1,299,100 Holy Communions were distributed. 29,673 priests have concelebrated Holy Mass. Groups of pilgrims came from 57 countries from all the continents: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, England, Philippines, Finland, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Croatia, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Israel, Japan, South African Republic, Canada, China, Korea, La Reunion, Latvia, Lithuania, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Hungary, Macedonia, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, Netherland, Germany, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, USA, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia and Montenegro, Scotland, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tahiti, Ukraine, Vietnam.
Fr. Alexis Wiehe, priest of the diocese of Toulon, ordained 1 year and 4 months ago, came on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje in December 2005. The experience of Medjugorje has influenced his life and his vocation. He has the permission of his bishop to incorporate the elements that he received in Medjugorje into his pastoral work.
Several thousand pilgrims, most of them young and from all over the world, came to Medjugorje in order to enter with prayer into the New Year 2006. Groups from all the continents began arriving several days earlier, and by Thursday and Friday, the church was already too small to accommodate all of them. (photos)
Parishioners, together with the faithful from neighbouring parishes and pilgrims, prepared themselves for Christmas with a novena: instead of the usual evening prayer programme, there was a Rosary novena on Apparition Hill and early morning masses daily. (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 2:45 pm and lasted 7 minutes.
The “Little Doves of Peace” from Medjugorje under direction of Sr. Slavica Kozul, and the “Little Dubrovnik Singers” under the direction of Maestro Djelo Jusic gave their traditional Christmas Concert in Medjugorje Parish Church on Sunday, December 19, 2005 at 3.00pm. The group “Luka” from Ploce was the special guest at this concert. Maestro Jusic and Sr. Slavica Kozul are collaborating for many years now. This Christmas Concert takes place every year in Medjugorje as well as in Dubrovnik. (photos)
On Thursday, December 15, 2005, at 8.00pm, the Croatian Baroque Ensemble performed for the first time in St. James’ parish church in Medjugorje. The repertoire included a selection from the Italian baroque programme: Concerti Grossi by Corelli, Torelli and Manfredini, Legrenzi’s motet “O Dilectissime Jesu”, as well as Scarlatti’s cantata for soprano and strings «O Di Betlemme Altera». This concert was organised by the Medjugorje Parish with the assistance of the Croatian Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina. (photos)
Dear benefactors and friends of Medjugorje,
We have entered into the time of Advent, a time of expectation. Each one of us in his own way, personally, within the family, and in the community, is trying to prepare the way for the One who is coming.
He continues to come and to seek us. He continues to send prophets who announce this. Mary, His mother and our Mother, is from the very beginning his nearest disciple and reliable collaborator. On innumerable occasions throughout history she has proved this. In our days, God sends Her as Queen of Peace. He sends Her to teach us the divine wisdom of peace. He sends Her to teach us what brings us peace, and what destroys it. We are grateful to God and we praise Him for all those who in prayer, reconciliation, fasting, reception of the sacraments and reading of the Holy Scripture have come to know the divine wisdom of peace.
The 13th International Meeting for Leaders of Peace Centres and Medjugorje Prayer, Pilgrim and Charity groups will take place in the New Hall in Medjugorje from March 5 to 9, 2006. The theme of this encounter is: “You shall be my witnesses until the ends of the world” (Acts 1,8) The number of places is limited, and the number of participants is increasing from year to year. This is why we ask you kindly to make your registration as soon as possible. You can send your registrations by fax + 387 36 651 999 (for Marija Dugandzic), or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org .
On the fifth anniversary of Fr. Slavko Barbaric’s death, the presentation of Fr. Marinko Sakota’s book “Living with the heart – Fr. Slavko Barbaric, his personality and his work” took place in the Parish hall in Medjugorje, in the presence of about 800 guests.
On Thursday, November 24, 2005, the parishioners and the pilgrims commemorated the fifth anniversary of Fr. Slavko Barbaric's death in Medjugorje. In the afternoon, they prayed the Way of the Cross on Cross Mountain, and in the evening, there was Holy Mass and Adoration in the Parish church, after which, in the large parish hall, Fr. Marinko Sakota’s book “Living with the heart” was presented.
Fourteen years after the fall of Vukovar, Mrs Mirjana Kovac, an economist born in Vukovar, came on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje to entrust to God and to Our Lady all the pain that she is still carrying in her heart. With tears in her eyes she shared both her memories and her hopes with us.
Before the war, Mrs Kovac was Director of a Health insurance company, during the war, she led the Croatian Medical Crisis Unit, and after the war, she was the assistant to the Director for the economy. Later she was in charge of the economy, and finally she became Director of Control in the Ministry of Defence of Croatia.
Lidija Paris spoke with Mirjana Kovac at the presbytery of Medjugorje.
During his visit to Medjugorje, on Saturday, October 22, 2005, Fr. Vinzenzo Brocanelli, ofm, moderator of the missionary evangelisation in the Franciscan Order, gave the following statement:
“This is my first visit to Medjugorje. I climbed the Apparition Hill. I think that this is a great centre of spirituality. In a word, if people come here to love Jesus more, they will be able to love their neighbour more, and they will become new missionaries. Regarding the Franciscans serving here, I can only affirm that I hold them in the highest esteem. They make themselves available to those who come here, and what has greatly impressed me, they are well pleased to do so.”
Mons. José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta, O.S.A., auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Panama, was in Medjugorje in September 2005. He came on a private pilgrimage with 17 pilgrims. Dragan Soldo spoke with him for Radio “Mir” Medjugorje.
On Friday, November 4, four bishops came to the Shrine of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje. Mons. Thomas Msusa, actual bishop of the diocese of Zomba, his retired predecessor Mons. Allan Chamgwera, and Mons. Remi Joseph Gustave Saint-Marie, bishop of Dedza, came from Malawi. Mons. Joseph Faber MacDonald, bishop of the diocese Saint John in New Brunswick, came from Canada.