The Living Spirituality of Medjugorje

Written by Kieran Burt

Fourth year Seminarian for the Diocese of Motherwell

March 7, 2023

Although I have been extremely fortunate to travel around Italy and Europe during my time in seminary, Medjugorje is by far my favourite place in the world. Before June 1981, when Our Lady is said to have appeared to six young children at Medjugorje, a little town in Bosnia-Herzegovina, most of the world had never heard of it. Many people have the belief that Our Lady continues to appear to some of the visionaries daily and has done for 42 years. Even after three trips to Medjugorje, I’m still captured by the serenity and peace that is in this special, sacred place.

There are many aspects of Medjugorje that I love, from the quiet strolling through the vineyards and over the hills to the bustle of the English-speaking Mass, but two things in particular stand out for me.

Firstly, there is Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament offered as part of the evening programme, and it is truly a time of grace. You could hardly hear a pin drop despite the fact that thousands of people have gathered to worship Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. All concerns and problems fade into the background as your heart and mind are totally captivated by Christ. In these hours, God’s strength and presence is really tangible. It is something I actually find difficult to describe.

Secondly, the group I usually travel with has a candlelight procession during which we pray the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary whilst carrying with us an intention that is close to our hearts. We start from the church’s entrance and go to the garden of the Crucified Lord, where we leave our intentions and candles. Then we pray before the lovely mosaics that show each of the luminous mysteries of the rosary. Really, it can be a very an emotional evening.

I decided to write about Medjugorje because the memory of being here and living out the spirituality of the place gives me strength in my journey of faith. I want to share some of that with you so that if you ever get the chance, you won’t hesitate to go and hopefully you will also experience peace.

For 42 years, the message of Medjugorje has emphasised the value of peace and encouraged people to turn away from Satan’s schemes to destroy them and turn towards Christ, who heals and provides the means by which we might defeat sin and the devil. These messages are more relevant than ever in the world in which we live today.

Spending time in front of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, reciting the rosary every day, and regularly making use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, is what helps me to live out this message, the Gospel message, my journey of faith and ultimately grow closer to her Son, the Prince of Peace.

Only by doing this will I be able to create peace in my own life and become a peacemaker in our fractured, war-torn, and what can seem like a peaceless world. I think this is what we are all called to do, and sometimes we fail, but Our Lady’s presence among us shows that she will help us every step of the way.

Here is Our Lady’s message from 25th February 2023:

“Dear children, keep converting and clothe yourselves in penitential garments and in personal, deep prayer; and in humility, seek peace from the Most High. In this time of grace, Satan wants to seduce you; but you, little children, keep looking at my Son and follow Him towards Calvary in renunciation and fasting. I am with you because the Most High permits me to love you and lead you towards the joy of the heart, in faith which grows for all those who love God above all. Thank you for having responded to my call. ”

Our Lady, Queen of Peace, pray for us!

Regarding the Church’s position on the apparitions at Medjugorje:

 In May 2019, Pope Francis authorised pilgrimages to Medjugorje, which can now be officially organized by dioceses and parishes and no longer take place only in a private capacity which had been the case up until this point. This announcement was made by the Apostolic Nuncio in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Luigi Pezzuto and Archbishop Henryk Hoser, the Holy See’s Special Apostolic Visitator during Mass at the shrine which has become a destination for millions of pilgrims.

 The nomination of the Holy See’s Special Apostolic Visitator (now Archbishop Msgr. Aldo Cavalli), and the above announcement do not enter into doctrinal questions relating to the authenticity of the account of the six visionaries of what has happened in Medjugorje since June 1981.