M E D I T A T I O N
We celebrated the 17th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady. Through the liturgy and prayer we immersed once more into the secret of God's presence and the motherly love of Our Lady. More than ten thousand pilgrims climbed the Hill of Apparitions and Cross Mountain, they prayed and celebrated the Eucharist. In front of the confessionals there was an atmosphere of remorse and conversion. Thousands of pilgrims had made their pilgrimage on foot. Among them were many young people and children, but there were also many older people. Many of the faithful came from the most distant parts of the world. This 17th anniversary was like all the previous 16 anniversaries. On this 17th anniversary, Our Lady gave us a short but important message -- a message, which contains thankfulness and warmth, directness and closeness. This time, Our Lady did not ask us to be wiser or more reasonable, but She blessed and thanked us instead. This simplicity, of wanting to be one of us, makes it possible for us to understand more easily how She wanted and was able to open Herself to God from the very beginning and how She was filled with joy, despite the afflictions which then came upon Her one after the other.
Our Lady is not afraid to be one of us.
This year's message gives us the opportunity to reflect on some of Her messages of previous anniversaries.
She invited us to pray the rosary in order to fight the evil which Satan wants to inflict on the Catholic Church.
Then came the invitation to make the parish into an oasis of peace, which should be well cared-for and pure. Later She called us to get to know the peace which God gives and the love which surrenders to God and pleases Him. She asked us to live Her messages, She was joyful and She thanked for our prayers, sacrifices and pilgrimages. She also did not forget to call us to conversion.
We thank you, Holy Mother, Queen of Peace!
Fr. Ivan Landeka
N E W S
17TH ANNIVERSARY OF OUR LADY'S APPARITIONS IN THE PARISH OF MEDJUGORJE
During these past 17 years the presence of Our Lady in the parish of Medjugorje has been spread by the pilgrims over the entire world. Despite the atrocities of war in our homeland, the message of peace reached even the most remote parts of the world and thus transformed Medjugorje into a parish of the entire world. This was again confirmed by the fact that on the occasion of the 17th anniversary Medjugorje was visited by about 100.000 faithful. It is almost impossible to mention all the countries from which the pilgrims came to honor Our Lady. The most numerous were from Germany, France, the United States, the Czech Republic, Ireland, England, Austria, Italy, Belgium, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Rumania, Korea, Argentine, Mexico, Puerto Rico and from Brasil. The largest single group came from Poland, consisting of about 2.000 pilgrims who were accompanied by more than 50 priests. There was also a great number of Korean pilgrims, of whom many came bare-foot to Medjugorje to pray for peace to Mary, the Queen of Peace.
Due to the pilgrims from the many different languages groups, holy mass was celebrated in 16 languages during the mornings on the 24th and 25th of June. Alone on these two days 50.000 holy communions were distributed.
On the 24th of June, the eve of the anniversary, holy mass was celebrated by Fr. Miro Sego, who also gave the homily, and 195 priests from 26 countries were concelebrating. Approximately 30.000 faithful took part in the celebration of this holy mass.
In the early morning of June 24th, the seventh "March for Peace" took place. It began at 7 o'clock in the morning with prayers and the blessing of the pilgrims and started from the Franciscan monastery in Humac. About 7.000 pilgrims took part in this march, accompanying the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar to Medjugorje. Upon their arrival in Medjugorje, the pilgrims gathered in front of the church and said a short prayer together. The idea of this "March for Peace" was initiated in the hearts of the pilgrims and friends of Medjugorje at a time when the war was being waged most heavily in 1992. This march of prayer, which follows a route13 km long, is the answer to the lack of peace, violence and hate, but also an invitation to true peace and reconciliation.
THE YEARLY APPARITION OF THE VISIONARY IVANKA
The visionary Ivanka IvankoviŠ-Elez had her usual yearly apparition of June 25, 1998. According to the testimony of the visionaries Vicka, Marija, Ivan and Jacov, Our Lady is still appearing to them daily, whereas Mirjana and Ivanka have the apparition once per year. On the day of her last daily apparition on May 7, 1985, after having been given the tenth secret, Our Lady told Ivanka that she would have one apparition each year for the rest of her life on the day of the anniversary. This is how it also was this year. Ivanka had the apparition in her home and it lasted six minutes. After the apparition, Ivanka said, "Our Lady was joyful. I asked her to bless everyone, which She did. Our Lady talked to me about all the secrets. She invited us to pray for the families at this time and especially to pray for the sick. She called us to open our hearts and to thank Her son for the grace He has given us. At the end, Our Lady thanked us for our prayers and love."
THE NATIONAL MARIAN MEETING IN MARIJA BISTRICA
The Croatian Marian Institute of the Catholic Faculty of the University in Zagreb organized the scientific Marian Meeting, which took place on June 5th and 6th in the Croatian national Marian shrine Marija Bistrica. The theme of the meeting was "Croatian Marian Shrines in the Spiritual Renewal of Croatia". Fr. Slavko BarbariŠ also helped with the preparations for this meeting and gave a talk about "Medjugorje, a Concrete Example of Help for the Needy of Today". After a short summary of the events of Medjugorje, Fr. Slavko pointed out that in Medjugorje, as in many other shrines, people are first of all being helped through the confessions and then also with concrete forms of assistance, which were inspired by the messages of Our Lady in Medjugorje.
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 07/01/98