July 24, 2021
Cardinal Sarah to attend Medjugorje Youth Festival
• This year's 32nd Youth Festival in Medjugorje (Mladifest) will be held from August 1 to 8 under the motto “What good must I do?” (Mt 19:16)
A large number of church dignitaries are expected and Mass celebrations will be led by: Cardinal Robert Sarah (pictured); Apostolic Nuncio to BiH Archbishop Luigi Pezzuto; Archbishop Tadeusz Wojda; Bishop Guido Gallese and Fr Miljenko Šteko, Provincial of the Herzegovina Franciscan Province.
“Their participation is a great event and a great joy for all of us,” said Medjugorje’s parish priest Fr Marinko Šakota. “Young people are happy when they see that shepherds are with them, and shepherds are happy when they see so many young people praying and praising the Lord.”
July 20, 2021
Gianluca Vialli: “It’s time for gratitude”
• Following Italy’s Euro 2020 Final victory against England, Gianluca Vialli. the former Chelsea player and manager and now assistant to the Italian national team coach Roberto Mancini, travelled to Bergamo and the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Hope to give thanks for Italy’s success. He made the announcement personally on social networks, saying “This is a time of gratitude.”
After the Wembley Final Vialli remained in London where he resides and did not return to Rome with the team to celebrate. Instead he returned later to Italy and last Sunday went to Bergamo to honour and pay tribute to Our Lady for the great joy given to him and to all of Italy. source: ilsussidiaro.net
July 9, 2021
Roberto Mancini, a pilgrim in Medjugorje
• The Italian national football coach Roberto Mancini first arrived in Medjugorje as a pilgrim on March 25, 2012, the feast of the Annunciation. The message of Our Lady given that evening to the Medjugorje seer Marija Pavlovic was:
Dear children! Also today, with joy, I desire to give you my motherly blessing and to call you to prayer. May prayer become a need for you to grow more in holiness every day. Work more on your conversion because you are far away, little children. Thank you for having responded to my call.
A firm believer in the apparitions, Mancini has returned to Medjugorje several times since and formed a close bond with the seer Vicka who, he claims, once appeared to him in a dream before he met her.
In an interview with Pierluigi Diaco, Mancini gave this account of the dream: “I was in a room with a few people and the visionary Vicka was with me who, at a certain point, smiled at me staring into my eyes, so much so that, suddenly, I turned to see if she was looking at someone else. But all of a sudden, Vicka moved and headed towards me, so much so that, at that point, I no longer had any doubts. She came up to me, she came closer, she stared at me again, looking me straight in the eye. Then he gave me a kiss on the forehead. I felt the sensation of the physical contact of a person who, however, I had never seen or known in life.”
• Mancini’s Italian team face England in the final of the 2020 European Football Championship at London’s Wembley Stadium on Sunday.
July 8, 2021
New appointment for St James parish, Medjugorje
• Among the many pastoral changes and appointments made earlier this month by Msgr Petar Palić, bishop of Mostar-Duvno and Apostolic Administrator of of Trebinje-Mrkan, is Fr Antonio Primorac OFM, who now serves as parish vicar of St James the Apostle, Medjugorje.
July 6, 2021
A record number of concelebrating priests
• On June 25, 2021, the 40th Anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions was celebrated in Medjugorje. Fr MiljenkoSteko, the Provincial of the Herzegovinian Franciscan Province was the main celebrant of the solemn Holy Mass, along with 368 concelebrating priests, the highest number in all these years for this anniversary occasion.
July 5, 2021
Please pray for Nashir
• Please pray for NASHIR, one of many patients I recently shared a hospital ward with. Nashir is from Bangladesh and has been in hospital for the past five months. My own stay lasted nine days after I was admitted on June 24. The ward bedded 20 men suffering with various medical conditions and because of Covid restrictions none of the patients were allowed visitors unless they were considered close to death. Nashir’s daughter and his brother visit him daily.
June 23, 2021
Pilgrims return to Medjugorje by the thousands
• The head of the Medjugorje Tourist Board, Željko Vasilj, reports: “Currently, there are more than two thousand pilgrims in Medjugorje, and reservations to mark the anniversary of Our Lady's apparitions have been confirmed by more than 10,000 foreign guests from various parts of the world.”
Vasilj points out that guests from the USA are already arriving, and pilgrims from Brazil are on their way, but this year most guests will come from eastern bloc countries.
"About 1,500 guests have already arrived from Poland and we expect twice as many still to come from there. Reservations have also been confirmed by guests from the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania, so that they will be fifty percent of the total number of foreign guests. The rest are guests from the West, including Germany, Austria, France, Spain, but also America. Some Irish people will also attend, and the Italians, who have always been our main guests, will be the least in number because of Italy’s quarantine restrictions,” Vasilj explained.
June 20, 2021
He lets his glory be seen...
• High temperatures of between 32-34º are forecast for Medjugorje during this coming week, and on Friday for the 40th-anniversary celebrations of the Medjugorje phenomenon.
June 19, 2021
Medjugorje is a missionary focus for Europe
• What impressed me in Medjugorje was not the apparitions and inexplicable phenomena, but above all the intensity with which the sacraments are celebrated and the normal things of Catholicism are practiced, such as Eucharistic adoration, the Way of the Cross, and the Rosary. Everything in the Marian pilgrimage site is oriented towards the encounter with Jesus Christ. At the same time, Medjugorje is a place where God also calls people.
Fr Karl Wallner, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies (Missio), Austria
June 11, 2021
Some good news for Medjugorje and pilgrims
• Today, the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina finally voted on new rules and conditions for the entry of all foreigners into BiH. This means that people who have been vaccinated or have survived the coronavirus will be able to enter the country without a negative PCR test.
It was also decided that an antigen test will be recognised at the BiH border. Until now, only Serbs, Croats and Montenegrins could enter BiH without a PCR test. And this will mean a lot for BiH tourism and the economy in general.
The state ministers were also under pressure from tourist workers who have been protesting in recent days, demanding that conditions for entry of foreigners be eased. Source: Klick
This is good news in time for pilgrims wanting to attend the 40th anniversary of the Medjugorje phenomenon on June 25, and also the annual Medjugorje International Youth Festival which runs from August 1 to August 6.
June 6, 2021
“What good must I do?”
• The 32nd annual Medjugorje Youth Festival is scheduled for later this year from August 1 to August 6. The theme for the six-day event is adapted from the passage in Luke’s Gospel, chapter 20, when a rich young man approached Jesus and said: “Master, what good deed must I do to possess eternal life?” Jesus then responded by pointing out the dangers of riches and the reward of renunciation.
June 4, 2021
40th Anniversary processions
• An added event to this year’s programme celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Medjugorje phenomenon will be a procession from Podbrdo (where Our Lady first appeared) to the parish church of St James.
The procession takes place on June 25 and will start from Podbrdo at 4:30pm so that participants are able to arrive at the parish church in time for the start of the evening prayer programme.
The annual Peace Walk from Humac to Medjugorje that originated in 1992 is scheduled for June 24, the feast of the Nativity of John the Baptist.
May 31, 2021
Setback for ‘tourists’ wanting to enter BiH
• Disappointingly today, the outcome of the meeting of the BiH Council of Ministers resulted in no relaxation of the current rule for foreign visitors and tourists entering Bosnia and Herzegovina. Foreigners still need to produce a negative COVID-19 (PCR) test result that is not older than 48 hours, although some groups are exempt from this rule.
Seemingly the decision is political and become a bargaining tool adopted by a particular minister wanting to change the visa regime for Saudia Arabia, contrary to agreements already in place.
Meanwhile, the tourist industry in Bosnia and Hercegovina continues to suffer, including the celebration plans for the 40th anniversary of the Medjugorje phenomenon on June 24.
May 31, 2021
“Why should we be so honoured with a visit from the mother of Our Lord?”
• Today we celebrate the Feast of the Visitation when Mary, pregnant with Jesus, visited her cousin Elizabeth, pregnant with John the Baptist. It was on the Nativity of John the Baptist that the Queen of Peace first visited Medjugorje forty years ago – June 24, 1981. See Mary’s Unspoken Message.
May 30, 2021
A gallery of Medjugorje images from the past
• Photographer Geraint Lewis has published a gallery of historic Medjugorje images in mono and colour on his website: The Geraint Lewis Photography Archive. Well worth a visit.
May 29, 2021
Newly-formed Medjugorje Tourist Association puts pressure on BiH government
• The recently formed Association of Tourism, Hoteliers and Room Renters (UTHIS) at Medjugorje has threatened to organise protests and lawsuits if the Bosnia and Hercegovina Council of Ministers does not facilitate easier entry into the country for visitors and tourists.
Currently in force is entry only to persons with a negative PCR test, which UTHIS claims is unacceptable and that any delay in easing the requirements will only contribute to quicken the demise of many local businesses.
With the anniversary of the apparitions less than a month away, the Association is increasingly worried about the future since many of its members have not worked these past 18 months and receive no financial support from the government.
May 28, 2021
Pope Francis met with Mostar-Duvno bishop today
• Pope Francis today received bishop Petar Palić of the Mostar-Duvno diocese in a private audience. Was Medjugorje on the agenda?
Bishop Palic was appointed in July 2020 to replace Ratko Perić on his retirement.
Archbishop Henryk Hoser, the apostolic visitator for Medjugorje, is currently absent from the parish while being treated in Warsaw for complications associated with the Covid-19 virus and his hospitalization.
May 28, 2021
The Harrowing of Hell
• The bronze Risen Saviour sculpture at Medjugorje was created by Andrej Ajdič. The Slovenian artist describes his creation in this way:
“My sculpture of Christ differs from the classic images and doesn’t resemble them at all. It is a result of a different approach to the theme and introduces a new reflection, which succeeds in creating in a single sculpture both the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ. My Jesus symbolises both… In this single sculpture I have managed to present two mysteries simultaneously: Crucifixion and Resurrection.”
What Ajdic doesn’t mention is that between the period of Christ’s death on the cross and his resurrection, Jesus descended into Hell – sometimes referred to as “the Harrowing of Hell” – to claim the souls of the righteous who had died earlier. In one sense harrowing can mean to ‘break open’; in another, ‘to provoke feelings of fear or horror’.
A famous painting from 1893 – “The Scream” – by the Nowegian artist Edvard Munch is said to symbolise the fear and anxiety of the human condition, and express a harrowing experience. Under certain light conditions a similar image can be seen to manifest on the abdomen of the Risen Saviour sculpture – a section that could be interpreted as the Harrowing of Hell, the stage between Christ’s death and his resurrection.
May 25, 2021
Latest Medjugorje message given to Marija Pavlovic
• Dear children! Today I am looking at you and calling: return to God because he is love and out of love has sent me to you to lead you on the way of conversion. Leave sin and evil, decide for holiness and joy will begin to reign; and you will be my extended hands in this lost world. I desire that you be prayer and hope to those who have not come to know the God of love. Thank you for having responded to my call.
May 22, 2021
Testing times at Medjugorje
• A mobile unit has been set up in Medjugorje to test pilgrims for coronavirus and will operate from Tuesday, May 25. The tests will be performed by employees of the Čitluk Health Centre in cooperation with the University Clinical Hospital at Mostar.
The mobile unit is located at the Maltese Ambulance centre close to St James parish church in Medjugorje. Test results will be completed on the same day and issued in foreign languages for pilgrims requiring documentation and proof when crossing borders and returning to their home country.
Test prices have still to be announced.
Bosnia & Hercegovina is currently an amber-isted country for people travelling from the United Kingdom. Check this gov.uk link for restrictions and requirements, and for any updated information.
May 22, 2021
Forty years ago... fiction triumphed by truth
• Forty years ago the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark first appeared on cinema screens. Starring Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in search of the Ark of the Covenant, the movie became a big success and grossed millions of dollars worldwide.
Remarkably, just twelve days later on June 24, 1981, the “Ark of the Covenant”, Our Lady Queen of Peace, first appeared in Medjugorje bearing the Infant Jesus in her arms.
April 28, 2021
Joe Walsh Tours ceases trading
• Joe Walsh Tours, one of the main travel companies operating pilgrimages to Medjugorje from Ireland and the UK, has ceased trading after sixty years in business.
The High Court in Dublin has appointed provisional liquidators for the company devasted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Details for making claims and obtaining refunds can be found at this link.
March 28, 2021
Death of former Medjugorje pastor
• Fr Kevin Devine, who pastored english-speaking pilgrims at Medjugorje for many years, died in New York on March 25. He was 90 and served as a priest for 65 years which included 31 years service as chaplain to the United States Army. RIP.