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Thank you Pope Francis for sending Archbishop Henryk Hoser to Medjugorje

By Fr Marinko Šakota OFM


Our Archbishop Henryk Hoser, the apostolic visitor for the parish of Medjugorje, has left us. The bishop who was a true father left us. He was a dear person who loved people and whom people loved.


His paternal care and kindness could be felt daily by all of us friars who lived with him and the pilgrims who met him. At first glance, he may have seemed stern to some, but he was actually a man full of kindness.


A friend of Medjugorje left. From the very beginning, from 2017, when he came as a personal envoy of Pope Francis, Archbishop Hoser fell in love with Medjugorje. His words “we Medjugorje citizens”, which he uttered at the Mass on the feast of St. James in Gaj, speak of his identification with the parishioners of this parish.


He carefully observed the pastoral events in Medjugorje and studied the existing phenomenon with great interest. In contrast to some who sought and emphasised only negative phenomena, as a friend of truth Archbishop Hoser was able to see positive things, full confessionals, Christocentrism of Medjugorje spirituality, so many pilgrims seeking God, care and concern of us Franciscans for the spiritual construction of pilgrims and the efforts of Medjugorje parishioners. about receiving pilgrims to their homes. He thus greatly contributed to a positive image and a cheerful atmosphere when it came to journalistic or some other judgment of Medjugorje.


Archbishop Hoser not only spoke positively about Medjugorje spirituality, but he lived it personally. Three times a week he was present at the adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar and the Friday prayer before the cross, and on Wednesdays and Fridays he fasted. He loved Our Lady very much and was influenced by her.


At frequent meetings in his office, he expressed his views on certain issues, but he was always able to listen to other opinions. Žarko wanted a chapel of worship to be built in Medjugorje and other necessary facilities that would be in the service of pastoral care. He invited architects, both from the Vatican and from Poland, to offer their proposals. But unfortunately the corona virus pandemic disrupted plans.


Having personally experienced the beauty of Mladifest in 2018, and after Pope Francis allowed the organisation of pilgrimages to Medjugorje in 2019, he invited cardinals and bishops to Mladifest so that they too could experience Medjugorje spirituality and so that young people could experience the fullness of the Church


When he first came to Medjugorje as the Pope's envoy in 2017, he immediately wanted to go to the Apparition Hill and, despite his physical weakness due to malaria, managed to climb it. Although the seers were not within the scope of his action, he nevertheless acted humanely and talked to them. He wanted to meet them and hear their voice and experiences in person, which meant a lot to the visionaries. Thus, by his example, he showed how the past should have been treated and how it should be treated in the future.


He loved our Franciscan community in Medjugorje. He gladly stayed in our company and emphasised our cheerfulness and joy. He had a sense of humour. With his simplicity and humility, he enabled good communication.


In the end, I can only say: Thank you, Pope Francis, for sending Archbishop Henryk Hoser to Medjugorje as a personal envoy and then as an apostolic visitor!


Thank you to Archbishop Henryk Hoser for everything he has done for Medjugorje! And what he has done is very much and of inestimable importance!


source: Radio Station Mir Medjugorje, transcription:

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