A young priest, Mitja Bulic from Archdiocese Novo Mesto in Slovenia came to Medjugorje for the priest retreat for the first time. He told us that he was ordained a year ago and was in Medjugorje already for thirty times. “I gained many profound experiences at this seminar, and the theme of the seminar “Behold your mother” is very special to me, because I live with Mary all of my life, I think she is the one that guides me to Jesus. These days here in Medjugorje are such a big grace for me. These seminars help me so much in my life, and it is so necessary to have them. This is a place where I received my vocation, my prayer was awaken and I began to read the word of God. I came here for the first time when I was only six years old and already on that trip, I felt something powerful and special, something I cannot forget. This is where one feels peace and power of prayer. Regardless of where you are in Medjugorje, you feel that peace”, said a young priest from Slovenia.
The 19th International Seminar for priests is being held in Medjugorje and around 300 priests, deacons and seminarians from 25 countries have gathered here. Fr. Luka Zoric, member of Herzegovinian Franciscan Province is working in Slano and is here for the first time: “This is my first time here to participate in such spiritual retreat. One can indeed feel communion and all participants would like to experience something new, so they would be able to be more active in pastoral way. As a priest, I need to do spiritual retreat once a year, as every priest does; I do not even have to leave my house, since those retreats are held in my monastery, not just for priests but for lay people as well. But, I was never able to experience what I experienced here, this is where I really surrender to the prayer completely. Fr. Stanko Dodig, Franciscan capuchin, born in Medjugorje, is also participating. He told us that he feels everyone is so happy to be in Medjugorje and they will all return home fulfilled. “This is my third year to come for this seminar, and surely, if it wasn’t spiritually attractive for me, I would not be here again. All lectures are indeed full of spirituality. We would not be able to work without such seminars.”
Three hundred priests, deacons and seminarians from 25 countries are participating in the 19th International Seminar for priests. They come from Ukraine, Korea, Lithuania, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Brazil, Italy, Russia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Ireland, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina, Spain and Poland. This seminar began on Monday, July 7, 2014 with the evening prayer programme that was celebrated by Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic, parish priest in Veljaci, at the White Dome of St. James’ church along with 234 priests who concelebrated at that opening Holy Mass. Fr. Ljubo is also lecturer at this seminar that will finish on Saturday, July 12, 2014. The theme of the seminar is “Behold, your Mother” (John 19, 27) "In Our Lady's School".
The 19th International Priests Seminar will be held in Međugorje
from July 7 to 12, 2014
“Behold, your Mother” (John 19, 27)
"In Our Lady's School"
July 7th 2014, Monday
15. 00 – 18. 00 Registration of participants (Hall of the Blessed John Paul II)
18.00 THE BEGINNING OF THE SEMINAR
(Prayer of the Rosary, Holy Mass, Prayer for healing of body and soul, Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary)
Number of Holy Communions: 211 000
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 4139 (137 per day)
In the last few days we had chance to speak to many pilgrims who shared their experience about Medjugorje. We had chance to meet and to talk to the group of 27 pilgrims from Uganda. They told us that they were really joyful to be here: “One can feel peace and Our Lady is indeed the Queen of Peace. That peace simply “attacks” you and one can find really a lot of time for prayer in Medjugorje”. Sanja Radic from Split came to Medjugorje to pray for herself and her health: “This is really beautiful experience, to be here and to spend time with dear persons, thinking about all loved ones who are not here.” Many pilgrims have also walked to Medjugorje, especially the young ones, so they would give their vows to the Queen of Peace and thank Her for all the graces. Jelena Filipovic walked from Mostar and says that Medjugorje is her strength and main foundation. Mateja Bandic from Rama said that she came to Medjugorje on this Anniversary because this is one special day for her.
Fr. Branimir Musa, parish priest from Tihaljina, celebrated the central Holy Mass for the 33rd Anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions along with 247 priests who concelebrated. Fr. Branimir said that anniversaries of some events are deeply rooted into the awareness of individuals and people, and they turn them into feasts and solemnities. In the same way, he said, we honour this day because 33 years ago, in this little Herzegovinian village, according to the testimony of six visionaries who were children then and are adults today, Our Lady appeared with baby Jesus in Her arms. “If the truth can be derived from the actions and deeds, not just from the abstract premises, than this is the work of God, for the new spiritual life is growing in Medjugorje. Medjugorje as the synonym of the apparitions is not opposition, but strength of one holy Catholic and apostolic Church. Christ is criteria and foundation to all of the truths. This is where we want to preach about Christ and the truth. Many are asking questions about how many pilgrims were here in the last thirty-three years. The numbers are not important. We do not count pilgrims but I know that only in the last year, two million Holy Communions were ministered here. That is the strength of the faith and of the Church, those are the miracles that feed fallen, sinful and weak. If someone is seeking for a miracle to be healed, he needs to know that miracle itself does not only bring health, but brings God as well, and with God, everything else will come: peace, joy and forgiveness. The miracle does not speak only about man but about God and miracle always helps men to recognise God. A miracle is a white host in which God dwells. Why did God chose this place?
The 33rd Anniversary of Our Lady’s Apparitions was solemnly celebrated in Medjugorje on Wednesday, June 25, 2014. Along with many local pilgrims from Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Croatia, there were bigger groups from Italy, Hungary, Germany, France, Ireland, the United States, Romania, China, Vietnam, Puerto Rico, Slovenia, Poland, Belgium, Slovakia, Korea, Switzerland, Austria, Australia, Spain, Albania, Brazil, Hong-Kong, Mexico, Ukraine, Lebanon, Canada, Columbia, Lithuania, Latvia, Sri Lanka, Argentina, Uruguay and Uganda. Many of these pilgrims, especially young ones, walked to Medjugorje so they would fulfil their vows to the Queen of Peace and thank her for all the graces they received. There were 21 Holy Masses celebrated during the day and the central evening prayer programme began at 6 p.m. with Rosary and Holy Mass at 7 p.m. Fr. Branimir Musa, parish priest from Tihaljina, celebrated the solemn Holy Mass with 247 priests who concelebrated. The day before, on the Eve of the Anniversary, Fr. Miro Sego celebrated Holy Mass with 188 priests that concelebrated. The traditional 23rd Peace Walk took place on June 24 and it started in Humac, shrine of St. Anthony to the church of St. James in Medjugorje. (photos)
The visionary Ivanka Ivankovic-Elez had her regular annual apparition on June 25th 2014.
At her last daily apparition on May 7, 1985, Our Lady confided to Ivanka the 10th secret and told her that she would have an apparition once a year on the anniversary of the apparitions. It was that way also this year.
The apparition, which lasted 4 minutes, took place at Ivanka’s family home. Only Ivanka’s family was present at the apparition. After the apparition, Ivanka said:
“Our Lady gave us her motherly blessing”
Numerous pilgrims from all over the world gathered to take part in the 23rd Peace Walk from Humac to Medjugorje. Fr. Marinko Sakota invited all pilgrims in his introductory speech at 6 a.m. to be recollected in prayer and song as they walk towards Medjugorje. A little before the walk began, guardian of Humac monastery, Fr. Velimir Mandić said to all pilgrims: "May this walk that you are about to take be your contribution to praise and glory of God who will grant peace to all people in the world. In prayer and song, all participants arrived on the grounds of the church of St. James a little before 10 a.m. Upon their arrival, there was the benediction with the Blessed Sacrament and short Adoration. (photos)
On June 25, 2014, Medjugorje will celebrate the 33rd Anniversary of Our Lady's apparitions. Holy Masses will be held in Croatian language at 5,6,7,8,9,11 a.m. and the main Holy Mass will be at 7 p.m. As it is always the case on every 25th, there will be the whole night Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament from 10-11 p.m. with music and meditations and silent from 11 p.m. until 7 a.m. On Eve of Anniversary, Feast of St. John the Baptist, traditional Peace Walk was held at 6 a.m. from Humac, shrine of St. Anthony to Medjugorje. On that day there will not be organised prayer of Rosary on Apparition Hill. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will be from 10-11 p.m. and silent until 5 a.m.
Parishioners and many pilgrims from country and all over the world are preparing for celebration of the 33rd Anniversary of Our Lady's apparitions that is celebrated on June 25,2014. Novena began on June 15, 2014, and that programme consisted of Rosary on Apparition Hill at 4 p.m., Rosary at the White Dome at 6 p.m. and Holy Mass at 7 p.m.The Information Office registered groups from Italy, the United States, Slovakia, Romania, Singapore, Belgium, Poland, France, Switzerland, Austria, Brazil, Spain, Ireland, England, Canada, Korea, China and Lebanon. Numerous pilgrims will be walking to Medjugorje on that day and we met some who fulfilled their vows before that day. We had chance to talk to Ana Milos, and Matija and Ruza Rados from village Crvenice near Tomislavgrad. They walked here and told us that this is not their first time to walk to Medjugorje. Ana did it for 24 times: "We had rainy weather, but with the help of God it all went well. We are here to thank God and Blessed Mother for all of the graces that we received in the previous years."
On Thursday, June 19, 2014 in Medjugorje we celebrated the Feast of Corpus Christi, Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus. In this, world famous shrine, we registered groups of pilgrims from Austria, Germany, Ireland, the United States, Poland, Brazil, Hong Kong, Qatar, Hungary, Canada, Slovakia, Belgium, Switzerland, France, China, Korea, Portugal, Ukraine, Spain and Italy. Fourteen Holy Masses were celebrated during the day, three in Croatian language and also in Italian, German, English, French, Ukraine, Portuguese, Slovakian, Chinese, Polish, Hungarian and Spanish. After the evening Holy Mass by Fr. Ivan Landeka Jr., with 38 priests that concelebrated, there was the traditional Procession with the Most Blessed Sacrament in the streets of Medjugorje.
Pilgrims arrive to Medjugorje in various ways and in these days, as we are approaching 33rd anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions, we had chance to meet two friends, 46 years old Rade Nikolic and 54 years old Ivan Cvrtilo from Krizevci who arrived to Medjugorje on bicycle on Feast of Corpus Christi in the evening time. After five days of travelling and 531 kilometres, they came and thanked Gospa for their safe arrival. Their trip was not easy because of the rain they had all the time, but prayer helped them a lot. Ivan was coming to Medjugorje by bicycle also in 2000, and Rade told us that he comes very often with his family.
Parishioners of Medjugorje and pilgrims are preparing for the 33rd Anniversary of Our Lady's apparitions with Novena that began on Sunday, June 15, 2014. They are praying Rosary on Apparition Hill every day at 4 p.m. On Friday, we will not pray the Way of the Cross, but instead of that we will pray Rosary on Apparition Hill. The evening prayer programme begins at 6 pm with Rosary and Holy Mass is at 7 p.m. The Novena is opportunity of special thanksgiving to God for all of the graces given to us in the last 33 years through our Heavenly Mother.