As in the previous years, Medjugorje parish is preparing for Christmas this year with Novena that began on December 15. Early Holy Masses in the packed church of St. James are celebrated at 6 a.m. every day except on Sundays, and Franciscan Youth - Frama are singing and making celebration even more beautiful. Parishoners and pilgrims are climbing the Hill of Apparitions every day at 2 p.m. to pray the Rosary, while evening prayer programme begins at 5 p.m. every day with the prayer of the Rosary. Due to the usually large number of pilgrims during Christmas, parishoners are confessing on daily basis and in that way preparing for celebration of the Birth of Jesus Christ. As in the previous years, community of Cenacolo is going to have performance - live Nativity scene in the area at the back of the church.
Many pilgrims are coming to Medjugorje in this time of preparation for Christmas – Advent. Maria Fujie Ito and Paulo Masanovi Yamasaki came to Medjugorje for the first time from Japan. They travelled for thirty hours from Japan to come to this place of prayer and reconciliation. Maria said that she heard about Medjugorje twenty years ago, but could not come earlier due to business obligations. She is grateful to everybody for wonderful hospitality towards her here, and added: “I believe in Our Lady’s messages, in her presence and everything that she has been saying to us. When I retire I will come again here. This pilgrimage is a great experience for me. I really enjoyed climbing the Apparition Hill and praying Rosary there, that was what my heart needed so much, and I am truly grateful for being here. I will bring more pilgrims from Japan. “Paulo heard about Medjugorje twenty years ago and then he read a book about Medjugorje. “The most important about Christianity is in Medjugorje. You can really feel that here, while in Japan unfortunately people have forgot about that”, said Paulo.
On Wednesday, December 8th, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary was celebrated in Medjugorje. This famous destination of pilgrims was again packed with pilgrims from all over the world, and all came to be here for the Feast of Our Lady. Majority was from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia and there were organised groups from Italy, Germany, France, Korea and England. There were smaller groups of pilgrims from all over the world, from United States to Japan. Many priests were available for the sacrament of Holy Confession as they would normally be. There were three Holy Masses in Croatian language, two in Italian and one in German, French, Korean and English.
Vatican, (VIS) - At the end of today's General Audience, during the part when Holy Father greets pilgrims in their own languages, Holy Father spoke to the group of Croatian pilgrims and said: "I am greeting all of the Croatian pilgrims from my heart, and especially those from the parish of St. James of Medjugorje. Your pilgrimage to Rome is part of the preparation for the coming of the Lord. Therefore, in hope, be evangelisers of God's love in your nation. Praised be Jesus and Mary!"
Number of Holy Communions: 50.600
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 1241 (41 per day) (statistics)
On Wednesday, November 24th we will commemorate 10th anniversary of death of late Friar Slavko Barbaric, who devoted eighteen years of his life to serving to pilgrims and to spreading of Our Lady’s messages throughout the world. Friar Slavko died on the top of the Cross Mountain, after having completed the Way of the Cross he prayed on Fridays with the parish. He is buried at Kovacica, one of the local graveyards in Medjugorje. In the memory of late Friar Slavko we will pray the Way of teh Cross on the Cross Mountain at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, November 24th and we will celebrate Holy Mass at 6 p.m. in the church of St. James. Fr. Ivan Sesar, Provincial of Herzegovina Franciscan Province, is going to be the main celebrant, and at the same time this Holy Mass will be in the memory of all of the departed Franciscans from our Province who were active in Medjugorje ever since apparitions of Our Lady began.
Famous Italian actress and convert, Claudia Koll, came to Medjugorje in the beginning of November on a pilgrimage. She gave interview to radio station “Mir” Medjugorje and she openly spoke about her life and her conversion. It felt as we had listened to the unwritten story of Mary Magdalene of our days. She told us about all of the troubles and difficulties she had while she was growing up, all beacuse her mom had died during her birth. She was raised by her granny and had many identity crises while she was educated and at the end got completely lost in the world of movie production. After a number of obscene roles in movies, Claudia walked through the Holy door on Basilica of St. Peter in Rome, in Jubilee Year of 2000 and instantly felt that the life she had up to that moment was broken and disappeared.
Colleen Willard has been married for the last 35 years and she is the mother of three grown up sons. She came to Medjugorje recently on another pilgrimage with her husband John and we had opportunity to talk to her. She told us all about her healing, since she was diagnosed with inoperable brain tumour before her arrival to Medjugorje. Colleen is claiming that her healing started after her visit to Medjugorje in 2003, and her testimony was translated in many world languages and published in 92 different countries.
Mara Santangelo, famous Italian tennis player came to Medjugorje, along with many pilgrims who arrived in the beginning of November. Journalists of radio station "Mir" Medjugorje had opportunity to speak to her and this is part of what she told them. She was born in a little town close to Rome and she moved to Trentino later on. She started playing tennis in the age of five, won many domestic and international tournaments, and her professional career was finished this year due to the injury on her left leg. Mara said amongst other things: "I came to Medjugorje so I could be closer to faith. I believed ever since my early childhood. My faith got even stronger in the age of 16, when my mom was killed in a car accident. I was able to find something really strong within me, I discovered a new, heart-opening faith. I will surely come to Medjugorje on many other occasions. I see my future being really bright, close to God, immersed in faith. And what might turn out to be future projects and successes, I hope it will all be happening according to God's will. On my behalf I can say that I will keep on trying and I will continue to pray", said Mara.
New parameters begin with November 9, 2010.
Name of the satellite: HOT BIRD 6
Position: 13° E (degrees east)
Transponder No. 90
Reception frequency: 12 520 MHz
Polarization: V (vertical)
Symbol rate: 27 500 Msymb/s
FEC (Forward Error Correction): 3/4
Covering: Europe, Near East and North Africa
As in every year, this year our graveyards were frequently visited with many people going there and paying tribute to their loved departed ones. There are many Holy Masses that have been celebrated at all of the graveyards along Medjugorje parish in the last two days. These feast days have been opportunity for many who live and work outside Medjugorje to come to their homes. Along with them, numerous pilgrims arrived to Medjugorje and since they are here in great numbers, even though it is very unusual considering the time of the year, large part of liturgical programme is being held outside the church, in the White Dome.
Number of Holy Communions: 148.500
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 4441 (143 per day) (statistics)
Ever since the beginning of the month of October, that is Our Lady’s month, numerous groups of pilgrims have been arriving to Medjugorje. Information Office registered pilgrims from Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Germany, England, Ireland, Czech Republic, Italy, Brazil, France, Portugal, United States, Poland, Australia, El Salvador, Argentina, Mexico, Egypt, Netherlands, Romania, Belgium, Korea, Canada, Slovenia, Vietnam, Columbia, Spain, Ukraine, Latvia and Slovakia. The ones who come in really large numbers are pilgrims from Croatia, particularly from Istria, region at the north of Adriatic. There are many pilgrims from Dubrovnik and from towns at the north of Croatia, such are Zagreb, Koprivnica and Karlovac.
Number of Holy Communions: 195.000
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 5020 (167 per day) (statistics)
The 11th International Seminar for married couples with main theme: “Love does not seek for its own interest...” finished this Saturday with Holy Mass at 11 a.m. This year’s lecturer was Friar Ante Vuckovic from Split, and there were more than 160 participants from 8 different countries. During the last four days of the Seminar, couples participated in lectures, sharing, and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and in evening prayer programme in the church of St. James. (foto)