When Christmas is over and when the New Year has come, when the Three Kings are gone and all the Christmas decorations are put away, Medjugorje enters into the winter quotidian of January and February, which differ from the other 10 months of the year. Except for the presence of some foreign pilgrims or little groups who have purposely chosen this quiet time for personal prayer, in this period, St. James’ parish does not differ much from other parishes in Herzegovina.
The sacramental and pastoral life of the parish flows as usually. Prayer program in the church in Croatian language follows according to the usual schedule, priests are hearing confessions in the afternoon, on Friday there is Way of the Cross on Cross mountain and on Sunday Rosary on Podbrdo, and every 25th of the month the whole-night silent adoration in the church.
In January, some groups from Korea, Poland, Italy, France, Austria, the Czech Republic, and from several towns in Croatia came to Medjugorje. During two weeks, there was neither German nor French Mass for the pilgrims, because there were no pilgrim priests speaking these languages. In January, 51.000 Communions were distributed and 803 priests concelebrated Mass in our parish. .
On February 2, the parishioners and the few pilgrims celebrated the feast of the Presentation in the Temple, remembering the day when Mary and Joseph, according to the Jewish Law, brought the child Jesus in the Temple to present their first-born to the Lord. The old Simeon recognized him then as the Light of the Nations. Darkness fights against Light, but Light is victorious. This is why Christians bless their candles in the church and keep them for the moment of their death, to pass through darkness and anguish of death into light and life.