This past weekend (November 4 to 6, 2022), the parish priest of Medjugorje, Fr. Zvonimir Pavičić, visited Ireland, a country from which pilgrims have been coming to Medjugorje since the mid-1980s. In the last more than 30 years, Irish pilgrims are among the few who are present in Medjugorje every week from Palm Sunday to the beginning of November. Considering that Ireland is a country of only 4.5 million inhabitants, their presence during the entire pilgrimage season is significant.
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the Medjugorje seminar was held in Knock. It is being organized by the Irish Council for Medjugorje, which has existed for 35 years and whose main mission is to spread the messages of the Queen of Peace.
This Medjugorje seminar in Knock, the Irish national Marian shrine, is one of the main projects of the Irish Council for Medjugorje. This year, the parish priest of Medjugorje, Fr. Zvonimir Pavičić, participated in the retreat, celebrated Holy Mass with the faithful, held catechesis for them, and listened to the testimonies.
From Friday to Sunday, in addition to the Medjugorje prayer programme with the Rosary, Holy Mass, adoration, prayer before the cross, there were also testimonies given by Marc Leneghan, now a permanent deacon, a former member of the IRA, Antoniette Moynihan, who started the Adoration for Children action throughout the Ireland, Dr. Phil Boyle, a pilgrim from Medjugorje, who converted to New Age in Medjugorje, members of the Cenacolo community, that also has a house next to the shrine in Knock...
The Irish faithful, who were between 300 and 400 at this seminar, promised they would pray for the new Međugorje parish priest Fr. Zvonimir Pavičić and his ministry.
"It was nice to see so many people connected to Medjugorje, whom Medjugorje helped to live their faith more deeply. These people regularly pray for all the priests in the parish, for all the staff, for all the parishioners, so that they can be good ministers of God's grace. We heard several testimonies of people whose stay in Medjugorje changed their lives. In Ireland, there is a living community that lives the message of Medjugorje in its everyday life,'' Fr. Zvonimir Pavičić told us, adding that the program was almost identical to the one in Medjugorje, so he had the feeling that he was at home.
Fr. Zvonimir also emphasized that "many witnessed to him that meeting the Lord in Medjugorje and Marian devotion changed their lives".
The special significance of this seminar is also given by the fact that it takes place in Knock, the Irish sanctuary where the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared on August 21, 1879. Fifteen visionaries from then poor and unknown village of Knock in the west of Ireland witnessed the apparition that lasted for several hours. The visionaries testified that in addition to the Blessed Virgin Mary, they also saw St. John the Apostle, St. Joseph, but in the center was an altar on which was the Eucharistic Lamb surrounded by angels, and behind the Lamb stood a cross. Two separate church commissions in 1879, and 1936, declared the apparitions in Knock to be authentic, and in 2021, the Holy Father Pope Francis declared Knock to be both an international Eucharistic and Marian shrine.
In September 1989, Marion Carroll was miraculously cured of multiple sclerosis and epilepsy in Knock after a priest blessed her with the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.
In 2019, the Catholic Church in Ireland announces that it officially recognizes her miraculous healing and it becomes the first officially recognized healing in Knock. Marion Carroll has been a pilgrim from Medjugorje for many years and the organizer of the pilgrimage to Medjugorje, who witnessed about her miracle at the Youth Festival.