M E D I T A T I O N
THE PILGRIM PEOPLE OF GOD
The Second Vatican Council reflected on the meaning and role of the Church that is seeking and finding its place amid new circumstances. In the Church itself and all around it great changes have and are taking place. The Church, therefore, offers itself to the new world as a correspondent, and the Church expresses the most understandable description of herself in the sentence that she is: "The Pilgrim People of God passing through dangers and afflictions." This impression becomes understandable to the world that surrounds her. That way she does not isolate herself from the changes and difficulties of the times, but places her own mission at the service of man and the civilization of this moment.
Jesus Christ is the first fellow-traveler and the only mediator of that kind of Church. His and our Mother Mary whose fellow-traveling with the Church never ceases, who never tires of traveling with the Church through time, remain the sign of his staying. She is the road sign and direction sign of Christian living. She shows herself as such in the events in the parish of Medjugorje.
Fr. Ivan Landeka
N E W S
18TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION OF OUR LADY'S APPARITIONS
Throughout the last 18 years our Lady's presence in the parish of Medjugorje has spread to the world through the pilgrims. In spite of the events that struck our homeland, Our Lady's message of peace has reached even the most distant places in the world and made of Medjugorje a world parish. Proof of that is the presence of the more than 70,000 faithful who visited here for the 18th anniversary of Our Lady's apparitions in the parish of Medjugorje. To enumerate the lands from which the faithful came on pilgrimage to the Queen of Peace is practically impossible. We will announce only those with the most numerous groups: Germany, Italy, Canada, Reunion, Ireland, Belgium, Slovenia, Portugal, USA, France, Singapore, Argentina, Slovakia, Hungary, England, Holland, Poland, Korea, Switzerland, Czech Republic, and, of course, Croatia. Among them the most numerous group was a group of about 1,000 Polish pilgrims accompanied by a large number of priests. Exceptional also were the many Croatian pilgrims of which many came barefooted to Medjugorje to pray for peace to Mary, Queen of Peace.
Because of the difference of language groups Holy Masses in the mornings of June 24 - 25 were celebrated in sixteen languages. During the two days of June 24 - 25, 50,000 Holy Communions were distributed.
The evening Holy mass on the vigil of the anniversary June 24th, was led by Fr. Slavko Barbaric with 150 priests concelebrating. About 15,000 faithful were present at the Holy Mass.
For the anniversary itself about 30,000 faithful participated in the Holy Mass celebrated by Fr. Ivan Bradvica with 160 priests from twenty countries concelebrating.
For the 18th anniversary two ecclesiastical dignitaries were present on a private visit: the retired Archbishop of Split-Makarska, Frane Franic and the Apostolic Nuncio to Slovenia, Archbishop Farhat Edmond.
On June 25th, the vigil of the 18th anniversary of Our Lady's apparitions, the eighth consecutive "Peace March" was held. It began at 6:00 A.M. with a prayer and blessing of the pilgrims in front of the Franciscan Monastery in Humac. About 3,000 pilgrims then set out for Medjugorje. Priests from several countries carried the Blessed Sacrament and the "Peace March" was co-directed by Fr. Slavko Barbaric and Fr. Branko Rados. Upon arrival in Medjugorje the pilgrims assembled in front of the church for a short prayer in common. The "Peace March" is a concept that was born in the hearts of Medjugorje pilgrims and friends of Medjugorje during the fiercest days of the war in 1992. That prayerful march of 13 kilometers is a response to the lack of peace, violence and hatred, and an impulse toward authentic peace and reconciliation.
THE REGULAR APPARITION OF OUR LADY TO VISIONARY IVANKA
The visionary Ivanka Ivankovic Elez had her regular annual apparition on June 25, 1999. According to the testimony of the visionaries themselves, Vicka, Maria and Ivan have daily apparitions, while Mirjana, Ivanka and Jakov have the apparitions once a year.
On the occasion of her last daily apparition on May 7, 1985, Our Lady, after confiding the 10th secret to her, told Ivanka that for the course of her entire life she will have an apparition once a year and that it would be on the anniversary of the apparitions. And thus it was also this year. Ivanka had the apparition which lasted 7 - 8 minutes in her own family home. Present for the apparition were only Ivanka's family, husband and three children.
After the apparition Ivanka said that during the apparition she prayed for the parish and families and she recommended all in her prayer. Our Lady gave the following message:
"Dear children, thank my Son for all the graces that he has given you. Pray for peace, pray for peace, pray for peace!"
THE MALTESE ORDER IN MEDJUGORJE
Last year for five months the Maltese Order from Germany undertook the medical care of pilgrims who need medical assistance. During that period about 2,000 people sought their help. This year, however, they are staying for six months during which time they will also hold two courses: a course of first aid and a course on the care of the sick and elderly.
We take this opportunity to inform all pilgrims, who during their stay in Medjugorje will need medical assistance, that they can obtain it from the personnel of the Maltese Order in front of the Church where the sign reads "MALTESER" from 9:00 - 12 noon and from 5:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M.
TV STATION IN MEDJUGORJE
The Irish National TV stayed this year in Medjugorje from June 9 - 16th. For one week through the eye of the camera they made recordings of the events in Medjugorje. It will be a new incentive for the Irish faithful who for all these years have been among the most numerous pilgrim groups.
The Croatian national TV house also stayed in Medjugorje from June 14 - 18th. Already for several months they have been preparing a documentary film on the events in the parish of Medjugorje that will be presented to the Croatian public.
"FRAMA" YOUTH IN MEDJUGORJE
On June 5th 120 members of the Franciscan Youth Club "FRAMA" from erin, itluk and Humac, parishes all of which share boundaries with the parish of Medjugorje, along with the FRAMA members of Medjugorje, led the Rosary with songs and prayers during the evening prayer program. They also enriched the evening mass celebration with their musical expression. Since the novena in honor of St. Anthony of Padua was in progress, on the day after their visit to Medjugorje they altogether made pilgrimage on foot to the votive shrine of St. Anthony in Humac.
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.
Last Modified 06/30/99