Medjugorje is a small place in the heart of Herzegovina, which became known in 1981, after six parishioners claimed that they saw Virgin Mary on the hill, now known as the Apparition hill. Today, Medjugorje is known as one of the most famous sanctuaries, where pilgrims from all over the world come to find peace and recovery. Just by entering Medjugorje, you can feel peace and warmth like no else in world, the touch of Mother’s hand in this small Herzegovinian village cannot be denied.
Our Lady chose for her witnesses not only 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).
St. James Church
Church of St. James, the celestial patron saint of the parish today, is the focus and center of both sacramental and prayer life, not only for parishioners, but also for pilgrims. Its construction was completed in 1969, and at first it seemed that the new church was too big for the parish communities at that time, but at the beginning of the apparitions of the Our Lady, the life of the whole parish was changed. Because of the new needs, which surfaced with the coming of numerous pilgrims, the curch and its surroundings have been rearranged ever since 1981. The exterior altar built in 1989, with surrounding prayer area is a place of gathering in the summer time and for big feasts.
The place of the first apparitions of Our Lady, led by a steep path from the houses to the very place of the apparations, along which in 1989 bronze reliefs were placed representing the joyful and sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary. 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 apparations-Our Lady gave the call for the first time. At the very place of the apparations, 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.
At the foot of the Apparition Hill is the Blue Cross, placed there in 1985. At this place, the prayer group of visionary Ivan gathers regularly, ever since July 4th, 1982. The Blue Cross is the place where the visionary Mirjana Dragičević-Soldo sees Our Lady every second of the month, and transmits her message to the whole world.
Cross Mountain is a hill above Medjugorje (520m). On March 15, 1934, the parishioners constructed a concrete cross on which 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». Relics received from Rome for the occasion are embedded in the cross itself. Since that, 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. Križevac is a symbol of invitation to meet Jesus in his torment and discover his love. 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»
On November 24th 2001, the first anniversary of Fr. Slavko Barbarić’s death, on the place where he gave his soul into the hands of the Lord, a memorial relief in bronze was erected and encrusted in stone.
The statue of the Risen Christ
At southwest of the church, on the way towards the cemetery, a bronze statue of the Risen Saviour was put up for Easter 1998. The specialty of the statue is water flowing from the right knee, ie a liquid that, by chemical composition, is similar to human tears. 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.
A community of young people from around the world, who, under the protection of Our Lady, find their way and the meaning of life. They deal with masonry, have their own carpentry, work with stone and many other things. What is special about this community, which receives many pilgrims in their home, is that they are witnessing their transition from darkness to the light through which they have passed in life.
The most significant events throughout the year are:
- the celebration of Our Lady’s apparitions,
- the Youth Festival,
- the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
- the Mass at Križevac,
- the celebration of Easter,
- and New Year.
Come to Medjugorje and attend numerous testimonies, apparitions and revelations. A place that nobody leaves indifferent.
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