NOVEMBER 1991 - All Saints -
: Echo of Medj., Casella Post.149, 46100 Mantova, Italy
- Bank: Banca Agricola Mantova Ag.4, Italy - Acc.no. 26641-1
"My soul is sorrowful to the point of death. Wait here and keep
awake with me. Pray, not to be put to the test." (Mt 26)
Here is Our Lady’s message of the 25th October 1991:
”Dear children, pray, pray, pray.”
BY NOW ALL WE CAN DO IS PRAY
The Queen of Peace has been coming for more than 10 years to
offer us the divine Grace of conversion and peace. One cannot
receive this Grace unless our prayers are united to Hers. Therefore,
Her first word is also Her last word: pray.
By now everything has been said. The only thing left that we
must do is pray. The events have evolved to a point where there is
no more need to sit back and watch and ask oneself if the
apparitions of the Virgin at Medjugorje are real or not, if Her
messages come from Heaven or not, if She will give a sign from
Heaven or not.
Heaven has spoken, and is now waiting for a reply - and after
speaking to us, God will respond only to those that know Him and
respond to Him. God, in fact, ”let’s himself be found by those who
do not put him to the test, he shows himself to those who do not
distrust him.” (Ws 1.2) ”John the Baptist came among you, why
did you not believe him?” They did not believe him because they
did not want to turn away from their sins. If we do not believe in
what comes from Heaven, it is because we are bent over ourselves
and the things of the earth. If we are willing to respond to God, the
truth and the authority of His Word will become clear to us.
Pray, pray, pray; in other words, dedicate yourselves entirely
to prayer because the world’s peace and the salvation of mankind is
at stake - and not just of Yugoslavia, but of every one of us. The
evil that wants to invade us and sweep us all away, can only be
defeated with prayer and love. Pray, pray, pray means: you
men have no chance of winning, of creating peace; God alone can
intervene - He alone is our hope and our salvation: therefore pray
with me. Fr. R.
"I asked Marija if Our Lady had not said Her usual thanks at the
end of the message, but the reply was negative. The situation seen
from here tells me that this is a very important message... Organize
yourselves in your families, in your prayer groups - for adoration,
fasts, renunciations of whatever you prefer. This is not just a war
that is destroying Croatia, but of many things that are destroying
life. Praying together prepares the peace.
What we are going through is not war, some say - another word
needs to be found to describe it. Without a doubt we can say that it
is a manifestation of Satan’s disgraceful face. But we want to
believe that all of this is part of the Lord’s plan, not because He
wants these destructions, but because He knows how to turn
everything into our advantage. ”Everything turns into good for
those who love God.” Our Lady is asking for our prayers, to be
able to triumph in this world of sin," (Fr. Slavko)
Before the situation of the present world that continues to
deteriorate, where the order of things wanted by God is overthrown
more and more, we cannot do any other thing but pray to the Lord
of all things. With a world where disgregation and moral and social
catastrophe seems to reign, a world that takes us further and further
away from the hope and the grace of God, what else can we do, if
not pray? What is there left to do, if not appeal to the Father’s
omnipotent Love and to the solicitous presence of the Mediator of
It is because ”the fight is not against human forces, but against
diabolic forces,” that God alone can bridle and overthrow their
plans, like He did with Communism in Europe - He ”thwarts the
plans of nations, frustrates the intentions of peoples; but the Lord’s
plans hold good for ever.” (Ps 33) We do not doubt that He will do
so also for Yugoslavia, where only God is able to stop a war that is
being fought by Satan and his accomplices with such blind ferocity,
to overthrow in an instant the plans of he who thinks to have won
already. ”It is best to take refuge in the Lord than rely on men; it is
best to take refuge in the Lord than rely on princes.” (Ps 118) That
is what Our Lady is also teaching us today, through saying: pray.
ANOTHER LOOK AT THE LAST MESSAGE
”I invite all of you in a special way to prayer and renunciation,
because now, like never before, Satan wants to show his disgraceful
face to the world and through it, sweep as many people as possible
onto the path of death and sin... I am asking all of you to offer up
prayers and sacrifices for my intentions... Forget your desires and
pray for what God wants, not for what you want.” (25 Sept. 1991)
”This is the hour of darkness”
keep Jesus company in Gethsemane
It depends on our prayers and renunciations if Mary's
Immaculate Heart will triumph and not that disgraceful face.
We must forget ourselves and unite ourselves to the Prayers of
In the light of Our Lady’s latest messages, it is clear that we are
living a moment in history that we could call a state of emergency.
Just like Jesus in Gethsemane urged His disciples to stay awake and
pray like never before, the Grace that Our Lady is giving us, is to
make us aware that this is a period of darkness and She is urging us
not to become sluggish or weighed down, because this is a moment
of war where we are asked to fight on two fronts: one is within,
where we have to fight against our sins, our pride and egoism. The
outer one is a fight against a world that is hostile to God where
Satan is very active.
It is a fight where our salvation is at stake, both our personal
salvation and that of all men. Our weapon is prayer, a strong prayer,
said both personally and in community, because ”where there are
two or more people reunited in my name, there I will be too.” Jesus
was tempted in the desert by the devil who, ”...left him, to return at
the appointed time,” (Lk 4.13) and Mary is inviting us to pray and
fast like when She first came. This is in harmony with Jesus’ life -
a continuous battle with the devil and especially at the beginning
and the end of His public life.
How did Jesus affront these two moments? With prayer and
renunciation. Jesus prayed, he fed on the Word of God, His life was
completely turned towards God, He left behind Him every other
activity. He knew that Satan was superior to the human forces and
that He could defeat him only if united with God. I find it difficult
not to compare what happened in the first months of Medjugorje
(with the soldiers surrounding the area) with what is happening
now. Then too, Mary invited everyone to have faith, to pray and
fast, and everything ended up in the best of manners.
Perhaps this is Satan’s appointed time, and thus Our Lady is
urging us to more intense prayer, to offer up sacrifices, to renounce
our desires and ambitions (as good as they may be, they would
weigh us down and would not permit us to be decisively turned to
God). It all costs, but as soldiers of Our Lady, it is our duty to obey,
and not to desert from this spiritual battle. Our most important
weapon is the Rosary, but every other prayer said with the heart is
good, especially if accompanied by sacrifice.
Let’s keep our eyes on Jesus in Gethsemane then, Who begs and
urges His disciples to stay awake and pray with Him and keep those
words live in our hearts, they were said for us too. Let us respond
with generosity, and remain united in a strong and persevering
prayer. A prospect that will not always be easy, but we cannot
betray such a Wonderful Mother like Mary Who loves us so dearly
and Who has done so much for each one of us in these last ten
years! (Paolo )
Inexorable punishment for those who refuse
God’s continuous calls - the Bible tells
”...Dear children, I would like you to understand how serious
the situation is...” You see, we tend to turn a deaf ear to certain
things, when things become habitual. We are used to hearing that the
situation is grave, (...) to hearing that there are so many nuclear
weapons that they could destroy all humanity one hundred times (we
know that the Russians who had seized the government earlier this
year had managed to get their hands on the box that commands the
nuclear weapons). But we’ve heard it all so many times, it doesn’t
scare us anymore. At a certain point, the seriousness of a situation ends
up being something that just doesn’t move us anymore. Why? Well,
as one would say, we’ve heard that one already!
Beware but, because the Lord has always used the same method:
He calls, and calls, at times He threatens, He calls and threatens - I’m
referring to biblical times which is a model for the whole of history.
So many times He called and threatend Israel: ”Turn away from sin,
turn back to God..” (”The Lord tirelessly sent them messenger after
messenger, since he wished to spare his people and his house. But
ridiculed the messengers of God, they despised his words, they
laughed at his prophets, until at last the wrath of the Lord rose so
high against his people that there was no further remedy.” (2 Ch
36) Take the first exile - all slaves and all deported, except for a
small group who were allowed to remain. The king did not want to
listen to the prophet Jeremiah when he said: ”Do this and your life
and the lives of your family will be saved.” The sons of the king
were all brought before him and killed while he watched, then the
king’s eyes were burnt out and, blind, he was taken prisoner, and
as a war trophy, made to live like a dog under the table of the
The Lord calls, and calls... There are other examples from the
Bible that can help us understand: like Sodom and Gomorrah. How
many times did the Lord send warnings, before fire from heaven
destroyed them? And what about Noah - how many warnings! Just
think how long it took Noah to build the ark, and in the meantime he
called his fellow citizens to God’s ways. But they didn’t listen, they
didn’t care, they had heard him so many times, that they were used to
it. But then the flood came. Things went better for Jonah, who had to
call back the city of Nineveh: ”40 more days and this city will be
destroyed.” They believed him and they turned back to God. They
reasoned: ”The Lord has said that he will destroy us, but if we turn
away from our sins, it might be that he won’t punish us anymore,
because he is a good God, a merciful God.” They did sincere penance,
and the Lord did not punish them.
In the light of these episodes, you can now understand what the
following means: ”..and much of what will happen depends on
your prayers..” How many times did God’s people, the Isrealites,
rebel during the 40 years in the desert and God wanted to destroy
them? Moses interceded and God did not send the promised
punishment; He let Himself be appeased by prayers. Right from the
start Our Lady at Medj. said: ”Even wars can be stopped with prayer.”
And I tell you that the second world war could have been avoided.
Fatima speaks clearly. It was 1917, and the first world war was about
to end, Our Lady said: ”Soon this war will end, but if men do not
convert, if men do not turn back to God, then under the pontificate of
Pius XI, there will be the first signs of another, even more terrible,
war.” If... if... if... The words of Our Lady were not observed, and the
consequences were inevitable. Look then, how these words have a
literal sense: ”... and much of what will happen depends on your
prayers...” I can change the course of history. At present I’m reading
with great interest the story of a Portughese girl called Alexandra
Maria La Costa. She died in 1955, at the age of 30. She was an
invalid, and for 13 years she lived on the Eucharist alone. She lived
the Passion. She was stigmatic. Just think of this young lady,
immobile in her bed - the Lord used her to push Pius XII into
consecrating the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1942. It
was this girl that obtained the grace of Portugal not entering the war.
See the power of prayer! For just one person alone. But what
enormous sacrifices she did!
”...Much of what will happen depends on your prayers... and your
renunciations...” I would be happy if each one of us could go home
tonight and keep just this phrase in our minds.
Our Lady at Medj. has explained many types of fasts to us; not just
on bread and water, but also from idle talk, from the TV, from
cigarettes, from many types of literature and shows, from many
obscene things.. So time to pray can be found, and how! (...)
(Fr. Gabriel Amorth to the ”Regina Pacis” prayer group in Rome)
”The situation is very serious,” She says, but it is thanks to the
Blessed Mother that the sin that dominates this world will be
overthrown, through a sensational intervention of God, to rouse the
men from His right, and to foil Satan’s plans of sin and death.
That is why we are asked to ”forget our needs and personal
problems” which are very secondary to His plans: our Blessed
Mother will take care of those. We are too busy worrying about our
minor problems to know what we really need, but the Spirit knows
and comes to our aid and ”expresses our plea in a way that could
never be put into words...” (Rm 8) ”...when you pray and you do not
get it, it is because you have not prayed properly, you have prayed for
something to indulge your own desires.” (Jm 4.3) Now, like never
before, we must ask the Spirit to help us forget ourselves and our
designs, even those seemly good, and unite ourselves to the Blessed
Virgin to obtain that which God wants, which alone is important.
wanted it - God sent us His Mother; and remember that God does not
owe us anything, nothing at all, and least of all this gift.
Our Lady came as an unexpected and free gift, donated to us
by God, Who does not stop before our debates.
It is on this level that the interior conversion must come about, little
by little. The man of today thinks that he is the master of every- thing
and everyone, and would like the others to bow down to him, full of
respect. No-one owes us anything, not even our existence! Our life is
a continuous miracle, it is the manifestation of someone’s desire for us
to exist, who keeps us on our feet. God does not owe us anything, and
least of all that Our Lady should descend from heaven. It is purely a
grace! This year has been a continuous, incredible overabundance of
grace showering from heaven, called Our Lady. The world has never
taught anything in the light of gratuitousness. Never! In front of the
Eucharist, however, recovery is total - one gets to the core of the
problem: I am His; before God I am forced to be real and sincere.
Sincerity takes one to saying thank you Lord! ...
From the gratuitousness of God, man’s gratitude is born. Out of
this field, we cannot understand Our Lady’s projects. Infinite debates
are held, like in these last 10 years: why does She appear? Why every
day? ... Memory, gratuitousness, sincerity, all together, open the way
to a new way of listening, to a real comprehension of Our Lady’s
projects; which doesn’t mean understanding totally, just that we are
open to entering a new level.
The history of these years tell us three simple things: 1. Our Lady
appears, She continues to appear, despite the debates held by the
theologians, etc. 2. She is not static, She reveals things, She makes
Her desires be known. 3. She reaches us, She lets us be involved. She
goes right to people’s hearts, without us knowing it. In a way that is
unexpected, humanly incomprehensible, She reaches you - because
She is the bride of the Holy Spirit, and like the Pope says, the Spirit
finds ways that men could not even suspect. And this is one of the
ways found by Him, in His marvellous imagination.
But we are on a superior level, because everything is dictated by the
Holy Spirit, and not from the minds of men who want to decide what
Our Lady should or should not do and even say. These times belong
to the Holy Spirit and to Our Lady. Our Lady was with the Apostles
during Pentecost; the Holy Spirit descended upon them, and the
Church began from there. Why are we surprised that Our Lady is with
us again? Let’s not get into a flutter, because if the Holy Spirit and
Our Lady want to do something, They will not be stopped by people
who think differently. They have a project and They are carrying it
out... like Jesus in Gethsemane, left alone and even betrayed, but He
did not give in. Also in these times, Our Lady will not stop before our
The apparitions are not just a fact, they are also an event, in
other words, a fact with great consequences - like conversions,
forgiveness of the past, real joy, fullness, regaining of the sense of life,
blessings, providential encounters, healings from physical and spiritual
illnesses, miracles, portents, (the votive offerings in the sanctuaries are
reminders of the miraculous interventions by Our Lady, and for this
reason it is good that they stay in the sanctuaries).
The Apparitions then are a grace, they are an event. When Our
Lady appears, She does not remain silent, but She speaks, She
communicates with people. She has the right to do so, because She is
the Mother of God and of the Church, the Mother of Christians, She is
the Queen of the angels, of the prophets ... If She appears, then it is
because She has the right to do so, She has the right to reach Her
children, to wake them that they may receive the truth, to tell them that
they are sons of God. She does not deceive.
With this in mind we must be very careful not to fall into two
terribly negative and widely spread errors: 1. Continue to
interrogate Mary and pretend that She has to answer. Our Lady is not
your everyday person. When we approach the Mystery, we have to
remember that it is a mystery - Moses removed his sandals from his
feet. We should all see how our Polish brothers approach Our Lady of
Czestochowa to understand that approaching Our Lady and Our Lord
is a serious matter. (In the same way, it is a waste of time telling
children that Jesus is a friend if we don’t know how to tell them that
He is the Son of God.) Thus, do not pretend that Our Lady should
answer us. A first condition in understanding Mary’s plans, therefore,
is to remain silent and listen to what She has to tell us. Be silent and
listen - that goes for all of us, including theologians.
2. To understand Her plans we cannot compare Our Lady to any
other person, no matter how good, and not even to the saints, because
She is the Queen of the Saints. What She says is unique. To think
that what the parish does or what a certain movement within the
Church does is better than what She says or does, is an objective,
theological, pastoral error. What Our Lady does cannot be compared
to what any other pastor is able to do. The respect that Our Lady
shows all of us (and including the Pope, the Bishops and the priests)
should be a lesson for us all, even though She most humbly says: it
would best if you do as I say. After two years of Our Lady’s
apparitions, the Bishop of Split said how Our Lady had done more in
Bosnia and Herzegovina in those two years, than all the bishops put
together in 40 years.
MARY’S PLAN FOR US AND THE WORLD
(...) We always think that we can do everything by ourselves... We
don’t think that we exist solely because God wants us to exist... He is
present in the Eucharist and nobody can do what the Eucharist can
do... The importance and the value then, of everything that God did
for you, day after day, in the most astonishing of ways, becomes
One would have to be blind then not to see that one of the greatest
gifts that God has given us is the presence of Our Lady. People say:
but Our Lady was already part of our faith, why is She appearing
now? If Our Lady was already a part of our faith, why then did you
not know Her? This wonderful gift called Medj. exists because God
She has come to teach the Church of today to live the Gospel that
we may be converted and not damned
Once these two errors have been eliminated, we can humbly say
that Our Lady appears because She loves Her Son and She loves all
mankind. She wants us to see and remember what He did for us - i.e.
He saved us, He showed us the path to salvation. That is why She
repeats many times: I want you in heaven, I want you all to be saints,
etc. Our Lady wants to show us the Gospel in its depth and its
entirety, not the latest thoughts of the theologians or of any other
person. She is not here to tell us things that fall into our habitual
schemes, that even the Church may get caught up in. She is not here
to tell us about our opinions on the Gospel - She is here to tell us
about the Gospel.
In France I heard people saying that Our Lady does not say
anything new, that what She says is all in the Gospel. Certainly, but
because no-one lives the Gospel anymore. Our Lady does not limit
Herself to telling us about the Gospel, She makes us live the Gospel.
Our Lady started with the people in Medjugorje, with a group of
young people from a normal parish and started making them live the
Gospel. That is why Medjugorje has become a ”spectacle” for the
world and the angels. She did not come then, to tell us about the
Gospel, but to make us live it.
The Gospel is full of one particular element - conversion: ”Turn
away from your sins and believe the Good News.” (Mk 1.15)
Conversion, however, demands certain conditions. First of all, it is
God that concedes it, because it is His gift. Secondly, He lays down
the law. If He concedes you the gift of conversion, then your degree of
conversion depends on the respect that you will have for He Who has
reached out His arms to you, and on your acceptance of what He will
propose to you. Our Lady has come to propose the Gospel to us in a
practical manner, starting from the beginning, since we had forgotten
what conditions were necessary and indispensable for conversion.
Why has She been appearing for 10 years? We have no right to
know this answer, but just think of the incredible patience needed in
teaching us all those things that we had forgotten, those things that
are heard no longer in the Churches, those things that are called the
alphabet and education of the Gospel. Our Lady started right from the
beginning, not even first class, but pre-school. She did not come
down from heaven for the sake of a few willing people, but to tell all
humanity that it must convert. It is more than a century, however, that
She has been saying the same things, and so the danger must be
imminent: the danger of us being damned - because in the
Gospel it is called damnation.
Jesus often speaks about the devil, and therefore it is a waste of time
being scandalized by Our Lady coming here to say the devil exists.
Jesus has always said that he exists. And it is time that we started
hearing it again from the pulpits of the churches. Satan exists, but for
20 years nobody has been talking about his existence anymore, and the
terrible consequences are visible for all to see.
Our Lady, as Queen of the Earth and Heaven, wants us to see Her
coming as a great hope for all - for the Church, for the non-believers,
for those who believe in something, for the desperate, the sick, the lost
and for whoever you wish. We are invited then to look beyond the
lines, and see that something very big is happening in our lives,
something much bigger than our fragile existences.
(Niki - reflections - to be continued)
EVANGELICAL NON-RESISTANCE - UTOPIA?
”Offer no resistance to your adversaries;
Love your enemies.”
Some people just lately, who bear a certain authority, have been
heard justifying the use of weapons for legitimate defence, but we
would like to raise the other side of the question. Jesus talks about
being violent with oneselves, but to agree with our adversaries, to
offer the other cheek to those who hit us. God forbid that we dare
judge our brothers who have had to undergo the most horrid forms of
aggression, and who we fully sympathise with. But let us try and see
what would have happened had their defence been evangelical love
instead of weapons - and without wanting to blame the heads of state
or those peoples who have not been able to do such a thing - afterall,
have we been able to offer the other cheek?
There is no form of aggression that must be stopped at all costs
with the use of weapons. With regards to the Gulf war, Card.
Ratzinger asked himself if opposing the unjust adversary would not
cause more damage even when one is in the right, given the deadliness
of modern weapons and the chain of negative reactions that a war
would cause. These days, the war is ”an adventure with no return.”
(John Paul II) It is an endless evil and that is why the Church invoked:
”A peste, fame et bello libera nos, Domine.” (Oh Lord, free us from
the plague, hunger and war.)
The Pope could see right when he repeatedly and totally
condemned the war. A month ago, the Pope once again declared that
it is a nation's right to desire freedom and selfgovernment, and then to
the President of Croatia (a nation that has been unjustly attacked) he
said, ”First of all, silence the weapons,” alluring perhaps to the siege
on the Federal barracks which became easy pretence for the Federal
Army to legitimize and increase their aggressiveness on the front.
The evangelical reply (show the other cheek to those who hit you)
seems insane - or is it the contrary that is more insane?
But one would say: what would the people in charge of defending a
nation do? Now, from a human side of view, let’s take a look at what
the (though heroic) Croatian defence has brought upon the nation:
cities destroyed, villages razed to the ground, places of worship
destroyed, intensification of hate, endless mourning, destruction of
essential means such as industries, transport services, communications
- an economy gone to ruin.
It is now clear that the territories invaded by the Serbians were
destroyed to completely uproot the Croatian culture and civilization, to
make room for their own settlements. The Croatian defence, however,
favoured this situation. On the other hand, if the Serbian invasion had
been a rapid, unresisted one, there would have been none, or very little
loss in lives and property and it couldn’t have justified or determined
the terrible ruins of war that were intensified by the vindictive fury of
the invaders who saw themselves being opposed. We can imagine
(unfortunately, not see) what would have happened if the age-old
questions and concern for power had been placed aside, and the
Croatian Christians had used a new spirit to make peace with the
invading enemies (cetnic groups and minority Serbians) by offering no
resistance, but by ”offering them even food and drink, and thus
placing the hot coals of Christian love on their heads!” How much
ruin would have been spared! The devil was sly in fanning the flame,
more than the children of the Light in putting it out...
Had it been a question of territorial integrity, political solutions
(perhaps warless solutions) would have defended the country better,
and perhaps earlier; thus leaving the country unharmed. We must turn
that old pagan saying - ”if you want peace, prepare for war (with
your enemies)” into ”if you want peace, love (your enemies).”
Oh, if only the pastors had welcomed the Queen of Peace, and if
only the peoples had placidly let themselves be educated by the Holy
Spirit, we would not be talking about weapons today, but of love, and
the peace would have won there where the war is now winning.
”Surrender yourselves totally to God” and pursue love on all
levels: this is the solution contained in the messages of Our Lady,
which is the same as the message contained in the Gospel: ”love your
enemies, be good and do good towards those who hate you.”
Come, my land is also your land! Our real citizenship is that
of heaven. The wolf will graze with the lamb.
We find the same solutions announced in the Gospel. It is not
possible for a man that has been converted to see any other way. And
the world too will see that this is so. The time of peace, described in
Isaiah 11, is already here - where the age-old enemies (the wolf and
the lamb, the panther and the kid, the calf and the lion cub) will graze
together; and all humanity, become like a child, will play over the
cobra’s hole, by now harmless. It is not possible that the words of
God remain utopian, like it was not utopia during the encounter
between St. Francis and the wolf at Gubbio.
In front of the new heavens and the new earth promised by the
Lord, where justice will reign right from down here, the idea of
possessing land (granted by God as extra) becomes secondary. The
idea of ”homeland” also becomes secondary, because our real
homeland is in heaven, where there is a one and only Father, a one and
only Saviour. Jesus cried over his homeland ”that killed the prophets
and stoned God’s chosen ones,” but His Father's Will came first.
Nationalism - enemy to peace. ”The gods of nationalism have
often replaced the real God. Everyone seems to forget that nations or
peoples do not enter heaven, but singular people, one by one.
Nationalism is a new religion. And just like the others, it has its
symbols, its liturgies - coats of arms, ensigns, anthems. The blood
and the land become absolute. What’s happening in my land is really
terrifying.” (Ivica Mastruko, Yugoslav ambassador in the Vatican -
from Il Sabato, 7 Sept. 1991)
The worse things get, the more we realize how impossible it is to
live on this earth without God. A friend told me: ”Times were never
so bad, but never were they so wonderful, because it has never been so
clear that man cannot live without God.” A great purification will be
needed, but this too will be works of the Father, and therefore it will
be good just like all creation. God will manifest His Mercy when man
will recognize his sin and the abyss of evil that he has fallen into
caused by abandoning the Font of live water.
The Heart of Mary is a tangible sign of God’s Love for us, and
even if at the moment it emphasises the negativity of those who
oppose It, It will be a like a door wide open for all after the great
purification, because Jesus came to save that which was lost. This
wonderful reconcilement - peace between the peoples and individuals
- will be works of God, not of man: ”this is what the zeal of the Lord
of the ranks will do.” Fr. A.
therefore we hope in a period of peace. What need is there of your
A. OK, Russia of course will be converted, but we cannot look at
the other people! Our situation too is very serious, and we always
want to blame someone for not being a good guide and not being
able to guarantee our peace. I am not interested in who commands. I
pray for all. God knows when we will have this peace, and let us
not talk too much, but pray and help Our Lady...
Q. God knows when this peace will come...
A. God knows, and our secrets will take place, when Our Lady
Q. ...But if Russia is converting and we will have a period of
peace, so much for the secrets of Medjugorje(!), but you still have
A. Let’s wait, let’s wait a bit more.
Q. Are the secrets a little frightening?
A. No, not for me. For those who pray, there is no need to be
afraid. You see, when the war came to our country, everyone was
worried and everyone said: ”Look, the war is coming here too.” I
say many times, ”Don’t talk like that. The war is in the hands of
God! Don’t let us stay here and talk about how close the war is and
that maybe tomorrow it will be here too, and thus pray with this fear
in our hearts, because the fear stays for ever. Let’s be calm and this
is also something sent by God to test our faith, our peace. We end
up believing more in the fear than in God. For us, sons of God,
there should be no fear. If there is fear, then there is something
wrong inside of us. (...)
* On the 2nd October Mirjana saw Our Lady looking very
sad, and she received a message: ”Dear children, now more than
ever, I need your help! I would like you to pray for your brothers
that have not yet known the love of God. Pray for them, pray with
all your heart. I would like them to see the dear Father in all your
works. Help them and expect your Father to help you the way you
help the others. Do not be impassive to my call for prayer. Help
your Mother! I thank you!”
(Our thanks to Alberto
* What Cardinal Ratzinger said: The Italian paper il Sabato
(14 Sept. issue) reported on the private meeting between Fr. Slavko
and Card. Ratzinger in Austria just recently. ”The prefect of the
Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith has apparently confirmed
that the Church will not suffocate anything that bears good fruit,
that the supernatural character of the apparitons at Medjugorje
cannot as yet be officially recognized, but neither can they be
MEDJUGORJE - AMIDST THE PEOPLES AT WAR
A chain of prayers unites pilgrims all over the world
FR. JOZO: The Cross of the Croatian Church is a grace for all.
The misfortunes of a nation creates unity of prayer for the whole
That’s what Fr. Jozo said on Radio Maria (Como, Italy) on the 25th
October. ”Thank you for all your prayers during these months of
trial, sufferance and persecution... You really do ”sympathise with the
Church” and the Queen of Peace has brought you to knowing the
people chosen by Her for a great mission...
Communism, which has melted like ice before the sun in Europe
and Asia, is very strongly rooted in our country and the army supports
this power and is decisive in wanting to destroy people’s freedom, the
democracy and other peoples and towns. Their weapons are modern
weapons and we have seen them destroy or damage 207 churches: they
come with their tanks in front of churches or convents and they do not
go away until they have seen that everything has fallen...
Our soul cries.. our people pray and fast day and night, like Our
Lady asked. All over the world prayer groups have started up -
thousands of peace centres and prayer groups have told me how they
have organized their meetings, some have organized non-stop
adoration until peace returns to our country. We have felt the love that
Our Lady has lit up in the hearts of the millions of pilgrims that have
been here. Some still come, with flights that pass through Belgrade -
from the USA and Canada. Yesterday we prayed together with 180 of
them in the sanctuary of Siroki Brieg. In this sanctuary 70 priests were
killed on the 7th Feb. 1945, and the same is happening to the Churches
today who are being struck by the same army..
I thank all you Italians, because you have not stopped praying - I
thank you on behalf of all those poor people left without a house,
without family, without sons, and on behalf of all those who are
persecuted. You have helped these needy brothers through your
collections of medicines, food, etc. Do not fear, for through our
sufferance, Our Lady will show a great sign. Our Lady saw how
salvation was born through Christ’s destroyed Heart. When the Body
of Christ is dead, salvation is born. Our Cross is not senseless
sufferance, but it is a grace for all. Do not cry, don’t think: why has
the Lord permitted this? It is for us and for our salvation. Be brave
and continue to follow Our Lady’s messages. Our Rosary is a sign, a
symbol of the victory of Mary’s Immaculate Heart. Pray and offer
your fasts for the conversion of the whole Church and you will see the
VICKA: Peace that disarms ” Our secrets will arrive”
Fr. Livio of Radio Maria in Italy interviewed Vicka on the 2nd
September, at the end of the Novena of renunciation which was
asked for by Our Lady on the 25th August. The following is an
extract of that interview.
Peace is a gift for those who pray and have clean hearts. It is
the same thing for real joy, which is a taste of Heaven. (...) ”Our
Lady says many times that we must pray for the world’s peace, but
if we do not have peace in our hearts, then our prayer cannot be
Q. Well, if so many people are troubled, how can one have peace
in one’s heart?
A. We all have something in our hearts that disturbs us in one
way or another. We must pray with a great will and say: Jesus I
love you and I want You to take all of this away from my heart. I
cannot say that I want peace in my heart, but then do nothing for it
to come. That way you will never have it. There is no need to pray
for this gift, but when you really desire praying, this gift comes by
Q. On the first anniversary, someone asked what gift you would
have given to Our Lady, and you replied: ”I’m taking Her a clean
heart.” What relation is there between peace and a clean heart?
A. They are both alike - when you have a clean heart, you also
have peace in your heart.
Q. Our Lady talked about Her: ”plans for peace and joy, that
Satan wants to destroy” (25 August). Tell us something about joy.
A. No, it is not possible to describe this word - one must live
this word called joy, Our Lady says. She did not say: ”Pray for this
joy,” without reason. Joy is an immense gift, like our faith, like
peace - see, we can live this joy in our hearts. Joy isn’t only outside
our hearts, like joking about things like we were doing now, but
which cannot be felt in our hearts. This joy that we feel outside is
not important. It is much nicer if we feel joy in our hearts, because
this is real joy that never passes, it grows day by day, and then it
comes out (for the others to see).
Q. You have this joy, it seems to me.
A. Yes, certainly.
Q. Why do you have this joy?
A. I have never prayed or asked God to give me this joy because
He and Our Lady do not say: ”Pray to have this joy.” I did not ask
Our Lady: ”Give me this joy because I am Vicka.” No, not like
that. Our Lady gave me a possibility: She said to search for God,
and then I would find this joy...
Q. In a message, Our Lady said that there is joy in Heaven. What
difference is there between the joy of this earth and the joy of
A. Our Lady says that we can start living Heaven right here now
on this earth. For me there is no difference between here and there
(see message of 25 May).
Q. Heaven starts here on this earth...
A. It starts here on earth, and then it justs continues.
Even sicknesses are gifts of God - I am ready to die, now (if
God wants). Q. Listen, we all know that you have been sick of
A. Now I am well.
Q. It must have been an important trial period for you! Why do
you think God sends you so many trials?
A. I have never asked why. I always say ’welcome’ to these
sicknesses. He knows why. I try to accept them with love and that
keeps me happy. It makes me laugh when I here someone say that
they are waiting for a cross, a sickness - I always put God’s will
before everything, and my will after, do you understand? That way,
whether God sends me something good or not so good, it’s all the
same for me and things don’t become a problem. I always say:
”God, I thank you for this gift; have You anything else to give me?
I am always ready to take whatever You want, with Your help..”
Q. I’ve heard say that you would be happy even if it meant
packing your bags and going to Heaven right now. But are you
really so indifferent about this?
A. There is no difference for me. If God calls me and says:
”Vicka, it’s time to go,” then I go, I am ready.
Q. Even if you are so young?
A. No, no, for God there is no young or old. (...)
Do not blame the Communists, do not be afraid of the war.
Q. We have just seen the biggest Communist party in the world
die of a heart attack in just a few days! Is there some sort of
connection between the coming of the Queen of Peace and the
conversion of Russia?
A. No, we cannot think certain things because someone dies of a
heart attack, or whatever. Let’s leave that to God and Our Lady. She
is the Queen of Peace. She loves all Her children, She loves even
those who had the attack... just that he was a long way from Our
Lady and Jesus, but it is not for us to think bad of people.
Q. But there is a connection between Medjugorje and Fatima -
that’s for sure, because Our Lady said it in the last message. Our
Lady of Fatima said: ”Russia will convert and there will be a
period of peace.” We can see now that Russia is converting,
effects that these wounds will have on the world, as they will heal and
purify everyone. The Queen of Peace opens Her arms and blesses all
those who listen with an open heart.
Msgr. Franic’: ”This is not war, but a massacre. They want to
put an end to the Catholic Church. Danger for Europe too.”
The Archbishop Emeritus of Split was interviewed by Alberto
Bonifacio over the telephone. Among other things, the Archbishop
said: ”The war here is a terrible one, more grave than the II World
War which was atrocious here in our parts. Then there were Germans,
Fascists and Communists that were fighting one another; but now the
aged, the children and the women are being massacred. They want to
destroy cities and towns. People that are not Serbians have to run away
from their own land, they leave behind everything for fear of being
killed. They want to make the great Serbia!
70 churches have been completely destroyed, and 130 damaged and
out of use. They say: that’s enough with the Catholic Church in the
Balkans! All the cultural centres and monuments that have anything to
do with the Catholic religion are also under target: no more
Catholicism! It’s like hell in Dubrovnik. All the villages in the east
have been completely destroyed. The people have run away - there’s
nobody left in those beautiful towns. The homes are looted and
everything is taken to Montenegro which wants to broaden its borders.
In these last days 150,000 refugees from the Dubrovnik area have left
for the northern coastal area. All the hotels are full; and the people
have no work. The cost of living is enormous..”
Upon being asked what he saw for the future, he replied: ”God has
permitted that our people be sacrificed as a warning for other peoples.
Part of the prophecy of Fatima was the possibility of a 3rd world war
if the peoples do not convert. Europe does not understand, it is letting
us die: we hope that they will recognize us as an independant state
now. Our army has no weapons, no planes, no navy. The soldiers are
real heroes, and they wear Rosary beads around their necks (20,000
have been recently offered to them - thanks to an initiative started up
by Fr. Lucas Cirimotic’ from Zagabria - Ed.’s note). It really is
wonderful to see how ready they are to sacrifice themselves!...
Satan mocks Our Lady and seems to say: You preached peace for
10 years, but see how the people want war! I am the master, not You. I
see an apocalyptic scene: the dragon wants to kill the child (the
Catholics) and make him disappear. Help us, and form the consciences
of the West, because danger exists for the whole of Europe! I don’t
want to prophesy misfortune. Our sacrifice will bring about salvation.
Let’s trust in Mary.”
FR. SLAVKO in Pompei: God uses this tormented people to
give us all a lesson, to make us turn back to Him.
On the 14th October in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Pompei a
prayer meeting was held for peace in Yugoslavia, with the presence of
Fr. Slavko (no-one knows how he managed to arrive in Italy). More
than 2,500 people arrived from all over to fill the temple. The
Archbishop of Pompei, Msgr. F. Saverio Toppi, celebrated Mass
together with more than 30 other concelebrants.
”There is no war here like in Croatia, but it could come... but it
must not come...” After having spoken about this stupid war that the
Communists are using to take revenge with the use of violence, Fr.
Slavko says: ”We know that wars can be won through prayer and
fasts, that is why we are here to pray.
I look at this destruction in our Catholic country with the eyes of
faith. The history of the elected people tells us that when the Lord
permits a serious trial, He does not do it to destroy His people, but to
educate them, correct them and even to use them as an example for
others.. I am surprised to see that even those who did not come to
church are now crying over the destruction of the churches. The Lord,
however, prefers to see the churches full of people praying, rather than
see them become empty monuments. This is an invitation to
conversion, to reconcilement with God and each other. Many times,
however, we are unable to see until we burn our own fingers. If God
chose our country, and if out of love Her permits this sufferance, then
it is not because we are better, or worse than the others. We are just an
example for the others, it’s like an invitation..
We are here to
pray, not just for peace in Yugoslavia, but to stop all wars, those that
depend on us: family conflicts, dishonesty, offensive behaviour - if
we are ready to stop these personal wars, no matter how small they
may be, then the Lord will be able to grant us peace also on higher
levels. Through doing this we will also be able to remove all those
things that destroy life, and that are also known here among your
people: drugs, abortion, violence, fighting. Only the Lord can give us
peace, and we are certain that He loves us as His children, and that He
wants to grant us what we ask for, as long as we open our hearts..”
Holy Mass followed the Rosary, then there was adoration of the
Blessed Sacrament, with everyone remaining in deep silence and inner
thought. The Bishop of Pompei blessed the ambulance that was
donated by the Neopolitan prayer groups to Fr. Slavko for the hospital
(Gennaro Caccavale, Nola)
"Just as a human body, though it is made up of many parts, is a single
unit because all these parts, though many, make one body, so it is with
THE POPE: a new appeal - ”The bloody war in Croatia and
the serious tensions in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Kosovo is a
call upon all Christians, who cannot withdraw themselves from the
duty of contributing, even actively, to finding solutions to this
crisis, thus alleviating the consequences. May God bless all those
who work for peace, and grant His consolation to the afflicted and
the exiled, the hundreds of thousands of refugees.”
An invitation to pray - The Pope to the mothers of the
Croatian soldiers who went to see him in Rome (to express their
grief and gratitude) on the 26th October: ”Let us pray with greater
insistence so that the Lord will move the hearts of those people who
are responsible for these catastrophes, that He may make them
attentive to the grieving cry of the many innocent victims. May He
help them understand how useless this war is and persuade them to
respect their commitment (undersigned more than once), to put a
stop to armed violence.”
A journalist in Medj, practically deserted - but with
bands of Serbians and Montenegrins close by
Vicka, the only visionary left: ”Our Lady has a worried look
and only says to pray for peace in our hearts, then there will be
peace in the world. It is already ten years now that She has been
inviting us to pray for peace.”
Vicka is doing the washing, but she leaves her job immediately
and comes, smiling - her wet hand stretched out to greet us. I see a
country girl, chubby, dressed in T-shirt and jeans, but with an
unforgettable smile and such immediate friendliness towards
strangers. ”Tell me what you want to know,” she says.
Vicka, 26 years old, is one of the visionaries of Medj. The one,
they say, that receives messages from Our Lady regarding the
future. I ask about the future of her country, at war. To get here I
had to take a back road, through the woods and the rocks, where
Croatian machine gunners are keeping watch. The main road goes
through Capljna and in Capljna there are hundreds of Serbian and
Monte- negrin ”reservists” sent by the Communist Army, and
who plunder the town, drink and threaten the inhabitants and the
”But Our Lady doesn’t talk about war,” says Vicka with her
open smile and stunted Italian. ”She only says that She prays for
peace, and She wants us to pray too.” Doesn’t the Queen of Peace
say anything else? ”She says that Her first message, ten years ago,
was about peace; and we didn’t believe then, because we couldn’t
see any danger. Now, instead, we are worried, and She says to leave
our worries, and to pray for peace in the hearts and in the families,
and then peace will arrive for the whole world.” But is Our Lady’s
message really so simple? ”She says that if we pray for peace in the
world, but we do not have peace in our hearts, then our prayers are
useless,” Vicka says while smiling. But don’t you ask anything
else, don’t you want to know how this war will end up? Vicka
shakes her head, smiling: ”No questions, She talks, and we only
She says ”we,” but in fact she is the only one left of the
visionaries. Ivan is in the U.S. on invitation, to talk about the
Blessed Virgin; Jakov is in Italy; Marija is in Germany. Even the
huge stream of pilgrims and faithful that once came here from all
parts of the world has now become a little brook - in the big
church at Medjugorje we saw only about 20 Americans, some of
whom were originally from the Philippines, with rosary beads
around their necks - and who with great courage made it all the
way here. The fall in the presence of the religious tourists is a
worry for the many who became rich through the apparitions - with
too many ugly new houses that pop up like mushrooms and the
souvenir shops, the restaurants. Not Vicka however, who still lives
with her parents in a house made of stones, a shepherd’s home, near
Podbrdo, which means ”at the foot of the hill.”
The roads in Dalmatia are not safe. Just 90 kilometers away from
here, Dubrovnik - the pearl of the coast - is besieged by the
Jugoslav Army, like when, for many centuries, it was under Turkish
seige. The 60 million inhabitants have no water - they use sea
water for washing - and the food is rationed. The other day the
ferry ”Marina” was sent back by the Army - it was not the first
time. It had arrived from Curzola, loaded with food supplies and
medicines, and 60 mothers from Bosnia. They wanted to see their
children who were in the hospital at Dubrovnik, as they knew
nothing else about them since the time of their recovery. The
generals say they have lifted the naval blockade, but when the
”Marina” was sighted from Dubrovnik, it was stopped by two
patrol vessels. The captain was ordered to wait offshore because
”the next day” they would have come to control. It was just an
excuse. At 2.00 o’clock that night, the captain, Robert Marosic,
preferred to turn back to Curzola - a storm was brewing.
Isn’t Our Lady worried about the war? ”Her face looks
worried,” Vicka replies, ”but She only says to pray for peace in
people’s hearts.” Vicka wants me to read the message of
25.12.1990: ”Dear children, today I am inviting you to pray for
peace in a special way... Pray to the Lord of the Peace, that He may
protect you under His mantle. Pray, as Satan wishes to destroy my
plans for peace. Reconcile yourselves with your brothers and offer
your lives so that peace may reign in the whole world...”
Vicka tells me about how Our Lady appeared to her on that
Christmas day of the premonitory message: ”She was dressed in
gold, like She always is on the big feast days, but usually She wears
a grey dress and a white veil. Her hair is black.” Aldo (who
accompanied me here) is next to me, listening intently. He is an ex
soccor champion from Pola, Yugoslavia, but now, because of the
war, he acts as interpreter and guides the journalists to the most
dangerous places. He also smuggles and is able to obtain anything
for you. Now, however, he is worried, and asks Vicka to pray for
him. As we get into the car, he says, completely convinced: ”She
really did see Her. She has a grey dress and dark hair. She really
did see Her.” I don’t feel so sure as Aldo, but for the first time, I
envy him. (M. Blondet - Avvenire, 17 October 1991)
practise the Christian faith. He only prayed to God in moments of
need. He says that he had always tried to follow the right way, but
that he always ended up on the wrong way.
Once he finished his technical training as a mechanic, he found a
job in a private business. He had money, he went to night clubs,
drank beer, watched TV and had girlfriends. In this world that was
so ready to satisfy his every need, he went into crisis more than
once, and went through some very negative experiences...
”Once I went to Mass early in the morning. I was looking for
God. The parish priest had just returned from Medjugorje, and he
spoke to me about Our Lady. I watched a film and read a book
about Medjugorje. After a few weeks, on the 10th May, 1988, I was
in Medjugorje, and I remained 7 days. That was the first time I had
experienced God. Back in America, I was given a promotion and a
pay rise. But I said to myself: things can’t go on like this; and I
went back to Medjugorje, staying this time for 7 weeks with the
prayer group, in search of my vocation. After a brief stay back
home, I came back to Medjugorje in May of 1989 to stay. I felt that
God was looking for me, to entrust me with some sort of work. I
asked Fra Slavko Barbaric’ if I could become a monk. He said: why
not? I stayed in Slano for three months, studying Croatian in
Zagabria and working in Medjugorje, doing whatever I could. On
the 15th July this year, I dressed the cowl and spent my novitiate at
Humac near Ljubuski. Now, after one year, I’m going to take my
vows. Here, I’ve discovered myself.
2. The story of young Anthony Burnside from Melbourne is
similar to John’s. Anthony speaks more slowly and appears more
serious, more reserved, but he is more than positive that what he is
doing is the right thing. ”I was born in 1962 at Melbourne. I took a
degree in Geography, and I came to Europe on 6 month’s vacation
- and I came to Medjugorje. Up to then I had never been interested
in God. After only 3 days in Medjugorje my whole life was
changed.” (...) Anthony too, joined Fra Luciano’s group and took
the same steps as John’s.
”In Australia I was very busy; with studying, working on my
parent’s horse farm and riding. I never thought much about God.
(...) My plan was to stay in Yugoslavia only one day, but
everything went differently to what I planned. At first my family
didn’t understand my decision, but then they came here and now
they understand. The Croatians are Christians, the faith here is
something very strong, and the people are good. In Australia we
have too much material wealth, but here there is another type of
wealth - here the people are spiritually very rich.”
3. Preferred Medjugorje to Wall Street - John Sweeney is a
pleasant young man, full of spirit. His story sounds like it comes
from a film. He was born in New York and is 26 years old. He is
the youngest of 8 children, he was baptised. For the sake of faith, he
abandoned the famous Wall Street, the sanctuary of material well-
being. Here Our Lady triumphed over the powerful god of money.
”I graduated in Economics and Finance in Virginia and started
working straight away in Wall Street, in New York. After 3 years I
already had my own business, lots of clients and money... I wanted
even more clients and so I called a fellow businessman to help me
plan a meeting with a new customer. He refused my invitation,
saying that he was Christian. I asked what he was doing in Wall
Street if he was Christian. ”Because I love my customers,” he
replied. His reply surprised me, but I told him it was all rubbish,
because we were all there for the money. Then he started telling me
about Medjugorje and he gave me some books to read. I took them
for the sake of taking them, but then I read them. It all seemed like
these people were believing in a lot of rubbish, but now I know that
it was a sign from the Holy Spirit.
Something started moving within me. The messages were so
clear and so strong that I couldn’t remain the same. A battle had
started inside of me, and logic made me think: I can’t say that Jesus
Christ and I are both here, but there is the possibility that it may be
true. I decided that if I could find the time I would go to Medj. and
find out for myself what it was all about. And I did go, with that
I was in Medj. for just 24 hours, and God had changed my
whole existence. We had arrived at night, whilst Ivan was receiving
the evening apparition on the hill. I arrived in Medj. as an atheist,
but in search of and open to new experiences. There were 500
people on the hill, they were singing and praying the Rosary. All of
a sudden, Ivan fell to his knees, in ecstasy. Our Lady appeared to
him... I felt very close to the Virgin, closer than many others. I was
fascinated by the Croatians and their faith. I was attracted by the
Franciscan cowl. I was not alone. I was in communion with many
After his beautiful experience at Medj, John returned to New
York, to the stock exchange. He read a passage in the Gospel where
Jesus says that one cannot serve both God and Mammon... and he
asked himself: do you want money, night clubs, discos, or God?
He gave everything to the needy - ”It was an easy decision,”
he says. ”I sold everything and gave it to the poor. With two shirts
and a pair of pants I went to Medjugorje. I slept wherever I found
myself and I told the friars that I would work for bread. I went to
WITHOUT GOING TO MEDJUGORJE...
A young priest: just the sight of that picture changed my life -
Two years ago I was going through a bad period, both as a man and as
a priest. After a number of mistakes and delusions, I was practically
”lying back,” struggling through my tired and routine filled life. I had
given up my priestly clothes, and looking very civilian. I had bought
all the latest commodities: a nice new car, TV with video, computer,
stereo, etc. I did not live my consecration properly and my spirituality
had reached an extremely low level: very little prayer, said in a rush,
and practically no confession. That was till I met Angelo, a young
man from my parish, who is very devoted to Our Lady and also tends
to be left out by the community, but I suppose due to his own excess
in discreetness. Or is it because he is ”too Catholic?” I’m not sure.
One day he brought me a picture, depicting the face of Our Lady as
she is in the statue at Medjugorje. He told me that if I hung it up I
would have received great graces. I smiled at his words (the words of
a simple, straightforward man), but then I hung it up.
I don’t really know if it was because of that, or for whatever other
reason. I don’t even know whether Mary appears or not in
Medjugorje! I remember well, however, that since then something
incredible ”appeared” in my soul and in my whole life... I started
gradually feeling the inner need to confess, to ”change life,” to
commit myself with all my heart and all my strength to know and
make known God, His Love, the joy that comes from Him, His chosen
instruments: Mary in particular, and the Saints.
All things, we would say, that are normal for a priest, but that’s not
true!! To my regret, I, a priest, can tell you that it is not always true.
As I was saying, since then I no longer feel the need to possess
”things” or desire human satisfactions, and I got rid of my
”possessions” nearly immediately, and gave the proceeds to the needy.
The rest of my story is this: that now I am here praising and thanking
the Lord with all my heart.” (A young priest from Mantua)
For a young couple from Venezuela, all that was needed was a
title in a paper... - Praise and thanks be to the Lord and the Blessed
Virgin, and to you for the Spanish Echo which we receive then
photocopy for others here in Venezuela, and backed up by our priest
Fr. Klaus Wolfermann... My husband and I are the fruit of God’s
Mercy through the blessed hands of His Mother. After 17 years away
from the Church, I read by chance a title in a magazine: the Virgin
appears in Medjugorje. We were profoundly shaken and started
revising our past way of living, we started reciting the Rosary and
frequenting the Sacrament of Confession after 17 years! God opened
His arms for us like for the prodigal son and we felt His joy and peace
be reborn in our hearts and in our family.
Three years have gone since then, and the Queen of Peace has
transformed our lives under the influence of the Grace, that we can
touch with our own hands, through the works that God permits for His
greater glory. We help in the Don Bosco house and distribute the
Eucharist. We live in Him Who gives us life in such abundance.
Blessed be God and His and our Mother. We would like to distribute
Echo in the entire country, if the Virgin will permit it. We are at Her
service, to get Her messages of conversion and peace to our brothers.
May She especially bless Fr. Angelo, and the whole team involved in
translating and spreading Mary’s messages. Let us remain united in
the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. (Sandra and Omar Velez - Valencia)
Four young men from the New World
leave the land of milk and honey to clothe the cowl
The Franciscan basilica at Tomislavgrad in Herzegovina, where
the Croatian king, Tomislav, was crowned 900 years ago, saw a
particularly solemn ceremony this year when a group of young men
took their vows. Apart from the eight seminarians from
Herzegovina, who were surrounded by the whole Franciscan family
and a swarm of family members and friends, there were four
brothers from abroad: three Americans and one Australian.
1. Goodbye to worldly living - We spoke to one of them, John
Ringelstein, in Croatian. We noticed his laughing eyes, full of life;
his penetrating and honest glance - almost that of a saint. He was
born in 1965 in Chicago. He had been baptised, but he did not
Fatima for four months. I had already understood there that I
wanted to become a priest. Everything seemed contrary to this
decision: the language, the culture... but God took my sterile life
and made me His, through the joy of consecration.
4. Pether, who cured alcoholics in America, lived a similar
story, but we were not able to speak to him. I asked Fra Mate
Dragicevic’, who was in charge of the novitiates, his opinion. ”It
was interesting working with them. I put the foreign candidates
together with ours right from the beginning, even though it was not
an easy thing to do, due to fundamental differences in life style,
and try to form a family.. I must say, however, that the past year
was a success.” On the most solemn day that they took their vows,
the people in the church sang the English hymn ”This is the day”
together with the 4 new priests, and the bells of the Basilica of
Tomislavgrad rang out loud and long and they could be heard all
over the countryside of Duvno. (Denis Derk - from Vecernji List -
Zagabria evening paper)
Body of Christ? We are not to worry ourselves so much for the
rite, but for our personal communion with Jesus Who is Alive in
the Eucharist, that it may have full effect.
OUR READERS WRITE
* Fr. Cona: ”I offer my life for Echo and Radio Maria” -
My Dear Father Angelo, (...) Last year, when Our Lord made me
understand that I had to die, I did not realize then that the death that
He wanted from me was silence and insignificance for the sake of
Love. I am starting to understand it now and I am trying to realize
this death in the spirit of faith. Perhaps He wants to prepare me for
the other death, the physical one, that I dearly long for, so that I
may be with Him and our Mother. During the second Holter test I
had a heart attack which lasted a few minutes. The doctors were
frightened, but I started hoping with all my might. They also found
that the circulation in my left leg had worsened - thanks be given to
God also for this.
Tomorrow, which is dedicated to Saint Theresa, I will renew my
offering of my life which I first made at Pescara, for the triumph of
Mary’s Immaculate Heart, and in particular for the two means that
spread Her messages: Echo of Medjugorje and Radio Maria. I
consider these to be God’s gifts for Italy and the world... I cannot
give you any material help, but with all my heart I am helping you
with my prayers and sufferances, which at times are so great that I
can’t stop myself from crying - I offer them to Our Lady of
Sorrows at the foot of the Cross.
Those who see me cannot see my sufferance.. The sufferance is
within me, hidden. If only I could resist till the end, it would be
better still. These lines are for Echo and for Radio Maria, and
especially for you, because I am certain that Jesus wants Echo -
Mary had wanted to need you and Echo. Echo is not yours, it is
God’s. Let God work the way He wants: ”Forget your desires and
pray, dear children, for what God wants and not for what you
want.” I send you these words the way they came from my heart,
as a sign of my affection and my prayers. I wait on your blessing,
and I send mine to you and to all your helpers. (Fr. Robert Cona,
Verona) We are proud to have Fr. Robert as our friend. Let us be
united with him through our prayers.
* Nostalgia for Mejd., so far away - (...) I think back on those
unforgettable moments spent in Medjugorje - it really is a blessed
land, and the sight of that Italian who knelt down in the direction of
Krizevac and kissed the ground as he got off the bus, does not
surprise me. I went back with my thoughts to the most profound
presence of God and Our Lady: the Church, Krizevac, Podbrdo. I
can’t express the faith, and penance that I saw on that mass of
stones. I really did feel a nothing before the many giants of
penance, prayer and love of God and Our Lady... Today I am
enraptured by Medj. more than when I was there... (I.J.)
* Physical and Spiritual diet of priest from Colombia in
obedience to Mary’s call - ”(...) Mary asked for a Novena of
prayer and special fasts: I have been doing this for the last eight and
a half years. Every day I say six Rosaries, plus weekly confession,
meditation, Holy Mass with very little wine.. My diet is severe: one
egg with every meal, no meat, no salt, no sugar, no fats, no alcohol,
no TV. I receive a periodical to read the most important headings,
etc. In effect, the last decade of the 90’s, like what the Blessed
Virgin says, will be the most dramatic of all history, but the
Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin will triumph... I greatly
appreciate receiving the messages of Echo of Medj. (Fr. Rupert
* At Besancon (France) we attended a festival in honour of
Mary. There were more than 3000 people praying to Our Lady.
After Communion, the Lord gave everyone the joy to see Him
manifest His Power: the hands of Myrna (visionary of Soufanich in
Syria) oozed so much oil that everyone was able to take home a
cotton ball soaked in this miraculous substance. Laurentin and
Vassula Ryden were also present.. (Her letter follows to tell how the
Freemasonry in France dominate the government and even some
ecclesiastic fields.) Happy are we, the little people of the Father,
who know Who will defeat the devil, but in the meantime, we grasp
hold of the Rosary to respond to the SOS of Our Mother. (Colette
and Jean-Marie Evrat)
* The prayer groups in Cameroun - (...) If you could only see
how assiduously they attend the Cenacle, and how their example
teaches and attracts their families! The Holy Spirit really is
working in their souls; just pray and with great trust place
everything in the hands of God. Some group leaders had wanted to
continue the Cenacle once back in their villages, with their families
and friends, and then, when they came back here and told me what
had happened, it was like listening to the Apostles. Everyone was
so pleased with the Holy pictures, the medals, the periodicals, etc
that were sent by the French people! For those who would like to
Things that the devil likes and things he doesn’t
like. How to weigh his words.
Believers and non have become very interested in the devil just
lately and thus much attention is given to his words said during
exorcisms. The August 1991 issue of an Italian monthly ran an
article written by an exorcist who listed the things that the devil
revealed he likes and dislikes.
The following things please Lucifer: (his words) Communion
on the hand, priests dressed like dustmen in disguise, priests and
bishops in the Freemasonry and my sects, mini skirts, the TV,
discos, divorce and separation, abortion, drugs, but especially those
bishops and priests that deny my existence and my activity in the
The following things do not please Lucifer: Confession - a
stupid invention, the meal where you eat the flesh and blood of the
Crucified one, adoration of that piece of Bread, the Rosary, the
apparitions all over the world of that wretched woman, the stupid
obedience to that man dressed in white.
The author concludes: the list is terrible, but it should help us to
reflect and search our consciences. Above all, it should make us see
the need to pray and do penance. It should help us see the
importance of making frequent use of confession, where the Blood
of Jesus purifies us and shields us, so that we may win against our
enemy. The victorious, it says in Revelation, are those who have
purified their souls in the Blood of the Lamb .. and were thus able
to defeat the dragon.
I cannot present the above article without also stressing that the
words of the devil must always be treated very cautiously, if not
mistrusted. When the devil says something in the Gospel, even
though it may be true, it is certainly always said for the sake of his
own evil interests; and Jesus nearly always replies: ”Silence,”
which means: put a muzzler on (like a dog so that it can’t hurt
anyone), even when Satan tells Him: ”I know that you are the Son
of God.” It is certain that the devil had something in mind when he
said this: was it to flatter Jesus? To appear truthful? To tempt? To
reveal before time? Out of desperation?
The expressions said by the devil during exorcisms, if really said
by him, are masterpieces of his astuteness, directed at generating
mistrust, divisions, confusion, desperation, or, in one word, damage
the Church and the faithful; and that is, when they are not cries of
triumph (in reference to the ruins caused by his activity in the
world) to humiliate and discourage the Church and the faithful.
We, therefore, will take note of what is objectively true, for the sake
of reflecting or correcting. There are some, however, who seem to
give more importance to the devil’s words, than to Jesus’...! By
doing this, we end up playing Satan’s game - let’s not give him this
A Word on Communion in the hand
The devil says that when people take Communion in the hand,
he can ”trample on your God and celebrate my black masses,” and
with regards to this I would like to make two observations. Even
though similar abuses are possible when Holy Communion is given
in the hand, the reasons behind the Church’s decision are still valid.
It is obvious that the devil wants to blame the Church of similar
abuses to make people distrust the Church and her decisions. Let’s
not play at the devil’s game, who is always accused of lying by the
Word of God which tells us that those who take Communion in the
hand are in the right: ”Take it and eat ... take it and drink.”
Some condemn Communion taken in the hand because it shows
lack of respect for the Holy Sacrament, but if we think carefully, we
will see that it takes us to a greater awareness and responsibility
towards the Eucharist. Then again, some say: like this Jesus is
handed over to so many impure hands! But wouldn’t the
profanation be just as great if Jesus is given to the lips of the same
unworthy people? And then, how many profanations has
Eucharistic Jesus exposed Himself to, whilst always remaining
silent! How can we judge who is worthy or not to receive the
The sight of the exploited and persecuted poor in front of the barbarous
capitalism, that earns for the sake of earning and degrades human work as
wicked exploitation, cries out revenge before God. (The Pope in Brasil)
Spectacle unworthy of mankind!
Swarms of abandoned Brasilian children who cry at the Pope's words.
A downpoor of misfortune and cynicism has fallen upon men and things,
but God will avenge the poor and the persecuted.
Spectacle unworthy of men and of Europe!
A group of Croatian refugees on a gangway, with their household goods.
LATEST NEWS . Here in Medjugorje everything is calm, but
with a certain tension always present. (Medjugorje is in Bosnia and
Herzegovina, but the whole population is Croatian.) We hope that
peace will remain.
There are still some pilgrims from the United States and Canada.
We have experienced something new, with so many pilgrims and
prayer groups who remain united to us through prayer - and
organize prayers, Novenas, material help. A war has never been
accompanied by so much prayer, and this is a sign for us too. Many
prayer groups, through Medjugorje, are united to one another, to
better organize material help such as medicinals, food, clothing, etc.
Our thanks goes to the groups from Naples who donated an
ambulance to us. (Fr. Slavko on Radio Maria - 25 October
Legal responsibility: Dr. Pierantonio Gottardi,
Printed by: Grafiche DIPRO, Roncade (Treviso), Italy. Tel: 0422-840804
* HELP FOR CROATIA - Donations may be sent to:
Pro Deo et Fratribus, Via Monte Santo 14, 00195 Rome. (Indicate
In the UK: C/- Bernard Ellis, Anglo World Steel Exports Ltd,
Unit J Lambs Brickworks, Tilburstow Hill Rd, Sth Godstone,
Surrey, RH9 8JZ.
Donations for the hospital in Grude may be sent to Fr. Slavko
through the Banco di Roma, Ag.21, Staz. Termini, Rome, Italy.
Acc. no. 12498 - indicate Pro Croatia Grude Hospital.
A continual Act of Love which is sure to save and renew -
revelations to a German mystic. ”Jesus, Mary, I love You! Save
priestly souls, save souls. We beseech You, and concede us to be
able to repeat this Act of Love one thousand times, with our every
breath, our every heartbeat.” This prayer was granted to us by Our
Lady Who promised to save thousands of souls.
Albuquerque, NM 87111
Philippines: Raquel D. De Leon, POB 789, 1099 Manila.
"If you in your turn had only understood on this day the
message of peace! But alas, it is hidden from your eyes! Yes a
time is coming when your enemies will raise fortifications all
round you, when they will encircle you and hem you in on
every side; they will dash you and the children inside your walls
to the ground; they will leave not one stone standing on another
within you - and all because you did not recognise your
ECHO IS AVAILABLE IN OTHER LANGUAGES.
For the following editions write to:
English: Echo of Medj,ugorje, Casella Postale 149, 46100 Mantova, Italy.
French: Mrs Evrat, 18 Chemin Thévenot, 39000 Dole, France
German: Pierantonio Gottardi, Viale Trieste 9, 39100 Bolzano, Italy.
Spanish: In Spain: Josè L.Lopez do S. Roman, Ap.246 Palencia, Spain.
Tel. 088-725616 - Other countries: Roger Watson, Via Fulda 2, 22100
Catalan: Amics de Medj, c.Carme 11 baixos, 08700 Igualada, Spain
Portughese: Servos da Rainha SQS 411, Bloco ”U”, Ap.311, 70277
Brasilia DF, BRASIL / Helena Carvalho, C.Post. 02-0181 - c.70001
Polish: Czeslawa Mirkiewicz, ul. Krasickiego 21/3, 30-515, Krakow-
Russian, Ukrainian: Z.i T. Strzaika, ul. Wesola 34, PL-87100 Torun,
Romanian: Anca Dragos, str N.Pamfil 53, BI 29, Ap 49, 72125 Bucharest,
for Australasia: The Medj.Sentinel, P.O. Box 531, Drummoyne NSW
For the USA: Peter Miller, P.O.B. 2720-230, Huntington Beach CA
Ph. 714-9605810 Fax 9602112 ; Giovanna Ellis, 9809 Stoneybrook Dr.,
Kensington MD 20895 Ph: 301-5883198; Lyn D. Raab, 3936 Garcia NE,
IN THE FAMILY
We have to fit lots of material into very little space. Because
Echo is free, we do not have the possibility of increasing the
number of pages. Therefore, we are forced to use small print. We
make appeal to you dear readers, to produce enlarged copies of
Echo for your aged friends, or for those who have sight problems. It
is impossible for us to do so, but we feel that it will not be a problem
for you to make a single enlarged copy, and besides we are certain
that such an act of charity would be very pleasing to Our Lady.
Echo is free, it lives on your donations. Bank cheques or
international postal orders may be posted to : Echo of Medjugorje,
Casella Postale 149, 46100 Mantova, Italy; or if you wish, transfer
your donations to Fr. Angelo Mutti, c/o our bank account at the
Banca Agricola Mantovana Ag. 4, Mantova, Italy - Acc.no.26641-
For those who receive bulk orders, we ask that at least the costly
air mail service be covered. To keep the mailing costs down, please
try to organize groups where we can send Echo in bulk and then
you distribute it. When writing for requests, PLEASE PRINT
YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS, better if TYPEWRITTEN. If you
do manage to organize bulk mailing, please also advise for who
they are so that we can cancel the names from our mailing list.
Our 8th anniversary falls on the 21st November - it will be an
occasion to say thank you to the Lord and Our Lady for the so many
blessings (just look at how much Echo has grown) received in these
years. We started with 30 duplicated copies on the 21st November
1984 and have now reached 530,000 copies with this issue (360,000
for the Italian edition, the rest for the 9 foreign editions, 4 of which
are mailed from Italy (French, English, German, Spanish) and the
others are mailed from their individual centres: Polish, Russian,
Romanian, Catalan and Portughese).
Apart from the Portughese edition edited by Helena Carvalho,
the Servos da Rainha started printing a good edition a few months
ago, with 20,000 copies already distributed all over Brasilia. The
Spanish edition is also growing tremendously, and the French
edition takes giant steps each month. The English edition reaches all
the corners of the earth, and just lately the German and Russian
editions have gone as far as Omsk and Novo Sibirsk in Siberia!
We thank the Lord for the generosity of our readers who
continue to support Mary’s works. It seems that a permanent help is
on the arrival..!
May the Lord protect you from all evil, now and always, with
His Blessing and that of the Saints.
send something, write to Sr. Giuseppina Moroldo, Mission
Catholique, B.P. 876, Ebolowa, Nko’odos (Cameroun).
* A church dedicated to the Queen of Peace for the soldiers
of Brasil - Dom Geraldo do Espirito, Archbishop in ordinary to the
forces in Brasil writes: "I am happy that the Servos da Rainha have
decided to spead the messages of the Queen of Peace, by translating
Echo into Portughese. I have been twice to Medjugorje, and I too
have spread the messages in Brasilia where I was auxiliary Bishop
- now I am here among the soldiers.
I have decided to build the Church/Cathredal for the armed
forces with the title ”Queen of Peace” and I would like it to be a
centre for the divulgation of the messages. For now I will have a
hall built where we can start a spiritual movement in the line of
Medjugorje - with the Rosary, Holy Mass, prayers and confession
(Dom Geraldo, Bishop)