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www.medjugorje.ws » Echo of Mary Queen of Peace » Echo of Mary Queen of Peace 215 (May-June 2011)

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Message of 25
th
March 2011:
“Dear children! In a special way today I
desire to call you to conversion. As of today,
may new life begin in your heart. Children,
I desire to see your ‘yes’, and may your
life be a joyful living of God’s will at every
moment of your life. In a special way today,
I bless you with my motherly blessing of
peace, love and unity in my heart and in
the heart of my Son Jesus. Thank you for
having responded to my call.”
New life in your hearts!
The towers of human pride crumble,
causing death and wars. Earthquakes and
tsunamis crush people and sweep away
their homes…The nuclear energy harnessed
by man escapes his control and, rather than
wellbeing, it produces mortal contamination.
The diffi cult relations between individuals
and countries lead to fi ghts for survival.
Problems of cohabitation seek solutions in the
law of the strongest rather than the rights of
the weakest…
The scenario of the world is still that of the
hunt out of Eden: but did Jesus Christ come
into the world in vain? If we stop at the images
that television screens bring into our homes
and demand that we pay attention to, it would
appear so; but in-depth reality escapes all media
coverage, it is to be sought in a dimension
denied to the media and that necessarily escapes
all scientifi c analysis and cannot be reduced to
photographic docu-mentation. Reality cannot be
confi ned to the apocalyptic scenes of these days,
but even less so can it be identifi ed as a world of
wellbeing, apparent yet blazing, the hedonistic
world that is brought to our attention every day.
Between these extremes there is a humanity
that does not make the headlines, that does not
draw the attention of the news, but that holds
up and supports the world: it is the multitude
of those who, even without being fully aware
of it, honour the Image that they carry within
themselves (Gen 1, 26-27). The reality, and it
is present in every corner of the Earth, is that
of those who love the image of God that they
carry within themselves, even without seeing
it clearly because for now we see in a mirror,
dimly (1 Cor 13, 12a). This reality resides in
those who do God’s Will, that is, in those who
live according to His Plan, and this is possible
for all men; it is suffi cient for us to say our yes to
the Father joyfully and to ask him to allow us to
experience it in our existence: His help will not
be lacking! Children, I desire to see (not only
hear but SEE) your “yes” and may your life be
a joyful living of God’s will at every moment
of your life. Mary did it and we too can do it if
we abandon ourselves to Her.
This is the new life towards which Mary
calls us; not a life that is renewed in its
exterior façade, in its appearance, but a new
life in our hearts, that is, new not only in
works but also, and even before that, in our
desires, in our expectations, in our dreams.
A life that might be inhabited by Jesus, a
life animated by his Holy Spirit, a life with
a simple taste but capable of giving fl avour
(like salt) to what it comes into contact with.
A life illuminated by Faith, founded on Hope,
consumed by Love. This is the life that does
not fear either collapses, earthquakes, or evil
radiations, because it is anchored on the Rock
that is Jesus, and founded on the Rock (cfr Mt
7, 24-25).
Let us open ourselves up to the blessing
that Mary gives us at the end of this beautiful
Message. It is in Mary’s Heart, in Jesus’ Heart
that we must position ourselves so as not to
hide, but to offer ourselves totally to Them, to
experience the new life that Mary calls us to,
a life that might be a testimony to Their Love
and a prophecy of salvation for the world.
You brother, you sister, who feel useless and
tired, you who feel crushed by your sin and by
your limits, you who taste the bitter and sour
fl avour of your life of success and power, you
can save yourself and the world: it is suffi cient
to open the doors of your heart to Christ! Dear
brothers, the death of Christ was not in vain:
may the living Water from his pierced heart
pour forth and purify everything, along with
the Blood that gives life to new Life.
Nuccio Quattrocchi
Message of 25 April 2011:
“Dear children! As nature gives the most
beautiful colours of the year, I also call you
to witness with your life and to help others
to draw closer to my Immaculate Heart,
so that the fl ame of love for the Most High
may sprout in their hearts. I am with you
and I unceasingly pray for you that your
life may be a refl ection of Heaven here on
earth. Thank you for having responded to
my call.”
Let your life be the
refl ection of Heaven
Man, the human creature, cannot set God
aside, he cannot do without Him. This is not
a limit that mortifi es our existence, as ancient
temptation would have us believe, but
actually, it is empirical proof of the greatness
of each of us. In fact, man is not great for
what he does but for what he is. Made in
God’s image, he has always been called to
implement the image that he carries within
himself in life; called to be the Son of God
in His Son Jesus, man is invited to allow this
fi liality to grow, it alone releases him from
all frailty, from all limits, to elevate him to
that dignity that no creature can ever dream
of reaching. Vice-versa, forgetting that we
are made in His image, that we are called to
be children, perverts the nature of man and
his true Essence and, unlike what it may
seem, it mortifi es the quality of his life, even
his biological life. Within such a framework,
Mary’s Message appears in its true capacity:
It is an existential appeal, it is the sweet and
terrible warning of the Mother who sees
her child in danger, and it is a danger that
threatens life in its inseparable biological and
spiritual integrity.
Stunned by the chaos of our cities,
snared in thousands of formally necessary
things, whirled around by our activism, we,
inhabitants of the so-called wealthy countries
have less and less time to refl ect, to think,
defi nitively to...live. Having fallen prey to
advertising that imposes unnatural models of
life, we are losing the sense of dignity of the
person, standardising it more and more to a
market product. More and more comfortably
we lie down on our couch of apparent
wellbeing, in it we seek and delude ourselves
that we have found salvation and happiness,
and we drag the whole world into this illusory
dream, and when someone falls victim to
their illusions, we accompany them more or
less falsely, but we do not stop this crazy race
towards self-destruction. And when the Earth
itself rebels and suddenly reveals the fragility
of the works of our opulence, we do nothing
other than rebuild the rubble with an extreme
blindness that is as dark as death.
May-June 2011 - Year 27 # 5-6 - Echo of Mary, Via Cremona, 28 - 46100 Mantova - Italy.
www.ecodimaria.net - A translation of the original Italian: Eco di Maria
215
30
TH
A
NNIVERSARY
OF
THE
A
PPARITIONS
Once and for all, two thousand years ago,
Mary said her yes
to the Lord of Life and of history.
Faithful to divine will over time,
over the past thirty years He allowed
her to remain physically among us...
In this way the Mother points out
the pathway of littleness to us
and of obedience to the Father,
so that our yes might also be given
to Her as a gift,
so that it might become
a channel of salvation for humanity
and of redemption for the whole universe.
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No, this is not the way, Mary says to us, she
said it to us with her Life before her words;
she said it welcoming God’s Will as it was
presented to her by the Archangel Gabriel,
she said it to us preserving in Her Heart what
was mysterious or incomprehensible to her in
her experience as a Mother, she said it to us
in the holy and bitter days of the Passion and
Death of her Son. She said it and continues
to say it from Medjugorje. And still today
she says to us: I invite you to testify with
your lives and help others to approach my
Immaculate Heart so that the fl ame of love
towards the Most High might bloom in
their hearts.
The testimony that Mary asks us for passes
through our lives, not through our words; it is
not founded on discourse, or on occasional or
only formal gestures. It is in observing how
we live that we can help others to approach
Her Immaculate Heart and this is necessary
for the fl ame of love towards the Most High
to bloom in their hearts. This is a great,
beautiful and tremendous responsibility at
the same time, because it can favour but
also impede us in our approach to Mary’s
Immaculate Heart. Perhaps this is another
reason why Mary prays incessantly for us,
so that our lives might be a refl ection of
Heaven here on earth. Strengthened by this
prayer, let us deliver ourselves to Her so that
she might consecrate us to Her Immaculate
Heart, from which we will draw the fl ame of
love towards the Most High. Peace and joy
in Jesus and Mary.
N. Q.
2
Grace
is greater than sin
“Hail Mary, full of grace…”, exclaims
the Angel who visits the Virgin of Nazareth,
revealing her deepest identity to her in this
way, the “name”, so to speak, by which God
himself knows her: “full of grace”.
The full of grace, the Immaculate, is a
source of inner light, hope and comfort.
Amidst the trials of life and especially the
contradictions that man experiences within
himself and around himself, Mary, Mother of
Christ, tells us that Grace is greater than sin,
that God’s mercy is more powerful than
evil and that he knows how to transform it
into good.
Unfortunately we experience evil every
day, it manifests itself in many ways in
relations and in events, but its root lies in
man’s heart, an injured, ill, heart that is
incapable of healing by itself.
Sacred Scripture reveals to us that at the
origin of every evil there is the disobedience
of God’s will, and that death has dominated
because human freedom has given in to the
temptation of the Evil one. But God does not
give up on his plan of love and life: through
a long and patient journey of reconciliation,
he has prepared the new and eternal alliance,
sealed in the blood of his Son, who was “born
of a woman” to offer himself in expiation
(Gal 4,4). This woman, the Virgin Mary,
benefi ted early from the redeeming death of
her Son and from the time of her conception,
she was preserved from the contagion of sin.
And so, with her immaculate heart, She says
to us: trust in Jesus, He will save you.
(Benedict XVI - from his homily)
Life as a spiritual cult
by Chiara Bernardi
With baptism we all received the calling
to become new creatures and to participate
in Christ’s priesthood. Obviously each of us
will implement this calling and this mission
in a different way, according to our originality
and the gifts that we have received. On many
occasions however, Christians live passively,
they do not know how to recognise their
mission and they think that only very few
people receive a special calling from God.
But God does not call some to holiness and
others to lead a mediocre life! God addresses
the same calling to all his children, and for
this reason we are called to understand the
infi nite, universal value of all our actions and
all our interior steps.
Offering ourselves to be transformed
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by
the mercies of God, that you present your
bodies a living sacrifi ce, holy, acceptable to
God, which is your reasonable service. And
do not be conformed to this world, but be
transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that you may prove what is that good and
acceptable and perfect will of God”. (Rm
12,1-2).
These words by Saint Paul help us to come
to a deeper understanding of the meaning of
offering our life to God, which lies at the basis
of our Christian calling. Offering ourselves
as a holy and living sacrifi ce that is pleasing
to God, does not mean dying, becoming ill
or doing anything in particular, it means
learning to live as God wishes us to, learning
to consecrate our bodies to God, but also our
feelings, the things that we do, the people
and situations associated with us. It means
learning to allow God to enter our lives and
thus give an in-depth value to everything that
we do. Saint Paul adds: “this is your spiritual
cult”. The cult is a celebration, and the priest
is he who presides over the celebration. For
this reason, experiencing God’s offering
means living our royal priesthood fully,
entering into Christ’s priesthood.
A living, daily celebration
If
experiencing
the offer means cel-
ebrating a spiritual cult,
then we will no longer
be able to experience
the Eucharist as some-
thing separate from our
lives, from what we
do during the day. On
the contrary, our day
should be an extension
of the Eucharist, a giv-
ing of life to the sacraments that we receive.
How can we experience the royal priesthood
in our lives? How can we make a cult and a
celebration of the simple things that we are
called to do every day? We must simply learn
to take the same steps during our day that we
are called to take during every Eucharist: open
ourselves up to experience a deep meeting
with Jesus in the Mass, this should prepare us
to open ourselves up to others, to meet others
in God. Receiving God’s forgiveness should
teach us to forgive, to help others to free
themselves from many of the burdens and
feelings of guilt that oppress them. Listening
to the Word of God should lead us to listen
to everyone, not to close ourselves off in
our ideas, but rather, to open ourselves up
to communion. Experiencing the moment of
the Eucharistic consecration should teach us
to consecrate all of our work, every meeting,
every thought or plan, to God. Receiving
God’s blessing must awaken the call to
be a blessing in us. Every baptised person
should know how to transmit the blessing to
creation, to people, to situations encountered
every day, thus distancing evil.
If we succeed in taking these steps in our
daily lives, then we will experience the beauty
of offering ourselves together to Jesus in the
Holy Mass, and we will truly feel that Jesus
elevates everything that we have experienced
and tried to offer in our day, to the Father.
The Eucharist is a cosmic event
«If it is possible, as much as depends on
you, live peaceably with all men. Do not be
overcome by evil, but overcome evil with
good» Saint Paul continues in his letter to
the Romans (Rm 12,18.21). The Eucharist is
a cosmic event. The priest who celebrates it
embraces the whole of humanity, the living
and the dead, in the Eucharistic sacrifi ce. If we
want to live our regal priesthood to the fullest,
we too must desire good for everyone, leave
our judgements behind and do everything to
help others, to live in peace with everyone.
Saint Paul says: “Do not be overcome by
evil, but overcome evil with good”. Jesus
Christ alone has power over evil; by means of
the offering, if we live united with Him, then
we will experience his strength in us. And the
more God’s love grows in us, the more we
will be able to conquer and distance evil from
us and from others.
We cannot conquer evil with our own
strength and sometimes we cannot even
solve or change negative situations. But if
we experience the union with God, we will
experience that even in suffering, evil will
not have any power over us, that is, it will not
distance us from God, it will not quench faith
in us.
A respectful welcoming
“Receive one who is weak in the faith, but
not to disputes over doubtful things. So then
each of us shall give account of himself to
God. Therefore let us not judge one another
anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put
a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our
brother’s way” (Rm 14,1.12-13).
Spiritual maturity is expressed in knowing
how to welcome and respect others, whatever
level they are on. In order to know how to
behave it is suffi cient to refl ect on how the
Lord behaved and behaves with us. Jesus
approached and welcomed us even when
we were far from Him; he never humiliated
us, not even when we were incapable of
understanding his words, he bent down over
our insignifi cance, helping us to grow and
mature gradually.
Jesus establishes a personal relationship
with us, without comparing us to others,
without putting us into competition with
others. We too should learn to behave like
Him, we should know how to approach
others with his same gentleness, welcoming
each other with respect and love.
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3
Echo 215
Our Lady is alive
in Medjugorje
From the beginning I’ve believed
the apparitions of the Mother of God
in Medjugorje to be the work of the
Holy Spirit. Today in particular,
I see a clear distinction between
the apparitions of Our Lady,
understood as an extraordinary
grace linked to a special place and
historical era, and the presence of
Our Lady which is everywhere in
space, in time and in eternity.
The apparitions are a grace,
they are the confi rmation of the
maternity and care of Our Lady
for all of humanity, of her mission
as the Mother of God. And this is
a grace given to all of us. And so I
understand that the aim to be attained
is not to stop at the apparitions as
a supernatural phenomenon, but to
learn to experience Mary’s presence,
that continually attracts us into the life of the
Most Blessed Trinity. Our Lady has been
appearing for such a long time in Medjugorje
because she wants to teach us to live in her
presence and in the presence of God.
She guides us to the essence
The theology of the Easter mystery is
profoundly accentuated in Medjugorje: the
passage through the passion and death that
leads us to the Resurrection. This is the
fundamental message that the apparitions
leave us and it cannot be otherwise, because
the Mother always guides us towards what
her son Jesus experienced, towards the only
true pathway of healing. And so the Virgin
guides us towards the essence, towards the
mystery of Christianity: The Eucharist, the
Easter mystery. And in the end she manifests
the Trinitarian dimension to us, because in
reality we cannot fi nd Mary in her fullness, if
not in the Most Blessed Trinity.
A living relationship
In my opinion we are called to enter into a
living and continuous relationship with God
and with Mary. In fact, Our Lady does not
appear in Medjugorje to remain with us for
just a few minutes a day, but to enable us to
understand that we were created to be in God,
to relate to him continuously, to recognise his
voice.
A priest friend of mine once said to me:
“My dear Father Tomislav, who will keep
all of this under control?”. I answered him
saying: “This is precisely our problem, that
we want to keep everything under control,
while God calls us to walk and grow, to direct
people towards the Holy Spirit through Mary,
so that she might guide them towards Jesus
and, together with Him, towards the Father”.
This is a precious truth: after everything that I
experienced initially with the visionaries, then
with many faithful and consecrated people, I
understood that I cannot and I do not want
to control anyone. I must only worry about
walking, about experiencing God’s nearness
and about showing people how it is to have a
relationship with God, so that the Lord might
guide and direct everything and everyone.
“Do not feel as though you are
strangers to the destiny of the
world, but rather, feel that you
are precious parts of a beautiful
mosaic that, like a great artist,
God is creating day by day…by
offering our pain to God through
Christ, we can collaborate in the
victory of good over evil, so that
God might make our offering, our
act of love, fertile”.
Benedict XVI
The novelty of Medjugorje
The novelty that Medjugorje brings to the
Church and to humanity is the meeting with
the living God. Perhaps this doesn’t say much
to some people, but if we fi nd ourselves be-
fore the living God and we allow Him to in-
volve us totally,
changing eve-
rything within
ourselves ac-
cording to his
plans, then this
is an absolute
novelty.
I believe that
God’s inten-
tions through
Medjugorje are
these: to draw
man towards
Him through
the Immaculate
Heart, to attract
the Church, and
through it, the
whole world.
Everyone must meet the living God and, in
faith, contemplate him face to face.
Called to be simple
This meeting with God brings other
novelties with it: Christian life must become
simple, it must free itself of formulae and of
what weighs down upon it and encloses the
Spirit in empty precepts. Let simplicity guide
us towards a direct relationship with God,
to whom Jesus wanted to lead the people he
preached to.
We are called therefore towards this
simplicity that Pope Benedict XVI spoke
about when he was still a Cardinal: “The
renewal of the life of the Church is not about
a set of exercises in piety and the creation of
institutes, but in a full and unique belonging
to the community of Christ…the novelty, the
renewal means becoming simple, converting
to that real and true simplicity that is the
mystery of all that exists…but this is none
other than the echo of the simplicity of the
One God” (J. Ratzinger, God’s New People).
Everything is renewed in the Holy Spirit
The outcome of this newness is the same
as what happened in the First Church, which
was made up of the Assembly of the Apostles,
Mary, the women and the disciples who were
present when the Holy Spirit descended upon
them and fi lled them with himself. Everything
becomes new and everything is continuously
renewed. It is not a newness that is detached
from the Gospel, but with a new dynamic,
a new vitality, like the Spring is a novelty
for the Winter, the summer a novelty for the
spring, and so on…it is a vital and continuous
process that bears many fruits. It is the sign of
the dynamicity of the life of faith, that singles
itself out from stagnation which, in certain
forms of religiousness, often fi nds different
and very dangerous shades.
A spiritual quality of life
Already on the fi fth anniversary of the
apparitions, I underlined that many people
are wrong in thinking that the parish of
Medjugorje will become a second Lourdes
or a second Fatima. I personally believe
that we shouldn’t even talk too much about
Medjugorje, so as not to transform it into
an ideology. Our Lady does not call us onto
apparition mountain, onto Krizevac, or to
the parish church because Medjugorje is one
of many shrines, but because she wants to
introduce humanity to new times.
A new era has commenced with the
apparitions in Medjugorje. It is a new quality
of spiritual life, a new quality of life in general,
that embraces all of our being, because the
Christian calling not only aims at making us
rise up in spirit, but also in body. We almost
never think about the resurrection of the body,
and so as a consequence its transformation
cannot come about. The transformation of the
whole man is the true novelty.
Grace is stronger today
I see that graces in Medjugorje are even
stronger now with respect to the beginning.
The graces during this time are so strong that
they attract all those who are walking towards
eternity, towards the living God. And these
faithful enter into the mystery of life, they
enter into that communion that Saint John
spoke of at the end of the Apocalypse: “And
He will dwell with them, and they shall be
His people, God himself will be with them
and be their God”. “Behold, I make all things
new” (cfr. Ap 21, 3-5).
At the same time, the strength of these
graces leaves those who are uninterested
aside, it leaves them cold, not because God
pushes them away, but because they close
themselves off from this grace of growth, of
transformation into a new man.
Promises are fulfi lled
In certain faithful there is scepticism and
immaturity. In their behaviour we encounter
something strange: they deal with the things
happening around Our Lady, but they are
uninterested in the life of the Mother within
them; they are more interested in what is
happening around themselves, in external
activities, rather than opening themselves up
to God, to work with him and allow him to
fulfi l all of his promises.
Our calling consists of entering into the
living temple of our soul, in remaining open
with Mary so that the Holy Spirit might
descend, work in us and transform us into
new creatures, through the life and sacrifi ce
of Jesus Christ. Only in this way can we
reach true resurrection.
By Father Tomislav Vlasic
(Taken from: Our Lady is alive in Medjugorje
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4
Reflections of light
from
Mary’s land
by Stefania Consoli
Thirty years
of
public life…
The thirtieth year of the apparitions of the
Virgin Mary in Medjugorje has struck. We
could say it is not necessary to utter a single
word. The grace that moves all of this, in fact,
is truly exceptional and it leaves us open-
mouthed...this is indeed a unique event in
the history of humanity! Our generation has
had the privilege of welcoming the Mother of
God for such a lengthy period and a period
that is so rich
with messages
that always carry
the truth of the
Heavens.
Rivers of people
ow into that
small town that has changed so completely
over the years in order to meet the needs to
feed and accommodate pilgrims from all
over the world. The somewhat mundane
atmosphere that has been created around the
Church – which was once surrounded only
by vineyards and forests, is not always easy
to share. But at the same time, we shouldn’t
linger too much on this subject, because the
value of Medjugorje is on a whole other level:
that of the Spirit, that of the life of God.
Therefore there is a celebration in
Medjugorje. Those who have been going
there for years do not want to miss out on
this event. Many more are going there for the
fi rst time, and for them too, a new pathway
of life is opening up: there are unexpected
opportunities for conversion, revision,
rebirth.
There is something for everyone in
Medjugorje. There, everyone can fi nd what
they need the most, as we can see from the
letters written to us by many friends after
their journey, and that we have published in
part here. This is the voice of Mary’s children,
children who are dear to Her because they
answer her call. Some sooner, some later.
Some in one way, some in another. The
important thing is to arrive there with the
desire to meet the face of She who, refl ecting
on our face, is even capable of changing its
features, that lose all signs of tension and
gradually acquire peace, allowing themselves
to be reached and transfi gured by Love.
Obviously it is not suffi cient to go to
Medjugorje or to listen to Our Lady’s
invitations to change our behaviour, which
often still expresses an attachment to
ourselves: selfi shness always tries to dictate
law to our daily choices... But apart from
Her words, which are fi lled with maternal
wisdom, Our Lady gives us a supply of
grace that helps us to conquer ourselves and
attempt to walk along the pathway that She,
with patience and faith, continues to trace out
for all of us. It is suffi cient for us to know
how to carefully keep this reserve and wisely
administer it, day after day.
Often, even through our Echo, we have
urged people to use their time in Medjugorje
well, avoiding superfi cial time wasting that
does not encourage true immersion in prayer
and grace. Everything comes about in the
depths, within ourselves. If it doesn’t touch
the most intimate cords of our being, then
our journey is almost useless, a waste. The
greatest wish therefore that we can make
for the Queen of Peace on this, the thirtieth
anniversary of her coming, will be our ability
to experience everything as She would: with
simplicity, recollection and humble faith.
God will do the rest and He will fi ll us with
gifts. The greatest among these, is the living
presence of Mary, our Mother and Queen.
A departure point
We travel throughout life. But our destinations
are not always predictable. Actually, on occasion
we are even forced by circumstances to change the
platform of our train: unforeseen circumstances,
unexpected situations, missed objectives,
suspended relations…Without foreseeing it, all
of a sudden we fi nd ourselves changing direction,
and having to choose an arrival point that we
might never have imagined.
This too is what life is made of. And it is not
always easy to deal with the uncertainty of the
direction or the disappointment in seeing that
what we thought was infallible actually led us to a
dead end.
Those who experienced this and at a certain
stage in their jour-
ney, found them-
selves going to
Medjugorje, most
often see a new
road opening up
in front of them:
a pathway that
seemed closed off
and that instead has
unexpected thresh-
olds to be crossed
in order to travel
beyond… beyond
illusions, beyond
disappointments; beyond the fear of a future that
threatens us because it is apparently diffi cult to
face…
In the testimonies that we publish there are
stories of lives that have been transformed,
there are stories of situations that have turned
around completely, there are stories of the grace
born out of the meeting with Mary and a living and
personal God. In these cases however, it is easy
to fall into error: to believe that we have arrived
at our destination – “in Medjugorje everything is
different, everything is easier…” – people think.
This is more than comprehensible. A stop off
for a rest is necessary to get our breath back from
the running around that the world often forces us
to engage in: “Come to me all of you who labour
and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” we
read in Matthew’s gospel (11, 28). But then we
must start out again! It is not possible to stop.
The journey is long and it needs our willingness
to start out continuously, to leave the old behind
and follow Jesus on new and original pathways.
This is why Medjugorje cannot be a terminus
on our road. If we truly meet God there, through
Mary, we will necessarily feel an urge to get up and
set out towards unknown destinations, motivated
by the grace that makes us living witnesses, but
also protagonists of history in a new way: more
keenly aware of ourselves and of the reality that
surrounds us, and above all, less infl uenced by the
relativity of daily life because the absolute of God
has now taken its place.
No, Medjugorje cannot be the last stop.
Medjugorje is true only if it becomes a
departure point. The various stages of our life are
only intermediate stations. The fi nal destination,
thanks be to God, will be Heaven!
I sell my gold
in exchange for a treasure
by Tosca Fabriani
I often go to Medjugorje. Once you’ve tasted
the fl avour of that new life you cannot but go back
there! And every time I do go back, I fi nd a pearl
on my way, when I walk along the mountains and
sites blessed by the presence of Mary, and above
all, when I accept to venture into the depths of
my being to meet God’s true face, He who loves
me, educates me and gives me all of his wealth.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures
on earth, where moth and rust destroy and
where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for
yourselves treasures in heaven…” (Mt 6,19),
says the Master. An invitation to all men, that
they might free their hearts from attachment to
material goods to make space for celestial goods.
But for me there was a more concrete proposal,
which became a reality when my husband was in
fi nancial diffi culty for many months. Not wanting
to use shared money for my trips to Medjugorje,
on each occasion I choose a small piece of gold
jewellery from the drawer, from among the pieces
that I was given over the years and I sell it to pay
for my trip: “Therefore I prayed and prudence
was given me; I pleaded and the spirit of wisdom
came to me. I preferred her to sceptre and throne,
and deemed riches nothing in comparison with
her, nor did I liken any priceless gem to her,
because all gold, in view of her, is a little sand
and before her, silver is to be accounted mire...
(Wisdom 7, 8-10).
Once again Sacred Scripture confi rms what
has become a reason for joy to me and a constant
element in my trips to Medjugorje: in fact, I
almost feel a sense of urgency in depriving
myself of that which enriches my vanity, to earn
those treasures that no man’s hand can create.
And so I sell my gold, and each time I leave
feeling lighter and more ready to take what Mary
has once again prepared for me.
Of course, I have to admit that when I look at
the area around the church - the place that should
be the utmost expression of the sacredness of
Medjugorje – and I see the amount of shops with
window displays full of gold to attract pilgrims to
make “signifi cant” purchases, - I say to myself:
“Lord, how miserable we are…how we exploit
your grace for our little interests! Lord, help me
not to judge, but to give an example to those who
do not know the value of true wealth and who do
not truly welcome the gift of your Mother!”
background image
BEARING WITNESS
The last big stone
by Giovanni Saiani
Almost a year has passed since my last trip
to Medjugorje and fi nally we’ve set a new
date: we’re leaving on the 24
th
of March! The
countdown begins a few days beforehand. The
nearer our departure date comes, the more the
days become intense, work is more and more
stressful, and until the night before we set off,
there’s lots to be done…
But thank God, the time comes. After the
classic controversies during the journey, we
reach our destination and immediately feel
at home. Smiles and embraces welcome you:
“Welcome back!”, and a sense of profound
peace enters your heart.
The fi rst appointment is with the Mother,
on Apparition Hill. I
experience it almost
like a preparation for
tomorrow’s climb up
to Krizevac, where
everyone will have to
face up to their own
Golgotha…How can we even start out with-
out the comfort of a Mother, who is as sweet
and intense as always?
At the foot of Cross Mountain, the day after,
I feel a little trepidation. I know that this Via
Crucis is not like the others…The invisible
rucksack that I am carrying on my shoulders
is full of “stones”, of different shapes and
sizes. But there is one in particular that stands
out: the stone of selfi shness…I am ready for
the climb, Lord, I will leave everything under
your Cross…
But after my very fi rst step, the sadness in
the eyes of a woman comes to mind, a sadness
that I had seen a short time earlier. Her sixteen
year old niece is seriously ill. What to do
then? I decide to leave two of my “stones”
and to carry two to the summit for them.
I climb and I don’t change gears, but rather,
I fi nger my rosary, the only true walking stick
necessary for this climb. I leave some stones
on the way up and I take up others: for people
who cannot be here, who cannot climb up
with me, but who need to…Only my “big
stone” remains. Lord, I am here for this!
The stations of the cross pass me by, one
after the other. Here we are. I see her: tall,
imposing…I am happy and tired, I am at the
Redeemer’s Cross.
I kneel down, I slowly empty out my rucksack,
entrusting everything that I brought with me
to her. Now it’s my turn Lord: I am holding
the last stone in my hand, the “big stone”.
But once more, an image comes to mind: two
suffering eyes…A suffering that I am well
aware of, that I understand. I know too that
you alone, Lord, can console her. And so,
below the Cross I place that stone too, not for
myself, but for that person.
I did not offer my sin Lord, but you
immediately consoled me after just a few
hours, giving me the joy of the smile of that
aunt; enabling me to see the other person
queuing up for confession and those eyes a
little less sad a short time afterwards.
All of this was worth my third trip to
Medjugorje. Thank you Father, thank you
Mother…
Lighter
by Elena Ricci
“Lighter, projected towards a more
unrestricted love…”. This is how I feel I can
summarise my inner state twenty years after
saying “yes” to the Queen of Peace.
Thirty years ago came the annunciation that
Our Lady was appearing to a group of young
children in a small town in Herzegovina.
I followed the Apparitions almost from
the beginning, through the media: in the
printed press, on the radio, on audiocassettes,
listening to the messages and testimonies.
1990 marked my fi rst trip to the land of
Medjugorje, with the majority of my family.
From the beginning I recall my “here I am”
through Mary, in welcoming the invitations
of the Queen of Peace; the inner reawakening
in some parts of my heart that needed to be
touched and healed; the depth of my prayer;
the living Word of the Lord who speaks in
life; His promises; an opening to a new
blooming within me and around me...
And immediately came the trial, the action
by Satan. Every beautiful thing, everything
that I perceived as a vocation was constantly
blocked, something got in its way. But the
grace of the Lord made its way through! In
every loss, the grace of the Lord made its way
From disdain to wonder
by Nilde Totti
And so, dear friend, after having gone to
Lourdes and Fatima on various occasions,
you wanted to “try” Medjugorje…, despite
the mistrust of the Fathers that you frequent.
Many of your friends had spoken to you
enthusiastically about it, and even simple
acquaintances who stopped you on the street,
told you of their experiences and asked:
“You who are so religious, how come you’ve
never been to Medjugorje? Everything is
different there: just think, my husband went
to confession after over twenty years, he’s
changed a lot, now he never misses Mass, he
used to never go…” and so on.
And so you went. I met you when you
came back, I didn’t even have time to ask
you how your experience was, and you
started speaking, agitated and resentful. You
were scandalised by the market stalls, by the
traders wanting to sell you everything, “even
grappa!”, by the fact that the Virgin Mary
was printed on all kinds of merchandise, and
by the confusion, “even in the Church! I had
been told that there was a special atmosphere
there, that the prayer in many languages was
particularly touching…but I felt bewildered,
I felt like I was suffocating and I left”.
M
ESSAGE
TO
M
IRJANA
OF
THE
2
ND
OF
M
AY
2011
“Dear children, God the Father is sending me to show you the way of salvation, because he, my
children, desires to save you and not to condemn you. That is why I, as a mother, am gathering
you around me, because with my motherly love I desire to help you to be free of the dirtiness of
the past and to begin to live anew and differently. I am calling you to resurrect in my Son. Along
with confession of sins, renounce everything that has distanced you from my Son and that has
made your life empty and unsuccessful. Say “yes” to the Father with the heart and set out on the
way of salvation to which he is calling you through the Holy Spirit. Thank you. I am especially
praying for the shepherds, for God to help them to be alongside you with a fullness of heart”.
through! By following the Gospel throughout
life’s occurrences, I was led to a continuous
loss, not only of bad things and sin but also of
those good things that need to be purifi ed.
Blessed Mary accompanied me on the
pathway of Jesus who, rich as he was,
became poor; He did it to enrich us, I did it
to lose what was cumbersome within myself
and to be able to follow on his pathway. To
follow Jesus fi rst, so as to be able to follow
His plans. I follow Jesus and the rest is given
to me as extra, given freely when I expect it
the least, in a different, new manner.
The fact that I had lost a lot in the fi eld of
relations, in desires and plans, in abilities, and
in my body, which is growing old – although
with all God’s gifts – led me to feel this sense
of lightness bubbling up within me, a feeling
of fl uidity, adaptability and inner speed that
is more diffi cult for the enemy to strike…
And in substance I become more versatile
for God. I perceive that the more I manage
to lose, the more the Spirit of God can be
free and effective in me. A corruptible part is
destroyed and an inner youth is born.
By following Jesus, in the Immaculate
Heart of Mary, I am able to go beyond all evil
and enter a new dimension. The source of
Resurrection that the Lord placed in my spirit
thus fl ows more freely.
At this stage I felt a terrible pain in my
heart: criticism of Medjugorje hurts me,
as though it were addressed to my mother,
and I was trying to say something, but you
continued to ramble on.
In the square you saw lots of priests hearing
confessions, and that too seemed like a show
to you. And you remained there with your
anger boiling up inside, when a brother with
a long beard made a gesture to you to come
close to him; at the time you thought he was
gesturing to someone else, but you were the
only person there, and so you went towards
him telling yourself that you weren’t going
to go to confession…And looking into your
eyes, the brother asked you kindly: “What’s
the matter, my daughter?”. This was enough
for you, like a swollen river, to spew out your
words to him of disappointment, anger and
whatever else.
“I truly don’t know how it happened”, you
concluded, “but when, having been invited
by the Priest, I went back into the Church,
everything that had seemed off-putting,
vulgar and unacceptable, became marvellous
and full of charm for me. I will never forget
it!”.
And I will never forget the light that came
on in your eyes, as you said those words. Our
Lady truly is alive in Medjugorje.
background image
6
WE,
the face of God’s people
by Salvatore Sigillo
It’s so nice to see the face of these brothers
of mine in Medjugorje as they are intent on
praying, speaking and listening, as they go to
confession, as they walk around, as they eat…
We come from many different parts of the
world, we are all there: bishops, the ill, married
couples, the faithful, priests, tourists, Christians
on the threshold, noisy people, and young
people,….The Church of God is present. Its
universality. We have all come to say our thank
you to the Mother. It’s so great.
My wife (*) and I spent a few weeks praying,
in silence, going to confession more frequently,
listening to the Word, participating in many
celebrations, in personal refl ection, in adoration
of our Lord Jesus Christ. I personally spent the
time I had at my disposal taking photos (but
not with a camera) of these brothers of mine,
of God’s people. They are photos taken with my
“eyes”, with my “ears”, with my “heart”. When
taking them I don’t think I was distracted from
the true reason of my stay in Medjugorje and I
hope I didn’t distract or disturb others.
I am printing them now, confusedly,
without any particular logic. I don’t want the
memory of them to disappear from my mind:
A very elderly married couple, perhaps
Germans, hand in hand under a burning sun,
kneeling, praying before the statue of the Risen
Christ…
The radiant face, the voice often broken by
emotion in celebrating the Holy Mass, of a
Beyond sin,
beyond the past…
by Stefano Salvatore
For over twenty years and more, I’ve had the
possibility of going to Medjugorje, as a sinner,
like now. Some dear friends of mine went
before me, they believed and still now live in
Christ and through Christ. I waited “sinning”,
in inverted commas because every sin is
freedom in God, as is every virtue. Blow after
blow, He alone is capable of forging strength
from the swords at his service. It is merely a
question of making his job easier. I did not
make his job easy, but He believed in me.
Through his Mother and through the words
of my wife, the calling came…
A welcoming that opens up to the meeting
I arrive from Italy with my family at sunset.
The low lying sun cloaks the façade of the
Parish Church of Saint James, it also cloaks the
outlets for souvenirs, the bars, the restaurants
and the homes, all of which are like farmhouses,
undetermined in their architectonic aims…
Once we’ve set down our bags at the house of
the Community that welcomes us warmly and
affectionately, we spontaneously walk towards
the Parish Church. The Church is full to the
brim. The Croatian mass that we listen to from
the outside microphones – tightly wrapped
up in our jackets on the benches – enables us
to understand that the Annunciation will be
celebrated the day after. We’ve unknowingly
reached the Village of the Queen on the
24
th
of the month, in the year of the thirtieth
anniversary!
But the grace of Medjugorje is not only
present in the “sacred” sites. It is in fact the
essentiality with which people live that enables
you to experience the Lord’s tangible love.
The table of the Community where we are
staying is in fact a meeting point with God’s
gifts that sustain us and that are offered in
simplicity and harmony. I feel a deep sense of
joy in serving other people their food, sharing
stories, anecdotes with an extended family, like
we once were, at least in my memories of feast
days. The afternoon rest in the House, then, is
more restoring than a meal: silence carries you
straight into the arms of Our Lord, who cradles
your heart…I feel that I am continuously
speaking to Someone I don’t know, but I am
certain that I am being listened to without even
saying a word.
One to one
It’s evening time and in the church that is
full but not packed, there is the adoration of
the Eucharist. The monstrance is on the altar,
the faithful are all gathered around and it looks
like they are praying in shifts: they come and
go with the utmost respect and silence; fi rst
they are facing towards the central altar and
then they move to the feet of the statue of the
Queen, in the right hand aisle; some lie on the
ground, face down on the fl oor before the altar
where Christ is. My wife and I remain there
in recollection for an hour; partly in prayer,
partly hand in hand, adoring the blessed host.
I give thanks for the fi rst fi fty years of life that
I have lived and immediately my life becomes
visible to my gaze, a judge. We too move to
the foot of the Queen. I give thanks to her with
the deepest Hail Mary that my heart has ever
managed to pronounce and that shakes my
bones like the strings of a harp. A profound
sense of forgiveness towards myself embraces
me and regenerates my heart, furrowing my
face with tears of joy and deep inner peace.
The wind of She who is full of grace
The next day Apparition Hill attracts us
towards it and a pleasantly fresh breeze, that is
fi rm but not strong, pushes
our bodies and helps our
steps, that smooth over
the stones that are already
shiny from the steps of
those who have gone
before us. Like drops of
water moving against
gravity, from the base of
the Mountain, the pilgrims
are scattered along the wall and, each on
their own pathway, they spread out a weft of
prayer…Hosanna’s cloak seems to embrace us
all, brothers and sisters, unknown to each other
but recognised by their One Mother, who calls
and wants all of them.
Before the statue of Mary a few prayers
repeated mentally fl ow together with my blood
that is spraying through my body; immense
joy and a living sense of belonging colour my
heart. Among the budding leafy branches, the
face of that Celestial Mother is marvellous, like
the countryside from up here.
We descend calmly, feeling joyful after
that experience. The breeze now caresses our
faces, refreshing them, and it slows our pace.
When we reach the Blue Cross, a well-dressed
man, who almost looks like he’s on his way to
the offi ce, turns to us on the descent and says:
“…when the breeze caresses the Mountain, I
am with you”, and he salutes us with a smile.
These are the words of the Mother.
In the mysterious embrace of the Church
The Parish awaits us for the most solemn
mass that I’ve ever been to. The roof of the
building seems incapable of containing the
pressure of the prayer. I don’t understand a
word because it’s in Croatian, but I abandon
myself nonetheless among the faithful,
genufl ecting and bowing. I put my head on my
knees and feel myself being almost transported
as far as the main altar, as though my body
were being lifted up horizontally and passed
from hand to hand, purifying itself at every
touch. All of a sudden I clearly perceive the
strength of the Church in prayer, that offers
welcoming, protection and purifi cation to the
soul that participates in it; sin melts away like
snow in the sun, forgiveness comes to point out
the new pathway to you, preventing you from
looking backwards towards the past. And so
you are reborn in a new gaze…The air outside
has changed, it has become cold, a sky fi lled
with clouds promises rain soon.
The mountain that washes away sins
The next day, before dawn, I poke my nose
outside of the house and the rain wets the
lenses of my glasses. It’s heavy. I regretfully
renounce, but only until the afternoon, when I
start my climb up to Krizevac, alone and full of
desire. My loud prayer gives my pace a rhythm:
Our Father, and a step, who art in Heaven, and
another…until I arrive at the foot of that Cross
that stands out imposingly, directed towards the
Heavens. The rain starts to fall more insistently,
the summit is all mine, but a short time later
I think it would be better to start going back
down. It seems to me that this water falling from
above is capable of cleansing me on the inside,
within my intimate self, there, where sin found
somewhere to nestle in the past. I arrive at my
car dripping wet, cleansed by the Holy Spirit,
as happy as a child, full of answers to questions
that I hadn’t solved, full in my heart…
Food of peace
We end our trip saying goodbye to Medjugorje
by participating in the Holy Mass. I feel that a
new pathway is opening up before me. In his
homily, the priest invites us to forgive ourselves,
to give absolution to our heart, because this
alone will allow us to close the door on our
past and open ourselves up to the present and
therefore to the news of the future, reconciled
with God, safe on the pathway drawn out by
Jesus, who converted suffering into full Love
for us, through the Resurrection.
And so I fi nd myself in total peace with
myself and ready to receive the Eucharist.
I joyfully await it. Finally I receive the gift
I had waited on for so long and had never
understood…A shiver runs through my whole
body, my skin seems to catch fi re. I feel taken
by a bodily embrace that is so full that once
again I invoke forgiveness for the time wasted
in His absence…
Since then I have found myself on a
new journey, that now includes conscious
renunciation, that still brings suffering, but not
torment, not disorientation. I am certain that this
will allow me to recognise what is happening
within my soul and to meet my neighbour
with more freedom, to read the history of men
together, as God wrote it for us, according to
His will and for our good.
background image
ISLANDS
OF AN ARCHIPELAGO
Details of a pilgrimage to Medjugorje
by Alberto Ripamonti
The spiritual guides asked none other than
you to tell the story and grasp the in-depth
meaning of this pilgrimage. They say that
you’ll certainly know how to do it.
And you know well that you won’t succeed
in doing so, unless you use words other than
theirs. Because you, unfortunately are still
among those (the many people: more than
people are willing to believe) who, despite
everything, have not managed to cross the
narrow, but solid barrier
that divides those who
aspire to meeting God,
from those who – lucky
them – have already
met God and know how
to treasure him in their
hearts.
In front of the blank
page, you already know
that you will only succeed
in expressing the summary
of “your” pilgrimage. The
uncertain meaning of your tottering search for
true spirituality, on this land blessed by Mary
and protected and animated by Her.
Sure, there has been no lack of intense
adoration, passionate Stations of the Cross (and
not only on the rugged Podbrdo and Krizevac),
vigorous homilies at the Masses, many,
concentrated prayers, infl amed testimonies,
strong confessions, Vicka’s warm, living and
joyous words…Everything that normally
creates that wholly special atmosphere that
characterises Medjugorje, you encountered it
and as usual, it moved you.
And it is also undeniable that, on this
occasion, everything came about on the basis
of a perspective that is very different from
the usual one. People weren’t only looking
vertically, upwards, towards the heavens
and their contents; but those who guided us
on this journey also pushed us up vertically,
in a peaceful and decisive manner, along the
rugged paths that lead to the unknown (or
forgotten) depths of our soul. Down there
where God has always knocked and asks only
for the door to be opened to him and for him
to be allowed in. A fairly diffi cult perspective,
that is decidedly perceivable day after day, I
suppose by everyone.
About what has happened, each of the
pilgrims will have seen, tasted and acquired a
wholly personal facet of Medjugorje. Since all
of us who live on the surface of the sea of
life, are and remain “islands”.
We, or at least most of us, are poor, roving
and unprepared islands, who come from afar.
We lead our daily existence (that we will
soon return to) on the turbulent surface of this
stormy sea, amidst violent waves, vortexes and
hurricanes that strike us from all sides. We all
have wounds – some more, some less, as well
as traumas and intimate fractures to be healed.
We are islands of an archipelago that only
in the depths of this sea (different depths for
each person) are linked together by a common
solid base that unites them all. A link that
nobody sees but that we have all always
young Indian priest who has been living in Italy
for seven years and who has come to Medjugorje
for the fi rst time...
The overheard chat at a restaurant of two
couples discussing the differences between
Lourdes and Medjugorje, concluding that Lourdes
was better because in the hotel where they were
staying, they cooked the pasta al dente...
The confession by a Korean woman that
was heard by a young Korean priest: during
confession the priest was kneeling at the feet of
the penitent, at the end of the confession the priest
was standing and the woman was kneeling…
The joyful night-time carousel of around
one hundred Poles in the square in front of
the Church, gathered around the statue of Our
Lady…
The bright and happy eyes of so many
faithful…
The harmony that transpired from a young
local man, who knelt down under the lashing
rain and remained immobile for the entire
duration of the night-time adoration...
The radiant and beautiful voice of a young
Italian man who, from his wheel-chair was
singing: Jesus loves me…
The bright cross-shaped outline seen by
all those present, in the starry sky above
Medjugorje...
The regret of two distinct gentlemen, who
with pipes in their mouths and money printed on
their faces, were complaining that there was no
elevator in their hotel...
The constantly bright face of my wife,
with the exception of when she was saddened
upon hearing my impatience and useless
clarifi cations…
The hurried and joyful running of the Koreans
on their way to Church...
The joy of an entire family from Avellino
upon having managed to successfully fast on
Wednesday and Friday…
The peace in my heart after having gone to
confession, underneath a tree…
The litter picked up in front of the statue of
the Risen Christ, by an Italian gentleman...
The hymns to Our Lady improvised on the
street, with the guitar, during the night by a kind
gypsy with lots of people following him...
The sad face of our guide upon seeing our
constant lateness, our time wasting in useless
things...
The many noisy, constantly switched on
mobile phones...
The rosaries prayed beneath the afternoon
quiet of the blue cross…
The smiles and slight bows of the Koreans
when we ran into each other in the streets of the
city centre...
The peacefulness of the local children…
The wonder upon seeing that a refuse disposal
site was transformed, by Brother Slavko, into a
well looked after community for children, totally
immersed in the thriving local vegetation...
- The peaceful faces of many young people who
managed to get out of the tunnel of drugs…
And so, this too was Medjugorje for me. The
Virgin Mary knows these photos well, and not
only these. She knows us all. She knows our
anxieties, our indecision, our joys, our up and
down walk towards eternal Salvation. She never
ceases to urge us on. Her love for us is never
ending…
To You, Mother, I present these brothers of
mine, myself, my wife, my family and above all,
those who are far from me. Always remain near
us. Help us always…Thank you.
greedily aspired towards. A depth that, with
wise, intense and knowledgeable words, we
are urged to approach with trust and love.
You, like the others, listen with anxious
trepidation to the voice of these guides
who have already allowed themselves to be
moulded on the inside by the Holy Spirit;
these are people whose eyes of faith can see
everything, beyond fl eeting appearances, they
are in harmony with God, they speak to him,
they feel him in their hearts and they live only
and joyously with Him and for Him.
You who are (and despite everything
remain) closed within yourself, you who
do not yet know the secret to unlock the
rusty latch of your heart, look enviously and
embarrassedly at those who speak to you about
it with such simplicity, as though it were the
easiest thing in the world to succeed in doing.
And for you, it is as though
someone were insisting
on telling you how simple
it is to pass through a
pane of glass, while you
have been continuously
bumping against it for the
past twenty-fi ve years.
You think that you
have already learnt
(at your own expense)
how it is logical and
easy to abandon yourself
completely into the hands of the Father, with
the unlimited faith of an infant in the arms of
his mother. But – obviously - this is not the
case.
You fail to perceive that there is a Divine
Guest living in the core of your soul: the Holy
Spirit, with whom it is essential that you return
to having that original relationship that you had
with him at your birth. You know that God will
judge your spirit, but you do not even realise
where that spirit lies within you.
You do not know how to allow God to
bring about His plan of love in you. You do
not know how to enter into harmony with Him
through faith and prayer. And so you do not
know what the mission to be carried out is, that
he made you for.
You probably do many deeds in God’s name,
but you do not do God’s work.
You do not allow Christ to live in you.
And you do not know how to live in Christ and
through Christ.
You know that the mystical union with God
can be attained only through sincere and free
giving of ourselves to God in Christ through
the immaculate heart of Mary…and, to your
ears, this sounds like a formula that is diffi cult
to interpret.
Obviously, knowing that you were created
free, you are terrifi ed by the burden of
responsibility, the consequences of your
actions, because you do not know to what
extent they are unadvised…and so on! There
are so many things that you don’t know!
But you continue to try; you say – sincerely
– to God: “Look at me, here I am, I am here.
I am stripping myself of all other thoughts, of
all other aspirations, of all other desires… I
offer you everything: my incapable heart, my
barren soul, my reluctant spirit, my awkward
thought, my old body that is in poor health
(all these things are already yours). I offer you
what remains of my life, for others. I hope that
all of this is still worth something…Do with it
what you wish. But Lord, I beg of you, speak to
me. And ensure that I notice”.
7
background image
“Poste Italiane s.p.a. - Spedizione in Abbonamento Postale - D.L.
353/2003 (conv. in L. 27/02/2004 n° 46) art. 1, comma 2, DCB Mantova
Legal Dir. A. Lanzani; Printed by DIPRO Treviso
8
Villanova M., 25 may 2011
Echo fully relies on readers’
donations.
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!
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E-mail: eco-segreteria@ecodimaria.net
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International Postal Orders.
And where convenient (within Europe)
by bank transfer :
Associazione Eco di Maria
Monte dei Paschi di Siena
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IT 45 M 01030 11506 000004754021
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With
my daughter
by Elena Casucci
I’ve been sitting in front of this blank screen
for some minutes now. It’s blank, it remains
blank. The cursor on my computer is fl ashing,
as though it were in a hurry to write something.
Nothing. Or better: everything. Everything that
I have in my heart is pushing to come to the
surface, to come out. I invoke the Holy Spirit,
who, as always, guides me out of the blockage.
Oh, if I didn’t have You Lord! Every instant of
the day, in the car, at work, at home, you are
constantly with me, you never leave my side…
I don’t even feel abandoned now that Maria is
in the arms of the Mother.
Maria, a daughter I wanted so much, but
who never came into the world. What immense
joy when I found out I was pregnant! I didn’t
even wait for my husband to come home from
a business trip to tell him the news. “You’re a
father!” I whispered to him between one word
and another. The enthusiasm led me to share
this news with all those who are dear to me. The
bond with Maria is immediate: I feel her, not so
much on a physical level, but spiritually…
Maria lived in my womb for just over a
month. Joy leaves space for suffering, it retreats
but doesn’t disappear, because I am a mother!
The mother of a baby that I will not be able to
hold here, on earth, but I pray that I might be
able to do so for eternity.
The bond, the communion that links us is not
broken with death. Love overcomes all barriers,
even physical ones. I am grateful to the Lord
for having entrusted one of his creatures to me.
I will take care of her by praying, certain that
Mary will do the same.
Suffering? It is there, and so much of it! Every
day I offer it up to the Lord. The cross does not
crush me, it saves me. When it attempts to make
me give in under its burden and fall, I think of
Jesus Christ: how much he suffered due to our
fault! We continuously wound him and at the
same time we expect him to answer our prayers!
Despite this, Jesus loves us and if we seek him
out, He is there. And so I take His hand and I
get back up, thinking that it is a grace to be able
to be on the cross to keep Him company.
The boundless dance
Dear
mother,
I know it may seem absurd, but I’m writing
to you because, in spoken words it seemed
impossible for me to describe the immense
joy that I felt when, thanks to your help, I
climbed onto the stage for the fi rst time to
attend a dance lesson.
The happiness I felt inside was immense,
not so much due to the fact that I would later
have danced in public, but rather, because
you helped me to enter a world that has no
confi nes or limits. In this magical land, my
wheel-chair, that represents my physical
limit, becomes a departure point to create a
dance. You cannot imagine the sadness and
pain I felt upon seeing my classmates going
to dance lessons. Every time I heard them
talking about the subject, I became sadder
than a bare tree in winter and I thought: “How
can they go when I can’t? Perhaps it is just
a simple wheel-chair that is preventing
me from accessing the magical world of
dance?”
Until one day, in my life, another door
opened. My wheel-chair was “no longer
there” and I was free to express myself and
share my feelings with the other girls who
were dancing with me.
In my opinion, what truly makes you a
unique mother is this too: you made my
greatest wish come true, although it was
something truly unusual.
I want to conclude by reminding you of
a few things. First of all, I want to remind
you that for me, dancing means expressing
myself, sharing my feeling with others and,
to do this, we certainly don’t need the ability
to run on our tip-toes, but just to desire it.
I want to remind you of one more thing…
One hundred mothers love their children, but
what does truly loving your children mean? It
means making their greatest wish come true
and you transformed what seemed to me to be
an unattainable dream, into reality: to dance.
With love! Yours Miry
(Miryam has suffered from a serious physical
problem since her birth - spina bifi da and so
she
is confi ned to a wheel-chair).
Our readers write
E. F. O’Sullivan from Tea Tree Gully
(Australia): “Thank you for the Echo!
Reading everything that Our Lady continues
to say to us, is good for the heart…In this
world that is so confused by material and
individualistic gratifi cation, all shared values
have been lost… God bless you. Continue
this great work, we need you!”
Paula Kuemper from Terrace (Canada):
“I am always delighted to receive the Echo
of Mary, which is regularly delivered to me
by post. I read it all in the blink of an eye;
I like to see what new things are happening
in Medjugorje. A big thank you and a small
donation for you to help you to continue”.
Myriam Dupont from La Verziere
(France): “I receive your wonderful
magazine from a friend! It brings consolation
to the solitude and many diffi culties that
everyday life proposes. With prayer, full trust
and by listening to the inspiration of the Holy
Spirit, Mary is with you and with all of us. In
the hope and action of grace, I would like to
express our friendship to you”.
Bregeon Rene from France: “What joy
to receive the Echo once again! It benefi ts
our souls greatly and it stimulates us to go
towards the celestial homeland”.
Death is conquered in God!
by Francesco Venuti
On the 11
th
of January 2011, I was coming out of a supermarket with my wife, our daughter
Giulia (aged 5) and little Lorenzo. As my wife and I were returning the shopping trolley,
Giulia attempted to cross the road, taking two steps off the footpath; but at that same moment
a car came along at high speed and knocked down our baby girl!
It was just darkness after that moment. Three days of painful Calvary (from the hospital
in Olbia, where Giulia was brought in very serious condition, to the Hospital in Sassari,
where she underwent two operations, which were unfortunately unsuccessful), then her little
martyred body gave in: it was Friday the 14
th
of January.
Our awareness of the eternal life that Giulia has entered into does not alleviate our pain,
it does not fi ll the emptiness that we feel in our hearts, the darkness does not disappear!
A pathway gradually opens up, at the end of which there is a Light: Medjugorje! We had
never been there before but more and more we began to feel the need to reach Mary where
she loves to be found. And so, after the thirtieth day, we decided to go to Medjugorje in the
hope of obtaining our lost peace from the “Queen of Peace”.
And so on the fi rst day there, I took a photo with my digital camera and when I went to
download my pictures later on the computer, we saw Giulia, as she was on the memorial
card that we distributed on the thirtieth day after her death and that we had taken some
months previously!
I would like to add some good news: upon returning from Medjugorje, after several attempts
to give Giulia a little sister, which she had wanted for over a year, my wife discovered that
she was pregnant! I will never cease to pray to and thank Jesus, Mary and Giulia for this
gift…Now I know that they truly exist!