The 27th Anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions in Medjugorje was solemnly celebrated in the spirit of gratitude for all the graces received. (photos)
The visionary Ivanka Ivankovic-Elez had her regular annual apparition on June 25th 2008. According to the visionaries, Vicka, Marija and Ivan continue to have daily apparitions, and Mirjana, Ivanka and Jakov have an annual apparition.
The Peace March from Humac to Medjugorje traditionally takes place on June 24th, the Feast of Saint John the Baptist. Again this year, thousands of pilgrims who were not discouraged by the strong sun followed the cross, praying all the while. This 14 kilometer-long march began at the front of the Franciscan monastery in Humac at about 6 am, and prayed and sang ceaselessly until it arrived in front of the parish church in Medjugorje at about 10 am. The march concluded with the Eucharistic Blessing.
In Medjugorje, one can feel the nearness of the coming celebration of the Anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions. From all sides of the world, by air, sea and road, pilgrims are coming.
Philip Knorr (68) is walking from Ravensburg (Germany) to Jerusalem. He started his pilgrimage on Monday after Pentecost, May 12, and arrived to Medjugorje on Friday, June 20.
Before the 27th anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions, the pathways in front of the outside altar between the benches were paved. Thanks to this intervention, it will be easier for the priests and the faithful to move during the distribution of Holy Communion. At the same time will be avoided the noise provoked by the steps on the gravels, which often disturbs silent recollection.
Jacques Bousquet from France came 57 times to Medjugorje. He came for the first time in the first years of the apparitions, when the name of Medjugorje was not to be found on any map yet. He remembers those days, and how the pilgrims were close to the Franciscans and the visionaries. They could be very close to them during apparitions. He remembers Fr. Slavko Barbarić who was transmitting to the pilgrims the spirit of Medjugorje. He remembers how those experiences gave him the certitude that Our Lady was really here.
For the 8th consecutive year, with the blessing of the Maronite Patriarch, from 16th to 25th of June every year “Friends of Mary Queen of Peace” association is organizing the prayer novena “Praying with Mary for Lebanon” which is a 24/24 hours novena of praying the rosary, fasting (nine days or one day according to a personal choice) and adoration of The Blessed Sacrament. Each year it is taking place in another region of Lebanon and in the churches designated by local bishops.
From Sunday June 15th to Monday June 23rd
4 pm Novena – Rosary on Apparition Hill
6 pm to 9 pm Evening Prayer Program
7 pm Evening solemn Mass with special homily
Tuesday June 24th – Feast of the Nativity St. John The Baptist
6 am ”Peace March“ from Humac to Medjugorje
Begins at Humac at 6 am in front of St. Anthony’s church
Arrives in Medjugorje 10 am approx. Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament
Confessions During the morning and after 5 pm
8 am & 11 am Holy Mass in Croatian
Masses in other languages – according to usual program
6 pm Rosary
7 pm Evening vigil Mass
10 pm – 12 pm Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
12 pm - 5 am Silent Adoration
Wednesday June 25th (27th anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions in Medjugorje)
Confessions During the whole day
5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 am, 4 pm Holy Mass in Croatian
Masses in other languages – according to the program
6 pm Rosary
7 pm Evening solemn Mass
Last year during Lent, while praying the Way of the cross, Josip Jurina and Stjepan Sačer from Gornja Stubica, Croatia, decided to come on foot to Medjugorje. They were preparing themselves, and made a pilgrimage on foot to Marija Bistrica (27 kilometers), they started their pilgrimage to Medjugorje on May 27. they took 11 days to cros 550 kilometers. On arrival to Medjugorje, on June 6, they participated in the Evening prayer program, and the next day, they climbed the Apparition Hill and Cross Mountain.
by Bruno Volpe
VATICAN CITY - Confrontation of opinions: the beauty of dialectics. On the columns of our newspaper, the trustworthy Bishop and exorcist, Monsignor Andrea Gemma, has severely fustigated the phenomenon of Medjugorje defining it as “a great deceit”. We wanted to hear also a favorable opinion on the apparitions in that country. Therefore we have interviewed one of the most authoritative living mariologists, Father Renè Laurentin.
Mr. Petar Čobanković, Minister of the regional development in the Croatian Government, visited Medjugorje on Friday, May 30th. He was hosted by Mr. Ivo Jerkić, the Mayor of Čitluk, Fr. Svetozar Kraljević, Director of Mother’s Village, and Fr. Petar Vlašić, pastor of Medjugorje.
Holy Communions distributed: 150.000
Concelebrating priests: 3.614 (116/day)
Mons. Jean Damascène Bimenyimana, bishop of the diocese Cyangugu in Rwanda was in Medjugorje from 19th to 22nd of May, 2008.
Mons. Bimenyimana presided Holy Mass for the French speaking pilgrims where he also gave the homily, concelebrated Holy Mass for the German speaking pilgrims, and participated in the Evening Prayer program. He climbed the Apparition Hill, he visited the visionary Ivan with whom he prayed the Rosary and was present during the apparition, and he also spoke with the visionary Vicka. He also visited the parish priest and he had lunch in the parish house.
On Thursday the 22nd of May, 2008, the solemnity of Corpus Christi, 83 candidates received the sacrament of Confirmation from the hands of Mons. Želimir Puljić, the bishop of Dubrovnik. (photos)