Monday, December 8, 2014

Our Lady's Square (Gospin Trg): A Time Of Divine Intimacy

A photo of me in prayer at Gospin Trg
Our Lady's Square (Gospin Trg) and Me at the far left in prayer to Our Lady during my pilgrimage this past summer

Today's post continues with my series of posts on Medjugorje and the wonderful prayer locations throughout. With today being the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, it seemed only fitting to publish today's post in honour of Our Lady. I have done so in particular for those individuals who are new to Medjugorje. Whether you are on route, scheduled to go or in the process of planning a pilgrimage, I hope today's post will add to your pilgrimage experience.

The specific prayer location that I refer to today is Our Lady's Square (Gospin Trg) in the front area of Saint James Church. Saint James Church is the only church in Medjugorje and is considered to be the central area of Medjugorje.

At Our Lady's Square, you find a beautiful white statue of Our Lady, several planters and water fountains. It is one of four well known and frequently visited statues of Our Lady in Medjugorje. Of the other three statues, one is located on Apparition Hill (Brdo Ukazanja) and the other two are at the Blue Crosses. 

Orientation programs typically include a visit to the front area of Saint James Church, where the beauty and peace of Our Lady's statue is sure to catch anyone's attention. Some pilgrims visit Our Lady's statue as a matter of personal discovery. No matter how pilgrims are introduced to Our Lady's statue, one thing is for certain, all who spend time at this location will come to understand and experience that praying to Our Lady will be a time of divine intimacy.

In addition to the draw of divine intimacy, the central location of Our Lady's Square  grants pilgrims an opportunity to pray to Our Lady in a very convenient manner. Unlike the major prayer sites of Cross Mountain (Križevac), Apparition Hill and the Blue Crosses, Our Lady's Square is located near many restaurants, shops, hotels and pensions. The close proximity affords pilgrims the opportunity to consider a visit to Our Lady's statue at any time of the day or night. For some it is simply a matter of walking across the street, others a brief walk from their pension.

The convenience of this location really becomes apparent when pilgrims are inspired to pray to Our Lady unexpectedly. Some in response to inspiration, may climb up Apparition Hill or the Blue Crosses, while others may not be so inclined to do so. For those that are not, yet still seek divine intimacy with Our Lady, a quick and comfortable walk to Our Lady's Square will satisfy that desire. Upon arrival, pilgrims can quickly collect themselves, enter into Our Lady's presence and segue into prayer.

A photo of the white statue of Our Lady at Gospin Trg, St. James Church
Our Lady's Square in July 2014

Availability to pray to Our Lady at this location is twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. At night the light posts automatically come on and illuminate the entire square where many typically gather for personal prayer. Some pilgrims make it a part of their personal prayer program to attend this location every night, when it typically is less occupied.

If you plan to make a pilgrimage to Medjugorje in the summer months, do keep in mind that even during the late evening, there are many pilgrims at this location. It would not be unusual to visit Our Lady's Square in the late hours of the night and find pilgrims in prayer. It truly is a special location that can only be completely understood by experiencing it.

As to what your prayer program may include at Our Lady's Square, this is a matter of personal preference. If I may suggest, you may want to consider reciting part of your Rosary and include mediations such as Father Slavko Barbarić's book, In The School Of Love, which is available at the Franciscan Book Store next to the Information Center and Pošta (Post Office). Perhaps you prefer to simply speak to Our Blessed Mother informally in your own words as a continued expression of your love. Perhaps you will do all or any combination of the above. What ever you decide to do, it will be time well spent.

May Our Lady clear the way for your pilgrimage to Medjugorje, guide and inspire you while you are there and grant you an abundance of graces. 

Our Lady Queen of Peace, pray for us.

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