"Dear children! Today I pray for you and with you that the Holy Spirit may help you and increase your faith, so that you may accept even more the messages that I am giving you here in this holy place. Little children, comprehend that this is a time of grace for each of you; and with me, little children, you are secure. I desire to lead you all on the way of holiness. Live my messages and put into life every word that I am giving you. May they be precious to you because they come from heaven. Thank you for having responded to my call." June 25, 2002
OUR LADY'S AMBASSADORS
Jesus gave His disciples the mission to go into the whole world and preach the Good News. All of us are called to accomplish this mission. It is a mission for all Christians, but also a Christian duty. Nevertheless, if there is anyone to be set apart for this mission of announcing, these are priests men consecrated to God who have the authority for this. By their ordination, priests become workers in the Lord´s vineyard. They represent Jesus in the Church and in the world. This is why it is important to have priests, because they make Christ present among men.
The future is impossible without Jesus. To seek a future without priests means to make it impossible for Jesus to reach us through the men to whom He has given the authority to announce the Gospel and to give the sacraments. Christ needs men; he needs priests his ambassadors in the world. Just as Mary, who became the ambassador of God and the bearer of hope we have to do the same, especially priests.
Priests from all over the world come to Medjugorje. They come to this shrine with their faithful to seek the true Christian message. These priests are mostly leaders of prayer groups in their countries, groups that grew on the foundations of Medjugorje. This is how priests put themselves at the service of the spreading of Our Lady´s messages. They become Our Lady´s messengers and Her representatives. It is interesting to notice that priests come to Medjugorje discreetly and humbly, just as Mary does. Many of them have received their vocation here and they come to say thanks for the gift of being called to serve God in a special way. In almost all the countries and all the dioceses of the world, you can find priests who have entered into the core of Medjugorje. I like to call them Our Lady´s ambassadors. Through the priests, Our Lady and Medjugorje are present on every step of this earth. Truly, everything is possible to God.
In Medjugorje, a spiritual meeting of priests coming from all over the world takes place once a year. In prayer, they here renew their promises to God. At the beginning of July, Medjugorje becomes an oasis for priests.
When we reflect on priests, we cannot exclude ourselves and our prayer for them. Keeping in mind the importance of priests, we cannot avoid the question: What do I do so that there may be holy priests? Do I sometimes pray for my priest? These are the questions addressed to every pilgrim who steps into this shrine, because a priest waits for you in the confessional, on the altar, on the mountains, in the conference room The possibility to receive sacraments and Holy Mass is not our right it is a gift from heaven. This gift is given to us through the hands of priests. Let us appreciate this gift and let us thank God for their lives and their spiritual service.
Fr. Mario Knezovic
THE CELEBRATION OF THE 21ST ANNIVERSARY OF OUR LADY´S APPARITIONS IN THE PARISH OF MEDJUGORJE
During the last 21 years, Our Lady´s message of peace spread all over the world through pilgrims, reached homes all over the world, and made a parish of the world out of Medjugorje. This is confirmed by the presence of more then 100 000 faithful who came to Medjugorje for the 21st anniversary. It is impossible to enumerate all of the countries where the pilgrims came from: they came from all the five continents. Very many local pilgrims came on their bare feet to pray to the Queen of Peace for peace.
In the morning of June 24th and June 25th, Holy Masses were celebrated in 16 languages. During these two days, 48 000 communions were distributed.
The evening Mass on June 24th was presided by Fr. Milan Loncar and concelebrated by 155 priests. About 15 000 faithful were present.
The evening Mass on June 25th was presided by Fr Branimir Musa, and concelebrated by 200 priests from approximately twenty countries. About 35 000 faithful were present.
The 11th traditional Peace March was held as every year on June 24th, the eve of the anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady. It began with prayer and the blessing of the pilgrims in front of the Franciscan monastery of Humac. About 4000 pilgrims started their march at 6 am. Upon their arrival in Medjugorje, pilgrims gathered in front of the parish church for a short common prayer. The Peace March is the fruit of an idea born in the hearts of Medjugorje pilgrims and friends of Medjugorje at the time of war, in 1992. Although the years of war are behind us, Our Lady reminds us in her messages that there are wars in our hearts. This 13 km long March is a response to the trouble, violence and hatred, as well as an appeal to real peace and reconciliation.
REGULAR ANNUAL APPARITION TO THE VISIONARY IVANKA
The visionary Ivanka Ivankovic-Elez had her regular annual apparition on June 25th 2002. According to the visionaries, Vicka, Marija and Ivan continue to have daily apparitions, and Mirjana, Ivanka and Jakov have an annual apparition.
At Her last daily apparition on May 7, 1985, Our Lady confided to Ivanka the 10th secret and told her that she would have an apparition once a year on the anniversary of the apparitions. It was that way also this year. The apparition lasted 6 minutes. Ivanka had the apparition at home in the presence of her family, her husband and her three children.
Our Lady gave the following message: Dear Children, do not tire of prayer. Pray for peace, peace, peace.
Our Lady related to Ivanka some new details about her life. She gave us her motherly blessing. Our Lady was joyful.
NUMBER OF COMMUNIONS AND NUMBER OF CONCELEBRANTS
During the month of May, 100,000 communions were distributed and 2,578 priests from this country and abroad concelebrated Holy Mass in Medjugorje.
Pilgrims were here from Korea, England, Ireland, Hungary, Belgium, the USA, Malta, Slovakia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Romania, Poland, Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Russia, Canada, Australia, Mexico, La Reunion, Lebanon, Slovenia, Brazil, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
MSGR. SILAS S. NJIRU, BISHOP OF MERU (KENYA), ON PRIVATE VISIT TO MEDJUGORJE
From May 6 to 10, 2002, Msgr. Silas S. Njiru, Bishop of Meru (Kenya), came for a private visit to Medjugorje. This is what he told us about his impressions in Medjugorje:
Medjugorje is really worldly known. Wherever I come, in my country, in the USA or in Europe, people talk about Medjugorje! Last year I was in Orlando, in Florida, and someone took me by car to the Space Centre. He told me that he went to Medjugorje several times, and that I should go there too. I answered him that I regret, but I can not, for three reasons: I have no time, it is far and I have no money. He answered me that Our Lady would work a miracle. This year, a missionary from Italy told me that he was going to Medjugorje and asked me if I would like to come with him. I answered in the same way: I have no time, it is far and I have no money. When he went back home, he sent me a letter saying: the money is here, everything is ready, just open your heart to Our Lady. This is why I am here, because I venerate the Blessed Virgin Mary. I am profoundly impressed by the faith of people in the Church. It is a strong faith. I especially see many young people. I see that many people go for confession and ask to be reconciled with God. Today, this is a real miracle. People told me that for many years they did not go to Church, and since they have been to Medjugorje, they go regularly for Mass. This is a real miracle for me. Whoever has been here cannot remain silent. We have to talk. We have to distribute rosaries. A man just stopped me in a souvenir shop and gave me a rosary and a crucifix. Then he called his whole family to be blessed by a bishop from Africa, so I blessed everyone! Sincerely, what is happening here is beyond the apparitions alone. In Africa, we also have people who have apparitions. They are possible and present. I ask myself one question: If God allows apparitions, why is he doing this? To deepen our faith, to bring us to conversion I am happy if there are apparitions, but we have to go beyond them. Our faith has to be renewed, because if this is not happening, they have no meaning. If the faith is growing, then it is good.
PUPILS IN MEDJUGORJE
Among local pilgrims, these days there are many pupils at Medjugorje who at the end of their school year go for a traditional excursion. Many of them traditionally come to Medjugorje to thank the Queen of Peace for their success at school.
PILGRIMS FROM URAL
Two pilgrims from the town of Zlatoust in South Ural, at the border between Asia and Europe, came to Medjugorje from May 8 to 11, 2002.
They came to Medjugorje through some friends from Vienna (Austria) who come often to Medjugorje. The town of Zlatoust numbers about 200,000 inhabitants with only 600 Catholics. A priest comes to them once a month, teaches them catechism and celebrates Holy Mass. Every Sunday, the faithful gather for the Liturgy of the Word. They have a prayer group where they read and meditate on Our Lady´s messages. They have put a statue of Our Lady of Medjugorje into a little chapel. In thanksgiving for Our Lady´s apparitions in Medjugorje, the parish is consecrated to the Queen of Peace.
THE SOLEMNITY OF CORPUS CHRISTI CONFIRMATION IN MEDJUGORJE
On the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, May 30th, 2002, 81 candidates from the parish of Medjugorje received the sacrament of Confirmation from the hands of Msgr. Ratko Peric, Bishop of Mostar. The pastor of Medjugorje, Fr. Branko Rados, addressed his words of welcome to the Bishop. In his homily, Msgr. Peric spoke about signs that show whether we are living or not according to the Holy Spirit, and he invited the candidates not to conform to the world but to Christ.
After the evening Holy Mass, according to tradition linked to the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, there was a one-hour procession with the Blessed Sacrament through the parish, in which 38 local and foreign priests participated, as well as numerous parishioners and pilgrims.
MEETING OF CHILDREN'S CHOIRS
Another meting of children´s choirs from Herzegovina called Golden Harp was held on June 2nd, 2002, in the Franciscan church at Mostar. There were children from 11 parishes and among them the children´s choir from Medjugorje, Little Doves of Peace under the guidance of Sr. Slavica Kozul. Although the aim of these meetings is primarily to bring children together and to glorify the Lord through the song, it is not without significance that, according to common opinion, Little Doves of Peace were most successful in the interpretation of their songs.
MALTESE ORDER AGAIN AT THE SERVICE OF THE PILGRIMS
The medical services of the Maltese Order from Germany came for the fifth time to Medjugorje to be at the service of the pilgrims. During the summer months, from June 1st to November 1st, 2002, at the time of the strongest influx of the pilgrims, the Maltesers will be on duty near the parish church and will offer first-aid at the ambulance service (clinic) in a house on the way to Cross Mountain, every day from 9 am to 9 pm, and during night for urgent cases.
The Maltese Order has existed for 900 years now. Its slogan is keep the faith and help the needy, witness faith with love and be at the service of peace in the world.
In this spirit, Fr. Branko Rados, pastor of Medjugorje, welcomed the Maltese Order and its medical staff during the German pilgrim Mass. He expressed the gratitude in the name of the parishioners and the pilgrims, and invoked on them the blessing of God through the intercession of the Queen of Peace.
We thank them in the name of all those who will during this summer receive their help and the comfort of their apostolate.
ANNUAL PILGRIMAGE OF THE INTERNATIONAL INTERNET PRAYER GROUP QUEEN OF PEACE
The International Internet Prayer group Queen of Peace (www.iipg-queenofpeace.org), which is being led through the Internet by Ana and Steve Shawl (USA), comes regularly to Medjugorje for an annual pilgrimage on the occasion of the foundation of the group, June 4th.
The IIPG Queen of Peace numbers about 1500 members today from all over the world. This year, about 60 members of the group were in Medjugorje.
SEMINARS AT DOMUS PACIS
In the month of May, two Prayer and Fasting seminars for French and Russian/Ukrainian groups were held in the house of prayer Domus Pacis. For pilgrims from Russia and Ukraine, coming to Medjugorje means a sacrifice in every sense. Before the journey, they have to apply for a visa: will they receive it or not? The journey itself takes three days and three nights: to Romania by train, and the rest of the journey by bus. For Orthodox Christians, Medjugorje is a place where they feel the unity of the Church. They feel the presence of Our Lady and of Jesus in a special way. The Eucharistic adoration is a special experience for them, which they do not know in their tradition. In adoration, they feel that God is near in a very special way. After Medjugorje, they always become apostles of Our Lady´s messages. The journey, which extends far beyond their material possibilities, is always realised with the help of donations from Western Europe. For this journey, the donation was given by the organisation Gebetsaktion from Switzerland.
The Legion of Mary from Zagreb held a retreat for 34 members of their prayer group.
About 60 members of prayer groups from southern Croatia also came for a week-end of recollection.
Contact for Prayer and Fasting seminars: Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic, Zupni ured Medjugorje, Gospin trg 1, 88266 Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina. (Fax: 00 387 36 651 444)
13TH INTERNATIONAL YOUTH PRAYER MEETING
The 13th International Youth Prayer Meeting will take place from July 31st to August 6th, 2002, on the theme, WITH MARY WITNESS PEACE AND JOY. You can find the Programme and other information about it on our web page www.medjugorje.hr under INTERNATIONAL MEETINGS, Mladifest 13.
3RD INTERNATIONAL MEETING FOR MARRIED COUPLES
The 3rd International Meeting for Married Couples will take place in Medjugorje in the New Hall from February 13 to 16, 2003. The theme is, Put God at the First Place in Your Families.
Thursday, February 13, 2003
Friday, February 14, 2003
Saturday, February 15, 2003
Sunday, February 16, 2003
The coordinator of the seminar is Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic.
To bring with you: a small FM radio with headphones (for simultaneous translation) and a Bible.
All the meetings will take place in the New Hall behind the church. Participation per couple: 26 .
You may make reservations in the Information Office personally, by phone/fax: +387-36-651-988 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The number of participants is limited because of the available space in the Hall, se we ask you to send your registration as soon as possible, latest by the end of December. All the participants are invited to individually provide their accommodation in Medjugorje.
THE 10TH INTERNATIONAL MEETING FOR GUIDES AND LEADERS OF PEACE CENTRES AND MEDJUGORJE PRAYER, PILGRIM AND CHARITY GROUPS
The 10th International Meeting for Guides and Leaders of Peace Centres and Medjugorje Prayer, Pilgrim and Charity groups linked to Medjugorje will take place in the New Hall in Medjugorje from February 23 to 27, 2003. We shall publish the programme in the next issue of the Bulletin.
Published by: INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice Mira (Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace), 88266 Medjugorje.
Last Modified 06/26/2002