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.
Damir Jug and Stjepan Bozic walked to Medjugorje from town called Velika Gorica at the north of Croatia. They started their pilgrimage on May 1st and arrived on the Ascension Thursday, May 13th. Damir came to Medjugorje for the first time, while Stjepan was coming to Medjugorje before in the past. “Every man has his own personal wishes and desires, we felt in our hearts that we need to come, and thanks to God and Our Lady, here we are. The journey was not easy, we were adjusting to every situation that we would encounter as we travelled.” They prayed before the Statue of Our Lady and climbed the hills despite the rain and difficult weather conditions. Apart from many pilgrims from Croatia, this Feast brought also pilgrims from Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, France, England, Ireland, United States, Canada, Mexico, Germany, Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and China.
Number of Holy Communions: 136.200
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 2612 (87 per day)
The summer Prayer Programme schedule in Medjugorje begins on May 1st. Praying of the Rosary in the Parish Church begins at 6.00 pm. Holy Mass is at 7.00 pm, followed by the Prayer Programme according to the day of the week. Eucharistic adoration on Wednesday and Saturday is at 10.00 pm. Both the Rosary on Apparition Hill and the Way of the Cross on Krizevac begin at 4.00 pm.
This period in which our Church celebrates the mystery of resurrection that lasts for fifty days was filled with many pilgrims in Medjugorje and press members from radio station “Mir” Medjugorje were able to find quite few interesting life experiences. Kim Yong Hwan, priest form Korea, said that he heard about Medjugorje in 2001 for the first time and in that year he was celebrating 25 years of his priesthood. At the same time, that was the year of great crisis for him, since he felt sort of spiritual emptiness in his vocation as a priest. He received invitation from Seoul Maria Centre to come to Medjugorje as a spiritual director to one of the groups, and he accepted and came to Medjugorje.
The first eight days of the Easter season make up the Octave of Easter and are celebrated as Solemnities of the Lord. Although it rained nearly throughout the whole period, Medjugorje was still packed with various groups of pilgrims. Pilgrims from all over the world participated this week in 89 different Holy Mass celebrations in different languages as well as in evening prayer programme.
Rome (IKA) – The Holy See Press Office published on April 13, 2010 report from the first session of International Investigative Commission on Medjugorje, held on March 26th,2010. International Investigative Commission on Medjugorje is being presided over by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, who used to be Vicar of Rome Diocese and includes several cardinals and archbishops, many of whom serve on Vatican congregations or Pontifical Councils. These members include, Cardinal Jozef Tomko, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples; Cardinal Vinko Puljic, Archbishop of Vrhbosna, and president of the Bishops' Conference of Bosnia-Herzegovina; Cardinal Josip Bozanic, Archbishop of Zagreb and vice-president of the Council of European Bishops' Conference; Cardinal Julian Herranz, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts and Archbishop Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
The center of the whole liturgical year is Christ’s Passion, Death and Resurrection, known as Paschal Mystery. That holy period before Easter was celebrated this year with participation of many parishioners, along with huge number of pilgrims from various countries that came to Medjugorje this Easter. Liturgical celebrations that began on Holy Thursday turned out the whole area around the church of St. James into huge prayer space. (photos)
“Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.”
To all parishioners, pilgrims, friends, benefactors, and to all men of goodwill a
Blessed and Happy Easter!
Parish priest and the Franciscans
Uskrsna cestitka - Fra Petar Vlasic
Jim Caviezel played the main role in Mel Gibson’s movie “The Passion of Christ”, and became known throughout the whole world. The very moving presentation of the scourging and crucifixion of Jesus have permitted the passion of the Lord to become the initiator of many discussions about faith. A Viennese professor of Theology brought the criticism of the movie to the point: “ How can I accept that my sins are supposedly so great, that a man must bear so much suffering for me? “
Again and again we hear about conversions, which the spectators experienced while watching the movie. Who is this Jim Caviezel who was able to interpret Jesus in such an impressive way? In an Interview with the” Oase des Friedens “ he admits that without his experience in Medjugorje he would never have accepted this role. In Medjugorje he was granted a new dimension of faith.
Christian Stelzer in Vienna held the Interview with Jim Caviezel, in February 2010.