Tagged: Medjugorje Vatican

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? Get the Real Scoop!

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.

Pope Benedict XVI forms Medjugorje Commission under Cardinal Ruini

Pope Benedict XVI forms Medjugorje Commission under the auspices of Cardinal Camillo Ruini

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.

Archbishop Henryk Hoser in Medjugorje

Archbishop Henryk Hoser preaching at St. James Church in Medjugorje

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

Archbishop Hoser Eucharist in Medjugorje

Archbishop Henryk Hoser celebrating Mass in Medjugorje

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
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/.