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www.medjugorje.ws » Echo of Mary Queen of Peace » Echo of Mary Queen of Peace 106 (October 1993)

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October 1993, Month of the Holy Rosary - Orig.Ital.edit: EcodiMedj., C.P.149, 46100 Mantova, Italy.
Yr.8 #7 - All mail to: Echo of Medj., Casella Postale 27, 31030 Bessica (TV), Italy. fax 0423-470331
Our Lady’s message, 25 Sept. '93
Dear children, I am your mother
and I invite you all to be closer to God
through prayer, because He alone is
your Peace and your Saviour. So, my
dear children, don’t go looking for
consolation in material things, but look
for God. I pray for you and intercede
before God for each of you.
I am asking you to pray so you may
accept me and accept also my messages,
as in the first days of the apparitions.
Only then, when you open your hearts
and pray, will there be miracles. Thank
you for having responded to my call.
OCTOBER:
GRASP HOLD OF THE ROSARY!
Grasp hold of the Rosary: by now only
the Rosary is able to bring miracles to the
world and your lives. (25 Jan. 1991)
St Vincent de Paul: After Holy Mass,
devotion to the Rosary has brought down
more graces to people than any other
devotion. The Hail Marys of the Rosary
bring about more miracles than any other
prayer.
St John Bosco: The Rosary is a contin-
uation of Hail Mary, with which it is
possible to defeat and destroy all the
demons of hell.
I am your Mother,
listen to me today:
all is possible when you believe
For the third time Our Lady tells us: I am
your Mother!
She so dearly wants us to
understand how urgent it is that we accept
Her messages. This is appealing to us to
listen now, before it’s too late. She is
worried that we haven’t given Her heed
with so much evil approaching. «How much
She must suffer, for after so many centuries,
after 12 years of apparitions She still needs
to tell us: I want you to understand that I am
your Mother!
»
Pray so you may accept me and also
my messages.
Only those who pray
seriously can truly understand the reason of
Her coming, not those whose devotion is
only skin deep. Accepting Mary and Her
messages means accepting that the narrow
way
is the way to salvation.
I am your Mother. Jesus said: If you do
not believe that I am He, you will die in your
sins
(Jn8). And with regards to His Mother:
Oh Jerusalem, if only you had understood
on this day the messageof peace, but alas it
is hidden from your eyes ... A time is
coming when your enemies will dash you...
because you did not recognise your
opportunity when God offered it
(Lk 19).
But those who have converted because they
believed Her, now testify, and glorify this
motherly mercy.
Don’t look for consolation in material
things, but look for God.
He alone is our
Peace and our Saviour
- for those who are
well and unaware, like in the times of Noah
and Lot, and those who risk their lives.
And don't think that because they have
had to suffer so much over these last 2 years
they are guiltier than us! No, I say: If you do
not repent, you will all perish in the same
way!
You look for human remedies, but:You
have abandoned me, the fountain of living
water, only to dig cisterns for yourselves ..
that leak and hold no water!
(Jer 2).
I pray for you and intercede for each
of you before God.
If only we were aware
of what She can do for us! Our Lady can
straighten out our most desperate situations;
for She is the Omnipotence Supplicant! If
everything is possible for those who believe,
The Virgin of the Eastern Gate (Ostrobramska)
venerated in Vilnius (see article page 2)
Pray the Rosary for Mary’s
intentions
- When we pray the Rosary
we give ourselves up to Mary’s prayer so
the reason Jesus came to the world, died
and rose from the dead (joyful, sorrowful
glorious mysteries) can be realized in us
and the world. That means praying for
Her intentions, or, for what She sees as
being truly necessary.
When we meditate on the mysteries,
we contemplate how God wants our lives
and the world to be transformed in Jesus.
As we repeat Our Lady’s titles in the Hail
Mary
we recognize how powerful Her
intercession is before God in order to
obtain what we need.
Padre Pio - saint of the century:
"All I leave you with is the Rosary!"
Padre Pio called himself: "a poor monk
who prays." He always prayed, wherever he
was. "What humanity needs today is prayer"
he'd say, and organized prayer groups (like
the Queen of Peace). Padre Pio’s favourite
prayer was the Rosary. In a normal day he'd
recite as many as 30, on some days from
45-60 beads [of 5 mysteries]. If he wasn’t
saying Mass or in confessional, he was
always seen with rosary beads in his hands.
Once the Bishop of Manfredonia held
spiritual exercises in the convent where P.
Pio was. Every night for 8 nights, he got up
at different hours to visit the Blessed Sacra-
ment, and each time he found Padre Pio
there, absolved in prayer, beads in hands. It
was with this prayer that he was able to
obtain the shower of graces for his brothers.
He recommended the Rosary, calling it
powerful, to obtain every good and send
away every evil. "If the Virgin recommends
this prayer wherever She appears, there
must be a good reason," he'd say. The more
the number of his spiritual children grew,
the more beads he would say. All those gifts
and prodigies obtained for others by P. Pio
came through the Rosary. All those people -
sinners and others led astray - that came
from all over to see him were fruits of his
rosaries. His initiatives, enlightened coun-
selling, his victories over sin were all tied to
the power of the Rosary.
Everything he did reflected that truth of
Mary’s universal mediation: St
Bernard
»
then it is also possible for those who give
themselves up to His Mother: She reigns
over the Church and the world with Him.
God has given Her endless resources for
these times - for our sake - yet we ignore it!
Only then, however, when you open
your hearts and pray, will her miracles
happen.
Accepting our Blessed Mother
means listening to Her and that means
praying, i.e. stop believing in what we do,
and believe in what God wants to do for us.
So turn back to those first days of the
apparitions
, when you responded to my
call, and in doing so you challenged the
atheist Regime, derision and isolation. And
you prayed, without stop, you fasted, made
peace with your neighbours, took into your
homes your enemies, then pilgrims who
were strangers. You filled the church every
day for Mass and you prayed at home under
the guidance of your family head, and you
read the Holy Scriptures. Monthly con-
fession was the feast of forgiveness, and the
church filled up like on feast days.
This is accepting Our Lady as Mother.
Words aren't enough. It’s total surrender,
entirely trusting - like little children, full of
joy, in finding the truth. We are still in time.
That is why She repeats: Listen to me, I am
your Mother.
Fr.A.
Lucia of Fatima: For the power that the
Father has given to the Rosary for our times,
there is no personal, family, national or
international problem that cannot be resolved
by the Rosary.
"The humble rosary beads will be the
strong chain that will imprison the dominator
of this dark world." (This is the sense
attributed to Rev. 20:1-2 in the locution of 7
Oct. 1992 in To the Priests, Our Lady's
Beloved Sons)
106
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What peace
has Mary come to bring us?
And if the salt becomes tasteless?
Why does Our Lady not speak about
the war in former Yugoslavia, as if
She weren’t interested in it?
A reader from Verona asked us this
question, to which we reply:
1. Our Lady has been telling us for more
than 10 years what we should do to avoid
wars. Now that this war has been going on
for more than 2 years, it is still the same
things that can stop it. What else can Our
Lady say? What we should be asking is:
have we taken heed?
2. Besides, She is interested in the war,
and this can easily be seen from the love put
into the hearts of Her children. Just look at
how much aid Italy and other European
countries take to former Yugoslavia, and the
aid workers even risk their own lives.
All the men of the Church who receive
this aid are extremely grateful, though they
prefer to ignore where - or from Whom - it
comes. If She had not come to that land,
think how many people would have died of
hunger! So you see how Our Lady does take
an interest in what is happening? Yet people
want to ignore this!
Wisdom has been
proved by her actions (Mt 11:19).
3. Our Lady does not talk about the
tragic events of former Yugoslavia (which
do not regard the secrets, the visionaries
say). Perhaps there is something in the air
far more tragic than what is happening only
a few hundred km away from us. There’s a
war that Our Lady would like to free us of
so we could be freed of every other war.
That war is the one when a human heart is
at war with God. When a human heart
rejects God, freedom is given to all those
negative forces that spurt out, uncont-
rollably, causing real catastrophes.
And the worst thing, for which there is no
remedy, is the loss of a person’s soul in
eternity. Just think that not even the most
painful purification possible on this earth
can be compared to eternal perdition. That
is why God
can permit purification, to
prevent perdition, besides stopping us from
committing other evils that He knows we are
capable of.
4. We Christians are
salt of the earth and
light of the world. The worst evil is when the
salt becomes tasteless and the light becomes
dark. Then the world is no longer lighted,
but gropes around in the dark; it is no
longer salted, but rots.
We are the good tree, planted by the
Father, that must produce good fruit for the
whole world. Our Lady did not come to
remove a bit of rotting fruit from the tree;
She came to heal the tree at its roots, so it
can begin producing good fruit. If it doesn’t
it will be
cut down and thrown into the fire
(Mt 7:19). Unless you repent, you will all
perish in the same way (Lk 13:3).
We need to return to Her Son. This is still
the time of mercy.
The Lord’s mercies are
not spent, they are renewed each morning,
so great is his faithfulness (Lm 3:22-23).
Certain things, though, can only be
understood through prayer and meditation
of the Word of God - we cannot see things
in the right perspective without the light and
grace of the Holy Spirit.
Fr.A.
The Pope in the Baltic nations
offers
EVANGELICAL SOLUTIONS
to crucial problems
For the first time in history a Roman
Pontiff visited the Baltic nations. From 4-10
Sept., Pope John Paul II visited Lithuania,
Estonia and Latvia.
These three nations,
once part of the SSR, are now independent,
and like many other Eastern-bloc countries,
are going through a delicate phase of change
and reconstruction; not without difficulty.
Estonia and Latvia suffer from the difficult
relations with the Russian peoples who are
quite numerous in the eastern part after the
Soviet domination. Lithuania and Latvia are
populated by Poles and Russians. The day
before the Pope’s arrival, the Bishops of
Lithuania sent out a letter that spoke of "a
tired and divided population."
You cannot get rid of the cross - An
era of sufferance has come to an end, but
one must avoid that western error of trying
to eliminate the cross: Suffering and the
cross will never disappear,
the Pope said in
VILNIUS(4Sept.) "Yesterday’s trials will be
followed by new ones today and tomorrow.
The strenuous task of evangelization will be
carried out in different ways, but it will
always be an expression of the one cross of
Christ .. that must reign in the hearts of all
who believe. You yourselves will have to
face misunderstanding on the part of those
who, due to atheistic education, may have
lost, at least temporarily, their appreciation
of religion. You will have to deal with
indifference, misunderstanding, tendencies
towards secularization, and psychological
isolation within a society which is under-
going profound transformations. You will
have to respond to the disturbing phenom-
enon of the sects, whose proliferation is
abetted by widespread misconceptions about
religion." The same could be said of other
nations where though there is freedom of
politics, there is no spiritual freedom.
The law of forgiveness - the need to give
up all ill feelings: "In your eyes there must
be neither winners nor losers
, but men and
women who need to be helped to leave error
behind, and supported in their efforts to
recover from the effects, including psycho-
logical ones, of violence, abuse of power
and violation of human rights. It is import-
ant that the losers know it is not enough to
adapt to changed social situations; but are in
need of sincere conversion and, if necessary,
expiation. And the winners must be remind-
ed of the need to forgive, so that authentic
peace, which derives from following the
Gospel of mercy and of charity, may reign."
The Pope constantly appealed to human
and social forces to develop the evangelical
logic of forgiveness. To the diplomatic
corps
he said: "Diplomatic missions [must
be] concerned with creating opportunities
for negotiation so there may be less risk of
conflict between cultural, ethnic or religious
communities, human dignity will be better
respected, and peace affirmed," recalling
that "political forces must consider the
spiritual values which the Christian message
bears." (Vilnius 5/9) In Kaunas (6/9), he
spoke to the youth about the importance of
the sacraments, the Gospel and Catechism.
Pope’s words applauded by Russian
Orthodox Church
- In Latvia, he asked the
faithful to reflect upon the way they were
persecuted together, saying how it was
grace, that must now help them be united:
"The unity of disciples, wounded in the past
because of various historical conditions, that
had nothing to do with the Gospel, is now
desired anew by those who have suffered
together in the cause of the faith. Once again
the common experience of the catacombs
leads to the quest for sharing the experience
of the Upper Room. You, who at the hour of
the cross knew how to hope and wait for the
hour of resurrection, are now called to con-
firm your strength through your generous,
total offering of fraternal forgiveness. This
courageous, farseeing gesture of fraternal
peace will thus become a pressing invitation
to repentance and a conversion of heart for
those who caused your suffering too."
Tending towards communion brings
about spiritual rebirth in society, allowing
the acceptance of the social doctrine of the
Church to "create an atmosphere of under-
standing and active cooperation... for a
future of fellowship and solidarity within an
international society which aspires increas-
ingly to respect and interdependence in
freedom." John Paul II repeatedly brought
up this theme stressing how "the committed
quest for sanctity as individuals and as a
community must reveal itself as the primary
driving principle behind ecumenism."
The serene, inspired, words that the Pope
used to address the Orthodox community
were looked upon favourably even by the
Patriarchate of Moscow, and this seems to
have calmed troubled waters and opened the
way to renewed dialogue.
Return to tradition - The themes used
by the Pope appear frequently in his
teachings in general. His awareness of the
risk of a nationalistic separation in the Baltic
nations brings him to insist on the return to
common traditions. He himself visited those
places that were consecrated by the religious
history of the Baltic peoples: the Hill of the
Crosses, the Marian shrines of the Dawn
Gate and Aglona and he proclaimed and
restored the centuries-old veneration of St
Meinhard, first bishop in Livonia.
John Paul II knows that words, even if
clear, aren’t enough to keep faith alive.
What is needed is communion, fidelity to
the Church and acceptance of the cross.
He reaffirmed this in his address to
leaders of Estonia’s various Christian
Churches who joined the Pope in an
ecumenical prayer service in the Lutheran
Church in Tallinn.: "...those 20 centuries of
sanctity and of sin, of generous testimony to
the words of the Lord and of dramatic
superimposition of human words upon them
(when sanctity and the word of the Lord
triumphed over human shortcomings) the
world knew moments of grace: the light of
revelation shone brightly and men, having
become disciples of Christ, were able to
enjoy the well-being and joy that come
from God.
Crises and moments of doubts arose
instead when Christian unfaithfulness dark-
ened the integrity of the Gospel, which is
the Church’s most precious reality! Who
can deny that this is true for each and every
one of us?
Edit. staff
p.1 »
Printed by DIPRO, Italy
said: "The Lord willed that nothing
would be given if not through Mary."
Once he was asked what he'd leave in
heritage to his spiritual children, and he
readily replied: The Rosary. Shortly before his
death he recommended: "Love Our Lady
and make Her be loved; always recite the
Rosary."
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The Pope in Denver:
"Oppose the culture of death
be proud of the
G O S P E L OF L I F E"
Sunday 15 August, Solemnity of the
Assumption. With this conclusive Mass the
Pope spoke to the youth of God’s love for
His people.
The Woman and the "dragon"
With His Incarnation, Christ revealed to
the world the great works of God, and from
that moment the world has become the stage
for a dramatic battle between the fullness of
Christ’s truth and Satan’s false projects.
"This marvellous world is the theatre of a
never-ending battle being waged for our
dignity and identity
as free, spiritual
beings. This struggle parallels the apoca-
lyptic combat: death battles against Life. A
culture of death seeks to impose itself on
our desire to live, and live to the full. There
are those who reject the light of life, pre-
ferring the fruitless works of darkness (Eph
5:11). Their harvest is injustice, discrim-
ination, exploitation, deceit, violence. In
every age, a measure of their apparent
success is the death of the Innocents.
In our own century, as at no other time in
history, the culture of death has assumed
a social and institutional form of legality
to justify the most horrible crimes against
humanity
:genocide,"final solutions," ethnic
cleansing and the massive taking of lives of
human beings even before they are born, or
before they reach the natural point of death.
Today’s reading from the Book of Revel-
ation presents the Woman surrounded by
hostile forces. The absolute nature of their
attack is symbolized in the object of their
evil intention: the Child, the symbol of new
life. The dragon, the ruler of this world, and
the father of lies, relentlessly tries to
eradicate from human hearts the sense of
gratitude and respect for the original,
extraordinary and fundamental gift of God:
human life itself. Today that struggle has
become increasingly direct."
The mission
The Pope’s words were directed at all
young people: "Christ needs you to enlight-
en the world and to show it the path to life.
The challenge is to make the Church’s
"yes" to Life concrete and effective.
The
struggle will be long, and it needs each one
of you. Place your intelligence, your talents,
your enthusiasm, your compassion and your
fortitude at the service of life! Fear not. The
outcome of the battle for Life is already
decided, even though the struggle goes on
against great odds and with much suffering.
The paradox of the Christian message is
this: Christ, the Head, has already con-
quered sin and death. Christ in his Body (the
pilgrim people of God) continually suffers
the onslaught of the Evil One and all the evil
which sinful humanity is capable of."
Where can the solution to this battle be
found - a battle that gets harder to fight as
time goes on? The Pope says it is the true
sense of Church history. The solution is
found in the Virgin Mary, to whom John
Paul II has entrusted the destiny of this great
challenge between Life and death. Mary "is
already part of the "first fruits" of our
Saviour’s redemptive death and resurrect-
ion. The Son took his human life from her;
in return he gave her the fullness of com-
munion in divine Life. She is the only other
being in whom the mystery has already been
Open your hearts to Mary, Queen of
Peace
Surrender yourselves totally to me
Pray with your heart
It was with these intense calls that
Mary presented Herself to Her
children.
They are also the titles of 3 books: a
collection of meditations by Fathers
Tomislav & Slavko. In them we find the
real spirit of Mary’s messages, with
which She wants to renew the Church to
save the world. They have been
translated, under the evangelical sign of
gratuity, into the principal languages,
including Slavonic. Free copies can be
obtained at: Amici di Medj., via Nirone
9, 20123 Milano, Italy
Shrines and traditions
AUTHENTIC SIGNS
in this rationalistic world
and refuge for the "child-like"
The various feast-days that fall due in
the next few weeks invite us to reflect upon
the value of traditions of faith. 23 Sept. is
the 25th anniversary of the death of Padre
Pio
. The year 1993 marks the 5th centenary
of the apparition of St Michael Archangel in
Gargano, the 7th centenary of the shrine of
Loreto, and the 8th centenary of the birth of
St Clare, all important signs in the life of the
Church: people and places used by God to
speak to His people and transmit His graces.
The Pope for first teaches us respect,
fidelity, and inner joy in welcoming these
signs. The shrine of La Verna (Assisi) has
become a place of pilgrimage, and Pope
John Paul II, "the pilgrim Pope," went there
on 17 September, the feast of the Stigmat-
ization
on the Franciscan liturgical calendar.
To pay homage to Padre Pio, he went as a
pilgrim to pray over his tomb.
In the Pope's recent letter to the Bishop
of Loreto for their anniversary celebrations
he calls shrines places "where people go to
obtain grace even before they obtain
favours." They are places where the Spirit’s
action is obvious: "How many people have
gone to a shrine out of curiosity, as visitors,
and have returned transformed because they
heard words there which enlightened them!"
That is why he says shrines are important
"places of evangelization, true and proper
citadels of the faith, to respond to the new
challenges of secularization."
The Holy Father did not forget to vener-
ate St Clare, showing all how important her
spiritual and contemplative school is for
today’s Christians, religious and lay people:
May the figure of Clare, the "first, tender
sprout" of Francis be the model for those
who wish to "observe the holy Gospel of
our Lord Jesus Christ."
On many occasions the Holy Father has
shown us, through his example, what a
Christian way of living is: he visits the
shrines, goes on pilgrimage, participates in
eucharistic adoration, recites the Rosary
with pilgrims on the first Saturday of every
month, leads the eucharistic procession the
day of Corpus Christi through the streets of
the capital, meditates daily on the Stations of
the Cross, and recites the prayer to St
Michael Archangel after Holy Mass. And
when in front of a sacred picture his
profound veneration is an example for us.
The Pope’s discourses and letters are guides
for us so we may truly live as Christians,
and with his gestures and actions, John Paul
II lives the Gospel for us, to set an example.
The fullness of our faith cannot do with-
out traditions which teach us a concrete
way of living the Gospel: by means of the
liturgy, the cult of the saints, and in
particular, through honouring the Blessed
Mother of God. It is an important lesson for
us, particularly today when even in the
Catholic Church attempts are made at
reducing the faith to a mundane level. Many
are of the opinion that our traditions are by
now unacceptable, calling them "pre-
Council" and prefer a strange type of
religion they call "post-Council." But all
they've done is make havoc of the spiritual
and cultural patrimony left to us by the
antique and recent Church.
The Lord, though, sent us a Pope who
sets the example by giving importance to the
» p.4
completely accomplished. In Mary the final
victory of Life over death is already a
reality. In the most holy Virgin the Church
has already reached perfection."
Mary helps Her children win the battles
"You are blessed, O Mary! Mother of the
Eternal Son born of your virgin womb, you
are full of grace. You have received the
abundance of Life as no one else among the
descendants of Adam and Eve. As the most
faithful hearer of the Word you not only
treasured and pondered this mystery in your
heart, but you observed it in your body and
nourished it by the self-giving love with
which you surrounded Jesus throughout his
earthly life. As Mother of the Church, guide
us still from your place in heaven and inter-
cede for us. Lead us to Christ, the Way, the
Truth and the Life, and help us to increase in
holiness by conquering sin.
The Liturgy presents you, Mary, as the
Woman clothed with the sun. But you are
even more splendidly clothed with that divine
Light which can become the Life of all those
created in the image and likeness of God
himself:a light that shines in the dark, a light
that darkness could not overpower.
(Jn1).
Your spirit rejoices, O Mary, and our spirit
rejoices with you because the Mighty One has
done great things for you and for us - for all
these young people gathered here in Denver -
and holy is his name!"
The Pope’s message left its mark, deep and
clear, telling us of that battle that marks the
history of mankind; a battle that we too must
take part in, fighting for Christ. We know
how Our Lady persists in asking for our help.
Listen to the Pope: "be proud of the Gospel."
Let us accept with enthusiasm and fidelity the
Holy Father’s command:
"The Church is asking you to go, in the
power of the Holy Spirit, to those near and
far. Share with them the freedom you have
found in Christ. People thirst for geniune
inner freedom. They yearn for the Life which
Christ came to give in abundance. The world,
at the approach of a new millenium (for which
the whole Church is preparing) is like a field
ready for the harvest. Christ needs labourers
ready to work in his vineyard. Catholic young
people of the world, don’t let him down. In
your hands, carry the cross of Christ; on your
lips, the words of Life; in your hearts, the
saving grace of the Lord.
Woe to you if you do not succeed in
defending life. Now more than ever, in a
world that is often without light and the
courage of noble ideals, people need the fresh,
vital spirituality of the Gospel. Don't be afraid
to go out on the streets and public places, like
the first Apostles ... This is no time to be
ashamed of the Gospel. It is time to preach it
from the rooftops!”
Edit. staff
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For communities and groups:
Fruit of communion
with brothers in God is
CREATIVITY AND FERTILITY
true light for the Church of all times
The following is taken from Fr. Tomislav
Vlasic’s
sermon given at a meeting for
heads of fraternities in the convent of
Capestrano in Aquila.
Communities and prayer groups can
often be spoiled by wrongful attitudes. First
of all, there is in the Church an attitude of
death, a closure to everything that is novel -
not just a closure to new movements, but a
profound closure of the heart. There is
another attitude that regards us more
closely, we who are part of prayer groups
that began from a Medjugorje experience. It
is an attitude of spiritual immobility. There
are groups where people have been praying
together for years, but there is no spiritual
growth; everything has remained on a level
of religious activity. When creative life is
not developed groups produce heresies such
as pietism, bigotry, and in particular the
need for self-realization. All this leads to
confusion, where Satan, disguised, can
easily work.
Our Lady’s intention is to take people to
the light, not to that fanatical and ambitious
activism that characterizes some prayer
groups. Thus, I would like you to concen-
trate more on advancing towards the light.
There is only way to do this, no matter what
type of community you’re in: a life of
fraternal communion
with one’s fellow
human beings. The reason Our Lady desired
this type of community is given by Her in
one of Her messages: An aspect of the
Church must be renewed through this call.
The idea is that fraternities and commun-
ities should live in a family atmosphere.
This [the family] is the fundamental
community. Life comes from the family;
from an unsound family come complexed
and complicated people. Besides this, every
person feels the need to fulfil oneself: as a
father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister.
Being in real communion among us means
developing these fundamental needs that
exist in people. The Church, too, in the
beginning was like this: Jesus died and rose
again; Our Lady, a woman, was the head of
the group that remained. It was a family;
and the Church recognizes this.
What we try to do in these family nuclei
- these communities and fraternities - is to
live out the Gospel with simplicity, to be
authentic Church.
How can the Church be renewed?
Through community life in mystical
union with Jesus and among us.
This is
fundamental. A connection between me and
Jesus is not enough. I must also be perfectly
united, on a mystical level, with a part of
Christ’s body. This is where fraternity
comes into the picture: complete commun-
ion in Christ and among us.
What is the purpose of a fraternity? The
first purpose of a life in a community or
fraternity is that I be reborn. Where is a
child born? Between two people. So to be
born one must be in the Church, in a com-
munity, in communion. Life cannot be born
if it is isolated. The more we are open to
Christ in a fraternity, the more people
become alive, and life is born. Physical birth
is obvious, but few people are aware of this
mystical birth in and around us. Jesus really
is born among us! I have seen how even in
convents this reality is not known. If we
move towards this real presence of Christ in
us and among us, then we have that new life
promised in the Gospel.
Another purpose of fraternities is
creativity. When Jesus gives the Holy Spirit
to the apostles and sends them to drive away
demons and do miracles, what He did was
awaken in them creativity. But this isn't
possible without purification. Also the
apostles did part of the way with Jesus, like
a family, before they went on their own. The
Scriptures say: The Holy Spirit and we have
decided.
This is family! The Holy Spirit and
them make family. For the salvation of
mankind, Jesus put His creativity into the
live Church.
This is communion. So if we
are live Church, and we have this com-
munion of Christ’s love, then the Holy
Spirit works in and through us.
Only God can generate life. So each
fraternity finds fulfilment in God alone. It
doesn’t take two people, or three people. It
takes two or three people together with
God.
Two could be atheists, three could be a
band, but two people in God can offer
others healing, they can generate and create.
So this call opens up an horizon so wide we
can’t imagine: God starts creating new skies
and a new earth.
When we Christians reach this level we
can say we are fulfilled. In fact, if the
fundamental need to create and generate that
exists in every man is not fulfilled on a
spiritual level, Christian life is impeded
from being fulfilled. I see the fraternity and
our communities as being a privileged
means where we can be purified, be reborn,
and where our creativity can be developed.
Here we can be born like the apostles were
born, or like St Francis was born. He had
not finished his theological studies, but
since he had been reborn in the Spirit, his
fraternity was reborn.
It’s not important whether you are many
or few. What’s important is that you walk to
God, that you feel the life and creativity in
you that God alone can give. With this
attitude, it is natural that a person united to
God can generate
- don’t worry!
Vocations will grow, don’t worry! Two,
three, four people united to God, people that
aren’t married to each other, but are
marrried to God, and are thus united to one
another in God, can generate life, generate
vocations. I tell you, they generate!
They do not generate, though, if in the
community there is just one person who
kills life. That is why our communities not
only have to be elastic, they also need rules.
One of the rules of a community is that there
cannot be unhappy people in them,
because with God one cannot be unhappy
and unsatisfied. If someone is unsatisfied, it
means he/she has not found the way that
leads to God. So he/she should either find it
and start walking, or take another road. An
unhappy person within a community could
easily be a channel for Satan allowing him
to strike out hard.
Another law is this: a community cannot
have people who hate
. I don’t just mean
hate as an expression of aggression, but also
hate as in being cold to others: because
this is hate too! You know how envy,
jealousy and arguments are present in prayer
groups. These are weaknesses that we
always come across; it means people
haven’t found life, love or satisfaction in
God.
What we want is for people to be healthy.
A healthy (or sound) fraternity is a small
healthy Church; and through it we get
healing, also for the Church. For com-
munion to be developed though among its
members, you need to eradicate individ-
ualism.
A person who is no longer rooted in
the community is for sure an unsatisfied
person who is unable to love. The same way
it is impossible for a sound mother to live
apart from her child, or for two caring
brothers to turn a cold shoulder to one
another, fraternities need to get rid of every
form of individualism. That’s why it’s
important that the life of God is not reduced
to the ideas of single people. I mean, God is
not little like my mind or my ideas. The life
of God and of my brothers, who are all
originals, cannot be reduced to my limited
vision.
When we banish all subjectivism and
egoism, this creativity, this life, freedom and
the pure love of God becomes possible.
Take Andrea, Maria, Fr. Emanuele and Fr.
Angelo for instance - they’re originals. For
me to be at the service of God’s Spirit in all
four of them, I need to come out of my
world, my way of seeing, but when I do,
what is left? Faith, hope and love.
How can I probe their lives, which are
original and are also a dwelling place for
God? Only with faith, with trust, hope and
love. See where fraternal life leads us? To
spiritual depths. Then we have no more
gossip, or arguments, or limited vision.
Instead we pray and offer ourselves for one
another till we get to the point of
reciprocally generating in God. It’s so nice
living like this: every day we discover God,
live, who manifests Himself in a sister, a
father or a brother.
We know the deepness and beauty in us
from eternity lies hidden, because we don’t
feel loved by God. Jesus can suffer inside of
me for many years if He is not nourished;
but from when you start loving Him in me,
He rises. See then what it is to live a
fraternal life in the real sense of the word?
By making God live in another person, you
bring that other person back to life, making
him/her free and strong. This then takes us
to an attitude of contemplation and aware-
ness of the divine life in others.
What is contemplation? It’s when I reject
all my arguments and thoughts, when
nothing interests me, but I contemplate God
in the others; when I remain in God with
trust, hope and love, then my attitude is one
of contemplation in God in the others. This
costs, because it forces us to die to
ourselves. It is this denial that we have to
sacrifice - and that’s being an "offered soul"
(or one who offers oneself for the sake of
others - a victim). I truly desire that you
understand what offering yourself for others
means.
Edit. staff
sacredness of signs used by God to speak
to men. Often we feel ashamed of being
Christians and acting accordingly, influ-
enced as we are by the world and its "anti-
Gospel" culture. But the Pope spoke out
loud and clear in Denver: now is not the
time to be ashamed of the Gospel, it is time
to announce it from the roof-tops! The
traditions of the Church are a testimony,
when one’s heart and mind are unattached,
that bear abundant fruit of conversion and
the rebirth of people’s souls.
M.
»
Daily bus service to Medj. from Trieste
continues. Departs 6 p.m. from bus station
adjacent to train station in Trieste (ph. 40-
360300). Return price: Lit. 86,200 (valid one
month).
background image
* A way of making the chain of prayers
world-wide, suggested by a group from
Padua: the recitation of the Chaplet of
Divine Mercy
at the hour of Mercy (3 p.m.)
every afternoon, for Our Lady’s intentions.
In that hour chosen by Jesus, let us give
to His and Our Mother yet another weapon
in the fight against Evil.
LIFE IN MEDJUGORJE
Feast of the Cross
Croatian style
Aid workers who died in Bosnia were
remembered in Medj.
(11 Sept.) - What
we dare to call the martrydom of Fabio
Moreni, Sergio Lana and Guido Puletti (aid
workers killed in Bosnia last May) was
commemorated in Medj. during the Italian
Mass
. There weren’t many Italians due to
the alarming information given by the mass
media. Fr. Slavko concelebrated with Fr.
Ivan Landeka who recalled how the Italians
distinguished themselves in two different
moments of Medj.: in the early years of the
apparitions when many forces were trying
to suffocate the events, and at the beginning
of the war when the only ones bringing aid
were the Italians.
Msgr. Franic’, archbishop emeritus of
Split, came to Medj. for the solemn evening
Mass, and his words of praise for the
sacrifice of these young volunteers were
also very moving. Fr. Leonard Orec’, aid
coordinator, had given them hospitality in
Split just the day before, and his reflection
was on the Cross of Jesus and these three
men who were crucified for Christ.
The Cross on the hill - The big cement
cross on top of the biggest hill behind Medj.
was built in 1933, jubilee year of the
Redemption. It was then that it took the
name Krizevac, or Cross Hill. That was 60
years ago and in all this time the villagers
have felt protected, as their crops have not
been destroyed by hail since. On 30 August
1984 Our Lady said that the Cross was part
of the divine plan when it was built
. We
were reminded by Fr. Jozo that over these
last 12 years, Our Lady has sent us many
signs through that Cross. So the feast of the
Cross in Medj. is tradition. Even during
Communist domination they did not stop
saying Mass under the Cross on the first
Sunday after the 8th September.
On 6 September 1984 Our Lady said:
Dear children, there is no peace without
prayer, and for this I tell you to pray at the
foot of the Cross for peace.
Our Lady’s
recommendation was accepted by many
pilgrims who start out on foot every year,
even walking for days on end. We saw them
on the Saturday, on every road leading to
Medj. They were in groups, many were
young, determined, despite the bad weather.
Storm and rain on the last night did not deter
them. The next day, however, the sun came
out to brighten up the feast.
How many of us were there on the hill?
The local press said 40,000 but I’d say less.
This year, because of the war, there weren’t
as many Croatian pilgrims from Bosnia, and
not many foreigners either. The largest
group was made up of Czechs and Slovaks.
There were also quite a few Americans.
Exaltation of the Cross - 12 Sept.: The
celebrations began with the joyful and
sorrowful mysteries of the Holy Rosary,
guided by Fr. Ivan. At 11 a.m. Holy Mass
was concelebrated by Fr. Stojan Zrno, a
Franciscan missionary from Zaire. Dozens
Exaltation of the Cross (12 Sept.). Frs Zrno, Ivan and Philip can be seen.
of priests took Communion out to the
faithful spread over the mountain. The faith
of these people is impressive, constructive.
We ardently invoked peace together with
them.
Fr. Jozo: this Cross is a sign!
The evening Mass was celebrated outside
behind the church. Main celebrant was Fr.
Jozo
. J. Perkovic’ gave us a summary of his
homily which lasted more than 40 minutes:
Today we are here on Krizevac to
celebrate the cross. The cross is the mystery
of love. Our Croatian people became
Christian before the discovery of America
and Australia, where a lot of pilgrims to
Medj. come from. We are an ancient Euro-
pean people, and Europe and the world
today have betrayed us; the powerful and
the politicians have left us to ourselves in
our immense suffering and sorrow. Isaiah’s
words are very significant to us:
"a thing
despised and rejected by men, a man of
sorrows and familiar with suffering" (Is
53:3). These are truly the hardest moments
in our history! But I want to tell you all
what I remember. I saw with my own eyes
light coming from the cross on Krizevac and
going to the church. Then it formed the
word MIR (peace) in the sky.
Peace can come only from the Cross! I
also remember all the times we saw the
cross turning and the times it was like lit up,
all white. That was a message for us, a
message to pray before the Cross, and then
our crosses will also become luminous. In
the beginning of the apparitions, on the
third day, Our Lady appeared to Marija
Pavlovic’ with a black cross, and She was
crying and saying:
"Peace, peace, peace."
Then we did not understand the meaning of
Her tears, but now we understand better.
Just think how many times Our Lady
appeared near the cross on Krizevac, and at
the foot of the cross! In fact, it was at the
foot of the cross that She became our
Mother and Mother of all men. Like Jesus
says in the Gospel, both before and after His
Resurrection: "
Do not fear," Our Lady also
repeats often: "
Do not fear, I am with you."
In these days, so terrible, when the devil
is so horrendous, these words are hope,
comfort and help for us. (...) We do not need
politicians. What we need is prayer and
fasts.
(At this point Fr. Jozo raised his voice
and invited everyone, especially the
parishioners, to pray and fast as they did
in the first days, months and years of the
apparitions.
He spoke harshly about those
who have let themselves be carried away
by the desire for material well-being.)
Our weapon is prayer, fasts and sacri-
fice. The Rosary can bring about miracles.
What the leaders can’t or don’t want to do
to help solve this tragedy, prayer and fasts
can do. Our cross then becomes victory,
hope and love in faith. Also Costantine
saw a cross in a dream and heard a voice:
"
You will win in the sign of the cross."
Costantine won and the cross became a
sign of hope and victory.
Let us remain united with our crosses,
together with Mary Queen of Peace, Who
also today is telling us: "
Do not be afraid,
do not fear, I am with you. You are not
orphans, for I am with you!" A. Bonifacio
SPARKS OF LOVE
in the kingdom of hate
A few days ago, on my way back from
my parent’s place in Herzegovina, I called
in at Medj. It was the first time I’d seen the
Feast of the Cross. It was a glorious day
after the rain the previous night. Most of
the 30,000 Croatian pilgrims present had
arrived on foot - bare foot. Each of them
had a story, a reason, for being there.
* A young soldier tells: "Just a few
days ago I was on the front, alone,
surrounded by enemies. I hid myself in an
opening in the rock, where I had to stay 3
whole days. It was then that I promised the
Queen of Peace I’d go on pilgrimage bare
foot to Her Shrine if She saved me. I came
alone; no one can understand me, my soul
is overflowing with joy and gratitude. Now
I can say that I live - before I was dead,
not alive. I feel wrapped in the love of our
heavenly Mother. I’ve put myself in Her
hands; now I feel safe, tranquil and happy."
* A mother - Her bare feet are
bleeding, but that’s normal after walking
150 km: "I can’t feel the pain and I don’t
feel tired. I feel happy and I’m certain that
our heavenly Mother will protect my two
sons and my husband. They are often on
the front all at once. Who can save us all if
not our Mother, the Queen of Peace? As
soon as I saw the tops of the two spires,
Our Blessed Mother took away all the pain
and tiredness. I’m not afraid anymore."
* A young man with crutches on
Krizevac: "Two months ago I was part of a
group of volunteers taking medicines and
supplies to a village surrounded by
background image
Muslims near Konjic’. Once in the valley,
we were shot at by machine guns. A bullet
went through the top part of my leg. All my
calling out for help was in vain; and I
couldn’t stop the haemorrhage. It was 8 a.m.
After a while, when things sounded quiet, I
tried to get up, but the machine gunning
started again so I threw myself down to the
ground. 2 hours later the same thing. Back
on the ground, I felt hopeless!
I grasped onto the cross of the rosary
beads around my neck as tight as I could. I
suppose the loss of blood made me faint. Or
did I fall asleep? I don’t know. It was night-
time when I woke and I felt better and
refreshed. I prayed to the Lord to help me
find my way in that unknown territory.
Protected by the dark, I was even able to
walk. A hand (that of the Lord or my
guardian angel?) helped me find my way,
right to where my companions had taken
refuge; and here I am now on Krizevac to
thank the Cross, my only Saviour."
There was such a heavenly atmosphere
of profound peace
. During Mass two UN
aeroplanes circled overhead, but people
didn’t even realize. Around 6 p.m. I left for
Ogulin with a bus full of pilgrims going to
Zagreb. We prayed and sang all night. Many
testified to the wonders God had done in
their lives. This is what the Lord has done to
us. Rejoice with us!"
(Ogulin, 23.9.93 - Fr. Jerko Penava)
FRUITS OF MEDJUGORJE
Testimonies at Youth Festival
Young people despair even without
drugs unless they encounter God
- At the
Youth Festival in Medj. the afternoon of 2
August was dedicated to testimonies. The
young people of Sr. Elvira’s Cenacle
Community
said how they suffered because
of their addiction in particular to drugs, but
that with the help of grace they were able to
come out from the darkness. Marco
explained: "I thought that sex, the discos,
easy girls and drugs would make me happy,
but it was in sacrifice and the cross that I
found real joy."
Stefano: ”The problem with young
people today is that they have lost the sense
and the value of life. Drugs are just a conse-
quence of this. Young people don’t just
need money or a car or discos [to be happy].
They need to encounter the heart and the
face of God. Even young people that don’t
take drugs despair if they don’t meet God.
Only God is real joy."
Fr. Liam Lawton: I cried, but Our
Lady had kept me a place at the altar and
She told me: I will use you.
On 4 Aug. Fr.
Liam
, the tall Irish priest with that beautiful
voice, gave his testimony: "I come from a
Christian family that prays, but I had other
interests. I wanted to become a rock star. I
was a singer in a group and I had lots of
[male and female] friends - yet the time
came when all I felt was lonely and empty.
One day I met a young man and I noticed
how happy he looked. He was a theologian
in a seminary and the more I got to know
him the more peace I felt in his presence. It
made me think: why is he so happy if he
can’t sing and he hasn’t got girlfriends.
Then I discovered that he had something I
didn’t have. The more our friendship grew
the happier I became and I became aware of
a voice in my heart: "Why don’t you come
with me too?" But I resisted - I felt too
much a sinner: "Why me, of all people?"
But the voice grew stronger and I finally
said yes. Then I had to tell my friends, and
my girlfriend.
The 7 years of seminary were easy. It
was after that things became difficult,
because I studied theology only with my
head. In 1984 I became a priest ... luckily I
had the chance to come to Medj. only 2
years later, and that was the beginning of a
new life. It was here that I came to
understand and know Our Lady as a Mother
that cares for me. And here I came to
understand Eucharistic Jesus.
One night here I cried a lot, I felt like a
new-born baby. I felt that all I had to offer
was my sin and it amazed me that I was a
priest. My eyes were still red [from crying]
and so I thought I wouldn’t celebrate that
evening, and then when I did decide to, the
only chair I could find was behind the statue
of St James - and I thought that it was Our
Lady who had kept it for me. It was there
that I heard that voice so kind and sweet say
to me: "I will help you. I will use you."
Then one evening Fr. Slavko told me:
"You have to sing for Our Lady." And that
was the beginning of a new story, and now I
go round the world trying to help young
people. (...) I’m sure that God gives a
special gift to each person. Last month I
spent 4 days with Mother Teresa. She’s old,
weak and small - yet see how God uses her?
Each person has to ask themself: what gift
have I received? Then you need the courage
to make the most of that gift.
When I am in difficulty I pray to Our
Lady like this: "Mary, Mother of Jesus, be
my Mother now!"
Medj. awakens many vocations. The
morning of 3 August was dedicated to the
problem of vocations. Fr. Petar Ljubicic’,
who personifies that Franciscan simplicity
and happiness, began with saying how the
youth managed to resist the heat in the tent,
proof that it is possible to offer many sacri-
fices, when done with God. (...) I can see
among you many called to love the Lord in
a special way. Pray to discover the plan God
has for your lives. Those of you who wish
to live always and only for God, who want
to love Him above everything else should
choose a religious vocation. (...)
God doesn’t look at our weaknesses, but
our decisions... everything becomes easier
when you discover that God exists and that
He loves you... that which seemed the
hardest way will become the easiest way.
(...) You can’t live for the sake of yourself
- you need to get over this egoistic way of
living. (...) The Medj. experience has stirred
up a lot of special vocations, for priesthood
and monasteries, including the enclosed
ones. The secret is in discovering the value
of prayer.
Alberto Bonifacio
(New communities have been born from
Medj., and there are many young people
joining other communities.)
News from the blessed land
(from Sr. Emmanuel’s diary)
* In spite of the many political confer-
ences in Geneva and elsewhere, no
progress has yet been made here.
There
are now 150 Croatian towns and villages
which have been destroyed in central
Bosnia. While the Croats are being
evacuated from Bosnia, the Muslims are
being evacuated from Ljubuski, Citluk,
Capljina and other towns in Herzegovina.
Thousands of miserable persons
wandering, broken.
* Only just a few hours before her sche-
duled departure for America, Vicka
became ill: a paralysed arm that kept her
bed-ridden for 8 days. Yesterday she was
up again and receiving pilgrims. The
doctors couldn’t find the cause of her
paralysis. When Fr. Svet and Sr.
Emmanuel returned, Vicka said: "It was in
the Gospa’s plan that you should go and I
should remain and offer my sacrifice." And
many graces fell upon Pittsburg.
* One of our friends here in Medj. had a
great idea. Hire a bus to bring refugees on
a day pilgrimage
to Medj. He was touched
by their sad state after visiting camps in
Herzegovina and thought that only the
Virgin would be able to heal their wounds.
* In the family way - Mirjana is
expecting a child, due in April.
* Jelena Vasilj has left to pursue her
theological studies in an American uni in
Austria.
* Fr. Jozo lost one of his nephews on
the front: a 34 year old father of 2.
* Soldiers on the front come back with
such dreadful stories, they make our hearts
bleed. One soldier, in the Croatian army,
told how last May he was near Slavonski
Brod, and the area was surrounded by
snipers. He told how he came across 4
Serbian soldiers washing their shirts in the
Sava river. Not fearful of the reaction of
his fellow soldiers, he took aim and shot
one of them.
What happened next totally astonished
the Croatian soldier: the other three looked
up to see the other one fall into the river,
then calmly went on with their washing.
They didn’t even bother hiding. So our
soldier shot another one. The same thing:
the dead man fell into the river, the two
soldiers left stopped for a few seconds and
then got on with their washing. A third
soldier is shot, and the last one’s reaction is
exactly the same. The Croatian soldier tells:
"I couldn’t kill the last one, I just couldn’t.
It was like shooting at a baby."
What can be said? The Serbian army
supplies their soldiers with drugs to make
them fearless in dangerous situations and
feel no pain when shot at. (A war that kills
men twice! We also note that the Croatian
soldier had lost all sense of humanity, since
they should only shoot to defend them-
selves.)
* Marija reports how Our Lady has
spoken to them about abortion, calling it a
great sin. Help these women ask for God’s
forgiveness, to confess, because God is
ready to forgive everything. His mercy is
immense. Dear children, I call upon you to
help and protect life.
It is the tradition in Medjugorje to pray
specially for the protection of life on every
1st Saturday of the month.
*
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust
in God still, and trust in me. There are
many rooms in my Father's house. (Jn
Invocations of Peace from Milan - 300
representives of different religions from all
over the world gathered in Milan to pray for
peace: a new Assisi. The Pope’s message
was read by Card. Cassidy: "No war can
ever be called holy," and spoke about the
tragedy taking place in former Yugoslavia.
All the representatives lit a torch as a sign
of hope and signed in favour of religious
peace. The 22nd Sept. was an unforgettable
evening. A large crowd gathered for the
event.
*
background image
B O S N I A :
peace based on injustice
not possible
Muslim parliament does not accept
"partition"
(of 29 Sept.) The reply of the
Bosnian Parliament to the Owen-
Stoltemberg plan was awaited anxiously. It
had already been accepted by the Serbs and
Croatians in Bosnia which would have been
divided into 3 territories: Serbs 52%,
Muslims 31% (were 45%) and Croats 17%
(as before). The reply was a yes with condi-
tions, equal to a no: "we will accept the plan
if all the territories where there’s a Muslim
majority are evacuated." (Where ethnic
cleansing was practised then? Like Mostar?)
Things just keep on getting more comp-
licated, which confirms that war does not
provide solutions, but only makes the
problems worse. The Muslim members of
Parliament must know that the population,
already exhausted, will have to face another
(severe) winter. But is it right that no one
has spoken up about the truth (of the
Serbian aggression)? Is it right that those
who are attacked should always pay?
Europe has let a sovereign state, which
had just received international recognition,
be invaded and then dismembered, and the
fact is accepted and the aggressors are said
to be in the right. This is the type of peace
men are capable of!
Who knows what plot is behind this
resolution. What we do know is that the
Serbs are in a hurry to come to a con-
clusion. They didn’t expect to find so much
resistance when they decided to take Croatia
and Bosnia, given the quantity and quality
of their weapons. Now their advantage has
taken on a different dimension and all they
can do is threaten they’ll keep what they’ve
occupied. Their economy has fallen to bits,
the people are starving and discontented.
The Croatians are also in a hurry. After
having sent out the Serbs from Herzegovina
and central Bosnia, they were assigned (by
the European plan) those same territories,
with Mostar as their capital. But then the
Muslims, after having fought by their side,
started invading Croatian territory to make
up for those territories they lost to the Serbs.
And the fighting continues - but what else
would they do when the borders depend on
how much they manage to occupy?
The mass media do not tell of these
things, not even that the Croatians have to
defend themselves in Mostar, and that the
55,000 Muslims in that city are besieged
because they got hold of the arms depot and
keep on attacking. So, violence begets
violence, and massacre begets massacre!
How can anyone talk about peace in a
situation like this? After so many months of
war, all those feelings of vengeance and hate
have accumulated and are just waiting for
the right moment to strike back. And 1/3 of
Croatian territory (Krajne and Slavonia) is
still in the hands of Serbs who are aren’t
willing to give it up. And what about
Kosovo, where 2.5 million Albanese are
about to lose their every right?
* *
What the religious heads think about
Bosnia
- (from Avvenire, 22/09/93). "There
will never be peace while those who attack
and those who are attacked are put on the
same level, if the mass media continue
manipulating the truth. The important thing
now is to stop all this spilling of blood," the
Archbishop of Sarajevo, Vinko Puljic’,
said. To be able to go to the meeting in
Milan he was brought out by a tank then
flown to Milan in an American plane. "It’s
easy to talk about peace here, but there the
only noises are the sounds of the bombing,
the cry of the wounded and the desperation
of the people who feel forsaken by God and
men. I came away from Sarajevo with a
heavy heart. There are always so many
people at my door waiting to ask for help...
The Catholic Church in Sarajevo has
been terribly hit. There were 144 parishes
(in the diocese of Sarajevo); 96 have been
burnt, plundered and destroyed, 66
underwent ethnic cleansing by the Serbs
and 30 by the Muslims.
The partition of Bosnia is unaccep-
table
. In the name of the Bosnian Church, I
ask that this country remain one, since it is
not an artifical unity, like in Jugoslavia. It
(Bosnia) has always been made up of three
constituent peoples who have lived in full
religious and human freedom..."
"Disobey those who tell you to kill,"
says the Orthodox Patriarch. The Serbian
Orthodox
representative from the patriar-
chate of Pavle in Belgrade, Trifunovic’, said
with some surprise: "What we can do now is
ask our faithful who are fighting in the
Christian and Muslim armies to disobey the
orders to kill. Our senior patriarch, who has
been fasting and praying for peace, had
already launched this appeal 2 years ago. He
was not obeyed because the soldiers in the
Serbian army are nearly all atheists since
they grew up in a country where the only
religion over the last 50 years was
Communism. We had told God to go away
because we didn’t need Him. Now our
hearts are empty, but peace must come into
the hearts of each of us."
The Muslim leader from Sarajevo,
Selimoski said: "God says: a man is desper-
ate when he has no faith. Everything that is
happening in our country is fruit of this. But
God will weigh what we have done with
what we will do and for which reason."
Jerusalem,
if only you had understood
the message of peace!
There’s no doubt what they say is right,
but what we would like is not so much hear
the pastors enunciate valid principals, but
rather hear them say they accept the Queen
of Peace
- for She offers us peace where
there is hate and war, and She offers us the
means to obtain true Peace.
We would like to see Her messages
being accepted
, or at least the Spirit that
animates them; i.e. the Gospel. Is it that Her
messages are not accepted for fear of having
to live out the Gospel - because it would
upset our plans? Yes, Our Lady’s messages,
like the Gospel, are committing.
How much are we encouraged to be true
Christians?
The important thing about accepting
Mary’s messages (which is accepting the
Gospel) is believing that God exists and so
totally trusting Him because there is nothing
He can’t do. It’s putting His will before
ours, and being content with what we have.
It’s being optimistic, fearful of no one and
no thing; it’s not even worrying about what
we’ll eat or which clothes to put on.
To understand the above, Our Lady asks
that we read and meditate often on the
Gospel of Providence (Mt 6:24-34). When
we can manage to say an unconditioned yes
to the Father, we are able to accept and love
everyone as our brothers, the way they are,
even our enemies.
Accepting Mary’s programme means that
each one’s community gives utmost import-
ance to prayer with the heart, adoration,
meditation of the Word, Holy Mass - not
just human activity, whether it be charitable,
recreational or cultural, which gives the
impression that a community is alive but it
lacks the life of the Spirit.
It means fasting from sin and from all
that leads us to sin, not closing an eye to
certain "old-fashioned" Commandments,
behaviour and fashion, that only favour the
spreading of Satan’s kingdom. Proof of
open battle against sin is frequent
confession
(weekly, say St John Bosco and
Padre Pio; at least once a month, says Our
Lady). Do all those people who take
Communion take it worthily, if confession
has been abandoned by so many all over the
world?
What often happens is that we take
refuge in a "secular, liturgical, anonymous,"
even intense devotion to Mary, rather than
accept what She asks of us, which frightens
us for it would compromise the way we
actually live. It’s Her programme that
frightens us.
But be careful that at the bottom of it all
there isn’t a refusal of Jesus, because Her
words are the same as at Cana: Do as He
tells you.
Could it be that our faith in Him,
our Lord and Saviour, has weakened - or
that without realizing it, we believe in
Satan’s prodigies, i.e., in the power of man
and his works, capable of inducing even the
chosen ones into error (cf. Mt 24:24)?
So how can we have Peace, which is
order, so His will can be done here on earth
like in heaven? It wasn’t by chance that
Jesus said: Will there still be faith on the
earth when the Son of man returns?
Fr.A.
Attracted by
Simplicity of messages
The messages are all the more effective
when explained with simplicity. A school
teacher tells how he explained the June ’93
message to his students.
"Our Lady is always with us, so let’s get
used to thinking that She’s always by our
side. She intercedes for us before God, and
She needs our help to realize Her plan of
salvation for all mankind. We are all impor-
tant to Her, for we all have a specific task in
this great plan. Pulling out means making it
more difficult for others to be saved.
Offering ourselves to God [to work with
Him and for Him], and permitting the Holy
Spirit to work in us, makes us able to love
everybody, and we automatically become
bearers of good and peace. But this takes
prayer and perseverance; we must convert
every day; and despite our good intentions,
we often slip. Conversion then, means
picking oneself back up, renewing those
good intentions, asking God to forgive us
and keeping on walking towards Him.
The instrument that will help us be open
to God and His works in us is prayer.
Prayer, however, is not just reciting
formulas. It’s offering the Father everything
we have and do, it’s talking to and confiding
in Jesus, in Mary Our Blessed Mother, in
the Father, the Holy Spirit, the Saints and
our Guardian Angels. It’s telling them our
joys, disappointments, our hopes and our
problems. It’s praising them and thanking
them for everything they do in us.
And we need to remain in silence, in
contemplation, so we can hear what God has
to say to us, through the Holy Spirit in us
»
background image
OUR READERS WRITE
* The spread of Mary’s messages in
Holland
- "Last March I had the joy of
being present during Our Lady’s apparitions
to Ivan in the church of Medj. for 3 days. I
was already working as a composer, but
during those apparitions I asked Our Lady
to entrust me with a task that would contri-
bute to the conversion and salvation of
Holland and Belgium, where Christian
values and standards have been reduced to
zero. 2 months after my request, the Dutch
Echo
came off the press. I didn’t expect
things to happen so quickly! All I can say is
the Our Lady took me seriously and brought
about the miracle of providence." (Frank
van Strijthagen, Maastricht, Holland)
* 17 year-old tells how she made it
through trials thanks to the Rosary
"...
Back to school again, but not without trepi-
dation. I know that with Christ and in Christ
we are invincible - it's my slogan by now,
but I fear for the environment. It’s difficult
being a good testimony of Christ among
people who are blinded by self-love, with
no Christian values, for which I am often
judged infantile, gullible and immature. At
times I feel discouraged, but then I think of
Jesus’ words: Happy are those who mourn,
they shall be comforted,
and I tell myself
that only the Father and the Mother under-
stand me and give me strength to love.
I’ve certainly had to go through a lot
since I was 11, when I first went to Medj.,
but I’ve learnt to say the 15 mysteries of
the Rosary
every day, like Our Lady
requests. I started reading the Gospel and
singing religious songs in my heart. Mary is
my model: I try to be like Her, with a smile
always on my lips, to give courage to others.
At times it’s so difficult, but I’m slowly
starting to learn what it means to love the
others. I would like to tell everyone that
Jesus and Mary love them and are with
them, even if they don’t realize it, and that I
too, love them and pray for them."
The Rosary places you in Mary’s Heart
- an invincible fortress. From there, with
the love of God, you can attract friends,
brothers and adversaries to Jesus.
* Medj. messages reach Albania - "We
were so lucky to receive a copy of the book
Our Lady visits the earth - Her appear-
ances in Medj. - Her message arrives in
Albania
, in Albanese. Where can we find
more copies? What a treasure it is! Our faith
was transmitted to us by our grandparents
and parents. When we were little we used to
secretly go to where there used to be the
church of Soja Shkodres (Our Lady of
Good Council in Shkodër) - which was
demolished under the Communist regime.
Our mothers used to pick up a stone and a
bit of grass from the spot. This book has
revealed a lot of things to us that we didn’t
know. (...)" Eda and Gjovalin Mosi, 30.8.93
F A M I L Y N E W S
We invoke Our Lady’s blessings upon all
those whose collaboration and donations
make the Echo possible. 610,000 copies are
now coming off the press each month.
Confidentially, the cost of this Sept. issue
(8 pages), was ca. Lit. 60,000,000 (27m. to
print the Italian, French, English and
Spanish editions; 11m. to post parcels; 7.6
million to post the single copies to Italy and
airmail same abroad; 5m. for stationery,
telephone and transport; 5 million for costs
of Eastern editions; the rest as a help to our
volunteer workers. A special thanks goes to
all those in Italy and abroad who, at their
own expenses, do so much to help distribute
Echo. Our Blessed Mother knows!
It was a joy for us to print and mail out
7,000 copies of a book in Albanese, with
colour photos, the history and messages of
Medj., catechism, prayers and songs -
translated by R. Prendushi (cost 10 million
lire). The last of the 14,000 copies of a book
in Romanian (with messages and prayers)
have also reached their destination (cost
22m). 16,000 copies of the Romanian Echo
are printed each month. A special thanks
also goes to our French readers who be-
sides covering the costs of their edition, give
generously to the peoples of the East.
Upon the whole Echo family, who
remain bound together through the chain of
Rosaries (our defence and security), I
invoke the Lord’s abundant blessings.
Sped.Abb.Post.3/70,Aut.Trib.Mant.#13,8.11.86; Legal Dir.A.Lanzani;
- eg. good thoughts and positive decis-
ions, feelings of serenity, of joy, realizing
that Jesus and Mary are with us, knowing
that we need not fear because God takes
care of our needs, are all ways the Spirit
talks to us. Our Lady opened and closed Her
message with the Holy Spirit, Her Spouse.
He lives in us and will transform us to make
us become authentic witnesses to the Love
and Power of God." (L. Bonacina)
p.7»
Donations received (September): Medj.
in the East: Lit. 1,349,000; Croatia-Bosnia:
Lit. 2,264,000; Radio Maria Poland and
printer for Russia: Lit. 887,000.
Off the book shelf: * Introduction to the
Devout Life,
by St Francis De Sales. A new
translation has been done by SFS Publica-
tions in Bangalore. A treasure for all Christ-
ians. Enquire at your Catholic book store.
* Medjugorje Day by Day, by Richard J.
Beyer: a daily meditation book based on the
messages of the Queen of Peace. Obtainable
from the Medj.Appeal for £8 plus postage.
* Our Blessed Mother’s Messages to the
World -
a pocket-size compilation of the
messages by I. Schmitzer. Enquire at the
Medj. Appeal. * Other devotional books are
available from the Medj. Appeal. Proceeds
from sales go to the Appeal. Write to: Bernard
Ellis, The Medj. Appeal, Lambs Bus. Park,
Unit J, Tilburstow Hill Rd., South Godstone,
Surrey, RH9 8JZ, England.
»
At the Youth Festival: Frs. Slavko, Agostino and Liam
* Youth 2000 UK - The 2nd Int’l Prayer
Festival was held at Aylesford, in Kent from
25-30 August. Among the many priests
present was Fr. Slavko Barbaric’ and Fr.
Daniel Ange (from France). Fr. Liam
Lawton (from Ireland) provided the music
ministry. Ivan Dragecivic (the visionary)
and Milona von Habsburg also participated.
Other Youth 2000 events this summer
included one in Ireland, attended by Bishop
Kirby of Clonfert and Bishop Neary; one in
Scotland, attended by Archbishop O’Brien
of Edinbourgh and Bishop Wright of Oban.
Melbourne, Australia held one last July,
and a further one is planned for November,
to be led by Bishop Kennedy. Perth (Austr)
will also hold a prayer festival in December.
Youth 2000 is present in Trinidad and
Colombia (through mission teams who help
with evangelization of the youth).
Fr. Tadeusz "struck but not dead" -
"Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Thanks
to your prayers our radio has witnessed
many conversions and a shower of graces.
Our worries are many, even personal.
Poland is going through a delicate moment,
but not for the poverty. Her enemies, allies
of the devil, are importers of consumerism
and moral decadence. Communists and
Freemasons, enemies of the Church and of
man, are organized and actively against the
Church (and our Radio). But pureness,
humbleness and prayer, are gifts from
heaven offered to us by Mary. They are
weapons which the devil does not have, and
they clothe us in power and heavenly mercy,
and will bring us the peace and love
promised at Fatima. So the work of
evangelization of the East continues - if
necessary, as far as the Urals - bringing
faith and freedom to people’s hearts.
Let us remain united through prayer and
form bridges of prayer from one country to
another so they, and this country, may be
rebuilt with Christian values. We look
onwards with courage, fired by the Holy
Spirit. In Jesus and Mary, be live
tabernacles of God. I bless you." (Fr.
Thaddeus, Radio Maria, Poland)
Solemn and sumptuous matrimony for
Marija
Pavlovic’ and Paolo Lunetti in Milan.
Friends were allowed to film the wedding.
Their marriage, which took place on 8 Sept.
(feast day of the Nativity of the B.V.M.) in a
church of Milan was blessed by Fr. Slavko.
Our Lady appeared to Marija after the wedd-
ing celebration instead of at the usual time
after Marija had requested this of Our Lady in
order to bless their marriage and the guests.
We wish the bride and groom the Lord's
blessings.
Prayer meetings are organized by Youth
2000 in various parts of the US. It is
expected that Youth 2000 groups will soon
start in Peru, Poland, Italy, New Zealand
and Grenada. For info: Youth 2000, PO
Box 119, London SQ 7 5RH, England.