Guidelines 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:
1. 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.
2. Prayer meetings within the parish can be organized only with the permission of the pastor.
3. 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.
4. No one has the permission to “pray over” any person either in or around the church area.
5. 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.
6. Leaders of pilgrim groups must arrange their meetings with priests of the parish or with visionaries through the Parish Information Office.
7. 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.
8. 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
9. You are asked not to make any other arrangements during the evening prayer program in the church.
10. 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.
11. 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 not be left on Apparition Hill or on Cross Mountain.
12. Smoking is not allowed in and around the church.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. 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, OFM, pastor
Instructions for Priests On Pilgrimage in Medjugorje
In the name of all the priests serving this parish, I wish you a sincere welcome in the parish of Medjugorje. I thank you from the heart for your desire and your availability to visit this place of grace and of prayer. May God the Almighty, through the intercession of our Heavenly Mother, the Queen of Peace, reward all the efforts and pains, which you take while coming here. May through you and your sacerdotal service, that God be glorified in this place, where means of salvation are offered in greater abundance to the faithful from the whole world. I am convinced that your arrival here and your stay in this high-place of prayer will be a true spiritual cooling. I am convinced that, here, more strongly than elsewhere, you will feel at which point the faithful of our modern times need the priest – the dispenser of the mysteries of God.
This is why I allow myself to solicit you through this text to be heralds of the mercy of Christ and of his love for us men, by the power of your priestly service and with the authorizations that the Church gave you. So that your stay among us may be as pleasant and useful as possible, I would like to give you some recommendations and to draw your attention to the rules, which you must keep. I sincerely ask you to read them attentively and to act in consequence:
We ask you to keep integrally the rules of the Church envisaged by the Code of the Canon Law, the general liturgical rules and the directives and the rules of the proper authorities of the Church in connection with the life and the service of the priest.
To take part in the liturgical life of the parish, according to the rules of the Church, it is necessary to have a recommendation letter of your bishop or your superior (celebret), not older than one year (Cf: Code of the Canon Law, Can. 903)
Bring with you of the liturgical vestments (the alb and the stole). The Eucharistic celebration is not authorized without vestments prescribed by liturgical rubriques. (Cf: Code of the Canon Law, Can. 929)
If you have the necessary authorizations, you have the possibility to concelebrate Mass in your mother tongue or in the language, which you know, at the hours envisaged by the weekly schedules of the Masses. If you wish to preside the mass or to give the homily, address yourself to the official personnel of the Parish, which charged for this.
In your homilies, respect the recommendations of the Church, by paying attention to national, cultural and other diversities of the pilgrims who listen to you.
It is allowed to celebrate the Eucharist only in sacred places, officially approved for that. By a decision of the local bishop, it is expressly forbidden to celebrate Mass in pensions, private houses where you stay, on the hills or in any community or chapel on the territory of the parish of Medjugorje. (Cf: Diocese of Mostar No 525/99) For any clarifications, you can address yourselves to the Information Booth.
The central liturgical part of the day is the Evening Prayer Programme. You are invited, if you fill of the conditions above, to concelebrate the evening Mass. Before Mass, please register in the Book of presence, which is at the sacristy of the parish church (name, first name and country of origin). All your mass intentions are your intentions.
If, according to directives of the Canon Law, you have the faculty to hear confessions, we ask you to be at the disposal of the pilgrims for the confessions in your mother tongue or the language, which you speak.
For the sacrament of Confession, be dressed according to liturgical regulations (alb, stole). Do not confess outside of the confessionals, except if you have a legitimate reason of it. (Cf: Code Canon law, Can. 964)
With your group of pilgrims, you can organize prayer meetings in suitable places (Apparition Hill, Cross Mountain, Site of the Risen Saviour...), while paying attention not to disturb other pilgrims.
During the common Evening Prayer Programme in the parish church, it is not allowed to organize other prayer programmes on the territory of the parish.
Meetings with the pilgrims and conferences for the pilgrims in the buildings belonging to the parish can be led only by the priests who have a canonical mission in this parish. All the others must require this permission from the parish priest.
Without the agreement of the parish priest, it is not allowed to organize “healing prayers” or “to pray over others”. If you have received the necessary authorization, you must strictly respect the recommendations of the Church.
As much as it is possible, we want to be at your disposal for all your priestly needs.
With God's blessing,
Dr. Fr Ivan Sesar, OFM, parish priest