Ivan Dragicevic from Medjugorje spoke on Tuesday, September, 16th 2008, before thousands of the faithful at the Peace prayer in the Viennese St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Austria.
The cathedral was overfull with the faithful from diverse prayer groups and movements. They met under the slogan „A Message for You”. The Malteser provided for a smooth operational sequence of this large meeting. The Malteser Youth, called Johannesgemeinschaft, was also very active in invitation and preparation. Under the guidance of Mag. Oktavian Eiselsberg, everything was organized in the best way.
At 4 PM began the program in the cathedral with the prayer of the Angelus, followed by testimonies of two men, who communicated their personal experiences.
Alfred Ofner, the commander of the district fire brigade in Baden, reported of his healing in the church of Medjugorje. Brother Michele of the community „Maria, Königin des Friedens “told about his long way out of the crisis of „sex, drugs and rock music“. A priest had paid for him a journey to Medjugorje, where he experienced in a moment how much he was loved by God. This experience released in him a process of conversion.
At 5 PM spoke Ivan Dragicevic: „We gathered together, in order to meet Jesus and to find protection and security near His Mother.” He described the first two days of the apparitions and admitted that he is asking himself for 27 years now daily, „Why precisely me? Was there nobody better? “He sees his personal conversion as a process, a program for his daily life. „Maria took me into her school. I strive to be a good pupil, to do my homework well, me and my family.”
The message is for 27 years the same: Peace between God and men and among men, peace in the hearts by means of conversion, prayer, penance and fasting, faith and love, forgiveness, reading of the Bible, and the Eucharist. Only through prayer can the world be spiritually healed.
After Ivan’s testimony followed the prayer of the Joyful mysteries of the Rosary. Briefly before 6.40 PM, Ivan went down on his knees before the altar. For approximately 10 minutes, despite the large crowd present in the cathedral, complete silence reigned during the time of the meeting of the Mother of God with Ivan. At 7 PM, Dr. Leo M. Maasburg, national director of Missio Austria, in concelebration with approximately 20 priests, celebrated Holy Mass. At the same time, during the whole evening, other priests were available to the faithful for confessions, sharing and prayer for different intentions. Remarkably many accepted the offer.
Very moving was also the prayer of the Creed, the seven Our Fathers, Hail Mary’s and Glory be’s for peace, after Holy Mass, which the priests and the faithful prayed kneeling.
After Holy Mass, Ivan spoke about his meeting with the Mother of God in the cathedral: “Mary was joyful and glad and greeted us with ‚Praised be Jesus'. Then she prayed lengthy with outstretched arms for all, especially for the sick. Mary blessed all those who were present, and all the objects”. Ivan reported that Mary is rejoicing with us, and is inviting us to live the messages: „Dear children, with you I desire to realize my plans. Pray with me for peace in the families”. After an Our Father, a Glory be, and a personal conversation with Ivan, she left. The witness of Medjugorje thanked for this evening, with the desire that the good seed comes up, and said that he remains united in prayer with all those who were present.
At 8.30 PM followed the Eucharistic Adoration as an hour of Mercy.
On Wednesday, September 17, 2008, Cardinal Dr. Christoph Schönborn, archbishop of Vienna, received the guest from Medjugorje for the midday prayer in his house chapel, and a following conversation, during which the visionary spoke to him about the most important intentions of the Mother of God. The meeting, in which participated also the Medjugorje-friends from Vienna, ran in a very cordial atmosphere.
Ivan also met the Apostolic Nuncio in Austria, archbishop Dr. Edmond Farhat. In 1998, when he was a Nuncio in Slovenia, his Excellency visited Medjugorje. Like many of his compatriots from Lebanon, he is very attached to Mary, the Queen of Peace.