The first Urbi et Orbi Blessing of the Pope Benedict XVI: “Dear Brothers and Sisters, after our great Pope, John Paul II, the Cardinals have elected me, a simple, humble worker in the Lord's vineyard. I am consoled by the fact that the Lord knows how to work and how to act, even with insufficient tools, and I especially trust in your prayers. In the joy of the resurrected Lord, trustful of his permanent help, we go ahead, sure that God will help. And Mary, his most beloved Mother, stands at our side. Thank you”, were the first words of the Pope Benedict XVI to the faithful gathered at St. Peter’s Square.
May the Holy Spirit guide him!
On Saturday, April 16, before the beginning of the Conclave, the usual one-hour Saturday adoration was prolonged, and we prayed in a very special way for the Cardinals and the election of the new Pope.
Albert and Marie-Thérèse de Theux from Bruxelles (Belgium) are at the head of the initiative called “Groupe Contact Medjugorje Benelux” which is bringing together numerous Medjugorje-groups in Belgium, Netherlands and Luxemburg.
The 70th anniversary of the presence and of service of the Franciscan School Sisters in the Parish Medjugorje (1935 – 2005) was celebrated on Sunday, April 17, 2005, with a solemn Holy Mass presided by Fr Branko Rados, parish priest, and concelebrated by 19 priests, among whom also the Franciscan OFM Provincial, Fr. Slavko Soldo.(photos)
The Information Centre “Mir” Medjugorje is proposing to the pilgrims four new books: “Messages of the Queen of Peace” – pocket edition in Croatian and in English, Fra Tomislav Pervan: “Međugorje – Kupka duše”, Fra Tomislav Pervan: “U svjetlu spoznaje Isusa Krista, Knjiga 1”, as well as “Međugorski razgovori, Hodočasnička svjedočanstva”. (photos)
Pope John Paul II visited Croatia three times and Bosnia and Herzegovina two times. Out of 11 Croatians declared saints and blessed, he declared four of them: he canonised Leopold Mandic in 1983, and he beatified the Cardinal Stepinac (1998), Mary of Jesus Crucified and Ivan Merz (2003). Let us not forget Mother Teresa who is an Albanian from Macedonia, but who received the faith through Croatian missionaries in Skopje, and for whom the Croatian language was the language of her catholic faith.
These days, the 83-years old Blaženka Brdar from Rijeka (Croatia) is celebrating the 150th pilgrimage that she has organised to Medjugorje. She came for the first time on May 7, 1983, and she remembers well this difficult time when the police was forbidding to the pilgrims to climb the Apparition Hill and Cross Mountain, and when the Franciscans from Rijeka were disapproving her going to Medjugorje. During the first years, she was taking two cars a year, and with the time, there were 12 cars a year. Everything was happening without any advertisement, simply by phone and through personal contacts.
Luc Gevaert from the Flamish part of Belgium came on his first pilgrimage to Medjugorje with his whole family, on March 29, 1985, in order to celebrate the marriage anniversary. Since then, many lay people and priests, especially young people, asked him to take them to Medjugorje, and this is how he began to organise pilgrimages. He was coming even during the war, without fear, because he felt that Our Lady was protecting him. In the meantime, two of his five children are married, and one of his sons has become a priest. Luc is a witness of many graces, even of exceptional healings.
On Friday, April 8, in the evening, in Saint James’ parish church in Medjugorje, there was Holy Mass for Holy Father John Paul II. In the filled church, Holy Mass was presided by the Parish priest, Fr. Branko Radoš, in concelebration with the Franciscans of Medjugorje and 41 priests from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and abroad.
Thank you, Holy Father John Paul II
Holy Father John Paul II will be buried on Friday, April 8, in the crypt of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. On that day, in Medjugorje, we will pray at his intentions the Way of the Cross at 2 PM. Holy Mass for him will be celebrated at 6 PM.
From the very moment when we heard that the Pope John Paul II was seriously ill and suffering, Radio “Mir” Medjugorje is broadcasting a special whole-day program in the honour of the Holy Father.
Holy Father John Paul II has died on April 2, at 21.37. The parish Medjugorje and the pilgrims were in Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. At that very moment, the priest was meditation on Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane who is calling his disciples to be with him and pray. The faithful were singing. “Stay with me, remain here with me, watch and pray”, and after this: “I need you, Jesus, I give my life to you, you are the source of my life, consolation of my heart, I implore you, Jesus, Lord, hear my prayer.”
John Paul II was a Pope devoted to Mary. His pontifical slogan was “Totus tuus ego sum et omnia mea tua sunt”. For him, Mary was the Mother of the Church and the way that is leading to Christ. In this sense he renewed the devotion to Mary, especially the prayer of the Rosary, introducing into the Rosary the Mysteries of light. He was always saying that the devotion to Mary has to be lived in a Christ-centric way and he was writing about thism especially in his Encyclical “Redemptoris Mater» (1987) and in the Apostolic letter “Rosarium Virginis Mariae” (2002), but also in the Apostolic letter “Novo Millennio Ineunte” (2001), in which he entrusted to Mary the lives of all human beings and of the world of the new millennium.
Holy Father has never officially recognised the apparitions of Medjugorje, but he believed in them, and he told this to many. During his pontificate, ha was putting into practice what Our Lady was inviting us to.
Holy Father has died at 9.37 PM
Franz Gollowitsch (Fragollo Reisen, Austria) organised his first pilgrimage to Medjugorje on July 8, 1985. During the past 20 years, he accompanied personally 365 pilgrimages, which means that he spent two years in the bus, and more than three years of his life in Medjugorje… He was not giving up during the war either, when – together with the pilgrims – he was tirelessly bringing humanitarian help and helping the orphans.