Fr. Reinfried Frei (90) from Switzerland, a missionary in Tanzania for 61 years now, came in October 2008 for the tenth time to Medjugorje as a spiritual counselor of a group of Swiss pilgrims. Whenever he is on vacation in Europe, he responds gladly to the invitation of the organizers of pilgrimages who need a priest to accompany their group.
The 22nd International Mariological and Marian Congress ended on September 8th in Lourdes, by a solemn Eucharistic celebration in the Basilica of the Holy Rosary. Holy Mass was presided by the Cardinal Poupard, special representative of the Holy Father, who also presided the Congress.
The sixteenth International Meeting for Leaders of Peace Centres and Medjugorje Prayer and Charity groups will be held in Medjugorje from the 1st to the 5th of March 2009. The theme of the gathering is: “...Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening” (1 Sm 3, 9). (Program)
With a special liturgy, which is celebrated on October 3rd, the vigil of St. Francis’ feast, the worldwide Franciscan family is celebrating the “Transitus” – the moment of saint Francis’ passing into eternity.
Mons. Eduardo Eliseo Martín, Bishop of the diocese Villa de la Concepción del Río Cuarto, was in Medjugorje from August 24 to 26, 2008.
On September 23 and 24, 2008, Mons. Wieslaw Alojzy Mering, Bishop of the diocese Włocławek, and 28 priests from the dioceses Włocławek, Gniezno, Chełmińskiej and Toruń (Poland) visited Medjugorje. The diocese Włocławek is known by the fact that sister Faustina, Fr. Maximilian Kolbe and Kardinal Wyszynski were born there.
Holy Communions distributed: 155.000
Concelebrating priests: 3.854 (128/day)
Jožef Ratković, a Croat from Austria, walked from Zürich to Medjugorje to fulfill a vow: to pray for healing of his wife who suffers from multiple sclerosis. In 42 days he walked 1,400 km. “I believe in God and I hope for his help. I also pray for peace with God and with people. For me, peace is when we reach out to another and great another. This is basic.”
Every year since 1999, the residents of the Center for rehabilitation fra Ante Sekelez from Vrlika, Croatia, make a pilgrimage to Medjugorje. On September 24, 2008, 31 residents and 17 workers from the Center visited their beloved shrine once again.
Our Lady's statue on Apparition Hill, which was damaged in the night from August 28/29 by an unknown person, has been repaired thanks to a rapid intervention of the Atelier Dino and Mirko Felici from Carrara (Italy).
In September 2008, some pilgrims brought to the Parish Office Medjugorje an interesting photo: the world famous mountain climber Nadia Tiraboschi from Bergamo (Italy), leader of the group that reached the Mount Everest on May 17, 2007, was photographed there with a picture of Our Lady of Medjugorje… a prayer for peace at the roof of the world?
“Apparitions of the BVM – Between history, faith and theology”, was the theme of the 22nd mariologic congress, which was held in Lourdes from September 4 to 8, 2008.
"Dear children! The cross was also in God's plan when you built it. These days, especially, go on the mountain and pray before the cross. I need your prayers. Thank you for having responded to my call", said Our Lady on August 30, 1984. (photos)
The media published in recent days a sensational news: that the Vatican began to square the accounts with the phenomenon called Medjugorje, and that the Pope himself called Medjugorje a fraud. In the background of this false information was the case of Fr. Tomislav Vlašić, punished by the Vatican for “spreading of doubtful doctrines, manipulation of consciences, doubtful mysticism, disobedience and fault against the sixth commandment (fornication)”. As this is a priest who used to serve in Medjugorje, the authenticity of Our Lady’s apparitions in Medjugorje was once again under suspicion. What says about this Dr. Fr. Ivan Sesar, Provincial of the Herzegovinian Franciscan Province and former Pastor of Medjugorje?