Millions of pilgrims from all over the world have responded to the invitation of Gospa, the Queen of Peace from Medjugorje. You can read testimonies and personal stories of so many on our web site and all of them spoke about the change of their lives, great gratitude to the Queen of Peace for received blessings and for the beginning of the new life with Christ. Zeljko Kaic from Karlovac spoke recently on our radio and told us the following:
The Croatian Biblical Association, in cooperation with Albanian, Serbian and Macedonian Biblical Associations, organised the football tournament in Medjugorje from February 20-22, 2015, all with the purpose of making the Holy Scripture more popular. The frame of the whole programme was prayer and encounter with the Holy Bible. Prior to the football games, participants were reading the Holy Scripture, and Fr. Ivan Dugandzic, professor of Biblical studies gave lectures about the importance of regular reading and studying of the Holy Bible.
The oldest parishioner from Medjugorje parish, Ruza Vidovic Baracusa, celebrated her 100th birthday on February 21, 2015. Her birthday was truly solemn day for her family, friends, neighbours and all those who came to congratulate her. The parish priest, Fr. Marinko Sakota as well as Fr. Karlo Lovric, priest who takes care of the sick and old people in the parish, were there as well. Fr. Karlo visits granny Ruza on regular basis. She was born on February 21, 2015 in Medjugorje in the family of Ilko and Manda Barac and she married Tadija Vidovic and gave birth to seven children, and four of them are still alive.
The Fifth Lenten Spiritual Renewal of the Third Franciscan Order from Herzegovina was held in Medjugorje on February 21, 2015. The programme began with a talk of the regional minister Ankica Zelenika. Then local minister Jure Cilic, as well as the local spiritual assistant, Fr. Ivan Landeka Jr. welcomed everyone together with the parish priest Fr. Marinko Sakota.
Every Lent we are in a special way meditating on the passion of Christ, especially we do that in the devotion of the Way of the Cross, that we pray in the church and in families. The Way of the Cross in the parish takes place on Fridays at 2 p.m. on Cross Mountain and in the parish church after the evening Holy Mass; at the branch churches (Šurmanci, Vionica, Miletina) at 4 p.m. Devotion of the Way of the Cross began on Cross Mountain in the beginning of Our Lady's apparitions.
Young people from the parish of St. James in Medjugorje decided to live this Lent in a more beautiful way. Every night during the Lent at 8 p.m. they will go to pray Rosary on Apparition Hill. Rosary will not take place on Fridays when the parish gores to pray the Way of the Cross on Cross Mountain, and on Sundays when we all pray Rosary at 2 p.m. on Apparition Hill. “After talking to the priests from the parish, we decided to climb the Apparition Hill every night at 8 p.m.
The prayer – educational seminar for girls from 7th and 8th grade of the elementary schools, was held in Medjugorje from February 13-15, 2015 in Domus Pacis, organised by the Franciscan School Sisters from Mostar. 40 girls participated and these Sisters have been organising similar seminars for 25 years now. After the gathering, the programme began with the evening prayer programme in the church of St. James and what followed was introduction and lecture.
Italian priest Fr. Antonello Cadeddu visited Međugorje. He has been a priest for 33 years and for the last 20 years he has been active in Sao Paolo in Brazil. Along with one other priest, Fr. Enrico, he established community „Alleanza di Misericordia”, that takes care of the poor and abandoned families living in the street. He comes to Medjugorje as a spiritual assistant of pilgrims.
On Tuesday, February 10, 2015, on the day when we celebrate the Feast of Alojzije Stepinac, Holy Mass was celebrated for the killed Franciscans and parishioners from this parish who were killed during the World War II and recent Homeland War. Dr. Fr. Robert Jolic was the main celebrant and Fr. Marinko Sakota, the parish priest and 11 other priests concelebrating. Fr. Robert said in the beginning of his homily, as he spoke about killed priests and people:
On the Feast of Bl. Alojzije Stepinac, Croatian Cardinal, that we remember on February 10, 2015, we will celebrate Holy Mass at 6 p.m. in the church of St. James in the honour of martyred Franciscans from Medjugorje parish: Fr. Križan Galić, Fr. Jozo Bencun, Fr. Marko Dragićević, Fr. Mariofil Sivrić, Fr. Grgo Vasilj and Fr. Jenko Vasilj, six of 66 Franciscans from Herzegovina Franciscan Province, who were killed by communists during and after the World War II.
The spiritual renewal conducted by Fr. Damir Pavic, parish priest from the parish of Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary in Brestovsko, was held in Medjugorje from February 6-8, 2015. The spiritual renewal began on Friday, February 6 with the evening prayer programme. Fr. Damir was the main celebrant every night during the renewal and he also conducted various lectures for the parishioners. He spoke about the sin and about the mystery of the Cross as of something that is related to every Christian:
The 5th Days of Murdered Herzegovinian Franciscans were held from February 4-7, 2015 in Siroki Brijeg, when we remembered 66 brutally murdered Franciscans who were killed during and after World War II. As every year, the programme was organised by Vice Postulator for beatification of martyrs “Fr. Leo Petrovic and 65 brothers”, Fr. Miljenko Stojic.
During January and February there are fewer pilgrims in Medjugorje and there is a recent tradition of organising the spiritual renewal for Medjugorje parishioners, and it will be held from February 6-8, 2015. This renewal will be conducted by Fr. Damir Pavic, parish priest from Brestovsko, parish of Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Fr. Marinko Sakota, parish priest, invited all parishioners to come: “Fr. Damir will guide us in this period. We would like if all parishioners would decide to come with their families, to take this time for the spiritual renewal. To give to the Lord, what He gave us. The programme begins with Rosary and after Holy Mass there will be prayer and lecture in the Hall of St. John Paul II.
The programme of The 5th Days of Murdered Franciscans continued with the prayer of Rosary led by Fr. Zeljko Barbaric and members of YouFra. Fr. Lovro Gavran, the Provincial of Franciscan Province of Bosnia, celebrated Holy Mass, with Fr. Miljenko Stojic and Fr. Tomislav Puljic, guardian of Siroki Brijeg monastery, and many other Franciscans concelebrating.
Pilgrims from Pula and Istria, grateful to God and Gospa, after 34 years of Our Lady’s apparitions have recalled their trips to Our Lady, the Queen of Peace. Many of them have been coming since the beginning and so many of them were witnesses of abundant graces they received through Our Lady’s intercession. Inspired by the prayer communities from Medjugorje, Siroki Brijeg and the whole world, fifteen years ago they felt calling to found their own prayer community.