The 8th International Pilgrimage for Persons and Children with Disabilities began in Medjugorje last night and more than 2000 participants gathered, all accommodated for free in the homes and hotels of the parishioners.
Fr. MarinkoSakota, Medjugorje parish priest, was the main celebrant last night and he welcomed all participants and thanked the parishioners who were extremely generous in taking all these people in their homes. This morning, during the introduction of the groups and associations from different countries and regions, he thanked them again and said: “This is the feast, the celebration and the joy! Thanks be to God for this all!”
Then, Archbishop HenrykHoser spoke on this occasion and said: “We are here with all of our weaknesses, both on body and in soul. Jesus says to us all – I give you strength, but not as you desire, but how I feel you should have. Jesus is one fantastic healer and provides the right diagnosis for all, for illness is not very often something that is ugly and unnecessary. St. Paul told us that we in our sufferings are filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, and we therefore continue to carry our cross with Jesus. Here, just across from us, we look at Cross Mountain, with 14 stations leading to the top and you come from 14 countries, so when you go up, each of your countries can represent one station. That is how we would become aware that we ought to follow the way of the cross after Jesus Christ. There is not a single person in this world that does not suffer, everyone suffers, even those we think that are rich and healthy. They all have some sort of suffering,” said Mons. Hoser.
Those who could climb, went up the Cross Mountain in the afternoon and those who could not stayed in the Hall of John Paul II for the stations of the Way of the Cross there.
Saturday, however, is the day that many anticipate with joy, particularly those who are not able to come as only on this day at least, they would be taken up to Apparition Hill and join all those who can climb normally this path.
Boys from Cenacolo community, Mary’s Hands Association and parishioners of Medjugorje will be carrying them up in their hands and special chairs made for this purpose. So many are immensely grateful for this opportunity and cry of joy as they get this chance on this special day, thanks to little sacrifice of these good men. This is truly a very special event for those who are carried up, as well as for those who take them up.
After the testimonies in the afternoon, all participants will have a little buffet, also presented by the parishioners of Medjugorje and followed by the evening prayer programme, specially adjusted to these participants. The pilgrimage will finish with Holy Mass at 11 am on Sunday, even though none of the participants would want this pilgrimage to be over. (photo)