on the Feast of the Holy Innocents, after the Holy Mass at 3 pm for all of the children and their parents. Live Nativity scene performance shall also take place on New Year’s Eve and on New Year’s Day, both (photos)
Also this year, we had joyful celebration of Christmas in Medugorje. The whole community of faithful was preparing for the birth of the Christ with the early Holy Masses, the evening prayer programme and nine days of Rosary on Apparition Hill. (photos)
At the last daily apparition to Jakov Colo on September 12th, 1998, Our Lady told him that henceforth he would have one apparition a year, every December 25th, on Christmas Day. This is also how it was this year. The apparition began at 2:07 pm and lasted 10 minutes. Afterwards Jakov transmitted the message:
And indeed, from His fullness we have received grace to grace, for He is our peace!
With desire that God’s peace reigns in all of the hearts, all of the families, all of the countries and in the whole world, united in prayer with all of the friends of Medjugorje throughout the world:
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!
May this Christmas be for you day of joy and peace. May Jesus visit you in your families and may he be born in the hidden place of your heart! (photos)
Čestitka - fra Marinko Šakota, župnik
Christmas is a feast of God’s gift to us people. That is why we have invitation from the parish office Medjugorje, that just as Gospa wanted us to do, all children up to the 9th class, may prepare a gift for Jesus and bring it on Thursday, December 28, 2017, in front of the nativity scene outside the church of St. James, when Cenacolo community will have their second live nativity scene performance.
This following Sunday we are celebrating Christmas Eve and Holy Masses in the morning shall take place at 7, 8 and 11 am. We will not have early Holy Mass or Holy Mass for children on that morning. The usual prayer of the Rosary on Apparition Hill on Sundays shall not take place on that day. The evening prayer programme begins with the Rosary at 5 pm and the Christmas Eve Holy Mass is at 6 pm.
The parish of Medugorje organised the Advent Evening on the last, third Sunday of the Advent. The whole parish was the organiser and everything was set on the grounds of the old parish church for the evening parishioners spent together.(photos)
Preparations for Christmas are taking place in the parish of Medugorje. Along with the spiritual preparation in prayer at the early Holy Masses at 6 am, there is a construction site of “Bethlehem” taking place in front of the church of St. James. Members of Cenacolo community have been setting the site for the live nativity scene that shall take place on Christmas Eve. (photos)