Holy Week, the highpoint of the Lenten preparation for Easter, begins with Palm (or Passion) Sunday. In Medjugorje, the liturgy of Passion Sunday begins with the reading of the Gospel and the blessing of the branches, and is followed by a procession from the site of the old parish church, culminating with the celebration of Holy Mass in the current Parish Church. (photos)
At the end of February of this year, Fr. Petar Vlašić, curate in the parish of Medjugorje with responsibility for the care of the filial church of the Merciful Jesus in Šurmanci, visited both St. Polycarp House, the Home for elderly and sick people, and Redemptoris Mater, the diocesan missionary seminary in Pula (Croatia). This visit was in response to an invitation from Mr. Martin Kliman, Director of St. Polycarp House, where the residents are taken care of by the sisters of the Merciful Jesus who came from Poland to Croatia in 1990.
Among the pilgrims who came to Medjugorje in the month of March, there was a group from the Pacific island of Tahiti. They attracted attention to themselves by their very pleasant and harmonious singing. This pilgrimage was organized by a deacon who is in charge of the training of catechists in Tahiti.
The visionary Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo had daily apparitions from June 24th 1981 to December 25th 1982. During the last daily apparition, Our Lady gave her the 10th secret, and told her that she would appear to her once a year, on the 18th of March. It has been this way through the years.
Mons. Frane Franić, retired Archbishop and Primate of Split-Makarska died on the 17th of March, 2007, in the Clinical Hospital in Split.
As a professor of dogmatic theology he became an active participant in the Second Vatican Council, in addition to his membership of various other official commissions of that Council. He had served as a bishop in difficult historical times. With unwavering determination, he strengthened both fidelity to the Gospel and loyalty to the Holy Father, while at the same time he promoted ecumenism and dialogue in society as a whole. Mons. Franic’s burial was planned for March 21st in St. Peter’s Pro-cathedral in Split.
The 14th International Meeting for Guides and Leaders of Peace Centres and Medjugorje Prayer, Pilgrim and Charity Groups took place in Medjugorje from the 4th to the 8th of March, 2007. The theme of this gathering was: “By your perseverance you will save your lives“. (Luke 21, 19)
Alfons Sarrach was born in what was then the Free State of Danzig in 1927. He grew up in a German-Polish culture. On the 1st of September 1939, he personally witnessed the outbreak of World War II. Ten members of his family were immediately sent to a concentration camp due to the fact that they opposed the National Socialist Regime. Sarrach’s own family followed only a few months later. These events naturally had a formative influence on his way of thinking.
Holy Communions distributed: 51.000
Concelebrating priests: 803
Holy Communions distributed: 35.000
Concelebrating priests: 694
The 8th International Meeting for Married Couples will take place in Medjugorje from October 31 to November 3, 2007. The theme of the seminar is: “Dialog in the Family” (“Dear children! I beseech you to start changing your life in the family. Let the family be a harmonious flower that I wish to give to Jesus” - From the message of May 1st, 1986) (Program)
On Sunday, February 18, 2007, during the evening Mass at 6 pm, members of the Franciscan Youth Fraternity from Medjugorje (FRAMA) celebrated the rite of making their promises. 51 new members were received into the Fraternity, and 34 of them made their first promises “to consecrate themselves during one year to Christ, living his Gospel within the Franciscan Youth Fraternity”. 13 of them renewed their promises for one more year.
The 18th International Youth Festival - Mladifest 18 – will take place in Medjugorje from August 1st to August 6th, 2007. The theme of the encounter is, “Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another” (Jn 13:34) (“Dear children! Today I call you to love. Little children, love each other with God’s love…The risen Jesus will be with you and you will be His witnesses.” - Message of March 25, 2005) (Program: preparing. See also: International meetings)
In the parish church during Lent, from Ash Wednesday (February 21st) to Passion Sunday (April 1st), after the evening Mass in each case, we will pray the Way of the Cross on Fridays (replacing the Veneration of the Cross) and again on Sundays (replacing the prayer for health of body and soul and the Rosary).
Archbishop Estanislao Esteban Karlic, Archbishop Emeritus of Paraná, Argentina, and former president of the Episcopal Conference of Argentina, visited Medjugorje on February 13 and 14, 2007.
Every year on the feast of Blessed Cardinal Stepinac, Medjugorje Parish celebrates Holy Mass in memory of all the victims from this parish who fell during World Wars I and II, or during the recent war in defence of the country, and also in memory of all those who gave their lives for the faith and for the homeland. The parish remembers especially the Franciscans who were either born in Medjugorje or who had worked in the parish, and who - either during or immediately after World War II - perished at the hands of the partisans and the communists.
When Christmas is over and when the New Year has come, when the Three Kings are gone and all the Christmas decorations are put away, Medjugorje enters into the winter quotidian of January and February, which differ from the other 10 months of the year. Except for the presence of some foreign pilgrims or little groups who have purposely chosen this quiet time for personal prayer, in this period, St. James’ parish does not differ much from other parishes in Herzegovina.