Our Lady’s Message to the World – May 25, 2021
Today I am looking at you and calling: return to God because He is love and out of love has sent me to you to lead you on the way of conversion. Leave sin and evil, decide for holiness and joy will begin to reign; and you will be my extended hands in this lost world. I desire that you be prayer and hope to those who have not come to know the God of love.
Thank you for having responded to my call.”
Reflections from Jimmy’s Medjugorje trip last week.
Medjugorje is OPEN for Pilgrims!
After consulting with local guides and priests in Medjugorje, reviewing US Department of State, CDC, Bosnian and Croatian Government Guidelines, Catholic Journeys decided to operate its first International Pilgrimages to Medjugorje in over a year. The first group from Colorado departed on May 17, and the second group from Louisiana followed on May 20; both to be in Medjugorje for the Feast of Pentecost! Having much to be thankful for, and much still to pray for, I decided to travel with Barbara Moulds and the first group. Although I had been many times over the years since my first trip in 1988, it was an EXTRAORDINARY journey; it was as if I were going again for the first time! Here is some of my experience.
An overwhelming sense of Peace!
Upon arrival in Medjugorje, we were greeted with an overwhelming and unexplainable sense of Peace. The journey to get there was long and difficult, but it all melted away when we pulled into the village and stepped off our bus for the first time. We were greeted with the sound of birds, and then the bells from St. James Church. We met our host Ivica Brkic of the Regina Mundi Guesthouse and after depositing our luggage in our rooms were treated to a delicious three-course meal. After a shower and a good night’s sleep, we were ready to begin our Spiritual Journey with Jesus and Mary.
No Crowds, No Other Groups, No Tour Buses
As we walked toward the church on the first morning, we became aware that there were very few people in Medjugorje, which added to the quiet sense of Peace. We were in fact, the only English-speaking group in the Village, and there was only one other small group from Brazil there at the time. Because there were so few people, we were able to have an intimate meeting with Jakov, the youngest of the visionaries, for an hour before the English Mass, which was attended by only our group and a few other individuals that have been living in the village for a long time. Fr Leon, the Parish Priest in charge of English Speaking pilgrims, and our Spiritual Director Fr. Carl Wertin were the only priests on the altar.
If you have ever been to the outdoor Adoration and Holy Hour behind the church on Thursdays, you know that the crowds can sometimes be in the thousands with people kneeling under the trees and in the fields, unable to get any closer to the altar. This week we were able to be in the front row, just feet away from Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. On Friday evening, we returned to Venerate the Cross for an hour, again in peaceful reverence.
Making the Way of the Cross on Mount Krizevac is truly a solemn and prayerful experience with very few other people or distractions. Praying the Rosary on the place where Our Lady first appeared 40 years ago is both powerful and comforting in the quiet meditative atmosphere.
Many stores and restaurants are shuttered at this time, awaiting the return of pilgrims, but you’ll be happy to know that Colombo’s, a pilgrim favorite, is open every day with ample inside and outside seating and Viktor’s, another popular restaurant is currently only open on the weekends in its new location across from the church.
Is Our Lady Calling you? Now is the time!
If you are feeling “called” by Our Lady, now is the best time to come to Medjugorje! Not since the very beginning have the crowds been so low, and the sights so accessible. The spiritual gifts and blessings are flowing like a healing balm after a tremendous year of sacrifice. Come and see what Our Lady and the Holy Spirit have in store for you.
There is still limited space to join the 40th Anniversary Pilgrimage June 21-29, 2021, staying at the home of Marija Pavlovic Lunetti. Visit our Website for more information and to book online.
What do you need to travel now? Vaccines are NOT required to enter Croatia or Bosnia Hercegovina, only a Negative Covid-19 rapid PCR test taken the day before you travel so that it is within 48 hours of your arrival to the border of Bosnia and Hercegovina. A Covid 19 test is also currently required before returning to the USA, but Catholic Journeys will arrange for this to be done for the groups before departing for the return flights to the USA.
Safety – You will also need an “N95” mask in order to board any flights on foreign carriers. You can wear cloth or disposable masks while in Medjugorje, Croatia, or Bosnia-Herzegovina, but no other mask will be acceptable to board those flights. Masks are not mandatory in Medjugorje, Masses and gatherings are socially distanced, and mostly outside. We arrange for larger than usual buses for the size group we have in order to allow for distance among pilgrims on the buses.
We hope to see you on a Catholic Journeys Pilgrimage. A more complete list of Medjugorje Pilgrimages through the end of 2022 is available online.
Our Lady Queen of Peace, Pray For Us!