Fr. Łukasz Gołaś SAC: I greet Archbishop Msgr. Henryk Hoser on this important day, on the 40th Anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions in Medjugorje, June 24-25. This is a very important anniversary, it is important time in Medjugorje where pilgrims arrived, but I think it is important all over the world too.  

Archbishop Msgr. Henryk Hoser, SAC: Undoubtedly, this is a great anniversary for all the pilgrims who come to Medjugorje from all over the world in great numbers, so this joy expands internationally too. I would like to draw your attention that number 40 has a biblical meaning, it is a time when something important takes place. Indeed, something happened in this place, it still goes on and it is developing furthermore.

I can say that everything started with a testimony of six young people, children, teenagers, who claimed that they had seen Our Lady on the hill called Apparition Hill today: Our Lady introduced herself as the Queen of Peace, invited us to conversion, penance, life in the harmony with God and spreading of peace in the world. The visionaries initially met as a group, later, as the time passed, they had different, individual experiences, encounters with Our Lady, as they call it, some experiences that referred only to them. That is the basic theme, while the apparitions as such were not recognized by the Church. These apparitions have completely different character than “classic” apparitions that took place in Lourdes or in Fátima. This is one of the reasons why the Church is not rushing with its judgment. The messages of Our Lady are nothing new, she invites to conversion all the time, to prayer, fasting, penance, life according to the sacraments, so that we may discover Jesus Christ in our lives. When she speaks about unbelievers, she does not use that word, but she says those are people who did not get to know the love of God yet.   

So, the phenomenon of Medjugorje began 40 years ago. This spirituality and this place was first discovered by people who lived here in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and then this spirituality expanded to the rest of the world. Around 2 millions of people were coming to Medjugorje before this pandemic, this is a very famous place that attracts many pilgrims from all over the world. It is a very important place for Southeast Balkans, just like Częstochowa is famous in Poland. People come to Medjugorje to confess, they come here on big feasts. Even in the time of pandemic, local pilgrims were here at Holy Masses and celebrations. Thanks to all this, Medjugorje radiates unique and special atmosphere.

40 years had passed and those were 40 years of maturing and growing, there were three different periods.

The first period, the time of former Yugoslavia, the reign of communism regime, somehow can be compared to Fátima, for the regime persecuted the visionaries and priests who took care of them. The priest at that time was sentenced to two years of prison just because he protected, defended Medjugorje and refused to declare all as a lie, but claimed it was the truth. So, this was quite difficult period, similar to Fátima, where police and state services, led by masons, persecuted the children there, while the persecution here was initiated by the communists.

The second period was the period of the war. The war was in Medjugorje itself, that place remained peaceful, however, Medjugorje was the source of strength for all the people and it was the source of material help, because the humanitarian aid came from it, mostly from Italy. This aid was given to the places that needed it the most.

After the war, a young state of Bosnia and Herzegovina was developed as a result of Dayton Peace Accord, this was the state made of three religious entities, Muslims, who are most numerous, Orthodox and Roman Catholics at the south of the country.  

The geographic context of Medjugorje is such, while Medjugorje invites to peace, to unity.

In any case, this place is modest when it comes to architecture, it is far more modest than Lourdes or Fátima, if we take into consideration when the apparitions took place in those places. Here we have a terrain of a simple triangle, on one corner we have the parish church, second is Apparition Hill and the third one is Cross Mountain, place where 8 meters cross was erected in 1933, on the occasion of the Jubilee 1900th Anniversary of the Passion of our Lord.  

Due to pandemic, the number of pilgrims was reduced, but they kept on coming, of course from the neighboring countries. The number of pilgrims is increasing now and for the 40th Anniversary many of them are here, at least 50 buses from Poland, 30 buses from Ukraine, so pilgrims are back again in this place.  

What is typical of Medjugorje is that longing to return again, those who came once, keep coming back. Indeed, many are returning for several times here. I know one man from Archdiocese of Warsaw, who was coming to Medjugorje at least once a month. This is true phenomenon for me. For me that is the most appropriate expression – phenomenon. Why? First of all, because the apparitions are not recognized yet, and then because Medjugorje does not have any official status, this is just a parish, nothing more. It does not have the status of a shrine, not even destination of pilgrims, but this place has been de facto recognized by the Church. Thanks to Pope Francis, we have decrees that have given certain legal image to Medjugorje, the Apostolic Visitor with the special role for Medjugorje parish has been appointed, later on decision was made that all restrictions on organization of pilgrimages were removed and coming of bishops and cardinals was allowed, all of them including priests can officially organize the pilgrimages and celebrate the liturgy in this place.     

Therefore, we have de facto those elements that function and enable pilgrims to come in the easier way, however their arrival is a bit different now. This year we are also planning the Youth Festival to be held, it would be modest than before. Some bishops cannot come to this year’s Festival for various reasons, but there is continuous arrival of some, and I need to express my gratitude to local community of Franciscans. Their role is like of those of Pauline Fathers in   Częstochowa, thanks to them and their perseverance, Medjugorje is still developing and growing.

Fr. Łukasz Gołaś SAC: Msgr. archbishop, in these days, on June 24 and 25, there would be many people in Medjugorje. Do you have a message for all those who are there and take part in this great Anniversary?

Msgr. Henryk Hoser, SAC: The first thing that Our Lady said in Medjugorje – the invitation to penance, conversion, peace and discovering of Jesus Christ in our lives. The second very important aspect that functions in Medjugorje is a life according to the sacraments. Often, our daily life is deprived of the sacraments. We could say our lives are over-humanistic and not so religious, particularly in the terms of faith and Christianity. This place reminds us how important relationship of man and God is. We have different horizontal relations with other people, relations that are more developed or perhaps not so much, but this relationship with God has been very much neglected. It is made of the immediate contact between God and man, expressed in daily prayer and the appropriate way of life. We need to give witness in our Christian culture, in our behavior, our individual and social morality. This was emphasized already in the apostolic time. I think these elements are very much present in Medjugorje message and people always gladly return to their daily lives, carrying in their hearts those fruits they received in the course of their pilgrimages.

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Archbishop HenryK Hoser

Dear American pilgrims, I am addressing you from Medjugorje, from this place that you like, that you visit often during normal times. However, because of the pandemic we are going through difficult times not only in the United States, not only in the world, but also here in Medjugorje. We suffer because of the situation of few pilgrims. We are all assigned to this health regime and we miss our mobility in the world. And here, as you know, we venerate the Holy Virgin, Queen of Peace, this peace we want to proclaim to all of you who are close and those who are far away.

The time that we live in, one can compare to a very grave moment, which is noted in the Gospel. After the death of Our Lord, the world was immersed in darkness as the evangelists tell us. When Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Man, was sent by God to save us, died in human hearts, hearts were filled with darkness, also this world that caused the death of Jesus Christ, fell into darkness.

We have to be able to read what is being presented as a “sign of the time”. God, who is Master of history, who is the master of our present life, wants us to know what the sign tells us, it is, “Without Me, you can’t do anything” so we have to attach ourselves to His presence in us, and around us, so that we can dispel darkness, so that we can go towards the Light. He brings us light, as the Canticle of Zechariah says; today He is the sunshine that comes from on high. Today, we are so much in need of this sunshine.

In my message, I will address from living here, intelligently, with intelligence from the heart, the situation in the United States. I would like to formulate a perspective: if the United States promises and projects a life towards the development of human life and protection of Human life in all stages of existence, the United States will be saved. If your politics pushes you towards the negation of the values of human life, all of that will contribute to the enlargement of a darkness that scares us all.

Therefore we are all witness to the proclamation of hope in the world, the hope that comes from God because God comes to us from the future. He is waiting for us in the time to come. He is not waiting for us any more in history. We are going towards Him. So we can live what he offers us – peace with God and peace with all men, starting with those who are close to us to those who are far away from us.

So, may this time when we await better times strengthen your fidelity and give you courage to overcome difficult moments of your life. May the Holy Virgin, Queen of Peace, bless you, protect you, and love you without limit.

Archbishop Hoser.

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Vatican Authorizes Church Organized Pilgrimages

May 13, 2019

May 12, 2019 We want to share an important announcement from the Vatican regarding Medjugorje. This is another step forward in the Vatican’s formal approval of Medjugorje. For anyone not closely following the Church’s position on Medjugorje, let me provide a brief summary. Before I continue there will be a local food drive recollecting food […]

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Vatican mission begins in Medjugorje

July 24, 2018

July 22, 2018, is marked as one of the most important days in the history of the parish of Medjugorje. After recently being appointed as Apostolic Visitor to Medjugorje for an indefinite period of time by Pope Francis (see official letter at the end of this post), retired Archbishop Henryk Hoser celebrated Sunday Mass at […]

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Press Release: Appointment of Apostolic visitation team with a special role for the parish of Medjugorje

May 31, 2018

On May 31, 2018, the Holy Father appointed Archbishop Henryk Hoser, S.A.C., retired bishop of Warsaw-Prague (Poland), Apostolic Visitor with a special role for the parish of Medjugorje, for an indefinite time, and ad nutum Sanctae Sedis. It is exclusively for the pastoral ministry, continuing on the mission of the Special Envoy of the Holy […]

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The devotion of Medjugorje is allowed. It’s not prohibited, and need not be done in secret.

December 7, 2017

Dec 7, 2017 – From Aleteia, Saint Ambrose of Milan “The devotion of Medjugorje is allowed. It’s not prohibited, and need not be done in secret,” confirmed Archbishop Henryk Hoser of Warsaw-Praga, Poland, now some months after being sent to Medjugorje by Pope Francis to evaluate not the veracity of the apparitions, but the state of […]

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Vatican Delegate Expects Holy See To Approve Medjugorje Apparitions

September 1, 2017

August 21, 2017 Archbishop Henryk Hoser, who was sent to Medjugorje by Pope Francis in March to investigate the spiritual welfare of the community, has said that he expects the Holy See to approve the reported apparitions there.Archbishop Hoser said that there is “every indication” that the Vatican will recognize at least the first reported […]

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Amazing News From the Vatican On Medjugorje – The Ruini Report

May 25, 2017

Many of you have been following the recent statements given by Cardinal Schonborn, Cardinal Hoser, and others on Medjugorje. We have all been waiting patiently to hear news about the 2010-2014 special commission, established by Pope Benedict, which continued the investigation into the ongoing apparitions in Medjugorje. The wait is now over! The Ruini report, […]

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Historic Words from Vatican on Medjugorje. “The specific role of Medjugorje is utterly important …You can say to the whole world that there is a light with Medjugorje”

April 5, 2017

PRESS CONFERENCE OF PAPAL ENVOY, ARCHBISHOP HENRYK HOSER This is a report of the highlights of today’s press conference with the Papal Envoy to Medjugorje. First, it should be noted that during the Archbishop’s talk there was an electricity in the room. Participants at the press conference sensed something historic and special was taking place. Archbishop […]

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What Pope’s Envoy concluded in Medjugorje?

April 3, 2017

Special Envoy of Pope Francis for Medjugorje, Polish Archbishop Henryk Hoser, at the Mass that was held in Medjugorje where alleged apparitions of Virgin Mary were recorded, said that “confessions are the greatest miracle of Medjugorje”. “The greatest miracle of Medjugorje are confessions. The sacrament of forgiveness and mercy. It is the sacrament of the […]

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