Mrs. Katarina Bednarczyk Sieminska (55) from Kazimierz Dolny near Lublin in Poland came walking to Medjugorje. Her pilgrimage lasted 62 days. She undertook it with empty hands, trusting only in God’s Providence. She carried only a cross, her breviary and a geographic map. The prayer intention of this pilgrimage was for the peace in the world. (Her testimony: preparing)
The eighth anniversary of Fr. Slavko’s death was commemorated in Medjugorje on November 24. He died on November 24, 2000, at 3.30 pm, after the weekly prayer of the Way of the Cross. Numerous parishioners and pilgrims climbed Cross Mountain praying the Way of the Cross. At the place of Fr. Slavko’s death, between the 13th and the 14th station, they remembered the moment of his passing into eternity. The Way of the cross was led by Fr. Danko Perutina. The evening Mass at the parish church was presided by Fr. Vjekoslav Milićević and concelebrated by numerous local and foreign priests. In his homily, he spoke about Fr. Slavko tireless action at the service of the pilgrims. During the whole day, parishioners and pilgrims were coming on Fr. Slavko’s grave, which has become one of the evident prayer places of Medjugorje.
Members of the Military Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina (logistic support stationed in Čapljina) visited Medjugorje on Tuesday, November 11, 2008. Fr. Petar Vlašić, the Parish Priest, welcomed them in front of the parish church, and encouraged them in their service. He spoke about the life of this unique parish, which is visited by the believers from all over the world. He distributed brochures about the Shrine, as well as the monthly Medjugorje magazine Glasnik mira.
The ninth international seminar for married couples has begun on November 5. The theme of the seminar is, “Marital and family problems and their resolution”. The lecturer at the seminar is Prof. Dr. Vlado Jukić. Hundred married couples are taking part in this seminar, and among them are 38 Greek Catholic and Orthodox priests with their wives.
Holy Communions distributed: 135.000
Concelebrating priests: 3.119 (100/day)
Mons. Eduardo Horacio García, Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires, was in Medjugorje with a group of pilgrims from Argentina in the beginning of October 2008. Mons. García is born in 1956, and he is a bishop for five years now. Marija Stegnar, an Argentinean Croat who is regularly bringing groups to Medjugorje for many years now, accompanied this pilgrimage.
Fr. Reinfried Frei (90) from Switzerland, a missionary in Tanzania for 61 years now, came in October 2008 for the tenth time to Medjugorje as a spiritual counselor of a group of Swiss pilgrims. Whenever he is on vacation in Europe, he responds gladly to the invitation of the organizers of pilgrimages who need a priest to accompany their group.
The 22nd International Mariological and Marian Congress ended on September 8th in Lourdes, by a solemn Eucharistic celebration in the Basilica of the Holy Rosary. Holy Mass was presided by the Cardinal Poupard, special representative of the Holy Father, who also presided the Congress.
The sixteenth International Meeting for Leaders of Peace Centres and Medjugorje Prayer and Charity groups will be held in Medjugorje from the 1st to the 5th of March 2009. The theme of the gathering is: “...Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening” (1 Sm 3, 9). (Program)
With a special liturgy, which is celebrated on October 3rd, the vigil of St. Francis’ feast, the worldwide Franciscan family is celebrating the “Transitus” – the moment of saint Francis’ passing into eternity.
Mons. Eduardo Eliseo Martín, Bishop of the diocese Villa de la Concepción del Río Cuarto, was in Medjugorje from August 24 to 26, 2008.
On September 23 and 24, 2008, Mons. Wieslaw Alojzy Mering, Bishop of the diocese Włocławek, and 28 priests from the dioceses Włocławek, Gniezno, Chełmińskiej and Toruń (Poland) visited Medjugorje. The diocese Włocławek is known by the fact that sister Faustina, Fr. Maximilian Kolbe and Kardinal Wyszynski were born there.
Holy Communions distributed: 155.000
Concelebrating priests: 3.854 (128/day)
Jožef Ratković, a Croat from Austria, walked from Zürich to Medjugorje to fulfill a vow: to pray for healing of his wife who suffers from multiple sclerosis. In 42 days he walked 1,400 km. “I believe in God and I hope for his help. I also pray for peace with God and with people. For me, peace is when we reach out to another and great another. This is basic.”
Every year since 1999, the residents of the Center for rehabilitation fra Ante Sekelez from Vrlika, Croatia, make a pilgrimage to Medjugorje. On September 24, 2008, 31 residents and 17 workers from the Center visited their beloved shrine once again.