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.
Number of Holy Communions: 80.500
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 1434 (46 per day)
Holy Saturday, April 3, 2010 – Our Church on this day meditates and prays next to Grave of our Lord. In the morning, there will be no services in Medjugorje church. Rosary is at 8 p.m. and Holy Mass at 9 p.m. There will be confession until beginning of the Holy Mass.
Prayer programme is going to be broadcasted through Radio Station “Mir” Medjugorje.
Easter, Sunday, April 4, 2010 – Holy Masses in Croatian language are at 8 and11 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Amongst around two thousand pilgrims from Austria who came to Medjugorje on Palm Sunday, we met Alois Epner, 79 years old retired teacher from Upper Austria. He spent his childhood in him homeland Croatia, and after World War II, together with many other people, he ran in front of Partisans to Austria. He came to Medjugorje for the first time in 1984 as pilgrim, and ever since that time he is tireless in his devotion to Our Lady.
With celebration of Palm Sunday or the Sunday of Passion of Our Lord, Church entered Holy Week, highlight of preparation for Feast of Resurrection of Our Lord. In Medjugorje, as well as in the previous years, celebration of Palm Sunday began on the ruins of the old parish church of St. James, at 10.30 a.m. In liturgical procession, after reading Gospel on entering of Our Lord in Jerusalem and blessing of the olive branches, all participants including altar children, readers, singers, priests, parishioners and pilgrims made their way towards the White Dome of the church of St. James, where central Holy Mass at 11.a.m. was celebrated. Along with parishioners, there were many pilgrims from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and foreign countries. Biggest represented group was from Austria. During the day Holy Masses were celebrated in Spanish, Dutch, English, Italian, German and of course, Croatian language.
Many pilgrims also participated in prayer of the Rosary that takes place every Sunday at 2 p.m. on the Apparition Hill. (photos)
Lent concert under the title “Misere nobis” was held in the parish church of St. James, on Saturday evening at 7 p.m., in the eve of Palm Sunday. Cathedral Oratory Choir from Mostar, under guidance of maestro don Dragan Filipovic were performing the programme and they were accompanied by Symphony Orchestra Mostar. Choir of students of Music Academy from Split gave their contribution to this beautiful atmosphere in the church of St. James. One hour concert was conducted by Hari Zlodre.