Category: News & Information

Vatican Mission Begins in Medjugorje! Archbishop Hoser’s Historic Mass

July 22, 2018, marked an important moment in the history of the parish of Medjugorje.

Archbishop Hoser on Medjugorje altarArchbishop Henryk Hoser, recently appointed as Apostolic Visitor to Medjugorje by Pope Francis, celebrated Sunday Mass at St. James Church among thousands of locals and pilgrims and dozens of priests.

“It was unbelievable,” said Medjugorje guide and translator Miki Musa, who translated Archbishop Hoser’s homily into English, among the many other language translations that were broadcast. “It almost felt like a dream to see a person who came in the name of the Holy Father standing at the altar in Medjugorje.”

“In my opinion, said Musa, “this is the greatest event to take place in Medjugorje in the past 37 years, after June 24,Archbishop Hoser Eucharist in Medjugorje 1981 when the apparitions first began. We are all so grateful. I had to stop my translation for a moment and take a deep breath. He said such powerful words.”

The Papal Nuncio of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Msgr. Luigi Pezzuto, accompanied Hoser and read a letter from Pope Francis announcing Hoser’s appointment in Medjugorje.

Fr. Miljenko, Medjugorje parish priest, introduced Msgr. Hoser at the service. “Dear Archbishop Hoser,” said Fr. Miljenko. “In this grace-filled moment, I am greeting you most sincerely on behalf of all of us gathered here! In the name of the Franciscan Province of Herzegovina, I wish you a blessed stay with us in the mission that was entrusted to you by the Holy Father, Pope Francis.”

Archbishop Hoser shared a beautiful sermon which touched on the reasons for coming to Medjugorje as a pilgrim:

Priests at Archbishop Hoser Medjugorje Mass

“Pilgrims come to Medjugorje from faraway regions, from approximately 80 countries of the world. . . ,” he said. “. . . Let us now ask the fundamental question: Why do so many people come to Medjugorje every year? The clear answer is this: they come to meet someone, to meet God, to meet Christ, to meet His Mother. And then to discover the path that leads to the joy of living in the house of the Father and of the Mother; and ultimately to discover the Marian way as the more certain and sure one. This is the path of the Marian devotion that has been taking place here for years.”

Later in his homily, Archbishop Hoser said, “This is what the people’s devotion in Medjugorje looks like: in the center is the Holy Mass, Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament, the sacrament of Reconciliation. And all of this followed by other forms of devotion: the Rosary and the Way of the Cross, which have turned what in the beginning used to be sharp stones into smooth paths.”

Archbishop Hoser in Medjugorje

Last year, around two million people from more than a hundred countries from all over the world visited Medjugorje last year, and the locals expect that with Archbishop Hoser’s presence in Medjugorje, the numbers could increase. Archbishop Hoser was sent by Pope Francis for his new official post there of Apostolic Visitor.

Archbishop Hoser made a point to invite all believers to go to Medjugorje, if they are able, and to receive spiritualrenewal. “I would highly recommend it. I would say that it is the pilgrimage of spiritual change, conversion, and strengthening of faith – you can experience all of that there.”

For an update on the Catholic Church’s stance on Medjugorje, click on the following article:

Are the Medjugorje Apparitions Real? What Does the Church, the Vatican, Say about Medjugorje?

Archbishop Hoser's Mass in Medjugorje

 

The above information was taken from Queen of Peace Productions and Sarajevo Times and edited by Christine Watkins.

Photos by Foto Dani and Jozo Ivankovic

Are the Medjugorje Apparitions Real? What Does the Church, the Vatican, Say about Medjugorje?

For many years, the official stance on Medjugorje by the Church came from statements made by the 1993 committee of Bishops in Zadar, Yugoslavia, organized by St. Pope John Paul II: “We bishops, after a three-year-long commission study, accept Medjugorje as a holy place, as a shrine. This means that we have nothing against it if someone venerates the Mother of God in a manner also in agreement with the teaching and belief of the Church. . . Therefore, we are leaving that to further study. The Church does not hurry.”[1] In 1991, the same conference had assigned one of these three official categories to the alleged apparitions: 1) constat de supernaturalitate (the apparition is established as supernatural), 2) constat de non supernaturalitate (the apparition is clearly not miraculous or lacks sufficient signs of the miraculous); or 3) non constat de supernaturalitate (It may not be evident whether or not the alleged apparition is authentic). The commission chose this third, in-between category, neither condemning Medjugorje, nor giving final approval, since the Church almost never pronounces an apparition as authentic while it is continuing to occur.

Ignoring the official stance of the Church, the Bishop of Mostar (the diocese to which the parish belonged), Bishop Zanic, made his personal and hostile opinions of Medjugorje known, as did his successor, Bishop Ratko Peric, causing much confusion. The negative stance adopted by both Ordinaries was rendered moot when the Holy See, during the pontificate of John Paul II, consequently removed evaluation of the phenomenon from their jurisdiction: an unprecedented action the Church.

During the pontificate of Benedict XVI, there was another unprecedented move when the Vatican adopted direct jurisdiction over Medjugorje. A commission was appointed to assess the apparitions under Cardinal Ruini. Remarkably, the Ruini Commission, which met from March 2010 to January 2014, concluded in 2017 that the first seven apparitions were authentic. This was an exceptional breakthrough in terms of official recognition of an apparition. It was also unprecedented because the phenomenon is still in progress. Although Pope Francis has yet to officially release the Ruini report, the Pontiff, himself, confirmed in an interview that the Commission had reached this conclusion. In point of fact, the Pope had actually stopped attempts by the then Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, to block this judgment. The pope also asked that the Ruini report be sent to him for a review and determination, as opposed to Müller, who was originally set to receive it.

On February 11, 2017, Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Henryk Hoser of Poland as his papal envoy to coordinate all matters relating to Medjugorje. In December of 2017, Archbishop Hoser shared the breaking news that the Vatican now permits official pilgrimages to Medjugorje. “Today, dioceses and other institutions can organize official pilgrimages. It’s no longer a problem,” he said.[2] At a recorded Medjugorje press conference on April 5, 2017, the archbishop reconfirmed this fact.[3] Müller’s 2013 CDF statement that Catholics should not participate in any meetings in which the authenticity of the Medjugorje apparitions were taken for granted is now null and void. In Archbishop Hoser’s own words: “My mission was not to close Medjugorje, but to evaluate whether the pastoral ministry was proper, consistent with the doctrine and teaching of the Church, effective and well organized. I conclude that this is the case. On the pastoral side my assessment is very positive. Thus, the ongoing pastoral activities, liturgical order and conferences should continue.”[4]

At the conclusion of the press conference, in which he urged everyone to bring the light of Medjugorje “to the world that is sinking into darkness. . . ,” he stated, “You, my dear friends, should be the carriers of the joyful news. Say to the whole world that in Medjugorje we can find the light again!”[5]

The Church took another positive step toward Medjugorje when on May 31, 2018, Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Hoser as Special Apostolic Visitor to Medjugorje. The Vatican declared that Monsignor Hoser would take up residence in Medjugorje in his new role “for an indefinite period and ad nutum Sanctae Sedis,” which means “at the disposal of the Holy See.” In Medjugorje, where belief in the authenticity of the apparitions is long-held due to the daily conversions, long lines of confessions, and miracles constantly witnessed by the locals, the news of Archbishop Hoser’s new position was received with great joy.[6]

It can safely be said that Medjugorje now has received as much official recognition as it can receive, given that the phenomenon is still going on. It is well known that two of the most illustrious saints of recent times, St. Mother Theresa of Calcutta and St. Pope John Paul II, were ardent devotees of the Queen of Peace of Medjugorje. Thanks to them and millions of the faithful, Medjugorje’s message of repentance, reconciliation, peace, and penance has spread across the globe.

St. Pope John Paul II, when addressing American bishops at the Philadelphia Eucharistic Congress five years before Our Lady’s apparitions in Medjugorje began, stated:

We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has ever experienced. . . We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-church, between the Gospel and the anti-gospel, between Christ and the antichrist. This confrontation lies within the plans of Divine Providence. It is therefore in God’s plan and a trial which the Church must take up!” 

Given that St. John Paul II understood that these days were those of the final confrontation, when he learned of Our Lady’s coming to Medjugorje and her words, “I have descended among you,” he knew her presence with us had now changed everything, victory was assured. To Monsignor Murilo Sebastiao Ramos Krieger, Archbishop of Florianopolis in Brazil, he stated, “Medjugorje is the spiritual center of the world!” He told friends, including Cardinal Frantisek Tomasek, who made the words public, that if he weren’t Pope, he’d be living in Medjugorje as a priest, helping to hear confessions. In the Pope’s own hand, he wrote to friends in Poland:

I thank Sophia for everything concerning Medjugorje. I too go there every day as a pilgrim in my prayers. I unite in my prayers with all those who pray there or receive a call for prayer from there. Today we have understood this call better. I rejoice that our time is not lacking people of prayer and apostles.

St. Pope John Paul II fully believed and told us in his will that “Victory when it comes, will be a victory through Maria!”

“Dear children, my real living presence among you should make you happy because this is the great love of my Son. He is sending me among you so that, with a motherly love, I may grant you safety!”

            —Medjugorje message from Our Lady on July 2, 2016 

Denis Nolan
MaryTV.tv
Author of Medjugorje and the Church

Of Men and Mary bookThis article is excerpted from the Appendix of the soon-to-be-released book, OF MEN AND MARY: How Six Men Won the Greatest Battle of Their Lives, by Christine Watkins. To receive notice of the book’s imminent publication, sign up for the “Inspiration in Your Inbox” newsletter at www.QueenofPeaceMedia.com

[1]  (Glas Koncila, August 15, 1993).

[2]  Jesús Colina, “Official pilgrimages to Medjugorje are being authorized, confirms Pope Francis’ envoy,” Aletia, December 7, 2017, accessed April 29, 2018, https://aleteia.org/2017/12/07/official-pilgrimages-to-medjugorje-are-being-authorized-confirms-pope-francis-envoy/.

[3] Papal envoy, Archbishop Henryk Hoser Press Conference, April 5th, 2017, streamed live through MaryTV.tv and available for viewing at http://marytv.tv/daily-rosary-3-3/. MaryTV.tv. is a Medjugorje Internet TV channel that broadcasts 24/7 to help people stay connected to important ongoing events.  Free apps are available for smart phones and Apple TV.

Transcription of the press conference in Polish: “Konferencija za medije posebnog izaslanika mons. Henryka Hosera,” Medjugorje: Mjesto Molitve I Pomirenja, April 4, 2017, accessed April 29, 2018, http://medjugorje.hr/hr/novosti/obavijesti/konferencija-za-medije-posebnog-izaslanika-mons.-henryka-hosera,8795.html.

[4] “Breaking News—Historic Moment in Catholic Church History…Vatican Special Envoy to Medjugorje: ‘Everything indicates that the apparitions will be recognized, perhaps even this year.’” Published at Deon.pl (Catholic News Site in Poland—8.18.2017), August 18, 2017, accessed April 29, 2018, https://mysticpost.com/2017/08/breaking-news-historic-moment-catholic-church-history-making-vatican-special-envoy-medjugorje-everything-indicates-apparitions-will-recognized-perhaps-even-year/.

[5] Ibid., Papal envoy, Archbishop Henryk Hoser Press Conference

[6] “Breaking News: The Vatican places Special Apostolic Visitor in Medjugorje—Archbishop Henryk Hoser,” www.medjugorjemiracles, accessed May 31, 2018, https://www.medjugorjemiracles.com/2018/05/breaking-news-the-vatican-places-official-representative-in-medjugorje-archbishop-henryk-hoser/.

BREAKING NEWS: The Vatican Places Special Apostolic Visitor in Medjugorje, Archbishop Henryk Hoser

Archbishop Henryk Hoser in Medjugorje

Archbishop Henryk Hoser, appointed by Pope Francis as the the Vatican’s Special Apostolic Visitor to Medjugorje, gives a positive, inspiring homily regarding Medjugorje in its parish church, St. James.

In a move that many consider to be a major step towards official recognition of Medjugorje as a shrine, Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Henryk Hoser of Poland as Special Apostolic Visitor to the parish of Medjugorje.

Announcing the news on May 31, 2018, the feast of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary, the Vatican declared that Monsignor Hoser would take up residence in Medjugorje in his new role “for an indefinite period and ad nutum Sanctae Sedis,” which means “with the approval of the Holy See.”

In Medjugorje, where belief in the authenticity of the apparitions is long-held due to the daily conversions, long lines of confessions, and miracles constantly witnessed by the locals, the news of Archbishop Henryk Hoser’s new position was received with great joy.

The following is the announcement of the pastor of the parish of Medjugorje, Fr. Marinko Šakota, upon receipt of the news. After the evening program of prayer in St. James Church, Medjugorje, he stated:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today to all parishioners, all friends of Medjugorje and the Queen of Peace, today our Holy Father, Pope Francis, sent us good news! The Office of the Holy See, at noon on the Feast of Corpus Christi [also the Feast Day of the Visitation] announced the following news:

On this day, the 31st of May, 2018, the Holy See has appointed Henryk Hoser, SAC, the retired Archbishop of Warsaw-Prague (Poland) as Apostolic Visitor with a special role for the parish of Medjugorje for an indefinite time, and ad nutum Sanctae Sedis. At the specific request of the Holy See, his appointment is for pastoral ministry, a continuation of the mission of the Special Envoy of the Holy See for the Parish of Medjugorje, entrusted to Mgr. Hoser on February 11, 2017, and which he completed in the previous months.

The purpose of the mission of the Apostolic Visitor is to provide a firm and permanent accompaniment of the parish community in Medjugorje and the faithful who come on pilgrimage here, whose needs require special attention.

With all our hearts we want to thank Pope Francis for such wonderful news. We want to say thank you. We thank the Lord; we thank the Queen of Peace. Dear friends of Medjugorje and of the Queen of Peace, I know that your hearts are rejoicing, filled with joy. With great joy and respect, with faithfulness and loyalty, we are awaiting the coming now of the Apostolic Visitor with special authority, jurisdiction, and designation, Archbishop Hoser. We await him with joy!

Let us, brothers and sisters, with all the more enthusiasm and heart, try to live that which our Mother has been telling us. Let us be her extended hands of peace in the world. May the peace and love of God dwell in our hearts. May we become the carriers of that peace and love throughout the world. Amen.

At this moment in time, with the apparitions in Medjugorje continuing to occur, the Vatican has given as much approval as it can. Click here to read a short article clarifying the Church’s stance on Medjugorje from it’s beginnings up to today.

Vatican Investigation Declares First Days of the Medjugorje Apparitions Real and Authentic

Historic Moment for Many Catholics …

After 5 years of investigation, Vatican committee concludes “Early Medjugorje apparitions were real.”

Contradicting recent statements of skepticism — including those of Pope Francis — the Vatican commission established by Pope Benedict XVI to study the Medjugorje apparitions in Bosnia-Herzegovia, voted overwhelmingly to recognize as supernatural the first seven days.

The “real core” of the commission’s report, said Pope Frances, is “the spiritual fact, the pastoral fact” that thousands of pilgrims go to Medjugorje and are converted. “For this there is no magic wand; this spiritual-pastoral fact cannot be denied.”

The spiritual fruits of the pilgrimages, he said, are the reason why in February he appointed Polish Archbishop Henryk Hoser of Warsaw-Praga to study the best ways to provide pastoral care to townspeople and the pilgrims.

According to Vatican Insider, 13 of the 14 commission members present at one meeting voted to recommend lifting the Vatican ban on official diocesan and parish pilgrimages to Medjugorje.

The commission also recommended turning the town’s parish church of St James into a pontifical shrine with Vatican oversight. The move, the commission said, would not signify recognition of the apparitions, but would acknowledge the faith and pastoral needs of the pilgrims while ensuring a proper accounting of the financial donations pilgrims leave.

The commission’s role was to make recommendations to the Pope; its report is not an official church judgment on the apparitions.

Click here to read the full report here from Michael Swan of the Catholic Herald, Thursday, May 18, 2017

See also:
http://www.mysticpost.com/2017/05/historic-moment-many-catholics-vatican-investigation-concludes-medjugorje-apparitions-real/

Regarding Medjugorje, Pope Francis contradicts himself, St. Pope John Paul II, and St. Mother Teresa–Vatican Insider Report

Pope Francis

has done it again—he’s thrown out his personal opinion on a plane, causing a vast ripple effect. This time he shared his personal opinions on Medjugorje. His off-the-cuff statements unfortunately contain many untruths about Medjugorje and Marian apparitions in general, and contrast sharply with the beliefs of St. Pope John Paul II, Fr. Gabriel Amorth, the chief exorcist of Rome for many years, and St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, among tens of thousands of others who have personally benefitted from Our Lady of Medjugorje. To compare personal opinions:

St. Pope John Paul II

met with the visionaries personally and closely followed the occurrences in Medjugorje during his lifetime. He was a vocal supporter of and believer in the apparitions there and once said, “Medjugorje, Medjugorje, it’s the spiritual heart of the world,” and, “If I weren’t pope, I would be in Medjugorje already.”

Fr. Gabriel Amorth, the chief exorcist of Rome,

who battled evil head on with the help of Mary of Medjugorje for thirty years and performed over 70,000 exorcisms, said “Medjugorje is a fortress against Satan.” Until his recent passing in 2016, he was the most prominent exorcist in the Church and spoke on national TV about Our Lady of Medjugorje. Satan’s biggest success, he said, has been constructing “a world culture without God, and the Madonna of Medjugorje has come specifically to bring back the world to God.”

St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta

believed in Medjugorje, prayed to Our Lady of Medjugorje, and once said, “I asked Our Lady of Medjugorje to come to my first home for the dying in Calcutta, and she did!”

Cardinal Christoph Schonborn,

the primary author of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, said that 90% of all new vocations in his diocese come in some way through Medjugorje.

All this is in stark contract to Pope Frances’ opinion, which he expressed on Saturday, May 13, while traveling home from the Catholic shrine at Fatima, Portugal, where he commemorated the anniversary of the visions of the Madonna to three shepherd children 100 years ago. Unlike St. Pope John Paul II, Pope Frances has not met the visionaries in person, and judging from his comments, he is not familiar with the manifold fruits of Medjugorje, nor of an approved apparition in his own home town, Buenos Aires, Argentina, in which Mary is doing exactly what the pope says Mary does not do. The following is an excerpt of his exact words, as transcribed from the audio recording on his flight. The corrections and comments, bracketed in red, are my own:

Regarding the first apparitions, when [the “visionaries”] were young: the report [the Vatican report headed by Cardinal Ruini and ordered by Pope Benedict XVI] more or less says that we need to continue to investigate. On the alleged current apparitions, the reports has its doubts. I personally am more “naughty” [Not a holy or well-discerned introduction]: I prefer Our Lady as mother, our mother, and not Our Lady as head of the telegraph office who sends a message every day at a certain hour … this is not the mother of Jesus. [But this is almost exactly what Our Lady has been doing in the Pope’s home town of Buenos Aires, Argentina, in her apparitions there approved by the local bishop. A total of 1,816 approved messages have been given by Our Lady of the Rosary of San Nicolas, to the visionary, Gladys Quiroga de Motta, from 1983-1990, and these apparitions and messages, just like in Medjugorje, continue to this day.] And these alleged apparitions do not have much value. [If one considers the following having little value: 610 vocations and 445 miraculous healings–and these are only the reported ones–not to mention the thousands of conversions and more daily Confessions than anywhere else on earth.] And I say this as my own personal opinion. But who thinks that Our Lady says: “Come and tomorrow, at this hour, I will give a message to that visionary”; no. [But Our Lady also gave a specific time and place where she would appear to the children in Fatima and give them messages.] [In the Ruini-report] a distinction is made between the two apparitions. And third, the true heart of the Ruini-report: the spiritual aspect, the pastoral aspect, people who go there and convert, people who encounter God, who change their lives … There is no magic wand for this, and one cannot deny this spiritual-pastoral aspect. [This is true and contradicts what he said earlier in this interview about the alleged apparitions not having much value.]

Now, in order to look at these things with all of this information, with the responses that the theologians sent to me, this bishop [delegate] was appointed [Cardinal Henryk Hoser]— he is very good because he has experience — to see how the pastoral part is going. And ultimately, something will be said.

The following is the conclusion of the Ruini report, which has just been published by the Vatican Insider.

Pubblicato il 16/05/2017
Ultima modifica il 16/05/2017 alle ore 12:53
ANDREA TORNIELLI
VATICAN CITY

Thirteen votes in favor of recognizing the supernatural nature of the first seven appearances in Medjugorje, one vote against and one “suspensive” ballot, which will give a final answer later. A majority of suspensive votes and many doubts instead, concerning the apparition phenomenon from the end of 1981 to today. These are the results of the work done by the commission on Medjugorje established in 2010 by Benedict XVI and chaired by Cardinal Camillo Ruini.

Pope Francis mentioned this report in the press conference on the return flight from Fatima when he revealed the distinction between the first apparitions and the later ones, saying, “A commission of good theologians, bishops, cardinals. Good, good, good. The Ruini report is very, very good. It is well known that the signal emerged from the Pontiff’s words is positive about the spiritual fruits and the conversions (”people who go there and convert, people who meet God, who change life”), but is negative with regard to the current apparitions “I prefer Our Lady Mother, and not the head of the telegraphic office, who sends a message every day.”

A commission wanted by Ratzinger

From 17 March 2010 to 17 January 2014, a commission chaired by Ruini was set up at the request of Pope Benedict XVI. In addition to the former chairman of the CEI, Cardinals Jozef Tomko, Vinko Puljić, Josip Bozanić, Julián Herranz and Angelo Amato took part. The psychologist Tony Anatrella, the theologians Pierangelo Sequeri, Franjo Topić, Mihály Szentmártoni and Nela Gašpar, the Mariologist Salvatore Perrella, the anthropologist Achim Schütz, the canonist David Jaeger, the speaker of the causes of the saints Zdzisław Józef Kijas, the psychologist Mijo Nikić and the official of the Doctrine of the Faith Krzysztof Nykiel. Their task was to “collect and examine all the material” about Medjugorje and to present “a detailed report” followed by a vote on the “supernatural nature or not” of the apparitions as well as the most appropriate “pastoral solutions.” The committee met 17 times and screened all documents filed in the Vatican, the parish of Medjugorje and the archives of the secret services of the former Yugoslavia. The commission heard all the seers and witnesses involved, and in April 2012, they carried out an inspection in the village of Herzegovina.

Positive Findings on First Appearances

The commission noted a very clear difference between the beginning of the phenomenon and its following development, and therefore decided to issue two distinct votes on the two different phases: the first seven presumed appearances between June 24 and July 3, 1981, and all that happened later. Members and experts came out with 13 votes in favor of recognizing the supernatural nature of the first visions. A member voted against and an expert expressed a suspensive vote. The committee argues that the seven young seers were psychically normal and were caught by surprise by the apparition, and that nothing of what they had seen was influenced by either the Franciscans of the parish or any other subjects. They showed resistance in telling what happened despite the police arrested them and death threating them. The commission also rejected the hypothesis of a demonic origin of the apparitions.

The doubts about the development of the phenomenon

With regard to the second phase of the apparitions, the commission took note of the heavy interference caused by the conflict between the bishop and the Franciscans of the parish, as well as the fact that the apparitions, pre-announced and programmed individually for each seer continued with repetitive messages. These visions continued despite the youngsters had said they would end, however that actually has never happened [the youngsters meant in the future]. There is then the issue of the “secrets” of the somewhat apocalyptic flavor that the seers claim to have been revealed from the apparition. On this second stage, the committee voted in two steps. Firstly, taking into account the spiritual fruits of Medjugorje but leaving aside the behaviors of the seers. On this point, 3 members and 3 experts say there are positive outcomes, 4 members and 3 experts say they are mixed, with a majority of positive, effects and the remaining 3 experts claim there are mixed positive and negative effects. If, in addition to the spiritual fruits, the behaviors of the seers is also taken into account, eight members and four experts believe that an opinion cannot be expressed, while two other members have voted against the supernatural nature of the phenomenon.

The Pastoral Solution

Having noted that Medjugorje’s seers have never been adequately followed on the spiritual side, along the fact that for a long time they have no longer been a group, the commission has endorsed the end of the ban on pilgrimages organized in Medjugorje. In addition, 13 members and experts out of the 14 present voted in favor of the constitution of “an authority dependent on the Holy See” in Medjugorje as well as the transformation of the parish into a pontifical sanctuary. A decision based on pastoral reasons – the care of millions of pilgrims, avoiding the formation of “parallel churches”, clarity on economic issues – which would not imply the recognition of the supernatural nature of the apparitions.

The doubts of the Doctrine of the Faith

Francis mentioned them on the airplane. The Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith led by Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller expressed doubts about the phenomenon and about the Ruini report, considered an authoritative contribution to be compared with other opinions and reports. In 2016 a “Feria IV”, the monthly meeting of Dicastry members, was summoned to discuss the Medjugorje case and the Ruini report. Each of the cardinals and bishops who members of the Feria IV received the text of the commission but also other material in the hands of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. During the meeting, members were asked to give their opinions. However, Pope Francis, unwilling to have the Ruini report, which he esteems, to be put up for “auction”, decided that the opinions of the Feria IV members had to be sent directly to him. And that’s exactly what happened.

Francis’ decision

After examining the Ruini report and the opinions of the members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Pope decided to entrust to the Polish Archbishop Henryk Hoser a “special mission of the Holy See” to “acquire more in-depth knowledge of the pastoral situation “In Medjugorje, and “above all, the needs of the faithful who come to pilgrimage” to “suggest any pastoral initiatives for the future.” By summer 2017 the Polish Archbishop will deliver the results of his work with which the Pope will make a decision.

Are the Medjugorje Apparitions authentic? Words from the Pope Francis’ emissary, Archbishop Hoser

Archbishop Henryk Hoser, Pope Francis’ emissary to Medjugorje

Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Henryk Hoser as his emissary to Medjugorje on February 11, 2017, and on April 1, “the archbishop came just about as close as he could in terms of encouraging the people regarding the authenticity of the events of Medjugorje,” according to Dr. Mark Miravalle, President of the International Marian Movement, Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici, and professor of Theology and Mariology at Franciscan University of Steubenville. This new papal appointment and Archbishop Hoser’s recent homily in St. James Church of Medjugorje are encouraging news for those who have been unsure of veracity of the Medjugorje apparitions and wanted more clarity. In the following impassioned, informed, and encouraging video, posted on April 7, 2017, Dr. Mark Miravalle shares the significance Archbishop Hoser’s new role and homily. Dr. Miravalle’s words, well worth reading, are transcribed below.

“My friends, I have more good news regarding the Medjugorje apparitions, as a result of some recent events regarding the papal emissary, Archbishop Hoser, who has been appointed by Pope Francis to assess the pastoral needs of the pilgrims coming to Medjugorje. You may recall that on the day before Ash Wednesday, Fat Tuesday of this year, the local bishop sent out a negative statement regarding Medjugorje, which was confusing to many people. Unfortunately, the local bishop was doing something that was inappropriate in light of the fact that the jurisdiction for the Medjugorje apparitions had, many years earlier, been taken out of his hands and put into, first of all, the ex-Yugoslav bishops back in 1991, but then more recently into the Vatican commission. And so, in virtue of the fact that it is in the Vatican commission, makes it clear that is not in the jurisdiction of the local bishop.

Soon after, the Holy Father appointed Archbishop Henryk Hoser from Poland to be his emissary to Medjugorje to assess the pastoral needs of the many pilgrims going. Well, that is good news for Medjugorje because, quite frankly, the Church does not do that for place it is about to condemn—quite the contrary. The fact that the Holy Father assigned an archbishop to assess the pastoral needs gives good indication that Medjugorje will at least be deemed as a shrine, a place of prayer that has the approval of the Church. And that, indeed, would be something very positive.

Well, even more recently on April 3, the archbishop, Archbishop Hoser of Poland, gave his first homily at Medjugorje, and it was really extraordinary. And while maintaining his limits of not saying something specific about authenticity, he came just about as close as he could in terms of encouraging the people regarding the events of Medjugorje. It is also fascinating that Archbishop Hoser had spent twenty-one years in Rwanda—as a priest in Rwanda. And he, in his first homily, makes reference to the warnings of Our Lady that came from Rwanda—how ten years previous, they didn’t understand what they meant, and then the genocide hit, where one million people were killed—and therefore underscoring the importance of listening to the messages of Our Lady as true interventions from God. Then the archbishop said the following. He said, and I quote:  . . . Therefore, that honoring, which is so intensive here, is of the greatest importance and is necessary to the whole world. He is referring to the honoring of Our Lady . . .

We pray for peace because the destructive forces are tremendous today: weapon trade grows constantly, people are in conflict, families are in conflict, societies are in conflict. We need a heavenly intervention. The presence of Our Blessed Virgin Mary, that is this intervention. It is God’s initiative. Therefore, I would like to encourage and fortify all of you on behalf of the Pope, as his emissary. Let us spread peace throughout the world through the conversion of hearts.

So this is an extraordinary, strong statement by Archbishop Hoser, in the name of the Holy Father, not only encouraging the pilgrims who are present; but he will also go on in the homily to thank the fifty priests that are there to hear confessions. He will mention [that] the greatest miracle of Medjugorje is the availability of confessions, and ultimately that the message of mercy—the message the world so desperately needs to hear—could come forth from Medjugorje to all parts of the world since eighty countries are represented. So once again, more good news for Medjugorje, and God willing, for the call of the Queen of Peace, which is a call of faith, prayer, penance, conversion, seeking the peace of Christ in hearts and ultimately peace throughout the world. Thank you. God bless you.”

Pope Francis Appoints Special Envoy to Medjugorje, Archbishop Henryk Hoser

On February 11, 2017, Pope Francis named Archbishop Henryk Hoser as special envoy to Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Polish archbishop is being sent to “acquire a deeper knowledge of the pastoral situation” in Medjugorje, and “above all the needs of the faithful who go there on pilgrimage,” the Vatican said.

Archbishop Henryk Hoser of Poland

Archbishop Henryk Hoser of Poland

In a telephone interview with Vatican Radio, Archbishop Henryk Hoser explained his “special envoy” appointment is “above all, about regular, pastoral reception of the millions of pilgrims coming to Medjugorje. This high number is a challenge for the Church and a call to improve the reception if possible.” Asked if his proposals might include the appointment of an apostolic administrator for Medjugorje, the Pope’s envoy said, “Yes, this is not impossible. Perhaps one will have to supplement the structure of the hierarchy on the ground so that initiatives can be better coordinated and thus more effective. I must confirm that these a Archbishop Henryk Hoser re only hypotheses.”

The Vatican’s announcement said that Archbishop Hoser “is expected to finish his mandate as special envoy by summer of this year.” His position is not to report or just the but provide support, initiative, and suggestions for pastoral care of the thousands of pilgrims who travel to Medjugorje each month. Msgr. Hoser added that he did not know when his report to Pope Francis, or any other, would be published.

The appointment of special envoy of the Pope may lead to an upsurge in pilgrims to Medjugorje since the Catholic Church, and the Pope at its head, would never send an envoy to a place that it considered to be under the influence of evil, or a danger to the Church or its people in any way. Medjugorje’s parish priest Marinko Šakota responded to the the news of the appointment saying: “This is an answer to prayer, a moment of grace and joy, and also a time of great responsibility for the parish of Medjugorje.”

Among the supporters of the alleged apparitions of Our Lady of Peace in Medjugorje, one can find several “heavy hitters”:

  • Recently deceased Father Gabriele Amorth, Rome’s longtime chief exorcist. In a YouTube video he clearly states that the Madonna of Medjugorje has come to “bring the world back to God,” after Satan’s great success of building a “cultural world without God.”
  • Padre Pio, who reportedly once told a group of pilgrims from Mostar that the Virgin would appear in their land before it actually happened.
  • In a handwritten letter to Denis Nolan, author of Medjugorje and the Church, Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta wrote, “We are all praying one Hail Mary before Holy Mass to Our Lady of Medjugorje.” (April 8th, 1992)
  • Cardinal Hans Urs von Balthasar, regarded by Benedict XVI as the greatest theologian of the 20th century, and said to be John Paul II’s favorite theologian, once said: “The theology of Medjugorje rings true. I am convinced of its truth. Everything concerning Medjugorje is authentic from a Catholic point of view.” He also stated,“There is only one danger alone for Medjugorje—that people will pass it by!”
  • Cardinal Cristoph Schönborn welcomes Medjugorje visionary Mirjana

    Cardinal Cristoph Schönborn welcomes Medjugorje visionary Mirjana

  • Cardinal Cristoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna, the main author of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and a close collaborator of Pope Francis said, regarding the fruits of Medjugorje, “These fruits are tangible, evident. And in our diocese and in many other places, I observe graces of conversion, graces of a life of supernatural faith, of vocations, of healings, of a rediscovering of the sacraments, of confession. These are all things which do not mislead. This is the reason why I can only say that it is these fruits which enable me, as bishop, to pass a moral judgment. And if as Jesus said, we must judge the tree by its fruits, I am obliged to say that the tree is good.” (Medjugorje Gebetsakion, #50; Stella Maris, #343, pp. 19, 20).
  • Read an interview with the cardinal here: http://medjugorjeca.org/interview-of-cardinal-schonborn-of-vienna/

Many other bishops have expressed their personal approval of Medjugorje. See www.Medjugorje.com. It is interesting to note that canonized saints from our world’s recent history, Rome’s chief exorcist, and the main author of the Catechism of the Catholic Church have believed in the authenticity of the Medjugorje apparitions. Medjugorje’s strongest proponents come from saints and those who have traveled there on pilgrimage. Medjugorje’s detractors have largely never gone there to see for themselves.

Divine Mercy Sunday Promises for your soul. Don’t miss out! It’s not too late!

Divine Mercy Sunday, perhaps God’s greatest gift of our time.

In the 1930’s Our Lord Jesus requested through Saint Faustina Kowalska that a Feast of Mercy be established and solemnly celebrated in His Church on the First Sunday after Easter every year. The Lord said that this feast would be the “last hope of salvation.”

On the 22nd of February, 1931, Jesus Christ revealed this vision of himself to the young Polish nun, Sister Faustina Kowalska. The image was painted and became a vessel to remind the world of God’s greatest attribute, His mercy.

Divine Mercy Sunday is celebrated the Sunday after Easter. The great promise of this day is the forgiveness of all sins and punishment due to sin for anyone who would go to Confession and receive Jesus in Holy Communion, on this very special Feast. According to Divine Mercy Productions, one may receive the Sacrament of Confession, also known as Reconciliation, twenty days before or after Divine Mercy Sunday.

In the year 2000, after many years of study by the Catholic Church, Pope John Paul II, officially established this Feast of Divine Mercy and named it Divine Mercy Sunday. He died on the vigil day of this feast and was beatified on May 1, 2011, on that same feast. And now on Divine Mercy Sunday,  April 27th, 2014, he will be canonized a saint!

Why would Jesus offer us something so great right now? Jesus told St. Faustina that she was to prepare the world for His Second Coming and that He would be pouring out His Mercy in great abundance as a very last hope of salvation, before He comes again as the Just Judge.

From the Diary of S. Faustina, 699, Jesus said: “On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity.”

In Saint Faustina’s diary, she recorded that Jesus also indicated that He Himself is there in the confessional. Jesus told her, “When you approach the confessional, know this, that I Myself am waiting there for you. I am only hidden by the priest, but I Myself act in your soul. Here the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy. Tell souls that from this fount of mercy souls draw graces solely with the vessel of trust. If their trust is great, there is no limit to My generosity.” (1602)

Jesus knew that people would really need to hear these words of re-assurance today, so He went on to say “Come with faith to the feet of My representative…and make your confession before Me. The person of the priest is, for Me, only a screen. Never analyze what sort of a priest that I am making use of; open your soul in confession as you would to Me, and I will fill it with My light.” (1725)

Many feel that their sins are unforgivable but, Jesus said, “Were a soul like a decaying corpse, so that from a human standpoint, there would be no hope of restoration and everything would already be lost, it is not so with God. The miracle of Divine Mercy restores that soul in full. In the Tribunal of Mercy (the great sacrament of Confession) …the greatest miracles take place and are incessantly repeated.” (1448) “Here the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy.” (1602)

“Oh, how miserable are those who do not take advantage of the miracle of God’s mercy! You will call out in vain, but it will be too late.” (1448) “Tell aching mankind to snuggle close to My merciful Heart, and I will fill it with peace.” (1074) “There is no misery that could be a match for My mercy.” (1273)

By Christine Watkins, inspirational speaker and author of Full of Grace: Miraculous Stories of Healing and Conversion through Mary’s Intercession.

Medjugorje is not condemned due to letter from apostolic nuncio: October 21, 2013

Archbishop Gerhard Müller, the Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on whose behalf the papal nuncio writes his letter to the US Bishops

Prior to the release of the final report on Medjugorje, The Papal Nuncio to the U.S. on behalf of the prefect of the CDF Archbishop Müller has issued instructions “that no cleric or faithful may participate in any meetings, conferences, or public celebrations in which the authenticity of the apparitions are taken for granted.”

As Denis Nolan of Mary TV points out, it should be noted that the letter of instructions by Archbishop Carlo Vigano “is a procedural and not a doctrinal document.  It does not pronounce on whether or not Medjugorje is authentic.  It simply makes a prudential judgment to the effect that the faithful cannot participate in a PUBLIC event where the authenticity of the apparition is taken for granted.  It has no bearing on the private convictions of the faithful and, as noted, on the question of whether or not Medjugorje is an authentic apparition of the Blessed Virgin.”

As a result of this letter, the appearance of Medjugorje visionary Ivan Dragicevic’s scheduled public apparitions in late October in the U.S. were immediately cancelled. The Medjugorje visionaries are known for their strict obedience to and love for the Catholic Church, so this comes as no surprise.

Many will see this statement from the apostolic nuncio as the CDF tipping its hand as to what the final judgment on Medjugorje will be, and many will not.

Undoubtedly, some future debate will center around what it means to ‘take authenticity for granted.” Is it simply sufficient when giving or attending a conference, event, or Medjugorje related celebration that one mention  the apparitions are alleged? Perhaps this will depend on the opinion of individual bishops.

What remains true is that the Church has not yet made a final pronouncement on Medjugorje, neither approving or condemning the apparitions. The Church’s investigation is still underway. Church caution has historically been a part of the process of even those apparitions which were overwhelmingly approved–and approved only after they ended, such as in Fatima and Lourdes.

Until the final pronouncement on Medjugojre, the faithful may continue to travel there on pilgrimages currently offered, which have always been non-diocesan sponsored out of obedience to the Church’s continued investigation.

Meanwhile, the millions who have been converted, healed, and nourished by Medjugore will continue to live Mary’s messages of prayer, fasting, monthly Confession, Bible reading, and frequent reception of the Eucharist; and they will pass on her messages of love.

Below is the letter from the apostolic nuncio:

Miraculous light glows from statue in Medjugorje

statue virgin mary our lady glows glowing dark medjugorje visionary seer veggente vicka ivankovic mijatovic blue house anne burford

Photo: Anne Burford

About 9 pm on September 23, a forty-year-old statue of the Virgin Mary located in the childhood home of Medjugorje visionary Vicka Ivankovic-Mijatovic began to glow in the dark. Hundreds of people gathered as the news spread. On Tuesday evening, the statue started glowing again.

The statue to the left in Medjugorje seer Vicka Ivankovic-Mijatovic’s childhood room began glowing in the dark on Monday evening. The blue “haze” around the statue has nothing to do with the phenomenon.

Glowing in the dark when no light was turned on, an old statue of the Virgin Mary, which has belonged to the family of visionary Vicka Ivankovic-Mijatovic for forty years quickly became the center of attention in Medjugorje.

“Mamma mia, tonight around 21.20 the statue of the Madonna in the birthplace of Vicka began to emanate light by itself! Like phosphor! People came from all around to see! You can not take pictures, the flash does not show anything, only the naked eye can see it. Beautiful!” Medjugorje resident Laura Marcazzan Budimir reported.

To see for themselves, hundreds of locals and pilgrims lined up in Vicka’s courtyard and in the street to climb the stairs to the first floor of the house in small groups. See Medjugorje Today article.

The statue has purportedly lighted an entire room and when pictures are taken of it, the light does not show up on images. Now the statue has been moved into the parish priest’s house, as experts from the Vatican prepare to come and examine the statue.

Medjugorje visionary Vicka Ivankovic-Mijatovic believes the glowing statue in her old room is a genuine sign and a message from the Virgin Mary.

People waiting in line outside Vicka’s old house to see the glowing statue on Monday evening, September 23rd. Photo: Laura Marcazzan Budimirjey?

“I was on the road when my mother called and told me. I just told her, “This is Our Lady’s will. Pray!” Vicka tells the Croatian daily Slobodna Dalmacija.

– You have daily meetings and conversations with Our Lady. Did you ask her anything about the statue that glows, and if yes, what did she say?”

“I neither asked, nor did she mention. She would tell me if it was needed. But I believe that the light on the statue is just another message of Our Lady to turn to the light, peace, joy, and prayer. Our souls are filled with darkness, the world is immersed in the darkness,” Vicka says. “Our Lady has appeared here for so many years, she is constantly sending us messages, and for us to understand them, we just have to open our hearts to them. Anyone can do that, and Our Lady speaks to everyone.”

– It seems interesting that the illuminated statue is not Our Lady of Medjugorje, but Our Lady of Lourdes. How do you explain that?

“The Madonna is one, she wants that way to send her message. After all, the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes was brought me by Italian pilgrims exactly thirty years ago. They brought it from Lourdes. And, behold, it was Italian pilgrims who first noticed the light on the statue of Our Lady. It is Our Lady’s will, I do not decide anything.” See Medjugorje Today article.