Tab content area”Place where heaven touches the earth”
Medjugorje is a small town located in Hercegovina, a region of Western Bosnia & Hercegovina, around 25 km southwest of Mostar.
Medjugorje became world-famous as a place of religious pilgrimage due to the apparitions of the Virgin Mary to six local Catholics.
Since 24 of June 1981 the Blessed Virgin Mary has been appearing and giving messages to the world.Our Lady’s mission is one of peace and love, and Medjugorje is known as a place of peace and beauty, all that is required is an open heart and mind,everything else just falls into place.
Medjugorje turned into Europe’s third most important apparition site where each year more than one million people visit. It has been estimated that 30 million pilgrims have come to Medjugorje since the apparition began in 1981.
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 of the new church lasted from 1934 until January 19, 1969, when it was consecrated.
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.
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 appeared with the coming of numerous pilgrims, the church and its surroundings have been rearranged ever since 1981.
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.
The place of the first apparitions of Our Lady, several hundreds meters above the Bijakovići hamlet called Podbrdo, is today called Apparition Hill.
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).
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.
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”.
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.
With Our Lady’s apparitions, the faithful started to pray on 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.
“The Mother’s Village” is a big family which brings together several communities and associations.
It belongs to the Community of the Herzegovinian Franciscans of the Province of the “Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary” in Mostar, BiH. It was founded in 1993, during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The building and operating was started by Father Slavko Barbarić and the project was aided by the Franciscan School Sisters of “The Holy Family” from the Herzegovinian Province. The Mother’s Village evolved out of the need for protection and care for the children who were wounded by the loss of their homes and parental care during and after the war. It started working officially on September 8, 1996.
The Mother’s Village was built and maintained by pilgrims and donors from all over the world.
The Mother’s Village works within the sphere of the Catholic Church and wishes to be a family-like community according to the ideals of the Gospel. With love and trust, it wishes to bring the Good News of peace to those who are broken and wounded.
It strives to witness to Our Lady’s love. It serves as a call to all people of good will to become actively involved in the building of a better and more just world.
In the spirit of St. Francis, it wishes to be a school for a healthy and simple way of life, a life with renewed harmony between God, man and nature.
St. Francis Garden is a forested area near to Mother’s Village.
With the assistance of local people, the authorities in Čitluk and many pilgrims, Father Slavko Barbarić turned what was once an area for dumping into a place for rest and prayer, and simultaneously set up a means for disposing of refuse properly. He was inspired by Our Lady’s messages (especially those from April 25, 1993, and October 25, 1995), in which She calls us: “Go into nature because there you will meet God the Creator!”
St. Francis loved and cherished all God’s creatures and that’s why he looked at the world with eyes of love. For him, the whole world is a garden where he sings glory and thanks God for eternity.
In the spirit of St. Francis, this garden becomes a little spiritual destination for pilgrims. In the arms of nature, visitors can find moments of exceptional peace and quietness. In those unusual moments, they can start to discover nature and themselves anew.
Cenacolo Community Medjugorje is part of the international Community of the Cenacle, founded in Italy in 1983 by a dynamic, vibrant, and faith-filled religious sister named Elvira Petrozzi. Mother Elvira felt certain that God was calling her to serve the poor of the modern world: disillusioned young men and women who live in desperation and hopelessness, convinced that life has no meaning or value. Unable to find peace or joy in their lives, they seek to fill the emptiness with the illusory pleasures of the world, only to find themselves steeped in an intense interior isolation.
Trusting unwaveringly in the direction of the Holy Spirit, Mother Elvira proclaims to all those who live in darkness that only Jesus Christ can heal and transform their shattered lives, changing despair into hope, sadness into joy, hatred into forgiveness, and death into life.
COLOURS AND SCENTS OF HEREZEGOVINA
A whole day trip in this Karst region in the south of our country, you have the possibility to experience, in a relatively small area, various natural beauties created in distant past.
Počitelj – artistic colony, town museum from the 16th century.
Mogorjelo – valuable heritage from ancient times. An archaeological site was discovered there and excavations were carried out from 1899 to 1903.
The Kravice Waterfall – a magnificent natural phenomenon and most beautiful cascades in Herzegovina 26 m high and about 120 m wide.
The museum of the Franciscan monastery – Humac; together with its rich archaeological collection, keeps the oldest document of this region – the Humac Tablet from 1185.
Touristic route of scents and health– A family-run company with over 20 years of experience with certified organic production of essential oils offers you the opportunity to experience the best of nature. A visit to the distillery (duration 40 minutes) or a visit to distillery and plantation (duration 60 minutes) gives you an introduction to production, a visit to the plantation, participation in the distillation process, testing of different types and the possibility of buying authentic products and souvenirs (essential oils, hydrolytes, various souvenir packages).
Discover and experience the phenomenon of Međugorje, one of the best-known pilgrims’ destination in the Catholic world attracting millions of visitors.
FROM ICONS TO BOGUMILS
On our way through Eastern Herzegovina we shall learn about the rich history of this region.
In the small town of Blagaj, twelve kilometres away from Mostar, below a steep rock, there is one of the most abundant river sources in Europe.
There is also an old dervish monastery, an attractive cultural venue, originating from the end of the 15th or the beginning of the 16th century.
On the way towards Stolac, we shall stop for a short break at Žitomislići, where there is an Orthodox cathedral from the 15th century.
Arriving in Stolac we shall see the most beautiful necropolis of standing tombstones – stećci. There are numerous archaeological fi nds from the Palaeolithic and from the 3rd century B.C.
In the vicinity of Trebinje, we shall visit one of the largest Karst caves in Europe 6100 metres long. The Vjetrenica Cave is well-known by its endemic species of animals.
The last station of this trip is the centre of East Herzegovina – the town of Trebinje, well-known by Arslanagić’s Bridge from Turkish times and many other interesting venues worth-while visiting.
TASTES OF HERZEGOVINA
A good and quality wine with its taste, colour and bouquet is a real pleasure for the palate, eye and heart. It is a real pleasure to taste it together with finely prepared specialties of the Herzegovinian cuisine. This is the top offer on our “wine route” through Herzegovina. Tasting of wines Žilavka and Blatina is expected in any Herzegovina winery. These are two best known sorts of wines of Herzegovina. Enjoy the simple village ambiance and preserved
ADVENTURE ON THE RIVER
Rafting is without any doubt the most exciting way of discovering rivers and their charming banks. 5 kilometres away from the Boračko Lake in Ban-Vir in the small chalet in the ownership of HIT-Raft, local specialties wait for you: fi sh from the Neretva, grill, dishes under the baking lid…. The experienced rafters will take you through this green beauty. Driving in the rubber boat lasts about 5 hours as far as the village of Džajići, where a bus is waiting for us to return to Ban-Vir.Come with us through the deep canyon of the River Neretva. Experience all the beauty of untouched nature.
THE PEARL OF THE ADRIATIC
Driving by bus through Herzegovina along the River Neretva as far as Metković, and then further on towards the Adriatic Highway. After a 3-hour drive, we shall arrive at the belvedere above the city, from which you can see the roofs of Dubrovnik, the old town and picturesque surroundings.
Sightseeing of the city in the morning. This city has been on the list of UNESCO’s building and cultural heritage. The medieval city of Dubrovnik, encompassed by walls and fortifi cations is a real treasury of architectural and cultural artefacts which have survived in all
centuries in a unique manner. By a pleasant walk, we come to the Rector’s Palace, the Franciscan monastery with the famous pharmacy from the 14th century and other interesting places. In your free time, you have the possibility to visit city walls and the islet of Lokrum in the vicinity of Dubrovnik.
European Jerusalem – the capital of BiH, one of European winter sports centers, organizer of 14th Winter Olympics 1984.
Variety of cultures and religions, as well as three contrasting components of town from former times are the reason to visit Sarajevo. In the heart of the town there is the famous Baščaršija from the Turkish period, where you can see various handicrafts of metal, stone, wood, glass, wool, leather…
Sarajevo is famous for its museums, bridges, sports centers, mosques, the synagogue, Orthodox and Catholic churches, and many other significant things.
THE CITY OF EMPERORS
Driving along the picturesque Neretva and Makarska Riviera we approach our goal – Split. After about 3 hours driving we arrive in Split. Walking through the city we discover 1700 years of the history of this city. We pass through Diocletian’s Palace from the 3rd century A.D. with its well-known cellars. Peristil, Golden Gate and Silver Gate, the Cathedral and Juno’s Temple are only a small part of historical and cultural venues this city hides. After the visit to the old town, you have free time for shopping, walking, etc.
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