Medjugorje Story

Five visionaries Ivan Dragićević, Vicka Ivanković, Marija Pavlović, Ivanka Ivanković and Mirjana Dragićević responded to Fr. Bubalo appeal and signed their completed questionnaire forms at Humac in 1992. in which he asked them to supply answers to a number of questions relating to Our Lady’s appearance. Because of circumstances, the sixth visionary  Jakov Čolo was unable to return his questionnaire form, but he agreed with what the other visionaries said.

our-lady-medjugorje-tihaljina

We now present the questions in full and the results of the visionaries’ brief answers.

1. As the first thing, tell me: how tall is the Madonna that you regularly see?
About 165 cm – Like me. (Vicka) [5 feet 5 inches]

2. Does she look rather “slender”, slim or . . .?
She looks rather slender.

3. About how many kilograms do you think she weighs?
About 60 kilograms (132 pounds).

4. About how old do you think she is?
From 18 to 20 years old.

5. When she is with the Child Jesus does she look older?
She looks as usual – she looks the same.

6. When Our Lady is with you is she always standing or . . .
Always standing.

7. On what is she standing?
On some little cloud.

8. What colour is that little cloud?
The cloud is a whitish color.

9. Have you ever seen her kneel?
Never! (Vicka, Ivan, Ivanka. . .)

10. Naturally your Madonna also has her own face. How does it look: round or rather long – oval?
It’s rather long – oval – normal.

11. What colour is her face?
Normal – rather light – rosy cheeks.

12. What colour is her brow?
Normal – mainly light like her face.

13. What kind of lips does Our Lady have – rather thick or thin?
Normal – beautiful – they are more thin.

14. What colour are they?
Reddish – natural colour.

15. Does Our Lady have any dimples, as we people usually have?
Ordinarily she doesn’t – perhaps a little, if she smiles. (Mirjana)

16. Is there some pleasant smile ordinarily noticeable on her countenance?
Maybe – more like some indescribable gentleness – there’s a smile visible as if somehow under her skin. (Vicka)

17. What is the colour of Our Lady’s eyes?
Her eyes are wonderful! Clearly blue. (all)

18. Are they rather big or . . .?
More normal – maybe a little bit bigger. (Marija)

19. How are her eyelashes?
Delicate – normal.

20. What colour are her eyelashes?
Normal – no special colour.

21. Are they thinner or . . .?
Ordinary – normal.

22. Of course, Our Lady also has a nose. What is it like: sharp or . . .?
A nice, little nose (Mirjana) – normal, harmonizing with her face. (Marija)

23. And Our Lady’s eyebrows?
Her eyebrows are thin – normal – more of a black colour.

24. How is your Madonna dressed?
She is clothed in a simple woman’s dress.

25. What colour is her dress?
Her dress is grey – maybe a little bluish-grey. (Mirjana)

26. Is the dress tight-fitting or does it fall freely?
It falls freely.

27. How far down does her dress reach?
All the way down to the little cloud on which she’s standing – it blends into the cloud.

28. How far up around the neck?
Normally – up to the beginning of her neck.

29. Is a part of Our Lady’s neck visible?
Her neck is visible, but nothing of her bosom is visible.

30. How far do her sleeves reach?
Up to her palms.

31. Is Our Lady’s dress hemmed with anything?
No, not with anything.

32. Is there anything pulled in or tied around Our Lady’s waist?
No, there’s nothing.

33. On the body of the Madonna that you see, is her femininity noticeable?
Of course it’s noticeable! But nothing specially. (Vicka)

34. Is there anything else on Our Lady besides this dress described?
She has a veil on her head.

35. What colour is that veil?
The veil is a white colour.

36. Pure white or . . .?
Pure white.

37. How much of her does the veil cover?
It covers her head, shoulders and complete body from the back and from the sides.

38. How far down does it reach?
It reaches down to the little cloud, also like her dress.

39. How far does it cover in front?
It covers from the back and from the sides.

40. Does the veil look firmer, thicker than Our Lady’s dress?
No it doesn’t – it’s similar to the dress.

41. Is there any kind of jewellery on her?
There is no kind of jewellery.

42. Is the veil trimmed with anything at the ends?
Not with anything.

43. Does Our Lady have any kind of ornament at all?
She has no kind.

44. For example, on her head or around the head?
Yes – she has a crown of stars on her head.

45. Are there always stars around her head?
Ordinarily there are – there always are. (Vicka)

46. For example, when she appears with Jesus?
She’s the same way.

47. How many stars are there?
There are twelve of them.

48. What colour are they?
Golden – gold colour.

49. Are they in any way connected with each other?
They are connected with something – so that can stay up. (Vicka)

50. Is a little bit of Our Lady’s hair visible?
A little bit of her hair is visible.

51. Where do you see it?
A little above her forehead – from under the veil – from the left side.

52. What colour is it?
Its black.

53. Is either of Our Lady’s ears ever visible?
No, they are never visible.

54. How is that?
Well, the veil covers her ears.

55. What is Our Lady usually looking at during the apparition?
Usually she is looking at us – sometimes at something else, at what she’s showing.

56. How does Our Lady hold her hands?
Her hands are free, relaxed, extended.

57. When does she hold her hands folded?
Almost never – maybe sometimes at the “Glory be”.

58. Does she ever move, gesture with her hands during the apparitions?
She does not gesture, except when she shows something.

59. Which way are her palms turned when her hands are extended?
Her palms are usually relaxed upwards – her fingers are relaxed in the same way.

60. Are her fingernails then also visible?
They are partially visible.

61. How are they – which colour are they?
Natural colour – clean-cut fingernails.

62. Have you ever seen Our Lady’s legs?
No – never – her dress always covers them.

63. Finally, is Our Lady really beautiful, as you have said?
Well, really we haven’t told you anything about that – her beauty cannot be described – it is not our kind of beauty – that is something ethereal – something heavenly – something that we’ll only see in Paradise – and then only to a certain degree.

On June 24, 1981, at about 6pm, six young parishioners from Medjugorje: Ivanka Ivankovic, Mirjana Dragicevic, Vicka Ivankovic, Ivan Dragicevic, Ivan Ivankovic and Milka Pavlovic, saw on the hill Crnica (on the place called Podbrdo) an apparition, a white form with a child in her arms. Surprised and scared, they did not approach.

The next day at the same time, June 25, 1981, four of them, Ivanka Ivankovic, Mirjana Dragicevic, Vicka Ivankovic and Ivan Dragicevic, felt strongly drawn towards the place where, the day before, they saw the One who they had recognised as Our Lady. Marija Pavlovic and Jakov Colo joined them. The group of Medjugorje visionaries was formed. They prayed with Our Lady and talked to Her. From that day onward, they had daily apparitions, together or separately. Milka Pavlovic and Ivan Ivankovic have never seen Our Lady any more.

 

Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo was born on March 18th, 1965, in Sarajevo. She had daily apparitions until December 25th, 1982. On that day, entrusting to her the tenth secret, Our Lady told her that for the rest of her life she would have one yearly apparition, on March 18th. Since August 2nd, 1987, on each second day of the month, she hears interiorly Our Lady’s voice and prays with her for unbelievers. Sometimes she also sees her. Mirjana is married, she has two children, and she lives with her family in Medjugorje. The prayer intention that Our Lady confided her: for unbelievers, those who have not come to know the love of God.

 

Ivanka Ivankovic-Elez was born on June 21st, 1966, in Bijakovici, in the parish of Medjugorje. She was the first one who saw Our Lady. She had daily apparitions until May 7th, 1985. On that day, confiding to her the tenth secret, Our Lady told her that for the rest of her life, she would have one yearly apparition on June 25th, the anniversary of the apparitions. Ivanka is married, she has three children, and she lives with her family in Medjugorje. The prayer intention that Our Lady confided her: for families.

 

Jakov Colo was born on March 6th, 1971, in Sarajevo. He had daily apparitions from June 25th, 1981 to September 12th, 1998. On that day, entrusting to him the tenth secret, Our Lady told him that for the rest of his life he would have one yearly apparition, on Christmas Day. Jakov is married, he has three children, and he lives with his family in Medjugorje. The prayer intention that Our Lady confided him: for the sick.

 

Ivan Dragicevic was born on May 25th, 1965 in Bijakovici, in the parish of Medjugorje. He still has daily apparitions. Our Lady entrusted nine secrets to him. Ivan is married and he has three children. With his family, he lives in the USA and in Medjugorje. The prayer intention that Our Lady confided him: for young people and for priests.

 

Vicka Ivankovic-Mijatovic was born on September 9th, 1964, in Bijakovici, in the parish of Medjugorje. She still has daily apparitions. Our Lady entrusted nine secrets to her. Vicka is married, has one child and lives in Krehin Gradac near Medjugorje. The prayer intention that Our Lady confided her: for the sick.

 

Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti was born on April 1st, 1965, in Bijakovici, in the parish of Medjugorje. She still has daily apparitions. Through her, Our Lady gives her message to the parish and the world. From March 1st, 1984, to January 8th, 1987, the message was given every Thursday, and since January 1987, on every 25th of the month. Our Lady entrusted nine secrets to her. Marija is married and she has four children. With her family, she lives in Italy and in Medjugorje. The prayer intention that Our Lady confided her: for the souls in purgatory.

The First Day
For quite a while now, in Medjugorje (Čitluk, Bosnia-Herzegovina), six trustworthy witnesses testify firmly under oath that since June 24, 1981, the Blessed Virgin Mary, or the „Gospa“ as she is affectionately known as here, appears to them every day up to the present.
On the said date at approximately six o’clock in the evening, in the area of Crnica hill known as Podbrdo, the children, Ivanka Ivanković, Mirjana Dragićević, Vicka Ivanković, Ivan Dragićević, Ivan Ivanković and Milka Pavlović saw an incredibly beautiful young woman with a little child in her arms. She didn’t say anything to them but indicated with gestures that they should come closer. Surprised and frightened, they were afraid to come near, even though they immediately thought her to be Our Lady.

The Second Day
On the second day, June 25, 1981, the children agreed to meet once again at the same place that Our Lady had previously appeared in, in the hope of seeing her again. All of a sudden there was a flash of light. The children looked up and saw Our Lady, this time without the child. She was smiling and joyful and was indescribably beautiful. With her hands she gestured to them to come closer. The children braced themselves and went up to her. They immediately fell to their knees and began to pray the „Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be”. Our Lady prayed together with them except for when they prayed the „Hail Mary”.
After the prayer she began to speak with the children. Ivanka, first of all, asked her about her mother who had died two months previously. And Mirjana asked Our Lady for some sign to be given to show to the people that they were neither lying nor crazy, as some people had said.
Our Lady finally left the children with the words, „God be with you my angels!” Before that, when the children asked her if they would see her the following day, she replied by nodding her head.
According to the visionaries, the whole encounter was indescribable. On that day two of the children which made up the previous group were missing: Ivan Ivanković and Milka Pavlović. They were replaced by two others: Marija Pavlović and Jakov Čolo. And from that day onwards according to these six children, Our Lady regularly appears to them. Milka Pavlović and Ivan Ivanković, who were present on the first day of apparitions, did not see Our Lady again, even though, later, they joined the other visionaries in the hope of seeing her.

The Third Day
On June 26, 1981, the children full of anticipation waited at around six o’clock, which was when she previously appeared. They were going towards the same place, to meet her there. They were very happy, although their joy was mixed with fear wondering what would be the outcome of all this. Despite all this, the children could feel some sort of inner strength attracting them to meet with Our Lady.
Suddenly, while the children were still on their way, a light flashed three times. To them and to those following them, it was a sign indicating Our Lady’s whereabouts. On that third day Our Lady appeared even higher up than on the previous days. All at once Our Lady disappeared. But when the children began to pray, she reappeared. She was cheerful and smiling serenely and once again her beauty was overwhelming.
As they left their houses some older women advised them to carry holy water with them to make sure that it was not of Satan. When they were with Our Lady, Vicka took the water and splashed it in the direction of the vision saying, „If you are Our Blessed Mother, please stay, and if you are not, go away from us“. Our Lady smiled at this and remained with the children. Then Mirjana asked her name and she replied, „I am the Blessed Virgin Mary“.
On the same day, coming down Podbrdo, Our Lady appeared one more time, this time however only to Maria saying, „Peace, peace, peace and only peace.“ Behind her, Maria could see a cross. After which Our Lady repeated, in tears, the following words, „Peace must reign between man and God, and between all people!” The area where this took place is about half way up to the apparition site.

The Fourth Day
On June 27, 1981, Our Lady appeared three times to the children. On that occasion the children asked all kinds of questions and Our Lady responded. For priests, she gave this message. „May the priests firmly believe and may they take care of the faith of the people!“ Once again, Jakov and Mirjana asked for a sign, because the people had begun to accuse them of lying and of taking drugs. „Do not be afraid of anything“, Our Lady replied.
Before parting, when asked if she would come again, she indicated that she would. On the way down Podbrdo, Our Lady appeared one more time to say goodbye with the words, „May God be with you my angels, go in peace!“

The Fifth Day
On June 28, 1981, big crowds were gathering from all parts even from the early hours of the morning. By noon there were about fifteen thousand people. On the same day, the parish priest, Fr. Jozo Zovko, examined the children on what they had seen and heard in the previous days.
At the usual time Our Lady appeared again. The children prayed with her, and afterwards they questioned her. Vicka, for example, asked, „My dear Lady, what do you want from us? What do you want from our priests?” Our Lady replied, „The people should pray and firmly believe!” Regarding priests, she replied that they should believe firmly and help others to do the same.
On that day Our Lady came and went many times. During one of these times the children asked her why she doesn’t appear in the Parish Church for everyone to see. She replied, „Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe“.
Even though the crowds were pushing them with their questions and curiosities and the day was heavy and sultry, the children felt as though they were in heaven.

The Sixth Day
On June 29, 1981, the children were taken to Mostar for a medical examination after which they were proclaimed „healthy“. The statement of the head doctor was: „The children aren’t crazy, the person who brought them here must be, though“…
The crowds on Apparition Hill that day were greater than ever. As soon as the children arrived at the usual place and began to pray, Our Lady appeared. On that occasion the Blessed Mother exhorted them to have faith saying, „The people should believe firmly and have no fear“.
On that day, a doctoress who was following and observing them, during the apparition desired to touch Our Lady. The children guided her hand to the place where Our Lady’s shoulder was, and she felt a tingling sensation. The doctor, even though an atheist had to admit that, „Here, something strange is happening!”
On that same day, a child by the name of Danijel Šetka was miraculously healed. His parents had brought him to Medjugorje, praying specifically for a healing. Our Lady had promised that this would come about if the parents prayed and fasted and strongly believed. The child thereupon was healed.

The Seventh Day
On June 30, 1981, two young girls suggested to the children to go by car further away to be able to stroll in peace. In fact, their intention was to take them far away from the area and keep them there until after the usual apparition time had passed. However, even though the children were far away from Podbrdo, at the usual time of the apparition, it was as if an interior call prompted them to ask to be let out of the car. As soon as they did, and said a prayer, Our Lady drew near to them, from the direction of Podbrdo, which was now over a kilometre away, and prayed seven „Our Fathers“ with them… And so the girls’ trick had no effect. Soon after this the police began to hinder the children and the pilgrims going on Podbrdo, the site of apparitions. The children, and soon afterwards even the crowds were forbidden to go there. But Our Lady continued to appear to them in secret places, in their homes and in the fields. The children had already gained confidence, and openly spoke with Our Lady, eagerly seeking her advice, listening to her warnings and messages. The events of Medjugorje continued in this fashion up until January 15, 1982.

The Apparitions Continue
In the meantime, the parish priest began to host the pilgrims in the Church, enabling them to participate in the Rosary and to celebrate the Eucharist. The children would also come and pray the Rosary. Our Lady sometimes appeared to them in the church at that time. Even the parish priest himself saw Our Lady once while praying the Rosary. Immediately he broke off praying and spontaneously started to sing a popular hymn: „Lijepa si, lijepa, Djevo Marijo“ – „O how beautiful you are, Most Blessed Virgin Mary“. The whole church could see that something unusual was happening to him. Afterwards he stated that he had seen her. And so, he who up until then had not only been doubtful, but openly against even rumours of the apparitions, became their defender. He testified his support of the apparitions even to the point of serving a prison sentence.
From January 15, 1982, onwards the children saw Our Lady in a closed off area of the Parish Church. The parish priest arranged this because of the newly arisen difficulties and sometimes even dangers, which provided themselves for the visionaries. Previously the children had ensured that this was in accord with Our Lady’s wishes. Because of the prohibitions of the Diocesan Bishop however, from April 1985 onwards the children abandoned the area of the church as an apparition site. Instead, they went to a room in the Parish house.
All this time, from the beginning of the apparitions up until today, there have only been five days when none of the children saw Our Lady.
Our Lady didn’t always appear in the same place either, nor to the same group or individuals, nor did her apparitions always last a specified period of time. Sometimes the apparitions lasted two minutes, sometimes an hour. Neither did Our Lady appear at the children’s will. Sometimes they prayed and waited but Our Lady didn’t appear until a little while afterwards, unexpectedly and unforewarned. And sometimes she appeared to one and not to the others. If she hadn’t promised an appointed time, nobody knew when she would appear, or if she would appear. Neither did she appear always to just the aforesaid visionaries, but to others also of different age, stature, race, education and walks of life. All this suggests that the apparitions are not a product of the imagination. It depends neither on time nor place, nor desire nor the prayer of a pilgrim or visionary, but moreover on the will of the One who appears.

Messages
According to the united testimony of the visionaries, Our Lady on the occasion of her apparition gave a series of messages, to be transmitted to the people. Even though there are many messages, they can however be summarized in five themes, because all the messages basically underline or lead up to these five.

Peace
Already on the third day, Our Lady stressed peace as the first of her messages: „Peace, peace, peace and only peace!“, after which she said twice, „Peace must reign between God and man and between people“. Considering that Marija could see a cross when Our Lady gave this message, the obvious conclusion is that this peace comes from God. God, who through Our Lady in Christ became „our peace” (Eph 2:14). „For He is the peace between us“… This peace, „the world cannot give“ (Jn 14:27) and that is why Christ commanded His apostles to bring it to the world (Mt 10:11) so that all men could become „sons of peace“ (Lk 10:6). That is why Our Lady as Queen of Apostles in Medjugorje specifically refers to herself as „Queen of Peace“. Who better than she can more successfully convince today’s world, which is faced with the threat of destruction, how great and how necessary peace is.

Faith
The second of Our Lady’s messages is faith. Already on the fourth, fifth and sixth day of apparitions, Our Lady exhorted those present to have strong faith. Understandably, she repeated this message many times. Without faith we cannot arrive at peace! Not only this but faith is in itself an answer to God’s Word, in which God not only reveals Himself, but actually gives Himself to us. When we believe, we accept God’s Word, which in Christ became „our peace“ (Eph 2:14). Accepting it, the individual becomes a new creature, with a new life of Christ within, and a share in God’s nature (1 Pet 1:4, Eph 2:18). In this way the individual ensures peace with God and with others.
Once again there is no one who can better understand the necessity and efficaciousness of faith than Our Lady. That’s why she stressed it on every occasion and charged the visionaries to bring the light of faith to others. Our Lady presented faith as an answer to everything, no matter what people were looking for. She presented it as the pre-requisite of all prayer, desires and demands, relating it to health, wholeness and to all other human necessities.

Conversion
Conversion was another one of Our Lady’s frequent messages. This presupposes that she noticed either a weakness or a complete lack of faith in humanity today. And without conversion it is impossible to achieve peace. True conversion means the purifying or cleansing of the heart (Jer 4:14), because a corrupt or „deteriorated” heart is the basis of bad relations, which in turn brings social disorder, unjust laws, base constitutions etc. Without a radical change of heart, without the conversion of the heart, there is no peace. For this reason, Our Lady continually suggests frequent confession. The request is directed to all without differentiation because, „not one of us is just“… „all have wandered, not one does right“ (Rom 3:11-12).

Prayer
Almost daily, from the fifth day of apparitions onwards Our Lady recommends prayer. She requests everyone to „pray without ceasing“ just as Christ himself taught (Mk 9:29, Mt 9:38, Lk 11:5-13). Prayer, therefore, stimulates and strengthens our faith, without which our relationship with God is disordered, as is our relationship with each other. Prayer also reminds us of how close God is to us even in our daily lives. In prayer we acknowledge Him, we give Him thanks for His gifts to us, and we are filled with a hopeful expectancy of that which we need, but particularly our redemption. Prayer solidifies the equilibrium of the individual, and aids us in our „ordered relationship with God”, without which it is impossible to maintain peace either with God or with our neighbour.
Prayer finds its justification especially in the fact that the Word of the Lord was addressed to man and that man must respond to it with words. Our response should be „spoken faith“ or „prayer“. In prayer, faith animates, renews, strengthens and sustains itself. In addition to this, man’s prayer really bears witness to the Gospel, and to the existence of God, thus provoking a response of faith in others.

Fasting
Starting from the sixth day of the apparitions, Our Lady often recommended fasting because it aids faith. That is, the practice of fasting aids and ensures control over oneself. Only the person who can dominate himself is truly free, and is capable of abandoning himself to God and to his neighbour, as faith demands. Fasting guarantees him that his abandonment to faith is secure and sincere. It helps him to free himself from every slavery, but especially from slavery to sin. Whoever is not in possession of oneself is in some way enslaved. Therefore fasting helps the individual to restrain himself from disordered pleasure seeking which easily leads to a futile and useless existence often wasteful of the very goods which are necessary to others just for basic survival.
With fasting we also retrieve the good which can bring to life a love for the poor and the destitute, and thus at least to a certain point alleviate the differences between the rich and the poor. It therefore heals the wants of the poor and also heals the excesses and over-indulgence of others. And in its own way, it gives a dimension of peace which today in a special way, is threatened by the difference in the lifestyles of the rich and the poor (e.g. North and South).
To sum up, we can say that Our Lady’s messages underline that peace is the greatest good, and that faith, conversion, prayer and fasting are the means by which we can attain it.

Special Messages
Outside of the five messages which, as we have said, are the main messages which Our Lady gave to the whole world at the beginning, from March 1, 1984, mainly through the visionary Marija Pavlović, she started to give special messages every Thursday to the Parish of Medjugorje and to the pilgrims who come. Our Lady therefore, in addition to the six visionaries, chose the Parish of Medjugorje together with the pilgrims who come here to be her collaborators and witnesses. This is clear from the first of the Thursday messages, where she says: „I am choosing this parish in a special way and I want to guide it“. She emphasized this once again when she said, „I am choosing this parish in a special way, which is dearer to me than others, where I joyfully went when the Almighty sent me“ (March 25, 1985). Our Lady gave a reason too for her choice saying: „Convert, you who are in the parish, this is my second wish. In that way, all those who come here will convert“ (March 8, 1984). „I am asking you, especially the members of this parish, to live my messages“ (August 16, 1984). First of all the parishioners and the pilgrims should become witnesses of her apparitions and her messages, so that we can then unite with her and the visionaries in the realization of her plan for conversion of the world and reconciliation with God.
Our Lady well knows the weaknesses and the nature of the parishioners and pilgrims with whom she wishes to collaborate in the salvation of the world. She is aware of the need for supernatural strength. That is why she leads them to the fount of that strength. This primarily is prayer. She ardently and continuously exhorts us to pray. Of all prayer, she especially stresses the Holy Mass (March 7, 1985; May 16, 1985) and recommends continuous devotion to the Blessed Sacrament (March 15, 1984). She also encourages devotion to the Holy Spirit (June 2, 1984; June 9, 1984; April 11, 1985; May 23, 1988, etc.) and the reading of the Sacred Scripture (September 8, 1984; February 14, 1985).
With these special messages to the parish and its pilgrims, Our Lady wishes for the first messages, which in the beginning were intended for the whole world, to be deepened, made more acceptable and understandable to others.
From January 25, 1987, Our Lady began to give the message on the 25th of every month instead of every Thursday, through the visionary Marija Pavlović. This continues to this day.

THE LAST OF MIRJANA DRAGICEVIC’S DAILY MEETINGS WITH OUR LADY, CHRISTMAS 1982

“My last regular meeting with Our Lady was on Christmas day, the 25th of December 1982. At that time, Our Lady stayed with me for forty-five minutes. For a month, Our Lady had been preparing me for that meeting. She had been explaining everything to me in a motherly way.

She told me that she had completed that for which she needed me. She told me that I was aware enough and that I must comprehend that I must turn back to normal daily life, like other girls of my age. I must continue to live without her motherly counsels and without those conversations with her that I needed so much. She promised me that she would always be with me and that she would help me in the most difficult circumstances of life. For as long as I live with God, she will help me.

She told me that this would be the last of our regular conversations, but that she would leave me a gift, i.e. that for as long as I live, I would see her on my birthday.

This last meeting with Our Lady was very difficult for me. It is impossible to describe with words the pain that I felt in my soul knowing that I would no longer have daily apparitions. It is as when you understand that, recently, you received the most beautiful gift of your life, and that now you are losing it. Our Lady knew of my affliction and pain; and to cheer me up, she prayed with me and encouraged me to sing and praise God with her. I prayed the prayer that I always prayed, when I was alone with her, “Hail Holy Queen”.

I will always remember her words,

“Mirjana, I chose you, and I told you everything that is necessary. I entrusted you with the knowledge of many abominations, which you must carry with dignity. Think of me, and how much I too shed tears because of this. You must always be brave. You quickly understood my messages, and so you must understand that now I must leave. Be brave… !”

The rest of what she told me was for me personally.

PS: The first month after this was really difficult for me. Our Lady had warned me about that too. I fell into deep states of sadness (depression). I avoided everything; I closed myself up in my room, where I always waited for Our Lady. I cried and called out to her. I felt her help and longed for my birthday….

From the 2nd of August 1987, I can hear the voice of Our Lady within me on the 2nd of every month, and sometimes I see her as well, and I pray wit her for those who do not believe.”

Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo

THE LAST OF IVANKA IVANKOVIC’S DAILY MEETINGS WITH OUR LADY, MAY 7TH, 1985

On the evening of May 6th, 1985, Ivan, Jakov and Ivanka had their apparition. For Ivanka, the apparition lasted about eight minutes – six minutes longer than for others. During this apparition, Our Lady gave Ivanka the tenth secret, and completed the account about the future of the world. Our Lady told her to await her alone the following day, without the other visionaries.

On the May 7th, 1985, Ivanka had the apparition in her home. She gave Fr. Slavko Barbaric a paper on which she wrote:

“Like every day, Our Lady came and greeted me in the usual way saying “Praised be Jesus!” and I answered her “Always Jesus and Mary!” Never before had I seen the Blessed Virgin Mary as beautiful as this evening. She was so gentle and so beautiful! Today she had the most beautiful dress that I had ever seen in my life. The dress was shining in silver and gold. Her veil and her crown were the same. There were two angels with her. They too were dressed like Our Lady. Both Our Lady and the angels were so beautiful that I cannot express it in words. It has to be experienced. Our Lady asked me if I had any particular wish. I asked her if I could see my earthly mother. Our Lady smiled and nodded her head. All of a sudden, my mother was there. She was smiling. Our Lady told me to stand up. I stood up. My mother hugged me, kissed me, and said: “My child, I am so proud of you!” Mum kissed me and then disappeared.

After this, the Blessed Virgin Mary said this to me:

“My dear child, today is our last meeting. Do not be sad because I will come to you on every anniversary except this one. My child, do not think that you have done something wrong, and that that is why I shall no longer come. No, you have not! The plans, which my Son and I had, you accepted with all your heart and accomplished. Be happy, because I am your mother, who loves you with the whole heart. Ivanka, thank you for having responded to the call of my Son and for having been persevering and always close to Him, and staying as long as He asked this of you. My child, tell your friends that my Son and I are always with them when they seek and call us. That which I told you during these years about the SECRETS, you shall not tell anyone until I tell you. Ivanka, the graces which you and your brothers received, nobody on this earth has received up until now!”

After these words, I asked Our Lady if I could kiss her? She simply nodded her head. I kissed her. I asked for her blessing. She blessed me, smiled and said: “Go in the peace of God!”

She left slowly, and with her, the two angels. The Blessed Virgin Mary was very joyful. She remained with me one hour.”

Ivanka Ivankovic-Elez

THE LAST OF JAKOV COLO’S DAILY MEETINGS WITH OUR LADY, SEPTEMBER 12TH, 1998

While on his journey in America, Jakov reported the following text to us from Miami:

“On Friday September 11th during the regular apparition Our Lady told me to prepare myself specially by prayer for tomorrow’s apparition because she will confide the 10th secret to me. On Saturday, September 12th, Our Lady came at 11:15 (local time). When she came, she greeted me as always with ‘Praised be Jesus’. While she was confiding the 10th secret to me, she was sad.

Then with a gentle smile she said to me:

“Dear child! I am your mother and I love you unconditionally. From today, I will not be appearing to you every day, but only on Christmas, the birthday of my Son. Do not be sad, because as a mother, I will always be with you and like every true mother, I will never leave you. You continue to follow the way of my Son, the way of peace and love, and try to persevere in the mission that I have confided to you. Be an example of a man who has known God and God’s love. Let people always see in you an example of how God acts on people and how God acts through them. I bless you with my motherly blessing and I thank you for having responded to my call”.

The apparition ended at 11:45.”

PS: In a short telephone conversation with Fr. Slavko Barbaric, Jakov said that he cried for a long time and that he was very sad.

Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo, Ivanka Ivankovic-Elez and Jakov Colo had daily apparitions until 1982, 1985, i.e. 1998.
Since then, Our Lady appears to them once a year and gives a message.
Inasmuch as the work on the archives is still going on, we cannot publish the messages given before 1995.

Yearly Messages to Mirjana

Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo had daily apparitions from June 24, 1981 to December 25, 1982. On that day, Our Lady told her:
“Mirjana, I chose you, and I told you everything that is necessary. I entrusted you with the knowledge of many abominations, which you must carry with dignity. Think of me, and how much I too shed tears because of this. You must always be brave. You quickly understood my messages, and so you must understand that now I must leave. Be brave… !”
Entrusting to her the tenth secret, Our Lady told her that for the rest of her life she would have one yearly apparition, on March 18th.

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Mirjana – March 18, 1995

The apparition lasted ten minutes. After it, Mirjana, all in tears, withdrew to her room. Here is what she said about her meeting with Our Lady.
“I prayed the Our Father and the Glory be with our Lady three times. The first one was for unbelievers, especially for those who have not experienced God’s love. The second was for the souls in purgatory and the third for the intentions of those who were present at the apparition. Our Lady blessed all those present and also all the religious articles. Our Lady was not happy during the apparition as she has been known to be during past apparitions for my birthday. She talked to me about the secrets but I cannot say anything about that.”
In answer to questions why Mirjana cried and if Our Lady give any message, the visionary answered:
“It is hard for me when Our Lady goes away. The meeting with Our Lady is a fulfilment of everything. I feel completed. But when she leaves, I realize that I’m here, on earth, that I’m going on without her as if I were forsaken even though I know I am not. It is really hard, so hard . . .
In the message, Our Lady spoke about the love that we need. Her wish is that people love one another because God is love and if we love God, we will love one another. I understand this message as one of consolation and that we don’t have to fear anything if we have love.”
And this was Our Lady’s message:
“Dear children! Already for many years as a Mother, I have been teaching you faith and God’s love. You have not shown gratitude to the dear Father nor have you given him glory. You have become empty and your heart has become hard and without love toward your neighbours’ sufferings. I am teaching you love and showing you that the dear Father loved you but you have not loved him. He sacrificed his Son for your salvation, my children. As long as you do not love, you will not know your Father’s love. You won’t get to know him because God is love. Love and don’t be afraid, my children, because there is no fear in love. If your hearts are open to the Father and if they are full of love toward him, then why any fear of what is to come? Those who are afraid are the ones who do not love because they are waiting for punishments and because they know how empty and hard they are. Children, I am leading you to love, to the dear Father. I am leading you to eternal life. Eternal life is my Son. Receive him and you have received love.”

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Mirjana – March 18, 1996

This year also the visionary Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo had her apparition on March 18. After the apparition, Mirjana transmitted Our Lady’s message:
“Dear children! On this message, which I give you today through my servant, I desire for you to reflect a long time. My children, great is the love of God. Do not close your eyes, do not close your ears, while I repeat to you: Great is his love! Hear my call and my supplication, which I direct to you. Consecrate your heart and make in it the home of the Lord. May he dwell in it forever. My eyes and my heart will be here, even when I will no longer appear. Act in everything as I ask you and lead you to the Lord. Do not reject from yourself the name of God, that you may not be rejected. Accept my messages that you may be accepted. Decide, my children, it is the time of decision. Be of just and innocent heart that I may lead you to your Father, for this that I am here, is his great love. Thank you for being here!”

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Mirjana – March 18, 1997

The apparition was at 1:50 PM and lasted six minutes. Our Lady did not speak about the secrets, but gave the following message:
“Dear children! As a mother I beseech you, do not go on the way you have been going. That is a way without love toward neighbour and toward my Son. On that way, you will find only hardness and emptiness of heart, and not the peace that everyone is crying out for. Genuine peace will be had only by the one who sees and loves my Son in his neighbour. In whose heart my Son reigns, that one knows what peace is and tranquillity. Thank you having responded to my call.”

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Mirjana – March 18, 1998

The apparition lasted between four and five minutes. Our Lady spoke to her about the secrets, blessed all those present, and gave the following message:
“Dear children! I call you to be my light, in order to enlighten all those who still live in darkness, to fill their hearts with Peace, my Son. Thank you for having responded to my call!”

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Mirjana – March 18, 1999

The apparition lasted for 6 minutes from 10:14 to 10:20 am. Our Lady spoke about the secrets. She blessed everyone.
“Dear children! I want you to surrender your hearts to me so that I may take you on the way, which leads to the light and to eternal life. I do not want your hearts to wander in today’s darkness. I will help you. I will be with you on this way of discovery of the love and the mercy of God. As a mother, I ask you to permit me to do this. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Mirjana – March 18, 2000

The apparition started at 9:55 a. m. and lasted about 5 minutes. Our Lady prayed over everyone and blessed everyone. Mirjana especially recommended the sick. This time Our Lady did not say anything about the secrets.
“Dear children! Do not seek peace and happiness in vain, in the wrong places and in wrong things. Do not permit your hearts to become hard by loving vanity. Invoke the name of my Son. Receive Him in your heart. Only in the name of my Son will you experience true happiness and true peace in your heart. Only in this way will you come to know the love of God and spread it further. I am calling you to be my apostles.”

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Mirjana – March 18, 2001

The apparition lasted 5 minutes from 9.45 to 9.50 a.m. Our Lady blessed everyone and gave a message. She was resolute and clear in Her words.
“Dear children! Today I call you to love and mercy. Give love to each other as your Father gives it to you. Be merciful (pause) – with the heart. Do good works, not permitting them to wait for you too long. Every mercy that comes from the heart brings you closer to my Son.”

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Mirjana – March 18, 2002

The apparition lasted from 9:27 a.m. to 9:34 a.m. and Our Lady gave the following message.
“Dear Children! As a mother, I implore you, open your heart and offer it to me, and fear nothing. I will be with you and will teach you how to put Jesus in the first place. I will teach you to love Him and to belong to Him completely. Comprehend, dear children, that without my Son there is no salvation. You should become aware that He is your beginning and your end. Only with this awareness can you be happy and merit eternal life. As your mother, I desire this for you. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Mirjana – March 18, 2003

The apparition lasted from 8:55 a.m. to 9:02 a.m. and Our Lady gave the following message:
“Dear children! Particularly at this holy time of penance and prayer, I call you to make a choice. God gave you free will to choose life or death. Listen to my messages with the heart that you may become cognizant of what you are to do and how you will find the way to life. My children, without God you can do nothing; do not forget this even for a single moment. For, what are you and what will you be on earth, when you will return to it again. Do not anger God, but follow me to life. Thank you for being here.”

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Mirjana – March 18, 2004

The apparition lasted from 13:58 to 14:03 and Our Lady gave the following message:
“Dear children! Also today, watching you with a heart full of love, I desire to tell you that what you persistently seek, what you long for, my little children, is before you. It is sufficient that, in a cleaned heart, you place my Son in the first place, and then you will be able to see. Listen to me and permit me to lead you to this in a motherly way.”

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Mirjana – March 18, 2005

The apparition lasted from 14:09 to 14:14 and Our Lady gave the following message:
“Dear children! I come to you as the mother who, above all, loves her children. My children, I desire to teach you to love also. I pray for this. I pray that you will recognize my Son in each of your neighbors. The way to my Son, who is true peace and love, passes through the love for all neighbors. My children, pray and fast for your heart to be open for this my intention.”

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Mirjana – March 18, 2006

The apparition lasted from 13:59 to 14:04 and Our Lady gave the following message:
“Dear children! In this Lenten time, I call you to interior renunciation. The way to this leads you through love, fasting, prayer and good works. Only with total interior renunciation will you recognize God’s love and the signs of the time in which you live. You will be witnesses of these signs and will begin to speak about them. I desire to bring you to this. Thank you for having responded to me.“

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Mirjana – March 18, 2007

The apparition lasted from 14:07 to 14:12 and Our Lady gave the following message:
„Dear children! I come to you as a Mother with gifts. I come with love and mercy. Dear children, mine is a big heart. In it, I desire all of your hearts, purified by fasting and prayer. I desire that, through love, our hearts may triumph together. I desire that through that triumph you may see the real Truth, the real Way and the real Life. I desire that you may see my Son. Thank you.“

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Mirjana – March 18, 2008

The apparition lasted from 14:01 to 14:08.
Mirjana transmitted the following:
I have never seen Our Lady address us in this manner. She extended her hands towards us and with her hands extended in this way, she said:
Dear children, today I extend my hands towards you. Do not be afraid to accept them. They desire to give you love and peace and to help you in salvation. Therefore, my children, receive them. Fill my heart with joy and I will lead you towards holiness. The way on which I lead you is difficult and full of temptations and falls. I will be with you and my hands will hold you. Be persevering so that, at the end of the way, we can all together, in joy and love, hold the hands of my Son. Come with me; fear not. Thank you.

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Mirjana – March 18, 2009

The apparition lasted from 13:52 to 13:58.
Mirjana transmitted the following:
Dear children! Today I call you to look into your hearts sincerely and for a long time. What will you see in them? Where is my Son in them and where is the desire to follow me to Him? My children, may this time of renunciation be a time when you will ask yourself: ‘What does my God desire of me personally? What am I to do?’ Pray, fast and have a heart full of mercy. Do not forget your shepherds. Pray that they may not get lost, that they may remain in my Son so as to be good shepherds to their flock.
Our Lady looked at all those present and added: Again I say to you, if you knew how much I love you, you would cry with happiness. Thank you.

 

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Mirjana – March 18, 2010

The apparition lasted from  13:50 to 13:54.

Dear children! Today I call you to love with all your heart and with all your soul. Pray for the gift of love, because when the soul loves it calls my Son to itself. My Son does not refuse those who call Him and who desire to live according to Him. Pray for those who do not comprehend love, who do not understand what it means to love. Pray that God may be their Father and not their Judge. My children, you be my apostles, be my river of love. I need you. Thank you.

 

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Mirjana – March 18, 2011

 

The apparition lasted from  13:46 to 13:50.
Dear children! I am with you in the name of the greatest Love, in the name of dear God, who has come close to you through my Son and has shown you real love. I desire to lead you on the way of God. I desire to teach you real love so that others may see it in you, that you may see it in others, that you may be a brother to them and that others may see a merciful brother in you. My children, do not be afraid to open your hearts to me. With motherly love, I will show you what I expect of each of you, what I expect of my apostles. Set out with me. Thank you.

 

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Mirjana – March 18, 2012

The apparition lasted from  14:00 to 14:05.

Dear children! I am coming among you because I desire to be your mother – your intercessor. I desire to be the bond between you and the Heavenly Father – your mediatrix. I desire to take you by the hand and to walk with you in the battle against the impure spirit. My children, consecrate yourselves to me completely. I will take your lives into my motherly hands and I will teach them peace and love, and then I will give them over to my Son. I am asking of you to pray and fast because only in this way will you know how to witness my Son in the right way through my motherly heart. Pray for your shepherds that, united in my Son, they can always joyfully proclaim the Word of God.  Thank you.

 

 

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Mirjana – March 18, 2013

 

The apparition lasted from  13:52 to 13:58.

Dear children! I call you to, with complete trust  and joy, bless the name of the Lord and, day by day, to give Him thanks from the heart for His great love. My Son, through that love which He showed by the Cross, gave you the possibility to be forgiven for everything; so that you do not have to be ashamed or to hide, and out of fear not to open the door of your heart to my Son. To the contrary, my children, reconcile with the Heavenly Father so that you may be able to come to love yourselves as my Son loves you. When you come to love yourselves, you will also love others; in them you will see my Son and recognize the greatness of His love. Live in faith! Through me, my Son is preparing you for the works which He desires to do through you – works through which He desires to be glorified. Give Him thanks. Especially thank Him for the shepherds – for your intercessors in the reconcilliation with the Heavenly Father. I am thanking you, my children. Thank you.

 

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Mirjana – March 18, 2014

 

The apparition lasted from  13:46 to 13:51.

Dear children! As a mother, I desire to be of help to you. With my motherly love, I desire to help you to open your heart and to put my Son in the first place in it. Through your love for my Son and through your prayer, I desire for God’s light to illuminate you and God’s mercy to fill you. In this way, I desire for the darkness, and the shadow of death which wants to encompass and mislead you, to be driven away. I desire for you to feel the joy of the blessing of God’s promise. You, children of man, you are God’s children – you are my children. Therefore, my children, set out on the ways on which my love leads you, teaches you humility and wisdom, and finds the way to the Heavenly Father. Pray with me for those who do not accept me and do not follow me – those who, because of hardness of their hearts, cannot feel the joy of humility, devotion, peace and love – the joy of my Son. Pray that your shepherds, with their blessed hands, may always give you the joy of God’s blessing. Thank you.

 

 

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Mirjana – March 18, 2015

The apparition lasted from  13:47 to 13:53.

Dear children! With a full heart I am asking you, I am imploring you children: cleanse your hearts of sin and lift them up to God and to eternal life. I am imploring you: be vigilant and open for truth. Do not permit for all that is of this earth to distance you from the true cognition of the contentment in the communion with my Son. I am leading you on the way of true wisdom, because only with true wisdom can you come to know true peace and the true good. Do not waste time asking for signs of the Heavenly Father, because He has already given you the greatest sign, which is my Son. Therefore, my children, pray so that the Holy Spirit can lead you into truth, can help you to come to know it, and through that knowledge of the truth that you may be one with the Heavenly Father and with my Son. That is the cogniton which gives happiness on earth and opens the door of eternal life and infinite love. Thank you.

 

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Mirjana – March 18, 2016

The apparition lasted from  13:50 to 13:56.

Dear children! With a motherly heart filled with love for you, my children, I desire to teach you complete trust in God the Father. I desire for you to learn by an internal gaze and internal listening to follow God’s will. I desire for you to learn to boundlessly trust in His mercy and His love, as I always trusted. Therefore, my children, cleanse your hearts. Free yourselves from everything that binds you to only what is earthly and permit what is of God to form your life by your prayer and sacrifice—so that God´s Kingdom may be in your heart; that you may begin to live proceeding from God the Father; that you may always strive to walk with my Son. But for all of this, my children, you must be poor in spirit and filled with love and mercy. You must have pure and simple hearts and always be ready to serve. My children, listen to me, I speak for your salvation. Thank you.

 

Yearly Messages to Ivanka

 

Ivanka Ivankovic-Elez had daily apparitions from June 24, 1981 to May 7, 1985. On that day, Our Lady told her:
“My dear child, today is our last meeting, but do not be sad because I will come to you on every anniversary except this one. My child, do not think that you have done something wrong, and that’s why I no longer come. No, this isn’t true. The plan which my Son and I have, you accepted with all your heart and completed your part. Be happy because I am your mother and I love you with all my heart. Ivanka, thank you for having responded to the invitation of my Son and for persevering and for always being close to Him and staying until He had completed that for which He asked of You. My child, tell your friends that both I and my Son will always be there for you when you seek or call us. That which I told you during these years about the secrets, it is still not time to tell anyone. Ivanka, the grace which you and the others received, nobody on this earth has received up until now!”
Confiding to her the tenth secret, Our Lady told her that for the rest of her life, she would have one yearly apparition on June 25th, the anniversary of the apparitions.

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Ivanka – June 25, 1995

Ivanka had the six-minute apparition at her family home at the end of which she brought this message of Our Lady to those present:
“Our Lady blessed every one present at the apparition. She spoke to me about the secrets. She called us to pray for families because Satan desires to destroy them. In addition, Our Lady called on all people to be messengers of peace.”
At the end Ivanka added: “Now I will have to wait a whole year again for another meeting.”

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Ivanka – June 25, 1996

The apparition took place in her family home, and lasted seven minutes. After the apparition, Ivanka said that this had been one of the most beautiful apparitions that she had had up to the present. As well as this, Our Lady thanks us for our prayer and for our love and desires that prayer and love become interwoven into every day. In conclusion, she invited us to pray for those who were under diabolic possession.

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Ivanka – June 25, 1997

Ivanka had the six-minute apparition in own family home. After the apparition Ivanka said:
“Our Lady talked to me about the fifth secret and spoke the following message: “Dear children, pray with the heart to know how to forgive and how to be forgiven. I thank you for your prayers and the love you give to me.”

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Ivanka – June 25, 1998

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.”

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Ivanka – June 25, 1999

Ivanka had the apparition, which lasted 7 – 8 minutes, in her own family home. Present for the apparition were only Ivanka’s family, husband and three children. After the apparition, Ivanka said that during the apparition, she prayed for the parish and families and she recommended all in her prayer. Our Lady gave the following message:
“Dear children, thank my Son for all the graces that he has given you. Pray for peace, pray for peace, pray for peace!”

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Ivanka – June 25, 2000

The apparition lasted 7 minutes and Ivanka had it in her family home. Present for the apparition were only Ivanka’s family, husband and three children. Our Lady gave the following message:
“I introduced myself as “Queen of Peace.” Again, I call you to peace, fasting, prayer. Renew family prayer and receive my blessing.”
Ivanka told us that Our Lady was happy and that she spoke to her about the sixth secret.

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Ivanka – June 25, 2001

Ivanka had the apparition in the presence of her family. She says that Our Lady was joyful and that She spoke to her about the future of the Church. Our Lady gave the following message:
“Dear angels! Thank you for your prayers, because through them my plan is being realized. This is why, angels, pray, pray, pray, so that my plan may be realized. Receive my motherly blessing!”

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Ivanka – June 25, 2002

The apparition lasted 6 minutes. Ivanka had the apparition at home in the presence of her family, her husband and her three children. Our Lady gave the following message:
“Dear Children, do not tire of prayer. Pray for peace, peace, peace.”
Our Lady related to Ivanka some new details about her life. She gave us her motherly blessing. Our Lady was joyful.

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Ivanka – June 25, 2003

The apparition lasted 10 minutes. Ivanka had the apparition at home in the presence of her family, her husband and her three children. Our Lady gave the following message:
“Dear children! Do not be afraid, I am always with you. Open your heart for love and peace to enter into it. Pray for peace, peace, peace.”
Our Lady came joyful and spoke to Ivanka more extensively about Her life.

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Ivanka – June 25, 2004

The apparition lasted 9 minutes. Ivanka had the apparition at home in the presence of her family, her husband and her three children. Our Lady gave the following message:
„Dear children! Pray for those families who have not come to know the love of my Son. Receive my motherly blessing.”
Our Lady came joyful and spoke to Ivanka more extensively about Her life.

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Ivanka – June 25, 2005

The apparition lasted 10 minutes. Ivanka had the apparition at home in the presence of her family, her husband and her three children.
Our Lady gave the following message:
Dear children, love each other with the love of my Son. Peace, peace, peace.”
Our Lady was joyful and spoke to Ivanka about the 6th secret.

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Ivanka – June 25, 2006

The apparition lasted 7 minutes. Ivanka had the apparition at home in the presence of her family, her husband and her three children.
Our Lady gave the following message:
“Dear children, thank you for having responded to my call. Pray, pray, pray.”
Our Lady was joyful and spoke about the seventh secret.

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Ivanka – June 25, 2007

The apparition lasted 17 minutes. Ivanka had the apparition at home in the presence of her family, her husband and her three children.
After the apparition, the visionary Ivanka said:
“Our Lady remained with me for 17 minutes. She was joyful and spoke to me about Her life. Our Lady said: ‘Dear children, receive my motherly blessing.’ ”

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Ivanka – June 25, 2008

The apparition lasted 6 minutes. Ivanka had the apparition at home in the presence of her family, her husband and her three children.
After the apparition, the visionary Ivanka said:
“ Our Lady spoke to me about the ninth secret. She gave us Her motherly blessing. ”

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Ivanka – June 25, 2009

The apparition lasted 10 minutes. Ivanka had the apparition at home in the presence of her family, her husband and her three children.
After the apparition, the visionary Ivanka said:
“Our Lady remained with me for 10 minutes and spoke to me of the tenth secret. Our Lady said: ‘Dear children, I call you to be apostles of peace. Peace, peace, peace. ‘”

 

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Ivanka – June 25, 2010

The apparition, which lasted 6 minutes, took place at Ivanka’s family home. Only Ivanka’s family was present at the apparition. After the apparition, Ivanka said: “Our Lady spoke to me about the fifth secret and, at the end, said: ‘Dear children, receive my motherly blessing.’”

 

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Ivanka – June 25, 2011

 

The apparition, which lasted 8 minutes, took place at Ivanka’s family home. Only Ivanka’s family was present at the apparition. After the apparition, Ivanka said: “Our Lady spoke to me about the first secret and, at the end, said: ‘Dear children, receive my motherly blessing.’”

 

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Ivanka – June 25, 2012

The apparition, which lasted 7 minutes, took place at Ivanka’s family home. Only Ivanka’s family was present at the apparition. After the apparition, Ivanka said: Our Lady spoke to me about the 5th secret and at the end said:  “I am giving you my motherly blessing. Pray for peace, peace, peace.”

 

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Ivanka – June 25, 2013

The apparition, which lasted 2 minutes, took place at Ivanka’s family home. Only Ivanka’s family was present at the apparition. After the apparition, Ivanka said:

Our Lady did not give a message.

She blessed us with her motherly blessing.

 

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Ivanka – June 25, 2014

The apparition, which lasted 4 minutes, took place at Ivanka’s family home. Only Ivanka’s family was present at the apparition. After the apparition, Ivanka said:

“Our Lady gave us her motherly blessing”

 

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Ivanka – June 25, 2015

The apparition, which lasted 4 minutes, took place at Ivanka’s family home. Only Ivanka’s family was present at the apparition. After the apparition, Ivanka said: “Our Lady gave us her motherly blessing and said: Peace, peace, peace.”

 

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Ivanka – June 25, 2016

The apparition, which lasted 4 minutes, took place at Ivanka’s family home. Only Ivanka’s family was present at the apparition. After the apparition, Ivanka said:

Our Lady gave the following message: “Little children, pray, pray, pray.”

Our Lady was joyful and blessed all of us with her motherly blessing.

 

 

 

Yearly Messages to Jakov

 

Jakov Colo had daily apparitions from June 25, 1981 to September 12, 1998. On that day, Our Lady told him:
“Dear child! I am your mother and I love you unconditionally. From today, I will not be appearing to you every day, but only on Christmas, the birthday of my Son. Do not be sad, because as a mother, I will always be with you and like every true mother, I will never leave you. And you continue further to follow the way of my Son, the way of peace and love and try to persevere in the mission that I have confided to you. Be an example of that man who has known God and God’s love. Let people always see in you an example of how God acts on people and how God acts through them. I bless you with my motherly blessing and I thank you for having responded to my call.”
Entrusting to him the tenth secret, Our Lady told him that for the rest of his life he would have one yearly apparition, on Christmas Day.

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Jakov – December 25, 1998

After the apparition, which began at 11.50 a.m. and lasted 12 minutes, Jakov wrote:
“Our Lady came joyful. She greeted me, as always, with ‘Praised be Jesus!’ She spoke to me about the secrets and afterwards gave me this message:
“Dear children! Today, on the birthday of my Son, my heart is filled with immeasurable joy, love and peace. As your mother, I desire for each of you to feel that same joy, peace and love in the heart. That is why do not be afraid to open your heart and to completely surrender yourself to Jesus, because only in this way can He enter into your heart and fill it with love, peace and joy. I bless you with my motherly blessing.”
Jakov prayed with his family. He prepared himself for the apparition with Confession and Holy Mass. After the apparition, he cried for a while.

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Jakov – December 25, 1999

The apparition began at 3 PM and lasted for 10 minutes. Our Lady came joyfully in a golden dress with the child Jesus in her arms. She talked about the secrets. She blessed everyone. She gave this message:
“Dear children! Today on the birthday of my Son, when my heart is filled with immeasurable joy and love, I invite you to open fully and surrender fully to God. Throw out all the darkness from your heart and let God’s light and God’s love enter your heart and dwell there forever. Be carriers of God’s light and love to all people, so everyone, in you and through you, can feel and experience the authentic light and love that only God is able to give you. I am blessing you with my motherly blessing!

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Jakov – December 25, 2000

The apparition began at 3:20 pm and lasted 10 minutes. Our Lady came joyful with baby Jesus in her arms. She blessed everyone and gave a message:
“Dear children! Today when Jesus is born and by His birth brings immeasurable joy, love and peace, I call you, in a special way to say your ‘yes’ to Jesus. Open your hearts so that Jesus enters into them, comes to dwell in them and starts to work through you. Only in this way will you be able to comprehend the true beauty of God’s love, joy and peace. Dear children, rejoice in the birth of Jesus and pray for all those hearts that have not opened to Jesus so that Jesus may enter into each of their hearts and may start working through them – so that every person would be an example of a true person through whom God works.

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Jakov – December 25, 2001

The apparition began at 3:30 pm and lasted 5 minutes. Our Lady gave the following message:
“Dear Children, today when Jesus is born anew for you, in a special way, I want to call you to conversion. Pray, pray, pray for the conversion of your heart, so that Jesus may be born in you all and may dwell in you and come to reign over your entire being. Thank you for having responded to the call.”

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Jakov – December 25, 2002

Our Lady came with the Child Jesus in her arms. The apparition began at 5:20 pm and lasted 7 minutes. Our Lady gave the following message:
“Dear children! Today, on the day of love and peace, with Jesus in my arms, I call you to prayer for peace. Little children, without God and prayer you cannot have peace. Therefore, little children, open your heart so that the King of Peace may be born in your heart. Only in this way, you can witness and carry God’s peace to this peaceless world. I am with you and bless you with my motherly blessing.”

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Jakov – December 25, 2003

The apparition began at 3:15 pm and lasted 8 minutes. Our Lady gave the following message:
“Dear children! Today, when in a special way, Jesus desires to give you His peace, I call you to pray for peace in your hearts. Children, without peace in your hearts you cannot feel the love and joy of the birth of Jesus. Therefore, little children, today in a special way, open your hearts and begin to pray. Only through prayer and complete surrender, will your heart be filled with the love and peace of Jesus. I bless you with my motherly blessing.”

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Jakov – December 25, 2004

The apparition began at 2:30 pm and lasted 7 minutes. Our Lady gave the following message:
“Dear children! Today, on a day of grace, with little Jesus in my arms, in a special way I call you to open your hearts and to start to pray. Little children, ask Jesus to be born in each of your hearts and to begin to rule in your lives. Pray to Him for the grace to be able to recognize Him always and in every person. Little children, ask Jesus for love, because only with God’s love can you love God and all people. I carry you all in my heart and give you my Motherly blessing.”

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Jakov – December 25, 2005

The apparition began at 2:45 pm and lasted 7 minutes.
Our Lady gave the following message:
“Dear children! Today, with Jesus in my arms, in a special way I call you to conversion. Children, through all this time which God permitted me to be with you, I continuously called you to conversion. Many of your hearts remained closed. Little children, Jesus is peace, love and joy; therefore now decide for Jesus. Start to pray. Pray to Him for the gift of conversion. Little children, only with Jesus can you have peace, joy and a heart filled with love. Little children, I love you. I am your mother and give you my motherly blessing.

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Jakov – December 25, 2006

The apparition began at 3:23 pm and lasted 6 minutes.
Our Lady gave the following message:
Today is a great day of joy and peace. Rejoice with me. Little children, in a special way, I call you to holiness in your families. I desire, little children, that each of your families be holy and that God’s joy and peace, which God sends you today in a special way, may come to rule and dwell in your families. Little children, open your hearts today on this day of grace, decide for God and put Him in the first place in your family. I am your Mother. I love you and give you my Motherly Blessing.

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Jakov – December 25, 2007

The apparition began at 2:29 pm and lasted 6 minutes.
Our Lady gave the following message:
“Dear children! Today, in a special way I call you to become open to God and for each of your hearts today to become a place of Jesus’ birth. Little children, through all this time that God permits me to be with you, I desire to lead you to the joy of your life. Little children, the only true joy of your life is God. Therefore, dear children, do not seek joy in things of this earth but open your hearts and accept God. Little children, everything passes, only God remains in your heart. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Jakov – December 25, 2008

The apparition began at 14:48 pm and lasted 6 minutes.
Our Lady gave the following message:
“Dear children! Today, in a special way, I call you to pray for peace. Without God you cannot have peace or live in peace. Therefore, little children, today on this day of grace open your hearts to the King of peace, for Him to be born in you and to grant you His peace – and you be carriers of peace in this peaceless world. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

 

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Jakov – December 25, 2009

At the last daily apparition to Jakov Colo on September 12th, 1998, Our Lady told him that henceforth he would have one apparition a year, every December 25th, on Christmas Day. This is also how it was this year. The apparition began at 2:35  pm and lasted 12 minutes.

Our Lady gave the following message:

 

“Dear children!  All of this time in which God in a special way permits me to be with you, I desire to lead you on the way that leads to Jesus and to your salvation. My little children, you can find salvation only in God and therefore, especially on this day of grace with little Jesus in my arms, I call you to permit Jesus to be born in your hearts. Only with Jesus in your heart can you set out on the way of salvation and eternal life. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

 

 

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Jakov – December 25, 2010

At the last daily apparition to Jakov Colo on September 12th, 1998, Our Lady told him that henceforth he would have one apparition a year, every December 25th, on Christmas Day. This is also how it was this year. The apparition began at 2:25  pm and lasted 7 minutes.

Jakov said: “Our Lady spoke to me about the secrets and at the end said: ‘Pray, pray, pray.’

 

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Jakov – December 25, 2011

 

At the last daily apparition to Jakov Colo on September 12th, 1998, Our Lady told him that henceforth he would have one apparition a year, every December 25th, on Christmas Day. This is also how it was this year. The apparition began at 3:30 pm and lasted 11 minutes.

 

Our Lady’s Message to Jakov:

“Dear children! Today, in a special way, I desire to take you to and give you over to my Son. Little children, open your hearts and permit Jesus to be born in you, because only in this way, little children, you yourselves will be able to experience your new birth and set out with Jesus in your hearts towards the way of salvation. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

 

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Jakov – December 25, 2012

 

At the last daily apparition to Jakov Colo on September 12th, 1998, Our Lady told him that henceforth he would have one apparition a year, every December 25th, on Christmas Day. This is also how it was this year. The apparition began at 2:15 pm and lasted 10 minutes. Afterwards Jakov transmitted the message:
Dear children, give the gift of your life to me and completely surrender to me so that I may help you to comprehend my motherly love and the love of my Son for you. My children, I love you immeasurably and today, in a special way, on the day of the birth of my Son, I desire to receive each of you into my heart and to give a gift of your lives to my Son. My children, Jesus loves you and gives you the grace to live in His mercy, but sin has overtaken many of your hearts and you live in darkness. Therefore, my children, do not wait, say ‘no’ to sin and surrender your hearts to my Son, because only in this way will you be able to live God’s mercy and, with Jesus in your hearts, set out on the way of salvation.

 

 

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Jakov – December 25, 2013

At the last daily apparition to Jakov Colo on September 12th, 1998, Our Lady told him that henceforth he would have one apparition a year, every December 25th, on Christmas Day. This is also how it was this year. The apparition began at 3:07 pm and lasted 8 minutes. Afterwards Jakov transmitted the message:

Little children, today in a special way, Jesus desires to come to dwell in each of your hearts and to share with you your every joy and pain. Therefore, little children, today in a special way, peer into your hearts and ask yourselves if the peace and joy of the birth of Jesus have truly taken hold of your hearts. Little children, do not live in darkness, aspire towards the light and towards God’s salvation. Children, decide for Jesus and give Him your life and your hearts, because only in this way will the Most High be able to work in you and through you.

 

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Jakov – December 25, 2014

At the last daily apparition to Jakov Colo on September 12th, 1998, Our Lady told him that henceforth he would have one apparition a year, every December 25th, on Christmas Day. This is also how it was this year. The apparition began at 2:40 pm and lasted 8 minutes. Afterwards Jakov transmitted the message:

Dear children! Today, on this day of grace, I desire for each of your hearts to become a little stable of Bethlehem in which the Savior of the world was born. I am your mother who loves you immeasurably and is concerned for each of you. Therefore, my children, abandon yourselves to the mother, so that she may place each of your hearts and lives before little Jesus; because only in this way, my children, your hearts will be witnesses of God’s daily birth in you. Permit God to illuminate your lives with light and your hearts with joy, so that you may daily illuminate the way and be an example of true joy to others who live in darkness and are not open to God and His graces. Thank you for having responded to my call.

 

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Jakov – December 25, 2015

At the last daily apparition to Jakov Colo on September 12th, 1998, Our Lady told him that henceforth he would have one apparition a year, every December 25th, on Christmas Day. This is also how it was this year. The apparition began at 2:08 pm and lasted 10 minutes. Afterwards Jakov transmitted the message:

Dear children! All these years that God permits me to be with you are a sign of the immeasurable love which God has for each one of you and a sign of how much God loves you. Little children, how many graces the Most High has given to you and how many graces he desires to give to you. But, little children, your hearts are closed and live in fear, and do not permit Jesus to have His love and His peace overcome your hearts and to begin to reign in your lives. To live without God means to live in darkness and never to come to know the Father’s love and His care for each of you. Therefore, little children, today in a special way pray to Jesus that as of today your life may experience a new birth in God and become a light which will radiate from within you, and thus that you may become witnesses of God’s presence in the world to every person who lives in darkness. Little children, I love you and daily intercede before the Most High for you. Thank you for having responded to my call.

 

Our Lady’s annual apparition to Jakov – December 25, 2016

At the last daily apparition to Jakov Colo on September 12th, 1998, Our Lady told him that henceforth he would have one apparition a year, every December 25th, on Christmas Day. This is also how it was this year. The apparition began at 2:20 pm and lasted 10 minutes. Afterwards Jakov transmitted the message:

“Dear children!  Today, on this day of grace, in a special way, I am calling you to pray for peace. Children, I came here as the Queen of Peace and how many times have I called you to pray for peace. But, children, your hearts are restless. Sin is preventing you from opening yourselves completely to grace and peace which God desires to give you. To live peace, my children, is to first have peace in your hearts and to be surrendered completely to God and to His will. Do not seek peace and joy in the things of this world, because this is all passing. Long for true mercy and peace which come only from God; and only in this way will your hearts be filled with true joy; and only in this way will you be able to become witnesses of peace in this peaceless world. I am your mother and intercede before my Son for each of you. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

What to offer to Our Lady for the 20th Anniversary of Her apparitions

What could we offer to Our Lady for the anniversary of Her apparitions? This is the question many pilgrims ask, and we answer with another question: Wouldn’t the dearest gift be if we would really start to live Her messages?

The main theme of Our Lady’s messages is the call to peace and reconciliation, but She underlines very often that we can obtain them only through prayer. This is why She calls us unceasingly to pray, to renew prayer until it becomes a joy for us, to pray with the heart…

We have composed a simple novena with the deep desire to offer something special to Our Lady for this Anniversary, something that unites all Her children in the whole world, something that helps us to live Her messages.

Why a Novena?

The idea for the Novena comes from the New Testament, when Mary and the Apostles, 40 days after the Resurrection of Jesus, remained in prayer for nine consecutive days. They prayed with one heart and persevered in prayer, waiting for the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, that was promised them, and that filled them “when the time of Pentecost was fulfilled” (Ac 2,1). Since then, Novenas have become a frequent practice in the tradition of the Church. Also in Medjugorje, Our Lady calls us: “Dear children, offer novenas, making sacrifices wherein you feel the most bound.” (July 25, 1993)

How to pray this Novena?

One special intention is devoted to each day. We pray for this intention, meditating on the texts that are proposed, through the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary. The first text is a passage from the Gospel, the second – a message of Our Lady from one of the previous anniversaries, and the third – a passage from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. These have been chosen to give a threefold insight into the prayer intention: A Gospel, a Marian (through the messages of Medjugorje) and an Ecclesiastical insight, to help the person who is leading the prayer and introducing the Mysteries. The passages from the Catechism on prayer show us the richness, the depth and the immensity of the experience of Christian prayer, of which Our Lady reminds us here in Medjugorje. The concluding prayer unites all the intentions of prayer regarding the intention for the day.

Together towards something new

We believe that this unity in prayer will bring a new experience of the love of God, which has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. This experience is always a new beginning, a passage to a new level of existence. Real wars, wars of our doubt and our incredulity can be stopped, and even natural laws can be changed through prayer. We sincerely hope that our common prayer, united in the Heart of Mary for the victory of Her Immaculate Heart, will obtain a conversion in our hearts and in our lives and bring forth the most pleasing and dearest gift to Our Lady.

1st day

We pray for the Visionaries

1. Prayer to the Queen of Peace
2. Veni Creator Spiritus
3. Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary

Texts for Meditation

Jesus said to his disciples: “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures. And he said to them: “thus it is written that the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold I am sending the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city until you are clothed with the power from on high.” (Lk 24,44-49)

“Dear children! Today I thank you for living and witnessing to my messages with your life. Little children, be strong and pray so that prayer may give you strength and joy. Only in this way will each of you be mine and I will lead you on the way of salvation. Little children, pray and with your life bear witness to my presence here. May each day be a joyful witness for you of God’s love. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (Message, June 25, 1999)

Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God.” But when we pray, do we speak from the height of our pride and will, or “out of the depths” of a humble and contrite heart? He who humbles himself will be exalted; humility is the foundation of prayer, only when we humbly acknowledge that “we do not know how to pray as we ought,” are we ready to receive freely the gift of prayer. “Man is a beggar before God.” (2559)

4. The Litany of the Blessed Virgin

Concluding prayer: Lord, You call all Christians to be real witnesses of Your life and of Your love. Today, we thank You in a special way for the visionaries and for their mission in witnessing to the messages of the Queen of Peace. We present to You all of their needs. We pray for each one of them personally, that You may be near them, so that they may grow unceasingly in the experience of Your strength. We pray that You guide them to a deeper and more humble prayer in further witnessing to the presence of Our Lady in Medjugorje. Amen.


2nd day

We pray for all Priests who Minister at the Sanctuary

1. Prayer to the Queen of Peace
2. Veni Creator Spiritus
3. Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary

Texts for Meditation

Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, amen I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father. And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.” (Jn 14,12-14)

“Dear children! Today I am with you in a special way and I bring you my motherly blessing of peace. I pray for you and I intercede for you before God, so that you may comprehend that each of you is a carrier of peace. You cannot have peace if your heart is not at peace with God. That is why, little children, pray, pray, pray, because prayer is the foundation of your peace. Open your heart and give time to God so that He will be your friend. When true friendship with God is realized, no storm can destroy it. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (Message, June 25, 1997)

“If you knew the gift of God!” The wonder of prayer is revealed beside the well where we come seeking water: there, Christ comes to meet every human being. It is he who first seeks us and asks us for a drink. Jesus thirsts; his asking arises from the depths of God’s desire for us. Whether we realize it or not, prayer is the encounter of God’s thirst with ours. God thirsts that we may thirst for him. “You would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” Paradoxically our prayer of petition is a response to the plea of the living God: “They have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water!” Prayer is the response of faith to the free promise of salvation and also a response of love to the thirst of the only Son of God. (2560 2561)

4. The Litany of the Blessed Virgin

Concluding prayer: Lord, You are the only source of life, the only One who can quench our thirst for love and friendship. We thank You for Your humility in working through a simple man, a priest, giving Yourself to Your people in Holy Mass, in the Sacraments, in Benedictions… Today, we invoke in a special way Your blessing on all priests who minister at the Sanctuary of the Queen of Peace. May they further discover the power of faith through which You grant them whatever they ask of You. May they also become true carriers of peace, fruits of their deeply felt friendship with You. Amen.


3rd day

We pray for all Parishioners

1. Prayer to the Queen of Peace
2. Veni Creator Spiritus
3. Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary

Texts for Meditation

Jesus said to his disciples: “I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you. By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. As the Father loves me, so also I love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete.” (Jn 15,5-8)

“Dear children! Today I thank you for all the sacrifices you have offered me these days. Little children, I invite you to open yourselves to me and to decide for conversion. Your hearts, little children, are still not completely open to me and therefore, I invite you again to open to prayer so that in prayer the Holy Spirit will help you, that your hearts become of flesh and not of stone. Little children, thank you for having responded to my call and for having decided to walk with me toward holiness.” (Message, June 25, 1996)

Where does prayer come from? Whether prayer is expressed in words or gestures, it is the whole man who prays. But in naming the source of prayer, Scripture speaks sometimes of the soul or the spirit, but most often of the heart (more than a thousand times). According to Scripture, it is the heart that prays. If our heart is far from God, the words of prayer are in vain. (2562)

4. The Litany of the Blessed Virgin

Concluding prayer: Thank You, Lord, for Your love, thank You for the call to remain with the heart in Your love and to bear much fruit. Thank You for having chosen this parish in a special way, by giving it to Your Mother, the Queen of Peace, with the mission to call the world to peace and reconciliation, to conversion through the renewal of fasting and prayer… Thank You for the openness of each heart, which knew how to receive Her, and allowed Her to make each of them a visible sign for those who come here. Today we pray to You, o Lord: make this parish an even greater sign of the Kingdom of God, and help the parishioners to become joyful and holy fruits of the presence of Our Lady. Amen.


4th day

We pray for all Leaders in the Church

1. Prayer to the Queen of Peace
2. Veni Creator Spiritus
3. Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary

Texts for Meditation

Jesus said to his disciples: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (Jn 8,12)

“Dear Children! Today I am happy to see you in such great numbers, that you have responded and have come to live my messages. I invite you, little children, to be my joyful carriers of peace in this troubled world. Pray for peace so that as soon as possible a time of peace, which my heart waits impatiently for, may reign. I am near to you, little children, and intercede for every one of you before the Most High. I bless you with my motherly blessing. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (Message, June 25, 1995)

The heart is the dwelling-place where I am, where I live; according to the Semitic or Biblical expression, the heart is the place “to which I withdraw.” The heart is our hidden centre, beyond the grasp of our reason and of others; only the Spirit of God can fathom the human heart and know it fully. The heart is the place of decision, deeper than our psychic drives. It is the place of truth, where we choose life or death. It is the place of encounter, because as image of God we live in relation: it is the place of covenant. (2563)

4. The Litany of the Blessed Virgin

Concluding prayer: Thank You, O Lord, for giving us the Church as Mother and Spouse, to lead us in our earthly life on a path of light towards You. Thank You, because in the Church we are all brothers and sisters, and members of one Mystical Body. Today we pray for those who lead the Church: may they unceasingly renew within themselves their covenant with You, the One and Only True Head, so as to become faithful and joyful carriers of peace and truth in this troubled world. Amen.


5th day

We pray for all Pilgrims who already came to Medjugorje

1. Prayer to the Queen of Peace
2. Veni Creator Spiritus
3. Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary

Texts for Meditation

Jesus said to his disciples: “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it. What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? (Mk 8,34-38)

“Dear children! Today I am happy, even if in my heart there is still a little sadness for all those who have started on this path and then have left it. My presence here is to take you on a new path, the path to salvation. This is why I call you, day after day to conversion. But if you do not pray, you cannot say that you are on the way to being converted. I pray for you and I intercede to God for peace; first peace in your hearts and also peace around you, so that God may be your peace. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (Message, June 25, 1992)

Christian prayer is a covenant relationship between God and man in Christ. It is the action of God and of man, springing forth from both the Holy Spirit and ourselves, wholly directed to the Father, in union with the human will of the Son of God made man. (2564)

4. The Litany of the Blessed Virgin

Concluding prayer: Our lives, O Lord, are in Your hands. You alone know what we need to be saved. Thank You for teaching us this here in Medjugorje for 20 years through Your Mother, who came to lead us on the way of salvation. Bless and strengthen all those who have started to walk on the way of conversion and prayer here in Medjugorje. Strengthen their faith, their hope and their charity and never let them betray their covenant with You. Amen.


6th day

We pray for all Pilgrims who will come to Medjugorje

1. Prayer to the Queen of Peace
2. Veni Creator Spiritus
3. Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary

Texts for Meditation

At that time Jesus said: “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him. Come to me, all you who labour and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” (Mt 11,25-30)

“Dear children! Today I also rejoice at your presence here. I bless you with my motherly blessing and intercede for each one of you before God. I call you anew to live my messages and to put them into life and practice. I am with you and bless all of you day by day. Dear children, these are special times and, therefore, I am with you to love and protect you; to protect your hearts from Satan and to bring you all closer to the heart of my Son, Jesus. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (Message, June 25, 1993)

In the New Covenant, prayer is the living relationship of the children of God with their Father who is good beyond measure, with his Son Jesus Christ and with the Holy Spirit. The grace of the Kingdom is “the union of the entire holy and royal Trinity . . . with the whole human spirit.” Thus, the life of prayer is the habit of being in the presence of the thrice-holy God and in communion with him. This communion of life is always possible because, through Baptism, we have already been united with Christ. Prayer is Christian insofar as it is communion with Christ and extends throughout the Church, which is his Body. Its dimensions are those of Christ’s love. (2565)

4. The Litany of the Blessed Virgin

Concluding prayer: We have not chosen You, O Lord, but You have chosen us. You alone know all the little ones who will receive the grace of the revelation of Your love through Your Mother, here in Medjugorje. We pray for all pilgrims who will come to Medjugorje: protect their hearts from all satanic attacks and open their hearts to all inspirations coming from Your Heart and from the Heart of Mary. Amen.


7th day

We pray for all the Medjugorje Prayer Groups and Centres in the Whole World

1. Prayer to the Queen of Peace
2. Veni Creator Spiritus
3. Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary

Texts for Meditation

Jesus said to his disciples: “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets. Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow is the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.” (Mt 7,12-14)

“Dear children! I am calling you to that love which is loyal and pleasing to God. Little children, love bears everything bitter and difficult for the sake of Jesus who is love. Therefore, dear children, pray that God come to your aid, not however according to your desire, but according to His love. Surrender yourself to God so that He may hear you, console you and forgive everything inside you which is a hindrance on the way of love. In this way God can move your life, and you will grow in love. Dear children, glorify God with a hymn of love so that God’s love may be able to grow in you day by day to its fullness. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (Message, June 25, 1988)

In prayer the Holy Spirit unites us to the person of the only Son, in his glorified humanity, through which and in which our filial prayer unites us in the Church with the Mother of Jesus. Mary gave her consent in faith at the Annunciation and maintained it without hesitation at the foot of the Cross. Ever since, her motherhood has extended to the brothers and sisters of her Son “who still journey on earth surrounded by dangers and difficulties.” Jesus, the only mediator, is the way of our prayer; Mary, his mother and ours, is wholly transparent to him: she “shows the way” (hodigitria), and is herself “the Sign” of the way, according to the traditional iconography of East and West. (2673 2674)

4. The Litany of the Blessed Virgin

Concluding prayer: Love is the sign of recognition to Your disciples, O Lord. We thank You for every response of love given through service and gifts to others. We pray for all members of the Medjugorje Prayer Groups and Centres in the whole world. Together with Your Mother, may they more courageously and resolutely, within their families and wherever they live, always show this narrow way, the only one that leads to You. Help them to grow day by day in the fullness of Your Love. Amen.


8th day

We pray for the realization of all fruits and Messages of Medjugorje

1. Prayer to the Queen of Peace
2. Veni Creator Spiritus
3. Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary

Texts for Meditation

Jesus said to his disciples: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come towards the light, so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.” (Jn 3,16-21)

“Dear children! Today, on this great day, which you have given to me, I desire to bless all of you and to say: these days while I am with you are days of grace. I desire to teach you and help you to walk the way of holiness. There are many people who do not desire to understand my messages and to accept with seriousness what I am saying. But you I therefore call and ask that by your lives and by your daily living you witness my presence. If you pray, God will help you to discover the true reason for my coming. Therefore, little children, pray and read the Sacred Scriptures so that through my coming you discover the message in Sacred Scripture for you. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (Message, June 25,1991)

Mary is the perfect Orans (pray-er), a figure of the Church. When we pray to her, we are adhering with her to the plan of the Father, who sends his Son to save all men. Like the beloved disciple we welcome Jesus’ mother into our homes, for she has become the mother of all the living. We can pray with and to her. The prayer of the Church is sustained by the prayer of Mary and united with it in hope. (2679)

4. The Litany of the Blessed Virgin

Concluding prayer: We thank You, O Father, for having given us Your Son and His Mother, so that none of those who believe in them and listen to them may be lost. Thank You for caring for each person and, in Your mercy, for condemning no one. We pray today for all that Our Lady has prayed for here in Medjugorje, and for every grace that has been poured out here into the world. May it bring the fruit of holiness and serve You in Your plan of salvation. Amen.


9th day

We pray for the Intentions of the Queen of Peace

1. Prayer to the Queen of Peace
2. Veni Creator Spiritus
3. Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary

Texts for Meditation

At that time Jesus said: “Father, they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, the world also does not know you, but I know you, and they know that you sent me. I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.” (Jn 17,24-26)

“Dear children! Today I thank you and I want to invite you all to God’s peace. I want each one of you to experience in your heart that peace which God gives. I want to bless you all today. I am blessing you with God’s blessing and I beseech you, dear children, to follow and to live my way. I love you, dear children, and so not even counting the number of times, I go on calling you and I thank you for all that you are doing for my intentions. I beg you, help me to present you to God and to save you. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (Message, June 25, 1987)

Mary’s prayer is revealed to us at the dawning of the fullness of time. Before the incarnation of the Son of God, and before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, her prayer cooperates in a unique way with the Father’s plan of loving kindness: at the Annunciation, for Christ’s conception; at Pentecost, for the formation of the Church, his Body. In the faith of his humble handmaid, the Gift of God found the acceptance he had awaited from the beginning of time. She whom the Almighty made “full of grace” responds by offering her whole being: “Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be [done] to me according to your word.” “Fiat“: this is Christian prayer: to be wholly God’s, because he is wholly ours. (2617)

4. The Litany of the Blessed Virgin

Concluding prayer: We thank You, O Father, for the gift of prayer which allows us to touch Your heart; prayer in which You give Yourself entirely to us and in which You teach us to give ourselves entirely to You. We pray today for all intentions of the Queen of Peace and for all that is necessary so that the whole world, through Mary, may enter into Your glory, the glory of the Most Holy Trinity. Amen.


Prayers

Prayer to the Queen of Peace

Mary, Mother of God and Our Mother, Queen of Peace!
You came to us to lead us to God.
Obtain for us the grace
not only to say:
“Be it done to me according to Your will!”,
but to live it, as You did.
Into Your hands we put our hands,
so that You may lead us to Him
amidst these afflictions and woes.
Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Creed, 7 Our Fathers, 7 Hail Marys, 7 Glory Bes….

Veni Creator Spiritus – Come Holy Spirit

Come Holy Spirit, Creator, come
best gift of God above,
the living spring, the living fire,
sweet unction and true love.

Thou Who are called the Paraclete,
from Thy bright heavenly throne,
come, take possession of our souls,
and make them all Thine own.

Thou who are sevenfold in Thy grace,
finger of God’s right hand,
His promise, teaching little ones
to speak and understand.

O guide our minds with Thy blest light,
with love our hearts inflame;
and with Thy strength, which never decays,
confirm our mortal frame.

Far from us drive our deadly foe,
true peace unto us bring,
and through all perils lead us safe
beneath Thy sacred wing.

Through Thee may we the Father know,
through Thee the eternal Son,
and Thee the Spirit of them both,
thrice-blessed Three in One.

All glory to the Father be,
with his co-equal Son:
the same to Thee, great Paraclete,
while endless ages run. Amen.

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of Your love.

– Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created.

– And You shall renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray: God, who taught the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant that by the gift of the same Spirit we may be always truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Rosary

The Joyful Mysteries

1. The Annunciation of the Angel to Mary
Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be, O my Jesus…
2. The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth
Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be, O my Jesus…
3. The Nativity of Our Lord in Bethlehem
Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be, O my Jesus…
4. The Presentation in the Temple
Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be, O my Jesus…
5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple
Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be, O my Jesus…

The Sorrowful Mysteries

1. The Agony of Jesus in the Garden
Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be, O my Jesus…
2. The Scourging at the Pillar
Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be, O my Jesus…
3. The Crowning with Thorns
Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be, O my Jesus…
4. The Carrying of the Cross
Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be, O my Jesus…
5. The Crucifixion and Death of our Lord
Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be, O my Jesus…

The Glorious Mysteries

1. The Resurrection of Jesus from the Dead
Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be, O my Jesus…
2. The Ascension of Jesus into Heaven
Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be, O my Jesus…
3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit
Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be, O my Jesus…
4. The Assumption of Mary into Heaven
Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be, O my Jesus…
5. The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin
Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be, O my Jesus…

The Litany of the Blessed Virgin

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God, our heavenly Father, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary,                         pray for us
Holy Mother of God,
Holy Virgins of virgins,
Mother of Christ,
Mother of Divine Grace,
Mother, most pure,
Mother most chaste,
Mother inviolate,
Mother most undefiled,
Mother most amiable,
Mother most admirable,
Mother of good counsel,
Mother of our Creator,
Mother of our Saviour,
Mother of the Church,
Our Mother,
Virgin most prudent,
Virgin most venerable,
Virgin most renowned,
Virgin most powerful,
Virgin most merciful,
Virgin most faithful,
Mirror of justice,
Seat of wisdom,
Cause of our joy,
Spiritual vessel,
Vessel of Honour,
Singular vessel of devotion,
Mystical rose,
Tower of David,
Tower of ivory,
House of gold,
Ark of the covenant,
Gate of Heaven,
Morning Star,
Health of the sick,
Refuge of sinners,
Comforter of the afflicted,
Help of Christians,
Queen of angels,
Queen of patriarchs,
Queen of prophets,
Queen of martyrs,
Queen of confessors,
Queen of virgins,
Queen of all saints,
Queen conceived without sin,
Queen assumed into Heaven,
Queen of the most holy Rosary,
Queen of the families,
Queen of peace,

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord!
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord!
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Lord!

Pray for us, o holy Mother of God,
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ!
Let us pray: Pour forth, we beseech you, O Lord, your grace into our hearts, that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ, your Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by his passion and cross be brought to the glory of his Resurrection, through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Hail! Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, hail our life, our sweetness and our hope. To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To you do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, O most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy toward us; and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus, O clement! O loving! O sweet Virgin Mary!

The Medjugorje Hymn
To the Mother and Queen of Peace

We come to you, dearest Mother,
from all quarters, from all nations;
bringing to you all our troubles
ardent wishes, aspirations.

Look upon us and console us,
lay your gentle hands upon us;
intercede with Jesus for us,
Mother of Peace, do pray for us.

All the faithful look up to you,
you the lodestar of salvation;
cleanse, embrace us, we pray to you,
bless all in the congregation.

Bijakovo, Medjugorje,
little hamlets spread the story,
bearing witness to your beauty
to your name and to your glory.

For all your love, dearest Mother
all the wonders that we have seen,
we give to you solemn promise
to be better than we have been.

The Blessed Virgin Mary has told the visionaries of Medjugorje that She would impart to them Ten Secrets. Very little is known about these secrets, though we do know that some of them have to do with chastisements for the world. We also know that the third secret will be a visible, lasting sign that will miraculously be placed somewhere on Apparition Hill. It will be permanent, indestructible, and beautiful. Also, both Mirjana and Vicka have stated that part of the seventh secret no longer exists because of the prayers and fasting of the people responding to Our Lady’s call.

The six Medjugorje visionaries in the beginning day of the apparitions

The six Medjugorje visionaries in the beginning day of the apparitions. Our Lady has entrusted secrets to them that will, once revealed, bring about sweeping conversions throughout the world. Three of the visionaries have all Ten Secrets, while the other three have nine. From left to right, as of June 25, 2009 – Ivan has 9 secrets; Marija has 9 secrets; Ivanka has 10 secrets; Mirjana has 10 secrets; Jakov has 10 secrets; and Vicka has 9 secrets.

Three of the visionaries, Mirjana, Ivanka, and Jakov, have all ten secrets and no longer see Our Lady on a daily basis. Mirjana received the 10th secret in 1982, Ivanka in 1985, and Jakov in 1998. The other three visionaries, Ivan, Marija and Vicka, each have 9 secrets and still see Our Lady on a daily basis, as of June 1, 2009.

Mirjana was the first visionary to receive all ten secrets. Our Lady has given her the responsibility of revealing the secrets. Mirjana knows the day and date of each of the secrets. Our Lady told Mirjana to choose a priest to reveal the secrets to the world. Mirjana chose Father Petar Ljubicic. Ten days before the first secret is to be revealed, Father Petar will be given a parchment containing the Ten Secrets. When Father Petar receives the parchment, he will only be able to read the first secret. During the ten days, Father Petar, along with Mirjana, is to spend the first seven days in fasting and prayer. Three days before the event takes place, he is to announce it to the world. At the proper time, he will be able to see and read the second secret, and then the third, etc., according to the schedule of Heaven. Mirjana said that Father Petar doesn’t have the right to choose whether to say or not to say them. He accepted this mission and he has to fulfill that according to God’s Will.

Even though Our Lady doesn’t speak a lot about the secrets, they are an important part of Our Lady’s plans for the salvation of mankind. For those who are responding to Our Lady’s call, the secrets should not create fear in their hearts. Any good father disciplines his children. The secrets are God’s way of disciplining His wayward children back into His loving embrace. The secrets will be fearful and considered chastisements for those of His children who have turned away from Him, who are living godless lives. But Our Lady calls all of us to conversion, not to wait until the secrets are realized. For many, it will then be too late. Act now and embrace Our Lady’s messages. Accept and embrace God’s love and mercy during this special time of grace with Our Lady.

About Medjugorje

1. The Pre-Croatian Period

If we were to judge by the caves existing in the area of Brotnjo as well as in the parish of Medjugorje, we can’t completely exclude the possibility of habitation as far back as the older Stone Age period. From the later Stone Age period, there is material proof of the existence of a pre-Illyrian culture and civilisation in the area. In the older Bronze Age, there is evidence of Illyrian tribes. Copper objects found in the area are proof of an intensive lifestyle. Some walled settlements on the higher points, so-called “gradine” (castle ruins), which were either circular or square in shape, date from this period. A double wall surrounded some of them. In the parish of Medjugorje, there are still existing examples of the double-walled “gradine”: in Surmanci and above Medjugorje itself in Zuzelj. Apart from the “gradine”, the most eloquent evidence of the Illyrian civilisation (which is abundant in Brotnjo and indeed in the area of Medjugorje itself) are the graves of the Illyrian dignitaries.

In the second century before Christ, the Daors allied themselves with the Romans and waged war with the Illyrian tribes of Dalmatia. Brotnjo first belonged to the Illyrian province of Dalmatia, which has its administrational seat in Solin near Split, and from the third century to the setting of Narona. The writings on the gravestones testify that Roman legions and cohorts were situated in the area, and that Roman veteran soldiers lived there. There remain some parts of a road from the time of the Romans, constructed in the 3rd century. Apart from that, many Roman memorial tombstones and objects of everyday use have been found. The most significant archaeological site from the Roman time is to be found in the Catholic cemetery in Miletina, where some vestiges of buildings made of Roman bricks have been discovered, but it hasn’t been sufficiently examined.

2. The Beginnings of Croatian History

At the end of the 6th century, Croatians began to establish themselves in these regions. The region of Brotnjo represented a tribal political-territorial unit, a district, with a tribal regional chief, a district prefect.

Brotnjo always belonged to the land of Hum, which in 1322 fell under Bosnian administration. From 1357, this area then belonged to the Hungarian Croatian King, Ljudevit I.

From the mediaeval period, the most famous memorials of the civilisation in this region are the “stecak” – truly indigenous autochthones grave memorials. In many ways the “stecak” from Herzegovina are superior to those from the rest of Bosnia, Herzegovina and Croatia; in the number and in the dimension of burial grounds, in the beauty of their ornamentation, and in their worth regarding artful elaboration. In Brotnjo itself there are many burial grounds and “stecak”, likewise in the area of Medjugorje. Man-formed crosses with arms raised in prayer are sculpted into some of them.

Up to the 12th century, this area was Glagolitic. The famous “Plaque of Humac” testifies to this. In the second half of the 12th century a form of the Cyrillic alphabet called “Bosancica” prevailed. In the area of Brotnjo, not one mediaeval Latin inscription is to be found, only Croatian inscriptions written in “Bosancica”.

3. The Period of Turkish Occupation

Christianity arrived to the area surrounding Medjugorje in the time of the Romans. Judging by the amount of early Christian church ruins it was extensively widespread. In large part they were destroyed, and churches were levelled to the ground during the time of the migration in the 6th and 7th centuries after Christ. The Croatian settlers accepted Christianity very early: They started to be baptised as early as the 7th century. However, the Catholic Church never became really solidly established in the mediaeval Croatian Bosnian state, which facilitated the expansion of the “Bosnian Church.” In the 13th century, the Croatian Bosnian state, which included the land of Hum (Herzegovina), was firstly visited by the Dominican missionaries and, after their lack of results, the Franciscan missionaries who accomplished great success in bringing the Bogumils or “Bosnian Christians” back to the Catholic Church and the Catholic faith.

Bosnia and Herzegovina fell under Turkish power in the year 1463. The Turkish invaders wished to occupy the whole of Croatia too, to reach Vienna and Rome, and likewise further west. On their way, the Croatians stopped them; for this reason, the Pope proclaimed them to be the “bulwark of Christianity”. Croatia had nevertheless to pay a high price. Not only were many Croatian lives lost in continuous warfare, but the central part of Croatia – its heart – was also snatched away: Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The life of the Catholics under Turkish rule was constantly exposed to the forced passage into Islam, to oppression and to persecution. Under the Turkish feudal system, no Croatian could possess anything immovable. Catholics were permanently considered as “enemies of the state,” because their head was in “enemy” territory: Rome. Croatians subsisted from stock bearing and work on the properties of Turkish invaders and of local landlords who embraced Islam; they were paying large taxes in stock, corn, grain and even children. The Turks forcefully snatched their children, made them embrace Islam and used them as Janissaries, special-force units for the purpose of conquering the still unconquered Christian lands, among others their own Croatian country. For this reason, many Croatians were driven to flee westwards. This is how the Moslem element entered into Bosnia and Herzegovina. Up until the time of Turkish occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the area was almost completely inhabited by Croatians. As the Turkish broke in from the east, the Serbs migrated westwards fleeing from them, but later on they helped them in their conquests, and arrived in these areas where heretofore they had never been.

4. The Role of the Franciscans

The activities of the Franciscans in these areas from the very time of their arrival had a major influence on the survival of Croatians under cultural, religious and every other aspect. The Franciscans emerged in Croatian regions in the first decades of the 13th century. During the whole time of the Turkish occupation (1463 to 1878), the Franciscans were the only ones who tended to the spiritual needs of the Croatian Catholics in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and their only representatives and defenders in front of the Turkish administration. In every way, the Franciscans shared the plight of their people. After the Turks had destroyed all of the Franciscan monasteries in Herzegovina, in the first half of the 16th century, the spiritual care for the Croatian Catholics was taken over by Franciscans from the Christian Dalmatia, i.e. Croatia. During the Turkish administration, the Franciscans were persecuted, tortured and killed, many thrown alive into the river Neretva… After the Turkish rule, only the ruins of the Franciscan monasteries were left.

The first Franciscan Province to be set up in the region of Bosnia and Herzegovina was the Bosnian Franciscan Province. In 1852, the Herzegovinian Custody was established, and in 1892 the Herzegovinian Franciscan province was founded, members of which serve today in the parish of Medjugorje.

The Franciscans have left indelible tracks in the region of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Many have enriched the Croatian Church with their personal holiness and heroic witnessing of the Gospel; they educated the population, and contributed to the alphabetisation and the development of art and science.

In the great wars of the 17th century the majority of parishes in Herzegovina were destroyed, among them the parish of Medjugorje. When relative peace returned to Herzegovina in the 18th century, the Franciscans gathered the remaining believers together and established parishes. The parish of Medjugorje was founded in the year 1892.

5. The Austro-Hungarian Administration of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the Creation of Early Yugoslavia

After liberation from Ottoman rule in 1878, the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy took power in these areas. For political reasons, it didn’t want to include the newly liberated areas in the Croatian state to which they historically belonged. And so, once again in history, the Croatian people of Bosnia and Herzegovina remained separated from the motherland.

In the year 1914, the First World War began, the reason being the assassination of Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, carried out by Gavrilo Princip, a Serbian. In 1918, at the end of the First World War, Yugoslavia was fraudulently brought into existence as the kingdom of Serbians, Croatians and Slovenians. This fraud was brought about by the big powers of the time. In this state, the Croatian people were oppressed, and the parliamentarian who fought for the freedom of Croatians was perfidiously killed in the Parliament, in Belgrade, in 1928. In 1929, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was established, which was to crumble at the beginning of the Second World War.

6. Life in the Second Yugoslavia

During the Second World War, the losses of the Croatian people were immense. At the end of the war itself, when the cease-fire had already been officially declared, about 300,000 civilians and soldiers lost their lives at Bleiburg and at what is called the “Way of the Cross” of the Croatian people. According to attained agreements, the Allies were supposed to offer refuge to Croats after their surrender, and to others who were seeking to evade communism. But the Allies, according to the order of the field-martial general Harold Alexander, handed the soldiers and the civilians over to the communists – the partisans. In Bleiburg alone a multitude lost their lives, while the rest of them had to form a 60km long line taking them to the communist Yugoslavia and it’s concentration camps. This was the beginning of the Croatian Golgotha, the so-called “Way of the Cross,” which extended from the most northern to the most southern point of the new multi-ethnic state of Yugoslavia. The Partisans killed the Croatians while walking, without trial, without establishing their eventual culpability, at their own discretion. Especially persecuted were the Croatians from Herzegovina.

The communists killed 630 priests and nuns from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Alone in the Herzegovinian Franciscan province, 70 Franciscans were killed. The Second World War took 344 lives from the parish of Medjugorje.

In the parish of Medjugorje, life under communist rule was hard. People were beaten and sentenced to years in prison just because they were Catholics and Croatians. In schools, just as elsewhere in Croatia, the communists tried to separate children from their national identity and their faith. Thanks to the strong faith of the people, they didn’t succeed in this.

At the same time, the area was systematically economically neglected, with the aim of having as many people as possible leave the area… The pilgrims, who came here at the very beginning of the apparitions, saw all this in action. They found here a very poor region and very rude policemen. The administration didn’t permit the slightest help in accommodating the pilgrims; instead, many of them – together with the locals – were persecuted and imprisoned, just because they said that Our Lady was appearing. However, the local people were hospitable and had their standards.

7. Liberation

The communist tyranny fell in 1990, when the Croatian people unanimously decided for the independence and breakaway from the artificially created Yugoslavia. This, certainly, didn’t tie in with the idea of Great Serbian, so the Yugoslavian army, made up primarily of Serbs, militarily attacked Slovenia on the 25th of June 1991 (the tenth anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions), then Croatia and afterwards Bosnia and Herzegovina, desiring to suffocate independence. Several hundred thousands lost their lives during this bloody war. The world could have stopped this bloodshed. It didn’t do this because of their respective interests. The E.E.C. kept on condemning the warring sides, hoping to wash its hands and save Yugoslavia as a multinational state, which could be used to further their own aims. James Baker, the Prime Minister of the Bush administration, even permitted the Yugoslav army to attack Slovenia.

European and world powers sought out and still seek their own interests in these areas. Because of that, they tried and continue to try to fog-up this war presenting it as a civil war in which all were equal. The truth is, however, completely different and very simple: The Serbs, wanting to create the Great Serbia, attacked other peoples which up until then had lived with them in the same state. They were able to do this because, in ex-Yugoslavia, all the power was in their hands. The major world powers had chosen them as the “policemen” of the Balkans, and because of this, they looked benignly on their actions. Even when they had committed the first genocide, as in Vukovar, the major world powers didn’t want to stop them. They only began to stop them when they exceeded every measure, and began to injure the reputation of their protectors.

The warfare between Croatians and the Moslem community in Bosnia and Herzegovina (in 1993) began as a series of misunderstandings, but also out of a desire of some foreign intelligence services to occupy as much as possible of the territories in Bosnia and Herzegovina and to consolidate there. The Croatians simply desired that no one other than themselves govern them anymore. They wanted to have their own schools, to be allowed to call their own language Croatian, while remaining in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Moslem community, the largest in Bosnia and Herzegovina, led by a fundamentalist leadership, wanted to administrate the new state according to the Islamic law and to impose its rule upon the others. For this reason, they brought into the country the Islamic soldiers – mudjahedins – from all over the world, who committed terrible crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This war, however, was stopped very rapidly because it was really not needed.

Today, Medjugorje is a part of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Because of the communist administration and the terrible war, the infrastructure of Medjugorje is still underdeveloped. This however, didn’t stop pilgrims from coming here, even during the cruelest clashes of the war. Many of them brought aid, thus helping the Croatian people to remain where they were. The Croatian people will never forget this. Today, pilgrims are coming more and more. They want to experience this time of grace with their whole hearts, and not let it pass them by.

I. GEOGRAPHICAL SITUATION, CLIMATE, HYDROGRAPHICAL CONDITIONS AND VEGETATION

1.1. Geographical Situation of Herzegovina

The Parish of Medjugorje is situated in the southern part of Herzegovina in the present-day state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In order for the reader to have a complete picture of the situation, climate, irrigation and vegetation of Medjugorje, it is essential to have a better look at its surrounding areas.

Herzegovina is situated between two regions: a mountainous region to the north and a coastal region to the south. The mountainous wall to the north holds back the circulation of atmospheric masses from the Mediterranean, creating favourable climatic conditions for various vegetal cultivations in the area of Herzegovina.

Herzegovina covers an area of 9,948 square kilometres. It is bordered to the east by Montenegro, to the west by Bosnia, to the south and southeast by southern Croatia and in one area forms part of the Adriatic coast. The main cultural and administrational centre is Mostar.

1.2. Climatic conditions

The nearby sea, relief, and height above sea level influence the climate of Herzegovina.

Medjugorje is situated in the part of Herzegovina where the Mediterranean climate, with its gentle winters and warm summers, is predominant. It is characterised by rainfall in the colder period of the year.

During winter, the Adriatic Sea gives off the heat accumulated during the summer period, easing winter atmospheric temperatures.

In July and August, summer temperatures reach their maximum.

Maximum precipitation takes place in the autumn, though rainfall can also be felt in the spring. However, the greatest quantities fall in November and December.

Regarding wind, north and northeasterly winds are predominant. Locally, they are referred to as “northerly” or “Bura”. Winter is at its coldest when this characteristically dry wind blows every second day.

Herzegovina has another recurring wind called “Jugo”. This wind blows directly from the Adriatic Sea, most often during the autumn and spring. It is saturated with humidity and in the autumn brings rainfall in large quantities. It is considerable in strength and blows for a few days, after which the showers then stop.

On the basis of climatic evidence found in meteorological annals, we can conclude that Herzegovina is influenced by Mediterranean, continental, and mountain climates. And, in the area of southern Herzegovina where Medjugorje is situated, a Mediterranean climate is predominant.

1.3. Hydrographical Conditions

Herzegovina is a rugged country in which limy layers originating in the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous ages extend for tens of metres. These layers spring up in spots, are sometimes crushed, or are in the form of large masses. Water follows these rifts, disappears from the surface for a while, creates receptacles underground, or pours underground and crops up later on the surface as a whole river. From these sources the Herzegovinian Rivers – Buna, Tihaljina, Radobolja, Trebisnica, Vriostica, Bregava, Rama, Buka, Krupica etc. – well up. Some of these rivers, after a short flow on the surface, disappear again underground, and after a few kilometres, spring up on the surface again and receive another name.

The copious autumn rains, which fall in the area of Herzegovina, create streams. These make the rivers swell and flood, and the Karst expanses become lakes. The area of southern Herzegovina is more sparse regarding mountain springs. However, those water springs which it does possess present a real attraction, being more abundant than those of the mountains.

The waterways of Herzegovina are very attractive: Some, for the nature-lovers, some for the canoers, some for the fisherman, and others for those seeking a place to bathe, rest and refresh themselves.

1.4. Vegetation

Just as the area of Herzegovina stretches from the coast to high mountain-land, so too the belts of woodland correspond to the different levels above the sea. During the winter, or during the summer drought when the vegetation completely dies out, some Herzegovinian landscapes look like a Karst desert.

Of the total land area of Herzegovina, 56.8% is given to agriculture (arable and pastoral lands), while 42.4% is taken up by the woodland. The remainder is 0.8%.

In southern Herzegovina, the evergreen vegetation is predominant, so this picturesque landscape is held throughout the whole year. Its greenery decorates the Karst hillsides and the coastline. In the area surrounding Medjugorje, many expansive lush oak woods can be seen, and here and there, they crop up to beautify other areas of Herzegovina.

Herzegovina also has some indigenous species of plant-life. From the significant Mediterranean genus, we can single out the pomegranate. Its red flowers and fruit attract attention. Its oak, ivy, beech and Cystisis laburnum are elements belonging to the Mediterranean flora, while its pine belongs to the Euro-Asian flora. The pretty blossoms on the brambles and heather, sage and honeysuckle (which are typical of the Herzegovinian hillsides) present an attractive allurement. When this shrubbery blooms, the grey Karst hillsides change colour. In the springtime, the honeysuckle gives it a yellowy hue, which later becomes blue with the sage, then white from the heather and brownish-yellow from the blossoming brambles. If we could look from above, we would see a multi-coloured carpet landscape. This presents a romantic Herzegovinian landscape. The perfume of the flowers and the freshness of the air have a favourable influence on the human organism. Bees fly from flower to flower and produce the well-known Herzegovinian ‘restorative’ or ‘healing’ honey.

Apart from the indigenous species of nature, there’s also the ‘man-made’ cultivation of crops, which (with the help of the fruitful soil of the area) has made something unique. The well-known Herzegovinian tobacco (Nicotinum tobacum) is featured as one of the best tobaccos of the world for its quality. However, its exportation is practically unheard of in the present day.

Nonetheless, Herzegovina has other rarities and quality products, which make her exporters proud. Among them, we certainly must mention the well-known wines Zilavka and Blatina. These vines flourish only in Herzegovina under these conditions and in the comfortable Mediterranean climate. Herzegovina is also renowned for the “first cherries.” Due to climate and conditions, they ripen much earlier here than in surrounding areas. In fact, the Herzegovinian conditions are predisposed for the planting of fruit trees.

Thousands of cherry, plum, pear, peach, apple, apricot, and marasca trees grow here. Because of this Herzegovina has become one of the biggest providers of fruit and vegetables in Bosnia-Herzegovina. These are immense plantations, watered by artificial rain clouds.

II. POPULATION

The population of Medjugorje currently numbers about 4300 inhabitants. All are of Croatian nationality, speak the Croatian language, write with the Latin alphabet and are Catholic. Politically, the new state under which Medjugorje emerges is a parliamentary democracy.

Throughout history, this area was noted for continuous migration. Before the First World War, great poverty drove them out into the world. During the period between the two World Wars, Serbian hegemony and persecution under the new multi-ethnic Yugoslavian state drove many to leave their homeland for the far-off lands of North and South America. The real large scale emigration, however, began after the Second World War, when the Communist dictators forced many to run away beyond the borders of their own native Croatia, suffocated by the communist creation called Yugoslavia. In the early nineteen sixties a real exodus of Croatian people occurred: they left on so called “temporary work” for Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, the USA, Canada, Australia and even as far away as South Africa and New Zealand. The communists said that they had left only temporarily, in reality they had sold them throughout the world as slaves. They used them as a cheap way of gaining foreign currency. The irony of the political communist system declared most of them, who were forced to work just for survival itself, to be “enemies of the state,” which also condemned their families in the homeland. This is how their return became completely impossible.

The population of the parish of Medjugorje started to return bit by bit, fostered by supernatural events – Our Lady’s apparitions (which began back in 1981).

 

 

 

 

Alongside the beginning of Our Lady’s apparitions appeared the need to present them to a broad public in the right way. There was never any intention of doing publicity in today’s meaning of that word, but only to help people come to the truth. Our activity in the present day has the same purpose.

The objections are justified that there should have been already organized, from the very beginning, an efficient system of spreading the messages of Our Lady’s apparitions right from the heart of where they were taking place. However, the difficulties, which prevented this, are also justified. We recall that, when in 1981 the apparitions began, Medjugorje was groaning under a communist dictatorship. That meant being constantly under the surveillance of the police and not even being able to get close to, much less to build modern means of communication. For just one word and even less than that, a person went to jail. That kind of situation made it hard to find skilled lay persons who would be able to work on the tasks of spreading Our Lady’s messages by means of social communication. The third great difficulty was the negative position of the bishop toward the Medjugorje events, after his initial enthusiasm and courageous stand in the face of the communist authorities.

Nevertheless, the difficulties did not kill all of the good ideas. With the announcement of the arrival of democracy in 1990, a more systematic consideration of everything began. Sadly, a horrible and unjust war began within a short time, so that all the ideas were postponed for better days. Due to the difficulties of the war, the number of pilgrims decreased, but the difficulties did not extinguish the desire within people to be in touch with Medjugorje and to know about what is happening. This is why the “Information Centre” started functioning in November 1993. It began to systematize archives and a library, and to send reports about events to the whole world. Meanwhile, necessary electronic equipment was supplied, and in November 1994 the pilot number of the “Press Bulletin” was issued. It is available through the Internet; so too is Our Lady’s messages and their interpretation.

As time passed by, other new ideas have been developed like the Robofax, radio, Internet, local television… Their aim is to help make it easier to spread Our Lady’s messages.

1. Archives

The organization of archives began with the gathering of material on healings taken place so far. At the present time, about 445 healings have been reported, a large number of which have the necessary documentation.

Journalists were continuously coming and writing about the Medjugorje apparitions. Naturally, it was impossible to collect all of those newspaper articles, but a large number of them are stored in our archives. The most interesting of them are, of course, those from the communist period. One can read the fury of evil with which they gruffly speak about Our Lady’s apparitions.

Also, many photographs were taken in Medjugorje in the course of these twenty years. We preserve them in one section of the archives and use them in various newspaper articles or the preparation of some new book.

We have also initiated the gathering and preservation of photographic films. We are doing it in the manner of big newspaper firms.

2. Library

Many books also were continuously written with the desire to search for and penetrate the heart of everything that has been happening in Medjugorje. A part of them is gathered together in different languages on the premises of our “Centre.” At the present time, we do not have adequate space to display them, but with further building up of the shrine we expect to achieve that.

We are, hereby, requesting all of those who are able to help in the collection of books for our library or material for the archives to do so. The “Centre” is not just ours. The data we have at our disposal is also intended for all of the other centres in the world, as well for individuals who wish to publish written works on the theme of Medjugorje events.

3. Information Office

Due to an increase in arrival of pilgrims, the “Information Office” began to operate again in August 1995. It was first set up in 1991, but the war interrupted its functioning. At the present time it operates daily.

The job of the “Information Office” is to provide every possible type of information to pilgrims. It also gathers notifications of pilgrim groups coming, so that we are able to better organize services at the shrine. It should be mentioned here that the does not deal with accommodation for pilgrims.

The “Information Office” also provides the service of arranging a meeting of pilgrims with one of the visionaries. In the same way, it is also possible to arrange meetings with priests who are serving at the shrine. We request all pilgrimage group leaders to bear this in mind. With that kind of mutual interaction and organization, you will be helping both yourselves and us.

The “Association of Guides,” that was re-established in September 1995, is also closely connected with the “Information Office.” The “Association of Guides” was started in 1991 for providing information to Medjugorje pilgrims in the fields of religious, cultural-historical, archaeological, and ethnographic life. They are prepared with definite training for these tasks. Upon arrival in Medjugorje, it is possible to request their services at the “Information Office.”

4. Bulletin

At the request of many pilgrims, primarily from the centres of peace, we decided to inaugurate the publication of a Bulletin to offer regular information about the current events in the shrine. It represents the official position of the shrine. In that way, it is easier to avoid the start and spread of false information about Medjugorje events. In it one can find various news items, announcements, messages… this enables the friends of Medjugorje throughout the world to keep contact with the shrine.

5. Different Services Available

Our “Centre” also has the task of co-operating with journalists, TV and radio crews who arrive in Medjugorje or who are interested in Medjugorje. We wish to offer them the best quality information at our earliest convenience about the events here. In the same way, we wish to offer our services to those writing books or articles, as well as those wishing to achieve academic degrees using the theme of Our Lady’s apparitions.

6. Internet

In March of 1996, we began to give information about the happenings in the Parish of Medjugorje through the Internet network. In doing this we have improved our possibility of communicating with others.

7. Radio

At the beginning of the war in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, a public radio entitled “Radio Medjugorje” began functioning. It dealt with political, religious, cultural, sporting, and various other subjects. It was open to everything that was of current interest to the local people in Medjugorje. Since the equipment was weak and worn out, this radio had to discontinue after operating for two years. Later on there were insufficient means for it to reopen.

After the decline of the communist reign of terror, serious thought was given to the inception of a radio station under the patronage of the Queen of Peace shrine in Medjugorje. There were many ideas, but only in March of 1996 were we able to realise them. Our Radio station started broadcasting around the 15th anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions.

Radio “Mir” Medjugorje broadcasts programming created in our studio in Medjugorje for 12 hours a day (10 am to 10 pm), and more if necessary. The rest of the day is covered by the Croatian Catholic Radio. Our programme covers religious, cultural, educational, social, sporting, and other themes. The central part of the programme is the daily live broadcasting of the Rosary and the Holy Mass from the Parish Church. Our Radio can be heard in the greatest part of Bosnia and Herzegovina and of Croatia. We have 30 thematic blocs and 7 daily blocs. The Radio “Mir” Medjugorje is the most listened to radio channel among Croatians in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Our radio broadcasts on following frequencies: 101.5 MHz; 102.3 MHz; 100 MHz; 106.7 MHz; 100.1 MHz; 104.7 MHz and 96.1 MHz.

Our reporters are collaborating on the radio named “Radio Herceg-Bosna” (audible in almost all of Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as a large part of Croatia). At times, they also collaborate on “Croatian Radio – studio Zagreb.” Once a month, for a half hour, we have a link to “Radio-Maria” from Italy.

8. Television

Along with radio, television is the most influential modern medium of communication. Many believe only what they see on television. They say, “We saw it.” They are forgetting that one can also manipulate with all of this.

For the time being, we are not able to organize a TV studio that would be at the service of the shrine and of the truth, and free from any manipulation. But we are remaining completely open to this possibility.

Currently, we are closely collaborating with two TV studios: Croatian Television (HTV)-Zagreb and Croatian TV studios in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This way pictures from the shrine are broadcast both to the proximate and more distant area. Of course, we are the disposal of every well-intentioned TV crew that comes by Medjugorje.

9. Automatic Speaker 090-810-850 (Bosnia and Herzegovina) 060-325-325 (Croatia)

We also have charge over an automatic speaker of HPT, 090-810-850 in Bosnia and Herzegovina and 060-325-325 in Croatia, which work only in the Croatian language. At whatever time you call these numbers you can hear the most recent of Our Lady’s messages followed by a meditation and news from Medjugorje, which are renewed every Wednesday. The automatic speaker began to work on January 17, 1991 in Croatia and on October 25, 2001 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Call and be in touch with the events in Medjugorje!

10. Books and Brochures

We have begun to edit books and brochures on Our Lady’s apparitions in various languages.

We invite all of the friends of Medjugorje to support the projects of the Information Centre in spiritual and material ways so that Our Lady’s message may continue to be spread all over the world.

Connection with other CENTRES in the world

We wanted to get in touch with other centres in the world from the very beginning. The greatest hindrance was the war and the very poor telephone lines. All of this is now improving, so that our contact with others will be made easier.

When representatives from various centres come to Medjugorje, we would like to meet with them and exchange experiences. That will be of benefit to both of us.

There are thousands of ways that we can help each other. From this presentation of the work of our Centre and of the ideas it proposes to itself, we hope you were able to find a field in which we could more closely collaborate. For our part, we are likewise open to any kind of collaboration with you.

It is necessary to keep in mind that the “Information Centre “Mir” – Medjugorje”, along with the priests who are working in Medjugorje, is the only official representative of the shrine. No one else can be or is that, even if they live and work in Medjugorje. We are mentioning this for the sake of misunderstandings that occasionally arise.

Medjugorje Zip Code: 88266

Full Address: 88266 Medjugorje, Čitluk, HNK, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Gospin Trg 1, 88266 Međugorje
Tel.: +387 36/ 653-300; 650-206; 651-333; 650-310
Faks.: +387 36/ 653-360,
Informacije: +387 36/ 653-316
ured@medjugorje.hr

 

 

Kliknite da vidite Župni listić: Medjugorje Župni listić

Pilgrims

The parish of Medjugorje is situated in Herzegovina, 25 km southwest of Mostar. Medjugorje, (the name is of Slavic origin, and signifies a region between two mounts) with the villages of Bijakovići, Vionica, Miletina and Šurmanci, forms a Roman-Catholic parish where today (in 2005) about 5000 inhabitants live. The pastoral care of the parish is confided to the priests of the Herzegovinian Franciscan Province of the Assumption of Mary.
(See: Pastoral staff )The whole region is inhabited by Croatians who received Christianity 13 centuries ago. In historical documents, the village was mentioned in 1599for the first time. The present parish was founded in 1892 and dedicated to St. James the Apostle, protector of pilgrims.
(See: A Short Historical Presentation)
Until June 24, 1981, Medjugorje lived like all other villages of this region: people worked on their land, planted tobacco and vineyards, produced wine and vegetables to acquire just enough for a modest life for their families. Because of social circumstances, many went out into the world: over the ocean and to Western European countries, as well as into towns in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia.
(See: Regional References and the Population)

Our Lady’s Apparitions

In 1981, when the apparitions started, the life of the parish changed: Our Lady chose for her witnesses and co-workers not only the six visionaries, but the entire parish and its pilgrims. This was expressly told in the following message: “I have chosen this parish in a special way and I wish to lead it.” (March 1st, 1984)
(See: OUR LADY’S MESSAGES)

On June 24th, 1981, at about 6 pm, six young people – Ivanka Ivanković, Mirjana Dragićević, Vicka Ivanković, Ivan Dragićević, Ivan Ivanković and Milka Pavlović, saw on the hill called Crnica, several hundred meters above the place called Podbrdo, a young woman with a child in her arms, who gave them a sign with her hand to come nearer. Surprised and scared, they did not approach her.
(See: Detailed Description of Our Lady, the Queen of Peace, as she appears in Medjugorje )

The next day, June 25th, 1981, at the same time, four of them: Ivanka Ivanković, Mirjana Dragićević, Vicka Ivanković and Ivan Dragićević, felt strongly drawn towards the place where they had seen the person the day before which, they had recognised as Our Lady. Marija avlović and Jakov Čolo joined them. The group of Medjugorje visionaries was formed. They prayed and spoke with Our Lady. This is why June 25th is celebrated as the Anniversary of the apparitions. According to the testimony of the visionaries, from that day onwards, they had daily apparitions, together or separately, wherever they were. Milka Pavlović and Ivan Ivanković never saw Our Lady again.
(See: Introduction to the messages; Our Lady’s Apparitions Today)The third day of the apparitions, June 26th, 1981, Our Lady gave the call to peace for the first time with the words: “Peace, peace, peace – and only peace! Peace must reign between God and man and between men!” Attracted by Our Lady’s apparitions and messages, people – first the parishioners and then from other villages and from all over the world – started to gather and pray.
The persecution of the visionaries, of their parents and relatives, of the parishioners and priests, and even of the pilgrims began immediately after the beginning of the apparitions. The visionaries were taken for police investigations and psychiatrical examinations, but it was always stated that they were healthy. The same conclusion brought about further examinations done in the following years.

(See: Scientific researches ; Apparitions, Visions, Revelations ; The Role of the Visionaries ; “Private” Revelation and Medjugorje )

Fr, Jozo Zovko, pastor of Medjugorje at that time, was arrested a month and a half after the first apparition. Although innocent, he was condemned by a communist court to three years and a half of prison.
Thanks to Our Lady’s apparitions, Medjugorje – a simple village parish – became a place of gathering for a multitude of pilgrims from the whole world (in the first 20 years, more then 20 million), and one of the biggest prayer centres in the world, comparable to Lourdes and Fatima. Innumerable witnesses say that, precisely in this place, they have found faith and peace.
(See: Anthropological, biblical, religious and spiritual dimensions of the pilgrimage ;
The Historical-Theological Context of the Medjugorje Apparitions; Statistics)According to the unanimous witness of the visionaries, Our Lady gives them messages to be transmitted to the parish and to the world. They mainly address PEACE, FAITH, CONVERSION, PRAYER AND FASTING. The parishioners and the pilgrims have to become witnesses of Our Lady’s apparitions and messages first, and then, together with the visionaries, join her in the realisation of the plan of the conversion of the world and its reconciliation with God.
At the end of 1982, Our Lady addressed herself through inner locutions (locutio cordis) to two ten years old girls, Jelena and Marijana Vasilj. Through their prayer group, she gave – from 1983 to 1987 – counsel to the prayer movement that was created from the very beginning of the apparitions.

Our Lady’s messages given in Medjugorje constitute a specific school of peace, of prayer and of love.
(See: The Spiritual Movement of the Queen of Peace ; Prayer Groups in the Marian Prayer Movement;Medjugorje and the New Evangelisation)


St. James’ Parish Church

The construction of the old parish church was completed in 1897, soon after the creation of the parish (1892). It was a spacious and beautiful construction for its time. Built on unstable ground, it soon started to develop fissures. Immediately after the end of the First World War, the parishioners began to think about building a new church. Construction lasted from 1934 until January 19, 1969, when it was consecrated.

(See: Virtual walk)

St James Church is today the focus and the centre of both sacramental and prayer life, not only for the parishioners, but also for pilgrims.
(See: International meetings; Weekly programme; Annual programme)
A fenced-in park situated within the traffic circle at the east side of the Shrine reminds us of the place where the old parish church once stood.

THE EXTERIOR ALTAR

Because of new needs, which surfaced with the coming of numerous pilgrims, the church and its surroundings have been rearranged ever since 1981.

(See: Virtual walk)

The exterior altar built in 1989, and the surrounding prayer area (with about 5000 seats), are a place of gathering in the summer time and for big feasts, when numerous thousands of pilgrims gather in Medjugorje.
(See: Guidelines and Information for Pilgrims )

Apparition Hill

The place of the first apparitions of Our Lady, several hundreds meters above the Bijakovići hamlet called Podbrdo, is today called Apparition Hill.

(See: Virtual walk)

A steep path leads from the houses to the very place of the apparitions, along which – in 1989 – bronze reliefs were placed representing the joyful and the sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary (the work of Prof. Carmelo Puzzolo).
On the way towards the place of the apparitions, a large wooden cross was erected, signalling the place where – through Marija Pavlović, on the third day of the apparitions – Our Lady gave the call to peace for the first time.
At the very place of the apparitions, in honour of the 20th anniversary of the apparitions, a statue of the Queen of Peace was placed, sculpted according to the model of the statue, which you can find in front of the parish church (the work of Dino Felici).
For the pilgrims, an encounter with Apparition Hill is encounter with Our Lady through personal prayer and prayer of the rosary.
In June 2002, bronze reliefs representing the glorious mysteries of the Rosary (the work of Prof. Carmelo Puzzolo) were placed on the path descending towards the Blue Cross.
At the foot of Apparition Hill is the Blue Cross, placed there in 1985. At this place, Ivan the visionary’s prayer group gathers regularly, ever since July 4th, 1982.

Cross Mountain (KRIŽEVAC)

Cross Mountain is a mount above Medjugorje (520 m) where on March 15, 1934, the parishioners constructed a concrete cross 8.56 m high, built in remembrance of the 1900 years since the death of Jesus. On the cross is written: “To Jesus Christ, Redeemer of the human race, as a sign of their faith, love and hope, in remembrance of the 1900 years since the death of Jesus”.

(See: Virtual walk)

Relics received from Rome for the occasion are embedded in the cross bar itself.
Since then, the custom was established of celebrating Holy Mass at the foot of the cross in commemoration of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, on the 1st Sunday after the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
According to the visionaries, in the message of August 30, 1984, Our Lady said: “The cross was also in God’s plan when you built it.”
With Our Lady’s apparitions, the faithful started to pray the Way of the Cross on Cross Mountain. In the beginning, the stations were marked with simple wooden crosses, and in 1988, bronze reliefs (the work of Carmelo Puzzolo) were placed there. On each one of them, with the exception of the Garden of Gethsemane, Our Lady is situated.
For the pilgrims, Cross Mountain is a call to meet Jesus in His Passion and to discover His love.
On the first death anniversary of Fr. Slavko Barbarić (November 24, 2001), on the place where he gave his soul into the hands of the Lord, a memorial was erected: Fr. Slavko’s relief in bronze encrusted in stone. Between two stations of the cross, it will remain as a sign and a memorial of a man who said what he thought and who did what he said, following the Gospel and the messages of the Mother of the Word Incarnate, the Queen of Peace.

Prayer Area Around the Parish Church

Adoration Chapel

The Adoration Chapel was built in 1991, to offer a place for silent adoration of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar to the pilgrims. Due to the lack of prayer space at the Shrine, Holy Masses in different languages are celebrated there during the morning, but it is open for personal prayer during the afternoon.

In the year 2000, reliefs of five priests, natives of the parish, martyrs for the faith, killed by the communists at the very end of the World War II, were placed in the adoration chapel.

Statue OF the Queen of Peace

The marble statue of the Queen of Peace, which became a symbol of the Shrine (the work of Dino Felici from Italy) was put up in 1987 at the square in front of the church.

Confessionals

Thanks to Our Lady’s apparitions, Medjugorje became a place of reconciliation, which is especially experienced in the sacrament of Holy Confession. Twenty-five confessionals, built in 1990 and restored in 2001, can be found near the church; it is there that the faithful have daily occasion to experience God’s forgiveness.

(See: Virtual walk)

Statue of St. LEOPOLD BOGDAN MANDIĆ

The bronze statue of St. Leopold Bogdan Mandić (the work of Carmelo Puzzolo from Italy), patron saint of confessors, canonised on October 16, 1983, was put up in 1998 in the proximity of the exterior confessionals.

Prayer Area Around the Wooden Cross

At the northwest of the church, an area for silent prayer was arranged around a wooden cross. This is the place where pilgrims can light their votive candles.

(See: Virtual walk)

Outside Area for Meetings and Leisure for pilgrims

A covered area for meetings and leisure for pilgrims was constructed in 2000. Behind it, you can find the toilet facilities.

Prayer Area Around the Statue of the Risen Saviour

At southwest of the church, on the way towards the cemetery, a bronze statue of the Risen Saviour (the work of Slovenian sculptor Andrej Ajdič) was put up for Easter 1998. For Easter 2002, a space was arranged around the statue for personal and group prayer of the Stations of the Cross for those who cannot climb Cross Mountain.

Hall for Group Meetings and the PAINTING of the Queen of Peace

Prayer gatherings of pilgrims in the parish demanded the construction of a space for conferences, prayer meetings and international seminars. The Hall, which seats 800, was built in 1998.

There, you can also find a painting of the Queen of Peace (oil on tissue, work of Prof. Carmelo Puzzolo).

CEMETERY “KOVAČICA”

The local cemetery “Kovačica” is where Fr. Slavko Barbarić is buried, as well as Fr. Križan Galić, who was killed by the partisans in the presbytery while he was Pastor in Medjugorje.


Different services

PRESBYTERY

The presbytery, built in 1892, immediately after the creation of the parish, was restored in 1990. At the time when the old parish church was still under construction, when it was unsuitable for use, as well as during the war in 1992, Holy Mass was celebrated in its cellar.

The door of the presbytery is always open not only for the parishioners, but also for the pilgrims of the whole world.

In the presbytery, in the room where he was killed by the communists, you can find the relief of Fr. Križan Galić.

Information Booth

The Information Booth was created in 1991 and was re-established after the war in 1995. It serves the organisation of the pilgrim’s programme at the Shrine: it centralises the registration of pilgrimages, establishes contact with guides and organises meetings with Medjugorje Franciscans and visionaries. The Association of Guides, established for the bettering service to pilgrims, is tightly linked to the Information Booth.
(See: INFORMATION CENTRE “MIR” MEDJUGORJE )

Souvenir Shop

In Medjugorje, as in other places of pilgrimages, pilgrims have the desire and the need to take home a souvenir of the experience they have made. Near the Presbytery is situated a Souvenir Shop, where pilgrims can find rosaries, crosses, medals, holy pictures, books, music, video/audio tapes, and other religious objects.

First Aid Station

 The First Aid Station, opened in spring 2003, is on the west side of the Shrine, near the parking. Medical Service of the Maltese Order helps pilgrims and parishioners daily from 9 am to 9 pm, from May 1st to November 1st.
(See: Contacts)

Parking

The parking lot, where pilgrims can leave their personal vehicles and busses, is on the west side of the Shrine.


Institutions linked to THE shrine

Domus Pacis (House of Peace)

“Domus Pacis” is a house of prayer, bought in 1990, where prayer seminars (especially “Prayer and Fasting Seminars”), retreats and recollection days for local and foreign pilgrims take place.

Mother’s Village

Mother’s Village is an establishment for the education and care of abandoned and neglected children. It has existed since 1993. It emerged from the desire of its founder, Fr. Slavko Barbarić, to offer children and youth a planned, organised education, as well as care, so that they can develop physically, intellectually, morally, spiritually and culturally. Through Catholic contents and ideas, the collaborators offer them a condition of freedom, dignity, acceptance, and above all, love and understanding.

The care of children was entrusted to the Franciscan School Sisters from Herzegovina, and to lay staff members. The establishment started its work officially on September 8, 1996.

A Kindergarten, a Dentist’s Lab and a Physical Therapy Station are also on the Mother’s Village Campus.
(See: Mother’s Village)

St. Francis’ Garden

St. Francis’ Garden, a forest in the northwest part of Mother’s Village, was the last project of the late Fr. Slavko Barbarić, inspired by Our Lady’s message, where she tells us: “Go into nature and look how nature is awakening and it will be a help to you to open your hearts to the love of God, the Creator.” (April 25, 1993)

Through patient work and care, a neglected pine forest grown on rocky ground became a beautiful natural place for recollection and recreation, prayer and education. There are also two little artificial lakes, didactical material for work with children, several domestic and wild animals and birds, as well as three ponies, which serve for hypotherapy (therapeutical riding adapted for handicapped children).

(See: St. Francis’ Garden)

The Cenacolo Community

The “Cenacolo” Community was founded in Saluzzo (Italy) by Sr. Elvira Petrozzi in 1983, in order to help drug addicts. The main goal of the community is to discover and to live true values of Christian life. According to their words, their therapy is Jesus Christ, and the way of healing is prayer, work and friendship.

Because of special graces, which young people in search of truth receive in Medjugorje, Sr. Elvira opened two houses here: a house for boys called “Field of Life”, in 1991, and a house for girls called “Field of Joy” in 2000.

The boys of the “Cenacolo” community gladly receive pilgrims and give witness of their conversion and liberation from drug addiction.

(See: www.campo-della-vita.org )

In conformity to Pope Urban VIII’ Decree and the directives of the Council Vatican II, the author declares not to have the intention to precede the judgment of the Church, to whom he submits himself fully. Words like “apparitions, messages” and similar have here the value of human witness.

1. Prayer Areas

There are three main areas where the pilgrims gather in Medjugorje:

Apparition Hill

This is how the area of Podbrdo, above the village of Bijakovici is now referred to. This is where the visionaries claim to have first seen Our Lady. This happened at the end of June back in 1981. Since then pilgrims gather there to pray the rosary. By day and by night, groups can be seen making their way to the place of the first apparition. Up until 1989, there was nothing to be seen there except boulders and rustic crosses which some of the many visitors had left. Today, on the ascent, images in cast bronze, (work of the well-known Florentine artist Carmelo Puzzolo) recall the joyful sorrowful and glorious mysteries of the rosary.

Krizevac

Krizevac is the hill above Medjugorje. Here, in 1934, the people of the village of Medjugorje erected an eight-meter high concrete cross in commemoration of the 1900th anniversary of Jesus’ death. In this place, both groups and individuals of the faithful pay homage in the way of the Cross, praying as they go from station to station. In the first years the stations were marked by wooden crosses. Since 1988, however, bronze images depicting the various stations have been placed at each cross, again the work of the Italian sculptor Carmelo Puzzolo. Cross Mountain (Krizevac) has become the “Calvary” of the shrine where pilgrims remember the passion of Christ.

The Parish Church

The Parish Church and surrounding area is the area where the Mass and sacramental life in general is celebrated. The old Parish Church, built at the end of the last century, was destroyed during an earth tremor. The new Church was completed in 1969. The church as well as the Parish is consecrated to St. James, (the older) apostle and patron of pilgrims. In 1991, twenty new confessionals were added and an outdoor altar was erected for larger gatherings (when weather permits). Within the Church grounds, there is also a building which houses “the adoration chapel” and seminar rooms for church purposes. There are also two large marquees (which can be joined together to make a larger one) at the disposal of the Parish for various purposes. Overall, the need for “sacral-premises” is ever on the increase.

2. The Schedule of Events

Basically, we can categorize the events as follows a) daily, b) weekly, and c) annual events.

  1. a) Daily gatherings. Mass in the different language groups are as follows:
    • Croatian speaking 7.30 a.m. daily (Saturday also at 1 p.m.) 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sundays
    • East European 8 a.m. daily 7 a.m. Sundays
    • German speaking 9 a.m. daily 9 a.m. Sundays
    • English speaking 10 a.m. daily 12 noon Sundays
    • Italian speaking 11 a.m. daily 10 a.m. Sundays
    • French speaking 12 noon daily 1 p.m. Sundays

The evening program of the Parish begins at 5 p.m. in wintertime (6 p.m. summertime). It commences with the joyful and sorrowful mysteries of the rosary as a preparation for the celebration of the Eucharist, which begins at 6 p.m. in wintertime (7 p.m. in Summertime) and continues afterwards with thanksgiving and the glorious mysteries until 8 p.m. in wintertime (9 p.m. in Summertime).

Masses in other languages can be arranged at other times in consultation with the Parish office.

  1. b. Weekly gatherings:
    • Community reciting of the rosary on Sundays at 2 p.m. on Apparition Hill. (4 p.m. in summertime)
    • Community procession of prayer up Krizevac (Way of the Cross) on Fridays at 2 p.m. (4 p.m. in summertime)
    • Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 9 p.m. (10 p.m. in summertime)
    • Eucharistic adoration, as thanksgiving after the Thursday evening mass.
    • Adoration of the Cross, as thanksgiving after Friday evening mass.
  1. c. Annual gatherings:
    • On the greater Marian feast-days such as the Annunciation, the Assumption, Immaculate Conception etc.
    • On the greater church holidays such as Christmas, New Years, Easter, Pentecost… etc
    • During the Marian months, of May and October, (pilgrim numbers increase)
    • The greatest number of pilgrims come for the anniversary of the apparitions (June 25th) and for the Exaltation of the Cross (first Sunday after the Nativity of Our Lady (Sept).

Besides the above, there are also some events, which have become part of the customary annual gatherings. These are:

  • The prayer vigil to see in the New Year (Dec 31st)
  • The International Peace March from Humac to Medjugorje on June 24th
  • The International Youth Festival from July 31st to August 6th

3. The Cultic Content of Community Prayer

At a glance, there’s nothing unusual about what happens at Medjugorje. Everything is much the same as in other places of pilgrimage. a) Mass is celebrated, b) pilgrims participate in the sacrament of penance c) the rosary is prayed, d) the way of the cross is prayed and e) there is prayer for the sick. However, the way of celebrating is somehow different; the emphasis and effects of which are best seen in the frame of mind of the pilgrim. At Medjugorje, it’s not the exterior course of the ritual, which differs, but the spirituality in which it is saturated.

a) The evening Eucharistic celebration is central to the daily gatherings of the pilgrims. Previous to this, the joyful and sorrowful mysteries of the rosary are prayed, and the glorious mysteries are prayed afterwards. Mass is celebrated in accordance with the liturgical calendar using the Roman missal. The gospel is read in the language of the groups who partake in the Mass. The sermon is usually based on the daily gospel and is conducted through the Croatian language, although sometimes a summary is given in one or two of the pre-dominant languages. Part of the Eucharistic prayer is prayed in Latin and Latin hymns are often sung. Holy communion is distributed according to the wish of the individual i.e. in the hand or on the tongue.

Immediately following the Mass, the Creed, seven Our Fathers, Hail Mary’s and Glory Be’s are prayed kneeling. This is followed by a blessing of religious objects. Afterwards there is prayer for the sick and the third part of the rosary. Apart from evening services, individual Masses for the different language groups are celebrated at the shrine with hymns and sermons in the respective languages.

As the years go by, the practice of individual, group and community worship of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is becoming more sought after. Community adoration takes place every Thursday after the evening mass, and on Wednesdays and Saturdays there is a holy hour at 9 p.m. (10 p.m. in Summertime). There is also an “adoration chapel” at the shrine, in which pilgrims can pray in silence in front of the monstrance, which is exposed for that purpose every day from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. (6 p.m. in Summertime).

c. With regards to the Sacrament of Penance, it seems that Medjugorje in recent times, has become well known the whole world over. People come from all over the world to reconcile in the sacrament of penance, with themselves, with God and with those around them. Here, a generous number of confessors are always on call ready to offer the necessary attention, to listen to their needs and to open up the treasury of God’s mercy to the sinner. Medjugorje is actually referred to by many as the “world’s confessional”. The atmosphere alone of Medjugorje is often enough to aid visitors in the sacramental encounter, and to help them experience a conversion, and a real turning point in their lives as believers. Often group preparation for confession is useful, in the form of a penitential service or in some other way. But probably the best way is, in open discussion with a confessor.

d. The rosary is one of the most popular and loved devotions of the pilgrimage to Medjugorje. At the Parish evening services, the joyful, sorrowful and glorious mysteries are prayed with a short introductory meditation before each mystery. When possible, this is translated into other languages also. Often the prayer is interrupted by brief refrains in honour of Our Lord or The Blessed Mother. The rosary is also prayed as a form of pilgrim devotion on Apparition Hill on Sundays at 2 p.m. (or 4 p.m. in summertime). Besides this, the rosary is often prayed even going from station to station either in groups or singularly. At any time of the day or night, groups varying in number and race, can be seen fingering their beads around the Church or on the Hills praying either aloud or within their hearts.

e. The Way of the Cross is also one of the popular devotions of the pilgrim to Medjugorje. Anyone who is able-bodied enough climbs up the steep and rugged path of Krizevac pausing to observe the bronze image at each station. Those who cannot climb the Hill have the opportunity to meditate on the mysteries of Christ’s passion by praying the Stations of the Cross in the Church. There the work of the Italian artist Peppino Sacchi depicts the scenes. Meditating on the Passion, the pilgrim keeps Jesus company and is encouraged to unite the sufferings of his/her own life, (or the sufferings of relatives and friends) with the cross of Jesus. Sometimes they have to offer up and pray for those who represent a cross for themselves personally or indeed for those for whom they are a cross. The Way of the Cross is prayed on Fridays at 2p.m. (4p.m. in Summertime) as a form of pilgrim devotion and also in the Parish Church on the Fridays and Sundays during Lent.

f. Prayer for the sick in Medjugorje is woven into the Evening services as a form of thanksgiving for the Eucharistic celebration. It is more often referred to as prayer for the healing of body and soul. Humanity, but more particularly the pilgrim, is searching for healing in many senses of the word. The Latin root of the word “salus” has the broader implication of both bodily health and salvation for the soul.

4. The Beginnings of Pilgrimages to Medjugorje

It all began at the end of June when six children began to insist that Our Lady was appearing to them. She introduced herself as the Queen of Peace, and was inviting the world to peace and reconciliation. “Peace, peace, peace between man and God, and among mankind.” This not only succeeded in bringing Medjugorje to the attention of the whole world but it also marked the beginning of an extraordinary flow of graces, attracting millions of pilgrims from all corners of the earth, men women and children, rich and poor, the sick and the healthy, the unconverted and the purer ones, the sinners and the saints. The uninterrupted stream of pilgrims is ever increasing. Interest is ever deepening, reactions are ever intensifying, and are becoming ever more spiritual and ever more important (Rupcic: “Medjugorje in the History of Salvation” Duvno 1998, page 5).

In later apparitions of Our Lady, she repeatedly invited to conversion and to a change in our relationships, first with ourselves through fasting. This liberates us from all forms of addiction and eases a change in our relationship with others through forgiveness and reconciliation. This ultimately leads to the fulfilment of acts of love.

Even though the question of the supernatural origins of the apparitions is officially unresolved, we have to admit that the way that the Church-life is lived in Medjugorje is directly in response to Our Ladies messages. In her messages, Our Lady concretely asks us to partake in the Holy Mass, in such a way that it becomes the centre of our livesas individual Christians but also as a Christian community. It is the wish of the Blessed Mother that our “mass becomes an experience of God” (16th of May 1985) “I want to call you to a “living through” of the Holy Mass” (3rd of April 1986) “May Mass be your whole life” (25th of April 1988).

She also invites us to adore Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar: “Unceasingly adore Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament. I’m always present when the faithful are in adoration. It is then that special graces are given”(15th of March 1984). “Today I invite you to fall in love with Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar. Adore Him, little children, in your parishes and in that way you will be one with the whole world… When you are in adoration you are close to me”(25th of September 1995).

On the eve of the feast of the Ascension 1984 Our Lady gave this message through the visionary Ivan Dragicevic: ” I would like the world to pray increasingly for me in these days. To fast on Wednesdays and Fridays. To pray every day at least the rosary, joyful sorrowful and glorious mysteries” (S Barbaric “Pray with your hearts” Medjugorje 1994 page 41) “Pray the rosary every evening” (8th of October 1994) “I invite you to exhort everyone to pray the rosary! With the rosary, you will have the victory over every misfortune which Satan wants to inflict on the Catholic Church. Pray the rosary, all you priests! Give time to the rosary” (25th of June 1985) “Dear children! Today I call you like never before to prayer. Let your prayer be a prayer for peace…. If you want…accept the rosary! The rosary in itself is enough to work miracles in the world and in your lives” (25th of January 1991)

Our Lady also recommended prayer in front of the Cross (30th of August 1984). “Pray especially in front of the Cross, from which special graces are given”(12th of September 1985) “Meditate on Jesus’ sufferings and unite your lives with Jesus”(25th of January 1986)

5. A Theological Analysis of the Cultic Gatherings

In Medjugorje, the Church congregates in the Holy Spirit as the people of God from all tribes and nations. Every evening celebration is experienced as one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church “where he who is in Rome feels at one with He who is in India (see Lumen Gentium 13.) There the pilgrim church, marches on between the persecution of the world and the consolation of God, proclaiming the cross and death of Our Lord until He comes again (Lumen Gentium 8).

The celebrating of the mysteries of salvation is at the centre of the cultic gatherings. All devotion flows in the direction of Eucharistic celebration, which is continued and prolonged in Eucharistic Adoration. By the sacrament of reconciliation, the individual enters personally into the mystery of reconciliation and the Church is increasingly free for glorifying in Spirit and in truth.

Mary, in Medjugorje appeared with the child in her arms offering Him to mankind as a gift. God’s son is Mary’s flesh and blood, and He took His human nature in her womb. “Mary nourished His tiny body with her own blood and kept him warm with the heat of her own virginal body. She was the first ciborium and the true tabernacle of our Eucharistic Jesus. She was the first altar and Jesus’ first Church in the world”. (T. Sagi – Bunic, Mother of the Most Holy Eucharist, “Cana” No. 6 1987, page 12) Mary is included in the Eucharistic celebrations in Medjugorje as the person who prepares and takes care of it. (I.e. rosary before and afterwards, from the Hill of apparitions, she leads the way to the “Via Dolorosa” (Cross mountain) and to the Church, leading the faithful to the sources and founts of Divine grace).

“The Eucharist is exactly what this new world is hinged on, and the source from which peace flows. How can we think about it without recalling her? How can we think about her without associating her with preparation for the Eucharistic banquet? : In it, we who participate become her children and “joint-heirs in Christ” (Romans 8:17). “That’s why it’s easy to comprehend why Our Lady constantly exhorts us to Eucharistic celebration.” (Rupcic: “Medjugorje in the History of salvation” p. 113) Giving Mary her due respect as Mother of Our Lord, the pilgrims open themselves up to the graces of redemption, and receive them all the more, inserting themselves into the mystery of salvation. And this is how the Church grows in the Holy Spirit.

Pope John Paul II, in his apostolic encyclical “Tertio millennio adveniente”, looks at the Second Vatican Council as a “providential event”, centred on the mystery of Christ and His church while being open to the world (18) He emphasized in a special way that today’s world is “more than ever before in need of cleansing, and in need of conversion.” (18) According to the Pope the council “showed to the world of today with a new strength, Christ “the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, the Redeemer of mankind, the Master of history” (19) The great wealth of it’s contents and it’s new way of expression was hitherto unknown. These contents, in a manner of speaking, were the herald of a new era. The members of the council spoke the language of the Gospel, the language of the Sermon on the Mount and the language of the Beatitudes” (20).

Many Bishops and theologians see the realization of the providential event of the council in Medjugorje, they see this new manner of speaking, and the heralding of this new era in its’ message of evangelical simplicity.

6. Pastoral Evaluation

One of the more famous contemporary pastoral theologians, Prof. Paul M. Zulehner from Vienna, came to research the phenomenon of Medjugorje in the Summer of 1988 and his conclusions were published in his discourse “Medjugorje eine mystagogische Lektio” (Hrsg. Medjugorje Zentrum, “Medjugorje eine mystagogische Herausforderung? Page 72.1) He begins with the theory that Mary’s apparitions for our times are important and irrefutable (79). With regard to the messages of Medjugorje, he says that the essential catechesis is very good and that it is an excellent pathway to the message of the gospel” (82). It’s precisely this, which constitutes the ultimate criterion; Medjugorje doesn’t lead away from the Sacred Scriptures, but rather aids the way, and the Blessed Mother is not an end in herself but a signpost. (Nicht die Endstation sondern wie ein Wegweiser). The pastoral of Medjugorje, the preaching and the way of celebrating the Eucharist, leads those who go there on to the heart of faith. The pastoral incentive is aimed precisely at that end, i.e. that people live the Word of God, that they live the Sacred Scriptures and that they celebrate the Eucharist. It’s also useful to link this pastoral with the Council (82). Pilgrims who visit Medjugorje carry a deep biblical and Eucharistic devotion home with them to their own Parishes. “I am particularly impressed”, he says, ” that the pastoral in Medjugorje doesn’t seek to take people out of normal church life, they rather seek to aid it’s integration into their every day life back home, and I see this as one of it’s most positive aspects. (82/83) Prof. Zulehner is also impressed that in Medjugorje, the simplest of people are drawn together. “There, anyone is accepted, there are no suggestions as to who ought to be excluded. It’s a place that’s open to everyone. And even those who don’t consider themselves as particularly religious, just ordinary “plodders”, can feel at home there…I’m so happy that the simpler people go to Medjugorje and that there they help themselves back onto their feet, that they receive new hope for their lives, and that they can return home with their heads held high…. For me these are fruits of the Spirit which, without considering the apparitions, are, thank God, to be seen everywhere, because wherever the Spirit works, there the church is present, because Gods’ intention is to raise mankind” (87).

In the events of Medjugorje, Zulehner discovers a “mistagogy”, leading mankind into the depths of a mystery, from which God opens the heart from the inside, as in the case of Lydia in the Acts of the Apostles (see Acts 16:14). God in His mercy foreshadows the works of our Church. According to Zulehner, the true aim of pastoral work is to uncover the mystery of Gods’ work in our own lives, and to submit to these mysteries in love. “I fear that, in today’s church we have very much lost the mystical dimension of our faith”. We are therefore in danger of reducing the Gospel to straightforward morality. If the mystical disappears, there will be nothing else left. It would be a shame if Medjugorje were to be reduced to a moralistic message. That’s not the objective intended. We must enter into the gist of the message through a mystical renewal, in the encounter of man with God. This is what’s preliminary to every work and every moral. And without this, none of us can act morally. (96/97) Theologians and churchgoers tend to interpret the message. However, in theology I’ve learnt that the mysteries of faith don’t exist so that we can interpret them. Moreover, we should immerse ourselves in them, and make our abode within them. The Church will be saved, if all of us individually, decidedly and courageously orient ourselves to live in these mysteries (98/99). According to Zulehner, that’s precisely what Medjugorje is: “mystagogy”, assisting normal people to daily enter into the mysteries of the Gospel.

Alfons Sarrach even says: In Medjugorje there is the awareness that the Church is not an organization, or a perfect work of human hands, or an instrument of human violence. It’s not a supermarket of sacraments, it’s not an opiate or a drug, and neither is it something, which has been fabricated. What it is, is a “mystery”. When that has been verified throughout the whole Church, the lost will once again make their way to it, and within it, they will feel secure, and they will freely adore their God undisturbed. («The message of Medjugorje about the God who serves”, Medjugorje 1995, page 143)

7. Evangelical Implications

The celebrating of the Sacred mysteries is undoubtedly the most impressive of all the experiences of the pilgrims here. It is the main element in their stay at the shrine. The pilgrims, who have had these deeper encounters of the mysteries of faith, are conscious to a greater or lesser extent, of the importance of living these mysteries in the dullness of their everyday life.

The messages, which they heard, and the devotion and spirituality, which they experienced, centre on the preaching of Eucharistic celebration.

In Medjugorje, preaching is carried out in a completely normal way. The Gospel is always in accordance with the liturgical calendar as it continues to illuminate the path to contemporary mankind. The emphasis is on conversion as the way to peace, on prayer, fasting, forgiveness and on acts of love. These and other messages of Our Lady remind us of what is written in the Gospel of St. John: “Do whatever He says” (John 2:5)

The messages are a mother’s invitation. They respect our freedom while motivating us to do good. The objective is to move the individual to personal conversion, after which he/she can continue further.

The sermons, like the messages and the ideas coming from them, all maintain that same simplicity which is characteristic of religious experience in Medjugorje.

In fact, it is probably its simplicity, which has contributed to its acceptance by such a large number of people throughout the world as a religious phenomenon. It has become a religious movement of very large proportions.

Pilgrims who visit Medjugorje don’t remain passive on their return to their communities. Firstly, they live the messages and the Gospel with their lives, and secondly, they participate in the life of the church back home more actively. In this way prayer communities are born who live in the spirit of the messages, and with Mary’s option for the poor. Mary’s call is directed to all, just as Abraham was directed to the unknown, in an unknown area of faith, led by Gods’ call to freedom.

Its’ difficult to evaluate Our Lady’s apparitions in the world today. One thing is sure: what the pastors of the Church don’t dare mention, the Holy Spirit recompenses through Mary’s apparitions and her messages to the world. The simpler people of the world, the uncomplicated ones, accept and understand Mary’s words. Biblical faith and biblical experience once again become alive and immediate. Through Mary, God is leading the world to a renewal of the Church and a renewal of the whole world.

Conclusion

From day to day, pilgrims are drawn to the church of Medjugorje as one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. They come from all tribes and languages to celebrate the mystery of salvation in the Holy Spirit. The celebrating of the Sacred mysteries are at the centre of all events. Mary, Mother of Our Lord is present in these celebrations, as the caring mother and faithful instructor. She gently invites and at the same time thanks (Dear children, little children…. Thank you for having responded to my call!), but at the same time she is exacting; “pray, fast, be carriers of peace, participate in the mass, live the Gospel… You are not alone. You can do all things in Him who is calling you from the darkness into His wonderful light.” She, the mother of Light, is offering us her Son, the Sun of justice, the Light who illuminates every man and enables him to be a light to the world.

International meetings

 Medjugorje 2017 / 2018


 

The 24th International Meeting for Leaders of Peace Centres and Medjugorje Prayer, Pilgrim and Charity groups

 


 

25th peace March

Humac – Medjugorje
24. 06. 2017.


 

The 36th anniversary OF THE APPARITIONS OF THE QUEEN OF PEACE IN MEDJUGORJE

25. 06. 2017


The 22th INTERNATIONAL PRIESTS SEMINAR

 


 

 

St. James, Patron saint of the parish

25. 07. 2017


 

 

The 28th YOUTH FESTIVAL

MLADIFEST

 


 

Solemnity of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross – Križevac

Celebrated in Medjugorje on the first Sunday after the Nativity of Mary



18th INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR FOR MARRIED COUPLES


 

Christmas Vigil

24./25. 12. 2017


NEW YEAR’S EVE IN PRAYER

Especially for Youth
31. 12. 2017 – 01. 01. 2018

24th INTERNATIONAL Meeting for ORGANISERS OF PILGRiMaGES, Leaders of Peace Centres and Medjugorje Prayer and Charity groups
The 24th International Meeting for Organisers of Pilgrimages, Leaders of Peace Centres and Međugorje Prayer and Charity Groups will be held in Medjugorje from 27th February  –  3rd March, 2017.
The theme of the Meeting is:
“That your love may increase ever more” (Phil 1:9)
In Our Lady’s School
PROGRAMME
Monday, February 27, 2017
15.00  The registration of the participants
            17.00  The Evening Prayer Programme in the Church
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
9.00     The Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
            9.30     Lecture
                        Recess
                        11.00 Meeting and discussion with the Lecturer
15.00   Work in language groups
            17.00   The Evening Prayer Programme in the Church
            21.00   Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
9.00     Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
            9.30     Lecture, sharing
                        Recess
                        11.00   Meeting and discussion with the Lecturer
14.00   Prayer on Cross Mountain
            17.00   The Evening Prayer Programme in the Church
19.00   New: Meditation and dinner with members of the parish (bread and tea)
Thursday, March 2, 2017
9.00     Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
            9.30     Lecture, sharing
                        Recess
                        11.00   Meeting with the parish priest
                        12.30  Lunch for all the participants
15.00   Prayer on Apparition Hill
            17.00   The Evening Prayer Programme in the Church
Friday, March 3,  2017
9.00     Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
            09:30 – The experiences of the participants, followed by the Closing Holy Mass
The Lecturer at the retreat is Fr. Marinko Šakota, the parish priest of Medjugorje
Father Marinko Šakota was born in Čitluk in 1968. He completed the elementary school, as well as the first class of the High school in Čitluk. Then he felt the Franciscan calling and went to the Franciscan seminary in Visoko where he completed the second class of the Grammar school, and the remaining two he completed in the Jesuit Grammar School in Dubrovnik where he later graduated. He put on the Franciscan habit on July 15, 1987 in Humac where he spent his first year of the Novitiate. He started studying philosophy and theology in Sarajevo at the Franciscan Theology (1989-1990), continued in Zagreb at the Jesuit College (1990-1992), and he completed his studies in Fulda, Germany, where he graduated in 1995. He gave eternal vows in Široki Brijeg in 1993. He was ordained as deacon in Zagreb in 1996 and as a priest in Frohnleiten in 1996. He first served in Franciscan monastery in Innsbruck where he spent a year as an assistant, then as a spiritual assistant in Frohnleiten, and as an assistant parish priest in Augsburg. He served as the assistant parish priest in Mostar for three years, and was then appointed as the parish priest in Gradnići for seven years. He has been serving as the assistant parish priest in Međugorje since September 2010, and as the parish priest in the same parish since 2013.
The 24th International Meeting for Organisers of Pilgrimages, Leaders of Peace Centre and Međugorje Prayer and Charity Groups will be held in the Hall of St. John Paul II in Medjugorje from 27th February  –  3rd March, 2017. The number of places is limited due to the lack of space, therefore we kindly ask you to register your attendances at this seminar as soon as possible. You can send your registrations by email: seminar.marija@medjugorje.hr
For the purpose of the seminar organisation and your safety, please consider yourself as registered for seminar only when you receive our written confirmation. If you did not receive our reply, it means that we have not received your application and that you are not registered, because you forwarded your e-mail to a wrong address or you have got a virus which blocks your e-mails automatically. Consequently, you may consider yourself as registered for the seminar only if you received a positive response.
Simultaneous translation will be available for all language groups. The price of the seminar is 50 € per person. This includes all fees for the organisation and running of the seminar (lecturers, simultaneous interpretation and a lunch on the last day). Upon payment at the beginning of the seminar each participant will receive his/her accreditation, which will enable him/her to take part in the seminar activities. Each person should personally organise his/her own accommodation in Medjugorje.
Given that we cannot contact each organiser personally, we ask all organisers of pilgrimages, guides, leaders of Peace Centres and prayer and charity groups to notify those interested in this gathering.
We look forward to receiving your registrations and welcoming you at this meeting!
CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS               
The phenomenon of Međugorje has inspired the publication of a variety of written forms worldwide. We would like to have all these various publications in order to preserve them in the Međugorje Information Center archives. Therefore, we would like to kindly ask you to bring with you to Međugorje or to deliver to us in any other way the following:
1. your magazines, circular letters, newspapers, books, audio and video recordings and other publications – in two copies, if possible
2. individuals and organizations that have their own private archives in relation to the events in Međugorje are kindly asked to send originals and/or copies, if possible, and/or at least a list of the contents they have in their possession.
Please write your first and last name or the name of your organization, the address and contact.
We would be very grateful to you if you could pass this information to all those who are involved in publishing of the material on the Međugorje events.
Thank you for everything that you do!

Special invitation to young people

On New Year’s Eve, the parish of Medjugorje has become for many years now a meeting place of young people from all over the world.

Night of prayer: 31.12. at 10 pm

Adoration – Holy Mass

A big screen will be put up in the New Hall, and a tent will be built for all those who may not find place in the church, so that everyone may keep dry and warm.

Jesus says: “Come and follow me!”

Are you ready?

Come and enter into the New Year in prayer, with Jesus and Mary!

The 22nd INTERNATIONAL PRIESTS SEMINAR
The 22nd International Priests Seminar will be held in Međugorje
from July 3 to 8, 2017
The theme of the Meeting is:
“That your love may increase ever more” (Phil 1:9)
“In Our Lady’s School”
SEMINAR PROGRAMME
July 3rd 2017, Monday
16. 00 – 18. 00 Registration of participants (Hall of the Blessed John Paul II)
18.00   THE BEGINNING OF THE SEMINAR
(Prayer of the Rosary, Holy Mass, Prayer for healing of body and soul, Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary)
July 4th 2017, Tuesday
9.00     Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
9. 30    Lecture, prayer
12. 00  Break (Silent Adoration)
15.30   Lecture, prayer
18.00  The evening prayer programme (Rosary, Holy Mass, Prayer for healing of body and soul, Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary)
22.00   Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
July 5th 2017, Wednesday
9.00     Laudes in Latin and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
9. 30    Lecture, prayer
12. 00  Break (Silent Adoration)
15.30   Lecture, prayer
18.00  The evening prayer programme (Rosary, Holy Mass, Prayer for healing of body and soul, Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary)
July 6th 2017, Thursday
6.00     Rosary at Apparition Hill
10. 00 Lecture, prayer
12. 00  Break (Silent Adoration)
15.30  Lecture, prayer
18.00  The evening prayer programme (Rosary, Holy Mass and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament)
July 7th 2017, Friday
6.00 The Way of the Cross on Cross Mountain, confessions
15. 30 Lecture, prayer
18.00 The evening prayer programme (Rosary, Holy Mass,Veneration of the Holy Cross )
July 8th 2017, Saturday
08.30   Prayer at fr. Slavko Barbarić’s grave
09.00   Sharing of experiences, suggestions and testimonies
CONCLUSION OF THE SEMINAR WITH HOLY MASS AT 11,00
The seminar coordinator is Fr. Marinko Šakota.
The leader of the Seminar for Priests is don Ivan Filipović, born on November 29, 1968 in Tomislavgrad (Bosnia and Herzegovina), where the roots of his family are. As a child, he moved with his parents to Slavonia (Croatia), to Đakovo where two brothers and the youngest sister were born. He grew up in a peaceful, Christian family where he adopted true human values, although in his growing up certainly the presence of the father was missing who was on “temporary work” in Germany. In Đakovo, he finished elementary and high school, branch mathematics and informatics, which allowed him to enrol as student in the Faculty of Informatics in Varaždin, which he hasn’t finished.
He interrupted his studies when he was nineteen, left his home country and went “out into the world” to seek true freedom, autonomy, human affirmation …. In his search, life has led him through some periods of time and through several European capitals where he met a lot of beauty, and unfortunately the world of drugs.
From “the clutches of death,” he managed to pluck with the help of the Community Cenacolo that received him when he was 26 years old, in a rather serious state of dependency.
After four years of treatment, the Community allowed him to deepen his interest in the Humanities at the Institute of Religious Sciences in Pisa, Italy. With pleasure and success, he completed two years of study at the Institute. Afterwards, he moved to the north of Italy, to the Central Community House in Saluzzo, where he finished with several young people from the Community the Faculty of Theology in Fossano.
He was ordained to the priesthood on July 17, 2004 in the diocese of Savigliano, Italy, with the permission of the bishop to work and act in the Community Cenacolo, to which he devoted his life and where he still lives.
            You may make reservations by e-mail: medjugorjein.com@gmail.com
The parishioners of the Međugorje parish will provide free accommodation to all priests during the seminar as they have done in the previous years. We kindly ask all priests who are organising their own accommodation with friends in Međugorje to list the name, surname and telephone number of the family with whom they have organised accommodation in their registration form. Priests who do not have acquaintances and the possibility of directly organising accommodation with families should make a note of this in their registration form and we will organise it for them.
Instead of a monetary payment, we ask you to kindly celebrate five Holy Masses for this intention.
It is necessary to bring with you: your celebret given by your superior, an alb and stole, a Bible.
 Many priests who do not have access to Internet may not have been informed about the existence of this international meeting in Medjugorje. Therefore, we kindly ask all Organisers of pilgrimages, Prayer Groups and Centres for Peace to publish this information as widely as possible by all means at their disposal, so that as many priests as possible may participate. In as much as it is possible, we also kindly ask you to financially assist the priests who would like to come but do not have the necessary funds for such a journey. We thank you in advance and pray for God’s blessing and the blessing of the Queen of Peace upon you and your work.
For the purpose of the seminar organization and your safety, please consider yourself registered for seminar only when you receive our written confirmation. If you did not receive our reply, it means that we have not received your application and that you are not registered, because you forwarded your e-mail to a wrong address or you have got a virus which blocks your e-mails automatically. Consequently, you may consider yourself registered for the seminar only if you received a positive response.

Humanitarian activities inspired by Medjugorje

Pilgrims coming to Medjugorje over the course of time are expressed the need to have a place where they could pray peacefully for some days and have a retreat. Therefore, in 1990 we bought a house near the shrine which we call the “Domus Pacis” house of prayer.

Nowadays “Domus Pacis” is occupied every day of the year. Different programs are continuously taking place in it about which one can inquire at our Information Office or the Parish Office or at our e-mail address. The house is maintained by free will offerings. We hope that it will continue that way in the future.

Dear friends!

The “Friends of the Talented” Fund – Medjugorje was founded in February of 1991 with the intention of offering material and spiritual help to talented, but materially disadvantaged students.

From 1991 to 2001, the Fund has granted 563 stipends and 1,089 one-time grants, amounting to a total of DM 1,104,161.00. The Fund offers students not only financial assistance, but also organizes spiritual and cultural events, such as “Student Days”, “Meetings for Graduates”, expositions and auctions of paintings, concerts, evenings of poetry, promotions of literary works, and a painting course with Carmelo Puzzolo, a well-known Italian painter and sculptor.

Father Slavko Barbarić conceptualised this and was President of the Fund until his death. Without his visionary spirit, his perseverance, his selfless work and love for students, this Fund would never be able to function. Because of Father Slavko’s immense contribution to the creation and development of the Fund, the Members of the Board decided during their meeting on March 30, 2001, that henceforth the name of the “Friends of the Talented” Fund – Medjugorje shall be The “Fra Slavko Barbarić” Fund – Medjugorje.

Dr. Fr. Ivan Sesar, OFM, the new President of the Fund, as well as the members of the Board, wish to continue with the successful work of the Fund and to help talented students bring their studies to an end, because the future of this nation rests with such good people.

Because the benefits we receive from the interest are not sufficient, the success of the Fund will continue to depend upon good people and the generous work of all the members of the Fund. We believe that, thanks to God’s providence and the intercession of the Queen of Peace, we will continue to be supported by good people – friends of Medjugorje and the Fund – who will be ready to help young people, since they are the light of our future.

We are convinced that you will recognize our humanitarian intentions and will help us in a concrete way.

The Fund and its students – who posses our future and our prosperity – will appreciate your gesture.

http://www.mothersvillage.org/

Vjersko – humanitarna udruga

“Draga djeco!

“… molite za darove Duha Svetoga, da u duhu ljubavi budete svakim danom i u svakoj situaciji bliže bratu čovjeku i da u mudrosti i ljubavi nadvladate svaku poteškoću. Ja sam s vama i zagovaram svakog od vas pred Isusom.” (Poruka, 25. svibnja 2000. )

Vjersko – humanitarna udruga “Međugorje – Mir” osnovana je 1992. godine kao nastavak aktivnosti Caritasa Župnog ureda Međugorje. Na samom početku rata, radi lakšeg komuniciranja sa svijetom pojavila se potreba otvaranja ureda župnog Caritasa Međugorje u Splitu. Nakon nekoliko mjeseci uspješnog rada kao karitativne međugorske organizacije uvidjelo se da bi, zbog lakše i uspješnije suradnje sa carinskim i drugim nadležnim organima bilo uputnije osnovati ured registriran u Republici Hrvatskoj. Tako je osnovana udruga Međugorje – Mir, čiji je ravnatelj i duhovni voditelj bio pok. fra Leonard Oreč.

Udruga je registrirana u Ministarstvu uprave Republike Hrvatske i u Federalnom ministarstvu socijalne politike, raseljenih osoba i izbjeglica u Bosni i Hercegovini. Trajna orijentacija udruge je bila i ostala pružanje pomoći svima kojima je pomoć potrebita.

Smrću predsjednika udruge, fra Leonarda Oreča u siječnju 2002., ravnanje udrugom preuzima fra Ivan Landeka. Nakon desetljeća plodnog karitativnog rada i koordiniranja humanitarne pomoći iz Splita, rad ureda se vratio u svoju bazu u Međugorje i pod izravnom je ingerencijom franjevaca u župnom uredu.

Udruga ima ured i skladište u krugu Majčinog sela u Bijakovićima.

Djelatnosti udruge:

  1. Prikupljanje i razdioba humanitarne pomoći (posredovanje u nabavci i raspodjeli hrane, odjeće, obuće, higijenskih potrepština, opreme za domaćinstvo, građevinskog materijala i drugog između darovatelja i onih kojima je pomoć potrebna)
  2. Skrb za stare, bolesne i hendikepirane (pomoć u nabavi pelena za odrasle, lijekova, medicinske opreme i pri odlasku na liječenje).
  3. Skrb za djecu i mladež (pomoć obiteljima s puno djece i siromašnim studentima)
  4. Pomoć crkvenim i vjerskim zajednicama
  5. Pomoć katoličkim misijama u svijetu kao i projektima pomoći siromašnim zemljama i područjima u svijetu zahvaćenim prirodnim katastrofama i ratovima.
  6. Ostali oblici karitativnog djelovanja, kojima se doprinosi ostvarivanju ciljeva udruge

Contact us and we will direct You to right person if you wish to make donation to Medjugorje Sanctuary

 

medjugorjein.com@gmail.com

Fr. Slavko Barbarić

Dr. Fr. Slavko Barbaric, OFM

IN MEMORIAM

Father Slavko Barbaric died on November 24, 2000 at 3.30 p.m. After the Way of the Cross, that he animated usually every Friday on the Hill of Krizevac for parishioners and pilgrims, he felt some pain. He sat down on a rock, then lay down on the ground, lost consciousness and gave his soul over to the Lord.

Father Slavko Barbaric was born on March 11, 1946, as the son of Marko and Luca born Stojic at Dragicina (parish of Cerin). He attended elementary school in Cerin and then went on to high school in Dubrovnik. He entered into the Franciscan order at Humac on July 14, 1965. He made his final vows September 17, 1971. He was ordained priest the December 19, 1971. He studied at Sarajevo, Graz and Freiburg. He finished his studies at Graz (Austria) with a master’s degree. After 5 years of pastoral service in the province of Herzegovina, in the parish of Capljina, he continued his studies at Freiburg, where he obtained his doctorate in religious pedagogy and the title of psychotherapist.

As Franciscan priest, he was in Capljina from 1973 to 1978. From the spring of 1982 to September 1984, he was chaplain for students at Mostar, and he held retreats in the house of religious sisters at Bijelo Polje near Mostar. His fruitful work with the students and his retreats very well accepted by the students, however, the Communist government in power at that time persecuted him. In those difficult moments, his eminence, Cardinal Franjo Kuharic, protected father Slavko’s mission.

Thanks to his knowledge of the main European language and despite his numerous obligations in different parishes, father Slavko put himself ceaselessly at the service of Medjugorje pilgrims from the time he finished his studies and came back to the country in 1982. He was officially sent to Medjugorje in 1983. According to the order of Mgr. Zanic, bishop of Mostar, he was transferred to the parish of Blagaj, and in 1988 to Humac, where he was parish vicar and assistant of the master of novices.

At the beginning of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, when all elderly friars were exiled to Tucepi, with the oral accord of + father Drago Tolj, former provincial, father Slavko remained at Medjugorje.

From the very beginning of his mission in Medjugorje, father Slavko has been writing spiritual books: «Pray With the Heart», «Give Me Your Wounded Heart», «Celebrate Mass With the Heart», «In the School of Love», «Adore my Son With the Heart», «With Jesus and Mary Climbing the Golgotha to Meet the Risen Lord», «Pray Together with a Joyful Heart», Interviews, and «Fast With the Heart», which is now in print. Fr. Slavko Barbaric’s books have been translated in twenty languages and more than 20 million copies have been printed in the whole world. He published also numerous articles in various publications. He was editor of the St Francis’ Bulletin in Capljina, collaborated in Krsni Zavicaj, Glas Mira and the Radio “Mir” Medjugorje. He gave unceasingly conferences for pilgrims, animated adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, veneration of the Cross, the rosary up the Apparition Hill, the Way of the Cross on the Mount Krizevac, where he finished his earthly life. He animated annual meetings for priests and youth, in the prayer house of the Franciscan province “Domus Pacis” he animated “Fasting and prayer retreats”. The destructions of the war inspired him to found and lead an institution for the education and care of the young, the “Mother’s Village”, where more than 60 persons have found their home (war orphans, children from separated families, unwed mothers, elderly abandoned persons and sick children). If there was a man who loved children, it was Fr. Slavko. Children loved him in return: they always gathered around him and he knew always how to gather them – just like Jesus! His psychotherapeutic formation and education allowed him to work with drug addicts in the Community of the Cenacolo, founded by Sister Elvira, mostly in their house in Medjugorje, “Campo della vita”. He oriented the help received from the whole world in two directions: “Foundation for children of deceased defenders” who died during the war, and “Foundation of friends of talents” to help students.

It is difficult to extract something from the life of this big and unusual man. If we would try to do it, it is undoubtedly the period of his life in Medjugorje. Father Slavko Barbaric has travelled throughout the whole world, spreading the message of peace and reconciliation of Our Lady. He was the soul and the heart of the peace movement born in Medjugorje 19 1/2 years ago. He had wonderful gifts: knowledge of languages, facility of communicating with people, education, simplicity, care for human beings in need, inexhaustible energy – one could not believe that one single man could have it, diligence, and above all piety, humility, charity. He prayed and he fasted a lot, he loved Our Lady with a childlike love. It was, in fact, the essence of his life: through prayer and fasting to take souls to God through Mary – the Queen of Peace.

It seemed sometimes above the reality to live near him – he was here, in the world, but at the same time so much out of the world. In his presence, the words of Jesus from his high priestly prayer became reality: “They do not belong to the world, as I myself do not belong to the world. Sanctify them in the truth, your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, I sent them into the world. I sanctify myself for them, in order that they may be sanctified by the truth…” (Jn 17,16-19)

The funeral took place at the cemetery in Medjugorje “Kovacica”, on Sunday, November 26, 2000, after the mass in the church of St James at 2 p.m.

BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Slijedi me srcem, Informativni centar MIR Medjugorje, Medjugorje 1997.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Molite srcem, Župni ured Medjugorje, Medjugorje, 1994.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Molite srcem (Molitveni priručnik), Zagreb, 1987.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Razgovori, Sveta baština, Duvno 1990.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Daj mi svoje ranjeno srce, Župni ured Medjugorje,
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Put križa, Župni Ured Medjugorje
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Slavite Misu srcem, Župni ured Medjugorje
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, U školi ljubavi, Medjugorje, 1993.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Biseri ranjena srca, Informativni centar MIR Medjugorje, Medjugorje, 1997.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Molite zajedno radosna srca, Informativni centar MIR Medjugorje, 1999.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Klanjajte se srcem mome Sinu, Župni ured Medjugorje
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Postite srcem, Informativni centar MIR Medjugorje, Medjugorje 2000.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Slavite misu srcem, Informativni centar MIR Medjugorje, Medjugorje, 1998.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Susreti i iskustva u Međugorju, knjiga II. Informativni centar MIR Medjugorje, Medjugorje, 2002.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Susreti i iskustva u Međugorju, knjiga III. Informativni centar MIR Medjugorje, Medjugorje, 2002.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Gebetbuch für Medjugorje Pilger, Verlag Styria, 1988.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Gebetbuch für Medjugorje Pilger, Medjugorje,
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Bidt met het hart, Mariacentrum, Maastricht, Nederland,1988.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Modli se Srdcem! RKT Župni Ured Medjugorje
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Módlcie se Sercem, Maria Balewiczowa, Kraków, 1989.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Imádkozzatok Szívvel!, Kiadó, Medjugorjei Plébánia
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Magdasal Nang Taos-Puso! Claretian Publications, Manila
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Prega amb el cor! Imprés a Unigragic-St.Agustí, Igualada.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Fasta, Vettertryck AB, Jönköping, 1990.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Fasten, Gebetsaktion Medjugorje, Wien, 1991.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Das Brot der Armen, Eine Anregung für Christen zum Fasten, Parvis Verlag, Hauteville, CH, 1986.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Het Brood der Armen, Uitnodiging tot vasten ann de Kristenem
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Beichte (Gib mir dein verwundetes Herz) Gebetsaktion Medjugorje, Wien, 1991.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Eucharistie, Medjugorje, Juni 1993.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Gebetbuch, Medjugorje, Juli 1994.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Schule der Liebe, Medjugorje, November 1993.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Bidt met het Hart, Mariacentrum, Nederland, 1988.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Geef mij je gewonde hart, LJM Bakema-Swagemakers, 1991
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Bed med hjertet, Sognekontoret Blagaj,1992.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Medjugorje Raste, Marija z laiki siri mir, Plamen, Slavonski Brod, 1988.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Give Me Your Wounded Heart, Parish Office Medjugorje, 1991.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Celebrate Mass With Your Heart, Library of Congress, 1994.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Pray With the Heart, Parish Office Medjugorje, 1990.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Fasting, Franciskan University Press, 1988.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, The Way of the Cross, Parish Office Medjugorje, 1989.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Ve kole matky bozí v Medzugorji,1988.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Priez avec le coeur, Editions Messages de Paix, Montreal, Canada, 1989.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Donne-moi ton coeur blessé, Corporation Messages de Paix, Québec, 1991.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Célébrez la messe avec le coeur, Sciences et Culture Inc., Montreal, Canada, 1994.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Pregate col cuore! Medjugorje, 1988.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Via Crucis, P.Urbano Pittiglio, Tooco da Casauria, Italia,
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Dammi il tuo cuore ferito, Medjugorje,1987.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Il Digiuno, Medjugorje & Tocco Casauria, PE, Italia.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Celebrate la messa col cuore, Edizione Medjugorje.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Adorate, col cuore mio Figlio, Ed. Medjugorje.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Chiamati alla santità, Pellegrinaggio-Ritiro per coniugi a Medjugorje, Ed. Medjugorje.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Alla scuola dell’amore, Ed. Medjugorje.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko – URBANO, “ … afferrate il rosario”, Ed. Medjugorje.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Conversando dal mondo a colloquio con noi, Ed. Medjugorje.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Ora con el Corazon, Medjugorje, 1988.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Ora con el Corazon, Editorial Progreso,S.A., Mexico, 1989.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, El Ayuno, Medjugorje,1991.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Escuela del Amor, Medjugorje, 1994.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Dame tu Corazon Herido
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Celebra la Misa con el Corazon, Medjugorje, 1993.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Via-Sacra, Rainha de Paz, Rua Francisca Miquelina, SP, 1990.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Retiro no Brasil, Secretariado N. Sa. Rainha da Paz, São Paulo, S.P., 1989.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Rezem com a Coração, Secretariado de nossa Senhora, Rainha da Paz, Rua Francisca Miquelina, S.P.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Suis-moi avec le coeur, Centre d’information MIR Medjugorje, Medjugorje, 1997.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Daj mi swoje zranione serce, Wydanictwo Zakonu Pijarow, Krakow, 1992.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Betet meinen Sohn mit dem Herzen, Informativni centar MIR Medjugorje, 1998.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Madre! Guida i nostri cuori alla pace!, Edizioni segno, Udine, 1998.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Des perles au coeur blesse, Informativni centar MIR Medjugorje, 1998.
BARBARIĆ SLAVKO, Prega amb el cor, Impres a Unigrafic – St. Augusti, 66 – Igualada
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Seguimi col cuore, Informativni centar MIR Medjugorje, 1997.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Droga Krzyzowa, Edizioni Medjugorje, Tocco di Casauria.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Nasladuj mnie sercem, Informativni centar MIR Medjugorje, 1997.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Eucharistia, Slavite omšu srdcom, Marianski centar Medđugorie, Bratislava, 1997.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Follow me with your hearth, Informativni centar MIR, Medjugorje, 1997.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Adore my son with your hearth, Župni ured, Medjugorje
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, In the School of Love, Faith publishing company, Milford, OH
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Mother, lead us to peace, Nicolas Maria Eltz, 1995.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Be similar to my hearth, Informtivni cenatr MIR Medjugorje, 1997.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Meditations of the Rosary
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Der Kreuzweg, Informativni centar MIR Medjugorje, 1997.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, A l’Ecole de l’amour, Župni ured Medjugorje, 1993.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Folge mir mit deinem Herzen, Informativni centar MIR Medjugorje, 1997.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Adorez mon fils avec le coeur, Informativni centar MIR Medjugorje, 1998.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Slijedi me srcem, Informativni centar MIR Medjugorje, 1996.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Biseri ranjenega srca, MIR – ODMEV Međugorja, 1997.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Las Perlas del corazon herido, Informativni centar MIR Medjugorje, 1998.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Perlen des verwundeten Herzens, Informativni centar MIR Medjugorje, 1998.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Pearls of the wounded heart, Informativni centar MIR Medjugorje, 1998.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Madre guida i nostri cuori alla pace!, Edizioni Segno, 1998.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Perle di un cuore ferito, Informativni centar MIR Medjugorje, 1998.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Add nekem megsebzeit, Budapest
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Aanbid mijn Zoon met je hart, MI KA EL, Geldermalsen
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Parles van het gewonde Hart, MI KA EL, Geldermalsen
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Adorujcie sercem mojego Syna, Informativni centar MIR Medjugorje, 1998.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, V šoli ljubezni, MIR – ODMEV Međugorja, 1998.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Kersztut
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Pregate col cuore, Informativni centar MIR Medjugorje, 1999.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Pregate insieme con cuore gioiso, Informativni centar MIR Medjugorje, 1999.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, A l’ecole de l’amour, Informativni centar MIR Medjugorje, 1999.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Pray with the heart, Informativni centar MIR Medjugorje, 2000.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Perly o zranionym sercu, Informativni centar MIR Medjugorje, 2000.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Folge mir mit deinem Herzen, Informativni centar MIR Medjugorje, Medjugorje, 2001.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Bez matki jestesmy sierotami, Poligrafia Kurii Prowincjalnej Zakonu Pijarow, Krakow, 1999.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Betet gemeinsam mit frohem Herzen, Informativni centar MIR Medjugorje, Medjugorje2001.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Fast with the Heart, Informativni centar MIR Medjugorje, Medjugorje, 2001.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Digiunate con il cuore, p. URBANO PITTIGLIO, TOCCO DA CASAURIA, PESCARA, ITALIJA, 2001.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Poruka za sadašnji trenutak, Informativni centar MIR Medjugorje, Medjugorje2001.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Celebrez la messe avec le coeur, Informativni centar MIR Medjugorje, Medjugorje, 1999.
BRABARIĆ, Slavko, Suis-moi avec le coeur, Informativni centar MIR Medjugorje, Medjugorje, 2002.
BARBARIĆ, Slavko, Perly Raneneho srdce, Verite Praha, 1999.
Status: 08/2002

Homilies at the Funeral Mass and at the Cemetery

In memoriam
Fr. Slavko Barbarić, OFM

Introduction by Bishop Msgr. Ratko Peric
and the Homily by the Franciscan Provincial Fr. Tomislav Pervan, OFM
at the funeral mass


Introduction by Msgr. Ratko Perić
Bishop of Mostar-Duvno and Trebinje-Mrkanj
at the funeral mass, November 26th, 2000
on the Feast of Christ the King

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Peace to you!

Dear Provincial Fr. Tomislav, dear Pastor Fr. Ivan, brother concelebrating priests, dear brothers and sisters,

We offer this Holy Mass for the soul of the deceased Fr. Slavko Barbaric, member of the Herzegovinian Franciscan Province, to which I express from the bottom of the heart my human and Christian compassion, as well as to all the members of the family he is coming from.

In front of human death, our death or the death of our dear ones, each one of us stands with a shaken heart, puzzled mind and sad eye, but God has the right to call from this world to Himself, into the eternal home, whomever He wants, whenever He wants, from any place He wants and in the way He wants. He does not consult anyone about our death; He does not release anyone from death. He is the Creator of our body and of our soul, the absolute Master of time and of eternity, of these material spaces and of spiritual spheres, and this is why we all stand in front of God in an attitude of humility and of faith.

In front of God’s call, all human comments and stories stand still. Only remaining is the answer to be given by the one who is called, and our human intercession through this sacrifice of Jesus before the merciful Father from haven. May Christ the King, whose feast we celebrate today and to whom we offer this Holy Mass, receive the soul of the deceased priest Fr. Slavko; may he reward him for his good deeds and forgive him all that he has failed to do. Let us also repent for having failed to do good, and for all bad thoughts, words and deeds, which were not in accord with the God’s law.


Homily given by Fr. Tomislav Pervan, ofm,
Provincial of the Franciscans of HERZEGOVINA,
at the Funeral Mass, 26th of November 2000

“OSTENDE MIHI, DOMINE, VIAS TUAS ET SEMITAS TUAS EDOCE ME”
“MAKE ME KNOW YOUR WAYS, O LORD, TEACH ME YOUR PATHS”

Father Bishop, dear Franciscan brothers and priests, dear mother Lucia, brothers and sisters of our deceased Fr. Slavko, dear relatives and friends, dear faithful, dear pilgrims and our dear Fr. Slavko!

When they called me yesterday from the parish office of Medjugorje about which readings and prayers of the faithful to take for your funeral mass, I said simply: Let all the readings be from the Feast of Christ the King from year A, and the prayers of the faithful from the breviary for the feast with application to the deceased. I think that you would have agreed with that yourself if anyone had asked you which readings to take because the first one from the prophet Ezekiel talks about pastors, the second one from First Corinthians talks about the final victory of Christ over death when in the end everything is transformed so that God may be all in all, and the gospel passage talks about the final separation before the Lord’s judgment seat when the Lord himself will separate people into two camps, depending on their attitude toward the little, toward the least, toward those for whom no one has either heart or soul.

At this place I would, first of all, like to express my great thanks and gratitude, in the name of my Province and in my own name, for the countless expressions of sympathy, the telegrams, the e-mails, the telephone calls, and also for your presence here on the occasion of this unexpected death. If the original Eucharist is an act of thanksgiving, a thanksgiving sacrifice and offering, then it is my petition and prayer to all of you that this Eucharist likewise also be a thanksgiving for this life, one that was human, Christian, Franciscan, religious, and priestly. A life that in everything was a great sacrifice, a great surrender, a great heart for all people. Therefore this is at the same time also a thanksgiving that we had Fr. Slavko, that he bloomed here in this Herzegovina and as a tireless harbinger was, according to the wish of Francis, a man of devotion and prayer, orationis et devotionis, completing the course of his earthly life over there to where he so gladly went: on Cross Mountain.

If I personally wanted to underline this life with a biblical thought, then for a guiding theme on Fr. Slavko’s life I would take that prayer of the psalmist quoted above. That was Fr. Slavko’s life wish: a prayer for the Lord to show him his ways, to walk in his paths, the paths of the Gospel and the way of conversion and religious pedagogy. Always to be in the school of our Lord and our Lady, in the Lord’s ways and footsteps, every day searching out a new lesson.

For all of us this death is an unexpected shock. This death is premature, as the psalmist would say, in the midst of my days, at the peak of human strength. If for the psalmist the number of our days is seventy years, and eighty if we are strong, then these fifty five years of Fr. Slavko fall short of today’s normal span of human life that people commonly expect to live on this earth. However, in this case I can freely say, with complete confidence, from my own experience, but also with your approval, that here before us there lies a life that, humanly speaking, filled up not just one, but three life spans. Not two, but three, because this life knew no fatigue, no letup, no rest. He never went to bed before midnight, and he never saw the sun come up in his room. As the psalmist says, he always prayed: Awake, my soul; awake, lyre and harp! I will wake the dawn. and in truth he would wake the dawn, with his prayer, his pilgrimage every day to the Hill of Apparition or to Cross Mountain. Day after day, year after year, in every kind of weather, he got up before the rest, he went out to pray. He used to say that the only time in the day left for him personally and as a priest was that time in the morning when, on awaking, he would go out to his mountains where also his all too early death took place, simply, a paralysis of the heart.

His heart could not hold out any longer. And Fr. Slavko had a heart that gave itself away to the end. He did not even have time to think about himself, about his own health, about sickness. He never complained about anything that bothered him, even though his health was fragile, especially when cold weather, flu and various infections came and acted negatively on his immunological system. He did not know how to take time out for himself from the unfinished business he undertook that daily drained him, and in that way, carrying his cross, Medjugorje’s cross already for twenty years, he brought it to his and to our Cross Mountain and there under the Lord’s cross he left his cross for it to be glorified in eternity. This Cross Mountain of his up which he regularly climbed in every kind of weather, together with pilgrims so they could have an experience of Tabor beneath the cross, was transformed into his Tabor: Calvary and Tabor, Cross Mountain and Tabor were in Fr. Slavko remolded into what Calvary was for Jesus according to John’s gospel: the final glorification of the Son of God. When I am raised up, I will draw all to myself… Father, you have glorified my name… The cross like a final victory, the cross for which Tabor was a foreshadowing. …Lord it is good for us to be here… And Slavko stayed there, beneath that vowed cross, on Cross Mountain, bearing their crosses, of countless pilgrims, the crosses of Medjugorje, the crosses of his people, of the Church and of this Province. He passed away just like his Lord did. Not on a couch or a bed, not surrounded by brethren or closest loved ones, but under the cross, on the cold rock of Hercegovina. How many are the symbols in that death? Fr. Slavko: You brought your cross here beneath the Lord’s cross, you left it there, so that thereby in your own death you too would draw us all here in this great number: the local Bishop, the entire Province, so great a number of other brother priests, of the faithful, of pilgrims who covered thousands of kilometers to be able to say to you a “Thank you and good-bye”. A death that is like that meeting place which gathers us all as one and where we are all made equal.

Dear brothers and sisters!

What is there to say in this place about this life fulfilled? I have known him from way back, as far as 1961. I met him the first time at the first mass of Fr. Dobroslav Stojic and Fr. Gojko Musa on St. Stephen’s day in 1961. I had then already finished the first year of high school at the seminary in Visoko and he had just reported for the seminary. We got to know each other. That skinny lad told me he was accepted in the seminary and that he is going to Dubrovnik. After that we grew up and were formed together in this Province, we went together, supported each other, worked together, worked side by side, especially during the time I was pastor here in Medjugorje, through those six lead-like communist years, when under inhuman circumstances you had to bring out with God’s help everything sought of us at that moment of grace from the days of the apparitions when the communist world and godless system began to crumble and there began the dawn of new freedom for the world and the Croatian people.

The great French thinker and writer Leon Bloy, a convert and zealous Catholic, gave expression to a wonderful thought. About it the first woman-author in the French Academy, the immortal M. Yourcenar said that it is one of the most beautiful lines in French literature, and it says: “There is only one misfortune, not to be a saint”. The expression frightens us, but we have no right to be afraid of that expression. A person is a saint and only as holy as much as he or she wants to be. Whether we shall be more holy, better than we are, depends on us. Today’s feast is speaking clearly right to us with God’s voice and speech. He is speaking to us in all the events that are unfolding and happening around us. He is speaking to us through history and through people. But Christ as king said plainly and clearly: “I have come to cast fire upon the earth…” What else would Medjugorje wish and want, that is the Mother of God through Medjugorje and her presence, in today’s world? She wants only one thing: To bring God’s kingdom on earth. She wants what Christ came to bring to this world to be spread. It is summed up in one line: God is king. Christ is king of us all. Man is merely a weak creature and nothing more. What did our Fr. Slavko want? In all the prayers, countless adorations and sermons, conferences and writings, only one thing: Jesus is my God, him I adore, for him I live, he is everything to me! Him alone do I serve, him I adore, but also in my brother man. Per Mariam ad Jesum, per Jesum at Mariam! Through Mary to Jesus, but also through Jesus to Mary!

He found inspiration in Christ and in Francis. Christ who never wrote anything, who only sowed the word that his disciples wrote down. Christ knew that only some falls on fertile soil and in Fr. Slavko’s life that word was fulfilled till the end. It fell on the fertile soil of the faith, of the heart, of the tradition from which he imbibed in the family home and it bore fruit a hundredfold.

Then the image of Francis that enthused him. Francis also like Christ, the teacher of us all. Francis, the greatest among the great, that one who threw his expensive suit down on the head of his father, a wealthy textile dealer, that one who loved poverty for the sake of poverty. That was also for our Fr. Slavko a daily inspiration: not to have anything, to give everything away, to be like Paul, all things to all men, that I might save some for Christ. He had so to say pockets that were always tattered, he gave out left and right, without asking who it is and who is what. He passed the test of faith in today’s gospel reading because love for man and God were embodied in his person. He wanted to be a ray of light in the night of this world. Fr. Slavko had in himself a drive toward the Transcendental, toward the Eternal. We know that a few rays do not disperse the night, that a few waves do not raise or stir up the ocean, but if a man like our Fr. Slavko marvels at a flower or the piece of bread that he distributes to the poor, then the world is already changing for the better. That is exactly what today’s gospel tells us about the final encounter with the Lord Jesus on judgment day, something that Fr. Slavko understood literally and lived.

Had the Lord sent word: Listen, Fr. Slavko, tomorrow you shall die, I believe that he would not have for one moment stopped doing what he did every day, because everything that he did had only one aim: To glorify God, to serve him. He would not have taken any kind of time-out to think over his life. He would not have given up his climbing Cross Mountain, he would not have given up prayer and adoration, nor would he have given up counseling so many people, or given up visiting the most lowly. If the Lord had perhaps sent such a message to us, we would have most probably withdrawn to our room, tried once more to review our life, take maximum advantage of that moment of mercy. Probably we would have thought over that word of God, made choices and tried to live intensely. But Fr. Slavko before that kind of word from God would have only continued doing what he was doing: be on fire for God and man. Once they asked a holy man why he never felt fear, why he was not afraid. The holy man answered: Because I think about my death every day! People are in fear because they are afraid of everything around them and for everything they possess. However, being face to face with death, everyday keeping one’s death in view, everything becomes superfluous to a person. Death takes the real measure of life. It clearly sends the message about that from which man should live and draw his strength.

The thought of death should also make another dimension present to all of us: that is, one lives a short time and it is necessary to leave behind us clear signs, signals, road signs and directions for love. Traces that others gladly remember, tracks and ways on which others can pass. Jesus, knowing that his time had come, and because he loved his own who he had taken from the world, loved them to the end, took a towel and basin and washed his disciples’ feet. The feet are man’s most soiled members. In his love Jesus touched dirty but also wounded human feet, he touched the Achilles’ heel of every person. What is there still to say about the tracks that Fr. Slavko left behind him? He went through this world doing good, proclaiming Jesus Christ, preaching the Gospel, celebrating the Eucharist, adoring Christ in the Eucharist and on the cross, touching the sore spots, the Achilles’ heels.

However, Fr. Slavko did not just stay with words. He poured words off into deeds, forgetting himself. He poured himself out to the end precisely for those who had the most need of help. He was both a spiritual and material helper, a companion to so many. Beyond numbers. He left his trail, indelible, into himself he poured the word of Jesus: “As the Father has loved me, so I also love you.” And “No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends.”

Fr. Slavko laid down his life for everyone, above all he loved those that nobody else loved, the deserted and the abandoned who sin and human hatred had terribly wounded. He consoled, he healed wounds, he helped, he accepted. He forgot himself. And therefore he went away too soon because he spread himself out everywhere.

Our dear Fr. Slavko! We are grateful to God that we had you. We are grateful to him that he called you to our Franciscan community. We are grateful to him for the gifts with which he endowed you and that you utilized to the maximum. We are grateful to your family for giving you to our Province in which you will be one of its shining figures. We believe that in you we have in heaven both intercessor and helper, a healer of all those wounds that oppress this people and this Church, and at the same time also a reconciler who implores Christ=s peace, the peace of Christ the King for us all.

We are confident that you have been able to meet the Lord, face to face, eye to eye, when you came before his throne, just like today’s gospel that is read on the feast of Christ the King also tells us. You went through his school of serving, not of ruling, of giving away, not of keeping, of extreme poverty, not of wealth. And therefore we are confident that he is your reward.

And countless people after meeting with you will be able to say: “Thank you, Lord, that there existed such a being as Fr. Slavko. Thanks to that being through which God has loved me.” And you, Fr. Slavko, were able in your life to say affirmatively: “There exist such beings through whom I have fallen in love with God, through whom God has become closer to me, Jesus and Mary.”

You burned yourself out in the service of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, in the service of her presence here and in the whole world. You were the messenger and the propagator of her piety which for you was always Christocentric. We are confident that the Church of Christ will never forget that about you. St. Jerome expressed it this way: “It is not necessary to lament over the dead, but to be thankful that we lived with them and that we are still always connected to them. We believe that they are in God, and whoever is in God, is one connected with the whole family of God.” With that thought I express my sympathy to your mother Lucia, your brothers, your sisters, and all your relatives. And I thank your house for giving you to us and that we had you.

And finally, our dear Fr. Slavko, I would ask you for one thing: Forgive us all if in our eyes or from our viewpoint you were not understood. You were and you wanted all the way to be vir catholicus, apostolicus, franciscanus, vir Croata hercegoviniensis, that is, a man catholic, apostolic, Franciscan, a Croat from Hercegovina. You went in front of us, often misunderstood. You thought beyond the rest, just like that mythical Prometheus, that one who thinks ahead and thinks up something new. One thing, however, remains plain and clear, namely, that word of Christ: By their deeds you shall know them. Your work is visible, permanent because it is woven and built on prayer, on your knees, in search of God’s will through the signs of the times. You went away ahead of us, but you remain always connected to us, in our hearts. Therefore, once again, thank you for everything and may you rest in the peace of your Lord, in the shadow of the Church of Medjugorje, Cross Mountain and the Hill of Apparition. Amen.

Eulogies – FAREWELL SPEECHES

FR. IVAN LANDEKA
on behalf OF FRANCISCAN FRIARS OF MEDJUGORJE

On Friday, after having prayed the Way of the Cross with parishioners and with pilgrims on the Križevac, one of many hundreds of Via crucis became for brother Slavko Via lucis, the Way of the Light. For all of us, it was first unbelievable, and then a choc. Brother Slavko has quietly died in his office, on the Križevac.

Yes, it is true, in his office on the Križevac. We spoke often among us, and in front of him, that he would probably die either on the Podbrdo (the Apparition Hill) or on the Križevac. If he had the choice of the place of his death, he would have certainly chosen Podbrdo or Križevac. In his death, the Lord has accorded to him a little bit of the human justice comprehensible for us, human beings. These two hills were his office, his working desk, all his furniture and his preferred place of prayer on the peaks of the mountains. Here, the Lord and Our Lady were so close to him, so alive, so human and so fully divine.

For the rest, I can only give thanks.

Thank you for having traced the path for the Queen of peace who wants to lead us to her Son.

  • Thank you for having thought the whole world how to pray and how to fast, thank you for having prayed and fasted yourself so much.
  • Thank you for having thought us how to do good and how to love men, and without any exception.
  • The order of values in the life of brother Slavko was clear: God and his affairs, Our Lady and her affairs in this parish, love of his Croatian country. He treated his private affairs when he had time, if he had time.
  • He was the friend of war orphans, of widows and of prisoners, he defended those who were rejected and lost, those whom we prefer to avoid (such a group brought you today here, before the altar), he was the doctor for those whom all men and all specialists have abandoned. You have hope and offered a chance to those to whom ordinary this is not given. And, what a miracle! You were ordinary right. For such people you never hesitated to knock on every door. And doors opened to you.
  • In only about fifty years, you lived several very filled lives.

Dear brother Slavko, your life was marked not only by success: you received many strokes. I know well how much you were hurt in those last years, particularly in those last times. You were stricken by those who were close and by those who were far. I know how much you were hurt and how much you suffered. Sometimes you wanted to avoid strokes, but excepted some short remarks, you have abandoned everything to the time and to the Just Judge.

Forgive us for not having always be able to follow your path, for not having always appreciated what you were doing. You were often too fast in your ideas and your projects. You were already half way to the aim when we realized that it was possible. You were regularly one step in front of us.

Now as you are gone and born for heaven, we miss you so much. But we thank you for having answered to Lord’s and Our Lady’s call. The Lord’s will has the last word. We accept it.

Dear parishioners and pilgrims, during the months to come, people will come and ask: “Where is brother Slavko, is he home?” Tell them: “Yes, he is at home! Eternal rest grant him, o Lord!”

Fr. MATE DRAGICEVIC
IN THE NAME OF HIS NATIVE PARISH OF CERIN

The parish of Cerin is in sorrow and cries for it’s great man, it’s son, brother Slavko Barbaric, who has left us so suddenly.

I said: a great man!

He is great,

  • because he has prayed inceasingly
  • because he announced fearlessly the Word of God and Our Lad’y messages all over the world.

If St. Francis of Xavier, as missionary in the Far East, baptized more than 40000 persons, brother Slavko showed the path to God to millions

  • because he was the most great benefactor of small children and orphans, of the sick, of the drug-addicts, of old and helpless people
  • because he has a sympathetic, franciscan soul, stile and behavior,
  • because, like St. Francis, he loved all creatures and mother Earth; he was an ecologist of our time with the slogan: “More flowers, less rubbish”,
  • because he was a doctor in theology, but not of a paper theology, rationalist theology, but of the theology of the heart, and this doctorate he has obtained here, in the school of Our Lady. His theology of the heart was expressed through the written and through the spoken word, in the way that those who read him or listened to him could not remain indifferent.
  • because he traced again and again the path of the triangle designed here in Medjugorje by Our Lady, uniting the Apparition Hill, the Krizevac and the Church, he walked, he prayed and he spoke, and transposed this triangle into the hearts of men. On the Apparition Hill, Our Lady invites to the knowledge of oneself; on the prayer of the Way of the Cross, she calls us to abandon whatever is negative and sinful in us, and in the Church, she indicates to us the sacraments of healing and of spiritual refreshment: Holy Confession and Holy Mass. Brother Slavko was untiring in designing this triangle in the hearts of pilgrims.

But the great man of the peaks of the mountains must not descend, but must continue to climb. This is what happened to our brother Slavko. While he was climbing the Krizevac praying the Way of the Cross of the Lord, he climbed the top oh his own Calvary, and the Lord elevated him to himself.

The birth-parish gives a farewell to his great man with sorrow, but with gratitude, pride and a sure hope.

Dear mother, brothers and sisters, members of the family and friends of brother Slavko,

We are all together sorrowful, but we say him this farewell full of gratitude, because God has found in our parish a family to rise a great man. Full of pride, we say a farewell to brother Slavko, because he was that great man, and full of a firm hope that Our Lady, to whom he was so devoted, told him: “Welcome, my son, in the arms of the Father and of the Mother, and thank you for having answered to my call!”

Dear brother Slavko, thank you for everything! May this Croatian earth of Medjugorje be light for you! Rest in the peace of God!

Fr. DIETRICH VON STOCKHAUSEN
ON BEHALF OF PRIESTS FROM THROUGHOUT THE WORLD WHO CAME AS PILGRIMS TO MEDJUGORJE

Reverend, dear brother Slavko!

Today, at your coffin, I want to thank you on behalf of so many German-speaking priests and on behalf of priests from all over the world who came to Medjugorje. Their faith was strengthened here and some of them found their lost faith. I want to thank you for the countless young people who experienced a spiritual vocation or rediscovered the love of God for them here in Medjugorje. Your life was so straightforward, so committed and so exemplary; your celebration of the liturgy, the words of your homilies and all those words written in your books were for us a deep witness of faith of the love of God for us men and for his creation. Here in Medjugorje, you not only understood the call of Our Lady, but you became a convincing instrument of Her call to conversion and to faith. In that way you showed the pilgrims who came here that, in this world, we need the loving hand of our heavenly mother, in order to be able to walk more easily and more consciously towards God. In the celebration of the Holy Mass, in so many confessions, in the eucharistic adorations, in the explanation of the Holy Scripture and through all the sacraments, you showed us the way to the real and true meeting with God in this world. In your innumerable talks with pilgrims, in most of the main languages of the world, and through your books, also translated in numerous languages, you allowed men to share your deep and sincere trust in God, the faith that God is our Father who loves us infinitely.

Your sudden death on the Križevac, between the 13th and the 14th station of the Way of the Cross, made us see clearly that our loving Father in Heaven has accepted the sacrifice of your life, together with Mary, who offered Her dead Son to the Father at the 13th Station. Every day you climbed one of the two hills, Križevac or Podbrdo, early in the morning, the rosary always in your hand, and this is how you began your workday. Also the day of your burial, the feast of Christ the King, is yet another sign for us that Christ, the King and Lord of your life, has accepted your life’s work, and that Mary, the Queen of Peace, was allowed to lead you into the kingdom of Peace of Her Son. In the message of yesterday, our heavenly Mother announces to us that you have been reborn for heaven. And thus you have, of course, chosen and been granted the better part of life; for this, we rejoice with you with all our heart because – as a faithful collaborator of the Queen of Peace here on earth – you merited it. But Our Lady tells us also in this message that through you we have received a new intercessor in Heaven; so we ask you to always be there for us in your heavenly life with the same energy and the same commitment as in your earthly life, when you were always there for each one of us here in Medjugorje.

Once again, a cordial thank you for you friendship, your love and your exemplary life. See you in Heaven!

MAGDALENA PAJIC
ON BEHALF OF THE CHILDREN OF THE “MOTHER’S VILLAGE”

Dear brother Slavko,

We are still waiting for you!

On Wednesday, after the Way of the Cross, you were supposed to come to the Mother’s Village. I don’t know whether you wanted to see someone in particular or all of us. But now, we are all here in this row full of sorrow. Even little Maja from Bjelovar has come, Boris and Toni are here, and – what a surprise – they are silent, and aunty Ružica adds a Hail Mary for you while praying her rosary.

Friday night, we were up for long time, wondering why you didn’t come and where you had gone, and we saw our religious sisters keeping a long silence instead of giving us an answer.

Some of us still cannot realize what has happened, some will not even remember your face, but all of us are full of sorrow and a little angry, and we all have the same desire, to tell you a big thank you.

Thank you, brother Slavko, for having had the idea to create the Mother’s Village; thank you for not having been afraid to receive us, as different as we are. Thank you for teaching us how to be courageous, asking us to animate the decades of the rosary on the Podbrdo while we were still learning how to pray.

Thank you for letting us see that toys have colors, that Nutella is sweet, and that it takes two persons to see-saw. Thank you for making it possible for us to put on a white dress for the First Holy Communion, like all other children. Thank you for having taught us how to love Our Lady and how to pray to God. Thank you, because – in spite of everything – we have discovered what the word love means. Other people told us that time heals all wounds, but you were the only one to tell us that time is just a companion on the way, and that only love heals everything. Your death tells us the same.

As short as the instant was that death took you away from us, as short was the instant we needed to understand your love and your sacrifice. We know now that each little piece of paper thrown on the road, each bad note in school and each disobedience towards aunty were an offense. This is why, speaking these words over your open tomb, we make a vow of fidelity to your word and to your work.

While humanly in such a deep sorrow, we feel as if you were asking us: “My children, where is your faith?” In faith, we see you united to our Mother and to your Mother Mary, and we suffer less; and this is our only hope, because, truly, through your leaving, the Mother’s Village, our orphanage, became itself a big orphan.

If we were to continue to wait for you, we would undoubtedly be overwhelmed by fear. We prefer to ask you to wait for us, now that you have reached the heavenly sanctuary. And, while we imagine you walking down the road, slightly bent forward, turning your back to us, for the first time we do not say, “Brother Slavko, good bye”, but, with a wounded heart, with a pure children’s soul and full of enthusiasm, we say, “See you and thank you, our dear brother Slavko!”

GABRIELA ČILIĆ
A STUDENT, ON BEHALF OF THE FUND OF “THE FRIENDS OF TALENTS”

Our dear father, brother Slavko,

On behalf of the Fund “Friends of Talents” Medjugorje, on behalf of ten generations of students for whom you obtained thousands of stipends, whom you sustained in their spiritual growth – we give you an infinite thank you.

We bid you farewell, the creator of the idea and founder of the Fund, our respected and beloved President, our brother Slavko.

Dear friend, the reality of your physical departure is painful and difficult, but the synopsis of your life, marked by love and giving to your brothers, is the faith in Christ’s ways: You made your Way of the Cross, you have fallen asleep under the cross.

At this moment, it is not possible to enumerate all good, great and noble deeds you did for this Fund and for us students; we are not even aware of their extent.

We are convinced that the times to come will enable everyone to realize the nobility and the importance of your deeds. We admit that, at this moment, we are not conscious of the immensity of what we have lost, but we would like to pronounce the vow, to follow the way you have shown us, the way of the Queen of Peace.

Your collaborators from the Fund and all of us students pronounce these words of gratitude at your bier, asking the Heavenly Father to give you the place you have merited in the Heavenly Jerusalem, and to allow your noble spirit to remain with us.

The poet A.B. Šimić says:

“You do not perceive my return and my closeness
in the night, when the silent moonlight hums in your ear…
And when you see the dark shadow moving at dusk,
At the other side of the quiet dark water,
Know:
I walk straight and solemn,
As if I were near you.”

You will remain forever in our hearts and in our prayers.
Thank you.

BORIS VIDOVIĆ
ON BEHALF OF THE COMMUNITY “CENACOLO”

Thank you!

We were all surprised by the sudden death of brother Slavko Barbarić, on Mount Križevac in Medjugorje, after the prayer of the Way of the Cross. Such a death, so similar to Jesus’ death, is our only consolation, and gives us hope that the Lord has chosen the right time.

Thank you, brother Slavko, for all you have done for the needy, for the poor, for students, for families and for so many, many others.

Thank you for having protected life, for having radiated peace and love, for having always had time for a talk. Thank you for your prayer, so concrete, so strong and so persevering, for all long vigils and adorations on your knees, thank you for having been an example.

But, most of all, thank you for your daily and untiring witnessing of Our Lady’s messages during these eighteen years since you are in Medjugorje.

We know that we have now a big protector and intercessor in heaven.

JURE DŽIDA
MAYOR OF ČITLUK

Sorrowful and mournful assembly, dear brother Slavko,

With a sorrowful heart, with a sad and shaken soul, I bid farewell on behalf of the community of Čitluk to our departed, and I give him a big thank you and recognition. Our deceased was born here, he spent a big part of his life here without sparing himself, and finally he spent himself till the end: afire, burning, and finally burned out. In this community, he sleeps now in eternal peace.

Since Heaven opened above the sky of Bijakovići and Medjugorje, since Our Lady started to speak, brother Slavko – a son of St. Francis, a lover of his country and the Croatian people – like a “messenger of the great King”, has been calling the world back to God, telling it that there is a region called Herzegowina where Heaven opened up and where Heaven speaks, telling it that there lives a people of God – Croatian people, full of faith, having its own culture, suffering its pains and carrying its hopes.

How many have heard about us thanks to him?
How many have helped us thanks to him?
Who could ever count them?
On Thursday, we spoke in the Mother’s Village with donators about the project of a home for aged persons.
Brother Slavko, you loved Medjugorje! You were in love with Križevac!
On Križevac, you breathed your last breath and you breathed out your soul.
In Medjugorje, you have found eternal peace and rest.
Brother Slavko:
Thank you for every word!
Thank you for every counsel!
Thank you for every impulse!
Thank you for every help received thanks to your merit!
Thank you for every good deed!
Thank you for having made your country and your people known to the world!
Brother Slavko, now as you are in Heaven, do not forget the needs and hardships of your region, of your country and of your nation.
Sleep the sleep of a great, committed and untiring worker and of a just man.

Jakov Čolo
bid Fr. Slavko farewell in the name of all the visionaries

Our dear brother, Fr. Slavko. How could we not remember all these years which we spent together: each of our conversations, each of our prayers together and everything we have gone through together? How could we not remember each of your sacrifices and each of your battles for us? How could we not remember your goodness and your love for us? You often said to us, ’Do you know that I love you?’

We felt that love so often and in so many different ways. We remember so many of your words. Often after the apparition, you would ask us, ‘How is Our Lady?’ You, dear brother, are now with Her – you who consecrated your life to Her – you who did everything for everyone to come to know Her love and Her goodness. That love and goodness were actually in you and this could be experienced by every person who came to know you.

We thank you, dear brother, for your support which we so often needed and which you gave us and every moment. We thank you for every advice you have given us when we needed it the most. Thank you for leading us through our spiritual life and for helping us with prayer in our personal lives.

Thank you for each of your visits to our homes which brought so much blessing and joy into our families.

Thank you for each game you played with our children who knew how to recognize a real and true friend on their own.

Today, dear brother, we are crying but, at the same time, we are rejoicing because you are with Her whom you loved immeasurably, the one you gave your life to – Our Lady. Your work, goodness and love will forever live in us and you, dear brother, always pray for us and always watch over us.

It is now, dear brother, that we say to you what you always said to us, ‘do you know, brother, how much we love you?’

Your Jakov, Ivan, Mirjana, Ivanka, Vicka and Marija.

FAREWELL SPEECH OF THE PARISH PRIEST OF MEDJUGORJE
DR. FR. IVAN SESAR

Dear brothers and sisters, our dear brother Slavko!

No one of us who knew you a little more, or who lived near you, needed to ask you where you intended to be on Sunday afternoon: all of us knew very well that this time was strictly reserved for the prayer of the rosary on Podbrdo. Neither rain, nor sun, nor wind, nor storm, nor anything else could distract you from this intention. Today, Podbrdo is empty and sad, waiting for its most frequent and dearest guest. But you are not there! You are not there, because it has pleased the Lord of life and death to receive your soul under the cross on Friday, when, once again, you climbed the steep Križevac, meditating the suffering and the passion of your Master and Savior Jesus Christ. How symbolic! You loved the cross, you carried it untiringly, you venerated it regularly and you breathed your last breath at the foot of the cross on Friday on Križevac.

Brother Slavko was born in the season when spring replaces winter, on March 11, 1946, in Dragicina, parish of Cerin. His father’s name was Marko, his mother’s name is Luca, born Stojic. He finished elementary school in 1961 in Cerin. He attended classical High School at Dubrovnik from 1961 to 1965, where he made his baccalaureate. He first received the Franciscan habit in Humac, July 14, 1965. He studied theology in Visoko, Sarajevo, Graz and Freiburg. He made his solemn vows on September 17, 1971, in La Verna, where St. Francis – his and our father – received his stigmata. He was ordained priest on December 19, 1971 in Reutte (Austria). After 5 years of pastoral service in Capljina, he did his postgraduate studies in Freiburg where he obtained a doctorate in religious pedagogy and the title of psychotherapist in 1982. From 1982 to September 1984, he served as students’ chaplain in Mostar.

Thanks to his knowledge of the main European languages and his immense love for the Mother of God, in spite of the many obligations he had in the parishes he was affiliated with, brother Slavko consecrated every free moment to work with pilgrims in Medjugorje. He was officially transferred to Medjugorje in September 1983, where he remained until September 1985; from then until September 1988, he was parish vicar at Blagaj, and he used every free moment to be in Medjugorje to work untiringly with the numerous pilgrims who came to this place. From 1988 to 1991, he was assistant master of novices at Humac, where he was also parish vicar.

At the beginning of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, when most of the elderly friars went as refugees to Tucepi, the problem appeared as to how to ensure confessions at Medjugorje. With the verbal permission of + fra Drago Tolj, the Provincial at that time, fra Slavko moved to Medjugorje and remained there until his death, which surprised and moved all of us on Friday, at 3.30 p.m.

Someone once wrote that it does not matter how long one lives, but how one lives. If this is the real criterion for life, it can be confirmed with certitude that brother Slavko has lived at least three human lives. He was un untiring worker without a set working time and a working place: you could see him talking to pilgrims; one hour later, he would be consoling the sorrowful, who were looking for him every day; then he would be hurrying to the Mothers’ Village, the institution he founded personally and which gave him so much joy, an institution that cares today for more than 60 persons, mainly war orphans or children from broken families.

It is difficult to enumerate everything our dear brother Slavko was doing, for that, we would need much, much time. Hundreds of condolences from all over the world, which we are receiving these days, confirm it. In one word, he was a child when with a child, he suffered with those who suffer, he was an intellectual with intellectuals, he was a mother for those who were lost and abandoned, he gathered around him those who were rejected. He was ‘addicted’ to those who needed help. We should at least mention what everybody knows: he regularly welcomed the rising sun on Križevac or Podbrdo, and midnight found him still awake. Nobody ever saw him sitting at the computer and writing, and still he was one of most fruitful authors of spiritual books. His books have been translated in more than twenty languages and more than 20 millions copies have been printed all over the world.

Many considered him a wonder, and he really was a wonder. This is precisely why his leaving is so painful: wonders do not happen every day, nor are such great men born very often.

My dear brother Slavko! I couldn’t dream that we would be separated so quickly, I never thought that I would be the one to read your curriculum vitae; it is considered that pearls do not have a curriculum vitae but a curriculum gloriae; they live forever, because they are not found but given. But it pleased the Lord of life and death precisely at this moment to call you to Himself, and we accept it as His will. You leave behind your big projects, and it will be difficult to realize them without you; but here, over your open tomb where you will rest in peace, I promise that we will at least try to continue where you stopped, because I know that this is your greatest desire.

Rest in the peace of the Lord, and may the good and merciful God reward you for every good deed. Amen.

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