Day 1 - Arrive Medjugorje
Check in at your airport, where our local representative will be on hand to assist you. On arrival, you will be met by our guides who will direct you towards your coach ready to start our transfer to this most Blessed village, Medjugorje. The guide on the transfer will inform us of what we can expect during our time here as we view the splendid scenery on route. As we drive into Medjugorje, with the steeple of St. James Church first greeting us, we will arrive at our house. With all rooms allotted on the bus, we are firstly introduced to our host family and we can then rest in our rooms before being called for a light snack, or dinner, which will be served depending on the time of arrival. Each evening, we will attend the parish evening programme. It begins with the rosary followed by Holy Mass and depending on the day, we finish with adoration.
Day 2 - Opening Meeting
We start our day with breakfast before attending 10:00am mass, which is intended for English-speaking pilgrims, in the Church of St. James. The Church of St. James is placed under patronage of St. James the Apostle, who is patron saint of pilgrims. We do not move very far and usually meet at the shrine of Our Lady of Peace for our opening meeting where the guides will share with us the history of the place, introduce us to the shrine and take us through the week, and through their words and experiences enlighten us to the messages and intentions of Our Lady. We break for lunch where restaurants are in abundance and boast some of the best steaks and pizza. The afternoon takes us to Blue Cross, a place of many apparitions of Our Lady. It is situated at the base of Apparition Hill where Our Lady appeared to the children and where they were hiding from the communist police at the beginning of the apparitions. Many pilgrims venture here to bask in the peace that emanates from this special area. From Blue Cross, we walk to VickaĎs old house. Vicka is one of the six Medjugorje visionaries and we visit her old family house to see and to pray in the room where she had apparitions over a long period. After dinner, we can attend the evening prayer programme.
Day 3 - Hill of Apparitions
This morning after breakfast, we gather at the statue of Our Lady to walk through the vineyards, to the Hill of Apparitions (Podbrdo). This has been the tradtional route taken by millions of pilgrims. The guides regale us with accounts of the first days of the apparitions, especially the first seven days, and tell us of the great spiritual journey the visionaries undertook. We simply climb, in prayer, to the site of the first apparition, the place where Our Lady first appeared to six frightened children in June of 1981.The Joyful Mysteries greet us at several points of our climb where we pray for a short time. This afternoon there is an optional tour to Cenacolo, which is a community for recovering drug addicts. There is a special lesson to be learned from the residents here, by their hard work, perseverance and prayer. After dinner, we attend the evening programme.
Day 4 - Optional Trip
Today we have the opportunity to meet with one of the visionaries (depending on their availaibility) for a talk on the messages. Our Lady of Peace leaves us messages on the 25th day of each month through the visionary, Mirjana. Through these messages we are called upon to attend holy Mass, to fast, to read the bible, to attend confession and to pray the holy rosary. Our Lady maintains that we will receive many graces by praying the Rosary. In the afternoon, we have an optional trip to visit the Church of the Divine in Surmanci one of five villages belonging to Medjugorje parish, only a 15 minute drive from Medjugorje village. This is a very popular place with pilgrims as a miraculous healing took place before icon of the Divine Mercy, which is now exposed in the chapel. We also have opportunity to venerate relics of St Faustina and St john Paul II.
Day 5 - Cross Mountain
Our day begins with breakfast and we then meet at the base of Cross Mountain (Krizevac) to start our ascent. We pray the Stations of the Cross as we make our way to the summit. Our journey is rewarded by taking time for reflection and prayer by the cross located at the top of the mountain. In 1933, the parish of St. James erected a large concrete cross to commemorate the 1900th Anniversary of Jesusí passion and death on the Cross. We make our descent in time for holy Mass. In the afternoon, following our climb, we will have some free time. This evening we have a special treat as our programme director, David Parkes, performs for us in concert with an Evening of prayer through song. David is an internationally acclaimed singer and often travels worldwide singing the word of Our Lord.
Day 6 - Talk with Medjugorje Priest
Today we gather to hear from one of the priests. With Medjugorje as their base, they can shed light on issues we may be struggling with such as confession or sacrifice. In the afternoon we will visit a neighbouring Franciscan monastery and the Shrine of St. Anthony, which is located only 15 min from Medjugorje village. (This is optional.) In the evening after international holy mass, you may take part in the prayer of Mysteries of Light in the Via Domini and visit the grave of late Fr. Slavko, a Medjugorje priest who embodied the messages of Our Lady and who travelled the world spreading that message of peace and reconciliation. After almost 18 years spent in Medjugorje, Fr. Slavko suddenly died at the top of the Cross mountain on a Friday afternoon in 2000.
Day 7 - Mothers Village
We meet as a group to join in the closing meeting on the church grounds. David and the guides conclude the week with prayer and a short follow up on the week. We finish the programme with a visit to the Mothers village. This is an orphanage founded by the late Fr. Slavko for children whose parents had died during the war. Now itís a home for orphaned children or children who come from dysfunctional and broken families. This village is a visible fruit of Medjugorje. After dinner, we can participate in the evening programme.
Day 8 - Depart Medjugorje