January and February are months that are a bit different than the rest of the year. Besides few pilgrims who come in this quiet time on purpose, to experience more peace and have time for personal prayer, life in this parish is not different than in other Herzegovinian parishes. (photos)
Holy Mass for Franciscans and parishioners murdered at the end of the World War II, was celebrated on Wednesday, February 10, on the feast of Bl. Alojzije Stepinac in Medjugorje parish church of St. James. Graves of so many victims are still unknown, but the faithful are still remembering them. Fr. Mario Ostojic along with 8 priests concelebrating, was the main celebrant of the evening Holy Mass at 6 pm.
Around 49 members of the Franciscan Youth from Posusje were in Medjugorje past weekend at the spiritual retreat with the theme „I am with you in all of the days”. Fr. Josip Serdjo Ćavar, the spiritual assistant of YouFra Posusje said that these retreats stay in the hearts of the young people for a long time:
Meetings for Medjugorje parishioners will take place this Lent and will be held each Wednesday after Ash Wednesday, after the evening Holy Mass at 7 p.m., in the Hall of John Paul II. The first 45 minutes will be meditation in silence (candle and meditation on the Word of God).
Željko Babic, Croatian National Handball Team Coach, whose team won the bronze medal at the recently held European Handball Championship in Poland, came to Medjugorje on February 4, 2016, so he would thank the Queen of Peace for all of the graces he received. He first met with Fr. Marinko Sakota, the parish priest and then he gave an interview at the radio station Mir.
This is one of the quietest periods in Medjugorje, when there are only few smaller groups of pilgrims from Germany, Italy, the United States and Poland. On Tuesday, February 2, we celebrated the Feast of the Presentation of our Lord when seven Holy Masses were celebrated in Medjugorje, three in Croatian language.
Number of Holy Communions: 39 200
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 807 (26 per day)
Sr. Rastislava Ralbovsky is a part of the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy of St. Cross of the Croatian Province in Djakovo. She is the one who initiated the pilgrimages for persons with disabilities to Medjugorje, and that pilgrimage is going to be held for the fifth time this year in June.
Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow from Scotland is the founder of the humanitarian organisation Mary's Meals. It was in 1983, that he discovered Medjugorje and that was what changed his life as well as the lives of his parents.
Sana Nassar from Lebanon is the founder of the non-profitable organisation "Friends of Mary, the Queen of Peace". Sana said that the fruits of Medjugorje are very impressive in Lebanon: „I know it is Gospa's wish for this to be the same all over the world. She would like her plan to be realised in the whole world, and that is for all of the people to get to know her Son Jesus, to start loving Him and to decide for Heaven.
On Sunday, January 31, 2016, the Franciscan Youth Medjugorje will celebrate the ceremony of vows and promises as a part of the evening Holy Mass. At the same time, it will be celebration of their 20th Anniversary and they will be preparing for this event with three day prayer programme.
In the period from January 15-17, 2016 around twenty girls from the various parts of Herzegovina participated at the seminar held in Domus Pacis in Medjugorje, organised by the Franciscan School Sisters from Mostar. The leader of the seminar was Sr. Danijela Brekalo, and girls spent time in prayer, everyday celebration of Holy Mass, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and prayer of the Rosary with meditations on Apparition Hill. (photos)
The spiritual renewal of families was recently held in Medjugorje when whole families came and there were around 200 participants, 90 children among them. Tereza and Miroslav Ljubic from Kastel Luksic came and two of them fostered two children after being in a marriage without their own children. They spoke about their testimony of faith and relying on Jesus and the help of God in the programme of radio Medjugorje. Miroslav said that he came here for the first time ten years ago: " I saw that people were coming here for one day, but I feel one cannot have experience of Medjugorje in one day only, one needs to stay here longer. You can see how people find peace here, they find prayer, when so many people are praying Rosary, miracles need to happen. Medjugorje is a place of prayer, of special relationship towards Our Lady, while the biggest grace is in confessionals." Tereza said that they as family are everyday praying Rosary:
On Thursday, January 21, we will commemorate the fourteenth 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.
This year we are remembering 47 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.