It’s good news, that’s for sure, and legitimises Medjugorje in regard to pilgrimages. Now it’s up there with Lourdes and Fatima when it comes to promoting pilgrimages... now we can’t have any priest saying “Medjugorje is not approved” when it comes to pilgrimages.
It’s the act of making pilgrimage that matters, that act of setting out on a journey to find and discover God in our hearts in a new way.
Already I see that some of the tour companies are in very quickly to promote their trips for next year. Now we will see all the other tour companies stepping in to include Medjugorje on their itineraries, especially the tour operators that already have strong links dioceses and organising ‘official’ pilgrimages. Now watch the cost of travel to Medjugorje start rising.
Medjugorje was always pitched at a lower price than travelling to Fatima or Lourdes ever was. I don’t feel that will be the case any more.
Some of the tour companies will now start investing in property, especially hotel accommodation, to ensure that they can maximise on packages. I know of two that already do this. And then there are our friends from Italy. They won’t be slow on seizing on business opportunities. Even now there is the impression that Medjugorje is owned by Italian interests. That’s why the visionaries were so active in promoting the phenomenon in Italy until the Vatican clamped down.
Hope I don’t sound too cynical about this, but I am very pleased that pilgrimages at diocesan level are to be legitimised. Many souls will benefit... many pockets, too.
I can’t see myself ever returning there. I made around 35 visits over the years but haven’t been back these past five years, but I would encourage anyone to go and avail of the special graces there. They are life-changing.