Our Blessed Mother’s 12th Anniversary
message of 25 June 1993:
Dear children, also on this day I
rejoice at your presence here. I bless
you with a motherly blessing and I
intercede for each of you before God. I
invite you once again to live my
messages and put them into practice in
your lives. I am with you and I bless
you all day by day.
Dear children, these are special times;
that is why I am with you, to love you
and protect you: to protect your hearts
from Satan and bring all of you all the
more closer to my Son Jesus. Thank
you for having responded to my call.
What could the Queen of Peace say at the
sight of the crowd gathered once again in
Medj. for the 12th anniversary? I rejoice at
your presence here. The "here" indicates
that She doesn’t want us to forget that this is
the oasis of peace chosen by Her (26 June
’86); and all can see that it has remained
such despite the war. For Mary this oasis is
dearer to Her than the other places where
She gladly remained when sent by the
Father to the earth (21.3.85).
The message is an invitation to return here
for those who can, or at least visit a Marian
Sanctuary or group. If we look for Her, we
will make Her happy for She can then give
us Her graces: he who honours his mother is
like someone amassing a fortune (Si 3:4).
Our Lady blesses us with a motherly
blessing both on Her feast days when She is
given much power in Heaven, and day by
day, for She follows Her children step by
step. She blesses and intercedes; meaning
She prepares the way for us with Her
blessing and She intercedes for us so we
may be filled with divine grace. Mary, Who
will not allow others to beat Her in being
loving and generous (Montfort), expresses
our plea in a way that could never be put
into words, and the Spirit, Who prays in
Her, knows perfectly well what we need (cf.
At the start of this 13th year, we are called
anew to live Her messages, which are both
antique and new: Prayer is at the heart of
them all, being the key that opens all the
treasures. If you only knew how much grace
God grants you in prayer, you would pray
unceasingly (8.11.84). Our goal is peace
that comes from faith in God, live and
present, and from conversion to Him. All,
however, is acquired in prayer, in particular
the Rosary, accompanied by fasts. Through
this the spirit of Love is poured into us, to
remain and grow with the aid of the
sacraments: Holy Mass, confession and the
Word of God.
Living my messages means letting
yourselves be loved by Me. If you do not
live them, you are not accepting My love.
Jesus says: Remain in my love ... As I have
kept my Father’s commandments and
I am with you
to love and protect you
in these special times
Lord, come to the rescue of your children
whom you redeemed with your precious Blood
No issue of Echo in August
remain in his love ... and your joy will be
complete. (Jn 15:9-11)
These are special times, because they are
the last. Today, like never before, the
mystery of lawlessness is revealed in the
power of Satan, in all kinds of miracles and
a deceptive show of signs and portents, and
everything evil that can deceive those who
are bound for destruction (2 Th 2:7-11).
Evil magnifies; in particular it is revealed in
a shameless and devastating dimension.
These times, however, are also times where
the chosen ones, the children of the woman,
are blossoming in a new, hidden flowering,
driving the adversary wild.
I am with you to love you and protect
you from Satan, who is trying to sweep
away everyone, making war on the woman
and the rest of her children (Rv 12:17). If
we are faithful to Her teachings, She will be
with us and will save us from the great
seduction being carried out by Satan against
the Church with signs and portents, enough
to deceive even the chosen if that were
possible (Mt 24:24). Our Blessed Mother
brings us all together, ever closer to Her
Son Jesus, Who makes us grow to a perfect
stature and saves us.
Pick yourself up and start again on the
luminous way of Her calls: look to the Star,
CELEBRATION OF PEACE
Thurs., 24 June, 11 a.m.: Many thousands
of pilgrims from all over the world gathered
in the new church of the Franciscan convent
in Humac for the PEACE MARCH.
It began a little before midnight, with
arrival in Medj. around 3 p.m. Msgr. Frane
Franic’, Archbishop emeritus of Split (over
the 80 mark), did the first 4 km, walking
and praying with Vicka.
The Blessed Sacrament was also carried
continued on page 8
"Do not forget who brought
you out from Egypt!"
after 12 years of apparitions
so as not to lose the sign of Medj.
The 25th June will be the 12th annivers-
ary of Our Lady’s apparitions in Medj. We
all have to acknowledge the fact that it is
only thanks to the Queen of Peace that today
we can call ourselves "souls born again,"
and as such should search our consciences.
The worst thing that could happen now
is forget where we come from, and forget
what we received, personally, in Medj. The
beginning was surprisingly full of enthus-
iasm. We can’t now afford to let a cold,
administrative spirit take over. We have to
keep what we received and understood,
without forcing it, so the Father’s will can
be realized to the full.
We know that for many faithful, Medj.
has become nothing more than a fact of
culture: just curious to keep up with the
latest facts, to know who’s going and who’s
coming, who the goodies are and who the
baddies are in the Church, etc. All this has
nothing to do with the new life in the Spirit
that Our Lady has been offering for the last
12 years to all those searching for it.
The best way to make this great feast of
the Queen of Peace solemn is to question
oneself in depth, and recall the moment in
which Our Lady, unexpectedly and out of
no merit of our own, broke down the wall of
unbelief in us that impeded us from living in
full communion with Christ.
We must never forget that our
conversion is a gift. Should our conversion
fall apart due to weakness then our interest
for Medjugorje also drops, and this can be
seen happening to many. Nonetheless, the
indifference being met by Our Lady
depends on the fact that when the messages
are not put into practice, a person’s spiritual
life is impeded and the walk of purification
is not seen as important anymore. So you
lose the joy that comes from staying with
God, and His Mother’s messages become
just something to converse about; you lose
sight of the fact that they are, instead, the
salt of our life and light for the Church.
In Medj. each of us received from Mary
something fundamental for our lives, that
no one, nowhere, was ever able to give us
before. This is something to keep in mind
always. Remembering this should be a daily
exercise, and it can teach us something very
important: our one and only duty is to live
in obedience, gratefully and joyfully, and
remain open to Our Blessed Mother’s calls.
For it was She who brought us to the faith
and placed us before Crucified Christ.
Clearly impressed in the memory of each
one of us is the moment in Medj. in which
the Holy Spirit began dwelling in our hearts.
Each of us can remember the moment when
Our Lady placed us before the Truth. I have
come to tell you that God exists! In Him is
Life, peace, joy! Turn away from sin!
From that moment we were made again,
JULY 1993 - Month of Jesus' Precious Blood. Orig. Ital.edit: Eco di Medj., C.P.149, 46100 Mantova,
Italy. All mail to: Echo of Medj., Casella Post. 27, 31030 Bessica (TV), Italy. fax 423-470331- Yr 8#6
born from above (cf. Jn 3). However, if this
extraordinary gift is not fed and served
daily, it gets lost amid the multitude of ideas
on religion that the world, and we with it,
invent. Medj. is not in fact one of the many
forms of Christian living. No, it is the fount
from which we received that communion
with Christ that we had lost. This helps us
see how our obedience must always, in a
certain sense, be oriented to its beginning.
That is: God has already spoken to us, we
have already been raised again by Our Lady,
Christ has already redeemed us, we have
already received the Holy Spirit; so our life
is essentially a praise of and a correspond-
ence with that God Who entered us to
become a permanent part of our lives.
If our communion and intimacy with
Christ (that exploded in us on that first day)
has now become foggy, we cannot put the
blame on Him. We are the ones to have
silenced it, and the lustful eye, the sensual
body and pride of possessions (1 Jn 2:16)
have found room in us again.
If we truly want to please Mary, then let
us contemplate the grace we received in
Medj. and meditate upon how the Queen of
Peace and this grace are the most important
signs for us. In fact, the greatest wealth we
have is our obedience to Her, for Our Lady
keeps us from the danger of believing we
are our own creators; She draws us to a
state of redeemed humanity. However,
this obedience (out of love) operates, as we
have already said, in reverse, towards its
beginning, for everything in the Church and
for the Church comes from a sole fount, the
mystery hidden from ages past in God (Eph
3:9) which existed before us. There is noth-
ing we can invent, but we need to keep our
life hooked up to He Who did invent it and
choses to give it to us right there in Medj.
Furthermore, it is important that we do not
allow fear to enter our hearts for the serious
contradictions arising against Mary’s
presence. In history, when God manifests
Himself, a mysterious yet painful "law," is
triggered off, whereby the more God loves
men the more they close themselves up -
for this is Satan’s work. "Only where the
heavens are opened, hell is also thrown wide
open" (H. U. Balthasar).
Satan has no power over God’s works,
but he can and does persuade men to live
without Him. In the same manner, he
cannot cancel the gift we received in Medj.
for it is an experience made possible by the
Holy Spirit. Satan can, however, work to
close us up in a type of deafness, a forget-
fulness, or urge us towards being "carefree"
Christians who wait till tomorrow to convert
whilst forgetting that the Holy Spirit is
urging us here and now to a total surrender.
And let us not forget that it was Our Lady to
have communicated such fervour to our
souls the day she took pity on us. Bless the
Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his
benefits. (Ps 103)
1Co 7:23) and the riches of divine mercy
(cf. Eph 2:4)."
Only God’s love and His forgiveness,
not therapy, can heal the heart of man
"The renewal of religious life depends on
each consecrated person seeking and
loving God above all else, ever bearing in
mind that the contemplation of divine
things and assiduous union with God in
prayer is to be the first and foremost
duty of all religous. The only effective
way to reform religious life is the arduous
path of personal and prayerful conversion,
with a humble acknowledgment of one’s
mistakes and sins and with confidence that
the power of his resurrection will over-
come all weakness and mediocrity, and
heal the sense of disappointment and
anger:" a feeling that occurs when one’s
soul is not in "tune" with its Creator.
An integral part of inner healing indeed
comes from the experience of forgiveness
of one’s sins: "a recurring need in the life
of every Christian. Restoring a proper
sense of sin is the first step to be taken in
facing objectively the grave spiritual crisis
looming over men and women today, a
crisis which can well be described as an
eclipse of conscience.
Without a healthy awareness of their
own sinfulness, people will never
experience the depth of God’s redeeming
love for them while they were still
sinners. (cf. Rom 5:8) Given the prevailing
idea that happiness consists in satisfying
oneself and being satisfied with oneself, the
Church must proclaim even more
vigorously that it is only God’s grace, not
therapeutic or self-convincing schemes,
which can heal the divisions in the human
heart caused by sinfulness."
Do not reduce Christianity to merely human wisdom
ignoring supernatural character of faith and truths about "last things"
We who have been pupils at Mary’s
school for all these years should by now
realize that the teachings of Mary and those
of the Pope are in perfect communion, for
both are expressions of God’s Only Spirit.
On 28 May, John Paul II received in
audience the third group of US Bishops at
the conclusion of their ad limina visit and he
spoke to them about the conditions needed
to live the Mystery of Christ and His
Church in its entirety.
The first step is in acknowledging the lack
of spirituality: "It is not an exaggeraton to
say that man’s relationship to God and the
demand for a religious "experience" are the
crux of a profound crisis affecting the
human spirit. While the secularization of
many aspects of life continues, there is a
new quest for "spirituality" as evidenced in
the appearance of many religious and
healing movements which look to respond
to the crisis of values in Western society.
This stirring of the homo religiosus
produces some positive and constructive
results, such as the search for new meaning
in life, a new ecological sensitivity, and the
desire to go beyond a cold, rationalistic
religiosity. On the other hand, this religious
re-awakening includes some very
ambiguous elements which are incompat-
ible with the Christian faith."
In this regards, the Pope mentioned the
New Age Movement: "New Age ideas
sometimes find their way into preaching,
catechesis, workshops and retreats, and thus
influence even practising Catholics, who
perhaps are unaware of the incompatibility
of those ideas with the Church’s faith." In
declaring these false responses to religion
leads, however, to the formulation of a
positive Catholic programme, one that the
Pope presented to the Bishops of the US.
"Pastors should insist on the spiritual
dimension of the faith, on the perennial
freshness of the Gospel message and its
capacity to transform and renew those who
accept it. St Paul tells us that we must seek
the things that are above, where Christ is
seated at the right hand of God (Col 3:1).To
neglect the supernatural dimension of the
Christian life is to empty of meaning the
mystery of Christ and the Church: If for
this life only we have hoped in Christ, we
are of all people most to be pitied (1 Co
15:19). Nevertheless, it is a sad fact that
some Christians today are succumbing to
the temptation to reduce Christianity to
merely human wisdom, a pseudo-science of
well-being. To preach a version of
Christianity which benignly ignores, when it
does not explicitly deny, that our ultimate
hope is the resurrection of the body and life
everlasting runs counter to Revelation and
the whole of Catholic tradition."
The supernatural character of the faith
requires thoughtful meditation on the
truths about the "last things" (of which
the CCC offers a summary). "The fullness
of the truth which God has enabled us to
know tells us that life in the body has a
transcendent goal and that decisions and
actions in this life have irrevocable
consequences which cannot be ignored.
While many prefer to avoid these ultimate
questions and some are tempted to think
of salvation as a right and as a foregone
conclusion, the Church must continue to
remind people of the awesome reality of
human freedom, the price of salvation (cf.
MEDJ. YOUTH FESTIVAL
Starts Saturday 31 July 1993, 6 p.m. for
all pilgrims in Medj.. Ends Friday 6 August at
day-break with Holy Mass on Krizevac.
Theme: From the darkness to the light - or:
where the new world begins. Young people,
come without fear, Your Blessed Mother is
there waiting for you!
YOUTH 2000 UK - 2nd Int’l Prayer
Festival at Aylesford Priory in Kent from 25-
30 August ’93. Open day for general public:
Sunday 29. Contact: Youth 2000, P.O. Box
119, London SW7 5RH.
Prepare oneself through prayer
for meeting in Denver
After tragic experiences
you can be born again in Christ
These central elements of spiritual life that
the Pope reminded the US Bishops about
should now be able to find an application in
the Eighth World Youth Day to be held in
Denver from 14-15 August. For some time
now the Holy Father has been inviting the
youth not just of America, but all over the
world, to participate in this meeting. To the
pastors of the US the Pope said: "more than
merely a festive occasion, the gathering in
Denver is intended to be an authentic
moment of evangelization. When the saving
word of Christ enters the sanctuary of the
human heart, it invites each young person to
become a courageous and generous
evangelizer." In fact, "the Church counts on
her young people, remade as a new creation
to proclaim the Gospel in all the circles in
which they move. My visit to Denver will
truly be a pilgrimage which I, along with so
many young men and women, am prepar-
ing for through reflection, prayer and
penance. I invite you to join me so that we
shall be spiritually ready for that kairos."
The theme of the Youth Day in Denver
was taken from a message written especially
by the Pope and modelled on Jesus’ words:
I have come so they may have life and have
it to the full (Jn 10:10). After having spoken
of how the young people are so tragically
deceived, enchanted by false masters who
teach them to follow their instinct, money
and self-achievement, and who make
promises of "spiritual liberation" which is
destructive illusion, the Pope continued with
a consideration on human conditions: "Daily
experience tells us that life is marked by sin
and undermined by death, despite the thirst
for goodwill that beats in our heart and the
desire for life that runs through our limbs.
Though we are little attentive to ourselves
and the setbacks presented by life, we find
that everything in us wills us to go further.
Everything invites us to overcome the
temptation of [succumbing to] superficia-
lity or desperation."
There is a way out! This is the grandness
of the hope the Pope wants to communicate
to us: "In the mystery of His cross and
Resurrection, Christ destroyed death and
sin, He abolished the infinite distance that
exists between every man and the new life
in Him." This life flows through the sacra-
ments. Starting from the sacramental found-
ations of Christian life, it becomes possible
to be born again, and in particular in a total
and sincere donation to the Lord, according
to the means offered by the Church. "A
man who is born from above is able to see
the kingdom of God (Jn 3:3) and commit
himself to building up social structures more
worthy of man, of every man, in the
promotion and defence of the culture of life
against all threats of death."
The Pope’s intentions are very clear and
just as clear are his teachings with regards to
the authenticity of faith experience. Further-
more, the Pope makes frequent references to
the new Catechism. This should help us
accept the message, for in these times it is
indispensable that we let ourselves be
educated and guided by the maternal
indications of the Church, in humble
obedience. Authentic Catholic obedience
doesn't mean throwing oneself headlong
into doing what we think will please the
Lord, but in allowing Him space (by being
open to communion in Him - see Echo 102
and 103) so He can conduct our lives by
means of His Spirit, Who is live and present.
That is why it is fundamental that we put
aside all our "missionary" projects if they
are not confirmed by obedience to the
Magisterium. The true identity of a
Christian is in being ready to carry out the
will of Another.
John Paul II opened the 16th pilgrimage
by foot from Macerata to Loreto with Holy
Mass on Sat. 19 June. In his homily he urged
the youth to learn from the experience of one's
walk to live one’s faithfulness to Christ, and
spoke of the luminous example of
faithfulness of the Chinese Catholics. He said
how he would like to visit that Church "to
thank together the Lord for the many gifts
received and to confirm the Christians in their
walk as faithful and generous disciples of
Christ and good citizens, totally dedicated to
the good of their country."
The Pope also invited the youth to
Denver, reminding them that the meeting, "in
response to the urgent challenges of our times,
that often tend to break up society, is a sign
and a proposal of a new unity, in the
announcement of Christ."
30 km was not too far to walk for the
30,000 youth, for their destination was
Loreto, to see their common Mother. They
carried lit torches as they walked and prayed
(Rosary, Bible readings, songs). They
in Loreto at daybreak, tired but happy. *
To youth in Loreto march Pope says
look at faithfulness of Chinese
The four plagues in the life
of a Christian today
but consecration to Mary’s
Immaculate Heart can heal them
living the Gospel.
3. The third plague is legalism: a return to
moralism, that cold severity of law that kills.
Being unable to oppose legalism with mercy
means we are still in Old Testament times.
A law can be positive, but that doesn’t
make it all-important, and above all it does
not make it God’s way of treating others. To
assume this moralism is to become like
pharisees, who base their relations on their
own judgements - thus the rigidity and
severity that determine even the simplest
relations. Without a doubt, justice requires
clear judgement, but this requires openness
to Christ’s message which says that mercy
comes before law and forgiveness before
judgement. Legalism or human justice will
not save us, as these are factors with a
marginal value when compared to the type
of conversion and the depth and fullness of
the New Law realized through mercy.
Again, we cannot accept the atheistic
legalism of those who want to make people
follow moral commands that totally oppose
love. A clear example of this is legalized
abortion. Those who do it feel proud before
the others because they act according to the
law, though what they’re doing is killing a
baby. A person though who cheats or steals
is pointed at and publicly mocked. This is
just how uncivilized we have become for
having abandoned God. The world thinks
that "ethic" cleansing, like "ethnic" cleans-
ing, will bring justice, but to date all that has
come of it is an increase in violence. Let us
remember that in the name of legalism the
Scribes and Pharisees condemned Jesus.
4. The fourth plague is subjectivism
united to a certain "protestantism" within
the Church. With this one tends to stress the
particularisms, opinions, individualisms and
mediations that sacrifice the catholicity and
universality of the Church. This danger
comes from a wrong idea concerning
communion. If one thinks this comes totally
from the Holy Spirit, then He Himself with
His gifts, takes us back to unity. If, how-
ever, one thinks of communion as being
something that comes from man, from his
knowing what to do, how to interpret and
how to sinthesize, then the various goods
oppose one another, and instead of tending
towards unity, each one takes its particular
aspect and raises it to the same level as the
universality of the Catholic Church.
With subjectivism one stresses one’s
own ways of considering the Church and
how to use the Gospel (with ideas that
come from human interpretations) instead of
the spiritual experiences that contribute to
the common good. Consequences are seen
in the education of the young people. Like
everyone, they need human experiences, not
I find it odd that Bible study is being
given such exclusive accentuation. Not that
it isn’t positive, it just isn’t essential. Giving
Christ is essential - He interprets the Holy
Scriptures, for He is the accomplishment of
them. What really counts is giving others
real Christian testimony, not hypotheses.
If what we give lacks what has already been
carried out by Jesus, it lacks Jesus and the
Gospel, then it’s all artificial, idolatry and
illusory. When a young person discovers
this he quickly turns his back on it all.
The danger is that since these 4 plagues
are not totally negative elements, they are
not easy to see. They are relative goods
trying to take the place of the absolute
Good: God, Who revealed Himself in the
After having been introduced to the
meaning of consecration to Mary (cf. Echo
99 pg.2), which is openness to the Spirit by
and as Mary, we must now realize what
illnesses most impede this openness.
Consecration to Our Lady leads us to Her
Son and to the Gospel. It makes us more
aware in our spirit, i.e. it gives us spiritual
judgement that alone can reveal truths that
would otherwise remain hidden. Our Lady
helps us see the plagues in the spiritual life
of a Christian these days that affects the way
we see the Gospel. The danger of these 4
plagues is the lack of negativity, for it is a
matter of relative good being raised to an
1. The first great plague is so-called
"effectiveness," or that spiritual illness
whereby one tends to reduce everything to
one’s own abilities and possibilities, in
contrast, from a practical point of view, to
God’s grace. For Christians this is a serious
sin for in doing so one cancels the saving
potential of Christ’s grace. Men’s qualities
are God’s gifts, but "effectiveness" central-
izes these gifts as human values, and Satan
uses this against us. This plague also tends
to restrict the Spirit within our views and
schemes, so that we expect what has already
been decided by us.
St Joseph, though he was a righteous and
pious man, needed an angel to help him
understand that God uses extraordinary
ways, unknown to man, to realize His plan.
The world, however, does not believe, and if
someone says today they live by
Providence, he is considered an idiot. When
situations are normally without solution,
Our Lady teaches us not to confine the Holy
Spirit within our schemes, for His ways are
totally unknown to us and He can change
situations that we, with all our intelligence
and abilities, cannot.
2. Another great plague is the dominion
of the world of appearance. The most
appearing things, founded on power,money,
pleasure, approval of others, etc., have
entered the life of Christians, making them
passionately attached to self-fulfilment.
So they care about the way the world sees
them, and don’t consider God when choos-
ing a vocation. In always and only looking
for what pleases us and the world runs
counter to the Gospel and makes you unable
to see that before anything else there must
be an effective spiritual life; that the effect-
iveness of Grace, not of man, is decisive.
This attachment, decidely mundane, is
becoming more and more a case of self-
idolatry where worldly satisfaction and
comprehension is desired. Then what
happens for example, is that Christians look
upon choice of profession as being more
important than choice of vocation: "First
I’ll become a doctor to serve the others, then
I’ll think about responding to God." Of
course, it’s normal to want to accomplish,
however, the man who accomplishes the
most is he who lives according to the Spirit
(St Paul). It is becoming widespread among
Christians to consider the way the world
wants us first, then the way the Church
wants us, with the excuse that the world has
to understand us too. This plague is
destroying among the youth the desire of
searching for one’s vocation, for they feel
continuously hindered by a false way of
Niki (Brescia, 15.6.93)
God knows we are oppressed
AND HE FREES US
if we let ourselves be led by Him
in total confidence
On the 4th June Fr. Tomislav spoke in
Villanova to a large crowd: This evening, as
I was preparing for this meeting, I prayed to
the Lord to tell me what to say, and this is
what I heard: Exodus and purification.
In Exodus, Moses was protected and
guided in a miraculous way. Today in the
Church we have two guides: the Virgin and
the Pope. Analysing and arguing will get us
nowhere; we know that the Virgin is present
in the world. Right from the beginning of
the world She was foreseen as being the
Woman who would crush the serpent, and
today She is here among us in a special way,
to offer Her Immaculate Heart to the Church
and all humanity so they may be protected
under Her sure guidance. God prepared the
Woman to be Mother of Jesus and of each
one of us, making Her Mother of the
Church. With us, in the Church, there is also
the Pope, John Paul II. He was foreseen by
God; he was prepared for these times. In
him we can see the light, for God conducts
the Church through his hands.
In these times we must recognize Hers
and God’s presence in the Pope. God has
prepared ranks of chosen people, He has
prepared many small, hidden souls, not
just those who cry out and of whom we
hear, but the "offered" (victim) souls who
are carrying out His work. Would you also
like to be one of these? Inside of you is
God’s power, all His wealth, because you
are born of God, that live God, God the
Holy Spirit. He lives in you and wants to
lead you to the Promised Land, towards the
novelty of the Church and the world.
Many search, they search a lot, and they
desire to know. They go left and right and
don’t know where to look. Everything has
already been prepared inside of you. All you
have to do is blossom, and make God
blossom in you. This is what happened to
Moses and the chosen people, and it will
happen in those who follow this walk. So let
us begin our walk with this conviction: God
is in us and wants to guide us to the mount.
You know how God presented Himself to
Moses, don’t you? From the desert, Moses
saw a blazing bush that was not burning up,
and he went to see it. God called to him
from the bush: "Moses, Moses!" (...) "Come
no nearer. Take off your sandals, for the
place on which you stand is holy ground. I
am your God ... I have seen the miserable
state of my people in Egypt and I have
heard their cry... I mean to deliver them out
of the hands of the Egyptians and bring
them to a land rich and broad, where milk
and honey flow." (Ez 3:1-8)
The first step is this: prostrate ourselves
before God in us, like Moses who removed
his sandals and prostrated himself in God’s
presence. When we are able to prostrate
ourselves before God, [Who is] mighty,
strong, holy, marvellous, Who prepared
everything in us, then in our walk [to God]
we will start experimenting true joy. This
was the starting point for all saints in the
history of the Church and it is also ours.
The second step is in recognizing that
God in us knows everything. He hears
your tears and your sadness. What he said to
Israel through Moses, He also says to you: I
have heard how you, the Church and my
people are oppressed. I have come down to
save you. If we do not have the replies to the
many questions inside of us then it's because
we do not believe God knows them: "I will
go in front of you, for I have heard your
sorrow. For this I have come."
So for this second step, we have to keep
on repeating in us, like Moses, that God is
more powerful than the biggest powers in
the world. The powerful in the world can do
nothing without God. There are, however,
other powers that frighten us: Satan, our
illnesses, our problems ... Know that God is
more powerful than all the powers that
you feel within and around you!
Weeks ago I exorcised a person with a
strong satanic presence. I told Satan to
prostrate himself before God. He told me he
was god and that he wouldn’t and didn’t
want to. So I said: "OK. Now we'll prostrate
ourselves before the Blessed Sacrament and
all the spirits within us will be prostrated
before the Holy Trinity." I asked that person
if he wanted to prostrate himself and offer
himself to God. He said yes so I asked Satan
what would become of him. He replied he'd
end up with the rubbish.
The worldly powers and the powers we
fear end up with the rubbish when put
before Jesus. Like in the time of Moses and
the Pharaoh, God is more powerful.
God guided Moses as one would guide a
child. Moses knew nothing of Egypt and for
every difficulty he turned to God. Also in
you there is God Who teaches you how to
open the Red Sea and the rock of your heart
and problems. It is the Lord, your Father,
Who teaches you the way through the
desert, He goes before you. When you are
weak, tired, old, sick, and lost, God shows
Himself to lead you back on the way. But if
you look for people, things, or human
values, leaving God by the way, you will
never be able to get through the exodus,
because it's putting yourself before God.
God could not have done miracles
through Moses if he had not had an open
heart. Among the chosen people, only those
with hearts open to trust, hope and love
were able to reach the Promised Land. It's
the same for us. When Our Lady invited us
to continuous prayer, She meant that interior
condition that would make it possible for
God to guide us towards the promised land.
The secrets cannot be reached with ideas,
the signs of these times cannot be under-
stood with your head, but only through the
openness of a heart donated by the Holy
Spirit. Jesus did many miracles in His time,
but not in His town for their hearts were
closed. Those whose hearts were open,
through conversion announced by John the
Baptist, were able to understand the signs
and follow the grace that came from Jesus.
In the walk of the chosen people, there
have to be trials. Without trials, trust, hope,
love and communion with God do not grow.
Moses was tried, all the prophets and saints
were, and they were necessary for Jesus too.
Trials have been announced for the last
times. Why do there have to be trials?
Because God loves you, He wants to heal
you and all humanity, for He wants to take
His Church to holiness. Only through trials
can people’s holiness grow. They are God's
signs to place joy, peace and light in your
hearts. You need God, but are you aware
that God also needs you, that He needs your
souls to use as instruments of grace for His
other chilren? In this time of trial, you have
to be the light of God for the others.
In this moment God is calling you to
love. You heard the last message given at
Medj.: love ... love, because without love
continued on page 8
Australian Bishop visits after
seeing change in faithful
Australian Bishop, Henry Kennedy,
visited Medjugorje early May with a group
of about 20 pilgrims. Among other things
the Bishop said about Medjugorje: "I firmly
believe in what is happening here. I first
heard about it in 1983. The faithful of my
diocese that had been here underwent such a
profound spiritual change that I felt I had to
spend more time on looking into this
Sanctuary of Our Lady. I started reading
books on the subject and talking to pilgrims,
and in the end I decided to come here
Msgr. Kennedy said he was surprised and
delighted to see so many faithful in
Medjugorje as he had not expected to find
the hundreds of pilgrims and the many
priests because of the war. He added he
wasn't afraid to come, for he strongly
believes in Our Lady’s presence.
With regards to the messages, the Bishop
says the calls to conversion, prayer and fasts
are important. "Often many of those who
come here are full of prejudices, but once
they arrive in Medjugorje they take on a
totally different attitude and return home
extremely satisfied, and ready to change
About 4,000 pilgrims from Australia have
come to Medjugorje so far, but this number
will grow decidedly once the war is over."
Msgr. Kennedy hopes to return to Medj.
* On Saturday 15 May, in the church of
the Queen of Peace, a Holy Mass was said
for Lt. Arturo Muñoz from the Spanish
forces of the UNO staying in Medjugorje.
He died from wounds received during the
liberation of Fr. Ivan Vuksic’ (a priest from
Mostar who had been held by the Muslims).
Main celebrant was coadjutor bishop, Msgr.
Ratko Peric’. Fr. Ivan Vuksic’ concelebrat-
In his homily the bishop recalled Jesus’
words: no one has a greater love than he
who gives his life for his friends, and said
how they now sadly spend more time in the
cemetery than in the church or school, etc.
* First Communion was held in the
parish church on Sunday 2nd May for 117
children, of whom 64 were from Medj., and
the other 53 from Sarajevo, Mostar and
other towns, but residing temporarily in the
parish of Medjugorje.
* For some time now in Medjugorje, the
faithful climb Podbrdo to pray the Rosary
for peace every Sunday. On 2nd May, the
parish group was joined by a large group of
pilgrims from America, various regions of
Europe and other countries.
* A happy note: Pilgrims from former
Yugoslavia have started returning to
Medjugorje on pilgrimage. Lately there
were groups from Metkovic, Dubrovnik,
Split, Zagreb and Rijeka. Saturday is the day
of the youth: some, from Ljubuski, were
with their teachers and others came in their
* Humanitarian aid arrives, and 700
tonnes of it arrived aboard the American
ship Spirit which docked in Omis. Another
ship from Ireland docked in Ploce with a
load of 1,500 tonnes. Everything will be
distributed to refugees in Bosnia and
(From Nasa Ognijista - June ’93)
From Sr. Emmanuel’s diary
* (1 June) - Our dear Nikola from Medj.
came back to us from Mostar wounded in
the arm. He kept on repeating: "Mostar is
hell." When the Muslim sniper shot at him,
he leapt into a hole for protection. Now this
hole had been dug only 2 hours beforehand!
In the hole, losing blood, his first reaction
was to pray for the person who had wound-
ed him. I ask myself: if I were in his place,
would I, a consecrated person, have had the
same reaction to forgive so quickly? We are
evangelized by the humble!
* 3 or 4 soldiers from Medj. have been
wounded, but no one killed. Franjo was
shot right in the middle of his chest, but that
day, instead of putting his bullets in his belt
as he normally did, he wore them across his
shoulders - so the bullet went through
several centimetres of metal and stopped
just 2 mm before entering his skin. Thank
you dear Gospa! Please place your shield
against hatred on all front lines all over the
* Young widows in ever increasing
numbers are coming from all over to weep
at the foot of the cross on Krizevac. This
breaks our heart. Let us remember the tears
of the Virgin on Podbrdo on 26 June 1981
(10 years to the day before the war began).
She saw then what we were heading for, and
begged us: Peace, peace, be reconciled!
She did not want to see Her children
slaughtering one another. With a handful of
chosen ones and a little village, She wanted
to inundate the world with love. A part of
these chosen ones did not respond, others
have stood up... but still more are needed!
* (15 June) Enormous waves of
Croatian refugees are arriving from Bosnia
where their villages were burnt down. For
example, 1,500 refugees arrived in Caplijina
from Travnik, and others went to Ljubuschi.
1,400 refugees have been put up in Medj.
The Franciscans are worried for the many
monks and also nuns who have disappeared.
They fear for their lives.
* In Mostar the Franciscans are trapped
in their monastery which has become a
target for Muslim snipers. Fires have been
put out just in time, but the situation could
explode from one minute to the next. And to
think that those who are now shooting were
kept by the convent for the past year!
* The Muslims hit out bitterly against
convents and priests in Bosnia. For the
Muslims extremists it is a good deed to kill a
Christian. This mentality did not exist in the
country before, but Arab Mujahedins, come
from abroad, are working hard at stirring up
hatred. The Muslim populaton which has
suffered the most under the Serbs is open to
any kind of hope, even illusory, that these
* Let us thank Mary for the gift of these
12 years of Her presence with a novena
(may be said after the anniversary). This
idea was suggested by the Virgin Herself to
one of the visionaries.
Some ideas as gifts to Her: give
hospitality to a poor or lonely person; turn
off the TV or radio to pray more; give up
smoking, alcohol or a hobby; curb your
complaints or prideful words; do good to
your enemy and pray for him; give up a
particular sin which has a hold on us. And
do not forget that it is our dosage of love
that makes our offerings more beautiful.
* Sr. Emmanuel's book, Medjugorje, the
war day by day, can be obtained at: Florida
Center for Peace, P.O.B. 431 306, Miami,
FL 33143, USA. Retail price US$7.95
Satanic logic prevails
survival of the strongest
Another plan more evil than the first
being decided for Bosnia, will legalize the
conquests of the aggressor and condemn the
weak. Meantime, destruction and death
The situation in Bosnia can be
summarized as follows: The Serbs say: we
will make peace if you let us have the
territories we've occupied.The Vance-Owen
peace plan did not favour us enough, so we
rejected it. Accept the new plan, made up in
common accord with the Croats; but till it is
accepted we will keep on fighting to defend
the last of the oppressed Serbs in Bosnia.
The Europeans, scorched by the failure
of all diplomatic attempts at finding a solut-
ion, don't want to dirty their hands. They
say: make peace! Be good and make the
Serbs happy by accepting the new plan if
you want this war, that has destroyed the
better part of your territory, to finish and the
six enclaves freed (Goradze, Srebrenica,
Zepa, etc.). These were areas that the UNO
had declared "protected areas," but are every
day more at risk.
The Muslims: "We do not accept the new
peace plan which is worse than the last one.
It splits Bosnia into 3 ethnic states, giving
50% to the Serbs (who made up 32% at the
beginning of the war), 20% to the Croatians
(were 18%) and 25% to the Muslims (were
44%), plus the free zone. If you don’t want
to defend us, then remove the embargo and
give us weapons so we can defend what’s
left of our territory." In the meantime, how-
ever, the Croatians, who had freed their own
ethnic area and put up resistance for this last
year, are now falling. There are among the
Muslims some who would like to accept the
plan, to gain power, but President Itzebe-
govic holds back for fear of the Muslim
extremists who want war to the bitter end.
The Croatians: we made agreements
with the Serbs to split up Bosnia and end the
war, but now the Muslims are upsetting our
plans by putting up resistance in Mostar and
breaking into our territory, occupying our
cities, sending away our people and burning
The result: The talks and the war
continue and people are losing their lives
and their homes. We ask ourselves: have
any of the heads ever thought about the
catastrophic consequences that the war is
causing to these people? Are they not
moved by the disastrous effects the war will
have on these people for generations to
come, and see that the war must stop? How
Satan has darkened their hearts and minds!
A latin proverb says:Principiis obsta, sero
medicina paratur (cut the bad back in the
beginning for the remedy to work). The
extinguisher should have been used at the
first signs of smoke to stop the fire spread-
ing so far. Only a great and continuous gust
of Spirit of love, moved by unanimous
prayer, will dry up this immense sea of
hatred, injustice and revenge that keeps on
spreading. And the international commun-
ity, which so far has practically turned a
deaf ear to the cry of the poor, should start
occuping the territory to guard and help the
peoples live together. But here, like else-
where, it would take love for this to happen.
And it can happen, through great purifi-
cation, and men will overcome that tragic
egoism that makes them say, like Cain: Am I
perhaps the guardian of my brother? Fr.A.
Fabio Moreni, aid worker killed in Bosnia
Love makes its way
in kingdom of hate
Victims among aid workers were
children of the Queen of Peace
The whole world was moved by the death
of the three Italians (2 aid workers and 1
journalist) who were robbed and killed by
an armed band close to Gornji Vakuf. The
two aid workers, Fabio Moreni from
Cremona and Sergio Lana from Brescia, had
been won over by the Queen of Peace. This
sad event has brought to light for the
unknowing world the unceasing sacrifices
of the volonteers, most of whom are inspir-
ed by the Queen of Peace, and since the start
of the conflict work silently and tirelessly to
help the peoples of former Yugoslavia out
of love and total disinterest.
Fabio, by A. Bonifacio
On the evening of 20 Dec.’92, Fabio
called me to tell me his factory would close
up from Christmas to New Year and that he
would make his two lorries available for
transporting aid. Fabio himself did 2 trips,
one after the other, and then a further 15
over a period of 5 months, nearly all at
weekends. He also had his factory to look
after (left to him by his father who died
some years ago), and many other things to
keep him busy. I honestly don’t know how
he did it all, but nothing could keep him
down. He was sure of himself, sporting and
dynamic, and he was highly intelligent,
graduating at 21. Last year he was conse-
crated a guard of honour to the Sacred Heart
of Jesus. He was faithful to his prayer and
rosary, and fasted rigorously every Wed.
and Friday, even when he was travelling.
He and Sergio Lana, 21 years old, died
because they were generous. With them was
also Guido Puletti, a journalist. It was Sat.
29 May '93, the eve of Pentecost, and Fabio
had just turned 39. He was an only son.
Now his mother is alone, and though she
has been left with many problems, she is
rich in faith. I’m certain that from heaven
Fabio wants us to continue taking aid to
those in need.
Fabio kept a diary. Some of his thoughts
were directed to a prayer group. Following
is an extract:
"... When we’re travelling it makes us
happy to be able to recite the rosary
together thanks to our ham radios. We
nearly always stop in at Medjugorje during
our trips, and I can assure you that when
our souls are inundated and consoled with
such peace and joy that it could only be the
Blessed Mother’s gift.
(...) People ask why we care so much
Faith and miracles
alone. I went through hell. For many days
and nights all I could think of was suicide,
but in the darkest moment the Lord gave me
the strength to pray for my enemies. I could
even bless them. For a long time I invoked
the Lord’s blessing on them and I could feel
a peace invade my being. (...) A voice
echoed in my soul: "I have chosen you and I
have freed you so you may serve me, to
testify to the beauty of life of the children of
Yes, I can’t deny that once I had time for
my family, for the house, for the fields, the
hens and the pigs... but for my soul and the
Lord I had none. And He took everything I
had, he freed me and made me able to
announce and testify to the beauty of the
redemption of the children of God." This
woman is now a true apostle of the refugees.
By now they have become her new family,
spread all over Croatia, all over Europe. For
them she has become a spokeswoman of
forgiveness, peace and blessing.
Yes, we have to say that the Lord is
visiting His people and He is healing the
wounds and the sicknesses. Thank you,
Lord for Your Goodness! Alleluia!
fra Jerko Penava
about these trips and what makes us do it.
Without a doubt the so-called human-
itarian reasons, solidarity and human
brotherliness are behind it. But more than
that there’s something in my heart that
could even seem a little egoistic. It’s those
words of Christ: I was desolate because of a
cruel war, I was hungry and in need of
everything, and you came to bring me help
and comfort. For us it is a privilege to go,
thanks to the Lord and Mary who give us
the means to make it possible. Those who
can’t go have a powerful means at their
disposal for helping: prayer. The Lord
always ends up listening to our prayer, and
should our spirit be more practical than
spiritual, then may the Good Lord grant us
righteous intentions so we may always live
in His love ...”
The Poor Clares are still in their
monastery (see article next column). Bruno
Zanini, journalist for Vatican Radio, rang
Alberto Bonifacio 19 June: "Contrary to
what the monks of Busovaca told us (they’d
left) and what others say (they’re dead), the
Clares of Brestovsko, the only contemp-
lative community in Bosnia, are still in their
monastery. I found them praying in the
basement. They were still bombing the town
when we entered the monastery. A granade
had hit the door of their chapel and the roof
caught fire, but the nuns managed to put it
out. They’re a little afraid, being practically
on the front line. They gave me two cases
full of documents to take to Split, but they
have no intention of escaping. All around
are burnt houses; it’s a real disaster. Nobody
else is left."
Croatians from central Bosnia flee
from their devastated land - The
journalist continues: "I went through Gornji
Vakuf where the 3 Italians were killed. A
soldier told me the truck is now being used
for transporting wood. (...) It’s not safe
anymore to travel with private convoys. The
UNO do not escort Caritas convoys. In
Vitez, Busovaca and Kiseljak the problem is
the amount of wounded, and all the dead
people. At first I thought it was just another
case of rumours gotten out of hand, then I
saw the death registry in the parish of
Busovaca: there really are hundreds. One of
the priests told me all about the situation:
frightening! The two Franciscans from
Zenica, thought dead, are alive but not
allowed to leave.
* There’s a beautiful sanctuary in
Sutjeska: one of the most historical and
important in Bosnia. The whole area now
has been evacuated. All the Croatians have
fled. I came across columns of them making
their way to Vares - on foot, with trucks,
tractors, cows and everything they could
carry with them. (...) 15 thousand Croatian
refugees from many different villages that
were attacked by the Muslims are in Vares:
they’re trying to reach Croatia via Serbian
* From Romania we learn that French-
man Pierre Godbert visited many parts of
Romania (Bucharest, Timisoara, Jasi,
Roman, Bacau, etc.) with Anca Dragos as
his guide (our translator for the Romanian
edition of Echo - now being printed in 15
thousand copies per month). His aim was to
spread the message of Medj. He was
received warmly wherever he went and the
meetings concluded with the same evening
liturgical conclusion as in Medj.: Rosary,
Holy Mass, songs, etc. Vocations flourish
here and their seminaries are full.
Fr. Jozo invited "the pilgrims and
believers all over the world" to celebrate a
Mass for Peace on the 12th anniversary. He
observes how "all the winds and storms
over these years that have blown up against
Medj., in particular the war, have not been
able to destroy it. The decisions of the
powerful and the politicians have continued
to disappoint us, however, you have helped
make our climb up calvary easier. The noise
of the weapons has not silenced the voice of
our Mother, and Her words help us find
trust in Peace that the world cannot give us.
Thanks and praise be to Mary for Her
visit. Your prayers and help have proved to
be light for we who are closed in by
darkness. Since you have been chosen to be
like actors in the biggest fight ever between
good and bad, complete your task and take
part in the victory." Siroki Brijeg, 23/6
The Conversion of a Journalist
Apparitions of Medj. are vertex of
all present-day spiritual movements
Not end of world but an era
Meeting people who come to Medj.
means listening to things that really move
you. Grace bursts into the lives of some in
an extraordinary way, and they are like
renewed. This is the story of an American,
Michael H. Brown, a journalist and writer
of books on anthropology, ecology and
social sciences. "Now," he says, "I write
about Mary and Her action in the world."
His latest book, a copy of which he gave to
Fr. Slavko, is entitled The Final Hour. His
aspect is that of a normal-looking pilgrim;
he carries rosary beads in his hands and he
has a pack of papers over his shoulders. He
was here in Medj. at the start of Lent this
year. He said to "start Lent well."
Q. Why this complete change in interests?
A. I was just like many of my colleagues
- I lived as if God didn’t exist. We were
very poor, but with my job I made a fair bit
of money. A change came about one day
when, in a dream, I felt the presence of an
evil force beside me - a real evil presence. It
was then that I started going to church, but
only occasionally. Now I go to Mass every
day, and the emptiness I felt before has been
Our friend and Franciscan priest from
Ogulin (Croatia) writes: "Dear Fr. Angelo,
(...) In these last few years, though the Evil
One seems invincible, the Mercy and
Goodness of our Father-God and His
infinite love for men is also unfolding. These
are just a few of the many examples.
* Adoration, day and night, saved old
Ragusa. Some months ago I was travelling
from Split to Zagreb with the Bishop of
Dubrovnik (Ragusa), Msgr. Puljic’, and
during the trip he told me: "During the
assault on the old city, enclosed within the
mediaeval walls, about 1,500 bullets fell
onto her in a matter of days, but not even a
tenth of them actually exploded. In fact, in
our monasteries, and particularly in the
female ones, the religious remained in front
of the Blessed Sacrament day and night.
People know this and say: It is the Lord to
have saved us. Otherwise the old city would
certainly have been totally destroyed."
* Clares uses monstrance to save
monastary from invasion by new Saracens.
Just a few days ago I received a letter from
the Mother General of a new Poor Clare
monastary in Bosnia & Herzegovina (they
arrived only 3 years ago and the monastary
is still not completed). She writes: "Towards
the end of February two Croatian (Catholic)
soldiers came and told us to escape, for the
Mujahedins (volonteers from other Muslim
countries) were arriving. We exposed the
Blessed Sacrament and remained in
adoration day and night. Our chaplain, a
Franciscan, said a solumn blessing with the
Most Holy One every morning.
Yes, we were afraid, but none of us, nor
those who had taken refuge in our
monastery (the aged, women and children),
escaped. We could see the Mujahedins from
the window, we were surrounded by them.
It all lasted 10 days, then all of a sudden
they disappeared, leaving no sign of their
presence. We give thanks to the Lord and
our foundress, St Clare, for having sent
away these modern Saracens, like the time
in Assisi. We continue praying in adoration
and we believe that the Lord will always
protect us for the intercession of St Clare on
this eve of her 8th centenary."
To date (I heard from them again 2 days
ago), the sisters are living in peace praying
and praising the Lord.
* Bombs in Sarajevo saved our
marriage - A refugee from Sarajevo told
me: "My husband and I had been living
together for the past 14 years as if we were
divorced. Because of our different
characters we came to the point that we
couldn’t stand one another. We had already
agreed to divorce, but because of our three
children we had still not done anything
about it. When the bombings started,
however, our concern for each other made
us each go looking all over the city for one
another and when we did find each other we
all embraced so happily. A new, fresh, holy
love was born. (...) That was the moment of
our rebirth. We began a new life. We met
the Lord - thanks to the bombings."
* "Pray for enemies and you will be
saved" - and becomes apostle among
refugees. Another refugee from Vukovar
tells: "I survived the destruction of Vukovar.
Our home was destroyed. My mother,
father, husband, two brothers and a son
were all shot dead. Another 5 members of
the family are among the displaced. I am
from tragedy of former Yugoslavia
replaced by an inner wealth and a great
peace. I defend myself with constant prayer
against the aggressiveness of evil. In 1984
on Good Friday I experienced the presence
of a person close to me, and I realized that it
was Our Lady. From that day on all my
interests have been in Her.
Q. What happened after that?
A. I became more interested in the Marian
messages of Guadalupe, Lourdes, Fatima.
Then I heard about Medj. My mother went
in 1988; I went the year after. Coming to
Medj. was like lighting the fire of my love
for the Virgin. I decided to start going
around the world to visit the places where
Our Lady has appeared: those recognized by
the Church and those that haven’t yet been
recognized officially. So far I’ve been to 30;
in Russia, Africa, Asia, Canada and
obviously in Europe.
Q. What are your conclusions?
A. Our Lady speaks in different places in
different manners, but Her exhortations are
always the same: conversion, penance, the
Rosary, Holy Mass; and importance is
placed on the matter concerning secrets and
sufferances to come if we do not convert. I
have noticed a design common to all: this is
a time of mercy that will be followed by a
time of justice. The title of my book (The
Final Hour) didn’t come from me; but from
an inspiration one morning at Mass after
listening to a reading from St John’s first
letter: My children, this is the last hour.
That’s how the title came about. For me it
means the last hour of divine mercy, but
also the last hour of Satan’s power.
In all the apparitions it’s easy to see how
the Blessed Virgin and her children fight
against the power of darkness and evil, i.e.
against Satan. There will have to be a time
of purification. Here there is no talk about
the end of the world, but the end of an era.
If we look at all the apparitions and relative
messages then we can talk about this time
ending, after which will come a new era
where Jesus’ presence will be more evident
in the world.
On being asked about the war he replied
that as a believer, he sees that many people
have woken up and started taking Our
Lady’s messages seriously, for in fact, She
started calling us to peace right from the
beginning but people didn’t pay heed, thus
Q. How do you see Medj. with respect to
A. For me Medjugorje is the vertex of
them all. I am convinced that the apparitions
of Medj. are the greatest and most important
of all time. The message has made its way
through enormous obstacles and this, apart
from being a sign of authenticity, has
brought attention to the events, making them
more widely known.
Our Lady’s invitation to pray for sinners
and their conversion is a sign of Her
motherly concern for the entire world, and
have been particularly echoed in America.
Many Americans have been to Medjugorje
and have accepted the messages with
This is our hope amid the sea of spiritual
darkness and moral decadence that we live
in. Many convert after a pilgrimage and this
is a sign that God has not forgotten us.
It is important that all take Her messages
seriously and start praying. The war in
Bosnia is a warning for all, and the message
of peace is addressed to everyone.
(from Nasa Ognjista - June ’93)
MARIJA WAS ASKED ...
Need for a spiritual guide
On the 30th May Alberto Bonifacio
asked Marija Pavlovic about her marriage.
Firstly it is important to note that:
1. It’s not the number of sacraments that
counts. What counts is God’s design over us
that we have to look for through profound
prayer (Marija also says this) and in being
obedient to an ecclesial guide, whether in a
convent or not. A spiritual guide is all the
more necessary when a person is a visionary
for they are watched by millions of pilgrims
and their behaviour thus becomes all the
more important (see Echo 96). So they in
particular have to look for a spiritual guide
as they would their daily bread. Comparing
their matters with the ecclesial way of seeing
them ensures that the treasure is well kept
and gives the certainty that it really is the
Lord the builder of the house.
Testimony isn't just talking to pilgrims
2. It is indeed dangerous to think we can
get out of obeying a superior to follow our
own will. If today our contact with pilgrims
would be conditioned by a mother superior,
tomorrow it will be conditioned by obedi-
ence to a husband; and we know how many
limits these have justly imposed on their
wives (and not just husbands do this).
It seems that there is a basic misunder-
standing with regards to the word
testimony. Marija says she doesn't want to
enter a convent as she wants greater
freedom to testify to the pilgrims. Testi-
mony is not just continually receiving
people, to then remain empty perhaps, but is
communicating with one’s most inner soul
the power of the message received.
Bernadette went to a convent, Lucy of
Fatima is in a convent. Have they not, with
their holiness, given a most luminous
testimony from their convents? The fruits
can be seen if we look how Lourdes and
Fatima have made so much way in the
world. We hope the same will happen of
Medj., if there will still be time.
Whether or not life in a convent is a
greater sacrifice than marriage is to be seen.
If wanting to marry comes from trying to
avoid the cross to be freer, then that person
will come against even heavier crosses, for
the cross God chooses for us will always be
the lightest one.
3. Concerning sacraments. Above all, it
is not the amount of sacraments we receive
that counts, but how one receives them and
makes them bear fruit. The sacrament of
marriage is a sign of our nuptial union with
Christ, which is fully realized in eternity,
where we will take neither wife nor
husband, but we’ll be like God’s angels. On
the other hand, the virginal state is the gift
of living this nuptial union with Christ
already on this earth, which does not cease.
Marriage is an anticipated and passing
figure of the eternal marriage of our soul
with Christ. Virginity, like martyrdom, goes
beyond the sacrament for it is not a passing
sign, but the reality of life filled with God.
Thus we cannot say that religious life is
inferior to matrimony because it isn’t one of
the 7 sacraments. Does Jesus not encourage
us to live this total donation of oneself for
the Kingdom? And though He asks the
virgins to renounce people and things, does
He not assure them a hundredfold already in
this life (Mk 10:29)?
4. We are happy to hear that Marija is
open to both vocations, though her decision
seems to contradict this. That is, unless she’s
thinking of remaining in a community that
accepts families, but even so she would still
continued on page 8
Q. Why is it that first you wanted to enter
a convent and now you’re going to marry?
A. "Every year during vacation time I
went to convents. I felt particularly drawn to
the contemplative, enclosed, orders. I spoke
with nuns and mother superiors, and they
told me: "When Medj. will be recognized,
and if you’ll be in a convent, if the mother
superior or bishop say you can’t receive
pilgrims, you won’t be able to receive
them." I also did a 6 month experience and
then I couldn’t see clearly anymore with
regards to my vocation. I asked Our Lady
and She told me that She gives freedom to
us all. It certainly isn’t a sin!
Q. At Catechism classes we learn that,
God has a design over us and we have to
find out what our vocation is. It’s nice to
think that the Lord wants something better
for us, and through prayer we have to try
and see what this better thing is.
A. Up till not long ago I didn’t know that
marriage was also a sacrament. So I thought:
I’d better stay the way I am. If I become a
nun I don’t receive a sacrament - and it’s
better to receive an extra sacrament.
Q. On a TV programme in Italy you said
Our Lady would like you to take vows and
enter a convent. You've decided differently.
A. These days, thanks be to God, there are
also other communities, like the Focolarines,
or the Oasis of Peace, who accept families.
Q. We have to pray, isn’t it so, to
understand which way is the one for us?
A. Sure. I say I decide for my own life,
depending on what I feel in my heart. Yes,
convent life is a greater sacrifice .. I don’t
say I won’t go - I’m still open. I’ve made
this clear to my boyfriend. What we want is
do God’s will. We pray about this. Many
tell me I shouldn’t marry, and they’ve
started praying for me. I tell them to pray
and keep on praying. If they pray for me not
to marry, that’s OK by me, because it’s the
Lord Who judges me, He knows what’s
inside of me. So keep on praying; many
times what we do is for our own interests.
For now I think my vocation is that of
always being a visionary. Even when the
apparitions will have stopped, people will
still want to hear my testimony. But I won’t
be just testifying before you, but before
God. When I go to heaven I won’t be
presenting myself as a visionary. I have to
present my life the way it is, with all the
good and bad I have lived.
Marija is to marry on 9th September
(should all go well). Last month we spoke
about her legitimate freedom of choice and
what the Word of God says concerning
choice of vocation. It’s not up to us to say
what she should do, but since Italian and
French private TV stations and papers keep
bringing up certain motivations to justify
her chioce, we feel it is our duty, both
towards readers and Marija, to clarify some
of these expressions.
And by the way, it may be that her Italian
does not allow her to express her feelings
the way she otherwise would in her mother
tongue. Above all, however, we are not to
think that what she says or does has been
inspired by Our Lady (and Marija is the first
to know this).
Words of visionaries not oracles
when not telling Mary’s message
during the march/procession by priests who
took it in turn at leading the prayer. Msgr.
Franic’ celebrated Mass at 7 p.m. under the
outdoor altar, and Eucharistic Adoration
was also held there on Thurs.(24/6) and Sat.
evenings. The Adoration chapel was kept
open day and night.
Croatian TV estimated the crowd at over
40,000, though a more realistic figure would
be 20,000. About 4,000 were from America
and Canada, 150 from Australia and 50
from the Far East. The French made up
about 1,000 (the French have been the most
numerous over this war period). There were
5,000 Italians, 500 Germans and 500 from
the UK and Ireland. There were also Czechs
and Slovaks, and the many pilgrims from
Croatia, Bosnia and Slovenia was very
In spite of the enormous suffering
throughout the region, the Anniversary
Celebration assumed a festive note of joy in
the certainty that peace can be obtained
through following Our Lady’s messages.
Food shortages were compensated by most
of the pilgrims bringing gifts of food. All
the visionaries were present in the choir loft.
On the evening of the 25th, Our Lady
appeared to Ivan on Mt Podbrdo at 10.30
p.m. Many pilgrims were present. Ivan said:
"This evening Our Lady was happy and She
greeted us with: Praised be Jesus Christ, my
dear children! Then Our Lady prayed
lengthily over us with Her hands
outstretched, blessing us all. Then She said:
I am truly happy, dear little children, to see
so many of you here. My dear children, I
wish to tell you that you must decide for
peace and you must decide for God." (From
notes by A. Bonifacio and B. Ellis)
continued from page 1 - 12th Anniv.
continued from page4 - Tomislav
there is nothing. Look at the war: what
could be born in the heart of a father who
finds his children massacred? If hate is born
this increases the nothing in the world. You
know how love can be put out by a simple
situation in daily living. Do you not think
that love has been put out by now in many?
Ask yourselves: what is this coldness
between husband and wife or between
children? What is coldness in a community
of consecrated people? It is hate. Satan’s
strongest weapon is this coldness, because
no one realizes it is hate. Praying now for
love to develop in us is the road of the
chosen ones, of the heroes and the saints.
This evening the Lord wants to put peace
in your hearts so you can take it to the
others. He needs us to take to our brothers
and sisters the breath of the Spirit that only
He can give, before taking to them any other
activity or initiative. He who remains in
peace, in love and in trust will see the life of
God blossom in him and will bring about a
renewed Spring in the Church. Edit. staff
Ivanka in tears
Ivanka also received her usual annual
apparition on the 25th, in her home. Sr.
Emmanuel refers: "There were others
present, including an Italian TV team. The
apparition lasted 4 minutes and began
joyfully, but Ivanka quickly became sad and
started crying. Also when she recited the
Our Father and the Glory Be with Our Lady,
she was in tears. Once the apparition had
finished Ivanka, who was visibly distraught,
discreetly withdrew from the others.
During the apparition the Virgin
apparently showed Ivanka some terrible
images that she cannot describe. Ivanka said
they are things that will happen soon and
regard the whole world. Our Lady was
crying and in the end said: "Open your
hearts to my Son so He may guide you on
the right way." Then: "Be bearers of peace."
Ivanka said that this was her most diffi-
cult apparition. These images do not regard
the secrets but are like a warning for us.
"But they can be changed through prayer,"
Ivanka said. Ivanka urges us to: "Pray, be
converted, surrender ourselves totally to
Jesus. We are too unaware; let us not remain
so blind. God wants our conversion to be
more complete and for us to persevere in
Ivanka also referred above to Fr. Slavko.*
For the many who ask about Naju,
Korea. Fr. Raymond Spies, Jesuit priest,
has been following the visionary, Julia, for
years. He recently wrote to us and said:
"The Virgin cried for exactly 700 days, at
times tears of blood. From 24 November '92
to date, scented oil exudes from the statue. I
have soaked up a little of it for you in a
small piece of cloth. (...)"
Sped:Abb.Post.3/70, Aut.Trib.Mant.#13/8.11.86 Legal
Dir. A.Lanzani. Printed by DIPRO, Italy. fax 422-840804
be bound by obedience.
Our task is to pray for all visionaries,
who are in greater danger, so that such great
gifts, in clay vases, are not lost, for the devil
does everything in his power to rob them
and render vain such great events.
continued from page 7 - Marija
ECHO IN OTHER LANGUAGES
English: Echo of Medj., Casella Postale 27,
31030 Bessica (TV), Italy. French: Echo de
Medj., 18 Allée Thévenot, 39100 Dole, France.
German: Medj. Komitee, Postfach 272, 39100
Bolzano, Italy. Spanish: Roger Watson, Via
Fulda 2, 22100 Como, Italy. Ph. 031.543082.
Catalan: Amics de Medj., c.Carme 11 baixos,
08700 Igualada-Catalugna, Spain. Portughese:
Servos da Rainha, Caixa p.02576, 70279-970
Brasilia DF, Brazil. Russian: Dom Marii,
Plotnikov 3, 121002 Moscow, Russia; Polish:
Czeslawa Mirkiewicz, ul. Krasickiego 21/3, 30-
515 Krakow-Podgorze, Poland; Dutch: Frank
Strijthagen, Misericordplein 12C, 6211-HK
Maastricht, Holland. Czech: Medzugorské
ozveny, Ilbenstädter, Str 6, DW-6000 Frankfurt,
Germany. Magyar: Fraternitas, 1399 Budapest,
p.f. 701/85, Hungary. fax: 36-2176183
Romanian: Anca Dragos, str N.Pamfil 53, Bl 29,
Ap 49, 72124 Bucharest, Romania. Greek:
Soeur Despina de la St Croix, 69 Rue Epirou,
Agia Paraskave, 15341 Athens, Greece.
Distributors: USA: Peter Miller, POB 2720-
230, Huntington Beach CA 92647. Ph 714-
9637240. Fax 9631432; Giovanna Ellis: 9809
Stoneybrook Dr, Kensington MD 20895. Ph.
301-5883198; Canada: Giuseppe Bozzo, 8324
Nicolas Leblanc, Montreal Que H1E 3W5, Ph:
648-3420. Philippines: Raquel D. De Leon,
POB 789, 1099 Manila. Spain: Josè L. Lopez
de S. Roman, Ap. 246, Palencia, Spain.
Australia (all editions): Medj. Sentinel, P.O.B.
531, Drummoyne NSW 2047.
here is more joy in giving than in
receiving (Acts 20)
Aid workers are untiring in their efforts to
deliver medicines, food, etc. Let us support
them and help our brothers and sisters in need.
Contact your nearest Medj. or Caritas centre.
If you wish to send donations through us,
please indicate your intention. Make cheques
out to: Eco di Medj., and mail to same at: Cas.
Postale 149, 46100 Mantova, Italy. In GB
donations may be sent to the Medj. Appeal,
Unit J Lambs Bus. Park, Tilburstow Hill Rd.,
Sth Godstone, Surrey RH9 8JZ, England.
Echo is free, but lives on your
donations. If you would like to contribute,
you may send personal cheques to: Echo
of Medjugorje, Casella Postale 149,
46100 Mantova, Italy. If you prefer, you
can send your donation to your local
distributor who will see to sending it on to
* Thank you and God bless.
Donations for June: Medj. in East: Lit.
6,670,000; Croatia-Bosnia: Lit. 6,133,000;
Radio M. Poland: Lit. 750,000. From France:
for Croatia/Medj. Lit.1,085,000; Bosnia: Lit.
212,000; Radio Maria: Lit.160,000.
WORLD YOUTH DAY in DENVER with
Pope John Paul II - 11-15 August ’93
"I tell you most solemnly, unless a man is
born from above, he cannot see the kingdom
of God." (Jn 3)
12th Anniversary sign of deeper
interest. Interest is growing all over the
world, and new children are being called -
the last workers of the parable. Medj. can
now be found wherever people accept Her
messages. A sign of this growth is also the
increase of requests we receive for this little
instrument: every month more than 60,000
copies of Echo in the principal languages is
printed (without counting the reduced
* Success of Dutch Echo - 2,000 copies
of first number. Frank says he is moved to
see how people thirst after the word of God.
He spent days receiving telephone calls and
requests, and had to do a reprint.
* Portughese Echo is published in Brazil
(100,000 copies). Gilberto Da Cunha
Correja is now going to produce a similar
edition in Portugal. Our blessings and best
* In Canada, Michele Cacchione, pro-
prietor of ArtoGraph, reproduces 5,000
copies of the French Echo per month for
distribution in the French-speaking zone.
He has now started reproducing the English
Echo for rapid distribution in north
America. Thanks be to Mary and to those
who spread Her messages.
* Printer for Marian Centre in
Moscow. We decided to trust the
Providence and buy it with the help of a
loan. It costs DM 25,000 (about 22 million
lire), and our readers have been fast to
respond to the appeal - 6 million have
already arrived. God bless you. In the
meantime in Moscow, they have already
started printing a first number of Echo in
Russian (previously it was being printed in
Cracow with great difficulty). The first
number also included a summary of the
history of Medj. for those who are new.
This has brought great joy to Msgr.
Hnilica’s fathers and our brothers and sisters
For all the gifts, let us give thanks to our
Almighty Father, benedicamus Domino -
and we bless you in the Immaculate Heart
of Mary, Who gave us the precious Blood
of our Redeemer. May we never leave this
dwelling place so sure, not even now
during the holidays.
Simplicity of messages
and are efficacious when we explain them
with simplicity. How a teacher explained the
last message to his pupils. "Listen kids, Our
Lady is always with us, so let’s get used to
thinking of Her as our companion. She
intercedes on our behalf before God so we can
help Her realize His plan of salvation for all
humanity. Each of us is important
because each of us has a specific task in this
great plan. Pulling out means putting the
salvation of our brothers and sisters at risk.
With this disposition to be God’s helpers,
and with the Holy Spirit in us, we can love
everyone and automatically become bearers
of good and peace. We still need to be
renewed though through conversion and
prayer, always, for despite our good
proposals, we ”slip” often. But conversion
means getting up again, to renew our
proposals, to ask forgiveness and keep on
walking towards God.
But prayer is not just reciting formulas.
It’s offering everything we do to the Father.
It’s talking with Jesus, Mary, the Father, the
Holy Spirit, the Saints, our Guardian
Angels. It’s telling them what makes us
happy, what troubles us, it’s talking to them
to ask for help, to praise, to thank. Prayer is
a great instrument that opens our hearts to
God, and permits the realization of His
interventions in us.
After having spoken though, we need to
remain silent, so we can hear the Spirit’s
response: through the good thoughts,
positive decisions, and serenity that invade
of us and the joy that comes from knowing
we are with Jesus and Mary and thus we
know we have nothing to fear. Our Lady
opened and closed Her message with the
Holy Spirit, Her spouse, Who lives in us and
turns us into authentic witnesses of God’s
love and power.
From the Mail: Bernard Ellis quotes the
Friends of Medugorje in Malawi who, "sold
their second-hand clothing locally and used
the money to buy tea, coffee, powered milk
and baby food" and dispatched it to the Medj.
Appeal for refugees in Bosnia. There were
also some beautiful "baby clothes knitted by a
group of friends in north Malawi." And as the
aid worker from Malawi says: "all the
donations from this part of the globe come
from those with little themselves. They are the
most spontaneous and generous. Please God
may we learn from their charity and concern!"