At the end of August Medjugorje is packed with pilgrims from all over the world. The Information Office registered numerous groups from: Holy Land, Korea, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, France, Italy, England, Ireland, the United States, Germany, Austria and of course, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Fr. Pat O’Hagan came from California after having heard of Medjugorje many years ago. “I am deeply impressed with enthusiasm and religion of all of the people who are coming here and I really like this place. I have seen that faith is really strong, that is what I had expected.”
Our journalists met Fr. Anselmo Umoren, member of community of missionaries of Nigeria. He expressed his joy for being here and added: „This place is enabling us to pray, to hope and do penance.“
Lisa came from South Africa, and this is her third time in Medjugorje. She was 15 when she heard about the apparitions for the first time. „Medjugorje enriched my faith and trust in God, here, one can really feel higher power that moves this all. There is not much to say, you simply need to be here to feel and experience all of this. Young people are converting, the ones who are no longer on the right way are returning.“
Fr. Mihovel is a missionary. He has been in Poland ever since the last year and he has been coming to Medjugorje since 1986. „I confessed for seven hours the other day. I came to confess, but I spent all day confessing. I think that each experience is special and unique in Medjugorje, especially in people and their testimonies.“
Each of these testimonies is a new outpoor of grace that has been given to the whole world through Medjugorje for the last thirty years. (photos)
The feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was celebrated on Monday, August 15 with thousands of foreign and local pilgrims who arrived to Medjugorje on that day. So many of them, especially young people walked throughout the whole night from their towns and villages towards Medjugorje. Information office registered groups from Brazil, Lebanon, Austria, Italy, Germany, the United States, Ireland, England, France, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Spain, Poland, Hungary, Korea, Portugal, as well as from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. Nineteen Holy Masses were celebrated throughout the day, six for Croatian pilgrims. Dr. Fr. Ivan Dugandzic was the main celebrant at 7 p.m. Holy Mass. There were sixty priests who concelebrated at that Holy Mass. (photos)
22nd International Youth Festival that started on Monday, August 1, 2011 with the theme: “Here is the humble servant of the Lord, may it be to me according to Thy Word!” was completed on Saturday, August 6 at 5 a.m. with Holy Mass of Thanksgiving on the top of Cross Mountain. Fr. Danko Perutina, leader of the Festival, was the main celebrant. During the Farewell in song and prayer, that took place evening before, parish priest Fr. Petar Vlasic, invited all of the youth for the next Festival that will take place in August 2012. Dozens of thousands of young people from more than 60 countries and from all of the five continents gathered in Medjugorje during the first evening. Their number was getting bigger in the following days as well as the number of the countries they were coming from. The programme of the Youth Festival would start every single morning at 9 a.m. with lectures, testimonies and prayer until 12 p.m. The afternoon programme would start at 4 p.m. until Rosary at 6 p.m. Holy Mass at 7 p.m. gathered every evening more than 500 priests who concelebrated or were available for confessions at all times during the Festival. Total number of registered priests in those days was more than 600 from all of the continents. Traditional procession with Our Lady’s statue and candles was held on Wednesday evening and it was all around roads of Medjugorje. Thousands of people participated in this event as well. The entire programme was simultaneously translated in eighteen languages. The programme was accompanied with music and songs performed by International Choir and Orchestra that consist of more than 100 members from 20 countries. Their leader and conductor is Prof. Damir Bunoza. We need to say that the entire programme was broadcasted live on various Internet portals and many accredited press members from various countries were registered to monitor these events. (photos)
22nd International Youth Festival in Medjugorje, titled “Here is the humble servant of the Lord, may it be to me according to Thy word!”, started in Medjugorje on Monday, August 1st, with the evening prayer programme at the White Dome at the back of the church of St. James. After prayer of Rosary at 6 p.m., young people from 60 various countries that have arrived up to that evening have introduced themselves. Hosts from parish of Medjugorje, members of Franciscan Youth greeted couple of dozens of thousands of young people, and then Fr. Petar Vlasic, parish priest in Medjugorje parish greeted all present faithful. Fr. Ivan Sesar, Provincial of Herzegovina Franciscan Province was the main celebrant of that opening Holy Mass, as well as in the previous years.
The Festival that is conducted by Fr. Danko Perutina is full of prayer, music, lectures and testimonies that are accompanied by the International Choir and Orchestra with more than one hundred players and singers. This Festival is monitored by numerous press members from all of the continents, and whole programme is simultaneously translated in eighteen languages. This programme is also live broadcasted by radio “Mir” from Medjugorje and many other radio stations, Internet portals and TV stations.
Late Fr. Slavko Barbaric initiated this Festival back in 1990, by gathering around hundred young people in that year with two guitar players and couple of singers. Every year, number of participants was increasing and at the moment, those numbers are far above all of the other events that are taking place in Medjugorje. (photos)
Number of Holy Communions: 204.500
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 5783 (185 per day)
Medjugorje, August 1 – 6, 2011
„Behold the handmaid of the Lord,
be it done to me according to your word”
On Monday, July 25th we are celebrating the feast of St. James, patron saint of Medjugorje parish. Holy Masses are going to be held only in parish church at 8 a.m., 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., while the central and solemn celebration is going to take place at 1 p.m. in the Garden, with Fr. Miro Sego, parish priest from Citluk parish, as the main celebrant. Procession with the statue of St. James will start from the church at 10.45 a.m. Parishioners from hamlet of Miletina will be carrying the Statue this year. Parish of Medjugorje will prepare for this feast with Three-day prayer programme that will start on Friday, July 22nd. The prayer programme is according to its regular schedule, Rosary at 6 p.m., and Holy Mass at 7 p.m. Parish of Medjugorje was founded in 1892 and ever since its foundation it has been consecrated to St. James, patron saint of pilgrims.
The sixteenth International Seminar for priests, that gathered 305 priests, deacons and seminarians from 24 countries, ended on Saturday, July 9th with Holy Mass of Thanksgiving celebrated by Dr. Fr. Miljenko Šteko, the coordinator of the retreat.
Families from Međugorje, that were hosts to priests and provided accommodation and food for free, were present at that Holy Mass as well. The theme of this retreat was: “The Priest and The Sacrament of Reconciliation – Contemporary Challenges” and Dr. Fr. Tonči Matulić was the main lecturer. He is full professor of Moral Theology and of Social Teachings of the Church at the Catholic Theological Faculty in Zagreb. (photo)
The 16th International Seminar for Priests that gathered more than 300 priests, deacons and seminarians from twenty countries began on Monday, July 4th, in Medjugorje with the liturgical evening prayer programme. Fr. Ivan Sesar, the Provincial of Herzegovinian Franciscan Province from Mostar was the main celebrant at the solemn Holy Mass of introduction to the seminar.
The coordinator of the seminar is dr. Miljenko Steko, and the theme of this International seminar that will finish on Saturday, July 9 is “The priest and the sacrament of reconciliation – contemporary challenges”.
The lecturer at the seminar is Dr.Fr. Tonci Matulic, full professor of Moral Theology and of Social Teaching of the Church at the Catholic Theological Faculty of the University in Zagreb.
The seminar is simultaneously translated to more than ten languages. These international seminars began in summer 1996, at the request of priests themselves and grew with the time to these regular annual gatherings of priests from all over world.
The 16th International Priests Seminar will be held in Međugorje
From 4th to 9th July 2011 on the theme of: "THE PRIEST AND THE SACRAMENT OF RECONCILLIATION – CONTEMPORARY CHALLENGES"
Number of Holy Communions: 225.000
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 5136 (171 per day)
The visionary Ivanka Ivankovic-Elez had her regular annual apparition on June 25th 2011.
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 8 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 first secret and, at the end, said: ‘Dear children, receive my motherly blessing.’”
Thousands of pilgrims participated in this year’s jubilee Peace Walk that took place on the feast of St. John the Baptist, June 24th that was just one day prior to the 30th Anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions. The Peace Walk started at 6 a.m. from the Monastery of St. Anthony in Humac and ended in front of the church of St. James in Medjugorje. The Guardian Priest of Humac Monastery, Fr. Velimir Mandić, blessed and greeted all pilgrims at the beginning of the Peace Walk. They represented the following countries: Austria, Germany, United States, Canada, Ireland, England, Brazil, Columbia, Mexico, China, Hungary, Slovakia, France, Romania, Poland, Czech Republic, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Korea, Ukraine, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Prayers were said and hymns in the honour of the Queen of Peace were sung all the time during the Peace Walk, that arrived in front of the church around 10.15 a.m. Fr. Miljenko Steko met all of the pilgrims outside the church of St. James and conducted Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament as well as Benediction. The original initiators of this famous Peace Walk were there along with their leader Hubert Liebherr, converted German businessman. (photo)
On Saturday, June 25th, Medjugorje will celebrate 30th Anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions. Day before the Anniversary, on the Feast of St. John the Baptist there will be traditional Peace March from St. Anthony’s shrine in Humac to the church of St. James in Medjugorje starting at 6 a.m. Confessions will be possible until noon on that day, as well as in the afternoon. The evening prayer programme will start with the Rosary at 6 p.m. and Holy Mass at 7 p.m. that will be celebrated by the Provincial of Herzegovinian Franciscan Province, Fr. Ivan Sesar. Whole night Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will start at 10 p.m.
Holy Masses in Croatian language on the Anniversary day are going to be at 5,6,7,8,9,11 and 4 p.m., while the main Holy Mass is going to be at 7 p.m. and Fr. Zvjezdan Linic is going to be the main celebrant.
All of the drivers heading towards Medjugorje are kindly asked to be careful on the roads due to the large numbers of pilgrims that will walk, and all those arriving to Medjugorje are asked to respect spiritual and prayerful atmosphere.