Carmel Kelly, 79-years old pilgrim from Ireland recently brought her 100th group to Medjugorje. She came here for the first time in 1997 and she came only because of her husband. This is what she told us about her first trip to Medjugorje: “I used to go to Lourdes every second year until 1997. I did not know anything about Lourdes. My husband, who never came to Lourdes and never wanted to come to any religious destination, once read about Medjugorje and told me that he would like to come here. Since he expressed desire to go on the pilgrimage for the first time, I booked seats for two of us for May 22, 1997. In the beginning of March that same year, he began to feel chest pain and doctors were treating him for severe chest infection.
Marin Čilić, the winner of this year’s US Open, came to his birth place Medjugorje on Tuesday, September 16. He was welcomed by many parishioners and pilgrims who congratulated him on his victory and the success he had achieved. Marin was also welcomed by the Franciscans from Medjugorje and the parish priest Fr. Marinko Sakota who had congratulated him as well. Marin took part in the evening prayer programme that was held at the White Dome of St. James’ church with the Rosary at 5 p.m. and Holy Mass at 6 p.m. that was celebrated by the parish priest with 67 priests that concelebrated. The celebration was even more beautiful thanks to the singing of the Franciscan Youth, choir Friends and the parish choir of the Queen of Peace. After the Holy Mass there was special programme held in honour of Marin, who thanked everyone who were his support in these days.
On Sunday, September 14, 2014, four brothers of Herzegovina Franciscan Province: Fr. Augustin Cordas, Fr. Ivan Maric, Fr. Alen Pajic and Fr. Ivan Penavic gave their solemn life vows. The solemn Holy Mass began with the procession and it was celebrated by the Provincial of Herzegovina Franciscan Province, Dr. Fr. Miljenko Steko at the White Dome of St. James’ church with 87 priests concelebrating. The singing of young seminarians conducted by Fr. Stanko Mabic made it even more beautiful. The Provincial expressed his joy because these solemn vows are being given in Medjugorje, place of Our Lady, in Her vicinity which was the choice of brothers who gave vows. He especially emphasised the Feast of Exaltation of the Holy Cross that was celebrated on Sunday: “What does this Feast here in Medjugorje, parish with Cross Mountain say to us?
Many pilgrims are arriving on daily basis to Medjugorje and in the beginning of September, according to the Information Office register, there were groups from Italy, Austria, Germany, Ireland, the United States, France, Poland, Netherlands, Spain, Slovakia, Latvia, Japan, Hungary, Lebanon, Argentina, Czech Republic and Malta. Among many pilgrims from Italy, we had chance to speak to Giorgio Dal Molin from Italy, who came to Medjugorje around 200 times so far. “In the beginning, I used to come as a pilgrim and now I bring groups of pilgrims here. I heard about Medjugorje in 1988, after I was moved with everything that was happening here, I decided to go through that spiritual experience. My first pilgrimage was all about the curiosity. I came from Italy so I would come and see what was happening in a place that was important for the Church and the whole world. I was very surprised by the faith that I found here and it was the faith that was reflected in pilgrims, but above all in parishioners. I was able to deepen my spiritual journey here. I used to come to Medjugorje as a pilgrim until the beginning of the war and afterwards, I became a pilgrim that mostly helped people here who were in difficulties at that time”, said Giorgio who emphasised that he was mostly moved by the inner feeling that all pilgrims experience during the time of prayer on the hills in Medjugorje.
Medjugorje parish celebrates the Feast of Exaltation of the Holy Cross on the first Sunday after the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lady. That celebration will take place on Sunday, September 14. The solemn Holy Mass will be on Cross Mountain at 11 a.m., and other Holy Masses in Croatian language will take place in the parish church at 6, 7, 8 a.m. and 12 and 7 p.m. The Cross on Cross Mountain was built in the Year of Jubilee of Christ’s Death – 1933, and until June 24, 1981 it was a place of prayer of parishioners and faithful from other parishes. The night before this celebration, the theatre performance will be held at 8 p.m. at the foot of Cross Mountain titled “How Cross Mountain came to be”. The play will be given by Croatian National Theatre from Mostar.
Change in time of the evening prayer programme takes place in Medjugorje on the first Monday after the celebration of the feast of Exaltation of the Holy Cross. That change will start from September 15, 2014 and Rosary will be at 5 p.m., Holy Mass at 6 p.m., Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on Wednesdays and Saturdays will be from 9 to 10 .m. Rosary on Apparition Hill on Sundays will be at 2 p.m., and Way of the Cross on Fridays at the same time. Croatian Holy Mass at 1 p.m. will only be celebrated on Saturdays.
Number of Holy Communions: 364 500
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 7652 (246 per day)
Coordinator: Fr. Marinko Sakota P.P. OFM
The third international pilgrimage to Medjugorje for the disabled persons will be held from the 23- 26 October 2014. The main organisers will be the Association “Susret” from Citluk in the cooperation with the Parish Office and “Mothers Village”. The participants will be gathering on Thursday afternoon, October 23, 2014. The Parishioners of Medjugorje are offering free accommodation and food for the weekend. The programme for the pilgrims from Friday evening to Sunday will include workshops, talks and prayer meetings. On Saturday morning all participants will make a visit to Apparition Hill.
Bookings for the disabled persons participating in the pilgrimage will take place from September 1-30, 2014 at the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHEN BOOKING, we would kindly like to ask you to send us the exact information about the disabled person, there company and to state if parents would be travelling with them, as well as to tell us how many days they would stay in Medjugorje as well as your contact details.
The members of chess club „Posavac“ from suburb area Ruščica, near Slavonski Brod, came to Medjugorje for the eleventh time. The chess players that came with members of their families took part in the evening prayer programme and they climbed Apparition Hill and Cross Mountain. Mato Opačak,the president of the club, said in his interview on radio station Mir Medjugorje that they come every year after the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This time, ten pilgrims came for the first time to Medjugorje. They were thrilled and told us that they will return the next year as well. Besides pilgrims from Croatia, at the end of August we registered groups from Italy, Austria, France, Ireland, the United States, Spain, Hungary, Ukraine, Germany, Canada, Lebanon, Malta and Poland.
Sean Hickey, 26 years old young man came from Killkeny in Ireland. This summer when he arrived for the Youth Festival was his eighth time. He said that he experienced great conversion during his first visit: „We decided to establish a prayer group in Killkeny and we brought several hundred young people from Killkeny. We meet every Friday and we pray Rosary and finish with the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The influence of Medjugorje at the young people is amazing, their lives are changing as well as lives of the people around them and in that way the whole society in Ireland is changing. I am saying this out of my own experience, how I was able to move, change and convert and how I received a guft of personal relationship with Jesus and Gospa. In the same way I look at tue other young people and how they are growing in their relationship to God. Young people in Ireland are distracted with various contents and it is hard to motivate and moge them to these wonderful realities.
The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was celebrated in Medjugorje with the large number of pilgrims from abroad and especially from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. All pilgrims, especially the young ones were arriving to Medjugorje throughout the whole night in their feet, confessed and took part in Holy Masses that were celebrated from 6 a.m. in Croatian language. Holy Masses in Croatian language in the morning were then celebrated at 7,8,9 and 11 a.m. and the central Holy Mass was at 7 p.m. Fr. Ivan Dugandzic was the main celebrant and around 70 priests concelebrated at that Holy Mass celebrated at the White Dome of St. James' church. (photos)
The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated on Friday, August 15. Holy Masses in Croatian language will be celebrated in the church of St. James at 6,7,8,9 a.m and at 7 p.m. The evening prayer programme will begin at 6 p.m. with the prayer of Rosary and Holy Masses in other languages will be celebrated throughout the morning. In these days, prior to this great Feast, the Information Office registered groups from Austria, Germany, Ireland, the United States, France, Italy, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, China, Poland and Spain.
It happens very often that whole families arrive to Medjugorje for the Youth Festival, young children and their parents and we had chance to meet family Nikolic, Croats from Zurich. Their message was: Come to Medjugorje. Ljiljana is a mother of four children and has been coming to Medjugorje for several years now. She told us briefly: “I am not here at the Festival for the first time and every year I bring my children. We try to pass on Medjugorje on our families, friends, even at the working place.” Her husband told us that they have been coming here for 20 years now.
The 25th International Youth Festival that began on Thursday, July 31, 2014 finished on Wednesday, August 6 with Holy Mass of Thanksgiving celebrated by Fr. Marinko Sakota, the parish priest of Medjugorje parish. The Youth Festival was held under the theme: “Behold, your Mother”. Dozens of thousands of young people from more than 60 countries gathered in Medjugorje this year. (foto); (video)
Salvador Iñiguez Morales from Mexico spoke on the last day in the morning part of the lectures. When he was only 10 years old, his granny spoke to him about Medjugorje and he tried to live Gospa’s messages ever since. His works in medical care in geriatrics and for a long period of time, he has “double life”. (foto); (video)