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.
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: