January-February 1994 - Our Lady of Lourdes - Orig.Italian Edition: Eco di Medj., C.P.149, 46100
Mantova, Italy. - Yr.9#1. All mail to: Echo of Medjugorje, Casella Post. 27, 31030 Bessica (TV), Italy
22 February: The Chair of Peter
«I have prayed for you, that your faith may not
fail. And you.. strengthen your brothers.» Lk 22
ask; and not be led astray by the human
logic of men detached from God who do
not take into account the cross or "impos-
sible" things. Praying is letting God act; not
praying is condemning ourselves to being
helpless - and peace cannot make progress
in the world.
This goes for our groups too, where we
may be deceiving ourselves with pretty
words. Let us not forget that Jesus said: For
every unfounded word men utter they will
answer on Judgement day (Mt 12:36); and:
you don’t have what you want because you
don’t pray properly for it (cf. Jm 3:13-4:4).
You multiply the words, but not your
charity: you do not pray with your heart, in
your prayer you do not encounter God, you
do not accept His will with an open heart.
As for our personal prayer, we can’t
make up excuses like: I haven’t time! With
regards to time, we can testify that after
prayer our time seems to be multiplied,
allowing us to do lots of things, because
God guides us! It is only through prayer
that we can testify that God is God; that we
are able to subject ourselves to Him, and
He, mysteriously, will subject Himself to us
and give us His Spirit and His authority;
through prayer we lose our every fear and
our testimony will be efficacious.
Mind, there is no other way. This is the
only way where you can be happy to
collaborate with God in His great plan and
be able to donate peace and joy to the
others, and God will give you what you
ask: Ask and you will receive, so that your
joy may be complete (Jn 16:24).
Christmas message: 25 Dec. 1993:
Dear children, Today I rejoice with
little Jesus. My desire is that the joy of
Jesus may enter every heart. My dear
little children, I give you this message,
and like my Son Jesus, I give you my
blessing, so that peace may reign in every
I love you my little children, and what
I ask of you all is that you come closer to
me through prayer. You talk and talk,
but you do not pray. So my little
children, decide for prayer. It is only this
way that you can be happy and God will
give you what you want of Him. Thank
you for having responded to my call.
There is no peace
You talk and talk,
but you do not pray!
Our Lady seems to echo the words the
Angel said to the shepherds: I bring you
news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the
whole people (Lk 2:10). Her desire is that
our joy be not just human, but that Jesus’
own joy enter every heart.
The joy that comes from Jesus is in
always saying yes to the Father’s will. Mary
has always possessed this joy and She wants
us to possess it too, not just at Christmas,
even if "this time" is a stimulus and an
extraordinary grace so that we may be born
again into a child-like joy.
The essence of the message remains the
same two things She proposed in the begin-
ning: prayer and peace, cause and effect.
Peace, of course is real peace that comes
from God (of which joy is an expression)
that holds up to every contrary wind. That is
why She grants us, together with Jesus,
Her blessing: that we may work and never
lose this peace. Our Lady is unable to hide
from us that She loves us, calling us three
times with endearing terms: like the Apostle
John: little children! And She invites us to
be closer to Her through prayer.
The sad reality is this: you talk and
talk, but you do not pray. Make up your
minds to pray. Her lament reflects our
actual situation: rivers of words, meetings,
debates and documents. Effective talking
comes from profound conversion: listening
to God and awaiting His grace. Then it is
He Who talks through us and our words and
decisions bear fruit: without me you can do
Jesus too listened to the Father; in the
morning when it was still dark he went off
to lonely places, and though the Apostles
pressured Him (everybody is looking for
you), he went elsewhere, where no doubt
the Father was calling Him.
Let us learn to say like Samuel: Hear I
am Lord. Speak, your servant is listening -
so we can understand what we need to do or
Like Mary, Pope asks
Church to pray and fast
Dear children, Today, as never before, I
am inviting you to pray. May your life
become fullness of prayer. (25 Nov.'92)
Over these years Our Lady has taught us
all about Christian life, starting from prayer.
She has never stopped showing us how the
real work of a Christian is faith nourished
and strengthened by prayer. Her voice over
these 12 years has been a lone voice, that
we have often not wanted to listen to. That’s
not counting that in many environments,
including the Church, some say: "prayer,
but not only;" "prayer’s OK, but you’ve got
to be professionals;" "now is time to act, not
pray;" and many other similar expressions.
The enemies of Medjugorje hide behind
a shadow: the apparitions have not yet been
approved. The pressing and insistent call,
however, to arm ourselves with prayer in
these times comes also from a voice that
does not need approval: that of the Pope.
Those who remain in Jesus bear fruit
In the Holy Father’s CATECHESIS at
the General Audience of 1 Dec.’93, he gave
the following explanation on spiritual life of
the laity: "All Christian spirituality must be
based on what Jesus said about the need for
a vital union with him: Remain in me ...
whoever remains in me and I in him will
bear much fruit (Jn 15:5). The distinction
between the two aspects of the union to
which the text refers is significant. First
there is the presence of Christ in us, which
we should welcome, recognize, and
increasingly desire, and happy are we if we
are sometimes able to experience it with
particular intensity. Then there is our.
presence in Christ, which we are invited to
achieve through our faith and love.
This union with Christ is a gift of the
Holy Spirit, who instils it in the soul. The
soul accepts it and complies, both in
contemplation of the divine mysteries and in
the apostolate, which seeks to communicate
its light in both personal and social action.
Since it is a gift of the Holy Spirit,
union with Christ must be asked for in
prayer. Doubtless, when work is performed
according to God’s will, something pleasing
to the Lord is being done, and this is a form
of prayer. Thus even the simplest actions
become an offering that gives praise to God.
But it is equally true that this is not enough.
Specific moments must be expressly
devoted to prayer, following the example
of Jesus, who even in the midst of the most
intense messianic activity withdrew to pray.
This is true for everyone, and thus, for
lay people too. These "pauses" for prayer
can take many different forms, but in each
case the principle is that prayer is
indispensable for everyone, in both
personal life and the apostolate."
Satan is strong and awaits each one of
you to try you. Pray, so he cannot harm
you! (25 Sept. 1987)
The more we observe the Pope the more
we see the intimacy that exists between
Mary and Her consecrated son. He is a
model for us all. In Medj. we learnt that we
have to defend ourselves from Satan and
protect the spiritual gifts with spiritual
weapons. The Pope too tells us this.
In his famous HOMILY on 31 Dec. '93,
John Paul II commented on this battle with
the words of St John: "Now many
antichrists have appeared. Thus we know
this is the last hour." The Apostle recalls
that the world "is under the power of the
evil one" (1 Jn). It is good for this evil one
present in the world to be called by name.
Christ, who allowed himself to be
tempted by the spirit of darkness, taught us
to say: "deliver us from evil." We cannot
close our eyes to what is about us. We
cannot fail to see that Christ and his Gospel
are and remain a "sign of contradiction."
We cannot fail to notice that, together with
the civilization of love, of truth and life,
another civilization is spreading: this is
precisely what St John is speaking of in the
context of the "last hour." The Apostle
writes: "Many antichrists have appeared."
And he adds: "They went out from us, but
they were not really of our number." (1 Jn2)
The Pope points out that this civilization
of the antichrist can be opposed with the
inner power donated to us by Christ in the
frequent use of the Sacraments and prayer.
Prayer joined to sacrifice constitutes the
most powerful force in human history
We cannot forget that besides these
enlightened appeals by the Pope, there are
also his continuous interventions to
awaken Christians so they may collaborate
with the restoration of peace in the Balkans,
particularly by prayer. For this specific
purpose he dedicated the 23rd January '94
to a day of prayer, preceded by a day of
fast on Friday 21st, adding that these are
the only means that can obtain a solution to
all conflicts. Where else is it that we hear
that only prayer and fasts can stop wars (25
April 1992) if not in Medjugorje?
He couldn’t have been clearer in his
speech during the GENERAL AUDIENCE
(12 Jan.'94). John Paul II surprised all for
the subject and the gravity of his voice.
With regards to the real possibility of
stopping the war he said:"The most power-
ful humanitarian intervention is always
prayer. Prayer represents an enormous
spiritual power, especially when accomp-
anied by sacrifice and suffering.
Even if it is not apparent to a superficial
glance, and many people do not acknow-
ledge it, prayer joined to sacrifice
constitutes the most powerful force in
human history. As St Paul says, it is like
"heaping burning coals on the head" of
those who commit crimes and injustices; it
is like the "two-edged sword, piercing to
the division of soul and spirit... and
discerning the thoughts and intentions of
the heart" (Heb 4:12). Prayer is also a
weapon for the powerless and for those
experiencing injustice. It is the weapon of
that spiritual battle which the Church
fights in the world: she has no others at her
disposal. Prayer must really unite us all
before God, the just and merciful Father."
Peace is possible because nothing is
impossible to God
The Pope’s teachings of late have been
concentrated on the message regarding the
Lord’s mercy. The absolute necessity for
every man to re-encounter the love of the
Father was already stressed by John Paul II
in his encyclical: Dives in Misericordia.
Over these last years, this appeal for man to
trust in His mercy has become more urgent,
and culminated in the beatification of Sr.
Faustina Kowalska, who was called by
Christ to a vast apostolate of mercy.
"Sr.Faustina was aware of the importance
of the message entrusted to her by Christ,
but she could not have known how rapidly it
would have spread throughout the world.
All mankind needs this message of God's
mercy. Today’s world needs it, especially
the war-torn lands of the Balkans. The
message of God’s mercy is a forceful call to
a more lively trust: "Jesus, I trust you!"
It is difficult to find more eloquent words
than those left to us by Sr. Faustina. Jesus,
I trust you! This is the hope which has
guided us over the past days, confirming
our awareness that peace in the Balkans is
possible. With God nothing is impossible!
Conversion is possible, and it can turn hate
into love and war into peace. So our prayer
becomes all the more insistent and
trusting: Jesus, I trust you!"
Quite a few of you wrote to suggest
various initiatives for prayer and fasts. We
offer them to the Father who sees in the
secret of your hearts and will give you your
Italy: Pope makes appeal
for great prayer
to defeat spirit of division
In a special letter to the Italian bishops
the Pope spoke out about the responsibility
of Catholics in our society. He stressed how
the duty of the Italian people is to conserve
their precious heritage: the legacy of
human and Christian values - i.e faith,
culture and unity.
The presence of Christians in society is
necessary for a profound social and political
renewal ... "The Italian society has to be
profoundly renewed, purifying itself of
corporatist tendencies, separatist threats and
mutual suspicion, and look with confidence
to its future; for this it is necessary that all
believers be mobilized through common
prayer ... As we approach the year 2000,
the whole Church needs great prayer." Let
us ask for this grace from the Holy Spirit,
Who alone can create this communion
These indications given by the Vicar of
Christ to the Italian people strike out at
that spirit of division and disgregation
which is so dominating in our country at
the moment. It is scandalous to think that
Catholics divide themselves into "bands,"
and that the more intellectual of them
formulate theories of unity and communion
not being necessary, or having been
surpassed. The Catholic conception says
that political and social activities cannot be
separated from our Christian faith; but are
rather a consequence of it. Satanic spirit
is one of division.
We are forgetting, and it took the Pope »
The dead come back to life
these days too!
Easter Monday - After lunch my
husband René complained of a sudden
stomachache. He lay down for a while but
the pains got worse: his chest hurt, his arms
became stiff and he began retching. I called
the doctor who was quick at diagnosing
He was admitted to intensive care in a
deep coma and they connected him up to
machines. That night all the diagrams on the
machines were flat. The next morning I
asked the head physician if there were any
changes. He said none, that they would keep
him connected a while longer, then
disconnect everything, for there was
nothing else they could do. My son Marcel
and one of René’s brothers wished to see
him for the last time.
As far as me, I remained alone in a small
room and with all my heart I cried out for
help: "Sr. Faustina, intercede! Sr. Faustina,
intercede before Merciful Jesus for René!"
Suddenly, I felt a light breeze around me.
Was it a sign? Could God have listened to
me? Marcel and my brother-in-law came
back and said: "René is dead, he’s all puffed
up, and purple, and cold." René had gone,
just the machines were keeping him
On the way home we cried. My
daughter Marylise didn’t want to accept the
truth. Her father couldn’t have left her like
that, she thought, and she prayed and dared
to hope still.
At 4 p.m. that Tuesday (13 April 1993),
I called the hospital again. The person on
the other end recognized me. Her voice was
wavering: "We’ve just disconnected all the
machines. Your husband has just finished
responding positively to the three infallible
tests: if you can hear me, bat your eyelids;
and he did. If you can hear me, stick your
tongue out; and he did. If you can hear me,
close your fist; and he did. Your husband is
alive and you can come and see him..."
Surprised and happy we cried out with
joy: A miracle! ... Merciful Jesus heard our
prayer and He gave us this great gift in the
week dedicated to His Divine Mercy. René
was born again.
There were no neurological
consequences, no paralyses, everything
functioned perfectly. A new heart, the
doctor later said. I bless the Lord every day
for this immense grace that He granted us
through the intercession of Sr. Faustina.
I hope with all my heart that this will
help with the cause for her canonization."
Mme A. Menjoz (from Stella Maris)
Cecilj from New Delhi rejoices for her
nephew who awoke from a coma after 2
months. Cecilj's prayer group had been
fervently reciting the chaplet of the Divine
Mercy for him and after some days he came
out of the coma. They too give thanks to Sr.
Faustina for her intercession.
and Our Lady to remind us, that there is
only one solution to our problems: If God is
with you, you have everything .
«First of all, we need silence. Fruit of
silence is prayer. Fruit of prayer is faith.
Fruit of faith is love. Fruit of love is service
and fruit of service is peace.»
Mother Teresa of Calcutta
of false gods that enslave us
So we may return to the true God
Examine your consciences: did you
come here to ask or give something to the
Lord - to be healed, consoled, to receive
light, or to offer Him your problems?
This is what Fr. Tomislav asked the
many people gathered in a small country
church last November. They came, not for
theories or vague solutions, but to hear the
fruit of live experience with God which
touches people’s hearts, and allows them to
discover what is needed to find peace.
«What is dominant in your hearts at the
moment? During my travels over these last
days I came across many worried, tense and
unsatisfied people. Some spoke to me about
their problems (family or sickness) - I
could sense their uneasiness. In the papers
we read of fear and uncertainty regarding
the future of the country. It comes down to
this: in people’s hearts, which mirror what
is happening in society, the Church and the
world, I saw much worry. Let us consider
what is happening and which is the road
that will lead us to a beautiful, light future.
In today’s world, people are very
unsatisfied and confused - unable to live
with others. We have separation in the
families, divergence in political parties,
division even in the Church, prayer groups,
in congregations and among the consecrat-
ed, and aggression and hate in the world.
What does Our Lady say about this? For
some time She has been announcing that
these times are the times of God and of
Satan, times in which the action of grace is
evident, but just as clear is the action of the
devil. All this must happen, though, so that
what is false can fall. In fact, a new world
cannot be born, the Church cannot be
renewed, unless the false and corrupt values
If we want to follow Our Lady we need
to see clearly what is happening and walk
along the road that leads to Jesus with joy
and exultation. Why is there so much
confusion and dissatisfaction? There is only
one answer: the spirit of man has become
detached from the Spirit of God. Man thinks
he can live alone, but he is unsatisfied
because he is without his fount of happi-
ness. Dissatisfaction leads to confusion,
because people don’t know how to find
happiness. Confusion leads to finding fault
in the others, and this leads to aggression,
hate, division. Why division? Because
men’s spirits, detached from the Spirit of
God, gather in groups, in parties, in closed
circles, that are disconnected on a human
level, with no way out. This is not the
Church that was united under God’s Spirit.
All the problems you see within and
around yourselves have their roots in this
detachment from God and in the attachment
to false gods (wealth, power, beauty) that
encourage [the growth of] one’s ego.
Why are the men of today unhappy? A
man with 4 houses is unhappy because he
can’t afford another one. Another is
unhappy because he earns $10 less than his
neighbour.... People are unhappy because
they adore material things and look for
material things in other people (who can
offer me more?). And he thinks he can find
his salvation in this.
Everything that does not lean on God,
the only true God, must fall; even the fall of
authority had to come; and a total fall will
come, because it doesn’t lean on God.
Authority detached from God falls. That’s
the reason for this crisis. And after all this
we go back to adoring other gods!
In this society people always look out
for someone to blame, but that doesn’t build
our future. Even in situations of frustration,
Satan drives you to blaming yourselves,
your wives/husbands, your children, to
punishing yourselves and others. This is
adoring a god in us that can’t do anything,
that can’t resolve problems, so that as we fix
on a black point within us, with no hope,
only feelings of bitterness and desperation
grow. And this is Satan’s spirit, for Jesus
always saves and justifies.
I would like for each one of us to
eliminate this false god, for it is here that we
find that concentration of negative tension,
so contrary to the Gospel, that destroys us.
Let us heed Our Lady’s voice: surrender
ourselves totally to our Saviour and be
truly free! Let us start adoring the true God
when trouble arises, be truly surrendered to
Him in difficult situations.
There are crises because there’s got to
be; so the true values in the Church and the
world can be rediscovered and experienced.
Adoring God during times of trial makes us
able to wait with hearts full of hope, certain
of God’s intervention. Our politicians can’t
save us. God saves .. be sure of that! God
saves the whole world! He saves you even
when you’re not aware of it. God saves
from within, but we must send away all
those false idols we have constructed. That
is what Our Lady wants when She invites us
to convert, urging us to offer sacrifices:
which teach us to hope.
Now is the time when we need to adore
God from deep within ourselves, because
beyond all the troubles, difficulties and
confusion, God is the one who holds
together the strings of our life. That is why
it is so important we accept the poverty of
every day: lack of success, troubles and
trials. In these times those who do not
accept it become aggressive towards others
and themselves and begin hating. So accept
every type of poverty, and look for God in
it. This is the road to purification.
To the members of my community who
undergo hard trials, I often say: you could
go walking around the streets with a walk-
man like the others and not suffer these
trials. It’s only when you’re face to face
with God or when you’re forced to reflect,
that the negative things surface; and they
have to surface for you to be purified.
Society too, and the Church, must
experience these trials to be transformed.
For you, though, who listen to the
Blessed Virgin and accept Her invitation to
conversion, you have to understand! Be
poor, accept poverty willingly, and you’ll
be happy! Neither wealth nor poverty are
important; what is important is to have God.
With Him you find happiness and
satisfaction, even if you’re broke. You will
be united to God’s Spirit; He will give you
neither wealth nor power, but He will give
you true life. And there’s no man on earth
that can give you this! This has always been
Our Lady’s invitation: come close to God,
put God first ...
We cannot, though, have this grace
without poverty. Which poverty do we
mean? Well, your daughter is ill and you are
worried. Surrender your worry to God and
tell Him: "Lord, I am poor. I did not have
her, but You gave her to me. She is Yours. I
entrust her to You," or "Lord, I have a
house, and money ... but if You see that for
my salvation it’s better to be without, then
take them!" This is the way that will open
your heart to God and to His grace.
Discover wealth in your everyday
situation - when you lack something, when
you can’t see how to resolve a problem -
discover the wealth of God, search for it! I
don’t say to you: start walking barefoot, but
I do tell you: start walking with God. I don’t
say: don’t worry about your health, but do
look for God in your illness, and remove
from your life those things that divide you
from Him. This way you will be truly
Our present times tell us about "future
times" that will be bad and good: bad for
those who walk detached from God’s Spirit,
good for those who walk united to God’s
Spirit. Men can be united to one another,
but without God they cannot support one
another. Like devils who live united under a
head who uses force: they hate one another.
Men can be united in groups even without
God, but these will fall. You, though, must
be united to one another in God, without
interests. Be like Jesus: it is when you lose
everything that you are united to the Father.
I shall conclude now with the reply to
my initial question. We are not used to
going to Church to encounter Jesus and
give ourselves to Him, and this is tragic.
Only through giving yourselves totally to
Jesus can you find fulfilment and satis-
faction. The amount you give yourself to
Jesus determines how united to Him you
can be. Start from the little negative things:
Jesus is looking for you and wants your
sins, your worries, your crosses ... he wants
everything! He is asking for your real love.
Start giving everything to the Lord and
you will be changed. Like Jesus gave
Himself to the Father, so each of us should
give ourselves to God. Truly, what we
receive from a person depends on how
much we give ourselves to that person,
because love by nature is communicating. I
beseech you! From now on go to Jesus and
give Him all, and He will give you all that
you need. Give without asking, for you
cannot receive without first having given
What do we celebrate at Holy Mass?
Jesus Who gives Himself to us and we who
give ourselves totally to Him. This donation
of love makes perfect union; then bitterness
and hate will no longer grow in you, but
only light, serenity and satisfaction.
This is what I wanted to give you; but
you can experience it only if you seriously
decide to put it into practice. I tell you this
because I meet many people who pray,
many of whom are consecrated, yet they are
unhappy and irritable. Decide to live united
to the Spirit of God and donate it to the
Donate God’s Spirit to this society. All
your country needs is the Spirit of God.»
«Lord, make me an
instrument of Thy peace!»
This was the theme of a meeting guided
by Fr. Tomislav in Jan. ’94. There were
more than 1,000 people, and despite the
numbers and the presence of children, all
went smoothly. Only Our Lady could get to
the hearts of each person in such a large
Fr. Tomislav spoke of the necessity of
an UNCONDITIONAL aperture of heart to
the love of the Father. The Father wants us
- refugees on the earth - to be His children.
He wants us to let Him love us and fill our
souls with His caresses.
» page 8
conforming to the spirit of the
messages of Medjugorje
Recognizing what is positive in other
faiths. Consideration of other cultures to
evangelize them in reciprocal love
Q. The messages of Medj. are deeply
religious. They conform to the Gospel:
speaking of conversion, penance, prayer
and invite to peace. What do you think?
A. The messages, valid for the whole
world, are an outline for the new
evangelization of Europe and the world. In
particular, they speak of reciprocal respect
and love among peoples, religions, cultures
and political systems, in reciprocal
collaboration between faiths and peoples.
Q. Would you like to say something
more about the spirituality of Medjugorje
from this point of view?
A. In the past, evangelization was
mostly an argument against the errors of the
faith and adversary cultures. The differ-
ences were used to beat the others with
more ease. Now, quite the opposite is the
new evangelization which looks for the
positive values of each faith and culture,
even in the polytheistic religions with all
their myths, and in modern atheism. This
new evangelization, however, could be
risky for our faithful if they are not
sufficiently instructed in their own faith.
That is why some opposed Vatican
Council II which was the first to impose this
new type of evangelization, and harshly
condemned those who put it into practice by
showing love towards peoples from
different faiths and towards atheists. The
love they were showing was the one that
asks us to love others as we do ourselves,
but without identifying with the others in
their faith and ideologies.
Even John Paul II received criticism for
the fast and pilgrimage he did in Assisi with
the Orthodox, Protestants, Buddhists, Shin-
toists... But it means learning about other
faiths and cultures to be able to show the
Gospel of Jesus Christ in a more friendly
manner, allowing God to do the rest.
Penetrating the culture and faith of
other peoples, however, demands better
religious instruction and greater personal
holiness. This is the way the new evangel-
ization is moving, and this is also the
message of Medj: reconciliation, forgive-
ness and love for all, so that every religion
and every culture may be evangelized more
Q. Who should carry out this evangel-
A. Not just the clergy, like in the past,
but all those who have been baptized are
called by God to help. The work of the laity
can no longer be defined as a participation
in the hierarchic aposto-late, but rather, a
co-operation in the Christian redemption of
the world; because through our baptism we
all received from Christ the right and duty
to participate in His redemptive work. That
is what the Council teaches us; and this
demands obedience to the Pope, the bishops
and priests, who in turn cannot deny the
laity the right to take part in the triple
power: prophetic, priestly and regal power.
The Medj. messages promote the
modern apostolate of the laity, for we must
keep in mind that they are spread through
the laity, and that Our Lady gives them for
all men, not just for the religious. (...)
The Bishops, not their experts or
theologians, are responsible for discern-
ment concerning the faith
Q. We have a great number of eminent
philosophers, theologians and doctors who
have expressed positive thoughts on the
phenomena of Medj...
A. Yes, the latest declaration by our
bishops in Zara (10 April ’91) is very grave
if it explicitly rejects the supernatural
character of the apparitions. Our bishops are
the ones who are responsible for this
declaration, not their theologians. None-
theless, it can be seen from their declaration
that the last word has not yet been said
Q. Have these attitudes discouraged
people in any way from going to Medj.?
A. I am convinced that if our bishops
had supported Medj. great crowds of people
would have gone and been converted. And
to conversion Our Lady associated peace... I
think our bishops have depended too much
on our professors of theology from the
various schools and on the commissions,
which for the most part were made up of
these professors. Theology must be
rational, but not exclusively so.
Private revelations and mystics have
always been present in the Church and
always will be, as a second vital element
next to rational theology. But it’s as if the
Holy Spirit has not yet entered our
pastoral programmes. This is a reason for
which our bishops have not publicly
confirmed or recommended the present-day
movements for a renewal in the Church, so
most of the parish priests do not have the
courage to introduce these into their pastoral
plans; let alone promote pilgrimages to
Everyone knows that I do not think the
same way as the Bishopric of Mostar. I have
been and I remain contrary. (...)
(Taken from Glas Mira, Dec. ’93)
Queen of Peace donates radio of truth
to American Church
In a meeting organized last Autumn by a
Medj. prayer group (with pilgrims, faithful
and representatives of the Church of
Chicago), the Auxiliary Bishop of the city
of Jaworski threw light on how grave this
historic moment is for the Church in the
There were 5,000 people praying
together, but there were no film crews or
journalists as these were more interested in
the incriminations made against priests or
with the war in Somalia or Bosnia.
Those present showed profound concern
for the injustices and the lack of objectivity
in news transmissions, so they favourably
accepted the Medj. Association’s proposal
to buy a powerful radio station for the
Archdiocese so that the Word of God could
reach and heal the many wounds caused by
so much scandal.
Medjugorje Vocations - During that
same meeting a young nun spoke about her
experience with Medj. and her subsequent
decision to become a nun. Medj. vocations
are frequent in groups in the US.
NEWS FROM MEDJUGORJE
Only Mary is left in Medjugorje
Going to Medj. on pilgrimage during the
Christmas period (1-4Jan.)and finding very
little but UN military vehicles, small trucks
belonging to EEC observers and Caritas
vans is disconcerting. Medj. shows signs of
the war too. To say all is tranquil like in the
beginning is not true There may not be any
danger; and the road from Split is safe, but
one can’t forget that a civil war is going on
in that country, where friends of yesterday
are now killing one another.
You can't say it’s like before. The
bungalow village has become the barracks
for the UN contingent. It’s surrounded by
barbed wire and has control towers fitted
out with machine guns on each side. More
than half the shops and restaurants have
closed down. In the evening you can’t go
out because of the curfew, which means
being able to climb Krizevac and Podbrdo
only during the day.
You don’t see many people around. The
grounds outside the church, once the
meeting place for pilgrims, are deserted for
a good part of the day.
People have started returning, but it
can’t be compared to the crowds of 3 or 4
years ago. Every now and again a distant
thud can be heard in the direction of Mostar.
You can’t pretend and think that Medj. is
back to normal.
Then again, all this does not change the
fact that Medj. is the only place in the world
where Our Lady lived for 12 years and
continues to do so, even corporally. This is
the essence of Medjugorje We’ve said it
many times, but now it has become more
evident, as the works of men, here in
Medjugorje, have all fallen.
There is just nothing to do or see in
Medj., except "meet" Our Lady. The parish
of course tries to organize things for the
pilgrims, but the value of Medj. is some-
thing else; it comes from the Spirit which
Mary obtains because of Her presence there.
Its true value is in the messages. If it has
been saved from destruction it’s only
because Mary, in Her mysterious goodness,
wanted to save that village.
Everything depends on Our Lady and
how we listen to Her. The greatest disaster
for us would be to put Mary on the same
plane as things or people.
Medj. is and remains a unique place in
the world. It is the heart of our spiritual
renewal, of the renewal of the Church and
of humanity. We have done nothing to
deserve this, the greatest gift the Church has
ever received: 12 years of daily apparitions
by the Virgin Mary. We could, though, go
down in history as the generation of the
great refusal, of those who opposed Our
Lady. This is our responsibility!
From the message of 28 Jan. 1987:
In whichever place I go, and my Son is
with me, Satan also reaches me. Without
realizing it, you have permitted him to get
the better of you, to dominate you. At times
you understand that some of your gestures
are not permitted by God, but you quickly
suffocate these feelings. Do not give in, my
children! Wipe away the tears that I shed
as I watch you.
"Model of true communion"
Satan’s triple assault
DON’T KILL THE LIFE
born again in Medjugorje
What is Medjugorje? It is the irruption
of heaven into the world, through the
presence of the Mother of God on a
mountain. Mary comes because men don’t
know how to meet Christ anymore. That is
why Medj. has become such a bright light,
for it is the power of the Spirit Who is
breaking up all the negativity on the earth,
the way He unhinged the rusty gates of our
hearts. We have also had the grace to see
signs, for our faith to be confirmed.
From that moment our lives started
anew, we began breathing, our hearts
opened to the sound of this announcement,
and in turn they became little Medjugorjes.
Our Lady’s every word is echoed in your
hearts because it is tuned in with the new
person in you and with the life of the Spirit
you received in your baptism.
This life was buried in us, but here in
Medj. we received the grace of conversion.
We, who were full of the life of the flesh,
rediscovered our life in the Spirit. That life
of the flesh was thrown over, and we work
at keeping our spiritual life above the rest;
because this is true life, that not even death
can destroy. In fact, it is death that brings
our spiritual life to fulfilment in the
presence of God in eternal life.
This rebirth does not suffice on its own,
however. Now that you are committed to
total dedication of this Mystery, you must
nourish your spiritual life! Now beware, for
Satan is ready to grab onto your new life
through spiritual illnesses. One of these is
the temptation to become masters of your
spiritual life. The gift you received is thus
Many are those reborn into life who
have not respected the rhythms of this life,
for it requires silence, prayer and
detachment from the world. It is not
possible to correct one’s failings without the
power of the Holy Spirit. To receive this
power one must dedicate time to God.
Satan also attacks us with the temp-
tation of arrogance. For instance: Our
Lady has revealed Herself to you, so you
start judging because you think you’re
better than others. A gift is worth nothing
unless there is a spiritual battle every day.
Without serious commitment to remove
from your heart what is unpleasing to God,
everything is blocked. More again, you end
up being cause for scandal!
More than anything, though, Satan
attacks communion; and he has done this
here in Medj. We perceive that this is a
place of grace, but we live in a time which
necessitates much vigilance on our part of
Our Lady’s messages. Her corporal
presence in the world continues to generate
the spirit of communion. Satan, though,
wants to work against this communion,
particularly here at its fount.
Here, in some environments of Medj.,
Satan has attacked and destroyed the visible
signs of communion. He attacked the heart
of the Mystery which the Spirit of
communion had generated. The devil
always rejoices at division. He knows that a
house divided against itself cannot stand
(Mk 3). This work of division has marked
all the signs of communion: among
parishioners, the fathers, the visionaries, the
group of young people and the various
prayer groups; wherever Satan provokes
suspicion and incomprehension.
In spite of this, Mary continues to carry
forth the spirit of communion; but She is
met with resistance. There is no longer a
school of communion in Medj. with visible
signs for us to follow.
We have received great gifts over these
years. There is a task that Our Lady wants
to entrust to you; do not fear, for there is no
other Mother as attentive and loving as Her,
because She is the Immaculate Mother.
These times need these new people, who
in the darkest moments are testimonies who
bring light, who humbly accept and transmit
God’s light, because they humbly place
themselves at Mary’s disposition to learn
[Medjugorje, 2 Jan. 1994]
(from a meditation by Fr. Giacomo)
Protect God’s gifts
* Well-known theologian, Von
Balthasar, who has never had doubts about
the authenticity of Medj., said in an
interview in 1983: «(...) I have only one
thing to say: you need to be careful [to see]
what really comes from God and what
comes from men. What is happening in
Medj. is from God. The children are
reliable, but I repeat that it’s dangerous to
hound them with interviews and
questions (without realizing it we have put
them on pedestals, ed. note)... You [of
Echo] wrote that faith is more important
than a vision. The children need a lot of
support. If they can understand that faith is
greater than a vision, they will be saved.»
Through our little instrument we have
always tried to help the visionaries protect
the great gift that they have received. We
can’t deny that they are often used to ensure
success. We have always maintained that
silence and spiritual guidance is what best
protects these gifts, permitting visionaries to
meditate and grow in holiness and thus be
true testimonies of the words they
pronounce. Others have no right to use
them for themselves.
Pilgrims too must learn to turn to God
and His Word which we find in the church
if they want to grow spiritually. It’s false to
think that out-of-the-ordinary experiences,
or listening to or knowing special people
can help you grow.
It’s pleasing to hear that Marija
Pavlovic says the same things. A. Bonifacio
sent us a report of her participation in a
meeting for Italians on 1 Jan.’94. She spoke
about: prayer groups at risk when they
chase after sensational events; going from
one extraordinary manifestation to another
and not nourishing a true and unitary
spirituality; fanaticism by Medj. followers
causing rejection of Medj. by many priests;
the risk of becoming attached to people
(monks/visionaries) which stops us from
seeing that God is and must be central, and
that the normal way He chose for us is the
Church, the Sacraments and the Pope. * *
News from the Blessed Land
(from Sr. Emmanuel’s diary)
* Signs from heaven still present in
Medj. I’ve noticed that the Virgin often
chooses unbelievers and children for the
signs. Nonetheless, it was an Irish priest last
November who received a special sign.
He decided to make the Stations of the
Cross. He was alone. At the 12th station he
prayed before the Crucified Christ, and all
of a sudden Jesus came to life. His face was
swollen by the blows and He was bleeding.
Jesus’ head swayed like a person in pain.
His eyes, full of love and unfathomable
sadness, met those of the priest.
The priest was shocked, thinking for a
moment that he was going mad, but he
looked again and met Jesus’ eyes...
Trembling with all his being, he
descended the mountain and joined his
friends. They no longer recognized their
priest, so great was the sweetness in his
eyes. They prayed together and he blessed
them. "Jesus’ wounds are intolerable," he
told them as he shared his extraordinary
experience. "The look on Jesus’ face is
implanted in my heart, like a seal in wax."
* 1994 - third year of war. Many
pilgrims had the chance to visit refugee
camps during the Christmas season. They
received much from witnessing the nobility
and humility of the refugees in such
700 refugees from Vares, for instance,
told of how they escaped and then were
held up in lorries for a month because the
Muslims would not let them pass. In the
cold, with hardly anything but water, many
didn’t make it.
It was with them that the pilgrims
learned how to pray for peace and how to
cry like Mary for the reconciliation of Her
* "In Mostar," one man told me, "you
can hear the cries of men being tortured on
the other side of the Neretva."
Refugees now comprise half the village
which is overflowing with children - the
Medj. of tomorrow. Another young Medj.
man has died: Mario Bulic; while Jozo
Zovko was badly wounded in the legs.
* Family news: This January Fr. Slavko
left for Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macao and
communist China. Ivan will meet him in the
Philippines, after a series of meetings in
Germany and the USA.
Vicka was recently in Belgium. Ivanka
and Mirjana are both expecting and should
give birth early this year. Marija is also
expecting. Marijana Vasilj, who receives
inner locutions, married Mario Juricic. »
* Fra Stanko Vasilj recently passed
away. He had been ill for some time. He
was the author of the Medj. hymn that we
all know, and was the organ player in Medj.
in the early years.
DISARM THE AGRESSOR!
Pope condemns nationalism
Unlike Europe, John Paul II is not
undecided with regards to the war in the
Balkans. On 15 Jan. 1994 he spoke to the
Diplomatic Corps about how "the barbar-
ous and unjustifiable war which is staining
Bosnia-Herzegovina in blood, after
devasting Croatia, has considerably eroded
the goodwill which Europe used to enjoy."
The main victims of the war, the Pope
recalled, are "innocent civilians in the hands
of torturers without morals." The Holy
Father is asking the fighting parties to put
down their weapons, because: "what is
taken or destroyed by force will never do
honour to a man or to the cause he claims
The Pope expressed his admiration for
the work being done by the humanitarian
organizations; he asked the European
political leaders to redouble their efforts,
and the peoples of Europe: "...not to forget,
through weariness or selfishness, your
brothers and sisters trapped in conflicts
which have been imposed on them by their
leaders." The Pope's firm conviction is a
great sign of hope for us: "war is not
inevitable; peace is possible! ... because
man has a conscience and a heart.. because
God loves each one of us, just as we are, so
as to transform and make us grow."
A warning for Christian Europe: If the
international community cannot come to an
agreement on how to deal with this problem
of nationalist claims, it is foreseeable that
whole continents will be as to say poisoned
and there will be a progressive return to
relationships based on force, in which the
first to suffer will be the people themselves.
Europe, blind and powerless -
Archbishop of Paris, J.M.Lustiger, cele-
brated Christmas in Sarajevo. He said how
the war in Bosnia is not a war between
peoples, but: "an army which, in the name
of criminal cynicism, has besieged a nation
and its people ... Europe is sick with its
powerlessness, its cowardice, its blindness.
It doesn’t want to understand how great
the risk is. The war in Bosnia concerns all
of us; it’s like an illness that could destroy
all of Europe from within. If we don’t know
how to react to the idea that every single
person, ethnic group or army can take what
it wants, then democracy is finsihed."
Nationalism is new paganism - French
philosopher, André Glucksmann, in an
interview to Avvenire (23 Jan. ’94) said:
"We say we don’t care if the East
becomes like the Far West. Attention
though, because we might save our own
lives, but not those of our children and
grandchildren. Once the Nationalist-
Communist disease starts spreading, it
won’t take long for Rome or Paris to be
infected as well."
To conclude, the Pope calls this sickness
of Europe a new paganism, which is the
deification of the nation, and the rejection
of others because they are different.
Litmanovà, Mary speaks from
the heart of Europe
In Slovakia, near the borders with
Poland and Russia, there is a new Medju-
gorje. 700 metres up Mount Zvir, it can be
reached only by a path. It was there in a
timber hut in a clearing in the wood that
Our Lady appeared as the Immaculate
Pureness on. Her birthday, 5 Aug. 1990.
The name itself is an eloquent reminder of
that forgotten Christian ideal.
Our Lady has been speaking for 3 years
to 16 year-old Ivetka on the first Sunday of
every month. Ivetka was so timid that she
spoke to no one, and now she is the
visionary who must speak for Mary. She
gives the messages to the parish priest who
in turn tells the people. Ivetka’s friend,
Katka, can see but not hear Our Lady.
Great crowds start climbing up the
mountain the day before. They sleep in the
open and prepare themselves through
prayer for the Mass which is also celebrated
in the open. This year on the anniversary
more than 100,000 pilgrims were present.
Last Autumn a friend brought us a cassette
to see (the 3 hours of celebration). The great
number of men, women and youth, the
poverty and simplicity of these mountain
folk and the earnestness of their prayer,
brought tears to our eyes. As penance, many
climb the mountain barefoot, even in winter.
It made us think of the poverty of the
crowds in Medj. in the early years.
One cannot, however, go the
Immaculate Pureness unless in a state of
grace, so many confess before they begin
the climb, others in the wood prior to Mass.
The young Brazilian priest, Fr. Polykarp
Jacos, is a true apostle and helper of Our
Lady, having accepted the messages with all
He has launched a programme of
spiritual renewal in his parish: Holy Mass,
Rosary, fast on Wednesdays and Fridays,
confession and meditation of the message
during the month, "to pray according to
Mary’s intentions:" You don’t know how
much I need your prayers and fasts for the
conversion of my errant children. Please
help me! (3 July ’93)
The Immaculate Pureness wants to give
a great impulse to the moral renewal of the
people. If this renewal does not proceed
people’s values will be deformed in their
hearts, which would be worse than a war.
On November 7, 1993 the visionaries
received the apparition in the bishop’s
chapel in Presov where they had been
invited by the Commission. As Our Lady
appeared, there were 20,000 pilgrims
gathered together in the square outside.
The message was:
massacred by a bomb in Mostar. That’s a
clear reply to the stand taken by the Pope!
The three conflicting parties have been
unable to reach an agreement, despite the
endless negotiations. The UN are undecided
between trying for a political solution (as
they have so far fruitlessly done) or a
military intervention where they would
bomb the Serb postings around Sarajevo.
The UN forces are also having problems
with rotating their contingents and are
unable to get aid in because of the road
blocks. According to the former com-
mander, Belgian general Briquemont, the
UNO should use force to be useful.
In the meantime, a big offensive in
central Bosnia is being prepared by the
Muslims, whose forces have been
strengthened by thousands of mujaheddins
(guerrillas from Arabia, Iran, Pakistan). The
Croatian army, at the moment not officially
at war, is preparing to defend the borders of
the territory they have managed to keep
from what will probably be the bloodiest
blaze since the beginning of the war. The
objective is to eliminate the Christian
presence in Bosnia, like the Archbishop of
Sarajevo has already said.
«Brothers and sisters of Bosnia,
we will not abandon you!»
During the Holy Mass for peace
celebrated on 23 January in St Peter’s, the
Holy Father spoke out in dramatic tones
and expressed his deep sorrow for the war
fought especially in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
"The focus of our prayer in the Week of
Prayer for Chistian Unity is an entreaty, an
entreay for peace," he said. "One could say
that we, the pilgrim Church, are making a
pilgrimage on our knees, to enter those
tortured Balkan lands. May our suffering
brothers and sisters know that we will not
abandon them." To them he cried out: "We
are with you and we will be with you, we
will always be with you! With the help of
God, peace must be victorious."
The Pope pleaded with all people of
good will to pray: "This superior power
must be used more and more. (...) To all we
say: brothers and sisters, are we not also
responsible for these divisions?"
Who would have thought that after the
fall of the Berlin Wall, nationalism would
have erected new walls to divide Europe
and single nations? (...) The war in the
Balkans has damaged the stable under-
standing between nations and has harmed
the peaceful coexistence of religions.
Considering the absence of some
communities (Waldenses, Lutherans and
Orthodox) who had been invited to St
Peter’s for the day of prayer he said: "If we
lack unity, how can the world believe? This
must make us think, the Pope first of all."
Pope lit peace lamp at end of Mass:
Until peace returns to the Balkans and all
hostilities have ceased, a lamp will remain
lighted in front of the image of Our Lady of
* Mary’s presence protects from war:
in Burundi as in Medj.
From the hell in Burundi Fr. Blasi writes
(Dec.’93): "Here we are experiencing the
great battle between Satan and the Mother
of God. We have noticed that wherever
there is a sign of Her, that place has been
Giheta, where [an image of] Our Lady
cried, was saved from destruction. The »
city of Gitega, where I built a Marian
shrine, was also left intact. Likewise with
my parish (Ruzo) where the Blessed Virgin
is lovingly venerated by the Christian
community. On the other hand, in Mumuri
where they had removed a statue of Our
Lady, Mediatrix of Burundi, there was a
One of my catechists said: "Only when
both tribes, the Hutu and the Tutsi, will see
their sin and plead to the Lord for help, can
we have peace."
To all our friends I say: "Your help will
be efficacious if you are in God’s grace,
through confession, Communion and pray-
ing with a clean soul. We await the end of
the apocalypse in the serenity of prayer." *
Bosnia: children slaughtered
UN forces powerless
New episodes of violence during the
three days of prayer and fasts proclaimed by
the Pope: on Saturday 22nd Jan. in Sarajevo
6 children were killed by shelling as they
played with a toboggan on the icy streets.
The day after 4 other children were
one else. Even though everyone else was
able to use it, he never thought: "Why can
the others use it and not me?" Everything he
did, he did with joy.
That’s how he passed his time in the
monastery, being obedient till his death,
never having once done his own will, or
having ever attached his heart to anything
but God. Five years after his arrival, when
he became seriously ill, he knew that boiled
eggs were good for people who spat blood
(he had TB), and was tormented by the
desire of eating them, so he begged his
teacher never to give him any. So Doroteo
never gave him eggs to eat. Dositeo fought
against his own will even while so seriously
His thoughts were always in God.
Doroteo had taught him to repeat often:
Lord Jesus, have mercy on me, a sinner; or:
Lord help me. When Doroteo would ask if
his prayer life was going well, Dositeo
would reply positively and ask his teacher
to pray for him. As his sickness got worse,
his reply would be: "Yes, father, thanks to
your prayers." One day, however, he
replied: "Father, forgive me, for I have no
more strength." So Doroteo told him not to
worry about the prayers, but only to think
about God Who was before him.
When the end was near Dositeo asked
the Great Elder: "Let me take my leave, for I
can bear no more!" The Elder replied: "My
son, be patient, God’s mercy is near at
hand." Then for a second time Dositeo
asked for the Elder’s permission to leave.
The Elder replied: "Go in peace, remain
before the Holy Trinity and intercede for
us." Dositeo obeyed.
The words of the Elder irritated the
other brothers who said: "What did he do
for the Elder to say such a thing?" The truth
was that they had never noticed Dositeo
when he fasted every second day, which
was customary for some in the monastery,
nor when he kept vigil prior to the night
prayer. They had never seen him do
anything in particular, but they did
remember seeing him drink some of the
broth for the sick or eat a left-over fish
head at times. They never knew that Dositeo
had never done anything out of his own
will, that he had been perfectly obedient.
One day, not long after the death of
Dositeo, an old visiting monk asked God to
grant him the grace of seeing the saints that
had died in that monastery. In the vision
granted by God all those saints were
together, and in the middle of them was a
boy. When the monk described the boy in
the vision to the brothers, they realized it
was Dositeo and they gave thanks to God.
They marvelled at the fact that Dositeo
had reached such great heights despite the
life he led before and the brevity of his life
in the monastery, and they saw how
obedience and the desire to break one’s own
will is pleasing to God.
(Reduced from Abba Doroteo di Gaza)
My dear children, I love you and I am
happy to be here with you... The King of
Love would like for you during this time to
meditate upon His great sufferances.
Through them He wants to bring your souls
back to life... Reflect more upon the words
of your Mother.
On the 5th December there were 10,000
pilgrims on the mountain which was
covered in snow and ice. Let yourselves be
freed by Jesus. Do not allow the enemy to
rob you of your freedom, for which so much
Precious Blood was poured out. A free soul
is the soul of a child. I would be very happy
if during this month you could try very hard
to become like children. I am with you to
help you receive the Bread of eternal life.
As can be expected, the apparitions are
not accepted by all, but the parish priest
invites the Slovaks to take a lesson from
former Yugoslavia, and take Mary’s words
seriously. In Her last message She said:
Turn back to a life of prayer. Why are
you so blind before so much love by God?
You fill yourselves with false loves that
come from this world and you throw away
the true Love. My dear children, I beg you,
try to use the Blessed Sacrament more
profoundly, pray more profoundly. I pray
with you. I pray for your inner peace. (9
The declaration of the Greco-
Catholic Bishop of Presov, Jàn Hirka,
seems quite open: "We have been asked
more and more frequently to express our
opinion on the events of Litmanovà where it
is said the Virgin appears. The Lord Jesus
and the Mother of God at times use
individuals to appear to them in an
extraordinary way so as to call attention to
sacred truths and duties that have been
forgotten, or to keep punishments at bay.
God benefits us greatly by such, and our
attitude should be one of gratitude and
It is true that some cases are deceiving...
some are even satanic traps. That is why the
Church is prudent with regards to
apparitions; to avoid also that ones we are
not sure of are not promoted. So, each
person must act according to one’s
conscience and knowledge.
Where the apparitions are true, though,
the Saviour Himself or the Mother of God
take care to preserve the genuineness in
them. An initial critical attitude on the part
of the authorities will also help the truth to
be certified. St Augustine tells us: ”The
doubts of Thomas were of more help to us
than the faith of the other apostles. It was
because of his doubts that Jesus gave us
those words so helpful in strengthening the
faith of the weak.”
(The document is not dated, however, it
was being circulated on the anniversary in
A Saint for Lent
Young Dositeo: hero of fasts
With the help of God, Abba Doroteo, a
truly blessed man, embraced solitary life
and went to live in the monastery of Father
Seridos in Gaza where he was edified by the
examples of Barsanufe and Father John.
The Elders asked him to build and be in
charge of an infirmary.
Year 530. One day Father Seridos
summoned him and asked him to take care
of a boy in military attire who had just »
arrived. The boy had been the page of a
general and so was used to luxury and a life
of dissipation. He had never heard the Word
of God either. It was when some fellow
workers had described the city of Jerusalem
to him that he desired seeing it. He received
permission to leave and visit the Holy City.
In Gethsemane, he was fascinated by a
painting of hell. A majestic looking woman
began explaining the meaning of the
painting and the reasons why those people
were in hell. The young man asked: "My
lady, what must one do to avoid such
punishment?" She replied: "Fast, do not eat
meat, pray continuously and you will be
saved." Then she disappeared.
From that moment on, Dositeo (for this
was his name) repented and starting
faithfully observing the three commands of
the mysterious woman. The soldiers in the
service of the general noticed his odd
behaviour and suggested he would be better
off in a monastery. Dositeo knew nothing
about God, nor did he know what a
monastery was, but since he dearly wanted
to observe the woman’s suggestions, he
followed his friends to Father Seridos.
Blessed Doroteo carefully examined
him then. All the boy could say was, "I want
to be saved." So, in obedience to the Great
Elder, Doroteo happily took the boy to
work for him in the infirmary, and he knew
that under his guidance, he would be saved.
When it was time to eat, Doroteo told him:
"Eat till you feel satiated, but let me know
how much you ate." Dositeo advised: "I ate
one [loaf of] bread and one half of another."
Doroteo told him: "Then eat one and a
quarter. Divide the other quarter in halves,
eat one half and leave the other." Dositeo
did just that.
Some days later he asked the young man
if he was well or if he was hungry. "No,
father," he replied, "thanks to your prayers,
I feel fine." "So leave both halves of the
In this way, and with the help of God,
Dositeo gradually went from eating 6 lbs to
6 ozs of bread per day.
He was an able and attentive worker,
and everyone was happy with him. When
he happened to be a little careless, or
became angry with a sick person, he would
run off to his cell and weep. The other
brothers would try to console him but in
vain. So Doroteo would go to him, and
Dositeo would say: "Forgive me father, but
I got angry at my brother." "So you got
angry at your brother did you? Do you not
feel shame? Don’t you know he is Christ?"
Dositeo would lower his eyes and cry, and
when Doroteo saw that he had cried enough
he would tell him: "God has forgiven you.
Get up and start again. Let us try our best to
be more attentive and God will help us."
As soon as he heard these words
Dositeo would shake his sadness off and
joyfully return to work, certain of having
received God’s forgiveness.
Doroteo was careful not to let the boy
become attached to anything, so that
Dositeo was able to accept everything with
joy and even go without if that was asked of
him. Once it happened that he was given a
beautiful knife. He took it to show his
teacher, hoping that it could be kept in the
infirmary for their use. Doroteo asked if he
preferred to be the slave of a knife or a
servant of God. Doroteo then told him to
put it down and never touch it again.
Dositeo was so obedient that he never did
touch it again, not even to pass it to some-
* Echo in Palestine - Sister Rita from
Bethlehem writes: "Thank you ever so
much for the copies of Echo we receive
regularly. I give them to my Palestinian
friends (one of these translates Echo into
Arabic) and to our nuns from Bulgaria who
anxiously await news of Our Lady’s calls to
conversion. We shall offer our Holy Mass at
Christmas in front of the Grotto for your
intentions. Please also pray for the return of
peace to these lands." (17 Dec. ’93)
Sped.Abb.Post.3/70, Aut.Trib.Mant.#13-8.11.86; Legal Dir: A.Lanzani; Printed by DI.PRO, Italy fax: 0422-840804
Our Lady’s message of 25 January '94:
Dear children, You are all my child-
ren. I love you. But you must not forget,
my little children, that without prayer
you cannot be close to me.
In this time Satan is trying to create
disorder in your hearts and your families.
Do not give in to him, my dear little
children. You must not permit him to be
the director of yourselves and your lives.
I love you and intercede for you
before God. PRAY, my little children!
Thank you for having responded to my
Trust my love
stay close to me through prayer
I want to defend you from Satan
Mary presents Herself to us on this day
as the Mother of all men; She loves us all
dearly. The trouble is that we do not accept
Her as our mother and we do not love one
another as brothers because we do not
consider ourselves as being children of the
same Father - our one and only God -
generated at the foot of Jesus’ cross by such
a great and real Mother.
In theory, all Christians believe Jesus is
the Son of God, but very few decide to
become real disciples of Jesus. Likewise
with Mary, all so-called Christians concep-
tually believe She is the Mother, and they
invoke Her with that name, but very few
accept Her as their Mother; i.e. they do not
have a filial relationship with Her, they do
not let themselves be nourished by Her
love, they do not entrust themselves to Her
There are many Catholics who are not
happy about our present Pope being so open
about his devotion to Mary; or they are
disturbed by the visits of the Virgin Mary to
Her children in the various places and
various ways, and by the signs of Her
presence among us.
The refusal or the non-acceptance of
Mary already favours the action of Satan in
us and among us. Sin and the Evil One
cannot be defeated without Mary. The
Queen of Peace in Medj. is reminding us of
this once again. We are blind and foolish if
we cannot see the confusion and the
disorder that Satan is creating in these
times in our hearts, in our families, in our
communities and in our society.
The enemy is coming out into the open.
It seems that he wants to conquer every-
thing and everyone, in particular the mass
media, to spread sin, discord, indifference
and derision of everything that is sacred.
You must not let him, Mary says to Her
children. Resist him, steadfast in faith, St
Peter tells us (1 Pt 5:9).
Mary wants to be our Mother. She wants
us to experience how much She loves us,
how dearly She loves us, to guide and
protect us. It is time we stopped being rebel,
errant children, so indifferent to Her
presence and Her calls.
Let us declare ourselves Her children
and accept Her as Mother and Queen of our
hearts, and our families. Let us cultivate,
with profound and continuous prayer, a real
relationship of filial love with Her. Let us
say to Her today and everyday: «Mater mea
et fiducia mea! [My Mother and my trust]
In Thee I rest, to rest in God.» Fr. Remo
French member of parliament: conse-
crate France to Mary’s Immac. Heart
Cristina Boutin is the president of a
group called «Franco-Croat Friendship,»
consisting of members of parliament, and of
another called «Pro Bosnia.» She says:
"Despite my political commitments, I had
wanted to participate in the pilgrimage on
the anniversary and in the peace march as a
form of personal penance, to receive light to
know what I could do to help."
After Mass, she spoke to the pilgrims:
"For some time I have wanted France, the
first child of the Church, to be consecrated
to the hearts of Jesus and Mary. The Lord
asked for this more than 300 years ago. I
was moved when I saw pilgrims carrying a
banner with the 2 Hearts. I said to myself:
we must give back to the Church and to
France what we lost so long ago. We
consecrated ourselves here; the beginning
of France’s consecration has begun."
* The Rosary Way in New Zealand -
Ted Downs from Wanganui (N.Z.) said he
got the idea from the Carmelites in
Aylesford, Kent. "I took the idea back to
NZ, got some nice pictures of the Rosary
Mysteries blown up to A3 size, and lamin-
ated. A carpenter friend made the weather-
proof wooden frames and the poles we fix
them to. We (St Mary’s Pro-Life Rosary
Group) did our first Rosary procession for
Our Lady's intention for the protection of
the unborn child. It wasn’t long after that a
friend - a nurse at the local hospital - came
to tell me that the doctor doing abortions
had told her and the rest of the nursing staff
that he could no longer handle abortions.
For us this was a great answer to our
prayers. We have been abortion free in
Wanganui ever since. (...)"
* 10,000 people in concert hall for day
of prayer - Milan, Nov. '93: one of the
temples dedicated to rock music was for a
day turned into one of the biggest churches
in Italy. The day of prayer, singing and
adoration was offered to God for our
suffering brothers in former Yugoslavia.
* Trieste-Medj. bus service continues.
Departure from bus station (adjacent to train
station) in Trieste 6 p.m. daily. Ring Italy
040-360300. Return from Medj. 6 p.m.
daily. Return price Lit.86,200
* Renew your consecration to Mary -
March 25, 1994 marks the 10th anniversary
of the consecration (of the world) to Mary's
Imm. Heart. Plan to participate in a global
consecration on that date. A suggested way
is to start a 33-day preparation, beginning
Hospitals in Mostar and Split
In December two mobile respirators
for ambulances, and medicinals were
delivered to the hospital of Mostar.
From the hospital in Split, Bonifacio
reports: "Here, where the most seriously
injured are sent, Croatian, Muslim and Serb
doctors and nurses work side by side in
perfect harmony. «There’s no place for
politics in here,» they told us. Where the
politicians can’t get in with their perverse
mass media to inculcate division and hate, it
is still possible to live together peacefully.
The Bosnian bishops are right when
they say they are contrary to dividing
Bosnia territorially and politically. This is
one of the main causes for the heightening
of tension in this war."
Sponsorship of Croatian - Bosnian
orphans - If you have not yet received
information regarding the child you have
sponsored, please contact Matteo Rossi,
using block letters or a typewriter when
you write. You must write clearly. Matteo
Rossi, Cas. Postale 54, 54100 Massa, Italy.
Echo 109 went into print early
February and not early January as you
were probably expecting, because of my
health problems. An unexpected heart attack
kept me in hospital for 13 days before
Christmas; but the fast you were forced to
practise and the subsequent enquiries,
showed us how much Echo is appreciated,
and we saw how Echo is considered food
prepared by the Blessed Mother for Her
children. As for me, Our Lady forced a
much-needed rest on me. That way, I was
able to live the feast of Christmas far more
spiritually, without the disturbance of Echo.
I thank the many readers who have
supported us over this period with their
donations. They are often very generous
and this permits us to publish Echo in the
various translations, and support the
publication of the editions in the East.
A special thanks goes to our French-
language readers. Besides covering the
costs of the 29,000 copies of Echo, they
also donated nearly 5 million lire for Bosnia
over the 2 month period. Thank you also to
our German-language readers in Switz-
erland for their generosity. Apart from the
donations handed over to the various
drivers of aid deliveries, we gave 13 million
lire to the fathers of Medj. at new year. We
have also finished paying the 25,000 DM
for the printer for the Marian House in
Moscow. A very nice copy of Echo in
Cyrillic characters is now being produced.
The continuation of Echo depends on
my health, for I can no longer face up to the
double work of parish and bulletin. That
means we need someone to either take care
of publishing Echo, or a permanent assistant
for the parish, at least for the youth. I.
entrust these intentions to your prayers
in the certainty that Our Lady will
As we walk ahead together, with our
eyes turned to the victorious Immaculate
Conception and the chair of St Peter, I
invoke upon you the blessing of God
Almighty. May His love and peace abide in
you, may He guide your steps, and confirm
your hearts, now and for ever. Amen.
» from page 3 Oh, may it be that we let our
hearts rest in God! All forms of tension
would disappear, because He would work in
us and through us. We would become His
instruments of peace, and take His peace
where there is hate, where there is war.
The humbleness in Mary’s Immaculate
Heart is our compass, our guide. It is a
humbleness we can reach through being
obedient and subject to Christ’s Mystical
Bride: the Church and her ministers,
through whom Christ continues to operate.
We are not alone in this journey. The
divine Spirit, Who loves us despite our
errors, walks before us, so that for all His
children every valley may be filled in, every
mountain and hill be laid low .