New Year’s Eve at Medjugorje
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Festivity, recollection, inner joy, and an atmosphere of grace and prayer - just as one would expect at Medjugorje, the land chosen and moulded by Mary to fulﬁ l her plan of renewal for the Church and mankind – was what made new year’s eve extra special; even if each time of the year at Medjugorje is marked by particular graces.
Why New Year’s Eve at Medjugorje?
I’d like to let the people I met here on this occasion to respond to this question. Their faces alone express so well the uniqueness of the heavenly gift received during these holy days; faces which express gratitude and enthusiasm, hope and expectation.
Feeling at home, a part of the family! This is the desire that is born in hearts at this holy time of the year. And here at Medjugorje, our Blessed Mother welcomes all into her embrace, and souls experience a special warmth, fruit of Her presence. This is why souls remain attached to this blessed land of Medjugorje by memories and sentiments able to touch the deepest spheres of one’s being. For the same reason one leaves this place with the desire to return, especially in moments like these, so that the creativity of God and the generosity of the Blessed Virgin can renew us.
Beneath Mary’s mantle there are many young people - present here for the new year - but there are also many families, elderly people and children. Numerous nations are represented. Everyone during the vigil prayer is so recollected that grace alone can explain it. At 10 pm adoration begins, to sanctify the last hours of the year coming to an end. The Community prayers prompt each person to entrust to God all the bad and the good of the past to recapitulate everything in Christ, and then, freed of the burden, to enter the new year spiritually united to the entire heavenly Church, sure of one’s personal decision to follow Jesus up the narrow way, in communion with each other, united in God and to God.
Here, at midnight, the “new day” is not announced by an explosion of ﬁ recrackers, but by the festive tolling of bells in the two towers, famous almost the world round. Holy Mass begins immediately, with the parish priest, Fr. Ivan, as the main celebrant, and concelebrated by dozens of other priests. Mass is followed by joyous singing in and around the church of the Queen of Peace. In the cold of the winter and the darkness of the night everyone is happy to communicate to as many as possible the peace and warmth that our Lord has placed in their hearts with embraces, handshakes, and words too, but often it is just the brief locking of gazes that communicates God to each other. And the more joy is transmitted, the more it grows… In the darkness of the night an inner light shines ever so brightly, and the cold of winter is pushed aside for a while by the warmth that emanates from all: a foretaste, perhaps, of the joy of heaven.
Why Have You Come?
Fabio, 24 years old
Here you reacquire the value and dignity of being man - thanks to the communion with God and with others. What you experience here is true union. At the disco everyone is together, but each is alone. Here you experience true joy.
I honestly think this is the best place to ﬁnish up the year where you have the chance of reﬂecting on how your year went; where you can ﬁnd the silence and peace to consider your life so far. Beginning the year with Our Lady is a good guarantee.
I also came to ﬁnd peace. This was something new for me, spending new year’s eve in church, and sharing one’s faith with others.
I came to have the extra help of beginning the year with Our Lady, and to stay with her and Jesus!
I’m here because I see it as a very positive thing to be waiting for the new year with Mary; a positive thing for me and my children. As a parent, I think that no matter how much I tell my children, in the end it is the Lord who speaks to their heart. I am grateful that here it is possible to experience this opening of the heart!
I wanted to be here to experience peace, just by being with God. I wanted to do this in company of others, but not in the way the world celebrates this… Here I found others with whom to be myself, because they also seek God.
I had more reason not to come than to come, but I am happy to be here. Mary called me; I am certain of this.
I decided to come as I wanted to spend new year differently; not amid the usual din of a confused and superﬁcial company. I wasn’t expecting this experience to change my life. I feel that my way of thinking has now changed, and my way of being.
I came here to know God and Our Lady, and to know how to pray more profoundly.