Day 2 of The 39th Anniversary Novena to Our Lady The Queen of Peace

2nd day: We pray for all Priests who Minister at the Sanctuary

Let us pray for all the priests who have ministered in Medjugorje in the past and for all who will come in the future, and for all those who come as spiritual guides and help to minister the Sacraments to the millions who journey to Medjugorje each year.
(We will pray specifically for Archbishop Hoser, the Pope’s Official Emissary and Apostolic Visitor in Medjugorje, on Day 4 of the Novena, when we pray for the leaders of the Church).

Father Jozo Zovko 

Brief history and the importance of the First Pastor

“Fr. Jozo Zovko was the recently appointed pastor of St. James parish in Medjugorje, and he initially did not believe the story that his young parishioners were telling everyone, and wondered why everyone was going to the hill, when they should really be in the church praying. He struggled with how to handle this situation, which he viewed as dangerous, because in Communist Yugoslavia it was well known that people could be imprisoned and even killed, simply for publicly expressing their faith as Catholics.  

The Persecution 
The Yugoslav Communist authorities heard about these events within a matter of days, and immediately came to Medjugorje to put a stop to what they considered to be dangerous, anti-Communist gatherings. Public expressions of faith were strictly forbidden in Communist Yugoslavia, and the Communists would not tolerate thousands of people gathering daily on a hill to pray because of some alleged “apparitions.” The police subjected the children to intense scrutiny, extensive questioning, threats and persecution. The Communists threatened them, their families and all their loved ones, but despite all that, the visionaries never wavered in their story. One day, the Communists wanted to take the visionaries in for additional questioning, but the terrified children ran away from them, running through the tobacco fields and vineyards, towards the direction of St. James Church. The Communist police were chasing them. At the same time, Fr. Jozo was alone inside the church, praying about how to handle the situation that was developing on the hill. As he was contemplating this, he heard the audible voice of a woman, who said to him “go out and protect the children.” Fr. Jozo immediately got up and stood in front of the church, and at that exact time, the visionaries came running to him from the fields and gathered around him, begging him to protect them from the Communists who were chasing them. Fr. Jozo hid the children in the rectory basement. From that point on, Fr. Jozo became a fervent believer in these events, and was an incredible source of hope and inspiration to the multitudes who were coming to Medjugorje daily.The Communists couldn’t seem to put a stop to the events happening on the hill, so they decided to forbid the people from climbing the hill, thinking that if the people could not climb the hill to go to the place of the apparitions, then these treasonous events would come to a stop. They encircled the hill
with guard dogs and soldiers and prohibited everyone from going up the hill. As a result, the children began having their apparitions in their homes and other secret places. The multitudes of people who had been gathering on the hill every evening still wanted to spend that time in prayer so, because they could no longer go to the hill, the people began gathering in the church. 

The Evening Program of Prayer
When the overflowing crowds started gathering in the church, Fr. Jozo had to offer something to them, so he created an evening program of prayer, which included the Rosary, Mass, Adoration, opportunities for Confession, and other prayers. The official program lasted 3-4 hours every night, but people wanted more! They would stay in the church until midnight or later, longing for the spiritual content they were discovering through the apparitions of Our Lady. Fr. Jozo’s preaching was powerful, filled with the Spirit, and deeply inspiring! His homilies would sometimes last 45 minutes, but everyone would be sad when he finished preaching, because they could not get enough of his powerful words and soul stirring preaching. That evening program of prayer which was started by Fr. Jozo Zovko continues to this day and is the heart and soul of the spiritual life of Medjugorje. 
The Arrest 
The Communists viewed Fr. Jozo to be as great of a threat as the visionaries and with their tale of the apparitions. One day, about seven weeks after the apparitions began, the Communists arrested Fr. Jozo. He was put on trial for treason, convicted, and given a prison sentence of 3 ½ years. He was treated harshly during his imprisonment, sometimes even being subjected to torture. He was eventually released from prison after 1 ½ years, due to pressure from the Vatican.”
Dr. Father Slavko Barbaric, OFM

“Father Slavko Barbaric died on November 24, 2000 at 3.30 p.m. After
the Way of the Cross, that he animated usually every Friday on the Hill
of Krizevac for parishioners and pilgrims, he felt some pain. He sat
down on a rock, then lay down on the ground, lost consciousness and gave
his soul over to the Lord.
Father Slavko Barbaric was born on March 11, 1946 …and obtained his
doctorate in religious pedagogy and the title of psychotherapist.
As Franciscan priest, he was in Capljina from 1973 to 1978. From the
spring of 1982 to September 1984, he was chaplain for students at
Mostar, and he held retreats in the house of religious sisters at Bijelo
Polje near Mostar. His fruitful work with the students and his retreats
very well accepted by the students, however, the Communist government
in power at that time persecuted him. In those difficult moments, his
eminence, Cardinal Franjo Kuharic, protected father Slavko’s mission.
Thanks to his knowledge of the main European language and despite his
numerous obligations in different parishes, Father Slavko put himself
ceaselessly at the service of Medjugorje pilgrims from the time he
finished his studies and came back to the country in 1982. He was
officially sent to Medjugorje in 1983.
At the beginning of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, when all
elderly friars were exiled to Tucepi, with the oral accord of + father
Drago Tolj, former provincial, father Slavko remained at Medjugorje.
From the very beginning of his mission in Medjugorje, father Slavko
has been writing spiritual books: «Pray With the Heart», «Give Me Your
Wounded Heart», «Celebrate Mass With the Heart», «In the School of
Love», «Adore my Son With the Heart», «With Jesus and Mary Climbing the
Golgotha to Meet the Risen Lord», «Pray Together with a Joyful Heart»,
Interviews, and «Fast With the Heart», which is now in print. Fr. Slavko
Barbaric’s books have been translated in twenty languages and more than
20 million copies have been printed in the whole world. He published
also numerous articles in various publications…
He gave unceasingly conferences for
pilgrims, animated adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, veneration of the
Cross, the rosary up the Apparition Hill, the Way of the Cross on the
Mount Krizevac, where he finished his earthly life.
He animated annual
meetings for priests and youth, in the prayer house of the Franciscan
province “Domus Pacis” he animated “Fasting and prayer retreats”.
destructions of the war inspired him to found and lead an institution
for the education and care of the young, the “Mother’s Village”, where
more than 60 persons have found their home (war orphans, children from
separated families, unwed mothers, elderly abandoned persons and sick
children). If there was a man who loved children, it was Fr. Slavko.
Children loved him in return: they always gathered around him and he
knew always how to gather them – just like Jesus!
His psychotherapeutic
formation and education allowed him to work with drug addicts in the
Community of the Cenacolo, founded by Sister Elvira, mostly in their
house in Medjugorje, “Campo della vita”. He oriented the help received
from the whole world in two directions: “Foundation for children of
deceased defenders” who died during the war, and “Foundation of friends
of talents” to help students.
… Father Slavko Barbaric has travelled throughout
the whole world, spreading the message of peace and reconciliation of
Our Lady. He was the soul and the heart of the peace movement born in
Medjugorje 19 1/2 years ago. He had wonderful gifts: knowledge of
languages, facility of communicating with people, education, simplicity,
care for human beings in need, inexhaustible energy – one could not
believe that one single man could have it, diligence, and above all
piety, humility, charity. He prayed and he fasted a lot, he loved Our
Lady with a childlike love. It was, in fact, the essence of his life:
through prayer and fasting to take souls to God through Mary – the Queen
of Peace.
It seemed sometimes above the reality to live near him – he was here,
in the world, but at the same time so much out of the world. In his
presence, the words of Jesus from his high priestly prayer became
reality: “They do not belong to the world, as I myself do not belong to
the world. Sanctify them in the truth, your word is truth. As you have
sent me into the world, I sent them into the world. I sanctify myself
for them, in order that they may be sanctified by the truth…” (Jn
Tribute found at the Parish of Medjugorje Website 

 Archbishop Henryk Hoser

“On February 11, 2017, the Holy Father entrusted Archbishop Henryk Hoser, S.A.C., bishop of Warsaw-Prague (Poland), to go to Medjugorje as special envoy of the Holy See. The mission has the aim of acquiring a deeper knowledge of the pastoral situation there and above all, of the needs of the faithful who go there in pilgrimage…” secretariat of state press communique:special envoy of the holy see named for Medjugorje

 As the Vatican Press Release made clear, Archbishop Hoser’s mission as Papal Envoy was to assess the pastoral needs of Medjugorje, for the purpose of future planning, so that the needs of the millions of pilgrims who travel to Medjugorje, can be better met. Archbishop Hoser’s role as Papal Envoy ended in May, 2017, when he submitted his report to the Vatican. 

On May 31, 2018, he was appointed by Pope Francis as Apostolic Visitor to Medjugorje, for an undetermined period of time beginning on July 22, 2018. As such, he reports directly to the Holy Father.

 “On 31 May 2018 the Holy Father appointed H.E. Msgr. Henryk Hoser, S.A.C., archbishop-bishop emeritus of Warszawa-Praga, Poland, as special apostolic visitor for the parish of Medjugorje, for an undefined period and at nutum Sanctae Sedis…”

 Archbishop Hoser remarked:

 “We call Her here, the Queen of Peace. … Therefore, that honoring, so intensive here, is of the greatest importance and is necessary to the whole world. … We need a Heavenly intervention. The presence of our Blessed Virgin Mary – that is this intervention. It is God’s initiative. … Therefore, I would like to encourage and fortify all of you, on behalf of the Pope, as his Emissary … Those who come here discover something extraordinary …They discover a huge range of profound spirituality. We can see that devotion in Medjugorje is very Christ-centered

Dr. Father Leon Pereira, OP – Chaplain to the English Speaking Pilgrims

Leon Pereira, OP, is the Chaplain to the English-speaking pilgrims in
Medjugorje. He speaks with wit and
insight as he shares his own amazing testimony and
speaks about Our Lady’s Messages. 
You can find videos of his homilies, teachings and insights at

This is a video of his testimony and the talk on Medjugorje he gave at St. Francis of Assisi Parish here in Wichita, Kansas.

Pastoral staff

Parish Staff of St. James the Apostle – Medjugorje

Parish priest:

Friar Marinko Šakota was born in Čitluk on July 12th 1968. He completed his Elementary school in Čitluk, as well as the first grade of High school.
That is the time he felt vocation and decided to join Franciscan
order, so he moved to Franciscan Seminary in Visoko where he finished
second grade, and the other two he had completed at Jesuit Grammar
School in Dubrovnik, where he had also graduated.
He put on his Franciscan habit on July 15th, 1987 in Humac where he
stayed for one year of the Novitiate. From 1988 to 1989, he served in
Yugoslav People’s Army. He started his study of philosophy and theology
in Sarajevo at Franciscan Theology College (1989 -1990), continued to
study in Zagreb at Jesuit College (1990-1992) and completed and
graduated in his bachelor’s degree in Fulda, Germany (1992-1995). He
gave his solemn vows in Široki Brijeg in 1993.
He was ordained as deacon in Zagreb on February 10th, 1996, and ordained as a priest in Frohnleiten on July 13th, 1996.
His first service was Franciscan Monastery in Innsbruck where he
helped out for one year from 1996 to 1997, and then he was spiritual
assistant in Frohnleiten from 1997 to 1998, and chaplain in Augsburg
from 1998 to 2000. He was chaplain in Mostar from 2000 to 2003, and
parish priest in Gradnici from 2003 to 2010. He is in Medjugorje since
September 2010 as a chaplain. After parish priest,Fr. Petar Vlasic,died,
the new parish priest is Fr. Marinko Šakota.

Parish vicars:

Fr. Viktor Kosir, OFM, was born on February 16,
1938, in Uzarići, where he finished primary school. He attended
secondary school in Split and Visoko. He received his Franciscan habit
on July 14, 1957. He studied theology in Sarajevo and ljubljana
(Slovenia). He was ordained a priest on May 2nd, 1965. As catechist, he
served in Mostar, as a Parish priest in Vitina, Posušje, Posuški Gradac
and Široki Brijeg, and as Parish vicar on two occasions in Međugorje.
Since 1994, he has been serving in Medjugorje, mostly as minister of the
sacrament of reconciliation.
Fr. Karlo Lovric was born on December 12, 1941, in
Uzarici, where he attended the elementary school. He continued his
classes at the school in Siroki Brijeg. In 1957, he entered the Seminary
and attended the classic college, first in Sinj and then at the Jesuit
Classic College in Dubrovnik, where he made his baccalaureate. After he
had completed his military service, he received the Franciscan habit and
entered the noviciate in Humac, in 1963.
He studied philosophy and theology in Visoko and Sarajevo, and then
in Königstein near Frankfurt a.M., where he graduated and was ordained a
priest on June 29, 1968.
From 1969 to 1971, he was a spiritual assistant in Humac/Ljubuški,
from August 1971 to the end of the year in KHM Zürich, and from 1972 to
1980, he was the founder and in charge of the Croatian Catholic Mission
St. Gallen in Switzerland. From October 1980 to 1982, he was the Pastor
in Siroki Brijeg. From September 1982 to December 1988, he was again in
Switzerland, where he founded and led the Croatian Catholic Mission
Lausanne. From 1988 to the end of January 2005, he was in charge of the
Croatian Catholic Mission Zürich. In Switzerland, he was the National
delegate for the Croatian Catholic Missions in Switzerland from 1989 to
2001, as well as the Provincial delegate from 1999 to 2001.
He came to Medjugorje in May 2005, and he is serving as a spiritual assistant.
   Fr. Ivan Dugandžić (Born in Krehin Gradac in
1943). He attended high school in Zadar and Dubrovnik and entered
Faculty of Theology in Visoko, but he continues his studies and
graduated in Konigstein. He was ordained as a priest in 1969 in
Frohnleiten. He achieved his Doctor’s Thesis in 1976 in Wurzburg and it
was in Theology of Holy Scripture. He served in the parish of Medjugorje
from 1970 to 1972 and from 1985 to 1988. He was also a Secretary of
Herzegovina Franciscan Province, educator of young novices, seminarians,
guardian of the monastery of Herzegovina Franciscan Province in Zagreb.
He was professor at the Catholic Theology Faculty of the University in
Zagreb. He writes books, articles and columns, he translates and
participates in various events. He is also a member of the expertise
boards. Manuscript of his book “Biblical Theology of the New Testament”
from 2004 was taken as a university student book at the University of
Zagreb. He is now parish assistant priest in Medjugorje since August
   Fr. Mladen Herceg (Born in Crveni Grm in 1945.) He
attended high school in Visoko and Dubrovnik and studied Theology in
Visoko and Sarajevo, and his post-graduate studies he completed in Rome.
Theme of his Magistrate Thesis was “Love as a foundation of inter-human
relationships according to the doctrine of the Second Vatican Council”.
He was ordained as a priest in 1968 in Vares. He served as the
spiritual assistant in Humac, Mostar, Drinovci and Medjugorje. He was a
spiritual guide to Franciscan sisters in Bijelo Polje and Medjugorje. He
educated young seminarians in Poljud and he was assistant educator of
seminarians, parish assistant priest and spiritual guide of seminarians
in Zagreb. He is also leading contemplative spiritual exercises. He is
now parish assistant priest in Medjugorje since August 2013.

 Fr. Dragan Ružić (Born in Sarajevo in 1962) He
completed his high school in Visoko, and studied Philosophy and Theology
in Sarajevo and Bologna, while he did his post-graduate studies in
Rome. He completed his Magistrate Studies in 1997 in Salesianum with
theme of influence of TV-advertisements on underage children. He was
ordained as a priest in Bologna in 1989. He served as the spiritual
assistant in Mostar and Tomislavgrad, and he was a Secretary of
Herzegovina Franciscan Province. He was in Rome in General Curia since
February 1999 until August 2013 when he was moved to the parish of
Fr. Slavko Soldo (Međugorje, 1946.) He finished
his high school in Dubrovnik, and started Theology College in Sarajevo,
continued it in Trento and completed in Rome. He was ordained as priest
in 1972 in Königstein. In 1973, he went to Custody of Herzegovina
Franciscan Province in the United States, to the monastery of St.
Anthony in Chicago. Soon he moved to Washington DC, where he studied
English at the Georgetown University. The services he obtained in the
Custody were as follows: the spiritual assistant in the parish of St.
Augustin in West Allis from 1974-1975; the spiritual assistant in the
parish of St. Cyrill and Methodius in New York from 1975-1977, the
spiritual assistant in the parish of St. Jerome from 1977 – 1979; the
spiritual assistant in New York from 1979 -1986; parish priest in the
parish of St. Augutin in West Allis from 1986 – 1988; parish priest in
the parish of St. Mary in Steeltone from 1988-1989; parish priest in the
parish of St. Cyrill and Methodius in New York from 1989 – 1994. He was
elected as the Custodian of the Franciscan Custody, seated in Chicago,
in 1994 and remained at that service until 2001. He was the Provincial
of Herzegovina Franciscan Province seated in Mostar from June 29, 2001
to April 2007. He was mentor of novices in the monastery of St. Anthony
in Humac from September 18, 2007 to July 15, 2016. In 1987, in West
Allis he founded and conducted “Croatian Religious Radio programme”. He
established the Foundation for Aid to Victims of Homeland War in New
York in 1991, and this Foundation was active all the time during the
war. He was editor of “Custodian Bulletin” from 1994-2001. Ever since
August 2016, he has been appointed as the parish vicar in Medjugorje
Fr. Perica Ostojić (Čitluk, 1986). He completed
his elementary and high school in Citluk, enrolled to the Theology
College at the Catholic Theology Faculty in Zagreb and continued to
study at Papal University Laterano, where he graduated in 2014. He was
ordained as a deacon in Rome on June 22, 2014, and ordained as a priest
in 2015 in Mostar. He spent his deacon year and the first year of
priesthood in Mostar as the spiritual assistant. Ever since August 2016,
he has been appointed as the parish vicar in Medjugorje parish.
Fr. Ante Kutleša, OFM, born in a the parish of
 Prisoje – Tomislavgrad. He entered the Franciscan Order on July 14,1962
in Humac. He was in Seminary in Visoko, Sarajevo and Konigstein, where
he was ordained as a priest on February 8, 1969. He was a spiritual
assistant in Konjic until 1974, when he went to serve in missions in
Zaire and Congo. As of September 2, 2017, he has been assigned to
Medjugorje as the spiritual assistant.
Fr. Zvonimir Pavicic, OFM (Mostar, 1989.) He
completed elementary and high school in Siroki Brijeg and graduated at
the Catholic Theology Faculty in Zagreb in 2016. He was ordained as a
deacon in Zagreb, on February 26, 2016, and ordained as a priest in
Mostar on June 25, 2016. As a deacon, he came to serve in Medjugorje
parish, and after his ordination as a priest, he has been in this parish
as the assistant parish priest.

Lay Brother:

Br. Josip Marija Katalinić, OFM, was
born on November 22, 1952 in Pepelana near Virovitica, where he also
attended primary school. He entered the Franciscan noviciate in 1989 in
Humac, where he made his final vows on September 17, 1994. He was
serving in Franciscan monasteries in Mostar and Široki Brijeg. Since
July 20, 2002, he has been serving in Medjugorje.

Franciscan School Sisters
Franciscan School Sisters are also active in this parish and those are:
Sr. Ljudevita Boras, Sr. Filotea Landeka, Sr. Nada Sušac, Sr. Anđela
Radić, Sr. Marija Čarapina, Sr. Irena Azinović  and  Sr. Vesna Glavota.
They take care of the sacristy and music ministry as well as for all
other house works.

1. Prayer to the Queen of Peace
Mary, Mother of God and Our Mother, Queen of Peace!
You came to us to lead us to God.
Obtain for us the grace not only to say:
“Be it done to me according to Your will!”, but to live it, as You did.
Your hands we put our hands, so that You may lead us to Him amidst
these afflictions and woes. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen. 
2. Veni Creator Spiritus 
Experience adoration and the singing of Veni Sancte Spiritus in Medjugorje 

Come Holy Spirit, Creator, come

best gift of God above,

the living spring, the living fire,

sweet unction and true love.

Thou Who are called the Paraclete,

from Thy bright heavenly throne,

come, take possession of our souls,

and make them all Thine own.

3. Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary
first video is a slide slow of music and images of the entire mysteries
of the Rosary found in Medjugorje. There are no words. 


Texts for Meditation
Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, amen I say to you, whoever believes
in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these,
because I am going to the Father. And whatever you ask in my name, I
will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask
anything of me in my name, I will do it.”
(Jn 14,12-14)

“Dear children! Today I am with you in a special way and I bring you my
motherly blessing of peace. I pray for you and I intercede for you
before God, so that you may comprehend that each of you is a carrier of
peace. You cannot have peace if your heart is not at peace with God.
That is why, little children, pray, pray, pray, because prayer is the
foundation of your peace. Open your heart and give time to God so that
He will be your friend. When true friendship with God is realized, no
storm can destroy it. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

(Message, June 25, 1997)

“If you knew the gift of God!” The wonder of prayer is revealed beside
the well where we come seeking water: there, Christ comes to meet every
human being. It is he who first seeks us and asks us for a drink. Jesus
thirsts; his asking arises from the depths of God’s desire for us.
Whether we realize it or not, prayer is the encounter of God’s thirst
with ours. God thirsts that we may thirst for him. “You would have asked
him, and he would have given you living water.” Paradoxically our
prayer of petition is a response to the plea of the living God: “They
have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn out cisterns
for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water!” Prayer is the
response of faith to the free promise of salvation and also a response
of love to the thirst of the only Son of God.
(2560 2561)

4. The Litany of the Blessed Virgin

Concluding prayer: 
Concluding prayer: Lord, You are the only source of life, the only One
who can quench our thirst for love and friendship. We thank You for Your
humility in working through a simple man, a priest, giving Yourself to
Your people in Holy Mass, in the Sacraments, in Benedictions… Today, we
invoke in a special way Your blessing on all priests who minister at the
Sanctuary of the Queen of Peace. May they further discover the power of
faith through which You grant them whatever they ask of You. May they
also become true carriers of peace, fruits of their deeply felt
friendship with You. Amen.

The Medjugorje Hymn

To the Mother and Queen of Peace

Click Here for .mp3 – X

We come to you, dearest Mother,

from all quarters, from all nations;

bringing to you all our troubles

ardent wishes, aspirations.

Look upon us and console us,

lay your gentle hands upon us;

intercede with Jesus for us,

Mother of Peace, do pray for us.

All the faithful look up to you,

you the lodestar of salvation;

cleanse, embrace us, we pray to you,

bless all in the congregation.

Bijakovo, Medjugorje,

little hamlets spread the story,

bearing witness to your beauty

to your name and to your glory.

For all your love, dearest Mother

all the wonders that we have seen,

we give to you solemn promise

to be better than we have been.

Complete Novena found here:

© Updated 2020. Janet Moore 2019. All Rights Reserved. 

Scroll to Top