Married couple Patricia and Jack Duggan from Canada are in Medjugorje in these days. They came here for the first time in 1993, when they were helping with refugee camps throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. Patricia said: “I heard about Medjugorje from one of the priests. There were many problems, my kids were small at that time and I was not able to come. All we wanted was to help others and it happened by accidence that both my husband and I became group leaders. We have brought many people from Canada and we come here twice a year. Medjugorje is our second home.” Patricia said that they have seen many conversions in their groups after their visit to Medjugorje.
On Saturday, May 19, 2012, eighty – one young boys and girls received the sacrament of the Holy Confirmation in the parish church of St. James. It is the sacrament in which all those baptised are enriched with the gift of the Holy Spirit and become more perfectly connected with the Catholic Church. The Sacrament was given by local bishop Monsignor Ratko Peric, at the Holy Mass that was held at 10 a.m. Day prior to the Sacrament of the Holy Confirmation, children and their parents participated in the Sacrament of the Reconciliation.
Pilgrims arrive to Medjugorje in various ways and by different means of transport. A pilgrim on a bicycle would not be special news at all, but when it comes to a pilgrim who is over 70 years old, then we need to bring that as really special, extraordinary event. Helmut Kuhn, 71 years old German man, came from the north of Germany to Medjugorje. He started his pilgrimage on April 19th and arrived to Medjugorje on May 6th. Two years ago, he went on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela and it was then that he decided to come to Medjugorje on a bicycle. Helmut and his wife Brunhilde were guests at radio station “Mir” Medjugorje. “I felt relief and as soon as I arrived, I went to Medjugorje church on the same evening. Three hours afterwards, my wife came on a bus with group of pilgrims”, Helmut said. He said that he came to Medjugorje for the first time once when they were on summer holiday at the Adriatic coast, and they were here also four years ago. They are going back home very grateful and happy. They both expressed desire to come to Medjugorje more often.
Thirty four Orthodox pilgrims from various parts of Israel arrived to Medjugorje on May 11, 2012. Few other pilgrims will join them in the following days. We met them at the beginning of their pilgrimage. “We came home, to our Mother. We are all Christians and we are united with God. There are no differences in Heaven. We feel as we belong here completely”, they said. They will stay in Medjugorje for ten days.
Along with pilgrims from twenty different countries, our journalists met those from Panama as well. Lorena Varela, wife of the Vice President of Panama is here for second time. She heard about Medjugorje from her mother who always wanted to come for a visit, but because of her serious illness, she was not able to. Her mom died last year. Soon after the death of their mother, Lorena and her mom decided to come on pilgrimage to Medjugorje.
Number of Holy Communions: 183.500
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 3417 (113 per day)
Summer schedule of the prayer programme begins on May 1st. Rosary will be at 6 p.m. and Holy Mass at 7 p.m. while after Holy Mass the regular prayer programme will follow, depending on the day in the week. Adorations on Wednesdays and Saturdays will start at 10 p.m.
Devotion of the Way of the Cross on Cross Mountain is on Fridays at 4 p.m., while Rosary on Apparition Hill is on Sundays at 4 p.m.
Medjugorje is full of pilgrims in this Easter time. The Information Office registered smaller or bigger groups from: England, Romania, France, Slovakia, Albania, Portugal, Germany, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Lebanon, the United States, Ireland, Brazil, Poland, Mexico, Canada, Slovenia, Korea, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Ukraine, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
This Easter gathered many pilgrims in Medjugorje who participated together with pilgrims in the Liturgical programme of Easter Triduum. In those days pilgrims from the following countries were present in Medjugorje: Korea, Brazil, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Ukraine, Slovakia, Lebanon, Japan, the United States, Ireland, Austria and Romania. (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 2012 - Fra Petar Vlasic
Holy Thursday, April 5, 2012 – On this day when Church remembers institution of Holy Eucharist and Priesthood, it is allowed only to celebrate Holy Mass of consecration of the oil and Holy Mass of Lord’s Supper. Holy Mass of consecration of the oil can be celebrated only by bishop in his cathedral. Therefore, on that day before noon, in Medjugorje there are no confessions and no Holy Masses celebrated. Prayer of the Rosary begins at 5 p.m. and solemn Holy Mass of Lord’s Supper at 6 p.m. After Holy Mass there will be Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and all faithful will have opportunity for silent prayer until Midnight.
Around forty volunteers, members and supporters of House for Homeless people “Roses of St. Francis” from Rijeka, spent few days in Medjugorje from March 31 to April 2, 2012. They wanted to thank Our Lady, Queen of Peace, for five years since they have their House. Sinisa Pucic, one of the volunteers in the mentioned House and the main editor of the magazine “Street Lights” spoke on Radio Mir Medjugorje about their pilgrimage and about the House for Homeless people. The purpose of the House is not just to provide those people a place where they would be able to spend a night, but to make them capable to become the members of the society again, depending on their physical and mental abilities. They have programmes of the work therapies and rehabilitation. “This pilgrimage is a good opportunity for those who have just joined us to get to know our programme and we all love coming to Medjugorje on pilgrimage”, said Sinisa.
On March 31, 2012 spiritual renewal of the Franciscan School Sisters from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina who work in health or public care institutions was held in Medjugorje and 40 nuns participated in it. The theme of the retreat was: “Suffering, mysterious God’s speech” and Fr. Miljenko Steko was conductor of the retreat. Sr. Andrea Nazlic, one of the participants of this retreat who works in hospital in Split, in Croatia, said: “We work with people who suffer; therefore we have chosen this theme. It is time for us to recollect and this about that. Medjugorje is the place that will return us to ourselves.”
Number of Holy Communions: 92.300
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 1739 (56 per day)
The ancient tradition in Mostar – Duvno Diocese is to pray from the 5th Sunday of Lent until Palm Sunday for deliverance of curses and blaspheming of our people. That was the case this year as well. All parishioners and pilgrims in Medjugorje have been invited to pray and to offer all of their intentions, especially prayer of the Way of the Cross on Friday, to God in atonement for all of the sins caused by cursing, slandering and blaspheming.
Holy Week began on Palm Sunday with procession that started at the grounds of the old church at 10.30 a.m. Holy Mass was celebrated at 11 a.m. in the church of St. James, it was the Mass of Passion of Our Lord. Holy Masses in Croatian language were held at 7, 8,11 and 6 p.m. Palm and olive branches were blessed at every Holy Mass. On the eve of Palm Sunday, Holy Mass at 6 p.m. was celebrated for all of the youth and Franciscan Youth choir were singing at that Holy Mass.