A Pilgrimage to Medjugorje
by Fr. Edward


Pilgrimage to Medjugorje 14-21 August 2012


This year I did not have any idea where to go for my holidays. In my conversations with my friend, I stated that perhaps August would be the best month to take holidays. I wanted to visit a Marian Shrine somewhere, but after checking the internet, I couldn’t find anything for August. So I said - Our Blessed Mother knows everything so She will figure out something for me. About two weeks later, another friend of mine, Ian Walker, emailed me and asked if I’d like to visit Medjugorje? This question and invitation came out of the blue and I gladly accepted it. Then immediately I thought that this surely is Our Blessed Mother inviting me to Medjugorje. Meanwhile I was worrying about my parish and hospital duties, wondering who would fill in while I was away. But during my prayers I heard an inner voice: “Don’t worry, trust me, am I not your Mother?” Everything went better then expected. Not worthy of such goodness, Our Blessed Mother treated me royally.


After a flight from Edinburgh to London Gatwick (North Terminal) and a transfer to Gatwick (South Terminal) which went smoothly, I met the group of 39 people with their pilgrimage leader, Ian Walker, who is truly devoted to Our Lady. We flew together to Dubrovnik and then transferred by bus to Medjugorje.


That first evening in Medjugorje was a very pleasant surprise for me. After a delicious dinner, the whole group went to the parish church at about 11 pm. I couldn’t believe my own eyes. I saw a huge number of people praying outdoors during Holy Eucharistic Adoration. I asked someone next to me how many people were there? Could be around ten thousand or more!  - came the answer. Wow!   The air was warm and pleasant but the prayerful spirit was high, charming and uplifting. You could feel there the real presence of the Lord and Our Blessed Mother, Queen of Peace.


But this wasn’t enough for the first evening! On our way back to the hotel where we were staying, we encountered many groups of young people sitting on the pavement and joyfully singing church hymns. Filled with admirations, I thought with delight that this was a beautiful preparation for the Solemnity of the Assumption of Our Blessed Lady.


Every day in Medjugorje was a true feast day filled with prayerful delight. Daily solemn Holy Mass at 10:00 am in English, with a homily, was the centre of each day. Holy Rosary, Adorations of the Blessed Sacrament and Stations of the Cross, along with a prayer before a special statue of the Risen Christ, gave me a chance for deeper reflection and a greater appreciation for all the graces I have received. Celebrating Holy Mass in the Divine Mercy Chapel on two occasions was also for me a very special time and place to realize how much all of us need Divine Mercy to obtain real Peace. 


I saw so many people queuing for confession which was available in many languages including Arabic. Having been encouraged by the local priests to join with other priests in order to help them out with hearing confession, I was sitting down for 3-4 hours daily to administer the great Sacrament of Divine Mercy – Confession. After confession, the penitents’ joy was overwhelming.


Two meetings with Our Blessed Mother through one of the six visionaries, Ivan Dragicevic, were for me exceptional and remarkable highlights of the pilgrimage. Ivan has a daily visit and vision with our Blessed Lady. Both meetings were unforgettable. The message during the first one was for priests and took place in his chapel, on Thursday, 16 August 2012 at 6.40 pm. During the second one on Friday, 17 August 2012 at 10 pm held at the Blue Cross on the hill, the message was for everyone. Our Lady Queen of Peace wants us to pray, more then ever, for her beloved priests, bishops and the Holy Father and to be carriers of peace and goodness to the whole world because we are God’s and Our Blessed Mother’s children. She loves us so much and wants us to be with Jesus.


Her presence and Her Motherly Blessing and prayers over all of us ‘Go in peace, my dear children” inspires me personally to help Her out in Her salvific work by being a living sign of God’s Peace.

Fr. Edward


Courtesy of Ian Walker