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.
On Thursday, March 25, Medjugorje parish celebrated Feast of Annunciation of our Lord. Holy Masses in Croatian language were celebrated at 8, 11 and 6 p.m. along with numerous Croatian pilgrims, specially for this occasion, there were also groups from Austria, Germany, Romania, Italy, Ireland, United States, England and other. Therefore, Holy Masses were also celebrated in German, Italian, English and Romanian. As on every 25th in the month, we also had whole-night Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the Church of St. James.
Largest Croatian Easter egg, “Easter egg from the heart”, 2.05 m tall, 1.5 m wide, with a stand that is 120 kg heavy, gift of Koprivnica – Krizevci County, was officially exposed in front of the church of St. James in Medjugorje. This event was even more beautiful thanks to singing of Children Choir “Doves of Peace” and its leader Sr. Slavica Kozul from Medjugorje and Cultural Club from Koprinica. (photos)
Archbishop Allessandro D’Errico, Apostolic Nuncio to Bosnia and Herzegovina, gave statement about Medjugorje on March 18th at the end of 48th Bishop’s Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the statement broadcasted by Radio Mir Medjugorje, he amongst other things said: “Whenever I would meet Holy Father, he was always very much interested in Medjugorje.
The visionary Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo had daily apparitions from June 24th 1981 to December 25th 1982. During the last daily apparition, Our Lady gave her the 10th secret, and told her that she would appear to her once a year, on the 18th of March. It has been this way through the years. Several thousand pilgrims gathered in prayer of the Rosary at the 'Blue Cross'. The apparition lasted from 13:50 to 13:54. (photos)
Press office of Holy See reported on Wednesday, March 17th that Holy See, as a part of Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, established International Commission that will be investigating phenomenon of Medjugorje. Camillo Ruini is the Chairman of Commission that was made of cardinals, bishops and experts. During the press conference in Vatican, Fr. Federico Lombardi, Director of Holy See Press Office, explained that mentioned Commission will be operating with full discretion, and that all results that will follow after long term operation, will be delivered to Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Archbishop Allessandro D’Errico, Apostolic Nuncio to Bosnia and Herzegovina, gave this information to bishops of Bishop’s Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as instructed by Cardinal Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone.