Every year, the residents of the Center for rehabilitation fra Ante Sekelez from Vrlika, Croatia, make a pilgrimage to Medjugorje. On the 19th of September, 48 residents and workers from the Center visited their beloved shrine once again.
Fr. Francis Farry (41) from Donegal (Ireland) was ordained a priest on July 1st, 2007. Medjugorje was instrumental in his spiritual and emotional formation. This is his testimony:
I came to Medjugorje for the first time in 1995. I was 29 years old and very lost. At that time, I was a taxi driver, and I was financially well off. I also had my own house in Dublin, yet I felt very lost. I was seeking something, but I couldn’t find it. Things seemed meaningless somehow.
Among the many pilgrims who came to Medjugorje for the Solemnity of the Exaltation of the Cross was Stipo Jakovljević from Bešpelj, in the parish of Podmilačje (Shrine of St. John). Not only did he walk here, but he came barefoot. The journey took him four days altogether. Last year also, Stipo walked barefoot to Medjugorje to honour the Feast of the Nativity of Mary.
The winter schedule of the prayer programme re-starts on Monday, September 10th, 2007.
Praying of the Rosary in the Parish church will begin at 5.00pm, Holy Mass at 6.00pm, followed by the usual prayer programme according to the day of the week.
Eucharistic adoration on Wednesdays and Saturdays will begin at 9.00pm. Rosary on the Apparition Hill and the Way of the Cross on Cross Mountain will each begin at 2.00pm.
In the Parish of Medjugorje, the Solemnity of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is traditionally celebrated on the first Sunday after September 8th, Feast of the Nativity of Mary. In honour of the Holy Year of Redemption 1933/34, and inspired by their pastor Fr. Bernardin Smoljan, the parishioners, despite their poverty, built a monumental cross, 8.5 m high and 3.5 m wide, on the hill above Medjugorje. Relics of the true cross of Jesus, received from Rome for the occasion, are embedded in the crossbar itself. (photos)
A prayer initiative called “Collaborators of the Queen of Peace” was initiated in November 2004, in Zadar (Croatia). It was inspired by the repeated calls of Our Lady: “Pray, pray, pray”. The fundamental characteristic of this prayer initiative is to find half an hour a day for prayer.
Holy Communions distributed: 128.500 (4.145/day)
Concelebrating priests: 5.985 (193/day)
Holy Communions distributed: 318.000 (10.258/day)
Concelebrating priests: 6.196 (200/day)
The Fifteenth International Meeting for Leaders of Peace Centres and Medjugorje Prayer and Charity groups will be held in Medjugorje from the 2nd to the 6th of March 2008. The theme of the gathering is, “Trust in God’s Providence” (Matt 6, 26-34)
The number of places is limited, this is why we kindly ask you to register your arrival at the seminar as soon as possible. You can send your registrations by fax: 00 387 36 651 999 (to the attention of Marija Dugandžić) or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Simultaneous interpretation will be available for all language groups. (Program)
Within the framework of usual changes of pastoral staff in the Franciscan Herzegovinian Province, and according to the Regulations of the Church, Fr. Petar Vlašić was appointed new Pastor of Medjugorje. From the year 2000 to now, he has been vicar in Medjugorje, in charge of the filial church of the Merciful Jesus in Šurmanci.
Mons. Claude Frikart, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Paris, was in Medjugorje from April 7 to 13, 2007, with a group of pilgrims from France. Mons. Frikart was an Auxiliary Bishop of Paris from 1986 to 1997, and also during eight year the confessor of the seminarians. He was born in 1922, was ordained a priest in 1948, and consecrated a bishop in 1986.
Mons. László Bíró, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese Kalocsa-Kecskemét (Hungary) was on the Youth Festival in August 2007. With his first coming to Medjugorje, he responded to the invitation of a group of about 1000 young pilgrims from Hungary. Many of them had been converted in Medjugorje, and they wanted their bishop to feel the spiritual power of this place. He climbed the Apparition Hill and Cross Mountain. He experienced that, while climbing the Cross Mountain, one is not only elevating himself physically, but is also spiritually elevated by God.
Thousands of pilgrims from all over the world came to Medjugorje for the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary. During the night, numerous pilgrims came walking from the near and far parishes all around Medjugorje. One group of women came walking from Livno. On August 14 and 15, about 50.000 pilgrims were in Medjugorje.
Mons. László Bíró, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese Kalocsa-Kecskemét (Hungary) was on the Youth Festival in August 2007.
Mons. Biro gave an interview for Radio Mir Medjugorje. (Interview: preparing)
From August 1 to 6 took place in Medjugorje the 18th International Youth Prayer Meeting under the title, “Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another” (Jn 13:34).
A day or two before the beginning, a multitude of youngsters was coming to Medjugorje. Many wanted to climb the Apparition Hill and Cross Mountain and pray there before the beginning of the Festival. (photos)
On Friday, August 3rd, Bernd Posselt from Bavaria (Germany), member of the Christian-social Union (CSU), and a deputy in the European Parliament, spoke to the youth in Medjugorje. He was explaining what Europe was and how to participate in the construction of a Europe we want it to be. He invited young people to be active in the political life, because Europe will be Christian as much as its citizens are Christians. (photos)