The Annual Meeting of the Herzegovinian Regional Fraternity of the Third Franciscan Order was held in Medjugorje from March 20-22, 2015 in the Franciscan House of Prayer – Domus Pacis. Members of the regional councils, ministers of the local fraternities, representatives of the fraternities as well as the regional president of YouFra, participated in this meeting.
The visionary Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo had daily apparitions from June 24th 1981 to December 25th 1982. During the last daily apparition, Our Lady gave her the 10th secret, and told her that she would appear to her once a year, on the 18th of March. It has been this way through the years. Several thousand pilgrims gathered in prayer of the Rosary.. The apparition lasted from 13:47 to 13:53.
Melinda Dumitrescu, a musician from Romania, came to Medjugorje for the first time in the 1990s. This place immediately found a special place in her heart. Even though at the time she was studying the violin at the Music Academy in Germany, and was expected to have a brilliant career due to her extraordinary skills, she decided to come to Medjugorje and to remain here. With a great smile on her face, she told us: “During all of these years I never regretted having made that decision as I am happy and contented: I have even learned a little bit of Croatian”. Her music and the sound of her violin immediately win over all those who come to Medjugorje for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament or to other gatherings. Melinda was given the nickname "the Gospa's violin player”.
A Lenten talk with the theme “Man – husband and father“ was given on Tuesday, March 17, in Medjugorje in the hall of St. John Paul II at 7 p.m. The lecturer was Dr. Jozefina Škarica, a specialist in the school of medicine and a counsellor for marriage and the family in the Sibenik diocese for many years. The talk was organised on the eve of the Feast of St. Joseph, the patron saint of families and fathers. Speaking about the theme of the talk Dr. Škarica said:
On March 15, 2015, a ceremony of vows and promises took place as part of the Holy Mass at 9.30 a.m., when new members were welcomed into the Fraternity of the Third Franciscan Order in Medjugorje. Thus the fraternity gained seven new members who made permanent vows, three made temporary vows and twelve members were introduced into the Novitiate. (photos)
Jelena Soldo, OFS Međugorje
Many prayer communities have been created as a fruit of Medjugorje and Patiricija Simunic Čakovec from Croatia gave witness to this during the International Meeting for Group Leaders, which was held recently in Medjugorje. She is a member of the Marian prayer community “Totus Tuus” and this community was founded as a fruit of Medjugorje. A young couple from Germany decided to visit Medjugorje during their holiday in Croatia, and this is where they experienced a conversion. After their return to Germany, they began to pray and to live the Gospa’s messages.
Mr. Paul Wallace from Ireland introduced us to the National Council of Medjugorje for Ireland. Paul said that the Irish were among the first groups of pilgrims which arrived in Medjugorje: “When we heard back in 1981, that the Gospa was appearing behind the iron curtain in Medjugorje, we were all very curious. I personally know two ladies who came here as long ago as 1981. In those early years, people came individually or in small organised groups. They would bring back information about what was happening, but often it was wrong.
Young people from the parish of St. Joseph in Tresnjevka in Zagreb were in Medjugorje at the beginning of March as part of their Lenten spiritual renewal. They came with their assistant parish priest and visited many places of prayer in Medjugorje, including Mother’s Village and they participated in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament as well. Petra Konta told us:
Sana Nassar from Lebanon took part in the 22nd International Meeting for Organisers of Pilgrimages, Leaders of Peace Centres and Leaders of Medjugorje Prayer and Charity Groups. Sana is the founder of the charitable organisation called “Friends of Mary, the Queen of Peace”, with the primary goal of following and spreading the messages of the Queen of Peace from Medjugorje. She came to Medjugorje in 1986, for the first time and in 1996, she organised the first pilgrimage to Medjugorje with her family and a group of friends.
On Monday, March 16th 2015, we will commemorate 81 years since the cross on Cross Mountain was built and blessed during a solemn Holy Mass. It took the parishioners only 52 days to build the cross, after their parish priest Fr. Bernardin Smoljan, had proposed it to them on January 21, 1934, all because the whole world was celebrating the Jubilee Year of our Salvation. The plan of construction was made by engineer Simun Boras from Mostar and the construction was supervised by Ante Dugandzic Redzo from Medjugorje.
International Pilgrimage for Persons with Disability
“IN MARY’S SCHOOL”, 2015
Coordinator: Fr. Marinko Sakota, OFM
The 4th International Pilgrimage for Persons with Disability will be held in Medjugorje from June 11-14, 2015. The main organiser is the association “Susret” from Citluk, in cooperation with the parish office and Mother’s Village. The gathering is scheduled to begin on Thursday afternoon, June 11, 2015, in the hall of the radio building at the back of the church, where the meetings will take place.
Parishioners of the Medjugorje parish will provide free accommodation and food for the pilgrims, and every person with a disability is entitled to be accompanied by a friend or volunteer, and if the disabled person is a child, the whole family can come along.
The programme for the pilgrimage will be filled with lectures, testimonies and prayer. On Friday afternoon, there will be the prayer of the Way of the Cross on Cross Mountain in different language groups and prayer on Apparition Hill will take place on Saturday afternoon.
Registration is by e-mail addressed to: firstname.lastname@example.org no later than May 15, 2015.
IN YOUR REGISTRATION E-MAIL PLEASE INCLUDE: how many days you will stay on pilgrimage, your contact number, the number of persons with a disability and how many people will accompany them.
The 22nd Meeting for Group Leaders, Organisers of Pilgrimages, Leaders of Peace Centres and Charity groups, which gathered more than 400 participants from 23 countries, has finished with a Mass of Thanksgiving on Friday, March 6, celebrated by Fr. Marinko Sakota, the parish priest of Medjugorje and the coordinator of the seminar. The theme of the seminar was “Peace be with you”, and this is what Fr. Marinko said, among many other constructive thoughts:
Lucija Šalov from Zadar has been bringing pilgrims to Medjugorje for the last four years. She also participated in the 22ndInternational Meeting of Organisers of Pilgrimages, Leaders of Peace Centres, Prayer and Charity Groups held in Medjugorje and this is what she told us about her experience: “I am from Croatia, but I bring Italian groups of pilgrims. During the conference we were able to learn that it is not us who are leading, it is God who does it all, we are only those who are in His service. I think that what we are doing is not a job; it is a mission, a vocation. This is what God gave me for my own growth in holiness, it is not to be used for me to change or convert someone, but it is firstly for my own conversion. I feel that Medjugorje is a huge gift. I always say to pilgrims that we are not aware of how this is God’s gift, that God sends us His Mother every day. It is something that thehuman mind cannot perceive at all.”
The 22nd International Meeting of Organisers of pilgrimages, Leaders of Peace Centres, prayer and charity groups in Medjugorje, that gathered this year nearly 400 participants from 23 countries, we met Karen Carden from Florida and Marie Gastefsen from Portland (USA). Karen has been coming for 17 years now and this is what she told us:
Among the participants of the 22nd International Meeting of Organisers of pilgrimages, Leaders of Peace Centres, prayer and charity groups for Medjugorje, that is currently being held here, we had chance to meet and to talk to Magdalena Kolar from Switzerland. She told us about the activities of the prayer group the Queen of Peace that was created 14 years ago, thanks to Fr. Karlo Lovric, who at that time was serving in their parish in Switzerland.