"Dear children! . That is why pray, pray, pray until you comprehend God’s love for each of you. Thank you for having responded to my call." February 25, 2001
THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK
"Easter is not a day like all other days. This is the day that we have not chosen ourselves, such as, May 1st. This is the day that the Lord has made… God has acted – this is why we celebrate Easter.
On the first day of the week – according to the Gospels – the Risen Christ meets his witnesses. This is the origin of Christian Sunday.” (F. Kamphaus)
Cyril Turowsky, a Russian preacher from the 12th century, wrote about Easter and about it’s significance, called the day of Easter “the day of the intronisation of Sunday”. “From today onwards, Sunday is no more an ordinary day. More than that, Sunday has been sanctified by the Resurrection. Now, Sunday is the most exalted of all days, because on that day Christ is risen from the dead.” These words make us understand why Russian Christians have given to Sunday the name of “Voskersenie” (Resurrection).
Easter this year and the entire Easter season are new occasions for us to recognize the holiness of the Day of the Lord, which is the direct consequence of what has happened. “But at daybreak on the first day of the week the women went to the tomb…” (Lk 24,1)
During this Easter season, I wish for all of you to experience the same encounter the women in the Gospel experienced: the faith and the joy of the Resurrected Christ. And – do not forget Sunday, because of its significance and its content!
Fra Ivan Landeka
NUMBER OF COMMUNIONS AND NUMBER OF CONCELEBRANTS
In the month of February 20,000 communions were distributed and 635 priests concelebrated the Mass in Medjugorje.
In spite of the fact that February is a month when traditionally few pilgrims come to Medjugorje, we noticed the presence of pilgrims from Latvia, USA, Italy, Germany, Austria, Poland, Korea, Australia, France, Vietnam, the Caribbean, Spain, Mexico, Argentina, and of course from Bosnia, Herzegovina and Croatia.
RENOVATION OF THE CONFESSIONALS
From the very beginning of the apparitions, both pilgrims and parishioners felt a deep need in their hearts for the Sacrament of Confession. Many priests were hearing confessions outside, in the open air. As a temporary solution, in 1989, 20 confessionals were constructed on the East Side of the church. Thousands of faithful found peace in God and peace with themselves there. That is why Medjugorje has been called “the confessional of the world”. These confessionals were in need of renovation, which was accomplished this winter.
We invoke the blessing of God to all priests and all faithful who will give and receive the sacrament of forgiveness in the new confessionals. We wish for them to find there a place of “…peace with God and peace between man and God…” (Our Lady’s message from the 26th of June 1981), especially in this time of Lent, when many choose Medjugorje as a place for their reconciliation with God.
THE 8TH INTERNATIONAL MEETING FOR LEADERS OF CENTRES OF PEACE
The 8th International Meeting for Leaders of Centres of Peace and Medjugorje Prayer-and Charity-Groups in the sanctuary of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje. It took place from February 26 to March 1st. The theme of the meeting was “Peace and Reconciliation”. One hundred fifty participants from over 20 countries gathered for this event. The speakers were Dr. Fr. Božo Lujic, Dr. Fr. Ljudevit Rupcic, Dr. Fr. Tomislav Pervan, Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic, and Fr. Jozo Zovko. The host of this meeting was Dr. Fr. Ivan Sesar, the pastor of Medjugorje. During four days, the participants had prayed and meditated on the theme of peace and reconciliation. They also climbed Apparition Hill and Mount Križevac, then shared practical questions linked regarding the apparitions of Medjugorje. The gathering ended with a Thanksgiving Mass celebrated by Dr. Fr. Ivan Sesar, the Pastor, who concluded the 8th International Meeting for Leaders of Centres of Peace and Medjugorje Prayer- and Charity-Groups.
Every year, the participants of these meetings adopt a common declaration. This year, it states:
"For twenty years, we have been witnessing that Jesus, the King of Peace, has become the centre of our pilgrim journey to Medjugorje through His Mother Mary, the Queen of Peace.
Gathered for the 8th International Meeting for Leaders of Centres of Peace and Medjugorje Prayer-and Charity-Groups, we meditated on peace and reconciliation through speeches, prayer and sharing. In order to better comprehend our role, we understood it is foremost for us to live the Word of the Gospel: ‘And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation, namely God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.’ (2 Cor 5,18-19
We want to become better aware of the Word of the Lord, Who founded the most fruitful soil in the heart of His Mother and our Mother Mary; we want to imprint this in our hearts as a sacred task and mission.
May this Lent which has begun be a fruitful time on this journey!
Medjugorje, 1st of March 2001
THE OLDEST PILGRIM OF MEDJUGORJE
In the beginning of March, one of the oldest pilgrims came to Medjugorje: it is Ceil Tomaszewski, 97 years old, from the USA. She had worked for 40 years serving handicapped persons in an American hospital. Today she continues to help immobile persons attend church. This woman with numerous life experiences stated, “we live in a strange time, when the world has forgotten God. Our Lady with Her messages will help everyone come back to God, and it is especially important for young people who have gone far away from God."
Mrs. Tomaszewski wishes to spend her 100th birthday in Medjugorje.
THE ANNUAL APPARITION OF OUR LADY TO MIRJANA SOLDO ON MARCH 18, 2001.
The visionary Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo had daily apparitions from June 24th 1981 to December 25th 1982. During the last daily apparition, Our Lady gave her the 10th and last secret, and told that she would appear to her once a year, the 18th of March. It has this way during these 19 years.
Several thousand pilgrims gathered to pray the Rosary, which started at 9 a.m. in the Cenacolo Community. The apparition lasted 5 minutes from 9.45 to 9.50 a.m. Our Lady blessed everyone and gave a message. She was resolute and clear in Her words.
"Dear children! Today I call you to love and mercy. Give love to each other as your Father gives it to you. Be merciful (pause) - with the heart. Do good works, not permitting them to wait for you too long. Every mercy that comes from the heart brings you closer to my Son."
SEMINARS AT “DOMUS PACIS”
Several seminars took place during these last few weeks in the house of prayer “Domus Pacis”.
Beginning on March 2-4, members of the Franciscan Youth from Herzegovina gathered for a recollection directed by Fr. Danko Perutina.
A Lenten recollection was organized also for elementary school children from the town of Žepce in Bosnia. Their spiritual Fathers, the Salesians, accompanied them.
On March 15 - 22, 21 pilgrims came from France for a Prayer and fasting seminar.
TIPS AND INFORMATION FOR PILGRIMS
In the name of all priests serving in this parish, I am pleased to welcome you to Medjugorje.
Thank you for your desire and readiness to visit this place of grace and prayer. May the Almighty God, through the intercession of our Heavenly Mother, Queen of Peace, reward you for all the efforts you undertake to come here!
As I would like your stay in Medjugorje to be as pleasant and helpful as possible, I am giving you some recommendations, and I ask you sincerely to read them carefully and to abide by them:
Holy Mass is celebrated only in the parish church. It is possible to celebrate Mass in the Adoration chapel, with the prior permission of the pastor. According to an official diocesan directive, it is forbidden to celebrate Holy Mass in pensions, in private homes you are staying in, on the hills and in any community or chapel located in the parish of Medjugorje. For any explanation or information, please contact the Information Office in the sanctuary.
Prayer meetings within the parish can be organized only with the permission of the pastor.
Only priests working for the parish have the permission to meet pilgrim groups and give conferences in the church area. All others have to obtain the permission of the pastor.
No one has the permission to “pray over” any person either in or around the church area.
If you are a priest, you are invited to concelebrate at the evening Mass (bringing what is necessary: alb, stole, celebret…), and - if you have the permission to hear confessions - to be at the disposal of pilgrims for confessions in your language, or in the language you speak.
Leaders of pilgrim groups must arrange their meetings with priests of the parish or with visionaries through the Parish Information Office.
Each pilgrim group should employ a parish-trained and qualified guide during their stay in Medjugorje. The service of a parish-trained guide should be requested at the Information Office.
Pilgrimage group-leaders should announce the arrival of their group and the number of participants by phone/fax + 387 36 651 988 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
You are asked not to make any other arrangements during the evening prayer program in the church.
The area around the church, on Apparition Hill and Cross-Mountain, are places of prayer. I ask you to please respect them as such, to behave in harmony with their significance and to dress appropriately, as to not disturb prayer and meditation. I ask you also to preserve the cleanliness of these places.
No candles are to be lit on Apparition Hill or on Cross Mountain. They may be lit only at the place provided on the West Side of the church, near the Wooden Cross. Votive offerings, religious articles photos – nothing should be left on Apparition Hill or on Cross Mountain.
Smoking is not allowed in and around the church.
Conscious of the presence of God, and in order to protect the atmosphere of prayer and meditation, it is not allowed to take photos during Mass and during Adoration.
It is forbidden to solicit any money, apart from the offerings during Holy Mass. If you notice anybody trying to do this, please contact the Information Office of the Sanctuary.
Mass intentions, pledges or donations for the maintenance of the Sanctuary of the Queen of Peace are to be given to the Parish Office. Thank you!
With God’s blessing,
Dr. Fr. Ivan Sesar, pastor
Published by: INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice Mira (Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace), 88266 Medjugorje.
Last Modified 03/26/2001