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.
Pilgrims from Germany, Austria, the United States, Ireland, Italy, France, Korea, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and England have arrived to Medjugorje this June. We had chance to speak to pilgrims from Ireland who told us that here in Medjugorje, they are enjoying tremendous peace. Dolores Toland came for the first time 10 years ago and she heard about Medjugorje from her friend who kept telling her about this place.
Sašo Radman, a pilgrim from Slovenia, visited Medjugorje in 2010, for the first time and said that everything was changed in his life after that trip. He came here because his friend persuaded him, and in that first visit he did not understand Medjugorje, but felt some special grace. After he returned home, he continued to investigate Medjugorje a bit more. This time, he walked from Ljubljana with his friend and it was 12 days long journey of 500 kilometers. "It was a profound experience of faith. This pilgrimage was for my intention of getting closer to God, to listen what He had to say to me. I wanted to do something and I decided to cast on bread and water. I got to realise during this pilgrimage that we live out of prayer that gives us strength", said Sašo, who fasted on bread and water during his pilgrimage and he added that Medjugorje is a place of great graces for him.
The Franciscan Youth from Medjugorje held their first concert on Monday, June 10 in the Hall of St. John Paul II in Medjugorje. This concert was special because apart from the popular spiritual music, they also performed pop evergreens and music from the Youth Festival. Damir Bunoza, leader of music group of the Franciscan Youth said that he has been working with them for the last two year:
On Saturday, June 7, 2014, the scientific Symposium on occasion of 10th death Anniversary of Dr. Fr. Ljudevit Rupcic, that hosted eleven lecturers, was held in Medjugorje and was organised by the parish office Medjugorje, Franciscan Theology from Sarajevo and Biblical Institute of Catholic Theology Faculty from Zagreb. Dr. Fr. Miljenko Steko, Provincial of Herzegovinian Franciscan Province, during his introduction and welcome speech, shortly presented life of Fr. Ljudevit and said that he was one of the most famous biblical experts that ever came from Croatia.
The concert organised by the parish of Medjugorje was held on Monday, June 2, 2014, at the White Dome of parish church of St. James, as a help to flooded areas in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia. These were participants of the concert: Choir of the Queen of Peace, Jakov Čolo, Franciscan Youth of Međugorje, Melinda Dumitrescu, David Parkes, Choir “Friends”. Jela Odak, the President of the Guides Association for Pilgrims in the parish of Međugorje told us that the main initiator od this concert was Jakov Čolo:
The Scientific Symposium on the occasion of 10th death commemoration of Dr.Fr.Ljudevit Rupcic, will be organised on Saturday June 7, 2014 in Medjugorje in the Hall of St. John Paul II (Yellow Hall). The organisers are Parish office of St. James in Medjugorje, the Franciscan Theology Department in Sarajevo and Biblical Institute of Catholic Theology Faculty from Zagreb.
On Saturday, May 31, the Second International Seminar for doctors and medical staff was finished with celebration of the Holy Mass. 110 participants from 18 countries were gathered here and they came from: Russia, Lithuania, Ukraine, France, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, Puerto Ricco, Paraguay, Columbia, England, Caribbean, Ireland, Slovakia, the United States, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Seminar began on Wednesday, May 28, 2014, and the lecturers were Fr. Kornelije Marko Glogovic, the Provincial of the Croatian Paulist Province and Fr. Marinko Sakota, parish priest of Medjugorje parish.
Number of Holy Communions: 204 200
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 3663 (118 per day)
Topic: Spiritual Renewal of Soul and Body
The International Spiritual Seminar for Doctors and Nurses will be held in Međugorje, May 28 - 31, 2014
News about floods that have not been remembered so far and have affected parts of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, have travelled around the whole world. That is why many pilgrims have asked if Medjugorje was affected and if there was anything that they could do. Medjugorje is not close to those endangered areas but Medjugorje wishes to be close to all those who have felt or still feel consequences of this great natural catastrophe. Thereby we invite all pilgrims, people of good will and friends of Medjugorje to respond and help as much as they can. It is possible to do that through our humanitarian organisation Medjugorje - Mir - Mother's Village (that was founded in the time of the war and directed your help to all those in need) by giving your donations to this account:
After the completed preparation through religious classes, fifty-five children received the sacrament of the Holy Communion on May 18,2014. Fr. Stanko Cosic was the main celebrant of this solemn Holy Mass, and children's choir "Doves of Peace" made this celebration even more beautiful with their singing. Fr. Stanko said in his homily that this is a special gift for the children because they can receive Jesus: "Get to know Jesus, more you get to know Him, you will get to know more God. More you get to know Jesus, you will discover your own beauty. As flowers that are opening to the sun, your hearts will bloom. All of you parents, may you be example to your children."
Married couple Sergio and Ida came from Rome for the first time in Medjugorje and they were very grateful for that fulfilment of their wish. They said this was one really beautiful experience for them. Sergio said: “We were blessed that the weather was great as well. I encourage all to come here since this is one really moving experience. There is something on Apparition Hill that is hard to explain and I thought a lot about what could have moved the visionaries to climb up there. It seems correct what St. John Paul II said about Medjugorje being the confessional of the whole world. One can really feel inner joy and peace. All things from the everyday life settle in the right way, at its own place.”
Numerous pilgrims arrived to Medjugorje in the last few days and we had chance to speak to Peter O'Brien, law student, who comes from Cork in Ireland. This is his fourth visit to Medjugorje and he said that he came for the first time when his friend, a priest, paid a trip for him "I was here for one week and even though I heard for Medjugorje before, I could not know what was happening indeed here. After I returned home, I had experience of deep conversion. It was a profound conversion and from that time I became very interested in Catholicism, Holy Mass and confession.