Feast of St. James, patron saint of Medjugorje parish was solemnly celebrated on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. Holy Masses in Croatian language were celebrated in the parish church at 7,8 am and 7 pm, while the central Holy Mass was celebrated at 11 am in the Garden, by Fr. Ivan Landeka who used to be parish priest in Medjugorje for many years and now serves in the parish of St. Francis in Posuski Gradac. Before the Holy Mass, there was a traditional procession with the statue of St. James from the church, carried this year by the boys from the community of the Merciful Father. Many priests, faithful, pilgrims and friends from the area gathered for this Holy Mass. The celebration was more solemn and beautiful thanks to the singing of the choir of the Queen of Peace, conducted by Sr. Irena Azinovic. This Holy Mass was the opportunity for former parishioner from Medjugorje, current parish priest in Citluk, Fr. Miro Sego, to celebrate his 25th anniversary of priesthood.
Among others, Fr.Ivan said in his homily: „St. James was the first of all apostles who witnessed his life for a Christ with his death as a martyr. This line from the liturgy should be repeated many times. He witnessed his life with his death as a martyr. We need to become aware of that at the beginning. His witnessing was not some sort of a pocket money, some cramp, it was true witnessing with his death as a martyr, where he was not left with anything more, nothing more than his fidelity and love to Christ! This fact, brothers and sisters, should shake us up a bit. In this parish, Feast of St. James was for a while one important faithful event. Not just that but also a social event. This parish is under patronage of St. James. The truth is that in the last 36 years, this Feast is a bit aside, as if the St. James is slowly disappearing. But, as a parish we should not neglect this Feast, particularly since St. James is the patron saint of pilgrims and pilgrims who are coming here need him, perhaps more than ever before, said Fr. Ivan and congratulated Fr. Miro at the end who was celebrating his 25th anniversary of his priesthood. Fr. Marinko Sakota, the parish priest did the same and presented him mass vestment at the end as a gift from his former parishioners. Fr. Marinko congratulated parishioners and pilgrims this feast and thanked all who participated in the preparation of this celebration. „Today is a special day for our parish, but also this is 125th anniversary since the parish was established and placed under the protection of St. James. This feast is the opportunity for us to see whom we are and what we are called to. There are many graces and many challenges. We need to be awaken anew and renew ourselves, by remembering our calling and our responsibilities“, said fr. Marinko. Parish of Medjugorje was founded in 1892 and placed under the protection of St. James immediately, which is significant since he is the patron saint of pilgrims.
Parish was preparing for this feast with novena when every part of the parish had ear day of leading the prayer from July 16-24: Miletina, Vionica, Šurmanci, Bijakovići, Međugorje, Mother’s village, YouFra Međugorje, Third Franciscan Order and Mary’s Hands. There were 12 Holy Masses celebrated in Međugorje on that day, 4 in Croatian language and one in Italian, German, Polish, English, Hungarian, Slovakian, Ukraine and French language. Information Office registered groups from Italy, Austria, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Canada, the United States, Ireland, Hungary, Slovakia, Ukraine and France.(medjugorje.hr) (photos)