MARCH 1993 - Month of St Joseph - Orig.Edit: Eco di Medj, C.P.149, 46100 Mantua,Italy. Yr8 #3
Mailing addr: Echo of Medjugorje, Casella Postale 27, 31030 Bessica (TV), Italy. Fax 0423-470331
Our Lady’s message of 25 February 1993:
Dear children, Today I bless you with my motherly blessing and I invite you all to conversion. It is my wish that each
one of you make the decision to change life and that each of you work more in the Church - not with words or thoughts,
but with your example. Your life should be joyful testimony of Jesus.
You cannot say you are converted, because your life has to become conversion every day. To understand what you
should do, dear children, pray; and God will make you see what you really need to do and where you need to change.
I am with you and I place you all under my mantle. Thank you for having responded to my call.
Listen today to what he says; and harden not your hearts. (Ps 95) A clean
heart create in me O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me. (Ps 51)
If we have died with Christ, we shall also live with Him. (2 Tm 2:11)
A motherly blessing
that accompanies us on the path
to daily conversion
Mary’s blessing in the opening of the
message, and the assurance of Her presence
at the end, are not just said for the sake of
saying them, even though said with mother-
ly love. With Her blessing and presence,
Mary wants to open the walk of our Lent, or
of our conversion, like the blessing of
Moses and Aaron opened the journey of
God’s people in the desert (Nb 6:23).
The blessing is a communication of
God’s might and of His grace to our souls,
because good intentions (the divine will) are
realized when we are truly open to it (the
blessing). The blessing is for our convers-
ion, for us to change life, to stop following
our whims, to start doing God’s will in the
time that has been given to us as grace.
Conversion, however, is a gift that comes
from God. It is He Who calls us: Call us
back to you Lord, and we will return. Make
us convert, O God our salvation. What we
have to do is open our hearts to Him, so the
first step in our conversion is returning to
prayer, to accept His grace. We appeal to
you not to receive the grace of God in vain.
For, now is the favourable time, now the
days of salvation. (2 Co 6:2)
If in prayer I see myself the way I really
am, then I see my sins, vices and weakness-
es that I am unable to defeat if not through
He Who defeated temptation for me. That is
why we cannot have conversion without
prayer that opens our eyes and gives us
Jesus’ strength to defeat the temptations that
assail us so untiringly.
What Our Lady is asking us to do for
our conversion is to step out of ourselves,
out of our egotism, to look at the needs of
the Church, of which we are part. Do we
realize that this Church, with her pastors,
priests, faithful, unfaithful, the distant, is the
Body of Christ, and we are all members,
that we have to help one another? It is up to
us to make the Church shine out before the
blinded eyes of men, as a mystery of
salvation: that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your heavenly Father (Mt 5:16).
Our Blessed Mother is inviting us to
work in the Church as an example, that is,
give testimony to the life and joy of Jesus
in us. Men don’t know what to do with nice
words and thoughts (ideas, criticisms,
recommendations), with people who make
others work, or who work only to receive
You cannot say you are converted. We
are quick to say, after returning to the
Church for example, that we are converted.
This is just the beginning of one’s
conversion, the beginning of one’s walk - it
can’t stop there. One’s ways have to change.
One’s values, or rather idols, have to be
substituted by other values, by total
submission to God’s will, by humbleness,
poverty, obedience, donation of oneself. It’s
a hard fight, like Jesus’ in the desert; and
your old habits will keep on appearing and
you have to keep on fighting.
Only through remaining before God, in
profound prayer, in adoration, will you be
able to discover what you need to change.
Contrary to this we’ll believe we have found
peace, but it will be a false, superficial
peace, where things only seem to go right.
When our heart is open to God,
inconditionally, we will understand what
we really need to do and where we have
to change. And then we will even be able to
do what would otherwise be humanly
impossible, for nothing is impossible for
What joy, what peace, when Mary
assures us She will always be with us. She is
always ready to fix things up for us and to
help put us back on the way after we’ve
Father we thank you for your infinite
love, for giving us a Mother.
Fr. Slavko’s comment: Our Lady
explains to us why we should convert and
change: so our lives can be «joyful
testimony of Jesus.»
It has been said that a sad Christian is a
sad Christian indeed. One who lives God’s
love, for God’s love, will surely have joy
also in times of difficulty, problems and
sickness. That doesn’t mean he/she will be
laughing. It is a joy that gives inner strength,
that helps you carry your crosses. Our Lady
is asking us to make this change, and we
will become joyful testimonies of Jesus.
That way people will understand that we
have met God that lives, God Who has risen
in Jesus; they will believe when they see our
faces, when they see our behaviour, when
they see the joy that irradiates from us. (...)
Lent: there is no conversion
Our Blessed Mother in Medj.: You have
to invite the people to confess every month,
in particular on first Saturdays. I have not
spoken (about this) here yet. I invited the
people to confess frequently. I shall give you
still more messages for our time. Be patient,
for the time has not yet come. Do as I have
told you. Many are those who do not
observe (my messages). Monthly confession
shall be a remedy for the Church of the
West. (6 Aug. 1982)
Confess on the eve of great feasts, even if
you confessed not long before and you have
committed only minor sins. (31.12.83)
Our common Father guides us on the path that leads to Easter - it must be through the Cross
Lent: Pope speaks out on behalf of
our brothers condemned to live in
Listen to the voice of Jesus, tired and
thirsty - in our poorest brothers, He relives
the torments of His agony
The theme of the Pope’s Lenten message
for 1993 is the desert, a place with a
profound religious sense, but at the same
time it’s also a threat to the lives of many.
After mentioning the events surrounding
the lives of Moses and John the Baptist
(which in great part were in the desert), and
the life of Jesus, Who "opened His mission
by taking on the condition of a man in the
desert who is hungry and thirsty," he
continued: "Listen to the voice of Jesus,
Who tired and thirsty by Jacob’s well, asks
the Samaritan woman: Give me a drink (Jn
4:7). Contemplate Jesus nailed to the cross
and dying - with a whisper of a voice He
says: I am thirsty (Jn 19:28).
Christ is repeating this appeal today, He
relives the torments of His agony in the
poorest of our brothers. While He invites us
this Lent to advance along the paths of
love and hope - in Christ’s footprints, the
Church makes us understand that Christian
life involves detachment from surplus
goods; she helps us accept poverty that
frees us; she lets us discover God’s presence
and accept our brothers in tireless
solidarity in a growing communion. ...
Meditate with all your heart and with hope
the following words said by Jesus: Come,
you whom my Father has blessed ... for I
was thirsty and you gave me drink (Mt
These reflections that opened the Pope’s
message become an appeal for all members
of the Church, "to look upon the women
and men tried by the dramatic desertification
of their lands and upon all those who lack
this basic but indispensable element called
When the goods of the earth are not
respected, people act unjustly, even as
criminals, for the consequences are poverty
and death for many brothers and sisters. ...
The risk is that to future generations in
many parts of the world we will leave in
inheritance the drama of thirst and desert.
May the active generosity of the sons
and daughters of the Church, and of all men
and women of good will, speed up the
coming of Isaiah’s prophecy : Streams will
burst forth in the desert, and rivers in the
steppe. The burning sands will become
pools, and the thirsty ground springs of
water (Is 35:7)."
Pope confirms the churches of Africa, and confronts the persecutors
Good Shepherd, shows how he cares for all
those who belong to his herd. He is our
defender, he protects the whole community,
the whole herd, everyone that belongs to
him. He even risks his own life to defend us,
unlike the mercenary who only cares about
saving himself." The Pope told all -
priests, lay people, youth and families -
about the necessity of building up the
unity of the Church and the peoples. "The
only fight that can be justified by religious
motives, the only fight worthy of man is the
moral fight against the disorderly passions
of man himself, against everything contrary
to peace and reconcilition."
No-one is excluded from manifesting
the fruit of Christ’s light in their own lives,
and all are invited "not to barter spiritual
values with materialism which is unable to
satisfy man’s heart." He gave the example
of the recently beatified Josephine Bakhita,
whose picture formed a backdrop for the
Pope’s visit to Sudan. Of her the Pope said,
"a woman of faith and strength, who placed
all her trust in Christ, without reserve." But
the Pope also warned against another tend-
ency, all too frequent in similar circum-
stances (Bakhita was captured and sold as a
slave, bought by an Italian family, came to
know God and eventually became a nun):
"The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has
forgotten me. (Is49:14) And God replies:
Can a mother forget her infant, be without
tenderness for the child of her womb? Even
should she forget, I will never forget you.
See, upon the palms of my hands I have
written your name. (Is49:15-16) Yes, on the
palms of the hands of Christ, pierced by
nails. The name of each one of you is
written on these palms."
A word for rulers - During his visit to
the President of Sudan, where persecution
of Christians is subtle, the Pope often spoke
of respect for minority groups, Christian
and non, as a moral duty of all govern-
Imitation of martyrs: a lesson for all
All Christians are called to take heed of
what the Pope said during his latest voy-
age. In particular, in Kampala (UGANDA)
on 7 Feb., the Pope said for all Christians:
"St Paul says clearly: Take no part in the
fruitless works of darkness (Eph 5:11). You
have renounced Satan and all his works.
You have been saved through the spilling of
Christ’s blood, so you should never deny
Him by adoring idols or by giving up your
Christian life for the empty promises of a
death culture. If once you were darkness,
now you are light in the Lord. (Eph 5:8)
May the martyres be your inspiration!
They did not profess Christ just with words,
but manifested their love for God by obs-
erving His commandments, reflecting the
image of Christ with a spiritual force that
still today attracts people to Him. In their
lives and in their death, the martyrs revealed
the power of the cross, the force of a faith
that was stronger than fear, a life that wins
over death, hope that lights up the future,
love that reconciles the worst of enemies."
In the Angelus that followed Mass, the
Pope entrusted the Christians of Uganda,
and with them all Christians all over the
world, to Maria Regina martyrum, so they
could be inspired "to offer their lives with a
sacrifice acceptable to God."
Draw force from the Eucharist for your
cross, for humanity. Like your martyrs,
be faithful to your Baptismal promises
During the Audience of 17 Feb., John
Paul II spoke of his recent voyage to Benin,
Uganda and Sudan (defined a pilgrimage
in the wake of the Saints and the
Beatified). He had already explained the
importance of this voyage during the
Angelus of the 14th Feb.: "that continent, so
tried, is an enormous potential of humanity
and values that the whole of humanity could
draw from for its own good."
Christian love is expressed on the cross
The potential the Pope was talking about
is the power of the offered love experienced
by the Christian communities in the African
lands. In KHARTOUM, the Pope said: "In
this part of Africa I can clearly see the
Mystery of the Calvary being reproduced in
the lives of most Christians. What answer
can I give you? With what words can I
console you? Soon we will be celebrating
the Eucharist, a sacrifice accepted for the
salvation of the world. With lasting trust we
proclaim our faith: You redeemed us with
your cross and your resurrection; save us, o
Saviour of the world. Brothers and sisters, if
there is a message that the Pope wants to
leave you with, it is this: Let the Pasqual
Mystery be the centre of your lives!"
The centre of our faith is: "the Pasqual
Mystery of the Passion, Death and Resurr-
ection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which
represents the certainty and wealth of the
Church. It is the fount of our strength and
our hope. When human justice fails, it alone
can heal our wounds and give meaning to
our efforts. In the Eucharist we are about to
celebrate, I will keep you here with me, and
remind God our Father of your commitment
to the faith, of your work in the name of
charity and your constant hope. The entire
Church entrusts you to God’s loving prov-
idence, so full of love, in the knowledge that
the Spirit intercedes for the holy ones
according to God’s will."
Christ's prayer for unity
We would like to point out how the Pope
often uses the theme of Crucified Christ
centred in the lives of the faithful. In
BENIN (Parakou), he said: "Christ prayed
to the Father in a sorrowful hour, before
being offered in sacrifice for the human
race. In his priestly prayer he fervidly asked
that the union of his disciples to him and the
Father would make men believe and see
how they are loved by God. Does not the
Gospel say that he spilt his blood on the
cross for the reunification of God’s dispers-
ed children? (Jn11:52)" So prior to Christ’s
supreme act, is the immense space that
allows for our imitation, for "it is up to us
now to make this word ours, for it is a
source of life and a fount of joy: I speak this
in the world so that they may share my joy
completely. (Jn 17:13)"
Christian task is conversion and
donation of self
Living the Pasqual Mystery, the Pope
explained, requires the constant and
persevering practice of personal conversion
and generous donation of oneself, like Jesus
the Good Shepherd. The Pope said in his
homily while in Gulu (UGANDA): "In
carrying out the Prophet’s words, Jesus, the
Some practical advice for Lent:
I give you advice. I would like you to try
to conquer some fault each day. If your fault
is to get angry at everything, try each day to
get angry less. If your fault is not to be able
to study, try to study. If your fault is not to
be able to obey, or if you cannot stand those
who do not please you, try on a given day to
speak with them. If your fault is not to be
able to stand an arrogant person, you
should try to approach that person. If you
desire that person to be humble, be humble
Show that humility is worth more than
pride. (20 Feb. 1985)
to swallow. This elevates your soul to
communion with God (Ph 2:6-11).
c) Be surrendered to God when you
despair! On the cross Jesus felt all the
weight of desperation. The human being fell
to bits in that terrible slow agony, and Jesus
expresses His feelings to the Father: My
God, my God, why have your forsaken me?
He offers this to the Father too. The act
of offering to the Father when you are
feeling desperate is the height of donation.
Jesus leaves everything up to the Father,
there is no room for negative feelings in
Him. If you grow as a person, bit by bit, and
with love you donate yourself to the Father
when you despair, you will eliminate the last
obstacle on the way to the Father.
The Father has no need for your
martyrdom. What He wants is your
continual growth, your victory over sin and
Satan. He is waiting for you.
Throw yourself into the Father’s arms,
your Creator. And God, through you, will
renew the world. And the peace of salvation
will flow through you.
I WISH YOU A BLESSED AND
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord let his face shine on you and
be gracious to you. May the Lord uncover
his face to you and bring you peace. And
the blessing of God Almighty, the Father,
and the Son, and the Holy Spirit descend
upon you and remain with you always.
Br. Tomislav Vlasic’ 16 Feb 1993
Participate with your Easter to renew the world!
Peace to you sister, peace to you
brother! God created the world. God holds
the world up. Through His Son, Jesus
Christ, God redeemed the world (Col 1:13-
14) and God continues to redeem the world
(Col 1:24). In every era of our history God
acts in the world. That is why He needs
helpers. You promised to offer Him your
life, unconditionally, through Mary’s
Immaculate Heart. At the beginning of this
Lent, I am asking you again, in the name of
Jesus: Are you ready to give your life,
unconditionally, for the salvation of the
world? If your answer is yes, take heed of
the following conditions:
a) Nourish yourself! Before His public
manifestation, Jesus prayed and fasted for
40 days, secluded from the rest of the world.
He was in perfect union with the Father.
That is how He was able to defeat the Evil
One. So He was then able to start the battle
against evil and carry it through to the end.
He withdrew from the world to nourish
Himself, and then started work. The same
thing goes for you: withdraw from worldly
interests and enter a perfect relationship
with the Father, nourished by the Live God.
Prayer for you has to mean being filled with
God, to make you strong. If you do not
pray like this and be united to Him, you will
be unable to carry on.
b) Go ahead! Encountering the Live
God opens the way to life. It is only through
going on that you can communicate with
Him. So you either go ahead, or your heart
hardens and it becomes a type of slavery.
c) Feel God present in your heart! Our
first ancestors clearly knew what God
expected of them. When they were put to
the test, it was if they were deaf, because
their hearts lacked that live relationship with
God and His mission. You have to enter this
relationship. Your prayer, your inner world,
needs it, so you can hear what God wants of
you in every moment.
d) Follow the liturgical letters! Read
them, reflect upon them and pray, drawing
inspiration from them. The Word of God
has to become life for you. Be extremely
1st Sunday: Turn away from sin!
Once there was harmony between the
Creator and all creation. Everything went
well. Now this harmony is turned upside
down. The world is in danger. God is
inviting man, whom He made master of the
world (Gn 1:28), to turn away from sin. The
renewal of the world passes through man.
Look into your heart. See your sin. Throw
yourself into God. Throw out Satan, sin and
all his works from your heart. Throw your-
self down before God with all your being.
Decide to fight against evil. To do this, you
will have to work hard all this week.
2nd Sunday: Leave your old situation
In the Transfiguarion Jesus opened the
way for the Apostles. They saw the goal, but
Jesus did not permit them to remain on Mt.
Tabor, but made them continue on their way
to Jerusalem. In the Transfiguarion Jesus
showed the way to you too, He, Who
defeated death and made His life and
immortality shine out through the Gospel
(see 2Tm 1). This cannot happen without
effort and sacrifice. We have to sacrifice
our old habits and abandon them.
After the Transfiguarion Jesus showed
the way full of thorns to the Apostles, and St
Letter to those who offer themselves and
those who have replied to Her call
Paul invites Timothy to suffer with him for
the Gospel. Be practical and decisive in
abandoning your old habits. When you will
come out of yourself is when you will be
able to see the promise. (Gn 12:1-49)
3rd Sunday: Clean out your heart!
Are you perhaps starving, dying of thirst
or unhappy? Are you looking all over the
place for solutions? Is your mind full of
fantasies and daydreams? Everything is
within you. Open yourself to Jesus, so He
can look into your heart. Establish a live
relationship with Him. There is no need to
wait for anyone, not even the Messiah,
because He is here: It is I, Who talks to you.
(see Jn 4)
Open your heart and pray with hope. St
Paul says: It is not easy to die even for a
good man - though of course for someone
really worthy, a man might be prepared to
die - but what proves that God loves us is
that Christ died for us while we were still
sinners. (Rm 5) If you let Jesus reach your
inmost self, a fount of life will gush within
you to quench your thirst and that of others.
Through you Jesus will save sinners too,
because you offer yourself for them.
4th Sunday: Open yourself up to the
Look at the black marks in your life and
in the lives of others. God’s works are
manifested in these black marks (see Jn 9).
Open yourself to what God wants to show
you. In the end you will understand better
than the teachers. Look at where you have
stayed behind, where you have been
unsuccessful - God has a call for you that
can’t be seen through science, force or
success. God looks in the heart, He surprises
(see 1Sm 16). Leave aside everything, well
or bad, so you can discover that call, in
which Jesus contemplates you.
5th Sunday: Follow Jesus to the end!
Do not say: "It’s late ... it’s impossible ...
it frightens me." Jesus knows the way. He is
the master of the past, the present and the
future. Don’t be afraid to look at death (all
that you lived as a"dead" person) in the face.
With Jesus in your heart you will see that
death is something different. Jesus goes with
easiness and joy towards the death of His
friend Lazarus. He plays with death (see Jn
11). For you this is impossible. Yes, for man
it is impossible. Not even the Apostles could
do it. They followed Jesus. You do the
same. Show Jesus the tombs (on your own
you will find the tombs of your life), let
Him go ahead and you follow Him. He will
guarantee you success. I am the resurrection
and the life. Those who believe in me, even if
they die, will live. Whoever lives and
believes in me will not die in eternity. Do
you believe this?
6th Sunday: Be totally surrendered!
This week’s liturgy is the summit: it is
union with the Father. Jesus reached His
summit, but He shows you the way to the
top and leaves you with grace. I shall show
you three steps to help you reach this union:
a) Listen - obey (Is 50:4-7).
If you put God’s word into practice, your
ear will become more and more receptive.
God will communicate with you to show
you what life is and you will open your
heart to it. If in your heart you obey
unconditionally, your heart will open up to
God unconditionally. This leads to
communion with God.
b) Be as humble as humbleness will
permit - even when humiliations and
misunderstandings are unfounded and hard
We already know of various Marian
communities that have blossomed from the
messages of the Queen of Peace. The first
one formed was the Oasis of Peace,
founded by Fr. Gianni Sgreva, now in
Rome, and also S. Polo Sabino, in Medj., in
Sardegna and Pedara. Members of this
community come from all over the world,
making it a very international one.
There’s the Queen of Peace community
(Entirely yours, to Jesus through Mary)
guided by Fr. Tomislav, in Lama di Peligni,
made up of Croats and Italians. In Foggia,
there are the Servants of Mary.
We have learnt of another two, which
makes us rejoice. They have so far have
remained unknown to most of the world,
and intend remaining as hidden as possible,
even if we learnt of one of them through the
Pope. In fact, in the Angelus on the day of
the Immaculate Conception in 1992, his
greetings went to the Roman Youth
Community: "House of Mary," because it
was they who had lent their services for the
"homage to the Virgin" (in Piazza di
This community is made up of family
groups (who live in the community) and
also a group of young women who have
offered themselves to Christ. This
community is the fruit of a large group of
consecrated people in Lignano.
Now there is another Community, for
"offered souls." They are being guided by a
hermit (Fr. John Bozzo) who has lived in
seclusion in the Sanctuary of Reggio di
Vernazza for more than 10 years. It began
with a group of young men, now there are
also some families. A separate house will be
built for the families.
The fertility of the Medj. tree
New families in Mary
for the joy of the Church
An unfailing message:
I AM WITH YOU
Through praying (I couldn’t have done
it without it), I have noticed a wonderful
thing in the messages given by Our Lady at
Medjugorje. It was a gradual discovery, and
not just of the infinite love Our Mother has
for each one of us, but of the wisdom in Her
Her messages, over the span of nearly
12 years, are graduated in the sense of
length, profundity and intensity. She is very
delicate in Her expressions, for example She
never says "I want" or "you have to," but "I
would like" and "I invite you."
She insists, like any mother would, on
things that are essential for the good of Her
children; Her words are always encour-
aging, even if She suffers for the delay in
the response of Her dear children; She
warns us with decision, but never frightens
us; Her teachings always leave space for
personal research; She convinces with
sweetness, patience and faithfulness; She
says how She needs our help, that we are
responsible for our spiritual growth; She
waits for our response and She thanks us.
But what struck me the most were the
assurances contained in Our Lady’s
messages. For example, how prayer is
necessary for us, how much God loves us,
and the guarantee that She will always be
with us. I took a closer look at the messages
and as I went through them, I was invaded
by a feeling of warmth and security.
We know how small children depend on
their mother and are quietened by her voice
and her presence - even if she is not in
sight, just knowing she is there is enough to
make them happy. We want to be those dear
children who are trying to return to that
state of childhood in their hearts. Our Lady
is pleased by our efforts to become such, as
it lets Her guide us and help us grow.
Our Lady often reminds us of Her
constant motherly presence which reflects
the loving presence of Her Son Who said:
I am with you every day, till the end of time.
What I like most is what comes after this
statement, in a confirmation of Her role and
mission as Mother of Christ and Mother of
all men. Following are some examples:
25.11.87 I am with you and my desire is
that you believe that I love you.
25.02.89 I am with you and I watch
unceasingly over every heart that is donated
25.05.89 I am with you and wish to
continually introduce you to the joy of life.
25.10.89 I am with you and wish to
teach you how to pray from the heart.
25.05.90 I am with you and wish to help
you make renouncements and mortifications
and so understand the wonder of life in
those people who give themselves to me in a
25.11.90 I am with you and as each day
passes I offer your sacrifices and prayers to
God for the salvation of the world.
25.04.92 I am with you and your
sufferance is mine.
25.09.92 I am with you also in these
troubled days whereby Satan wishes to
destroy everything that my Son Jesus and I
have been building.
25.11.92 I am with you to teach you and
lead you to a new life, of renouncement and
25.01.93 I am with you and I am
guiding you towards a new time.
Do not confuse the essential with the extraordinary
Two sure beacons: the Word of God and the Pope
"You have the Old and New
Testament and the Pastor of the Church
to guide you; that is enough for your
The more we go ahead, the more we
realize how generous God is in sowing His
extraordinary spiritual gifts to people and
places, all so different from one another. It
is a sign that the one and only God goes on
working, and so do I, says Jesus (Jn 5:17).
The reasons these supernatural manifest-
ations are so attractive are understandable.
The spiritual poverty of many Christian
environments and the lack of good form-
ation for Christian living based on the Word
of God, favours the rush to extraordinary
communications or manifestations which
the world is so full of these days.
Now we cannot underestimate God’s
gifts (He knows why He grants them), but
the risk is that communities/people stop at
what is showy and attractive (psycho-
logically), looking for people or mystical
phenomena to lean on and base their lives
on, and neglect the only true teacher, the
Church, which alone can supply us with all
we need for our salvation. Real gifts are
given so others are awakened to the
grandness of the Lord’s heritage which
Christ left to the Church.
God’s people are meant to enjoy all the
charismas of the Church which are an
harmonious part of her, not just certain
phenomena. In fact, God appointed some as
apostles, others as prophets, others as
evangelists, others as pastors and teachers,
to equip the holy ones for the work of
ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
until we all attain to the unity of faith and
knowledge of the Son of God, to mature
manhood, to the extent of the full stature of
Christ. (Eph 4:11-13)
If a person receives extraordinary gifts,
like prophecy, teaching, tongues, miracles,
the sole reason is to serve the Church, not
for drawing attention to oneself. It doesn’t
mean that person has the exclusive right to
hand out truths and segrets, like some
people must think, who fear they’ll be in
trouble if they don’t do as such and such
seer said or does. Like that God’s gifts
become stumbling blocks and cause for
division and end up damaging the Church
terribly. The essential falls out of sight and
secondary things move up front and that
gives us cliques and sectarianism that
destroy one another. Paul was right when he
said that siding for Apollo or for Peter or for
Paul was like dividing Christ’s body. (1 Co
It’s a type of mystical star worship that
makes many groups abandon Medjugorje or
Fr. Gobbi’s movement due to the novelty of
Vassula: just like children, swept along by
every wind of teaching (Eph 4:14). There
are Medjugorje groups in Italy too that have
broken up or changed direction in search of
more sensational manifestations - these will
die too sooner or later.
But what have we done with what God
wanted to tell the world through authentic
signs and that converted so many people? Is
it up to us to pick and choose the super-
natural calls we like, or should we "get
down to the bottom" of what God has given
us? With all this chopping and changing,
going from one novelty to the other, people
are fooled and lose the way.
Some may say that we are no different
since we follow Our Lady’s messages. The
difference is that we do not consider the
messages as indispensable for our salvation,
but only as a loving and authoritative
stimulus to enter the door of salvation which
is the Church, established by Jesus: Those
who listen to you, listen to me. The Blessed
Virgin came to Medjugorje to remind us
about the ordinary means of salvation - that
we convert through prayer, fasts, the
Eucharist, the Word of God and confession.
She has often said that She wants nothing
for Herself, but rather, after having showed
us Jesus, She withdraws from us to take us
to the maturity of being perfect in Christ
(Col 1:28), like John the Baptist who said:
He must grow greater, I must grow smaller.
Now in particular, with the inflation of
mysticism (natural reaction to the secularism
and rationalism that has entered the
Church), we especially need to keep our
eyes on two essential and indisputable
beacons for true Christian life, that Our
Lady indicates to us: the Word of God
and the Papal ministry.
The Word of God is firm as the heavens
(Ps 119), while human words are too easily
conditioned by personal and external facts.
Your Word for me Lord, is life. We have to
go back to realizing that the Word of God,
the Church and her Pastors are a necessary
part of our Christian living, and that Peter is
a common Father to us all and if we ignore
it we are illegitimate children, we are lost
That is why the Holy Father’s words are
so decisive for us. His faith, according to
Jesus’ prayer, will not fail (Lk 22:32), and
he shall remain the true, firm rock on which
the Church is built (Mt 16:18), while
everything around will fall.
And as we have often said, Mary’s
messages are of an ecclesiastical and
biblical dimension. They lead us to the
Church because they are authentic. If you
do not enter through this door, you cannot
be part of Jesus’ flock.
Our Lady’s miracles in the missions
2 years ago, here in our mission in
Betania on the outskirts of Belo Horizonte
(Brazil), we started getting together with
people with a need for spiritual growth, to
pray together and get to know God better.
For these people, often with very heavy
burdens, the meeting with Christ Who saves
is the beginning of a profound conversion
and a radical change of life. We are
witnessing real miracles: parents who after a
hard day’s work give up their well-earned
rest to work for the community: evangeliz-
ation and charitable deeds. The poor are
helping the poor in a solidarity contest.
One of the greatest miracles is the great
number of people who come every first
Friday from 10 pm till 5 am Sat. mornings
to pray, praise, intercede and stay with Jesus
and Mary. Our Lady is truly present during
these nights of "madness," where adults,
young people and children give up their
sleep to stay with Her. The reading of Her
monthly messages has brought us to living a
special communion with those who love and
listen to Her. Many hearts have opened and
the desire to pray is stronger all the time.
What a gift a Bible would be for these
Fr. Enrico P.
MEDJUGORJE - DAY BY DAY
From Sr. Emmanuel’s diary
* After the great departure, the return
to Medj. has now begun: Vicka, Jakov and
Mirjana are here with us, while Marija and
Ivan are expected to return at the end of the
month. It seems that Ivan’s trip to Australia,
New Zealand and the Philippines, together
with Fr. Slavko, is reaping much fruit.
* The village is still very quiet. It’s
fame for being such a well-protected place
has reached the international political
environments and now the UNO has
decided to send 200 Spanish UN soldiers to
Medj. They have the task of protecting the
convoys heading into Bosnia, which doesn’t
make a lot of sense given the distances, but
the reason is: "It is the quietest place in the
territory, and that’s what our men need."
The Spanish soldiers, on their part, are
amazed at learning that Our Lady has been
appearing here for 11 years! It’s really
incredible how atheist politicians see Medj.
as a sure refuge, yet many of our Christians
still haven’t recognized it as an oasis of
peace donated to us from heaven.
* Vicka told us yesterday: "We are
living a time of grace, but many people
cannot see this. They let the fear of war
occupy first place in their hearts, and
worry about material things, about money.
They're blind and can’t see the evidence that
here we have neither death, nor destruction.
We have to let the messages occupy first
place. Only this way will we be able to
discover how this time is time of grace."
* Jelena called in after Christmas and
told us a little of her life and her inner
locutions. Together with these she is also
aware of "visions" in her most inner soul.
It’s as if she is always immersed in pro-
found contemplation, even though she is a
student. Her latest discovery is that she "saw
how the Blessed Virgin, during her earthly
life, never stopped praying the Rosary."
We said it couldn’t be, "how could she
repeat Hail Mary to herself?" Jelena replied:
"No, of course she didn’t greet herself, but
in her heart she continually meditated upon
the life of Jesus and in Her heart She
followed Him everywhere. When we med-
itate upon the 15 mysteries don't we do the
same? This is the real spirit of the Rosary,
not just reciting a lot of Hail Mary’s."
Thank you Jelena, you have truly helped
us understand why the Rosary is such a
powerful weapon in the fight against Satan.
When a heart is turned to Jesus and full of
all the wonderful things that He does for us,
Satan is unable to find space.
* * *
* Ivan and Fr. Slavko have returned
after a long apostolic voyage to Australia,
New Zealand and the Philippines. Wherever
they went they were greeted by great
crowds. Sonia Vadnjal writes: "Holy Mass
was celebrated in the Croatian Centre here
in Melbourne. It was just like being in Medj,
so full of joy. Fr. Slavko’s homily was
beautiful and so moving. What a precious
gift for Australia to have Medj. come here!"
* Marija and Fr. Leonard’s voyage to
Brazil also bore much fruit. Fr. Enrico from
the Villaregia missionary community in
Belo Horizonte wrote to say they were
greeted by the Cardinal of Rio, and the
cathedral was overflowing with people for
the meeting. More than 5000 people
* Vicka was in Holland for a brief
mission with Fr. Petar.
Vicka says how to improve
During his recent visit to Medjugorje
(22-26 Jan), Alberto Bonifacio noted down
a brief reflection by Vicka for us:
Our Lady has recommended that we
pray the three parts of the Rosary every day,
but She didn’t say we had to say them one
after another, in a hurry, almost mechan-
ically. She wants us to pray them a little at a
time, and every day a bit more. For instance,
the first day we can say just the Our Father
with the heart, the next day the Holy Mary
too, and so on, so that little by little we will
open our hearts. Then the day will come that
we will be able to pray with love and joy.
Our Lady gave us a beautiful example:
we all have flower pots in our homes, and
every day we water them and see that one
day a rose blossoms. It is the same with our
heart. By praying every day, it grows like
this flower. If for two or three days we do
not give it water, the flower will shrivel up
and die, and the same thing happens with
our heart when we do not nourish it with
prayer - it closes up.
Prayer done with the heart cannot be
learnt from studying or through reading. It
can only be learnt from living it. God and
Our Lady do not expect great things from
us, but that little by little we learn the
meaning of thanksgiving.
LATEST NEWS! There is a good
number of pilgrims in Medjugorje, with
about 100 French-speaking pilgrims from
France and Belgium, quite a few English-
speaking pilgrims and about 40 Italians. The
arrival of these pilgrims reminds us of
Spring which will soon be here.
The political situation is disastrous for
Bosnia. Things are quiet here, apart from the
occasional shelling in Mostar. We hope
things will be resolved within the next few
months, but let us never forget what Our
Lady has been telling us for 11 years and 8
months about how to obtain peace. May it
be that this terrible lesson shall become a
great message for the whole world: change
if we want to avoid a disaster.
(Fr. Slavko 25 Feb. 1993)
are preparing for peace, if it is not God who
prepares for peace.
BOSNIA - The tragedy of Sarajevo
continues, with bombs that continue spitting
fire, in freezing cold conditions and with no
bread to eat. In fact, the citizens did not
accept the humanitarian help for a few days
out of solidarity for the Muslim population
of east Bosnia (200,000 people) who were
surrounded by Serbs and with no way of
receiving help. 400 died of hunger. A
further 60 in Goradze and another 6,000
wounded could die for lack of medical
assistance. These people have had no more
than 15 g of food a day per head for months.
In some villages, no new-born children
have survived. The USA now wants to
launch supplies from the air, but indignant
Serbs say they will shoot at any US plane
that flies above their territory.
The bishop and priests of Banja Luka
cry out for help. Three have been killed,
nuns tortured and sent away from their con-
vents, women and girls raped and half the
Catholic population forced to leave their
homes (ethnic cleansing). Hundreds of
faithful are in the concentration camps and
83% of the churches are destroyed.
Cold, hunger and war in Bosnia
There seems to be no end to the tragedy
of the populations in former Yugoslavia. As
things worsen, new links to the chain of
misdeeds are added. Who can put a stop to
the spiral of hate and revenge that exists
between these different populations, without
CROATIA - Fighting continued during
the month of February between the Serbs of
Crajna and the Croats that "freed" the land
behind Zara so they could pass between the
north and south of Dalmatia. By miracle,
two catastrophic episodes were avoided.
1. The Serbs mined the dam of Peruka
on the Cetina river. They wanted to blow it
up so the water would sweep away every
living thing in the valley below, but it was
evacuated in time and the people are safe.
The area, however, now has no electricity.
2. The Serbs loaded up a train with
dynamite - it should have gone full speed
into the port of Zara to blow up the chemical
plants there (no-one was aboard), but it
derailed and exploded in a tunnel 15 km out
of town (due to bombs laid by themselves).
By this we can see with what spirit they
Open our hearts and arms
to the innocent children
A lesson in life: "Help the Bosnian
women decide not to abort; Christian
families take in the innocent babies."
"Every day, not far from our borders, the
world witnesses how men and peoples are
tormented, and human dignity is brutally
violated, especially that of the women who
have to undergo humiliation and rape, and
of the children who are unable to defend
themselves. My pressing appeal goes to all
those who hold public responsibilities to do
everything they can in their power to make
peace and justice reign again." (25 Feb. '93)
In a letter to the Bishop of Sarajevo, the
Pope called for "the entire Catholic comm-
unity to remain close to the Bosnian and
Croatian women so gravely offended, and to
their families, to help them transform the act
of violence into an act of love and
acceptance. In such a painful situation, it is
necessary to help them distinguish between
the act of deplorable violence that was
forced upon them by men who had lost all
sense of reason and conscience, and the
reality of the new human beings that will
come to the world anyway.
As images of God, these new creatures
will have to be respected and loved, like
every other member of the human family. ...
Let it not be that to the horror of rape, we
add another by murdering innocent
creatures. Since these creatures are not
responsible for these deplorable acts, they
are innocent, and in no way can they be
considered as aggressors. ...
The act of love of a mother accepting her
child is what can break this spiral of
violence. To the cruelty of hate and racism,
we have to respond with the power of love
and solidarity." The Pope follows with an
invitation to adopt the orphans and
abandoned children. "When the little ones
are denied the support of those who
generated them, it is a gesture of great
human and Christian value to offer them
the warmth of a new home."
The Pope also invites priests and the
faithful to "promote a type of peace "from
below" - the difficult walk to pacification
will have to start from the worst hit
(Avvenire - 27 Feb. 1993)
yourself and they will discover prayer,
because discovering you is discovering
O Jesus, you know our hearts. Often we
would like to, but are unable to carry out
(your will). Remember that you came to the
earth because it was impossible for us to go
to heaven. Come Jesus and descend into the
depths of our hearts. Do what we can’t do.
Thank you Jesus, because you are here
with us, you are contemplating each one of
us. Thank you because you are breaking and
destroying many chains in people’s hearts.
O Jesus, I thank you because I know your
eyes are bringing much love and light to our
hearts. Your love heals souls, hearts and
bodies. Your love for us made you give
food to people, made you heal people.
Thank you Lord because your love is
nourishing the faith of our brothers and
sisters, and you can thus act in them.
Thank you Jesus for the trust that is
growing in their hearts, that are opening up
and want to believe you are our Saviour.
Thank you Jesus for I know you are healing
some people gathered here tonight. Touch
their hearts so they may be truly open,
infuse the grace of faith and trust in them.
I bless you Jesus, Good Shepherd, no-
one will be excluded from your touch
tonight. I see you here and you want some-
thing from us - you want our sins. Please
Jesus, teach these brothers and sisters to
hand over their problems to you. Thank you
Lord Jesus for their hearts that are becoming
more decisive and want to enter your
I bless you Jesus for loving us, our
hearts can feel that only in you is salvation.
We beg you, stay with us Jesus! We want
you always with us, look upon us and never
leave us. Contemplate us Jesus so we can be
saved. We will try to remain faithful, but
you remain with us for ever.
Thank you for your presence, and your
Blessing descend upon all of us.
Why are we unable to pray the way we wish we could?
Fr. Tomislav replies to questions after an
impromtu meeting in a country church (see
Echo 100, page 7).
Q. What do you say to a person who
says they try to pray, but find it annoying
and get nothing out of it?
A. A question that needs a lot of time to
reply to - all the years it would take to put it
into practice. When we are before God, all
our past life is put before us, so we need to
see what it is that is keeping us closed to
God’s presence. "It annoys me .." Is a young
man annoyed in the presence of his girl
friend? Is a child annoyed in the presence of
The problem is that we say prayers
without being open to God. Our Lady
explained to us: Many of you pray, but you
do not enter into your prayer. Entering into
prayer means enjoying God’s presence. At
times, I find it difficult too, because I am
often on the move, and my commitments
make it so I only have a certain amount of
time to dedicate to prayer. It’s like saying: I
want to earn a lot of money this month so I
will only sleep one hour per night. It’s
Prayer is a process of aperture to a new
life, and that is why you need to have time
and the strength for this new life. I live in a
community that lives a state of continuous
prayer. I feel the need to escape from
everyone, to go hiding, so I can stay with
God, to feel His presence more profoundly
within me. We have to have the courage to
give more time to God, to rest in Him. That
is why it is important for every parish to
have a prayer group, but not people that
come to church out of duty. It has to be a
group where people experiment God’s
presence and manifest His presence.
Q. When a person takes that first step
towards God’s love, does God make them
understand which path, which vocation,
they should follow - like becoming a
religious, or get married, etc? I know He
respects our freedom, so are we responsible
for our own choices then?
A. We can use the example of a family.
A mother and father love their children and
take care of them. So a child is born and
grows, learning how to trust, to love, to
hope and become able to decide. The child
receives. We too, when we are open to
God’s love, become more and more aware
of His love and we become able to decide.
We are born twice in our life. The first
time we do not participate in any way. We
did not choose our parents, when to be born,
the colour of our hair, but we received love.
The second birth is when we are mature and
able to donate love, but it involves a
separation. We don’t need our parents any-
more so we leave, we know how to live on
our own. This shouldn’t happen in our
spiritual life, but it does, nearly always: I
don’t need God in my life.
The second birth in our spiritual life will
be more mature if our hearts are open and
able to receive love. God loves us first. The
more we are open to God, able to receive
Him, contemplate Him, and allow Him to
contemplate us, the more we will receive
light and know which steps to take and we
will receive the strength to decide.
Otherwise we will find ourselves unable to
correspond to the Father’s love. I’m certain
that when we are able to love others the way
Jesus loves us, we will know which
decisions to make, but before then, and it is
important to remember this, no-one is able
to make the right choice, neither for
marriage, nor for a religious vocation. Our
relationship with God has to be very mature
- God loves us and we love God - and we
will make the right choices.
Q. I’m in the army. How can I transmit
the Christian message in the barracks where
the majority blaspheme and go against
A. That's a wonderful place for trans-
mitting Christianity. When there is darkness,
all we have to be is God’s love - don’t
worry about preaching or convincing the
others. Jesus taught us to remain hidden,
silent and just love. If there’s a place that
lacks God’s love it’s there in the barracks,
but this is something we have to learn in our
families too. People ask me: "How can I
convert my husband?" You have to love
him the way God loves. "How can I make
my child change attitude?" Love him the
way God loves. Start this mission and you
won’t fail, because it is Love, not human
means, that opens the way. Jesus didn’t do a
lot of preaching, but he did a lot of loving.
He stayed with us as Love in the
Eucharist and He communicates this Love to
us every day. I suggest that you love and be
happy you are hidden. If they ask you why
you’re so happy, reply like St Francis:"I've
discovered a treasure." There’s not even any
need to talk about God, but they will
understand and one day they will ask you to
show them the way to happiness.
Q. If some people decide to get together
to pray, but they lack a priest for guidance,
what can they do?
A. If you want to pray, it’s easy. Just get
together among yourselves and pray the
way you know how. When hearts are open,
God shows you what to do and helps you
realize it. Priests and guides are a help, but
they cannot substitute God Who is in your
hearts. St Paul says that the Holy Spirit cries
out in our hearts: Abba Father. Get
together, pray the Rosary, read the Gospel,
sing, try to be friends, brothers, sisters
among yourselves. Develop God’s love in
you, and don’t worry about the rest.
Let us conclude now with a prayer, but
before we start, I would like to ask you all
to pray for me. I guide a community of
people who offer themselves for the world’s
salvation. This evening too, while I was
talking to you I was thinking how I can’t
pray, but I must immerse myself in prayer
more and more, because it is very important.
Jesus is here with us, He is alive. This is no
theory. His presence is live, like when He
walked the earth. He is contemplating you,
looking into your hearts and saying: "Give
your problems to me. Let me take care of
them. I have things in surprise for you. I
will get to the bottom of your problems. I
will free you, you can’t free yourself."
Jesus I beg you, look upon all these
brothers and sisters, pierce their souls. You
came into the world and you love each one
of us, like the way you loved Our Lady, the
way you love our heavenly Father from
eternity. Jesus, this evening these brothers
and sisters are invoking your name. Come
Lord Jesus. They are not invoking you so
their problems will be resolved now, but to
feel your presence. Come Lord Jesus!
Nothing impedes you, not even their
sins. You are Love and they are looking for
you. Come Lord Jesus and show yourself as
Saviour of the world. I’m certain these
brothers and sisters want their lives to
become lives of prayer. Come and manifest
Consecration to Mary sows fertility
and joy in the missions
On the 31st May 1992, we consecrated
our mission to Mary. Since then the number
of catechumens has increased considerably
and catechism classes have doubled.
There are many reasons that make our
brothers start on this faith walk. Some were
let down by fetishes containing no force or
truth; some had gone from one sect to
another, thinking they could find a magic
solution to their problems; others discovered
God’s love in the simple gestures of a
generous brother; in all the joy of having
found the one true God shines through.
Providence for us is a living Person, and
we experiment this with our people every
day. During a meeting for mothers in one of
the poorest areas in town, our catechist
Bernadette was talking about how God is
generous with those who are generous. This
woman (who is poor) had worked all day
long picking corn - to cook and sell - but
shared them instead with the women at the
meeting, giving up the small profit she
would have made. A simple gesture, but a
The people always ask me when Echo
will arrive. Often there aren’t enough to go
round so we make photocopies. One man
with no other means, copies out whole
articles in an exercise book so he can read
them to others! (...)
Fr. Mario, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
My name is Anthony Kurevija. I lived
with my family in Vukovar, we had our
own home. I have been gravely disabled
since I was a young man, and my wife has
had health problems for a long time too. We
have 6 children. The first 5 births were
without complications, the 6th one not so.
This is what I want to write about, because
this is where the battle of my life started.
In 1967 the Danube broke the banks and
flooded Vukovar. An icterus epidemic
broke out and we all got sick. My wife and
the children had to go to hospital.
Just before she was admitted, my wife
told me how she dreamt she heard a small
but decisive voice anxiously cry out to her:
"Mummy, don’t kill me!" We couldn’t think
what it could mean, and concluded it was
just a dream, nothing more.
At the hospital, the doctor told my wife
she was expecting - it was a surprise for
both of us. He added that the baby would be
handicapped - perhaps deaf, blind, limbless
or even all of these, and that she should
abort, and as if to justify the abortion, he
said we already had 5 children and neither
of us had a job! My wife replied with
decision: "We are Catholics, and abortion
for us is murder!" The doctor insisted,
saying his medical conscience would not
allow him to bring the baby into the world.
But what sort of medical conscience is it
when it tries to eliminate a baby?!
After much insistence by the medical
staff, and just as much denial on our part,
the doctor in charge asked us to sign a
declaration where we said we denied the
proposal of abortion and assumed all the
responsibility. We did not hesitate to sign
the document. Then I went straight away to
Fr. Majnaric’, guardian of the convent in
Vukovar, who congratuled us for our
Christian choice in favour of life and
promised us his prayers.
He then sent me to a doctor, who like us,
was a member of the Third Order. She
greeted me warmly and explained my wife’s
situation to me clearly, and also added that
she knew of many similar cases where the
children were born as healthy as could be.
On the 19th March 1968, in the hospital
of Vukovar, my wife gave birth to a healthy
girl, with not even a trace of jaundice, yet all
the new born babes in the hospital were
born with it. The Good Father had disposed
for a happy event.
Life went on and brought us other
burdens and crosses, till when, out of search
for bread, we had to leave Vukovar on a
terribly bitter walk that eventually led us to
After many years and thanks to my
pension, my wife and I thought it time to fix
up our old house in Vukovar and move back
home. The situation looked good, and in
1991 we voted in the referendum for
Croatia's independence. We started making
big plans for a definite return, but the devil
had else in mind....
The shooting started - we remained till it
became too dangerous. We certainly
couldn’t use a weapon to defend ourselves,
given our age and health, so all we could do
was get up and leave our home once more.
So here we are again on the road to exile.
This time our departure wasn’t so silent.
All hell had broken out and we had to
escape to save at least our lives. That we did,
but how bitter it is to have to leave our city,
our home! Our desire is to return as soon as
From Vukovar: "Mummy, don't kill me!"
possible. But when will we get back? And
where will we go? Will our home still be
Let be what will be, we are ready to
accept everything that the Good God hands
out to us, just as we have done so far. We
are certain that His hand will protect us, just
as it always has."
(from Nasa Ognjista - Jan./Feb. 1993)
Be filled with God’s love
to be freed of every negative feeling
and become like Jesus - lambs
that offer themselves
by love. Superficiality and indifference is
passive hate. We can rise through the
love of Jesus.
Our soul needs love, it is in contact with
the Spirit of Love, but our heart is like a
filter: only Jesus’ Heart and that of Mary’s
are able to support us and help us in a
sincere conversion. People that offer
themselves have to eliminate all their
negative feelings, be ready for everything,
even ending up on the cross, but feel
supported by Jesus’ love.
With the positive force, God’s love is
in our hearts, and it has to overcome all
obstacles. Denying grace puts us in the
dark. With Jesus’ Passion and Death
everything was consumed. For us this total
love has to be the flame that burns every-
thing. Love is descending on the earth, but
enters prepared hearts. That is why we
need to be totally immersed in God’s grace.
Trials strengthen love and the fruits of
love are peace, trust, joy and hope. We
have to accept Jesus with love and do as
the Gospel tells us to do, through prayer
and hearts that are open to the action of the
In my spiritual life I can do nothing for
myself, it is God Who constructs and so I
leave everything to Him. Through constant
prayer one can become an offered soul,
consuming oneself with Jesus in the
Eucharist, fount of every good." (C.F.V.)
In Pescara between the 11-14 February,
Fr. Tomislav guided a retreat for those who
feel called to offer themselves to God
through Mary for the salvation of the world
and the realization of the Father’s great plan
of love for all humanity.
(There are 35 fraternities for these
people in Italy. Angelo presented the
experience of the one in Foggia. This
fraternity has received approval by the local
Bishop and can therefore be considered an
example for the others. )
Fr. Tomislav affirmed: "A person who
makes an offering of oneself has to make the
Gospel become part of their life. There are
two forces that accompany a person who
follows the way of the Gospel: a positive
force and a negative force. In fact, the Lord
created man free and even God respects
man’s freedom. However He gives us indi-
cations to help us follow Him. The choice is
up to us, so what we have to do is eliminate
the negativities that arise in our hearts.
Negative feelings arise in the hearts of
people who offer themselves, for example
when they think that difficulties, sufferances,
and illnesses are necessary for the salvation
of others and so they need to be in a con-
tinuous state of sufferance. Without a doubt
this way of thinking bears negative fruits.
Doctors talk of somatization, and the same
thing happens in our spiritual life: obsessions
and fears can make us sick. Fanatacism is a
sickness, being closed up against others and
ourselves is a sickness. We have to eliminate
from our ego all those things that impede us
from opening ourselves up to God.
There is also a positive type of somatizat-
ion. It’s directing our life in a way that God’s
love in us consumes all our vices, our
sicknesses and our trials. God’s love was
consumed on the cross; in offered souls, this
consumation can come about in loving the
cross. Only perfect love purifies everything.
When we adore the cross, Crucified
Jesus, what are we adoring? Jesus or the
Cross? If we adore the Cross, it will crush us;
if we adore Jesus, Who defeated the cross
(sin) then we will see our Saviour in the
cross and He will save us. Jesus doesn’t want
sufferance in itself, but He permits sickness
and pain so we can reach the light, and real
joy. Jesus defeated wickedness with
innocence, falseness with sincerity. That is
what we have to look for, because through
trials, He wants to lead us to purification of
Behind every wound is the lack of love.
We have not received love and we are unable
to give love. Dissatisfaction is fruit of badly
channelled energy: a person shows his/her
dissatisfaction through being envious,
gossipy, angry, sick, etc. People that offer
themselves have to be purified, channelled
Ivan’s visit to Australia
The visit of Medjugorje seer, Ivan,
accompanied by Fr. Slavko and Milona
von Habsburg was very successful. It is
estimated that in excess of 22,000 people
attended the various venues in NSW alone.
On 11 February (feast day of Our Lady
of Lourdes), Mass was celebrated in St
Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney. It was filled
to capacity, spilling out onto the
pavements. Fr. Slavko led the Rosary -
each decade was begun with small
children, some in national costume and said
in their national language. The Croatian
child brought back memories of the Rosary
At 6.40 pm Ivan received the apparition
in a side chapel. The Mass that followed
was concelebrated by many priests, and in
his homily, Fr. Slavko spoke of Lourdes,
Fatima and Medj. and made particular
reference to the dreadful war in his home-
land and the attack on the Catholic faith.
He reminded us how Our Lady said wars
could be prevented through prayer and
fasting and that the conflict was a result
of us not taking Her messages seriously.
Ivan addressed everyone after Mass and
told of the early history of the apparitions
and explained that Our Lady came to
remind us that real peace (so badly needed
in our personal lives and by the whole
world) can only be found in God, through
prayer, fasting and the Word of God. Ivan
said how She blessed all those present and
their families with outstretched arms.
Message given by Our Lady to Ivan for
Australia (23 Jan):
"Dear children, Transmit to all that I am
happy and joyful to see you in such a great
number. I call you, dear children, in a
special way to pray for peace together with
Me, and pray for the plans which I wish to
realize in the world. Your prayer is
necessary to Me, dear children; decide to
do good, work at what is good. (Thank you
From the Medjugorje Sentinel
Take care of your own kin
We have received an urgent appeal
from the hospital in Mostar for sanitary
and medical supplies.
Our brothers and sisters in Bosnia are in
dire need. For this reason deliveries of
supplies continue, despite the difficulties
involved in making them.
Contact your nearest Medjugorje or
Caritas centre for information on how to
help. If you wish to send your donation
through us, please indicate your intention.
Make cheques out to Echo of Medjugorje
and send to: Fr. Angelo Mutti, Casella
Postale 49, 46100 Mantova, Italy.
In England, donations may be sent to the
Medjugorje Appeal, Unit J Lambs
Business Park, Tilburstow Hill Rd, Sth
Godstone, Surrey RH9 8JZ, England. Ph.
For sponsorship of Croatian and
For Italy and Australia contact Matteo
Rossi, Casella Postale 54, 54100 Massa,
Italy. (Indicate "Croatian children.")
In Great Britian contact Kathy & Clive
Goble - ph. 0812- 783068.
Your donations for the month of
Medjugorje in the East (Echo in the
East, evangelization of Russia, seminarists,
etc.): Lit. 12,927,000;
Bosnia/Croatia: Lit.28,179,000 (of
which 14,700,000 for the monks in Medj.
from Fr. T. Munari’s mission in Mexico);
Radio Maria Poland: Lit. 2,465,000;
Sahel, etc.: Lit. 720,000.
All these donations have already been
forwarded to their destinations.
The French edition of Echo received the
following amounts during the year 1992:
for Echo approx. 83 million, for Bosnia
22 million, for Croatia 32 million, for the
parish of Medj. 7 million, for Russia 4
million, for Radio Maria Poland 2.5
million, other: 6.7 million.
Winter scene in Medjugorje. Behind the snow covered mountains: the Bosnian tragedy
ECHO IN OTHER LANGUAGES
Legal resp:A.Lanzani, Printed by DIPRO, Italy - Fax 0422-840804
Sped.Abb.Post. 3/70 - Aut.Trib.Mant. n.13/8.11.1986
Echo is free, but lives on your donations. If you would like to contribute, please send
your cheques to: Echo of Medjugorje, Casella Postale 149, 46100 Mantova, Italy.
Money may also be transferred to our bank account. Make payable to Fr. Angelo Mutti,
Banca Agricola Mantovana, Ag.4, Mantova, Italy - Acc. no. 26641-1. If you prefer,
you can send your donation to your local distributor who will see to sending it on to us.
Thank you and God bless.
English: Echo of Medjugorje, Casella
Postale 27, 31030 Bessica (TV), Italy.
French: Echo de Medj., 18 Allée Thévenot,
39100 Dole, France. German: Medjugorje
Komitee, Postfach 272, 39100 Bolzano,
Italy. Spanish: Roger Watson, Via Fulda 2,
22100 Como, Italy. Ph # 031.543082.
Catalan: Amics de Medj., c.Carme 11
baixos, 08700 Igualada-Catalugna, Spain.
Portughese: Servos da Rainha, SQS 411,
Bloco ”U” Ap.311, 70277 Brasilia DF,
Brazil. Polish/Russian: Czeslawa
Mirkiewicz, ul.Krasickiego 21/3, 30- 515
Krakow-Podgorze, Poland; Z.i T. Strzaika,
ul.Wesola 34, 87100 Torun, Poland. Czech:
Medzugorské ozveny, Ilbenstädter, Str 6,
DW-6000 Frankfurt, Germany. Magyar:
Fraternitas, Kàlmàn Imre, Utca 10-1054,
Budapest, Hungary. Romanian: Anca
Dragos, str N.Pamfil 53, Bl 29, Ap 49,
72124 Bucharest, Romania. Greek: Soeur
Despina de la St Croix, 69 Ispirou, Agia
Paraskave, 15341 Athens, Greece.
Distributors: USA: Peter Miller, POB
2720- 230, Huntington Beach CA 92647.
Ph 714-9637240. Fax 9631432; Giovanna
Ellis: 9809 Stoneybrook Dr, Kensington
MD 20895. Ph. 301-5883198; Canada:
Giuseppe Bozzo, 8322 Nicolas Leblanc,
Montreal Que HIE 3W5, Ph: 648-3420.
Philippines: Raquel D. De Leon, POB 789,
1099 Manila. Spain: Josè L. Lopez de S.
Roman, Ap. 246, Palencia, Spain. Australia
(all editions): Medjugorje Sentinel, P.O.
Box 531, Drummoyne NSW 2047.
Our thanks goes to all those who support
us in our efforts with their prayers and
expressions of encouragement. We were
particularly moved by a letter from the
young Bishop of Pontagrossa (Brazil), Dom
Murilo Krieger: "I received Echo # 100
(with extraordinary rapidity) and read every
word of it - it was truly excellent! The
material you propose for reflection is indeed
rich and profoundly spiritual. Keep up the
good work." (12 March 1993)
A letter from Algeria says: "We are now
spreading Our Lady’s messages among the
Muslims." Moving testimonies also come
We thank those who send in material
for us to publish. We can’t/don’t always use
it: lack of space, not in line with our
spirituality, different subject matter, etc.
Colin Macnaught (director of the Medj.
Sentinel in Sydney) has been very ill of late.
Our thoughts go to him and his family. May
Our Blessed Mother, for Whom they work,
bless them with God’s peace and joy.
Echo continues to be blessed. The
Portughese edition has now reached 60,000
copies and the French one 23,000 copies.
The English and Spanish editions continue
to grow. Thank you Mary for taking care of
your instrument. Unemployment is spread-
ing and our expenses are greater, but the
money needed to publish the various
editions of Echo has never failed to come in.
Blessed be the Name of the Lord Who
takes care of the poor so they in turn may be
of help to others.
With the help of Our Lady of Sorrows
and St. Joseph, let us continue in our Lenten
conversion so that at Easter we shall be
joyful testimony of the Resurrection of
Jesus. I bless you all in the name of the
Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
IN THE FAMILY
Off the bookshelf:
"Medjugorje, the message" by Wayne
Weible and his latest release: "Letters from
Check your local Christian bookshop.
Daily bus service to Medjugorje from
Trieste. Departure time 6 pm from Trieste.
Arrival in Medj. 9 am the next morning.
Where: at the bus station in Trieste (adjacent
to the train station). Another bus leaves
Medj. every evening at 6 pm arriving in
Trieste at 9 am the next morning. Cost:
about 50,000 lire one way
The power of prayer and fasts
Taken from Letters from Medjugorje by
Wayne Weible. After Victor and Vivienne
had been to Medjugorje they knew what
they had to do so his atheist mother (in her
eighties and not well) would find Jesus
before her death:
"The message and mission for Vivienne
and myself was clear: we had to fast and
pray. (...) But when I told my mother that
we intended to pray and fast for her
conversion, she told us in no uncertain terms
to mind our own business! (...) With our
fasts every Wednesday and Friday, we set as
an intention her conversion to Jesus. Our
kids joined us. With this kind of 'attack' we
knew it would work!"
Victor laughed, and squaring his chair
around so that he was looking right at me,
he added: "Do you know, within six months
my mother joined the church!" (She died 10