Apostolic Visitor Henryk Hoser speaks about Medjugorje.
Medjugorje is a site of global importance and its message is intended for the whole world. This is one of the messages from the interview of the Apostolic Visitor to the parish of Medjugorje, Msgr. Henryk Hoser, published in the latest issue of Veritas, a magazine issued by the Franciscan community, reports Večernji List on October 5, 2018.
“Medjugorje has a meaning not just for this part of Europe, but for the whole world. Medjugorje is an international site whose message is directed to the whole world. Its existence and emergence in this part of Europe are very symbolic because this part of the world was almost always been excluded from the peace in the past. Through the centuries, we could say that this land has always been a land of martyrs. This area has a mosaic of peoples, languages and cultures. I believe that the message of peace, which is central here in Medjugorje, is intended for the whole world,” said Msgr. Hoser, ranking Medjugorje together with Lourdes and Fatima.
“With regard to the international phenomenology, they are very similar. These are certainly the three greatest pilgrimage sites. Here we have two and a half million pilgrims a year. It was wonderful to see the Youth Festival, where I was present, which was attended by 30,000 young people from 72 countries. Many young people from Croatia also came. In addition, these are the three Marian shrines which call for repentance and conversion and for the prayer of the Rosary.”
“Lourdes is a great shrine based on the dogmatical truth about the Immaculate Conception and it tells us about the identity of the Mother of God. Fatima gives us a look at the contemporary history of the world, the current as well as the future. Between these three pilgrimage sites there is a kind of spiritual solidarity and bondage,” said Hoser, comparing Medjugorje to Lourdes and Fatima.
He explained that the most important characteristic of Medjugorje is “the power of grace.” “Medjugorje is not an imposing structure which delights in its size. It is a simple parish. The power of grace that is felt here, the power of God’s words here proclaimed, makes us witnesses to many radical transformations that are happening here. Medjugorje has become the confessional of the world. The confessors confess in almost all languages,” said Hoser.
Asked about the apparitions, he said that the Church had not yet announced its official position and judgment. “The Church’s position is: let’s wait and see. In general terms, the message of peace that emerges from the Medjugorje phenomenon is always valid. The Queen of Peace – the title of the Mother of God which is present here – existed in distant history as well,” said Hoser, adding that he was very happy with living with the friars in Medjugorje.
“This is a very quiet area. The people are very open and joyful, smiling all the time. This is how it feels,” Hoser said. Asked about the complaints about too many shops and hotels in Medjugorje, he replied that those are located outside the shrine and that the Church had no authority over them. “After all, pilgrims who come here must have somewhere to sleep, eat, wash, etc. As far as trading is concerned, it is impressive to see the variety of souvenirs offered, much more than in Lourdes,” said Hoser.
Asked about the views of Pope John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis about Medjugorje, he said there is continuity. “Pope John Paul II monitored the development of the situation. The relatively short pontificate of Benedict XVI was very positive towards Medjugorje. This was also demonstrated by the establishment of the international commission for Medjugorje. And finally, Pope Francis has made the biggest step by sending his representative here. Pope Francis wants to develop pastoral activities in Medjugorje and thus confirms the value of this place,” concluded Hoser.
Translated from Večernji List (reported by Darko Pavičić).