November 1993, All Saints Month - Orig.Italian Edit: Eco di Medj., C.P.149, 46100 Mantova, Italy.
Yr.8 #8 - All mail to: Echo of Medj, Casella Postale 27, 31030 Bessica (TV), Italy. fax-0423-470331
Our Lady’s message of 25 Oct. 1993:
Dear Children, Over these years I
have been inviting you to pray and put
into practice what I tell you, but you live
my messages very little. You talk but you
do not put into practice: that is why, my
dear children, that this war is lasting so
long. I invite you to open yourselves up
to God and live with God in your heart,
by doing good and bearing witness to my
I love you and wish to protect you
from every evil, but you do not want this!
Dear children, I cannot help you if you do
not live God’s Commandments, if you do
not live Holy Mass, if you do not reject
sin. I invite you to become apostles of
love and goodness. In this world without
peace, be testimonies of God and His love,
and God will bless you and give you what
you ask for. Thank you for having
responded to my call.
This is the symbol of protection
with which Mary covers us
Our Blessed Mother’s desire is that we
let ourselves be guided by God’s love and
thus protected from all evil. The love of God
is revealed in Jesus, Who gives Himself to
us in the Holy Eucharist, in the Mass, so
that our lives can be conformed to Him,
through offering ourselves to Him, offering
ourselves like Him. This protects us against
all evil and assures we are given all the help
of His grace and His Mother.
We can't listen to this message and keep
on doing what we want. We can't hear
Mary saying She wants to protect us, and
then throw ourselves into the arms of Satan
again through our personal sin. We can't
pretend that Mary has not spoken for each
and every one of us; unless in the deep of
our hearts, with all our will, we have already
decided to belong to evil and have no wish
to leave deceipt and falsehoods behind us.
Our Lady calls our world a world
without peace. Unless we obey God’s
Commandments, humbly, joyfully and
thankfully; unless we accept Jesus’ merciful
offering of becoming a little like Him, then
truly, peace will be far from our hearts. All
we’ll have is sin, anxiety, agitation and fear.
When Mary’s invitation is liberally
accepted, and we let Her guide us, our lives
become continual praise, peace and joy and
manifest the beauty of living and being with
the Lord. Being with Him, and in Him,
together with our brothers and sisters, is the
greatest blessing one could wish, it’s being
in possession of the most noble things on
I cannot help you
if you do not live my messages!
The message that Mary offers us,
gratuitously, should cause feelings of
contrition in us, for the mediocrity and
hypocrisy of our response are brought to
light before the depth of Her love and the
seriousness of Her motherly concern.
We correspond to Her love so weakly -
and falsely - that the evil gets the better of
us in our lives. Love died out and hearts
turned cold are the real cause of all the
tragedies and the inconceivable evil of this
monstrous war (the 1st time She mentions
it) that lasts so long - a war that we could
have stopped, that by now goes practically
unobserved by our miserable forgetfulness.
So much deafness makes us think of
Mary’s first messages: You have forgotten
that with prayer and fasts you can stop wars
and suspend natural laws! He who forgets
does not love and does not keep watch.
Mary here stresses the superficiality of those
who keep on talking, without living
anything of what She has said.
Not living Her messages: this should
make us search our consciences, seriously.
It would be a lie to think we’re OK or
worse, disagree with what She reveals. All
these years of patient concern on Her part,
and chatter and judgements on our part, tell
of the grave consequence of human pre-
sumption, that puts us in opposition to God.
Only being open to God’s will and
profound personal conversion can remove
us from all the evil that threatens us. The
invitation to be open and live with God in
our heart shows particular concern: Our
Lady would like our love for God to
become deeper; that we cultivate this love
and protect it so it may become our prime
interest, and be light for our lives.
Falling back continuously on our bad
habits, our personal opinions and justificat-
ions, keeps the door open to the Evil One
and his tentacles. Profound attention to
every word of God rouses in us continous
conversion that strengthens our weaknesses.
MEDJUGORJE IS CHURCH
Our Lady did not come to found an
umpteenth movement, but to give new
breath to all mankind. Her apparitions are a
gift for the entire Church, for they teach us
to live our faith in whatever condition and
place we are in. In fact, no one thinks of
Lourdes or Fatima as being something
exclusive. It’s the same for Medjugorje.
All ecclesial experiences should be
confronted with Mary’s presence on the
earth, capable of making all things new: life
in the parish, in groups, in the liturgy and
charitable works. Those who live in the
Catholic Church, whatever their charisma
may be, need to be in continual filial
communion with the Mother of God.
Thus, we do not work for Medj., but
under Our Lady’s guidance, we work for
the Church. Prayer groups are Church who
pray for the Church, and nothing else. That
is why we do not have our own particular
line, only that of the Church. She sets out
the rhythm of growth for her children in the
liturgy, the feasts, in the imitation of models
of Christian people. It is on this line that we
try to help our readers.
November: Mary’s Feasts
On the 21st the liturgy celebrates the
Presentation of Mary to the Temple, when
at the age of 3 Her parents offered Her to
God and She went up to the Temple where
She remained, wholly devoted to the house
of God. It is an anticipation of the offering
to God of the whole Church, in particular
those people who follow in Her steps and
consecrate themselves to God. That is why
the consecrated souls usually profess their
vows, or renew them, on this feast day.
We commemorate the Miraculous
Medal of the Immaculate Conception on the
27th. Her image appeared to St Catherine
Labouré in 1830 in Paris, surrounded by
symbols which are reproduced on the
Medal. The medal was coined because it
was expressly desired by Our Lady Herself.
She promised great graces to those who
would wear it and invoke Her with trust. It
is an authentic catechism, proposed by Her
to be known, meditated upon and practised.
The serpent stands for the real presence
of Satan, the globe it is wrapped around
stands for the world in decline. Mary stand-
ing on the globe, and the rays that come
from her hands, indicate Her Mediation in
the work of salvation. The invocation:
Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us for
we turn to you, is an expression of Her
The "M" interlaced by the cross repre-
sents Mary’s indispensable role as Mother
of Christ in the work of Redemption, to
which the two Hearts below are tied. Jesus’
Heart is crowned by thorns, Mary’s is
pierced by a sword. The twelve stars
celebrate the Queen of the Apostles and Her
The apparitions of Paris prepared for the
great events of Lourdes. St Bernadette, who
wore the medal, said: "Our Lady of the grotto
appeared to me the way She is on this medal."
«Every day try to meet with the
countenance of the saints to find
comfort in their sermons.»
In this issue we have made frequent calls
on the need to know how to look with faith
and simplicity upon the gifts that the Lord, in
His infinite mercy, sends us. For they instil in
us strength and courage for the difficult
journey of purification. Visible signs for all to
see, like luminous wakes of God’s goodness
and the glory of heaven, are the saints.
If we observe and listen to the Pope we
learn of the importance in Christian life of
looking upon and invoking all the saints, who
were given to us as models. The Pope teaches
us that they are a way to heaven (cf. Echo
106, page 3). We need to confront ourselves
with the virtues of those who, schooled by the
Queen of Saints, loved the things of heaven
above all else.
11 November: ST. MARTIN
He was born in 316 in Pannonia (what
is now Hungary) to pagan parents. His
father was a military officer in Pavia where
Martin as a boy came to know Christianity.
Martin was later enlisted as an imperial
Martin’s charity - During a campaign
of the Roman army one very cold winter the
troops guided by Martin reached the port of
Amiens in France. A man, trembling with
cold, was begging but nobody was paying
him any attention, so Martin went to him.
Since he had no money left, he took out his
sword and cut his mantle in two and gave
one half to the beggar. The Lord was so
pleased with Martin’s gesture that He
appeared to him the night after, clothed in
the half of the mantle Martin had given to
the beggar. Jesus told the angels who had
accompanied Him: Martin, still a cate-
chumen, covered me with this garment.
Martin had a slave as his attendant, but
he treated him like a brother, he even
cleaned his garments. This gesture, more
significant than giving up half of his mantle,
shows the disposition of the Christians in
the IV century.
He renounces military service -
During the campaign against the Germans,
the emperor Julian had wanted to reward his
soldiers prior to the battle. He called them
one by one. Martin thought it was a good
opportunity to tell of his profound desire to
give up the army for religious life. (In those
years the Church was not in favour of
military life because it exposed Christians to
the use of violence, and men who had taken
up arms were not allowed to take religious
orders). The emperor accused Martin of
wanting to desert out of fear and not faith.
The servant of God thus replied: "If you
think my conduct is due to cowardice, I tell
you that I am ready to go to the front
tomorrow, disarmed except for the sign of
the holy cross, and with my trust in it, face
The Emperor imprisoned him, then sent
him, disarmed, to the enemies. One morning
a German embassy arrived unexpectedly at
the Emperor’s camp to ask for peace and
subject themselves to the Emperor. This was
seen as a sign of God’s intervention in
defence of Martin.
Martin’s spiritual guide - Once he
had left military life he returned home and
converted his mother. In Milan he fought
against the Arians, and for this was sent
away. He went to Liguria where he learnt
that his teacher, St Hilary of Poitiers, had
been exiled. So he went to the island of
Gallinara for Lenten penance to obtain his
liberation. Hilary was freed and Martin
returned to Poitiers, where under Hilary’s
guidance, he withdrew from the world to
live a contemplative life in what is now the
oldest monastery in Europe: Ligugé.
Disciples, miracles, conversions multiplied.
Bishop of Tours - 10 years later: the
city of Tours is without a bishop. With the
excuse that someone needs healing, he is
called to Tours, and made bishop. As
bishop, together with his monks, he begins
the great job of converting the Gauls and
evangelizing the rural districts, till then still
not evangelized. That is why St Martin
became the protector of the countryside.
He was a good battler, untiring
missionary and defender of the poor and
persecuted. He was despised by the nobles,
mocked at by the mundane and was
unpopular with some clergymen who found
this demanding bishop inconvenient. During
his 27 years as Bishop of Tours, he remain-
ed serene amid opposition and persecution.
He was falsely accused by a priest named
Brizio, but said: "If Jesus put up with Judas,
why can’t I put up with Brizio?"
At the age of 80, sick and exhausted, he
underwent a long journey to bring peace to
the Church of Candes, torn apart by
dissension. With peace restored, he felt his
senses leaving him, but the brothers
implored: "Why do you leave us, Father? As
you depart avid wolves will enter the flock!"
He replied: "Lord, if I am still necessary for
your people, I will not refuse the effort." He
remained till his last breath with his eyes
and hands turned up to heaven, praying
unceasingly. He became the first patron
saint of France.
The power of his prayers and fasts -
He once asked the emporer, Valentinian I,
who did not like Catholics, to grace some
prisoners who had been condemned to die,
but when the monarch refused to receive
him, Martin began offering up prayers,
mortifications and fasts. He remained one
week dressed in hair-cloth, covered in ash
and with nothing to eat. On the 7th day he
went to court and found all the doors open
right up to the Emporer’s room. As soon as
the emporer saw Martin he called out to the
guards, but then he remained immobile,
unable to utter a word. Once he had
recovered, he humbled himself, affection-
ately embraced Martin and conceded
everything he asked.
Despite his many occupations, his heart
was never distracted; he was always aware
of God’s presence. He knew how to inspire
in his disciples the same feelings that
pervaded him so that Jesus Christ would
enter their souls, and finding them worthy,
would abide in them.
Sat. 16 October in the Vatican: The Pope
received in private audience well-known
Russian writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
They spoke about the events of the East, in
particular Russia. Irina Alberti, a writer, was
present and described their meeting as warm
and friendly. She noticed a significant differ-
ence between them: "Solzhenitsyn tends to be
pessimistic about the present-day world
situation, whereas the Pope, who does not
look through rose-coloured glasses, has the
certainty that the Lord saves.
Though Solzhenitsyn has a profound
faith, he does not have that same light of the
Pope, which I’d call solar. I believe that the
writer felt this. The commotion I read on his
face when he came out from the meeting was
like the reverberation of that light."
The Pope - a master for
To the youth in Asti:
The following lines, regarding the
Pope's recent visit to Asti (northern Italy),
were sent in by a young reader from that
The two days of his visit were very
intense. During Holy Mass on Sunday 26
Sept. Msgr. G. Marello was beatified (the
founder of the Oblates of St Joseph in Asti).
During the various meetings (with the
religious, families and lastly the youth) the
Holy Father repeatedly spoke of the concept
of holiness to which each Christian must
tend, and took the examples of those saints
born in the land of Asti: St John Bosco, St
Domenico Savio, Blessed Cottolengo and
many other missionaries who left their
homes to serve others.
During his meeting with the
FAMILIES, he said: "The Church and the
world today more than ever need married
couples and families who generously let
themselves be schooled by Christ. The
many sad aspects of our time and the unpre-
cedented forms of violence that mark it are
ultimately explained by the closure of hearts
to God’s love. How urgent then, the task of
believers, above all of Christian families, to
restore to today’s society the much needed
anchoring of faith and love in the safe haven
of God’s word."
Pope assigns married couples with 2
tasks: "From the Lord draw the right
criteria for direction and discernment in
every situation. Forcefully resist the
divorce mentality that disrupts God’s plan
for marriage. Do not let into your homes
that permissive culture which allows
everything, even suppression of life.
[Secondly] be evangelizing
communities, able to transmit and
radiate the Gospel! (...) The family is the
fundamental cell of that larger society, and
it’s mission is irreplaceable. We know from
experience and tradition how much all of us
owe to our family. We are indebted first and
foremost to God, but also to our parents
who gave us life and raised us. Human life
must be reared not only in the physical and
biological dimension, but also in the
This is the irreplaceable evangelization
that takes place in the family, and you must
be the apostles, evangelizers and mission-
aries of your own families. The domestic
Church is irreplaceable."
On Sunday afternoon the Pope met the
YOUTH: "Let us consider an encounter
between a young man and Jesus: 2000 years
ago a young man asked Him: What must I
do to have eternal life? You share this
young man’s question; and I would like his
question to be always present in your
reflections and your prayers. My wish for
you above all is that you never lose your
existential perspective, this eternal life. We
must measure our earthly, human and
temporal affairs against eternal life. Like the
young man, we must ask: what must we do,
today? We must have a plan for this earthly
life - and a plan to apply to this present
moment. But to be well-founded, fitting,
just, Gospel-orientated, it must always be
measured against the perspective of eternal
If we can bring together these 2 dimen-
sions (eternal life and a programme for
temporal life) then undoubtedly our
plan of life will be right. So I hope you
never lose the perspective of eternal life.
In one respect, however, do not follow
the young man of the Gospel, because he
remained sad after Jesus’ advice. Never be
sad, but be joyful! This means following
Jesus, doing what he asks of you. (...)
The Christian, the young Christian,
must love the Gospel challenges. Before
these Gospel challenges one must not be
dismayed or overwhelmed by the spirit of
this world, by secularism. On your witness,
on your youthful evangelization, the future
of humanity depends." (Valeria, 4 Oct.)
So be perfect, just as your heavenly
Father is perfect (Mt 5:48).
The Pope teaches: moral life
in fidelity to God means happiness
already here on earth.
Officially presented on the 5th October,
the Holy Father’s 10th Encyclical Letter is
entitled Veritatis Splendor (the splendour of
truth) and regards "certain fundamental
questions of the Church’s moral teaching."
Let it be clear that the Encyclical is not a
code of laws or a list of precepts. As Card.
Ratzinger explained in his presentation to
the press: "faith is not mere theory, but a
way (Acts 22:4). Faith includes morals, not
just general ideals. It gives concrete
directives for human life," because the
commandment of love requires that we be
conformed to Jesus. The Encyclical is
ample and treats the question of morality
right from its roots. Reading through
Veritatis Splendor carefully, brings one to a
profound reflection of self, almost like
searching one’s conscience.
In doing so we discover that the
Commandments and the divine law are not
at all a cage that imprisons freedom, but
they become a spontaneous desire, needed
to safeguard the gift of life of the Spirit
given to us by the Lord. That makes reading
this Encyclical important, and also because
it is a unique text. In this issue we will
consider only one of the themes proposed
by the Pope; it is a central theme that helps
us comprehend the real significance of
moral life in a Christian life.
If you wish to be perfect ...
In Chapter I the Holy Father uses the
example of the young rich man who asks
Jesus: Teacher, what good must I do to have
eternal life? (Mt 19:16) Jesus replied: If you
wish to enter into life, keep the
commandments. The young man replies that
he has always kept them. The Pope
continues: «even though he is able to make
this reply, even though he has followed the
moral ideal seriously and generously from
childhood, the rich young man knows that
he is still far from the goal: before the
person of Jesus he realizes that he is still
It is his awareness of this insufficiency
that Jesus addresses in his final answer.
Conscious of the young mans’s yearning for
something greater, which would transcend a
legalistic interpretation of the command-
ments, the Good Teacher invites him to
enter upon the path of perfection: "If you
wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions
and give the money to the poor, and you
will have treasure in heaven; then come,
follow me" (Mt 19:21).
Obeying the Lord is true freedom
Jesus’ conversation with the young man
helps us to grasp the conditions for the
moral growth of man, who has been called
to perfection: the young man, having
observed all the commandments, shows that
he is incapable of taking the next step by
himself. To do so requires mature human
freedom: "If you wish to be perfect;" and
God’s gift of grace: "Come, follow me."
Perfection demands that maturity in self-
giving to which human freedom is called.
Jesus points out to the young man that
the commandments are the first and indis-
pensable condition for having eternal life;
on the other hand, for the young man to give
up all he possesses and to follow the Lord is
presented as an invitation: "If you wish..."
These words of Jesus reveal the particular
dynamic of freedom’s growth towards
maturity, and at the same time they bear
witness to the fundamental relationship
between freedom and divine law. Human
freedom and God’s law are not in
opposition; on the contrary, they appeal one
to the other. The follower of Christ knows
that his vocation is to freedom. "You were
called to freedom," says St Paul, but adds:
"only do not use your freedom as an
opportunity for the flesh, but through love
be servants of one another." (Gal 5:13)
Those who live by the Spirit
desire God’s law
Those who live "by the flesh" experi-
ence God’s law as a burden, and indeed as
a denial or at least a restriction of their own
freedom. On the other hand those who are
impelled by love and "walk by the Spirit"
(Gal 5:16), and who desire to serve others,
find in God’s Law the fundamental and
necessary way in which to practise love as
something freely chosen and freely lived out.
Indeed, they feel an interior urge - a
genuine necessity and no longer a form of
coercion - not to stop at the minimum
demands of the Law, but to live them in their
fullness. This is a still uncertain and fragile
journey as long as we are on earth, but it is
one made possible by grace, which enables
us to possess the full freedom of the children
of God and thus to live our moral life in a
way worthy of our sublime vocation as sons
in the Son.»
As we can see, the Pope’s discourse is
extremely clear, and full of that light proper
to what is written in sincerity of faith. From
it, emerges a sense of positivity. Basically,
the Holy Father is telling us that no effort or
act of obedience is too burdensome when it
means preserving communion with Christ to
enjoy, already in this life, the fruits of
redemption. John Paul II, in fact, also
proposes as an example the martyrs:
exaltation of universal sanctity of God’s
law, for nothing can be compared to fidelity
to Jesus when one has understood the truth
contained in the Gospel.
Reward of a Christian is eternal life
We wish to say no further. You cannot
excessively comment an Encyclical; but just
accept it with a sense of gratitude. What we
have is a principal that must be our guide in
our every choice regarding morality:
A Christian, with the grace of God
invoked through prayer, is called to a
commitment which at times can be heroic. It
needs to be supported by the virtue of
strength. As St Gregory the Great says, it is
through this strength that a Christian is able
to love even the difficulties that the world
presents, in view of the eternal reward. M.
Invaded by Charismatic calls
How we should react
Many write to Echo saying how they
are alarmed by the way sensational
messages are spreading, and which by now
take up a lot of space even in many Medj.
bulletins. Reinaldo Pinheiro, industrious
director of the Portughese Echo in Brasilia,
reports of the phenomenen that is "trans-
forming the many Peace Centres into
centres where people gather to listen to the
new prophets and hear of a great purifica-
tion due to strike the earth before the end of
the year." In Belo Horizonte, he adds, a
meeting was recently held for Brazilian
visionaries: where opinions clashed. He says
what really worries him is that many do not
possess cultural or religious instruments to
defend themselves from this.
We reply: «Don’t be astonished by
these phenomenen. Jesus had warned us
they would multiply (cf. Mt 24). He also
taught us how to recognize the true prophets
from the false ones: the fruit they bear will
tell you who they are. These fruits are the
ones they bear in themselves and in others;
fruits of truth in fidelity to Church doctrine,
to the Pope, the Eucharist, to Mary and
fruits of a holy life; and fruits of conversion.
We must, however, be cautious about
the many sensational messages - all they
manage to do is alarm people, not make
them convert. Anxiously awaiting these
apocalyptic cries distracts us from the real
task Our Lady asks of us: attend to our
conversion. It is Satan who wants to distract
us by so many voices. Be wary when people
announce dates or an end to time, because
though man’s corruption is great, we do not
know the extent of God’s mercy and
patience, nor how great an effect the prayers
and sufferings of the good have in sending
off the punishments, even those ones
already announced. Jonah too said in the
name of God: 40 more days and Nineveh
will be destroyed. But then the people did
penance and Nineveh was saved.
And even in our times, in the last
decade, how many times have we heard
people announcing catastrophes, yet nothing
happened? For just as lightning comes from
the east and is seen as far as the west, so
will the coming of the Son of Man be (Mt
24:27) - i.e., without warning. What is
needed, is that we convert: Turn away from
sin, be ready always, because the Son of
Man will come when lest we expect Him.
With Our Lady, many prophets and
charismatic people are sent out today to
awaken people’s hearts from the sleep of
death. The souls of the simple accept what is
good and put it into practice. [Messages]
that conform to the Gospel and serve to
awakening life, must not be opposed. The
Scriptures provide us with a rule: Do not
quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophetic
utterances. Test everything; retain what is
good (1 Thes 5:19-21).
The real danger is in making a super-
natural voice or manifestation absolute, i.e.
giving it too much importance, forgetting
that the only fount of salvation is the Live
Church of God, pillar and foundation of
truth (1 Tim 3:15). We already spoke
lengthily about this in Echo 101.
So do not be alarmed by these voices,
rather be alarmed at our lack of conversion!
There is still room for penance, so let us do
what Our Lady asks; we know this will help
us love Jesus and our fellow men more. And
don’t let your curiousity lead you astray.
* After just a brief moment, he who is
to come shall come; he shall not delay.
My just one shall live by faith.(Hb 10:37)
* The Lord is not being slow to carry
out his promises as others might be called
slow, he is being patient with you all,
wanting nobody to be lost and everybody
to be brought to change his ways (2 Pt 3).
* We are certain that «Our Lady will
bring to fulfilment her plans, when we
least expect it, because great things are to
be expected from our Mother.»
Medj. - working from within
or just external interest?
Our Lady has touched
on a sore point
It seems that many pilgrims, after
having known Medj. for a few years,
frantically start chasing after news, facts
and surprising and supernatural phenomena.
Since many pilgrims can no longer go to
Medj., they think they can fill the void by
wandering after the oddest prophecies and
the most unexplainable novelties. This
situation comes from having abandoned our
fidelity, gratitude and love for the gift each
of us received in Medj.
So the reaction to this forced absence
from what is our "spiritual home" was not a
decision to keep watch over those gifts of
light and inner freedom we received from
God in Medj., but to search for an alterna-
tive, something new to stir up our curiosity.
We have to realize that trying to listen
to everything, is like listening to nothing.
The people who avidly grab up and spread
these "supernatural novelties" are really
trying to hide the fact that they don’t want to
continue with their personal purification and
With Medj. Our Lady has touched on a
sore point. And we have division, a real sign
of contradiction between Christians. On one
hand we have those who are willing to
change, die to themselves, let themselves
be purified. This costs, because purification
either makes you conform to Jesus or it
remains just a word on your lips.
On the other hand we have those who
(even) elegantly try to avoid the double-
edged sword that penetrates to the point of
division in your soul and spirit and searches
your feelings and thoughts. These people
"organize," "spread," they "keep themselves
informed," they "want to know." These are
all terms extraneous to true spiritual life that
turn the fire of the Spirit into wasteful
curiosity. So let us not cheat ourselves. We
only need to make our heart more malleable,
to let the Lord mould it. This is what Our
Lady tries to teach us every day.
How do we know if our hearts are truly
open to conversion? The Church has always
had a method - it’s called obedience. Every
person should have a spiritual director, to
tell of our difficulties and to ask for advice.
This is fundamental, because Christ
completed His mission by being obedient,
even to His death. We will talk further about
this, however, in a future issue.
We cannot keep on thinking then of
when in 1989-90 thousands of pilgrims
were going to Medj., and returning home
full of love of the Spirit and love for Mary.
Talking about Medj. in tones of enthusiasm
and triumph is useless now. Anyone can see
that there’s little to be triumphant about with
Satan so rampant in the world and in us
when spiritual tepidity forms in us from
Daniel-Ange (the monk in white who
draws so many young people to the Church)
who is becoming more and more a burning
apostle of Medj. He blessed the child that
Mirjana is carrying. He too asked her what
Our Lady says about abortion (see Echo
106). She replied: Our Lady says we are to
help these women, by showing them great
love, all the love that God and Our Lady
have for them. She said abortion was a
great sin, as to abort is to kill, but it is cert-
ain that God will forgive them as He loves
us all. God asks, though, that the parents of
the child offer a great penance for their sin.
* In the House of Peace in Bijakovici,
where spiritual exercises and conferences of
various types continue to be organized, fra
Iko Skoko called together religion teachers,
who put forth their positive experiences and
their difficulties. The meeting was a very
* Spiritual exercises for the Franciscan
novices of Humac in their own home, were
conducted by fra Mladen Herceg, in
preparation of their first vows. The Medj.
evening programme, so full of Marian and
Franciscan spirit, was included in the
* The cure of drug addicts - a
scientific course was organized recently
with about 15 participants. The speakers
were Dr. Kenneth McKaal, a psychiatrist,
and Sr. Elvira, whose community is offering
hospitality to an ever increasing number of
Croats. In conclusion it was said that drug
addicts are a sign of the times, and it is the
duty of us all, together with their families, to
(from Nasa Ognjista)
reducing the grace received in Medj. to oral
facts. Echo’s style has changed a little
precisely because of this. It is not possible to
produce a paper based on sparkling facts if
there aren’t any. What there is, however, is
the need to let everything we saw, heard and
touched (the Word of life that has touched
our hearts) enter into us so deeply that it
takes root in us.
A paper cannot and must not substitute
one's own personal commitment. Some
articles are perhaps a little more "meditat-
ive" than in the past - that’s because we
want them to be an invitation to remain in
silence and read with a prayerful spirit. All
of the Pope’s words are fruit of his
profound spiritual life. That is why he urges
us to pray, to use the sacraments, to be
communion - just like Our Lady says.
So why roam around? The joy we felt
in Medj. is not a pious memory to tell others
about. It was the beginning of our second
birth, the opportunity to make our hearts
freer day by day, to be in peace with God
and our brothers and sisters; as long as we
have the humility and sincerity to ask every
morning: Good Teacher, what must I do to
have eternal life?
Christ’s reply does not change: the
messages, the life of the Church, spiritual
direction and that great sign of our times,
given for all men of good will: the
teachings and example of the Holy
The Holy Father on the 15th
anniversary of his election: Address a
special prayer to God for me, that I be
given the strength to consume myself in
the service of the Church.
M E D J U G O R J E
DAY BY DAY
End September - * The large green
tents behind the church have become a
welcome haven for Croatians from Konjic
who arrive by the hundreds, having escaped
from the massacres, prisons and camps... All
these women have left of their property fits
into a little bag, and they give thanks to God
that they are still alive. Everyone is
anxiously awaiting other convoys that will
bring the rest of their families - but will
they manage to get past the front?
160,000 Croats are still in central
Bosnia, entirely left to themselves. Their
only hope is exile. Fr. Svetozar said in
America: "our people are living through a
crucifixion and they cannot find anyone
to defend them."
Mid October - The guests crowded into
the green tents have left for the coast where
they will find better lodgings. Some
enquired about buying a plot of land to
build here, but the prices are prohibitive.
One of the miracles we have seen though is
that the refugees here learnt to look upon
one another as brothers; and the Gospa has
become part of their lives.
* Family news - Fr. Slavko was in
France early October. Vicka spent a week in
Florida (USA) with Sr. Elvira who has
established a house there for drug addicts.
Ivan has gone to the US, on an apostolic
tour, till early Dec. Marija andPaolo honey-
mooned in France, incognito, for 2 weeks.
* Great joy for the presence of Father
* Daily bus service to Medjugorje
from Trieste continues. Departure 6 pm
Trieste bus station (ph. 040/360300) -
adjacent to train station. Return from Medj.
same time each day. Return price
LIT.86,200 (valid 1 month).
The Message makes its way
around the world
"I spent 25 days in Australia and New
Zealand, and I was surprised by the amount
of people who know of the messages of
Medjugorje. We spoke to about 150,000
people and we prayed together.
In New Zealand they said it was the
biggest religious gathering ever. In Sydney
the Cathedral couldn’t accomodate all the
people who had come to listen and pray
together, so they mounted speakers outside
the church, allowing the crowd outside to
follow the near 4-hour liturgy!
We spoke to various people; to priests
and bishops, and we realize now that for
many people Medjugorje is not just a
religious phenomen, for it has awakened in
them a great sense of responsibility, which
doesn’t mean just reciting an extra Rosary,
but behaving differently, being more
responsible in this world. So they feel ready
to help others materially, and to act
politically, according to their possibilities.
Many told me how they suffer when
they see others acting irresponsibly. Thanks
to Medj. we can nourish the hope that men
will recognize the human dignity in them-
selves and others, and thus respect life. This
is the first step towards peace."
Jerusalem, if only you had understood
the message of peace!
of the Croatian Church
for not having accepted the
Queen of Peace
On the 7th August 1993 Mons. Franic,
archbishop emeritus of Split and well-
known theologian of the Council, had a long
talk with friends in Austria belonging to the
Mary Queen of Peace Group in Vienna.
After having spoken about the Youth
Festival and the war, he said:
«(...) We Croatians of Croatia and
Bosnia-Herzegovina have not fully accept-
ed the calls of Our Lady in Medj. Some
have even called Medj. the biggest lie in the
history of the Church! The Bishop of
Mostar, Zanic’, was always contrary, and
most of the Bishops followed suite, though
they tolerated Medj. as a place of prayer. In
the last declaration of 25 May'91, one month
prior to the war, they said they would help
the pilgrims... though they kept saying that
till then they had found nothing that was
supernatural and that the commission would
continue in its research work.
I don’t know what the commission
expects, when there have already been so
many miracles - examined by scientists -
and so many conversions all over the world.
This was not enough for our Bishops. Had
they only encouraged the people to go to
Medj., perhaps these would have listened to
Our Lady and a movement of conversion
could have been born. But todate they have
not recognized the voice of the Mother of
God, Who offers us peace and says that She
too, with our prayers, will fight for peace.
When the first treaty between Muslims
and Croats was signed in Medj. I thought it
must have been a miracle of the Queen of
Peace. But the treaty had no follow up.
Medj. though is not finished. Only we
Croats have not followed it enough: the
Bishops are contrary and no one has ever
said: "Let’s go, that’s the Mother of God
During an audience the Pope even told
the Bishops to turn to the Queen of Peace.
They said yes, but had intended a place close
to Zagreb, dedicated to the Queen of Peace,
not Medj. Jesus can’t be happy when His
Mother comes here and none of the Bishops
recognize Her; when over these 12 years
there have been miracles and they say:
There is nothing.»
He was asked about the recent statement
by the Bishop of Mostar, Mons. Ratko Peric
(For me the votes of 20 Bishops is worth
more than all the testimonies and
enthusiasm of 20 million faithful.). Mons.
Franic replied: «I think he is contrary.
People from all over the world, even the
Pope, are for Medj. (...) I do not think it is
good to oppose the people like that. (The
theologians would also argue over the
The Bishops have never said that at
Medj. the [form of] prayer is not correct or
that what they preach does not correspond
to the teachings of the Church. In Lourdes,
no commission ever declared that Berna-
dette saw Our Lady. This is not the question
that regards the commission and the
Bishops. All the commission has to do is
clarify the theological question: i.e. if the
messages contain anything that is
contrary to the official teachings of the
Church, to the truth. They do not say this.
A personal memory: my first evening in
Medj. (Dec. 1981) I strongly felt something
there, yet I needed a year before I could say:
yes, I’m convinced. I am convinced that
there is a high level of mysticism here. This
urges me to fight more energically against
the evil in me, so as not to become tepid.
(...) It is easier for me to believe than
not to believe. Not believing would mean
saying the visionaries are liars and that the
priests are tricksters. I couldn’t say that. I
have come to know these people, they are
To the observation that Split has been
spared from the bombings, he said: «I am a
weak man and a weak testimony. The
majority of the priests in my diocese have
not followed me. Only the people have
accepted Medj. in large numbers. If this city
has sinned less than the others, we will only
know that in heaven. For me it is a miracle
that it has been spared, so far. Every good
gift comes from God, this one too.»
In the end Mons. Franic thanked the
Austrian friends for all they’ve done, both
on a spiritual and material level, for the
Croatian population. He concludes: «Our
Lady has been giving us messages for the
last 12 years; let us continue living them. I
thank you for your testimony of truth and
charity that has strengthened our hope...»
We see how the Holy Scripture repeats
itself, but don’t fear: I have won the world ...
My Immaculate Heart will triumph.
In an open letter to the Bishop of
Mostar, with regards to his declaration (see
parentheses in previous article), Stefano
Kutjesa told of the profound bitterness of the
From Nasa Ognjista:
«During an audience in the Vatican, Fr.
Jozo Zovko was told by the Pope: "Save
Medjugorje!" And the Pope has spoken in
favour of Medj. on many other occasions to
the Bishops (always reported by Echo - ed.
note). Can this then be so insignificant?
Is this war not a loud enough call for all
of us - where your predecessor even lost his
curia and cathedral? The Queen of Peace
waited 10 years for us, yet Her messages are
(...) It cannot be without reason that in
the many places where Our Lady appears,
She asks us to pray for the priests and
Bishops, as they are more exposed to the
action of the Evil One. To your declaration I
would say, like Gamaliel: If it comes from
God you will fight against it in vain! (...)»
Mirjana has said more than once that
she spoke with the Pope in private in 1987,
adding that he knew about the 10 secrets
[having been given]. She cannot reveal what
the Pope said, except for: «If I were not the
Pope I would go to Medj.»
Return to origins and pureness of
messages to defeat divisions
On 15 August, feast of the Assumption,
Mons. Hnilica was the main celebrant at
Mass in Medjugorje. The following has
been taken from his homily:
«Medjugorje is too great a gift, it can
never be compromised by personal interests.
It seems that we have not learnt the great
Fatima lesson. In fact, too little attention
has been given to Our Lady’s words to the
three shepherd children. Too few are the
true apostles of this prophetic message that
should have been transmitted in truth and
humility, just the way it was given to us
from heaven. I hope the same thing doesn’t
happen with Medj.! I’m sure I’m not alone
in this, that others also feel the need to
return to the origins - what I would call a
conversion to unity.
Sincere love for the Mother of God and
Her plan for global peace, for total triumph
of Her love over evil, will help us defeat the
divisions that the devil has sown. This love
will help us walk side by side, as brothers of
the same Mother, and no one will think of
themselves as being better than others.
Those who have come to Medj must
become apostles of the Immaculate Heart,
missionaries of reconciliation and unity, at
all costs. We must return to the simplicity
and transparency of the messages of Medj.,
the way they are given at the fount, from the
Mother of God. Hers is a message that does
not need explaining or interpreting, because
it is self-explanatory lived out.
Every prayer group must go to the
fount, and in prayer and charity, live the
messages to the point that they become part
of them. With the help of prayer and
adoration, let us look back at that part of our
spiritual journey so far completed, for which
we are grateful, and discover where we have
not corresponded [to God’s love] and
sincerely ask for pardon.
discovers in Medj.
that Mary does not
steal Jesus’ place!
John Peterson, formerly an Anglican
pastor, and now a Catholic priest tells of
his conversion and how it began under the
silent, but real guidance of Our Lady.
Q. How did you come to be a Catholic
A. Only the Holy Scriptures are
proclaimed in the Anglican Church, but at a
certain point I started discovering the value
of the sacraments, and in particular the
Eucharist. Then I started realizing that the
Anglican doctrine on the question of
authority was not correct. Furthermore, the
discussions on female ordinations made me
feel all the more uncomfortable. And so I
discovered that we were far from the
apostolic truth, and that’s why I could not
keep on being a pastor of the Anglican
Church. But I didn’t know what to do, so I
asked my spiritual director for advice.
He understood and sent me to do
spiritual exercises guided by a Catholic
This encounter really opened my eyes
and in 1983 I was accepted as a lay person
into the Catholic Church. After a few
meetings with the Catholic Bishop he
promised to accept me as a Catholic priest
Keep watch and pray!
It's time we woke up. Now is not the
time to look for "sleep-inducing" excuses
that take us away from the work of keeping
watch! Our Lady beseeches us - let us not
In Pontmain She said - and repeats to
all of us:
« Pray, then, my children. God will not
delay in granting [what you ask]. My Son is
moved [by your prayers]! »
after having done a year’s service in a parish
dedicated to Our Lady.
Q. When did you first hear about
A. I had read about it in a paper and I
immediately felt the desire to go there. Yet,
despite this, I was worried about going to
Our Lady, because in the Anglican tradition
it is feared that She might take away the first
place from Jesus.
So finally, in 1985 a friend accomp-
anied me to Medj. where I remained for 15
days. I observed, participated in the various
functions and I prayed. Those days went by
without any particular experience - neither
negative, nor positive. Before I departed,
though, a thought came to my heart: "Well,
you’ve been here for 15 days, in a Marian
shrine, and you can see that Jesus was
always the central part of everything: Holy
Mass, adoration, confession, conversion,
prayer, fasts. She takes us to Jesus."
From that moment on I stopped being
afraid of Our Lady. I felt profound joy, like
someone who doesn’t know his mother then
suddenly sees her before him. My life has
taken on a new sense, my proposal to be a
priest found confirmation.
Back in Rome I went to [the church of]
St Maria Maggiore and I was overjoyed in
seeing a picture of Jesus crowning Mary
Who was pointing to Her Son. Then I
Q. What happened after this
A. From that day Our Lady became an
important part of my life, both as mother
and teacher. On the 5th July 1987 I was
ordained a priest and the day after I left for
Medjugorje. While there I offered my life
and my priesthood to Our Lady.
In Medjurogjre I was born in the Spirit
and this place will always be my inspiration.
I am unable to think of my priestly life or
my work with the people, without being
deeply bound by this sanctuary.
Q. Why do you think many priests and
bishops still do not recognize the action of
Our Lady here?
A. I cannot but marvel at this! I am
inclined to think that they are afraid of
conversion, that they fear the truth. When
you encounter Medj. you have to change
many things, pray more and truly believe,
because Medj. is all Gospel.
(Taken from Glas Mira, Sept. 1993)
What the Council says about
In no way does the motherly function of
Mary towards men obscure or lessen the
sole mediation of Christ. On the other hand,
it shows its effectiveness. In fact, every
saving influence of the Blessed Virgin upon
men does not impede the immediate contact
of the faithful with Christ, but favours it.
(Lumen Gentium 60)
In this sense, the episode of Cana is an
announcement of Mary’s mediation totally
oriented towards Christ and tending
towards the revelation of His saving power.
Sr. Josipa with refugee children in the school of Listica. These are the fortunate ones!
B O S N I A
still no peace and another
winter advancing fast
Before the dilemma: "unjust peace or
just war," the Muslims failed to sign for the
division of Bosnia into three ethnic zones.
Europe has allowed a sovereign state, which
received full recognition by the international
community, to be invaded and now
dismembered. She has also accepted the
facts and said the aggressor is right. Serbia
needs to come to a conclusion because their
economy is falling to bits due to the
embargo. That’s why the Muslims don’t
agree, or keep on raising the price of peace.
So ethnic cleansing continues amid the
indifference and amid international
complicity. One strikes out, the other strikes
back; revenge begets revenge, massacre
begets massacre. Winter will soon be upon
us and the previsions are catastrophic. Even
trying to help the civilians has become a
risk, with so many ambushes, controls and
unhuman discrimination. It is the ones who
can’t defend themselves, like the women,
the aged and the children, who pay the
We are our brothers’ keepers!
SOS from the refugee centres:
aid is diminishing ... need is growing.
Caritas of Citluk, which has to assist
thousands and thousands of refugees, has
written to express their gratitude for all the
truck-loads that arrive. They add: «Do not
get tired of us. Winter will soon be upon us
again and we’re starting to feel powerless.
The war continues. We’re tired, but we
cannot give up now when there are so many
miserable souls in need of help.
There is need of everything, in
particular food supplies, but lately the aid
has started to diminish. That is why we now
appeal to the charity of each and every man,
especially to the Caritas [centres]...»
(fra Zeljko Grubisic, 12 Oct. 1993)
We add that at Citluk, 5 km from Medj.,
the post and vehicles arrive without trouble.
* Urgent Appeal from the hospital of
Mostar for medical and sanitary
Contact your nearest Medjugorje or
Caritas centre to see how you can best
If you wish to send your donations
through us, please indicate your intention
and make cheques out to: Eco di
Medjugorje, and mail to us at: Casella
Postale 149, 46100 Mantova, Italy.
In GB the Medjugorje Appeal accepts
donations and material. Contact them at
Unit J Lambs Business Park, Tilburstow
Hill Road, South Godstone, Surrey RH9
8JZ, England. Ph. 0342 893230
The Medj. Appeal organizes weekly
voyages to the refugee centres on vehicles
bought by them and donated to the
Franciscans for distribution of aid to people
in need, irrespective of their religion or
nationality. They also promote various
fund-raising activities, such as the sale of
greeting cards and religious books. All
proceeds go to the Appeal. Contact them for
Mercy Int’l in Croatia have a
Children’s Aid Programme, with Sister
Muriel based in Medjugorje, in "Pansion
Martin." For more information contact
Adam or Dave in Zagreb: 041-276-776.
The hearts of Croatian soldiers
The Rosary is a symbol for the Croatian
soldiers. Every soldier carries rosary beads
on them, often around their necks.
I know some who were Communists
before the war, and who had to be if they
wanted to work and move ahead in their
careers, and now they carry rosary beads on
them. It is an external symbol; we don’t
know what goes on in their hearts.
For many soldiers the situation is close
to a miracle. They are full of hope and say
they can win because God is with them, and
Mary is with them. This happens when
things are looking desperate. Their courage
has the aspect of being a charisma and
makes us think of David and Goliath. Most
of the soldiers, of course, don’t want the
war, but they are forced to fight to defend
A journalist once asked a soldier what
he would have done if he came across a
Serbian, kill him or take him prisoner. The
soldier replied: "You know - I would pray
for him to return home and live in peace
with his family, so that I too could go home
to my family and live in peace." Fr. Slavko
* "True Devotion to Mary" by St
Louis De Montfort. Copies can be obtained
from Tan Books and Publishers, Inc.,
Rockford, Ill 61105, USA.
«Do everything without grumbling or
questioning, that you may be blameless and
innocent, children of God without blemish
in the midst of a crooked and perverse
generation, among whom you shine like
lights in the world.»
in a spiritual journey
Recognize God and accept
His life in us
There are some steps which must be
taken in a spiritual journey if you wish to
advance. Lessons and meetings are useless
without these steps that move us from
within. St Paul says: If your lips confess that
Jesus is Lord and if you believe in your
heart that God raised him from the dead,
then you will be saved. By believing from the
heart you are made righteous; by confessing
with your lips you are saved. For scripture
says: "no one who believes in him will be
put to shame." For there is no distinction
between Jew and Greek: the same Lord is
Lord of all, enriching all who call upon him.
For "everyone who calls on the name of the
Lord will be saved" (Rm 10:9-13).
The first step in our journey is
recognizing in our hearts that God is
God, Lord and Master of everything. In
fact, we have lost the sense of reverential
fear in His regards because we are so afraid.
We don’t understand the positive sense of
fearing God. People don’t know anymore
what the difference is between reverential
fear and fear meaning dread.
This confusion spoils the other virtues.
For example a humble person can become a
wretch instead of becoming similar to Our
Lady. The negative side of virtues can make
hope suffocate instead of exploding into a
joyful attendance of the Lord. On the other
hand, fear of God gives you a sense of
responsibility that makes you free before
the Lord. You are able to see His greatness
and this attracts you and elevates you.
The second step is recognizing that
God is Lord because He is master of
every situation. We profess this in the
Creed, but when I say that we must go
forward with this attitude, I am inviting
everyone to understand that you have to
become part of it with the help of prayer.
This is an inner, concrete act which we must
live in a profound sense. It is the same as
when we adore: God is God, so what could I
suggest to Him? Why should I try to
condition Him? God is Lord and everything
belongs to Him, He uses all things for our
In the life of the great Saints He used
them, every bit of them, for their own good,
to guide them to holiness. Accepting this
attitude and living it means becoming free,
where we have no further fear, or worries,
or curiosity about what tomorrow will bring.
For example, some people are worrying
about "when and where it will be when
Jesus comes again" - some saying France,
Hungary, or Italy, and that only those who
go there will be saved! We can’t let these
things worry us! All that matters is being
with Him, that He is my Master, that I have
Him in me. Then my heart will open up, it
will unblock many situations, and inside of
me there will be no more fog and darkness
that gets so cloudy with all the problems.
We will be in the light and we will walk in
It is important that we allow the Lord to
move us forward in every situation. In the
Scriptures it is said that the heart of man
turned lazy closes up, and does not want to
move on. The Prophets came but men did
not want to move or listen. Jesus came, but
men did not move. And Jesus speaks to us
about hardened, loveless hearts: John came,
you know the Scriptures, you know my
works, but you did not move. The soul of
man can tell what God wants, but if the
heart is slow, not wanting to move, it cannot
be elevated. That is why it is important that
we learn to be moved in every prayer.
The Gospel contains a lovely episode,
of a young man who approached Jesus to
ask how he could have eternal life. Jesus
replied: Keep the commandments, and the
young man replied: I have kept all these.
Jesus replied: If you want to be perfect,
leave everything and follow me. But the
young man was saddened, he did not move,
redemption did not enter him.
What is perfect life? How do we get
there? I would like to use this expression: let
your hearts be vivacious, allow the Lord to
keep you vivacious for all His words, that
they may become life. I think that many
prayer groups and communities have a
problem: spiritual laziness. The prayers
are lazy, ritual. There are so many nice
things in the readings and the divine office,
but they don’t move us because we are not
open to being moved, we do not have this
vivacity that the Lord would like to see in
us. It is through this [vivacity] that we can
be moved, the Word of God can transform
us and the Lord in us can do miracles.
The Scriptures say: All those who
believe in Him will not be disappointed.
And: All those who invoke His name are
saved. See what prayer means: from
openness in faith and hope we invoke the
Lord and are saved. This is the power of
Yet todate, we haven’t even tasted this
power because we are unable even to
assume those things that come from
knowing: God is God, Lord and Master of
all situations. We have not experienced it
because we are locked in by our own ways
of seeing things, our own ideas, and this
impedes us from being free, like the
Scriptures teach us.
So, we must reach the stage where
our prayer is alive, to what we have called
inner vivacity. This cannot be exchanged for
a show of affection or an inner explosion.
What I am thinking of is an inner vivacity
like when our spirit is entirely free and in
our soul there is live faith, live hope, live joy
and live security. Like that our being will be
saved. Let us listen to St Paul again: If your
lips confess that Jesus is Lord and in your
heart you believe that God raised Him from
the dead, then you will be saved. This
openness will allow us to see God as God,
Lord and Master.
For the third step we must read what
St Paul says in his first letter to the
When I was a child, I used to talk like a
child, and think like a child, and argue like
a child, but now I am a man, all childish
ways are put behind me. Now we are seeing
a dim reflection in a mirror; but then we
shall be seeing face to face. The knowledge
that I have now is imperfect; but then I shall
know as fully as I am known. In short, there
are three things that last: faith, hope and
love; and the greatest of these is love (1 Co
For our last step, if we wish to see the
way open right up to the end, we are left
with pure love. Like St Bernard said: I love
for to love - and it is here that the free man
When we are with God in this manner,
we are one, and all the power that is in God,
like a live current, passes through us.
Sixteen year-old after
disastrous voyage to Denver:
«I saw the Pope, it was heaven!»
In confirmation of what we said
regarding the grace that many young people
received during the World Youth Day with
Pope John Paul II, we publish a letter from
our distributor in the US.
«Our 16 year old son Stephen came
back from Denver just radiant. To see the
Pope he went from Washington D.C. to
Denver by bus with a group of about 40
young people who belong to Opus Dei.
It was a stressful trip. The bus broke
down during the night, leaving them out in
the cold for hours on end while it was being
repaired. By day it was steaming hot, the
food was bad and they were short of water.
At night they slept on the floor of an old
supermarket that had been opened for the
occasion, and overcrowded with thousands
of teenagers. To get from one place to
another they walked mile upon mile.
I asked him if he saw the Pope. He
replied: "Mum, there was a tiny white spot
right down the end, and I knew that was the
"Well, could you hear him?" I asked. "I
listened over the radio, but they didn’t
broadcast in English, so I listened to the
"You look so happy Stephen!" I
exclaimed, to which he replied: "Mum, it
was like being in heaven! When the Pope
goes to Manila in 1995 I want to be there.
Mum, I’ve just got to be there! It was so
beautiful, it was just heaven."
"And was everyone else as happy as
you?" "We were all happy Mum, we
were all with the Pope."»
(Giovanna Ellis, 31 Aug. 1993)
St Paul encourages us:
Who can separate us from God’s love?
Neither death, nor persecution, nor hunger.
Nothing can separate us from God’s love;
but in all these things we are more than
winners by virtue of the One Who loved us.
At the core of all this is our openness to
receiving love, an immense love that exists
for you, so you can be in the light.
No teacher, meeting or book can help us
if we do not put the following things into
practice: recognize inside of us that God is
God, Lord and Master; be vivacious in our
prayer life and in our encounter with Him;
If we knew how to love with a pure
heart, there would not be scandals among
us. We would not feel offended by
humiliations, for these are precious for our
purification; we would not feel burdened
when our Lord entrusts us with a cross,
for we know that it is for this that we are
Fr. Tomislav Vlasic (21 Aug. 1993)
* «An excellent practice of gentleness
is to never be vexed at ourselves or against
When we are overcome by anger, we
are angry at being angy, vexed at being
vexed, fretful at being fretful. By this
means, we keep our hearts steeped and
soaked in anger. (...)
We must have a peaceful, calm and
firm displeasure at our faults.»
From "Introduction" by St Francis De
Should Echo change style?
We show our cards!
Amid the chorus of praise and "thank
you's" that we receive every day from our
many readers in Italy and all over the world
(and that we offer up to Mary, for the merit
is all Hers), we also receive letters from
people who are not so enthusiastic.
A priest, a friend of ours from Verona,
wrote to refer the critical remarks he has
heard spoken by some of our readers, who
would prefer Echo to be «like in the
beginning ... with shorter articles ... maybe
with less pages - with simpler articles ... it
was easier to read, and contained more
enthusiasm time back.»
Above all let it be clear that we are
aware of our limits, and we accept the fact
that we can’t make everybody happy. But
we have to respond to the needs of those
who await Echo like "manna" to help them
live Mary’s proposals in this time of aridity,
and to those who use Echo for meditation all
month long, like in the convents, prayer
groups, parishes and missions. Others just
look out for newsy articles, and we do
report the various news items each month.
There is plenty of material for all tastes we
feel, but we cannot neglect one type of
reader to please only another type.
Echo is not thought out around a table,
but it’s as if Our Lady prepares it for us
through the material that readers send in in
abundance: news, discourses, testimonies,
queries, problems, particular needs,
announcements. That way we get to know
what is expected of those who are sincerely
interested in Echo.
You say: "once it was easier to read
and more enthusiastic," but we point out
that times have changed. After 10 years we
can’t create an artificial repertoire so we can
re-experience those emotions we felt in the
beginning when coming across the signs,
the visionaries, the crowds ... for they’re not
there anymore. That is why we do not linger
over what seems more like star worshipping
Looking upon the things of Medj. in the
manner of before reflects a situation which
is widespread among those who have not
fully accepted the message of conversion, or
even discovered life. They regret a time of
exterior exaltations and glitter that made us
all feel good. But should Echo serve and
nourish this artificial interest in Medjugorje?
The reason for Echo’s being is to assist
the work of the Holy Spirit Who wants to
move people’s souls, to save the world. So
there’s no room for anything extraneous to
The events of the last 2 years have
separated us from that blessed land; and
now Mary is waiting for us to make
progress in our conversion, by living Her
messages - not still wanting baby milk, but
desiring food for adults (cf. Hb 5:13-14).
Echo too, in this time of "good Friday,"
must satisfy those who wish to nourish their
souls more profoundly, for they lack some-
one who nourishes them (see Echo 94, 100).
We cannot sacrifice the essence for the
sake of making it shorter, less committing or
easier to accept. Taking Fr. Tomislav’s
meditations for example, yes, they are long,
but they are also eagerly awaited for, going
by what our translators say too. Of course,
those without the spirit, must find them
and other meditations a bore. And the
Pope’s magisterial discourses, of which we
Marija and Paolo on their wedding day
only report the essential, are awaited
anxiously by our brothers and sisters abroad
where often they do not otherwise get to
hear them. When one wishes to walk with
the Church, these give security.
Then what about the number of copies
that come off the press each month - and
that continues to grow, both in Italy and
abroad? Should we then exchange this with
something more superficial, more attractive,
that whets only skin-deep curiosity?
With regards to the typographical
deficiencies: we cannot do otherwise since
Echo is free, and the abundant material must
be squeezed into 8 pages, and this costs
more than 60 million lire each month! Other
religious and missionary magazines
(illusrated) are financed differently, but
Echo is free! We do not ask anyone for
money, yet so far the needed sum has not
failed to arrive each month. From whom?
This is a sign; a blessing. This, together
with the many testimonies from our readers,
is enough for us to continue on this way.
LATEST NEWS (Fr. Slavko on Radio
Maria, 25 Oct. 1993) - The month of
October in Medj. was like the days before
the war. Today there are more than 1,000
pilgrims here: from France, Italy, Germany,
Austria, Poland, Hungary, England, Ireland,
the US and Colombia. I spoke to more than
300 French pilgrims today, who brought
supplies with them. We did a peace march
with them from Humac to Medjugorje, and
around 3 pm the Parish Priest greeted them.
This evening the church was full. So in
spite of the great sufferings near us, Medj. is
reborn, and as each day passes, it becomes
more obvious that Medj. is work of the
With regards to the war, this unfort-
unately continues, and though less intense,
towns and villages are still being destroyed
and there seems to be no end. Let us decide
to pray the way Mary asks.
Visionaries Vicka, Mirjana, Ivanka and
Jakov are in Medj.
ECHO IN OTHER LANGUAGES
Italian: Eco di Medj., C.P. 149, 46100 Mantova, Italy.
English: Echo of Medjugorje, Casella Postale 27,
31030 Bessica (TV), Italy. Fax # 0423-470331.
French: Echo de Medj., 18 Allée Thévenot, 39100
Dole, France. German: Medj. 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: a) Gilberto
Correia, rua de Brito 24, 4915 Vila Praia de Ancona,
(ph.911181), Portugal; b) Servos da Rainha, Caixa
p.02576, 70279-970 Brasilia DF, Brazil. Dutch: Int.
Medj. Comité afd. Nederland-Belgie, Misericorde-
plein 12C, 6211 XK Maastricht, Holland. Polish:
Czeslawa Mirkiewicz, ul.Ign. Krasickiego 21a/3,
PL30-515 Krakow-Podgorze, Poland; Russian:
Dom Marji, Plotnikov 3, 121002 Moscow, Russia;
Czech: Medzugorské ozveny, Ilbenstädter, Str 6, D-
60385 Frankfurt, Germany. Magyar: Fraternitas,
1399 Budapest, p.f. 701/85, Hungary. fax: 36-
2176183 Romanian: Ecou Din Medjugorje, P.O.Box
41-132, 72124 Bucharest, Romania. Greek: Soeur
Despina de la St Croix, 69 Rue Epirou, Agia
Paraskave, 15341 Athens, Greece.
Distributors: USA: a) Peter Miller, POB 2720-230,
Huntington Beach CA 92647. Ph 714-9637240. Fax
9631432; b) Giovanna Ellis: 9809 Stoneybrook Dr,
Kensington MD 20895. Ph. 301-5883198; Canada:
Giuseppe Bozzo, 8324 Nicolas Leblanc, Montreal
Que H1E 3W5, Ph: 648-3420. Philippines: Raquel
D. De Leon, POB 789, 1099 Manila. Spain: Josè L.
Lopez de S. Roman, Ap.246, Palencia, Spain.
Australasia (all editions): Medjugorje Sentinel,
P.O.B. 531, Drummoyne NSW 2047, Australia.
IMPORTANT - Echo is free
If you would like to make a donation,
you may send your cheques to Echo of
Medjugorje, at our address in Italy, or if you
prefer, through your local distributor who
will forward them on to us.
When communicating with us please be
sure to use the same name as on your
address label to avoid confusion on our
part. It would be of great help if you could
pop a label into the envelope when you
write. If you want extra copies just let us
know. We greatly appreciate your
At times we receive requests for
material other than Echo. We're sorry to say
that we have no other literature besides
Echo. Medj. centres often carry other
material, or know where to obtain it. Try
contacting the one nearest you.
Echo begins its 10th year
On the 21st November, Echo will be 9
years old, and will start its 10th year. Our
gratitude goes to God and Mary! As one
reader wrote, we are happy to be a little
stone in the hands of the Almighty One
(new David) to help defeat the new
The message continues making its way
around the world. Some fires die out, others
light up. Mary’s appeal is reaching virgin
lands which respond generously - a sign
that the tree is fertile.
We thank all those people who help by
spreading Mary’s messages: a network that
reaches out to the whole world. The
Spanish Echo is being reproduced in
Colombia by Fr. Querubin, a Capuchin, in
4,000 copies, and 2,000 copies in Truijllo in
Peru and Toluca in Mexico.
We entrust Elizabeth Varga from
Budapest to the Heart of Our Lady. Despite
her illness, she wanted to finish the
translation of Echo 106 before going into
hospital for an operation on 22 October. She
is hoping to translate Echo 107 from her bed
in the hospital.
A thank you for all the donations
received todate. We are prepared to publish
a 4-page Echo to reduce the costs - unless
God calls us to live the messages and not
just repeat them on paper (cf. new message).
We put God’s will to the test then, and
also that of the readers.
Together with all the Saints, we bless
you in the name of the Father, and the Son,
and the Holy Spirit.
Sped.Abb.Post.3/70,Aut.Trib.Mant.#13,8.11.86; Legal Dir: A. Lanzani; Printed by DIPRO Italy, Fax: 0422-840408