22nd International Youth Festival in Medjugorje, titled “Here is the humble servant of the Lord, may it be to me according to Thy word!”, started in Medjugorje on Monday, August 1st, with the evening prayer programme at the White Dome at the back of the church of St. James. After prayer of Rosary at 6 p.m., young people from 60 various countries that have arrived up to that evening have introduced themselves. Hosts from parish of Medjugorje, members of Franciscan Youth greeted couple of dozens of thousands of young people, and then Fr. Petar Vlasic, parish priest in Medjugorje parish greeted all present faithful. Fr. Ivan Sesar, Provincial of Herzegovina Franciscan Province was the main celebrant of that opening Holy Mass, as well as in the previous years.
The Festival that is conducted by Fr. Danko Perutina is full of prayer, music, lectures and testimonies that are accompanied by the International Choir and Orchestra with more than one hundred players and singers. This Festival is monitored by numerous press members from all of the continents, and whole programme is simultaneously translated in eighteen languages. This programme is also live broadcasted by radio “Mir” from Medjugorje and many other radio stations, Internet portals and TV stations.
Late Fr. Slavko Barbaric initiated this Festival back in 1990, by gathering around hundred young people in that year with two guitar players and couple of singers. Every year, number of participants was increasing and at the moment, those numbers are far above all of the other events that are taking place in Medjugorje. (photos)
Number of Holy Communions: 204.500
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 5783 (185 per day)
Medjugorje, August 1 – 6, 2011
„Behold the handmaid of the Lord,
be it done to me according to your word”
On Monday, July 25th we are celebrating the feast of St. James, patron saint of Medjugorje parish. Holy Masses are going to be held only in parish church at 8 a.m., 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., while the central and solemn celebration is going to take place at 1 p.m. in the Garden, with Fr. Miro Sego, parish priest from Citluk parish, as the main celebrant. Procession with the statue of St. James will start from the church at 10.45 a.m. Parishioners from hamlet of Miletina will be carrying the Statue this year. Parish of Medjugorje will prepare for this feast with Three-day prayer programme that will start on Friday, July 22nd. The prayer programme is according to its regular schedule, Rosary at 6 p.m., and Holy Mass at 7 p.m. Parish of Medjugorje was founded in 1892 and ever since its foundation it has been consecrated to St. James, patron saint of pilgrims.
The sixteenth International Seminar for priests, that gathered 305 priests, deacons and seminarians from 24 countries, ended on Saturday, July 9th with Holy Mass of Thanksgiving celebrated by Dr. Fr. Miljenko Šteko, the coordinator of the retreat.
Families from Međugorje, that were hosts to priests and provided accommodation and food for free, were present at that Holy Mass as well. The theme of this retreat was: “The Priest and The Sacrament of Reconciliation – Contemporary Challenges” and Dr. Fr. Tonči Matulić was the main lecturer. He is full professor of Moral Theology and of Social Teachings of the Church at the Catholic Theological Faculty in Zagreb. (photo)
The 16th International Seminar for Priests that gathered more than 300 priests, deacons and seminarians from twenty countries began on Monday, July 4th, in Medjugorje with the liturgical evening prayer programme. Fr. Ivan Sesar, the Provincial of Herzegovinian Franciscan Province from Mostar was the main celebrant at the solemn Holy Mass of introduction to the seminar.
The coordinator of the seminar is dr. Miljenko Steko, and the theme of this International seminar that will finish on Saturday, July 9 is “The priest and the sacrament of reconciliation – contemporary challenges”.
The lecturer at the seminar is Dr.Fr. Tonci Matulic, full professor of Moral Theology and of Social Teaching of the Church at the Catholic Theological Faculty of the University in Zagreb.
The seminar is simultaneously translated to more than ten languages. These international seminars began in summer 1996, at the request of priests themselves and grew with the time to these regular annual gatherings of priests from all over world.
The 16th International Priests Seminar will be held in Međugorje
From 4th to 9th July 2011 on the theme of: "THE PRIEST AND THE SACRAMENT OF RECONCILLIATION – CONTEMPORARY CHALLENGES"
Number of Holy Communions: 225.000
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 5136 (171 per day)
The visionary Ivanka Ivankovic-Elez had her regular annual apparition on June 25th 2011.
At Her last daily apparition on May 7, 1985, Our Lady confided to Ivanka the 10th secret and told her that she would have an apparition once a year on the anniversary of the apparitions. It was that way also this year.
The apparition, which lasted 8 minutes, took place at Ivanka’s family home. Only Ivanka’s family was present at the apparition. After the apparition, Ivanka said: “Our Lady spoke to me about the first secret and, at the end, said: ‘Dear children, receive my motherly blessing.’”
Thousands of pilgrims participated in this year’s jubilee Peace Walk that took place on the feast of St. John the Baptist, June 24th that was just one day prior to the 30th Anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions. The Peace Walk started at 6 a.m. from the Monastery of St. Anthony in Humac and ended in front of the church of St. James in Medjugorje. The Guardian Priest of Humac Monastery, Fr. Velimir Mandić, blessed and greeted all pilgrims at the beginning of the Peace Walk. They represented the following countries: Austria, Germany, United States, Canada, Ireland, England, Brazil, Columbia, Mexico, China, Hungary, Slovakia, France, Romania, Poland, Czech Republic, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Korea, Ukraine, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Prayers were said and hymns in the honour of the Queen of Peace were sung all the time during the Peace Walk, that arrived in front of the church around 10.15 a.m. Fr. Miljenko Steko met all of the pilgrims outside the church of St. James and conducted Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament as well as Benediction. The original initiators of this famous Peace Walk were there along with their leader Hubert Liebherr, converted German businessman. (photo)
On Saturday, June 25th, Medjugorje will celebrate 30th Anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions. Day before the Anniversary, on the Feast of St. John the Baptist there will be traditional Peace March from St. Anthony’s shrine in Humac to the church of St. James in Medjugorje starting at 6 a.m. Confessions will be possible until noon on that day, as well as in the afternoon. The evening prayer programme will start with the Rosary at 6 p.m. and Holy Mass at 7 p.m. that will be celebrated by the Provincial of Herzegovinian Franciscan Province, Fr. Ivan Sesar. Whole night Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will start at 10 p.m.
Holy Masses in Croatian language on the Anniversary day are going to be at 5,6,7,8,9,11 and 4 p.m., while the main Holy Mass is going to be at 7 p.m. and Fr. Zvjezdan Linic is going to be the main celebrant.
All of the drivers heading towards Medjugorje are kindly asked to be careful on the roads due to the large numbers of pilgrims that will walk, and all those arriving to Medjugorje are asked to respect spiritual and prayerful atmosphere.
Novena to the Queen of Peace will start on Wednesday, June 15, 2011. Every day, including Fridays, there will be Rosary on Apparition Hill at 4 p.m. The evening prayer programme will start at 6 p.m. with Rosary and Holy Mass at 7 p.m. Every evening during Novena there will be Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. and from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays. This Novena is the opportunity for us to give thanksgiving to the Lord for all of the graces he had bestowed upon us through the intercession and presence of our Heavenly Mother over the last thirty years.
Number of Holy Communions: 195.500
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 4010 (129 per day)
Eighty children received the sacrament of Holy Confirmation in Medjugorje on Saturday, May 28th. This sacrament enriches those who have been baptised with the gifts of the Holy Spirit and renders the bond with the Church more perfect. Local bishop Monsignor Ratko Peric administered this sacrament at the Holy Mass at 10 a.m. In his homily that was directed to the recipients, their godparents and parents, he explained the excerpt from the Acts of the Apostles about the events that took place during the second mission journey of St. Paul.