SEP 15 (Medjugorje Today) - These days the French priest and writer Fr. René Laurentin visits Medjugorje again, a good month before his 97th birthday.
In the morning of October 15 Fr. Laurentin heard visionary Vicka Ivankovic-Mijatovic give her testimony to pilgrims. In the evening, he was present when visionary Ivan Dragicevic had his daily apparition in his private chapel, local resident Laura Marcazzan Budimir reports from Medjugorje.
Fr. Laurentin was the foremost Catholic mariologist of the 20th century. In the 1980s and the 1990s he published some of the most influential books on Medjugorje, among them the first scientific studies of the visionaries and the apparitions (co-authored with Dr. Henri Joyeux as medical expert) and a total of 17 yearbooks that chronicled the apparitions and life in Medjugorje in general.
SEP 15 (Medjugorje Today) - Pilgrims wishing to visit The Church of St. Elijah in Tihaljina 35 kilometres (21 miles) from Medjugorje should be aware that the church will be closed from around October 10 until December 8 due to renovations.
The church is famous for its iconic statue of the Virgin Mary. The statue became a symbol of the apparitions in Medjugorje when Fr. Jozo Zovko, parish priest in Medjugorje when the apparitions began, served as parish priest in Tihaljina and met with pilgrims there in the 1980s.
During the renovation, the electrical system will be replaced and wood will be removed from the roof. The statue of the Virgin Mary will be kept in the local school while Mass will be celebrated outside near the local chapel, Medjugorje resident Laura Marcazzan Budimir reports.
SEP 15 (Medjugorje Today) - With professional actors from the Croatian National Theatre in Mostar in the main roles, the theatre play "How the Cross was built" was received with loud local applause at the premiere on September 14 in Medjugorje.
Based on books and other records from the parish archive, the play takes place in 1934 and outlines how very hard work of then-parish priest Fr. Bernardin Smoljan and the parishioners of Medjugorje put the 8,56 meters tall concrete Cross in place on top of what has since been Cross Mountain.
"I am really positively surprised. Although I watched the rehearsal, tonight's premiere was phenomenal. The actors have an idea of that time and those relationships, and showed the situation that prevailed and which normal people find interesting even today. I have no words" parish priest Fr. Marinko Sakota told the municipality website citluk.ba.
"The audience is pleased because it is their story. They recognize themselves in the characters and locations. They are fantastic to understand and correspond with it. In a way, this play is a tribute to the past of Medjugorje" director Dragan Komadina said.
Plans are already in place to set up the play again in Medjugorje and possibly elsewhere in the region.
SEP 13 (Medjugorje Today) - Aiming at the numerous Lebanese pilgrims, Croatia Airlines has launched a weekly charter service from Beirut to Mostar 30 kilometres (18 miles) from Medjugorje. Croatia Airlines launched the service last week and will operate it every Tuesday evening.
Mostar Airport, which has no scheduled flights, relies primarily on Medjugorje pilgrims arriving on seasonal and charter flights. The airport handled 35.712 passengers during the first seven months of the year, up 1.7% on the same period in 2013.
SEP 11 (Medjugorje Today) - The parish priest of Piane Crati in southern Italy where a statue of the Virgin Mary brought from Medjugorje seemingly cried in late July and early August now confirms he took steps to facilitate further analysis.
"I wiped away a tear from the Virgin Mary's face" Fr. Antonello de Luca tells the regional paper Gazzetta del Sud.
Aside of the four seeming lacrimations on July 21-24 previously reported about by Medjugorje Today, he further confirms a fifth occurence on August 2.
"Since then there have been no verified phenomena. The Church is looking at it" says Fr. Antonello de Luca.
SEP 9 (Medjugorje Today) - All of Medjugorje first stood still, then exploded in fireworks and cheering when local tennis ace Marin Cilic won the US Open final 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 against Kei Nishikori from Japan late on September 8 local time.
At Marin Cilic's home in Medjugorje, many friends watched a final that Cilic got to dominate early. The game lasted 1 hour 54 minutes.
Seeded 10, Marin Cilic was expected to leave the US Open before the quarterfinals, yet throughout the tournament he played tennis on a very high level. The title is Cilic's first in a Grand Slam tournament, and also marks the first time a Croat wins the US Open.
Marin Cilic joins his coach Goran Ivanisevic as the only Croats ever to win a Grand Slam. Ivanisevic took home Wimbledon in 2001.
SEP 1 (Medjugorje Today) - 5,000 seats were in place, and at least 1,000 more people had to stand when Medjugorje visionary Vicka Ivankovic-Mijatovic had a public apparition in Corridonia, Italy, on August 31.
A violent storm on top of heavy rain was not able to ruin the day that marked the third anniversary of the death of a young local man, Gabriele Pierluigi, who had Vicka as his godmother.
"So many gathered to pray together, and I must say the atmosphere is difficult to describe" Nelia Calvigioni, the mayor of Corridonia, told the regional newspaper Cronache Maceratesi.
AUG 31 (Medjugorje Today) - After almost 48 hours of intense searching, a 74 years old female Scottish pilgrim was found alive at 9.45 am on August 31, in the area above Apparition Hill. Missing since noon on August 29, the woman was severely dehydrated.
40 rescue workers from Medjugorje, Citluk, Mostar, Jablanica, and Siroki Brijeg divided the hill into zones to find the woman. Digital cartography, statistics, radio, GPS devices and other advanced tools were also employed, Radio Sarajevo reports.
“Dear children! Pray for my intentions, because Satan wants to destroy my plan which I have here and to steal your peace. Therefore, little children, pray, pray, pray that God can act through each of you. May your hearts be open to God’s will. I love you and bless you with my motherly blessing. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
“Dear children! You are not aware of the graces that you are living at this time in which the Most High is giving you signs for you to open and convert. Return to God and to prayer, and may prayer begin to reign in your hearts, families and communities, so that the Holy Spirit may lead and inspire you to every day be more open to God’s will and to His plan for each of you. I am with you and with the saints and angels intercede for you. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
“Dear children! The Most High is giving me the grace that I can still be with you and to lead you in prayer towards the way of peace. Your heart and soul thirst for peace and love, for God and His joy. Therefore, little children, pray, pray, pray and in prayer you will discover the wisdom of living. I bless you all and intercede for each of you before my Son Jesus. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
"Dear children, I call you all and accept you as my children. I am praying that you may accept me and love me as a mother. I have united all of you in my heart, I have descended among you and I bless you. I know that you desire consolation and hope from me because I love you and intercede for you. I ask of you to unite with me in my Son and to be my apostles. For you to be able to do so, I am calling you, anew, to love. There is no love without prayer - there is no prayer without forgiveness because love is prayer - forgiveness is love. My children, God created you to love and you love so as to forgive. Every prayer that comes out of love unites you with my Son and the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit illuminates you and makes you my apostles - apostles who will do everything they do in the name of the Lord. They will pray with their works and not just with words, because they love my Son and comprehend the way of truth which leads to eternal life. Pray for your shepherds that they may always lead you with a pure heart on the way of truth and love - the way of my Son. Thank you."
"Dear children! Pray and be aware that without God you are dust. Therefore, turn your thoughts and heart to God and to prayer. Trust in His love. In God’s spirit, little children, you are all called to be witnesses. You are precious and I call you, little children, to holiness, to eternal life. Therefore, be aware that this life is passing. I love you and call you to a new life of conversion. Thank you for having responded to my call."
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