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www.medjugorje.ws » Echo of Mary Queen of Peace » Echo of Mary Queen of Peace 203 (January-February 2009)

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Our Lady’s message, 25
“Dear children! Also today I call you,
in this time of grace, to pray for little Jesus
to be born in your heart. May He, who is
peace itself, give peace to the entire world
through you. Therefore, little children,
pray without ceasing for this turbulent
world without hope, so that you may beco-
me witnesses of peace for all. May hope be-
gin to fl ow through your hearts as a river
of grace. Thank you for having responded
to my call.”
So that Hope might
be born…
On that day you will know that I am in my
Father and you in me and I in you. So says
Jesus to his own (John 14,20) and that day
is the time of the action of the Spirit of Truth
that Jesus promised to those who respect his
commandments (John 14, 15-17). And Paul:
I have been crucifi ed with Christ and it is no
longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me
(Galatians 2, 20). And Mary: Dear Children,
again today I invite you during this time of
grace to pray so that the little Jesus might
be born in your hearts. This is the mystery
that has been hidden for centuries and gene-
rations…that is, Christ in you, hope of glory
(Col 1, 26-27). The incarnation of Jesus, his
birth in man, reveals that man can contain
Now there is no longer any separation
between man and God: the creature is recon-
ciled with his Creator. Now there is no longer
any distance between man and God: God is
in man. Now the Revelation is complete, it
is defi nitive. Now it is our turn to welcome
it in fullness and in all of its capacity, wi-
thout adapting it to ourselves, but actually,
allowing the Spirit to mould us in It. It is not
enough to call ourselves children: we must be
children, live as children. It is not enough to
imitate Jesus: we need to let Jesus live in us,
be children in the Son. Our human abilities
are not suffi cient: we need sacramental life.
The Sacraments are an irreplaceable aid but
they should be experienced: it is not enough
to simply receive them. I am the fruit of the
redeeming sacrifi ce of Jesus on the Cross, but
we must let ourselves be nourished by this
fruit, keep its seeds in our hearts and in our
souls until such time as they bloom and grow
and mature in a plant of eternal Life.
Then Jesus will be alive in us and we will
take Him everywhere we are, without efforts,
without artifi ces, in a wholly simple and na-
tural manner, like the breath that we breathe,
like the palpitations that we do not feel but
that keep us alive. Let us pray with Mary, let
us invite her to pray with us, so that truly, re-
ally, Jesus might be born in our hearts. Are
we dirty? It doesn’t matter: Our Mother will
clean us, she will tidy us up, she will make us
suitable for fulfi lling what she asks; it is suffi -
cient for us to really want it, for us to ardently
desire this. And how can we not want this?
Creation itself is impatiently waiting for the
revelation of God’s children (Rom 8, 19) and
Mary is urging us so that Jesus, who is the
only peace, might give peace to the who-
le world through us. Isn’t this a wonderful
duty? Actually, much more: it is a divine duty
and we can only fulfi l it if Jesus lives in us.
But this is Mary’s, Jesus’, the Father’s wish,
this is what the Spirit expects to fulfi l in us
and he will fulfi l it divinely as soon as we give
our free consent. What are we waiting for?
Let us pray incessantly for this turbu-
lent and hopeless world. Incessant prayer,
insistent prayer moves God, it almost forces
him to grant the grace requested. Let us ex-
pand our prayer from the closed circle of our
friendships to the whole world, let us make
ourselves witnesses of peace for everyone.
The world is turbulent and hopeless. It is
waiting for peace from us, that peace that
only He can give us, that peace that does not
exist outside of Him. That peace that is the
end of all turbulence because it rests in God,
it lives in Him. Let peace fl ow within our
hearts like a river of grace that restores and
regenerates everything that it laps (Ref Ez 47,
Nuccio Quattrocchi
“Saint Paul had understood that being
righteous simply means being with Christ
and in Christ. And this is suffi cient. Other ob-
servations are no longer necessary… Faith is
looking towards Christ, entrusting ourselves
to Christ, attaching ourselves to Christ, con-
forming to Christ, to his life. And the form,
the life of Christ, is love”.
Benedict XVI
Our Lady’s message, 25 December 2008:
“Dear children! You are running, wor-
king, gathering – but without blessing. You
are not praying! Today I call you to stop
in front of the manger and to meditate on
Jesus, Whom I give to you today also, to
bless you and to help you to comprehend
that, without Him, you have no future.
Therefore, little children, surrender your
lives into the hands of Jesus, for Him to lead
you and protect you from every evil. Thank
you for having responded to my call.”
You have no future
without Jesus
Blessing is a divine action that gives life and
of which the Father is the source…From the
beginning to the end of all time, all God’s work
is blessing (Catechism of the Catholic Church,
texts 1078 and 1079). Imploring a divine bles-
sing on somebody or something means expo-
sing it to Life, it means directing it towards
the fullness of live that comes from the Father.
Dear children, you run, you work, you ga-
ther but without blessing. In these words the-
re is the bitterness of a Mother who is aware
of the fact that without blessing the fruit is not
adequate for the effort, life is a blind, frenetic
agitation that consumes more than what it pro-
duces, that destroys more than what it builds.
Sucked in by an ever more swirling pre-
sent, we lose the sense of the transcendent; we
conceal ourselves within the present instant,
forgetting the past, uninterested in the future.
The profound essence of what we are escapes
us, the importance of what we do, of what we
see, of what we touch, of what we want. We
are losing the sense of things, of our actions,
of what is good and what is evil. “See, I have
set before you today life and good, death and
evil, in that I command you today to love the
LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to
keep His commandments, His statutes, and His
judgments, that you may live and multiply; and
the LORD your God will bless you…(Dt 30,
15 – 16).
You cannot enter Life without God’s bles-
sing; the alternative to the blessing is the curse
(Dt 11 26-28) We cannot live without Him, wi-
thout communicating with Him, that is, without
praying. Pray incessantly, Paul warns us (1 Ts
5, 17). But: You do not pray!, Mary says to us.
And “not praying” means not paying attention
to God, not turning to Him, not communicating
with Him, in other words, it means excluding
him from our lives or, in the same way, exclu-
ding ourselves from His Life, living without a
future is like grass that grows up in the mor-
ning and is cut down in the evening (Ref Psalm
89 (90)).
Today I invite you to linger in front of
the crib and meditate on Jesus whom I give
to you today also, so that he might bless you
and help you to understand that you have
no future without Him. Let us take this invita-
January-February 2009 - Year 25 # 1-2 - Echo of Mary, Via Cremona, 28 - 46100 Mantova - Italy.
www.ecodimaria.net - A translation of the original Italian: Eco di Maria
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tion into serious consideration. First of all, the
crib: this simple, humble, wonderful homage
to Jesus and Mary promoted by Saint Francis
of Assisi in Greccio in 1223, is still an expres-
sion of faith and prayer for the Catholic people
today; Mary invites us to linger in front of it.
To grasp its profound meaning, to make it an
instrument of prayer, it is not suffi cient to quic-
kly pass in front of it; we need to stop in front
of the crib. We need to take in what it expres-
ses, we need to grasp its message, and we need
to enter into the Event.
I invite you to meditate on Jesus, whom I
give to you again today, Mary says to us; not
only the historical memory of the Event but its
renewal today. Today too, Mary gives us the
gift of Jesus. She does not give us a memory,
she gives us Jesus: we can refuse him or wel-
come him; but if we welcome him, we must
welcome him like He is. Not an idea, a plan,
a rule, but God-Man, God who comes in Man,
God who comes in you, in me, to live in each
of us. His Presence in us is the greatest, sta-
ble, defi nitive blessing from Him, to refuse this
Presence means to refuse Life; without Him
we have no future, without Him we cannot do
anything (John 15, 5b). Oh Father, accept our
offering on this night of light, and through this
mysterious exchange of gifts, transform us into
Christ your Son, who raised man up, alongside
you, in glory (Offertory of the Mass of the night
of Christmas). I have been crucifi ed with Christ
and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who
lives in me (Galatians 2, 20). Therefore, chil-
dren, abandon your lives into Jesus’ hands
so that He might guide you and protect you
from all evil.
B r i e f l y
One million Bibles will be distributed
this new year by the international Ecumenical
community of Taizé, through “Operation
hope”. This is “a sign of love and communion
for the people of China”, said the Prior of the
community, Brother Alois.
“Man cannot live on bread alone!”,
warn the French Bishops in a document that
opposes the planned law for work on Sundays.
For Christians above all, Sunday is a day of
rest and also of freedom from evil through
the resurrection of Christ. “The Sunday ga-
thering celebrates the “celestial banquet” in
advance, and the hope for the return of the
Lord. At the same time, the Sunday Mass ex-
presses the meaning and the aim of the life of
Christians”, explains the document.
“Fight poverty, build peace” is the
theme of World Peace Day. In his message,
the Pope explained that there is: “The pover-
ty that is chosen and proposed by Jesus on
the one hand, and the poverty to be fought
against to make the world more righteous and
united on the other”. In fact, “There is a po-
verty, an indigence, that God does not want
and that should be “fought”. In order to put
an end to this unjust poverty that oppresses
so many men and women and that threatens
everyone’s peace, we need to rediscover two
evangelical and universal values: sobriety
and solidarity”. In actual fact, “we cannot
effectively fi ght misery, if we do not reduce
the inequality between those who waste the
superfl uous and those who are even lacking
the essential”.
The year dedicated to the fi gure of Saint
Paul continues and his work continues to
arouse a signifi cant amount of interest. As
we know, his work is one of the biblical
fundamentals on which the Church and in
general the pathway of every Christian lies.
Everywhere there are many initiatives aimed
at developing the Apostle’s awareness of the
people and the inheritance left by him: a very
rich patrimony from which we can continuou-
sly draw teachings and examples.
But above all, it is on the anniversary of
his conversion, the 25
of January, the date
that also closes the traditional octave of pra-
yer for the unity of Christians, that the Roman
Basilica of Saint Paul will be particularly
populated. In fact, offi cial representatives of
the different Christian confessions will come
from all over the world for the celebration of
the solemn Vespers presided over by Pope
Benedict XVI.
In his preaching, the Holy Father never
fails to mention the extracts from Paul’s let-
ters, as a testimony of the completeness of
Paul’s thought and the universal capacity of
his message. We will outline some of his con-
siderations below regarding two themes that
were dear to Saint Paul: the second coming of
Christ and evangelisation.
“Do not fear the coming
of the Lord!”
“When faced with the parousia, that is,
the latest coming of Jesus, Christians must
adopt three types of behaviour: absence of
fear, hope and faith in divine mercy”, explains
the Holy Father.
Firstly, one of the essential effects of
Christian preaching in the ancient world, as
in the current pagan world, was freedom from
fear, “the fear of the spirits, of the evil powers
that threaten us. Christ lives, he has conquered
death and he has won over all these powers. In
this certainty, in this freedom, in this joy we
live. This is the fi rst aspect of our living with
regard to the future”.
Secondly, he added, “in Christ the world
of the future has already commenced, this
also gives the certainty of hope. Without
Christ, the future is dark for the world today
also, there is lots of fear for the future. The
Christian knows that the light of Christ is
stronger and therefore he lives in a hope that
is not vague, in a hope that gives certainty and
courage to face the future”.
Thirdly, the Christian must always adopt
a behaviour of responsibility for the world:
“Working and knowing in our responsibility
that God is a true judge, we are also sure that
this judge is good, we know his face, the face
of the risen Christ, of Christ crucifi ed for us.
Therefore we can be sure of his goodness and
go onwards with great courage”. Only if we
cultivate it in our hearts can this experience
“make the sufferings of the present moment
tolerable, they are not comparable with future
The fundamental message that Saint Paul
transmits in the letter to the Thessalonians re-
garding the return of Christ, beyond the ima-
ges with which he describes him, is that “our
future is ‘being with the Lord’ ”, regarding
believers, in our life we are already with the
Lord, our future, eternal life, has already be-
Throughout the entire period of Advent,
in the liturgy, the Church repeated: “Maranà
thà!”, which literally means “Come, our
Lord!”. “Can we too also pray in this man-
ner?”, Benedict XVI asks himself. “It seems
to me that for us today, in our life, in our
world, it is diffi cult to pray sincerely so that
this world might perish, so that the new
Jerusalem might come, so that the last jud-
gement and the judge Christ might come….
And yet we must pray that “the world might
be fundamentally changed, that the civilisa-
tion of love might commence, that a world
of justice, peace, without violence, without
hunger might come. We want all of this: and
how can this happen without the presence of
(from the General Audience of 12
November 2008).
“Only those who have
met him….”
The theme of evangelisation is more cur-
rent than ever during our era, which is mar-
ked profoundly by that which the Holy Father
calls the curse of “relativism”. Paul’s ability
to bring the annunciation of the kingdom to
all peoples, today becomes an essential requi-
rement in order to topple the walls of indif-
ference and disinterestedness that surround
man’s heart and that defend an ever-growing
and worrying individualism. For this reason,
the Pope reminds us how the concept of Saint
Paul’s apostolate “went beyond that linked
only to the group of the Twelve”.
But what makes a true apostle of a man?
The Pontiff explains: “In Paul’s writings the-
re are three main characteristics that make
the apostle, the fi rst is that of having “seen
the Lord”, that is, of having had a meeting
with him that was determining for one’s own
life”. Beginning from this meeting in fact,
Paul began his mission, because he who had
persecuted the Church ferociously “could not
continue to live like before, now he felt inve-
sted by the Lord with the duty to announce his
Gospel as an apostle”.
Although he always felt unworthy, Paul is
sure of his apostolate because “it is in it that
the fertility of God’s grace is expressed, God
who knows how to transform a fl awed man
into a wonderful apostle”. “Defi nitively, it
is the Lord who constitutes someone in the
apostolate, not one’s own presumption. The
apostle is not self-made, he is made as he is
by the Lord; therefore, the apostle needs to
constantly relate to the Lord”, underlines the
“Having been sent”, that is, being an “am-
bassador and bearer of a message”. This is the
second characteristic. Paul defi nes himself as
an apostle of Jesus beginning from the fact
that the initiative was only Christ’s: “from
Him a mission was received, to be fulfi lled in
his name, putting all personal interest in se-
cond place”.
Finally, dedicating one’s own life to this
mission is the third characteristic. “That of
“apostle”, in fact, is not and cannot be an ho-
norary title. It fully and dramatically involves
the entire existence of the party involved”, the
Pontiff reminds us. And so those who wish
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Echo 203
to be one of Jesus Christ’s credible apost-
les cannot but personally pay the dear pri-
ce of the annunciation: “Nobody like Paul
has highlighted how the annunciation of the
cross of Christ appears to be “scandal and
stupidity”, to which many people react with
incomprehension and refusal. This happened
at that time and we must not be surprised that
the same thing also happens today”. But the-
se sufferings cannot “crush” because they are
always accompanied by the “joy of being the
bearer of God’s blessing and of the grace of
the Gospel”.
“This is the certainty, the deep joy that
guides the apostle Paul throughout all of these
events: nothing can separate us from God’s
love. And this love is the true wealth of hu-
man life”, the Pontiff concluded.
Editorial Staff
A new blossoming
for astronomy
2009 marks the celebration of the fourth
centenary since Galileo Galilei’s fi rst ob-
servations thanks to the telescope. This
event inspired UNESCO to proclaim World
Astronomy Year. Pope Benedict XVI has re-
called this initiative on several occasions, un-
derlining the fact that we are currently seeing
a “new blossoming” in this fi eld, “thanks to
the passion and faith of many scientists, who
– following in Galileo’s footsteps – do not
renounce either reason or faith, but actually
value both to the utmost, in their reciprocal
Perhaps not everyone knows that in the
far of 1600’s, Galileo was condemned by
the Church for his convictions on the theory
of the earth moving around the sun, which,
according to the Holy Offi ce, contradicted
what was written in the Bible according to the
Holy Spirit, and that is, that the earth was the
immobile centre of the universe. John Paul II
was the one who re-qualifi ed the reputation
of the Florentine mathematician after no less
than 300 years of scientifi c research.
A few months ago, the new pope returned
to address the subject again: “Christian thou-
ght compares the cosmos to a “book” – so
said Galileo also – considering it as the work
of an author”, according to this book, he affi r-
med, “it is divine love, incarnated in Christ,
that is the fundamental and universal law of
creation. This should not be understood in a
poetic sense, but in a real sense. This means
that the stars, the planets, the whole universe
are not governed by a blind force, they do not
obey the dynamics of matter only”.
Astronomy therefore is also at the centre
of many people’s attention in the Church:
“Among my predecessors of venerated me-
mory – recalled the Pope – there were ex-
perts in this science”. It is worth noticing
that the Specola Vaticana, founded in 1578
by Gregory XIII, is among the most ancient
astronomy observatories.
But why does astronomy attract the
Church’s attention so much? First of all
we see how the rhythm of the religious cele-
brations are inserted into the lunar and solar
cycles. Easter is combined with the equinox
and the full moon and “the position of the fe-
ast of Christmas is associated with the Winter
solstice, when the days in the northern hemi-
sphere start to get long again” the Pope re-
called this in one of his Christmas homilies.
Astronomy has always made its contribution
to the fi eld of sacred architecture also: “an-
cient cathedrals were veritable cosmic repre-
sentations. Their orientation indicated the car-
dinal points, the solar clock dictated the hours
of the day…This reminds us of the function of
astronomy in articulating prayer times”, con-
tinues Benedict XVI.
There is also another important factor.
Gazing towards the heavens helps man to put
himself in the right perspective before God,
that is, it allows him to admit his smallness
and to make space for the wonder that leads
to true adoration, as is the case for the Wise
Men from the East. It is for this reason that
the observation of the universe is felt by the
Church to be a veritable service of praise to
the Creator: “If the heavens “narrate the glo-
ry of God”, as the psalm says, the laws of na-
ture are also a great stimulus in contemplating
by Pietro Squassabia
the Lord’s works with a sense of gratitude”.
It is a great opportunity for all of us,
God’s people on our pathway, to allow
ourselves to be attracted by what the Church
will succeed in developing in this “astrono-
mical year”, in the awareness that the birth of
the Creator of the universe on earth actually
has a cosmic capacity. The mystery of God
who becomes man, in fact, answers every
man’s need and the need of all of creation, as
the Pope also stated: “Apart from its histori-
cal dimension, this mystery of salvation also
has a cosmic dimension: Christ is the sun of
grace, which, with its light, transfi gures and
enlightens the universe that is waiting…It is
not therefore the cosmic element that should
be divinised, but the opposite, in everything
and beyond everything, there is a personal
will, the Spirit of God, which revealed itself
in Christ as Love”.
Editorial Staff
Like fl owers in the garden
Simple and unassuming fl owers can create pleasant fl owerbeds like no other fl ower can
manage to produce on its own even if it is very beautiful. The expert work of a gardener is
obviously necessary to arrange them in a suitable manner, in soil that is appropriate for the
garden, which is well fertilized and irrigated. They may even be almost insignifi cant fl owers
but if well arranged alongside each other, they can create a pleasant and harmonious view. But
a fl ower will only grow freely if it allows itself to be “guided”, developing its utmost abilities,
if there, where the gardener put it, it does not stumble upon obstacles, such as unsuitable soil,
briars and anything else that may impede vigorous and beautiful growth. As long as the garde-
ner takes care of the fl owers.
This gardener refers us back to another “gardener”, the celestial gardener, God, who arran-
ged a beautiful garden on earth, with stupendous fl owerbeds, although consisting of humble
and simple “fl owers” - human beings. Here, the “celestial gardener” assigned a precise place
to the “fl owers”, according to the soil that is most suitable for each of them, on the basis of the
irrigation and the fertilizer considered to be most appropriate for each fl ower. Here, positioned
harmoniously one alongside the other and not isolated, the “fl owers” grow freely and splen-
didly because they are not impeded by stones, briars or weeds, that the gardener knows how
to remove. Yes, here the “fl owers” are free to love with the love of God, to think with God’s
thoughts, to want according to God’s wishes. Here, in God’s garden, man can experience what
is true. For this reason he is free to love everyone, even those who are indifferent or who cause
him to suffer. He has no reservations for anyone.
This is the look of the new land, that houses the fl owering garden that Jesus, coming onto
the earth, came to bring: where everyone, without “stones” to impede them, is given the ability
to love everyone, with no exclusions, with the same love of God. Mary invites us to grow in the
beautiful fl owering garden prepared by her Son: it is up to us to confi rm our willingness. Here,
Mary lets us grow as splendid fl owers, if we let her work.
Beyond appearance
A newborn baby, a fragile and defenceless little body, this is the appearance of God who
comes to earth. This is the form in which he chose to express his love to us. Certainly Jesus,
hidden treasure, believed this to be the best way to come among us. He is the Treasure contai-
ned in a “vase” that is not precious and robust, but a clay vase, that is fragile and precarious like
the human body. He could have chosen a resistant and prized “vase” and yet no, he preferred a
humble vase of clay, perhaps to help us understand that what seems strong and is ostentatious,
often obscures the Treasure, making it impossible to fi nd.
Already on many occasions in the past, God said, also through the prophets, that he does not
look at appearance but at the heart (1 Sam 16, 7). But man was unable to understand and do
what was said to him: to look beyond appearance. And so the Father sent his Son to give man
this ability: to truly see beyond appearance, to be able to catch a glimpse of God in creation, in
everyday people. In this way, every meeting with our neighbour can become an occasion during
which to meet with God. It is up to us, now, to grasp this possibility that is given to us, this gift.
Only in this manner will we be able to contemplate God’s beauty in creatures, only in this way
every person, regardless of how he presents himself, will be seen as an expression of God’s
love, only in this way will we be able to thank our God for all his wonders.
What a great gift! If we preserve it, perhaps we will understand that the love of Jesus always
passes through his brother, without the preferences that we make. Then we will be able to disco-
ver the Treasure even where we don’t imagine that we will fi nd it. With a humble heart, we will
be able to know the many occasions that are given to us to meet the Lord. Then perhaps, we will
discover that Mary came to Medjugorje to show the Treasure, beyond all appearances. Thank
you Jesus, because through your coming, you allow us to meet you, you who are God, and also
your Mother and ours, beyond all appearances. Thank you Jesus, because you let us understand
that love alone, the source of which lies in You, can let us see beyond all appearance.
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by Giuseppe Ferraro
There are many authoritative voices wi-
thin the Church, but also in lay culture that
now agree in identifying the obscure evil that
torments the world in a generalised eclipse
of hope. We are in fact being pursued more
and more by a crowd of fearful spectres with
many faces: terrorism, devastating economic
crises, the rapid collapse of fundamental va-
lues, that seem to irreparably threaten the fu-
ture of the world and more solidly, of our life
and that of those who live alongside us. The
false hopes fed by the great utopian ideolo-
gies of the last century have also disastrously
collapsed, leaving fragments of a distressing
nothingness behind.
The most acute spiritual aggression no-
wadays seems aimed at making the hope that
lies in the hearts of men die. Hope, in fact, is
indissolubly linked to Faith and Charity by
its essential nature, it represents the incarnate
expression of the presence of the Life of God
in the souls of his children. “Pray children
in a special way because Satan is strong and
he wants to destroy the hope in your hearts”
(Message 25.08.1994).
Although it benefi cially illuminates all
the dimensions of human life and action,
Christian Hope still belongs to an essential-
ly different order from all others that were
subjected to the conditioning and socio eco-
nomic occurrences of the world. It in fact
has a precise object and name: “eternal life”
as the stable, full communion with Life and
with the Heart of God, towards which the
Queen of Peace has been tirelessly calling
her children for more than twenty-seven ye-
ars. “For Christians there is a single beha-
viour to adopt as regards the future: the hope
of salvation” (Message 10.06.1982) I want
to show you the pathway towards eternal
life.”(Message 02.02.1990).
Mary is undoubtedly the true Mother
and Mistress of Hope. In fact, if Abraham
“had faith against all hope and thus beca-
me the Father of many peoples” (Rm 4,18),
Mary did much more so in her “roaming in
faith” which comes to a climax at the foot
of the Cross, she becomes the Mother of the
redeemed, bearing witness to all generations
regarding what is the supreme measure of
The art of living
the time
by Stefania Consoli
Our God has entered time, to sanctify it,
to make it sacred and good. If lived in the
light of grace, every instant contains bits of
eternity, because in God everything expands,
it loses its contours and takes on immense ho-
rizons, beyond all logic and measurement.
Everyone has experienced, at least once
in their lives, how through a smile, a gaze
or a word, love is capable of reaching us in
our most intimate selves and giving our heart
full joy, a sense of fulfi lment that seems to
have no beginning or end. Suddenly we feel
in peace and in harmony with everything and
everyone, everything seems favourable and
even adversities seem to lessen. It is as thou-
gh time were to stand still, and we would like
to remain there, to enjoy that fl ash of peace-
God, Love did this, entering our history:
he fi lled it with himself, giving it immortali-
ty, transforming what sin had made corrup-
tible and ended into eternal. Love, in short,
that is the only force capable of overturning
the infl exible laws of time and space and re-
establishing the primordial balances.
A slave of clocks that implacably mark
out commitments, occupations and duties,
man worries, he runs or better said, he runs
after time which seems to fl ee and never be
suffi cient. He would like to stop it to “suc-
ceed in getting everything done…”. But he
cannot! And so, distressed, he evades with
his mind into ideal paradises or into unreal
situations with the illusion of catching his
breath, imagining a peace that is however
only a fantasy.
We fl ee the present that we feel to be too
tight, sometimes detesting it, but we easily
forget that the Infi nite has come to inhabit it,
to extend our little view and to project our
heart into the beyond that awaits us. The
Lord became very tiny, to enter into huma-
nity made of clay; but he wants to grow in
us and with us, in time, to transform us into
beings of heaven.
Those who know how to pray, know
what it means. True prayer immerses us in
a dimension where everything appears to
be accessible, “visitable”, if we really allow
ourselves to be grasped by the Spirit. We can
move freely, from one place to another, from
one time to another, while remaining stable.
It is the soul that goes…And while we savour
the taste of full freedom, prayer also helps
us to stop and ponder on the priorities of our
daily life, to identify what is useless, and then
only choose what is necessary.
Knowing how to manage our time is an
art that God has given to us, offering us a hi-
story that bears traces of the incarnation of
his Son everywhere, who came to visit it to
give body and fulfi lment to all of our actions.
Jesus, beginning and end, alfa and omega
He is the metre stick with which we should
measure reality, in order to experience it
knowledgeably, to value all things that are
created, every event, every hour, and to love
it like He loves it.
If the “glory of God is living man”, then
Christian hope. In fact, as the prophetic word
of the 2
Vatican Council proclaims (Lumen
Gentium No. 68): “The Mother of Jesus…
now shines before God’s wandering people
as a sign of safe hope and consolation, until
such time as the Lord’s day shall come (ref.
2 Pt 3,10)”.
The grace that God gives to the world to-
day through the Queen of Peace, well beyond
every precious doctrinal enunciation, strikes
the body and soul of her children, calling them
to experience an unimaginable love, given as
a gift from above, “if you knew how much I
love you, you’d cry tears of joy!” (Message
01.03.1982). Only this intimate “knowledge”
of the mystery of the boundless Love of God
that fl ows from the Heart of Christ and Mary
can make us true makers of hope. Being able
to spiritually “touch” God’s Heart through
Her; the entire celestial Church, in fact, re-
presents the truest and most precious gift of
the grace of Medjugorje.
The Queen of Peace opens up a hori-
zon of light for us, that goes beyond Hope,
allowing us at the same time, to savour all
of its fullness. In fact, already in the present,
she makes that mystery of communion with
Trinitarian Life that is the object of Christian
Hope liveable and “visible”. “But hope that
is seen is not hope; for why does one still
hope for what he sees?” (Rm 8,24).
We are therefore deeply convinced that
it is only by unconditionally welcoming this
extraordinary gift that God offers us in this
time, through the Queen of Peace, that it will
be truly possible to “open up the pathways
of hope” to the world of today and to the full
realisation of the universal mission of the
If we decide in fact to unreservedly
and truthfully answer Mary’s invitation to
make us creators and instruments of hope for
the men of this time, welcoming and giving
to our brothers, through Her, that same love
of the celestial Lamb that illuminates the new
Jerusalem, then Her Immaculate Heart will
truly triumph throughout the universe, so
as to allow the full and defi nitive victory of
Christ to shine forth over all powers of evil
and over all shadows of death that torment
the world: “Pray so that from your hearts
a fountain of Love might fl ow forth over all
men, and on those who hate you and scorn
you; so with God’s love you might be able to
conquer all misery in that world of pain that
is hopeless for those who do not know Jesus”
(Ref. Message 25.11.1991).
“Christian hope goes beyond the legitimate wait for a social and political libera-
tion, because what Jesus began is a new humanity, that comes “from God”, but at the
same time, it germinates in this land of ours, in the measure in which it allows itself to
be fertilized by the Spirit of the Lord. It is therefore a question of entering fully into
the logic of faith: believing in God, in his plan for salvation, and at the same time,
making a commitment to build his Kingdom. Justice and peace, in fact, are a gift from
God, but they require men and women who are “good land”, ready to welcome the
good seed of his Word.
The fi rstling of this new humanity is Jesus, Son of God and Son of Mary. She, the
Virgin Mother, is the “pathway” that God himself prepared to come into the world.
With all her humility, Mary walks at the head of the new Israel, in the exodus from
all exile, from all oppression, from all moral and material slavery, towards “the new
heavens and the new earth, wherein righteousness dwells” (2 Pt 3, 13). We place our
trust in her maternal intercession, awaiting peace and salvation of men in our time”.
(Benedict XVI, Angelus of 7
background image
“The Rosary
is contemplative prayer”
“We need to personally experience the
beauty and the depth of this prayer which is
simple and accessible to everyone” explains
the Holy Father at the end of the prayer of
the Holy Rosary, recited in the Basilica of
Pompei, dedicated to none other than the
Virgin of the Rosary. “First of all, we need
to allow the Virgin Mary to take us by the
hand and we need to contemplate the face of
Christ: a joyous, luminous, painful and glo-
rious face. Those who, like Mary and with
Her, guard and assiduously mediate on the
mysteries of Jesus, assimilate his sentiments
more and more and become conformant to
The Rosary is school of contemplation
and silence. At fi rst sight, it may seem to be
a prayer that accumulates words that are the-
refore diffi cult to reconcile with the silence
that is rightly recommended for meditation
and contemplation. In reality, this rhythmic
repetition of the Hail Mary does not disturb
interior silence, actually, it requires it and fe-
eds it. As is the case for the Psalms, when we
pray the Liturgy of the Hours, silence blooms
through words and phrases, not like an em-
ptiness, but like a presence of ultimate sense
that transcends words themselves and with
them, speaks to the heart. And so, reciting the
Hail Mary, we need to be careful to ensure
that our voices do not “cover” that of God,
who always speaks through silence, like the
“murmur of a light breeze” (1 Kings 19,12).
It is so important then to take care of this si-
lence full of God both in personal recitation
and in community recitation! Even when it is
prayed by large assemblies, it is necessary for
the Rosary to be perceived as a contemplati-
ve prayer, and this cannot come about if there
is no climate of inner silence.
The Rosary is contemplative prayer
that is accessible to everyone: old and young,
lay people and clerics, educated and less well
educated. It is a spiritual bond with Mary
to remain united with Jesus, to become like
Him, to be like his feelings and behave like
He behaved.
The Rosary is a spiritual “weapon” in
the fi ght against evil, against all violence,
for peace in hearts, in families, in society and
in the world”.
(Pompei, 19 October 2008).
Lord Jesus, we are living in times
in which effi ciency,
planning and tangible results
are exalted. This is not the logic
of your gospel and for this
we give you thanks!
We remain in our furrow,
we soak in silence,
we mature in concealment,
certain that this is the only
“effi cient” pathway
that produces
and continues to create
a surprising dynamism
of love!
Brother Michael Davide
living our time with passion and intensity,
with respect and awareness of the opportuni-
ty that is given, means giving honour to the
Author of time and eternity.
“I want to do ordinary things extraordi-
narily”, Saint Teresina used to write. But this
is only possible if we carry the very heart of
the Loved one in our chest, seeking His face
in all things, looking with His eyes, deciding
with His criteria. Without running, so as not
to allow the taste of life to escape us. If we al-
ways learn to choose the essential, we will in
fact also be able to perceive what hurry often
conceals from us: details that may perhaps
seem insignifi cant, but that are unique and
therefore beautiful.
Our God has entered the temple. He en-
tered through Mary. A woman among wo-
men, but ample within, to the point where
Immensity came to dwell in Her: a cradle to
be born, a nest in which to grow, a mother
to become a man. And living in the time, in
little Nazareth, where only love, sacrifi ced in
peace, marked out the days.
you will not enter the kingdom of heaven”.
To become like children….an apparently
strange suggestion. Nevertheless, the only
one that allows us to discover and set out in
God’s footsteps. This school teaches to ac-
cept God Trinity as he is, in his impenetrable
otherness, in his unheard of and endless abi-
lity to surprise.
This is how the prayer of adoration and
praise is born and fl ows forth, the hymn
of the Amen, the Alleluia, the Hosanna. At
the same time as I accept and welcome the
Trinitarian obscurity, I allow myself to be en-
veloped in it and I answer with the embrace
of my loving welcome that destroys all sha-
dows of resentment, impatience, irritation
and protest.
In fact: AMEN is consent, acceptan-
ce, peaceful welcoming. The happiness of
saying to GOD: I am happy to be “nothing”
and that You alone are everything!
This biblical Amen is mysterious. An
Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek, Latin word. It can-
not be translated. It expresses adoration as
unconditional adhesion to God Trinity: the
mind with faith, the will with hope, the he-
art with love. AMEN! A delicious hymn that
begins in the temple, waits to explode, sacred
and unchangeable, in eternity.
ALLELUIA! It too is a sacred word,
brought by the Angels to the earth, un-
translatable. From the Bible, it entered into
the laudatory and eucharistic liturgy of the
Church, constituting an endless mine. It ex-
presses praise, approval, esteem,
applause, admiration, exaltation, ho-
mage, glorifi cation of God because
he is God.
HOSANNA is on a par with
Amen and Alleluia: it declares
exultance, joy, enthusiasm, applau-
ding consent. Explosive praise that
illuminates time and stretches out, tirelessly,
towards eternity.
The Holy Spirit urges Christ’s disciples
to identify themselves, to transform them-
selves into Amen, Alleluia, Hosanna, giving
life to a tireless adoring prayer, the prayer par
excellence on earth, remaining such also in
Celestial Glory.
It can be put into practice anywhere: be-
fore the Blessed Sacrament exposed or enclo-
sed within the tabernacle of the altar, before
the icon of the Crucifi x. In one’s own home.
Immersing ourselves in an elevating and
solitary daily and nightly landscape. Sitting
down, walking. For a few minutes or for a
long time. With our mouth, with our heart.
Let us acclaim, let us invoke, let us praise
God the Most High, happy to know that he
is present everywhere in the world, in the
Church, in the soul, in the heart.
The Bible meets the adorers of the God
Trinity offering the inestimable mine of
150 psalms, prayers in a poetic form inspired
by the Holy Spirit. They are a special terrain
for an authentic experience of God.
Praying the Psalms we, terrestrial Church,
unite ourselves to the celestial Church to ele-
vate a single hymn of praise, thanksgiving,
exultance and supplication to God, pending
the elating day on which the sun will never
(from: “Tirelessly” by Lorenzo Netto)
2. To be continued
A d o r a t i o n
a n d p r a i s e
This is the most glorifying form of pra-
yer of the Most Blessed Trinity. We will
only be able to understand it after having
experienced our absolute inability to
raise ourselves up and to enter into
the mysterious divine world, if God
himself does not take the initiative.
Men and women saints (men
and women who were made experts
in Trinitarian secrets) teach us that
divine reality is so intensely bright
that it is dazzling, it is so provoca-
tive that it produces absolute, blinding sha-
dows. Because, even when God reveals him-
self and speaks, he always remains He who
is, ineffable, transcendent, sublime, myste-
rious, Other!
In actual fact, throughout the entire extent
of that immense library that is the Bible (Old
and New Testament), God reveals himself
through words, terms, expressions, images
that seem to contradict each other. Symbols
and images produce the sensation of cancel-
ling each other out. In fact: God is merciful,
patient, kind, gentle, ready to forgive… but
he is also righteous, demanding, overwhel-
ming, violent. Lamb and lion…friend and
thief…lover and judge. Surprising. Always
a bit beyond, a little more than what I could
Trinitarian words, expressions, ima-
ges and symbols are all true in themsel-
ves. Each of them expresses a real quality.
They are enormous windows, opened wide
over unimaginable, extraordinary views. And
nevertheless, they remain absolutely inade-
quate, impotent and incapable of expressing
(each of them) the Trinitarian reality that
infi nitely transcends human reason. Biblical
language is willingly obscure and apparently
contradictory. It confuses conceited know-
ledge, the arrogant ambition of any science
and human culture.
At the entrance to the evangelical school
we fi nd the following written in large charac-
ters: “if you do not become like children,
background image
A safe bridge
At the beginning of December, many
Italians took advantage of the four days
of holidays called: “The long weekend of
the Immacolata”. It is a long weekend that
starts with the feast of Saint Nicholas of
Bari and then ends with the Solemnity of the
Immaculate Conception.
Saint Nicolas is the patron saint of sai-
lors, and during those days a protector of that
kind was necessary for those who started out
on their journey from Italy through a parti-
cularly choppy sea: a courageous journey
to celebrate the “Virgin Mother, daughter of
your Son, humble and high more than any
creature…” (Dante Alighieri) in Medjugorje.
With their pilgrimage, these people actually
built a beautiful “bridge” over the sea, thus
creating the arch of celestial blessing that ac-
companied them throughout their journey. A
blessing that they had implored through pra-
yers, sacrifi ces and renunciations. Interesting
In the song of the Dawn
In the liturgy of Advent, the Marian
character is very much underlined, and this
should not surprise us given Mary’s specifi c
role in the mystery of the Incarnation of the
Son of God.
In Medjugorje votive masses dedicated to
the Most Blessed Virgin are usually celebra-
ted, they are called “Rorate” or also: “Masses
of the dawn”. The Latin term “rorate” is ta-
ken from the entrance antiphon of the Mass:
Rorate caeli desuper…” and that is: “Drip
from on high, oh heavens, your dew…”
At six o’clock in the morning, it is mo-
stly young people and children who meet in
church before school to sing with great enthu-
siasm to the sound of guitars, fl utes and other
instruments that are occasionally improvised,
to accompany the eucharistic celebration.
People gather in great numbers and bring
with them an alert heart, brimming with that
joy that is typical of the grace of Advent.
The presence of so many faithful does
not merely originate from the desire to keep
a beautiful tradition alive, but from the awa-
reness that we must learn from Mary to wait
for Christ, to listen to His word and to enter
into the fulfi lment of God’s will. Mary beco-
mes Mother of Christ because she is open to
the Word of God, because she welcomes the
will of the Father with all her heart and she
sacrifi ces herself fully for the work of her
Son ….She is the DAWN of the SUN from
on high!
“It does not matter if you are
a woman or a man
as now once again
we all become children of one God;
children like He who is born of the Virgin
He who was made man for our salvation…
He, Light from true Light
shines forth in our hearts
and with His dazzling
he quenches all obscurity…”
Who are the true inhabitants
of Medjugorje?
Once, when passing along the road in
front of the Church of Saint James, I asked
myself: “Who are the true inhabitants of
Medjugorje?” Here the people of Herzegovina
live along with the many foreigners who
work here: they too are citizens of this place,
together with their families…
But Jesus’ words suddenly came to mind:
“Who is my mother and who are my bro-
thers…My mother and my brothers are these
who hear the word of God and do it” (Luke
8, 21). Yes, blood relations do exist, but the
Master shows another link: the link in the
Holy Spirit…
And once again I repeated the question to
myself, but this time I extended it slightly:
“Who are the true inhabitants of Medjugorje,
who are the true heirs of this grace that has
been given to the whole world?” Are they not
perhaps those who listen to and allow them-
selves to be shaken by the invitation of the
Queen of Peace? Are they not perhaps tho-
se who open their hearts to true, deep and
effective conversion? Are they not perhaps
those who for this generates fruits of peace,
reconciliation, mercy, regardless of the pla-
ce where they are or what they do? Are they
not perhaps those who were “born” here at
Mary’s place and who welcomed her as their
Mother and Queen?
Then I asked myself another question:
“Am I among them?!”. And smiling to my-
self I answered: “Perhaps, but there is lots to
be done…and so: it’s time to get to work!”.
It’s happening in Medjugorje...
It’s happening in Medjugorje...
From Halina’s notes
From Halina’s notes
Father Jozo:
“Nothing is more important
than a heart that prays”
“Every one of Our Lady’s messages is a
special gift and a solemn feast in the heart
and in the soul. The mother speaks. Yes, the
Mother of my God puts an end to the silen-
ce of her heart and speaks to her children,
educating them and inspiring them by means
of grace. I am always sincerely grateful for
every message, for every word and for every
pilgrim who honours the Queen of Peace, for
every apostle of her messages. But the heart
of Mary’s message is one: prayer. Nothing
is more important than a heart that prays. I
have done nothing good in a day if I have not
consecrated it and fi lled it with prayer and
good deeds. My day lasts 24 hours. Today’s
rhythm of life pushes us to live a frenetic and
tiring existence, to have the feeling of always
being late. Time takes me away like a river,
and it seems to me that I am not free. It is as
though I have time for nothing and nobody.
Everything is full, and yet empty; everything
is a tireless and fruitless run.
The Queen of Peace invites me to fi ll
my day with brief and fervent prayers. In
this way, for example, when I’m driving to
work, if I am unable to pray the rosary, I can
pray with brief and fervent prayers. As I am
tidying up my bedroom or as I am preparing
lunch in the kitchen, I must learn to look
at the Crucifi x or the image of the Blessed
Virgin and with brief prayers and invocations
I must give myself in total abandonment to
God. Even if my prayer is brief, it is capable
of opening up my heart, so that I can receive
special graces from the Lord.
Let us think back to the brief heartfelt
prayers of our saints, which they used to keep
in contact with God. Saint Francis of Assisi
was constantly immersed in a unique thought
and prayer: “My God and my Everything”.
In this way, he spent days and nights in union
with God. The brief fervent prayer of the he-
art opens and raises up our hearts to God who
gives us the strength and grace necessary for
daily life.
We are called to bear witness to the pre-
sence and power of grace, and in this way to
help all of those who have been overcome by
evil. We cannot say that we do not have time,
because this means that we do not love. Our
Lady calls us to drive away and conquer the
power of evil among us. Let us listen to her,
She who is with us and intercedes for each
of us.
Father Jozo
Our Lady’s apparitions to Mirjana
December 2, 2008
“Dear children! In this holy time of joyful expectation, God has chosen you, the little
ones, to realize His great intentions. My children, be humble. Through your humility,
with His wisdom, God will make of your souls a chosen home. You will illuminate it
with good works and thus, with an open heart, you will welcome the birth of my Son
in all of His generous love. Thank you, dear children. ”
Ianuary 2, 2009
“Dear children! While great heavenly grace is being lavished upon you, your hearts
remain hard and without response. My children, why do you not give me your hearts
completely? I only desire to put in them peace and salvation - my Son. With my Son
your soul will be directed to noble goals and you will never get lost. Even in greatest
darkness you will fi nd the way. My children decide for a new life with the name of my
Son on your lips. Thank you.”
Echo fully relies on readers’
To all who have been instruments
of Providence for Echo, enabling us
to continue to help Mary reach her
children, goes our heartfelt thanks,
whom we remember especially in
prayer and at Holy Mass.
If you desire a written response for
your donation, please kindly request
it. May God reward you and your
loved ones onehundredfold!
ECHO on line: www.ecodimaria.net
E-mail: info@ecodimaria.net
background image
We’d like to conclude Davide’s story,
the young man who rediscovered faith in
Medjugorje, after many years spent in the
cold subsurface of drugs.
The procession of joy
“The evening of the procession came
through the streets of Medjugorje. “It’s so
boring!”, I said to myself, imagining the
sad processions that take place in my home
town: head down and rosary… “What mo-
notony!” A pizza would have been better!
Circumstances had it though, that at the end
of the dinner, the procession started along the
road. In front of us there were young people
from all over the world, waving the fl ags
of their country: Austrians, Swiss, Italians,
Croatians, Americans, Koreans…Some of
them were singing, others were playing mu-
sic and many of them were actually dancing!
“Good heavens” – I said to myself – “it’s
not the usual procession! They aren’t crying,
they are rejoicing!” There was only one in-
stant of perplexity before throwing myself
in, but then I decided to taste everything that
Medjugorje was giving me, and I threw my-
self into this interminable column of young
people…I was rejoicing with them, even if I
didn’t know them nor did I understand their
language; I really felt like I was walking to-
gether with many brothers. All with one love,
Mary. I felt that this enormous line, consi-
sting of thousands of people, was forming a
single body.
We walked for several kilometres and I
didn’t even notice. It was incredible, during
the procession I experienced the same shiver
of elation that drugs give you, but that is only
an illusion! What I was experiencing on the
other hand, was pure reality. I was also under
the impression that Our Lady had given me
her hand, to walk with her. This was the most
enthusiastic part of the entire pilgrimage. For
the whole night I thought about what I had
felt and with great diffi culty I managed to fall
New Horizons… shining with
the sunshine
Another important meeting awaited me
the next day: the New Horizons Community.
It houses young people who have managed to
get out of drug addiction. I had already heard
people talking about it on television and I had
been struck by it.
As soon as I arrived, I noticed the face
of these young people: their faces were shi-
ning like the sun…I told two of them my sto-
ry, and then I listened to their stories. Truly
impressive! These young people had expe-
rienced terrible suffering and hardship, more
than I had. But now they were new people,
emptied of the rot that drugs had created. It
was incredible to see how these young people
had decided to opt for the beauty of life. They
had come in like corpses and now, thanks to
prayer, faith and work, they had a new life
under Our Lady’s divine protection. In short,
it wasn’t the usual community with the atmo-
sphere of a barracks! I almost felt a certain
sense of envy upon seeing their way of being
together, full of love towards each other…It
was a beautiful sight to see their faces, which
were once undoubtedly gloomy and now as
bright as diamonds thanks to Mary’s interces-
sion. What I saw there urged me to believe
even more…
“Don’t jump!”
During the course of the Festival it is
possible to listen to various testimonies from
young people whose lives were changed by
Medjugorje. I remember one in particular,
which struck me in the depths of my soul,
perhaps because in a certain sense it was si-
milar to mine, although much stronger.
It was the testimony of a young man who
had been a very successful rock star in the
past. Having become a millionaire thanks to
the sale of his records, he owned enormous
properties and led a very extravagant lifest-
yle. He was however tormented because he
felt unhappy, actually he was decidedly de-
pressed. Despite popularity, women, infl uen-
tial friends and lots of money, he continued
to ask himself why he wasn’t happy. He was
so affl icted that one night he went onto the
balcony of third fl oor of his villa, with the
intention of committing suicide. Right when
he was about to jump, something mysterious
kept him from doing so….He started to cry
uncontrollably and the Virgin Mary came into
his mind. This was somewhat strange, given
that his life consisted solely of sex, drugs and
rock & roll…He therefore decided to disco-
ver what this Woman, who had prevented
him from ending it all, wanted, and he left for
Medjugorje. There the Virgin moulded him
gently. His heart and his conscience, which
hadn’t existed before, were now burning with
love towards God…But what made it more
exceptional is that this young man then be-
came a priest!
“Good heavens” I thought, “nothing is
impossible for God! A young man without
God had become God’s spokesperson. What
a great testimony! So many successful people
around the world get totally depressed nowa-
days! They have everything in abundance…
If only they would decide to open the door to
Christ, they would suffer so much less…”.
My sins, like snow in the sun.
A last great moment awaited me to com-
plete my journey of inner healing. It happe-
ned at the end of a Holy Mass. There were
many priests on the altar and they started
to say a series of blessings, but before re-
ceiving them, you had to ask for forgive-
ness within your soul for the sins that they
named…I felt myself freeze over due to the
depth of those blessings and the truth of what
they were saying: I had committed all those
sins! Normally I don’t like people seeing me
crying, but the impact was too strong and I
I asked for forgiveness for all the sins I
had committed against God, against myself
and against my neighbour, and I gradually
felt that the Lord absolved me. I cried also
because I felt so small before the Lord, who
only asks you to repent, and then he forgives
you…. True fl ashes of heaven!
The departure was foreseen for the next
day. I was taken by bitterness, mixed with the
insecurity of returning home, because I know
that I would have found many temptations. I
wanted to remain a little more….
He who hesitates is lost!
Returning to your own reality and seeking
to continue the pathway born in Medjugorje
to implore reconciliation
Ms. Katarina Bednarczyk Sieminska
(55 years old) from Kazimierz Dolny, near
Lublin, walked for 62 days to go from Poland
to Medjugorje. She embarked on this pilgri-
mage empty handed, putting her trust solely
in God’s providence, carrying only a cross, a
breviary and a geographical map.
The prayer intention of this pilgrimage
was peace in the world, the reconciliation of
the whole of humanity, which constitutes a
single family in God. Katarina is married to
a painter and the couple do not have any chil-
dren. Let’s listen to her testimony:
“I walked to Medjugorje because the
Mother and Queen of Peace appears in this
site. It is clear that she is everywhere, but
here she is present in a special way. The Most
Blessed Mary wants to prepare us for the me-
eting with Jesus and with God the Father.
We are living in a diffi cult period, and I
think that the time has come for the reconci-
liation of the whole of humanity. I received
this intention in my heart as I was praying.
We are all God’s children and we need to go
towards each other. It is as though humanity
were in the midst of labour pains, we need to
be aware of this!
All men are our brothers, and so I did
not bring bread or water with me: I wanted
to consciously and intentionally be depen-
dant on those whom I met, trusting in their
goodness. They often offered me food for the
next stretch of road, but I did not except it. It
is nice to ask, to request…People are happy
when they can give something and it is at that
moment that we feel that they are like our fa-
mily. God works through them.
is not easy, the devil tries to make you forget
the feelings you felt there, reducing them to
a brief parenthesis that has now passed. We
must always commit to remembering what
has been lived and avoid the many distrac-
tions that are encountered in daily life. When
you are in Medjugorje, you have an almost
spontaneous urge to pray, but things are
different at home. You must therefore give
yourselves the gift of time to pray, although
sometimes it is a burden to take the rosary
beads into your hands…Whether you want
to or not, this is a very important means that
puts us into direct contact with Mary! If you
let go, then you will slowly lose your faith. I
experienced it in the past: he who hesitates is
lost! Let us pray, even if we don’t really want
to, because he who asks it shall be given onto
him…We often feel that Mary and Jesus are
far away; it is not true, they are beside us,
it is we who fail to perceive their presence
because we allow ourselves to be distracted
by the world!
If my testimony succeeds in making some
young people rediscover faith – especially
those who have a past similar to mine – I will
be truly proud, because my existence has not
been in vain, it will have borne fruit! A fruit
that I now thought was dead within me, and
that Mary exhumed making me feel all of her
love, allowing me to understand how impor-
tant I am for Her.
Let us pray! Because nothing is impossi-
ble for God
Davide (end)
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“Oh Lord, in Thee I have trusted;
let me never be confounded!”
(from the Te Deum)
Villanova M., 25 january 2009
Our readers write
Father Stanislao from Pula (Croatia)
Dear brothers, dear friends, I’d like to extend
my heartfelt thanks to you for the “Echo”
bulletin that I regularly receive and that I pro-
pose to friends who receive it in Italian. May
the Queen of Peace reward you abundantly.
In Echo I always fi nd uplifting information
and examples. Courage! A cordial salute.
Francesco Garrubba and Milena Iaschi
from Noceto (Italy) - We’d kindly ask you
to send us a few copies of your marvellous
magazine, Echo of Mary Queen of Peace, to
our home. We’d like to begin to distribute it
within our parish and among our friends. We
are truly enthusiastic about your publication.
We assure you our contribution and the con-
tribution of others, at least to cover your ad-
ministration expenses.
Mario from Italy: Continue onwards,
the Holy Spirit will know how to guide us all
because Echo is a useful tool for Mary. Thank
you for what you are doing, I send Echo to
Africa by e-mail and they are very grateful
to me for it.
Ermanno Polla from Bolzano (I) – Since
1990, my wife and I have been to Medjugorje
on fi ve occasions at regular intervals, to “re-
charge our batteries” because it is from the-
re that our “conversion” commenced, espe-
cially for my wife. However, I must tell you
quite sincerely that if we had not had Echo
of Mary between one period and another to
keep us united like a thread to that blessed
land and to the atmosphere that can only be
experienced there, we would have had diffi -
culty persevering on the pathway pointed out
to us by Mary in her messages. Your writings
are deep, they are cues for meditation, they
are always respectful of the Teaching of the
Church… I download Echo every two mon-
ths from the Internet and whenever I was able
to, I also sent a fi nancial contribution.
Called to “fulfi l”
the prophets
“Do not think that I came to destroy the
Law or the Prophets! I did not come to de-
stroy, but to fulfi l” (Mt 5, 17), Jesus said.
After twenty-seven and a half years of appa-
ritions in Medjugorje we too today, can see
that God is revealing himself through tools
that He freely chooses, as in the case of the
visionaries; nevertheless, the message that
they are sending can fi nd fulfi lment only if
it takes form through each of us. In every
message we must discover something that
binds us and before which we cannot remain
While humanity was looking worriedly
towards its future and listening with trepida-
tion to the tragic news on the uncertain si-
tuation in the world, the Heavens announced
“Peace!”, as the visionaries witnessed during
the fi rst days of the apparitions. Who does
not feel bound by this word? Who is that be-
liever, if he really is a believer, who does not
feel called to reawaken in himself, all the dy-
namism of this message? And who does not
know that peace in the world can only come
through God? Our commitment is to welco-
me this word and to give it life. Let us not
Tommaso di Francesco
I was also refused on certain occasions,
but that too was a positive experience. How
many times God knocks on the doors of our
hearts and we refuse him, we do not welcome
him! And so we too must humiliate ourselves,
like Him, and knock several times….
We meet Jesus also in those who have no
home and in the poor and if we do not reco-
gnise him, then we are truly blind! Sometimes
someone wants to steal something from us.
We must also allow this to happen… We must
not close our hearts: let us open them wide!
People will be less aggressive…
How many times do we want to feel better
than others, but God simply wants us to be
good; being good does not mean being better
than others! Let us ask the Lord to open our
hearts, because we cannot change by oursel-
ves. For this reason we must pray for each
At home we are not poor. My husband is
a painter and he gave me the money for the
journey, but I left it in Poland. If we want to
worry about ourselves, then God cannot wor-
ry about us. We must experience the fact that
He looks after us in everything!
This experience made me extremely hap-
py. I am sorry for all those who do not believe
in God: they think that they have to do eve-
rything by themselves and due to this they fail
to fi nd peace!
A few years ago I went on a pilgrimage on
foot to Czestochowa with 25 kg on my back:
I had everything….Back then I thought I nee-
ded it, now I have understood how ridiculous
it was. Mary clearly said to me: if you want to
follow my Son, you do not need anything. He
will look after you.
I slept with families or in parochial hou-
ses. From Poland I passed through Slovakia,
Hungary and Croatia, then Bosnia. I travelled
through the regions inhabited by Muslims. I
spoke to them. They do not know that God is
the Father, and he is the same for everyone.
But they were always happy to know that I
was going to Medjugorje. They told me that
they want peace, peace and only peace”.
Fr. Marinko Stantić
spiritual counselor of the
community Hosanna
The community Hosanna is a branch
of the community Merciful Father from
Medjugorje. The house that is situated in
Stari Žednik, a little town 15 kilometers from
Subotica, in Serbia, is one of the three hou-
ses, which give shelter to men who suffer
under addiction. Although the capacity of the
house is limited to 12 persons, the communi-
ty is accommodating 16 men, and needs are
much greater. Prayer and work are an inte-
gral part of life in the community, just as in
Medjugorje. Leaders of the community are
those who are close to healing.
Fr. Marinko, you are the founder of this
community. When was it founded and how
did you decide to take this step?
The house was blessed on July 7, 2007.
When I came for the fi rst time with a friend
to the Cenacolo community in Medjugorje,
in 2005/06, I met there a young man from
Sombor who spoke about his life, and who
fascinated me with his story. At the end of
my stay in the community, he underlined:
“Father, if you want to open a communi-
ty in Vojvodina, keep me in touch, because
the need is great.” I was fascinated by these
words. The Lord gave a call, I answered, and
so we starded slowly. I was looking for spon-
sors, I found them, and now we go forward.
How did the inhabitants of Stari Žednik
react to a community of this type in their
I want to pay tribute to the parishioners.
They received the boys very warmly and they
help them wholeheartedly.
What is happening in the community?
If someone wants to see resurrection with
his own eyes, let him come to the community:
he can touch it, it is a true resurrection. Those
who were dead in every way are praising
God now. Everybody is glad about a success:
student because of a good mark, peasants be-
cause of the fruits of the earth, workers for a
good pay, and we are glad when a bog leaves
the community in good health. If someone
wants to succeed in life, believe me, he will
succeed only with God. God permits drugs,
alcohol and other vices for men to feel how
evil is strong, and to come back to God.
Those who want to help this community may
visit the web page www.milosrdni-otac.com.
Ivana Zovko & Dragana Dugandžić
© Informativni centar “Mir” Međugorje
Illumination of the Glorious Mysteries
of the Rosary on Apparition Hill
For New Year 2009, was fi nished the illumi-
nation of the paths and of the bronzes repre-
senting the Glorious mysteries of the Rosary.
After the illumination of the Joyful Mysteries
and of the path towards Our Lady’s Statue
(23.06.2006), and of the Sorrowful mysteries
(24.12.2008), the illumination of the Glorious
Mysteries (31.12.2008) means the accom-
plishment of the project of illumination of
Apparition Hill.
The illumination of the Mysteries of the
Rosary and of Our Lady’s statue was done
thanks to the initiative of the pilgrims from
Italy who fi nanced the greatest part of the
costs. The work was done by Rade Djida
and his partners, and was supervised by ing.
Vinko Kosir.
© Informativni centar “Mir” Međugorje