Medjugorje - The Spiritual Experience

It is probably common for the new pilgrim to Medjugorje to question, on arrival, why they've come, what did they expect to experience and whether their long journey will prove rewarding. It is probably best to put aside these questions in order to become immersed in the spirituality that is likely to bring an appreciation of the presence of Our Lady in Medjugorje.

It is helpful to combine other activities with reading a range of introductory books on Medjugorje (see 1-6 of bibliography section amongst others), available from the Information Centre near the Church or from the many book stores.

St James' Church is a first stop. English Mass occurs at 1000 each morning (1200 Sundays). The large international Mass (mostly in Croatian) takes place at 6pm (7pm in summer) with the rosary one hour prior. One is inspired by the number of pilgrims and the variety of nationalities. The Masses are enriching. There are many stories in the homiles reporting the life-changing benefits that have resulted from a pilgrimage to Medjugorje.

Many pilgrims who have not been to confession (reconciliation) for years, accept Our Lady's message of Penance and seek contrition and absolution in one of around 30 confessional booths and open sites, used by priests of many languages, before and after the evening Mass.

A walk around the dirt paths through the vineyards and tobacco fields or along the different roads around Medjugorje, rosary in hand, can be very peaceful. Most pilgrims, normally busy with the different distractions of daily life, will find this a wonderful time for reflection.

One is left in no doubt of the religious importance of Cross and Apparition Hills. The Way of the Cross up Krizevac is unforgettable but a tough climb. The Statue of the Resurrection allows a further opportunity for the Stations of the Cross as well as the amazing experience of the Statue itself.

The more time spent and activities experienced in Medjugorje, the greater the feeling of the presence of Our Lady and the greater the understanding of her core message of peace, an inner or "true" personal peace, gained though faith, prayer, penance and conversion with a plan for fasting. One gradually comes to realize that the timely achievement of a closeness to God though Our Lady, or "true peace" should be a paramount aim in life. Life's other priorities and anxieties will then tend to fade in comparison.