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www.medjugorje.ws » Echo of Mary Queen of Peace » Echo of Mary Queen of Peace 201 (September-October 2008)

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Our Lady’s message, 25 July 2008:
“Dear children! At this time when you
are thinking of physical rest, I call you to
conversion. Pray and work so that your
heart yearns for God the Creator who is the
true rest of your soul and your body. May
He reveal His face to you and may He give
you His peace. I am with you and intercede
before God for each of you. Thank you for
having responded to my call.”
May your heart yearn
for God the creator
“For as the rain comes down, and
the snow from heaven, and do not re-
turn there, but water the earth, and make
it bring forth and bud, that it may give
seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall My word be that goes forth from
My mouth; It shall not return to Me void,
but it shall accomplish what I please, and it
shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it”
(Is 55, 10-11). This is how Isaiah expresses
the creating and saving work of the Word
of God and what he says doesn’t even ful-
ly grasp the extent of what it reveals. The
Word that returns to the Father after having
wholly fulfi lled His wish is Jesus Christ, the
Word incarnate. “Blessed be the God, Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed
us with every spiritual blessing in the hea-
venly places in Christ, just as He chose us
in Him before the foundation of the world,
that we should be holy and without blame
before Him in love, having predestined us to
adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself,
according to the good pleasure of His will”
(Eph 1, 3-6)
In Him he summed up all things, both
which are in heaven and which are on earth
(Eph 1, 10b). Jesus Christ is not only the ma-
ker of our reconciliation with the Father; in
Jesus a new and absolutely unforeseeable life
opens up for men, for every man, which still
remains surprising today. Man is no longer
what he used to be. Now every man can be-
come a dwelling place for God in the Spirit
(Eph 2, 22), to do the works that Jesus did
(John 14, 12), to be similar to Him (John
14, 20-21). This pathway of assimilation is
called conversion. At this time in which
you are thinking of the rest of the body,
I invite you to convert. Mary’s invitation is
not contradictory, given that the pathway of
conversion is not in contrast with the need
for rest, actually, it leads to it. And it is true
already in this life because it satisfi es the
thirst of the soul and the yearning of the fl esh
(Psalm 62(63),2).
Pray and work so that your heart might
yearn for God the creator who is the true
rest of your soul and your body.
fi nds rest in God alone because only in Him
does love fulfi l the miracle of the co-existen-
ce of opposites, without contradiction. All of
this is not according to logic, it is the object
of daily experience: the little “miracles” of
abnegation and love that still exist and still
cause wonder and admiration.
Let Him reveal his face to you and
grant you His peace. Let us learn to discover
the face of God in the small things of every
day and sooner or later the Light of this Face
will illuminate our minds and warm our he-
arts. Let us try to be operators of peace in the
little situations that we experience on a daily
basis and sooner or later His Peace will fl o-
od our soul. I am with you and I intercede
before God for each one of you.
apart from our own will, prevents us from
experiencing this presence and this inter-
cession. Why not try? “He who forgives all
your iniquities, who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from destruction, who
crowns you with loving kindness and tender
mercies, who satisfi es your mouth with good
things, so that your youth is renewed like the
eagle’s. (Psalm 102 (103), 3-5).
“Lord Jesus Christ, take away my free-
dom, my memory, my understanding, and
my will. All that I have and cherish you have
given me. I surrender it all to be guided
by your will. Your love and your grace are
wealth enough for me. Give me these, Lord
Jesus, and I ask for nothing more. Amen.”
(St. Ignatius of Loyola)
Nuccio Quattrocchi
The statue of the Queen of Peace
profaned on Apparition Hill in Medjugorje.
“We are that missing hand, detached from
the Mother to reach out to all those who are
far away and to give them the gift of her ca-
Our Lady’s message, 25 August 2008:
“Dear children! Also today I call you to
personal conversion. You be those who will
convert and, with your life, will witness,
love, forgive and bring the joy of the Risen
One into this world, where my Son died
and where people do not feel a need to seek
Him and to discover Him in their lives. You
adore Him, and may your hope be hope to
those hearts who do not have Jesus. Thank
you for having responded to my call.”
Let you be the ones to convert
Everything is ready. Everything has been
prepared for us. Now it is up to us to partici-
pate in the wedding feast of the king’s son
(ref. Matthew 22, 1-14) or in the great supper
prepared for us (ref. Luke 14, 16-24). We are
all invited, we are expected. Taking action to
honour this invitation means setting out on the
pathway of conversion; and given that the in-
vitation is personal, so is the answer: personal
. Each of us is called personally. We
may attempt to excuse our refusal of the invi-
tation but no excuse is credible. God’s calling
is so strong, so clear and so great that it cannot
be compared to any of our activities, no human
duty, nothing that the world normally judges
as important or right or dutiful. Nothing in the
world, or outside of the world, can prevail over
the call to become a dwelling place of God in
the Spirit
(Eph 2, 22b).
Dear children, today also I invite you
towards personal conversion. We cannot con-
vert keeping our old habits, aspirations, and
plans. We need to decentralise ourselves from
ourselves to center ourselves on God and eve-
rything will change; much of what we believed
to be important will seem insignifi cant, and
vice-versa, much of what we previously con-
sidered to be non-essential will be necessary.
But what things were gain to me, these I have
counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count
all things loss for the excellence of the know-
ledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have
suffered the loss of all things, and count them
as rubbish, that I may gain Christ (Phil 3, 7-8).

Only in Him everything grows in an orderly
because everything grows in complian-
ce with the Will of the Father, who gave us his
Son to be also in us, in Him, Children. Personal
conversion is a gift of divine grace but it requi-
res our yes, our opening, and our willingness to
welcome it: let you be the ones to convert
But do we truly want to convert? And what
do we say about believing in Mary’s messages,
are we ready to be surprised when we meet tho-
se who openly or silently show that they do not
believe, are we really willing to undergo perso-
nal conversion? Let you be the ones to convert
and, with your lives, to bear witness, to love,
to forgive and to bring the joy of the Risen
Christ to this world in which my Son died
and in which men do not feel the need to seek
Him and discover Him as part of their own
The invitation is clear: not words, not de-
September - October 2008 - Year 24 # 5 - Echo of Mary, P.O. Box 47, I-31037 Loria (TV), Italy.
www.ecodimaria.net - A translation of the original Italian: Eco di Maria
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clarations of principle but life testimonies. To
desire with all our strength, with all our heart,
our mind and our soul to be pervaded by the di-
vine Spirit, assimilated by Him to Christ Jesus
so that He might live in us. To implore this from
the Father, through the intercession of Mary, so
as to be witnesses to the Risen Christ. He is not
lying dead in this world, like the world would
like Him to be; He is ready to rise up in every
man who accepts Him and welcomes Him into
his own soul. Adore Him and let your hope be
hope for those hearts that do not have Jesus.

Let our eyes, our mind and our hearts stare at
Jesus in fervid adoration to allow ourselves to
be like Him and, despite our shortcomings and
our sin, this shall come about in us and in others
because this is the Will of the Father; we just
need to believe in it with an ardent faith and
allow ourselves to be dragged into the vortex of
Trinitarian love, to be enfl amed by the Fire of
the Spirit. This is our hope and it is hope that
does not disappoint, because the love of God
has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy
Spirit who was given to us
(Rm 5, 5). Peace
and joy in Jesus and Mary.
The other face of the Olympics
Along with several billion people, with
great interest we watched the Olympic
Games that took place in China last August.
We were captivated by the customary charm
of such high level sporting competitions,
especially when the participants are not hi-
ghly paid professionals, but athletes commit-
ted to reaching an ever better result through
signifi cant sacrifi ces and dedicated commit-
ment to training. Those of you who are not
so passionate about sport may perhaps only
have admired the inauguration ceremony and
the pomp and splendour that Beijing created
around the Olympic event. But as the pro-
verb says “all that glitters isn’t gold”. This
is the case for the Chinese population, which
has found itself involved in a careful cover-
operation for a few years, an operation
that has been studied attentively to show the
world that visited it an impeccable exterior
appearance, to the fore front, an appearance
on a par with the great western super powers
that are actually only promoting “the Chinese
phenomenon” for shallow political, fi nancial
and social interests of a worrying capacity.
As usual, those who pay the price are the
small timers, along with those who serve
them, such as the representatives of Christian
Churches. Essentially, the most elementary
human rights and religious freedoms had the
worst of it.
Already a few months ago, the violent
repression of the Tibetan opposition gave
the world an insight into the position of the
Beijing authorities as regards any type of dis-
sent relating to their work. At the end of July
it was offi cially prohibited for priests and bi-
shops not affi liated with the offi cial Catholic
Church to administer the sacraments or car-
ry out pastoral activities. The “surveillance”
operation then came about in a more silent
and often more brutal manner. According to
certain information obtained from activists
within the clandestine Church, the majority
of priests operating in the capital were forced
to leave until the end of the Olympics. The
assessments of the Zenit information agency
calculate that there are currently approxima-
Why are we fascinated
by the East?
It is interesting to stop for a moment to
think about the beauty and charm of the East
and the way it transmits this ancient presen-
ce to the various levels of Western culture, it
is meditative, veiled in mystery and archaic
knowledge about the interiority of man.
I’d like to focus on this charm and come
to some understanding of how, when it rea-
ches Europe, this infl uence doesn’t merely
stop at presenting the characteristics of tradi-
tion and culture that single it out, but it passes
on the spiritual-religious element as a silent
In particular, among these “winds of the
East” it is worth considering the call that
Buddhist spirituality presents in terms of ide-
als of peace, non-violence, well-being, medi-
tation, harmony, contact with the “spiritual”
and an abstraction from reality towards the
so-called state of “illumination”. These ide-
als are all attractive in themselves, and in a
certain sense they are quick proposals for that
need for spirituality and evasion that western
man is experiencing nowadays. But why do
they also take root in Christians?
To fi nd an answer to this question we need
to leave man in general aside, who harbours an
underlying existential need regarding a “ten-
dency towards Otherness”, to focus our atten-
tion on Christians in general, those to whom
everything was revealed in the full knowledge
of God, and who have full, vital access to God
which is permitted “by the only Mediator
between God and men”, Jesus Christ. From
this knowledge, which is therefore life expe-
rience, Christians should look around, with
their gaze becoming discernment in the Spirit
that breathes within them, housing them in
the unity of the Father and the Son.
To shed some even more objective light
on this reality, I shall draw some inspiration
from Teachings, where the Church’s asses-
sment regarding the presence of Buddhism
in Europe is expressed with extreme clarity.
In the document entitled “Domus Aurea” a
group of bishops and theologians who are
specialists in inter-religious dialogue affi rm
in point two that: “The main worry refers to
the growing number of European Christians
tely 35 bishops from the clandestine Catholic
Church in prison, under house arrest or in
hiding and hundreds of missionaries were
expelled from China.
This “façade” was studied in such a way
as to ensure that everything would appear to
be free and lawful. In fact, inside the Olympic
village, athletes were able to avail of places
of worship and they also had the possibility
of meeting with priests, but outside of the ga-
tes, all of this was prohibited.
As we were also saying, human rights
were infringed extensively through an in-
tensifi cation of repressive action. According
to Zenit, the Games also led to the expro-
priation of over one million homes in order
to allow for the provision of new services.
Among other things, before the beginning
of the Olympic Games, the authorities sent
immigrant workers away from Beijing, along
with beggars and other “undesirables”. The
authorities then took the appropriate measu-
res to avoid the risk of all protests during the
In itself, sport should be inspired by heal-
thy principles of growth, the desire to surpass
our own limits in order to improve ourselves,
friendly meetings with those who share our
same passion, healthy competition that doe-
sn’t presuppose rivalry but rather, expresses
normal confrontation in diversity. Today un-
fortunately we are seeing the exploitation of
all of this in order to affi rm power, an arro-
gant supremacy over others, without taking
anyone else into consideration. The case of
the “China phenomenon” is extreme in eve-
rything, but let’s ask ourselves: who studied
it in the tiniest details in order to destabilize
worldwide balances? Who strengthens it? For
what ends? The answers to these questions
would certainly not lead to an evangelical
spirit of justice, equality, truth and freedom.
Christians then should do their best to help
those who are paying a very high price in the
East, solely due to the fact that they belong to
attracted by Buddhist thoughts and practices
(…). For many people in Europe, Buddhism
represents an ancient tradition of spiritual
wisdom, which constitutes an alternative to
their original religious education and their
cultural background.
The intention, which starts out as a propo-
sal and an intervention by the Church, is that
of welcoming, in the sense of a renewed evan-
gelical responsibility towards all those who,
for any reason, are seeking a spiritual light
outside of the visible confi nes of the Church
itself. The document expresses the following
in point six: “They affi rm that they are see-
king an alternative to what they experience
as sterile dogmatism. They often perceive the
Church as excessively “institutionalised” and
they sustain that it expresses itself with an ob-
solete and incomprehensible language. Many
complain about the lack of adequate initiation
to personal prayer, meditation, the experience
of full salvation”.
To study the phenomenon of the spread
of Buddhism in Europe and to help those
Christians who would like to experience reli-
gious life on a deeper level, in two symposia
organised a few years ago, the emphasis was
placed on the identity and the nature of the
Christian in particular: “Dealing with these
themes requires Christians entering into dia-
logue with Buddhists to develop their own
faith, to clarify it and express it in a language
that is comprehensible for their interlocutors.
This process may also help Christians to di-
scover certain aspects of their faith that would
remain hidden if they were not stimulated by
this experience of dialogue” (7).
The invitation for us is therefore to seek
the deep-rooted reasons for our choice to be
Christians within ourselves, through conti-
nuous communion with the Source, which is
Christ, the light of life, to experience all si-
tuations of dialogue and confrontation throu-
gh Him, even when we do not feel directly
provoked. In fact, I believe that unity with
Christ has to do with a universal form of be-
haviour, because all things refer to Him and
are “summarized” in Him; for us, it is therefo-
re a question of remaining stable in this unity
that the Apostle Paul speaks of (Eph 1,3-14),
to be members of His body, in the Father’s
plan and in active service.
Daniele Benatelli
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by Pietro Squassabia
During a June afternoon of the year 1981
the Virgin Mary appeared for the fi rst time
there, in a corner of what is now known in
Medjugorje as “apparition hill”, Podbrdo.
For a long time a slender cross marked the
exact site of the apparition, around which the
pilgrims would meet to pray in silent recol-
lection and therefore to spiritually encounter
Mary and allow their hearts to be “touched”
by Her.
A few years ago, in place of the cross,
a marble statue was erected, a statue of
the Queen of Peace who is much loved by
all those who faithfully and lovingly climb
up the hill. Yet in the darkness of the night
between the 28
and 29
of August, someone
attacked that statue with a hammer, disfi gu-
ring its face and knocking off one of its han-
ds. A true profanation.
What caused such a gesture remains a se-
cret in the undoubtedly restless heart of the
person who carried it out. We can be sure of
one thing however: the tender and provident
love that Our Lady continues to give her chil-
dren, has had no effect on this person; or ra-
ther, this person has not allowed themselves
to be grasped by that hand that its aggression
wanted to make useless.
Seeing the statue mutilated in this way is
quite a disturbing site, it is without that hand
with which it seemed to point out to the ne-
eds of the children to the Father; She is our
advocate. But if we wish, in the light of this
incomprehensible fact, we can see the rea-
lisation of a spiritual reality that Mary had
already heralded: “You who live my messa-
Your majesty
Your majesty Mary is imprinted on that
womb that welcomed the King, the Word that
transferred the immensity of the kingdom into
your little body. You fearlessly and boundlessly
welcomed that grace that invaded you comple-
tely, transforming you into a temple, a taberna-
cle and a monstrance.
Your majesty Mary is made of brief
words, uttered in secret to that seed that fi lled
you wholly with its growth, the seed of a new
creature and of God himself. And it fi lled you
with grace, you blessed one, and it fi lled you
with sense, that which every man seeks within
himself and that Jesus fi nds in you alone.
Your majesty Mary is made of land, moul-
ded with the water of love, to forge everyday
things and make them shine with regal splen-
dours; you Sovereign of our modest, discrete,
occasionally invisible yet extremely precious
existence, because it is a gift from Above.
Your majesty Mary colours every gaze,
every gesture and word that you addressed to
your Joseph, your beloved spouse of every day.
And to your neighbours, your family, to ever-
yone, also to all those torturers who stripped the
last breath from your son, on the cross.
Your majesty Mary, comes into our hearts,
like that milk that the baby Jesus drew from
your generous and pure breast. Our mouth must
always be directed towards you, to your imma-
culate heart, which is brimming with virtues, so
that they might pour forth abundantly in us and
transform us. We your children, Queen because
you are a mother. Our Queen because you lead
us to the King.
Your crown oh mother is not made of
gems or gold, which will pass; but of prayer be-
ads, minute and almost crumbling, yet power-
ful because continuous and intense.
That crown that fl ows between the fi ngers
of the simple, of the true and that creates prayer:
invocation, intercession, praise… It is a crown
that generates life continuously, for those who
use it and for those who benefi t from it.
With this crown we too want to be crow-
ned, so that passing through our lives, prayer
might enrich the world with goodness, kindness
and peace. May the prized pearls that fall from
our lips go to rest on the quenched lives of those
who feel discouraged and think that they can’t
go on. And let them crown Him, king by inhe-
ritance, because Son of the Queen. The most
beautiful one.
Stefania Consoli
Always joyfully
The Holy Spirit is undoubtedly a cheerful and tranquil person, a young man brimming with
joy; for this reason, when he enters a soul, he brings it a sense of joy that the person in question
immediately perceives. People are under the impression that if they have joy alone, they can do
good, if joy is all people possess, they are capable of grasping life’s happy and sad situations, only
if people have joy can they live life fully. The Spirit speaks and always acts joyfully because he is
Love, and Love is Joy. It would appear that this is the only way he can succeed in communicating
with man, who is constantly seeking joy, after that day in which, due to sin, he lost it with so much
Yes, God gave man the desire for joy in order to make him understand where he can fi nd it.
But man tends to seek it in creatures and he fails to fi nd it there, because he seeks it where it is
nowhere to be found. After sin, man is no longer capable of distinguishing true joy from apparent
joy, the joy that originates from Good and that which is not Good. Only the Spirit can point out
the pathway on which to fi nd it. And so man is given the ability to live. It is true: man has life in
the measure in which, with the help of the Spirit, he makes that seed of joy that God planted in his
heart grow. It seems almost as though joy is the indicator of man’s state of “health”: if joy dwells
within him, his spiritual life is fed and becomes stronger, otherwise it becomes weak and it may
even die.
Jesus’ teachings always lead us to joy and they never allow us to wander from it, even when
life becomes diffi cult. It is no coincidence that Mary often invites us to experience joy with her
messages: “Be joyous bearers of peace and love…”. If they are carried out with joy, all of our ac-
tions, even the tiniest ones, are certainly pleasing to God, because in them He sees His Face. And
so let us ask Mary, Mother of Joy, to preserve the joy that was given to us as a gift from above, so
that we might become bearers of it, as She continues to ask us. And so, perhaps we will bring the
love that joy is the expression of, to others.
Small, yet crowned with glory
If you contemplate the sky on starry nights, you will get the impression that man is a truly tiny
being. Then perhaps you will come to a better understanding of what is said in psalm 8: “When I
consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fi ngers, the moon and the stars which Thou hast ordained,
what is man that Thou art mindful of Him, and the son of man that Thou dost visit him?”. Man
therefore appears to be an almost insignifi cant reality. But, despite this, God has made him great:
“For Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and
honour”, continues the psalm. And so God has not only made man a little less than angels but he
has actually crowned him with glory and honour. We know that glory, true glory, belongs to God
alone, as is the case for true honour. For this reason, by giving men his glory and his honour, God
has made them similar to himself, almost like gods: “I have said it: you are gods” (psalm 81), and
therefore no longer insignifi cant, but gods, that is, people made capable of welcoming the glory
of God and preserving it.
It would appear that God takes unreserved pleasure in giving his greatness to men, especially
those who welcome it, like his saints. If we look at Mary then, the human creature that God fi lled
so much with grace, to the point of making her His Mother, how can we fail to be surprised before
such a generous God! But what he fulfi lled in Her, he wishes to fulfi l in us also: God wants to pour
his glory over us also, along with his unreserved honour, to make us all precious and beautiful in
his eyes. And so let us hunt away all fear and apprehension! And when we realise that the worries
and anxieties of life are taking hold of us, let us throw everything into the furnace of His Love:
here all of our impurities are purifi ed, here we fi nd pure gold, given to us as a gift with Jesus. Let
us ask the Woman who refl ects God’s glory marvellously, to help us to look more and more like
Her, especially during these times when She is entrusted with an entirely special mission. In this
way, perhaps, we will allow God’s glory to shine upon us as it shines on Mary, even if we are
small, so that everyone can see it, for the joy of many. In this way perhaps, we will come to a
better understanding of the immense gift of love that God has given us and continues to give us.
Echo 201
ges, be the light and extended hands to this
faithless world, that all may come to know
the God of love”
(message 25.11.2001).
We are that missing hand, detached from
the Mother to reach out all those who are far
away and to give them its caress, its comfort,
its consolation and its exhortation, but also to
point out the pathway of true holiness: conver-
sion, prayer, sacrifi ce, offering…We must be
Mary’s outstretched hand which brings many
gifts of grace to all men from Medjugorje. Or
better, we could be the fi ngers, each of which
is articulated in an original manner, but that
only function if they move in harmony and in
communion with the others. This can be our
way of “making up” for the profaning insult
not of a simple statue, but of a living presen-
ce, that of Mary, Queen and Mother of the
whole universe.
Editorial staff
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It’s happening in Medjugorje...
It’s happening in Medjugorje...
...let’s hear what young people
have to say!
This year’s festival saw the participation of
young people from sixty countries; 310 priests
co-celebrated the fi rst Mass and 440 of them
co-celebrated the last one. How can we count
the number of people present? Some estimates
speak of twenty thousand communions distri-
buted at each Mass, but there were certainly
many, many more people than this present.
These numbers say nothing in the end.
What counts are the miracles that came about
in the hearts of each of them, the vocations
that bloomed, and all those small yet crucial
“YESES” that matured within the souls of
young people during those moments of special
silence, when the crowd around you disappears
and you fi nd yourself alone before the divine,
with your young life fi nally gathered entirely in
your hands; and before you, Love, the true God,
your God, the Father who gives himself fully
and asks you for everything.
And so this year let’s hear what these young
people have to say. We interviewed some young
men and women of different ages, with diffe-
rent experiences and backgrounds, in order to
be able to build a true image of what invisibly
came about within souls over this stupendous
fi ve-day period, which some describe as a pe-
riod of enormous confusion or empty elation,
but that in reality remain days of extraordinary
From Romania
Felician, 28 years old
It is diffi cult to fi nd the words to describe
the youth festival here in Medjugorje. I come
here for one simple reason: it helps me to grow
on a spiritual level. This place has taught me
what love is, what goodness is and it helps me
to experience them at home. Each time I come
here it is as though someone inspired me to
carry out a mission that I then feel as though
I must fulfi l during the year. I am also given
the strength to fulfi l it. There are things that I
would never have dreamed of being able to do:
forgiving, receiving the malice of others with
a sense of peace in my heart….This place has
changed my life. I became like a sponge that
absorbs many good things in Medjugorje.
From Libya
Lama, 21 years old
I’m in Medjugorje for the thirteenth time. I
come here because this place is like the fuel that
you put into the car of your faith…only that this
car has petrol and it goes and we can be happy!
Everyone needs joy in order to be able to live,
and I have experienced that when we announce
the word of Christ we are constantly joyous.
The festival is a fantastic event and I wish it
could last longer; it is phenomenal to see thou-
sands of people seeking God and fi nding Him,
they never stop looking for Him and seeking
Him out all the more.
From the Czech Republic
Ludmila, 25 years old
I came here to give thanks to Mary for
all the gifts I received and also to ask for the
strength to continue to experience faith. I pray
for my family, so that they too, currently non-
believers, might welcome God into their lives.
During these days I feel as though I am nearer to
God and to Mary; here I have the possibility of
withdrawing into silence and consecrating my
time to the Lord. Only in Medjugorje I under-
stood what prayer is and how important it is in
my life. The youth festival is a special moment
because we can feel happy within the depths of
ourselves, because we can “be fulfi lled in joy”
so to speak. When I see so many young people
I feel strengthened in faith because I understand
that I am not alone.
…and Venceslav, 19 years old
For me Medjugorje is a special place be-
cause Mary is present here. Every year I say
to myself that I don’t want to go back, but then
my Mother calls me and each time she prepares
something special for me. In a few weeks time
I’m going to enter a convent of premonstraten-
sian monks, and it was in Medjugorje that my
vocation matured: something special happened
that attracted me to the Eucharist, strengthening
my faith in this sacrament.
From Poland
Krystyna, 15 years old
I came to Medjugorje for the fi rst time be-
cause I wanted to experience God and to be
new. I want to come back next year too because
I felt God here in my heart and my heart was
fi lled!
I never in my life saw people singing, dan-
cing and smiling like this…when I go back to
Poland I want to speak to my friends about
I was also on Krizevac at fi ve in the mor-
ning, when I got to the foot of the cross I started
crying because I felt so happy, so full, so gra-
teful to God…I cannot describe it, but I think
that that was the most signifi cant moment of
this experience.
From Belgium
Jean Bruno, 17 years old
Here I understood how important it is to
knowingly choose joy…I decided that from
today onwards I will dedicate more time to pra-
yer. The people you meet here are so beautiful
because they are constantly smiling.
From Spain
Jose Maria, 37 years old
Here you breathe in peace, you feel an air
that is brimming with spirituality. The festival
only lasts a few days but the Virgin changes you
on the inside in an inexplicable way. Here many
“coincidences” occur to many people: it is the
Virgin who manages all of this, there is no other
explanation for it!
From Hungary
Klaudia, 30 years old
For me faith is something important, here in
Medjugorje I feel that God and Our Lady love
me, they are present. At the moment I still ha-
ven’t fully understood what this meeting means
for me, as is often the case, I think that later on
I will come to a deeper understanding of what I
experienced during these days.
From Austria
Conny, 28 years old
This is the fourth time I’ve come here, the
fi rst time I came here I was 8 years old. I really
love the youth festival, despite the heat; I parti-
cularly appreciate the testimonies, because they
talk about real life and they are a form of help
for each one of us who fi nd it diffi cult to return
to daily life after this experience.
I came here with a special question in my
heart regarding my life and I hope that I have
been given an answer…and so I occasionally
withdraw to refl ect and pray. When I return
home I want to be more diligent in prayer and
I also want to start fasting, because up to now
fasting hasn’t been easy for me.
From Brazil
Jonas, 23 years old
This is a wonderful experience, here faith is
alive and you can feel Mary’s presence! What
happened during these days is truly a miracle:
many young people from several countries who
experience the beauty of the faith that makes
us all brothers, all sons of one Father and one
Mother, Mary!
The testimonies help us to see how Jesus
can act in everyone’s life, but in particular, I ex-
perienced the Mass like never before, you can
see and feel a living Church that loves and that
goes forward, that goes in the same direction,
towards Christ.
What I will take away from Medjugorje
with me is the presence of Mary who accom-
panies me and helps me to grow and to transmit
my faith.
From Slovakia
Michaela, 28 years old.
This is the fourth time that I’ve come to
Medjugorje. When leaving here I always carry
a great feeling of peace with me. I hope that this
peace might remain in me, in such a way as to
allow me to see all the problems that I’ve had
and that I will have in the future in a different
From Ireland
Francis, 20 years old
It’s fantastic to see so many young people
coming together from different parts of the
world! Among the numerous priests that are
here there are also several young ones. Here
everyone has the possibility of refl ecting on
their own vocation.
It is beautiful to be able to smile freely at
everyone. From today onwards I’ll make the
effort to really improve my life, I’ll try to have
more respect for everyone, to be more present
for my family and also to consume less alcohol.
Among the most beautiful things that I’ll re-
member about this experience there is the ado-
ration and the Mass, but also the Family into
which I was welcomed: they were so kind…in
their simplicity they gave me so much!
From Croatia
Natalia, 22 years old
I came here because each time I feel greatly
touched upon seeing young people together and
upon feeling this communion. The most beau-
tiful thing here is meeting other people. For the
moment I’m studying theology and working
for a Catholic newspaper, in the future I’d like
to work as a journalist.
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From Germany
Anne, 21 years old
The festival is simply wonderful, there’s
an indescribable atmosphere here! You expe-
rience so many moving moments here, and
there are many things that urge you to refl ect.
There is an incredible sense of peace, which
words cannot describe!
I’m sure that I’ll take away many things
from here with me, and I also want to share
them with my friends, specially this atmos-
phere, this love, and this sense of security…
From Lithuania
Rev. Zydrunas, 33 years old
I came here to accompany my group of
pilgrims and I’ve had a wonderful experien-
ce. This is a marvellous and holy place! I feel
that from today I’ll love Mary much more
than I did in the past!
From the Islands of Reunion
Severine, 21 years old
I actually didn’t want to come here, but
then my friends insisted…Mary is wonder-
ful! Our Lady has done many things for me
and for my family.
To see all these young people is extraor-
dinary and exciting, it has transformed my
life. I believe that each one of us experien-
ces particularly black periods in our faith
and in our relationship with God…Coming
here I feel as though my faith is growing. In
Medjugorje I tried to pray the rosary and I
discovered it’s immense value…Yes, from
now on I’ll recite it every day, I’m so happy
to have discovered it!
From Italy
Andrea, 22 years old
I came to know about Medjugorje throu-
gh a friend, I already knew what had happe-
ned and I felt that all the people who came
here came back changed and said that only
coming here in person you can understand
what Medjugorje is.
Everything that I had heard about this pla-
ce has been confi rmed fully and even excee-
ded; here nothing is tiring, not even spending
four hours praying is tiring, you breathe in a
sense of joy. For we young people who often
complain about the superfi ciality of people
our age, here we can fi nd all the answers and
a sense of encouragement that exceeds all
expectations. I hope that this type of church
might come about in my country, with strong
consecrated people who truly live for God.
and Brother Francesco, 25 years old
Here I received my call to consecrated
life, during a youth festival that took place
many years ago. For me this event is a very
important occasion for grace. Being among
many people my age brings about an inde-
scribable sense of gratitude within me to-
wards God, along with the desire to offer up
my whole life so that God might act within
other young people as he did in me. When I
said my yes within my heart, when I agreed
to be entirely His for my whole life, I expe-
rienced his infi nite love like never before, my
heart was fi lled with a sense of joy that I had
never ever experienced before.
The programme was more or less the same
as it always is, with testimonies during the
day, then a crescendo of grace with the rosary
and the customary pause in silence at six forty
p.m. – the moment of the apparition of Mary –
then mass and adoration of the Eucharist.
At dawn on the sixth of August each year,
mass is celebrated on the summit of Krizevac
meaning that the festival doesn’t end with us all
going to bed happy and satisfi ed in the evening,
but rather, coming down from the mountain at
dawn with Jesus in our hearts, ready to leave
and to bring him to all the countries throughout
the world.
T h e p a t h w a y o f j o y
You might notice that young people are constantly seeking it, but they usually make
huge blunders, mistaking fun, euphoria and unfortunately very often “the buzz”, for what
starts out as the fruit of the Holy Spirit, that is, a sense of deep and peaceful joy, capable
of appeasing the blows of life and transforming the inevitable bitter pills that our daily life
serves us up, into sweets.
In his letters, Romano Guardini, one of the 20
century’s most important represen-
tatives of Catholic philosophy and theology, (especially as far as pedagogy is concerned),
pointed out the need for young people to have self-control and a good balance between au-
thority and freedom in a creative obedience of the conscience. The common denominators
of his writings are meditation on the Mystery of God and the fi gure of Jesus Christ as the
true and unique essence of Christianity.
In one of his books, “Lettere sull’autoformazione”, he speaks directly to young people
in order to help them to distinguish joy, a vital feeling for man, from the tangle of countless
other sensations produced by fl eeting pleasures. Let’s hear what he has to say:
“Dear young people, we want to ensure that our heart becomes happy. Not cheerful,
which is something completely different. Being cheerful is an external, noisy fact and it
soon disappears. Joy on the other hand is experienced within the soul, it is silent and deeply
rooted. It is the sister of seriousness; where there is one there is also the other.
I’d like to talk to you about the happy joy towards which it is possible to open up a
Everyone can possess it in the same way, whatever their nature. It must also be inde-
pendent from good or bad hours, from vigorous or worn-out days.
This joy does not come from money, from a comfortable lifestyle, or from being wor-
shipped by people, although it can be infl uenced by all of these things. It comes from noble
things: from intense work; from a kind word that you felt or that you were able to say; from
courageously opposing someone’s mistake, or from having a clear vision of an important
And this too is not yet the true source of joy, which is rooted even more deeply, that is,
in the heart itself, in its most remote intimacy. God dwells there and God himself is the
source of true joy.
It makes us entirely open and clear. It makes us rich, strong, indepen-
dent from exterior events. What happens outside can no longer touch us, if we are happy
on the inside. He who is happy puts everything in the right place.
What is beautiful, he alone sees it in its true splendour. He recognises diffi culties and
obstacles as trials meant to measure his strength, he faces into them courageously and con-
quers them. He can give generously to other men and will not be impoverished due to this.
But he also has purity of heart, in order to be able to receive in the right way.
Now, if joy comes from God and God dwells in our hearts, why don’t we feel it? Why
are we so often sad, discouraged, in bad form? Why is the source from which it fl ows forth
not clear?
How do we open up the pathway to joy? Every time that we say sincerely to the
Lord: “Lord, I want what you want” the pathway towards God’s joy is open. And once we
are willing to think constantly in this manner, if our most intimate desire is sincere and
continuously aimed at God, then we will feel happy, whatever is happening in the outside
world. Of course, this consecration to God must already have something within it, which
is united with joy: it cannot be forced, distressed or mistrustful. It must be free and coura-
geous. Full of happy faith, we must say: “Almighty God, whatever you want, I want too”. It
is therefore a question of struggling to assimilate ourselves totally with God’s will.
But we also have a body. We cannot forget this. When man is feeling down what does
the body do? It falls down. But if man is happy, the body rises. This is the joy of the body:
an energetic form of behaviour. This must be the exercise: to remain upright. With our
head held high, our face fully visible, our shoulders back. Nimble in our gait and when we
sit down, not resting unnecessarily. But we must be upright on the inside, not only on the
outside. The body always wants to let itself go; and it pushes down on itself and everything
becomes obtuse and burdensome. And so we must be upright within also. And when we
are feeling down, it is then that we must keep ourselves upright. Strongly upright on the
inside and on the outside: therefore also within our souls”.
Editorial staff
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a continuous
Let us try, if we can, to trap the wind.
If we can, let us try to block the fl ow of a
river along the banks or let us prevent the
sea from creating waves…
It is impossible! And so why does man
often try to put limits on grace, given that in
its intimate essence, it is the creating force
of constantly new things?
Grace fl ows forth from God’s breast in-
cessantly, involving all things that it meets
in a continuous process of becoming. During
these twenty-seven years, Medjugorje has
also found itself involved in a pathway of
spiritual growth that requires the continuous
capacity on our part to allow ourselves to
be surprised. In fact, those who attempt to
immobilise the grace that fl ows forth from
the Immaculate Heart of Mary in that pla-
ce, even only through a defi nition, a way of
doing something, a “that’s always been the
way things were”
or “that’s the way things
should be”
…..is making a mistake, becau-
se they will only be pushed by the need to
possess grace for their own interest, to use
it to their own advantage, certainly not to
respect it.
There is always the danger of seizing
God’s “things” and keeping them in our ide-
as, as though in beautiful little glass contai-
ners that are nice to look at. In this way we
risk transforming what is living into objects
to be purchased, like those lined up in coun-
tless souvenir shops “they have a mouth and
they don’t speak, they have ears and they
don’t hear, they have nostrils and they don’t
smell…” (psalm 113b).
Some time ago Pope Benedict said that
“man knows that he is made for an infi nite
destination and due to this he feels a sen-
se of anxiety to embark on a continuous
search, which constantly goes further way,
beyond what has already been reached”. Let
us leave the Virgin free then to express the
plan that God outlined in Medjugorje and
that greatly surpasses our knowledge or ex-
pectations. She will only be able to do this if
we open ourselves up to new things, without
being afraid to leave old pathways that have
led us to understand up to a certain point.
Let us open ourselves up in order to pro-
ceed; only in the measure of our trusting
opening and willingness, will God be able to
point new steps out to us and reveal to us the
greatness of the plan that his Mother is im-
You arrive in Medjugorje
passing through a constan-
tly growing number of bu-
ildings amassed along the
main road and the surroun-
ding areas, they risk suffo-
cating that church that has
been loved throughout the
world since it became the
“Gospa’s parish”. Despite
the concrete agglomerates
that offend the warm, ro-
cky tones of Herzegovina
with their shrill colours,
your gaze feels drawn like
a magnet upwards, towards
the mountain, which carri-
es a large white cross on its summit like a
hoisted fl ag. In the sunshine it even seems
bright, but in the light of faith it is resplen-
dent, brilliant. That standard up there on
the summit speaks to us about Him, about
the Crucifi x, the only true source of salva-
There is no use in seeking out others.
For this reason our blessed Mother never
stops pointing it out. Mary knows that this
is the right road that leads us to God, to the
complete fulfi lment of his promises: only
the love that was crucifi ed and offered up
to the Father can lift up our life, not only
our gaze.
Attracted by that high ground above
Medjugorje, we immediately realise that in
order to reach it we need to climb. We need
to leave the comfortable roads and accept
the challenge, moved only by the desire to
arrive. Krizevac, which gets its name from
the cross, proposes this itinerary every day,
to tell us that along with our feet, our soul
too must be willing to embark on that uphill
road and to accept the sacrifi ce of the bri-
stly and impassable road, leaving the fl at,
well known things in the valley.
Those who are used to climbing moun-
tains know that the destination is not al-
ways visible, it is often obscured by spurs
of rock that jut out all of a sudden. And so
we need to embark on this journey with a
sense of blind trust, knowing that sooner or
later the view will open up. And while the
body challenges the climb, you might feel
that you are fl oating, suspended in the em-
ptiness that threatens you from underneath:
you are no longer on the ground nor are
you at the summit. The risk of dizziness is
always lying in wait, only a fi rm grip of the
rope reassures you and keeps panic at bay.
This is what happens to the soul
that sets out on the mountain of divine
Goodness, on the summit of which stands
an empty cross, because the Lord is risen
and He walks alongside you; He guides
you along the pathway. But that’s not all.
He is also the rope that keeps our step ste-
ady when the emptiness of faith threatens
“I lift my eyes up to the hills,
from whence comes my help?”
(psalm 121)
by Stefania Consoli
us, when we feel that we
have left certainty for un-
certainty, when trials come
like storms and try to see us
lose our way and give up on
our intention.
He is the destination
that is sometimes hidden
from view; but not to the
tenacious and persevering
soul who discovers Him in
the smallest things, in life’s
tiniest events, beyond the
veil of diffi culties.
High ground like altars
He once pointed out a mountain in
Galilee to the disciples that he was going
to use as a “trampoline” for the Heavens,
the day of his Ascension to the Father. A
mountain that like an altar, elevated the
Mystery revealed; then with the body, to-
day in the Eucharist.
On a mountain he said blessed to those
who were living the gospel; thousands of
people were listening to him on that na-
tural ambo that re-echoed the Word. On
a mountain once again, all alone, Jesus
went to pray, and then on Mount Tabor
he revealed himself transfi gured to the
wonder-struck eyes of the apostles, as in a
monstrance that invited them to adore him.
Lastly, on a mountain he committed the
most extreme deed: on Calvary, the paten
and chalice of his loving sacrifi ce.
Areas of high ground like altars, strips
of land that rise up out of the fl atland, as
though attracted by a mysterious force that
brings them close to the Heavens. Lungs
dilated in the calm breath of the land.
These are the areas of high ground where
the Lord calls us to walk to “bring happy
annunciations” (Is 52, 7-10); he invites us
to have the legs of the gazelle that climb
over clefts in an agile manner and clam-
ber up on a high to have an overview of
the reality of daily life: only in this way
are the details that appear gigantic and that
frighten us reduced in size.
Jesus attracts us to the high rocks of
his Heart; He himself is an obstacle for
hypocrites and he is the builder of his own
Church on Simon, who became Peter.
“Look at him and you will be radiant,
your faces shall not be confused” (psalm
33). The psalm says it and Mary repeats
it in Medjugorje. Every invitation of hers,
every word, shows this pathway: the path-
way of Easter, an unconditional delivery to
Jesus, the infallible guide who leads us to
the Father, through the trials of the offertory
and of mortifi cation, he gives us a taste of
the inebriation of a splendid altitude, that of
the Resurrection. We must not be afraid of
climbing up.
If you keep silent,
keep silent by love:
if you speak,
speak by love;
if you correct,
correct by love;
if you pardon,
pardon by love;
let love be rooted in you,
and from the root nothing
but good can grow
background image
All that Christian life gives us and asks
us for is to stay where God puts us, so that
our life might be a gift. For this reason, not
remaining in our place and choosing a pla-
ce that we decide for ourselves, always with
excellent and noble justifi cations, is not so
much a lack of discipline: it is a shortcoming
as regards the gift of life, a lack of love, a
shortcoming as regards “the greatest love”
(John 15, 13). How often do we favour inde-
pendent generosity over the humble place of
the greatest love!
This is the conscience that Claudel
expresses in the Annunciation to Mary:
“Holiness is not being lapidated in Pagania
or kissing a leper on the mouth, but doing
the will of God, with readiness, it is about
remaining in our place, or climbing higher
and higher” (Prologue).
A life truly offered is always taken
from God, even when it is left in its place,
in its not very splendid place. A life offered
totally is always found in the place that God
chooses for it, even if it does not “move”. In
fact, the fullness of our life, holiness, comes
about when God takes us, no matter how He
does so. If God leaves us in a situation that
we would prefer to fl ee from, this means that
he has put us in this situation, that this situa-
tion is the place chosen by God for us. If the
heart remains open in offering itself, all the
circumstances of daily life become the place
towards which we are sent, they become the
land of our mission, especially if we would
prefer to fl ee from these circumstances.
The Virgin Mary always remained
where God put her, without ever expres-
sing her preferences. I have no doubt that
Mary would have preferred to follow Jesus
up close during the years of his public life.
But Jesus did not take her with Him. Only
on Calvary, Mary found her place near Jesus.
Following this, she had a place at the Last
Supper with the Apostles to wait for and ex-
perience the Pentecost. But it was never she
who decided it. Her constant decision, her
free choice was to offer her life. She made
her life available to God, in a constant gift
of her life to God’s freedom. I think of St.
Paul when he exclaims: “I have become all
things to all men that I might by all means
save some” (1 Cor 9, 22): this is a formula of
offering of life. God gives us this freedom,
this possibility of wanting the gift of our life,
this choice to make our whole life available
to the salvation of others. Because it is this
sacrifi ce that fulfi ls the sense of our life,
and therefore its fullness. Christ has shown
us that God is made in this way, that God is
this, and we cannot imagine and fi nd another
fullness of life that is not the gift of life, the
sacrifi ce of our life for everyone. It is a para-
dox: what my life fulfi ls, what makes my life
truly alive, is the sacrifi ce of life, the loss of
my life for everything, for everyone.
The law of the fullness of life, is to
love by offering yourself, to give life by
offering it. It is our fullness because this is
how God is, because Christ experienced this
alone, always and constantly, in Bethlehem,
in Nazareth, in Jerusalem, in the manger, at
home, on the streets and in the public squa-
res, on the Cross. This is the secret of his
Beauty, of his attraction to everyone, his
“sweet smell”: the gift of his life through of-
fering himself to the Father for us. This is the
beauty of Christ that attracts us, not with an
aesthetic attractiveness but because in Him
we perceive the full realisation of our huma-
nity, the living model of the fullness of our
human life.
When Jesus says: “And I, if I am lifted
up from the earth, will draw all peoples to
myself” (John 12, 32), he speaks of this be-
auty of the gift of his life. What attracts all
men to Christ is the Cross, his life which is
given completely, the supreme realisation of
our humanity. Abandoning ourselves to this
lure of Christ, to this total beauty of Christ,
is our mission in the world.
The beauty that attracts us to Christ is
the Eucharist, because it is there that Jesus
constantly “loves us and gives himself for us,
offering himself to God in sacrifi ce of sweet
scent”. And what is our place in this eucha-
ristic beauty of Christ? It is the offering of
ourselves with Him, it is the offertory of the
bread and wine that we are, of the earth and
the work that we are, therefore of our real,
human existence, as it is. It is through the
offering of life that we recall this beauty, that
we immortalize it and irradiate it in and with
our lives.
“Do this in memory of me”: recalling
Christ who was given up for us means of-
fering; it means keeping the presence of
Christ in our lives, which attracts the whole
of Humanity to Him, who saves the whole
universe. We become instruments of Christ,
who attracts all men to Himself to save them,
to give them the fullness of life.
We must not fear the persecution of
the world, because it is not persecution that
eliminates Christianity. But rather, we must
fear losing this memory, we must be afraid of
forgetting to offer our lives. It is the oblivion
of Christ’s offertory, therefore in its attracti-
ve beauty, that must instil fear in us, not per-
secution, nor the fact that it is or it becomes
a little fl ock. Forgetting to offer life as Christ
did, is much more serious, much more dan-
gerous. In fact, this means that our freedom
is no longer attracted by the true beauty of
the Lord and therefore no longer allows the
work of God’s freedom in the world, which
is the work of Salvation.
There is an expression in St. Luke’s go-
spel, where Jesus sends the disciples out into
the world, that we should feel as our mission
before the whole of our existence, and befo-
re the world that does not love the Church:
“Behold, I send you out as lambs among
wolves” (Luke 10,3).
Being lambs among wolves does not
mean being weak, naive, candid, remissive.
Being lambs means being offered, being an
offertory to God in the world. And this me-
ans that, whatever happens, even when the
wolf wounds and devours us, our freedom
always allows God’s freedom to implement
his plan through our life and our death, as it
did through the life and death of Jesus. And
so, it is once again Easter, the Resurrection
and Salvation that have the last word on the
world and on history.
But there is a danger when we speak
about offertories: that of conceiving the
offertory of our life as a form of piety. The
offertory of life is not only a form of piety. It
is a gift of our whole being, a form of “being
there” of our whole person. In the measure
in which it takes us completely, the offertory
is not only a form of piety, but a whole life,
a whole pathway, a whole story. To experien-
ce the offertory of life like Christ, I need my
whole life and not only certain times or “reli-
gious” and “spiritual” aspects of my life.
Now there is an objective manner of the
total offertory of life, an objective measure
of the totality with which we offer ourselves
to Christ as He to whom we are attracted to-
wards our fullness: it is the manner in which
we belong to the community, to the Church,
to others. Belonging is the fi re that consumes
the offertory of our whole person through the
fertility of the gift of our life. When Paul says
that he became “everything for all men”, he
is talking about this sense of belonging: “to
belong wholly” to all others
Belonging to others prevents the offer-
tory, the gift of life, from being our own
, that is, a way of fulfi lling ourselves,
rather than allowing ourselves to be fulfi lled
by Christ who attracts us to Him.
The company of the Church that God gi-
ves us, if it loves the fertility and freedom of
our life, must help us, provoke us and accom-
pany us in this, with all its mercy, without
being afraid of our weaknesses, our mean-
ness and our sins, because all of our misery
is also part of the “whole” that Christ gives
us to offer up for everyone, of the “whole” to
which Christ wants to give fulfi lment “to the
praise of his glorious grace” (Eph 1,6).
Taken from the report by Fr. Mauro-G. Lepori
Cistercian Abbot of Hautrive
Benedickt XVI
from Angelus - 31 august 2008
If, to save us, the Son of God had to
suffer and die on the Cross, it was certainly
not by a cruel design of the heavenly
Father. The reason is the gravity of the
illness from which he came to heal us: it
was such a serious, mortal disease that
it required all his Blood. Indeed, it was
with his death and Resurrection that Jesus
defeated sin and death and re-established
God’s lordship. Yet the battle is not over.
Evil exists and resists in every generation,
as we know, in our day too (...).
In order to bring the work of salvation
fully to completion, the Redeemer continues
to associate to himself and his mission men
and women who are prepared to take up
their cross and follow him. Consequently,
just as for Christ carrying the cross was
not an option but a mission to be embraced
for love, so it is for Christians too. In our
world today, where the forces that divide
and destroy seem to dominate, Christ does
not cease to offer to all his clear invitation:
anyone who wants to be my disciple must
renounce his own selfi shness and carry the
cross with me.
Let us invoke the help of the Blessed
Virgin who followed Jesus fi rst and to the
very end on the way of the Cross. May
she help us to walk in the Lord’s footsteps
with determination, to experience from
this moment, even in trial, the glory of the
background image
Sped.Abb.Post.3/70, Aut.Trib.Mant.#13-8,11.86; Legal Dir. A.Lanzani; Printed by DIPRO Treviso
Echo fully relies on readers’
To all who have been instruments
of Providence for Echo, enabling us
to continue to help Mary reach her
children, goes our heartfelt thanks,
whom we remember especially in
prayer and at Holy Mass.
If you desire a written response for
your donation, please kindly request
it. May God reward you and your
loved ones onehundredfold
Donations / correspondence to:
Echo of Mary Assoc., P.O. Box 47,
I-31037 LORIA (TV), Italy.
Personal cheques accepted; also
International Postal Orders.
And where convenient (within Europe)
by bank transfer (specify for Echo of
Mary Assoc):
1) Italy: Banca Agricola Mantovana,
Agenzia Belfi ore Mantova, Italy. IBAN:
IT 02 Z 05024 11506 000004754018
Swift : BAMNIT21-185
2) Scotland: Royal Bank of Scotland,
26 George St., Oban, Argyll.
Acc. no. 8326 0400 154351
HELLO! My name is Davide, I’m 24 ye-
ars old and I live in the province of Treviso.
I am a former drug addict and during the
last year I had started to take drugs again…
I felt a strong calling within myself that was
urging me to go to Medjugorje although no-
body had ever spoken to me about it! I left
for the youth festival from the 1
to the 6
August, with my faith quenched and there I
was struck by what Medjugorje is and there-
fore what Our Lady is!
I wasn’t aware of “Echo of Mary” and I
The pathway
of Echo
The managers of Echo of Mary and
the various translators met up at the end
of August, as usual in Medjugorje, to live
an experience of communion and revision,
with the intention of also verifying the edi-
torial and spiritual slant of Echo.
After prayer meetings, sharing and re-
fl ection in the light of the Queen of Peace,
the conclusion that was reached touched on
the following points:
1. Above all, Echo is called to be used at
the service of the profound truth of the
grace of Medjugorje. From this comes
the need to avoid letting ourselves be
infl uenced by fear, insecurities and per-
sonal opinions that may risk compromi-
sing the identity of the message itself.
2. The foundation of the grace of
Medjugorje lies in offering life through
the Immaculate Heart of Mary to whom
we are called to answer with unconditio-
nal willingness.
3. Echo of Mary cannot fail to support
this spirit and its mission cannot but be
at the service of such grace, by means of
the faithful translation, in each of our li-
ves, of the spirit of Medjugorje, beyond
all possible conditioning and prejudice.
For these reasons, as a conclusion to
these days of communion, spent in the joy
and peace that we believe fl ow forth from
the light of Mary, we wish to proceed in free
and faithful service to the Church and in the
plans of grace that the Holy Virgin grants to
this time.
The managers of Echo
found it by chance during a moment of spi-
ritual dejection – but I wouldn’t call it “by
chance” – I came across the July-August
edition and upon reading the fi rst page I cri-
ed because it was as though it was addres-
sed to me and to the sensations that I felt
and that I still feel now. I’d like to thank all
those who work on the publication of Echo
of Mary and I’d invite you to read my testi-
mony on Medjugorje also because I wrote
it and up to a short time ago I had little or
nothing to do with Our Lady or Christ! Your
commitment regarding the distribution of
this publication must be diffi cult at times,
but your work is not in vain!! Thank you.
Davide’s testimony occupies no less
than ten pages of burning enthusiasm and
love, which it would be impossible to relate
here in full. We’ll get back to it in the next
issue, but in the meantime we’ll dedicate
some space to his initial considerations, that
bear witness to how young people know
perfectly well how to distinguish between
what is false and illusory and what really
gives them true happiness.
Narcotics are not a drug,
MARY is!
“I’d like to bring my testimony to as
many Christians as possible because it is
not only mine, but it is the testimony of
Our Lady of Medjugorje who acted in me! I
feel the need to do this so that people might
come to know that Mary loves us all equally
and that she truly exists! She is not a myth
of the church: She is our Mother!
First of all I’d like to say that I left wi-
thout anyone having invited me or having
referred to me how beautiful that place was.
All I knew was that there were visionaries
there who see Our Lady and that’s it. I can
clearly say that the Queen of Peace cal-
led me! I actually didn’t even know who I
was going with and I wasn’t aware of the
programme. I threw myself into it without
asking myself too many questions because
I felt that I needed to go there. There can be
no other explanation…it was a calling!
I am not a “holy” young man and in my
life I’ve tried everything that the world of-
fers, and unfortunately every type of drug…
Given that by now I’ve tried everything I
must say that today’s society wants to fi ll in
the emptiness in ourselves with ridiculous
and senseless things! Even if they do give us
joy, this is momentary, if not instantaneous
happiness! The happiness that is given to us
by God is durable and it is repeated day af-
ter day. To ensure that this happiness lasts,
we must cultivate faith in Christ and never
tire of praying and living as He wishes us to.
If we let go even a little we can very easily
lose our way and it is not easy to believe in
God: it is easier not to believe, in this way
we free ourselves of all responsibility and
we live as we wish, perhaps happy but free
of all obligations. I am saying this because
I have experienced it on my own skin and I
have to thank the Lord if on more than one
occasion he gave me his hand to lift myself
In the times we live in the Devil has ne-
ver had such devastating power: divorces,
abortions, drugs, crimes of all kinds. He
wasn’t even this powerful during the Nazi-
Fascist era! The people who are most affec-
ted are young people who are born and grow
up with a heart of gold but who then only
too often stray far from the right values….
During these times we often hear people
saying: There is no God! This is the most
terrible thing that a human being can say.
And so who created this marvellous world?
And who created man? Who gave us love,
the sense of forgiveness, compassion, cha-
rity towards our weaker neighbour etc…? If
we don’t ask ourselves these questions then
we want to fl ee from reality!
For our entire existence we cannot run
away from reality, we need to ask ourselves
some questions: Why do I exist? What am I
doing here in this world? If we don’t have
the anchor that is Christ, then everything is
in vain, because life loses all sense of value
and is meaningless. If we don’t have a rela-
tionship with Christ we end up worshipping
the money God and satisfying our bad ha-
bits. I experienced this personally, satisfying
our own bad habits does not lead to a great
sense of happiness, but rather, it makes us
become more and more eager to possess
things and to satisfy our craziest desires! We
can only obtain inner peace with God!
When at the age of twenty we feel as
though we are seventy then something is
not right and we need to give ourselves
some time to meditate on what we are doing
wrong, or fi nd a solution; but this world
turns too fast and therefore we often aban-
don the idea! I found this time for myself
by going to that extraordinary place that
is Medjugorje where Our Lady reigns all
(to be continued)
Philip from Mauritius: “We live in a
tiny little island in the middle of the Indian
Ocean. We are very grateful to receive Echo
of Mary, it is very much appreciated by our
approximately 750 readers. We love Gospa
very much and we try to experience the
messages that She gives us in Medjugjore.
May the Blessed Virgin bless you!”.
The Lord bless thee and keep thee! May He
show His face to thee, and have mercy on
thee! And may He give thee peace!
Italy, 8 september 2008