Bishop Petar Palić celebrates Holy Mass in Medjugorje

date: 09.12.2020.

''Međugorje as a parish community with its pastoral and charity activities, with its priests, religious, nuns and all faithful is part of this diocese. We can say that Medjugorje is the most famous parish in the world that attracts many pilgrims from all over the world. One bishop symbolises communion and faith, unity not just with the Diocese, but with the whole Church.  Therefore, on behalf of us all, I am happy to be able to greet you here and to pray with you together for your intentions. Welcome!'', those were welcoming words given to our new Bishop of Mostar-Duvno Diocese, Msgr. Petar Palić, by Apostolic Visitor with the special role for Medjugorje, Msgr. Henryk Hoser on the occasion of his first coming to Medjugorje.

Msgr. Palić celebrated solemn Holy Mass in Medjugorje on Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, in concelebration with Archbishop Hoser, Fr. Marinko Sakota, the parish priest and other priests as well.  

''At the beginning, I wish to express my gratitude to Msgr. Henryk Hoser, the Apostolic Visitor for the parish of Medjugorje, who invited me today to celebrate this Holy Mass. I came to celebrate this Feast and to thank the Lord for having been among us and for having chosen one of the daughters of the human kind, the Blessed Virgin Mary.  

My coming here to Medjugorje is the coming of a bishop, a shepherd to the parish in the Diocese entrusted to me, regardless of the fact that this parish is under jurisdiction of the Apostolic Visitor at the moment.

Therefore this visit, as well as every other, needs to be interpreted in accordance with the authorisation of Pope Francis, given on May 12, 2019, when this authorisation must be accompanied by “care to prevent this being interpreted as an authentication of known events, which still require examination by the Church. Therefore, care must be taken to avoid creating confusion or ambiguity from the doctrinal point of view.” Up to now, the official Church has not recognised these events as authentic, said Msgr. Palic in the beginning of his homily, emphasising that there is another very authentic event and the truth.

''God was incarnated in Jesus Christ, 'who was born of the Virgin Mary and shall come in glory to judge the living and the dead.' This is what we pray in profession of our faith. The time of the Advent is the time of preparation for Lord’s coming. This time invites us to be awake, so when He comes, we would not miss Him, being engaged and worrying about the rest, as many did when He came for the first time. Our religious attention should be directed to God, who is His plan of salvation decided to chose one of us to be a mother to His Son Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Redeemer'', said Msgr. Petar Palić, and added that still in our ears the words of the prophet Isaiah resound from the last Sunday’s liturgy: ''Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God.'' (Is 40,1)

''It is in that expectation that a trace of hope appeared through the one we invoke since recently in the litanies: Mother of hope! God chooses Mary so she would, freed from the original sin, give birth to the Saviour, Jesus Christ, Son of God. The choice is not Mary’s merit, acquired in this valley of tears, but it is the project of God’s love.  

On the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we profess the faith of the Church that the Mother of our Saviour had a special role in God’s plan from the first moment of her existence, all according to the unique privilege, that her life was not never influenced by the original sin, something typical for the unredeemed mankind. In Mary, the Church celebrates dawn of salvation and the beginning of the better world. Today with Mary we celebrate God’s love who always makes the first step and is given to us without any of our merits'', said Bishop Palić, on the occasion of his first Holy Mass in Medjugorje.

''As we look at the Immaculate one, we see strength, radicality, firmness, courage and we hear the question resounding in us: Who attracts me more? Adam with his fear and his hiding or Mary with her holy restlessness and the answer: Behold your servant? Adam who gambles to pass on his responsibility to Eve or Mary who accepts the responsibility of mankind? Adam who in Eve no longer sees the gift or Mary who accepts to build her life on fragile Word of God?

The One whom St. John the Baptist marks as the One “mightier than I“ (see Mt 3,11), mightier because his earthly life would be based on humility, fragility, gift, openness – all those values we easily find in Mary. Out of the history of sin, from being detached from God, there will not be condemnation, but the history of salvation comes out, history of God’s compassion and mercy with people – history of God’s vicinity that has its fulfilment in Jesus Christ'', said Msgr. Petar Palić who was appointed as the bishop of Mostar Duvno Diocese on September 14, this year, Feast of Exaltation of the Holy Cross and concluded his homily by saying: ''Dear brothers and sisters! Mary’s history is your and my history. Again, the Angel was sent to your home and says to you: Rejoice, for you are full of grace! God is in you and fulfils you with His life! Amen!''

Parish priest, Fr. Marinko Sakota, thanked bishop Palic at the end of Holy Mass and presented him painting of Mother of God with Jesus in her arms.  

”It is a great joy that, on behalf of parishioners of Medjugorje, of all pilgrims and on behalf of our Franciscan community, I can greet you tonight, on solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, here in our parish church in Medjugorje. We welcome you, shepherd of our Diocese, Fr. Bishop Petar! Thank you for having celebrated Holy Mass tonight with us, the greatest sign of communion with God and people. Medjugorje welcomes you with an open and joyful heart, and I am sure this would continue in the future”, said Fr. Marinko Šakota.