"Dear children! I desire to share my joy with you. In my Immaculate Heart I feel that there are many of those who have drawn closer to me and are, in a special way, carrying the victory of my Immaculate Heart in their hearts by praying and converting. I desire to thank you and to inspire you to work even more for God and His kingdom with love and the power of the Holy Spirit. I am with you and I bless you with my motherly blessing. Thank you for having responded to my call." August 25, 2000
WHAT IS BEING FORGOTTEN?
The world in which we live is always getting smaller. The development and achieved level of modern communication in various fields have assisted people to get more personally acquainted. Better acquaintance creates a more desirable climate for the cooperation and understanding of diverse traditions and of diversity in general. All this has been created by the conditions for the process of globalization that is underway, the outcome of which at this moment we cannot attain to. The process here and there meets with approval. But then, the fears and concerns that are more and more expressed cannot be suppressed. The place and the role of little people is very much in question and the little people feel that. Associations based purely on the level of economy and profit will sooner or later turn into a time bomb. Both recent and more distant history is a sufficient proof of that. One historical content is lost by the marginalization of the religious and the spiritual.
More than that, there is lost a connective tissue which was authentic and was abused, but upon its fundamental elements the greatest attainments of modern man and society blossomed and developed.
Fr. Ivan landeka
N E W S
NUMBER OF COMMUNIONS AND CONCELEBRANTS
During August at the shrine of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje 159,500 holy communions were distributed at holy masses and there were 3,404 concelebrations by priests from home and abroad, that is 110 priests daily.
The number of our Croatian pilgrims in August was truly large. Since that is the month of annual vacations, many took advantage of their time by the sea for pilgrimage to Medjugorje.
We recorded an exceptionally large number of foreign pilgrim groups. They came from Portugal, USA, Switzerland, Korea, France, Belgium, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Russia, Ukraine, Phillippines, Belorussia, Czech Republic, Holland, Austria, Italy, Brazil, Romania, Australia, Germany, the Caribbean, Slovenia, England, Ireland, Cuba, Nicaragua, Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, Haiti, Paraguay, Indonesia, Lebanon, Canada, Albania, Lithuania, Montenegro, Japan, New Zealand and Spain.
FEASTS OF MARY’S NATIVITY AND EXALTATION OF THE CROSS
The feastday of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary September 8th was solemnly celebrated. The evening holy mass was presided by the new Medjugorje pastor, Fr. Ivan Sesar along with 70 concelebrants. A great number of pilgrims had already gathered in Medjugorje for this feast day and many of them stayed in Medjugorje for the celebration of the Exaltation of the Cross.
This year also the feastday of the Exaltation of the Cross was solemnly observed on the first Sunday after the Nativity of Mary - September 10th on Cross Mountain. In the presence of tens of thousands of the faithful holy mass was presided by Fr. Mijo Dzolan, the Provincial of the Bosnia Franciscan province along with 30 priests. As happens every year a stream of pilgrims flowed into Medjugorje already during the night. Many of them came hundreds and hundreds of kilometers by foot, and some were barefooted.
Here are a few lines from the history of Cross Mountain [Krizevac] and the cross erected on it. About one kilometer from the church of Medjugorje, as the crow flies, Cross Mountain rises up as a continuation of Crnica Hill, forming an angle with it. On its peak (520 meters above sea level) the pastor and people of Medjugorje at that time in 1934 erected an 8.56 meter high reinforced concrete cross in commemoration of the 1900th anniversary of the Passion of Jesus. In it they engraved the words, “To Jesus Christ, Redeemer of the human race, as a sign of their faith, love and hope, the pastor Bernadine Smoljan and the parish of Medjugorje erected [this cross]. From every evil deliver us, O Jesus.” On the back side of the cross in memory of the 1900th anniversary of redemption are inscribed the dates "33 -1933". Relics received from Rome for the occasion are embedded in the cross bar itself. They are a piece of the cross venerated by Christians as the one on which Jesus Christ was crucified, the largest part of which is preserved in the Church of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem in Rome. The cross was completed on March 15, 1934. Later on the custom was established of celebrating Holy Mass at the base of the cross on the first Sunday after Our Lady’s birthday in commemoration of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. The Cross Mountain does not so much attract pilgrims for its natural beauty nor because of the importance of the cross erected on it, but only because, after the Medjugorje apparitions began, a great number of people claim that they saw various luminous and other “signs” on that cross. Everyone connected them with the apparitions of Our Lady themselves, with the message of the Medjugorje apparitions - peace between God and man and between men. They understood that the way to that peace leads unavoidably through the cross. They included the veneration of the cross in their pilgrimage devotions and practices. Climbing up that difficult, near impossible path to the Cross on the mountain, pilgrims pray the devotion of the Way of the Cross. That is why, along the path on Cross Mountain, fifteen bronze reliefs are placed and the image of Our Lady is in each one of them. Our Lady accompanies both Jesus and us on the way of the cross in our life.
MISSIONARY TRAVEL OF FR. SLAVKO BARBARIC TO ENGLAND
It is already a full ten years since there began in England regular annual prayer meetings of Medjugorje pilgrims. A Medjugorje convert from Judaism and a great benefactor of the Croatian people during the war, Mr. Bernard Ellis, felt the need for and suggested an annual prayer meeting of the English pilgrims. The idea was adopted and since 1990 a day of prayer on the last Monday of August was organized every year.
“Eight times we met for prayer with the Carmelites in their well known place of pilgrimage at Aylesford, then we transferred to Walsingham -the oldest Marian shrine in England. So it was also in this Great Jubilee Year. Altogether that was the tenth jubilee prayer meeting. Many gathered together to pray. The meeting began with praying the rosary as in Medjugorje. There followed a lecture and the solemn holy mass presided at by Marist Fr. Alan Williams, director of the shrine. Twenty priests concelebrated and heard confessions for hours before the celebration of mass. After mass there was adoration and prayer for healing.
I had two prayer meetings prior to the prayer meeting in Walsingham. On August 26th there was a meeting at the parish of St. Margaret of Scotland where Fr. Alexander Sherbrooke is pastor. With Medjugorje pilgrims he has also introduced daily adoration from 10 AM to 10 PM into his parish church. There is hope soon even to have perpetual adoration because there are more and more people willing to give Jesus an hour and to be with Him in adoration. The spiritual fruits, according to Fr. Alexander, are visible and he wishes to continue working in the same spirit.
Along with the annual prayer meeting of all Medjugorje pilgrims, a meeting of Youth 2000 is being organized. This is already the ninth meeting. About 1,500 young people gathered from all of England and Scotland. These meetings are inspired by the Medjugorje youth prayer festivals, and their leaders are Medjugorje pilgrims. The head organizer is Prof. Robert Toone and his wife Amanda. They started on Thursday August 24th and finished on Monday, August 28th before noon. Sunday afternoon August 27th I met with the young people, I gave a talk and led adoration. Just like in Medjugorje! The theme is just the same as the Medjugorje youth festival and the meeting in Rome: “The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us!” The experience of the young people was very rich. Along with all the problems of organization, Robert Toone does not give up because he sees the spiritual fruits in the hearts of the young people. We can only be grateful to Mary Queen of Peace, for all those children of hers who have gathered around her and who unselfishly and with full dedication continue her prayer program.”
TIME CHANGE OF THE EVENING PROGRAM
Since September 11th the daily evening program in the church begins at 5 PM and lasts till 8 PM (5 PM rosary, 6 PM Holy Mass, blessings and the third part of the rosary).
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is on Wednesday and Saturday from 9 to 10 PM, and Thursday immediately after the evening mass. Adoration and prayer before the Cross is every Friday in church after the evening mass. Every Sunday at 3 PM the Peace Rosary is prayed on the Hill of Apparition, and every Friday at the same time the Way of the Cross on Cross Mountain (after the change of time this devotion will take place at 2 PM). Opportunity for confessions is provided every evening during the prayer program. After the time change the prayer program in church will not change.
All announcements concerning the prayer program at the shrine of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje, as well as other announcements, may be obtained from the Information Office by telephone at 00387-36-651-988 from 9 AM till 5 PM. We request all organizers of pilgrim groups to give notice of their arrival in Medjugorje and to inform their pilgrims about the possibility of obtaining necessary information at the Information Office, which is located right in front of the parish house, and not at the parish office.
Published by: INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice Mira (Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace), 88266 Medjugorje.
Last Modified 09/20/2000