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.
These first days of January are a period that is a bit more quiet, with few smaller groups from Korea, the United States, Italy and Germany. It was not so long ago that a young girl from Bavaria, Maria, arrived to Medjugorje. This is her fifth visit and this is what she told us:
The Feast of Epiphany was solemnly celebrated on Wednesday, January 6, 2016. Along with the parishioners, there were pilgrims from Korea, Soain, Italy, France and the United States. Four Holy Masses in Croatian language were celebrated, as well as one in Italian, French, English and Korean language.
Medjugorje, 01. 08. - 06. 08. 2016.
It was only few months ago that we had the 26th Youth Festival that gathered large number of the participants from all over the world. We are already preparing for the next on that will begin on August 1, 2016, not on July 31, 2016. The Youth Festival will finish on August 6, 2016.
Number of Holy Communions: 74 500
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 1373 (44 per day)
In the previous 2015 there have been 1 800 400 Holy Communions given in the church, and total of 38 870 priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses.
Parishioners and thousands of pilgrims from all over the world were in Medjugorje for the celebration of New Year's Eve in prayer and in music. There were organised groups fro Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Ukraine, Korea, the United States, Czech Republic, France, Poland, Italy, Spain, Hungary and Slovakia. (photos)
Many pilgrims, primarily the younger ones, are expected to arrive to Medjugorje for the celebration of the New 2016 Year. The evening prayer programme will begin on the New Year's Eve with the Rosary at 5 pm, and the evening Holy Mass of Thanksgiving will be celebrated at 6 pm, followed by the Cenacolo community performance of the live nativity scene outside the church.
On Sunday, December 27, the Christmas concert of Medjugorje parish was held in the Hall of John Paul II. This performance was given by community Cenacolo, parish choir "Queen of Peace ”, children's choir „Doves of Peace ”, tambourine orchestra „Misericordia” from Šurmananci, YouFra Međugorje as well as the young guitarists.
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 2:08 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! (photos)
Cenacolo community in the last few years has been preparing the live nativity scene, something that attracts all parishioners and pilgrims who visit Medjugorje in this season of Christmas. The scenery is made of manger, inn, citizens of Betlehem, cattle, very authentic costumes and actors amateurs who play Holy Family, three magi and shepherds.
On the first Sunday of Advent, November 29, the parishioners of the parish of St. Elijah the Prophet from Studenci, came to Medjugorje on a pilgrimage. After the parish Holy Mass at 9 am, around 40 pilgrims decided to come to Medjugorje so their preparation for Christmas would be better. Before taking part in the evening prayer programme, they climbed Cross Mountain.
On Tuesday, December 15, 2015, Novena to the Birth of Christ will begin in Medjugorje. For nine days, the parish will pray the Rosary on Apparition Hill every day at 2 pm. This coming Friday, we will not pray the Way of the Cross on Cross Mountain, but Rosary on Apparition Hill. (photos)
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary was solemnly celebrated in Medjugorje on Tuesday, December 8, all in the atmosphere of prayer. Along with the domestic pilgrims, there were groups of pilgrims from Italy, the United States, France, Ukraine, Latvia, Hungary, Spain, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina from two towns – Livno and Tomislavgrad.