Mr. Paul Wallace from Ireland introduced us to the National Council of Medjugorje for Ireland. Paul said that the Irish were among the first groups of pilgrims which arrived in Medjugorje: “When we heard back in 1981, that the Gospa was appearing behind the iron curtain in Medjugorje, we were all very curious. I personally know two ladies who came here as long ago as 1981. In those early years, people came individually or in small organised groups. They would bring back information about what was happening, but often it was wrong.
Young people from the parish of St. Joseph in Tresnjevka in Zagreb were in Medjugorje at the beginning of March as part of their Lenten spiritual renewal. They came with their assistant parish priest and visited many places of prayer in Medjugorje, including Mother’s Village and they participated in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament as well. Petra Konta told us:
Sana Nassar from Lebanon took part in the 22nd International Meeting for Organisers of Pilgrimages, Leaders of Peace Centres and Leaders of Medjugorje Prayer and Charity Groups. Sana is the founder of the charitable organisation called “Friends of Mary, the Queen of Peace”, with the primary goal of following and spreading the messages of the Queen of Peace from Medjugorje. She came to Medjugorje in 1986, for the first time and in 1996, she organised the first pilgrimage to Medjugorje with her family and a group of friends.
On Monday, March 16th 2015, we will commemorate 81 years since the cross on Cross Mountain was built and blessed during a solemn Holy Mass. It took the parishioners only 52 days to build the cross, after their parish priest Fr. Bernardin Smoljan, had proposed it to them on January 21, 1934, all because the whole world was celebrating the Jubilee Year of our Salvation. The plan of construction was made by engineer Simun Boras from Mostar and the construction was supervised by Ante Dugandzic Redzo from Medjugorje.
International Pilgrimage for Persons with Disability
“IN MARY’S SCHOOL”, 2015
Coordinator: Fr. Marinko Sakota, OFM
The 4th International Pilgrimage for Persons with Disability will be held in Medjugorje from June 11-14, 2015. The main organiser is the association “Susret” from Citluk, in cooperation with the parish office and Mother’s Village. The gathering is scheduled to begin on Thursday afternoon, June 11, 2015, in the hall of the radio building at the back of the church, where the meetings will take place.
Parishioners of the Medjugorje parish will provide free accommodation and food for the pilgrims, and every person with a disability is entitled to be accompanied by a friend or volunteer, and if the disabled person is a child, the whole family can come along.
The programme for the pilgrimage will be filled with lectures, testimonies and prayer. On Friday afternoon, there will be the prayer of the Way of the Cross on Cross Mountain in different language groups and prayer on Apparition Hill will take place on Saturday afternoon.
Registration is by e-mail addressed to: firstname.lastname@example.org no later than May 15, 2015.
IN YOUR REGISTRATION E-MAIL PLEASE INCLUDE: how many days you will stay on pilgrimage, your contact number, the number of persons with a disability and how many people will accompany them.
The 22nd Meeting for Group Leaders, Organisers of Pilgrimages, Leaders of Peace Centres and Charity groups, which gathered more than 400 participants from 23 countries, has finished with a Mass of Thanksgiving on Friday, March 6, celebrated by Fr. Marinko Sakota, the parish priest of Medjugorje and the coordinator of the seminar. The theme of the seminar was “Peace be with you”, and this is what Fr. Marinko said, among many other constructive thoughts:
Lucija Šalov from Zadar has been bringing pilgrims to Medjugorje for the last four years. She also participated in the 22ndInternational Meeting of Organisers of Pilgrimages, Leaders of Peace Centres, Prayer and Charity Groups held in Medjugorje and this is what she told us about her experience: “I am from Croatia, but I bring Italian groups of pilgrims. During the conference we were able to learn that it is not us who are leading, it is God who does it all, we are only those who are in His service. I think that what we are doing is not a job; it is a mission, a vocation. This is what God gave me for my own growth in holiness, it is not to be used for me to change or convert someone, but it is firstly for my own conversion. I feel that Medjugorje is a huge gift. I always say to pilgrims that we are not aware of how this is God’s gift, that God sends us His Mother every day. It is something that thehuman mind cannot perceive at all.”
The 22nd International Meeting of Organisers of pilgrimages, Leaders of Peace Centres, prayer and charity groups in Medjugorje, that gathered this year nearly 400 participants from 23 countries, we met Karen Carden from Florida and Marie Gastefsen from Portland (USA). Karen has been coming for 17 years now and this is what she told us:
Among the participants of the 22nd International Meeting of Organisers of pilgrimages, Leaders of Peace Centres, prayer and charity groups for Medjugorje, that is currently being held here, we had chance to meet and to talk to Magdalena Kolar from Switzerland. She told us about the activities of the prayer group the Queen of Peace that was created 14 years ago, thanks to Fr. Karlo Lovric, who at that time was serving in their parish in Switzerland.
The seminar of prayer of the Herzegovina Regional Fraternity of YouFra was held in Domus Pacis in Medjugorje from February 20-22, 2015. There were 53 participants along with Fr. Slaven Brekalo, the Regional Spiritual Assistant of YouFra and members of the regional council. “This seminar made strong impression on us at the beginning of this Lenten time and it was the wonderful opportunity to work on ourselves, as well as to meditate on the sacrifice Jesus did for us. Day by day, step by step, we spent time learning skills that will help us in our prayer life. The prayer was obligation to most of us prior to this seminar, but after this experience, we are hoping that would change. We realised how important the prayer is, because God is in prayer and God is the beginning of all”, the participants of the seminar of prayer shared this with us.
The 22nd International Meeting for Organisers of Pilgrimages, Leaders of Peace Centres and Međugorje Prayer and Charity Groups will be held in Medjugorje from the 2nd to the 6th of March 2015. The theme of the gathering is:
"Peace be with you!" (John 20, 21)
In Our Lady's School
Number of Holy Communions: 30 750
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 687 (24 per day)
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.