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www.medjugorje.ws » Echo of Mary Queen of Peace » Echo of Mary Queen of Peace 120 (June 1995)

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June 1995 - Month of Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary - Yr.11 #5 - Original Italian edition: Eco di Maria
RdP, CP149, I-46100 Mantova. All mail to: Echo of Mary, Cas. Postale 27, I-31030 Bessica (TV), Italy
loves it is only love of self.
See how Our Mother repeats the Apostle's
words using deep yet simple expressions so
we will not be led into deceipt: Love is of God
and everyone who loves is begotten by God
and knows God... in this is love: not that we
have loved God, but that he loved us... we
love because he first loved us (1Jn 4:7,10,19).
By looking at those whom we hate through
His eyes, from behind His heart, we will see
that they are very much in need of love and
we'll be able to love them as God loves them.
A Christian makes Jesus known to others if
Jesus is in his heart. Jesus asked Peter: Do
you love me more than these? (Jn 21:15).
Jesus is asking him to first love Him, then His
sheep. If in his heart Peter loves his Lord he
will accept and love also His sheep as Jesus
loved them, to the point of giving his life for
them, of forgiving those who deny him and
loving those who hate.
3. Therefore open your hearts to the
love of God which is so great and open for
each of us. This great love is offered to us
as a free gift and we receive it in the amount
we are open to Him.
4. Our Mother then reveals that because
of God’s love for man He sent Her among
us to show us the way of salvation which
is the way of love. If it is true then that when
we love our brothers we pass from death to
life (1Jn 3:4), how must we love? Mary’s
insistence on this point must convince us that
prayer is the only door through which the life
of God, and thus all the rest, can enter us.
The Pasqual feasts and the month of May
"I have come to ask you for consecration
to my Immaculate Heart" - where we will be
protected, as in a virgin garden, from satanic
invasion; where we will find the Heart of Jesus
which is one with Hers and we will draw upon
His Holy Spirit. Feast day: 24 June
Message of 25 May 1995:
Dear children, I invite you, my children,
to help me with your prayers to bring as
many hearts as possible to my Immaculate
Heart. Satan is strong - he wants with all
his strength to draw as many people as
possible to himself and to sin; thus he lurks
in ambush to understand all the more, at
every moment.
I beseech you, my children: help me so
I can help you. I am your mother and I
love you and for this I wish to help you.
Thank you for responding to my call.
Take refuge in my Immaculate
Heart to be saved from Satan
There exists in the history of salvation a
war between the Woman and Satan, and it will
continue until Satan is defeated (Gen 3:5).
However, in the "last times" (i.e. our times),
the battle against the Woman’s children has
become even more bitter (cf. Rev 12:13-17).
People (including we Christians)
underestimate the power of seduction (2 Th
2:9-11) and the means at Satan’s disposal for
his great projects aimed at deceiving men
("even in the smallest of things” 25.03.95)
and drawing them to him and to sin and
thus away from God and salvation.
Neither do we fully appreciate the strength
and the power of attraction of the Immaculate
Heart of Mary, who is: fair as the moon,
resplendent as the sun and terrible as an
army with banners (Sg 6:10). For this She
visits us, speaks to us, illumines us and
incessantly declares that She is with us and
for us in this battle. Mary wants us to
understand how Satan really is, how he works
without tiring, as a roaring lion (1Pt 5:9) who
lurks in ambush to catch the afflicted and
drag them off in his net (Ps 10:30); but man
does not or does not want to see.
Once we are made aware, through Our
Lady’s help, of our extremely fragile state and
of the evil one’s power, we are not to let this
frighten us, nor concentrate our attention on
this. We are, instead, to let ourselves be
attracted by our Mother’s Immaculate Heart,
through prayer and filial love for Her, and in
Her embrace and Heart we will be sure of the
effectiveness of Christ’s redemption and be
victorious against the evil forces and Satan’s
temptations. From within our Mother’s Heart,
in communion with and by virtue of our
consecration to Her, we can collaborate with
Mary to subtract as many people as possible
from evil and bring them to Her Heart.
Mary wants our relationship with Her to
be special, both for us and for Her.
Help me so I can help you, she says, and
here we see her humbleness, but also the
impassioned appeal of a mother whose heart
is calling to her children because of a growing
danger.
Fr. Remo
Our Lady’s message of 25 April 1995
Dear Children, Today I call you to love.
My little children, without love you cannot
live - neither with God nor with your
brothers. Therefore, I call all of you to
open your hearts to the love of God which
is so great and open for each of you.
God, out of love for man, sent me
among you to show you the path of
salvation, the path of love. If you do not
first love God you will not be able to love
your neighbour, nor the one you hate.
Therefore, my children, pray and through
prayer you will discover love. Thank you
for responding to my call.
"Without Love you can live
neither with God
nor with your brothers"
In a continuation of the message of the
previous month to Mirjana in which Our Lady
complained about our lack of gratitude
towards God and our hearts hardened to the
suffering of our brothers, Our Lady now
invites us to love, saying in a resolute and
unequivocal manner that without love we can
live neither with God nor with our brothers.
So, are we with God or are we with our egos?
1. Many think they LIVE WITH GOD
because externally they profess and practise
their faith, which sides them with the Church.
In reality, they are like the foolish virgins who
do not feed the flame of their faith with works
of love for God and through choosing His will.
For them God is but a word: their mouths are
full of Lord, Lord but He is not the Lord of
their lives. How deceiving to live with a God
who loves so much the spirit he made to dwell
in us to the point of being jealous (cf. Jm 4:5)
and not love Him! Even to those who boast
of having prophesied and done miracles in
his Name, the Lord will say: I do not know
you (cf. Mt 7:21-23). One cannot live with a
consuming fire (cf.Is 33:14) without burning
up with love.
2. Nor can we LIVE WITH OUR
BROTHERS without God's love. How hard
it is, in fact, to live in this world where man
cares only for himself, creating division upon
division, placing man against man. Words of
love reach our ears from pulpits all over, but
often they originate in arid lands since they
are not fed with the sap of true love. We seem
to be in the times foretold by the Gospel,
where the love of many will grow cold due
to the increase of evildoing (cf. Mt 24:12).
If you do not first love God, you will not
be able to love your neighbour nor the one
you hate. This is because love is of God and
if man does not accept God he cannot love.
Man without God’s love walks in the dark and
is unable to see the others as his brothers. A
proud, arrogant person does not have God’s
love and loves no one, because he only cares
about making himself known. Man without
God, judges, hates, condemns. When he is
concerned about his own pleasure and says he
are suitable occasions to return to the fullness
of life, which is what God desires for His
children; in fact He desires the world’s
salvation.
Fr. Angelo
English 120
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Evangelium vitae
to counteract culture of death
"How can Cain’s hand be stayed? How
can power be restored to the good the Creator
has put into the human heart? How can the
world be healed and saved?" It was to reply
to these questions that the Pope wrote the
Encyclical Evangelium vitae (the Gospel of
life), so as to affirm the meaning and the
sacredness of human life in contrast to all that
modern culture has invented which goes
against life, such as abortion, contraception,
sterilization, genetic manipulation, euthanasia,
the trading of arms, drug trafficking and
ecological ruin. The Pope reminds us that his
"message of hope" intends shaking consciences
so they may respond to the dramatic situation
in which human life finds itself: "Scenes of
death that unfortunately still envelop defence-
less peoples remind us that sin continues to
devastate the life of man, God’s masterpiece."
The Pope’s discourse is not just another
simple attempt to resolve certain problems
that upset life on various levels. The Church
wishes to help us look at the roots of these
problems, to find the causes behind them.
In this way, if man makes a terrible error, it
is not because "what he is doing" is wrong,
but rather that he is wrong in God’s eyes. The
same can be said when trying to understand
the messages of Medjugorje. Mary did not
come to tell us to plan great ecclesial or social
works to make ammends for the evil, but to
start up a school where man learns to correct
the wrong in him, to be free in his heart and
thus at peace and in communion with God and
his fellow men.
1. In the first part of the Encyclical (nos.
19-28) the Pope explains that the roots of the
many dangers and offences to life are found
above all in "the notion of freedom which
exalts the isolated individual in an absolute
way and gives no place to solidarity, to
openness to others and service of them." The
Bible for first uncovers this evil of the human
heart: "It is precisely in this sense that Cain’s
answer to the Lord’s question: 'Where is Abel
your brother?' can be interpreted: 'I do not
know. Am I my brother’s keeper?' (Gn 4:9).
Yes, every man is his "brother’s
keeper," because God entrusts us to one
another. And it is also in view of this
entrusting that God gives everyone freedom
which possesses an inherently relational
dimension. This is a great gift of the Creator,
placed as it is at the service of the person and
of his fulfilment through the gift of self and
openness to others; but when freedom is made
absolute in an individualistic way it is emptied
of its original content, and its very meaning
and dignity are contradicted." It is an ailing
freedom which becomes so because it no
longer desires obeying the truth, or God, but
follows selfish interests and whims.
With sense of God lost, man loses sense
of self - After having spoken about the fatal
consequences that arise from this erroneous
way of interpreting man’s freedom (20), the
Pope goes to the heart of all these evils: "In
seeking the deepest roots of the struggle
between the 'culture of life’ and the 'culture
of death,’ we have to go to the heart of the
tragedy being experienced by modern
man: the eclipse of the sense of God and
of man, typical of a social and cultural climate
dominated by secularism, which, with its
ubiquitous tentacles, succeeds at times in
putting Christian communities themselves to
the test. When the sense of God is lost, there
is also a tendency to lose the sense of man,
of his dignity and his life. In turn, the
systematic violation of the moral law, especially
in the serious matter of respect for human life
and its dignity, produces a kind of progressive
darkening of the capacity to discern God’s
living and saving presence."
When no longer able to remain in God’s
presence with sincerity, man becomes an
enemy of his own brothers and himself, he
loses all hope and is reduced to considering
himself as one of the many living beings, an
animal slightly more complex than the others!
"Thus, in relation to life at birth or at death,
man is no longer capable of posing the
question of the truest meaning of his own
existence, nor can he assimilate with genuine
freedom these crucial moments of his own
history. He is concerned only with 'doing’ and
using all kinds of technology, he busies
himself with programming, controlling and
dominating birth and death, which instead of
being primary experiences demanding to be
'lived,' become things to be merely
'possessed' or 'rejected.' "
How similar is this Encyclical with the
message of Medj.! In fact, it is the proposal
of a doctrine that the Church has been
teaching for centuries. The real battle for life,
then, is played out in the depths of man’s
conscience: "It is at the heart of the moral
conscience that the eclipse of the sense of God
and of man, with all its various and deadly
consequences for life, is taking place. It is a
question, above all, of the individual
conscience, as it stands before God in its
singleness and uniqueness." This helps us
understand the urgency for penance and
purification which the Queen of Peace is
asking us to take upon ourselves. The most
important thing is to work on the
purification of one’s heart and conscience.
The Pope continues: "It is also a question
of the ‘moral conscience’ of society... The
moral conscience, both individual and social,
is today subjected, also as a result of the
penetrating influence of the media, to an
extremely serious and mortal danger: that of
confusion between good and evil, precisely
in relation to the fundamental right to life. A
large part of contemporary society looks sadly
like that humanity which Paul describes in his
Letter to the Romans: It is composed of men
who by their wickedness suppress the truth
(1:18): having denied God and believing that
they can build the earthly city without him,
they became futile in their thinking so that
their senseless minds were darkened (1:21);
claiming to be wise, they became fools
(1:22), carrying out works deserving of
death, and they not only do them but approve
those who practise them (1:32). When
conscience, this bright lamp of the soul (cf.
Mt 6:22-23), calls evil good and good evil (Is
5:20) it is already on the path to the most
alarming corruption and the darkest moral
blindness.
2. Christ is life’s victory - The blood of
Christ, while it reveals the grandeur of the
Father’s love, shows how precious man is in
God’s eyes and how priceless is the value of
his life. "How precious must man be in the
eyes of the Creator, if he gained so great a
Redeemer!" How can we, though, react and
respond to the dominating culture of death?
The Pope tells us: "It is from the blood of
Christ that all draw the strength to commit
themselves to promoting life. This blood is the
most powerful source of hope, indeed it is the
foundation of the absolute certitude that in
God’s plan life will be victorious. And death
shall be no more (Rev 21:4)."
The Encyclical continues with the
presentation of the great wealth which is
contained in the Gospel of life (29-51). That
which Christ revealed and realized is the
greatest value and meaning of man’s life. This
message has its core in the divine command-
ment Thou shalt not kill, on which the Pope
reflects (52-77). From Christ’s teachings
come also man’s responsibilities as Christian
people who are "people of life and for life
because God has given us the Gospel of life,
and we were ransomed by the Author of life,"
given us for the construction of the culture of
life and the destruction of evil (78-101).
3. Mary, mother of life - The conclusion,
is dedicated to Mary who fought the supreme
battle for life against Satan, the author of death
and assassin right from the start. It is history
repeating itself: the dragon wants to devour
the baby upon its birth (Rev 12:4). But the
fight is marked by God’s victory: "The angel’s
Annunciation to Mary is framed by these
reassuring words: Do not be afraid Mary, and:
with God nothing will be impossible (Lk 1:30,
37). The whole of the Virgin Mother’s life is
in fact pervaded by the certainty that God is
near to her and that he accompanies her with
his providential care. The same is true of the
Church, which finds a place prepared by God
(Rev 12:6) in the desert, the place of trial but
also of the manifestation of God’s love for his
people (cf. Hos 2:16).
Mary is living word of comfort for the
Church in her struggle against death.
Showing us the Son, the Church assures us
that in him the forces of death have already
been defeated: 'Death with life contended:
combat strangely ended! Life’s own
Champion, slain, yet lives to reign.'
The Lamb who was slain is alive, bearing
the marks of his Passion in the splendour of
the Resurrection. He alone is master of all the
events of history: he opens its seals (cf. Rev
5:1-10) and proclaims, in time and beyond,
the power of life over death. In the ‘new
Jerusalem,’ that new world towards which
human history is travelling, death shall be no
more, neither shall there by mourning nor
crying nor pain, for the former things have
passed away (Rev 21:4). As we, the pilgrim
people, the people of life and for life, make
our way in confidence towards a new heaven
and a new earth (Rev 21:1), we look to her
who is for us a sign of sure hope and solace."
He who lets himself be led by the
Immaculate Heart of Mary and is instructed
at Her school knows how to read and discern
the meaning of the events of the present time;
and also the Pope seems to have been inspired
by her in this luminous document.
As we had expected, many from the lay
world criticized the Pope’s Letter. Rarely,
though, were the criticisms serious or backed
up by facts. Neither can we expect things to
change, for the world of the mass media where
atheism and libertinage abound will always
try to suffocate the voice of the truth.
What grieves us is that this criticism will
sow much confusion in people’s souls! For
this reason it is important, vital, that we pray
much, obey the Pope in all and accept
Mary's messages, who has now expressed
her sorrow with tears of blood; sign of
intolerable sorrow for the evil in the world.
All this is as necessary for our souls as is
oxygen for our blood if we wish to be saved
from the grave confusion and disorientation
which Satan is sowing all over. edit. team
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One sheep-fold
one shepherd
Revolutionary letter: one Church
which breathes with two lungs
It is known that the Pope looks to the
complete reconciliation with the Orthodox
Church as his last and greatest task as Pontiff.
Now, in the Apostolic Letter Orientale Lumen
the Pope states with frankness and courage
that: "The one Church is not the western
Church, but the Church united, East and
West!"
In the first part of the letter he stresses the
need to know the East, in particular its
monasticism (to which he dedicates a large
part of the letter). John Paul says: "Monasticism
shows in a special way that life is suspended
between two poles: the Word of God and the
Eucharist.. making men more Christ-like...
Sometimes one tradition has come nearer to
a full appreciation of some aspects of a
mystery of revelation than the other, or has
expressed them better," which is why we need
to "listen together to the cry of those who want
to hear God’s entire Word. The words of the
West need the words of the East so that God’s
Word may ever more clearly reveal its
unfathomable riches. The holy nostalgia for
the centuries lived in the full communion of
faith and charity urges us and reproaches us
for our sins and our mutual misunderstandings."
The Holy Father, disappointing all those
concerned for the catholic honour, declares
that: "The sin of our separation is very serious;
amends must be made for it and earnestly to
beseech Christ’s forgiveness. We have
deprived the world of a joint witness that
could perhaps have avoided so many tragedies
and even changed the course of history. How
can we now scandalize anew the peoples who
are seeking the God of Love with our wounds
and conflicts?"
With vigour and passion John Paul II says
how he is convinced that:"there can be no
second thoughts about pursuing the path of
unity, which is irreversible as the Lord’s
appeal for unity is irreversible. The East and
West are asked not to empty the Cross of
Christ of its power. This is the cry of the end
of the 20th century. It is the cry of Rome, of
Moscow, of Constantinople. It is the cry of all
Christendom... of the new evangelization."
At the end he invokes the Holy Spirit for
true conversion and he prays to the Lord to:
"inspire first in myself and in the Bishops of
the Catholic Church concrete actions that lead
to communion... such as meeting one another,
getting to know one another and working
together..."
* Celebrating 450 years of Council
of Trent
- the Pope asked the Church of the
Reformation to walk together towards unity.
"The dogmatic statements of the Council of
Trent naturally retain all their value. However,
a calm reflection on revealed truth, in obedience
to the Spirit of God, and with an attitude of
listening to one another, will bring us closer
together, turning misunderstandings of the
past into opportunities for growth in faith and
love."
* Pope asks Czechs to forgive
To the crowd which gathered in Prague to
greet him on May 20 he said: "I am filled with
joy." The day after he was in Olomouc for a
canonization ceremony. On this occasion,
before a crowd of twenty one thousand, he
said: "Today I, the Pope of the Church of
Rome, in the name of all Catholics, ask
forgiveness for the wrongs inflicted on non-
Catholics during the turbulent history of these
peoples, at the same time I pledge the Catholic
Church’s forgiveness for whatever harm her
sons and daughters suffered." He was referring
to the war of religion that raged for more than
200 years. "This canonization" - of Jan
Sarkander, whom the Protestants tortured till
death - "must in no way re-open painful
wounds... May this day mark a new beginning
in the common effort to follow Christ, his
Gospel, his law of love, his supreme desire
for the unity of those who believe in him."
The mystery of Loreto:
house of Nazareth brought here
seven centuries ago
Three walls, a roof and a grotto in the
place of the fourth wall: this was the Virgin’s
house in Nazareth where the Annunciation
took place 2000 years ago. Those walls
witnessed Mary’s yes which made the Word
of God descend into her womb. The grotto is
treasured inside a great basilica in Nazareth.
The modest room in stonework which was
built in front of the grotto has been treasured
instead for centuries inside the Shrine of
Loreto, [near Ancona, central Italy on Adriatic
coast]. An ancient tradition said those walls
had been transported to the laurel wood
(hence the name Loreto) by the angels in 1294
after having remained for a while in Trsat near
Rijeka. The opposers, however, were quick
to affirm that the house had been built on the
spot during the Middle Ages, calling the belief
that it had been carried by the angels a simple
legend.
The archeological discoveries by Mr.
Nanni Morelli, architect and president of the
Engineers’ Federation of Marche (Marche is
the region of Italy where Loreto is), who
dedicated his life to the study of that precious
house, plus the decades of impassioned work
by Fr. Guiseppe Santarelli have thrown new
light on age-old problems. The most significant
of these discoveries are:
1. By comparing the house in Loreto with
buildings of the Middle Ages in the area, and
also with the site of the grotto in Nazareth,
one comes to the conclusion that buildings in
Marche were all brick since there were no
quarries in that region, while the houses in
Nazareth were nearly all built with stones.
2. The Holy House is located on an ancient
road; it should have been destroyed, yet it had
been preserved.
3. The Holy House had been safeguarded
from sophisticated building operations which
could have damaged it by a protective wall.
If it had not been such an important structure
- such as a country church - it would have been
destroyed.
4. The Holy House has no foundations,
because there was no need for them since it
had been built directly onto rock.
5. The only large original door in the
centre of the long western wall and the small
window on the eastern wall make no sense for
our churches; however it does demonstrate
that in Nazareth the house was built so as to
provide protection from the hot midday sun.
6. The finish of the stones in the House
of Loreto is had from a technique belonging
to the galilean culture and was totally unknown
to crusaders and Italians. Morelli says: "If the
House was a building done on Italian grounds,
it could represent nothing but irrationality. On
the other hand, the abundance of galilean
elements is such that leaves no doubt as to its
origin."
But how and when did the House arrive
in Italy? The Palestinian stones of the house
were brought from Nazareth together with the
other goods that made up the wedding dowry
of Margherita Angeli, bride of Filippo d’Angiò,
"by the Angeli family." This is confirmed by
sheet no. 181 of the notarial deed (Chartular-
ium Culisanense) listing all the articles in the
dowry of Margherita, daughter of Niceforo,
despot of Epirus. This marriage was celebrated
400 years of Ukrainian Catholic
Church
- Next year the Greek-Catholic
Church of Ukraine will celebrate the 400
years of the Synod of Brest (1596) during
which ecclesial communion was re-established
between the Churches of Kiev and Rome; and
the Ruthenian Church shall commemorate the
350th anniversary of their union with the see
of Peter.
"The gift of the unity achieved must not
be the occasion for a break and still less for
new opposition, but a time of reconciliation
within the Catholic Church and with the other
Churches, a time for forgiveness and repent-
ance, for gratitude for the fidelity preserved
in spite of persecution," the Pope wrote to the
Archbishop of Kiev, Card. Lubachivsky and
to Bishop Semedi of Uzhorod in two separate
letters which complete the apostolic letter
Orientale Lumen.
Relations with the Orthodox Church is
still not easy, due to disagreement over
Church property given to the Orthodox by
Stalin and to accusations of proselytizing
made against the Catholic Church. The Pope
fervently invites the pastors of the Ukrainian
Church: "May this celebration give your
Church a new impetus in its specific vocation
as a witness and artisan of the unity of all
Christians among the Slav peoples."
Starting off again from Mary’s
"Miraculous fount"
- Celebrations will be
opened on 20th May 1995 by Card.
Lubachivsky with a pilgrimage to the Shrine
of Zarvanitzya, the first apparitions of which
go back to the XIII century.
While under Communist dominion this
Shrine was destroyed, the Chapel of Graces
was blown up and the church turned into a
store house. The faithful, though, did not
forget this holy place with a miraculous fount
and during the Marian months Mass was
secretly celebrated in the woods surrounding
the Shrine, while an "iron curtain” of secret
police and ferocious dogs impeded people
from going to the fount. Zarvanitzya, however,
remained the spiritual centre of the faithful
and in 1988, when celebrations were held to
commemorate the 1,000 years of Christianity
in Russia, crowds of faithful made pilgrimages
to the Shrine. This was the first visible
demonstration that the Church had survived
the 40 years of persecution. Now the Shrine
has been renovated and the Chapel of the
Graces rebuilt through aid received from
"Help to the Church in Need."
* Fr. Werenfried
has begun work again
in Königstein four months after his heart
attack. In the Echo of Love (April 1995) he
writes: "I think God called me back from death
because my work for the reconciliation of the
Orthodox and Catholic Churches has not yet
been completed. I wish to continue living for
this sole purpose..."
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Festive Retreat
for "totally surrendered" souls
Three hundred members of the Italian
fraternities, together with various priests,
participated in a three-day retreat in
Medjugorje: the place where their offering for
the Church and the world was born. A further
150 members from the Croatian fraternities
joined them. It was a union of hearts in the
celebration of Mary's Immaculate Heart on the
anniversary of Fatima (13 May). The retreat
was led by Fr. Tomislav who was assisted
by 20 members from his community. They
poured out to the guests the love, joy and
peace of Mary who abides in the hearts of
those who "totally surrender" their lives to
Her.
The venue was the large green tent. The
programme included silent meditation, hymns
of praise and moments of instruction. The
Eucharist was the strong point around which
everything rotated. The prayer was particularly
intensive on Podbrdo (meditated Rosary) and
Krizevac (Way of the Cross). While still on
Krizevac it poured rain, as if to represent the
grace descending upon them. During the
conclusive Mass Fr. Tomislav spoke of the
spirit which animates those who make the
"total offering" of themselves for the sake of
their fellow men. The following is an extract.
Real newness is God’s love
It creates new sky and new earth
"At the end of this meeting what can we
say? Sing to the Lord a new song. This in fact
is the refrain of today’s liturgy in which we
pass from the new song to the new earth and
the new heaven of Revelation, to the new
commandment in the Gospel. But why new if
it was already written in the Old Testament?
Precisely because love alone is new, and from
it everything is born new again. When a
person is open to God’s love his soul develops
to the point of knowing that even if his faith
can move mountains and he follows all the
precepts, without God’s love he has done
nothing.
For us today the newness consists in the
way we relate ourselves to God’s love, in
examining ourselves with this in mind. We
usually only confront ourselves with the
precepts and the many things to do. God’s
love starves for souls. How many confront
themselves with or relate themselves to His
love, asking themselves if they have loved, if
there is newness in them, if God’s love in us
has broadened? How many? Yet this is
essential.
Let us not forget that the pharisees
followed all the precepts, fasted twice weekly
- just as Our Lady asks us to do - and prayed
five times a day, yet Jesus told them: "I see
that God’s love is not in you." The newness
is being open to the essential, that is, that
every day you advance in your faith walk to
be open to this newness. It is easy to
superficially follow the precepts, but like this
nothing is moved in us, it gives nothing new
to us or to the world. Satan fears this newness
because he is the prince of death and darkness.
Death is contradictory to newness. God’s
newness does not consist in nevrotically
racing around trying to do something on a
personal level, neither is it the multiplication
of communities or forms. It is a state of life;
in October 1294; according to tradition, the
Holy House arrived in Loreto on the 10th
December 1294; and this was how over the
centuries it was said that the house had been
brought "by the angels,” instead of "by the
Angeli family" (angeli in Italian means angels).
Two coins from the same period, plus fabric
crosses belonging to the crusaders were found
in the underground of the house to confirm
this date. Some sources confirm that up to
1289 the house (the "cell") was still present
in Nazareth in front of the grotto, whereas
from 1291 - when the voyage by sea began
- these sources speak only of the grotto.
The translation of the house by the Angeli
family began precisely when the crusaders
lost control of the Holy Land, and thus the
house - which had been venerated in Nazareth
since the early centuries - risked being
destroyed. In the Vatican archives, under the
heading Lauretum (Indice Garampi 644) one
reads of the existence of documents regarding
the translation of the house, but these
documents can no longer be found. The
Prefect wrote on 10 January 1983: "could they
have been removed by overzealous supporters
of the miraculous translation?" A significant
xylograph, dating back to the XV century,
illustrates the translation on two planes. In the
centre is the house being carried by angels,
to the side is a ship at sea loaded with stones
being escorted by the Virgin.
Yet another significant finding: fragments
of ostrich eggs beneath the house. It was a
custom in the Holy Land to place these eggs
in churches: at the time they represented the
Word of God fecundated directly in the
Virgin’s womb by the Holy Spirit.
In union with the thousands of pilgrims,
great and small, of saints and sinners, on this
occasion of the 700th anniversary, we also
adore the Word within those same walls
where Mary adored He who became flesh in
Her womb and where still today She, as
Mother, offers Him to the world.
The Holy Father has granted plenary
indulgence at the usual conditions
(confession, holy communion, Our Father,
Hail Mary, Glory Be for his intentions and
the Creed) to whomever shall visit the Holy
House of Loreto during the 700th anniversary
(9 December '94 - 10 December '95) * *
A dove over the Pope's head during a recent
Sunday Angelus in St Peter's Square
Pope’s 75 Marian years
- It is as
though his ministry is still at its beginning -
it is said - given that his action radiates so far
out and ahead into the third millennium to
which he is guiding the Church. May God
grant him to reach that threshold. For this let
us all pray that the Lord keep him, give him
full life, make him happy on the earth and
not abandon him into the hands of the enemy
as it is expressed in the "prayer for the Pope."
For his birthday on 18th May crowds of
people filled St Peter’s square, and he invited
all to give thanks to God for his parents, for
his baptism in the parish of Wadowice, for his
Christian, priestly and episcopal vocation:
"conscious of my human weaknesses, but
with immense trust in the greatness of the
Divine Mercy, I renew before Christ the offer
of my readiness to serve the Church as long
as he wants, in total abandonment to his holy
will. I leave to him the decision as to how and
when he will relieve me of this service to the
Church which I entrust to Mary, today as in
the future: Totus tuus ego sum!"
SEEN IN MEDJUGORJE
Love and charity needed to solve
tense situation
-
Regrettable episode in
Mostar. A group of several thousand
faithful asked the Bishop, Msgr. Peric, to
meet them and give explanations as to why
the Franciscan monks had been substituted
by diocesan priests in four parishes. The
bishop went, but on seeing the angry crowd
did not alight from his car, but asked
permission of the Franciscan abbot to enter
his convent; and there he remained for
eight hours until the group dispersed.
The episode, which was reported also by
the Osservatore Romano, has been strongly
disapproved of by Cardinal Kuharic, and by
all those who care not about "winning" but
about keeping the peace and harmony by
subjecting self to one's legitimate superiors
and authorities.
Msgr. Franic has said more than once
that a certain hostility towards Medjugorje
would have been minimized had the
Franciscan monks promptly renounced the
seven parishes when they were asked to
over 10 years ago by Msgr. Zanic, who was
Bishop at the time.
Bishop Hnilica made a fervent appeal to
all Marian groups to remain close to the Pope
in the recognition that none other has confirmed
as he has their Marian vocation. He asks that
we pray so Mary’s mission in these times may
conclude with Christ’s triumph, and John Paul
II will go down in history as the Pope of Mary,
Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix of All Graces and
Advocate.
Survived Hiroshima thanks to Rosary!
- When in 1945 the atomic bomb was dropped
on Hiroshima, a small community of 8 Jesuit
fathers only eight blocks from the epicentre
remained unharmed (their persons and their
buildings) while everyone else in a radius of
1.5 km from the centre was killed.
Fr. Schiffer told the Eucharistic Congress
of Philadelphia in 1976 when all 8 members
were alive and well, that 200 scientists had
carried out investigations for several years in
search of a scientific explanation. He told
them that there was only one thing that made
their house different to the others: they recited
the Rosary together every day. (Divine Love,
3.04.83)
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it is yeast that penetrates all existing forms.
Revelation speaks of a new heaven and a
new earth. It says all is ended, but I would
say that it is the beginning of the infinite.
When you enter into God, it is the beginning
of the infinity of love. Prophecies that close
off God’s creativity into certain schemes, or
previsions that limit His love are poor indeed.
So, when we are open to this newness is
in us we are open to God’s creativity; and God
creates, not only in us, but through us. The
world ends with the new creation in us, where
everything is clean, orderly and illumined, and
where there is no time, nor solar light because
God and the Lamb are the light and the time
(cf. Rev 21:22). So it is important to open
ourselves up to God’s love every day. It is
from this love that the new creation begins.
As Mary has said, you can carry out your
mission from wherever you are, for the sake
of all mankind. What a great mission!
There are many wrong forms in our
pastoral activities and prayer. You see, we
always end up sliding into human activism.
The real activity begins when we are immersed
in God’s love. You are waiting for Jesus’
coming; the Church announces it every day in
the Holy Mass. You are waiting for the new
heaven and the new earth, but I tell you: do
not wait for them, [instead] immerse yourselves
in this reality which exists in you and you will
then reveal the new heaven and the new earth,
thereby allowing God to create in you and
through you. Do not look at prophecies that
lead to the clouds. All prophecies and messages
must develop within you, they must lead to
purification of the cross and the Eucharist and
then blossom in the power of the Holy Spirit,
as with the Apostles. Do not be conceived, or
be led into the clouds of interpretation. Every-
thing is already within you, everything is
already close at hand. What we must do is
open ourselves to the sun that warms.
Depart today with this openness of heart
to God’s love. This is the only activity
expected of you. All the rest is created by God,
done by God. Here are the new heaven and
the new earth and the new precept: Love one
another as I have love you...
Laying of first brick - A deserving
conclusion to what the Kraljica Mira
Community and fraternities have done so far:
the laying of the first brick of a large convent
on the left side of Podbrdo next to a wood
amid peaceful silence. It will include rooms
for meetings, for which a type of natural
amphitheatre has been planned. There will be
a chapel and a convent in the shape of a Tau.
"The foundation of the house is Jesus," Fr.
Tomislav said as he entrusted it to Mary and
consecrated it to the Holy Trinity, "so that
people will easily find their way to God." He
added: "In the foundation we have placed our
offering, the living Church, both present and
glorious, together with various relics, such as
a piece of Mary’s veil from Epheso, a relic
of the Holy Land, of St Michael's grotto, of
Sts Francis and Clare, of St Thomas, St
Anthony of Padua, St Benedict and Padre Pio,
together with the prayer that God may never
let anything dirty, heretic or satanic enter this
place, but only divine love. Let us remain open
to one another in love and offering. God will
complete his work."
Medjugorje
extreme offering of mercy
"God is waiting to show you favour" (Is 30:18)
Melting of hearts - In the beginning there
were the signs, the visionaries and the
sensational; today things have changed, but in
Medj. there is an outpouring of grace upon all.
All one has to do is go there, hand over all
he has (the importance of confession) and be
caught up in the flow of grace. There is no
need to do anything particular besides
participating in the prayer, in the Eucharist
and the visits to the holy mountains, to listen
and let oneself be penetrated by the grace. The
power of prayer is immense there; we may not
see it, but it moves you like in no other place.
Is there any other place where the youth find
it so easy to encounter God and His renewing
grace?
The grace of Medjugorje is above all the
melting of hardened hearts. Here fall the
barriers we build around us to defend us
from God. This hardness (a state which we
should fear the most) can easily be represented
by the sharp, cutting stones one finds there.
They seem to indicate the rebellion in men’s
hearts, the barrier in us that closes us off from
God to the point of not being able to recognize
sin, of recognizing the gift of God-Love.
When you let yourself be taken by this grace
you see the stones melting: something humanly
impossible. If this does not happen, you may
feel momentarily moved, but then you stay the
same as before. The grace in Medj. is part of
God’s plan for mankind and through the
power He gave to Mary for these times hearts
are melted so they may then accept Jesus, His
grace and His merciful Love, thereby finding
true brotherhood.
Offering of God’s mercy for world in
ruin is discovered - The grace of Medjugorje,
however, is offered for all mankind, it is a call
to all men, starting from these peoples who
are living amid unheard-of hatred and
destruction. God does not abandon man, even
if in seemingly desperate situations things
appear otherwise. In today’s world we witness
the closure of people’s hearts to God, the
refusal of the God of life - in fact, humanity
has never been so fratricidal, it has never
refused to such a degree being the image of
God. Medj., then, is the sign of the super-
abundance of grace which God, out of His
mercy, offers through Mary to this self-
destructive humanity. Where sin increased
grace overflowed all the more (Rm 5:20). It
represents a great hope, the only one at the
moment, and that is why it is continuing for
so long: to give time and a possibility to this
humanity to mend its ways.
Peace and joy in he who discovers gift
of God: the new Church - Human means
cannot even scratch the surface of the evil in
the world, nor can suggestions on a pastoral
level do much. As Mary teaches us, there is
need of prayer, of prayerful concentration,
humbleness and inner awareness of God so
as to recognize His gift and live it in the joy
and peace which do not belong to this world.
This is what is found in Medj.; for example
in the many youth that have accepted the
Queen of Peace after a life of dissipation and
who now live a life of grace: this is incredible
if we think of the general tolerance of sin in
today’s world.
One can follow the way shown by the
Queen of Peace without going to Medjugorje.
It is this: forget about discussing programmes,
about working with human means; instead,
entrust yourself solely to the merciful love of
God, to His grace, in silence and surrender;
in a return to pure Gospel (the new
evangelization), in presenting the good news
that Jesus is the only Teacher, the only author
of salvation.
Placing self at service of Mercy -
Consecrated people live out their consecration;
they are the new religious who will make up
the new Church: the poor, the humble, the
unpretentious, with a total aperture to their
fellow men. They may not be without failings,
but they do let themselves be moved by the
Grace to understand that the heart of the
Gospel is the Heart of Mary, of Jesus; in one
word it is love. They put themselves at the
service of the Lord’s mercy to bring hearts to
this love. It is a radical, profound conversion
which takes one to loving God, to knowing
Jesus-Love, and not only to increasing one’s
outer religious practice. The war can be won
with love; no other weapon is needed. Love,
love, love, beginning from the family, from the
Church. The Pope says that the web of the
ecclesial community needs renewing before
the web of the Christian society can be
renewed. Renewing these webs means building
them around love, not only on laws. From this
they will see that you are my disciples... it is
from here that society can be renewed. * *
* *
* Poetry, reflection of God's creativity and
His love for man: "Collected Poems" by
Rosemary Wilkinson, ISBN 0-9642261-3-8
Terror for Catholics in Bosnia
The treaty is over (it gave the contending
parties time to replenish their supplies) and
the fighting continues. The Croatians have
gained back some of their territory in Slavonia
and they certainly aim at freeing both parts of
Krajne occupied by the Serbs. Out of retaliation
the Bosnian Serbs are more furious than ever
in their attack against the Catholics of the
Banja Luka area where Bishop Komarica has
been imprisoned in his home and where
religious have been tortured and driven out.
A further 3 churches and other convents
(making a total of 40) have been destroyed.
The bodies of Fr. Filip and Sr. Cecilia were
found under the ruins.
The Bishop weeps in his cathedral where
the people come to ask for help, not wanting
to return home, saying: "Everyone has
abandoned us!" Also the Muslim mosques
have been destroyed. Terror reigns once again
in Sarajevo and people are being killed in the
bombings and by snipers, and no aid is
reaching them. The UN air force has replied
with attacks; what will the future hold?
To aid deliverers: Do not abandon us!
Archbishop of Sarajevo, Puljic, appeals to the
Catholic organizations: "The world's indiffer-
ence is slowly killing us. We have cried out
in vain. We have lost our faith in the UN and
in Europe. Our only hope are those who work
in silence and humility and bring us aid."
It is wonderful how friends of Medjugorje
continue in their efforts to assist our brothers
in need. Let us not tire of organizing aid
delivery to them. They count on us. Contact
the centre nearest you to see how you can help.
Sponsorship of war orphans - Fr. Jozo
intends building an orphanage in Siroki Brijeg
for these children. Donations can be forwarded
to: Matteo Rossi, Via delle Grazie 9, I-54100
Massa, Italy (ph. 0585-43653) To date 3,200
people have sponsored a child.
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News from the blessed land
* Pope desires going to Medjugorje -
On 6th April the Croatian President, Tudjman,
together with the Vice President, Radic, and
Cardinal Kuharic from Zagreb, went to the
Pope to invite him to Split for the 1700th
anniversary of the foundation of that diocese
to be held in September. During the conversa-
tion that followed the official discourse, the
Pope expressed the desire of going not only
to Split but also to Maria Bistrica (national
Shrine) and to Medjugorje.
The news was published by Slobodan
Dalmacija of Split (8 April) and was confirmed
by Bishop Franic. Sr. Emmanuel personally
asked Mons. Franic about the news and he
encouraged her to publish it. The news
brought joy to the parish, however, Fr. Slavko
said: "If the Virgin comes to Medjugorje in
person, why should the Pope not come? The
conversion of hearts will not be provoked by
official acknowledgement, though, but only by
prayer and fasting." Let us pray that obstacles
should not exceed desires and that the Pope
may realize that which God wishes.
* Pope’s witty reply - In February some
Croatian bishops met with the Holy Father in
the Vatican. During the conversation Mons.
Zanic, bishop emeritus of Mostar, asked when
he would visit Sarajevo. The Pope looked him
in the eye and said: "Oh, I thought you were
going to ask me when I’d come to
Medjugorje.” We leave it up to the reader to
interpret this as he would, but it is clear that
the problem of Medjugorje is not absent from
his heart.
* Vicka at General Audience - On 22nd
March Vicka accompanied 350 pilgrims
(wounded and war invalids) to Rome. At the
audience Vicka translated for the pilgrims she
accompanied and the Pope recognized her:
"Aren’t you Vicka?” he asked. She offered
him some rosary beads, saying: "Holy Father,
I’m sure you have many, however these are
special ones because they were blessed by
Our Lady during an apparition.” The Pope
replied: "Pray to Our Lady for me and I shall
pray for you," then he blessed her.
* We were happy to have Card. Wamala
from Uganda pay us a visit and Bishop
Lagrange from France. The latter said how
he was glad that the faithful from his city had
sent him here on pilgrimage. "At times it is
the people who follow the Bishop, and other
times the Bishop who follows the people," the
Holy Father once said to Bishop Flores from
Texas (Echo 68).
* Four youths re-born at Easter - It was
a moving Easter in Medj. In the crowded
church four young men (ex-drug addicts) from
Sr. Elvira's "Upper Room Community"
received Baptism. These young men know
only too well the meaning of resurrection:
"We were dead, now we have found life." [On
Easter Monday the chapel of this Community
was blessed by Fr. Slavko, thus allowing the
Eucharist to be present in it.]
* Vicka substitutes Ivan for night
prayer on Podbrdo - At the end of April
Marija left for Mexico where she remained
for 10 days. Ivan, who had to go to America,
entrusted his group to Vicka, allowing the
pilgrims to partecipate in the prayer on
Tuesday and Friday nights. There were
thousands of pilgrims over the Easter period
- similar to the 1980’s - which must have
pleased the Virgin, who appeared for 10-15
minutes. Our Mother said how she has more
messages for us, except that we are still far
from her and that our hearts are closed. Pray
more and offer sacrifices, she said. On the
evening of the 28th, Vicka said how Our Lady
prayed lengthily over those present in a
foreign language, "probably her mother
tongue."
* During Prof. Joyeux’s visit in the first
week of May he told pilgrims about the tests
done on the visionaries in 1984 and 1985 and
how he intends doing further tests on them
with even more sophisticated equipment in
France. He said: "In many cases the tests have
revealed instances of mystification, but in
others (such as Medjugorje) they revealed that
the people in question were living an authentic
experience.”
* Fr. Jozo does not tire of telling the
words of truth to the many pilgrims he meets.
"With the Rosary I am covered by the Virgin’s
mantle. He who prays places under this
mantle all those he loves, the entire world, all
those in need. He who prays is more active
than any other person because by doing so he
is protecting the whole world."
(From the diary of Sr. Emmanuel)
of young drug addicts is in your hands. You
must dedicate yourselves to them totally, but
it won’t be you who will succeed, but Christ
through you. You must let yourselves be
guided by the Holy Spirit and do all you can
to save the youth, leaving aside any personal
interests or ambitions and without expecting
gratitude from anyone, otherwise you will
have no result." It must be said that this
community is the one with the highest
percentuage of success. In fact, 85% of the
youth leave the community healed, thanks to
the life-style practised there.
* Youth Festival - Also this year it will
be held from 31 July to 6 August. The theme:
"The youth with Our Lady for life and peace."
All invited. Bring Bible. For song festival on
afternoon of 5 August (for Our Lady’s birth-
day) prepare song for groups in own language.
Those able to play instrument advise Agostino
(fax. 387-88-642339). Priests are invited to
make themselves available to the youth for
confession/talk. Simultaneous translation: any
radio with head-phones set on 88-108 MHz.
* American physicist, Jim Doyle, declared
during his latest visit to Croatia: "I have been
to Medjugorje 6 times, I fell in love with Our
Lady and consequently with the Croatian
people. This is why I feel obliged to do
something for them. I am here now to donate
to Croatia my latest invention called the
technical ear which will enable the deaf-
mute to hear." Fr. Jozo accompanied him to
the ceremony where he presented the invention
to scientists and doctors in Zagreb. The Vice
President of the Academy of Arts and Sciences
said: "Our thanks goes to you and to Fr. Jozo
because all this would not have been possible
without Medjugorje."
* Seminar of prayer and information
in Baska Voda (2-6 April) was attended by
70 people. They were prayer group leaders
and people in charge of peace centres from
15 different countries. Four of the visionaries
and the priests from Medj. were also present.
It concluded with a joint declaration in which
it was said that the apparitions of Medjugorje,
with their fruitful outcome, are God’s gift to
the Church for these times... an indication for
the new ways of evangelization... a help to
understanding the revelation and a concrete
answer to the Holy Father’s recent documents.
An invitation was made to all prayer groups:
1. See Our Lady’s messages as an
invitation and an indication, that lead only
to our Saviour Christ Jesus.
2. Have in one’s heart the good of the
Church of which Mary is Mother, archetype
and example.
3. Do all that is possible so that through
the groups the local Churches may experience
the fruits of conversion and peace.
4. Be open to the signs of our present
civilization to be a sign of hope and security
for all men who live in these times of anxiety
and insecurity.
5. Do all that is possible to overcome
divisions with love and comprehension so
that all of us together may be able to serve
the cause of peace.
(From the Press Bulletin, Medjugorje)
* Number of pilgrims on increase - The
feast of the Annunciation, Easter, and the
month of May have seen thousands of pilgrims
in Medj., from Croatia, Hungary, Poland and
Slovenia, France, north America, Italy,
Germany and Austria, Belgium and Holland.
The work on the church is proceeding well.
* Fr. Jozo’s missionary travels - He met
with pilgrims and friends of Medjugorje in
various cities of Germany including Munich
and Cologne, with many faithful attending.
Then from 18-27 April he was in Italy where
he visited Padua (3,500 attended), Bologna,
Ferrara and Reggio Emilia. In Ferrara he was
received by the Bishop who invited the priests
of his diocese to attend the prayer meeting in
the cathedral. The Bishop himself was unable
to attend due to bad health.
The President of Italian Caritas was at the
meeting in Terni (thousands participated). He
and Fr. Jozo spoke of building a school in
Sarajevo. In Lugano in Switzerland the
prayer meeting was attended by thousands of
faithful who were moved by a recorded
message of their recently-deceased bishop.
All the priests took part in the Rosary and the
Holy Mass.
Fr. Jozo visited 13 towns in the USA from
30 April-26 May. From 8-10 June he will hold
a three-day prayer meeting in St Anthony’s
Basilica in Padua. He will then go to Pordenone
and Turin.
* Fr. Leonard Orec was in Fulda,
Germany from 7-9 April for a three-day
retreat organized by the prayer groups. 115
people attended. Fr. Ivan Landeka, parish
priest of Medjugorje, visited Innsbruck and
other cities during his five-day tour of Austria
and met with many faithful to pray together
and talk to them of the messages of peace.
* Sr. Elvira invited by the Croatian
bishops - Sr. Elvira Petrozzi, foundress of the
Comunità Cenacolo (Upper Room
Community), was invited by the Croatian
Episcopal Conference on 16th March to speak
about the problem of drug addiction. She
spoke for one and a half hours about the
persuasive witness of life in the community
and among other things said: "The salvation
* A Special Invitation - The Medjugorje
Network in England suggests 15 September
(the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows) as a day
of prayer and fasting to seek God’s help in
bringing peace to former Yugoslavia.
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Those tears of blood
The small statue of Our Lady of Medj. in
Civitavecchia (Rome) continues to make
news. Tears of blood flowed from its eyes on
15th March while the Bishop, Msgr. Grillo
was holding it in his hands after Mass. Five
people were present. Local authorities called
it a prank and confiscated the statue. It was
later handed back and an episcopal commission
opened investigations.
In the meantime, in response to the tearful
appeal, many prayed. In particular, prayer
meetings were held in the cathedral. One of
these was led by the House of Mary fraternity
in Rome. Card. Andrea Deskur on this
occasion said: Mary is calling us to understand
and become part of those tears of blood, not
just to speak about them, discuss them or
laugh at them. The following conversation
between a man with an open heart and the
Bishop will also help us understand.
Fr. Jozo and Bishop of Civitavecchia
- Fr. Jozo visited Msgr. Grillo to bring him
comfort in a moment of suffering. The
following is taken from that conversation.
Msgr.: I have suffered terribly... It isn’t
nice to hear someone call you a liar. I say again
what I have already said - I don’t care what
people say - for I can’t deny what happened
before my own eyes... I knew from the tests
that it was human blood, but if the blood that
was shed before my own eyes had been
diffferent to the first lot I feared for what might
have come of it. However, the tests showed
it was the same! Thank you Lord!
The same thing that happened in Lourdes
and Fatima is happening here. Here they put
Our Lady in jail, they confiscated Her and
closed Her up. They came with the excuse of
wanting to make more tests which had already
been done and I refused, so they took the
statue and I was left here all alone.
Fr. Jozo: Do you think we didn’t have
problems? (Fr. Jozo explained to the Bishop
all about the persecutions he and the
visionaries went through first by the
authorities then by the Bishop of Mostar.
Then he said:) I think that every move Our
Lady makes, Her every "sign" involves great
suffering. In these cases it takes much prayer
and friendship!
Msgr.: Our Lady of tears of Syracuse
would not have been recognized today, because
it can't be scientifically proved that a solution
of water and salt is actually tears. But blood
is blood and perhaps that is why Our Lady’s
tears are blood, because it leaves no doubt.
Fr. Jozo: If Our Lady is weeping then let
us go and console Her, without worrying
about finding reasons to say She is not. We
must stay with open hearts, nothing else.
Msgr. I was sceptic at first and rather
perplexed about it all, but Our Lady gave me
a "sign." In that moment, my relatives and the
nuns who saw me said I turned as white as
a sheet. One can’t invent blood; it’s either
there or it isn’t. My sister touched the blood
with her finger, but the blood on her finger
disappeared immediately. Also with the
Gregori family who used a handkerchief to
wipe the blood, no stains remained on it.
Fr. Jozo: We need to reflect a lot on the
message that these tears leave us. Why does
the Church not believe a Bishop? In Kibeho
(Rwanda) the Bishop believed but his voice
went unheeded, people did not convert, and
a catastrophe came ten years later. The same
in Medj.; Our Lady had foreseen the tragedy...
A lot of false prophets have come forth to
confound the messages and the apparitions...
Msgr.:Yes, in Lourdes, besides the real
apparitions, there were another 50 presumed
ones. Satan must intervene to create confusion.
Also in Italy there are many supposed
lachrymations by Our Lady, but while news
of the others doesn’t last more than a day, here
in Civitavecchia the whole world is talking
about it, even the television; and it hasn’t
finished yet...
Fr. Jozo: Soon in Medjugorje we will
celebrate the 14th anniversary. The scope of
the apparitions is evident: prepare the Church
for the third millennium. The Pope has
understood this and he follows the events of
Medjugorje closely and always talks well
about it. Not long ago he even said he’d like
to go there.
Msgr.: If you hadn’t come to console me
I’d be so lonely. These days, with all the talk
of ecumenism, one can’t mention Our Lady.
They say She doesn’t need this type of thing.
Fr. Jozo: Our Lady has no need, but we
do. People need signs...
Msgr.: You know they did X-rays and
tests to examine every inch of the statue.
Science responds: it is human blood. At first
they said it was female, then male blood.
Fr. Jozo: The blood is an appeal, a loud
voice which we must hear and which not
everyone can hear. This sign of Civitavecchia
has become known the world over. Science
says that plaster can’t cry and that it is blood.
So why wait? Let us kneel before it and pray.
The problem is this, that we are not brave
enough to take a decisive step.
Msgr.: Do the visionaries of Medjugorje
know about this sign? Is this the "sign" which
was announced?
Fr. Jozo: The visionaries know but have
said nothing; because the "sign" shall be
bigger. This too is big: a small, cheap, plaster
statue that weeps blood. You did well by not
wanting to hand over the statue. It was what
I did when they wanted to close up the church
and I wouldn’t allow it. It’s the same story.
Msgr.: I complained with a superior once
of being abandoned.
Fr. Jozo: I too was alone and I was
accused of wanting it. My duty is to defend
what I saw. So, your excellence, when times
get hard remember that people are praying for
you and that Our Lady is with you and will
help you. She chose you as Her bishop; it’s
important to remember this.
Msgr. Grillo and Fr. Jozo then went to get
the statue, they kneeled before it and prayed.
(27 April '95 - Matteo and Angela Rossi)
value to these events through worship. For
example, the apparitions in Monte Berico
(Vicenza, north Italy) never received official
approval, yet people have been going there to
pray for centuries. The same thing in
Caravaggio (Bergamo, north Italy): many
people go there to pray. Neither with Tre
Fontane in Rome (apparitions of 1947) did the
diocese institute a commission to establish
what happened. They never worried about
that, but they did see people were going there
to pray and so provided priests for them. Many
Bishops and Cardinals have been there to
celebrate Mass, and so approval comes on its
own. I think this is a good system. We are too
used to wanting official approval. In my
opinion it is not necessary...
Similarly, at the shrine of Divine Love
where a man was saved from rabic dogs
through Our Lady’s intercession, people
starting going there to pray and it became one
of the better known Marian shrines in Rome.
So you see, the sensitivity of God’s people is
not without importance.
What about the images of Our Lady that
weep? Should we be afraid? Our Mother only
ever calls us to conversion.
Is it a forewarning of sad events? No, it
is a warning for us to avoid them...
Faith of God’s people proof of
infallibility. We are too rational - Another
question: Why do our prelates not think this?
Fr. Amorth: Well, let us not be too
general. Msgr. Grillo for instance practically
authenticated the tears of blood by wanting to
protect the statue and expose it for the people
who came to pray (then impeded by local
authorities who confiscated it)... I think it right
to give importance to the people’s initiative
because this too is a way of infallibility, the
Council reminds us. Naturally, when I say
God’s people, I mean everyone, including
priests and Bishops. This is a way used by the
Holy Spirit to talk to us.
It is said that rationalism has entered the
higher spheres of the Church. Unfortunately
it is so, but we must shake it off and return
to the simplicity of the Gospel and the first
Christians who prayed like this: Lord, stretch
forth your hand so healings, miracles and
wonders are done in the name of Jesus so
people may believe (cf. Acts 4:29-30). That
is how they prayed. They were not afraid of
miracles or apparitions; now people seemed
to be annoyed by them! The people asked for
them as confirmation, though, of the Word of
God. These days the Church is prudent,
perhaps too much so, because she fears that
people (who tend towards sensationalism)
will look upon such facts out of curiosity and
not with a spirit of conversion and prayer.
(Rome, 25.3.95)
Openness, not scepticism - "I feel that
the popular piety and devotions of the faithful
must be taken into consideration. The people
are scandalized by wide-spread scepticism,
noted also in some theologians. If God sends
us his Mother and we turn our backs on Her,
it is contempt for God’s loving attention
towards man. If we close ourselves off from
these signs we show insensitivity to a possible
revelation by God...
We must think that Mary desires correcting
in the Church something which is unacceptable;
the consciences of Christians must be moved.
(Fr. Stefan De Flores, President, Marian
Association) Avvenire, 28 March 1995) * *
Fr. Amorth says: Is official
recognition necessary?
Fr. Amorth was asked what the Church
thinks of the lachrymations and if he thinks
our prelates are too reserved.
Fr. Amorth: I do not think it necessary for
the Church authority to intervene. Card.
Ratzinger is right when he says that these facts
add nothing to our faith, for it is not based on
weeping statues of Our Lady, but on the Word
of God. This is the truth. It is also true,
however, that miracles exist; Jesus has always
done them in the course of Church history, and
this is confirmed by the Word of God. Saints
are canonized today too because of the
miracles they do.
I agree with the stance taken by the early
Church when Marian apparitions and
miraculous events received no official
recognition. The people themselves gave
background image
Sped.Abb.Post.3/70, Aut.Trib.Mant.#13-8.11.86; Legal Dir: A.Lanzani; Printed by DIPRO, Italy, Fax: 0422-840804
The visionaries Marija, Mirjana, Jakov and Ivan in the Seminary at Basca Voda
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IN THE FAMILY
Fr. Angelo Pandin returned home to the
Lord on 15th March at the age of 66. Fruit
of his apostolic soul are the Mondays of
prayer: true spiritual baths of grace for the
hundreds of faithful that participate. They
were born 10 years ago out of the need to help
the Marian prayer groups, especially those
tied to Medj. Another fruit is the radio station
Voice in the Desert which transmits 24 hours
a day; and yet another is the Association of
faithful called Followers of Jesus. It is made
up of about 40 young people on their way to
consecration and priesthood, who live in
community and help the diocese.
Our Lady seems to have rewarded her
faithful servant with apparitions to a young
girl from the parish each first Monday of the
month. Fr. Laurentin participated in a recent
prayer evening and consoled the faithful by
telling them that now they have someone in
heaven to protect them and who prays for
them. So the story continues with the
communion of Saints. (Maurice)
Also our friend Fr. Roberto Cona from
the Combonian fathers of Verona returned to
the Father on 23rd April - feast day of
Merciful Jesus - at the age of 60 after a lengthy
illness. He had worked in Portugal, Brazil and
Spain and when he returned to Verona he
animated Eucharistic adoration in the central
church and though he was sick he worked
non-stop to bring hearts to Jesus and Mary.
He was enthusiastic about Radio Maria and
our Echo. May you rejoice for ever in her
embrace.
Condolences to our untiring helper Dr.
Pierantonio Gottardi for the death of his
father Emilio, a model father and Christian.
We thank everyone, for the help, the
approvals, the generous donations that make
it possible for us to send Echo free (despite
increased prices of paper and postal services)
to the many without means. Thank you to all
those readers who drop a line to say hello.
Echo is still in precarious conditions due
to recurring difficulties, however, we entrust
it to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary: a
single heart that all can do; and we entrust it
to your prayers. And we bless you with God’s
blessing, that you may be filled with His Holy
Spirit.
Villanova, 26 May 1995
Exorcism of Leo XIII
Can it be recited by individuals? By
groups? - Many ask this. It would be easier
for me to tell the complete story, but I shall
limit myself to giving you its conclusion. [In
general, exorcism is the maledictory rite with
which the devil is ordered to leave a person
in virtue of the power possessed by the Church
- ed. note.] In 1985 the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith ratified how exorcisms
may be administered only by priests authorized
by their Bishops to do so. From this rule it
was decided that also Leo XIII’s exorcism
cannot be used by the faithful, niether in a
reduced form taken from that exorcism, nor,
of course, in its entire form.
The problem exists for the forms in Italian
printed in booklets or leaflets, which often
include an ecclesial approval (to be verified!).
In reality they are no longer Leo XIII's
exorcism, but distant relatives of it. In these
cases, to be exact, said prayers can be used
because they no longer regard the exorcism
of Leo XIII: the rules are interpreted in a strict
sense. In my opinion said prayers can be used
by individuals or families. I would suggest
that they not be recited in prayer groups so
as not to appear disobedient to the Church.
Fr. Gabriel Amorth
* Zagreb to Medjugorje, 113 days in
prison - the book by Ivica Relkovic describes
a pilgrimage to Medj. on foot across the lands
occupied by the Serbs during which the author
was caught and imprisoned in a camp in
Vojnic. Ivica set out on foot on 29th Sept.
1991. He crossed territory occupied by the
Serbs including Knin, aware that he could
have lost his life as a pledge for peace. He
soon ended up in prison and was kept 113
days. Death seemed to lurch constantly over
his head, but in the 4 months he was there he
was not hurt. Moreover, when he refused to
curse Card. Kuharic, the Pope and the Catholic
Church, he was ensured that none of the
prisoners would be treated badly. After 2
months the prisoners were used in an exchange
and the camp was closed. Ivica was simply
freed and on 25th January 1992 he reached
Medjugorje. His testimony of faith, Christian
hope and evangelical love in the book will do
much good to the souls who read it.
* Polish Radio Maria in Vatican - A
large family of 10,000 workers and listeners
of Radio Maria accompanied by Bishops was
greeted by the Pope in St Peter’s Square. The
Pope exalted "the great and magnificent work
that the lay faithful are called to do in union
with the pastors, in the spreading of the divine
message of salvation and the new
evangelization which has been entrusted to the
Church as we near the third millennium.
ECHO IS FREE - It lives on
readers' donations and has no other
source of income. It is your donations
that make possible its publication and
distribution also to those people not in
a position to donate any sum of money.
Forgive us if we remind you to
consider the burdensome postal expenses
when making a donation. Thank you for
all you can do.
By road to Medj. - The road along the
Adriatic coast is safe. The bus from Trieste
(bus station adjacent to train station) leaves
regularly every evening at 6pm and arrives in
Medj. at 8am. For reservations ring Italy 040-
425001. By sea to Medj. - From Ancona
Italy to Split. Departures from Ancona:
Mondays and Wednesdays 9pm, Fridays 8pm.
Arrival in Split 7am. Departure from Split:
Sundays 9.30pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays
9pm. For reservations ring Italy 071-202033.
By air via Zagreb to Split - at Split take bus
to Medj.
4th UK YOUTH 2000 Int’l Prayer
Festival at Beechwood School - Sacred Heart,
Tunbridge Wells, Kent from 9-13 August.
Contact Youth 2000, P.O.B. 119, London
SW7 5RH (Fax 0170 370 1679) also for info
on other Youth 2000 events in UK, Ireland,
USA, Australia, Germany, Trinidad,
Colombia, Mexico.
The Medj. Network Handbook contains
information about groups and individuals in
England and Wales who are working to
spread Our Blessed Mother’s messages given
in Medj., with a suggestion to encourage every
country to produce such a handbook. For
information contact "Queen of Peace", 30
Flaxman Road, London SE5 9DH, England.