Parish of Medjugorje is preparing for the 40th Anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions. Both the parish and the parishioners have been intensively preparing for this special event for more than one year. A group of them started to meet and pray last year before the Anniversary and they decided to climb the Apparition Hill for 365 days and pray the Rosary to prepare for this celebration.
Neighbouring parish of Citluk started their Novena of nine Sundays prior to the Anniversary and their parishioners walk from their parish church to the Apparition Hill every Sunday afternoon. The employees of parish office and Information Centre Mir Medjugorje also meet for prayer on Friday mornings to prepare for this Anniversary.
The parish of Medjugorje will also prepare with the Novena that will consist of the evening prayer programme and climbing of Apparition Hill, while the main celebrants in those nine days will be former Medjugorje parish priests and assistant parish priests who were engaged in pastoral care of this parish in the last four decades.
On the Eve of the Apparitions of Our Lady, June 24, the Feast of St. John the Baptist, the traditional Peace Walk will take place from Humac to Medjugorje. This Peace Walk was initiated in 1992, in the midst of the Homeland War, when one group of foreign pilgrims, led by devoted Medjugorje pilgrim Hubert Liebherr, walked from Humac and prayed for peace in both Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina that were affected by the war.
What is new and special about this year’s celebration of the Anniversary is the procession that will take place from the Apparition Hill – place of Our Lady’s first apparition – to the church of St. James in Medjugorje. The procession will start from the Apparition Hill at 4.30 pm, so all the participants would be able to come to the church ground before the evening prayer programme. Then, after the Rosary, the procession with the statue of Our Lady would start at 7 pm and this would be the beginning of the solemn Holy Mass on that day.