Medjugorje is a town located in a mountainous country of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeastern Europe. For over thirty years now it has been a center of spiritual renewal, and particularly, a center of prayer for peace which came into being in a country of long, rich but at the same time complicated history. For it abounds in periods of foreign influence, such as 400-hundred-year Turkish occupation, followed by Austro-Hungarian domination and finally, a communist regime. This is only an outline of the struggles of this small country which has been unwaveringly pursuing its sovereignty. In this context, the spiritual center that appeared in the 20-th century Herzegovina has its special meaning.
Medjugorje (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Medjugorje is a place where ceaseless prayer for peace rises up. Many pilgrims who visit it, by drawing from this spring of spirituality of peace, themselves become its apostles in their families and work environments. It was in this atmosphere that an idea of apostolate of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament for peace came about. Later on it took the form of the Work called “The 12 Stars in the Crown of Mary, Queen of Peace” carried out by “Communita Regina della Pace” Association.
We received with enthusiasm the opportunity of incorporating into the Work of the 12 Stars this special Center of Prayer for Peace which is the parish of Saint James in Medjugorje. The material sign and a memory of this spiritual event which took place on 22 June 2011, is a monstrance destined for the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament: a gift of pilgrims from Poland for those who will visit Medjugorje and will beg Eucharistic Jesus for peace in human hearts and in the whole war-torn world.
A very original, openwork liturgical vessel depicting Mary as the one who carries Jesus in her Heart, was created in Poland, in Mr. Mariusz Drapikowski’s and Mr. Kamil Drapikowski’s artistic studio in Gdansk. Let us see some examples of its rich, spiritual symbolism, so characteristic of the artists.
The 12 meteorites, material of extraterrestrial origin that decorates the monstrance, allude to Mary’s apocalyptic image of “a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” (Rev 12: 1). It is worth noticing too that every single color used, has its meaning. White referring to purity and eternal glory, yellow – the majesty and the glory of God, green – virginity and hope, blue – fidelity, spotlessness and communing directly with God.
This work of art is admirable not only because of its spiritual message and artistic beauty but also due to its originality and the skill it required of its author. Not only meteorites but also different precious stones and ores were used in it. The idea was that the monstrance should be designed so that it could hold a large host of 20 cm diameter (0,2ft). Consequently, the monstrance itself is 1,5m (5ft) high and together with the special base made of stone in which the monstrance is set, called by the artist “a throne”, it is 1,85m (6ft) high. The weight of the crystal monstrance is 25kg (55lbs) and the stone base weighs 20kg (44lbs). Due to the extraordinary dimensions of the monstrance, the luna which holds the Host in the monstrance can be taken out and placed in a separate pyx (a special liturgical vessel) which makes it possible to move the Host for the time of Benediction or Reposition.
During the ceremony in St. James Church in Medjugorje, a letter of intent written for this occasion, was read. You might find it interesting to read its excerpts in order to know the Work better.
” «Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives».
(J 14: 27a).
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is an experience of heaven on earth, here and now. It opens to the gift of peace which is born in our hearts and is meant to last in the relationships among people all over the world as a foundation of longed-for social and political peace.
Let us remain before Eucharistic Jesus pleading that peace might reign in our hearts, as per St. John Paul II’s teaching, the unwavering advocate and pilgrim of peace, and as a response to Pope Benedict XVI’s plea from January 1, 2007: “I wish to make an urgent appeal to the People of God: let every Christian be committed to tireless peace-making and strenuous defense of the dignity of the human person and his inalienable rights”.
Following St. John Paul II’s papal motto – “Totus tuus” – we entrust the entire Work to Mary – Queen of Peace.
Let us remain united with those who offer Holy Hours for peace all over the world […]. Together with Mary Queen of Peace let us form a chain of prayer enveloping the entire Earth”.
Last but not least, we would like to express our deep gratitude to all those who have supported the Work either spiritually or materially. All that has been accomplished so far, was possible thanks to you. We also hope that we were able to encourage you to join us in praying to the Lord, especially and whenever possible adoring Eucharistic Jesus, to bestow His Peace into our and all human hearts. Whenever you feel inspired, you are always most welcome to contact us at: [email protected]. We will be very happy to know you!