Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Medjugorje with Mass
Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina
- St. James Church: Celebrate Mass with scores of the faithful in front of the church's twin clock towers; in the garden behind stands a 50-foot sculpture of the crucified Christ – without the cross.
- Apparition Hill: Climb the rocky hill to the statue of a serene Virgin Mary – the spot where she made the first of many appearances to six youths between the ages of 10 and 16.
- Faith and understanding: Learn the stories of the Medjugorje six, including accounts of visions that have continued into adulthood. Discuss your personal experiences with other tour members over lunch at a nearby village.
About this Mostar Tour
The story of the miracle at Medjugorje is one of belief so strong that no skepticism could shake it and no government tyranny could silence it.
The children are grown now, the youngest near 50. They were playing on a hill on June 24, 1981, when Mary appeared and implored them to remember that "my Son Jesus, out of love, gave His life to save you."
Over the following weeks they returned to the site again and again, reporting visions and long conversations with the Virgin. The youngest, Jakov – he has children of his own now, and still lives in Medjugorje – reported seeing her every day for the next 17 years; now she appears to him every Christmas. Others say they see her at least once a year.
All the children were questioned at length, and their accounts are strikingly similar: Mary was a "slender" 5-foot-five inches who spoke to them on a small cloud while carrying the baby Jesus. She had blue eyes and rosy cheeks (a smile brought dimples, according to one). And she had a crown of stars around her head as she commanded each child in succession to pray for the sick, for families, for non-believers, for young people, and for priests.
The Communist government of what was then Yugoslavia found all this quite threatening. "Apparition Hill" was closed to pilgrims, their donations and offerings seized by authorities and the parish priest imprisoned for 18 months.
A year and a half in jail for the crime of speaking of what the children told him, and refusing to say they may have imagined – or fabricated – their experience.
Such is the power of faith. It outlasted Communism and the wars that subsequently tore Yugoslavia apart. In the children themselves, it has survived into middle age. And it survives in the hearts of the devout, who come from around the world to celebrate Mass here, and to climb to the spot where the children received their calling. The path up is strewn with jagged rocks, and many pilgrims make the hike barefoot. For on June 24, 1981, the Virgin beseeched six children to recall the suffering of her son. More than 30 million people since have heard her.
After Lourdes in France and Fatima in Portugal, Medjugorje is Europe's third-most-visited Christian shrine. Many believers have reported strange phenomena, including a Jesuit priest who wrote, "I have looked directly at the sun and have seen it seem to spin and turn different colors." The yearning for such evidence of divine power has caused some pilgrims to suffer permanent eye damage.
Please make your way to the Spanish Square in Mostal located in the city center, close to the Mostar Grammar School to meet with your guide.
There are some great views seen along your drive. If taking pictures from the bus, turn your flash off, set your camera on manual focus, use the fastest shutter speed possible, and zoom as far as you can.
Plan to walk for about a half mile over flat terrain.
Scenic, Cultural, Walking Tour
English, German, French, Italian, Spanish
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages.
Special Medical Restriction
Participants must be in good health, disclose their physical fitness and advise any conditions that might impact their participation in the tour.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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