Amongst many experiences of various pilgrims, many of which remain hidden from the public, we still meet every day those who witness in public about many graces that they received through Our Lady’s intercession. That is the case of married couple Aida and Javier Eskildsen, pilgrims from Panama, who arrived to Medjugorje in thanksgiving for the gift of the child that they received after nine years of marriage. Javier arrived to Medjugorje for the first time in 1988, he was raised in the spirit of the Catholic Church but he was not present in the life of the Church at all. He witnesses:
In the beginning of July, that is full of pilgrims this year, group of pilgrims came by bicycle from Italy on July 1st. Their journey was more than 930 km long, and they said: “For five years we have been going to different pilgrimages every year, last year it was Lourdes and this year Medjugorje.”
Priest Leonid, redemptorist from Ukraine province, participated in the 15th International seminar for priest in Medjugorje and gave the testimony, first to the other participants and then to Radio Station Mir Medjugorje. We publish the testimony as it was given:
My first pilgrimage to Medjugorje was related to my obligations and to my occupation in the priest vocation. Namely, in 2005 local Church entrusted me with huge responsibility and gave me heavy burden to carry and that was service of exorcist. The first months and the very first year were filled with God’s love and grace, but also with great difficulties and tempations. One of the major difficulties took place during one session of exorcism over one possessed person. That person spoke to me in very rough voice, full of horror in these words: “I am horrible, I am powerful, and I will destroy you. I will destroy your priesthood and all of your life.” Although that was quite bad, I did not take that seriously at all. After all, I believed in God completely and I did not have any reasons to doubt that. I also knew that if I had fear in front of the Satan that would be as if I already lost something. But God allowed this situation to take place, and I am going to share with you how great and how mighty his Mother is, and how Medjugorje is sacred ground.
Press members of radio station Mir Medjugorje had chance to speak to many participants of this 15th seminar for priests that will last until Saturday, July 3rd and that has more than 250 participants – priests, deacons and novices.
They all express their joy to be here again and conclude by saying that they will come back again. Amando Sanz and Luis Maria Tejerina, priests from Spain, are involved in Medjugorje events from the very beginning: “We wanted to be close to Our Lady”, they said. Starting with their first coming to Medjugorje, they would pass on their experiences to others. They did that with great joy and enthusiasm. And they were never disappointed. Mary has a great role in evangelisation of the world. (photo)
Number of Holy Communions: 182.500
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 4932 (164 per day)
15th International Seminar for Priests began on Monday evening with Prayer to the Holy Spirit and evening Holy Mass at 7 p.m. at White Dome outside the church of St. James in Medjugorje. Dr.Fr. Ivan Sesar, Provincial of Herzegovina Franciscan Province celebrated Holy Mass.
Dr. Fr. Miljenko Steko is coordinator of this seminar.
Theme of this international seminar is: “Take courage, I have overcome the world” (John, 16,33). Lecturers at this seminar are Franciscans from Medjugorje: dr.fr. Tomislav Pervan, dr.fr Miljenko Steko, Fr. Danko Perutina and Fr. Svetozar Kraljevic.
Along with various simultaneous translations for many priests, this seminar is broadcasted through Internet, all live in several languages: Croatian, German, English, Spanish and Italian and is available on (www.kathtube.com).
These seminars began in the summer of 1996, as the answer to the requests from priests themselves. Late Fr. Slavko Barbaric, held the first seminar after consulting the rest of brother Franciscans, and ever since that time this became tradition, usually in the first week after the Anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions. (live video)
Starting with Tuesday, June 15th when Novena to the Queen of Peace began, parishioners and pilgrims would meet every day at 4 p.m. at the Hill of Apparitions to pray the Rosary, as an act of special devotion to our God for all of the graces given through our Heavenly Mother. Evening prayer programme would start at 6 p.m. with prayer of the Rosary and with Holy Mass at 7 p.m. that was celebrated for first seven days by Medjugorje Franciscans. Professor and doctor, Fr. Tomislav Ivancic celebrated Holy Mass on last two days of Novena, as well as final Holy Mass on Anniversary day. (photo)
The visionary Ivanka Ivankovic-Elez had her regular annual apparition on June 25th 2010.
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 6 minutes, took place at Ivanka’s family home. Only Ivanka’s family was present at the apparition. After the apparition, Ivanka said: “Our Lady spoke to me about the fifth secret and, at the end, said: ‘Dear children, receive my motherly blessing.’”
Wednesday, 23th of June
- 4 p.m-Rosary on the Apparition Hill
4.30 p.m.–5.30 p.m – Lecture at White Dome-Fr.Tomislav Ivančić
6 p.m –Holy Rosary
7 p.m- Holy Mass–Fr. Tomislav Ivančić
- 10 p.m-11 p.m- Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
- Oportunity for the Sacrament of Holy Confession throughout the whole day
Up to this point, parish of Medjugorje has been visited by increased number of pilgrims from all over the world. We have confirmation of that in the number of Holy Communions at the Holy Masses and in the number of priests as well. Number of pilgrims is especially increased in this time of Novena prior to the 29th Anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitons. Information Office notified us about groups that arrived from Germany, Poland, Italy, Belgium, Hungary, United States, Singapore, Czech Republic, Ireland, England, Canada, Korea, Mexico, Portugal and Brazil.
On Tuesday, June 15th, 2010, Novena to the Queen of Peace began. Every day, including Friday we pray Rosary on the Apparition Hill at 4 p.m. Evening prayer programme starts at 6 p.m. with the Rosary in the church, followed with Holy Mass at 7 p.m, and regular prayer programme in the church of St. James. This Novena is opportunity for us to give special gratitude to our Lord for of the graces that we were able to receive through our Blessed Mother here in Medjugorje.
On Sunday, June 13th, Feast of St. Anthony, immediately after evening Holy Mass, there was a concert held in Medjugorje church of St. James, in the honour of the Saint of the Whole World, St. Anthony of Padua. Choir “St. Euphemia” performed, and they came especially for this occasion from parish of Padua, Abbazia di Pisano, where St. Anthony lived and spent part of his life. This choir wanted to come to Medjugorje especially on this Feast, and to give this concert as a gift to Medjugorje, its parishioners and all of the pilgrims. They performed beautiful sacral songs devoted to St. Euphemia, St. Anthony and Our Lady, Queen of Peace. Amongst the others, we could hear: Ave Maria, Salve Regina, Magnificat, Regina Coeli, Alleluia, and others. This choir was founded in 1930, in parish of Padua, Abbazia di Pisano and is devoted to St. Euphemia, Virgin and Martyr. There are around 50 members, guided by maestro Giovanni Fraccaro, and ever since they were founded they are participating in most of the parish celebrations throughout the liturgical year. (photo)
Many pilgrims arrived this year from various countries to be here in Medjugorje during the Feast of Corpus Christi. There were groups from Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, France, Latvia, United States, Germany, Austria, England, Ireland and of course, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Due to the heavy rain, we could not have traditional procession with the Blessed Sacrament, and instead of that there was Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
Along with many mentioned pilgrims from various countries, there were members of historical military groups of Croatian Army from Sibenik, Ogulin and Vinkovici. Wearing their traditional and beautiful uniforms, they were indeed genuine attraction wherever they showed up and they also led different mysteries of the Rosary at 6 p.m. in the church of St. James. (photo)
Number of Holy Communions: 172.500
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 3692 (119 per day)
Reinhard Steininger, 52 years old pilgrim from Austria, came by bicycle from Austria together with his brother in law, Franz Helmreich, who is 62 years old. For Franz, this is his first time to Medjugorje, while Reinhard was here once before. They started their journey on Saturday, May 8th after having received the blessing for pilgrims in one of the churches. Franz said: “My great problem was that I have prosthesis in my left leg, and I found hills very difficult. Reinhard was helping to me, he would always wait for me, and I was able to cross all of those hills. We did not have such a good weather, it was raining for most of the time, but we made it, we had really good equipment and we were very well prepared. Reinhard came to Medjugorje two years ago; it was his wife’s present for his 50th birthday. He said how he saw lots of things in Medjugorje and he experienced a lot in Medjugorje as well. Medjugorje can not be described. It needs to be lived. What especially thrilled Franz about Medjugorje was presence of so many young people in the church, all of whom participate in prayer programme. “That is something we can not experience back home”, he said, and added that they are planning to come again to Medjugorje in the same way as they did this time. They thanked to everybody who helped them as they travelled to Medjugorje.