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www.medjugorje.ws » Echo of Mary Queen of Peace » Echo of Mary Queen of Peace 179 (January-February 2005)

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Our Lady’s message, 25 November 2004:
“Dear Children, At this time I call
you all to pray for my intentions. In
particular, my Children, pray for those
who haven’t come to know God’s love
and who do not seek God the Saviour.
My Children, be my extended
hands, and by your example draw them
closer to my Heart and to the Heart of
my Son. God will reward you with
graces and every blessing. Thank you
for responding to my call.”
Be my extended hands
Mary calls us anew to collaborate with
Her in the her work of salvation. We are
called once again to pray for her
, and the call is addressed to us
. Make no delay, asking yourselves
whether the call is for you or for another!
or asking whether or not you are worthy
for the task! It is not up to us to judge.
Our Mother calls, and we must run to
respond – even if we are unclean, she will
provide for the means to make us clean; if
we are incapable, she will make us suitable.
All we need do is respond, without delay,
and with joy and enthusiasm.
“At this time I call you all to pray
for my intentions” and a part of these
intentions is revealed to us: “Pray for
those who haven’t come to know God’s
love and who do not seek God the
With this we shouldn’t think of
people who live so far out of civilization
that the good news hasn’t yet reached
them. Even well-lit cities can lack the Light,
and even places where it seems everything
was made for life may lack the Life, and
even in Christian families it may be that
Christ is missing! In fact, it is precisely
there where Christ is no longer a novelty
that He is easily put aside the way one
would do with a dated, useless object.
Yet, today more than ever, the world
has absolute need for God. Today, after
2000 years of Christianity, God’s Love is
little known, even less practised, but
without His Love the world cannot exist.
“If I give away all I have, and if I deliver
my body to be burned, but have not love, I
gain nothing”
(1 Co 13:3) and very little, if
even that, is gained for the world’s
salvation. “We love because He first loved
(1 Jn 4:19). From His Love we can draw
love - true love - that allows one to joyfully
journey through this valley of tears.
Jesus says to the Samaritan woman:
Everyone who drinks of this water will
thirst again, but whoever drinks of the
water that I shall give him will never thirst;
the water that I shall give him will become
in him a spring of water welling up to
eternal life
(Jn 4:13-14). And again: This is
eternal life:
that they know thee the only
true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast
(Jn 17:3).
It is not possible to know God without
knowing His Love. It is not possible to
enter into the eternal life without entering
into this Love. Any love that does not come
from the Love is a useless and harmful
surrogate, a drug which puts out all desire
for God, that stops us from seeking God
the Saviour
Yet God is close at hand. It is precisely
because the night is far gone (Rm 13:12)
that the day is upon us. Let’s offer our
hand to Mary then; she will pull us up so
we can become her extended hands.
Hands stretched out to God to implore
salvation and forgiveness; hands stretched
out to our brothers and sisters to bring them
closer to the Hearts of Mary and Jesus;
outstretched hands - as opposed to tight
fists - that sustain, welcome, caress.
Outstretched hands like those of Mother
Teresa, of Mary and of Jesus. Hands
stretched out so they don’t close back in
on themselves; that don’t keep anything
for themselves but give out all the love they
receive from God.
Already many are the hands that are
outstretched for Mary. Let’s add our own;
let’s lend them to Mary, and she will know
how to use them, and graces and
will be poured down.
Nuccio Quattrocchi
.. give us this day our daily bread!
Our Lady’s message, 25 December 2004:
“Dear Children, With great joy, I
bring my Son Jesus in my arms to you
also today; He blesses you and calls you
to peace. Pray, my Children, and be
courageous witnesses of the Good News
in every situation. Only in this way
will God bless you and give you
everything you ask of Him in faith.
I am with you as long as the Most
High permits. I intercede for each of
you with great love. Thank you for
responding to my call.”
Being witnesses
With great joy, I bring my Son Jesus
in my arms to you also today. Mary thus
depicts within our hearts the icon of
Christmas. She has done this many times
in the past; and she does it also today. The
mystery of Christmas: an event of unheard-
of grandeur, while also of extreme
simplicity: the Woman and the Babe.
Easy to vision, difficult to interpret. For
some it is revealed, for others it is hidden
(Mt 11:25; 13:11).
It is both light and
darkness. Neither human wisdom nor
science can suffice, nor can centuries or
millennia, or extraordinary events and
miracles, or lessons from history and the
experience of man’s success and failures.
Whether a contemporary of Christ or a
man of a thousand or two thousand years
later, our response to the event of the birth
of Jesus is forever personal, and on it
depends our life. He came to His own
domain, and His own people did not accept
him. But to all who did accept Him He
gave power to become children of God
The birth of God among men, if
accepted, generates children out of men,
true children of God (cf. 1 Jn 3:2). Christmas
is this mysterious yet real exchange
between God and man.
Jesus blesses us and calls us to live
peace. In this call is the gift of peace, but
we are expected to transmit the gift. Peace
comes from that crib which the eyes of
the powerful cannot see; it comes from
that corner of the world which seems
insignificant to the world’s big. Peace is
the seed of God’s Love hidden in the womb
of the Woman, now born to be the Light
of the world. It cannot be hidden or
managed according to human criteria.
Peace comes from God alone, and he who
wants to be a bearer of this Peace must
pass it on to those chosen by God: those
loved by Him
(cf. Lk 2:14), that is, all men.
Pray my Children, and be
courageous witnesses of the good news
in every situation
. God saves us in Jesus,
for Jesus and with Jesus. Jesus alone is
our last hope for all situations, for all times.
January-Feb. 2005 - Echo of Mary, Queen of Peace, P.O. Box 27, I-31030 Bessica Treviso, Italy. Yr 21 #1
Ph/fax 0423-470331 - E-mail: info@ecodimaria.net - A translation of the original Italian: Eco di Maria
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Jesus is the same yesterday, today and for
! (Heb 13:8). Our God isn’t an ordinary
god; He is the God who came to us
through Jesus so we would know Him;
and there is no other. This is the good
news, and it is always the same, as it was
yesterday, it is also today and always will
be, for ever. The good news matures with
prayer, for it is not fruit of human ability,
but a gift of God. The good news is
transmitted through witness, for it is not
verbal expression, but the way we live life.
The good news requires God’s blessing,
for it is only with His blessing that we can
receive the strength and courage to
. Live Jesus and take Him (Who
lives in us) to the others: isn’t this the
witness the world awaits? What else could
we seek from God in faith?
I am with you for as long as the
Most High permits it. Dare we try the
patience of God?
(cf. Is 7:13). With great
love Mary intercedes for each of us
While still in time, let’s accept her inter-
cession and seek refuge in her embrace
and be lost in the Babe which she carries.
And for each of us, it will truly be
Do not be overcome by evil,
but overcome evil with good
Here is a synthesis Pope John Paul II’s
message given on 1 January 2005 in which
he stresses that man’s fundamental good:
PEACE, continues to be undermined - but
based on the certainty that evil will not
prevail, Christians nourish an invincible hope.
We who’ve responded to the appeal of
Mary Queen of Peace are well aware that
for God it is ever more impelling that peace
be re-established on the earth (through His
Grace) so that man can live his brief
earthly existence with dignity.
Our Lady insists with her appeals, and
the Pope makes her appeals his own in a
time when one could easily be overcome
by discouragement. Here is his message:
“I have chosen as theme for the World
Day of Peace St Paul’s words: Do not be
overcome by evil, but overcome evil with
(Rom 12:21). Evil is never defeated
by evil.” Nay, “once that road is taken,
rather than defeating evil, one will instead
be defeated by evil,” says the Pope.
“The great Apostle brings out a
fundamental truth: peace is the outcome
of a long and demanding battle which
is only won when evil is defeated by
. If we consider the tragic scenario
of violent fratricidal conflicts in different
parts of the world, and the untold
sufferings and injustices to which they
have given rise, the only truly constructive
choice is, as Paul proposes, to flee what
is evil and hold fast to what is good
Rom 12:9).
Peace is a good to be promoted with
good: it is a good for individuals, for
families, for nations and for all humanity;
yet it is one which needs to be maintained
and fostered by decisions and actions
inspired by good. We can appreciate the
profound truth of another saying of St Paul:
Repay no one evil for evil (Rom 12:17).
Evil, good and love
From the beginning, humanity has
known the tragedy of evil and has struggled
to grasp its roots and to explain its causes.
Evil is not some impersonal, deterministic
at work in the world. It is the result of
human freedom. Freedom, which
distinguishes human beings from every
other creature on earth, is ever present at
the heart of the drama of evil. Evil always
has a name and a face
: the name and face
of those men and women who freely choose
it. Sacred Scripture teaches that at the dawn
of history Adam and Eve rebelled against
God, and Abel was killed by Cain, his
brother (cf. Gen 3-4). These were the first
wrong choices, which were succeeded by
countless others down the centuries.
At its deepest level, evil is a tragic
rejection of the demands of love. Moral
good, on the other hand, is
born of love, shows itself as
love and is directed towards
love. All this is particularly
evident to Christians, who
know that their membership in
the one mystical Body of
Christ sets them in a particular
relation-ship not only with the
Lord but also with their
brothers and sisters. The inner
logic of Christian love, which
in the Gospel is the living
source of moral goodness,
leads even to the love of one’s
enemies: If your enemy is
hungry, feed him; if he is
thirsty, give him something to
(Rom 12:20).
To attain the good of peace there must
be a clear and conscious acknowledgment
that violence is an unacceptable evil and that
it never solves problems. “Violence is a lie,
for it goes against the truth of our faith, the
truth of our humanity. Violence destroys
what it claims to defend:
the dignity, the
life, the freedom of human beings.”
Good of peace and common good
Fostering peace by overcoming evil
with good requires careful reflection on the
common good and on its social and
political implications. When the common
good is promoted at every level, peace is
promoted. Can an individual find complete
fulfilment without taking account of his
social nature, of his being “with” and “for”
others? The common good closely
concerns him. It closely concerns every
expression of his social nature: the family,
groups, associations, cities, regions, states,
the community of peoples and nations.
Each, in some way, is called to work for the
common good, constantly looking out for
the good of others as if it were his own.
The common good therefore demands
respect for and the integral promotion of
the person and his fundamental rights, as
well as respect for and the promotion of
the rights of nations on the universal plane.
Certain reductive visions of humanity
tend to present the common good as a
purely socio-economic state of well-being
lacking any transcendent purpose, thus
emptying it of its deepest meaning. Yet the
common good has a transcendent
dimension, for God is the ultimate end of
all his creatures. Christians know that Jesus
has shed full light on how the true common
good of humanity is to be achieved. History
journeys towards Christ and in him finds
its culmination: because of Christ, through
Christ and for Christ, every human reality
can be led to complete fulfilment in God.
Universality of evil and Christian hope
Faced with the many tragic situations
present in the world, Christians confess
with humble trust that God alone can
enable individuals and peoples to
overcome evil and achieve good.
By his
d e a t h a n d r e s u r r e c t i o n , C h r i s t h a s
redeemed us and ransomed us “with a
p r i c e ” (1 Co 6:20; 7:23), g a i n i n g
salvation for all. With his help, everyone
can defeat evil with good.
Though the “mystery of
iniquity” (2 Th 2:7) is
present and active in the
w o r l d , w e m u s t n o t
forget that redeemed
humanity is capable of
re s i s t i n g i t
. E a c h
believer, created in the
i m a g e o f G o d a n d
redeemed by Christ, “who
i n a c e r t a i n w a y h a s
united himself to each
human being”, can co-
operate in the triumph of
good. The work of “the
Spirit of the Lord fills the
e a r t h ” ( Wi s 1 : 7 ) .
Christians, especially the
lay faithful, “should not, then, hide their
hope in the depth of their hearts, but
rather express it through the structures
o f t h e i r s e c u l a r l i v e s i n c o n t i n u a l
conversion and in wrestling ‘against the
world rulers of this darkness, against the
spiritual forces of iniquity’ (Eph 6:12).”
No man or woman of good will can
renounce the struggle to overcome evil
with good.
This fight can be fought
effectively only with the weapons of
love. When good overcomes evil, love
prevails and where love prevails, there
peace prevails.”
Hands outstretched
...crescendo of meanings in child’s
In a small town in the Apennines near
Modena Sr. Clare read Our Lady’s message
of the 25th November to the children and
asked them what they thought “outstretched
hands” meant.
Nine year old Valerio gave these three
examples in the following order:
1. A child is walking, he falls, and
another one offers him his hand.
2. A father and mother go for a walk on
their own and they hold hands because they
love each other.
3. A priest on Sunday takes the Host in
his hand and offers it.
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Sea stopped at Mary’s feet
News of the unfortunate tragedy that hit
south east Asia at Christmas has filled TV
screens and newspaper pages the world
round. A lot of the news is desolating, while
other news is encouraging, such as the
extraordinary efforts to assist and bring relief
to survivors. We hope that these initial
sentiments of compassion will carry through
into the future with constant and concrete
Little has been said, however, of an
episode of divine intervention. It happened
at Vailankanni, a Basilica and India’s most
popular Marian Shrine, also known as the
Lourdes of India.
“Faith is always rewarded,” it says in
the communiqué released by the diocese of
Thanjavur. “More than a thousand people,
including hundreds of pilgrims, perished
within a one-kilometre radius of the basilica,
but the Shrine remained untouched. The
waves reached the main entrance of the
Basilica, where the statue of Our Lady of
Vailankanni is situated, and then withdrew.”
It is noted that the waves hit hotels and
houses on the same elevation just 330 feet
from the shrine.
The official statement notes that
about 2,000 pilgrims attending Mass were
miraculously saved
when the water stopped
at the gates of the Shrine compound.
“The powerful blessing of Our Lady of
Vailankanni saved thousands of lives,
because those inside the Basilica were
unharmed,” it goes on to say.
On the evening of 30 December, in the
Basilica which by now is returning to its
normal state thanks to the generous help of
many, Mons. Ambrose Mariadoss celebrated
a solemn Mass in memory of the victims
and to thank Our Lady for her providential
A similar miracle is being proclaimed
at the Santhome Cathedral which was built
on an Apostle’s tomb: that of St. Thomas.
Even though the tsunami waves
devastated the Chennai coast, Fr Lawrence
Raj - parish priest of the Santhome Cathedral
– says, “the sea did not touch our church…
We believe the miraculous post of St
Thomas prevented the sea waters from
entering the church.”
“Have courage
for the great sorrows of life
and patience for the small ones;
and when you have laboriously
accomplished your daily task,
go to sleep in peace.
God is awake.”
Victor Hugo
Mother of the Cross
She went to the Temple just as every
other Israelite mother to present her
firstborn son
. Together with her spouse
she was happy to offer up that fruit which
the Lord had granted her in such an
unusual way: a son generated not by
human seed but by the Holy Spirit, in her
virginal and immaculate womb.
Endowed with the freshness of her
youth, and the innate wisdom all mothers
have, Mary climbed the stairs of the
Temple, holding her little Jesus to her
heart. He would soon bear the mark of the
blade that would officially make him a
member of the Hebrew people. It was a
day to celebrate, thought Mary… She still
didn’t know that another blade was
awaiting her: a sword, invisible yet very
sharp, would penetrate her heart as
Simeon prophesied: “Behold this child is
destined for the fall and rising of many in
Israel, destined to be a sign that is rejected
– and a sword will pierce through your own
soul too”
(Lk 2:34-35).
They mystery of love and sorrow,
of how they are blended to become one
is fathomless
. In apparent contradiction,
they are inseparable in God’s divine plan.
There where love has blossomed will
inevitably see the beginning of sorrow,
which nonetheless is useful to that love,
as it purifies it of egoism and of the
temptation to use it to one’s own advantage.
It is thus; whilst one rejoices in the heart
for the loved one, in the very depths one
also perceives inexpressible suffering – at
times extremely acute, if short. Other times
dull, but relentless…
Mary held her babe in her arms without
knowing that the seed of a powerful tree
- the cross
- had already been planted in
him, the fruits of which God had destined
for all men of all times. She embraced her
son, and in him the cross. This was the
sword Simeon was speaking of: a sword
in the form of a cross - it had been thrust
into the heart of the Mother. But it was
still a seed; it had to grow and mature, like
the child in her womb.
In the long years of the hidden life -
humble and ordinary years - Mary hid
within her heart the secret, and all the while
the cross grew and got stronger, as one
day it would have to bear the weight of
the sins of the world together with the
weight of the cross, because through His
offering, Jesus took them upon Himself.
The cross grew together with Jesus.
In the heart of Mary it received warmth
and was nourished by her love and her
Then, “standing by the cross of Jesus
was his mother …” (Jn 19:25) we read in
the Gospel which tells us of that
tremendous moment in which man kills
his God by nailing Him to a cross.
Mary was there. She had to be there.
She was there when it was born and she
helped it grow. But beneath that cross she
had to die too, together with her Son: die
of love and sorrow; die for the sacrifice
and renunciation of Jesus, her Gift. She had
to die with Him so that another body of
Christ could be born: His Church.
How was it that, then, the Virgin gave
birth? Simply by dying to herself; by
accepting John in the place of Jesus; by
remaining faithful to Love in sorrow; by
looking up to the cross from her own
littleness and loving, just loving - no matter
what. It had remained in the secret of her
heart all these years; and now the “sword”
was on public show. So it was only right
that Mary - who till then had been its
guardian – should be there.
If it really happened as I have imagined,
then I also like to think that the wood of
the cross was not sunk into the ground
atop Calvary, but in the warm and
sorrowed Heart of the Mother, so that Her
blood should blend with the blood of Jesus
to form the chalice of Mercy. Then,
united in the same offering and the
same priesthood,
the Woman and the
Mediator obtained for us all the hoped-for
But Christ redeemed the world!
some may object. That’s true, that’s what
we believe and what we profess. But if
Jesus-God needs no help, Jesus-Man does.
He needed a woman. Nay, He needed Mary.
He needed her body to be born, her faith
to die, her hope to rise. Without Mary,
God’s human nature would not have been
able to accomplish the redemptive mission.
Jesus then returned to the Father, in
the fullness of the Trinitarian life, but the
bond with this little woman of Israel was
so inseparable, and the love of the Trinity
for her so profound, that they “assumed”
her into heaven to eternally rejoice in that
immaculate soul that God had created and
that body from which He Himself had been
born .. in the shadow of the cross.
Stefania Consoli
Holy Father:
“Cross generates freedom”
Carrying one’s cross as we follow
behind Jesus” means being disposed to
accept any type of sacrifice for love of
. It means not putting anything or
anyone before Him, not even those most
dear to us, not even one’s very life.
Adhering to Christ is a demanding
choice. It is not by chance that Jesus
speaks of “cross.” Nonetheless, He
immediately adds: “behind me.” This is the
important part, for we are not alone in
carrying our cross
. Ahead of us there is
Jesus who opens the way for us with His
light and example and with the strength of
His love.
When the cross is accepted out of
love it generates freedom. Paul the Apostle
experienced this. “An old man now and a
prisoner of Jesus Christ,”
he says of
himself in the letter to Philemon, but he
also says that he feels complete inner
freedom. His heart is free because in it
dwells the love of Christ. For this, from
the darkness of his prison where he suffers
for the Lord, he is able to speak of freedom
to a friend outside.
The lesson in all this is clear: there is
no greater love than that of the cross; there
is no truer freedom than that of love; there
is no fraternity more complete than that
which is born of Christ’s cross.
Echo 179
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It’s amazing how you still meet people
who’ve never heard about Medjugorje,
despite the fact that the daily apparitions
by Our Blessed Mother (it is what we and
many faithful believe) have been going on
for over 23 years! And the closer we get
to the “experts” (priests, consecrated,
pastoral workers, committed Christians)
the greater the ignorance is, that’s when
they’re not “allergic” or hostile to the
apparitions. After all, what need is there
to believe in these apparitions
– they
say – or what need is there to go all the
way over there? And they say it with such
conviction that it makes you fear you’ve
made a mistake, that you’re weak and in
need of these “extraordinary and
miraculous things” to sustain your faith.
Perhaps you’ve been plagued with
similar doubts. In that case, let’s reflect
on Medjugorje, beginning with the words
Mary always says: “Thank you for
responding to my call.”
This is the first light: that to be able
to listen to and understand the Queen of
Peace who speaks to us from Medjugorje,
for the fact that we go all the way over
there in that little place between the hills,
so poor, racked by war and by ethnic
disputes, one has to be called. I might be
simple-minded and weak in my faith, but
I have been called; and perhaps the Blessed
Virgin has called me precisely because she
sees my weakness. This helps bar pride
from swelling up in my heart should I dare
think that I’m privileged, and it helps me
not to judge others should I dare think they
weren’t called. For the truth is that we are
all called by the Lord and the Blessed Virgin,
even if we cannot remove the fact that
“many are called, but few are chosen” (Mt
Another light comes to me from a
message I read recently (25 August 1991)
“Dear Children, I desire saving all souls
and presenting them to God. Therefore, let
us pray, that all I have commenced may
be entirely fulfilled. Thank you for
responding to my call.”
How enlightening! These words dispel
all my doubts that listening to the messages
of Mary at Medjugorje is a mere refuge, a
security blanket against anxiety caused by
guilt feelings or by all that is going on
around us. Our Lady specifically says “all
souls” opening out for us a spiritual horizon
that urges us to embrace the whole world.
Now let us ask ourselves: but isn’t
“saving souls and presenting them to God”
the sole and the essential reason why God
sent His Son into the world? And wasn’t it
“for us men and for our salvation” that
Jesus “came down from heaven,” that “He
suffered under Pontius Pilate, was
crucified, died and was buried,” and that
He “descended to the dead” and rose again
on the third day? This is our “Creed.”
Hence, we are talking about the heart
of our faith. And isn’t it to save souls that
we have a Pope, Bishops, priests,
churches, orators, sacraments, parishes,
pastoral plans, etc. etc.? And isn’t it the
task of us all – pastors and laymen – to
“save souls,” to evangelize and witness our
faith through our works?
It is for this that Our Lady, star of the
new evangelization, has begun this work.
Hence, we understand the reason for her
great concern, her many motherly calls.
She really does care about our souls and
the souls of our brothers and sisters. Her
desire is to save everyone because she
loves everyone with the Heart of God, and
to this end she asks for our prayers: our
prayers united to hers. Many times Our
Lady has asked us to pray; here she is
saying: “Let us pray, that everything I have
commenced may be entirely fulfilled.”
This brings us to another mystery:
when will this be entirely fulfilled? It is
the same question which Jesus left
unanswered: when will God’s kingdom
come? No one knows; only the Father
knows. Till that time good and bad will be
mixed together in the world, in the Church,
in our communities, in ourselves. God will
continue to sow the good seed and
the Enemy – the devil – will scatter
That is why we are not
scandalized by the refusal of many
of the Truth, and that we continue
to hope that God – also through the
messages of the Blessed Virgin –
will concern Himself with the
salvation of everyone, good and
bad, even those apparently without
limits in the sinfulness.
As you can see, we are
talking about the very core of the
Church’s mission and pastoral
. So how can we not care?
The Pope and the Bishops can’t
make official declarations
concerning the events of
Medjugorje, but everyone else is free to
believe and to go; so what sense is there in
such superficial attitudes, fear and even
disdain for this blessed land?
God’s project for the world is
wonderful and it will be accomplished
in full. Our Lady has been endowed with
the task to bring it into realization
. This
project will see new heavens and new
times. It is a project which demands our
attention and our collaboration. If Mary
cares so much about this project it means
that it is of vital importance, because we’re
talking about the eternal salvation or eternal
damnation of our many brothers and sisters
and of ourselves.
So it is never in vain that we listen to
the messages which come from
. With all our hearts and all our
gratitude we should be saying to the Blessed
Virgin: “Thank you for calling me!”
I had the grace of accompanying a
saintly doctor to Medjugorje just one
month before he died of an incurable
disease. He had all the reasons not to go,
but he desired accomplishing this one last
gesture out of his conviction that: “If Our
Lady has inconvenienced herself to come
down from Heaven to us and for such a
long time then there must be a serious
reason. Perhaps she can see that our
humanity is in grave danger, so it is only
right that there should be someone there
for her, someone that will listen to her.”
don Nicolino Mori
How apparitions help us
What do you think of the apparitions
of Medjugorje? This question was put to
Fr. Stefano de Fiores, one of Italy’s most
well-known and authoritative Mariologists.
“Briefly I can say that in general when
one follows apparitions which have been
approved by the Church one can be sure
that the way is sure. Following due
discernment, it has often been the Popes
themselves who have given us examples
of devotion; such as with Paul VI who went
on pilgrimage to Fatima in 1967, and above
all with John Paul II who has been on
pilgrimage to the main Marian shrines
around the world.
In fact, once apparitions have been
accepted by the Church, we welcome them
as a sign of God for our time. However,
they must always lead back to the Gospel
of Jesus which is the fundamental
and standard revelation for every
other manifestation. Apparitions, in
any case, help us.
They help not
only to throw light on the past, but
to prepare the Church for future
so that she will not be found
We ought to be more aware of
the difficulties of the Church which
journeys in time and which is
always involved in the battle
between good and evil
. She can’t
be left without help from above,
as the more we advance the more
the children of darkness advance,
and the astute strategies of these
can only get keener till the coming
of the antichrist.
Just as St. Louis Maria Grignion
of Montfort foresaw, the last times will be
marked by a new Pentecost
, by an
abundant down-pouring of the Holy Spirit
on priests and laypersons with a double
effect: a higher degree of holiness, inspired
after the holy Mountain which is Mary, and
an apostolic zeal to accompany the
evangelization of the world.
Mary’s apparitions in recent times at
Medjugorje come under this scope: to
provoke conversion to Christ through
consecration to Mary’s Immaculate Heart.
Therefore, we can see the apparitions as
prophetic signs which come to us from
on High to prepare us for the future.
However, as we wait for the Church
to make an official declaration what can
we do?
What should we think about the
thousands of apparitions at Medjugorje?
Being passive about it – taking no interest
- is definitely not good. Paul invites
Christians to discern, to keep what is good
and reject what is bad. It is right that people
have ideas, that a personal experience is
able to mature in them born of contact with
the place and the visionaries. No one can
deny that at Medjugorje one experiences a
deep sense of prayer, of poverty and
simplicity and that many distant and
distracted Christians have felt the call to
conversion and authentic Christian living.
For many, Medjugorje stands for pre-
evangelization and a way which sets you
on the right journey. These are experiences
which can’t be denied.”
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What do we think the new year will bring?
At times, when we are tried in our
spiritual life, it may seem that we’ve
reached a blind alley, that we’re turning
around in circles and tripping over the same
errors. It is precisely then that we must lift
up the eyes of our soul and rest them on the
Most High. He never ceases radiating His
love on us. We must not fall into the error
of measuring God’s action according to our
human criteria.
Maybe we all have moments where it
seems that in our spiritual journey we’ve
taken one step forward and two steps
back; but our vision of things is limited
and partial. It is important, instead, to allow
God to trace out the path of our life to the
very end. He knows best, and we don’t
always see that certain trials have taken
us forward.
The Lord fulfils His project and
works powerfully in mankind’s history.
Thus, “this is a time of grace” means that
day by day the coming of His kingdom
advances; and it is what the Lord taught
us to ask for in the Lord’s Prayer.
In the Book of Revelation we read of
the ultimate destiny of the Universe: the
new Jerusalem which is none other than
the new Church in which Christ is the
Emmanuel, the God-with-us. There, the
redeemed will see Him face to face “and
there will no longer be death, or mourning,
or crying, or pain”
(Rev 21:4).
This is God’s wish for humanity;
A new year is about to begin. Once
again the Lord, in His goodness, grants us
a new time, a new page in history, leaving
us total freedom to write on it what we
. We Christians are asked to live
every day as an irreplaceable gift of God
and to accept it with all the gratefulness
and joy of one who receives a gift-wrapped
parcel, knowing that whatever it contains
it is good.
If we look at the world’s situation, and
at times even the reality which surrounds
us, it isn’t always easy to keep our hope
We must keep the eyes of the soul
wide open because the Enemy uses all his
strength to take away the joy of hope and
to demoralize us by pointing out all the
negative things. He wants us to fall into
indifference which becomes pessimism,
then depression, then despair.
At Medjugorje Our Lady calls us
with great patience. She regularly
repeats to us: “this is a time of grace.”
What does this mean? It means that today
– precisely today – the Lord is granting
us the possibility of choosing Him as
Lord of our lives. In whatever difficulty
or prison of sin we find ourselves, we can
still choose God, and offer Him the little
we have: our life, our poverty, our
present. Nothing and no one can stop us
from freely adhering to Him with our
i n n e r r e s p o n s e t o H i s v o i c e w h i c h
continues to call.
this is His plan that He will accomplish
in full.
The responses by singular souls are
fundamental because they can accelerate or
delay the times of accomplishment; but
God’s project will go ahead in any case,
God’s kingdom will come and it will grow
within each soul except in those who freely
decide to flee towards death.
If it is egoistic and illusory to await
that in our lives all should begin to flow
placidly without problems and pain, it is
on the other hand a very precious wish
that we should desire advancing on the
way of holiness, to gradually learn to
accept suffering, and know how to look
beyond the little earthly difficulties and
e n t e r i n t o a n e v e r m o r e i n t i m a t e
relationship with Our Lord. This is, after
all, what the hope of every Christian
should be. Hope is a fundamental virtue,
together with faith and love.
What will the new year bring?
What do we hope the future will hold
for us?
If we await the coming of God’s
kingdom in our souls; if this truly is our
prime and sole desire, then let us rejoice
together, and exult with the entire
Church, for our Almighty King desires
the same thing! Let us then hold firmly
onto our hope: it is a precious pearl. We
are the living members of Christ who
both await and prepare His own desire.
Yes indeed, our hope is His hope!
Francesco Cavagna
of salvation
by Padre Tomislav Vlasic
When the Hebrew people left Egypt
they didn’t know the way which led to the
promised land. God was their way. Every
day the people only needed to let themselves
be led; to trust that He would guide their
steps day by day.
We too journey towards the “new
heavens and new earth.” We too are asked
to ignore all the roads, by-ways and
shortcuts, except one. The only way we
need to know is the Way which leads to
the Father, and that Way has a name. Its
name is Jesus Christ. He is the Shepherd
who leads us, and with Him is the Holy
Spirit, our companion who fortifies us for
the journey. But just like the people at the
time of Moses, also today mankind rebels,
is discouraged, denies its faith and doubts
God’s promises.
Is it a bad world? Is it an ungrateful
world? No. It is only a world without
God’s love
. When a soul is not nourished
with God’s love it experiences rebellion,
division, and hostility. This blocks the way
because man becomes paralyzed and unable
to get out of the vortex of negativity that
ties him down.
How do we normally respond to this
situation? With aggression, accusations,
punishment… but this closes off the road
even more – to ourselves and to others –
and creates fronts of war.
The key that opens the way is only
one: bring God’s love into souls. Even
when these refuse it, we must continue to
love them; and we must remain in God’s
love so this love can grow within us.
God’s love in us will acquire sight, and
we will see what is happening in the soul
that refuses His love; and then we will know
what to do. God’s love in us will acquire
hearing, and we will know how to listen to
the words that are not said. God’s love in us
will receive a new heart that knows how to
love even when faced with refusal and
closed hearts, and in us will grow patience,
humility and goodness.
It is here that the road is opened
within us. On this road souls will find
the way that leads to love
. If a soul has
goodwill he will sooner or later accept this
way, and if we have the courage to descend
as far as his misery, we will be vessels of
grace for the healing of the soul’s every
Prior to becoming Paul, Saul was a
rebel, he persecuted Jesus and the
Apostles. He changed life because
someone, in the name of God, loved to
the point of wanting to spill his own blood
so that Saul’s heart could open. This then
is the key that opens the way of salvation.
What will there be in the new
heavens and new earth? There will be a
life of love where the soul will be free.
There will be the new man, man
transformed into a new creature. But to
get there, we must open the road for
humanity. We do this when no matter what
the situation is our response is only one of
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Return to initial zeal
Silence of the Heart,
Nuptial Tent for the Soul
In this time Our Lady desires leading
us to the celebration of the great nuptial
mystery of the covenant between her
children and the Immolated and Risen
Lamb, who is alive and present in us: “Let
us rejoice and exult and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready” (Rev
Through the voice of Mary God is
calling us - today as never before - into
that fertile wilderness where He desires
speaking to the hearts of His children to
show them how much love He has closed
up in His divine Heart for us. “I will allure
her, and bring her into the wilderness, and
speak tenderly to her … I will betroth you
to me forever” (Hos 2:14-20).
It is for this that in her messages the
Queen of Peace calls us insistently to enter
into that profound inner silence where the
mystery of the living presence of the Most
High in us is manifested: “During the day
seek moments of silence for inner
(message, 24 June 1983).
“Therefore, starting today, decide to
consecrate a time of the day to the
encounter with God in silence
This is, above all, a gift to plead for -
continuously. It is a precious gift through
which the senses of the soul become
receptive to the Spouse. It opens up a
space where God’s light shines; it opens
up within the heart unexpectedly, making
one touch the mystery of God’s presence
in us. It is a profound prayer that renews
the roots of the soul and places us in a
stable communion with God’s Heart:
Pray to Jesus to grant you the gift of
inner silence.
Through the gift of inner
silence you can learn to pray continuously”
(20 Feb. 1986).
The deafening voices of the countless
idols of our time and the relentless whirling
of dead words that kill men’s consciences
blunt – as it were - the sole Word of Life
that the Most High continues to whisper
to the hearts of His children: that “gentle
breeze” (1 K 19:12) able to regenerate the
heart of Elijah on Horeb, and which still
today acts as a vehicle for the currents of
grace and new life wanting to be poured
into our souls so devastated, instead, by
mortal weakness.
Our Lady is calling us to freely and
joyously rid ourselves of all spiritual
chains, so that we can descend into the
chamber of inner listening which tremors
like the heart of the Bride who awaits her
Beloved in the Canticle of Canticles: “I
sleep but my heart is awake” (Sg 5:2).
The call by the Queen of Peace is even
stronger in the times of the liturgical year
when the gift of grace – decisive for our
own life – is manifested with greater
intensity: “During Advent I strongly
suggest that you withdraw into the silence
of your heart as frequently as possible”
(29 Nov. 1985);
“None of you remembered
to withdraw into silence on Christmas day
to experience the presence of the Child
(26 Dec. 1985).
If we want to enter this Sanctuary of the
New Covenant where we are given to
encounter “in spirit and truth” (Jn 4:23) the
life-giving presence of the Most High, the
way is the same proclaimed by Jesus in
His Gospel. Thus, to be able to cross the
threshold of that nuptial tent where the soul
regains its original spotless state one needs
to “love the Son and keep His Word” (Jn
. That is, accept His “new
commandment” by “loving one another as
He has loved us” (Jn 15:12). It is the only
way the Father can love us and the fire of
the Trinitarian life can “come to us” to
“make their home with us” (cf. Jn 14:23).
It is for this that Mary calls us tirelessly
to unite our life to Christ’s Eucharistic
Heart, so that the old silence of death that
oppresses our poor hearts is transformed
into a space where the new heavens and
new earth shine resplendent with the light
of the Lamb (cf. Rev 21:23).
It is, in fact, only through this live
communion with the immolated Love of
the Son – who freely offers His life for
the salvation of His brethren – that the
silence of the heart will become the place
of radical regeneration for the soul, and
an endless source of new life for the world:
“Thus, my Children, in the silence of your
heart remain with Jesus, so that He can
change you and transform you with His
(25 July 1998).
This is the altar for the regal priesthood
of the new people of the Covenant, the
place where all our history with all its
suffering, joy and hope is offered to the
Father to be accepted into His Heart and
transfigured in the light of the new
creation. This is the spiritual space being
disclosed by Mary for her children where
the soul adores its Lord and is mystically
united to Him to generate divine life in the
souls of a multitude of brothers and sisters
in the entire universe: “Convert, my
Children, and go down on your knees in
the silence of your heart. Put God at the
centre of your very being”
(25 May 2001);
“… this evening withdraw into silence.
Your task – I say again – is nothing else
but to adore God and remain in His
(24 June 1986).
Giuseppe Ferraro
Eternal loneliness of a God
God of Love...
Love deep, and full; overflowing.
If but the subjects of His love would receive
it, and He could live eternally with them.
And no longer alone, but surrounded
by beloved-lovers…
For this He wanted the world, beautiful and
so rich: to be, to grow, to learn and acquire
seeds of holiness;
And once back home, His creatures
would share in all His divine attributes,
with love and comprehension,
befitting their state of children created in His
own likeness.
God alone no longer;
but God with His children:
matured, they reach the heights of God.
Stefania C.
News from the blessed land
Lights of Medjugorje
… in a film

The Lord says: “I am the light of the
world. Whoever follows me will have the
light of life”
(Jn 8,12). People do not like
darkness. Darkness and obscurity are places
of doubt. To be in darkness means to be blind
in spite of the eyes that we have. So, what
should we do? Go to the light. Be light.
The documentary, “Lights of
Medjugorje,” recently premiered in
Dubrovnik. This title immediately raises
the question: what are these lights? The
documentary was made by three young
men who came to Medjugorje almost by
chance. They decided to bring the light they
received to the life of their colleagues, and
to wherever there is darkness. Flooded with
light, their desire is to carry this light to
others. They encountered the light in
Medjugorje through Our Lady. Inspired by
this light, they made the documentary
“Lights of Medjugorje.”
It is a title which
hides and which reveals much; but it
focuses on Mary’s children who came to
know Jesus and who shattered the darkness
of their own lives. Millions of people have
received the light here, and thus, through
carrying light, they transmit the message
of Jesus to the whole world: He is the Light
of the world.
A new year has begun. A new time, a
new chance is given us. Let us make good
use of it. To be light in the darkness is a
. To be light means first and
foremost to be a witness of hope and of joy:
fruits of faith in Christ. In his message for
the New Year, John Paul II wrote: “Do not
let yourself be overcome by evil, but be
victorious over evil by doing good.” Evil
does not sleep; hope is threatened and
darkness is spreading with aggression, as if
it wanted to darken the sun’s rays. In such a
context only people of faith and people that
are enlightened in the spirit can be mediators
of God. Guided by Mary towards Jesus, let
us make our own film of witness in this new
year which has just begun.
Fr. Mario Knezovic
Christmas message
to Jakov
Jakov had his last daily apparition of
Our Lady on the 12th September 1998.
On that occasion Our Lady told him that
she would appear to him once a year on
Christmas day, 25 December. As with each
year since then Our Lady appeared to
Jakov, and she gave the following message:
“Dear children, Today, on this day of
grace, with little Jesus in my arms, I call
you especially to open your hearts and
to start to pray. My Children, pray to
Jesus that He might be born in each of
your hearts and begin to rule in your
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lives. Pray to Him for the grace to be able
to recognize Him always and in every
person. My Children, ask Jesus for love,
because it is only with God’s love that you
can love God and all people. I carry you
all in my Heart and give you my Motherly
The apparition lasted 7 minutes. Our
Lady came with the Child Jesus in her
Reflecting with Fr. Slavko
Reflections on the
meaning of the
Our Lady is faithful to the
promises she made to the
visionaries. She said she
would appear to them till
the end of their lives. She is still appearing
to some every single day, and to the others
once a year. Our Lady clearly wants to
remain in direct contact with the visionaries.
In any case, this is a great gift for the
visionaries, and also for us.
Frequency of the apparitions
The apparitions help us to understand
the meaning of: “Emmanuel, God-with-
us.” Mary too, since she is Mother of the
Emmanuel and our mother, is always with
us. There are some who ask why Our Lady
appears daily, and these same people
preach that God is always with us and that
Our Lady always accompanies us.
However, when the daily apparitions began
at Medjugorje they began to say that it was
The annual apparitions to Mirjana,
Ivanka and Jakov are distributed in a way
that we often think of our mother, Mary.
We don’t know what will happen when
the daily apparitions cease also for Marija,
Vicka and Ivan and what period of the year
they’ll receive annual apparitions.
However, the actual annual apparitions are
well distributed throughout the year in a
way that we often think of Mary: March
for Mirjana, June for Ivanka, and
Christmas for Jakov.
When the other three visionaries cease
to receive daily apparitions I presume Our
Lady will appear about every 2 months.
This will be most beautiful because also
after the end of the daily apparitions Our
Lady will often be with us.
Our Lady will thus continue to be in
touch with us and all will proceed along
the same direction. At the beginning Mary
was giving us messages much more
frequently, then starting 1
March 1984
every Thursday. Then the rhythm changed
again, and from 1
January 1987 to date,
she gives a message on the 25
of every
Hence, when Mirjana, Ivanka and
Jakov ceased having daily apparitions a
new structure emerged; it’s a new school, a
new rhythm.
The meaning of the secrets
I have spoken with theologians and
many experts on apparitions, but
personally I have found no theological
explanation for why there are secrets.
Someone once said that perhaps Our Lady
would like to tell us that we don’t know
everything, that we must be humble. So
why are there secrets, and how can they
be explained? I have often asked myself:
why should I need to know, for example,
that at Fatima there are three much-
discussed secrets? And, why do I need to
know that Our Lady said something to the
visionaries at Medjugorje that I can’t
know? For me and for us the most
important thing is to know all that I already
know about everything she has said!
For me the important thing is that she
has said: “God is with us! Pray, convert,
God will grant you peace!” To the contrary,
God alone knows how the end of the world
will be, and we need not worry ourselves
or make problems over it. Some think
immediately of catastrophes as soon as
they hear speak of apparitions. But this
would mean that Mary comes solely to
announce catastrophes. This interpretation
is wrong. Our Mother, Mary, comes to
her children when she knows they are in
I have noticed that when the secrets
are accepted, people concentrate on the
journey indicated by Mary, and when the
journey is taken, the way becomes the only
important thing.
Motherly lessons
I have found that I am able to accept
without difficulty the motherly teaching
that has emerged with the apparitions. For
example, each mother could say to her
child: if you are good during the week there
will be a surprise for you on Sunday. Now
every child is curious and would like to
immediately know what the surprise is.
The mother, however, is concerned that
her child is good and obedient, and that is
why she gives him a certain interval of
time before rewarding him. If the child is
not good, then there will be no surprise,
and the child may think that his mother
had lied; but his mother wanted only to
indicate a way. Those who expect only
the surprise without accepting the way will
never understand that it was all true.
Regarding the secrets that Our Lady
has entrusted to the visionaries of
Medjugorje, it might be that they don’t
know the contents one hundred percent.
In the Bible the prophet Ezekiel speaks of
a great banquet prepared by God for all
the peoples of Zion, and they will come
and take without paying. If someone had
asked Ezekiel if it were the Zion they knew,
he would have surely responded yes. Yet
still today Zion is a desert. The prophecy
was true, but we see that there is no
banquet in Zion, but that Jesus in the
Tabernacle is the new Zion. The Eucharist
all over the world is the Zion where people
come and take part in the banquet prepared
by God for us all.
Proper preparation
With regards to the secrets it is
definitely better not to want to guess,
because it would all be in vain. It would
be better to recite another Rosary rather
than talk about the secrets. Impatiently
waiting for the secrets to be revealed
removes our concentration from what is
important. There are catastrophes, floods,
earthquakes and wars every day, but unless
I am personally involved they are not
catastrophic for me. To wait for something
to happen is similar to a student who
continually asks himself when the exam
will be, when his turn will be and whether
the prof. will be well disposed or not. It’s
the same as a student not studying or
preparing himself for the exam even
though the exam is upon him, but
concentrates instead only on the “secrets,”
on what is unknown to him.
So you see, we must do what we can
do, and the secrets will no longer be a
problem for us.
with Fr. Angelo…
Elizabeth VARGA, first and devoted
translator of Echo in Hungarian has
joined Fr. Angelo in heaven.
A professor in French, she translated
from our French edition all the articles for
her own monthly edition in Hungary. It is
for this reason that over the past fifteen
years we became dear friends. I remember
the conversations we shared each time
there was an edition, interspersed with
laughter and personal reflections. I loved
her for her generosity and devotion, but
also for her straightforwardness. She was
so devoted that when she was to have her
first operation she postponed it so she
could finish the translations and get the
Echo out without any delay. Then it
became necessary for daily medical
treatment, and she required operations ever
more frequently, causing her intense pain.
When she was unable to use a computer
she dictated the translations to a friend –
also called Elizabeth – to whom we ensure
our friendly support.
Our last telephone conversation, shortly
before she passed away, was a wonderful
opportunity to praise God for our
friendship which was definitely made
richer under the protection of Our Blessed
Mother. When I tried to ring her again to
wish her a happy birthday she had already
flown to Heaven, and close to the Queen
of Angels she received my call there.
We hold you in our prayers my dear
Elizabeth. Intercede for us and for our
beloved Echo.
Yvonne Maisonneuve
translator for the French-edition Echo
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Our readers write ...
Mrs. M. Williams, England: I have
really been enjoying reading the Echo. I’ve
been receiving it for a few years and
appreciate all the work put into editing it.
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donation for your publication. Thank you
so much for your wonderful dedication to
the Echo which I look forward to
receiving. It has so much spiritual input.
Many thanks and many, many blessings.
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want to thank you for sending us the Echo.
Our first copy arrived recently and we
were very happy. Warm greetings and
much peace and prosperity to you all this
Christmas and for the new year.
Frances Cinelli, Canada: I eagerly
await each edition of the Echo (I’ve been
receiving it since 1994). It always seems
to come when I need to hear Our Lady’s
message most. It’s providential – and in a
paper which comes from so far away! Our
Mother sends me comfort just at the right
time. How does she do that? A mother
always knows what her children need!
How wonderful! Thank you for your
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Beatitudes, Israel: We’ve been receiving
and distributing the Echo of Mary in various
languages for over 15 years. Thank you
for sending us Echo in English, Spanish
and Italian. May the Lord and Our Lady
bless you, and us and all those who read
the Echo with joy and devotion. We wish
you all a blessed Christmas and new year,
in the hope that God in His Goodness will
grant us the much desired gift of Peace.
C. Thomatos, Greece: God’s
blessings on all of you at the Echo of Mary,
and heartfelt thanks for your publication.
Cecilia Altamirano, Argentina: The
peace of Christ be with you all! I write
with much joy to thank you for sending
me your publication. All the members of
our prayer group, “Queen of the Apostles,”
enjoy reading it; also our family members,
and religious and priests. We all enjoy
reading such a wonderful paper. Thanks
so much.
Greetings from far-away
Bev O’Brien, W.Australia: . Thank
you so much for your wonderful
newsletter which I really enjoy reading and
then pass on to friends. May Jesus and
His Holy Mother shower you with
Ruth McGrath, Australia: I
thoroughly enjoy reading your leaflets and
loved the article on the European flag with
the twelve stars placed in a circle originally
modelled on the miraculous medal. Please
accept my donation and keep sending me
this wonderful spiritual reading.
Marianne Nulley, Australia: Thank
you for the Echo of our Blessed Mother. I
always look forward to receiving your
inspiring information, especially now that
we’ve been on a long pilgrimage to
Medjugorje ourselves. I enclose my
donation. God bless you abundantly.
Mrs. R. McDevitt, Australia: Thank
you so much for your timeless devotion
to Our Lady Queen of Peace that brings
us the Echo as food for our souls.
… and from AFRICA
Fr. Anastasio Tricarico, Comboni
missionary, Zambia: Fr. Alberto passed
away some years ago, but we’d like to
continue receiving the Echo; address it to
the Comboni mission. As in many other
parts of the world, also here devotion to
Our Blessed Mother is attacked on all
fronts; but Our Lady always finds new
ways so that all generations may call her
James Deo, Tanzania: I greet you in
the Name of Jesus our Saviour. We wish
to thank you all for the dedication you
show towards the Blessed Mother. Echo
is an inspiration to us all. God bless you
Stella Dorkenoo, Togo: I first
discovered Echo at Dakar in Senegal where
I studied to become a pharmacist. I’ve been
through quite a lot of hard times, but during
the worst of them I came across a
Medjugorje prayer group. We met on
Wednesdays and Fridays at 1 pm in the
church of St. Joseph to pray the complete
Rosary, and we also fasted and included
everyone in our prayer. I promised the
Virgin Mary that if she helped me finish
my studies I’d call my pharmacy after her.
Well she did, and I did. Most of my
customers, upon seeing the name, ask me
who “Our Lady of Medjugorje” is. So
please send me more copies of the Echo
so they can see for themselves. God bless
Dear Friends,
After having crossed the threshold of 20
years, Echo – by the will of God – will
continue on its journey together with you
who follow it with much faithfulness and
love. However, as we have already notified
in our previous issue, its economical
situation forces us to look into the future
with much realism.
The Echo, as you know, lives solely on
providence. Many are those who’ve
become instruments which allow the
publication to continue. Nonetheless, the
costs of production, printing and distribution
continue to grow, with the risk that
donations may not cover these costs. We
are aware how readers are anxious to have
their copy of Echo, and of how Our Lady
loves this little paper which, with its
Franciscan style of poverty, acts as a vehicle
to carry Mary’s words all round the world.
Therefore, with the simplicity of those who
know they are poor and in need of others,
we appeal to each of you to help the Echo
continue to exist.
We shall be grateful for whatever
donations, little and big, you’ll manage to
send to keep Echo on its feet. It is important
for you to know that Echo depends not only
on our commitment but also on your
generosity and responsibility.
Certain that we’ll find comprehension
and readiness in your hearts, we thank you
in advance, and we invoke upon you and all
your dear ones every blessing of God.
The Staff of Echo of Mary