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www.medjugorje.ws » Echo of Mary Queen of Peace » Echo of Mary Queen of Peace 176 (July-August 2004)

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Our Lady’s message of 25 May 2004:
“Dear Children, Also today I urge
you to consecrate yourselves to my
Heart and to the Heart of my Son
Jesus. Only in this way will you belong
to me more with each passing day, and
you will inspire each other all the more
to holiness. This way joy will reign in
your hearts and you will be bearers of
peace and love. Thank you for
responding to my call.”
In the Heart of Mary
In the Heart of Jesus
This call by Mary is not new (see, for
example, the message of 25 Oct. last), yet
it renews life. It doesn’t reveal yet it is
decisive for the future. It doesn’t expound
difficult doctrine yet it is full of Wisdom.
Also today I urge you to consecrate
yourselves to my Heart and to the Heart
of my Son Jesus
.” To consecrate oneself
means to reserve oneself. To consecrate
oneself to the Heart of Mary and Jesus
means to place oneself within their Hearts,
to live life from within their Hearts. It
means to love with their Love, to pray with
their Prayer, to speak with their Word, to
think in their Thought.
Heart stands for soul, body and mind
all together. Thus, to stay in their Heart
means to live of Them. How can this be
possible? Mary asked a similar question (Lk
1:34) and the Angel’s reply is valid also for
us: the Holy Spirit will descend upon us
and will make possible that which is
humanly impossible. Let us ask the Holy
Spirit for this gift, and let us ask with faith,
hope, love, and all our strength. After all,
He would be simply carrying out His job,
for the Spirit generates life, and with Love
He accomplishes the Father’s Will. He who
bore God to a human creature, Mary, will
bear us in the Heart of Mary and Jesus,
and rouse up the new life marked by our
life in God and God’s life in us.
Then, life will no longer be a succession
of days and seasons, but existence
unshackled by time; no longer a slave to
the transient, but free in God; no longer
conditioned by the laws of physics, but
enraptured in God’s Love. And the
civilization of Love, upon which our
beloved Pope often calls our attention, will
blossom. This civilization of Love isn’t
an optional, for it is clear to all that without
it the world will fall headlong into self
Consecration to Mary and to Jesus
can’t be an isolated gesture; something you
do once and for all. Since it is life in Jesus
and Mary, it must develop and grow day
by day. “Only in this way will you belong
to me more with each passing day, and
you will inspire each other all the more
to holiness.”
Yes, the fruit of lived
consecration is holiness, which is to belong
definitely to God, to remain in God. The
soul, not weighed down by oppression or
envy, will ascend because we will exhort and
encourage each other because we will care
about the holiness of the others as much as
our own. “This way joy will reign in your
hearts and you will be bearers of peace
and love
Peace, love, and joy unmistakably
express life in God. The world, too, seems
to offer these gifts, but while the former
are consequences of holiness, the latter are
a feeble imitation. In God, peace, love and
joy aren’t aspects of life, but are Life itself;
they are Jesus. “Abide in me and I in you”
(Jn 15:4). “Peace I leave with you, my
peace I give to you”
(Jn 14:27). “I have
told you this so that my own joy might be
in you and that your joy be complete. This
is my commandment: love one another as
I have loved you”
(Jn 15:11-12). Holiness
is not imitating some of Jesus’ virtues, but
is accepting Him without reserve. Not even
the awareness of our sin must obstruct
this acceptance. When we are stripped of
everything - of our sins and virtues, our
doubts and fears, our earthly certainties
and precautions founded on worldly
wisdom – then there will be room in us
for the Holy Spirit, and we shall be “joyous
bearers of peace and love”.
Nuccio Quattrocchi
The Queen of Peace has been visiting
her children at Medjugorje for 23 years.
Our Lady’s message, 25 June 2004:
“Dear Children, also today joy is in
my heart. I desire thanking you for
making my plan realizable. Each of you
is important; therefore, my Children,
pray and rejoice with me for every heart
that has converted and become an
instrument of peace in the world.
Prayer groups are powerful, and
through them I can see, my Children,
that the Holy Spirit is at work in the
world. Thank you for responding to my
Mary’s Plan
“The more the Holy Spirit finds Mary,
His dear and inseparable spouse, in any
soul, the more active and mighty He
becomes in producing Jesus Christ in that
soul, and that soul in Jesus Christ.”
Devotion to Mary, St. Louis De Montfort, 20).
According to the tradition of the
Catholic Church, this is Mary’s task.
“Seeing His Mother and the disciple He
loved standing near her, Jesus said to His
Mother. ‘Woman, this is your son.’ Then to
the disciple He said: ‘This is your mother.’
(Jn 19:26-27) It’s a double-sided call: it
doesn’t only commit Mary, but also the
beloved disciple, John, and in him all
Mary’s plan is nothing else but the
fulfilment of the Son’s testamentary will
which she received at the foot of the Cross.
So since then, as with the first community
of the Apostles, as at Lourdes and Fatima,
Mary works to bring the world to God,
and she works through her children. “I
desire thanking you for making my plan
At Medjugorje, perhaps more than
elsewhere, we are called to a particularly
pure and deep faith, one which allows total
surrender to God. If this call is not new in
Church history, it is new that at Medjugorje
it is addressed to the greater majority and
not reserved for a selected few.
This general call brings to mind the
wedding banquet (Mt 2:1-14), and there is
a certain urgency or entreaty to be quick,
not to delay, accompanied by a prolonged
wait so that as many people as possible
can find refuge in the New Ark. Without
fear, but rather with Mary’s joy in our
hearts (“Today joy is in my hearts”) we
must take her calls seriously. With Mary’s
help we shall be able to surrender ourselves
to God, and thus come to know the
Father’s Love, and be able to love and desire
His will, and experience Jesus’ peace.
Mary thanks us for making her plan
realizable, for receiving Jesus in our souls,
hearts, minds and lives. What should we
say? How can we thank her? “Pray and
rejoice with me for every heart that has
converted and become an instrument of
July-August 2004 - Echo of Mary, Queen of Peace, P.O. Box 27, I-31030 Bessica Treviso, Italy.
Yr 20 #4 Ph/fax 0423-470331 - E-mail: info@ecodimaria.net - A translation of the original Italian: Eco di Maria
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peace in the world.” This is how we can
thank her: pray to be united to her and to
God, rejoice for having found the lost pearl,
the lost Eden. We are called to live Love, to
experience peace and joy, to bear concrete
witness in our everyday lives. We will not
be exempt from going through life’s trials:
suffering, pain, betrayal, humiliation,
sickness, death. But in all these things we
are more than winners by virtue of Christ
Who loved us.
“I am certain of this: neither death nor
life, no angel, no prince, nothing that
exists, nothing still to come, not any power,
or height or depth, nor any created thing,
can ever come between us and the love of
God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord”
(Rm 8:37-39).
Let us go out like lambs
amongst wolves, without haversack, but
with peace which can be received or
refused, but is never lost because if it is
refused it returns to us (cf. Lk 10:3-6).
Prayer groups are powerful because
of the presence and action of the Holy
Spirit. “If two of you on earth agree to
ask anything at all, it will be granted to
you by my Father in heaven. For where
two or three meet in my Name, I shall be
there with them”
(Mt 18:19). How much
more then, if groups ask to do God’s will!
Europe denies
its Christian roots
Europe is celebrating the birth of its
new Constitutional Treaty: a great thing
politically, socially and economically; a
shame the same can’t be said of its religious
nature which Europe has chosen to deny.
Despite the Pope’s authoritative
interventions in which he called for a
rediscovery of its Christian roots, the old
Continent’s newly-agreed Constitution
failed to mention Christianity
. Seven
countries, supported by several others, had
asked that mention be made, but they were
up against the ever more dominant
“ideological laicism” which prefers to deny
the truth than to have to face matters which
would emphasize its blame.
This definition came from an
announcement by the President of the
Polish Episcopal Conference in which they
express their regret at the “disdainful”
decision: “(It is) a falsification of the
historical truth; a conscious marginal-
ization of Christianity which for centuries
has been and continues to be the religion
of a decisive part of Europeans. The
ideological laicism manifested in this stand
taken by some European governments
meets with our firm opposition and our
preoccupation for the future destiny of
Europe. Faced with this situation, we urge
all men of good will to reflect on the future
of a Europe built upon the omission of
fundamental values.”
However, there is a very interesting
detail of the new Constitution which gives
Europe, ironically, a precise Christian
connotation: its flag
. “In the definition
of its symbols, this same Constitution
solemnly reaffirmed that the European flag
is to be light blue with twelve stars placed
in a circle,” says the well-known (Italian)
writer Vittorio Messori. “Well, it happens
to be that the colours, the symbols and
the disposition of the stars in a circle come
directly from Marian devotion. The stars
are those of the Revelation; also the
colours: light blue represents the colour
of the sky, white represents virginal purity.
So even if few know it, the flag which
flies atop all public buildings in the UE was
invented by the painter Arsène Heitz who
found inspiration in his fervent Marian
devotion: modelled on the “Miraculous
which he wore around his neck.
In 1955 his drawing was officially
adopted as the flag for the new Europe
(the Commission was headed by a Jew
who totally ignored its real significance!).
The artist, who did not reveal the
religious source of his inspiration,
managed to convince the Board that twelve
was symbolic for antique wisdom, a
“symbol of fullness,” and that it should
not be changed even if the member
countries should exceed that number. And
this is what has happened: according to
the new Constitution the number of twelve
stars shall never be changed. Twelve stars:
a prophetic symbol from Revelation; a
crown on the “Woman dressed in the sun.”
Another meaningful coincidence is that
the solemn session during which the flag
was adopted was held on a day which was
not specifically chosen but determined
according to political commitments of the
heads of state: it was the 8
feast day of the Immaculate Conception!”
A mother never disowns her own
John Paul II:
“Young people of Switzerland,
set out on your way!”
With these words John Paul II
concluded his address to the 14,000 young
people who attended the National Meeting
of the Catholic Youth of Switzerland
the Ice Palace of Bern on the 5th June.
“The Lord goes with you,” he reassured
them as he urged them to go beyond the
infinite series of troubles encountered by
today’s youth: “The Gospel of Luke tells
the story of an encounter: on the one hand
there is the melancholy procession
accompanying the young son of a
widowed mother to the cemetery; on the
other, the festive group of disciples who
follow Jesus and listen to him. Today too,
young friends, you can find yourselves part
of that sad procession… if you allow
yourselves to give in to despair, if the
mirages of the consumer society seduce
you and detach you from true joy to
swallow you up in transient pleasures, if
indifference and superficiality envelop you,
or if, as you face evil and suffering, you
doubt in God’s presence and God’s love
for every person and seek to appease your
inner thirst for true, pure love in the
drifting of confused emotions.” Yet, it is
“at those very moments that Christ comes
close to each one of you and, as he said to
the young man of Nain, he says a word
to you which comes as a shock: Arise!
JPII’s voice is as usual
powerful and trusting. He
knows that the young people
love him and believe in him
and in his faithful coherence
to the Truth, which he has
demonstrated particularly
during moments when mankind has risked
the most, that is, when John Paul II didn’t
fear making himself an enemy of the
world’s “powerful” in the defence of
peace and equity
, and when in a world
full of compromises and turbid alliances
he had the courage – despite the frailty of
his age and ailing body – to rise above
everything and everyone to show the only
way that leads to good: which is Christ.
“It is Jesus himself who stands before
you, the Word of God made flesh. He is
the ‘true light that enlightens every man
(Jn 1: 9),
the truth that sets us free (cf. Jn
14: 6),
the life that the Father gives us in
abundance (cf. Jn 10: 10),” continues the
Pontiff. “Christianity is not just a book of
culture or an ideology, nor is it merely a
system of values or principles, however
lofty they may be. Christianity is a person,
a presence, a face: Jesus
, who gives
meaning and fullness to human life.”
In a Switzerland fragmented in its faith,
even within the Catholic Church, and
where it is often difficult to remain firm in
one’s faith when Church doctrine
(according to the Petrine ministry) is
attacked so harshly, well, amid this, the
young people had the audacity to invite
the Pope
, and challenge the extremist
currents (the excessively conservative and
the radical liberalists) which tried with
every means to discourage the visit.
“I too was 20, like you” confided the
Pope. “I enjoyed sports, skiing, acting. I
studied and I worked. I had desires and
worries. In those years, now so long ago,
when my native Land was wounded by
war and then by the totalitarian regime, I
sought the meaning to give to my life. I
found it in following the Lord Jesus.”
These words, heard by the thousands
of exulting hearts, aimed at encouraging
the Swiss youth to rise above prejudice,
schemes, and dangerous anti-conformism
by which the older generations are
conditioned: “The second invitation I
address to you is ‘Listen!’
. Do not tire
of training yourselves in the difficult
discipline of listening. Listen to the voice
of the Lord who is speaking to you through
the events of daily life, through the joys
and sufferings that go with it, the people
who are close to you, the voice of your
conscience thirsting for truth, happiness,
goodness and beauty. If you are able to
open your hearts and minds with readiness,
you will discover ‘your vocation,’ in
other words, the plan that God in his love
has devised for you from eternity.
There is yet another invitation, a
third one: young people of Switzerland,
Set out on your way!’ Do not be content
with discussion; do not wait to do good
for opportunities that may never come.
The time for action is now!”
Sunday 6th June, Solemnity of the
Most Holy Trinity. The Allmend piazza in
front of the Ice Palace in Bern was
crowded: 70,000 people came to
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participate in the solemn concelebration of
the Eucharist. “What is the truth – or we
should say: who is the truth? This is the
question that men of the third millennium
ask themselves. We cannot suppress the
response because we know what it is! The
truth is Jesus Christ
, and we are called
to bear witness to this truth with our words
and especially with our life.”
Not doctrinal rules did the Holy Father
give to the Swiss faithful, but the living
face of Christ, whom he carries impressed
in his eyes and in his suffering body which
he doesn’t spare as he continues his
international pilgrimages.
His last thought, of course, was for
Mary as he entrusted the Swiss People
to the Blessed Virgin
.: “I wanted to
entrust the youth of Switzerland in a
special way to Mary. For five centuries
the young people of this country have
assured the Successor of Peter and the
Holy See the precious and esteemed
service of the Pontifical Swiss Guard.
Queen of Peace,
obscurantist or in line
with the times?
by Fr. Nicolino Mori
I was particularly struck by the theme of
the recent World Day of Social
desired by the Holy Father:
“The Media and the Family: a Risk and a
It brought to mind the messages
of the Queen of Peace at Medjugorje, in which
she invites families to turn off the television
to make room for dialogue and prayer. “Dear
Children, the Lent is for you a special stimulus
to change your life. Begin from this moment:
unplug the television, and renounce so many
other useless things”
(13 Feb. 1986).
These messages surprised me quite a bit
at first, making me wonder if it were possible
that Our Lady should come down from heaven
to tell us to turn off the TV. Can this means,
by now so common, really conquer our
civilization and be so harmful? Aren’t these
messages just a bit too obscurant? Is there
need for such extreme methods? But having
read the Pope’s message for the World Day
of Social Communications I’ve come to realize
how Our Lady is right. Even more so, her
presence is a prophetic one which helps us
read into the phenomena of our times, offering
at the same time adequate solutions.
The Pope recognizes that thanks to the
television and new systems of communication
today’s families “are able to have direct access
to the vast resources of communications and
information and make use of them for
education, cultural enrichment and spiritual
growth.” I know for myself how useful the
television can be, as I comment the Sunday
Gospel on a private TV station.
JPII also says, however, without fear of
seeming an obscurantist: “Yet the media also
have the capacity to seriously damage families
when they present an inadequate or even
distorted outlook on life, on the family, on
religion and on morality.”
What is so dangerous about these means
of communication? Of course, the blame
can’t be put on the instruments, but on the
way they are used. These days the mass
media represent an avid occasion for making
money or for providing rungs to the power
scale. These things don’t belong to God, but
to the world, or rather, to the devil. And just
as he deceived our forefathers, the devil still
today deceives us, and he uses the mass
media to continue sowing his lies and
deceiving ways
Today, through the television and other
means of communication, the world and the
devil hold their “teaching” sessions 24
hours a day
, day after day. It is said that on
an average people “attend these lessons”
between 3 and 4 hours a day. So what effect
can the Sunday sermon or the pastor’s lesson
(deserted, in any case, by the majority); what
effect can they have against this deceitful
“word” which bit by bit enters into one’s
eyes, mind and heart?
The most serious harm caused by the
media is precisely this: that when they are
not used with discernment and a critical spirit
– or better still, with a spirit of faith – God’s
thought is replaced by the thought of man
and he falls under the devil’s influence. It is
for this that today we have a wide-spread
mentality whereby people live as if God didn’t
exist, or as if God were an enemy to overcome.
This doesn’t make the Word of God, true
and eternal, any less valuable; but it demands
from us all, especially families, a new type of
vigilance, and it opens up a new front in the
battle against the Evil One. No one, at any
time, should feel safe; those who stand
should watch out lest they fall.
We don’t know all the mechanisms behind
communications, and thus, we are not always
sufficiently informed to discern the truth from
deception. Moreover, the TV is a type of
Trojan horse which enters into our homes
rather furtively and easily becomes the
master, impeding dialogue, distracting you
and making you lose time, turning you into a
dependent, and just when you’re feeling tired
and think you’ll relax before it, it is then that
you are most vulnerable. It happens to
everyone, including priests if the sorry
testimony of the old priest is true: after a life
of fighting to preserve his pureness and
priestly chastity, he was threatened by the
TV which with great ease brought into the
presbytery all those things that he had fought
to keep out.
On one of my first pilgrimages to
Medjugorje I heard, with surprise, that
Jelena’s father had got rid of his television
set. Now I understand how right he was, and
how Our Lady’s recommendations are so true
and wise: turn off the TV!
So what ought we do? I don’t think
there’s a single rule that can be applied to
everyone, but the Pope points out important
criteria: “Communication, in all its forms,
must be inspired by the ethical criterion of
respect for the truth
and of the human
person,” otherwise, “the moral stature of
persons grows or lessens according to the
word and messages they choose to hear.”
“The good man out of his good treasure
brings forth good, and the evil man out of
his evil treasure brings forth evil”
(Mt 12:35).
Through His Vicar God continues to
speak to us: “It is vital to learn how to use
the media wisely and prudently,” stresses the
Pope. If you have ears to hear, pay heed!
Earthen Vessels
So full of life it could no longer contain
it, the earth has released the life it was
silently bearing, generously showering us
in an abundance of colours, scents and
freshness. But where were these colours
hidden: a myriad of hues of varying
intensity now scattered in fields and along
roadsides, beautifying balconies and
gardens? Where were they lain, the petals
of this rose now unfolding so elegantly?
How could the dry branches of the wisteria
vine hide this glory of mauve clusters now
sweetening the air and enlightening hearts?
Spring is here, in all its beauty, and
though we might often take it all for
granted, one only needs to look beyond a
little further to see the mystery that each
time reveals new secrets. Nature is the
best book in which to see God’s face
Each season bears a different expression
of His face; conducted by Wisdom all
things are brought to maturation, in perfect
harmony with each other. Everything is
punctual and responds with obedience to
the impulses of time, mysteriously
synchronized to the laws which every
being bears within itself: they are the laws
which regulate growth and bring all
creatures into the fullness of life.
I look out the window of the chapel
in my convent and my heart is delighted
as I see the thousands of red poppies
inflaming the side of the mountain and the
golden field of growing ears of grain. My
gaze lowers, closer to home, and admires
the intricate weaving of branches, the
architecture of the leaves and of the wings
of birds: all so admiral, so perfect…
It is a dawn at the end of May, and
from the open window next to the
Tabernacle I see the sun rising, and as
though it were a play of mirrors I see two
suns reflecting each other, both of them
sources of life, light and warmth: one the
creature, the Other its Creator.
It is precisely in this space which
separates them that the soul must seek
every response to so much beauty and
perfection. It isn’t just a matter of science
or art, but of love which flows out from
God’s heart and is manifested in us, in His
creation. Here, in front of the Eucharist,
the questions are transformed into silence,
admiration and gratitude, and quieted with
rays of clarity. In this God here before me,
mysteriously hidden in a fragment of
Bread, every existence is recapitulated in
Him: from Him they depart and to Him they
return because every birth and every death,
every form and every substance is
contained in Him. In this space, the blue
sky out there beyond my window is
impressed in my soul, bringing cheer,
serenity and comfort.
As I write I am ever more enveloped
by the sun that has dispersed the darkness
that was. As I pray, Eucharistic Jesus fills
that senseless void that I felt when I awoke.
I don’t need to do anything, just stay here
and surrender myself to Him. And while
in this part of the world people are waking,
I allow God to take care of the world that
I bear within me: my past and my present,
those who love me and those who ask for
support, the facts of yesterday and the plans
Echo 176
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for today. It all appears immobile, yet it is
all in motion
, moved by the invisible life
which unceasingly gushes from the bosom
of the Most Holy Trinity in Whom all is
generated and all is linked.
In a few days it will be Pentecost. The
air is already laden with patient expectation
and anxious impatience, in the certainty
that the Holy Spirit will make spring
blossom in us, extracting from every soul
that potential of life and beauty that we all
bear within ourselves and which often lies
Just as the earth is enriched by fruits
and flowers, aromas and flavours, we too
can make our surroundings richer if we
allow the Creator Spirit to express Himself
in us. Our bodies, like precious caskets,
are not always aware of the treasure they
contain: “We have this treasure in earthen
points out St. Paul, “to show that
the transcendent power belongs to God and
not to us”
(2 Co 4:7).
The Spirit of God which “hovered over
the waters” (Gen 1:2) desires continuing His
creating action in us and through us. Almost
as though we were wind instruments He
desires playing a new song to the world,
and on each of us a different tune is played,
but the breath is only one and belongs to
the Lord. It is He Who animates and
harmonizes us to make our lives and the
communion between us become a vibrant
symphony. When we are inwardly open
to the Life which flows through our beings
to fill us, it surprises us to see so much
abundance and variety and we ask
ourselves: where in me was all this
beauty hidden?
Stefania Consoli
The Most Important People
in the World

One day I prayed to God to let me meet
the most important people in the world so
that I could learn from them and become
like them. I thought that with money, fame
and skill I would be able to do great things
and please the Lord. My silly prayers were
all so perfect, I had my life programmed
to a tee, and everything seemed so clear;
it seemed to me that there was no reason
why the Lord should say no to me.
The Lord did indeed listen, and almost
without realizing it, I found myself taking
part in a Lourdes pilgrimage by train as a
stretcher-bearer, but my initial enthusiasm
soon cooled down, and I began asking
myself what I was doing there. I felt out
of place. The gazes of the sick people
pierced my heart; I was unable to look
them in the face or help them. Once at the
hospital I saw that each volunteer went
into a room to take care of the sick. I
stayed in the corridor and prayed insistently
to the Lord to give me strength, but I was
petrified. Who would I meet? What would
I have to do?
There was only one room in which no
volunteer had entered… so in I went, and
its occupant said: ‘This is your first time,
isn’t it? What’s your name?’ The eyes of
that woman shone with joy. Then she
asked me: ‘What do you think suffering
is?’ I didn’t know what to say, though I
thought it could be compared to lack of
happiness and life. She clearly suffered but
her will to live was also very clear, and
though she had spent 40 years of her life
in pain she was unable to hide her joy.
Vera wasn’t at Lourdes for a miracle.
She went every year to thank the Lord
for her cross which she lovingly
. For Vera, suffering was the
greatest possible grace
and she was even
jealous of her cross, never even desiring
to change her physical condition. During
her calvary she never confided in herself,
but continually asked God for the strength
to go on, and the more her body was
pinned to the bed, the more she knew all
she could offer to God was her suffering.
At the end of the pilgrimage Vera gave
me a prayer she had written: ‘Praise to
you Queen of Heaven, glorious Mother of
the afflicted. You alone can give strength
with the love of a mother. Grant us comfort
so we might accept with serenity even the
greatest suffering, and ever trusting in your
Heart, might we offer it up to your glorious
Son as He offered His to the Father for
our salvation.’
She offered herself every day and
every night: a lamb immolated for the
salvation of souls
. I helped her in a
material sense, but what she gave me was
much greater and nobler. She woke me
from my sleep; she gave my soul a good
shake and made me look at life with
different eyes. The Lord had mercy on me
by putting me in front of a person who
for the world was a sick person with no
hope, just waiting to die. ‘I bless you
Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because
you kept these things hidden from the wise
and intelligent and you revealed them to
the little ones.’
Only now do I realize how the Lord
answered my prayer, and made me meet
the most important people in the world
so I could learn from them. Not only I,
but many others began living again thanks
to Vera. With her sacrifice she brought
many souls to the Lord; and the fruits have
greatly multiplied. Her treasure was closed
up within the mystery of the offering, and
she shared it out most generously to us
poor and sick people so we could discover
life and the Christian vocation. I owe my
conversion to Vera
, and still today I recall
her with great joy.
I frequently visited Vera despite the
distance which separated us, eventually
taking my fiancée. She also fell in love with
Vera. My fiancèe and I then decided to go
to Medjugorje for New Year’s Eve, and
once back we went immediately to Vera’s,
only to discover that she had passed away.
However, our journey as a couple
continues to grow under the sun of self-
, and at Medjugorje the Lord
wanted us to meet the brothers and sisters
of the ‘Kraljice Mira’ Community who are
called to offer their lives without reserve
and with complete freedom for the love
of God and mankind.
Together with them we are learning
more about this journey of offering which
Vera first showed us, that we too might
become lambs of offering.
Alessandro Macinai
“I exist to cry out…”
In the month of June in the year 2001
I had a memorable encounter. It was 10
pm; we had just concluded the evening
prayer and the Piazza of the Shrine of
Loreto was alive with voices, greetings,
smiling faces and “good nights.” I walked
over to a cot expecting to see a child, but
instead I saw an adult woman with a tiny
body (58 cm!) and a resplendent smile.
I offered my hand to greet her, but the
sick woman responded most kindly:
“Father, I can’t shake hands because it
might fracture my fingers. I suffer from
osteogenesis imperfecta and my bones are
extremely fragile. Please excuse me.”
Of course there was nothing to excuse,
but I was fascinated by her serenity and
sweetness, and desired knowing more
about her. “Father, under the pillow of my
cot there’s a small diary. I wrote my story
in it. If you have the time you can read it.”
I took the diary and read the heading:
“Happy to be alive!” I turned my eyes
once again to gaze on that crucified
mystery of joy
and asked: “Why are you
happy to be alive?” She told me, and I in
turn tell all those who teach and all those
who truly love the young people: “Father,
you can see my condition.. but my story
is even sadder. I could entitle it
Yet I am happy because I have
understood my vocation. Out of God’s plan
of love, I exist to cry out to those who
have health: ‘You don’t have the right to
keep it for yourself; you have to donate it
to those who haven’t got health, otherwise
yours will rot in your egoism and it won’t
give you happiness.’
I exist to cry out to all those who are
bored: ‘The hours in which you are bored
are lacking in others who need affection,
care, and company. If you don’t donate
those hours to others they will rot and
won’t give you happiness.’
I exist to cry out to all those who live
by night and rush from one discotheque
to another: ‘Those nights, you know, are
lacking, drastically lacking in the lives of
the many sick and old and lonely people
who wait for someone to come along and
dry their tears. And tears are lacking in
you, for tears are the seed of true joy.
Donate your nights which you now waste,
otherwise they will become the tomb of
your unhappiness.’ ”
I looked upon the sick woman who
spoke from her authoritative pulpit – the
pulpit of sorrow!
and I dared not
comment because it was all wonderfully
and dramatically true. The sick woman
added: “Father, isn’t my vocation
wonderful?” In reply I bowed my head –
and I agreed!
Mons. Angelo Comastri
(An excerpt from “Dio è Amore”)
“In the evening, when I was praying, the
Mother of God told me: ‘Your lives must
be like Mine: quiet and hidden, in
unceasing union with God, pleading for
humanity and preparing the world for the
second coming of God.’
From St. Faustina Kowalska’s Diary,
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News from the blessed land
Miracle of Medjugorje
Many of us are witnesses of this
“miracle,” but perhaps we aren’t aware
of it or of it’s worth. But it is right to
consider miraculous that which has been
happening in a little town of Bosnia-
Hercegovina for the last 23 years, and
which has changed the lives of thousands
of people. We don’t mean the miraculous
healings (that these are important no one
doubts), or any other sensational events,
but the extraordinary reality which has
become ordinary precisely because the
Queen of Peace appears daily.
On 25th June (the Anniversary of
the apparitions) we are called again to
reflect with greater attention on the
profound meaning of Mary’s prolonged
presence in the world. It is very unusual:
it has never happened before, even though
the Mother of God has appeared numerous
times in the past; and perhaps it won’t
happen again.
Those who believe know that
Medjugorje is a very important chapter
in the book of Salvation
. They are pages
of history often misunderstood, opposed,
misjudged and criticized, even by those in
the Church called instead to protect and
promote it. But it is also very much loved,
this “story of Medjugorje,” as an advocate
of peace so needed by the world.
Medjugorje, so full of stones and
lacking in other attractions, is loved by
those who have found themselves and the
meaning to their lives; by those who have
found the courage to be audacious
witnesses of faith in an unbelieving and
indifferent society; and by those who had
lost their personal dignity because of
dependence and slavery and have found
the freedom of being God’s children.
They are men and women who have
allowed themselves to be worked on by
Grace. They’ve looked in their hearts and
questioned themselves, and they’ve
decided to abandon the false security
offered by the world, to begin a new
journey full of light. It is not always easy
or comfortable, but it saves.
Thus, the miracle of Medjuorje is “the
presence” of a most pure Mother who
continues to generate the response in
the hearts of her children; of a Mother who
continuously accepted God’s will even
when things seemed impossible.
In a world full of falseness and
illusions, where man is used to passively
living by the choices of others (politicians,
leaders, traders, mass media…), Mary’s
eternal yes has opened in Medjugorje the
door to many other yeses. Her constant
readiness to carry out God’s plans has
shifted our consciences made lazy in this
technological era. Encouraged by the
Gospa’s example, people have responded
and have started marching. In these 23
years we have seen a continuous
blossoming of new conversions, of radical
changes of life-style. The priests have
heard profound and sincere confessions,
the kind they don’t generally hear in their
parishes. The young people have found the
way and many have become priests and
religious. The sick have stopped
complaining and have understood that to
offer one’s suffering is worth more than
regaining health.
The miracles of this Shrine are not
received by remaining inert. We are called
to a full participation; to abandon a state
of sickness and death through prayer,
sacrifice, and the sacraments… and we’ll
be given a “dynamic healing” which will
reach down to the most profound layers
of our being till we are completely
redeemed. The Queen of Peace doesn’t
want “miracled” people, but healed
children, who actively collaborate in their
own process of salvation.
Hence, twenty-three years of
apparitions can’t be an episode to
, then file away, but are, instead,
an event to be contemplated then lived.
In today’s world where everything is
disposable, the duration of the “Medjugorje
phenomenon” at times creates scandal:
“why so long?” many ask. If in the past it
took centuries to build a cathedral, today
everything is prefabricated and mounted
very quickly. We are no longer used to long-
term projects, those that require
commitment and self-denial, and so we
can’t comprehend that the Queen of Peace
is building, brick after brick, the heart of a
demolished, degraded and dejected
humanity. She knows that it takes time to
teach us to grow “in wisdom and grace”
(cf. Lk 2:52), the way she did with her
child Jesus.
“Pray, pray, pray… Peace, peace,
peace… Fast…” Tirelessly and ever
patient, Mary continues to repeat these
words to us till we make them ours and
begin to live them. In fact, though the
fruits are copious and positive, there
is the risk that we become accustomed
to Grace
and take it all for granted. Fired
by initial enthusiasm we accept her
invitations and put them into practice, but
then if the initial zeal fades we let proposals
become habit, and at a certain point we
might even become “bored,” and like an
old dress, we put aside every good deed.
But Mary is always the same: ever attentive
to the voice of God, ready to serve Him
and offer us all her love.
This year too, pilgrims from all round
the world came to Medjugorje to
the Gospa and she was very
happy to see so many grateful and
affectionate hearts, but how many will
allow Mary to “live” in their souls and not
just be a statue on their bedside table? to
allow her to be the queen of their families?
or a mother who corrects us when
necessary? How many will stop closing
her up in exterior devotions to begin
listening to her from within their hearts?
The answer is in our consciences. We,
her “Dear Children,” have received
everything from Mary and we should give
everything to her, so that Mary’s face is
made visible in the world. We are
responsible for the grace we receive
through her, and we can’t let it be wasted.
So let us offer up to God a faithful “yes”
and Mary will continue to rejoice: “Thank
you for responding to my call…”
Stefania Consoli
The “new time”
depends also on us!
A great French mystic from the
Franciscan Third Order, Filiola, received
a rare grace when Jesus placed His own
Heart within her heart, allowing her to
experience His joys and sufferings! In her
book, she writes of the deep suffering she
experienced each time Jesus showed her
evil being done inside the Church. She felt
the unbearable pain of Jesus in agony, at
Gethsemane! With her simple words (she
had no education), she heartbreakingly
cried out to Jesus in pain and begged Him
to have mercy on the world. Fortunately,
she also saw the chosen few who are
building what Jesus calls “the Church of
Light”. When she witnessed the beauty
of this reality at hand, she went into a
rapture. (The blossoming of The Church
of Light might be what the Gospa calls the
“New Time”: see message of 25 Oct. 2000:
“Dear Children, today I wish to open
up my motherly heart to you and I invite
you all to pray for my intentions. I desire
renewing prayer with you and I invite you
to fast, which I wish to offer to my Son
Jesus for the coming of a new time, a time
of spring. In this Jubilee year many hearts
have opened up to me and the Church is
being renewed in the Spirit. I rejoice with
you and I thank God for this gift. And I
invite you, my Children, to pray, pray, pray
until prayer becomes joy for you. Thank
you for responding to my call.”
Filiola was willing to suffer anything
so that this Church of Light might rise in
full splendour and open its doors to all of
Her lost children. Like Marthe Robin,
whose cause is progressing in Rome,
Filiola saw the New Pentecost of Love
coming after a time of purification. Five
years after Filiola’s death (1976), Our Lady
appeared in Medjugorje (1981) and what
does she do if not precisely build up this
Church of Light, first in each person’s
heart, then in our families? How can we
not jump with joy for such a gift! and not
follow with enthusiasm such a Mother!
Recently in Medjugorje an American
priest shared a conversation he had with
Mother Teresa about the world. Basically
he said Mother Teresa believed spiritual
poverty to be a deeper sore today than
material poverty
. The emergency is now
to treat the spiritual poverty. In order to
heal this sore, we need to understand our
Royal Priesthood of the Laity and live it
anew, in its fullness! Then she gave the
remedy par excellence: live Holy Mass,
respect, love and adore Jesus in the
Eucharist. Radiate Him to others. This is
living our Royal Priesthood. This is
building up the Church of Light.
On Podbrdo, when pilgrims join Ivan’s
prayer group at night, Our Lady always
appears happy and joyful. She greets us:
“Praised be Jesus, my dear children!” and,
with her hands extended, she prays over
us and blesses us with her motherly
blessing. What an immense grace for
those present! Just to receive this blessing
from the Mother of God, it would be worth
while coming all the way from Australia >
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>> from page 5: or Japan! When the
apparitions in Medjugorje stop, we might
lament, “Oh, if only I had gone over there
whilst our Mother was still visiting!”
Ivan often says that the most important
thing during these encounters is that we
are gathered together with our Blessed
Mother. She comes to bless us and pray
with us
. The lack of peace in our families
concerns her very much because the
world will have no peace unless we make
peace in our hearts and in our families. If
we want that joy, peace, and holiness to
return to our families, the remedy is this:
bring prayer back into your families! The
School of Mary is so simple! But courage
is necessary to stand for her and say
NO to our false gods
: television, food,
computers, cars, toys... which are
pressing us from all sides and draining our
families. ”Satan wants war” says Our
Lady! Whoever is on a battlefield and does
not fight has already been beaten. Putting
Christ in the first place and fighting on His
side against Evil is not an optional, but a
question of survival.
Sr. Emmanuel (Children of Medjugorje)
“Paradise here on the earth”
it. The Lord wants our patience. In this
regard, Our Lady says that when the gift
of the cross arrives, we are not ready to
receive it and we always say:
We met on her birthday. She
was serene, smiling, available.
Also on that special day she did
not want to miss her
appointment with the pilgrims
who wait for her at the blue
stairs to hear her tell of her
encounters with Our Lady.
Q. Vicka, Our Lady has
been visiting this land for 23
years and she has given us
so much. Some pilgrims,
however, limit themselves to
“asking” and they don’t
always “hear” Mary asking: “What will
you give me?” What do you think?
VICKA: Man is in constant research
of something. If we ask Mary, our Mother,
for true, sincere love she is always willing
to give it to us. And in exchange she
expects something from us. I think that
today in particular we live in a time of great
graces, in which man is called not only to
ask but also to give thanks and to donate.
We are not yet aware of how much joy
there is in donating. If I sacrifice myself
for the Gospa (because she has asked me)
without seeking anything for myself, and
I ask for something for others, I feel a
special joy in my heart and I see that Our
Lady is happy. Mary rejoices when we give
and when we receive. Man must pray, and
through prayer, offer himself. The rest will
be given him when the time is right.
Q. Generally, though, when man
suffers he seeks a way out or a remedy.
VICKA: Our Lady has explained
many times that when God gives us a cross
(sickness, suffering, etc.) it ought to be
accepted as a great gift. He knows why it
has been given us and when He will remove
‘why me?’ She says that if we
begin to thank and pray by
saying: ‘Lord, thank you for
this gift. If you have
something else to give me I
am ready to accept it; but I
beg You to give me the
strength to carry my cross
with patience and love…’ that
if we do this we will receive
peace. Our Lady stresses that
we can’t even imagine how
much value our suffering has
in the eyes of God!
It is very important to
pray for all those who have trouble accepting
the cross. They need our prayers, and with
our life and example we can do much.
Q. What about moral and spiritual
sufferings which aren’t easy to
manage? What have you learnt from
Our Lady over these years?
VICKA: Personally, I am very happy
because I feel immense joy within me, and
much peace, partly because I desire being
happy, but mostly because Our Lady’s love
makes me so. Mary asks us to be simple,
humble and modest. I try with all my heart
to offer to others what Our Lady gives to
Q. When you witness and say how
Our Lady took you to see paradise, you
mention a type of “passage.” I think
that if we offer ourselves and desire
going beyond suffering, the passage is
present also within our souls. Is it so?
VICKA: Of course! Our Lady said that
paradise is lived already on this earth, and
that it simply continues with our death.
But that “passage” is very important, for
if I live out paradise here and I feel it in
my heart, I will be ready to die at any
moment without asking God why. He
wants us to be ready every day, though
none of us know when our time will be.
So the “great passage” is nothing else but
our readiness. Some put up resistance and
fight against the idea of death. That is why
God offers us another chance through
suffering: to give us the time and the grace
to come out winners in this inner battle.
Q. At times, though, fear prevails.
VICKA: Yes, but fear doesn’t come
from God. Once Our Lady said that if we
have joy, love, satisfaction in our hearts,
these feelings come from God. But if we
feel restless, unsatisfied, hatred, and
tension, we must understand that these
feelings come from somewhere else. It is
for this that we must discern, and as soon
as we feel restless in our minds, hearts
and souls, we have to throw it out
immediately. The best weapon to drive it
out is with Rosary beads in our hands, and
prayer with the heart.
Q. You speak of the Rosary, but
there are various ways of praying…
VICKA: Sure, but Our Lady
recommends the holy Rosary, and if she
says this, it must mean that it is pleasing (to
God). Nonetheless, any prayer is good when
it comes from the heart.
Q. Can you speak to us of silence?
VICKA: That’s not easy because I’m
hardly ever silent! Not because I don’t like
it; I think it is very good. In silence man
can question his conscience, he can collect
himself to listen to God. But my mission
is to meet people and everyone expects a
word from me.
I ask for silence when I ask people to
be quiet while I pray for their problems
and difficulties. This moment lasts
between 15 and 30 minutes. These days
man doesn’t have much time to stop and
pray in silence, so that’s why I offer them
this opportunity so that each can reflect
and look into himself. Then, with time, his
conscience will bear fruit. People say they
feel well during this moment as if they
could experience paradise, and it makes
them happy.
Q. But I think at times that when
these moments of “eternity” are over
people begin talking loud again and are
distracted and lose the grace they
received in prayer…
VICKA: Sadly, yes. Our Lady says
about this that many times people listen to
her message with one ear and they let it
out the other ear and nothing remains in
their hearts! It’s not the ears that are
important, but the heart. If man decides
to change himself he can (from within his
heart). If, instead, he seeks what is always
best for himself and remains in his egoism,
he makes Our Lady’s words vain.
Q. Tell me about Mary’s silence.
How are your meetings with her now?
Do you pray, converse?
VICKA: Most of the times we just
pray. Our Lady loves praying the Creed,
the Our Father, the Glory Be
. We also sing
together. We don’t remain much in silence.
Before Our Lady spoke more, but now she
prefers praying.
Q. You mentioned joy before. The
man of today needs it a great deal, but
he is often sad and unsatisfied. What
do you suggest?
VICKA: If we pray with a sincere
heart for the Lord to give us joy, it will not
be lacking in us. In 1994 I had a small
accident. To save Grandma and a nephew
from a fire I got burnt. Things really looked
bad: I was burnt from my waist up. At the
hospital in Mostar I was told that I’d need
plastic surgery. In the ambulance, on the
way there, I asked my mother and sister
to sing. They were surprised, and seeing
how disfigured I was they couldn’t think
how it could be possible to sing. But I told
them to be happy and thank God.
In the meantime I didn’t have plastic
surgery... and friends were perplexed by
my serenity because the fire had truly
disfigured me, but I told them I would
accept whatever God sent me, even if it
meant staying like that. Believe me, after a
month there wasn’t a trace left, not even
a little scar! I was beside myself with joy.
Everyone would say: ‘but have you seen
yourself in the mirror?’ and I would
respond no, as my mirror is inside myself.
background image
If man prays with his heart and with
love, joy will always be in his heart, but
today man is always so busy with
unimportant things and he escapes from
what can give him joy and happiness.
If families put material things first they
will never be able to hope in joy, but if
they desire that God be their light, their
centre and the king of their family then
they will always have joy. But Our Lady is
sad because today Jesus is in the last place
for families, or not there at all!
Q. Perhaps we exploit Jesus at
times, or want Him to be the way that
suits us.
VICKA: I would say that we test our
strength against His. For example, in a
certain situation we might say: “But I can
do this by myself! Why should I seek God
if I can be in first place sometimes?” It’s
an illusion, for we are not given to precede
God. But He is so good that He allows it,
as a father would with his baby, for He
knows that sooner or later we will return
to Him. God gives man total freedom, but
He always waits for him to return.
You see how many pilgrims come here
every day. Personally, I would never say
to them: “You have to do this or that; you
have to believe; you have to know Our
Lady… If you ask me I shall tell you,
otherwise I respect your freedom. But
remember that you are not here by chance,
because you have been called by Our Lady.
This is a call. So, if Our Lady has brought
you here, it means she expects something
from you. You have to discover, in your
heart, what it is.”
Q. Tell us something about the
young people you so often talk about.
VICKA: Young people are in a very
difficult situation. Our Lady says we can
help them only through our love and
prayer. To them She says that all that the
world offers today is fleeting, and to be
careful because Satan desires destroying
them. In this time the devil is particularly
active amongst young people and the
Q. How does the devil act in
VICKA: Families are in danger
because there is no more dialogue, no
prayer, no nothing! That is why Our Lady
desires that prayer be renewed in families.
She asks parents to pray with their children,
and children to pray with their parents, so
that Satan is disarmed.
Prayer is the foundation stone of a
family. If parents had time for their
children, there would be no problems. But
today parents leave children to themselves
so they can have more time to themselves
and they don’t understand that their
children are getting lost.
Q. Thank you. Would you like to
add anything?
VICKA: I will pray for all of you,
especially for the readers of Echo of Mary.
I will commend you to Our Lady. May the
Queen of Peace bless you with her peace
and love. I greet you all most warmly.
(S.C. – Redaz.)
Fr. Slavko‘s
lessons on prayer
The following excerpts are from a book
by Fr. Slavko, written in 1999, entitled
“Pray Together with a Joyous Heart”
(Edited by MIR Medjugorje).
By now it is clear that the Queen of
Peace insists on the importance of prayer,
for she knows that it is the royal way which
leads to a living relationship with the living
God. So it is worth our while to give it
greater consideration.
Praying together
“I am often asked: what is a prayer
group, and what should I do to lead one?
My various replies have always wanted to
help pilgrims put their good will and
resoluteness into practice.
“If two of you on earth agree to ask
anything at all, it will be granted to you
by my Father in heaven, for where two or
three meet in my Name, I shall be there
with them”
(Mt 18:19-20).
From a biblical point of view, prayer
in community has a special power. It is
important to know that prayer is dialogue
with God
, but we also need to know that
it has a specific vocabulary, grammar and
contents which we must practise, just as
we would do with a new language. To be
able to speak a foreign language you need
to be able to converse with others, but to
do this you need to know the words and
rules. It’s the same with prayer. To learn
to pray well, you must pray together with
others, and you also need to pray alone.
The family is the first prayer group.
Parents must pray with their children and
vice versa. A family that does not dialogue
is not a family, likewise a family that does
not pray together is not a Christian family.
Mother Teresa said: “A family that prays,
stays together, and a family that remains
together grows in love!”
From a teaching point of view it is
important that children see their parents
pray, and that they learn to pray with them.
Everyone knows that in a child’s growing
years there is a stage during which he sees
his father as the most intelligent and
strongest person in the world, and this is
important for his personal development.
But when he sees that his father joins his
hands and prays he understands - though
he may not be aware of it - that there is
someone who is taller, stronger, more
intelligent, and richer than dad
. Thus,
the heart and soul of the child open up to a
supernatural experience and are prepared
to meet God the Father who is Almighty
and transcends every human creature.
If parents don’t pray together with
their children it is hard to expect that the
children will pray. When people today say
that young people don’t pray, it means the
role models were missing.
During their growing years, young
people go through a prayer crisis, and this
is completely normal because crises are
part of growing up, and it is in this context
that they have to choose personal prayer
and personal encounter with God. They can
last a long time even, but in a family where
parents pray with their children, they will
overcome any type of crisis and will become
more mature Christians.
For one who prays in the family it
is easier to feel well in a prayer group.
Prayer groups are essential for the faith of
young people to grow. It would be very
risky if parents didn’t allow their children
to meet with their friends outside the home.
It would impede healthy development in
the children and would leave them
unprepared for their entrance into life.
To the generic question on how to pray
and lead a prayer group, it is necessary to
point out that a prayer group is a group
of friends
. No one would ask what you
do when you meet friends, as we all know
that you talk, sing, remain silent, cry, laugh,
rejoice… according to circumstances. A
prayer group ought to be conceived in the
same way. It is a matter of friends meeting
because they are believers, and of believers
meeting because they are friends.
The prayer meeting will take shape
according to the state of mind of the
. On one side it is the
expression of the individuals’ inner state,
but on the other side, it must lead to and
be inspired by the Word of God.
For this reason it is fundamentally
important that each prayer group and
group of faithful be aware of their true
state and that they find the necessary
response and help for it.
(Fr. Slavko Barbaric – end part 1)
Annual Apparition to Ivanka
Visionary Ivanka Ivankovic Elez had her
annual apparition on the 25
June 2004.
Ivanka had her last daily apparition on 7 May
1985. On that occasion Our Lady gave her
the tenth and last secret. Our Lady told
Ivanka that for the rest of her life She would
appear to her once a year on the Anniversary
of the apparitions.
This year Our Lady entrusted Ivanka with
the following message: “Dear Children, pray
for those families who have not known the
love of my Son. Receive my motherly
Our Lady was joyous and spoke
at length about her life.
Sped.Abb.Post.3/70, Aut.Trib.Mant.#13-8,11.86; Legal Dir. A.Lanzani; Printed by DIPRO Treviso
Prayer for a Sick Person
(Jelena Vasilj, 1985)
(3 Glory Be’s...) O my God, behold this sick
person before You. He has come to ask You
what he wishes and what he considers to be
the most important thing for him.
You, o my God, make these words enter into
his heart: ‘What is important, is the health of
the soul.’
Lord, may Your will in everything take place
in his regard, if You want for him to be cured,
let health be given him; but if Your will is
something else, let him continue to bear his
I also pray to You for us who intercede for
him: purify our hearts, that we might be
worthy of conveying Your holy Mercy.
Protect him and relieve his pain, that Your
holy will be done in him, and that Your holy
Name be revealed through him. Help him to
bear his cross with courage. Amen.
background image
* Youth Festival Medjugorje: 1-6 August 04
* Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic from Medjugorje in U.K.
at Walsingham on 30 August; at Birmingham
(St. Catherine’s Church, Horsefair) on 31/8
Info: Birmingham Medj. Centre 0121 604 4061.
Echo is a free publication. Donations are
gratefully accepted; without them we
cannot continue to spread the Message
to Mary’s little children round the world.
How to donate:
1. PERSONAL CHEQUES payable to
“Echo of Mary Association” - mail to same
at: P.O. Box 27, I-31030 Bessica TV, Italy.
2. If convenient, pay into one of our bank
accounts, specifying donation for Echo of
Mary Association:
- Italy: Banca Agricola Mantovana, Agenzia
Belfiore, Mantova, Italy.
IBAN IT 02 Z 05024 11506 000004754018
- Britain: Royal Bank of Scotland, 26 George
St., Oban, Argyll, PA34 5SA. Acc. no. 8326
0400 154351
3. USA, cheques payable to “Echo of
Mary Association” can be mailed to C/o R.&F.
Venditti, P.O. Box 646, Pacifica, CA 94044.
4. Australia/Oceania. Echo is now posted
from Italy. Please write to us to keep
subscriptions up to date, submit donations,
etc. (Personal cheques accepted. See above)
Echo of Mary Assoc.,
P.O. Box 27, I-31030 Bessica Treviso,
(Ph/fax: Italy 0423-470331)
Internet: www.ecodimaria.net
New EMAIL: info@ecodimaria.net
Our Readers Write…
Marcelo Bogado, Argentina: Thank you
for your publication. I read it very attentively;
it helps me spiritually, enabling me to keep
on living. Thank you for the love you transmit.
Fr. Alberto Rienzner, N. Uganda: Thank
you, thank you, thank you for the Echo of
our blessed Mother! Here in Aboke, Lira,
we’re alive by miracle, since diabolic rebels
roam all around. Lord forgive them, they don’t
know what they’re doing… SOS: If anyone
has the possibility of sending us Rosary
Beads, we’ll be very grateful and prayerful!
[Fr. Alberto Rienzner, Aboke Mission, PO Box
43, Lira, Uganda]
Lucy Favetta, Australia: I wish to thank
you for your inspiring publication. I look
forward in anticipation to receiving it. Many
blessings to you all.
Okiror Robert, Uganda: I am so happy
that the Echo has changed my lifestyle both
physically and spiritually. God bless you.
Alison Carranza, UK: Thank you for the
blessing and inspiration that your wonderful
Echo brings us from Our Lady. It is such a
joy to read and strengthens our faith in the
work of the Church.
J. Claude Habyariman, Rwanda: I receive
the Echo regularly and enjoy it. Thank you
for your work that contributes to the salvation
of the world.
Marilyn Brandel, USA: I read and re-read
the Echo, then make copies for others. Thank
you; I will keep you in my prayers.
L. Akindayomi & T. Shobo, Nigeria: We
appreciate your wonderful work with the
Echo. Parishioners and friends enjoy reading
it and we all pray that God will continue to
guide and bless you.
Fr. S.J.Joseph, India: The voice of
Medjugorje is being echoed in India; sooth-
ing the ears and hearts of my parishioners.
The Echo is true inspiration to me. Thank
you. May your publication be echoed in every
nook and cranny of the world, that our dear
Mother be loved and followed!
Stefano G., Bologna, Italy: I first found
your publication a year ago, and have only
recently undertaken the faith journey. Since
I’ve started reading Echo something has
changed in me, for the better. I read in one of
your editions that a pilgrimage to Medjugorje
is always special because of the wonderful
atmosphere that is breathed there, so I hope
to go soon. Congratulations for Echo; I am
happy to send you my donation.
From the Translator of Echo in Greek
Sr. Despina: Dear Friends, apart from
being a translator and spreading the Echo
discreetly in parishes and many other places,
my first concern in the Community is our
spiritual life. I also run a language school. I
shall pray for you during our annual retreat
in July. God bless you.
Fr. Alberto
vocation was budding and
during the years of
theological study, he lived
in the presbytery at
Villanova Maiardina, the
parish of Fr. Angelo Mutti,
and the birthplace of the
Echo of Mary.
Fr. Alberto thus witnessed
the birth of the Echo, and when Fr. Angelo
died, he assumed the role of President of the
Association. Still today, he signs off each
edition (produced by the Editorial Staff) with
his blessing.
“Fr. Angelo’s boys”
Why did Fr. Angelo go to Medjugorje?
Essentially, for the messages regarding
prayer. Back then there wasn’t much news. A
priest-friend of his first spoke to him about
the “phenomenon.” His attention wasn’t
drawn by the extraordinary facts, but by the
prayer Mary was asking for.
In fact, for Fr. Angelo, prayer was the
most important task of a Christian, and all
of us, whom the priests of Mantua used to
call “Fr. Angelo’s boys”, knew that only too
So, off we went, in an old mini bus, feeling
rather adventurous. I remember that we saw
the visionaries from afar. What convinced Fr.
Angelo and all of us was the Mass at 6 pm: it
truly was an assembly of believers. It all
started from there.
Fr. Angelo began frequent pilgrimages to
that blessed land. The “Echo” was born as a
necessary link for pilgrims. Echo number one
was printed in all of 50 copies! The original
was typewritten and copies were made using
a duplicating machine. It was necessary to
make reprints fairly often.
There was always something new to
provide material for the next edition, but the
peculiar thing was that the little parish of
Villanova walked together with Fr. Angelo in
the intensification of prayer, in the sharing of
the experience of “bread and water”, in the
periodical approach to the sacrament of
Reconciliation. Nearly immediately the Parish
adopted the practice of monthly Confession,
and it was a pastoral success. On several
occasions I heard the compliments of the
father confessors who came to help: “How
one confesses well here!” they would say.
It wasn’t always easy for Fr. Angelo to
write up the Echo. At the beginning he felt
this commitment almost as an alternative to
his parish duties, but the community assured
him: “The parish is little… don’t worry…
we’re proud to be the parish of Echo!”
I think
that the parish contributed as a “theological
place” for the composition of Echo, especially
at its beginning.
Fr. Alberto Bertozzi
May the Queen of Peace renew her blessing
in your hearts and your families.
Requests for Rosary beads:
Fr. Alberto Rienzner, Aboke Mission,
P.O. Box 43, Lira, Uganda, Africa
2. Donaldson Andemario FO, Marist Int’l Novitiate,
POB SN 304, Kumasi, Ghana, W. Africa
Villanova M. 1 July 2004
* Copies of Echo available in Medjugorje at
Phoenix Catholic Books, in main street next
to pharmacy.
Our Prayers for you! -
Please join us
on the first Saturday of each month to offer
readers’ intentions to Mary’s Immaculate
Heart. Once a month Fr. Alberto celebrates
Mass for the same intention.
How to Give Oneself to Mary, Mother
of Goodness, Love and Mercy
(Jelena Vasilj, 1984)
O Mother of mine,
Mother of Goodness, Love and Mercy:
I love you with all my heart
and I offer myself to you.
Through your goodness, your love and your
mercy, save me!
I want to belong to you.
I love you so, and I want you to protect me.
With all my heart, o Mother of Goodness,
I beg you to give me your Goodness
that I might go to Heaven.
I ask you, for the sake of your immense love,
grant that I might be able to love everyone,
as you loved Jesus.
I also pray to you for the grace of knowing
how to love you.
I entrust myself completely to you
and I wish for you to be with me at every step
because you are full of grace.
I wish never to forget this;
but if one day I should lose grace,
then please grant it to me again. Amen