In this year's Peace Marathon from Grude to Medjugorje also participated runners of the International organization „Fiaccola di Lolek“ carrying a burning torch called “Light of John Paul II” which was first lit on Pope’s tomb by the postulator of the cause of John Paul II, and blessed by the Cardinal Stanislas Dziwisz, secretary of the late Pope. This group was also blessed by the Pope Benedict XVI on March 19, this year.
On Sunday, May 4th, 2008, eighty-eight children from Medjugorje Parish received the sacrament of First Holy Communion. Their catechists, Sister Slavica Kozul, Fr. Stjepan Martinović and Sister Iva Bešlić prepared them for this sacrament. This is the largest group of children who ever received the First Holy Communion in Saint James’ parish.
The Golden Harp is a traditional meeting of children choirs, which take place every year in the parishes.
The first Golden Harp took place on July 1st, 1984 in Kočerin, in Herzegovina, and gathered together about 200 little singers. The initiative came from Fr. Mićo Pinjuh, OFM, parish priest in Kočerin. Every choir sung two thematic songs and one liturgical according to a free choice. The basic mission of the Harp is the renewal of the liturgical singing, the encouragement of collaboration between choir leaders, as well as promotion of the creative spirit of composers.
The Solemnity of the Ascension, the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker and the beginning of the month of May brought this year to Medjugorje an exceptional number of pilgrims. In many countries, the 1st of May is national feast and holyday, so many made use of this long week end for a pilgrimage. The prayer program was held at the outside altar.
Holy Communions distributed: 99.000
Concelebrating priests: 1.605 (51/day)
Holy Communions distributed: 88.000
Concelebrating priests: 2093 (70/day)
Mons. Dominique Mamberti, the Secretary of the Holy See for the relations with the states (minister of the foreign affairs) was on an official visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina from April 26 to 29, 2008, On April 27, he met the provincial government of the Herzegovinian Franciscans in the monastery in Mostar. Present were also Mons. Alessandro D'Errico, the apostolic nuncio in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as their closes collaborators, mons. Miguel Buendi Maury and mons. Waldemar Stanislav Sommertag.
The summer Prayer Programme schedule in Medjugorje begins on May 1st.
Praying of the Rosary in the Parish Church begins at 6.00 pm. Holy Mass is at 7.00 pm, followed by the Prayer Programme according to the day of the week. Eucharistic adoration on Wednesday and Saturday is at 10.00 pm. Both the Rosary on Apparition Hill and the Way of the Cross on Krizevac begin at 4.00 pm.
On April 20, during the evening Mass at 6 pm, members of the Franciscan Youth Fraternity from Medjugorje (FRAMA) celebrated the rite of making their promises. Holy Mass was presided by Fr. Sretan Ćurčić, the regional spiritual assistant of the Franciscan Youth, with other spiritual assistants. 32 new members were received into the Fraternity, 29 of them renewed their promises for one more year, and 33 of them made their first promises.
On Wednesday, April 2, after an official visit to Mostar, where he assisted at the opening of the International Fair, Mr. Josip Friscic, vice-president of the Croatian Parliament, visited Medjugorje. He was accompanied by Mr. Ivo Jerkic, mayor of Citluk. Fr. Svetozar Kraljevic received him on behalf of the Parish priest who was unfortunately absent.
The Feast of the Merciful Jesus (Mercy Sunday) was solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter, in Surmanci, in one of the filial churches of Medjugorje Parish. During the preparatory Novena, the faithful prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet. On the feast itself, the central celebration was Holy Mass presided over by Fr. Miljeko Šteko. Numerous pilgrims joined the parishioners for the Mass.
In the Vecernji list of March 21, 2008, Ivan Tolj published an interview with Cardinal Vinko Puljić, Archbishop of Sarajevo.
Question: the recently published interview with the Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Secretary of the Holy See, that the case Medjugorje should be re-examined, inspired various speculations. Has the Bishop’s Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina discussed this matter, and is it true that Medjugorje shall be officially examined once again?
Again this year, Easter and the Sacred Triduum of Holy Week attracted numerous pilgrims from all over the world to Medjugorje: from European countries, but also from Argentina, New Caledonia, USA, Korea and Lebanon. (photos)
The 19th International Youth Festival - Mladifest 19 – will take place in Medjugorje from August 1st to August 6th, 2008. The theme of the encounter is, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8) (“In silence may the Holy Spirit speak to you and permit Him to convert and change you.” - Message of July 25, 2006) (programme: preparing)
Holy Week, the highpoint of the Lenten preparation for Easter, begins with Palm (or Passion) Sunday. We contemplate Jesus and the greatness of His almighty Love, in which He says: “I lay down my life - only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.” (Jn 10, 17-18) (photos)
Registration of pilgrimages prior to arrival to Medjugorje is necessary, so that the Information Booth may organise the programme for the pilgrims and thus serve them better. This is why we ask all organisers of pilgrimages to announce the arrival of their groups by e-mail to: email@example.com or by Tel/Fax: 00 387 36 651 988.
We recommend to all the organisers to make use of the services of local guides: http://medjugorjeguides.com.
All additional information as well as contact with the guides for your group (for Croatian, English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Czech and Slovak) can be obtained at the Information Booth by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or by Tel/Fax: 00 387 36 651 988.