From Assisi, the greatest lesson on peace
The Pope in Assisi
prophet of peace
FEBRUARY 1993 - Presentation of Jesus - Translated from orig.: Eco di Medj, C.P.149, 46100 Mantova,
Italy. Yr 8 #2 Mailing address: Echo of Medjugorje, Casella Postale 27, 31030 Bessica (TV), Italy.
Get rid of the old yeast to become a fresh batch of dough... (1 Co 5:7)
and follow Christ by loving as he loved you. (Eph 5:2)
Our Lady’s message of 25 January 1993:
Dear children, Today I am inviting you to accept and live my messages seriously. These days are days in which you
have to decide for God, for peace and for good. May all feelings of hate and jealousy depart from your life and thoughts, so
they may be filled only with feelings of love for God and for your fellow men. It is in this way, and only this way, that you
will be able to discern the signs of the present time. I am with you and I am guiding you towards a new time, a time that
God is giving you as a grace to know Him even better.
Thank you for having responded to my call.
"In these critical days
clean out your heart to fill it with love
and understand the new times that are near"
Mary comes to Her monthly appointment to invite us once
again to accept and live Her messages seriously. Her messages
mean Gospel. She says seriously because She knows how lightly
we take heaven’s calls, how we renounce the good that God offers
us in preference ofthe wide road that leads to destruction.(Mt 7:13)
These days are days in which you must decide for God...
The truth is that always: now is a very acceptable time, now is the
day of salvation ... not to receive the grace of God in vain. (2 Co
6:1) She comes with this invitation while we live in the reality of
our sad times. The decision for God is an urgent call to purify our
hearts, to rid them of the bad that piles up because of all the evil we
receive from men (think of the suffering caused by war) and also
from jealousy and envy making us want the good only for us. To all
men Our Lady says: Decide then for God, for peace and for good.
May all feelings of hate and jealousy depart from your life
and thoughts, so they may be filled only with love for God and for
your fellow men. Our Lady is inviting us to: clear out the old yeast,
so you may become a fresh batch of dough (1Co 5:7), to rid your-
selves of all malice and all deceit, insincerity, envy, and all slander,
to return like newborn infants, and long for pure spiritual milk (the
Word) so through it you may grow into salvation (1 Pt 2:1). The
various forms of opposition and rivalry between people are trigger-
ed by sensual feelings, like jealousy and envy. Without the grace
that comes from encountering the living God, we are easily carried
away by human ways of thinking that impede us from seeing God
as a loving Father and our fellow men as brothers and sisters.
The Pope explained this beautifully in his talk from Assisi
(see next article). It’s almost as if Our Lady had wanted to confirm
his prophetic vision of the present evil and the peace that can be
found in Jesus alone.
The present times are so dark so as to wake us from our
torpor and call us back to deciding for God. Everything around us
is falling down: in political, social and personal relations. Without
God’s love everything goes bad and rots. The cries of the poor have
reached the ears of the Lord (Jm 5:4), revealing how the work is
founded on hypocrisy, falseness, exploitation and derision of man’s
dignity. So decide for God, for peace and for good.
Only this way, you will be able to discern the signs of the
present time, which is time of great grace because God has increas-
ed His manifestations. Which signs? The strong calls by God seen
in the facts: the fall of the gods that man placed before God; the
vanity of calculating human wisdom that God will throw to the
wind. Now he has promised, I will once more shake not only earth
but heaven. (Heb 12:26) There will be the fall of the wicked system
founded on inequality among men whereby race, religion, wealth
and interests are considered, and not the dignity of children made to
the image of God. If instead of being limpid we are filled with ill
feelings and jealousy, we will be unable to understand the new
time that is being born from the rubble of an old world. We will be
confused and desperate because of the evil we see around us.
I am with you. Our Blessed Mother always ensures us of
Her presence so we will not feel lost, but always trust in Her. I am
guiding you towards a new time that God is giving you as a grace.
Which new time? The time where MARY’S IMMACULATE
HEART WILL TRIUMPH, as in the promise and God will defeat
the enemy with His humble servants. This time will be given to us,
and the more our eyes are pure and contemplate God in His mani-
festations of justice and goodness, the more we will see this time
with clarity. After just a brief moment he who is to come shall come;
he shall not delay. But my just one shall live by faith. (Heb10:37) fr.A.
shows the world the way to Peace -
Mary’s way: prayer, fasts and true conversion.
On the 9th and 10th January the Pope guided the intense
moment of prayer, meditation and fasting to ask God to grant the
world peace, which we see is constantly being demolished by
human efforts. With him there were representatives of the European
episcopates, Christian confessions, Hebraism and Islam and many
faithful, mostly youth. It was a day of prayer then, nothing else, but
it’s important for us to see the lesson in it and see how valuable and
effective prayer is, which is a means given us by God as an
expression of the dignity of being His children.
"This is our strength, our instrument. Before the instruments
of death and destruction, before violence and cruelty, there is
nothing we can do but turn to God, with our words and our hearts.
We are neither strong, nor powerful, but we know that God
always responds to the entreaties of those who turn to Him out
of sincere faith, especially when the future of whole populations is
at risk. This is the reason for our vigil."
The theme was amply developed during the EVENING
VIGIL of the 9th.
"We are not to search for peace outside of Christ, but
neither against him. We have to force ourselves to live Paul's
words: Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours
in Christ Jesus. (Ph 2:5) This presumes the presence of one’s own
conversion, and is most effectively expressed by the Apostle in his
letter to the Philippians: Do nothing out of selfishness or out of
vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than
yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but everyone
for those of others. (Ph 2:3-4)
After the first part of the vigil, the Pope blessed the bread
and the salt for the fast he asked the participants to do as an act of
penance, and offered it to the bishops and the delegations that were
present in the church of the Sacred Convent,.
The persistent presence of evil, despite the fact that Christ
threw down the wall of division, makes us ponder on the meaning
of the continuous and insistent destructive will that moves men.
Where does war and peace come from
There is no peace without a return to Crucified Christ
"There is nothing we can do but to repeat the humble request
of forgiveness at the foot of the Cross where Our Lord is crucified,
both for ourselves and everyone else. That is why our prayer vigil
is also a vigil of penance and conversion. There will be no peace
unless we return to Crucified Christ through prayer, but also
through the renunciation of one’s ambitions, thirst for power, want
of overpowering others and not respecting the rights of others.
These, are in fact, what cause wars. The Apostle James warned us
of this in his letter: Where do the wars and where do the conflicts
among you come from? Is it not from your passions that make war
within your members? (Jm 4:1) Christ is our peace.
When we are far from Him - in our private lives, within the
social structure, in relationships with other people and other nations
- what else can remain if not hatred, unfriendliness, conflict, cruelty
and war? We have to pray so His blood may bring us closer, closer
to one another, since all we can do on our own is separate ourselves
from each other, (see Eph 2:13) turn our backs on one another; so
we implore you, be reconciled to God. (2 Co 5:20), so we may be
reconciled with one another."
The sin of division is seen in the comparison between
"us" and "them" which is what lies behind a great deal of human
activity. "How can it be possible to deny a man his right to life and
safety because he is not one of us, but one of them? Or deny a
woman the right to integrity and dignity because she is not one of
us, but one of them? Are we not all children of one God, His
beloved children? All this makes us reflect and even tremble a little,
for what Christ said: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give it to you. (Jn 14:27)
"Did the Lord Jesus really leave us peace? Why then is there
so much violence around us, and in some of the countries that we
come from war is even raging? What did we do with the Lord’s
gift, with His precious heritage? Perhaps it could be that we have
preferred peace as the world gives it? A peace that consists of the
silence of the oppressed, of the powerlessness of the defeated, the
humiliation of those - men and peoples - that see their rights being
The real peace, left to us by Jesus, rains over justice, blooms
with love and reconciliation. It is the fruit of the Holy Spirit that the
world cannot accept. (Jn 14:17) Does not the Apostle teach us that
the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace... (Gal 5:22)? No peace for
the wicked! says my God, the prophet Isaiah reminds us (57:21).
But the Consoler, the Holy Spirit that the Father will send in my
name - he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I
told you. (Jn 14:26) The Holy Spirit teaches us and reminds us this
evening what the fount of real peace is and where it is to be found."
Perseverance in the search for peace, even in such tragic
times as those told by some of the priests and lay persons here from
Bosnia and Herzegovina, can only be founded on the fact that Jesus
Christ is by our side: "Christ prays together with us. He took His
place in the procession of sinners, but not just once on the banks of
the river Jordan where He received His baptism of Penance from
John - in every century, in every generation He returns to become
part of that procession in the various parts of the world. Christ is in
fact the Redeemer of the world - God made him to be in sin so we
might become the righteousness of God in him. (2Co 5:21) From
this comes our firm conviction, enlightened by faith, that in the
tormented land of the Balkan populations Christ is present. He is
and will always be witness and defender of the rights of man."
(devil comes from dia-bolòs which means that which separates,
which sows the spirit of hate and division in hearts), Christians, in
agreement with and united in the name of Christ, persevere by
praying to the Highest One, the Almighty, the good Lord... and
from Him they invoke the Spirit of peace and goodwill which
moves hearts and inspires thoughts of peace, not of torment.
That is the reason for our presence here in Assisi, to invoke
peace from God. The Pope wants to entrust this task to you, so that
the sacred fire of imploration for peace, together with the oblation
of the Body and Blood of Christ, will not die out. I am asking you
to continue supporting my universal ministry with the force of
your unceasing prayer. Yes, with prayer, which reveals a
particular Marian aspect of the Church. Who more than Mary
fought and still fights against Satan?
Be like Mary in Her continuous and fervent intercession.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us that Mary is the
perfect prayer, and a personage of the Church. Praying to Her is
accepting the Father’s plan, Who sends His Son to save all men...
We can pray with Her and pray to Her. The prayer of the Church is
supported by Mary's prayer, which is united in hope. Yes, on this
occasion too, our prayer and our hope for peace is supported by
Mary, Regina pacis, Spes nostra!” (Queen of peace, Our hope)
A cry from the war torn land: We pray to the Lord, and
to the world: help us, don’t leave us alone.
During the vigil of 9 January the Archbishop of Sarajevo, Msgr.
Vinko Puljic’, spoke of the sufferance of his diocesan community.
(...) Nine months ago, before the war started, our archdiocese
counted 144 parishes with more than 500,000 faithful. During this
extremely sad period, 62 parishes have been totally destroyed, and the
people, together with their priests, sent away. Our churches,
sanctuaries and monasteries have been destroyed. The factories,
businesses, shops and public buildings, like thousands of appartments,
have been bombed. Our beautiful land, where Muslims, Serbs and
Croats lived together in peace, has now become a devastated land.
We thank the whole world for the humanitarian aid that
arrives, but from here we are crying out for justice. The politicians
delay the solution of the problem, looking out for new reasons not to
find an effective solution. If this sad war continues, at least half of our
archdiocese will be totally rooted up. All this urges us to pray to the
Lord and the entire world: help us, don’t leave us alone!
Lord God, we pray to you for our exiled and our refugees. We
pray to you for the people closed up in the concentration camps,
known of and not. We pray to you for the wounded, the mutilated and
for the orphans. We also pray to you for all those people who risk their
lives to defend the only country we have. Bless all those who discover
the truth in this tragedy, to stop the force of darkness. We thank you
Lord, for our benefactors, for all the interventions on behalf of the
Holy Father and for the sympathy of the journalists, the scientists and
the faithful of every religion.
Oh Lord, Father of justice, waken the consciences of the world,
soften the hearts of the powerful. We pray to you Lord, also for the
conversion of all those people who use violence in our country. You,
Who are our only and common Father, You Who are our final Judge,
have pity on us. Strengthen our love, our faith, our hope, so we are
able to carry the burden of this war. Lord, if at all possible, take this
cup away from us. Nonetheless, not our will, but Your Will be
After Msgr. Puljic’, Card. Kuharic', Archbishop of Zagreb,
re-echoed the messages of the Queen of Peace:
"(...) It is from this terrible experience that our prayer gushes
forth to Jesus, Prince of peace, that through the intercession of His and
Our Mother, the Queen of Peace, we may be granted the gift of
peace... We, who come from places where there is war and
indescribable sufferance by so many people and innocent victims,
know how much peace really costs. We know the real value of the
gift of peace. The peace that God wants to give to those who pray with
penitent hearts is Peace founded on freedom and justice for single
persons and peoples alike, it is peace founded on truth, peace that can
be built up on forgiveness, reconciliation and love. Everyone yearns
for this gift. All men of good will aspire to this peace. With our
prayers we intend taking the sufferances of all those troubled people,
the tears of all those tormented people, the blood of all those who have
fallen, to the merciful eyes of our heavenly Father! We join our
penance and conversion to this sufferance. Evil cannot be crushed if
not through prayer and fasting."
The representative of Islam, ul Ulema Jacob Selimoski then
spoke and told of 200,000 Muslims exterminated, more than 500,000
wounded and a further 100,000 sent to concentration
than 35,000 women raped (including girls of 7 and women as old as
80), 23 imam either killed or missing, more than 650 mosques
destroyed or ruined, dozens of cities completely "cleaned out"
Incessant supplicaton of the Church, with Mary, for peace
The search for peace, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit,
is a most urgent task that we must take upon ourselves. The Pope
went beyond this statement, and with words directed at the
COMMUNITY OF POOR CLARES in Assisi added: "The world
needs your holy hands that lift up towards heaven without anger or
argument (1 Tm 2:8), to implore for peace.
You represent the Church bride, the Ecclesia orans, which
with persevering and unanimous prayer in the monasteries of the
West, is united to the fervent intercession of the monasteries in the
East, for peace that descends from above for the unity of all.
In the message for the Day of Peace for 1993 I urge
believers to live the spirit of evangelical poverty as a fount of
peace. Evangelical poverty acts as a fount of peace because through
it the person is able to establish a just relationship with God, with
others and with all creation."
Prayer like in the heart of Mary, opposes Satan’s work
The Pope then brought up a fundamental point, which he
repeated frequently: "There is no peace without prayer. The
Church asks the Lord for this gift daily during the celebration of the
Eucharist. When human hope for peace seems to dissolve, when the
powers of evil and the influence of the Evil One seem too strong
(ethnically), and more than 1.5 million people forced to abandon
their own homes. "All done with the most inhuman methods of
torture that the history of crime has ever seen, and this is just a part
of the horrible apocalypse that Bosnia is living through in the
present time, at the end of the 20th century, by the Serbian
How can Europe permit a whole nation, a European nation,
disappear? How can Europe wash its hands, so tranquil and
indifferent, by adopting a solution which is completely inefficient?
... We ask God Almighty that the victims of these crimes without
precedence be compensated with the gardens of Heaven, and may
the leaders be enlightened so the killing of people and the
destruction of their goods be stopped as soon as possible."
fire of love has to set hearts on fire; which means dedicating
ourselves totally, in a total sacrifice, because this is the most
important cause of all. For this we need instruments. All those who
are aware of the utmost importance of Our Lady’s call should pray
and fast with fervour, so the Master (and the Mistress) of the
harvest may send labourers to his harvest, and they too may work
full time at harvesting for the Lord.
It’s time to start believing in the power of the cross
We didn’t see the large crowds in Medjugorje, but we found
silence for meditating on the mystery of the cross. Medj. and the
apparitions have also suffered, like the assailed and humiliated
people. What was once a cenacle where it seemed Mary gathered
Her children from all over the world in a new dimension of unity,
now looks like an empty garden, in which Mary Magdalene anx-
iously searches for her Lord. It was indeed like a Good Friday!
We visited Mostar and saw the destruction of the churches, and the
fury that devastated every living thing. The parks were turned into
cemeteries. We saw the desolation of a people completely
overwhelmed. It was like the triumph of the prince of darkness.
There is no sense in accusing anyone, and it’s not up to us to
try those who impeded the flow of grace and were an indirect cause
of so much evil. What we have to do is believe that the mystery of
salvation is found in the cross, like in the darkness of Calvary. Jesus
on the Calvary did not accuse those who crucified Him and He did
not judge His enemies. Grace does not stop flowing when there is
someone who believes and pays by kissing the Cross. No, for this is
the best proof of God’s works. Men make a big noise, God is silent
and gets where He wants. I’m not trying to console anyone - this is
Gospel. The foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and
the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. (1 Co 1:25)
It is here that Mary talks to an attentive heart. During my
lengthy meditation on Krizevac Our Blessed Mother helped me see
what it means to ignore so great a salvation .(Hb 2:3) Her presence
accompanied us as we climbed Krizevac and we understood the call
of the disciple to bear one’s cross together with Jesus. Such a rare
thing these days; people look out for personal advantages, not the
price one has to pay, for human glory, not glory for God alone.
During Adoration the word of hope spoke to an attentive
heart - the words of Jesus: do not fear, it is I, and when I shall be
lifted up I will attract the entire earth to me. We priests felt a
liberating and serene presence that inspired trust, ignorant of the
past evil and completely looking towards the Good that God is
preparing. It was the presence of Our Mother Who filled Her
beloved sons with sweetness and peace, making them feel certain
that She is carrying them on Her eagle wings above the stormy
MEDJUGORJE DAY BY DAY
At 5 p.m. the Joyful and Sorrowful mysteries of the rosaries
are said, with a short pause at 5.45 to announce the apparition. The
visionaries in the choir loft with others are all praying. At exactly
the same time every day, Our Lady appears to them, as they recite
the Lord’s Prayer. At 6 p.m. evening Mass is said, and all priests
present concelebrate. After the Mass, healing prayers are said for
the sick, and then the third part of the Rosary is said (Glorious
mysteries). On Thursdays there is also Adoration of the Blessed
Sacrament. On Wednesdays and Saturdays there's public Adoration
after dinner between 9 and 10 p.m., and even all night long on
certain occasions. After so many years, nothing has changed.
Sunday afternoon there is the climb up the Apparition hill whilst
reciting the Rosary, and on Fridays up Krizevac along the Way of
the Cross. Most of the visionaries are present, a bit overweight says
Marija jokingly, because the pilgrims give them less work.
From Sr. Emmanuel’s Diary
(1 January 1993)
* There was no fighting for the Christmas period, but the
soldiers used their firearms instead of firecrackers this year to
announce the midnight Mass.
On Christmas evening, the visionaries Marija, Ivan, Vicka and
Jakov said that Our Lady, dressed in gold, was more beautiful than
ever. Marija said: "Jesus was dressed in gold too because He was
wrapped in His Mother’s dress. They can’t bear being separated."
Many pilgrims said that in the moment of the apparition they felt an
extreme happiness. In a message Our Lady said: On the night of
Christmas I deliver the greatest number of souls from purgatory.
Tonight, despite the war, joy abounded. Many youth, not all
strong in their faith, discovered the presence of God-Love the
Creator within them.
In the heart of the bloodied Balkans, Medjugorje is like a torch
MEDJUGORJE -YESTERDAY AND TODAY.
"This parish has to be a sign.”
Medjugorje mid January: It’s cold in the church because
there is no heating fuel, but it makes one think of the many brothers
in Bosnia suffering much worse cold than this. Christmas trees
decorate the front of the church. We noticed the wheat growing in
pots here and there - like the sign of a new birth. The church pews
aren’t all full during Mass, even though some of the local people
have started coming to evening Mass again since the start of the
war. They say it’s too dangerous for the women to be out at night
because of the many strangers present.
It certainly isn’t like the early days when they filled the
church for daily Mass. There are always a few pilgrims to fill up the
space. We’re a long way from the early days when the locals
responded to Mary’s call, and fervently participated in Mass, and
step by step were conducted along the path to Christian living, first
under the guidance of Fr. Jozo, then for much longer by Fr.
Tomislav. The church was filled every evening by parishioners
from the village who were aware of the responsibility before the
whole world for the grace received.
Let us not forget that Mary came to this parish to make
it a model for all the parishes in the world. In Her first message
to the parish (1.3.1984) She said: Dear children, I have chosen this
parish in a special way and I want to guide it. The next Thurs: I
want you of the parish to convert to God’s ways, so all those who
come here will also be converted. (8 Mar 1984) I want to call all of
you to holiness so you can communicate it to others. (10 Oct. 1985)
We know that after the first 4 years, when Fr. Tomislav left
the parish, with the continuous mutation of the fathers and the
growing invasion by pilgrims, the parishioners felt they were no
longer getting the necessary assistance, and they gradually
abandoned evening Mass: the fount of strength that helped them
grow. Then material interests moved in, like the buildings, and the
work involved in looking after the pilgrims. I want to make you an
oasis of peace ... but you have taken a miserable path, the way to
ruin... You have gone far from me, to follow your own miserable
interests, Mary complained. (25 March 1992)
The parishioners, as a whole, no longer represent that sign
they should be, even if many families and prayer groups continue
being testimonies of a holy life. Even the big prayer group, without
spiritual direction, is not a model anymore for the prayer groups
that should have sprung up all over the world, as desired by Mary.
Mary’s grace, with the arrival of so many pilgrims, has
reached even the furthest corners of the earth, and has touched
many hearts. Medjugorje is still working conversions and stimulates
many works of faith and real love. We can see how pilgrims from
all over the world have understood Mary’s message of fraternal
love, and put it into practice, through the amount of aid they
continually send to ex Yugoslavia. Even the President of Croatia
stated how whole populations would have starved without this aid.
What they are giving to this land are the fruits of love they learnt at
Just think what a great grace it would have been had the
entire population become that sign of peace and reconciliation! War
could have been avoided, according to Our Lady’s words, but what
we have instead is ruin and dispersion, like young men taking it in
turns to fight up front, men without work, schools closed down, the
threat of danger looming over their heads and widespread feelings
of agitation that impedes any sort of construction.
That great task Our Lady is asking of us has not changed.
She wants to see this population, and thus the pilgrims, live Her
messages - in other words, grow in holiness to become an authentic
sign of God, to make His Mercy flow over onto the world. That is
why She silently continues teaching us with Her messages, but
responding superficially is not enough. Through our response, the
alight with joy. Our Lady opens hearts so they may receive the
Saviour in a way that the Child Jesus can make them capable of
loving all men. Here the joy from heaven makes the sadness of war
disappear. Mary, however, is looking for helpers all over the world.
* Like in Bethlehem, the Blessed Virgin is looking for homes
for the little babes born from violence. Hundreds of women are
victims of rape by soldiers in the concentration camps. Made
pregnant by violence, they are kept in the camps till they are 6
months pregnant and unable to abort, forcing them to give birth to
little Serbs. The brutality forced upon these women is so
traumatizing, that many are refusing their children. The Pope has
encouraged Christians to help these mothers and to accept their
children: fathers and mothers are needed!
In Sarajevo, young mothers are saying: "For how long will I be
able to feed my child? After the last drop of milk, he will die in my
arms, like the hundreds before him." A friend launched an appeal
over the radio: "We don’t even have water to clean the sores of the
* It is the little ones who are paying for this hate. How can we
not call out to the world with the only two means we have that can
stop this infernal machine - prayer and fasts? Will this be the year
of peace? Only just over a year has passed since that youth retreat
where Marija started during the apparition. Mary had told her: My
beloved children, how easy it would be for me to stop the war if I
could find more people who pray like you pray!
* (15 Jan 1993) As is the custom in January, the priests are
visiting the houses in the village to bless them. The Virgin Herself
has recommended not only the blessing of our houses, but also
placing in them blessed religious objects as protection against
Satan. We have more need of this now than ever.
* January is the least popular month for pilgrims, and the
visionaries take advantage of this to travel. Jakov is in Italy, Ivan
and frSlavko left on 17 Jan for a long apostolic mission to Australia
(Slavko called from there on the 25th), Vicka is in Zagreb, Jelena
has returned to Steubenville (USA) and Mirjana is in Switzerland.
Our Lady accompanies the visionaries with Her apparitions
wherever they are. This is a very special grace for our times.
The ethnic cleansing continues in the heart of a Europe that
resembles Pilate washing his hands. The UNHCR envoys are
witnesses to the acts of terrorism which empty the villages of their
inhabitants, rob, then burn the houses, but have to wait till every-
thing is laid waste before bringing in tinned food supplies to
* The women who have been raped in the camps and who are
refugees in Croatia are terribly distressed. Some would like to abort
because of their shame (so far 300 of these little ones have been
born and refused - ed. note). It is urgent to organize welfare centres
for these women and adoptions for their babies. In the face of this
tragedy, there is a total legal void. This is the moment for "the
dedicated ones of the Kingdom" to take bold initiatives to reverse
the laws which do disservice to children instead of protecting them.
* We know from Ivan that in these days the Gospa calls us to
pray more intensely for Her intentions which she keeps secret
because She needs our prayers.
* The Commission of Inquiry is still suspended because of the
war, but this does not restrict in any way those who have given their
YES to the Queen of Peace Who continues to pursue Her plan.
Jakov told us two days ago: "I saw the sign with my own eyes. The
Gospa showed it to me. I know the exact date that it will appear."
We can clearly see by the peace of the visionaries that the Gospa
knows what She is doing and that She has the world in Her hands
as its Queen and in Her heart as our Mother. We are happy to have
Her as Mother!
A. She communicates the message to me in my intimate and I
write it down straight away. But when I read over it, even if it's
correct and Fr. Slavko gave me theological counselling, I realize it's
a long way from expressing what Our Lady communicated to me.
Often I can’t even believe that I wrote down those words and I even
feel so ashamed that I wasn't able to express what I could feel in my
heart, that I don’t feel like talking.
Q. What does Our Lady say to the priests about Mass?
A. She says they have to see Holy Mass as being the centre, the
summit, the most important moment in their own life, and the same
for all Christians. Our lives should be a continual preparation for
Mass and development of the Mass. Our lives have to reflect the
Gospel, like the Mass does.
Q. What about the comments to the messages, can you recog-
nize their real sense in these?
A. They often surprise me. As each day passes, I myself am able
to understand new meanings, deeper meanings, and since the words
(of the messages) aren't mine it doesn't surprise me. It's like the
different colours that are produced by light touching different
surfaces. However, they can also give rise to errors. Fr. Cesear
The Pope reads The Echo of Medjugorje
We were on our way out when Marija called out to say: "Do
you know that the Pope reads the Echo of Medjugorje?" We
replied: "Yes, we know he reads the French version." Marija
responded: "No, the Polish one - if not both that is. On the 17th
September, when Fr. Jozo gave a letter to the nun that works in the
Pontificial apartment to hand over to the Pope, she said how she
receives the Echo in Polish and how the Pope asks to read it too, so
she always lets him read it first. I was present and heard her say it."
Marija talks about the apparitions
On the 14th January, after we climbed Podbrdo, we called in on
Marija in her home in Bijakovici. She was happy to talk to us and
answer our questions.
Q. Has Our Lady's face remained the same all these years?
A. For us She has not changed. Despite Her 2,000 years, She is
youthful and slim, unlike us who tend to change, put on weight etc.
(She confirmed that during the Christmas apparition Our Lady was
dressed in gold and carried Child Jesus in Her arms. Unfortunately
She did not remain long.) Usually on special feast days She stays
less with us. Maybe it's because She's in a hurry to return for the
feast in Heaven (she said jokingly).
Q. You also receive the message at Christmas, and this takes
A. In fact, when we see Our Lady, it’s as if time doesn’t exist.
At times people say the apparition lasted a long time, while for us it
seemed very quick.
Q. How is the message transmitted every month on the 25th?
The situation in Bosnia and in Croatia is becoming more
complicated. The Geneva peace plan sounds like a legalization of
the violent conquests by the Serbo-Bosnians supported by
Belgrade. According to the pleace plan the Serbo-Bosnians, who
represent 31% of the population, would receive 50% or even as
much as 70% of Bosnian territory (which they are at present
occupying). The Muslims are the obvious victims in this plan. They
represent 44% of the population and would receive 20-30% of the
territory - made up of patches here and there, not even
neighbouring one another. The Croatians, 17% of the population,
would have Herzegovina: now in their hands after having fought
off the Serbs.
The great powers have never condemned the aggressor or
brought them to a halt, which can only be seen as encouragment for
the Serbs. They were not even told to retreat from the areas they are
occupying. The worst thing, however, is this: that in the peace plan
the ethnic division of Bosnia has been legalized, so that each of the
10 provinces will be assigned to the largest ethnic group inhabiting
it. How will the minority groups in the provinces be treated with all
this hate built up after so much violence and barbarity?
Both human and Christian values say that citizens of
different ethnic groups living in the same country must enjoy
the same rights; otherwise we should have to clean out all the
nations all over the world of foreign minority groups: not a
principal, but a misdeed, favouring division, injustice, and
"differences," instead of promoting unity among the childen of
Adam and Christ!
More clouds darken the horizon: the Serbs of Krajna
(behind the mountains looking over the Adriatic) destroyed the
bridge at Maslenica, thus dividing Croatia into two. Those who
wanted to go to Zara from Split had to ferry to the isle of Pag. Now
the Croatian soldiers have regained this area so they could build
the bridge, to give them easy access and keep on fighting to free
The UN, however, have condemned this operation. They
(the UN) accept the aggressor’s conquests, but do not acknowledge
the assailed the right to defend themselves. One and a half years
have passed and Europe has done nothing, but now it looks like a
military intervention is close (perhaps the USA or France), to
disarm the aggressors, hit their armaments and make sure that the
humanitarian aid gets through.
Yet another complication: Russia, who had so far supported
the UN, are now supporting Serbia, with obvious consequences.
Many Russian volunteers are already fighting by their side. But
who in this story cares about the people, the poor, the harmless
population, about real justice, and not just their own interests?
Ex Yugoslavia: peace plan unjust
legalizes ethnic division and conquests of
aggressors meanwhile fighting continues
Prayer for peace
(composed in 1700 by the bishop of Split, the venerable
Stephen Cupilli, at the time of the Turkish invasion) Respond to
each invocation with:
Grant us oh Lord your peace
Jesus, be our Saviour. We were waiting for peace, and here is war.
Jesus, Fount of Grace, with confidence we beseech you: grant peace
to your Church.
Jesus, Word of the Father, command that there be peace among
Jesus, Son of Mary, the Man of our peace in whom we trust.
Jesus, Most Glorious King, the glory of heaven be to you, and
peace on earth be to us.
Jesus, Author of faith, grant us peace and unmoving faith in you.
Jesus, Hope of the Saints, grant peace to those who hope in you.
Jesus, Fount of Love, use the force of your Spirit to create peace.
Jesus, Most Merciful, preserve thoughts of peace, not of affliction.
Jesus, our Help, make peace flow down upon the earth.
Jesus, Most Faithful, remember the alliance of peace you made with
Jesus, who Perfects the Law, open the hearts of your faithful to
your commandments, and create peace.
Jesus, Good Shepherd, see the tears of the mothers, like Rachel they
are crying for their children.
Jesus, wise Teacher, leave us your peace, grant us peace.
Jesus, perfect Consoler, manifest your goodness and discourage
those who hate peace.
Jesus, Our Rest, let your people experiment the splendour of peace.
Jesus, Sun of justice, let abundance of peace rise in our hearts.
Jesus, Redeemer of the world, spill not the blood of those you
redeemed with your precious blood.
Jesus, true Light, enlighten the Heads of state so they may find the
way to peace.
Jesus, Food for the strong, make peace in our countries, and fill us
with the strength of your grain.
Jesus, Prince of peace, break the violence of aggression and war.
Jesus, valiant Warrior, your fortress we will sing, your mercy we
Jesus, Winner over death, make those whom you satiate with the
bread from heaven be agreeable in love.
Jesus, King of Peace, bless your people with peace.
Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us.
A lesson by an Anglican minister:
In Medjugorje I found Mary - the renewal of my church began
with Her. He begs Catholics .. recite the Rosary: through Mary
you can renew the world
Apart from the many Catholics who visit Medjugorje to venerate
the Queen of Peace, of late there have also been an increasing
number of non-Catholic Christians who visit Medjugorje to pray to
Our Lady with trust and to ask for Her motherly intercession before
God. A recent visit was paid by Anglican minister, Robert
Llewelyn. Despite his age, he is spritely, and deeply spiritual. Peace
and joy irradiate from his every word.
Q. Would you like to start by telling us something about your-
self? I was born a long time ago, in 1909, but thanks to God I’m
still fit. When I was young I was very interested in mathematics and
I studied at Cambridge, where I was born. I worked for a while in
the English schools, and then in India for 25 years. The natural
sciences interested me, but at the same time I was very attached to
my Christian faith. I studied Anglican theology privately and in
1938 became a minister. I was chaplain for 13 years in the
sanctuary of St. Juliana.
When I hear about churches and other places of prayer being
destroyed, and about this ethnic cleaning, it brings back to mind
those long decades and centuries of fighting between the Anglicans
and Catholics. Then too, a great number of Catholic churches and
convents were destroyed, and many people were killed in our ethnic
cleansing. You can’t imagine how the Catholic Church and the
priests were hated. The Catholic priests were persecuted harshly,
but Our Lady, the Mother of Jesus, was hated and attacked
violently. Once, a statue of Her was tied by a rope to a horse and it
was dragged around the streets until it broke to bits. So even today
in interconfessional meetings and talks, there is still a lot of
difficulty when the question concerning Our Lady arises.
Q. How many Anglicans are there, and how many go to church?
There are 40 million of us. Only a small percentage are church
goers. Something has to be done if we want the people to return to
God - everyone needs Him.
Q. What do you think can be done?
This is the third time I’ve come to Medjugorje, even though I’m
83 years old. For me, Medj. is simply a place of prayer. For
example, I can pray much better here than in London. Experience
tells me that we Anglicans have to bring Mary back to our
spiritual area and give Her the place She is worthy of. She is our
Mother, and we are truly poor if we do not permit Her to be with
us. I think this is where the beginning of our spiritual renewal
lies, and with this in mind I started up a prayer community. We
pray the Rosary together. There certainly aren’t many of these
groups. Perhaps it’s the only one in our Church, it is very close to
Catholic heritage and prayer. I talk to my faithful about Mary and I
suggest they pray to Her.
What Our Lady says here in Medjugorje is what Jesus says, it’s
what Jesus says is the will of God. Here, in your land, Mary is
inspiration. There is a real Christian atmosphere in church, and
in many of your families true devotion to Mary shines out and in
the visionaries, joy, peace and simplicity.
This change came about because of my new filial
relationship with Mary our Mother, and it started in Medjugorje.
I live in the hope that if this happened to me, it can also happen to
others. The renewal is needed by all.
Q. Is there something else you'd like to say about the Rosary?
The Rosary is a prayer of meditation, it brings us closer to Jesus.
Since Mary is in the beginning and the end of this prayer, what else
could happen to me if not learn to love Mary and be convinced that
we Anglicans have to find place in our prayer for Her too? She is
our Mother. Without Her we are nothing but poor orphans.
Because of my love of the Rosary, I have been able to urge
Catholics at meetings to pray it. I know many of your faithful have
forgotten it or recite it superficially.
Q. Is there anything else you would like to say?
Let Mary instruct you. The world looks at you, do not tire!
Through Mary you can renew the world and you will be
helping us Anglicans to accept Her too, and we will be brothers!
Since I met you I pray for you all, for the monks, the visionaries
and the entire parish. Remain one in spirit, like Mary wants. That
is the only way you will be able to present His luminous face to the
world, and show the way to God. You pray for us too so we will
know how to jump over the obstacles and see each other as brothers
and sisters as soon as possible. May God, through the intercession
of Mary, protect you and watch over you in these difficult times.
and may He grant you peace through the intercession of the Queen
(from Nasa Ognjista - Dec. 1992)
On the hill of apparitions adoring the cross for those on the cross
The Pope: war and aggression is unworthy of man
A voice that sounds out in man’s defence, against the twisted
manoeuvres of those who make money on other’s backs: the Pope.
On 16 January when the Pope received the ambassadors from all
over the world for New Year’s greetings, he spoke out loud and clear
about the two evils that hold humanity in a clutch. One is war, the
other is poverty.
Among other things he said: Close to us the ruthless brutality of
war is being unfolded. I am thinking of the fratricidal fighting in
Bosnia and Herzegovina. All of Europe is humiliated (by it) and its
institutions have been discredited (because of it). The efforts of men
of good will over these years have been practically destroyed and
humanitarian rights are not being respected. The most elementary
principals that were decreed by the conference of European
security are being mocked at by real hordes that sow terror and
death. How can we not think of all the children who are marked for
life by such horrible spectacles? The international community must
demonstrate its political will in accepting neither aggression and
territorial conquest by force, nor the aberration of "ethnic
cleansing." Showing indifference before similar ways of acting is
culpable omission. Those who practise such injust deeds, or find
excuses for them, or justify them, will have to respond not only to
the international community, but also and above all to God.
BUILDING A LITTLE FAMILY OF GOD
for those who share the same call
Religious life is fertile when there is brotherly communion
The Holy Father, who never ceases to amaze us with such inspired
talks, identifies the focal point of religious life in his talk to directors
of Institutes of consecrated and apostolic life. (19 Nov.1992)
Every Christian community is born from God, so in some way
or another it reflects the Mystery of the Trinitarian communion
(the spring) and the ecclesiastical communion (of which it is a
sign). Brotherhood firmly expresses the mystery of divine
Charitable Love that the Father communicated to us in the
Incarnation of His Son (see Jn 3:16). Members of communities of
consecrated life and societies of apostolic life are called to follow
Christ more closely, through the action of the Holy Spirit (see
canon 573 - 1).
Life with Christ means deeply experiencing Jesus’ love. It means
firm proposals (that become real inner passion) of loving God and
with Him all those whom He loves. So brotherhood is a radical
reply to St Paul’s exhortation to the Philippians: "Have among
yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus," the
same sentiments that the Apostle describes so well in his hymn to
Charity. (1 Co 13:1-13)
There is no doubt that Christ’s love, when truly accepted and put
into practice in communities, builds up communion and becomes
support and a sign of brotherhood. It becomes the realization of
Christ’s missionary aspiration: "May they all be one ... so that the
world may believe..." (Jn 17:21) The call to participate in the Lord’s
love, by living that same charisma in "sequela Christi" is a call and
a gift of God, given freely.
The reply to this invitation to build the community together
with the Lord, day by day, has to be one that goes hand in hand
with the cross. It means great self-denial, in an acceptance of
others, in sharing the good and bad, accepting what’s different, and
in putting up with one’s own limits. And for the Religious,
especially missionaries, it may even mean that supreme sacrifice,
not unknown even in our present days, in offering one’s life out of
love for Christ and His Church. That is why it is so necessary that
they continually draw from God’s grace, let themselves be
guided by His Word, be nourished by the Eucharist and make
frequent use of the sacrament of reconciliation.
How fertile religious life will be depends on the quality of
brotherhood and life in common. But beside this, the present
revival in the Church and religious life is characterized by the
search of communion and community. So all the more religious life
will be able to construct "brotherly communion where one searches
for God and He is loved above everything else," (see canon 619)
the more it will be significant. But every time this dimension of
Christian love is forgotten, it will lose its reason for being, which is
that of being a small "family of God" together with those who have
received the same call.
In brotherhood, one has to reflect on "the kindness and love of
God our Saviour for mankind," (Tt 3:4) as seen in Jesus Christ. But
if this public testimony of religious life is postponed for the sake of
apostolic action or personal self-realization, religious communities
lose their evangelical force and are no longer a place where one
learns to love the Lord, and as each day passes, to become God’s
children, and thus brothers and sisters of each other - like in St
Bernard’s beautiful expression: "Scholae Amoris."
Reaching this goal isn’t easy. To get there, one has to constantly
remember that the aim of brotherhood is to form a special family,
reunited not for human reasons, but in response to the Lord’s
particular invitation, so in the Church there will be a visible sign of
that dynamic and diffusive love that passes between the Three
Persons of the Holy Trinity Who never fails to act when
brothers are "united in prayer." (see Acts 1:14)
Through prayer, God donates the capacity to construct happy,
hospitable communities able to serve others and do good works,
and thus be support not only to brothers and sisters on the same
walk of the New Alliance, but also to other Christian communities.
This is an important task of religious communities, which is
particularly waited for by Christians wanting to live as real children
of God in a world that reflects brotherhood as much as possible.
Privileged witnesses to this "school of love" are monasteries, places
for prayer, silence and evangelical brotherly life.
To the Blessed Virgin I entrust the works of your Plenary
Congregation, for in the Family of Nazareth She lived communion
in full, and today too She continues to form spiritual families
among those who look to Her as Mother and teacher. May She
support and guide the religious communities in their commitment to
make true brotherhood of faith, charity and apostolic zeal among
their members, for the expansion of the Kingdom.
What the evangelical virtues mean
in life of communion for those consecrated to Mary
In January a large group of people who choose to live a life of
strict communion (see Echo 95, page 7) went to Lourdes for 3 days to
review their lives in the light of the Immaculate Conception.
Those who consecrate themselves have to understand the need of
living by Mary’s indications (the aim of which are to take us to Jesus),
to the full, half way is not enough. From Medj. Mary gives precise
indications to the various groups, to explain what consecration means
in one’s every day living. Consecrating ourselves to Jesus and Mary’s
Hearts is the best way today of putting God’s Will into action, and His
Will is Gospel. There is no other Will of God besides the Gospel.
Obedience for an adult Christian, for a consecrated Christian, is a
concrete way of living Christianity, and when communion is real, the
way Our Lady means, it becomes the object of our conversion.
Without obedience in fact, conversion is abstract, like a fable. Why is
it that in a monastery a monk does not join the others in their prayer?
All communities are not monasteries, but nonetheless they are all
called to live the Gospel radically. The various principals that make up
the various communities do not change the fact that the Gospel is the
same for all. Being disobedient does not help the person grow, and
that person will never live their consecration fully.
It’s a waste of time talking about the other two evangelical
recommendations if we do not consider the importance of obedience.
Real poverty and real chastity (that comes from our hearts) or the way
we live our relationship with others, the way we live life of
communion, our state of spiritual freedom in all encounters, depends
on our obedience. Obedience is real poverty. Obedience is real
chastity. Obedience is the real way of the cross and purification. If you
do not learn as a consecrated person to also depend on things with
your brain, you will certainly not know how to depend on things with
your heart. Cerimonies and speeches don’t count; they don’t help you
advance in your conversion.
On the other hand, if a
consecrated person does not have that desire to change one’s ways and
way of thinking, then nothing changes. Even the risk before God is
minor, for that yes said to Him is not sincere.
Christ is obedient. If we are consecrated, the first virtue we have to
learn from Him is obedience. Obedience is important also because of
the help it gives us in living, for example, our state of chastity. But
what is chastity? When a person chooses virginity, then perfect
chastity is part of one’s vocation, and lived in the continual
purification of one’s heart. For married people it means living one’s
relationship with one’s spouse according to God’s will, to be faithful
to that design God has over one’s marriage, including personal
relationships with others.
Chastity is spiritual freedom, in all relations, obviously including
the one between husband and wife. Spiritual freedom means that
potential given us by the Spirit to help us live a new way, real and
deep way, according to God’s image, in the relationship of marriage or
other. God’s project for Christian marriage is very precise and chastity
is obeying to God, in marriage too.
So every consecrated person should search their consciences often
to see how they have lived their fundamental vocation of virgin or
spouse, to see how much they correspond to God’s image in their
particular vocation. The image that God has for every vocation is
called communion, because every vocation is a gift, donated by Him
for the good of all, thus for communion. If a person lives one's
marriage the "old way" (individualism, egoism) this is not serving
God, and it's not being a consecrated person. Communion is meant to
be a testimony in daily living, so (if we betray in this) then we also
betray Christ’s Cross in those other interests that regard His Kingdom.
Consecrated people should be "floating on clouds" as little as
possible, but attached to the "things of heaven." This means living
what the Pope calls "spiritual values." Gospel in day to day living is
possible, and has to be possible for Christians - step by step, if you
wish, but with decision, and in that direction. Consecration is called
consecration, and the three evangelical recommendations - poverty,
chastity and obedience - cannot be substituted by anything else for
Poverty is a Christian way of owning things, people, reason,
opinions, because there is a non-poor way of treating things and
people. For example, what do my priorities depend on? Does the
Gospel come first, or the family, work, commitments or other things
that aren’t Gospel? Our Lady says that to be poor, our life style should
be simple. Living a simple life means not possessing riches, or a
surplus, but living on what is only necessary. Why should Christians
have a surplus of goods? Where is this written? Who said that
consecrated souls have to have more than what they need? On the
contrary, Jesus told us to leave behind our riches.
Let us not observe who has more and who has less, not even in a
spiritual sense. Communion is false if we are unable to share
everything. God gave us riches, material and spiritual gifts, but it’s
very hard for us to share, even with those closest to us. Leaving Bosnia
out of it, we know how hard it is to reach the hearts of others.
Consecrated people should know how to share everything.
In encountering the live God you contemplate,
you open up to His grace and see
your problems resolved
On the 8th January, Fr. Tomislav spoke to an impromptu crowd of
people in the church of a small country parish.
Why have you come here this evening? To hear about the
apparitions of Our Lady, of the events in Medj., but also by an inner
impulse driven by your search for salvation... and by certain prob-
lems in the hope that God will resolve them, and in the search of
God’s word to help you choose which walk to take in life. Well,
this evening I want to talk to you about a real apparition that occur-
red in Bethlehem. Jesus was born in there, He went on the Cross to
save the world - we all believe this, but how many believers really
feel they are saved, happy, extremely happy in God? We all believe
Jesus saved us from the Cross, but who feels saved?
Today in the world we have apparitions of Our Lady, and many,
many special graces are offered to the Church. But who accepts
them? Only those who pray, who open their hearts, who meet with
the live God. This evening I would like to talk about this walk in
life so we can see what Jesus has offered us, and what He is
offering us today. We will see what we have to do to reach this
salvation and personal happiness, and be able to offer this salvation
to the world. Let us consider the arrival of Jesus in Bethlehem.
What happened? God contemplated man and He continues to do
this. And man contemplates God. God is born in man, man is born
in God. Everything could be summarized in one word:
contemplation. God is contemplating you and there is nothing in
you that He cannot see. He looks at you with the eye of a good
Father, and He loves you immensely. There is nothing that can
disturb God, neither your sin, nor your personal "tragedy," nor how
your neighbour behaves. He contemplates you, He wants to
contemplate you and He wants to fill you with His love.
If we want to learn how to pray, the first step we must learn is:
be relaxed in our souls, hearts, our entire being, be contemplated by
God. Then in each one of you God will come. This is the miracle of
Christmas: Jesus is not born in a stable, but in you. If He is not born
in me, everything is done in vain. The second step is: recognize
that God come in His Omnipotence. In today’s liturgy we listened
how Jesus fed a crowd of people with 5 loaves and 2 fish. There
were many people. There is no problem for Jesus. He is the same
with us. He is Omnipotent. God needs a stable in us, even though it
may be smelly and unsuitable, He doesn’t care. God is Omnipotent
when we open our hearts, but if we remain closed, the same Lord is
nothing because He leaves us free to choose. This is where our
responsibility plays such an important part.
The third step is that we have to learn this: that God surprises
always, in a positive way. He always goes beyond our thoughts,
beyond our capacity, beyond our knowledge. If we are ready to
believe in this surprise, we will not be closed in our problems, but
will live in the wait of this new life, of an answer, of something
truly beautiful. Almighty God does surprises and we, as His
children, have the right to await them.
There is yet another step to take in the walk to prayer: Jesus was
born at midnight - in the dark, in the fog. God is born in your
problems, it doesn’t matter how many they are. You see, we are
closed to this truth. We say: problems, problems, problems -
impossible, impossible, impossible. This is closure, and God is
unable to enter.
There are two ways of drawing close to one’s problems. The
human way makes them become more problematic: fights,
arguments, analyses, bitterness - and we are unable to do anything.
It is there where we think things are the darkest and enclosed in
thick fog that we have to open ourselves, remain waiting, waiting
for God’s surprise in us. If we have this profound attitude of
prayer, God starts solving our problems, with ease. Since people
do not have this attitude, little or nothing is resolved and people are
disappointed; so Our Lady can appear for 10, 15, even 20 years,
and nothing happens.
The Christmas Mystery closes with Epiphany and the wonderful
reality of Epiphany is the three Magi. They were probably
astrologists, ignorant of real faith, real prayer and real law, yet they,
among all men, found the way to Jesus. They were pagans, but their
hearts were filled with a great desire to know where and when the
Saviour would be born. All they needed was this openness of heart,
and God, with His grace, guided them to Bethlehem. God conducts
each one of us in the same way. No-one can say they don’t know
the way. Each one of us knows the first steps. In taking them, the
way for the next steps is opened up. Now look at the priests. They
knew where and when Jesus would be born. Herod too, who
belonged to the Judaic religion, knew everything. He wanted to kill
Jesus, the high priests did kill him, on the cross. Their hearts were
Jesus came for the sinners, for the blind, for the pagans, for
those who are distant, for each one of us. It’s up to us to walk like
the three Kings, or behave like Herod and the high priests, and
become used to the laws, listen to the sermons, know what Our
Lady says without changing our ways.
If we decide now to walk to Jesus, I’m sure we'd all find
something to say, like: I’d love to but I can’t; or: I have this to do; I
have these problems; this work to finish, etc. These are all excuses.
You married couples, who dreamt love, have you found this
completeness? Few of you! If God created the world so man could
live complete love, why is it that you have not discovered the love
that satisfies you completely? Why don’t you start running along
that path that takes us to that love that makes us totally happy?
All the problems that you are carrying on your backs can be
resolved if you decide to start walking along this path to openness.
Often we tell ourselves that certain situations are impossible. What
would have happened had Mary and Joseph said the same thing
when the angel appeared to them?
Remember that prayer with the heart is much more advanced
than the apparitions. Those who see Our Lady or Jesus have not
come to the end of the road. Their prayer has to become deeper to
encounter Our Lady of the Calvary. Visions and apparitions are
extraordinary graces, but the greatest grace is encountering God in
prayer. This is the road that takes us all to Salvation.
I hope that there are some of you who really want to put Our
Lady’s requests into practice. Look carefully at the messages, for
everything is explained in them: how to fall asleep, how to wake,
how to begin the day, how to spend the day - everything. Now it is
urgent that we and all humanity obey. If it will be so, our life will
become easy and fertile. We will be able to walk in the splendour,
in the glory of God even amid the darkness of this world. Let us
become part of this joy.
(Next week: question and answer)
Prayer in the family - is it really impossible?
Our Lady keeps asking for families to pray together, in particular
the Rosary. Many pilgrims reply: "That’s just not possible in my
family," and the reasons they give sound very convincing. Our
Lady, however, is right. She knows nothing is impossible for God.
The first time Albert, 50 years old, went to Medjugorje it turned
his life upside down. He cried for joy in discovering he had such a
wonderful Mother and such a wonderful Saviour. On the last day
he heard that the Gospa asks for families to pray together. That
really made him sad: "If you only knew what my wife made me go
through before I came here - insults, derision, threats! It’s just not
possible with her."
"But Albert," they tell him, "don’t you think the Blessed Virgin
knows your situation?" "Well, yes, She’d have to," he replied.
"Did She simply say: pray in your family, or did She say there
were some exceptions?" "No, I don’t believe so," he replied.
"Do you believe that if She is asking you to do something, it
means that She is also capable of making it happen, even if you
think it’s impossible?" Albert replied: "Capable of converting my
wife! She’d give up too after a while! You don’t know my wife!"
"Our Lady has seen a lot worse. Are you ready to put your trust
in Her?" "OK, I will, but what do I do?" Albert asked.
"Just do exactly what Our Lady says. Go home and start praying.
Don’t worry about explaining to your wife. She will see on her own
that your heart has changed. You say to Our Lady: see, I’m doing
what You ask, I’m praying in my family, but... on my own. I’m
praying for your intentions, for the non-believers, the youth, the
priests, for Your plans to be realized. Now You take care of my
intentions; help my wife to see with eyes of faith."
Albert decided to do just that, saying he'd come back again with
his wife when finances would permit, for her to experience Medj.
Four months later, in a group of pilgrims: But there’s Albert! He
pointed to a woman in the group: "There she is, look! She
practically forced me to come. I didn’t have the money but nothing
could stop her. She said the Providence would worry about it. So
here we are." "Your wife! Tell me about it."
"At home I prayed constantly, placing my trust in the Gospa and
one day, after a few weeks, my wife said to me: "Albert, I haven’t
come to annoy you, just let me talk to you for a minute." "OK," I
said, "sit down." And she wanted to know about all this praying.
Day after day she kept returning, and I talked to her about God. She
was astounded. She had never imagined God that way before. I
talked to her about Medj. and that did it. She prays so intensely now
that I have trouble keeping up with her."
Dear Mother, thank you! Like God, You give us what You ask of
(from Medj, the War from Day to Day, by Sr. Emmanuel)
Two Bishops were asked:
Do you believe in Our Lady’s apparitions in Medjugorje?
Msgr. Franjo Franic’, Bishop Emeritus of Split: "Yes, I
believe the apparitions are authentic."
Msgr. Ratko Peric’, coadjutor of Mostar, who recently
succeeded Msgr. Zanic’ (retired due to his age): "I feel immense
gratitude towards the Lord, He is always capable of communicating
His messages to we men, in particular through His Mother."
Msgr. Franic’: "I’ve seen miracles, for example Mrs Basile
from Milan. She came to me to show me, and I believed, I saw her
Msgr. Peric’: "I would like to thank the Italians for the way
they have helped our population ... for the humanitarian aid for the
millions of refugees who have lost everything, even their families ...
defenders against aggressors. You did not remain with your arms
folded, but organized food, clothes and medicines. Without a doubt,
your spiritual help has not lacked, with thoughts, feelings,
compassion and prayer. For all this, we thank you.
Q. Which miracle would you ask Our Lady for?
Msgr. Peric’: "Like everyone else, I would ask for peace,
because this is the greatest gift God can give us. In fact, He did not
leave us anything, apart from Himself in the Eucharist. He left us
His peace: I give you my peace, I leave you my peace. Of course,
this peace is compromised by our behaviour, but we would like to
have it, especially now that we have so much need of it."
(From the video cassette Medjugorje oggi, la voce della
speranza - filmed November 1992)
Take care of your brothers who are of the same flesh
The following is needed in ex-Yugoslavia: flour, sugar, oil,
rice, jars of jam, preserves, etc (provide can openers etc along with
tinned food). There is urgent need for: detergents, soaps and
sanitary napkins etc. for children and women; medicinals.
Contact your nearest Medjugorje or Caritas centre for
further information on how to help.
If you send your donation through us, please make sure to
indicate your intention. Make cheques out to Echo of Medj. and
mail to Fr. Angelo Mutti, Casella Postale 49, 46100 Mantova, Italy
Medjugorje Appeal UK - Bernard Ellis reports: "Lord
Huntingdon returned from his mission to Bosnia and Croatia on
behalf of the Medjugorje Appeal and said how he was concerned at
what he saw and has offered to return as soon as possible. The
racing industry’s response is commendable. A further convoy of 12
horse boxes left in early January loaded with food, heating and
cooking equipment, medical supplies and blankets, much of which
was donated by the racing industry itself. Offers of help have
arrived from other racing stables. Other industries such as the taxi
drivers’ Union and the fish industry have contacted the Appeal and
deliveries of medical and other supplies can hopefully be arranged.
To date the Appeal has raised over £900,000 by way of cash
donations. We send approximately twenty 20-tonne lorry loads
every month to the central depots in Rijeka, Split, Medjugorje,
Zagreb, Dubrovnik or direct into refugee camps in Central Bosnia.
Our programme for purchasing vehicles is currently running at
£60,000 per month.
On behalf of the refugees and the people of Bosnia,
Herzegovina and Croatia, we would like to thank everyone for
joining us with our efforts."
For donations, or further details regarding their activity, write
to: Medjugorje Appeal, Unit J Lambs Business Park, Tilburstow Hill
Rd, Sth Godstone, Surrey RH9 8JZ, England. Ph. 0342 893230
Non-stop adoration to ask for peace for Croatia is being
organized by the Ora et Labora group in Turin. They are now covering
24 hours a day for 245 days of the year, with the help of hundreds of
faithful and dozens of groups and convents. Holy Masses are being
offered continually to Mary’s Immaculate Heart.
For sponsorship of Croatian and Bosnian children:
Jozo has entrusted the scheme to the following people: Great Britian:
Kathy & Clive Goble - Ph. 0812-783068 - USA: Paul Kurmey, Ph.
377-7400 - Australia: Leon Le Grand, Ph. 03-8827675
Your donations for the month of January.
Medjugorje in the East & Russia: Lit. 14,848,000; Croatia/
Bosnia: Lit. 11,195,000; Radio Maria Poland: Lit. 16,875,000 (15
million donated by a private person in Vicenza); other: Lit. 385,000
From France (as a joint donation) - for Echo: Lit. 9,000,000; for
Croatia/Bosnia: Lit. 5,700,000. From Switzerland: Lit. 2,000,000
for Echo, plus other large donations for Bosnia.
Legal resp: A.Lanzani. Printed by DIPRO, Italy - Fax 0422-840804
Sped.Abb.Post. 3/70 - Aut.Trib.Mant. n.13/8.11.1986
Off the bookshelf:
"The Drama of Medjugorje" by Richard Foley, SJ. Available
from: Medjugorje Centre, P.O.Box 2628, London W14 0UT,
England, for £8.15 including postage within the UK.
"Visions of the Children" by Janice T. Connell. The
Medjugorje Appeal was able to buy a large quantity of this book at
cost. Minimum cost £10 + £2 postage & packing (or European
equivalent). Any donations above this will help raise funds for
refugees in Bosnia and Croatia and you’ll help spread the word
about Our Lady’s message of peace.
Our readers write:
With our 100th edition a few of the many letters we receive,
that lack of space will not normally permit us to publish.
* The Servi da Rainha, our translators of the Portughese
edition, send their thanks for the "untiring work" and advise that in
Brazil they have reached 50 thousand copies.
* From Zaire: The national leader of the Legion of Mary
wrote to propose distributing Echo. "We are happy to read news of
our Heavenly Mother and of Her works in the world."
* From Salesian Andrea Struss: We hunger for Love; please
send us more copies.
* From Scotland, Jim Farrell writes: An increasing number
of people avidly wait for their copy of Echo. It fills the void left by
not being able to go to Medjugorje.
* Echo is a letter sent by the Blessed Mother through you. It
makes my heart leap with joy when I receive it. (Quinta,
* It is the best gift I’ve ever received. My thank you is
continuous prayer in your favour. (Cecilia, New Delhi)
* I read and meditate upon the articles in Echo. You do
wonders. The Spirit acts unceasingly so this materialistic world will
let itself be Christianized. (A religious from Paris)
* From a community in Scotland: I’ve been in this
community in Dalmally (Krizevac Youth Community) for one
month and I’m so happy Our Lady called me here. The prayer
house is based on the spirituality of Medjugorje, and the youth
group is an extension of the activities there. For a year we commit
ourselves to prayer, service and evangelization, under the guidance
of Our Blessed Mother and Her holy messages. Pray for us and all
those who come to Craig Lodge. (Una Oliver)
* From a monk and spiritual director: So far you have
managed to keep Echo faithful to its first scope tied to Medjugorje,
and to the meaning that the exceptional event of these apparitions
takes on for humanity: a sign that this is the eve of extraordinary
and decisive events for the history of man’s salvation... (Bologna)
* Thank you Lord Jesus in eternity, for your Love:
teacher of immigrant Italians in Germany writes: "... our brothers
here don’t know about God’s infinite love, about how we can trust
in Him. The only thing I would like my students never to forget is
Jesus’ presence among us - real, active, effective presence, no
different as to when He walked in Palestine. May they always trust
in His imcomprehensible, yet certain Love for each person, for each
sinner. They love it when I tell them about Our Blessed Mother in
Medjugorje and about Her life. When I remind them of Her real
presence, and that of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, they are extremely
attentive and avid for more." (Joseph Sedda)
Echo is free, but lives on your donations. If you would like
to contribute, please send your cheques to: Echo of
Medjugorje, Casella Postale 149, 46100 Mantova, Italy.
Money may also be transferred to our bank account. Make
payable to Fr. Angelo Mutti, Banca Agricola Mantovana,
Ag.4, Mantova, Italy - Acc. no. 26641-1. If you prefer, you
can send your donation to your local distributor who will see
to sending it on to us. Thank you and God bless.
IN THE FAMILY
With this 100th edition, we would like to express our
gratitude to Mary for having made us helpers of Her motherly love.
Our thanks also goes to all those who so generously help us with
the editorial work, the printing and the distribution of Echo. We ask
our Blessed Mother the grace of faithfully communicating only
what She wants under the sign of gratuity and poverty which are
the means that mark the works of God.
Our wish for our readers is that you may preserve the unity
of the Spirit through the bond of peace, and we bless you with the
Fatherly and Motherly blessing.