At the Eve of the Apparitions of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje, the Feast of St. John the Baptist, June 24, Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic was the main celebrant of the evening Holy Mass with 196 priests concelebrating and many faithful who arrived on this occasion.
-Even though we celebrate the Anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions tomorrow, it is on this day in these hours, 38 years ago, as the visionaries continue to witness that Gospa appeared to them on Apparition Hill with baby Jesus in her arms. This day when she appeared without saying anything is very significant. This was the day of St. John, herald, of the one who prepared the way to the Lord, the one who pointed to Him as to the Lamb of God who takes away our sins, burdens, anxieties and guilt. This is what Gospa has been doing here in so many ways of graces, preparing the way and leading us to Jesus. This first day contains the importance of the apparitions and of Medjugorje in the presence of Our Lady. There is nothing as important, nothing we need so much as God, the one she gives us and leads us towards. This is what so many have witnessed in all of these years with their changed lives, conversions and spiritual awakening from the spiritual death. It is impossible to count all those souls and hearts that were touched with the vicinity of Heaven and of the graces poured out here. Medjugorje remained and still bears good fruits, despite all the opposition sayings. Gospa is alive here, she is present here and she perseveres in her invitation for every heart to be changed. This conversion and change is something we need each day. We know it is easy to get enthusiastic at the beginning, but to remain such in 38 years is impossible in human terms. Gospa never told us come here so you would see me, she speaks to us in more demanding way and gives us what we need to do in order for us to be opened to the living presence of our Lord. Also, the Church after all of these years has recognised the good fruits that take place here, that arise in Medjugorje, said Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic, emphasising the evangelic element of ‘you shall recognise them by their fruits’. The tree is recognised by its fruits, we cannot see the roots, but we see the fruits. The same is here. The fruits here have its root, its beginning that was initiated 38 years ago, and those are prayer, fasting, conversion, Holy Mass with the heart, Adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, the Word of God, confession and reconciliation with ourselves and our neighbours.
Fr. Ljubo is the parish priest in Humac, where the Peace Walk began yesterday with the blessing of pilgrims and prayer outside the shrine of St. Anthony in Humac at 6 am and arrived to Medjugorje around 10 am. Fr. Marinko Sakota led the prayers during this traditional Walk.
Prayer for peace is desire of Gospa and we are here to accomplish it. Prayer works and opens ways to God. Prayer is what this world todays needs the most, said Fr. Marinko and added that many pilgrims from all over the world took part in this.
The final Benediction was given by Fr. Zvonimir Pavicic and Hubert Liebherr, German pilgrim who initiated this walk in 1992, after the war broke out here said: I am very grateful today. Even though I cannot walk for the last two years, but I am so moved that the parish continued our initiative and that we are all united in the prayer for peace.
Today we celebrate the Anniversary of Our Lady’s Apparitions and the main Holy Mass shall take place at 7 pm, followed by the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament until 7 am, as it is the practice on every 25th in the month. (photo)