Our Lady’s message of 25 July 1995
Dear children, Today too I am calling
you to prayer because it is only through
prayer that you can understand my
coming here. The Holy Spirit will enlighten
you in prayer so you will understand that
you must convert. My dear children, I
wish to make of you a beautiful bouquet
prepared for eternity, but you do not want
to accept the way of conversion - the way
of salvation - that I am offering you
through these apparitions. Pray, my
children and continue to turn your hearts
to God and come to me - that good may
exceed bad. I love you and I bless you.
Thank you for responding to my call.
You do not accept the way
of conversion. Go back to
prayer and understand
In the first message after 14 years of
apparitions, Mary again tells us the reason
for Her coming: that we convert from a way
of perversion or one that may seem Christian
but does not please God. She has offered
each of us a way of conversion and opened
up a real school for us to go back to living
the essential of the Gospel. In fact, in the very
beginning She said: I desire staying with you
to convert you and reconcile you with the
whole world (26 June 1981).
She tells us anew that to convert it takes
prayer; after, we’ll understand everything.
But it is so easy to forget, to become tired,
to weaken before the wordly ways that
surround us. Praying is opening ourselves to
God and being receptive to His will so that
He can transform us the way He wants. Then
we can ask for everything and expect every-
thing from Him. Only in prayer can you
understand the reason behind my coming,
which is this radical change in our hearts.
Mary, in all Her femininity, makes use of
the lovely image of a bouquet of flowers
which She desires presenting to Her Son for
all eternity, and which She has committed
Herself to doing. The flowers are the saints
She wants to turn us into to, now in this time
of general confusion, together with the souls
She will have saved from eternal damnation
through our help. Not flowers that wilt the
day after, but which remain beautiful forever,
for: the victors will inherit the gifts of God
and only holiness shall enter the gates of
heaven (cf. Rev 21:7, 22:4-15).
But: You do not want to accept the way
of conversion which God offers you
through my apparitions. Our Lady is
talking to us. Yes, we who listen to Her
message each month without making any
progress, or even worse, slide back. She
refers to the Parish which should have been
a bouquet to perfume the world, together
with us, the friends of Medjugorje. Yes, we
must seriously reflect and change our ways.
All the same, our Blessed Mother silently
St Joseph House, Medugorje: The Queen of Peace and the miracle of the sun (courtesy MIR)
continues to model a wonderful garland in
Medjugorje before our very eyes. They are
Her children who day by day grow up under
Her guidance. They are part of families and
communities who live out Her messages. Are
we among them?
My children, She says, pray and
continue to convert your hearts. She says
continue so we won’t think that we have
already converted. Conversion is an on-
going process which lasts all our life. Those
who do not move on, move back.
Come close to ME! Our Mother is
untiring in Her efforts to save us! Yes, She
says, come to me with children’s hearts, even
when you are unfaithful, when you fall, are
tempted, discouraged and even when you
have an aversion to all that is good. But how?
With sincere repentance, by renewing our
consecration, with the Rosary, with a visit to
a shrine or chapel in Her honour, with an act
of charity. All this will put us back in Her
embrace and She will be able to help us start
back on our journey: Help me to help you!
That good may exceed bad. When we
return to our Blessed Mother the grace we
receive from God through Her is so beneficial
that it exceeds all the bad we have ever done.
When we go to Her we find Jesus; He is our
forgiveness, our remedy, our healing. He
even turns bad into good. He can raise up
children to Abraham from stones and give
sinners the strength to become saints. And
our Mother’s unfailing love and blessing
will continue to bear its fruits.
30 April 1984: Mary explains why She
did not give a message the previous Thursday:
Though I had special messages for the parish
to awake the faith of every believer, I do not
wish to force anyone to anything he doesn’t
feel or doesn’t want. Only a very small
number have accepted the messages. ... And
some have been asking recently for the
message only out of curiosity, and not out
of faith and devotion to my Son and me.
Our Lady’s message of 25 August 1995
Dear children, Today I invite you to
prayer. May prayer be life for you. A
family cannot say it is at peace if it does
not pray. So, begin your morning with
morning prayer and end your evening
with thanksgiving. My children, I am with
you and I love you, and I bless you, and
I desire that each of you be in my embrace.
You cannot be in my embrace if you are
not ready to pray every day. Thank you
for responding to my call!
No Peace in Family
Are we surprised by Our Lady's continual
calls to prayer? Do we think other things are
more important, more interesting? If so, our
prayer is not true prayer. If we truly prayed,
we would understand that prayer is our only
necessity and that the rest comes on its own.
We would understand that without prayer
we could not live. But spiritual things are
only understood by those who live a spiritual
life or whose hearts are opento a spiritual life.
Some may say: "I always say my
prayers," or, "I pray a lot and always go to
Mass." Saying prayers and praying is not the
same thing. There is a difference between the
essence of prayer and the style of the prayer.
Praying is wanting to meet God, to be in
Him with your heart, your mind and your
attention so He may transmit to you His life
which is love, and his peace and joy. Only
He said I am the life. The more you pray so,
the more you receive the flow of God’s life
and the more your life takes on a new
dimension. Then everything falls back into
the correct order established by God.
We shall have no worries, since God sees
that we receive all that we need. When we
persevere in prayer we discover that God has
always done the best thing for us, even when
He took something from us or
»» page 8
ECO di MARIA
Regina della Pace
September 1995 - Yr 11 #7 - Mary's Seven Dolours. Original Italian edition: Eco di Maria RdP, CP 149,
I-46100 Mantova. All mail to: Echo of Mary, Casella Postale 26, I-31030 Bessica (TV), Italy
Formerly Echo of Medjugorje
"That they may all be one!"
Search for unity is not
compromise of truth
but return to the Church
wanted by Christ
The Pope’s inspired encyclicle Ut unum
sint on ecumenical work intends orienting us
towards facing the "laborious" ecumenical
question in a serious and just manner. That
all children be one is the explicit will of
Christ (Jn 17:21) and the contents of His
prayer to the Father (Ephesians 2:14-16).
For this to be fulfilled, Christians must
be more concrete and profess together the
same truth about the Cross . The Cross! An
anti-Christian outlook seeks to minimize the
Cross, to empty it of its meaning, and to deny
that in it man has the source of his new life.
It pretends that the Cross is unable to
provide either vision or hope. Man, it says,
is nothing but an earthly being, who must live
as if God did not exist (no. 1). So at stake
in the ecumenical question is the credibility
of faith in today's world so closed to God.
The first thing we must do is to begin
listening to God, to give Him credit and our
time. This is simply the conversion of hearts.
United in the one and only truth:
compromising faith goes against God -
The encyclicle lists three elements necessary
to ecumenical work. The first is conversion
(15-17), the second is fundamental
importance of doctrine (18-20) and the third
is primacy of prayer (21-27).
Conversion is the essentail element in
accepting the Gospel in every age and place.
It is the fundamental need for evangelization
at every stage of the Church’s journey of
salvation. This part of the document closely
follows the reasoning in the document by the
Second Vatican Council: Unitatis Redinte-
gratio. We think it important and urgent,
though - given the times - to spend time on
the question regarding the doctrine, the only
criterion on which the search for unity can
be founded, and the objective truth which
is universally valid.
Catholics today are quick to judge
positive and useful the "aperture" to other
Christian faiths which put certain principal
elements of the Catholic faith aside, such
as the Eucharist, the Immaculate
Conception and the Primacy of Peter. But
what is left after this theological "pruning"?
Only a vague religious socialism where the
watchword is "busy oneself." Let’s see what
the Pope says: It is not a question of altering
the deposit of faith, changing the meaning of
dogmas, eliminating essential words from
them, accommodating truth to the preferences
of a particular age, or suppressing certain
articles of the Creed under the false pretext
that they are no longer understood today.
The unity willed by God can be attained only
be the adherence of all to the content of
revealed faith in its entirety. In matters of
faith, compromise is in contradiction with
God who is Truth. In the Body of Christ, "the
way, and the truth, and the life" (Jn 14:6),
who could consider legitimate a reconciliation
brought about at the expense of the truth?
Prayer produces unity - A clear
perception of the foundations of our faith is
had in prayer which permits us to understand
what being "catholic" is. Prayer is the
instrument of communion because it unites
hearts around Christ and brings them all
close to the one and only Teacher (Mt 23:8).
If Christians meet more often and more
regularly before Christ in prayer, they will
be able to gain the courage to face all the
painful human reality of their divisions, and
they will find themselves together once more
in that community of the Church which
Christ constantly builds up in the Holy Spirit,
in spite of all weaknesses and human
Ecumenical dialogue - With conversion
and prayer as foundation, dialogue can
begin. The Pope, however, tells us how
dialogue - an ambiguous word in the present
ecclesial language - must be carried forth as
though it were an examination of conscience.
One of the strong points of John Paul II’s
magisterium is just that: revising Church
history to throw light on arguments which
have been placed aside, or on obscure points,
to show that the objective truth of the
Church/Body of Christ is not at all diminished
or altered by errors that some of her members
have committed. The launching pad for
dialogue must necessarily be the impassioned
search for the truth of the Church. In Ut
unum sint we read: Truth forms consciences
and directs efforts to promote unity. It
demands that the consciences and actions of
Christians, as brethren divided from one
another, should be inspired by and submissive
to Christ’s prayer for unity. (33)
The minds and hearts of all need to be
much more open if we wish to forget the
censures and various moral judgements of
Church events. All the sins of the world were
gathered up in the saving sacrifice of Christ,
including the sins committed against the
Church’s unity: the sins of Christians, those
of the pastors no less than those of the lay
faithful. Even after the many sins which have
contributed to our historical divisions,
Christian unity is possible, provided that we
are humbly conscious of having sinned
against unity and are convinced of our need
for conversion. Not only personal sins must
be forgiven and left behind, but also social
sins, which is to say the sinful "structures"
themselves which have contributed and can
still contribute to divisions and to the
reinforcing of division. (34)
For some time the Pope has been doing
all he can to open the way, to restore
relations, and the fruits of these efforts are
presented in the encyclical from nos. 41-76.
The most profitable way, or rather the only
way, for a positive outcome is that Christian
Communities examine themselves before the
Father and ask themselves whether they have
been faithful to his plan for the Church. (82)
The saints demonstrate with their lives
what the meaning is of this search for unity
which is trying to be like Christ. In fact, they
have preserved an attachment to Christ and
to the Father so radical and absolute as to
lead even to the shedding of blood. But is not
this same attachment at the heart of what I
have called a "dialogue of conversion,"
which clearly shows the need for an ever
more profound experience of the truth if full
communion is to be attained? (83)
The Pope has made the above principle
his pastoral method and an example comes
from his recent visit to Slovakia where after
having canonized three Catholic martyrs he
paid homage to the Calvinist martyrs in an
act of reconciliation that goes beyond the
usual formal talks on aperture and tolerance.
At the present moment the only ecumenism
possible is in a new form of freedom and
charity in relations. A common error is a
form of doctrinal ecumenism which obscures
the truth of the faith.
(Next month: What Ut unum sint says about
the Primacy of the Bishop of Rome.)
Pope pays homage to Calvinist
martyrs - Lutherans moved -
recent visit to Slovakia the Pope canonized
three priests (one Polish, one Hungarian and
one Croatian) who had been tortured by the
Calvinists in an attempt to make them deny
their Catholic faith and then brutally murdered
(1619 in Kosice). This decision [to canonize]
reignited a 500 year-old conflict. Lutherans
and Calvinists of Slovakia asked the Pope to
acknowledge also the 24 Calvinist martyrs of
Presov killed 60 years later by Catholic
princes, defenders of the Papacy. The Catholic
Bishops of the Slovak region also thought it
apt to give them recognition. In his homily of
the Mass of canonization of the three Catholic
martyrs the Pope did acknowledge the spiritual
grandeur of the 24 faithful belonging to the
Evangelical Church who were killed in Presov
and "whom the Church praises and admires."
The Pope went beyond this formal act
when, five hours later in Presov, he silently
prayed, in the rain, in front of the monument
erected to honour the 24 Calvinist martyrs. It
was the Pope's personal decision to do this.
The Lutheran bishop, Jan Midriak, was
present. He thanked the Pope and prayed an
Our Father with him. He later confessed: "We
never thought something like this could
happen. We greatly appreciate it."
* Partriarch of Constantinople in
Rome on feast of Sts Peter and Paul -
Orthodox and Catholic Churches
symbolically united. The Liturgy of the
Word was celebrated together in the hope
that soon they will be able to "celebrate that
of the common chalice." They both blessed
the crowd of pilgrims from the balcony of
St Peter’s. In his inspired homily the Patriarch,
Bartholomew I, called all to "humility and
repentance, the prime virtues of Christians,"
and the Pope spoke of the urgent need to
advance together towards the third
millennium in prayer, dialogue and
Some Sacraments can be given to
Catholics by Orthodox Church
- At the
General Audience of 9 August, the Pope
spoke of the great positive values of the
Eastern Churches, for which Catholics are
The Pope said how the Eastern Churches
have real Sacraments, above all Priesthood
and the Eucharist. As is written in the recent
ecumenical Directory he also confirmed that
"when a Catholic is unable to reach a Catholic
priest, he may receive the Sacraments of
Penance, the Eucharist and Unction of the
infirm from a minister of an Eastern Church.
Likewise, Catholic ministers may lawfully
administer these three Sacraments to Eastern
Christians when requested."
250 Anglican pastors ask to become
- Besides the considerable
number of Anglican faithful who have asked
to be received into the Catholic Church, 250
Anglican pastors (the number is growing)
have asked to be re-ordained into the Catholic
Church as priests. A rapid procedure has been
conceded for their passage and three Bishops
from the Episcopal Conference of England
and Wales have been chosen to examine the
requests case by case. Two years of study and
doctrinal and theological formation is necessary
before re-ordination. Those Anglican pastors
who are married will remain married. The two
Sacraments, marriage and priesthood, will be
united and neither will diminish the other. The
married pastors will be entrusted with tasks
in the field of education and schooling, or
placed to minister in chapels of hospitals or
jails, etc., but none will become parish priests.
In a letter read out in all the churches,
Cardinal Hume spoke of the reasons behind
the break with the Anglican Church: "It was
not just the ordination of women, but the
problem concerning authority within their
Church that convinced them to be in full
communion with the Church of Rome... It is
important to remember that these Anglicans
were trying to lead a Catholic life within the
Church of England. The ministry of these
priests will enrich the Catholic Church... The
Holy Father has asked us to be generous with
them and we are certain that the Catholics will
welcome and appreciate the new priests..."
What Islam can tell us
- With regards
to the large mosque recently inaugurated in
Rome, writer and priest Gianni Baget Bozzo
who no less than a year ago returned to being
in full communion with his Church, writes:
"Islam will challenge us on religious fronts.
The mosque in Rome tells us that sooner or
later in Italy Islam will become the second
largest confession, which it already is in
France. This challenge on the divine and
eternal could turn out to be useful in a catholic
world reduced to social structures and
oppressed by secularism. If religion is making
a come-back in the West it is of a popular
kind, having nothing to do with intellectual
catholicism witnessed in the post-council
years. Radio Maria is a more authentic
response than the many courses of theology
which have substituted metaphysics (the
study of the first principles) with hermeneutics
(pure interpretive analysis) and mystics with
psychoanalysis. I must say that I have never
seen a Muslim on the bed of a psychoanalyst,
whether Freudian, Jungian or whatever. We
are challenged by Islam. It is possible that this
shall remind us of the sense of reality of God
and eternal life." (30 Giorni, August 1995)
United for the Triumph of the
- It is felt that all Marian
movements should be united for the triumph
of Mary’s Immaculate Heart. Help my
Immaculate Heart to triumph in this sinful
world Our Lady said in Medjugorje (25.9. 91).
Many of the Bishops who have been to
Medjugorje, including John Carberry, Michael
Pfeiffer, Sylvester Treinen and Nicholas
D’Antonio have indicated Msgr. Paul Hnilica
as the most appropriate person to head such
unification. Archbishop Franic of Split
declares: "I join those bishops who believe in
the unification of Marian movements to
accomplish that for which Jesus prayed at the
Last Supper: "That all may be one as you,
Father, are in me and I in you."
The most suitable person to guide this
movement of unity at this time is Bishop
Hnilica, the Pope's great friend and confidant.
He knows the world’s principal languages, is
familiar with the present world situation, he
Pope insists on
for a more human society
A silence heavy with guilt pervades the
air for the lack of information on the World
Conference on Women to be held in Beijing
(Peking) this September. If it weren’t for the
talks and information that John Paul II has
been giving over the last six months the
conference would probably go unobserved.
We cannot overlook the escalating rate of
voilence against women. Everywhere, every
day, openly and not so openly, women are
the objects of rape and violence. Deep
wounds are inflicted upon them, often amid
total indifference on the international scene.
Despite the many words, little is done to
improve the condition of women and
guarantee them equal opportunities in the
workforce, society, politics and the family.
The Church too, the Pope admits, has erred
in the past.
Mrs Gertrude Mongella, Secretary
General of the Conference, speaks about her
recent visit to the Vatican: "The Church in
general and the Pope in particular have been
depicted as the main adversary in the world
conference on women. During my visit,
though, I was able to see how the Pope is
first of all an excellent listener and, secondly,
he truly is interested in helping others defend
their rights. He gave me an eight-page letter
in which he says that women’s success cannot
exist if first their dignity as people is not
asserted. This surprised me, because it is the
precise meaning of the conference of Beijing.
If all thought like him perhaps there would
be no need for such meetings."
A thank you to women - The following
is an extract from the Pope’s Letter to
Women. "... The Church desires for her part
to contribute upholding the dignity, role and
rights of women... 'The Church desires to
give thanks to the Most Holy Trinity for the
mystery of woman and for every woman, for
the great works of God, which thoughout
human history have been accomplished in
and through her’ (MD31). Thank you,
women who are mothers, wives and daughters,
to you who are sisters and you who work.
Thank you consecrated women. Thank you,
every woman, for the simple fact of being
a woman! Through the insight which is so
much a part of your womanhood you enrich
the world’s understanding and help to make
human relations more honest and authentic.
I know that simply saying thank you is
not enough. Unfortunately, we are heirs to
a history which has conditioned us to a
remarkable extent. In every time and place
this conditioning has been an obstacle to the
progress of women. Women’s dignity has
often been unacknowledged and their
prerogatives misrepresented; they have often
been relegated to the margins of society and
even reduced to servitude. This has prevented
them from truly being themselves and it has
resulted in a spiritual impoverishment of
humanity... If objective blame, especially in
particular historical contexts, has belonged to
not just a few members of the Church, for
this I am truly sorry. May this regret be
transformed, on the part of the whole
Church, into a renewed commitment of
fidelity to the Gospel vision. When it comes
to setting women free from every kind of
exploitation and domination, the Gospel
contains an ever relevant message which
goes back to the attitude of Jesus Christ
himself. Transcending the established norms
of his own culture, Jesus treated women with
openness, respect, acceptance and tenderness.
In this way he honoured the dignity which
women have always possessed.
I am convinced that the secret of making
speedy progress in achieving full respect for
women and their identity involves more than
condemning discrimination and injustices...
Our ability to recognize this dignity comes
from the use of reason... and the word of God
in particular enables us to grasp clearly the
ultimate anthropological basis of the dignity
The Book of Genesis uses a language
which is poetic and symbolic, yet it is
profoundly true: God created man in his own
image, in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them. Even
though man is surrounded by the innumerable
creatures of the created world, he realizes that
he is alone. God intervenes in order to help
him escape from this situation of solitude: It
is not good that the man should be alone;
I will make him a helper fit for him. The
creation of woman is thus marked from the
outset by the principle of help: a help which
is not one-sided, but mutual. Woman
complements man, just as man
To this 'unity of the two' God has
entrusted not only the work of procreation
and family life, but the creation of history
itself. The Beijing Conference provides an
auspicious occasion for heightening
awareness of the many contributions made
by women to the life of whole societies and
nations. This contribution is primarily spiritual
and cultural in nature, but socio-political and
economic as well. More important is the
social and ethical dimension, which deals
with human relations and spiritual values. In
this area, society certainly owes much to the
"genius of women."
I would like to express particular
appreciation to those women who are involved
in the various areas of education extending
well beyond their family. Wherever the work
of education is called for, we can note that
women are ever ready and willing to give
themselves generously to others, especially
in serving the weakest and most defenceless.
In this work they exhibit a kind of affective,
cultural and spiritual motherhood which has
inestimable value for the development of
individuals and the future of society.
The Church sees in Mary the highest
expression of the feminine genius. Putting
herself at God’s service she also put herself
at the service of others: a service of love. For
her, to reign is to serve, to serve is to reign.
In this perspective of "service" one can
also appreciate that the presence of a certain
diversity of roles is in no way prejudicial to
knows well the situation of the Church and is
in full communion with the Holy Father.
Many apostolates have joined in unity for
this great Mission under the guidance of
Bishop Hnilica. The list is very long and
includes major movements world wide.
Information: United for the Triumph of the
Immaculate Heart, P.O. Box 1110, Notre
Dame, Indiana 46556, USA.
News from the blessed land
Eucharistic peace march and
14th anniversary of apparitions
This year the peace march was a real
Eucharistic procession. It left Humac on 24
August early in the morning to avoid the high
sun with Fr. Slavko leading the procession
and various priests taking turns to carry the
Eucharist. Vicka was also present. She was
gravely ill a month ago and in a coma for
a few days, and now here she is, praying the
seven Our Fathers, Hail Marys and Glory
Be’s in a clear, strong voice.
Agostino led the excellent singing.
Interpreters were present to translate Fr.
Slavko’s reflections. Storms broke out all
around along the 15 km walk, also in
Medjugorje, but the procession itself seemed
particularly protected. Three hours and forty
minutes later at the shrine everyone was
singing the hymn to the Queen of Peace. Fr.
Ivan met the procession and the Eucharistic
blessing was imparted by Fr. Slavko.
In the afternoon there was a violent storm
with hail. Pilgrims on Podbrdo were caught
in this. The evening Mass could not be
celebrated outside so many had to protect
themselves as best they could during another,
but final heavy downfall. The Magnificat and
the seven Our Fathers, Hail Marys and Glory
Be’s were recited at the end of the Mass with
the visionaries. From beneath the tent Marija
spoke to the Italian pilgrims while interpreters
translated for the many Brazilian and Polish
pilgrims. Many young people from the East
then spent the night under the tent.
25 June, the feast day. It is calculated
that about 30,000 pilgrims were present at
the shrine of the Queen of Peace. The largest
number of pilgrims from abroad were from
Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and
America. The Australian group was led by
retired Bishop, Henry Kennedy. The evening
celebration, solemn and grandiose, was
headed by Fr. Rupcic and concelebrated by
120 priests. Fr. Jozo guided a moving prayer
of healing at the end, and Fr. Slavko read out
the message in various languages.
(From the notes of Alberto Bonifacio)
Indeed a hot youth
festival! Who knows if in
the future a bit of fresh air
will make its way also
into the giant tent, as it
did for the church with
air conditioning! More
than 1,000 young people
were present for the
festival. Most of them
came from the East:
Czechs and Slovaks, but
there were also large
numbers of Italians,
French, Americans and
* The Pope in Medjugorje? - In June
the president of Croatia, Dr. Franjo Tudjman,
visited Australia and New Zealand. On June
25 he met with the Croatians of Sydney.
Having received information that the Pope
wishes to visit Medj. he said on that occasion:
"The Catholic Church has played a central
role in the history of the Croatian people. It
has also been with the people in today’s time
of rebirth." (from Slobodan Dalmacija) [We
have learnt that on 31 May the Holy Father
said to a British group visiting Rome: "Pray
that I may go to Medjugorje this year."] But
man keeps on obstructing the Pope’s steps!
Eucharistic Peace March. Note: Marika, Milona, Fr. Slavko, Fr. Carmelo
with Blessed Sacrament, Vicka and Fr. Tarcisio (courtesy Bonifacio)
* Australian Bishop Henry Kennedy,
here for the third time, moved around
wearing all the signs of his episcopal office.
He said he simply felt in his heart that he had
to do it that way. He wishes for the Church
to recognize Medjugorje as soon as possible
like Fatima and Lourdes. He feels peace here
and a certain agreeable, friendly flow between
people that he would like to see in Australia.
He regrets that many untruths have been
circulated and he wishes for the Croatian
people to succeed in their just struggle.
* Fr. Slavko’s missionary voyages - On
3 July he was in Prague where he blessed the
Verite publishing house in the grounds of a
convent. This convent had been turned into
a jail during the Communist regime, and it
is where the actual president, Vaclav Havel,
had been imprisoned. The prayers and Mass
of the Medj. programme were led by Fr.
Slavko in the parish church of Kyov and the
former house of culture which had been used
for the Marxist education centre and party
meetings. After his visit to Ratiskovice and
Karline, he participated in the talks on
European parishes where 4 bishops, 140
priests and a large number of religious and
laity were present. Following the solemn
Mass (and the rest of the Medjugorje
programme) Fr. Slavko said how he sees that
the message of Medjugorje is renewing the
Czech Christians. Fr. Slavko will be in
Austria (Linz) and Germany (Fulda) from
15-25 Sept., Equador (Quito) early Oct.;
Dublin 27-29 Oct., and Italy 14-20 Nov.
* Children’s village opened - On the
27th June Fr. Mate Dragicevic, Vicar
Provincial of the Herzegovina Franciscans,
blessed and solemnly opened the first four
facilities in the Childrens’ Village in
Medjugorje. It is intended for war orphans
and for children with psycho-physical
disabilities. The Franciscan Sisters of Mostar
will provide for and take care of them.
* Croatian minister in Medjugorje -
Mrs Ljilja Vokic, who has been to Medjugorje
Australians. The excellent programme of
prayer and music greatly helped to increase
the enthusiasm of the youth.
The mornings were dedicated to
conferences, preceded and followed by
prayer. The afternoons to testimonies. Ivan,
Mirjana and Jakov, also Agostino, and some
youth from the Comunità Cenacolo (Upper
Room Community) - namely Marco,
Francesco and Giorgio - shared their
experiences. In the evenings there was Holy
Mass, then after dinner, Adoration for all.
The themes were: "Discovering God the
Creator" by Fra Cosimo,"Discovering Mary,
Mother of Life and Peace" by Fra Jozo, "Life
and Peace in Danger" by Fra Music, "Deciding
for Life" by Sr. Emmanuel. On Friday the
4th, after the conference, the programmed
meetings were put off because of the general
alarm due to the war in Kraijna. Fr. Slavko
should have spoken on Saturday about
confession/reconciliation. The festival
continued for the youth in the various homes/
hotels where they were being put up, where
confession and Mass were also celebrated by
the various priests. Our Lady’s birthday (5
August) was thus celebrated in an atmosphere
of quiet concentration and prayer.
Our Lady had invited the youth to
Podbrdo for the evening of 4 July, but this
was cancelled. Conclusion of the festival was
Holy Mass at daybreak on Sunday 6th
August (the Transfiguration of Jesus) on the
top of Krizevac where the youth gathered
without having been formally invited.
August 15 - Great crowds made their
way to Medj. for this feast day, with Italians
making up the largest number. These were
delighted to have the assistance of Fr.
Carmelo from Sicily who, we hope, will
remain for much time to come. Forty priests
concelebrated on the Assumption day at the
outside Mass, whilst on the previous days
celebrations had to be in the church due to
the sudden fall in temperature. Archbishop
Milingo was unable to remain incognito. He
celebrated the Italian Mass at 11 a.m. and was
also present for the apparition to Ivan and
Jakov in the chapel of Adoration.
In these days of August both Podbrdo
and Krizevac were adorned with the joyous
singing and praying of many groups. In fact,
there was never a moment when you could
not encounter people on their way up or
down. God’s grace works in the secrecy of
hearts; indeed, people depart from this shrine
with transformed hearts.
Soldier Matias of Medj. and 3 comrades
were killed in Caplina trying to defuse a mine
which exploded. Matias is survived by his
wife and two small children.
continued from page 3:
women, provided that this diversity is not the
result of an arbitrary imposition, but is rather
an expression of what is specific to being
male and female... These role distinctions
should not be viewed in accordance with the
criteria of functionality typical in human
societies. Rather, they must be understood
according to the particular criteria of the
sacramental economy, i.e. the economy of
"signs" which God freely chooses in order
to become present in the midst of humanity...
When we consider the "iconic"
complementarity of male and female roles,
two of the Church’s essential dimensions are
seen in a clearer light: the "Marian" principle
and the Apostolic-Petrine principle.
While I commend to the Lord in prayer
the success of the important meeting in
Beijing, I invite Ecclesial Communities to
make this year an occasion of heartfelt
thanksgiving to the Creator and Redeemer of
the world for the gift of this great treasure
which is womanhood."
before, said: "I accepted Medjugorje right
from the beginning. My son was sick. I went
around the statue of Our Lady there 20 times
with him in my arms and in the end Our Lady
answered my prayer. The world can say what
it wants, but I am certain that God works
here. Did He not say that He would be
present amid those who invoke His Name?
The crowd here is united in His Name and
God is truly glorified." (From Nasa Ognjista
no. 7/8 1995)
From the Press Bulletin Medj., fax 387-
88-642339, director Fra Miljenko Stojic
* Priestly vocations - Fr. Peter
Dugandzic celebrated his first Mass in
Medjugorje on 18 June 1995. "I was born and
grew up in Long Island, New York. My family
originates from the Medjugorje area. I first
visited here in 1986. I have a degree in
psychology, and first worked with computers,
then with people as a psychologist; now as a
priest. Before coming here I was happy in my
work; I earned a lot of money and travelled
all over America, but I was not a faithful
Catholic. When an aunt told me she was going
back to the old country I wanted to go too.
She told me about the six children who see
Our Lady and all I could say was: 'Well, let
them look at Her.' While here something
started happening in my soul but I didn’t know
what. I began praying and meditating and little
by little the desire to become a priest started
germinating inside of me. Now here I am,
finally a priest andgrateful to God and those
who helped me."(Press Bulletin)
* I met Carlos Elias from Barcelona on
20 July and he said: "I came to Medjugorje
in 1990 for a retreat with Fr. Jozo and I was
so impressed that in the end I decided to give
up my profession of architect and enter a
seminary. I was ordained a priest just a month
ago on the anniversary day and I have come
here to thank Our Lady. I shall begin work
in the Virgin of Peace parish in Barcelona!
Jesus invites us in His Gospel to come to Him
and take upon ourselves His yoke which is
sweet and His load which is light. I say this
so that many youth will leave aside their fears
and bravely follow Jesus with the intercession
of Mary’s Immaculate Heart.
* American pilot Scott O’Grady was
shot down in Bosnia on 2 June and remained
hiding in the wood on his own for six days
only a few metres from the Serb front. Saved
by a miracle, he said on the American
television that he had a vision like that of the
Virgin of Medjugorje. "I thank God, his
Mother and all those who prayed for me,"
he said. (From Slobodan Dalmacija, 26 June)
* Family news - Marija is expecting her
second child - due in January. Ivan’s wife,
Laureen, left for Boston to give birth there
- due early October. Ivan will also go there
to be with her. Jelena Vasilj gained a degree
in theology at Steubenville. She gave a thesis
on the Christian family: the best environment
for a child to fully develop in body, heart,
soul and spirit. She will now leave the US
and complete her studies in Rome. This will
make her closer to home where her testimony
is important for the pilgrims, in particular the
* Permanent sign - About the permanent
and indestructible sign that Our Lady will
place on Podbrdo She has said: Convert, do
not wait for the sign; when it comes it shall
be too late. One thing seems clear: this sign
will come during the lifetimes of the
visionaries, before the last of them stop
receiving daily apparitions. Our Lady has not
explained why it shall be too late, though
Vicka points out that each person will still
be able to return to God for his salvation. So
what could too late mean? What will happen
on the earth when the giant mass of our sins
with their fruits of death will fall upon us?
Vicka says that is why Our Lady insists on
telling us that this is the time of great graces
and that we should take advantage of it now.
* Croatian prayer group in Medjugorje
- Born last summer, it is led by Marijo and
Agostino. About 20 youth meet weekly, at
times on the hills. They learn to give
testimony which is not easy for those who
grew up in a Communist regime. They are
assisted by Fr. Slavko. Let us hope that other
youth will leave the pubs and join them.
* Blue cross - Marija explains that at the
beginning of the apparitions when the police
had prohibited them from climbing up
Podbrdo the visionaries were in that place by
chance and it was there that Our Lady
appeared to them. They prayed and sang
while the police (who were looking for them)
were unable to see or hear them, as if they
were blind and deaf. From that day on Our
Lady appeared to them often in that same
place without the police ever discovering
them. Someone placed a cross there and
painted it blue. It was not the Virgin who
chose that colour, as some have said.
Sr. Emmanuel’s diary
endless tragedy of the poor
Entire populations continue to be thrown
out of their lands in the name of ethnic
cleansing. Empty-handed and pursued by the
bombings, they have nowhere to go. The
Croatians of yesterday replace the Serbs of
today. To make room for them, the Croations
and Muslims are being thrown out of Banja
Luka and Kosovo is being colonized. Women
and children are being brought into Serbia
while their men are sent to fight to offer respite
to the exhausted Serbo-Bosnians. The
Muslims, most of whom have been sent out
of their own lands, are now forced to abandon
also their protected (!) cities of Srebrenica and
Zepa and soon Goradze. A part of them make
it to the refugee cities (already overbrimming)
or to concentration camps.
It seems there is no other voice but that
of the weapons. Bombs continue to drop on
languishing cities like Sarajevo. The Croatians
revenge safety for Dubrovnik and Slavonia
and prepare for other blitzes. In the meantime,
atrocities multiply and hate places its roots
deeper and deeper.
The "big"- hypocrites fighting over death-
give importance to power, not justice and
continue to prepare more "peace plans." The
latest, from the US and accepted by Russia,
splits Bosnia between Serbs and Croatians,
since the victories of the latter put extra weight
on the scales. It takes into no account the
Muslims who were 44% of the Bosnian
population: an undesirable political entity! Of
course, the plan is unacceptable to them.
This is the eloquent picture of a Godless
civilization which stamps on the rights of the
poor - till God rises to bring justice. Then,
fates will radically change and the powerful
Wasted Life is Redeemed
The programme of the Youth Festival
included testimonies by several young ex-
drug addicts of the Comunità Cenacolo
(Upper Room Community). We offer you a
summary of the ruthless examination they
made of their own "wasted" lives, though the
greatest, most profound changes in them
were not said out of love of modesty.
When I was thirteen I had no one to
confide in. I don’t blame my parents who had
their own problems and could not give me
what they themselves did not receive. So I
started doing what my friends did: smoking
and coming home late at night. Though I
knew it was wrong I didn’t want to be
different to my friends who had the same
problems. Then I ended up accepting all that
the world offers, thinking that freedom was
working for money to spend on having fun.
The Christian way was very distant. I
realized though that my so-called "freedom"
was in fact, slavery. When I should have
been strengthening my character, learning
how to say no and how to live, I was instead,
becoming all the more enslaved and weaker.
I no longer appreciated the things I already
possessed and even though I had everything
I was always looking out for more. Real joy
can only come from being free.
I eventually ended up taking drugs. I
started with marijuana to find the courage to
get over my fears and shyness, but when that
wasn’t enough I did what my friends were
doing and went onto heroine. That went on
for ten years, and I was unable to turn back.
I lost my job, my girlfriend, the trust the
others had in me. When the money ran out
I began stealing and peddling drugs. I could
have entered a community, but I kept kidding
myself that I could do it on my own even
though I felt that inside I was slowly dying.
Drugs kill you, and not just literally. It
destroys your ability to renounce things
when you want to construct something. I
tried asking God for help; He saved me in
a couple of really desperate situations - even
though I never went to church and I even
ridiculed those who went to the parish youth
In the end my father threw me out of our
house. That was providential, because then
I was all alone. I lived in the streets till the
day when the mother of one of my friends
suggested I try this community.
I wasted so many of my years; if only I
could turn the clock back! I’m happy all the
same though, because otherwise I wouldn’t
have encountered the Lord this way, or
known what real freedom is: being happy for
what’s inside of us, not for what we have.
Over these three years of community life
I have matured in many things. I didn’t know
how to love because I never received love
from others. I’ve learnt not to bear a grudge,
to say I’m sorry when I upset someone and
LATEST NEWS (1-9-95) -
It took the
umpteenth massacre at the market place in
Sarajevo before NATO called out their forces
to attack the Serbo-Bosnians who were
holding Sarajevo and other protected cities
The use of weapons to defend people
under attack when no other means is possible
is lawful. Is a solution to the conflict now
closer at hand? And will it be the right one?
talk it over with him to then feel better. Two
months ago I was entrusted with another guy.
He asks lots of things and I try to explain.
It takes a lot of patience, but I’ve learnt how
to love and how to control my egotistic
attitudes. He has decided to remain in the
community because of the help I gave him;
and I’m happier than he is.
Now I know how to find joy: through
loving others. You feel good inside because
you’re in God’s grace and you have no further
need for the car, or the disco or girlfriends.
The happiness is inside of you and you
discover that love is wonderful. This is what
I’ve learnt in the community through prayer,
listening to the Word of God and the advice
I would like to form a family, but if I don’t
learn to make sacrifices how can I support
a wife and children? At first the community
set a three-year period for all those who
entered, but now Sr. Elvira has removed that
and decided that each person needs a
different time to mature, even if it’s four or
five years. For the moment I don’t intend
leaving, for I still have to learn how to live
with others in a crazy world which sucks you
into its whirlpool, uses you till you get sick,
then throws you out. Before I leave I want
to be sure that I won’t be attracted by those
Discovered Life in Love
Another’s story: I was arrested for stealing
and I preferred to enter a community rather
than go to gaol. I’ve been here for four and
half years. When I arrived the first thing I
noticed was that so many guys - ex-drug
addicts like me - prayed. It seemed almost
impossible to me, that they were mad; given
the life they led before how could they get
up so early (6 a.m.) to say the first rosary on
There are no doctors or outsiders here in
the community. Everything that is transmitted
to us is fruit of the experience of other guys
who had drug problems before us and bit by
bit, here in the community, they discovered
what life is all about.
I feel that this community helps me, not
only to get out of the drug tunnel, but to live
according to true Christian values. I began
feeling loved. I feel that the community helps
me day by day, even if after four and half
years I still have trouble finding the strength
to get down on my knees. It is a battle every
morning having to get up and pray, but I feel
the fruits of that morning prayer during the
course of the day. So I am slowly learning
that to have joy and give joy I need to go
through the door of the cross every day. I feel
no different to the others, just so lucky to
have found this community.
I’ve been HIV positive for 7 years. I feel
it was the Lord who called me here. Knowing
now that I can work and feel good inside and
have many friends is worth more than being
the "richest person in the world." I have to
thank the Lord that through prayer I receive
strength and His consolation from the others.
Then everything becomes prayer: doing the
cleaning, working, helping others when you
see they need correcting, when you have to
be the guardian angel of someone new,
helping them out and staying awake with
them at night when they can’t sleep... Every
day is always a new day for me and there’s
always something new to learn...
A few queries answered
1. Why are so many men of the Church
hostile to supernatural phenomena?
Above all, prudence is easily explained
and is also necessary in cases where it may
be the devil trying to deceive us. The pastors
must exercise their discernment without any
preconceived ideas, however, their main
concern is to lead the faithful to the fount of
our faith which is the Word of God taught
by the Church and to her means of salvation.
Many faithful, whether out of ignorance, too
much zeal or enthusiasm, forget this and give
an absolute value to manifestations which
though they may be good and even urgent-
sounding, their purpose is to take us back to
the main fount of salvation.
Then there are those whose refusal is
based on a desire not to be put in
compromising positions - they see but prefer
not to see because they would be forced to
take action. Some feel too comfortable in a
position which public opinion judges to be
acceptable, because they fear the scandal of
the cross which the Pope tells us always
accompanies true signs from God (Ut unum
sint, no. 1). How can you believe, since you
look to one another for approval and are not
concerned with the approval that comes from
the one God? (Jn 5:44). The signs of the
times are so clear that all can read them
without the need to wait for approval if Jesus
said: Why not judge for yourselves what is
right? (Lk 12:57). It takes a free heart,
though, to recognize what comes from God.
2. Why are some looked at badly by their
In Medjugorje many brothers and sisters
received the grace of conversion which they
took back to their communities and groups.
Despite this, some point their fingers at them
and see them as supporters of sects and
disturbers of the peace. Without a doubt, God
permits it all so that their persons are not
affirmed, to protect them from self-pride.
For it is necessary that they disappear into
the Church, that they fully participate in
Church life to the point of suffering and
dying for her, becoming perhaps the grain
that falls on the earth and bears much fruit.
They, in turn, must be very attentive to
free themselves, with great humility, of odd
or unusual elements or tendencies which,
though they may have been inspired, are not
generally accepted. The word is submission,
to their pastors. Accepting obedience is
carrying one’s cross and not pretending that
they can win, or be worthy of mention or
even worse, think that only they have the
truth. The cross that awaits them is not
injustice, but purification which will bear
much fruit and resurrection for souls. In the
end humbleness and love is worthwhile.
seriously. In Medj., amid divided peoples,
the Queen of Peace first appeared (1981)
wearing mourning clothes and invoking:
Peace, peace, peace. In another message She
then said: With prayer and fasting wars can
be stopped. Was She acknowledged? Did we
pay heed? Our Lady cannot force the will of
anyone, neither can God. Do we pretend, like
the Judaeans, to see a miracle to believe?
Come down from the cross and we’ll believe?
4. "Is importance not given to the Word
of God in Medjugorje?"
The messages make many references to
the Holy Scriptures. In Her message of 18
October 1984, Our Lady said: Today I invite
you to read the Bible in your homes every
day. Place it where it can be easily seen so
you will be encouraged always to read it and
pray with it. In a following message the
invitation is even stronger: Every family must
pray together and read the Bible (14 Feb.
1985) which many families do every morning.
Pray and read the Holy Scripture so that
through my coming you may discover the
message in it for you (25 June 1991). Read
the Holy Scripture, live it and pray to
understand the signs of this time (25 Aug.
1993). The message of 14 February was the
only in which Our Lady used the verb "must"
instead of the usual "invite."
Msgr. Kurt Knotzinger said in an article
on this same theme: "At the beginning, in
Jelena’s prayer group meetings, I personally
saw them read the Bible and, after a brief
silence, express what they felt." Most prayer
groups do the same when they meet, so we
can say that the messages of Medjugorje
contain only the Word of God, they are easily
understood by all and continually invite us
to put it into practice. Pilrims in Medjugorje
receive the same recommendations.
Travelling to Medj. safer - With the
Serbian army now out of Krajine and the Zara
region thanks to the flash operation by the
Croatian army on the 4-6 August, travelling
to Medjugorje has been made safer, both along
the coast and from Split. It should be
remembered that Medjugorje has never been
troubled by the war: in the southern part of
Herzegovina there are no Serbs, thus, no
danger of ethnic cleansing. It was feared,
during and following the operation, that the
Serbs would have retaliated, and in fact,
Mostar, Siroki Brijeg and Dubrovnik were
3. Why does Our Lady not stop the
violence in the land where She appears?
Also in Fatima Our Lady foresaw the
many evils that Russia would have spread to
the world and the third world war if her
message went unheeded and the world not
consecrated to her Immaculate Heart (which
was done much later - because of the
resistence put up by the bishops - by John
Paul II in 1984). We know, unfortunately,
what happened. In Kibeho too, Mary had
foreseen the slaughter in Rwanda ten years
prior to it happening, but She was not taken
ECHO IN OTHER LANGUAGES
Italian: Eco di Maria, C.P. 149, 46100
Mantova, Italy. English: Echo of Mary, Cas.Post.
27, I-31030 Bessica (TV), Italy. French: Echo de
Marie, 18 Allée Thévenot, F-39100 Dole, France.
German: Echo Mariens., C.P. 149, 46100 Mantova,
Italy. Spanish: Roger Watson, c/o Antonucci, Via
Verrotti 1, I-47100 Aquila, Italy. Catalan: Amics
de Medj., c.Carme 11 baixos, E-08700 Igualada-
Catalonia, Spain. Portughese: a) Gilberto Correia,
rua de Brito 24, 4915 Vila Praia de Ancora,
(ph.911181), Portugal; b) Servos da Rainha, Caixa
p. 02576, 70279-970 Brasilia DF, Brazil.
* The Medjugorje Message and Pope John
Paul II - by Msgr. George Tüttö. £2.50 excluding
postage. Available at Padre Pio Bookshop, London
ph. 0171-834 5363, or Mrs F. E. Scarr, Flat 5,
13 Embankment Gardens, Chelsea, London SW3
* Set Christmas cards containing Medjugorje
message of 25.12.90; profits used to support the
building of Village for Orphans in Medj. Write:
The Medugorje Appeal, Lambs Business Park,
Unit J, Tilburstow Hill Road, South Godstone,
Surrey, RH9 8JZ, England.
Sr. Lucia of Fatima
Last Signs of Mercy
Letter from Sr. Lucia to Fr. Agostino
Fuentes dated 22 May 1958: "Father, Our
Lady is very unhappy because nothing has
been done about Her message of 1917.
Neither the good nor the bad have paid heed.
The good go their ways without worrying
and without following heaven’s precepts.
The bad, who are in the wide way of
perdition, take no account of the threats of
punishments. Believe me, Father, that God
our Lord will soon punish the world. The
punishment will be material; just think how
many souls will go to hell if [people] do not
pray and make penance. For this Our Lady
Father, I tell everyone that many times
Our Lady has told me: 'Many nations will
disappear from the face of the earth. Godless
nations will be the scourge chosen by God
to punish humanity if we, through prayer and
the Sacraments, do not obtain the grace of
their conversion.' The Immaculate Heart of
Mary and Jesus is afflicted especially by the
fall of the souls of religious and priests. The
devil knows that in neglecting their sublime
vocation they carry many souls away to hell.
We are just in time to keep back heaven’s
punishment. We have two very effective
means at our disposal: prayer and sacrifice.
The devil does all he can to distract us and
to stop us from finding pleasure in praying.
We will either save ourselves or damn
ourselves. However, Father, people must be
told not to wait for the Pope, or the Bishops,
or their priests, or the Superiors to call us to
prayer and penance. It is time for all to begin,
of their own initiative, to do holy works and
change their lives according to Our Lady’s
calls. The devil wants to take possession of
consecrated souls; he works at seducing them
to induce others to be obdurate, hardhearted.
He uses all his cunning ways to do this, even
suggesting the reform of religious life,
creating sterility in the religious and clergy
and indifference in the laity.
I remind you, Father, that two things
played a part in the sanctification of Jacinta
and Francisco: Our Lady’s affliction and the
vision of hell. The Lady is as if between two
swords: from one side She sees humanity in
its obstinance while it remains indifferent to
the threats of punishment, and from the other
side She sees us who trample on the Most
Holy Sacrament, despise the punishment and
remain unbelieving, sensual and materialistic.
Our Lady expressly said: "We are nearing
the last days," saying it to me for three times.
The first time She said that the devil has
engaged his last battle. One will be the
winner, the other the loser; and we are either
with God or with the devil. The second time
Our Lady told me again that the last remedies
given to the world are these: the Holy Rosary
and devotion to Her Immaculate Heart. On
the third time, when the other means are used
up out of man’s contempt for them, the last
hope we are offered is the Holy Virgin in
person, Her numerous apparitions, Her tears,
messages to visionaries all over the world.
Our Lady said again that if we do not listen
to Her, if we continue offending God, we will
not be forgiven.
This terrible reality must be taken into
account Father, not to frighten anyone, but
as an urgent call. From when Our Lady gave
such great effectiveness to the Holy Rosary,
there is no problem, be it material or spiritual,
national or international, that cannot be
resolved with the Rosary and our sacrifices.
Recite it with love and devotion; it will
console Mary and dry up many tears from
Her Immaculate Heart."
* Last Apparition in Slovakia -
Litmanova 8 August 1995, Our Lady said:
Today’s apparition is the last one in this
place. I love you and I thank you all for what
you have done here for me. My dear dear
children, I wanted to waken you from the
torpidity of vanity and make you see that you
need conversion. I beseech you! I shall
remain on this mountain, start meditating my
messages. Remain in my Heart in this time,
for you must be simple and prudent. The time
is nearing, rather it is already here. So
remain as children, totally free before God.
I beseech you, meditate on what I tell you.
I love you and I wait for you in Paradise.
and ask to confess. Priests come to celebrate
Mass. At times, on week days, four or five
buses arrive. Last Sunday there were twenty;
so you can imagine, all these people in a
church big enough for only a hundred and
twenty! I feel Our Lady is in a hurry. The
sign of the tears has finished. Now it is up
to us to be the sign.
The church opens at 7.30 a.m. and closes
as late as 11 p.m. Every day at 5 p.m. there
is the meditated Rosary. It is followed by
Holy Mass with a homily. Twice to three
times a week we have a night-long vigil.
During these, Sacramental Jesus is exposed
for adoration. The hymns and prayers are
guided by a priest; there are moments of
silence for personal reflection. Conclusion is
with the recitaton of the Rosary which is not
meant as an introduction, but the culminating
prayer of Adoration. This is followed by the
Most of those who come are not
parishioners, though there is a prayer group
here which began in Medjugorje and which
has always gathered for prayer on Monday
evenings. This group has now grown much
bigger. Another group has also started up;
they pray on Wednesdays and Saturdays. An
important thing to note is that we consecrated
the parish to Mary’s Immaculate Heart on the
27 November last and on the 2nd February
(nine weeks later) the lachrymation began.
We are in a new phase at the moment
where people need spiritual nourishment.
The Lord doesn't want things to stop at
Mary’s tears, which regard the Church, and
more specifically the Church of the next
millennium. The Lord wants to make
everything new, even in a physical sense."
Have there really been healings? -
"The Bishop knows of several cases of
physical healing," Fr. Pablo responds. "but
there are also quite a number of spiritual
healings. For instance, during the holy week
108 Jehovah’s Witnesses left their sect, led
by their head; a Buddhist converted; divided
families were reunited in front of Our Lady
and youths who had fallen away from their
faith rediscovered it.
Mary, like Jesus, is a sign of contradiction.
Before God’s interventions and authentic
events of faith, hell is let loose. We had proof
when we became the object of derision and
pity for also the clergy. They tried everything
possible to impede the truth from coming
forth and to stop a new fount of grace from
being opened. Many close persons were
scandalized and have gone, but many distant
persons have drawn near, because the
thoughts of their hearts are revealed (cf. Lk
2:35). Our Lady does everything on the tips
of Her toes, but what She does is marked by
the cross and contradiction."
ECHO IS FREE - It lives on
readers' donations. Echo has no other
source of income. It is your donations
that make possible its publication and
distribution also to those people not in
a position to donate any sum of money.
Forgive us if we remind you to
consider the burdensome postal
expenses when making a donation.
Thank you for all you can do.
* All of the various language editions of Echo
of Mary Queen of Peace are available in the
souvenir shop next to St James church in Medj.;
also in the MIR Info. Centre close to the bridge.
Blood more eloquent
That Mary wept in Civitavecchia (Rome)
is by now without doubt. She wept for 14
times, the last three while the Bishop was
holding the statue. Tears of blood represent
the great sorrow in Her heart; an unbearable
sorrow. Simple folk understand, they need
no theological commission to tell them this.
When a person gives his blood, as Jesus did
on the cross, there is nothing else he can say
or give. It is as if Mary, with this event, is
putting together all that She has told us in
these 14 years to affirm: "They will be more
deeply moved by this and my presence more
accepted. I want to save them from the
imminent danger. Be quick to convert. There
is nothing more I can say."
Certainly, the more radical the sign is the
more urgent the response is. The time has
come to stop pretending. Which of our great
programmes can resist before this sign?
The Bishop said: "Mary, weep no more!
It is our turn to weep." Fr. Jozo had told the
Bishop: "This statue is a treasure, but the
people will be disappointed if they come here
to see and cannot also hear a catechesis on
the Bible, the Eucharist, prayer, Confession...
and they cannot confess. The pilgrims need
looking after, a spiritual programme needs
organizing. Priests must take care of the
With regards to priests, the Bishop said:
"Their conversion will be obtained through
the laity, through the fruits that will be seen
here." He took the statue to the Pope who
blessed it. "Luckily the Pope is on my side,
he encouraged me to place it back in the
church and he told me: 'Italians are still
dubious about Bishops. Also the Bishops
will come, but they will need to be preceded
by someone else. Thus, it is good that you
go ahead. The others will follow.' Now we
need a group that can develop the messages
and animate the various categories." Some
communities have already offered their
services, and one has been chosen to animate
the youth on each second Saturday.
Civitavecchia today - Parish priest, Fr.
Pablo says: "There is a continuous flow of
people here to our church of St Augustine.
They come alone and in groups. They pray
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used his whip of
correction on us. We feel happiness and
peace anyway because we know He is
almighty and infinitely good.
Moreover, Our Lady enters to become
part of our family, as if to accompany the
solicitudes the Pope and the Church have for
it. Many times in the past She has asked us
to pray for the family, to say the Rosary and
read the Bible in the family. The family is
ailing. With separations and divorces, children
and parents who can’t get on, the elderly
being abandoned, the family is dying.
Sociologists diagnose, but only Mary has
provided the real answer: there is no peace
in families because they do not pray.
Without prayer, God’s forgiveness, concern,
love and joy cannot reach the family.
When a family gets together to pray Jesus
is among them and His grace enters into them
both individually and as a group. He gives
them support in the difficult moments, peace
when they are afflicted and the necessary
grace to fight evil. When God’s love has
entered the hearts of the family members
they are in possession of the true medicine
and food that nourishes peace, dialogue and
harmony. Without God’s peace what can they
give to one another? The love between
spouses, like that between parents and
children, comes from God; members transmit
it to one another in reciprocal submission, as
in the family of Nazareth. Without God we
are only empty cisterns with no water to give.
Mary desires placing prayer back in the
families, the prayer destroyed by seculari-
zation and television. She even teaches us
how to begin: with the morning and even-
ing prayers. In the morning we ask for God’s
blessing through the Our Father , we begin
the day in the Name of the Holy Trinity with
the Glory Be and we entrust ourselves to Our
Lady’s help with the Hail Mary and that of
the angels with the Guardian Angel.
We do not face the day ahead alone this
way, we will not be submersed by worries
or anxiety, problems with work and personal
relations that could transform our day into a
hopeless calvary. In prayer, we will feel that
our loads are being carried by One who is
stronger. We end our day with thanksgiving
for the good received and because God
forgives us for the bad we did. The best way
would be to say the Rosary all together in
the family. Life is so different when one
wakes with God and falls asleep with God!
Our Blessed Mother assures us of Her
blessing, of Her embrace. This makes us
feel surer of Her help and it moves us to see
so much concern on Her part. There is a
condition to this, however: you cannot be
in my embrace if you are not ready to pray
every day. We must be "ready," more
consistent, more available: my heart is ready,
God, my heart is ready (Ps 57:8).
OUR READERS WRITE
* Who carried the Holy House to
A reader and admirer of Echo
says he is scandalized by our article in Echo
120 where it says that the House of Loreto was
not transported from Palestine to Loreto by
angelic hands but by the hands of man. He
adds: "it is so easy to destroy people’s faith
and very difficult, if not impossible, to build
it back up again..." (Francesco, Rome)
Dear brother, The historical hypothesis
which we reported is by now generally
accepted. Not only does it not deny our
"human" faith in the presence of the Holy
House in Loreto but it confirms and strengthens
it, for science agrees that those walls truly are
Our Lady’s house from Nazareth. You make
a comparison with the Holy Shroud of Turin
and the sham testing done on it, but in our
case devotion is more strongly founded.
Furthermore, this discovery does not destroy
our "supernatural" faith which is not based
on popular beliefs or on apparitions, but on
the Word of God which leads us to believing
in Jesus true God and thus to conversion.
With regards to the Holy House, everyone
can believe what they want, but what would
true faith gain from the popular belief that the
House was transported by angels and not the
Angel family? Is it worthwhile to support the
case of a miracle at all costs when a fact is
able to be clearly explained? Does God’s gift
to us have to go unappreciated?
* Seeds of grace in Greece
Despina from Aghia Paraskevi (Athens),
editor of the Greek edition of Echo, writes to
tell us of the zeal, the fervour and the witness
of the laity converted in Mejugorje, including
Orthodox brothers and sisters. With admiration
she talks of the effects of Medjugorje on
others, including a wife and mother who
started up a prayer group and began organizing
pilgrimages. A teacher from Pireo gives
witness and passes on the messages to her
Orthodox students and their parents. In Tinos
Catholics and Orthodox in favour of
Medjugorje (i.e. true Christian living) are
persecuted, but this does not stop them, and
volunteers take turns to ring the church bell
to announce the evening Rosary. In Rhodes,
an Orthodox man on a minimum wage has
5,000 copies of the messages plus testimonies
printed which he then spreads as far as the
neighbouring islands. Members of his prayer
group are also involved in catechism work on
those same islands. A young man was
inspired by the Greek Echo and began a prayer
group. He has now entered a seminary.
We thank you Mary for continuing to
spread the perfume of Christ in those places
where the people’s Apostle had walked.
* "Echo vibrates the alps of Nepal,"
says friend Chirendra Satyal who wrote to tell
us of the first church in Nepal named the
Assumption Church and inaugurated on 15
August by Cardinal J. Tomko. He enclosed a
copy of the only Catholic bulletin in Nepal,
edited by him, which carried brief news about
Medjugorje taken from our Echo.
* Mary makes up for void
earthly mother - From Australia: "... I have
always found it difficult to see Our Lady in
Her role of Mother to us all, including myself.
I believe it is because I had a psychologically
terrible relationship with my own mother and
others. Those who enjoyed a normal
relationship with their mother and can thus
easily embrace Our Lady as Mother should be
grateful to their mothers and consider
themselves blessed by God. (Alan)
Dear Alan, The more you suffered because
of your earthly mother, the more Our Lady
will make up for it. For everything that we
suffer God compensates enormously! All it
takes is faith and we will receive one hundred
fold for what we offer to God (in your case
your cross). Believe and you will find
* Blessing by Mary in Canada
Michele Cacchione who reproduces Echo
with the help of a prayer group tells of Mary’s
protection: "The battle is hard but we are
encouraged because it means Satan is not
happy for the 11,000 copies of Echo (5,000
English, 6,000 French) that we spread.
...Greetings in the certainty of the triumph of
Mary’s Immaculate Heart."
* The big St Joseph House for spiritual
retreats was opened on 9 August in the
presence of Frs. Jozo, Viktor, Ivan and
Leonard. It was also blessed by Our Lady,
Marija assures us. The first guests were 50
children from Bosnia who will be visiting the
Pope with Vicka.
* For technical reasons, we are obliged by
the Italian post office to carry the old name
of our bulletin together with the new one.
Thus, Echo of Medjugorje in small print also
appears near the heading on front page.
* From the many testimonies
mirror our intent the following is from
Argentina: "Echo is a wonderful treasure; it
is indispensable food for souls who desire
living for God, because it talks to us about
Mary who is the sure way that leads to Jesus,
of faithfulness to the Pope and of the
importance of prayer which can change the
world and us..." (M. Cristina Koleff). From
Colombia: "Thank you for Echo. I read it
straight away. I pass it on to the other sisters
and to Mary's Legion. It helps us see the
importance of praying for the Pope and the
Church. Thank you also on behalf of the
Bishop of St Ignatius. (G. Liova) Many
monasteries echo this thought. For example,
the Agostinians of Milan say "it should be
read in communities because it has so much
to give and to teach in a world where doctrine
and the Gospel are presented in a rationalistic
manner that excludes all mystery.."
We are pleased to hear from Lisa de Quay
that Echo is being sent to UK prisons thanks
to the Crown of Thorns group in Surrey.
Many write to express gratitude: "Echo
lets us know what the spirit of the Pope and
the Church is." (M. Zonny, Brooklyn USA);
"it does so much good to me and around me
in my Greek-Catholic patriarchate" (Fr. Pierre
Ahddad, Cairo); "it frees me from super-
ficiality and helps me in my spiritual journey"
( Aldo, San Remo); "it is heavenly bread that
nourishes me; its words cut deep into my soul"
(Paolo, Vado Ligure); "the Echo is a blessing
to us" (Ursula, RS Africa); "when I read Echo
I feel like a person in a foreign country who
receives a letter from home" (June Simon,
England) and "we look forward eagerly to
receiving your beautiful Echo" (Sr. Bernadette,
England). How many say that they eagerly
await the nourishment for their souls, and we
feel responsible for them.
Fr. Maximilian Kolbe said: "Our bulletin
will be perfect only when it can be signed:
EDITOR IN CHIEF: MARY IMMACULATE.
And if an article is not quite suitable it shall
be done again so that it will become so... All
our activity must prove that Mary Immaculate
works in us and through us" (5 July 1936).
This is also our ardent desire for Echo, and
we ask our readers to support us with their
prayers, so that what we do for Mary is done
well. In the meantime we bless you all,
together with Our Lady of Sorrows at the foot
of Her Son’s Cross. In the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
26 August 1995