26th Anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions
Date: June 27, 2007
Category: Medjugorje News
Content of the article
Celebration of the 26th Anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions
„My soul magnifies the Lord, exults my spirit in God my Saviour”. With these words, during the whole Novena, every evening after Holy Mass, the Medjugorje visionaries, the faithful and the pilgrims were thanking for the grace that God has shown to Medjugorje and to the whole world during these 26 years of Our Lady’s apparitions.
Days of intense prayer in the church and on the hills, days of intense sacramental life. More than fifty priests were hearing confessions, hundreds of priests were concelebrating, Holy Masses were celebrated in more than fifteen languages, thousands of pilgrims came from all over the worlds. From near and far neighbourhood, pilgrims were coming on foot already during the night.
During the Novena, Rosary was prayed every afternoon on Apparition hill, and Our lady’s Magnificat after the evening Mass.
On Saturday, June 23, between the evening Mass and Adoration, Fr. Šimun Šito Ćorić with the Medjugorje Choir of the Queen of Peace and the Little Doves of Peace gave a concert.
On Sunday, June 24, there was the traditional Peace March with prayer for peace.
The Evening Mass was presided by Fr. Mijo Džolan, Franciscan provincial from Sarajevo. 120 priests concelebrated with him. From 10 to 11 PM there was Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at the outside altar. It was led by Fr. Ljubo Kurtović. From 11 PM to 5 AM, there was silent adoration in the overfilled parish church.
On the day of the Anniversary, Holy Masses were celebrated in Croatian from 5 AM to 11 AM every hour. The 11’o clock mass was presided by the Herzegovinian provincial and Medjugorje parish priest Fr. Ivan Sesar. In the afternoon, there was another Croatian Mass, and the solemn Anniversary Mass was celebrated at 7 PM. It was presided by Fr. Zoran Senjak, Hospital chaplain from Zagreb, who also gave the homily. 200 priests concelebrated with him. On this and the preceding day, pilgrims Masses were celebrated in 16 languages (English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Vlaams (Nederlands), Portuguese, Romanian, Slovene, Slovak, Czech, Polish, Hungarian, Arabic, Korean, Croatian). Pilgrims came from about 40 countries from all the continents, among others from Brazil, Argentine, Tahiti, Lebanon, Korea, New Zealand, Australia, Caribbean, USA Canada, Uganda, India… and most of the European countries.
The Evening Mass on June 24 and 25 was musically accompanied by the parish Choir of the Queen of Peace and the Little Doves of Peace under the guidance of sister Slavica Kožul.
On the day of the Anniversary, Ivanka Ivanković – Elez had the regular annual apparition that was promised to her by Our Lady. After the apparition, 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.’”
Marija Pavlović-Lunetti and Ivan Dragićević had the apparition together. Through Marija, Our Lady gave the following message:
Two Bishops in Medjugorje for the Anniversary
Two Bishops were in Medjugorje for the Anniversary of the apparitions: Mons. Emilio Ogñénovich, Archbishop Emeritus of Mercedes-Luján (Argentina) and Mons. Geevarghese Divannasios Ottathengil, Malankarese Bishop of Battery (Kerala, India).
Mons. Ogñénovich came with a group of pilgrims from Argentina, and Mons. Ottathengil with a group of pilgrims from Switzerland.
For both of them, this is their second stay in Medjugorje.
16. Humac-Medjugorje Peace Walk
The Peace March from Humac to Medjugorje traditionally takes place on June 24th, the Feast of Saint John the Baptist. Again this year, thousands of pilgrims who were not discouraged by the strong sun followed the cross, praying all the while. This 14 kilometer-long march began at the front of the Franciscan monastery in Humac at about 6 am, and prayed and sang ceaselessly until it arrived in front of the parish church in Medjugorje at about 10 am. The march concluded with the Eucharistic Blessing.
The first Peace March was a spontaneous event which took place during the war when pilgrims no longer dared to visit Medjugorje. European friends of Medjugorje, together with other friends from around the world, deemed it inadmissible for Medjugorje to remain closed to all those who wished to pray for peace. Pilgrims from various European cities, accompanied spiritually by the late Mons. Pavel Hnilica, met in Ancona (Italy) where they boarded a boat for Split. They celebrated Holy Mass aboard the boat and spent the whole night in adoration. Thus, processing with the Blessed Sacrament, they arrived in Humac, whence they marched in prayer until they reached Medjugorje in order to celebrate the anniversary of the apparitions. On that original march they had no idea how many Croatian defenders accompanied them at a discreet distance to ensure their safety…
As a consequence of the war and its obvious dangers, the usual Evening prayer program was interrupted, but it was resumed as normal after the Peace March.
Since then, the Peace March has become an annual event. It is a march characterized by joy despite its strong penitential accent, and always includes prayer for peace in the world.
Medjugorje anniversary throughout the world
Throughout the world, the Medjugorje friends gathered in different associations, Peace centres and prayer groups, celebrated the 26th anniversary of the apparitions of the Queen of Peace.
Friends from Lebanon and from Oregon, USA, contacted us and underlined their union of prayer with other pilgrims and Medjugorje parishioners.
In Oregon, USA, the Centre for Peace West organised the Evening Prayer Programme as in Medjugorje. Mons. Kenneth Donald Steiner, Auxiliary Bishop of Portland in Oregon, USA, joined this programme.
In Lebanon, the Association “Friends of Mary, Queen of Peace” organises for the seventh time consecutively a novena of prayer and fasting with the intention of asking the grace of peace and unity in Lebanon. Lebanese bishops are associated to this novena.