Papal Envoy Archbishop Henryk Hoser invites us to “…sign up for some of the seminars here in Medjugorje so that you would be able to discover something that you wouldn’t be able to dream about.”

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Archbishop Henryk Hoser – Papal Envoy to Medugorje.

Yesterday I watched a very positive press conference from Medjugorije given by Papal Envoy to Medjugorje, Archbishop Henryk Hoser.

Archbishop Hoser is not there to comment on the authenticity of the apparitions. His role in the investigative commission is to focus more on the pastoral side of things.

First of all he spoke about the pastoral Initiatives now and for the future to tend to the needs of the many pilgrims who come and will be coming to Medjugorje. He spoke of the many “positive fruits” that have come, and continue to come from Medjugorje.

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St James’ Church in Medjugorje.

“Not long ago, Medjugorje was not very well known.  It was just a little place between two hills which is the meaning of the name “Medjugorje”. Today, Medjugorje is know throughout the whole world. Pilgrims are now coming from about 80 countries from all over the world.   The significance of this place we can compare to Lourdes.  2.5 million pilgrims are coming here, in Lourdes there is 6 million people who come but that has been here for 150 and Medjugorje only 36 years.  It is a time to make a first estimate and for the future growing of this place.  Why so many people coming here?   On one hand they have surely heard about the apparitions in Medjugorje taking place since 1981 on the other hand, those others who are coming are experiencing something extraordinary.”

“First, the atmosphere is an atmosphere of peace and reconciliation, and of inner peace and peace of the heart.  Also what they discover is a huge space for profound religion and spirituality.  They rediscover or discover what something sacred and Holy means.”

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Priests line the front of the crowd during Medjugorje youth festival.

“In Medjugorje they encounter sacred time and sacred space.  That sacred means specially reserved for something that is divine.  Usually it says that Medjugorje is the place where we honor our lady and that is the truth.  But if we look deeper we will see that actually it is all completely turned to worshiping Christ.   For instance at the center is the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, transmitting of the word of God, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, where one discovers the real presence of Jesus Christ and his Divinity and Character.”

“Some discover the prayer of the Rosary that is meditative prayer on the mysteries of our faith.  And when they pray the way of the Cross they enter into the pascal mystery which is the mystery of passion death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

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People queue for the Sacrament of Confession in some of the 61 confessionals in Medjugorje. The queues are regulary 10-15 people deep.

 

“I would like to conclude this with a question of the Holy Sacrament of Confession with the personal and personalized Sacrament.  From the religious perspective, Medjugorje is a very fertile ground.  During the pervious years we noticed and counted 610 priests with vocations that came from medjugorje with the greatest number from Italy, the US and Germany.  When we are aware of crises of Vocations in those countries then we can see that there is something new, something that can touch us in a profound way.  If we look at the distribution of Holy communion, which is the only way we can keep track of the number of pilgrims arriving here, then we can see there were were 37,000,000 Holy Communions that were administered  pilgrims here since 1986 to today.  And we can say that the number of pilgrims is greater because not that all those who come can receive Holy Communion.”

“When it comes to evaluating events in Medjugorje we should differentiate different areas.  The first area is the parish.  The parish takes care of people who live here people who work here and parish is already and then the number of those living in the parish has increased.”

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Confession in Medjugorje.

“The parish in the previous century that built the way of the Cross on Cross Mountain was the parish that accepted Medjugorje.  The story of the parish of Medjugorje that was written is also the phenomenon of the visionaries.”

“The second belongs to the pilgrims.  Up to 2.5 each year that come and that number is also growing.  Of course it is a huge challenge for priests who serve here and this phenomenon has grown to include  the current infrastructure that needs to respond to the increase in pilgrims.”

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Crowds often exceed 10,000 during outdoor Adoration in the summer months.

“The Chapel of Adoration, and the huge space in the back of the church was all added in time according to the amount of pilgrims that were coming here.  On the other hand we see the development of this place. There are more and more hotels, and shops that reminds me a lot of Lourdes already.  It might not be widely known but Lourdes is the largest hotel town after Paris. Maybe that is the future of Medjugorje in relation to Sarajevo.”

“The population is growing and what else is growing is the possibility of accommodating pilgrims.”

“The third area,  In Medjugorje there are various humanitarian organizations and there are about 30 of them. Some are from Medjugorje with their roots here and some who have been founded other places who live here so that they could live the Phenomenon of Medjugorje.”

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Sr. Elvira who founded the Cenacalo – a place where young men and woman can come to recover from drug addiction and prostitution and rebuild their lives based on Rosary and Eucharist.

“There have been things that were created here that were initiated from Franciscans like Mother’s village.  It is worth visiting because it is about watching someone’s life in those difficult faces with orphans who have difficulties, addicts, men who are there because of drugs, because of alcohol and those who are disabled.”

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Medjugorje international seminar for Priests.

“That is an expression of an act of love that is related to the faith.   There is another thing that is very important and that is Domus Paces which  is the house for silent retreat and spiritual exercises.  We have more than 1000 to 2000 groups that have passed and more that 42,000 participants over these years.  Those type of spiritual exercises transform people from the inside.  And the seminars are yet another fruit of the Parish of Medjugorje.  The seminars that are held each year and take place once a year already for 23 years  are seminars that are open to everyone. And for 22 years it is exclusively for the formation of priests. For 17 years there is the seminar for married couples and for 4 years seminars for Doctors and medical professionals. Last year first year we had pro-life seminar that was organized for the protection of human life.  And there is one for those with disabilities.”

“I would like to recommend to you to sign up for some of the seminars here in Medjugorje so that you would be able to discover something that you wouldn’t be able to dream about.”

Please visit http://marytv.tv/ to see the full press conference.

For pilgrimages please visit http://www.nationalmedjugorjemovement.com/

Happy 1st Birthday Faith in our Families!

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My Medjugorje Trip Day 5 – The day we saw the sun spin.

This is my personal experience of, and witness to Medjugorje. I would like you to share this post to draw more attention to the best place on earth, so that others may have the opportunity to fall in love with Medugorje, Mother Mary, and ultimately Her beloved Son Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Day 5…

(If you choose to look at the sun that is your own choice and responsibility – but be careful not to damage your eyes.)

I woke up to discover I had a flat tyre on my buggy. I spent several minuets cursing myself for not taking my husband’s advice of taking the spare wheel, and then decided I was just going to have to get on with it!
After a taxi ride into town we went to mass. My 6-year-old leaned over to me and whispered “mummy I love Medjugorje – I don’t want to go home.” It melted my heart! And I told him that Our Lady wants us to go home and tell people how cool Medjugorje is!
After mass – as usual – we took the kids to Colombo’s for huge ice creams and lemonade! This is such a great part of coming to Medj that they don’t get everyday back at home.
Later that evening the heat had cooled down enough for me to take the kids to blue cross one last time. I had the girl on my back in a sling, and my boy was going up on his own. For some reason we seemed to just fly up those rocks this time. We never broke step and we were not even out of breath when we reached the top. When we arrived we saw everyone was turned round looking, pointing, and taking pictures of the sky. “no way!” I thought to myself “is it the sun?” I had a brief look but it seemed no different to normal. It was too bright to look at even with my shades on. And besides – the baby girl on my back was throwing a tantrum, destroying the silence by screaming her head off and hitting me in the back of the head! And my boy was trying to climb up the next part of the mountain!
I managed to call him back and get a nice unsuspecting Italian man to help me take the girl off my back.  I asked him “what are you looking at?” He said “sun, sun, look…” I gestured that I could not see anything. He ushered me too take off my shades, and then I saw it.


The sun had lost all of its yellow colour and had become this dull white, very slightly grey-ish flat disc, almost like a eucharist sitting in front of the sun. It was moving or spinning slightly – not going round like a Catherine wheel, but circulating in the same motion as if you were polishing a window with a cloth. There was no light coming from it, all the light was coming from behind it. Bright white light directly behind it and then colours. My son described it as “smudges of paint” and actually he is right in a way because if I were to try to draw it I think water-colour would be the correct medium. First it was crimson, then further out it was purple. Then it changed to bright green and then blue. It kept changing and even though the colours were incredibly vivid, it didn’t hurt our eyes to look at it.

After a few minutes of watching, my boy says to me “oh come on mummy, we’ve seen it now!” I laughed and told him “do you know this is a miracle?! God is letting us know he is here.” He asked me “is that God?” I said “it’s one of his signs.” He answered “oh. can we climb on the rocks now?!”  So we climbed on the rocks for a while, catching glimpses of this completely supernatural event. I don’t know what gave me more joy – to see the famous miracle of the sun, or to see my 6-year-old take it completely in his stride like it happened every day! My 2-year-old girl seemed more in awe of it – until she saw a small white cat and then decided that was much more interesting! Kids!! Although she was the one to come home and tell granny and uncle and auntie all about it. It would be difficult for a 2 and a 6-year-old to make this stuff up right? You get me? It happened. And I am so grateful we got to see it.
As we were making our way down the mountain we bumped into an Irish family who asked us if we could see the sun too. I said yes. The wife told me she also saw – in the middle of the dull white disk – a little boy of about 2 years of age. “just as if I was looking at him” she gestured towards her own toddler son. I was not lucky enough to see what she saw, but I am presuming the little boy was the child Jesus.
Soon after this the clouds came in and the miracle of the sun quietly and gently concluded.

My Medjugorje Trip, Day 4 – Adoration

This is my personal experience of, and witness to Medjugorje. I would like you to share this post to draw more attention to the best place on earth, so that others may have the opportunity to fall in love with Medugorje, Mother Mary, and ultimately Her beloved Son Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Medj has not currently been approved or condemned. We wait for the pope to speak on this issue.

Day 4…

I was introduced to Adoration on my 3rd trip to Medjugorje about 8 years ago. That evening, during an incredibly powerful and beautiful experience of Jesus’ real presence in the Eucharist, my ‘love affair’ with Jesus (especially through the eucharist) began.

Earlier that day we had listened to a talk from one of the visionaries telling us to ‘pray with our hearts’. (I had actually been doing this for years, but in a very negative way. I spent most of my teenage years telling God how much i hated Him. I always believed in Him – but i was just so angry with Him. Then one day i heard the words “Clare, I’ve never forced you to believe in me.” This was the beginning of my conversion.)

So there i was in St. James’ church trying to think of what to say to Jesus during Adoration – but all i had in my mind was a load of old nonsense! So i said “Well here you go – take it! This is whats in my mind – you can have it, that’s all i can do!”

At that point i was suddenly struck still and (with my heart – not my eyes) i saw a hand come out from the Eucharist and come right over to me and then go into my chest and onto my heart. Then i was aware of Jesus standing right next to me – it was of course his hand. I could not see him with my eyes, but it was the same as if you were standing right next to someone and you had your eyes closed. You are aware of their breathing and their presence but you can’t see them.

Then He began to press on my heart with His hand. I thought i was going to fall down but managed to hang onto the bench in front of me. I could hardly breathe. Then He pressed further and i could feel Him looking at me, gently but intensely, right up close to the left hand side of my face.

Then i heard the words “Clare, you have to come to me – everyday – and tell Me that you love Me.” He was referring to Himself in the Eucharist. All this time i was totally aware of (a better word would be ‘bathed’) in the complete awe, wonder and majesty that is God. I was aware that when the Eucharist is present on the altar during Mass or Adoration there is no separation between heaven and earth. Both places exsist at the same time in the same place. I looked up and was aware that the whole church was filled floor to ceiling with saints and angels – the whole of heaven. They were singing along with the congregation present. Church triumphant and church militant in perfect unison.

After all this, Jesus stayed for a few moments more, and then took the pressure off my heart and then left.

Now you can begin to understand why from that point on my heart would not let me accept Holy Communion in any other way than directly onto my tongue. Sometimes my heart does still burn within me, especially during mass or at adoration, but it is only a shadow of what i felt on that day back in 2004.
Having no idea of what actually happened to me, and having no real way to express it (if i ever did try to articulate it i would have burst into tears) I kept this experience to myself for 8 years. The only reason i tell you now is that you too may know that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist.

The adoration service in Medjugorje is usually attended by approximately 10,000 people several times a week. In the summer it is held outside at the back of the church under the stars. It is quiet, gentle, still, silent adoration that has short reflections read out in several different languages. The atmosphere is full of love and gentleness. Jesus is present on the altar in a larger than normal host approximately 30cm – in a huge splendid gold monstrance. There is a large screen to the side of the altar giving a close up view of the eucharist. Today I still find adoration to be an incredibly personal and tender experience. One in which I can draw closer to Jesus in a calm,  un-hurried way. Adoration is an essential part of my relationship with Jesus. It is our time together. Where we share what is in our hearts.
I would encourage everyone to find out what time adoration is happening in your local parish and take some time to spend with Jesus.
Adoration here in Medjugorje is of course, wonderful! Wish you could be here? You almost can! This is live streamed via http://medjugorje.ie/live_streaming_video.html Please, check it out. Spend some time with the Lord in this way.

Why Do Italian Footballers Keep Visiting Medjugorje?

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National team goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has joined the growing ranks of Italian top football players who visit Medjugorje. As my good friend put it… “now Gianluigi Buffon’s just gone to Medjugorje…dnt blame him I’d be cryin out to Mamma after that appaulin loss!!!”

But it’s not only Buffon, Roberto Mancini is pictured here leaving the Medjugorje Church of St. James during his Bosnia trip.

All smiles: Mancini looked much more relaxed outside the church than on the touchline

So what is going on here? Arn’t these men satisfied with their incredible careers, enormous wealth, glamorous life style and beautiful women? Well they probably are! – but obviously they are looking for something more. It is reported that this is not the first time either of them have visited Medjugorje. What is it that keeps them, and many other top Italian footballers returning?

Is it the peace? The complete contrast to their life of bright lights and glitter? Perhaps it is the simplicity of the message that is coming out of Medjugorje – “Pray, pray, pray.” (I bet Buffon wishes he had done a bit more of that Before his game last week!)

To be honest it is probably the same reason I will be returning their next week (perhaps I will bump into Buffon?!). It changed everything. That’s the only way i can describe it! In fact i could spend all night trying to explain myself and i still wouldn’t have scratched the surface.

Everything i had been taught about the Catholic faith suddenly made sense. It was relevent. It was happening NOW. It was real – Jesus and Mary were earth shatteringly real, and they were right here.

Perhaps the hardest thing for me to accept was not the apparitions themselves, but coming to terms with the realisation that I was loved. Loved by God. For the first time i knew what that was like – and i was so grateful. This change of heart is experienced by many, some all of a sudden like me, and others slowly over years.

So what can i tell you about the hype? …

Am i allowed to make a pilgrimage to Medjugorje? – Yes. Private pilgrimages are totally allowed by the Vatican.

Does the sun spin in Medjugorje? – Yes.

Do Rosaries turn to gold? – Yes.

Are people healed? – Yes.

Did 10,000 people standing on the mountain side during an apparition see the most incredible display of lights and bangs in the sky accompanied by the overwhelming fragrance of roses, followed by an enormous cross in the sky made out of light? – Yes, i was one of them in June 1998 aged 18.

But the biggest miracle is that 30 million people have visited this small town in Bosnia over the last 31 years and that there is now more pilgrims than ever! People are changing their hearts, and taking it back to their families. They are finding hope and truth and true friends, and their faith is exploding into life!

I can’t wait to go back next week – and whats more, our group is staying with Jacov Colo! (the youngest visionary).

Our group leader Liam Driver from www.medjugorjepilgrimages.co.uk just called me to let me know they have been granted a further 10 places on our trip next week. So, do you wanna come? We leave from London Gatwick on 17th July and return on 24th. First come first served!

Here’s the details:

http://www.medjugorjepilgrimages.co.uk/#/july-2012/4556338571

See you there!

For more information on Medjugorje please visit: http://www.medjugorje.org/

 

Sources :

http://www.medjugorjetoday.tv/6156/top-football-keeper-visits-medjugorje/

http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/3265/italy/2012/07/04/3220345/buffon-goes-on-religious-pilgrimage-to-bosnia

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2120962/Roberto-Mancini-heads-religious-break-Bosnia.html#ixzz1zlfbXUj8