December 16, 1998



"There was a time when the Bible was being saved, though the house was burning" (Wolfgang Koeppen). We are immediately before Christmas. The calls for ordering one's life that will prepare a place for Jesus not only as a newborn child but also as the adult Jesus Christ, wear us out from time to time. It is constantly repeated about conversion, penance, renewal, sin. . . One is exhorted to reconciliation, silence, slowing down but work to be done increases. That would mean still more racing around, cares, fatigue. Always new calls to repentance? What for and why so many?

Holy Seasons like pre-Christmas and Christmas want to awaken in us the will for serious renewal. They can also mean small steps. In each of us there is generosity, love, kindness, peaceableness, willingness to help others, fidelity to the Christian way. . .But, in us there are also forces that are in opposition to all this and by negativity want to repress the good. For evil it is sometimes merely enough to repress a virtue and occupy its place and the house is already in flames.

Dear reader, the house of faith and humanness of each one of us has been in flames. It has caught fire. Our Lady, directing us to the task of a renewed Christian life and fervor, is teaching us how to avoid the fires that devastate the building up of faith. She is teaching us to know what to do when there is a fire - in order not to lose faith, the pearl of great price. If I direct all my powers so there is no fire because of me, that could already be Christmas. May the Lord bless us all by his coming and may the treasure of faith become still more precious to all of us. A Blessed Christmas to you!

Fr. Ivan Landeka



During November in the shrine of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje 33,000 Holy Communions were distributed and at mass there were 980 concelebrations of priest from home and abroad, that is, 32 priests per day.

Some of the countries from which pilgrims came during November to visit Medjugorje are: Germany, United States, Portugal, Austria, Poland, Korea, Italy, Slovenia, Brazil, Gabon, Frane, Mexico, China, Lebanon, Argentina and, of course, Croatia.


During recent days the atmosphere of prayer, peace and community characterized the Medjugorje shrine because of the multitude of pilgrim groups that visited it for the feast of Immaculate Conception. Local pilgrims came from all regions of the country, while the most numerous foreign groups were pilgrims from Australia, Italy, USA, Czech Republic, Slovakia, France and Spain.

On the feast day itself the Peace Rosary was prayed on the Hill of Apparition. About 2,500 faithful participated in the evening Holy Mass.

The retired Archbishop of Split-Makarska, Frane Franic, visited Medjugorje for the feast of Immaculate Conception.

Just before the feast day Bishop Georg Eder of Salzburg, Austria was also visiting in Medjugorje. In the following number of the Press Bulletin we will be presenting his impressions.


On December 6th, the feast of St. Nicholas, a large group of children gathered in the church of Medjugorje for a community celebration. This year also the arrival of St. Nicholas brought great joy to the hearts off the children. There was no end to their prayers, rapture and joy. St. Nicholas this time also rewarded the childrens' goodness and those who are not always exactly obedient he called to be better at least now when Christmas is right before us.


As a part of preparation for Christmas in the shrine of the Queen of Peace a prayer novena is being organized to begin December 16th. Beside the usual evening program in church, the rosary will be prayed each day at 2:00 PM on the Hill of Apparition.


A prayer vigil for the New Year will also be held this year in the church of Medjugorje. The vigil starts at 10:00 PM and ends with Holy Mass at midnight. These are days when mostly young people gather in the Medjugorje shrine. Therefore, we take the occasion to invite all young people who are still thinking about where to say good-bye to the old and welcome the new year to spend that "craziest" night with their own age group in the shrine of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje and by prayer and song together with our Lady enter more deeply into life.


The Fourth International Meeting of Priests will be held from the June 30 - July 6, 1999. The theme will be: "Priests in Mary's School!". The program and theme for each day follow:

Wed June 30 18:00 Rosary

19:00 Holy Mass

22:00 - 23:00 Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament

Thu July 1 "Prayer - life with God the Father!" Fr. Cosimo Cavalluzzo

09:00 Lauds in Latin

Fri July 2 "The priest in the service of life!" Fr. Philip Reilly

09:00 Lauds in Latin

Sat July 3 "Inner healing necessary for the priest" Dr. Fernand Sanchez

09:00 Lauds in Latin

Sun July 4 "The priest in the service of wounded life" Sr. Elvira Petrozzi

09:00 Lauds in Latin

Mon July 5 "Mary, the handmaiden of life" Fr. Jozo Zovko

09:00 Lauds in Latin

Tue July 6 "Go and preach the Good News!"

09:00 Lauds in Latin

Daily Program

09:00 Lauds in Latin

09:30 Lecture and discussion

11:00 intermission

12:00 Prayer/ break

16:00 Lecture

18:00 Evening program (rosary, Mass, prayer for healing)

22:00 - 23:00 Adoration on Wed and Sat.


1. Bring along: a. earphones and small FM radio

b. Bible and Latin breviary if possible

2. All meetings will be held in the new hall behind the church

3. Bring your own alb and stole

4. Meetings with visionaries and other witnesses will be arranged

5. Departure for Hill of Apparition and Cross Mountain and participation in the evening program will be arranged.

6. Whoever wants the parish office to arrange lodging should notify by fax 00387-88-651-888 or 00387-88-651-444. Expenses can be covered by two mass intentions each day.

Fr. Slavko Barbaric is the organizer of this meeting in the name of the parish office.

And at the end of the last Press Bulletin before Christmas, we take the opportunity to thank all supporters of the Informtion Center "Mir" Medjugorje for the help offered during these three days. We thank all who in any manner, by suggestions, directions or other way of cooperation have helped our work. May you all have a Happy and Blessed Christmas and New Year!

Published by: INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice mira ( Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace), 88266 Medjugorje, BiH, fax number: +387-88-651-444.
Director: fra Miljenko Stojic.
You can receive the latest issue of the Press Bulletin at any time on your own fax machine in the tone mode by dialing the
Robofax in our Information Center at +387 88 65 15 55.
E-mail: medjugorje-mir@medjugorje.hr; Internet: http://www.medjugorje.hr
Published every other Wednesday.

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Last Modified 12/16/98