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www.medjugorje.ws » Echo of Mary Queen of Peace » Echo of Mary Queen of Peace 190 (November-December 2006)

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Our Lady’s message, 25 September 2006:
“Dear Children, Also today I am with
you and call you all to total conversion.
Decide for God, my Children, and you
will fi nd in God the peace your hearts
seek. Imitate the lives of saints; may
they be an example for you. And I will
encourage you for as long as the Almi-
ghty permits me to be with you. Thank
you for responding to my call.”
Total Conversion
This month’s message fits into a
temporal frame as it brings to our attention
the exceptional quality of Mary’s presence
in our midst. It begins with: “Also today I
am with you”
and ends with “for as long as
the Almighty permits me to be with you
.”
Her presence in our midst is a free gift of
the Father, a gift that may be repeated just
as it may not be repeated. We cannot know
if there will be any more messages, however
it would not make sense to wait for the
next one just to fi le it away with the others.
Mary’s messages are not meant to inform
us of the latest news, not even if it were to
concern heavenly news. Mary does not call
us to consume news, but to change life, and
to change it in a radical way.
I invite you all to total conversion,”
she says. All of us are included in this call:
workers of the last hour along with those
of the fi rst hour. All of us can, and must
work at this total conversion, which is
never defi nitely reached, never reserved for
the good, it never excludes sinners, and is
never exclusively our own work. We must
let ourselves be converted by God; we must
let ourselves be penetrated and fecundated
by His merciful love. However, this doesn’t
imply a passive attitude of inert or indifferent
waiting. Instead, with all our strength we
must desire this encounter with God that
He has already prepared and awaits. It is an
encounter where I am expected, and with
Jesus I can say: You (Father) did not want
sacrifi ces or offerings; instead you have
prepared for me a body
(cf. Heb 10:5).
Total conversion is this indwelling
of Jesus in us, and total immersion of us
in Jesus, which cannot be achieved with
techniques of ascesis. Instead it requires
authentic prayer and authentic surrender,
and this cannot be work of our own, as it is
the work of the Holy Spirit. We do not have
this power; however, we do have the power
to refuse the Life of Jesus in us. This refusal
- a tremendous thing - is often simpler than
what we think as it is not so much an explicit
thing, but can be subtly at work in us.
“He who is not with me, is against me,”
says Jesus (Mt 12:30). To be with Him
means to live of Him and in Him; it means
to be living Eucharist. This goal, within our
reach, is also diffi cult to achieve and even
take into consideration. Yet Mary insists and
continues to encourage us; and she will do so
for as long as the Most High will permit
her to remain with us
. This is the scope of
her presence in our midst. She comes, not
to give us the latest news, but to reach the
most far-away souls. She adds nothing to
what the teachers of the Law already know,
but she helps the little ones, the last ones,
all who desire with all their heart, to receive
Light and Wisdom directly from the Holy
Spirit so they can penetrate the mystery of
eternal Love.
Let us respond to her calls and decide
for God, and we shall fi nd in God the peace
that our hearts seek
. His peace is true peace
because it is fruit of the communion between
the Father and the Son. This peace is already
given us, and is in the Holy Eucharist and
in the sacrament of reconciliation. It is not
only personal peace, but universal. It is the
peace that the entire world awaits from the
revelation of the children of God.
Imitate the lives of the saints; may
they be an example for you, suggests Mary.
The lives of the saints are proof of the great
and unthinkable things that God can work in
man, and therefore also in each of us. Take
courage then! We are all called to holiness;
for this God has given us a body!
Nuccio Quattrocchi








Come, Lord Jesus,
visit us with your peace: your
presence will fi ll us with joy”
Our Lady’s Message, 25 October 2006:
“Dear Children, Today the Lord
has permitted me to tell you again that
you live in a time of grace. You are not
conscious, my Children, that God is
giving you a great opportunity to convert
and to live in peace and love. You are
so blind and attached to earthly things
and think of earthly life. God has sent
me to lead you towards eternal life. I,
my Children, am not tired, although I
see that your hearts are heavy and tired
for everything that is a grace and a gift.
Thank you for responding to my call. “
I Am Not Tired!
This is an unusual message, not so much
for its contents, but for its tone. The contents
regard, as always, the need to convert, return
to God, surrender to Him, and the need to
undertake a journey towards the eternal
life
seriously, consciously, and with deter-
mination. The tone, on the other hand, is not
that of an invitation, but of reproach. Used
as we are to being urged and spurred on, this
message surprises us because rather than a
call it appears more to capture a situation of
distance between us and God.
“Dear Children, Today the Lord has
permitted me to tell you again that you
live in a time of grace.”
The heavens are
still open over mankind and the world, but
are we aware of it? “You are not conscious,
my Children, that God is giving you a
great opportunity to convert and to live
in peace and love.”
It is indeed so, and cer-
tainly many of us are guilty of this omission,
including myself… but do not abandon us
Mother! “Were you not willing to help us,
since we are ungrateful children and unde-
serving of your protection, we would not
know whom to turn to,”
we say to you in
the supplication to the Queen of the Rosary
of Pompei, which we repeat today.
The time in which we live is a time
of grace, an opportune time to convert
and live in peace and love
. Let us accept
this opportunity and the celestial grace that
accompanies it before it is too late. I am
reminded of the lamenting of Jesus over
Jerusalem and His words: “If you in your
turn had only understood on this day the
message of peace! But, alas, it is hidden from
your eyes! Yes, a time is coming when your
enemies will raise fortifi cations all round
you, when they will encircle you and hem
you in on every side; they will dash you and
the children inside your walls to the ground;
they will leave not one stone standing on
another within you - and all because you
did not recognize your opportunity when
God offered it!”
(Lk 19:42-44).
The way of peace and love is not yet
hidden from our eyes. Though we are so
blind and tied to earthly things and concern
ourselves with the earthly life, the heavens
November-December 2006 - Echo of Mary, Post Offi ce Box 47, I-31037 Loria (TV), Italy. Yr 22 # 6
Ph/fax 0423-470331 - E-mail: info@ecodimaria.net- A translation of the original Italian: Eco di Maria
190
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are still open, and grace can still awaken
us from this slumber, from this torpor that
dampens the fl ame in our soul. However,
we must decide now, with resoluteness, for
the total conversion Mary asked of us in
last month’s message. “God has sent me
to lead you towards eternal life,”
says
Mary. With her as guide we cannot fail to
reach destination if we truly desire it. Mary
is not tired of assisting and leading us,
even though she can see that our hearts are
heavy and tired by all that is grace and
gift.
So not our Mother, but we are tired;
we are weighed down by useless burdens,
crushed by illusory feelings of wellbeing,
trampled on by towers of “babel”: maybe
newly packaged, but the same old trite.
Seduced by the old temptation of
managing without God, we have become
tired of everything that is grace and gift,
we have distanced ourselves from the true,
eternal life, from life in God. But let us get
up and return to our Father, and tell Him:
“Father, I have sinned against Heaven and
against You; I no longer deserve to be called
your son. Treat me as one of your servants”

(Lk 15:18-19). The Father awaits our return;
everything is prepared, all that lacks is our
decision. Let us hand ourselves over to Mary
with fi lial surrender, with the trust of small
children, and She will know how to turn
each of us into a gift for the Father, and fruit
of love for our brethren.
N.Q.
Bring into World
Hope of God!
A great event involving the Italian
Church was held from 16-20 October in
Verona. It was the 4th National Ecclesial
Convention
, with the theme: “Witnesses of
the Risen Jesus, Hope of the World.”
The
meeting was for delegates of 226 Italian
dioceses; also present were numerous
experts and representatives from other
nations. The preparatory work had been
underway for many months and had
involved the entire Italian Church which was
asked to refl ect on the fi rst letter of St. Peter,
in which the Apostle invites us to especially
be “living hope.”
After a lot of expectation leading up to
the event - it is held every ten years - fruits of
new vigour and awareness are being offered
to the Italian Church to take up the challenge
to become new women and men, to be able
to be true witnesses of the Risen One and
thus bearers of Christian joy and hope in the
world, concretely in that community of men
and women in which they live.
His Love suffi ces!
Many were the contributions, but the
Pastor’s words were fundamental to give
the correct co-ordinations to orient the path
on its proper direction, especially to keep
the objective in front view so as not to risk
“running in vain.” In two different moments,
with an address and a homily, Pope Benedict
offered his fl ock true pearls; for those who
have the possibility I suggest reading them
both in their entirety.
“We are called to become new men and
women to be able to be true witnesses of the
Risen One,
” he recalled, “in a world that
almost always appears to be of our making,
in which God no longer appears directly but
seems to have become superfl uous, even out
of place.”
It is quite a challenge for a Christian
to dialogue with mankind of today which
continues to lose its dignity. Today, “a
radical reduction of man has taken place,

said the Pope. Man is “considered a simple
product of nature and as such not really free,
and in himself susceptible to be treated like
any other animal.”
This happens because
we are gradually detaching ourselves from
our Christian roots, said the Holy Father.
Man – he says - seeks meaning to his life; he
questions himself and often feels lost before
the harshness of life because: “the human
person bears within himself, written in the
most profound depths of his being, the need
for love, to be loved and in turn to love.”
What can we do if in our age, notwith-
standing all the progress made, evil has not
been overcome, but its power seems reinfor-
ced? We must proclaim with conviction that
“the Creator of Heaven and earth, the one
God who is the source of every being knows
how to love man personally, or rather, loves
him passionately and wants to be loved in
his turn,”
responded the Pope. “Precisely
because He truly loves us, God respects and
saves our freedom. He prefers to counter the
power of evil and sin with a greater power,
which is the limit of his patience and his
mercy, that limit which is the suffering of
God’s Son. In this way our suffering is also
transformed from within, appears in the
dimension of love and contains a promise
of salvation.”
We know well that this choice of
faith and of following Christ is never
easy. Instead, it is always opposed and
controversial. “But we do not lose heart
because of this,”
exhorts the Pontiff. “God
has given us the invincible hope of eternal
life… Strengthened by this hope, we are
not afraid of trials, which, however painful
and heavy, can never impair the profound
joy that comes from being loved by God…
His love is suffi cient for us. Strengthened by
this love, fi rm in faith in the Resurrection of
Jesus that builds hope, our Christian witness
is born and constantly renewed.”
The Gospel does not change
Thus, the outcome of this Convention
is a renewed call for each Christian to be
transformed into a witness ready and able to
assume the commitment of giving account to
everyone of the hope which is in him (cf. I Pt
3:15)
. Clothed with the interior strength of
the Spirit of the Risen One, “we must return
to proclaiming powerfully and joyfully the
event of Christ’s death and Resurrection:
heart of Christianity, principal fulcrum of
our faith, powerful lever of our certainty,
impetuous wind that sweeps away every
fear and indecision, doubt and human cal-
culation. In his Name take the message of
conversion and forgiveness for sins to every-
one, but be yourselves the fi rst to witness to
a converted and forgiven life!
A decisive change in the world can
only come from God. Only starting from
the Resurrection can the true nature of the
Church and her witness be understood…
In a changing world, the Gospel does not
alter: Christ has died and is risen for our
salvation!”
concluded the Holy Father. Now
it is up to us to pay heed. (Ed.)
Children of
the Eucharist
Christmas is not far away.
Christmas is the wonderful time of the year
during which we celebrate the greatest
mystery of all. It is the mystery of God, the
Creator of the entire universe becoming
a child. The All Powerful becomes little,
defenceless, innocent and pure. New born
babies and little toddlers particularly refl ect
the beauty of the innocence granted to each
creature, which time and circumstances,
we know, will change. However, it is signi-
fi cant that to begin His adventure amongst
mankind, God chose to become a baby. It
tells us that infancy is a seat of wisdom and
special power
, for despite the littleness of
a child’s body, it contains a soul capable of
holding the infi nite.
Jesus had a great deal of respect and a
preference for little children. Mary, too, has
preferred to appear to little children, entru-
sting them with important theological and
mystical revelations. It is because of their
simplicity and ingenuousness that children
do not risk polluting what they have heard
and are able to transmit without adding or
orchestrating anything. Nonetheless, and
apart from this, children have a particular
spiritual capacity
that is often minimized
or even ignored by grown ups. Children can
pray! Their prayer is strong and powerful,
and goes directly to God’s heart. Unlike the
prayer of an adult it does not get lost in the
maze of adult reasoning, the whirlpools of
wounds accumulated over the years, or the
webs of egoistic interests to which adults
easily fall prey. Again the Blessed Virgin
is our teacher, for at Fatima her call was
for children and she “dared” not only to
ask them to pray, but to offer sacrifi ces and
their own lives as well. And she received a
ready and immediate response, free of all
calculation or reserve.
With this spirit, a movement known as
World Apostolate of Fatima has promoted
an initiative that is repeated annually and is
called World Children’s Holy Hour held
at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
in Washington. The invitation is addressed
to all the children of the world to unite
themselves in prayer before the Blessed
Sacrament, for peace. It started in 2003 and
since then it has been held regularly each
year. The event is organized as a response
to the Message of Our Lady of Fatima. The
children were fi rst visited by the Angel of
Peace in 1916, who taught the children some
Eucharistic Prayers while the Chalice and
the Host remained suspended in mid air and
the children knelt in adoration. This was the
fi rst children’s Holy Hour.
For the children of the world this repre-
sents an historical opportunity. In 1994 John
Paul II wrote the “Letter to all the World’s
Children” in which he said: “My dear young
friends, it is to your prayers that I entrust
the problems of your families and of all the
families in the world.” Also Pope Benedict
XV, during
WWI
, had invited the children
to pray: “Stretch out your hands, o beloved
and all powerful children, to the Vicar
of Christ and give him the consolation of
the incomparable victory of your precious
prayers.” Just several months after this the
2
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phenomenon of the Messages of Our Lady
of Fatima were to begin.
Mark this date on your calendar: 5 Oct.
2007
(www.ChildrenoftheEucharist.org),
and
let’s tell our children how their prayer is
strong and able to move God’s heart, and
encourage them to respond to the Pope’s
call to pray for families, and to Our Lady’s
call to pray for peace.
Stefania Consoli
Prayer at School
A few hours ago I was graced to meet
the founder of a school where teachers and
students pray together. I was most pleasantly
surprised that something like this should
still exist today. Fr. Giovanni Salerno,
(originally from Sicily) had a dream when he
was a boy, a type of “vision of an altar boy”
where he seemed to be entering a church
and could see Our Lady on his right. She
appeared to be surrounded by many poor
children who were asking for help.
This dream has never left his heart., and
since that dream his life has included many
important stations, including the sufferings
of war. He received a good upbringing from
Christian parents, and the good example
of priests in the seminary. The writing on
the seminary gate: “He who helps the poor
serves God” left a deep impression on him.
He became a physician and an Augustinian
priest, working in North and South America,
but his heart remained with the poor people
of the Andes in Peru. So today, Fr. Giovanni
and his congregation, called The Servants
of the Poor of the Third World
, run four
houses in Cusco and one in Lima to take care
of about one thousand poor children, some
of whom live in the houses. The children
eat, study, play, receive medical attention,
receive catechesis for their spiritual growth,
and are taught crafts. (www.sptm.hu)
In particular the missionaries try to
impart to the children trust in God’s
providence: “What you cannot do God will
do for you in your life.” The Congregation
not only provides children with a house and
a school where they receive formation and
instruction so they can become autonomous
workers, but the most noble work of this
Mission is the Christian formation of young
men. In each of the houses is a chapel and in
the chapel the Blessed Sacrament is exposed
for daily adoration. A roster is organized so
that someone is always before the Lord, and
also the children take turns at keeping the
Lord company; and when school fi nishes at
5 pm all the children and the teachers gather
in the hall for prayer and the celebration of
the Eucharist. Here all their concerns, joys,
sufferings and worries, plus the intentions of
all benefactors, and the needs of the world
are deposited on the altar.
What a difference to our atheist schools
where children of wealthy peoples are
modelled around purely materialistic values,
and what enormous responsibility on parents
and teachers who believe they can transmit
life and joy to their children without God!
We thank the Lord for these witnesses of
His, who carry Christian joy and hope in
the world in a concrete manner through their
service to the poor.
Rita Gervais
(co-translator. German edit. Echo)
“Church of Silence”
Bishop Dies
It is more than dutiful
on our part to dedicate this
space to the memory of
a dear friend of the Echo
of Mary, Mons. Pavel
(Paul) M. Hnilica
, bishop,
Jesuit and President of the
association called “Pro Deo
et Fratribus” (known in
the U.S. as the “Family of
Mary Coredemptrix”). We
recall him with fondness
and gratitude for the esteem and affection
afforded us. Prompted by our dear departed
founder, Fr. Angelo, he was always happy
to write for our pages, to tell readers about
the events of the “Silent Church” but more
particularly about Mary, whom he loved
dearly.
Bishop at 30 years of age
He was born in Unatin (Slovakia) in
1921 and was ordained a priest, then a
bishop, for the persecuted Church, known
as the “Church of Silence.” He was 30 years
old when he was made a Bishop, and due to
the terrible Communist regime which had
imprisoned all the church hierarchy of his
country, he was forced to fl ee to the west.
His consecration as bishop was
announced by Pope Paul VI on the 13th
May 1964, the anniversary of the first
apparition of Our Lady at Fatima, which was
a very signifi cant date in the life of Mons.
Hnilica, for he had dedicated his entire life
to personally responding and calling others
to respond to the Fatima request concerning
prayer and consecration.
Apostle of Fatima Prophecy
During the years of the cold war, when
it was not even suspected that the empire of
the Soviet Union would fall, bishop Hnilica
reminded everyone of the importance of
the prophecy of Fatima, and in particular
the request for consecration (of the world)
to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for
Russia’s conversion. This consecration
was celebrated by Pope John Paul II on
25th March 1984. On that same day, aided
by the prayer of his dear friend Mother
Teresa, Mons. Hnilica, on his way back from
Calcutta to Rome, was able to briefl y stop
over in Moscow and in secret, celebrate the
same consecration being celebrated by the
Pope in Rome, in a spirit of collegial union
with all the world’s bishops.
Ecumenism of Charity
After the fall of the wall of Berlin,
the doors to the former Soviet territories
were opened, and the Pro Deo et Fratribus
Association began its work in various
localities ranging from Siberia to the
Ukraine. An Association strongly “priestly”
and “Marian”, it felt the call to live an
authentic life through donation to Jesus,
the High Priest, in the manner of St.
Louis Grignion de Montfort’s Totus tuus,
or consecration to the Immaculate Heart
of Mary. The Association works through
charity and ecumenism in various Dioceses
of the East, where they provide aid for
the needy Orthodox brethren supplied by
Catholic brethren in the West.
With the “Church of Silence”
The life of Msgr. Hnilica was
spent entirely at the service of
the Church with special attention
for the Church known as the
Church of Silence. He particularly
helped refugees who were fl eeing
from their homes and were left
with nothing. Amongst the many
persons who received his help,
priests and religious sought him
out as a reference in Rome where
Msgr. Hnilica had the grace of residing since
his departure from Slovakia.
Two Stars as his Guide
If suffering never left his side, he was
strengthened by his deep trust in the Merciful
Jesus and in Our Lady, and he accepted
and offered everything with serenity. He
assiduously practised and spread two
devotions: worship of Divine Mercy, tied to
St. Faustina Kowalska; and devotion to the
Immaculate Heart of Mary tied to the Fatima
message. These two devotions guided him
throughout his Episcopal ministry which
was directed especially to the East, and
Russia in particular.
Dark Years of Tribulation
During the hard times of tribulation and
persecution of Christians of the East Msgr.
Hnilica stood fi rmly on his faith and by his
Church. Also when he was brought to the
civil tribunal for a court case against him
in more recent years, he faced everything
with a spirit of prayer and penance, and
Divine Providence rewarded him with a
full acquittal.
Encountering the Needy
No one that sought his help, whether
moral or spiritual or material, ever went
away with empty hands. Fr. Paul - as he liked
to be called - provided help for whoever
came seeking, and he was always willing to
help works of faith, whether big or small,
fi nd their place in the Church. He was thus
widely known and loved during the course
of his life.
Surrendered to Divine Mercy
During his last years his health had
weakened considerably, yet he put up with
everything with courage and patience. He
offered himself to the Lord, and for the sake
of others, even till his last breath, dying
entirely surrendered to the Merciful Love
of God and comforted by his fi lial devotion
to the Blessed Mother.
He was called to the Father’s House on
the day which recalls the Lord’s resurrection:
Sunday 8 October 2006. Precisely six years
previously, on the same day (Sunday 8th
October 2000), John Paul II had entrusted
the new millennium to Our Lady of Fatima.
That was a gesture that fi lled his heart with
immense joy, given the importance and
extraordinary depth of the message.
(Notes from Pro Deo et Fratribus Assoc.)
3
Echo 190
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Not Ashamed of
Medjugorje!
Quite to the contrary, Mons. Paul
Hnilica was a courageous witness in the
Church of the extraordinary grace of that
blessed land. In 1997 he addressed a letter
to Medjugorje-inspired prayer groups, a
part of which we publish here to synthesize
the immense value of the event known as
Medjugorje.
A Living Reality
“No one can deny, even if some try,
that the spiritual Movement of the Queen
of Peace is a living part of the Church, born
of a spirit of prayer, not of human initiative.
This river of light, peace and love for the
Mother of God has generated prayer groups
everywhere, has inspired conversions, and
continues to heal and console the hearts
of all those faithful who have found in the
simplicity of the messages of the Queen of
Peace authentic direction enabling them to
rediscover the Gospel and to return to the
heart of the Church.
Transformed by Grace
Thousands of priests and hundreds
of bishops have celebrated Holy Mass,
and dedicate a lot of time listening to the
confessions of penitents who’ve been trans-
formed by Mary’s motherly grace. Many of
these have returned to their dioceses with
the conviction that “at Medjugorje people
convert,” and these conversions are being
noticed by the Pastors because they are long-
lasting conversions. So many are the people
who have experienced the presence of Mary
at Medjugorje that they cannot be counted,
just as the stories of spiritual and even
physical healings can no longer be counted.
Countless as well, are the vocations to the
priesthood and consecrated life born of the
grace of Medjugorje. These are just some of
the main spiritual fruits which have brought
many to the conclusion that the Queen of
Peace is truly present in Medjugorje.
The Light of Hope
In each of the continents there are many
prayer groups inspired by the messages of
the Queen of Peace, from whom they receive
hope and consolation. These groups are a
living Christian presence in the Church.
The motherly presence of Mary helps us
remember what happened at Guadalupe,
Lourdes and Fatima and in other places of
Marian apparitions. Prior to the apparitions
of Mary these places were spiritual deserts,
and after Mary’s motherly visits they
fl ourished with life; the people regained
hope, they asked forgiveness and this
produced the fruit of peace.
Voice in the Desert
The Queen of Peace came to Bosnia-
Herzegovina with a message of peace and
reconciliation for peoples which some years
later were hurled into a hellish war. Her
voice had cried out as though in a desert. She
came to warn, to admonish and to plead, that
her children might understand that without
conversion of heart there could be no real
peace. The peace in 1981 was apparent
only, because ten years later the war broke
out. But no one knew that. At the time of
the fi rst apparitions it was not clear why in
a land of peaceful cohabitation, Our Lady
should speak of the need for urgent return to
God as the means to obtain true peace. On
26th June 1981 she was seen crying before
a large cross; on the 26th June 1991 the
fi rst bombs fell on the airport of Ljubljana
in Slovenia.
Persecutions…
The message of Medjugorje – like that
of Fatima – speaks of peace and conversion,
nonetheless the journey of the Church is not
an easy one. She shares the same destiny as
that of the prophets: many conversions but
also much persecution; much grace, but a
great battle. Like the prophets it is only after
much suffering and tribulations that men
will come to understand its true importance.
The event of Medjugorje is taking place in
a period of the history of mankind which is
particularly threatened by the forces of Evil.
Without the encounter with the Mother of
Jesus there is no supernatural life, and this
life is always threatened; there is always a
Herod trying to suppress it.
The Highway
It is our conversion that decides the
fate of mankind of the future. It is not the
programmes, or meetings, or words that
will change the world. The Queen of Peace
has shown us the Highway that leads one to
the conversion of heart. This way leads to
the Cenacle, or Upper Room, and it is here
that by means of prayer in communion with
Mary, Bride of the Holy Spirit, we are able
to acknowledge our sins, make penance and
convert. We must not be surprised if Satan
tries many ways to destroy the supernatural
fruits which have matured within the
spiritual Movement of Medjugorje. As our
defence we must sincerely love, serve and
imitate our Queen and Mother of Peace by
living her messages.
Confusion?
To journey towards Mary and together
with her to discover her Son: this spiritual
journey, considered by many as a great
blessing for the Church, does not create
confusion. Confusion is the work of the Evil
One. The Queen of Peace in her messages
does not disorient, but rather, orients towards
the truth of the Gospel, and Medjugorje
itself has become for numerous pilgrims a
place of reconciliation with the Church, not
of separation from the Church. We know that
some speak out against Medjugorje, but this
is not the fi rst time that within the Church
even bishops have expressed confl icting
opinions about a supernatural intervention.
Some years ago the Holy Father said: “The
world is losing the supernatural, people are
fi nding it at Medjugorje through prayer,
fasting and the sacraments.”
Times of Universal “Totus Tuus”
Let us unite our hearts to the Immaculate
Heart of Mary. Many of us have clearly un-
derstood that these are Her times; the times
announced at Fatima and confi rmed by the
message of Medjugorje! These are the times
of the universal “Totus tuus”. The Queen of
Peace wants us united in prayer as we trust-
fully await the New Pentecost which will
renew the face of the earth. Together with
her, let us journey towards the Lord!”
(Paolo M. Hnilica, vescovo)
News of the Blessed Land
Pilgrimage of the Heart
We recently celebrated the Jubilee of
Heaven: Our Lady’s presence in our midst
for 25 years. Since that distant 25 June 1981,
a good part of the world has been to Medu-
gorje. Some pass through but once, but the
greater majority return after the fi rst visit,
and continue to return as though to a special
appointment that one is anxious for.
Medugorje is known by now in every
corner of the world, even if merely by
hear-say. Every time one returns is though to
drink fresh water from a well-spring which
quenches our thirst for God and His love.
This thirst is in the hearts of all, but at times
is ignored, wittingly or unwittingly, and
we often seek to quench it with “polluted
water.” Mary came to awaken in us this thirst
and to help us fi nd at Jacob’s well Him who
quenches every thirst: her Son Jesus. This
then, explains the ongoing desire to make
this pilgrimage, to begin the journey on
which to encounter the Lord. At Medugorje,
it is diffi cult not to encounter Him, not to
hear the call to conversion, the need to pray,
to reconcile with God through confession
and begin a new life.
Just going to Medugorje, though, is
not enough to safe-keep the graces which
are given us. We are urged to make another
type of pilgrimage for this; an inner pilgri-
mage, the markers of which are indicated
in Mary’s messages. This spiritual journey
enables us with every passing day and in
each of life’s circumstances to seek and
understand God’s will; the same journey
undertaken by Mary, as pointed out in the
Vatican II document: “the Blessed Virgin
advanced in her pilgrimage of faith” (LG
58)
keeping everything in her heart, from the
Annunciation (“How is this possible…?”)
to the birth of Jesus (“and she lay him in a
manger for there was no room for them”),
to the encounter with old Simeon at the
presentation (“and a sword shall pierce your
heart”), to the fi nding of Jesus at the temple
(“why were you looking for me?”), to the
Calvary, at the foot of the Cross.
Mary made a pilgrimage of the heart
and mind to safe-keep her communion with
God and to be His handmaid, especially when
she couldn’t understand. At Me ugorje Mary
teaches us to be servants of the Lord and to
live in communion with Him especially in
diffi culties, amid incomprehension, denial,
and in the desert, so we can learn to die
to ourselves and rise as new creatures,
according to the Father’s original blueprint,
and so we might collaborate with Him to
fulfi l His plan for us, and through us, for
the whole world.
Mary knows well that to be His servant,
we must be docile to the impulses of the
Holy Spirit, and strip ourselves of our ego
and our plans, to be ready to follow the voice
of God, and like Abraham leave everything
behind us so we can enter to become part of
the adventure of following behind Christ. If
we do not know where it
shall lead us, we do
know that if we live in simplicity and faith, we
shall receive life in the full. Mary also desires
that we too make this pilgrimage
of the heart
4
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and mind so that in the light of the Risen One
we may see the shadows of darkness in our
souls, so that with prayer, the sacraments,
and fasting we might undertake a journey of
purifi cation to become new creatures, capable
of being pliant instruments in the Father’s
hands, and light for the world. We must be
“faultless and simple, immaculate children
of God, amidst a perverse and depraved
generation, in which you must shine as though
stars for the world”
(cf. Phil 2:14-15).
Mary knows that today’s world is
rushing towards a precipice, hence she has
been with us for so many years and doesn’t
tire of calling us, for she desires generating
blameless children who will follow the Lamb
wherever He goes; children who may be
ready to offer themselves for the salvation of
their brethren who are in danger (“witness
with your life, and sacrifi ce your life for the
salvation of the world”
msg. 25 Feb. 1998).
This is the meaning of Me ugorje - at least
it seems to me - and the sign of God’s endless
mercy which is given as a gift to those who
respond to her call, and through them to the
world.
Cecilia Appugliese
Argentine Bishop at Medju
Bishop Emilio Ogñénovich, from
Argentina, said after his visit to Medju.
“Sadly, there is still quite a lot of ignorance
within the Church about the great
supernatural reality that is happening here,
at the heart of the modern world. (…) If you
ask for my opinion about Medjugorje, I will
tell you that it can be compared to a mother,
a pregnant woman in the sixth month
of pregnancy
, who impatiently awaits the
moment to see her child born, but nobody
can hasten it, because the right moment will
come, in its own good time.”
Our Lady to Mirjana
2 October 2006:
“Dear Children, I come to you in this
time of yours with a call to eternity. This is
the call of love. I call you to love, for it is
only through love that you can come to know
the love of God. (There are) many of you
(who) think they have faith in God and that
they know His laws; they try to live accord-
ing to them, but they do not have what is
most important: they do not love Him.
My Children, pray and fast. This is the
way which will help you to open yourselves,
and to love. It is only through the love of
God that eternity is gained. I am with you; I
will lead you with (my) motherly love. Thank
you for responding.”
Our Lady then added:
“My Children, priests have hands which are
blessed by my Son. Respect them.”
of you my apostles - apostles of peace and
love. I thank you.”
At the end Our Lady added: “In your
prayers do not forget your pastors.”
Gospa’s tennis player
“Dear Children, each of you are impor-
tant, so my Children pray and rejoice with
me for each heart that converts and becomes
an instrument of peace in the world…”
In her message of 25th June 2004, our
blessed Mother stressed how each of us,
despite the fragility of our human nature,
has a fundamental role in God’s plan of
salvation that she has come to fulfi l by
appearing at Medugorje. This role involves
giving witness to God’s love there where
we live and work. There is no environment,
social or professional, that is excluded
from His action of grace, not even the most
hostile to the faith.
The world of sport is one of these.
Often the sporting competitions are held on
feast days which makes it diffi cult, if not im-
possible, to attend the Sacraments regularly.
It is an environment where faith in God is
traded off with superstition, where vanity
is preferred over the virtue of humility, and
where attachment to wealth is aggressively
competitive.
Mary, however, desires that her children
might renew and convert also the world of
sport, and recently she has called a young
man born under her mantle to spread her
voice also in this environment from which
God has been ousted. He is a young tennis
player from Medjugorje
, Marin Cilic,
who turned 18 on the 18th September 2006.
Last year Marin was the junior world cham-
pion, and in his fi rst year as a professional he
made it to the semi-fi nals of the ATP tourna-
ment in Gstaad, Switzerland, and became a
member of the national Croatian tennis team
that participated in the Davis Cup.
With the tournament of Gstaad we are
offered a small example of the power of
witness by a child of Mary in the world
of sport. The surprising advancement of
Marin in the competition was reason for the
offi cial webpage of the tournament to speak
of Medjugorje, and in terms that one rarely
sees even in the Catholic press: “Since
1981, in the small village of Medjugorje in
Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Virgin Mary has
been appearing. Today Medjugorje is a
blessed place, and since then more than 20
million faithful have visited it, making this
little village close to the border with Croatia
one of the most frequented pilgrimage sites
in the world. Also Marin Cilic comes from
Medjugorje …”.
Marin needs our prayer, not so he can
win and become a world champion, but that
he might be a witness to Mary’s presence
in the world of sport,
which is generally
very distant from God. The fact that Marin
comes from Medjugorje isn’t suffi cient. To
be a real witness one needs to be faithful to
Holy Mass, to the sacraments, and to prayer,
living in God’s love day by day and distan-
cing oneself from a life of sin. Otherwise,
how could one become an instrument of
peace and bring God’s blessing and message
of salvation to others?
Guido Villa
Belong to Mary
by Stefania Consoli
It is well known that particularly in the
last century saints as well as Popes have
indicated a sure way of arriving straight at
Jesus’ Heart, a type of shortcut that never
fails. This sure way is through Consecra-
tion to Mary
. We have asked ourselves
what it really means to belong to Her. Is it
a way of freeing ourselves of our responsi-
bilities? or a shortcut, leaving us inert and
passive, in a sort of “She’ll take care of it”
attitude? Or is it rather a call to conform
ourselves to Mary in everything, to imitate
her in her earthly life?
To belong to Mary means to accept and
receive the entire plan that the Lord wrought
in the girl of Nazareth over 2000 years ago.
It means letting ourselves be involved in that
mysterious plan that totally overturned her
life, to the point of our own life becoming a
beloved dwelling place for God: “… you are
to conceive and bear a son”
(Lk 1:31).
To belong to Mary means to let her “yes”
echo within your soul, and produce your
own “yes.” Mary, sustained obviously by
her great faith, consented to a proposal that
would have left anyone astonished: become
the Mother of God… and thus challenge
the laws of biology and social order with a
power that is inconceivable to reason, which
can be defi ned only by faith: “…the Holy
Spirit will come upon you”
(Lk 1:35).
To belong to Mary means, in substance,
to surrender with trust and without reserve,
and leave every initiative to God, so the
impossible can become possible: “Behold
the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto
me according to thy word”
(Lk 1:31).
To belong to Mary means to accept not
to understand, but to let the Holy Spirit
act, and renounce science, logic, rules and
whatever programme we may have: “You
must name him Jesus.. and so the child will
be holy”
(Lk 1:31-35).
To belong to Mary means to accept the
incomprehension of others, abandon the
common thought, and remain faithful to
God, as Joseph did: “he did as the angel
of the Lord had told him, and took his wife
to his home”
(Mt 1:24), and he did not
repudiate her.
To belong to Mary thus means to have
the courage to remain Christian at all costs,
in all our choices, in every action, whilst
knowing that a large part of the world thinks
we are fools, and fatalists… And this way,
the Word - which still has much to say - can
become fl esh in us, and transform us into
instruments of salvation for those willing
to listen to us.
2 November 2006:

“Dear Children, my coming to you, my
Children, is love of God. God sends me to
warn you and to make you see the true way.
Do not close your eyes before the truth, my
Children. Your time is brief. Do not allow
deceptions to reign in you. The way upon
which I wish to lead you is the way of peace
and love. This is the way that brings you to
my Son, your God. Give me your hearts, so
that I may place my Son in them, and make
5
background image
“Offer Your Lives!”
weakness, confusion and tension in our
interpersonal relations. When we say to
choose God and to decide for Him, we
mean: decide with all oneself; love Him
with all oneself, and love one’s neighbour
as oneself.
Second step: surrender to God
Many faithful fi nd it very diffi cult to
surrender themselves completely to God.
Only a child is capable of total surrender; a
child in its mother’s womb. It surrenders be-
cause it feels the mother’s heart, it feels the
mother’s life. Unless you advance in prayer
and open up to God, you cannot surrender
to Him. If you follow your own will, but in
prayer cannot feel God, His goodness and
His love the way a child feels its mother’s
love, then you cannot surrender..
In a message to little Jelena Our Lady
explained prayer: “Prayer is dialogue with
God. In each prayer you ought to sense*
the voice of God.” (*In the Italian text the
verb used is sentire which can mean “hear,”
“feel,” or “sense” - translator’s note.) Of
course, Our Lady was not referring to
the gift of extraordinary visions or other
charismas, but merely to the capacity of
feeling communion with God. “You cannot
live without prayer,” continued Our Lady,
“prayer is life. Prayer is necessary for you
to have light, to attain happiness. Prayer
teaches you to cry and to blossom…”
With prayer we can rest, as a child in
its mother’s bosom. In prayer we are able
to fi nd Mary if the heart opens to listen
and to recognize that She is the pure and
immaculate Mother. In prayer we find
tranquillity in knowing that God always
gives us good things. In this way of self-
offering, surrender is very important. Only
after having surrendered oneself can a
person offer himself to someone else, just as
when a young man and a young lady meet
and feel love for each other, and they offer
themselves to each other to be then united
defi nitely in marriage.
Ten years ago Our Lady said in a mes-
sage: “Dear Children, Today I call you to
offer your crosses and sufferings for my
intentions. My Children, I am your mother
and I wish to help you by interceding before
God for graces for you. My Children, offer
your sufferings as a gift to God
that they
might become a beautiful flower of joy.
Therefore, my children, pray to comprehend
that suffering can become joy and the cross
the way to joy”
(25.09.96).
Do we believe this? Then let’s advance
together to comprehend how to journey
along this way.
(to be continued)
The Way of the Call
Editor
In the last edition of Echo we announced
a new column dedicated to explaining the
nucleus of the call which the Queen of Peace
has addressed in various of her messages:
offer one’s life for the salvation of the
world.
It may seem a call for just a few; in
appearance too diffi cult to put into practice,
or we might be prompted to think that only
the saints of the past dared to offer up their
own lives to God as a victim of love.
However, this is quite untrue! Who
knows how many in the secret of their hearts
offered themselves to God without reserve,
offering Him the liberty to do with them as
He willed, even entrust them with heavy
crosses so that the crosses of others could
be made lighter. This is the greater love, like
that of Jesus who offered His own life and
died on the cross for our sake.
St. Paul himself attests that this call is
addressed to all Christians: “I beseech you
therefore, brethren, by the mercy of God, to
offer your bodies as a living sacrifi ce, holy
and pleasing to God,”
(cf. Rm 12:1). If the
call is addressed to all, then let us search our
hearts for the response to want to become
as Jesus, a living Eucharist, a sacrament of
salvation for all mankind.
Offering self to Jesus through Mary
This way is for all Christians, yet at the
same time it is a call addressed to the most
generous, to those who desire advancing
and opening the way for others. It is to begin
a journey in which one offers up one’s life
through the Immaculate Heart of the Virgin
Mary. We shall attempt to indicate the
steps that are necessary to advance along
this way.
As guide one must invoke the Holy
Spirit. Priests have the task of introducing
and accompanying the soul, as would
parents with their children; these children
will then have to mature and be able to
comprehend what to do with their life. But
what does it mean to offer up one’s life?
What is surrender?
First step: decide for God
If we look at ourselves and consider our
behaviour as that of “good Christians” we
might say that we have decided for God, but
we need to verify how true this is. Perhaps
we go to Church regularly, and maybe even
to the prayer group, however, when we are
told something we do not like we rebel,
perhaps aggressively. This means that inside
of us we are not decided for God!
Those who live in the world often
experience situations which are pressing and
demanding, and the diffi culty of “breathing
spiritually,” and one is barely aware of the
power of the Holy Spirit! This happens
when we haven’t given God fi rst place, or
we haven’t found a prayer that opens us up
completely to God. It means we haven’t
decided completely for God, and inside of
us we are divided amongst many things.
Inward division is the cause of our
H
OLY
M
ASS FOR
E
CHO
Dear readers, and family of the Echo,
You are invited to unite yourselves spiritually
to the Holy Mass that will be celebrated
on the 25th of each month
, for the support
of our work and for readers’ intentions. The
spiritual participation of each of you will
make it all the more richer, and will become
a font of abundant fruit, peace and blessing
for all.
Prayer of Journalists
O Mary, your young life was marked by news
that was unheard of, and unthinkable.
It became the Good News for all mankind.
You were moved and perturbed before the
event, just as any other human would have
been. You are able to offer hospitality to God
in your own home and in ours.
Mary, also we journalists are called
to give news that can build up or destroy,
that can orient or disorient,
make happy or unhappy.
Help us, Mary, to always tell the truth
with the wisdom of charity
that hearts might dilate and hope.
Mary, your freedom was a ray of light,
that bent only before God, for He
is the meaning and purpose of freedom.
Woman of good News, help us journalists
to never sell our freedom
for the sake of interests or power,
so we may give clean water to the people
who desire building a better world. Amen.
Mons. Angelo Comastri
Here I Am!
… at Verona on the occasion of the
National Ecclesial Convention. I have come
with my two youngest children, Luca and
Teresa, with my parish and my diocese. We
have come to express our joy at being here,
with the Church and Pastor. Here we are!
If we are here it is thanks to Our Lady
who called us from Medjugorje. She helped
us hear the Lord’s call to convert and repent,
to become part of His fl ock, a living member
of His Church of whom He is the Head.
When we respond to Our Lady she takes
us by the hand and leads us out of the dark-
ness into the light, to her Son. Jesus leads
us into His Church, He teaches us to love
her, to don her virtues, to heed her voice.
Obedience is our strength; it makes the yoke
light. When we respond to the call and join
the Lord’s fl ock, we learn to follow behind
Him. In our daily lives we come into contact
with evil, directly or indirectly. As Jesus did,
we offer it on the altar, entrusting everyone
and everything to Him. The Lamb-who-is-
Slain makes a perfect offering to the Father.
In His love everything is transformed. He
knows how to draw good out of evil.
As I refl ect on the joy of being a member
of the Church, I recall that Our Lady recently
reminded us of our responsibility to support
our pastors. Through Mirjana, she said to
respect priests, and to remember them in our
prayers. So let us pray with Mary, Mother of
Priests, and in our daily Rosary entrust our
pastors to Jesus through Mary’s motherly
care, and in our daily Mass thank God for
our pastors, beginning with the Pope, and for
granting us new holy vocations. When the
Priest offers the gifts at Mass, let us place
ourselves and all our intentions on the paten
and in the chalice. Eccomi! Here I am!
Elena Ricci
Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
I have heard You calling in the night.
I shall go, Lord, if You lead me.
I shall hold Your people in my heart.
6
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That Name
(Simple Thoughts)
By Pietro Squassabia
Do you know that soon the Child will
be born? Yes, and what name will be given
Him? The Name told by the angel: JESUS
People often say to a child: “what a lo-
vely name you have!” This is a compliment
for the child and a praise for the parents
who chose the name. When I think of God
the Father who through the angel gave the
Son the name of Jesus it makes me think
how much love God must have put in the
choice of that name, and how much beauty
and sweetness He must have infused in
that Name. Certainly God gave the Son the
most beautiful Name; the Name that best
expresses the person of the Son. Certainly,
the Father must have put Himself in that
Name.
This Name is certainly an honour
for the Son and brings praise upon the
Father
. A name for God is important
because it identifi es the person; and even in
paradise, we will most certainly be called by
name. If this is true for man, then it is even
more so for Jesus: “At the name of Jesus
every knee should bow, in heaven and on
earth and under the earth,”
says the Apostle
Paul in his letter to the Philippians (2:10).
Paul then tells us what the name of Jesus
produces: knees must bow, to praise and
thank God, as He desires; to ask of God,
as He desires; to acknowledge what we
are, as He desires. These are all things that
we cannot do without invoking the Name
of Jesus.
I think how sweet it must have been
(and is) for Mary when she called her Son
by name; of the joy she must have felt when
she called Him by name the fi rst time. I think
of the support this Name would have given
her, just by saying it, in the diffi cult and
dark moments of her earthly life. I also think
that God must rejoice at saying His Name,
at saying Jesus. For us, this Name is a help
and a support; it is medicine for our souls.
It is a name that gives life; that brings love
to the person called (Jesus), to he who says
it, and to our neighbour.
So let’s make a habit of saying His
Name often, with faith, with the heart;
it will defi nitely do us much good. The
Name itself seems miraculous, for when
we pronounce the Name, also the Person is
made present: Jesus comes to us. Let us ask
Mary to make us attentive to the Name of her
Son, to make us think of it often with love
so that it can truly transform our being. I am
sure that if we try, it will happen. Perhaps
in this way Jesus, who lives in us, will not
be confi ned and humiliated in a dark corner
of our heart, but will be honoured for that
which He is: our King. This way we shall be
able to take part in the feast for the King, in
company of the King, and possess the true
joy that Jesus is; and Jesus, who was born in
a stable, will fi nd a more welcoming place
to receive Him.
Signs of Springtime
I don’t know if I’m mistaken but I think
not. I think I see signs of springtime in this
winter, which I would call the polar winter of
mankind, which hasn’t even left the Church
untouched. I see different ways of doing,
of thinking, of living. Around me I see
something that is new, and true; as though a
prelude to the blossoming of life, something
that makes me think of the new heavens and
new earth of Holy Scripture.
No, it is not utopia, for the signs are too
obvious. It cannot be an illusion for I would
say the signs were practically tangible. Let
us be full of trust and keep watch so we can
receive the life when it blossoms, when
it awakens, and that the gift that is being
offered us from On High does not escape
us. Medjugorje is an example. The life that
blossoms here is a reality; the good that is
spread from here without measure is true.
It is up to us to readily receive this truly
amazing grace without delay because time
is short. Mary is near to us and holds us by
the hand; she consoles us.
I Am With You…
by Giuseppe Ferraro
There is an expression that is repeated
very frequently in the messages of the
Queen of Peace, perhaps so much so that
her distracted children miss the importance
of it and their hearts are unmoved by it. This
expression is: “I am with you!”
When asked what he thought the most
important message Heaven was offering us
through Medjugorje, Padre Slavko would
respond: “Mary’s special presence in our
midst.”
Our Lady, in fact, calls us with incredible
insistence to recognize and acknowledge that
her presence in this time is an exceptional
grace: “This time is my time” (msg. 25
Jan.1997); “Dear Children, it is a grace
that I can be with you”
(msg. 25 Nov. 1992).
Mary calls us in impassioned motherly tones
not to trivialize the gift, and to put to interest
this unrepeatable effusion of grace that
gushes forth through her special presence in
our midst: “Therefore, my Children, listen
to and live what I say to you, because it will
be important for you when I shall no longer
be with you to recall my words and all that
I have said to you”
(msg. 25 Oct. 1992 );
“Therefore, my Children, I beseech you to
accept and to live the messages seriously, so
that your soul won’t be sad when I shall no
longer be with you”
(msg. 25 Dec. 1989).
Why then, does Mary repeat so
assiduously that “She is with us”, that we
are not alone, that “her Heart closely follows
our steps”
(msg. 25 Dec. 1986), almost as
if to make us see in Her presence a gift of
grace that is something much more profound
and fundamental?
In the book of Exodus, at the beginning
of the history of salvation, when Moses
confessed his radical incapacity to fulfi l the
mission of freeing the people of Israel from
the oppressor with which the Most High had
entrusted him: “Who am I to go to Pharaoh
and bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?”,
Yahweh simply responds, “I shall be with
you” (Ex 3:11-12).
This then is the true seal of victory
over all our inner paralysis and radical
inadequacy to serve the giddy mission to
which Mary calls us in this time. It is the
foundation of the absolute certainty that
our “yes” to Her call will open the gates for
the fulfi lment of the salvifi c plan that the
Father entrusts to us through Mary: “Dear
Children, I want you to understand that
God has chosen each of you in His plan of
salvation for mankind.…I am with you so
that you may fulfi l everything”
(msg. 25 Jan.
1987), “I want to save all souls and offer
them to God”
(msg. 25 Aug. 1991).
So it is important to grasp: “the breadth,
the length, the height and the depth” of
this unspeakable Love “that surpasses all
knowledge” (Eph 3:18), which is behind
and at the roots of Mary’s special presence
“with us.” Today, in fact, the Queen of
Peace does not descend into the midst of
her children alone, but with Her there is the
extraordinary presence of the entire Church:
the Angels, Archangels and all God’s
Saints are exceptionally close to our souls
which desperately thirst for pure love and
are tragically incapable of receiving it and
giving it: “now it is said that God is distant,
but in truth He has never been closer”
(msg.
25 Sept. 1999).
Mary is with us now so we can fully
participate in that same Love that reigns
in the New Jerusalem, love that She wants
for all her children and the entire universe.
When the enormous current of celestial
grace touches the earth, devastated by men
and mortally corrupted by the great sin of
a world that refuses fi lial communion with
the Heart of the Father, that current of grace
becomes power of sacrifi ced love. It is the
“new song” of the Slain Lamb. Through the
special presence of the Mother of God, the
Slain Lamb wants to triumph today in the
hearts of her children, and through them,
lead the entire creation to the new heavens
and new earth that radiate
from the glorifi ed fl esh of
the Risen One.
Thus, Mary’s “I am
w i t h y o u ” i s t o d a y a
founding grace
, a gift of
inexpressible value offered
to the Church and the world,
whose fertility is derived
from Her total offering to
God for our sake, so that the children She has
called might become fully participant in Her
own salvifi c mission, be made instruments
elect and vessels enfl amed with Her own
immaculate love for the sake of souls and
the entire creation.
In perfect communion with her Son’s
“kenosis” (self-emptying, Phil 2:7), Mary
does not hesitate to mystically immerse
herself in the abysses of human suffering
present in the hearts and flesh of her
children: “I am with you, and your suffering
is mine”
(25.04.92), for she wants to obtain
for them the grace of offering their lives to
God without reserve thereby uniting them
intimately to His life, and to produce a
powerful effusion of love greatly exceeding
their inadequacy and human frailty: “I have
already managed to take upon myself a part
of the cross Jesus had destined for you. This
cross is heavy and you are little! Thus, my
Children, love me so you will not lose me”

(msg. 14.04.85).
7
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Readers Write
from the Missions!
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you so much for the regular despatch of
the Echo. I receive it from Sr. Brigit, a
Benedictine nun from Tanzania. It makes
me very happy when it arrives as it helps me
to know what is happening at Medjugorje,
at Rome, and also other places where
young Catholics meet. This little paper is
informative and also inspiring. I learnt the
Luminous Mysteries from the Echo.
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brethren, peace and greetings! Many thanks
for the Echo you send us. It is a source of
light and information: both Marian and
Christian. Our missions are present all over
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always accompanied us. It is read in many
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Rio there is a city founded by Italians in the
XVII century called Mantua, and its Patron
is Our Lady of the Snow. We have brought
your paper also to this city. Many thanks
and blessings.
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Dear friends, glory to God and praise to
Mary! Thank you for the paper. I have
offered you in every Eucharist, every
Rosary and you always will be present in
my prayer… May the Father love you and
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be your companion along the journey, day
and night, in the darkness and in the light.
May the Holy Spirit fi ll you with His gifts.
May Mary Most Holy love you, guide you,
protect you and console you. And may the
good St. Joseph help you spiritually, moral-
ly and materially. I beseech you to pray for
my holiness! I have cancer and I am happy
to offer up to our good God, and to Mary,
all the pain to console them and repair for
my sins and the sins of the world. I embrace
you affectionately, united in prayer!
Emile Tognizin, Benin (Africa): I send
this letter to thank you with all my heart. In
our parish we hold night-long adoration. We
pray also in the homes. There are refugees
from Togo who come to this prayer. Various
prayer groups animate the parish life on fi rst
Fridays. I pray for you and for the work the
Lord has entrusted you with, that the Lord
might bless you and make you advance
always more.
Sr. Camillina, Philippines: I am a
religious and Minister of the Infi rm; I have
been on mission in the Philippines for
20 years. I regularly receive the Echo of
Mary in English, and make it available for
whomever desires reading it. I see that it is
welcomed and read with interest. I thank
you for this generous gift, and I am sorry I
cannot help economically, but we too live on
donations. I offer you our prayer, that Our
Lady might support your efforts to bring the
message of peace, love and conversion to
many people. I am sure the Echo does good
to those who call themselves Christian but
in reality are indifferent and superfi cial.
L
ET US PRAY TOGETHER!

In the month of November we (with the
Church) recall our deceased, and to do this
we often say the prayer of the Sorrowful
Mysteries of the Rosary
also as a means to
meditate on the reality of death, from which
not even our Lord Jesus Christ was exempt.
Following are some brief refl ections that
might help this prayer.
1st Sorrowful Mystery: Jesus offers
Himself in the olive grove
Lord Jesus, in that moment the whole
world abandoned you. Even those whom
you had called to watch with you had given
in to sleep; even your Father was present
only with His tremendous will: death on
a cross. Jesus, how much sorrow filled
your heart in that moment, and how much
desolation! Yet you did not give in to the
temptation to desist. You offered yourself,
you surrendered with trust to your destiny
of passion; you remained like a lamb and
handed yourself over. Thank you!
Help us, Lord, in our nights of sorrow,
in the darkness of suffering, not to seek
reasons, not to acquire remedies, but to
surrender ourselves with your same trust
into the hands of Providence.
2nd Sorrowful Mystery: Jesus is scourged
and condemned to death
“What is the truth” Pilate asked you
when everyone was accusing you and he
didn’t understand. Who was right? Everyone
thought they were just and they wanted to
impose their justice upon you. But you alone
were the Just One, yet you did not impose
yourself. You remained silent, you forgave,
you accepted the disgrace of the unjust. Why
Lord? In every person there is the impulse
to rebel when we are offended, but you
remained silent and you allowed them to
destroy your body with the scourge.
Help us, Lord, to dominate our ire and
our need to defend ourselves at all costs.
Help us to understand that if we silently offer
ourselves we can save not only ourselves
but also those who scourge us who “do not
know what they are doing.”
3rd Sorrowful Mystery: Jesus is crowned
with thorns and mocked
They mocked you Lord, and in doing
so they thought they were stronger, more
important, more powerful. They wanted to
throw mud on your regality by giving you a
makeshift mantle and a sceptre in your hand,
and then spitting on you. But your kingdom
is not of this world; the only clothing it needs
is humility and meekness. Your head was
pierced by long, sharp thorns, and your heart
even more so because you could see how sin
had made your brethren so horrible.
Help us, Lord, not to seek honour and
gain to the detriment of others. Help us to be
authentic children of your Kingdom, that is,
to be in the world, but not of the world.
4th Sorrowful Mystery: Jesus carries the
Cross up Calvary
As you advanced upwards towards the
top of the mount you met all mankind; the
cruel man and the suffering man, the angry
man and the surprised man, the enemy and
the friend. In reality it was man who had
been wounded by sin which, like a snake,
continued to bite and harden hearts. You,
Lamb of the Father, came to bear the sins
of the world, so you took them on your
shoulders together with the heavy wood to
consume them with your offering.
Help us, Lord, to look with mercy at the
errors of others; make us capable of dying
for these so that like the good thief they
might repent and be worthy of paradise.
5th Sorrowful Mystery: Jesus dies on
the Cross
Lord, one cannot contemplate this
event without being left dumb; emptied
of thoughts and words. Every comment is
vain before this mystery that supersedes all
human logic or reasoning. God who became
fl esh so He could be with man let his same
fl esh be killed for love of man. What does
all this mean?
Lord, help us to understand each time we
look at the crucifi x that your end was not on
that wood; it was just a part of the way…
because you are alive and your crucifi xion
is merely the prelude to your resurrection.
Make us see with our own eyes the cross that
we too are called to die upon, day by day.
S.C.
ECHO on line: www.ecodimaria.net
e-mail: info@ecodimaria.net
God bless you and keep you.
May His Holy Face shine over you
and may He give you His infi nite mercy.
May God’s gaze be upon you,
and may He give you peace!
9 September 2006
8