Medjugorje (between two mountains" in Slavish) is a Roman Catholic parish of about 5,000 inhabitants in 2005.
The pastoral care of Medjugorje is entrusted to the priests of the Herzegovinian Franciscan Province of the Assumption of Mary.
In 1981, when the alleged apparitions began, life in the parish changed: beside the six visionaries, the Virgin chose the whole parish and pilgrims to be her witnesses and collaborators. This is particularly manifest in the message where she said: "I especially chose this parish because I would like to guide it." (March 1, 1984)
Thanks to the apparitions of the Virgin, Medjugorje-an ordinary, rural parish-has become a place of gathering for a multitude of pilgrims from everywhere in the world, comparable to Lourdes and Fatima. Innumerable witnesses affirm that it was precisely at this place that they found faith and peace.
Recognition as a shrine
At the regular session of the Yugoslav Bishops' Conference in Zadar, on 9-11 April 1991, the following declaration was adopted:
From the very beginning, the bishops following the events of Medjugorje through the diocesan bishop (Mostar), the Episcopal Commission and the Episcopal Conference of Yugoslavia on Medjugorje.
On the basis of the investigations conducted so far it cannot be affirmed that one is dealing with supernatural apparitions and revelations.
However, the numerous gatherings of the faithful from different parts of the world, who come to Medjugorje, prompted both by religious and other motives, require attention and pastoral care in the first place of the diocesan bishop and with him of the other bishops also, so that in Medjugorje everything is connected to a healthy devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, promoted in accordance with the teaching of the Church.
To this end, the bishops will issue suitable liturgical-pastoral directives. Likewise, through their committees they will continue to observe all the events in Medjugorje.
Zadar, April 10, 1991, the Yugoslav Bishops' Conference published their Statement declaring that after 10 years of alleged visions it could not be affirmed that "supernatural apparitions and revelations" had taken place.
Two years later came this declaration :
"We bishops, after three years of research conducted by the appropriate commission, have accepted Medjugorje as a place of prayer, as a shrine. This means that we have nothing against it if someone venerates the Mother of God in a manner that is in agreement with the teachings and faith of the Church. Therefore, we are leaving that to further study. The Church does not hurry."
His Eminence Cardinal Dr. Franjo Kuharic, Archbishop of Zagreb
(Glas Koncila, August 15, 1993)
Finally, on Wednesday, March 17, 2010, the Vatican constituted an international commission of investigation on Medjugorje, under the auspices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under the presidency of Cardinal Camillo Ruini.
Life of the Shrine of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje
"God isn't a God of disorder, but of peace." (1 Corinthians 14: 33). The life of the shrine is centered around a parish, and the pastor has put in place a minimum of common organization for all groups, coming from all nations: for example, nothing takes place in the evening at the time of the evening prayer at the church; such as Mass isn't celebrated on the hills or in the pilgrims lodgings, but only in the church and the chapel. Etc."
On June 25th, for the anniversary of the apparitions.
All the feasts of the liturgical year (as in any parish).