Brothers Franco and Sergio Valoti arrived to Medjugorje on August 30th, after nearly one month of walking from Bergamo in Italy. Even though they are in their 70’s, they have walked this journey of 1500 km with God’s help in a really good way. Their intention was to go through the spiritual journey, journey of confession. They told us that people they met on this pilgrimage are far better than it appears in today’s media.
Roberta Brusic and Boris Peterlin who work in Caritas of Croatia were in Medjugorje. Roberta said how she first came to Medjugorje a little after the war in Croatia, but her first, genuine visit, when she really met Our Lady happened in the years after. “That is when the Lord made a change in my life and I encountered living God and Our Lady”, said Roberta.
There are numerous pilgrims in Medjugorje even after the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Information Office registered groups from Italy, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Ireland, England, the United States, France, Spain, Lebanon, New Zealand, Hungary, Ukraine, Korea and Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Our journalists spoke to Fr. Richard Offong, assistant parish priest from London who takes care of people from Nigeria who live there.
The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was celebrated on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 and there were numerous pilgrims from abroad and those from the area who arrived to Medjugorje. Thousands of pilgrims, many of them young people were walking to Medjugorje throughout the whole night. In the early morning hours they were confessing and participated in Holy Masses that were celebrated from 6 a.m. Italian pilgrims came in the largest number and the groups from the following countries were present as well: Austria, Germany, Ireland, England, the United States, Sloavakia, Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, France, Korea, Lebanon and of course, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. Holy Masses were celebrated throughout the day in many foreign languages. Fr. Svetozar Kraljevic celebrated the evening Holy Mass and 76 priests concelebrated with him. (photos)
Nicholas Sonntag from Germany walked to Medjugorje and arrived on Wednesday, August 8, 2012. This is his first trip to Medjugorje, but he promised it would not be the last. He heard about Medjugorje from members of a community who come to Medjugorje every year. “Last year I walked to Rome and on the way to Rome I felt desire to come to Medjugorje. Many years ago I had a life crisis and I read various books about life. I happened to read a book about pilgrimage and how I could find my way to God through pilgrimage.
Journalists of radio station “Mir” Medjugorje have chosen couple of interesting testimonies among so many young people who were in Medjugorje at Youth Festival last week, representing around 70 different countries. Young people from Ruanda came to Medjugorje for the first time and they shared their experience with all listeners of radio “Mir”. Fidelis Nsengiyunva is a Franciscan priest in Ruanda. He was happy to come to Medjugorje and to Europe for the first time.
The 23rd International Youth Festival that started on Wednesday, August 1, 2012 with theme: “Lord, increase our faith”, ended on Monday, August 6, 2012 with Holy Mass of Thanksgiving on Cross Mountain. Holy Mass began at 5 a.m. and Fr. Danko Perutina, the coordinator of the retreat was the main celebrant. Festival gathered dozens of thousands of young people from more than 70 different countries, while some were here for the first time, like group from Ruanda. (photos)
The traditional procession with Our Lady’s statue and candles in hands of numerous participants from more than 70 different countries took place on Friday, August 3, after the evening Holy Mass and as a part of Medjugorje Youth Festival Programme. The procession followed the main road towards Apparition Hill, then to Cross Mountain and then followed the main road back to the church. Fr. Dalibor Milas, newly ordained Franciscan who celebrated his first Holy Mass on July 29, 2012, was the main celebrant that evening and Fr. Branko Rados gave a Homily. There were 548 priests concelebrating as well.
Number of Holy Communions: 176.500
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 6112 (197 per day)
On Wednesday, August 1, 2012, the 23rd International Youth Festival was opened with the evening prayer programme. The theme of this Festival is from Luke’s Gospel: “Lord, increase our faith”. The opening Holy Mass was celebrated by Fr. Miljenko Steko, Vicar of Herzegovina Franciscan Province along with 422 priests that concelebrated at Holy Mass. Dozens of thousands of young people from all over the world are participating at this Festival that will finish on August 6, with Holy Mass on Cross Mountain at 5 a.m. Young people from more than 70 different countries are present, and group from Ruanda is here in Medjugorje for the first time. The programme is broadcasted directly on Radio “Mir” Medjugorje, as well as on other radio and TV stations and web sites. Fr. Danko Perutina is directing this Festival and all prayers, lectures and testimonies are more special thanks to the International Choir and Orchestra. Late Fr. Slavko Barbaric started this Festival back in 1990, when he gathered around 100 young people, two guitar players and couple of singers and the whole event took place in the green tent. The number of participants was increasing every year and is now above every other event in Medjugorje. (photos)
Medjugorje, August 1 – 6, 2012
„Lord, increase our faith”
On Wednesday, July 25, we are celebrating Feast of St. James, patron saint of Medjugorje parish. Holy Masses in the parish church are at 7, 8 and 7 p.m., while the central celebration will take place at 7 p.m. in the Garden and Fr. Stanko Dodig, Franciscan Capuchin, born in Medjugorje, will be the main celebrant. There will be procession from the church at 10.45 a.m. People from hamlets Čilići and Šege will be carrying the Statue this year. The prayer programme is according to the regular schedule, Rosary at 6 p.m. and Holy Mass at 7 p.m. Parish of Medjugorje was founded in 1892 and consecrated to St. James, patron saint of pilgrims.
Around twenty members of Franciscan Youth from Sesvetske Sopnice were in Medjugorje from July 14-15, 2012, with their spiritual assistant Fr. Stipo Karajica. The President and Vice President of Franciscan Youth Josip and Marija Tolic, as well as Fr. Stipo were guests at radio station “Mir” Medjugorje. “This is a pilgrimage and spiritual retreat of Franciscan Youth and young people from our parish. This is something we have arranged half a year ago. The young people have readily accepted this programme and the most important part is the Eucharistic one”, said Fr. Stipo. Franciscan Youth from Sesvetska Sopnica was recently founded. On June 10, 2012, young people were celebrating ceremony of being received into fraternity. That is how another fraternity became alive and the number of Franciscan Youth in Zgreb town was increased.
Bishop Msgr. Venant Bacinoni, bishop from Diocese of Bururi in Burundi, was in Medjugorje from July 1st to July 9, 2012. This was his first visit to Medjugorje. He first came to Belgium and his friends from Belgium invited him to come to Medjugorje with them, as a pilgrim. “This is one really good experience for me, I can see people praying, and they pray from the heart, you can see that they came here because of prayer and not because of something else. This is where one sees fruits. People come to pray, they participate in the Holy Eucharist, and they receive sacraments. This is also where they meet in friendship and in dialogue, this is really something good. We had really heavy civil war in Burundi that lasted for more than 15 years and this message of peace is really important for me and for our people as well. We cannot have peace without prayer, without hope and without help of Our Lady and God. This is the message that I am going to take from Medjugorje”, said bishop from Burundi.
The 17th International Seminar for Priests that gathered more than 400 priests, deacons and seminarians from twenty countries began on Monday, July 9th, 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 seminar ended on Saturday, July 14. The coordinator of the seminar was Dr. Miljenko Steko, and the theme of this International seminar that will finish on Saturday, July 14 is “Priest – man of faith.” The lecturer at the seminar is Dr.Fr. Ivan Dugandzic.