The 18th International Youth Prayer Meeting will take place in Medjugorje from August 1st to August 6th, 2007. The theme of the encounter is, “Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another” (Jn 13:34) (“Dear children! Today I call you to love. Little children, love each other with God’s love…The risen Jesus will be with you and you will be His witnesses.” - Message of the 25th of March, 2005) (See also: International meetings)
The first “Peace and Reconciliation Marathon” from Grude to Medjugorje (42,195 meters) called “Let’s run to Gospa“ took place on Saturday the 19th of May, 2007. It was organised by the Kup-Karmel Christian Association in collaboration with the Dinamo-Zrinjevac athletic club from Zagreb (Croatia), and Studio Nada D.O.O. from Ljubuški (Bosnia and Herzegovina). The marathon started in Grude and ended next to Our Lady’s statue in front of the parish church in Medjugorje. Ordinary citizens were free to participate in the Ljubuški to Medjugorje 15 kilometre stretch of the course.
Mons. Bernardo Cazzaro, Servant of Mary, Archbishop Emeritus of Puerto Montt (Chile) spent most of his life as a missionary in Chile. At the end of his active episcopal service, he returned to Italy to give support both as spiritual counselor and confessor at the Marian Shrine of Monte Berico.
In May 2007, during a pilgrimage to Medjugorje with a group from Vittorio Veneto, he outlined his impressions of Medjugorje in an interview with Lidija Paris.
Mons. Boulos Emile Saadé, Maronite Bishop of the Batroun Diocese in the Lebanon visited Medjugorje on a private pilgrimage from the 8th to the 14th of May, 2007. He accompanied a group of pilgrims along with the Association “Friends of Mary Queen of Peace” from Beirut. (Interview: in preparation)
On Sunday, May 6th, 2007, eighty-two children from Medjugorje Parish received the sacrament of First Holy Communion. Their catechists, Sister Slavica Kozul, Sister Petra Bagaric and Sister Iva Bešlić prepared them for this sacrament of unity with the Eucharistic Jesus. The Solemn Mass was presided over by Fr. Boze Milic. The children’s' choir “Little Doves of Peace”, under the direction of Sister Slavica Kozul, embellished the celebration with their beautiful singing. (photos)
In the beginning of May 2007, Zdenek Fučik, a young priest from the parish of Mikulov in the Brno Diocese of the Czech Republic, decided to make a pilgrimage to Medjugorje on his bicycle in order to thank God both for his priestly vocation and for the first year of his priesthood. He received his priestly ordination on June 24th, 2006, which was precisely the 25th anniversary of the first apparition in Medjugorje.
In 1991 after partaking of dinner at my parents’ house, my father asked me to watch a video concerning Medjugorje. I have always loved Our Blessed Mother, so I was fascinated to hear that she was appearing in Medjugorje, and I asked my father if this was truly possible. Ten years had elapsed, and I hadn’t heard one single priest speak about it in a church! My father told me that it was a protestant man who had made the tape. That evening, there was a dreadful storm which prevented me from driving back to my own home, so I spent the night at my parents’ house. During that night, I truly felt Our Lady’s presence in the room. Nothing like that had ever happened to me before. On the one hand, I was excited, but on the other hand I was nervous, nevertheless I felt at peace. Something happened that night. She touched me. That experience remained etched in my mind. Whenever I heard Medjugorje mentioned, the fascination returned.
In the beginning of May 2007, Mons. Bernardo Cazzaro, Archbishop Emeritus of Puerto Montt, Chile, visited Medjugorje. He came in company with a group of pilgrims from Italy. Since he retired from active episcopal service, Mons. Cazzaro serves as spiritual counselor and confessor in the Monte Berico Shrine near Vicenza in Italy. (Interview in preparation)
On May 1st, 2007, the staff of the First Aid Station of the Order of Malta from Cologne (Germany) and their associated volunteers resumed their annual service in Medjugorje. They will be at the service of the pilgrims and the parishioners until November 1st of this year. The Order of Malta invites any volunteers who wish to be involved in this service to contact them. (See: http://www.malteser.de)
Holy Communions distributed: 69.000
Concelebrating priests: 1.246
Holy Communions distributed: 136.500
Concelebrating priests: 2.565
The summer Prayer Programme schedule in Medjugorje begins on May 1st.
Praying of the Rosary in the Parish Church begins at 6.00 pm. Holy Mass is at 7.00 pm, followed by the Prayer Programme according to the day of the week. Eucharistic adoration on Wednesday and Saturday is at 10.00 pm. Both the Rosary on Apparition Hill and the Way of the Cross on Krizevac begin at 4.00 pm.
Thirteen friends, all members of a sport group from Zanica near Bolzano in Italy, undertook a 640 kilometer relay race from their own parish to Medjugorje, which they did in a spirit of pilgrimage. Each day they either walked or ran from 7.00 am until 8.30 pm. The participants rotated in relay every 12 kilometers, whether running or walking, each one according to his own capability. One of them even walked for two kilometers despite being disabled. Seven days were required to complete the journey from Bolzano to Medjugorje in this manner. From Bolzano they went to Ancona where they took a boat for Split, after which they journeyed onwards via Stobreč, Šestanovac and Zagvozd, Slivno, Vitina and Ljubuški to Medjugorje itself. They used two campers in which they spent each night.
In the Franciscan Province of Herzegovina has been designated a new Administration. As Provincial has been chosen our parish priest, Fra Ivan Sesar. We send ours congratulations to Fra Ivan and we wish success on its task, the God’s Blessing and the intercession of the Queen of the Peace in the exercise of this service of responsibility.
Also this year Holy Triduum of the Holy Week has ghatered pilgrims from all the world here in Međugorje. A large number of pilgrims of various linguistic groups has newly rendered necessary that the Liturgy and the Way of the Cross were carried out by groups. (photos)
Holy Week, the highpoint of the Lenten preparation for Easter, begins with Palm (or Passion) Sunday. In Medjugorje, the liturgy of Passion Sunday begins with the reading of the Gospel and the blessing of the branches, and is followed by a procession from the site of the old parish church, culminating with the celebration of Holy Mass in the current Parish Church. (photos)