Thursday, September 29, 2011

Article: Medjugorje viewed from a Romanian perspective as Transylvanians go on pilgrimage

Pilgrims from around the world climb Cross Mountain.  Many of them come from Transylvania

Medjugorje in Bosnia is a place where people believe that thirty years ago in 1981  the Virgin Mary appeared to six young people. Medjugorje is a village situated between the mountains and has became one of the main places of pilgrimage for Christians worldwide.  Catholic  pilgrims  visit  Medjugorje but so also do  Orthodox and  Protestant. Millions of pilgrims annually attend  religious services in several languages and climb  Mount Krizevac.  One thing is certain: their faith has brought prosperity throughout the region.

Medjugorje avoided war
"Medjugorje is a place where you should be ready to go, to feel the faith that directs you  when  you step into this remote place in Bosnia. The Blessed Virgin appears regularly, and Medjugorje has become one of the main attractions of Bosnia, say visitors.  The Medjugorje phenomenon,  brings pilgrims from around the world. The war in  Bosnia did not affect this area, although less than 20 kilometers away  fierce battles were fought.  The Blessed Virgin watched over the village and its surroundings, and  Her messages urge people to  peace and continued faith.   The exhortations of the Virgin Mary-Gospa, as locals call Her- to faith have gone around the world.

Faith without gendarmes

Most pilgrims arrive at the church built in the village-  a simple church, which is often overcrowded. .. At Medjugorje, everything is very well organized:  There are dozens of places where confession is held in several languages..Thousands of pilgrims attend services held outdoors.

.. In September, Medjugorje was taken by storm. Although the temperature was over 35 degrees, the faithful listened  to religious services in several languages. Many Italians, mostly elderly people pray in groups, by reciting the Rosary. A group of young Polish Christians sang songs  with guitar. Hundreds of people are queuing up to confess, but it is extremely well organized, without the need for intervention by the gendarmes or police, who otherwise have no involvement in the church in Medjugorje.

Cross Road, traveled daily by thousands of pilgrims

..The Way of the Cross is made of sharp rocks and some sand for the millions of pilgrims. People of all ages climb Mount Krizevac. Many are barefoot and  say the prayers. Dozens of believers of all nationalities go to the Cross. A Romanian Orthodox family, with preschool children, got quietly, barefoot, on the mountain.

People pray the stations of the Cross.  A  group of dozens of Italians passed  and said out loud "Ave Maria". Children climbed hard, but because they saw their parents go through the route barefoot they take off their shoes and struggle on the rocks. They do not cry but clench their  teeth and go on.  From time to time, the Romanian  father  takes out of a bottle of mineral water . At the same time, another group of pilgrims descends . Two ladies slip but some young people help them not  to fall.  They are Romanian women  probably because they are working in Italy with a group of Italians.  They say thank you in Romanian and encourage the  young people to climb. The road is difficult. A woman  is carrying a baby in her arms. She is crying and....

Elderly, some disabled, others with various  health complaints- everyone wants to go to the Cross though the   temperature  was over 35 degrees. There  was no first aid point, or  water source, only faith and human solidarity.  At one of stops for the Stations of the Cross  three young evangelical, Romanians, sing. They visited Croatia and then  returned from Dubrovnik to Medjugorje.  They came out of curiosity  onto  Cross Road.  A huge group of women sing hymns . They came to  pray  to the  Virgin Mary at  the Cross. Besides, organized groups of Italians pray aloud.

Descending is almost as hard as the ascent, but when it comes to faith, it goes beyond any barriers. Hundreds of pilgrims say the prayers in various languages. Then return to their homes more peaceful and more at peace with themselves.... Medjugorje is the faith that has triumphed.
 (My translation  from a report in the  Romanian newspaper Actualitate)

1 comment:

pixymagic said...

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Hat’s off. Well done, as we know that “hard work always pays off”, after a long struggle with sincere effort it’s done.