May 1994 - Month of Mary - Orig. Italian Edition: Eco di Medj., C.P.149, 46100 Mantova, Italy.
Yr9#3 - All mail to: Echo of Medj., Cas.Post. 27, 31030 Bessica (TV), Italy - fax: 0423-470331
Our Lady’s message of 25 April 1994:
Dear children, Today I invite you all to
make the decision to pray according to my
intentions. I invite each of you, my little
children, to help me with my plan which is
to be realized through this parish.
What I particularly invite you to, my
little children, is to decide to walk the way
of holiness, for this is the only way you can
be close to me. I love you and I wish to lead
you all to heaven to be with me, but if you
do not pray and you are not humble and
obedient to the messages I give you, I
cannot help you. Thank you for having
responded to my call.
Our Lady’s message of 25 March 1994:
Dear children, Today I rejoice with
you. I invite you to open yourselves up to
me and become instruments in my hands
for the salvation of the world.
My little children, what I would like
from all of you who have sensed the
fragrance of holiness through my messages,
is that you take it to this world which
hungers for God and for the love of God.
I thank all of you who have responded
in such great numbers and I bless you all
with my motherly blessing. Thank you for
having responded to my call.
Take holiness to the world
it hungers for God and His love
1. Today I rejoice with you... Our Lady
is particularly happy on the feast of the
Annunciation - when Her yes brought the
Son of God to the earth. Her wish is to share
this joy with all those who await the
consolation of Israel, and to encourage them
to say their yes to the will of God and become,
like Her, instruments of salvation.
2. We should not forget that 25 March is
a special day for those consecrated to Mary.
St Montfort also tells us this. It is a special
day for those who give themselves up totally
to Her and depend totally on Her, as Jesus did
Himself. Jesus said His yes to the Father by
accepting to enter the Virgin’s womb, to
depend on Her. Every consecrated soul then,
as though enclosed within Her womb, can
say: "On this day, by your motherly goodness,
make a new life in me, the life of your Jesus."
Consecration to Mary is the easiest way,
the shortest way, the surest way, the most
perfect way of being formed like Jesus
because Mary is the mould of God, where the
Perfect Man was formed and where the saints
are also formed (cf.Montfort219). How many
teachers, though, ignore this fact, making
their labour difficult and less fruitful!
3. Our Lady also says: open yourselves
up to me! What does this mean? As if to say:
as your trials increase, show you trust me, tell
me your problems, ask me to help you,
because I have received from God great
power to help you in these times. Surrender
yourselves to my action of grace so that it can
enlighten you and mould you.
4. Thus you can become instruments in
my hands to save the world. This is the
reason behind all her actions. Her desire is to
save the world, i.e., that all men may be saved
and come to knowledge of the truth (1Tm
2:4). This is consoling; it leaves no room for
pessimism, it means the world can still be
saved. Yeast, though, is needed in the dough.
This yeast is the holiness of Her children,
a true testimony of God in the world, so hearts
may be drawn to Him, for the fragrance is
His. For we are the aroma of Christ... in
every place (2Co 2). Men are hungry for a
Truth confirmed in humility and peace; for a
love that fulfills, and is faithful to the point
of giving one’s life; for a mercy that knows
no limits; for the unblemishing beauty of a
pure heart. This is God’s perfume.
Yes, men are hungry for God, for His
love. Mary knows. Men are suffering the
pangs of hunger for that Love they have gone
so far from. That same Love will bring them
back to the house of the Father, just the way
it brought back the prodigal son.
So let us clear out the old yeast to become
a fresh batch of dough (1 Co 5:7). Away with
all that malice and deceit, insincerity, envy
and slander (1 Pt 2:1).
Mary had not pronounced the word holi-
ness for some time, though Her messages are
always directed at this. In fact, the only aim
in life is that of reaching the maturity of the
perfect man, who is Jesus, for we were
created to be holy and without blemish
before He who is love (Eph 1:4). Woe betide
us if the man who hungers for God and his
love is unable to find God manifested in us.
Not just words and empty rites, but in holi-
ness and love is how God is manifested.
5. Finally, She is moved by the large
number of people, and gives Her motherly
blessing to all. Now a blessing is the act with
which God communicates His power to us
so that His plans are realized and those who
receive them are enlightened, protected and
assisted.and will bear the desired fruits.
So the blessings transmitted by the Mother
of God - the holder of so many merits and
authority - are great indeed for the children
who place themselves under Her protection,
who love Her with all their heart. We are to
treasure these "days of grace" in which She
can grant us Her gifts in greater abundance.
and celebrate them with a pure conscience
(through confession), with the Eucharist, and
signs of affection towards Her. Fr. Angelo
Mary has not abandoned
her plan. She asks us to help
her realize it
Over the Easter period Our Lady began
talking to us again about Her plan which is
to be realized through the parish of Medj.
She spoke about this during the first years of
the apparitions - perhaps we had forgotten.
Mary, Queen of Peace, wanted to involve
everyone in Her project: the visionaries, the
prayer group made up of young people, the
Franciscan community, the villagers and the
pilgrims. So much so that going to Medj. did
not mean going to meet any particular person,
but a parochial community that had been
summoned by Mary, which faithfully and
fervently accepted Her presence and let itself
be guided by Her.
The gift was indeed a great one, but the
responsibility was also great. Not all had the
humility and faithfulness to keep up the effort
and persevere, especially after the ecclesiastical
and political events that came to be. Despite
all, the Queen of Peace is still telling us that
She has not abandoned Her project, but
intends carrying it through to completion:
God never regrets having granted His gifts.
I believe that with her last words She
means: do not stop to look back, to cry over
good times lost, to look at others and judge
them. Her project for the salvation of all
humanity is still written in heaven and has
been entrusted to Her.
What Mary humbly asks is help from
those who believe in and listen to Her. She
asks that our lives be holy and that we pray,
that we be humble and obedient to Her, as
She was to God, so the divine plan of salvation
for humanity, which is so threatened by the
forces of evil and death, may be actuated.
Mary has a plan (which is also God’s
plan), and it is quite different and more
important than all our plans and problems. It
is our duty to help Her actuate it. How?
1. By praying according to Her intent-
ions, to strengthen the power of Her inter-
cession before God. Let us begin immediately
during this month of May and with our
preparation for Pentecost. 2. By deciding to
walk along the path of holiness - but together.
Oh Jesus alive in Mary, come and live in
your servants, with your Spirit of holiness,
in the fullness of your power, in the
perfection of your ways, in the truth of your
virtues, in the communion of your divine
Dominate every adverse power, in your
Spirit, for the glory of the Father. (Olier)
POPE’S HARSH REACTION
to UNO project
which destroys the family
This is the International Year of the
Family, yet we are witnessing a progressive
increase of satanic plans to destroy the
family. In his battle against these plans, the
Pope spoke out harshly against the conference
on population and development organized by
the UNO to take place in Cairo in September.
The Pope described this conference as
completely lacking in ethical discernment.
What does it involve? The Conference was
idealized by the Egyptian woman Nafis Sadik
and is based on the idea that by the year 2000
the world should have no more than 6,000
million inhabitants. The "prophetess" has
calculated that the following is needed: 151
million sterilizing operations for men/ women;
8,000 million courses of the pill; 662 million
contraceptive and abortive injections; 300
million IUD’s, 44,000 million condoms.
For some time now, thanks to funds
supplied by industrialized countries, there
has been further development of the family
planning policy. It has gone as far as offering
money to people to be sterilized, for example
in Bangladesh, where they offer a new outfit
or a week’s wages. These are the initiatives
that the UNO thinks up for the family! Such
initiatives are totally unacceptable for anyone
who cares even the least about human dignity.
The Pope reacted by writing a LETTER
to ALL THE HEADS OF STATE - something
which is done only in moments of exceptional
gravity. Besides the Letter, he has repeatedly
spoken out during audiences and meetings
and during the SYNOD of African Bishops.
This policy clearly expresses that civilization
of death condemned by the Pope. That is
why the Pope called all Christians to construct
a new Maginot line in defence of life.
In the GENERAL AUDIENCE of 6
April, before 30,000 people, prior to the
conclusive blessing, the Pope forcefully
expressed his concern: "...We are concerned
lest this Year of the Family become a Year
against the Family. We protest! We cannot
walk into the future while planning the
systematic death of the unborn! We can, only
with a civilization of love that welcomes life.
On Sunday 17 April, during the REGINA
CAELI reflection he spoke out again: In this
Year of the Family, we expected that the
principle asserted by the Universal Declarat-
ion of Human Rights that the family is the
natural and fundamental group unit of society,
would be rediscovered and reasserted.
Because of its character, it is not an institution
that can be modified at will: the family
belongs to humanity’s most fundamental and
sacred heritage! It even has priority over the
State, which is obliged to recognise it and has
the duty to protect it.
I address all those who are able to resist
the spreading models of fatuous freedom and
false progress, which, seen in depth, turn out
instead to be forms of slavery and regression
because they undermine humanity, the sacred
character of life and the capacity for true
love. Whatever violates the moral law is
never a victory, but a serious setback for man
and makes him a victim of himself... Today it
is more urgent than ever to react against
models of behaviour that are the fruit of an
hedonistic, permissive culture, for which the
unreserved gift of self, mastery of one’s
instincts, the sense of responsibility seem to
be notions belonging to another age. I ask:
to what kind of society will this ethical
permissiveness lead? Are there not already
worrying symptoms that make us fear for
Without a doubt a similar policy will
produce sick fruits in the future. We fear that
one day these same young people, as adults,
will want to settle accounts with today’s
leaders for having deprived them of reasons
for living, for not telling them the duties that
an intelligent being endowed with a heart has.
The Catholic Church is alone in its stance.
We are watching an authentic cultural battle
concerning the dignity of life and the primacy
of God. The Church can fight this battle in
the name of Christ because its proposal is one
of real life to counter the moral confusion in
this wealthy society. It is a proposal of
holiness, freedom and love of life. What the
Pope warned us about in Denver (Echo 105
- 106), in his encyclical Veritatis Splendor
(107) and in his letter to families (110) has
now become tragically evident. St Paul’s
appeal is becoming ever more actual and
urgent: Do not conform yourself to the
mentality of this century (Rom 12:2).
The Pope: I am gentle, but ...
The Pope’s unusually harsh tone can be
justified by the gravity of the events. We can
understand this better, however, if we listen
to what he says about his own character: The
Pope has a gentle nature. He is neither severe
nor strict. One must be strict, though, when
it comes to principles. We need to be very
comprehensive towards all the human
weaknesses, but for the family intended as the
start of construction of society we need to be
intrepid and uncompromising... The ten
commandments are rocks which cannot be
removed; not even one of them can be
abolished; they must all hold strongly. That
is how the Church is built. (Rome, 6.3.94).
Mother Teresa said: The family
that prays together remains together...
As she spoke I noticed the rosary beads
in her calloused hands. I asked her why she
always holds them. She told me: "I think that
if we returned to Our Lady we would begin
saying the Rosary again. The family that
prays together stays together. If they stay
together, they will love one another as God
... and there would not be abortion.
"I believe," she said with force, "that
abortion is the worst scourge in family life
today. It is the biggest threat to world peace."
I queried her about this statement and Mother
Teresa replied: "Yes, abortion is the worst
enemy of world peace. If a mother can kill her
child, what can stop us from killing one
another? The unborn child is sacred and
untouchable, and abortion is a terrible
I asked her what she would say to the
Italians if she were allowed to talk for 10
minutes on the TV. Mother Teresa replied: "I
would tell them that Jesus is love and loves
each one of us. We need to pray because
prayer gives us a pure heart, and a pure heart
lets us see God. If we can see God in the
others we will love one another, as He loved
us. We would live in peace with everyone.
We know that He loved us because He died
for us. We too then must love one another to
the point of sacrifice.
Love starts from the family. To make
this love come about we must pray together.
Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise
prophetic utterances.Test everything; retain
what is good (1Thes 5:19-21).
The various messages must lead
to discovery of Jesus in the Church
For the many disoriented people it is
important that [others] have recognized
Medj. By this grace, however, we must
arrive at complete communion with the
Church, that others may be freed and saved.
This is our reply to the many who write
about and asks opinions of extraordinary
manifestations and messages, in particular
those regarding Vassula (see also Echo 101).
It is a good thing to take what is good from
everywhere, but with discernment, but all of
it must call us back to the Gospel. So what
we are being asked is to pick up the Gospel,
to place our faith in Jesus, not in people.
People pass on, He remains: He must grow
and I must diminish.
One of our helpers writes: "If these
messages are urgent and the visionary says
we must let everyone know about them, how
is it that they aren’t known by people here?
We reply: The important thing is to know the
Gospel! What can these messages say more
than the Gospel? It is important to live out the
Gospel message, and then we can joyfully
spread the good news of our experience, as
one who discovers a hidden treasure, without
parading other messages.
The Christian experience is Jesus in us,
not words said by others. A Christian needs
to pray and obey God who speaks to one’s
heart, not be led on by sensational events.
Besides, what is more sensational than the
Those who have received conversion
through certain messages must put those
messages into their lives and be obedient to
the Church if they do not wish to isolate
themselves from the Church. The true,
Christian, catholic vision of life cannot be
found out of the Church. It is when we are
out of the Church that we risk becoming more
sect-like in our ways than Christian, and
cause for mistrust in the Church. Fr.A.
This means the parish of Medj. and all those
who have accepted the message, united in
faithfulness and intentions. It is a good thing
to exhort and correct one another.
3. By walking along the path of holiness.
This means living according to our baptismal
promises; i.e. remove sin [from our lives]
without making any compromise, look for
what heals us with God’s means (His grace),
no longer depending on worldly things. In
fact, the word "holy" in Greek (a-gios)
means: that which does not belong to the
world. Peter exhorted: Save yourselves from
this corrupt generation (Act 2:40). Through
holiness we are close to Her. Sin and being
slaves of the world separate us from Mary.
4. The message contains a condition. For
Our Lady to help us we must be humble and
obedient in accepting Her messages. That
means accepting those simple rules of life that
She has been giving us all this time, to straighten
out the crooked ways of today's Christians
and turn Medj. into a model parish.Those who
choose not to submit themselves to Her
teachings are left without defence against the
intrusion of the mundane life-style and the
dazzle of idols that have so changed the original
face of Medjugorje.
The family that prays together stays together.
If we are united we will love one another as
God loves each one of us."
What saddens the Pope
Cardinal Deskur, an intimate friend of the
Holy Father, was asked what saddens the
Pope. He replied: "Knowing that many people
are united to him and pray for him is what
comforts him the most and gives him strength
to carry on with his untiring mission. He is
very saddened by abortion which is practised
on a world-wide scale, particularly in the
poor countries because of the influence of
international organizations. Being killed by
an enemy is very serious, but being killed by
your own mother, who was made to give life,
is truly despairing. If a person can accept to
kill another and have no scruples, and even
be supported by the law, how could they be
kept from being violent with others?"
Man drops family to animalistic level,
God raises it to divine level
Bishop Sgreccia from the Pont. Consilium
for families said: "Our world is unique. Man
makes great attempts to develop all his
creative power , but when it comes to family,
his attempts are limited at making comparisons
with animals. A modern-day science
compares the behaviour of animals with that
of men to demonstrate that man's history is
tied to that of the animals.
What does God do? He compares man,
the couple and marriage to Him and He tries
to elevate our poor humanity to His image,
as it was in the beginning. Therefore, marriage
has its roots in communion with the Father,
the Son and the Holy Spirit."
LATEST NEWS (26 April 1994)
Liberalization of abortion rejected!
Conference on Population and Development-
At the final session of the Preparatory
Commission in New York all the references
concerning abortion in the documents were
rejected for further discussion. To note, it was
the clear intention of some delegations to
have abortion-related texts approved already
in New York, but this did not occur! Let us
continue to pray that the Pope’s protests and
man’s good sense will continue to take effect.
found worthy to suffer dishonour for the sake
of the name (Act 5:41). Before Easter, Jesus
announced His Passion, clearly and in detail,
three times, but for his disciples it remained
obscure. The conversion of his disciples
comes from this new way of being, according
to which this way of talking is no longer
obscure, but becomes reason for joy. This is
a total turnabout.
Accepting the obscure discourse is accept-
ing to live in the shadow of Another, like John
the Baptist: I must diminish, He must grow.
What the Apostles are experiencing is the
desire to deny oneself so that Jesus of Naza-
reth may shine through. That is the reason for
the strength and new humanity in Peter, and
above all for the spiritual fertility of the first
communities. They were fertile because their
acceptance of the Spirit made them respect
supremacies and accept the cross. Christ
grows and the old man diminishes. The name
of Jesus is the way and reason for which the
disciples move, in order to build that necessary
communion regarding self denial.
The liturgy of this time of Easter also tells
us about Nicodemus and Stephen.
Nicodemus listened and though he was a
good teacher, he did not reach an attitude of
faith. Faith is not just understanding some-
thing, but also believing with one’s heart, and
letting God have the upper hand.
Stephen is a young deacon, his fervour is
typical of the youth; he is sincere. He is full
of enthusiasm for what Jesus did. He is filled
with truth because he let himself be involved
by Jesus’ works. That is what makes him
more discerning than Nicodemus the teacher.
Stephen became truly wise, more so than the
learned Nicodemus. Though Nicodemus had
good intentions, he was unable to see beyond
his own humanity. Stephen, though, had a
much wider view: that of the Spirit, which
showed up in his actions. The Acts tells us
that when placed before his persecutors his
face was like that of an angel. This is owed
to the spiritual wisdom that becomes light and
strength of the announcement in freedom of
spirit that cannot be likened. Stephen was not
afraid. He who is free in spirit does not
succumb to situations but dominates them.
This is imitation of Jesus
and communion of self-denial
1. How can we recognize the wisdom of
the Spirit? If it is imitation of Christ it is the
wisdom of the Spirit. We see that Stephen
died the way Christ died, forgiving his
persecutors like Christ did. The Holy Spirit
always leaves an indelible mark in
confirmation that love is stronger than all
evil. He allows you to imitate Christ so
perfectly, that nothing, not even death, can
make you bad, ugly, burdensome or desperate.
With the love of the Spirit, in the name of
Christ, you truly defeat everything.
What is the important thing in these great
examples offered to us by the Church? First,
we must look down to the roots of our vocat-
ion and let our conversion be a continuous
process. The first reason is that the Christian
vocation is above all a gift and as such it
can never be self-directed: I cannot use and
abuse it according to my wishes, without
respecting the conditions tied to it.
2. Vocation is a call with its own horizon
and root in the trinitarian communion. This
means that it must tangibly express only this
origin, and work toward this object. This,
however, is not given for granted. For
example, we are fairly convinced that we
should make communion with others, but we
do not always keep in mind that we are
already part of a communion. If we kept this
in mind we would understand how we cannot
do as we will. Being aware that we are already
rooted in a communion would change our
way of being and moving. If this trinitarian
horizon was considered by the Church too,
there would be less risk of starting off from
oneself and less errors would be made.
The outcome of our efforts, of which one
is constructing communion in our communit-
ies, can resist only for as long as our efforts
withstand. When we are depressed or harden-
ed by sin, or when our faith fails, all dies. If
you are not already a vital part of the comm-
union that bears you, then you are bearing
yourself,and the communion will break down.
3. The third reason for which a vocation
demands denial is that it can’t be reduced to
intellectual or historic comprehension. It
belongs to the plan of the Father and the
redemptive trinitarian work. It is a completed
work; it requires our energy and our support
by not stopping at historical situations, but by
going beyond. Otherwise it is only a human
vocation, not a divine one which is moved by
Obey the Pope in the fight
against secularization and division
From these three motives we see how the
process of conversion that accompanies a
vocation is a continuous state of rebirth
from above. It means reasoning like God and
not like men; conforming to what God thinks,
wants and judges as best, and not to the
mentality of the world.
Being born from above coincides with a
total change of judgement. If one’s head does
not undergo a change, nothing else will. A
change of heart is only the consequence of
this. Jesus rebuked Peter for his human way
of thinking only just after he made his
profession of faith: Get behind me, Satan.
You are thinking not as God does, but as
human beings do. For this you are my enemy.
The obscure way of the world is becoming
clearer all the time. We can already see the
results of the secularization of the last 20
years, and they are serious. Division is
becoming greater all the time. We have the
exaltation of man without God. Man no
longer has a link to his origin or his finality;
he idolizes himself. What he believes and
does depends on what he has or does. For we
Christians though the state of being is worth
more than the state of doing or having. When
man will not acknowledge his origin he no
longer knows who he is. It is like a kind of
efficiency with neither head nor tail, and at
the most it’s only a social state.
So human work cannot be a form of
cooperation with God’s creation and
redemption, but a satanic instrument. The
great danger is that this division is at work in
the Church every day. Secular tendencies
start up in the seminaries and they are
producing the bitter fruit of aridity and the
loss of objectivity and orthodoxy which the
Pope is trying to bring back into Catholicism.
It is clear that what we have before us is a
diabolic (diabolic as in division) programme,
the aim of which is to try and empty the New
There is a strange fad of being Hebrew
even in the Church, as though the Messiah
had not yet come. Hebraism and Protest-
NEWNESS OF EASTER
is letting Jesus act with the
power of His Spirit
The post-paschal liturgy in the Acts of
the Apostles presents us with the change in
Peter. Peter was bold yet at the same time he
was hesitant; he was humiliated by his denial
of Christ. He became, however, the disciple
who not only feared nothing, but who
announced the truth without a shadow of
compromise. The exceptional change in Peter
and the other apostles came about because by
then they were moving with and in the Spirit.
Peter is explicit: We must obey God rather
than men (Act 5:29); and God’s supremacy
was foremost even when the first problems
arose with regards to the community.
To be moved by the Spirit means
embodying this supremacy in one’s vocation
and acting with that value in mind. The
disciples’ transformation also depends on the
acceptance of the obscure discourse of the
Cross: They left, rejoicing that they had been
antism are two attitudes that are making a lot
of way into the Church, and the worse thing
is that distinguished scholars are passing off
their own ideas as truth. It’s a bit like being
in Gethsemane, where all the enemies are
lined up against just one. Today the enemies
have formed a coalition against the Catholic
Church and in particular against the Pope
who is the foundation of unity.
Obey the Pope, [in a fight] against all
these disintegrating acts; that is what the
Spirit has to say to us. Our Lady’s priorities
and those of the Pope coincide.
In these dramatic historical moments the
Spirit demands something tangible. The Spirit
wants communion, nothing else. Just look at
Jesus’ priestly prayer (Jn 17). Communion
strengthens, it confirms, it actuates and
becomes ever stronger in a total offering.
There is no other way. The Spirit is asking us
to offer ourselves as instruments, to be
consecrated to Our Lady and become in a
perfect way instruments of the Spirit, just as
(Rome, 19.4.94 - Reflection for priests)
signs of His Regality. Prayer is a pilgrimage
towards the Saviour Who lives deep within
us. He offers us fullness of salvation. If we
recognize Him in everything He gives us and
we accept it and love it, we will start blooming
and rising. It is important to recognize Him
in us and in others. Walking towards the
depths of others is the pilgrimage towards the
Saviour Who lives and works also in others.
Discovering it and showing it to our brothers
means being in communion with the Risen
Lord, and the whole community will rise.
Walk together towards dialogue - Let
us start off, like Jesus together with the
disciples, on the road to Emmaus (Lk 24:13-
35). Let us listen to the needs of others and
be bearers of peace, love and redemption, like
the tender and graceful Mother who does not
touch the wounds, or talk about others’ sins.
To the contrary, she heals, and full of hope
she patiently waits for her child to grow.
When our human capacities are insufficient,
we do not turn to using force, but we pray
with serene hearts to He for Whom nothing
is impossible. We give everyone room in
which to make free decisions. Walk
unceasingly! When we pray, when we
converse, when we think in our hearts of
others who may be distant. Above all, we
persevere when Satan provokes darkness
around us and when we see only evil. Jesus
opened the way right to the end, to defeat
every evil with good.
2. Premise on dialogue - For all those
who desire offering themselves as a holy and
living sacrifice (Rm 12:1), it must be clear to
them in their hearts how one reaches
communion in the Holy Spirit and how one
can realize communion in others. The Holy
Scriptures tell us:
Die to oneself. The Apostles died to
themselves when Jesus died. In that moment,
their personal interests and human securities
died. That was the moment of death for every
form of egoism and the condition for turning
to the Risen Lord. When we leave aside every
form of egoism, we and the whole brotherhood
open our hearts to the Holy Spirit. Each
moment of trial is a chance to die to oneself
and to open oneself to Resurrection.
Discover the Risen Lord! St John says:
He is expiation for our sins, and not for our
sins only but for those of the whole world (1
Jn 2:2). Jesus says: Was it not necessary that
the Messiah should suffer these things and
enter into his glory? (Lk 24:26). Jesus has
already offered Himself for our sins,
weaknesses and sufferings. If we acknow-
ledge this deep down we will find peace and
joy. If we hand over our sins to Jesus He will
forgive us for them; if we accept our
weaknesses and carry our crosses with love
to Him, we will find happiness. If we try our
best to forgive our neighbour and help him
bear his crosses, as Jesus does for us, we will
be strengthened by the Risen Lord and we
will be in communion with the others in the
Be co-redeemer - Let us come close to
one another in the Spirit of the Risen Lord.
Jesus is looking for the weak apostles who
denied Him. It was to Peter that He gave first
place! He wants to bring back to Jerusalem
those who have run away from themselves
and their salvation. To them He says: Was it
not necessary that the Messiah should suffer
these things and enter into his glory? Yes, it
was necessary! Jesus goes beyond the limits
of our capacities, beyond the flights of the
apostles and offers Himself. To them He
offers Himself as the bread of life (Lk 24:13-
35). This was necessary is important for us
if we wish to enter into communion with
others. There must be in us that necessity to
offer ourselves for the others, to be able to
"donate” ourselves as living Eucharists. This
love in the walk towards our neighbours
burns all the crosses and is offered as a gift
of life and nourishment for eternity, just as the
Risen Lord offers Himself.
3. Living Eucharist - Each person is to
offer himself for another as a living sacrifice.
Each person is to donate himself to another
as pure love of the Risen Lord. This way the
community may reach Christian maturity and
the Holy Spirit may fill it and mould it. So
then you are no longer strangers and
sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with
the holy ones and members of the household
of God, built upon the foundation of the
apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus
himself as the capstone. Through him the
whole structure is held together and grows
into a temple sacred to the Lord; in him you
also are being built together into a dwelling
place of God in the Spirit (Eph 2:19-22). We
too become a community in the Spirit and
enter into communion with the Church of
Heaven, with the Earth and with Purgatory.
The reciprocal love of the first Christians was
admiral. May the Love of God revealed in us
be testimony of the presence of God and
confirmation of the truth that only the living
Eucharist can give room to the Spirit and
create the Christian community. May the
Holy Spirit work in us. Let us pray much till
Pentecost and transform this prayer into a
state of being. In particular, let us be united
in prayer during the Pentecost novena:
Oh living Spirit, eternal God, in Thee I
adore the Holy Trinity. I adore Thy wisdom,
present in Thee from all eternity. I
acknowledge Thy light, it enlightens every
soul. I pray to Thee - Who art prayer in me
- to pray unceasingly. With Thy eternal word
- silently in me - be my eternal adoration.
Fill me with faith and hope! Thou, Who alone
art love, be my love in me. Guide me, that
to the Triune God alone I may be faithful all
the length of my life. Amen.
Together with the continual blessing with
which I bless you, I desire that we all enter
into communion with the living God, and in
His love, with all creatures.
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
Amen. May the Lord let his face shine on you
and be gracious to you. Amen. May the Lord
uncover his face to you and bring you peace.
Amen. And the blessing of God Almighty,
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit
descend on you and remain with you always.
Amen. Fr. Tomislav Vlasic - 25 April 1994
Fr. Thaddeus from Radio Maria in
Poland and his helpers were present at the
general audience of 23 March. The Pope
expressed his pleasure at "how it has developed
and spread, providing a rich variety of
programmes to meet the needs of man, at the
service of the Polish Church and in strict
collaboration with her Bishops. This radio
will help realize the new evangelization of
families and education of the people. This
radio is work of Mary whom we venerate as
the Star of evangelization.” The Pope
concluded with thanks for the fidelity and
solidarity shown by all involved.
We are living Eucharist!
Letter for Pentecost
Peace to you brother. Peace to you sister.
The Pope dedicated this year to the
family. The Church is God’s big family.
Every spiritual community in the Church
expresses itself in a particular way and thus
enriches God’s family. We prepare ourselves
for Pentecost (a time when the Church
experiences and manifests her identity)
through profoundly living our call as a
The divine and the human - God in
Jesus Christ became Man and redeemed all
of us through him. With Him we are one
body. He gave us His Holy Spirit. The flesh
and the Holy Spirit became one life. Every-
thing came through a natural way, because
Jesus was born of a woman (Gal 4:4), but it
was also a supernatural act by Grace: The
Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the
power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born will be called
holy, the Son of God (Lk 1:35). Thus, in every
faithful, in every spiritual community and in
the Church the Divine is joined to the human.
Our model is the union that was in Mary.
Our aim then, is not to close ourselves up
in prayer (pietism), or in sufferance (victim-
ism), but to enter into a perfect union with
1. Conversing - Father God communi-
cates life to the Son and the Son to the Father
through the Holy Spirit. Everything in Them
is common. In the same way a brotherhood
is tied to the Holy Spirit. Prayer formulas,
though they may be perfect, are not sufficient
on their own if one does not converse in the
Holy Spirit and He cannot pray in the person.
Converse with one’s whole being: with
one’s thoughts, feelings, words and
expressions. The whole being of a person
should be in an attitude of silent listening and
in sharing one’s experience with others.
Prayer with the heart opens us up to the Holy
Spirit and our heart reveals the countenance
of God to others.
Recognize the Saviour - As He revealed
Himself to the Apostles, He also reveals
Himself to every person as the Saviour,
showing the easily visible and recognizable
Put God first and
promote authentic evangelization
In the Synod of Bishops for Africa - quite
a singular event held in Rome during the
month of April - various indications of
fundamental value emerged. Once again,
they confirm the line of Mary’s school. The
priority of evangelization work and of funda-
mental inculturation based on union with
Jesus represent the primacy of prayer that
Our Lady calls us to: I desire that each of you
decide to change your life and work more in
the Church - not with words or thoughts, but
with your example (25 Feb. '93).
This means that the most important
ecclesial work is being new men, not pro-
ducing advanced projects or giving things.
This is a mysterious law but a determining
one for the Church, and many fathers of the
synod brought this up, to repeat what the
Pope has always said: a Christian transforms
the world by transforming himself.
Cardinal Zoungrana from Burkina Faso
reported "the lack of consideration for the
real evangelizing work by the European
aid organizations which prefer to support
socio-economic works. (...) Our African
Dioceses must form pastoral agents and
faithful to count upon their personal
contributions above all, so as not to build
Churches of perpetual beggars.”
The Bishop from Madagascar made a
protest: "The mass media of the developed
countries only mention Africa on the occasion
of massacres, cataclysms... Africa is merely
a setting for so-called humanitarian action
reserved to 'saviours’ coming from outside.”
From the appeals by the African prelates
we see that often the European missionary
initiatives end up being little more than
proposals of construction works and
economical and technological works. Some-
thing else is more important, like giving
support for authentic evangelization based
on spiritual values. This is clearly stated in
Redemptoris Mater, something that Our Lady
has been teaching us for years. Could it be
that the poor quality of European catholicism
and the presumption of not having anything
else to learn, is what balks any other form of
"mission” being actuated?
Cardinal Ratzinger stressed that the
much proclaimed "inculturation" (i.e. lowing
Christianity into the indigenous cultures) is
possible when one thing is clear: "The
Incarnation of Jesus is an historical event,
unique and unrepeatable. It implies a perman-
ent link with this history. It is not an end in
itself; it is completed by the Paschal mystery,
the Cross and the Resurrection of Christ. It
is a way towards purification, transformation
and renewal. Cultures need this encounter
with Christ and Christ awaits this encounter,
because it is only thus that the Incarnation
event is fulfilled.”
NEWS FROM MEDJUGORJE
the blessed land
Anniversary of consecration of world -
Great feast on the 25th March. In Her
message Our Lady thanked the many people
present. There were many Croatians, more
than 100 Czechs and Slovaks, and thousands
of other pilgrims from Italy, Germany,
Austria, France, Ireland, Britain, North
America and even Brazil and Mexico.
We have also had with us over these last
few days Archbishop Franic and Bishops
Paul Hnilica and Nicholas D’Antonio, the
latter from New Orleans. They arrived to
celebrate the 10th anniversary of the
Consecration of the world (and Russia) to the
Immaculate Heart of Mary, the celebration of
which was done by the Pope on 25 March in
1984. Together with the bishops we celebrated
Holy Mass in the evening. Then we made our
consecration to Our Lady using the same
formula said by the Pope 10 years ago. There
were many people everywhere, including the
confessionals. Many also came forward for
the prayers of the people which were said in
the various languages.
The consecration prayer was also said
earlier in the afternoon on the hill of apparitions
after the Rosary at 2 p.m. There was a great
crowd of people. The consecration was said
in Croatian, Italian, German, English and
French, using the same formula.
For the Croatians and all those people
who have suffered because of the war, Medj.
is becoming a place of hope, consolation and
inner healing. Only the father confessors
really know what goes on in people’s hearts,
but there is something that we too can see, and
that is the tears, the serene looks, the joy that
lights up their eyes. These are the exterior
signs of the grace received. Truly, many
miracles of grace occur here and have been
for the past 12 years. This is reason to rejoice!
All the visionaries were present. Marija
arrived a little before the prayer which began
at 5 p.m. and after the Rosary she related the
message to us. Vicka participated in the
prayer on Podbrdo. Jakov and Ivan were also
What Our Lady said to Marjana -
Prayer fills one with happiness. Let me help
you and guide you. - 18 March: Mirjana’s
birthday. Our Lady appeared to her as She
had promised She would do every year. The
apparition began at 2.35 p.m. and lasted 6
minutes. The message was: Dear children,
Today my heart is filled with joy. I would like
you to find yourselves in prayer every day,
like on this great day of prayer. That is the
only way you can find happiness which fills
your soul and body. As your Mother I wish
to help you do this. Allow me to do it!
Once again I tell you: open up your hearts
to me, let me guide you. My way leads to God.
I invite you to pray together, because you can
see yourselves that with our prayers all evil
is destroyed. Let us pray and hope. Mirjana
said that Our Lady did not say anything about
the secrets. This is already the second time
(on this birthday apparition) that Our Lady
has not mentioned them to her. Mirjana says
that if she cried it is because of the happiness
she feels in meeting Our Lady.
* 25 April 1994: The number of pilgrims
is growing. There are many more French-
speaking people coming, plus Belgians and
Italians who arrive with lorries loaded with
aid. These also arrive from Britain, Ireland
and Poland, plus Germany.
* Mirjana gave birth to her second
child: Veronica, born 19 April.
* Our Lady had stopped giving messages
for the pilgrims who joined Ivan in his
evening prayer meeting on the mountain, but
just lately She has asked on two occasions for
pilgrims to pray for the Pope, the bishops
and the priests. If Our Lady is asking there
must be a good reason.
* We often hear people say: "I will go to
Medj. when it will receive official recognition
by the Church." Well to start with, two things
are certain. 1. Medj. has already been
recognized as a place of prayer and worship.
2. To date, the Church has never approved
apparitions while these were still occuring.
With regards to Lourdes it took 4 years and
14 years for Fatima. That means we must be
patient, especially if we think that the Blessed
Virgin promised Mirjana and Ivanka that She
would appear to them for the rest of their
lives! The kingdom of heaven belongs to the
violent who know how to seize grace as it
passes by, and in Medj. grace has been
passing by for quite some time. You are living
in a time of grace, Our Lady has said.
* On Good Friday at 3 p.m. Marija’s
father, Filip Pavlovic, was buried. Just before
he died he said: "I want to go, I want to return
home.” He was in his own home at the time,
but his soul felt the need to return to the
Father, to return to our true home. * Marija
spent 3 days at the bedside of her brother in
the hospital of Split. His body had rejected the
kidney that she herself had donated. Thanks
to God he is now safe.
* Beautiful death of a French priest (75
years old) on the morning of Easter at the 9th
station on Krizevac. He collapsed after having
spoken with love about Jesus' three falls.
(from Sr. Emmanuel's diary)
Split spared by war
It is a miracle that a port even more
strategic than others on the coast has not been
touched while the others have been severely
damaged. Reliable sources have said that
there was a plan to bomb Split in May 1992,
which was when Medj. had been bombed
though it underwent no damage. Apart from
an isolated air-raid which caused very little
damage, the plan was never put into action.
From Medj. Gebetsaktion (a monthly bulletin
from Vienna, no. 30) we read that a journalist
queried Mons. Franic about Split not having
been bombed: "We know that the bishops of
Bosnia and Herzegovina were contrary to
acknowledging the supernatural in the
apparitions of Medj., and that now they have
lost a large part of their dioceses and that not
even their sees were spared. On the other
hand, Split has been spared in an exceptional
way. Could you say that it’s your positive
attitude towards Medj., and your prayers, that
have called divine protection over your city?”
Mons. Franic replied: "I am a poor man
and a feeble witness. Most of the priests in
my diocese did not follow me in my support
for Medj. However, most of the faithful
We will only know once we are in heaven
if fewer sins are committed in this city than
in others. I do think, though, that if Split has
been spared, it is by a miracle. Other cities like
Sebenico, Zara, Dubrovnik and Sarajevo,
have greatly suffered. Here in Split we have
practically lived in peace all during the war,
at least so far!"
The new church dedicated to the Queen of
Peace in Perugia will be consecrated on 29
May. The ceremony will begin at 10.30 am. At
4 p.m. Fr. Jozo, Vicka and Mirjana will meet
with the pilgrims. This will be followed by the
Rosary and Holy Mass. For info call: (Italy)
075-41060 - Fr. Ignazio Zaganella.
Fr. Jozo will be in Assisi on the 3rd June
for the international meeting which will begin
at 4.30 pm.
Bosnia: peace between Croatians
and Muslims. Serbs forced to
The recomposition of the conflict between
Croats and Muslims (which was so
discouraging since they were once allies) has
gladdened the hearts of all who recognized it
as a gift of the Queen of Peace. In Her
message of 25 February, She thanked those
who helped her to make the war end as soon
This tells us in an eloquent manner that
different peoples can live in peace in the same
territory, which is exactly the opposite of
what the lengthy and useless conferences
were proposing with the division of Bosnia
and the constant changing of the borders. Just
as well that man’s projects without God
The federation between Croats and
Muslims in the central part of Bosnia,
supported by the USA, indicates the only way
out of the conflict. The Pope had always been
in favour of this. This understanding stirred
up the anger of the Serbo-Bosnians who
felt isolated, and thus began the assault on the
Muslim strongholds. First Tuzla, then Maglaj,
now Goradze has had to suffer the agony of
bombs and the massacre of the defenceless.
The great powers, lacking in ideals and
consequent decisions, have so far showed
fear and inability to conclude. Threat followed
threat while the Serbs faked truce after truce
and in the meantime continued attacking and
destroying. The present Russian-American
agreement, with the ultimatum, seems to
have dissuaded the Serbs. They have retreated
from the city, but they left behind destruction
and death. Peace is not yet close at hand. We
still need to pray much; and that is what we
shall do to help Our Lady so that the war may
Aid into Mostar and beyond
The 18th March was a memorable day.
Alberto Bonifacio led a convoy of 1 truck
and 9 vans across the Neretva river (which
divides Mostar). He was accompanied by a
director of a Muslim aid organization. His
report follows: "We crossed with the help of
an iron barge supplied by UN soldiers. The
first stop was the town of Konjic. Though still
deserted, it can now be reached. Here we met
the Franciscans who had returned only days
before after lengthy persecution. They were
very moved. Aid was left to them and to a
Muslim charity organization.
The stop on the way back was at the
hospital of east Mostar. The hospital was in
a small building that had been badly damaged
and the "wards” were the dark and humid
cellars. What they called the operating room
was really quite frightening.
Chief surgeon, Dr. Milavic, received us in
a bunker. He asked for generators, candels,
paint to cover the mould on the walls, a
cellular phone... the situation there was really
dreadful when compared to the less dramatic
situation of the hospitals in west Mostar.
They urgently need an ambulance because at
the moment the wounded people are being
transported with private cars (that still work)
- but really they lack everything. This part of
Mostar has 57,000 inhabitants and they’ve
been without electricity and water for 2 years.
We went back to the hospital of east
Mostar on Sunday the 20th. We were also
assisted by Muslim religious authorities. We
went this time with other vans and doctor
friends who formed the association, Minister-
ium Salutis, and who work in the hospitals.
On another trip on 2 April we went with 15
vans and delivered numerous sacks of haemo-
components and insulin, a generator and
various medicines including tests for Aids.
The children came up to us looking for water
to drink. In the cities their only water is from
As we walked around the city we noticed
the destruction. Even the Karadzoz-Beg
mosque (XVI century) - the most beautiful
and monumental - had been hit. There is not
a building, a monument or a house that has
not been destroyed or badly damaged. The
area of the famous Stari Most (old bridge) is
a heap of rubble. A not-so-safe looking
walkway is the only way across the river.
Some showed their disagreement when
they saw us delivering aid to the Muslim
populations too. We have not joined a political
cause, but an evangelical cause. It teaches us
to go wherever there are people in need,
whatever their race. This is precious ecumen-
ical work, Laurentin pointed out.”
extrememly proud ego.
God cannot, of course, use as an instrument
a person who is self-sufficient and who will
not surrender himself to His divine power!
Divine power is love. Divine power is peace.
This peace and love comes when an instrument
is open to all that God wills.
There is another very strong ego that is
active in spiritual movements outside the
Church; but also within the Church. This ego
is found in those people who by virtue of their
own strong spiritual ideas, impose themselves
on others, not letting them become instruments
according to God’s plan. This happens, in
particular, to people who have received
special gifts but who interpret them and use
them on their own. Everything that we
receive, be it ordinary or extraordinary, must
be subject to God. Satan, though, moves in
to use it for his own purpose.
Live instruments - the importance of
submissiveness. From observing Our Lady
we see that She presented Herself to God with
all Her beauty and became as though a nest
for God. She was totally open to God, and His
programme for Her was able to be fulfilled
in and through Her. We, who wish to
understand how to be an instrument, may find
in Her the perfect model.
Let us also take Abraham as an example.
He was so obedient that he was ready to
sacrifice his only son, his only hope in God’s
promise. With him it was just a case of being
open; and what was the result? He was filled
with so much grace that his lineage became
more numerous than the stars in heaven and
the grains of sand in the sea.
Let us look at Moses: He had been chosen
right from his mother’s womb. God preserved
him from death and hid him in the house of
the Pharaoh so that he would become
knowledgeable there. Then God led him to
the desert and Moses came face to face with
God. Moses saw how he was nothing
compared to God, and so God used him,
telling him: Go, do this, do that, till his death.
Lastly, let us think of Jesus. He did
nothing without His Father’s consent. It is not
an ordinary or extraordinary event that gives
an instrument power, but it is the life that
comes from God, and God manifests Himself
both through simple and extraordinary things.
Let us now consider the problems that
arise from prophecies: if and when Jesus
will come back. There is no doubt that He
will return; but [people ask] how and when.
The only thing that counts is that we be filled
with immense joy while we wait for Him to
come and place us in His Kingdom.
It is not good to dominate the times by
saying that tomorrow one thing or another
may happen. We are only asked to love Jesus,
to serve Him and use ourselves for His glory.
From this comes a profound need to adore
God so that we may feel we are instruments
at His service. This is not just going down
on our knees before Him, but it means
profoundly admiring Him for all His power
and beauty that is absorbed by our souls. This
is how we should feel when we are before
Eucharistic Jesus, Jesus on the Cross and
Jesus the Word of God; because He is God
here on the earth.
It is not correct to call Jesus a beautiful
soul, for He is quite distinct [from us], and
He did not come on His own account, for He
came from the Father, He was subjected to
Him, and it is to Him that He leads our souls.
Some spiritual guides are more like gurus;
they have placed themselves on the same
plane as God. Jesus is subjected to the Father
Our Lady said in Her message of 25
March 1994 that She would like us to be
"instruments in Her hands for the salvation
of the world.” The following will help us
understand what being "instruments in the
hands of God” means.
The Lord needs all of us, to be as live
instruments in His hands. In the Acts of the
Apostles we read how God accomplished
mighty deeds at the hands of Paul, and how
through him, diseases left the sick and evil
spirits came out of them. We also read of
seven itinerant Jewish exorcists, sons of the
high priest Sceva, who tried to invoke the
name of the Lord Jesus over those with evil
spirits, but they received such a beating that
they were forced to flee (Act 19:11-15). I
personally witnessed a similar case. The
exorcist was a Catholic priest with a high
opinion of himself, his powers and his special
gifts. He had not, however, been appointed
by the Church to do exorcisms. He used a big
commanding voice, but he was able to do
nothing. Satan just laughed at him, saying:
"He thinks I’m afraid of his big voice!"
In both cases what we have is a lack of
communion with Jesus. They were high-
handed and arrogant and their hearts were
closed to Jesus; so they had no power.
We are all instruments. An instrument in
itself is unable to act on its own. When it does
start acting of its own accord, it becomes
detached from the person using it, so it can
no longer be used for the purpose the Lord
had intended it be used for. Thus, it is no
longer an instrument, but, in our case, a
useless object. One has to be aware that to be
God’s instrument, one must be in perfect
communion with Him.
Dependence on God or on our ego? -
What contrasts most with this total dependence
on the Lord is a strong ego. For instance, a
fanatical person has a strong ego; a person
who quarrels and tries to forcefully convince
others of God’s existence has a strong ego.
Even a priest, like myself, can have a strong
ego and would impose himself upon others
through his sermons, etc. In these cases, the
persons thinks he knows everything and can
dominate everything. It is the case of an
and He leads to the Father, so when you adore
the Father it must always be in Jesus and
through Jesus. The heart of adoration is the
Sacrament of love, which is the Eucharist; it
is adoring and participating in the pure and
complete love that God grants us. Every man
who feels he is an instrument must be so
united to this Love that he becomes one of its
rays - but if the ray becomes detached from
its fount, it loses all its power.
Instruments of Love - It is important to
understand that an instrument can only be of
one type: that of being in God, being complete-
ly open to Him so as to receive from Him
continually. It is one of being always in Him.
Like the bulb that lights up when the switch
is turned on, we will automatically begin to
radiate light in the world once the life of
God is in us. With this life, contact is made
between the soul and God-Love, and His
love radiates over the earth. The mission we
have been entrusted with is this: live within
to radiate outwards.
One day we were praying over a chosen
soul, a victim of sorcery who was suffering
greatly. She transformed tho curses into love
for the people who wanted to hurt her. This
permitted the fount of hatred to be purified
and the curses to be destroyed.
Radiation of love puts out darts of evil,
causes the conversion of evil people, trans-
forming them from instruments of Satan into
instruments of God. This is why you need not
be great preachers, or need do miracles. All
you have to do is let God be great in you; let
the power of His pure and merciful love
descend upon all. So you see now that when
Our Lady tells us to pray, She is not asking
us to recite more prayers, but to be open to
this contact in which we receive everything.
Instruments of peace - If we are truly
surrendered to God it is impossible for us
not to have peace within us. The mystics
even experienced this when Jesus let them
experience hell. When is it that we do not
have peace? When we withdraw from the
fount of peace and decide to govern ourselves,
our past, our future and our sins. Without the
grace of God we are not even able to renounce
our sins; we can do nothing. We are made
aware that God gives us everything, and He
will give us all that we need for His kingdom
in us. Then we will be filled with peace.
There is a way of giving peace and
protecting peace, which Jesus explains to his
apostles: when you enter a house greet the
householders; if they are worthy of your
greeting your peace will descend upon them,
if they are not worthy your peace will return
to you. This is an important law that protects
us from evil. God respects our freedom, and
we must do the same. We can offer the gift
of peace, but it is up to each person to decide
whether to accept it or not. Should someone
wish to accept the peace, he may take it,
should he refuse it, we keep it for ourselves!
You see, it’s a matter of us not knowing
how to listen to Jesus, not knowing how to
protect ourselves. Forcefully giving peace is
using violence - in return we get violence.
This starts up an inner battle, a wound is
opened and you lose your peace. See how
Satan gets us involved?! We should be God’s
instruments, but by getting involved in this
way with people who do not live peace, we
also end up becoming Satan’s instruments.
We start arguing and even offending others.
Take for example those people with a
sense of guilt; when they feel hurt they
immediately put up their defences, so if we
who bring peace start forcing them, they »
Beatification of Gianna
Mother sacrifices self
so her child can live
On 24 April John Paul II beatified Gianna
Beretta Molla, a mother who gave her life
for love of her fourth child. Paul VI called it
a "meditated sacrifice"- an offering or sacri-
fice to God in a perfect imitation of Christ
who gave his life for his own.
This model of faith has been proposed to
Christians during the year that the Church has
dedicated to the family, to the protection of
that fundamental cell in a civilization of love.
The latter is an expression that John Paul II
often uses to express what family means.
We add that the story of Gianna perfectly
expresses how the heart of a woman becomes
priestly in the truest of senses, in the
partecipation of Christ’s sacrifice through
self-donation so that they may have life and
have it abundantly (Jn 10:10). Those who
support claims concerning priesthood for
women hide behind a repressed love for
The following excerpt from Gianna’s
biography by A. Sicari will give us a greater
understanding of this saintly person.
At the beginning of summer in 1961
Gianna Beretta and Pietro Molla were happily
married with 3 small children (aged between
5 and 2). She was a dedicated medical doctor
and he, an engineer, owned his own factory
with 3000 employees. In August of that year
they realized that Gianna was carrying their
fourth, much-wanted child, but their joy was
soon clouded by serious worries, as there was
a large fibroma growing in the uterus. It was
urgent to operate.
Gianna knew what that meant, either
remove both the fibroma and the uterus, or
remove the fibroma and terminate the preg-
nancy. Either of these would ensure the safety
of the mother. There was a third solution, that
of removing the fibroma without harming the
child. In this case, the mother would risk her
own life. Gianna knew what she was doing.
Before being admitted to hospital she
went to her confessor who encouraged her to
continue hoping and have courage. "Yes, Fr.
Luigi," she replied. "I have been praying so
much. I place my life in the hands of the Lord,
with faith and hope, even though I know it
means either the life of the mother, or that of
the child. Yes, I trust in God, but now it’s up
to me to carry out my duty as mother. I renew
the offering of my life to the Lord. I am ready
for whatever it will take to save my child."
The husband tells of an episode that
happened about 1 months before the birth
of the child: "It was one morning when I was
about to leave for work, and Gianna came up
to me and without asking me to wait a minute
or to sit down - like the way we used to do
when there was something important to
discuss - she just said: "Pietro, please, if it
comes to deciding between me and the baby,
decide for the baby, not for me. It is my wish.’
She didn’t say anything else. I was unable
to talk. I knew her well. She had always been
very generous and the spirit of sacrifice was
very strong in her. I went out without saying
a word." Gianna repeated her wish to a friend:
"I’m going to hospital, but I’m not sure if I’ll
come back. It’s a difficult pregnancy, and
they’ll have to save either me or the baby. I
want the baby to live.” Her friend replied:
"Think of your three other children." "No,"
she replied: "I want the baby to live."
And God willed that Gianna’s passion
would begin on Good Friday in 1962. One
of the nuns from the hospital tells: "I met her
as she was coming up the steps. She told me:
‘Sister, here I am. I’m here to die.’ She looked
very serene though. She added: 'All I care
about is that everything goes well for the
baby. It doesn’t matter about me.’ The labour
was very hard and lasted all night long. A
lovely healthy girl was born Sat. morning. It
was a Caesarean birth. When she was born,
the bells were pealing to announce the
beginning of the celebrations for Christ’s
Resurrection. When Gianna awoke from the
anaesthetic they placed her little daughter in
her arms. Gianna looked at her lengthily, in
silence. She kept her by her side, and caressed
her with indescribable tenderness. Gianna’s
passion lasted one week. The doctors were
unable to cure the peritonitis.
Her last days were spent in prayer, and
asking the hospital staff not to administer
pain killers to her because she wished to
remain conscious to be able to invoke Cruci-
fied Jesus and her own mother and ask them
to take her up into heaven. On the Wednesday
after Easter she awoke from the coma and
told her husband: "Pietro, I am healed now.
I was already there. If you knew what I saw!
One day I will tell you. I was too happy,
though; with our wonderful children, so
healthy and graceful, with so many blessings
from heaven, and so they sent me back to
suffer a little more. It’s not right to present
oneself to the Lord without having suffered."
She suffered for a further 3 days so that
she could complete Christ’s Passion in her
own flesh, according to the mysterious metre
which is part of the good Father's plan.
Many asked why she made such a
decision, from the woman who brutally
remarked: "What an idiot!", to her friend who
tried to make her think of her other three
children, and her husband who shared her
decision out of faith but was unable to think
or talk about it. Even Gianna, on her death
» will hide all the more behind masks and
all we make is war. All we have to do is be
peace and be it in an unconditioned way.
Instruments of light - Remain in the
Lord’s peace to be instruments of light. If
your inner self is opened far beyond your
mental capacities, God will light up in you all
those things you do not know and are unable
to explain. The most beautiful thing is that
God is our guide even when we are unaware;
and He guides us through mysteries. God acts
in us in the same way that a mother acts as
the guide of her unknowing babe.
Often Christians are tempted to look for
the extraordinary in things. We rush around
because we try to resolve problems on a plane
where it is impossible to resolve them: a plane
of details. God is our light! He guides all , He
knows all, He takes us by the hand even when
we don’t know what to do, He knows how
to use our wrong steps and transform every-
thing. Silent inner aperture, where trust, hope
and love reign, opens us to the light.
We, who should be instruments of light,
what do we give to the others? It is wrong
to give them our ideas, our convictions, our
agressiveness. We must give God and teach
others how to open themselves to God, but
not with techniques; it must be with simplicity.
Read Our Lady’s messages well; do not
try to convince others. Do not be dominating.
Just be light and bring them to being open to
God. We can only be instruments if we are
carriers of God. (To be continued.)
Fr. Tomislav Vlasic - 5 Jan.'94
Sped.Abb.Post.3/70, Aut.Trib.Mant.#13-8.11.86; Legal Dir: A.Lanzani; Printed by DIPRO, Italy, Fax: 0422-840804
bed, told her sister: "How it hurts to leave
small children behind like this!" So what was
it that made her make that decision? Without
a doubt a clear conscience of having obeyed
God’s commandment: Thou shalt not kill.
She, herself, had said when a young woman
went to her for an abortion: "You can’t fool
around with children." Three other children
cannot be cared for at the cost of another.
Gianna’s husband helps us see what was
behind her decision: "To understand why she
made that decision, one must consider her
profound conviction, both as a mother and a
doctor, that the child she was carrying was a
human being - with the same rights as the
other children - though it had been conceived
only two months before. The child was God’s
gift and as such deserved sacred respect.
Another thing is that Gianna loved
children, more than herself. Then of course
she had complete trust in God’s Providence.
She was convinced, as a wife and mother, to
be of use to me and the children, but above
all, in that moment, she was indispensable for
the little child she was carrying in her womb."
The decisive word that throws light on the
event is God’s Providence. God is present
with His Providence. It only needs faith - that
humble, simple, antique faith - to become
aware of it. That is why Gianna’s decision
was a meditated one. Her husband courage-
ously called it a "reasoned reaction."
The evidence is that for the other three
children she was needed, but for the child in
her womb she was indispensable. God could
provide for the other three even without her,
but not even God could provide for the new
babe if she refused it.
Lauretta Molla, their third child, was three
at the time. When she was 16 she wrote about
her mother in a school essay: "I was only 3
at the time and maybe I was too little to
understand the meaning of all those candles
and tears. What impresses me the most is her
sense of motherhood, her striking sense of
duty towards the family. When I think of her
I can’t help but admire her for having given
her life for the sake of her child, and I’m so
proud she’s my mother. I feel proud because
she was so courageous, she was Christian to
the end. I feel her presence. I know she helps
me as though she were still alive."
The new-born babe was taken to church
to be baptized while Gianna was still alive,
and the father consecrated the child to Our
Lady, as Gianna had done for the others.
The writing on her tomb comes from
Revelation. It says: Be faithful till death.
Blessed Elizabeth - Her patience
and prayer won the conversion of a
faithless and violent husband
Elizabeth Canori was born in Rome in
1774. She married a young lawyer, Cristoforo
Mora whose pychological fragility quickly
revealed. Attracted by a woman of simple
status, he deceived his wife and estranged
himself from the family, reducing it to
destitution. To the physical and psychological
violence of her husband, Elizabeth responded
with absolute fidelity.
Forced to make a living by working with
her hands, she continued to care for her
daughters. She also dedicated much time to
prayer, the poor and the sick. Her home
became a reference point for many people
who turned to her for material and spiritual
help. Through selfdenial Elizabeth offered
her life for the peace and holiness of the
Church, her husband’s conversion and the
salvation of sinners. She died in 1825 at the
age of 51. Shortly after her death, as she had
predicted, her husband converted, and later
became a priest of the Conventual Franciscans.
He later told his daughters: "There is no
other woman like her in the world and I am
unworthy to have been her husband!”
An information office has been opened
in Medj. by Mir Editions. It is on the church
side of the bridge, to the left. The editions of
Echo will now be placed in this office.
Hospital of east Mostar - Thanks have
arrived from the Croatian Minister of Health
to Echo for equipment that the hospital has
received thanks to the notices published in
Echo. There is still an urgent need for hospital
material and equipment.
Sponsorship of Croatian/Bosnian
children - Contact: Matteo Rossi, Via delle
Grazie 9, 54100 Massa, Italy
On behalf of Our Blessed Mother, we
thank all our helpers, near and far. A special
thanks goes to all those who help with the
distribution of Echo. Knowing that so many
joyfully help with spreading Our Lady’s
message through this humble instrument is of
great comfort to me. It encourages me to carry
on even though my health is at risk.
In the Heart of Jesus and Mary I bless all
of you who have accepted the good news; in
the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and
of the Holy Spirit. Amen
OUR READERS WRITE
Oasis of Peace in Brazil - The Servos da
Rainha, who translate Echo into Portughese,
wrote to say: 8 members of the Oasis of Peace
community arrived in Fortaleza on 7 January
to set up their first house in Brazil. It will be
in Quixadà. They were greeted by the bishop.
The community lives as per Our Lady’s
requests in Medj. Members can be priests,
virgins and married couples. They already
have 7 houses in Italy and 1 in Medj. In Brazil
they will be dedicated to the Marian Shrine
of the Immaculate still under construction.
Mary in Côte d’Ivoire. Fr. Mario Maniero
from Abidjan writes: Our copies of Echo
arrive regularly. The people here look upon
it as an instrument of spiritual formation.
They have a deep love for Mary. Some
Christians tell me that Côte d’Ivoire has
enjoyed peace so far because in moments of
trouble the people continually pray the rosary.
From Burundi - On 25 March, 2500
people from the mission prayed for peace in
union with the Pope. The ceremony began
with the Rosary, followed by Holy Mass,
adoration, consecration to Mary Immaculate
and a procession. In the capital, Bujumbura,
the shooting stopped. Now we are organizing
a week for peace by the lakeside - on the
other side of the lake is Rwanda. (Fr. V. Blasi)
Letters from Moscow - Our friends in
Dom Marii (House of Mary) send us trans-
lations of letters in which people express their
gratitude and delight for the Russian Echo.
"From a remote area of Russia a small
community of Catholic believers,” writes to
express their "joy at being able to read Echo.
For us it is a ray of light that lights up our
souls and gives us strength to survive.”
Among the letters received, one was from
a prisoner, another from a parish priest in
Kazakistan, one from 13 year-old Olga from
Kamyscin, another from 12 year-old Jana
who "enjoys going to the Catholic church and
likes Echo very much.” Aleksej, 32, from the
parish of Our Lady of Lourdes in Sankt
Petersburg expresses his "joy at coming into
contact with Catholic brothers through Echo.”
Our thanks to Fr. Rudolph for the translations.
The Servos da Rainha (Portugal) inform
us that their edition has now reached 150,000
copies - sent to people in various states.
The Dutch Echo is now being printed in
Holland, under the direction of Mary’s fervent
apostle, Frank . It is a true blessing that 7,000
copies are being printed each edition after
only 1 year!
Romanian Echo has reached the 30,000
National Conference on Medj.: Pentecost
weekend 20-22 May 1994. University of
Notre Dame, Indiana, USA.
3rd U.K. YOUTH 2000 INT’L PRAYER
FESTIVAL - 10-14 August. Woldingham
School, Marden Park, Woldingham, Surrey.
For information and details concerning
other prayer meetings organized by Youth
2000 in UK, Ireland, USA, Australia, Germany,
Trinidad and Colombia, contact: Youth 2000,
P.O. Box 119, London, SW 7 5RH, England.
It is hoped that Youth 2000 groups will
soon be started in other countries including
India and the Ukraine.
* Off the bookshelf - Medjugorje Unfolds
in Peace and in War, by Robert Faricy and
Lucy Rooney. Write to: The Medj. Appeal,
Lambs Business Park, Unit J, Tilburstow Hill
Rd, Sth Godstone, Surrey, RH9 8JZ, England