Lebanese priest Fr. Charbel Zgheib was in Medjugorje with a group of young people. This was his first visit to Medjugorje. “One can really feel faith here and God’s presence as well. Peace is all over the place”, said Fr. Charbel who added that many Lebanese are coming to Medjugorje. “Many come out of curiosity, but there are also those who have many difficulties. When they come here, their whole life is changing. When they come back to Lebanon, they are really different; their view of life is changed because they have encountered God and Our Lady here.” Fr. Charbel said that many have felt vocations here. “My spiritual leader along with few other Maronite priests has all received their vocation here. Medjugorje has indeed changed many lives”, said Fr. Charbel from Lebanon. (photos)
The Feast of Exaltation of the Holy Cross was solemnly celebrated in Medjugorje on Sunday, September 9, 2012 with participation of many parishioners and pilgrims who have arrived from the following countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Slovakia, France, Malta, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Belgium, Korea, Poland, Brazil, Portugal, Romania, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Holy Masses in Croatian language were celebrated at 6, 7, 8, 12 and 7 p.m. Solemn Holy Mass was celebrated at 11 a.m. and Cross Mountain and Fr. Slaven Brekalo was the main celebrant. (photos)
First Monday after the celebration of the Feast of Exaltation of the Holy Cross time of the evening prayer programme in Medjugorje is changing as well. Rosary will start at 5 p.m. and Holy Mass will be at 7 p.m. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on Wednesdays and Saturdays will be from 9 to 10 p.m. and Rosary on Apparition Hill on Sunday will be at 2 p.m. and Way of the Cross on Fridays on Cross Mountain will be at 2 p.m. as well. Holy Mass at 1 p.m. in Croatian language will be only on Saturdays.
On the first Sunday after the Feast of Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Medjugorje traditionally celebrates the Feast of Exaltation of the Holy Cross. This year, feast of Nativity is on Saturday and on Sunday we celebrate Holy Mass on top of Cross Mountain. Solemn Holy Mass on top of the mountain is at 11 a.m. and prayer of the Way of the Cross will start at 10 a.m. For all those who are not able to go to Cross Mountain, they can attend one of the Holy Masses in Croatian language in parish church of St. James at 6, 7, 8 a.m. 12 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Number of Holy Communions: 366 000
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 8018 (258 per day)
Brothers Franco and Sergio Valoti arrived to Medjugorje on August 30th, after nearly one month of walking from Bergamo in Italy. Even though they are in their 70’s, they have walked this journey of 1500 km with God’s help in a really good way. Their intention was to go through the spiritual journey, journey of confession. They told us that people they met on this pilgrimage are far better than it appears in today’s media.
Roberta Brusic and Boris Peterlin who work in Caritas of Croatia were in Medjugorje. Roberta said how she first came to Medjugorje a little after the war in Croatia, but her first, genuine visit, when she really met Our Lady happened in the years after. “That is when the Lord made a change in my life and I encountered living God and Our Lady”, said Roberta.
There are numerous pilgrims in Medjugorje even after the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Information Office registered groups from Italy, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Ireland, England, the United States, France, Spain, Lebanon, New Zealand, Hungary, Ukraine, Korea and Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Our journalists spoke to Fr. Richard Offong, assistant parish priest from London who takes care of people from Nigeria who live there.
The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was celebrated on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 and there were numerous pilgrims from abroad and those from the area who arrived to Medjugorje. Thousands of pilgrims, many of them young people were walking to Medjugorje throughout the whole night. In the early morning hours they were confessing and participated in Holy Masses that were celebrated from 6 a.m. Italian pilgrims came in the largest number and the groups from the following countries were present as well: Austria, Germany, Ireland, England, the United States, Sloavakia, Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, France, Korea, Lebanon and of course, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. Holy Masses were celebrated throughout the day in many foreign languages. Fr. Svetozar Kraljevic celebrated the evening Holy Mass and 76 priests concelebrated with him. (photos)
Nicholas Sonntag from Germany walked to Medjugorje and arrived on Wednesday, August 8, 2012. This is his first trip to Medjugorje, but he promised it would not be the last. He heard about Medjugorje from members of a community who come to Medjugorje every year. “Last year I walked to Rome and on the way to Rome I felt desire to come to Medjugorje. Many years ago I had a life crisis and I read various books about life. I happened to read a book about pilgrimage and how I could find my way to God through pilgrimage.
Journalists of radio station “Mir” Medjugorje have chosen couple of interesting testimonies among so many young people who were in Medjugorje at Youth Festival last week, representing around 70 different countries. Young people from Ruanda came to Medjugorje for the first time and they shared their experience with all listeners of radio “Mir”. Fidelis Nsengiyunva is a Franciscan priest in Ruanda. He was happy to come to Medjugorje and to Europe for the first time.
The 23rd International Youth Festival that started on Wednesday, August 1, 2012 with theme: “Lord, increase our faith”, ended on Monday, August 6, 2012 with Holy Mass of Thanksgiving on Cross Mountain. Holy Mass began at 5 a.m. and Fr. Danko Perutina, the coordinator of the retreat was the main celebrant. Festival gathered dozens of thousands of young people from more than 70 different countries, while some were here for the first time, like group from Ruanda. (photos)
The traditional procession with Our Lady’s statue and candles in hands of numerous participants from more than 70 different countries took place on Friday, August 3, after the evening Holy Mass and as a part of Medjugorje Youth Festival Programme. The procession followed the main road towards Apparition Hill, then to Cross Mountain and then followed the main road back to the church. Fr. Dalibor Milas, newly ordained Franciscan who celebrated his first Holy Mass on July 29, 2012, was the main celebrant that evening and Fr. Branko Rados gave a Homily. There were 548 priests concelebrating as well.
Number of Holy Communions: 176.500
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 6112 (197 per day)
On Wednesday, August 1, 2012, the 23rd International Youth Festival was opened with the evening prayer programme. The theme of this Festival is from Luke’s Gospel: “Lord, increase our faith”. The opening Holy Mass was celebrated by Fr. Miljenko Steko, Vicar of Herzegovina Franciscan Province along with 422 priests that concelebrated at Holy Mass. Dozens of thousands of young people from all over the world are participating at this Festival that will finish on August 6, with Holy Mass on Cross Mountain at 5 a.m. Young people from more than 70 different countries are present, and group from Ruanda is here in Medjugorje for the first time. The programme is broadcasted directly on Radio “Mir” Medjugorje, as well as on other radio and TV stations and web sites. Fr. Danko Perutina is directing this Festival and all prayers, lectures and testimonies are more special thanks to the International Choir and Orchestra. Late Fr. Slavko Barbaric started this Festival back in 1990, when he gathered around 100 young people, two guitar players and couple of singers and the whole event took place in the green tent. The number of participants was increasing every year and is now above every other event in Medjugorje. (photos)