The International Pilgrimage for Children and Persons with Disabilities is taking place in Medjugorje in these days. This is the eighth such pilgrimage and it is finishing on Sunday, June 9.
People from Medjugorje will provide food and accommodation in their hotels, homes and restaurants for more than 2000 participants of this pilgrimage from Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia, Italy, England, Poland, Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. They arrived today and began their pilgrimage with the evening prayer programme.
This pilgrimage is special as it is for persons with disabilities, many of them with various mental disabilities too, and for their parents and volunteers. The programme and the liturgy is adjusted to them with lots of music, dancing, symbols and simple gestures made with the purpose of showing each one of them how God is close to them in their suffering.
The programme will start on Friday with group introduction and welcoming words of Fr. Marinko Sakota, the parish priest and the coordinator of the pilgrimage, and Mons. Henryk Hoser. In the afternoon, those who can will join the parish in the prayer of the Way of the Cross and those who cannot climb will pray the Way of the Cross in the Hall of John Paul II, with special presentation of the stations and meditations.
The theme of this pilgrimage, as well as of all the other spiritual retreats held in Medjugorje is „Follow me!“ (Mk 10, 21).
Saturday will be the most intensive day as all those disabled persons will have the opportunity to be carried to the apparition site on Apparition Hill. 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. The afternoon testimonies will also include some dancing performances, this year from Cenacolo community and there will be a group of Polish youth who had chance to dance before the Holy Father Francis during the World Youth Day in Poland.
After the testimonies, 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 programme will finish on Sunday with the Polish Youth group performance at 10.30 when they will present “Descent of the Holy Spirit on Mary and the Apostles”, followed by the Holy Mass at 11, the closure of this Pilgrimage.