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www.medjugorje.ws » Echo of Mary Queen of Peace » Echo of Mary Queen of Peace 118 (March-April 1995)

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Our Lady’s message of 25 Feb. 1995:
Dear children, Today I invite you to
become missionaries of the messages that
I give you here - through this place which
is dear to me.
God has permitted me to remain with
you for so long; so, my dear children, I
invite you to live the message I give you,
[to live them] with love and transmit them
to the whole world so that a river of love
may flow among the people who are filled
with hate, who have no peace. I invite you,
dear children, to become peace where
there is no peace, to become light where
there is darkness, so that each heart may
accept the light and the way of salvation.
Thank you for responding to my call.
Why does our Mother
cry tears of blood?
A small statue of Our Lady from Medj.
cried tears of blood for five days (2-6 Feb.).
The statue (see photo) belongs to a couple
from Rome. It had been brought back from
Medj. by their parish priest last August who
went there on pilgrimage. Jessica, the couple's
5 year-old daughter, first noticed the tears:
"Daddy, hurry, Our Lady’s crying." They
began praying. But then the crowds started
arriving - some out of faith, others out of
curiosity - and things became chaotic.
The Bishop’s reaction: "Cases of
presumed lachrymations are frequent, but it
is rare for them to be supernatural events as
in Syracuse." The parish priest made no
comment, however, in his Sunday sermon he
invited the faithful to contemplate the event
to see if a message could be derived from
it. Two local doctors carried out the first
tests: the liquid is physiological! For the
peace of the Gregori family the statue was
removed from their garden and placed under
lock and key. In the meantime the tears were
examined by Professors Fiori and Ronchi
from two different universities in Rome who
confirmed that the liquid is human blood.
(Avvenire 23-02-95) cont. page 2 »»
that I give you here, through this place
which is dear to me
? The reason is that the
messages are not just words, but also the life
that has developed in Medjugorje. Mary’s
messages are vocal and written so they may
be spread to the world, but they spread
through those who have converted and been
sanctified through Her maternal work of
education which we see blossom in people
and works. The messages are everything that
the word Medjugorje evokes. Those who
contest Medjugorje know this well since the
sound of it evokes thoughts of conversion,
prayer and holiness: it is this that they do not
want to hear.
Our Lady admits, certainly with joy, that
it is God who permits her to remain so long
with us
. This means that she asked for and
received this grace for our own good. If the
sowing has lasted so long and the land has
become so fertile, then Mary now desires that
the Word/Life be spread so as to bear fruit
all over the world
: so I am inviting you to
live my messages with love and to transmit
them to the whole world
. The messages are
transmitted to the world when they lovingly
become part of our lives.
It is the only way: transmit the messages
with our lives. We must learn peace to the
point of becoming children of the peace, and
peace itself - and children of the light Jesus
says: May your light shine before men so they
see your good works.
Rather than words, people accept others
who live peace to the point of becoming
witnesses of the light. People desire not those
who talk about light, but the light itself. There
are enough people transmitting the messages;
the world needs true witnesses.
If certain things that Our Lady asked of
the visionaries, the organizers, the
parishioners and the pilgrims had been
accepted, the Medjugorje testimony would
have spread far wider and been much more
effective. It would have been a river of love
and peace flowing among the people who
are full of hate and who have no peace
(cf.
Is 48:18), even among the peoples close to
Medj. who suffer the effects of hate and war.
How many "blind" people would have seen
the eyes of their hearts light up on the way
of salvation
if those who should have been
their guides had been children of the light
and not blind leading the blind!
Everything is still possible for Mary,
though, and we can become light and peace
for the whole world.
Be peace and light
to become missionaries
of what we have heard and seen
In the 13 years of her apparitions in Medj.
the Queen of Peace has always made us
understand that we should not limit ourselves
to one place, but create and nourish a flame
that radiates over the entire Church and all
men. She has not before, though, mentioned
the word missionary which is a strictly
evangelical term: go out to the whole world,
proclaim the good news to all creation
(Mk
16:15). At the same time the present Pope
has begun talking about a new evangelization.
A true missionary is also a witness, that
is, totally involved in what he proclaims. He
himself lives what he transmits, which is
Jesus, His Gospel and God’s Kingdom.
Thousands of people can by now say they
arrived in Medjugorje with hearts that were
hard, wicked, desolate or wounded, to have
found resurrection and life which healed and
renewed them thanks to Mary’s intercession.
From that moment on they were reborn and
became children of God and Mary. In the
depths of their hearts was a spring of water,
welling up to eternal life
(Jn 4:14), they
changed and were able to draw what is good
from the store of goodness in their heart
s (Lk
6:45) and they became missionaries, bearers
of light, hope, love and peace for all.
It is not a question of distributing handbills
as some sects do, but one of keeping the gift
we received, and making it grow to bear fruit,
so that we may become the light of the
world, to be peace where there is none
, to
live God’s love.
The rain falls; it wets the earth and makes
it fertile without being forceful. The sun rays
break through the darkness and give light,
without contaminating. The immaculate and
sacrificial lamb lights up all of new Jerusalem.
From the cross Jesus draws everyone to him.
A person who offers himself, who is totally
open to the divine light, attracts benefits for
all mankind. Fr. Remo
Why does Our Lady say: the messages
I have my Mission - "God has created me to do him some definite service; he has
committed some work to me which he has not committed to another. I have my mission
- I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next.
I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me
for naught. I shall do good. I shall do his work. I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher
of truth in my own place while not intending it - if I do but keep his commandments.
Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness
may serve him; in perplexity, my perplexity may serve him; if I am in sorrow, my sorrow
may serve him. He does nothing in vain. He knows what he is about. He may take away
my friends, he may throw me among strangers, he may make me feel desolate, make my
spirits sink, hide my future from me - still he knows what he is about. Therefore, I will
trust him."
Cardinal John Newman
March 1995 - Month of St Joseph - Yr.11 #2 - Orig.Ital.Edition: Eco di Maria RdP, CP 149,
I-46100 Mantova, Italy. All mail to: Echo of Mary, Cas.Post. 27, I-31030 Bessica (TV), Italy
* *
118
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»» from page 1
Msgr. Grillo was interviewed again by
the national TV: "I was very sceptical at first,
but the way things have evolved have made
me think again. That Our Lady should cry
tears of blood just outside Rome is a sad
message. It certainly can't be for nothing."
Tears for the Church then, like Jesus’
tears for Jerusalem because it had not
recognized its opportunity when God offered
it (Lk 19:41-44)? Or could it be for new
sanhedrins plotting against Christ or His
Vicar? Could it be, instead, for the
consecrated souls on the day dedicated to
them (2 Feb.) because they have failed to be
the salt of the earth and the light of the
world? Or is it for the persistent and ruinous
refusal of His loving invitations?
M. Riccio commented: "Each apparition
- or similar event - never brings anything
new, but serves as a warning light, like that
of a machine to say something is not working
correctly. Warning lights from heaven are
being sent to us; and happy are those who
know how to read them! The "little" people
to whom the Father reveals Himself hope that
Our Lady’s weeping - so near to the Dome
of St Peter - will not disappear into the
clouds and into the domes of the "goddess
of reason."
Caution and investigations are necessary.
But let’s look at the context of these tears;
they lead directly to the eyes and the heart
of the Mother
! With the proliferation of
cases of lachrymation (17 so far are
considered sure) one should look for the
reason behind them; and the reason is right
before our eyes: humanity is in grave danger,
Satan wants its end. While his evil project
continues, the tears of the Virgin will continue,
and they will multiply. Precisely because Our
Lady will not renounce being Mother, she
will do all she can to touch and save her
children who risk falling into perdition.
May we, Her children, accept these tears;
they are the beating of her Heart, so graceful
and scented. And may we accept them today,
not tomorrow, for tomorrow is too late."
Fr.A.
Women, Consecrated people, Unity of Church are Pope's concerns
Woman, rediscover your mission
Take as models the great women
who have preceded you
With Woman, Instrument of Peace, the
Pope inaugurated the year of the woman. In
the Angelus reflections he has been presenting
prominent female figures who distinguished
themselves in promoting peace. His desire is
that every woman may discover the power
placed by God in her heart and develop it for
the sake of mankind. So far he has presented
the figures of St Bridget of Sweden, St
Catherine of Siena, St Frances Xavier Cabrini
and Blessed Edith Stein.
Catherine managed to do the impossible
12 February 1995: "The secret of
Catherine’s exceptional personality was the
inner fire that devoured her: a passion for
Christ and for the Church.
Her passionate
words spread in all directions. They were
motherly words, characterized by intrepid
firmness, and persuasively sweet. Around
her something happened which seemed
humanly impossible. The hardness of hearts
melted away and everyone began once more
to experience the joy of families or of entire
communities where peace had been restored.
The cry with which Catherine turned to
Pope Gregory XI to encourage him to be a
herald of peace among Christians is well
known: 'Peace, peace, peace... and no more
war!’
She wrote similar words to sovereigns
and princes and did not hesitate to undertake
difficult journeys to instil in opponents
sentiments of reconciliation.
Of course, we must recognize that she
was also a daughter of her time, when, justly
eager to defend the holy places, she adopted
the then prevailing mentality that this task
could be accomplished even by recourse to
fighting."
Dialogue, not excommunication or
violence - "Today we ought to be grateful
to the Spirit of God, who has enabled us to
understand that the appropriate way to deal
with problems ... is that of patient, firm and
respectful dialogue. Nevertheless, Catherine’s
zeal remains an example of brave, strong
love and an encouragement to devote our
efforts to all possible strategies of constructive
dialogue in order to build an increasingly
stable and far-reaching peace."
The Pope is not afraid to recognize the
wrong caused by positions taken by the
Church in the past, such as the hearings of
the Inquisition and the crusades in an effort
to reconquer the Holy Land. In his Letter on
the Third Millennium he said: "The sons and
daughters of the Church were in good faith
when at times they thought that authentic
witness to the truth involved the suffocation
of others’ opinions," as he invited all
Christians to "repent for the errors,
unfaithfulness, inconsistency and delays of
the past."
Consecrated life in Church is sign and
witness of Christ’s kingdom for all believers.
At the General Audience of 8 Feb. the Holy
Father continued his catechesis on this series.
"The radical commitment of religious to
follow Christ encourages all Christians to
have a keener awareness of their own calling
and to appreciate better its beauty... It is a
sign which strengthens all in their service to
the kingdom. The religious state manifests
in a special way the transcendence of the
kingdom of God and its requirements over
all earthly things and the highest kind of
bonds within it, bringing home to all men
the immeasurable greatness of Christ's power.
Consecrated life is a sign and a witness
of the world’s true destiny, which goes well
beyond all immediate and visible perspectives
however legitimate or proper for believers
called to a secular commitment.
The religious state of life bestows greater
freedom from the cares of earthly existence
on those who follow it and reveals more
clearly to all believers the heavenly goods
which are already present in this age...
preluding our future resurrection and the
glory of the heavenly kingdom.
The evangelical counsels have an
eschatological meaning: consecrated celibacy
proclaims the life to come and union with
Christ the Bridegroom; poverty brings
treasure in heaven; the commitment to
obedience opens the way to possessing the
perfect freedom of God’s children.
Thus, consecrated persons are symbols
and witnesses that anticipate heavenly life
here on earth. They are called to witness to
and spread the 'message heard from the
beginning to love one another,' thus becoming
pioneers of the desired civilization of love."
The Holy Father has also shown his
concern for Christian unity. In the General
Audience of 25 February he gave a reflection
on this topic: 'If the vine branches are all
nourished by the same sap, they are also
linked to one another by reciprocal
communion.' From this communion comes
the need of a love without limits, that goes
as far as giving one’s life for one’s friends.
On this occasion the Holy Father joyfully
announced: 'The signing of a Christological
Declaration with the Catholicos-Patriarch of
the Assyrian Church of the East... which has
resolved a controversy with that Church
which had lasted for over 1,500 years... A
confirmation of the fact that through dialogue
it is possible to clarify misunderstandings
and prejudices.'
* *
The voice of the persecuted
Church in China
Pope appeals for reconciliation
"We must dry the tears and clean the
wounds. With a new spirit we must bear
witness and offer the fire of God’s love. Let
us run joyfully to the battle field of
evangelization... Where there are Catholic
churches or missions we must adore the Lord
in the conditions as we find them. Where
there are no structures, we must take as
model the Holy Family and organize meetings
in the families. If not even this is possible,
our hearts will become temples of God...
"
With these words a group of clandestine
bishops wished to be heard by the Catholics
in China ... and by those present in Manila,
where some bishops from the official Church
in China concelebrated with the Pope. Besides
exhorting the Catholics to remain faithful to
the Pope and the Church even though they
suffer and are persecuted, the clandestine
bishops make a question of the division in
the Chinese Catholic community. They say
that those who belong to the official Church
(the one recognized by the government) do
not belong to the Catholic Church. It is
understable that they should talk like this
when they are jailed and persecuted while the
others are protected by the government.
The Pope’s concern is that these divided
members be united. In his message of 14
January to all the Chinese Catholics he
declares: "I am well aware of the difficulties
amid which you are called to bear witness
to your faith in Christ... Like a pilgrim in a
foreign land, the Church presses forward
amid the persecutions of the world and the
consolations of God, proclaiming the Cross
and Death of the Lord until he comes... By
the power of the risen Lord she is given
strength to overcome patiently and lovingly
the afflictions and hardships which assail her
from within and without... Keep your gaze
fixed on Christ, the light of the nations. Do
not be afraid: he has overcome the world,
he is with you always.
Your witness will be all the more eloquent
if it is expressed in words and deeds of love.
Jesus said: By this all men will know that you
are my disciples, if you have love for one
another.
Love among yourselves, first of all,
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but love also for all your Chinese brothers
and sisters: a love which consists of under-
standing, respect, forbearance, forgiveness
and reconciliation within the Christian
community
...
Genuine love, however, cannot be
separated from truth... Unity is not the result
of human policies or hidden and mysterious
intentions, but from conversion of the heart
and sincere acceptance of the unchanging
principles laid down by Christ for his
Church, particularly the communion of all
the parts of the Church with her visible
foundation: Peter
... and with his Successor.
How many testimonies of faith and
messages of fidelity I have received from
communities throughout China! ... I earnestly
invite you all to seek paths which draw their
light and inspiration from the Truth himself:
Jesus Christ."
Communion with the Church of Rome
has been confirmed also by many bishops
and priests of the official Church. These have
professed their fidelity to the Pope, and many
of them have already been legitimized by the
Holy See.
(Avvenire, 15/01 - 8/02)
Sights of a village in China - A number
of helpers belonging to the "Help to the
Church in Need" association recently travelled
from Beijing to Shanghai on a visit to various
Catholic groups. They tell: "...The village we
are in has no running water and no electricity.
The single-roomed houses are made of mud
or brick. A farmer earns about 5 yuan per
day (less than $1). Before dawn there were
already more than 500 faithful of all ages in
the church - in their worn-out clothes; and
how they stayed on their knees in prayer,
mindless of time! Hundreds of faithful go to
Mass every day, whatever the hour, to
nourish their faith.
The situation of the Catholics in China
varies from place to place. The division is
deeper in the cities. It is not so obvious
elsewhere. There are cases of bishops and
priests from the official Church who lovingly
offer help to the priests in the "unofficial"
Church living in extreme poverty. The
number of Catholics in China is estimated
at 12 million (some say 5-6) and their
number grows by 50-60,000 per year. The
majority of the 123 bishops and the priests
have spent at least ten years in prison. There
are 1,400 priests; 550 of these were ordained
after 1980, 70 were ordained last year. The
Rector of a "non-official" seminary told us:
'Before we accept a candidate to priesthood
we ask him if he is prepared to go to jail.
In the seminary - officially it's a hospital -
there are more than 1,000 young men
preparing themselves for priesthood. Other
seminarists live (as clandestines) in nearby
warehouses or factories.' "
(From Eco dell'Amore, Dec. 1994)
depth [of your heart] where only God creates
impulses and gives the answers. If you
remain receptive and obedient to His voice
you will be free of all types of slavery that
are choking your life. This time, Christine
will explain how. Christine’s earthly offering
ended at the age of twelve. Her whole body
was badly burnt. In hospital the doctor didn’t
know how to tell her that he’d have to
amputate both her legs in an effort to save
her. It was Christine who told the doctor:
"You know I slept a little and dreamt that
I was running with child Jesus. He asked me:
'Will you give me one of your legs?' I told
him: 'Not one but both.' They have to operate
on me again, don't they?"
The doctor looked at her with admiration
as she said: "Don’t worry, our Lord suffered
much more than this." When asked if she
preferred to remain with her family or go to
heaven, she replied: "I am with Him here and
I shall be with Him in heaven; for me it’s
the same. All I want is to do His will."
How free was her soul in accepting God
and his will. How easy it is to be free when
you are totally surrendered to God!
Be light that drives away obscurity of
unhappiness! - The earth is full of the dark-
ness of unhappiness. It shows on people’s
faces, in their speech and their efforts to
escape from life which end up in acts of
violence. Some try to explain the reason for
suffering and evil, to give it a sense, but they
cannot! Esther united her suffering to the
Divine Love. Both the cause and the purpose
of her suffering was evident. Once she said:
"Mummy, when I suffer I become a little girl
again and call out to you and Daddy. I don’t
call Jesus because he would take away the
pain. He gave it to me so that’s the way it
should be. At times the pain is too much to
bear so I call on Him, but then I ask Him
to forgive me and tell Him not to pay me
any heed. I am happy to suffer because in
doing so I take away some of the thorns in
His crown."
She told her father: "The first time I had
an X-ray you knew it would come to this,
didn’t you? That’s why you cried. But now
you should be happy for there is much more
serenity in our family; we are closer together.
We have to thank God because this is a
special grace. He chose our family for this
suffering - it is a sign that He loves us..."
Esther died at 15. In your life, are trials and
problems a tragedy, or have you discovered
God’s Love?
The answer to the questions concerning
suffering and evil is this: in suffering and
sorrow manifest God’s live love and unite
it to the Eternal Love
. Make it so God’s
Love in you is alive and omnipotent... light
to illumine the people and the glory of his
people, Israel.
Free all the prisoners! - You suffer for
the injustice and the offences received by you
and those around you, and you can’t forgive.
You don’t know how to free yourself of the
negative feelings... Free all the people you
have imprisoned with your negative feelings
by reacting. Free them in yourself and send
them with love to the Eternal Love. Be
generous when you offer yourself so that the
prisoners of evil may be freed for the sake
of good. That way you will free the world
from the power of hell; you will heal and
save souls. Roland will explain this to you.
He was 17 on the 27th October 1978 when
LETTER FOR LENT 1995
Renew your Baptism
with your Offering
How Children
teach
to offer selves till death
Peace to you sister, peace to you brother!
It is during Lent that catechumens prepare
themselves for baptism. They die to
themselves to rise again in Christ. The drama
of death and resurrection is relived in them.
You know this. You have consciously decided
to take this way - not only so you will rise
again but so the face of the earth may be
renewed and every man is saved. Let us walk
along this way together!
This time, for our reflection, we will
follow the example of John Paul II in his
recent Letter to Children. The Pope has
placed his hope in them and he invites the
adults to become like them so they may better
understand and live the Gospel. Yes, the
child in you in still there, that child of God
born at the time of your baptism, with all the
grace he received for eternal life. There you
will also find your call to offer yourself. To
help you discover that child, I shall present
to you some children who offered themselves
to God. The citations are from Daniel Ange’s
book on such children.
Pray unceasingly in your offer to God!
- Pray with inner certainty till you defeat the
evil and dissipate the darkness in and around
you. Hermann is our example. His father
was without work. When Hermann was
seven he offered his life to God. He served
at Mass every morning at 5.30 and prayed:
"Lord, I offer myself completely to you.
Bless my father and mother and help them
find work..." He began with novenas. Once
his father protested: "Oh Hermann, what
good is all this prayer? The more we pray,
the less the Lord listens to us." Hermann was
not perturbed, but replied quietly and surely:
"Prayer acquires worth in perseverance." He
persevered till he had prayed 25 novenas. His
father found a job. Like St Monica who
persevered in her prayer so her son Augustine
would convert, Hermann persevered in his
offering to his last breath. He died at the age
of 11. What a great task lies ahead of you!
Offer yourselves through Mary! - Also
little Anne offered herself to God and her
earthly offering ended at the age of 11. She
did not take a degree in theology, nor did
anyone explain to her about the mystic and
contemplative life, yet she fully understood
Mary's role in this. Anne said: "I wish to
donate all my sacrifices to Mary because in
heaven she donates them to Jesus. Before
doing anything one must invoke the Virgin
and pray to her. When Jesus comes into our
hearts we must ask her to keep him." Her
desire was: "to cry with Jesus at the foot of
the cross... because He is not loved enough!"
When she heard of sinners her love became
active: "My God, forgive them. They don’t
know what they’re doing. Make them become
good!" You have many occasions where
your offering can become live, holy and
pleasing to God!
(cf. Rom 12:1-2)
Surrender yourselves to God! - Amidst
the greatest difficulties He will show himself
and make known His plans to you. Do not
be worried. The answers are not found in
human reasoning and counselling, but in the
"A large basilica in China has been
dedicated to Mary Queen of Peace. It is in
Tonglu close to Baoding on the site of a
shrine that had been destroyed during the war
with the Japanese. It was built thanks to
6,000 Chinese Catholics who worked without
pay. It was inaugurated in 1992 but not
completed till 1994. As a sign of communion
it also received the Pope’s blessing. May this
be a sign of hope towards reconciliation for
the martyred Church of China."
(Fr. Inforcina, S.J.)
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VOICES FROM THE CHURCH
Pope says: "Authorize al l
that
regards
Medjugorje"
For Fr. Slavko’s recent trip to South
America the organizers followed the normal
procedure of asking the Bishops’ permission
for him to hold the meetings in the various
dioceses and talk about the Medj. message.
The Archbishop of Asuncion in Paraguay
felt uncertain, so he requested letters of
reference from the Bishop of Mostar and the
Father Superior of Herzegovina. In October
1994, however, Msgr. Felipe Benitez was in
Rome for the Paraguayan bishops’ ad limina
visit so he decided to mention it himself to
the Pope during his private talk. He received
this reply: 'Authorize everything that
concerns Medjugorje.'
The Archbishop had
no further need for other opinions. When the
news broke out, bishops from eight other
nations welcomed Fr. Slavko into their
churches and Cathedrals.
Fr. Slavko was told this by the Archbishop
himself and gave witness of the fact at the
baptism of baby Arianna Colo.
Nigerian Bishop says:
Confessions convinced me!
I would like all my priests
to come here
The Archbishop Gabriel Consum Ganaka
has been to Medj. three times. He recently
said in an interview: "I came here to see this
radiation of prayer that has reached so many
of my faithful. Our Lady’s messages are
simple and practical. They change people’s
lives and have spread to all corners of the
earth. Even in convents things have changed
because of the messages. Groups are being
formed all over and people are praying for
peace. Here the Rosary is recited every day.
I have preached in 12 dioceses and how
could I not talk about Medjugorje?.."
He was asked: Does the fact that the
apparitions have lasted so long make you feel
uneasy? "Our Lady’s heart is a mother’s heart.
A good mother does not tire of calling,
inviting, insisting. We need to understand
that if we do not convert terrible things will
happen. In Kibeho the visionaries saw rivers
of blood - and then the war came. Our Lady
is praying for us and with us...
Here too; if we had paid heed to Her calls
to peace there would not have been war.
Many accepted Her invitation, so who knows
what would have happened if even these had
not listened! Mary respects our freedom. She
has created a place of peace where people
can pray."
To the question regarding the intervention
of the Bishop of Mostar at the Synod, he
replied: "His word at the Synod did not have
much weight. As far as I am concerned, I
believe in Medjugorje, because I have seen
the fruits: both spiritual and physical healings.
They told me not to come but I replied
that I would because in Medjugorje people
pray. I have spent my time here confessing
in English, French and Italian, and I have to
admit that the confessions convinced me of
the truth on Medjugorje
."
Asked if he would tell his priests to come
here, he replied: "I would be happy if they
his step-father killed him, his mother and a
younger brother. Once, before this happened,
Roland asked his spiritual director to tell him
about Jesus’ descent down to the dead.
Roland later explained why this episode
interested him: "I too, would like to descend
down to the dead with Jesus to free the
prisoners and open the door of heaven and
let them all in. Walking on the moon or
making atomic bombs is nothing compared
to the greatness of Jesus who goes to such
lengths to search for a brother." His friends
laughed at this, but Roland replied: "I
laughed at first too, but now I understand."
Try to make this liberating force yours!
Bear fruit! - Hermann (we spoke about
him already) concluded his offering in
triumph over death. On his death-bed he
repeated Jesus’ words over and over again:
I will not leave you orphans; I will come back
to you... and you shall be full of joy.
Life can
triumph like this in you too, and carry away
sicknesses, suffering and even death. In a
person totally surrendered to God the fruit
of the Spirit is manifested and that person
testifies that life triumphs over death. As
Jesus said: It is to the glory of my Father that
you should bear much fruit and then you will
be my disciples.
Bear much fruit!
Live in continuous conversation! -
Jacqueline entrusted her secrets to a priest.
She offered herself to Jesus when she was
ten. From her writings: "I have given myself
to my Beloved in good and in ill. I have come
to realize that despite the battles and the
sacrifices, I shall be His at 20 as I am now
at 10..." On another occasion she explained
to the priest how she is enclosed within the
"cage" of Jesus’ heart and how leaving it
would be like dying. She prayed to her
Beloved to keep her in his Heart...
Though you are an adult you must return
to the "cage" of Jesus’ Heart. Learn from Him
how we can be in the Father’s Heart at every
trial, even when on the cross. We live when
we take refuge in Him. Outside is death,
suffering, worldly decadence! Take refuge in
Jesus’ heart and generate life to the world!
Renew your Baptism! - The foundation
of your call to this offering is found in your
baptism. One who offers himself tends to
fully realize his baptism. Clare offered
herself to God in her sickness and concluded
her earthly offering at 21. When she was five
she prepared herself for her first confession,
carefully searching her conscience as she
read the list of sins in her little prayer booklet.
She said: "I do not understand so I do not
know if I have committed these sins. Explain
them to me so I never will. I would not like
to hurt Jesus." How enlightened she was!
Allow this same light to shine in you so
the world can see. The renewal of your
baptism should express the sacrament’s triple
image: "baptism with water," "baptism of
desire" and "baptism of blood." You were
baptized with water; renew your baptism of
desire; and let this be as a non-stop prayer,
as St Paul says: kill everything in you that
belongs to earthly life... you who are God’s
chosen race, his saints, be clothed in sincere
compassion... say and do everything in the
name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God
the Father!
(cf. Col 3:5-17).
The more your desire burns like a flame,
the more you will sacrifice your ego and
offer yourself to God. Spiritual martydom is
necessary for you to burn yourself out and
free that pure love that raises you to God.
Offering the sin in you is not enough.You
have to offer all that impedes the light from
shining in all its purity. St Peter suggests: You
are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a
consecrated nation, a people set apart to sing
the praises of God who called you out of the
darkness into his wonderful light
(cf. 1Pt
2:9). Manifests God’s life to the world!
Learn from the children! - The above
are not tragic stories. The children are the
living image of God-Man, chosen for their
innocence. What we have before us are
people who fully realized their vocations.
Our young "heroes" are not an idealized form
of man, but a sound affirmation of maturity.
Some may think they are rare cases of
"heroism," that only few reach such heights,
but in truth, they are examples of every-day
life. Every day you come across sickness,
injustice, affliction, sadness, death... and you
cannot escape from this reality. But what
sense do you give it all? Which road leads
to life? I see that a life offered to God through
Mary Immaculate becomes a new life. This
is my testimony. A brother who lives this
offering wrote to say: "Father, you say this
is an invitation for few, and I insist that it
is for all Christians. It is for few only because
not many respond." And he is right! So here
are some indications for your next step:
- May your prayer be your strongest
activity. Connect all your thoughts, desires,
words and works to your Creator. Sacrifice
all the idols of the adult man: ideas, desires,
plans - all that is fruit of a selfish heart.
Prayer opens the way for you to manifest
God’s pure love. It should not be burdened
by many vocal prayers, but made live, light,
fluent. In a single thrust you find yourself
contemplating the pure Essence of God. This
prayer, united to Jesus’ Love, reaches the
depths of evil, it remains pure and ardent,
and continues to love the Father in every
creature. In this way, one prayer reaches the
depths, the heights and the breadths of the
universe. It is unceasing, alive, simple...
- No one can explain this call to you.
This treasure is within you - you received
it through your baptism. Immerse yourself
in the divine life in you with the simplicity
of a child; protect it, promote it and sacrifice
all else so it may become your only true life.
- Now you understand that prayer in a
community can be no other way. In a
brotherly encounter you should participate
with your experience of divine life like these
children. It must be clear that yours is a call
to tend towards, through which you verify
your conduct. Then love will multiply, the
problems which emerge from community
life will burn out and wounds will be healed.
When everyone is united in a single flame
of Love, the earth is purified of evil...
So, I wish you a happy journey till the
celebration of the Resurrection. My desire
for you is that you shall renew your baptism
in Spirit and Truth. I also desire seeing you
all at the general Meeting where we shall
offer ourselves all together for PEACE!
HAPPY EASTER!
Together with St Francis I bless you:
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord let his face shine on you
and be gracious to you.
May the Lord uncover his face to you and
bring you peace.
And the blessing of God Almighty, Father,
Son and Holy Spirit descend upon you and
remain with you always.
Fr. Tomislav
background image
all came for a direct experience, but the
voyage is too costly. I do not allow for
prejudice, neither for myself or others. It
would mean judging before seeing."
Would you like to give a message as a
Bishop? "To those who have not been here
I would like to tell them to come and see for
themselves. Don’t let others persuade you to
become prejudiced about it. Come and see
for yourselves. I am so grateful to have been
here. I will testify in favour of Medjugorje."
(From Glas Mira, Nov. 1994)
How pleasant to find such simplicity of
heart, without Pharisaical prejudism! It
takes a heart like this to recognize the truth!
A Bishop had to come from Africa to tell us
the truth, while those who have been called
to discern, who should be able to recognize
the fruits of a
good tree, are keeping God’s
people away.
Argentinian
Bishop
notes
spirit
of conversion
On his recent trip to Medjugorje, Bishop
Rubeirom of Monteo said: "When I read
Our Lady’s messages I had the impression
that this must have been her typical way of
speaking. I felt the urge to come here after
seeing the conversion of two of my cousins
- one was a Communist, the other a Fascist.
I wanted to see what was happening here
with my own eyes. In my opinion, Our
Lady’s messages in Medj. are a continuation
of those in Rue du Bac, Lourdes and Fatima.
Mary wants the conversion of hearts.
Here in this place I find there is a profound
spirit of conversion and prayer. By living
these messages one finds the Lord’s peace,
and the change in hearts mitigates the divine
justice. The world is chaotic, but here, people
find hope in the supernatural, because human
solutions are not sufficient."
News from the Blessed Land
* Fr. Petar Ljubicic, after 10 years in
Medj., has been transferred to the Croatian
mission in Zurich. Besides his work for the
parish he lovingly dedicated himself to
helping the pilgrims without means, especially
those from central Europe who lived under
the Communist regime. Our thanks goes to
him. May God bless him and may the Queen
of Peace always intercede for him.
* The 170 brothers who suffered
martydom in 1945 were remembered by the
Franciscans of Medjugorje of Herzegovina
in their celebrations from 7-14 Feb.
* Spiritual exercises have been organized
for moments of prayer, fasting and silence
during the Lenten period in the Domus
Pacis
house in Medj. Four different meetings
will be conducted by Fr. Slavko: 12-18
March, 19-25 March, 26 March-1 April, 9-
15 April 1995.
* Tragic situation in Banja Luka where
Croatian Catholics have been sent away from
their homes for "ethnic cleansing" operations.
370 Croatians have been killed, 140,000
have escaped, 1 priest is dead, 1 is missing
and 1 died after release from a Serbian
concentration camp. Given the disastrous
situation, Bishop Franjo Komarica has
transformed the diocesan house into a relief
centre. Food is scarce, there is very little gas
or electricity available and medicinals are
extremely difficult to find. The factories are
closed. People turn to the Bishop for help,
he makes request for aid through the Zagreb
depot.
* Ivan’s prayer group meets twice a
week. At times Our Lady gives a message
for the group through Ivan. The message of
the 25th of the month is given by the Virgin
to Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti.
* The intention of the film entitled
GOSPA, directed by Sedlar Jakov, is to
show that the coming of the Queen of Peace
initiates the final battle of the Woman
dressed in the sun (Rev.) against evil. The
film tells of the beginning of the apparitions
and the inner drama of Fr. Zovko, the
visionaries and the population. It will be
shown in the Radio Music Hall of New York
on the 10th April and then in 450 cinemas
around the States. Proceeds will go to the
needy of Croatia.
* The Polish TV was also in Medj. from
9-16 January for the filming of a
documentary.
* Troops of UN soldiers continue making
their way to Medjugorje on pilgrimage. The
last one was on 19 Jan. when 50 Argentinian
soldiers participated in Mass and climbed
Podbrdo.
* Work on the parish church began at
the end of January. The electric plant and the
lighting system need re-doing and work on
the façade and the bell tower will be
completed. Apologies for any disturbance
caused.
* Seminar of Spirituality from 2-6 April
in Tucepi, near Makarska, on Adriatic coast.
Themes: theology of apparitions, participants’
roles in Medj. events, Medugorje today.
Simultaneous translations available in main
languages. Hotel to be paid when there, in
convertible currency. Upon request we will
provide transfer from and to airport of Split.
Reservations open till 20 March. Phone/fax:
385-21-361354 (Fr. Leonard, Split)
* Records Office of the Shrine of the
Queen of Peace and Information Centre -
please send all publications that speak of
Medj. to the following address: Information
Centre, Fr. Miljenko Stojic, 88266
Medugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Via
Croatia; or by hand via the pilgrims.
(From the Press Bulletin of Medj., ph/fax
387-88-642709)
In Sr. Emmanuel’s report of her trip to
various European countries in January she
says to have been struck by the amount of
interest shown by the thousands of people
who attended the meetings. People are more
open to Our Lady’s messages than what
others think. For example, in one parish
many returned to confession after having
attended a meeting, which astonished the
priest. Three days after Our Lady said: Dear
children, I invite you to go to confession
.
* Fr. Jozo is no longer the guardian of
the Siroki Brijeg monastary. He has been
substituted by Fr. Svetozar. Fr. Jozo will thus
be freer to travel and testify. After a tour in
Italy he will go to France and Slovakia.
* Fr. Slavko has returned from his great
tour of Central and South America. People
turned up by the thousands to listen to him.
Fr. Slavko received the Pope’s blessings last
October for this voyage. He plans to go to
Africa in the near future,possibly with Vicka.
(Sr. Emmanuel’s news is available on an
answering machine. US readers interested call
219-287.5683. Updated twice monthly.)
* Torturer forgiven - Two Croatian
soldiers were taking a coffee in a bar in Medj.
when a stranger entered. One of the soldiers
recognized him as being his torturer in the
Serbian concentration camp of Manjaca, yet
he went up to him and greeted him cordially.
In the conversation that followed the
Serbian opened his heart and told how he
managed to escape from that hell... then he
asked to be forgiven - and he was.
When the other soldier learnt who the
stranger was he burst out: "But why didn’t
you kill him?" to which his friend replied:
"I intend following the way of Christ’s
Gospel, not that of Satan!" (Fr. Jerko Penava)
* The baptism of Arianna Maria,
daughter of Jakov and Annalisa, was
celebrated by Fr. Slavko in the cathedral of
Asola (Mantua) Sunday 12 February. On the
day before there was a prayer meeting (it was
the day of Our Lady of Lourdes) which was
attended by many. It began early afternoon,
and at 5.00 pm the Medj. evening programme
began which concluded at 8.00 pm.
Two
Vocations
in
Medjugorje
Two young north Americans recently re-
visited Medjugorje and told their stories.
"My name is Rick. I came here in 1989,
urged by an inner call that wasn’t even very
precise. I was 23 at the time and had no idea
what would happen, but in that week I
received the exceptional gift of discovering
the unconditional love that Jesus and Mary
have for each of us.
Each time the Eucharist was celebrated
the faithful crowded into the church, and the
queues for the confessionals were much
longer than I could ever have imagined. I
witnessed tears of joy and I understood the
power of prayer; in fact all my prayers were
answered. Back home I felt the need to pray
more and I was aware that the Lord was
calling me to the order of St Francis.
I have been studying theology for 5 years
now and in a few more years I shall be a
priest. Prayer has remained the most important
part of my day. God guides me with his love
so tender and infinite..."
"I’m John. I was a Protestant. When I
was studying Church history in the
Episcopalian Church I discovered the truth
is in the Catholic Church. I came to
Medjugorje in 1991 on an aid delivery
voyage. There were another two members
of this Church with me who have since
become Catholics too. I felt at home in
Medjugorje and I prayed to God to help me
understand what He wanted of me. I told Him
I was ready for anything, even become a
priest. Peace filled my heart.
I thought of becoming a priest in the
Episcopalian Church, though, and forming
a family, but two priests from my Church
helped me to discover the Catholic tradition.
They were Marian priests and one of them
had been to Medjugorje. They also entered
the Catholic Church later on.
After one year’s study I took the big step
and became a Catholic. I have decided to
enter the missionary community of Our Lady
of the Holy Trinity.
Medjugorje helped me discover my
vocation."
(From the Press Bulletin)
* *
* *
background image
Retreat for victim souls
and their priests
If it is true that we have believed and
known the love that God has for us, and that
Jesus’ love touched us in our sins and our
suffering inflicted by others, then let us
surrender ourselves to this crucified love and
to His power of salvation. Mary is looking
for souls willing to offer themselves entirely
to Jesus for the sake of mankind. Just as He
gave his life for us, we too must give our lives
for our brothers
. Even though no great love
is without sorrow, joy and peace will
accompany us in the certainty that not one
moment of our existence and our suffering
will be lost, and thus we will serve the cause
of Love.
Mary called us to this in Medjugorje.
Many souls, whether they were aware of it
or not, began working for Her. In particular,
in 1987, a few souls united to form the
community known as "Kraljice Mira" (Queen
of Peace, we are all yours) which is now well
under way and growing after a tough novitiate.
There are now about 50 fraternities of victim
souls in various parts of Italy and abroad.
Those in charge of these fraternities met
in Loreto for a spiritual retreat at the end
of January. Fr. Antonio Carapellese guided
the participants in the encounter with God
and on the meditation of the biblical
foundations of a total offering to God so as
to become living eucharists.
A meeting was also organized for the
priests that follow these fraternities from 13-
17 February. This was guided by Fr. Tomislav
Vlasic who with extreme simplicity high-
lighted the ministry of priesthood in its
continuation of Jesus’ offering to the Father
for the sake of mankind.
Fervent prayers were offered by the
members of the community so the success
of this retreat would be complete. * *
"Christianity is a mystery
of simplicity" (St Justine)
Why I entered a community
in
Medjugorje
I came to know of the Kraljice Mira
Community two years ago and after much
reflection I decided to join it.
Why did I choose this Community? Why
did I leave the comfort and security of my
family, a promising career and economical
well-being? Many ask themselves these
questions when placed before the choice of
a life of contemplation and evangelical
poverty.
Many think that people choose a life of
contemplation to escape from reality. This is
not true. Choosing God in an unconditioned
way means being stripped of everything that
makes up your ego. It means leaving aside
one’s human logic to enter into God’s
simplicity.
For me God’s simplicity is the only way,
it is the way that leads to heaven. Simplicity
is the mother of all virtues. Life is simple
when we accept God’s love which is present
in every person and every thing and when
we respond only with love.
Community life is made up of simple
gestures and words that lead each of us to
be just what we are and to become what God
would like us to become. In this atmosphere
my soul now breathes and life runs along
freely, despite the small and great sacrifices
which always make up a human existence.
Far from the world I now feel more useful
to the world, like the water that runs deep
in the earth’s crust; it is fresh and cool, ready
to quench the thirst of men - while the water
that runs on the surface is often polluted. I
now know that living in the heart of God
means I can meet a multitude of people in
the invisible temple of prayer. In God’s Heart
I can intercede for many sisters and brothers
whom I do not know, but whom I love just
as Jesus loves. Not even the smallest crumb
of love is lost when we are united to God,
because He uses each of us to save His
children.
Living in the Community then, means
following the poor, being poor, like Christ
- but this doesn’t mean just not possessing
things. Above all, it is simplicity of heart,
being empty of self and desiring only to
joyfully give thanks and praise. It is the
constant search of pure love so as to become
Pure Love. In our poverty we offer ourselves
in an uncalculating manner to become the
bread of life that nourishes the entire world.
The area contained within a monastery is
thus able to grow infinitely and reach out to
all corners of the earth. There is no where
on the earth that God cannot touch with His
Love - to heal us, warm us and help us grow,
so we can bear fruit and make water gush
in barren lands.
I bless God day and night for having
called me here. In Mary’s Heart I offer myself
totally as a humble instrument of peace, love
and truth. God knows where my road leads
to and I trust Him. We do not walk alone,
for in the community we support each other
with our prayers and love and fraternal
assistance.
To those then who ask themselves the
above questions, I can reply that I chose this
new life out of Love - love of Jesus, so deep
and total, which has accompanied me all the
days of my life and made me desire being
similar to Him, the Bridegroom of my soul.
It is true that whoever loves, desires being
similar to the loved one, sharing life with
Him in the intimacy of His dwelling place.
The words of the Psalmist come to mind:
Goodness and kindness follow me all the
days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house
of the Lord for years to come
(Ps 23).
Stefania
accepted.
"How did you discover Medjugorje?" he
was asked. "Through the Rosary," Fr. Robert
replied. "I was there on vacation and I was
fascinated by a family who always recited
the Rosary." He himself began praying it and
still does. "The Rosary is like a piano which
produces wonderful sounds... It is significant
that Mary revealed herself in Medjugorje on
the day dedicated to John the Baptist. Like
him, Mary says: Do as He tells you."
(from Nasa Ognista)
Italy enthusiastic about Fr. Joz o
Fr. Jozo continues to take the message of
the Queen of Peace to the people. Gennaro
from Noli (near Naples) tells of Fr. Jozo’s
meeting in that city. "...it was a triumph -
his and Mary’s. He bravely testified, even
before the doubting clergy, that he 'heard a
voice; and one who hears and sees cannot
remain silent.' His discourse revolved around
the mandate he received from heaven: Protect
my children
(the visionaries). He did protect
them and for that he was imprisoned!
On the 29th January he preached in the
cathedral of Noli. I have never seen so many
people! Both priests and faithful were struck
by his enlightened way of speaking. He
managed to "keep them nailed to the pews"
for nearly 6 hours, and the more than 3,000
people did not tire.
Of the Rosary he said it was the motion
in a man’s heart that gets straight to God’s
heart. He stressed how so much evil and
confusion makes its way into our homes
through the television stars and gurus that we
invite into our homes each time we turn the
TV on.
His final invitation to "come to
Medjugorje" was truly moving. We have
accepted his invitation and are planning a
pilgrimage to the Shrine for the 14th
anniversary."
A Belgian priest tells: Medj.
transformed me - I don’t know how to
thank you for your Echo which does so much
good to me and around me. In 1992 we had
a painting of the Queen of Peace done on
one of the large windows in my church. The
charisma that I received on Podbrdo is to live
the messages rather than to talk about them.
My ministry continues to grow, and your
Echo is a precious support for us all...
Once a month we have a day of Adoration
which is concluded with a special two-hour
service. The Blessed Sacrament is exposed
all day long and I make myself available for
confession. Pilgrims know that here they can
nourish the flame placed in their hearts by
the divine grace.." (Abbé B. Cerato)
Anglican Priest says:
Come, see and try !
Anglican priest, Fr. Robert Llewelyn,
visited Medjugorje for the fourth time last
summer. He was asked by a journalist: "What
does Medjugorje represent for Catholics and
Anglicans?" He replied: "Medj. is a place
where God is found. The Holy Spirit pours
out His gifts here into the hearts of men
through the intercession of Mary. I would
like to tell everyone: Come, see and try for
yourselves. Many things belonging to your
past that sadden you will cease. This is the
condition needed for true peace."
Fr. Robert says he especially likes the
evening programme in Medjugorje. He likes
saying the Rosary and he even wrote a
booklet about this prayer. He has informed
his Bishop of it all and gave him blessed
Rosary beads which the Bishop gracefully
By road to Medj. - The road along the
Adriatic coast is safe. The bus from Trieste
(bus station is adjacent to train station) leaves
regularly every evening at 6 pm and arrives
in Medj. at 8 am. Return fare Lit.128,500.
For reservations ring Italy: 040-425001
By sea to Medj. - From Ancona, Italy
to Split. Departures from Ancona: Mondays
and Wednesdays 9 pm, Fridays 8 pm. Arrival
in Split 7 am. Departure from Split: Sundays
9.30 pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays 9 pm. For
reservations ring Italy 071-202033
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Great
danger
for
Christians:
Limiting oneself to moralism
and not being witness to
living God, and
not living for eternal life
Jesus teaches us to be self-restrained and
to live good and religious lives here in this
world while waiting in hope for the blessing
and the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (cf.
Tt 2:12-14). Without this eschatological
dimension the Gospel is void. Sadly, many
Christians have succumbed to the influence
of modern-day thought, so pragmatic and
efficient, and this is why they no longer
openly talk about and live in the expentancy
of eternal life.
Moralism is religion reduced to moral
practice, in an effort to improve oneself and
one’s social condition since the person who
practises it no longer asks the essential
"why?" of our existence. But Jesus came to
tell us that we are destined for eternal life,
and this changes life's finality and thus the
way we live.
Card. Ratzinger spoke about this in his
usual clear tones during a recent ecumenical
meeting.
"The main problem of our times comes
from the absence of God and thus the
absence of the prime duty of every Christian
to bear witness to the living God
. It is my
opinion that before we carry out any moral
practices and duties, we must bear witness
to the core of our faith, clearly and boldly.
We must make the living God be present in
our faith, in our hope and in our love.
If our times are marked by a problem
regarding morality - by a moral recomposition
in society - then it is the result of the lack
of God in our thoughts and in our lives. To
be more precise, it is the result of the lack
of faith in eternal life,
which is life with
God. I am convinced that deism today (i.e.
the idea that God may exist but does not take
part in our lives) is present not only in the
so-called secular world, but also - and in
a dangerous measure - within the Church
and in our lives as Christians.
We have no longer dared to talk about
eternal life and about judgement. For us God
has become a distant God, an abstract God.
We no longer have the courage to believe
that this creature - man - is so important to
God, that God cares and worries about us and
with us. We think that all the things we do
are our things and that God, if he exists,
couldn’t care much about it all. Therefore, we
have decided to build life on our own
and
rebuild the world and we don’t really count
too much on the existence of God or on the
reality of judgement and eternal life.
Everything changes when we live without
taking eternal life into consideration, because
the human being loses its great honour and
dignity. Everything then becomes so easy to
manipulate. This creature made in the likeness
of God loses its dignity, thus moral
decomposition is inevitable. Man spends his
time searching for his self in this brief
existence and so it becomes necessary to
invent the best way possible to build one’s
own life, and life in general, in the world.
So, if we Christians wish to contribute
to the human life and to the humanization
of life in this world, our fundamental duty
is to make present - as tangible as possible
- the reality of the living God, of a God
who knows us and loves us, who watches
over us constantly, of a God who recognizes
our responsiblities and who waits for our
reply, i.e. our responsive love which is
realized and made tangible through our
every-day living.
It seems to me that the greatest danger
of the Church - of Christians - is that of
taking refuge in a certain moralism so as to
be accepted and better understood by the
secular world, but which makes us depart
from the essential. This moralism can often
have truly valid and good intentions, but if
it becomes pure moralism not animated by
the faith in the living God, then in the end
it is powerless and cannot really change the
human life.
I think, therefore, that this priority for
bearing witness to the living God is the
most urgent of the imperatives for Christians
and I think it is also the imperative that unites
us, because all Christians are united in the
faith of this God who revealed Himself, who
became flesh in the person of Jesus Christ.
Making this testimony essential for today’s
world (both Christian and non) does unite
us even though we may not immediately
understand the ecclesiastic and ecumenical
part, but do understand our need to bear
witness to God. And I think the rest follows
naturally. If we live under God’s caring eyes
and if God is the number one priority in our
lives and in our thoughts and our witness,
then the rest just follows. That is, man’s work
for peace, his fellow men, the protection of
the weak, for justice and love, follows
naturally."
they are not animated, there is lack of
participation. Yet we have before us as
models ecclesial groups which people flock
to even though the Masses last two hours or
more, and in many cases prayers of healing
and liberation are pronounced after the Mass
as well.
We have forgotten what the Gospel
stresses often: that the people flocked to
Jesus to listen to his word and to be healed
of their ailments. We have forgotten the
powers
that Jesus gave to the Apostles, then
to the disciples and in the end to all those
who believe in Him.
Medjugorje is a sign because apart from
the apostolate of preaching, the ministries of
comfort, healing and liberation are also
practised there. I would like it to be like this
in all parishes - then the people would come,
and all the sorcerers and similar swindlers
that the world swarms with would be out of
work.
First thing is to listen - Msgr. Gemma,
the bishop of Isernia, said in a pastoral note
(29 June 1992) that he had instituted a group
of liberation for a series of healing prayers,
if possible, to be led by a priest. When the
group repeats a series of prayers and certain
symptoms emerge, it can decide to turn to
an exorcist. He adds: "I believe it is part of
a priest’s ministry to listen to all with
enormous patience. Everything must be
subjected to the sound discernment of the
pastors (let us remember that the bishop’s
letter regards the prayer of liberation from
the devil
), however, never, never, should a
person who suffers - and perhaps without
knowing it, is oppressed by the devil - be
treated with superficiality, minimizing his/
her problems or, worse, refusing to pay
attention. Jesus did not do that!"
Preaching, comfort, healing, liberation:
this is found in Medj. It is not just the
constant flow of pilgrims to Medj. that tells
us it is a sign, but the large number of groups
that have sprung up all over the world in the
wake of its example.
Fr. Gabriel Amorth
MEDJUGORJE IS A SIGN
because powers handed down
by Jesus are exercised there
We will truly enter into the mystery and
the work of Jesus’ disciples when we
understand that He has given also to us, i.e.
the Church, the power to drive away the
demons and to heal the sick. This is the basic
power that Jesus gave to the apostles right
from when he sent them to preach the good
news. Read Matthew 10:1, Mark 3:15 and
Luke 9:1.
Why have so many people, from all over
the world, gone to Medjugorje, and continue
going there, despite the war? Why do people
talk about the many conversions, healings
and liberations from the devil? I believe that
Medjugorje is a sign, and a legitimate sign,
of the ecclesial authority since it has received
recognition as a place of worship where the
pilgrims have the right to find that religious
assistance they desire (preaching, Confession,
Mass...) and which must be given in their
own language.
The Pope insists on the necessity of the
"new evangelization" (and for Italy he
proposed that special prayer which lasted
nine months). Among the many causes of the
frightening fall in faith and morality that we
are going through, I would add also the gap
that has formed between priests and the
faithful. I live in Rome where priests can be
numbered by the thousands, yet if a person
has doubts about his faith or has special
problems, he has difficulty in finding someone
ready to listen to him.
Another cause: the services are stale;
Mary only repeats the word of God
Our Lady does not want to tell us
anything new. She repeats the word of the
Son, making it suited to our times, to the
needs of today’s world. Our Lady knows
[how to read] the signs of the times! Thus,
her messages have meaning for they receive
it from the word of God, independent of the
fact that one may or may not believe in Medj.
I’ve been to Medj. quite a few times and
I’ve observed things with an expert eye. I
believe that God’s hand is present there. I
don’t give the same importance, though, to
the first messages in Medjugorje as what I
give to those that follow. As with Fatima, I
give a different value to the first six apparitions
in 1917 to what I give to the others that Sr.
Lucia received and which she probably still
receives every now and again.
The full value of the messages, however,
is in the fact that they repeat the words of
Christ, the words of the Bible. When Our
Lady says: I am with you, it is in relation to
Jesus’ words: Woman, here is your son! Here
is your Mother!
From that moment we took Her into our
home! Our Lady is always with us! But here
there is something extra: ... also today I
rejoice because the Most High has granted
me to be with you here...
Fr. G. Amorth
* *
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Sped.Abb.Post.3/70, Aut.Trib.Mant.#13-8.11.86; Legal Dir: A.Lanzani; Printed by DIPRO, Italy, Fax: 0422-840804
ECHO IS FREE - It lives on
readers' donations. Echo has no other
source of income. It is your donations
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Forgive us if we remind you to
consider the burdensome postal
expenses when making a donation.
Thank you for all you can do.
Warning to visionaries...
Ensure charisma is used correctly
In reference to our article on the subject
in Echo no. 117, we add: Above all, we are
to help the visionaries through our prayer,
and through a more correct behaviour
towards them, we are to help them not to
become proud for all the favouritism they
receive. Precisely because they are so much
in the public eye it is their duty to give
example of proper Christian conduct if they
desire the messages to be accepted and not
become the object of reproof
(cf. Tit 2:5-8).
A priest who at the moment is spiritual
director of more than one visionary says: It
is important not to let yourself be conditioned
by the visionary. They are to be listened to,
kept under constant control and protected
through silence and obedience. What they
say must be listened to with discernment
because the important thing is not being
chosen, but remaining faithful to the call
received. (Fr. M.R.)
Perhaps those words heard by Fr. Jozo:
Protect the children, should be read in this
sense, and perhaps they are valid for as long
as the apparitions last!
Fr. Werenfried’s lesson:
Fear God’s Justice
Fr. Werenfried, the apostle of the Church
in Need , aged 82, recently suffered a heart
attack as he was preparing his Christmas
sermon in the Orthodox cathedral of Omsk
in Siberia. Though he underwent three
operations in two days he still managed to
dictate his monthly letter. "... I have never
felt such pain before," he tells. "At night the
violent stabs would wake me. I was nearly
desperate and even furious. Psalm 22 came
to mind, frightening me: I have no one to
help me! A herd of bulls surrounds me... their
jaws are agape for me
.
Amid dreams and hallucinations I thought
I was suffering the pains of purgatory. Once,
the thought of ending up in Purgatory did
not worry me, but now I have firmly decided
to correct my errors so as to escape God’s
justice. I have understood how dangerous it
is to forget His justice which also is infinite.
We tend to think of God as an old man who
is no longer able to see what is happening
in the world. How wrong we are!
Yes, God is patient, but there’s no fooling
around with Him! It wasn’t for nothing that
Mary showed hell to the Fatima children and
foretold of frightening catastrophes if we do
not convert. Isaiah’s admission: We were all
like men unclean, all that integrity of ours
like filthy clothing
(Is 64:6), goes for God’s
people of today too. We have been called to
transmit the Gospel and the sacraments to
those who come after us, but how can we
do this if we do not convert?"
We add: "happy is the man who cares
for the poor and the weak: if disaster strikes,
the Lord will come to his help... and be his
comfort on his bed of sickness
" (Ps 41). In
fact, Fr. Werefried is already making plans
for the future: "I will travel less, but I shall
continue writing and I shall pray more. I will
not leave God, nor my pen, in peace." * *
ECHO FROM 'THE ECHOES'
* French Echo (42,000 copies) - Audio
cassettes are produced to help those with
none or little sight. Here are two moving
testimonies:
- "Thank you, I am so happy with the
audio cassettes. They give me renewed hope
and love for a world that is so superficial and
unloving..."
- "I lend my cassettes to a religious
institute. Thank you ever so much. Already,
many who didn't believe in God have
returned to Him; and two unbelievers have
decided to go to Medj. next month..."
* Copies of English Echo for distribution
in Australasia will now be printed in
Australia. We thank the Medjugorje Sentinel
of Sydney for accepting to bear the weight
of the printing and postal charges. Readers
who receive their copies from the Sentinel
may send their donations directly to them.
They have been authorized by us to detract
their expenses.
Some of the mail: A couple from the
Episcopalian Church who recently suffered
a terrible financial loss were forced to sell
a part of their garden. "It was found to
contain a Celtic Christian buriel ground and
the remains of a Celtic Church dedicated to
Our Lady!" This couple are now trusting
God for their future.
"The change in the title is surely
Providential and inspirational." (Sr. Maureen)
"Please do not change the format or number
of articles - it is just right... " (M. Dalingwater)
"It is so good to read something that is loyal
and supportive of our Pope..." (Nita Young)
* We thank Dr. Pierantonio Gottardi
of Bolzano. Thanks to him it is now possible
for us to transmit via modem to Australia
and Canada
where the Echo will be printed
and mailed out much more rapidly; also
allowing us to reduce the postal costs. We
also thank distributors in Italy, France,
Switzerland, Austria and Germany for
organizing the collection of donations.
* An Italian distributor writes: "We have
always accepted the appeals in Echo as
though they were Mary’s appeals, and this
is why we particularly like the change in
name to Echo of Mary." (Gennaro)
* We ask readers not to send donations
for other causes to us anymore (such as
sponsorship of children, Bosnia, Rwanda,
etc.). This will make things simpler for us.
We thank you.
* A reminder that no one is authorized
to ask for donations or even worse, set a fixed
price for the Echo. At the most, those who
do distribute may ask for donations to help
towards the mailing expenses. We are positive
that Heaven blesses those who give freely:
You received without charge, give without
charge
(Mt 10:8).
Let us all be united to the Holy Father
in Lent by offering sacrifices and prayers "to
defeat the consumerism and the unjust world
economic system, and that there may be
increased zeal for evangelization in the
communities of the youthful African
Churches.."
In Christ’s Passion and Mary’s Sorrows,
we bless you in the Name of the Father and
of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
ECHO IN OTHER LANGUAGES
Italian
: Eco di Maria., C.P. 149, 46100
Mantova, Italy. English: Echo of Mary, Cas.Post.
27, I-31030 Bessica (TV), Italy. French: Echo de
Marie, 18 Allée Thévenot, F-39100 Dole, France.
German: Echo aus Medj., C.P. 149, I-46100
Mantova, Italy. Spanish: Roger Watson, c/o
Antonucci, Via Verrotti 1, I-47100 Aquila, Italy.
Catalan: Amics de Medj., c.Carme 11 baixos, E-
08700 Igualada-Catalonia, Spain. Portughese: a)
Gilberto Correia, rua de Brito 24, 4915 Vila Praia
de Ancora, (ph.911181), Portugal; b) Servos da
Rainha, Caixa p. 02576, 70279-970 Brasilia DF,
Brazil. Dutch: Int. Medj. Comité afd. Nederland-
Belgie, Misericordeplein 12C, NL-6211 XK
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3, 121003 Moscow, Russian Federation - fax
007095-2415057. Hungarian: Fraternitas, 1399
Budapest, p.f. 701/85 Hungary - fax 36-2176183.
Romanian: Ecou din Medj., P.O.B. 41-132,
Bucharest, Romania; Albanese: Jehona e
Medjugorje, L.1 p.10, LAC, Albania
Reduced editions: Greek: Soeur Despina de la
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Distributors: USA: Peter Miller, POB 2720-
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0530, fax 374 9490. Mrs. Joanna Clark, 17503
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Que H1E 3W5 - ph. 648-3420. Spain: Josè L.
Lopez de S. Roman, Ap.246, Palencia, Spain.
Australia (all editions): Medjugorje Sentinel,
P.O.B. 746, Pennant Hills NSW 2120 - fax 02-
9807806.
When God permits pain and sorrow -
The Lord created everything beautiful, good
and sound. He wants us to be happy. St
Theresa says that if He permits pain or
sorrow he does it with so much regret that
we should try and hide the fact that we suffer.
As if to say: "Lord, you gave me this cross,
but it's not that big after all." She goes as
far as hiding her crosses from the Lord,
because though He permits them for our own
good, He is sorry to have to do it. (Fr. G.
Amorth)
Jeremiah also tells us: God takes no
pleasure in abasing and afflicting the human
race
(Lm 3:33).
* *
* *
* "Dear Children... Words from the Mother
of God at Medj." - a pocket-size booklet;
contains messages June 81-Nov. 94, some
interior locutions, and more. 50p per copy.
Discount rates for large quantities. Contact: The
Marian Spring Centre, Lambs Business Pk, Unit
J, Tilburstow Hill Rd., Sth Godstone, Surrey,
RH9 8JZ, England
* "Hail Mary" - collection of 59 hymns and
chants suited to both guitar and keyboard. Write
to: Br. Thomas Eslam, 5/15 Mary St., Highgate
WA 6003, Australia.
* All of the various language editions
of Echo of Mary Queen of Peace can be found
in the souvenir shop next to St James church
in Medj., also in the MIR Information Centre
(close to the bridge).