The 18th International Seminar for priests in Medjugorje, that gathered 297 participants from 23 countries was concluded on Saturday, July 13, 2013. The Seminar began on Monday, July 8, 2013, with the evening prayer programme and Dr.Fr. Miljenko Steko, the Provincial of Herzegovina Franciscan Province, celebrated the opening Holy Mass together with 180 priests.
The theme of this seminar was “Mary’s Faith” and Fr. Marinko Sakota, parish priest from Medjugorje, was coordinator of this seminar. Apart from the lectures, all participants took part in the regular evening prayer programme of Medjugorje parish. On Thursday morning they prayed the Rosary on Apparition Hill, and early on Friday morning they prayed the Way of the Cross on Cross Mountain.
On Sunday, July 7, 2013, the newly ordained priest Fr. Mario Ostojic, celebrated his first Holy Mass in the parish church of St. James in Medjugorje. Holy Mass began at 11 a.m. and his family, friends and many pilgrims were present at this special event for the whole parish. Fr. Boze Milic gave a homily and emphasised that Medjugorje inspired many people to start looking at their lives in different way and to start noticing the importance of God in their lives.
The 18th International Priests Seminar will be held in Međugorje
from July 8 to 13, 2013
„THE FAITH OF MARY“
The 14th International Seminar for married couples, that gathered more than 150 participants, was held in Medjugorje from July 3-6, 2013.
The theme of the seminar was: “Marriage as a place and instrument of the spiritual growth of husband and wife”. Lecturers were Dr.Fr. Mirko Matausic and Vesna Gracner, psychologist. All of the participants took part in the prayer programme held in Medjugorje church and they also climbed Apparition Hill and Cross Mountain.
Seminar was concluded on Saturday, July 6 with Holy Mass held at 11 a.m. Let us be reminded that this important event was initiated by late Fr. Slavko Barbaric.
The coordinator of this seminar was Fr. Danko Perutina.
On Wednesday, July 3, 2013, all of the parishioners in Medjugorje parish were united in prayer and celebration of First Holy Mass of Fr. Filip Pavlovic from Bijakovici.
Holy Mass began in the parish church of St. James at 11 a.m. and his family, friends and many pilgrims were present, all wanting to participate in this beautiful event for Medjugorje parish.
Parish priest in Medjugorje, Fr. Marinko Sakota, congratulated the newly ordained priest at the beginning of Holy Mass, and homily was given by Fr. Andjelko Katanec. Fr. Andjelko explained how Fr. Filip came to his goal and that is something precious, unique and holy.
Fr. Filip was born on December 26, 1983 in Mostar. He was ordained as Deacon on September 29, 2012 in Zagreb, and as Deacon he served in the parish of Bl. Alojzije Stepinac Bestovje – Novaki – Rakitje close to Zagreb. He was solemnly ordained as a priest on June 15, 2013 in Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Zagreb by his Eminence Cardinal Josip Bozanic. (photo)
Number of Holy Communions: 211 900
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 3920 (130 per day)
The Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelisation has announced the programme of one of the greatest events in the Year of Faith, Marian Day – “Blessed are you because you believed”, that will be held in Vatican on October 12 and 13, 2013. The group that is preparing this event has given the extensive instructions for participation in this event. Application for participating in Marian Day is done directly through the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelisation. The application form can be found at the official web site of the Council: http://www.annusfidei.va/, and filled form needs to be sent by August 31, 2013 at the e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org, or at the fax number: 0039 06 69869521. The Council has prepared three different application forms that are free: A – Marian groups, B – individual pilgrims, and C –bishops. Marian Day is being held on the Anniversary of Fatima apparitions and for that occasion, the original statue from Fatima will be brought to Vatican. Holy Father Francis is going to be the main celebrant of the Holy Mass that will be held on Sunday, October 13, 2013. All of the groups that live Marian spirituality are invited to participate in this event, as well as families and faithful individuals who in the special way honour the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Many pilgrims walked to Medjugorje for the 32nd Anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions. Among them, there was a group of 29 pilgrims from Rama who walked for three days. Some of them do this on regular basis and they have participated in similar pilgrimages for more than twenty times.
All of them arrived with their personal problems, vows and desires and wanted to thank Our Lady with their humble and persevering prayers for all of the gifts they have received. These pilgrims said that they could feel more power and peace as they were getting closer to Medjugorje.
The Anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions in Medjugorje was solemnly celebrated on Tuesday, June 25, 2013. Along with many pilgrims from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, there were larger ogranised groups from England, the United Sates, Ireland, Canada, Hungary, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Korea, France, Poland, Italy, Ukraine, Japan, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Belgium, Portugal, Brazil, Lebanon, Slovenia and Romania.
Apart from arriving by the ordinary means of the transport, many pilgrims have walked to Medjugorje so they would fulfill their vows to the Queen of Peace and thank Her for all of the graces they have received. During the day there were 22 Holy Masses celebrated in the parish church, at the outside altar and in the Adoration chapel. Holy Masses in Croatian language were celebrated at 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 11 a.m. and the central evening prayer programme began at 6 .m. with Rosary and continued at 7 p.m. with the solemn Holy Mass, celebrated by Dr. Fr. Miljenko Steko, the Provincial of Herzegovina Franciscan Province along with 220 priests that concelebrated. Fr. Ivan Landeka celebrated Holy Mass on June 24, with 153 priests that concelebrated with him. The traditional 22nd Peace Walk was held on that morning from shrine of St. Anthony in Humac to Medjugorje parish church with couple of thousands of pilgrims that took part in this event. (photos)
The visionary Ivanka Ivankovic-Elez had her regular annual apparition on June 25th 2013.
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 2 minutes, took place at Ivanka’s family home. Only Ivanka’s family was present at the apparition. After the apparition, Ivanka said:
Our Lady did not give a message.
She blessed us with her motherly blessing.
On Monday, June 24th 2013, thousands of pilgrims participated in the 22nd Peace Walk from Humac to Medjugorje.
After the introduction speech, Guardian of the monastery in Humac, Fr. Velimir Mandic, blessed all pilgrims with the crucifix at the outside alter of church of St. Anthony in Humac. Pilgrims arrived in prayer and in song of praise in front of the church of St. James around 10 a.m. where Fr. Danko Perutina awaited for them. After the Walk, there was a prayer before the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction at the very end.
This Peace Walk was initiated in 1992, by Hubert Liebherr, group leader from Germany. He was terrified by the war that began here and with few friends from abroad they decided to walk from Humac to Medjugorje, trusting to Our Lady who said that prayer and fasting could even stop the wars.
Marinko Šušak, man from Siroki Brijeg in Herzegovina who lives in Zagreb and his friend Dragutin Bosak from Krapina left Zagreb on Sunday, June 9 after celebration of Holy Mass in Cathedral of Zagreb and blessing at the grave of Bl. Alojzije Stepinac, and began their pilgrimage to the Mother of God in Medjugorje. Motto of their pilgrimage was: “Salvation is in the Cross!”
They carried huge cross and Croatian national flag and arrived to Medjugorje on the eve of the apparitions, June 24, 2013. Two friends, one from Herzegovina and the other from Zagorje, have filled their pilgrimage with prayer of Rosaries for convicted Croatian soldiers in Haag, for all forgotten and deprived soldiers of Croatian Army as well as for their families. They have blessed their cross one month ago at the place of martyrdom of burnt and killed Herzegovinian Franciscans in Siroki Brijeg. After this pilgrimage, the cross will be given to the Board for Beatification of Martyrs to be kept and protected in the memory of their Way of the Cross that they took for their Homeland and Croatian people.
Medjugorje parishioners and pilgrims from all over the world as well as local pilgrims are preparing for the celebration of the 32nd Anniversary of Our Lady’s Apparitions. The Novena to the Queen of Peace began on Saturday, June 15, 2013 and as a part of this Novena pilgrims and parishioners are climbing Apparition Hill every day at 4 p.m. to pray the Rosary. The evening prayer programme begins at 6 p.m. with prayer of Rosary and continues with Holy Mass at 7 p.m. The Information Office registered groups from Germany, Austria, Italy, the United States, Ireland, Canada, Lebanon, Spain, Slovakia, Poland, China, Hungary and Hong Kong. Each one of these pilgrims has his own story related to Medjugorje. So, Judy Paterson arrived from South Africa and this is her tenth pilgrimage to the Queen of Peace. Among other things, Judy told us: “I came here to thank. I had many experiences. Three years ago I was healed here. I was really sick and doctors told me I have three more months left. I recovered some strength, came here, prayed and returned home healed. It took me lots of time but I was healed. I came to thank Our Lady because my healing came through Her and our Lord. I know it was them who restored my health again.”
Members of the music band “The Apostles of Peace” from the parish of Sts. Vitus and George in Madarevo in Varazdin County, Croatia, were in Medjugorje from June 1-2, 2013.
They were singing at the Holy Mass celebrated on Saturday, and Sunday was the day when they climbed hills in Medjugorje. They were also guests on Radio Mir Medjugorje and they spoke about their journey with God in praise and worship, as well as about their personal experience of Medjugorje.
The spiritual music group “The Apostles of Peace” was formed in the Jubilee Year 2000 and ever since then, they have been motivating the prayer life of youth in their parish and in other places as well. They were guests at numerous prayer encounters.
Number of Holy Communions: 198 500
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 3972 (128 per day)