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www.medjugorje.ws » Echo of Mary Queen of Peace » Echo of Mary Queen of Peace 206 (September-October 2009)

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Message of May 25, 2009
“Dear children! In this time, I call you
all to pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit
upon every baptized creature, so that the
Holy Spirit may renew you all and lead
you on the way of witnessing your faith
– you and all those who are far from God
and His love. I am with you and intercede
for you before the Most High. Thank you
for having responded to my call.”
Message of June 25, 2009
“Dear children! Rejoice with me, con-
vert in joy and give thanks to God for the
gift of my presence among you. Pray that,
in your hearts, God may be in the center
of your life and with your life witness, lit-
tle children, so that every creature may
feel God’s love. Be my extended hands for
every creature, so that it may draw closer
to the God of love. I bless you with my
motherly blessing. Thank you for having
responded to my call.”
The Holy Spirit and
Mary’s outstretched hands
The liturgy is the celebration of the
Mystery of Christ and of his Easter mystery
in particular. (Catechism of the Catholic
Church). Taking part in the liturgical cel-
ebration is not the same as attending it; we
must be part of it. We must enter into Christ’s
Easter mystery so as to be part of it, drawing
the nourishment from Him that allows us to
live His Life (John 15, 4-5). A few days after
Pentecost, Mary invited us all to pray for the
coming of the Holy Spirit onto every bap-
tised creature.Like Easter, like Christmas,
like every Mass etc…Pentecost is not a sim-
ple moment of celebration, but an event dur-
ing which, if we really want to, we can enter
the Life and experience communion with
Jesus Christ. These are events that cannot be
enclosed within the temporal duration of their
celebration, but that are extended to our era,
giving some meaning to our work, shedding
light on the shadows, directing hope. These
are events that can and that must radically
change your life, everyone’s life, making it
more and more conformant with the Life of
Jesus Christ.
May the Holy Spirit renew all of you
and lead you and all those who are far from
God and from his love, along the pathway
of bearing witness to your faith. This, Mary
tells us, is the fruit of the coming of the Holy
Spirit. We all need His coming, all of us,
those who believe that they are near to him
and those who believe they are far from God
and from His Love. Without the action of the
Holy Spirit we cannot have faith, nor can we
bear witness to it; works are not enough, it
is not enough to know Mary’s life or all of
Her messages in order to possess that faith
that is capable of changing our life and that
of others. We may be able to transmit a series
of precepts, but not their soul. Mary visits
Elizabeth and already with her greeting she
passes the Spirit of God onto her (Luke 1, 40-
42). When the Spirit fi nds the space within
us to be able to freely move, we do not need
either words or formulae to reach the people
we meet.
Mary also visits us today like she once
visited her cousin, but are we open, like
Elizabeth was? Are we open to allowing our-
selves to be penetrated by the Spirit that is
in Mary? Rejoice with me – She says to us
convert in joy and give thanks to God for
the gift of my presence among you. True
joy, that joy that comes from the depths, that
is not a transient feeling, but a state of bless-
ing of the soul, cannot be detached from con-
version to God, it can only exist in Him and in
communion with Him. The joys of the world,
even those that are good and righteous, are
less than a shadow before the joy that comes
from the inhabitation of His Spirit. Rejoicing
with Mary, rejoicing with Her same joy, is al-
ready a form of conversion to God’s Love,
it is Mary’s Fiat that resounds within us and
generates Jesus within our hearts. From this
experience of joy, which is conversion at the
same time, the need to thank God for the
gift of the presence of Mary among us, it
is Her Magnifi cat that becomes ours.May
God be at the centre of our lives and may
“We believe that God’s Most Blessed Mother,
the new Eve, the Mother of the Church, con-
tinues her maternal duty in Heaven regarding
the members of Christ, co-operating with the
birth and the development of divine life in the
souls of the redeemed”.
Paul VI – The Belief of God’s People
Message of July 25, 2009
“Dear children! May this time be a time
of prayer for you. Thank you for having re-
sponded to my call.”
Message of August 25, 2009
“Dear children! Today I call you anew
to conversion. Little children, you are not
holy enough and you do not radiate holi-
ness to others, therefore pray, pray, pray
and work on your personal conversion, so
that you may be a sign of God’s love to oth-
ers. I am with you and am leading you to-
wards eternity, for which every heart must
yearn. Thank you for having responded to
my call.”
Prayer and conversion
to be a sign of God’s Love
The message of the 25
of July recalls that
of the 25
of October 1999, both in terms of its
brevity and its contents. In the fi rst one She
says let this be a time of prayer for you, and
in the second one, do not forget, this is a time
of grace: and so, pray, pray, pray! The grace is
the help that God gives to enable us to partici-
pate in His Life. Prayer is elevation of the soul
to God, and for Christians it is a personal rela-
tionship with the Father, through His Son Jesus
and with the strength of the Holy Spirit. Grace
and prayer are the lungs of Christian life; they
allow us to receive Life and to live on it.
This time: the time of each of our lives, but
also the time of the history of humanity, of our
era. This era that is so stained with wealth and
misery, so open, yet at the same time, closed off
from Love, so fertile with saints and martyrs,
but also with demons of hate and death. But
above all, this is also a time of grace, a time of
Mary’s presence, a time of waiting for Christ’s
return! Let us prepare ourselves according to
Mary’s teachings and invitations, with a sense
of seriousness and trust, in prayer and in fast-
ing. Let up pray with our hearts and not only
with our lips. Let prayer be for you like the air
that you breathe and not a burden (message
of the 25
of July 2007). Prayer must be per-
ceived not as a mere moment of our day, but as
its soul, the core of our actions, our plans, our
thoughts, our desires, our relations, our work
and our rest. Prayer as the incessant, silent, vi-
tal breath of the soul. “Be careful! If you fail to
pray, you will damn your soul” Padre Pio said
to me in September of 1965.
Today – Mary says to us in the message of
the 25
of August – I invite you once again to
conversion. Conversion is not a once off act, it
is an incessant journey that has an effect on our
whole lives. Every confession that is done well
is an act of conversion, in actual fact, conver-
sion is one of the names by which the sacra-
ment of confession may be called. Conversion
is the pathway of holiness, the progression of
decentralization from ourselves so as to cen-
September - October
2009 - Year 25 # 9-10 - Echo of Mary, Via Cremona, 28 - 46100 Mantova - Italy.
www.ecodimaria.net - A translation of the original Italian: Eco di Maria
Continued pag. 8
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tre ourselves on God. For us Christians, this
is a pathway that has already been traced out;
we must live Christ’s life, or better, allow the
Spirit of God to assimilate our life to Jesus’
life. Above all, our duty lies in ardently desir-
ing that this may come about, by abandoning
ourselves to the will of the Father, who wants
to see his chosen Son in us. It is not easy and
in fact, Mary says this to us: you are not holy
enough and you do not irradiate holiness to
others. But if we strip ourselves of all human
pride, if we implore forgiveness and conver-
sion with a sincere heart, if we know how to
recognise our mistakes and forgive those of
others, if we incessantly commit to replace our
I with God, if we pray, pray, pray, we will
succeed, because we will make God’s abun-
dant love bear fruit. The pathway that Mary
points out to us for personal conversion and
to be a sign of God’s Love for others is not
the fruit of human gifts or works and nothing
that is really ours can bring us close to that
destination, but what is impossible with men is
possible with God (Luke 18, 27). We found our
hope on these Words of Jesus and our hope is
well placed because He is our personal con-
version, He is the sign of God’s love for oth-
ers, and in Him we too will be!
The economy in crisis?
Charity and truth, giving of ourselves for
free and fraternity. These are the concepts that
are set out in the new encyclical signed by
Benedict the 16
. We are all a little tired of hear-
ing talk of crisis, fi nancial cracks, and worries
about the fate of the world. Certainly those who
are already experiencing the precariousness of
losing their jobs are the ones who are bearing
the brunt of this, along with those having to deal
with redundancy and unemployment in general,
which creates poverty if not misery in the lives
of many. Words, writings, conferences; the fa-
mous G8 with so much pomp and ceremony and
big smiles. Must we thread our way through this
maze of erudite speeches presuming that we can
solve everything with human forces only or with
diplomacy? Absolutely not. At least not those
who claim to be Christians and who are there-
fore faithful to a God who asks us to serve him
“with naked hands” because He wants to look
after us. Then what? Should we pretend that
there is nothing wrong, should we act like jovial
people whose mouths utter only clichés to con-
sole themselves and repeat to themselves that
life is beautiful in spite of everything? In doing
so we would run the risk of being superfi cially
blind, leaving the needy behind in their dramat-
ic existence. “Charity in truth puts man before
the surprising experience of the gift – says the
Pope -Gratuitousness is present in life in many
forms… Human beings are made for gifts”. It is
in this tone that the Holy Father offers his con-
tribution with a writing that is entitled “Charity
in truth”. It is a contribution for dealing with the
crisis that arises from a fi nancial instability but
that is then refl ected in all other areas of man’s
life. “In truth, charity is the main propulsive
force for everyone’s true development and for
the development of the whole of humanity. (…)
Only with charity, illuminated by reason and
faith, is it possible to attain objectives of devel-
opment equipped with human and humanising
values….we need upright men!”.
a look inside the encyclical
Pietro Squassabia of Mantova proposes that
readers refl ect on a brief commentary by Prof.
Luigino Bruni, an economist who lectures at
the Bicocca University in Milan, he is the co-
ordinator of the International Committee for
the Economy of Communion of the Focolare
With Prof. Bruni’s permission, engineer
Squassabia added a word, by way of specifying
his thoughts, which is indicated in square
brackets [ ].
The publication of the Encyclical entitled
Caritas in veritate is an important event,
especially during this moment of “global
crisis”. In fact, on the one hand it continues the
social teaching of the Church and the Popes,
and on the other hand it represents an important
innovation in its way of dealing with the market,
the economy, world justice and the development
of the populations. Firstly, continuing on from
Populorum Progressio by Paul VI, the new
encyclical expresses a profound criticism of
If, on the one hand, Pope Benedict XVI
reminds us that without a market there is no
good life, on the other hand he denotes the fact
that with the market only, the other principles and
founding mechanisms of a shared life become
marginalized and withered, such principles
and mechanisms cannot be traced back to the
contract, such as the giving and receiving of
gifts and the concept of reciprocity.
In the fi rst few lines we then fi nd the
reading key to the entire encyclical letter:
love in truth, caritas, which can and must
inspire the gift and the contract, family and
business, market and politics. We can certainly
attain a good life and holiness in a life of
contemplation and prayer, but also by working
as entrepreneurs and working or committing to
politics for our own people.
Gratuitousness is another key word of
the encyclical, which should not however
be associated with free things or gifts, but
rather, it should be seen as a dimension that
may accompany all human actions, and that
therefore we can and must fi nd in the ordinary
dynamics of life, including the economy.
If gratuitousness is, as the Pope affi rms,
the founding dimension of human life, what
consistently derives from this, is that profi t
cannot be the [only] aim of companies, of
any company, not only non-profi t companies,
because when this happens (as in the recent
fi nancial crisis) every part of the economic
activity and the activity of companies becomes
instrumental: the person, nature, relations and
nothing has any intrinsic value any more. From
here comes the Pope’s reference to the civil
economy and the economy of communion, the
meaning of which is only grasped in the overall
picture of the encyclical.
A more extensive commentary by Prof. Luigino Bruni
is available on www.focolare.org
May the cosmos
become a living host!
Editorial staff
“May your Church offer itself to you as
a living and holy sacrifi ce”. “This question,
which is directed to God, is also addressed to
us; it is an allusion to two texts from the Letter
to the Romans: we ourselves, with all of our
being, must be adoration, sacrifi ce, we must
give our world back to God and thus transform
the world!”.
With these words, the Holy Father, who is
currently having his summer rest in Val d’Aosta,
dealt with a very important theme for all of us,
but in particular for those who are experiencing
the priesthood in person. “The aim of the
priesthood is to consecrate the world so that
it might become a living host, so that the world
might become liturgy: that liturgy might not be
something alongside the reality of the world, but
that the world itself might become a living host,
that it might become the liturgy. This is the great
vision that Teilhard de Chardin also experienced:
in the end we will have a true cosmic liturgy,
where the cosmos will become a living host”.
Among the many invitations that Pope
Benedict XVI has sent out to the Christians of this
era, some of them have a particularly prophetic
tone, fi rstly because in some sense they resume
the intuitions of some, who are perhaps not
always known to the masses, but that yesterday,
like today, anticipate the dominating thought
of the Church, proposing keys to reading and a
gaze over the spiritual horizon and that resound
like “novelties”.
Regarding this, perhaps some of you may
be asking yourselves “Who is Teilhard de
Chardin?”. It is worthwhile taking a look at his
“People travel to marvel
at mountains, seas, rivers and stars
and they pass alongside themselves
without any sense of wonder”.
Saint Augustine
Who was Teilhard?
Born in France in 1881, Teilhard de
Chardin was a noteworthy palaeontologist and
a convinced Jesuit, a priest who lived in a pe-
riod of many changes: the economic, political
and social system was transforming more and
more quickly and with it, the shared culture
and mentality.
A Son of the Church, he suffered and he
offered himself for it and he did not hesitate
to report what he defi ned as the “two great
illnesses” of the Catholicism of his time: the
absence of a cosmic conscience (for which an
image of God that appeared to be smaller than
the infi nite extension of the cosmos that was
being discovered, was being proposed) and
the inability to positively understand progress
and therefore the risk of closing off into a
resentful spiritualism that scorns everything
that is body, sensitivity, matter and love in hu-
man life.
“Christ is everything and everything tends to-
wards Christ”
As a palaeontologist, he realised that evo-
lution was an undeniable fact, but in his opin-
ion, this was not in contrast with Christianity,
as the transformation of the world comes about
in a very precise direction:from what was
primitive, backward, chaotic, to an ever more
intelligent and developed life…and the arrival
point of this process may only be perfect com-
munion in God, unifi cation, the convergence
of everything in what he defi nes as an “omega
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Echo 206
He was a man like many others, simple,
even a little ignorant. But he had discovered
a pearl that gave light to his whole existence
with its splendour. It was the beginning of
the nineteenth century when JEAN MARIE
VIANNEY, a young man of modest origins,
decided to put Christ in the midst of his life
and to remain there, centred on Him. For
always. This positioning allowed him to
refl ect on all those who approached the Light
obtained during long hours of Eucharistic
adoration. The setting within which he lived
was that of post-Revolutionary France, which
was characterised by practical Atheism and a
signifi cant indifference towards religion; it
was the time of rationalism at all
costs. It was an atmosphere that
certainly did not invite people
towards faith and a Christian
People everywhere began to
speak about this good and kind
priest, because the people who
approached him, especially in
the sacrament of confession,
were transformed: “He emanated
the grace of Christ himself”,
they used to say. But he did not
consider himself worthy of such
a high vocation and he answered
those asking him the reason for his success
saying: “It is not the sinner who returns to
God to ask him for forgiveness, it is God
himself who runs after the sinner and makes
him return…!”. His constant abandonment to
the hands of Divine Providence, brimming
with trust, managed to touch people’s hearts.
He attracted souls, even the most reluctant,
informing them of his friendship with Christ,
with whom he was madly in love.
The patron of parish priests
He is the Patron Saint of all parish priests
throughout the world. This year marks the
anniversary of his death.He was
extremely humble, shy and nevertheless
aware of being an immense gift for his people.
He spoke about the priesthood as though he
were unable to even conceive the greatness
of the gift and the duty entrusted to a human
creature: “Oh, how great the priest is!… If he
were to understand himself, he would die…
God obeys him: he says two words and Our
Lord descends from the heavens to his voice
and encloses himself in a little host…”.
The year of the priesthood modelled
on him
These are the reasons for which the Pope
chose him as the model for this year which is
dedicated to the priesthood: “I wanted to draw
inspiration from this anniversary to establish
the Year of the Priesthood, the theme of
which, as you know, is Faith of Christ, faith
of the priest. The credibility of the testimony
of every priest and the effectiveness of his
mission depends on his holiness” Benedict
XVI explains.
The images of the saint of Ars show a
smiling, simple, welcoming face, almost
hiding the life of penance that the Saint
wanted to experience in order to leave more
space within himself for Christ, “the only
priest”. Yet that smile did not hide anything,
actually, it revealed his perfect union with the
Lord: “All the good works combined are not
equal to the sacrifi ce of the Mass, because
they are the works of men, while the Holy
Mass is the work of God”, he used to say.
You cannot celebrate Mass as though
it were nothing!
He was convinced that the whole fervour
of the life of a priest depended on Mass:
“The reason for the priest being relaxed is
that he is not paying attention to the Mass!
My God, I feel sorry for priests
who celebrate mass as though it
were something ordinary!”. And
he was accustomed to always
offering, celebrating, even the
sacrifi ce of his own life: “A
priest really does something
good in offering himself to God
as a sacrifi ce every morning!”.
This personal identifi cation
with the Sacrifi ce of the Cross
led him – with a single inner
movement – from the altar to the
confessional. It was the growing
crowd of sinners, who came
from all over France, that kept him in the
confessional up to 16 hours a day. It was then
said that Ars had become “the great hospital
of souls”.
Priests, do you offer yourselves with
He explained to a fellow priest: “I will tell
you what my recipe is: I give sinners a small
penance and I do the rest for them”. This is
the core of his teaching, which Benedict XVI
wanted to deliver this year to priests: “souls
cost the blood of Jesus and the priest cannot
dedicate himself to their salvation if he refuses
to personally participate in the “high price”
of redemption!”, affi rmed the Pope during
a recent speech to the presbyters.“After all,
the aim of the mission of every presbyter,
we might say, is “cultural”: so that all men
might offer themselves to God as a living
host, holy and pleasing to him (cfr Rm
12,1), which becomes faith in creation itself,
in men, praise for the Creator, receiving
that charity that they are called to distribute
abundantly to each other”.
Being a new creature
“It is urgent to recover a clear and
unmistakable judgement on the absolute
primate of divine grace” writes the Holy
Father in a letter to the presbyters. Saint
Thomas Aquinas used to say: The smallest
gift of grace goes beyond the natural good
of the whole universe. The mission of each
individual presbyter will therefore also
depend on the awareness of the sacramental
reality of his “new being”. The renewed
enthusiasm of the priest for his mission
depends on the certainty of his own identity,
not built artifi cially but gratuitously and
divinely given and welcomed.
From the beginning, God has wanted man
to collaborate in his works. He gives man the
highest mission, because if He draws things
from nothing, man will have to fulfi l such
things and it is through man that the whole
of creation will have to attain its aim. A great
Father of the Church says “Being unable to
communicate with a single creature himself,
he had to multiply creatures in some way,
so that the infi nity of his being might be
expressed through the undefi ned wealth of
However, if creation must be raised up to
God in the supernatural order, the process
of a divinisation of the cosmos implicates a
process of simplifi cation and reunifi cation
of all things in God. It is precisely through
man that this must come about. It should
be no surprise then that man is already the
greatest paradox of divine creation. In him
the physical and spiritual worlds are united.
This union seems to be truly paradoxical and
it also makes the human being mysterious.
Don Divo Barsotti
(A free adaptation from: Pasqua, La trasparenza
del Cristo risorto nell’Eucaristia)
The Priesthood to the forefront
point”, when “Christ will be everything in eve-
ryone” (Col 3,11).
In this sense, incarnation did not only come
about “to pay a debt”, but even more, to show
us the pathway towards this process of unifi ca-
tion and spiritualization that awaits the whole of
humanity. The Eucharist is a small fragment of
a Christifi ed cosmos, a small foretaste of what
is to come: the whole cosmos will in fact be
“Christifi ed”, we will all be a living Eucharist
and “Christ will be everything in everyone”.
Misunderstood, and then… revived!
He was misunderstood by the ecclesiastic
authorities who imposed on two occasions that
he leave his teaching post in Paris. The supe-
riors of his order admired him and considered
him to be a chosen son, but they didn’t want
to commit personally to positions that offi cial
theologians resisted. The best solution then
seemed to be to transfer him fi rst to China,
where he lived for twenty years, then to New
York, where he died in 1955.
For some time, his writings, that the
Vatican had prohibited him from publishing,
were circulating silently, in the 60’s his school
of thought fl owered with interest, his work en-
titled “The man phenomenon” became known
fi rstly in France and then throughout the
whole world, but still the offi cial hierarchies
pronounced a monitum that advised against it
being distributed.The signifi cance and impor-
tance of the pope’s quotation from this theolo-
gian’s works is then enormous, he was a “mis-
understood prophet” of these diffi cult times.
“In every person, even in non-believers, do
not destroy anything, but make it rise up, make
it grow”. Everything that grows, goes towards
Christ”. Teilhard used to write. At this point
we cannot fail to add the words with which
Benedict XVI concluded his homily in Aosta:
“And let us pray to the Lord that he might help
us to be priests in this sense, to help in the
transformation of the world, in the adoration
of God, beginning with ourselves”.
Francesco Cavagna
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A surplus of love
No man is closed off within himself.
Each of us has a relationship with others and
depends on others, not only from a material
point of view, but also from a spiritual,
cultural and moral point of view. We try to
simplify this concept, beginning from its
negative side.
There are people who do not only destroy
themselves, but who also ruin others, leaving
forces of destruction behind that push whole
generations towards the negative.
But thanks be to God, this is not only valid
for the negative aspect. There are people
who leave a sort of surplus of love behind,
of pain that is suffered and experienced to
the utmost, of happiness, sincerity and truth
that also takes others, accompanies them
and sustains them. There truly is something
like vicarious replacement in the depths
of existence.
The whole mystery of Christ rests on
Now we can say: yes, this is the case. But
then the surplus of Christ’s love is enough,
there is no need for anything else. He alone
frees and redeems us, the rest would be a
form of presumption, as though we were to
add something to the infi nity of his love with
our fi nitude.
In fact, the greatness of Christ’s love is
such that it does not leave us in the condition
of those who receive passively, but rather,
it involves us fully in his work and in his
passion. A famous passage from the letter
to the Colossians affi rms this: “I fi ll up in
my fl esh what is still lacking in regard to
Christ’s affl ictions, for the sake of his body”
(Col 1, 24).
Within the spiritual framework,
everything belongs to everyone. There is
no private property. The asset of another
becomes mine and mine becomes his.
Everything comes from Christ, but given
that we belong to him, what is ours also
becomes his and is invested with a saving
Even spiritually no man lives for himself.
Worrying about the salvation of his own soul
frees him from anxiety and selfi shness if it
becomes worry for the salvation of others.
We must often ask ourselves: What does
God want from me so that others might be
(Joseph Ratzinger – from: Il Perdono di Assisi)
A mine
of knowledge
Over the years, the pages of Echo
have contained many comments about the
messages that the Queen of Peace gives us on
the 25th of the month, through the Visionary
Marija Pavlovic; they are beautiful messages,
that make us refl ect and question ourselves:
do we actually experience them or not?
However, they are not the only messages
that the Virgin addresses to her children in
Medjugorje. In fact, almost everyone knows
that on the second of the month, Our Lady
gives Mirjana some profound words, rich
with content and important teachings.
We of Echo have thought about dedicating
more space to these messages, offering a small
spiritual commentary so as to attempt to get
a clearer grasp of the extent of grace that the
Mother wants to inform us of in Medjugorje.
Message of the 2nd of August to Mirjana
“Dear children; I am coming, with my
motherly love, to point out the way by which
you are to set out, in order that you may be
all the more like my Son; and by that, closer
to and more pleasing to God. Do not refuse
my love. Do not renounce salvation and
eternal life for the sake of transience and
frivolity of this life. I am among you to lead
you and, as a mother, to caution you. Come
with me.
A living pathway
There is a road that passes through Mary’s
heart. A pathway intercepted her existence as
a virgin and made her a mother. It is Jesus. He
is the Way, and also the Life.
But how is this road? How do we
recognise it? We are certain of one thing: it is
not easy. It is certainly narrow in some areas,
to the extent that it is diffi cult to get through
it. In other areas it is steep and we need to
gather up all our energy in order to make it
up. And then it is impervious, scattered with
obstacles that hinder our journey. But it is
blessed, it leads to eternal life, because only
through Christ can we get to the Father.
The life of Jesus is the gospel. It is already
announced. We must only welcome it in full,
without any convenient reductions. Otherwise
we risk stopping half way, especially when
we get to the point where we encounter a
crossroads, actually, a cross….we must also
choose to go left or right, attracted by fl eeting
realities that the vain world continues to
“The spirit gives life, the fl esh counts for
nothing; the words I have spoken to you are
spirit and they are life. Yet there are some
who do not believe”, Jesus warns us in his
Gospel (John 6, 63). And so Mary invites us
to go forward. Like every mother, She wants
us at home. Safe, happy. To avoid the risk of
us wandering around aimlessly, distracted by
the vanities of this life, she comes to guide
us. We must just trust her and go with Her.
We must not refuse her. Above all, we
must not refuse her love, which is certainly
not the honey-coated feeling of an affectionate
mummy who only wants to spoil us, forcing
us to remain children. It is the wisdom of a
holy mother who is not afraid of warning us,
as long as we are assured of salvation.
“Knowing how to discern which spir-
its originate from God, with a sense of
faith, (the presbyters) must discover both
the humble and lofty gifts that are granted
to lay people in many forms, they must
joyously admit them and encourage them
Such gifts urge many towards a higher
spiritual life, they may be useful not only
for lay believers but also for ministers
themselves. From the communion between
ordained ministers and gifts in fact, a valid
impulse for a renewed commitment of the
Church to the annunciation and testimony
of the Gospel of hope and charity in all
corners of the world may arise.”
Benedict XVI
from the letter to the Presbyters
What holds us back? It is worth asking
ourselves this and then deciding, convinced:
“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the
words of eternal life!” (John 6,69).
The Message to Mirjana on the 2nd of July
“Dear children! I am calling you
because I need you. I need hearts ready
for immeasurable love – hearts that are not
burdened by frivolity – hearts that are ready
to love as my Son loved – that are ready to
sacrifi ce themselves as my Son sacrifi ced
Himself. I need you. In order to come with
me, forgive yourselves, forgive others and
adore my Son. Adore Him also for those
who have not come to know Him, those who
do not love Him. Therefore, I need you;
therefore, I call you. Thank you”.
That immense love
Like always, Mary immediately touches
the essential point, the true reason for many,
too many answers that are lacking regarding
the extraordinary grace of this time. How
many of us, once touched profoundly by the
grace of Medjugorje, almost imperceptibly
seem to lose our energy, often spinning into
unfertile spiritual journeys that lead us far
from the living heart of the Queen of Peace.
If we have the honesty and the courage to
look at ourselves in the depths of our hearts
with the “clear eyes” of the Gospel (Matthew
6,22), we will easily discover the reason for
this, the only reason that is very simple: we
are not ready for that immense love that Mary
is asking us for. A decisive love that tends
towards a continuous exodus from ourselves,
from that “vanity”, made of thousands of
little facets that closes us off from the joy of
the gift in itself for the life of the brother and
that separates us from Christ. A love that does
not stop before sacrifi ce, especially before the
greatest sacrifi ce: that of loving those who
humiliate you, who wound you, who betray
you, with the love of God.
How many times do we risk drowning
the freshness of a true “fi at” in an ocean
of beautiful spiritual words, behind which
there is a substantially “uncircumcised” and
rebellious heart? Mary warns us that there
is no more time to play with grace, that
we cannot grant more space to our ill self,
often ably dressed in religious and nobly
spiritual clothing. This is the time to radically
incarnate the Gospel in the truth of life and
in solid relations with the brothers that God
allows us to meet. We must have the courage
to look at mortal fragility in the face, it
paralyses that “immense love” in our hearts
that Mary is waiting for, we must grasp on
to that prayer of the heart that She tirelessly
calls us towards, to continuously fi nd the
only founding centre of our being and our
action in the mystery of the “boundless love”
(message of 25.11.1991) of Christ.
This is the time to be totally determined as
regards this daily struggle of the heart. Then
everything will become clear, then the fears
and the sad contentions among children of
the same Immaculate Mother will cease, then
everything, within us and outside of us, will
be fully renewed in the light and in the free
song of the new heavens and the new earth
that Mary is announcing in Medjugorje.
Giuseppe Ferraro
background image
“silver wedding
Skipping an issue of this magazine seems
to have almost caused us to take a more en-
ergetic run-up to an important threshold:
the 25
anniversary of the foundation of
We celebrate it in this issue of the maga-
zine with a sense of joy and thanksgiving for
the gift that the virgin has fi rst given to the
readers of the whole world and then to we
who serve it with love. But also with trepi-
dation, because we are aware of our duty to
responsibly administrate the gift of grace,
which has been given to us by the Queen of
peace, the true editor of this magazine. We
have already said this on other occasions.
Obviously, apart from Her, the fi rst thanks
should go to Don Angelo Mutti, who gener-
ated it and guided it until 2000.
We did not have any summer issue. This
was a necessary pause in order to ensure a
healthy revision of our work. Including
shortcomings and priorities. Successes and
failures. Only to then start off again with re-
newed enthusiasm and a desire to do good,
for Echo and for those who read it.
We feel honoured for the duty that Mary
entrusted us with, that of transmitting the
words that She regularly utters in Medjugorje
in a simple and familiar manner. This is an
important duty that we share with others
throughout the world, who deal with divulg-
ing the messages of the Holy Virgin in many
different ways. But everyone is original, and
As far as we are concerned, we can only
bear witness to the fact that without God’s
hand of providence it is impossible to go on,
from all points of view. In fact, it is an adven-
ture that leads us along unthinkable roads,
which are sometimes arduous and treacher-
Will we make it? Will we be able to con-
tinue with this publication which costs a lot
and survives solely on offers? Will we be
able to reach the people who want Echo if
distribution is entrusted merely to the gener-
osity of good people who take on this respon-
We have asked ourselves this on several
occasions. And we only fi nd the answer when
we abandon ourselves to God, trustingly
handing Him our worries and above all, the
faith of the magazine. Perhaps we need to be
a bit more patient, we need to suffer while we
wait…but then the doors regularly re-open.
Without a doubt Echo is the son of offers.
Mary is with us. She has shown this so
many times. This is the fi rst reason for us to
be happy. But not the only one. Many friends
have appeared on the pages of Echo over the
years, giving us the gift of their writing. We
would like to thank them.
Many more people from all parts of the
world let us know how near they actually are
to us with short greetings of encouragement
and perseverance even when we feel threat-
ened by diffi culties. We would like to thank
Many people do not write to us but we
know that they are there because their prayers
reach us and sustain us, feeding life into Echo
Those hands
«We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors,
as though God were making his appeal
through us» (2Cor 5,20).
From these words of the apostle Paul, we
can understand that God uses man to fulfi l
His works; in actual fact, it seems that we
can perceive that God “needs” man to fulfi l
His Work, almost as though He “cannot” act
without him. It is almost as though God lent
man his hands, his feet, his voice, so that we
might fulfi l His plan of love in the world. And
this is what He expects from us. He expects
us to consider others as friends and brothers,
and not strangers, people to help, not to run
away from, people to love even if they are not
very lovable. In short, God expects us to act
as brothers to everyone, to sustain everyone,
to give ourselves to everyone, like He gave
himself, we who offer ourselves completely
to Him, like He did for us, by offering us his
Mary always thanks us in her messages.
Usually people give thanks for a favour, for
some form of attention, for something good
that we receive. Obviously Mary thanks us
for something of ours that makes her happy,
although she knows that mothers also rejoice
about little things, with much younger
children, as we certainly are. Now we may
think that such thanksgiving from our Mother
is also that of our Father, because Mary’s
plan coincides with that of God. Therefore
it is God himself who gives us thanks, for
something that he is pleased about regarding
us. And so God is in the position of “having
to receive” something from man, although
man is such a tiny creature. Yes, God needs
man because this is what his love arranged:
that His hands might operate through man’s
hands, that His feet might walk through
man’s feet, that His voice might be heard
through man’s voice. In this way, God’s plan
of love in the world passes through us, it is
implemented through man. Yes, in his love,
God is pleased to “depend on man”, not to
operate without man.
We are very surprised that God gives
thanks to us, through Mary, for things, even
very small things that we do out of love for
Him. We truly needed such a God, a God who
might love such poor creatures as we are, we
really needed this. This thought gives us so
much joy, but it also makes us think about
what God expects from us. We should not
therefore disregard Our Mother’s invitation,
that is, God’s invitation, knowing that we are
not alone, we have the whole of Heaven with
by Pietro Squassabia
Where to rest
An ancient rabbinical comment says that
God rested after having created man, almost as
though, without man, he could not rest. This is
certainly not a necessity for God, but perhaps
a requirement of Love: to fi nd his delight in
man. God does not seek out the things we do so
much, he is more interested in our heart. Yes,
God wants to be with us, to rest with us, as we
can gather from the history of his people. He
does not expect things from us, he wants us to
welcome Him, joyously. This makes us think,
also because we sometimes do many things
which, although they are nice, they risk closing
our hearts more than opening them up to Him.
Mary, the Lord’s chosen one, is an example for
us: in fact, Her only intention was, and is, to
make herself completely available to and to
welcome her Lord. Only in this way was God
able to fulfi l “great things” in Her, things that
He alone knows how to fulfi l. Otherwise, how
could a poor girl from Palestine do something
so beautiful and so important! How could she
have generated the Creator!
And so let us make space for God’s work,
let us leave some space in our hearts for him.
Not a narrow and uncomfortable space, but an
ample and welcoming space. We are all given
this possibility, because the Son gave it to
anyone. Let us invoke our Mother and we will
fi nd a powerful source of help. Let us allow
her to work in us, and our dwelling place will
become splendid.
For this reason, even those who do not have
many possibilities because they are infi rm, or
elderly, or they do not have the means, can
do a lot, because they are always given the
possibility of making space for the Lord. And
so, even those who have very few possibilities
are always capable of implementing God’s
plans, plans that always lead to the salvation of
men, of all men, without exception. Actually,
it would appear that God seeks out those who
appear to have few resources, in order to fulfi l
marvellous things in them.
Our little magazine also aims to be a tool
to make the hearts of many more welcoming.
If this were not the case, then the time taken
by Echo’s collaborators, the time dedicated to
Echo by its readers, would often be in vain.
But we are under the impression that Echo is
a tool in the hands of the Heavens, to be used
for making the inner dwelling place of many a
little more beautiful, for the glory of God and
of many.
Then, with God in our hearts, perhaps
many of our worries will disappear, perhaps
we can avoid many useless exertions.
Then perhaps we will understand that we
can only fi nd true rest in God, who delights in
resting in us.
in a real manner. We would also like to thank
We humbly return to our journey, cer-
tain that without the Holy Spirit we can do
nothing. We are always listening out so as to
always be able to welcome what He has to
say to the benefi t of our readers’ pathway of
Married couples usually celebrate the
twenty-fi fth year of their marriage with sil-
ver. Perhaps in order to celebrate it in all of
its splendour. After all, it’s the colour of the
moon when it shines out over all the rest in
silence, shadowed by the night. The night
shines out in this vivid light, a light that makes
us look towards the past with a sense of se-
renity and gratitude and towards the future
with so much hope, we want to embrace all
those who love us. We invoke Mary’s bless-
ing for everyone, a blessing that we hope we
will always be able to send out through every
word that we manage to write. And to you
Echo, we say, Happy Anniversary!
The ECHO team
background image
She is there
Rain, lots of rain. And so there’s also lots of
slippery mud on that red soil that stains the slopes
of Podbrdo, the high ground that sits just on the
edge of Medjugorje, where the Virgin Mary fi rst
appeared before the incredulous eyes of some
children some twenty-eight years ago. Those
children have now become adults, mothers and
Once again this year, on the 25
of June,
several thousand people made their way along
the sharp and craggy stones to reach that place
where Mary tirelessly continues to call them
“Dear Children…”. From all over they world
they “answered her call”.
What pushes them? Or rather, who draws
them there? Yes, because only an extraordinary
force can draw such a river of people this far,
to a place that has no other human attraction.
Actually, in some senses it is even an unpleasant
The ecclesiastic institution has not yet
offi cially approved any of this.It is waiting for
the fruits before expressing any judgement. And
yet the faithful continue to fl ock there in their
masses. You cannot help but ask yourself: are
they not perhaps the fruits of all of this? Is this
not the certainty that in this place on earth there
is a great grace, capable of transforming our lives
for the better? Is there not perhaps the desire
to please a Mother who is so extraordinarily
beautiful, attentive, kind and wise that she
motivates an obedience that is sometimes even
heroic in her messages? She never fails to thank
us. As though we were doing her a favour. When
in actual fact it is benefi cial for us to listen to her
and obey her. Actually, it saves us.
Not only young people, not only the healthy
climb up and remain perched on the stones,
under the pounding rain of this afternoon at the
end of June. They are there.They are praying.
Some of them are singing. Others simply remain
in silence, in deep prayer that allows them to
speak to God alone.
How can we pretend that this is nothing? Or
worse, how can we attempt to fi ght the evidence,
seeking to prove that it is all an invention, that it
is all an illusion?
Mary is in Medjugorje. She is alive. The
protagonist of a story that has marked the destiny
of not only a village that was tiny and unknown at
the time, but also that of those who were literally
shaken by the meeting with that reality of grace.
Mary is there.She is in the renewed life
of those who found faith in the true God in
Medjugorje, as well as in themselves, in their
own identity. And healing. For many people,
Medjugorje was and still remains a school in
which the Mother, the attentive mistress in the
Spirit, teaches us to live according to God’s way,
which is beauty, peace, and holiness.
Mary is there.She will remain there when
the apparitions come to an end because her
immaculate Heart will pulsate triumphantly in
that of her children who were willing to allow
themselves to be changed, answering “her call”.
The multitude seeking
“After this, I looked and there before me
was a great multitude that no-one could count,
from every nation, tribe, people and language”.
Who are they? Someone asks the author of
the Book of Revelations. “These are they who
have come out of the great tribulation, they
have washed their robes and made them white
in the blood of the Lamb.Therefore they are
before the throne of God and serve him day
and night in his temple (Rev 7, 9.13).
A multitude of people, immense, like that
which continuously fl ows to Medjugorje to
gather at the feet of the “Woman dressed
in the Sun”, she who crushed the head of the
ancient Snake for once and for all and who is now
carrying out her mission through her posterity,
as Scripture reminds us (cfr Rev 12,1).
In a certain way, the population that Mary
is forming in Medjugorje may be similar to
that described by Saint John at the end of the
Scriptures. Those who decided to undertake a
serious journey of conversion by renouncing
Sin and its actions, choosing God and his
desires for good, cannot be counted.
In her messages, Our Lady said it many
times: prayer, fasting and offering our lives
has the power to annul Satan’s power, which
slips into our society more and more, pushing
it to adore a crowd of false Gods and therefore
of idols. If we are willing to see it and admit
it, humanity is living new forms of veritable
paganism. In all areas.
Fighting evil in our lives by continuously
opting for the Spirit of God, makes us active
collaborators of that bright and powerful
Woman, who like she did then, today
continues to hunt the enemy out of our lives,
this is a commitment that we are proud of but
that requires all our faith and responsibility.
Change direction
There is a constant calling in Gospa’s
messages, that the Mother will never grow
tired of saying: “convert!”.
And here is the stumbling block. If we
consider ourselves believers to some extent,
we think we have already done so. But if
this is the case, then we must take another
look at the interpretation of the concept of
conversion. If we believe that converting
means only realising that God exists and, at
the most, confessing this publicly, then we
are wrong. This is necessary. Actually, it is an
essential basis. But it is only the beginning!
According to Mary, conversion is deciding to
resolutely change the direction of our lives.
It is accepting a change of mentality. It is
choosing to look at reality through the eyes
of Jesus. Beginning to think, to act, and to
behave like He did.
And once again, here is the stumbling
block. It is one thing to discover that God is
not only an idea, it is another thing to set aside
the selfi shness that we often entrust the reins
of our life to… Conversion cannot only be
the act of a moment. We may call this “falling
off a horse” in the words of Saint Paul. We
should all get off our high horse: that of the
presumption of knowing everything about life
and its mystery; we need to get down off the
horse of our pride and our vanities; the horse
of our arrogance that is born of the instinct to
dominate and be overpowering…
The instant that Grace touches us, sometimes
unexpectedly and suddenly, it causes our
conscience to reawaken and we realise that man
is not the centre of the universe, and above all,
that he is not enough for himself. On the other
hand, conversion is a gradual process, it is slow,
progressive and for this reason, it is permanent,
to the point that “the old has gone, the new has
come” (cfr. 2 Cor 5,17).
It is a defi nitive change of direction that
directs all of our faculties towards God, like
our tastes and as a consequence our choices.
It is a one-way street, but it ends in the Lord’s
Kingdom, and we do not want to leave there.
Whatever it may cost.
Mary comes to visit us in Medjugorje for
this reason; to make all things new, according
to the style of the Holy Spirit, who made her
silent and virginal womb fertile.
A eucharistic woman par excellence, she
gave herself in order to give form to the Word.
Like the bread on the altar before becoming
the body of the Lord. We take Mary with us as
though we were going to receive communion:
taking on her style, her way of dealing with
reality, She transforms us into living hosts.
Sixty thousand at the
twentieth Festival
An enormous fi gure We cannot fail to
notice this. Especially if we think that the
majority of this number is made up of young
people. “I saw one with an enormous multi-
coloured plume on his head, maybe English
or American” says Angela, “what is someone
like him doing in Medjugorje?”.
It’s the same story every year. The crowd
grows bigger and bigger at the Youth Festival
in August, which has been going on for twenty
summers now. A lot of people come. Even
those who open their eyes for the fi rst time
“to a reality that surpasses me and gives me
an insight into how much time I had wasted
up to now”, comments Carlo. Those who
have been walking for some time on the other
hand, return to feeling confi rmed, encouraged
and sustained in their choices of conversion.
But above all, they come to meet Mary, who
is happy to welcome them into her ever-ready
Once again, there is a multitude of people
celebrating around the Mother on this occasion.
How can we ignore this? It’s impossible to do
so! But perhaps some people prefer to think
that this is normal: simple pilgrims visiting
one of the many shrines. “For the fi rst time
in twenty years, the visionaries were asked
not to be on stage at the Festival with their
Reflections of light
Mary’s land
by Stefania Consoli
background image
My name is peace
by Don Nicolino Mori
She introduces herself as the Queen of
peace. From the very fi rst moment of the
apparitions, back in 1981, the Virgin recalled
many values and aspects of the faith that
were risking decline; especially personal
conversion and prayer. But not as an end to
themselves, as simple good deeds, but rather,
a bigger plan for peace in the world.
Now this peace not only involves the
absence of confl icts or the better functioning
of international bodies, it involves peace with
God, the recovery of his presence within the
world, his will to save, what Jesus called the
Kingdom of God.
With his love, God wants to reign in every
person’s heart, in families, in nations; among
believers and among those who still do not
know his love, so that everything might
lead back to Him; so that through his Son,
there might be only one sheepfold and one
This will is manifested and recalled by
the Blessed Virgin in Medjugorje and it led to
the creation of several initiatives and spiritual
fruits. And so some people got together to
comply with God’s plan, making themselves
available to the Queen of peace; wanting
to offer her not only a little time or some
attention, but their whole lives, in union with
the great offering of Christ for the salvation of
the whole world, humanity on earth, the souls
of the dead, all the creatures of the cosmos.
One of the great tragedies of our era is our
inability to experience an inner life. We are
always extroverted, always outside, always
amidst the noise and this prevents us from
thinking. Perhaps there are those who are
afraid of silence because they want to avoid
discovering the identity of their own life and
so they deafen themselves with noise, alcohol,
drugs, and evasion at all costs. Living in this
manner is not only unwise, it also degrades
our humanity. A Greek philosopher used to
say: every time that I go out and spend time
among men, I always end up being less of a
man. On the other hand, Carlo Carretto, who
had engaged in political militancy and activity
within the Church for years, withdrew into the
desert and used to say that those who live in
the city needed to fi nd their desert: one hour
a day, one day a month, one month a year, as
an essential minimum to learn to pray and be
with the Lord. In peace.
The Mountain of silence
I climbed up Krizevac at a quick pace.
Twenty-fi ve minutes isn’t a lot right? I was
passing out groups of pilgrims who had stopped
off in front of the stations of the Cross in prayer,
and I walked on. I felt that my appointment was
at the summit. Something great awaited me. I
could perceive it, although I was still unaware
of what it was. I am an athletic type, I’m well
trained, and climbing isn’t a problem for me.
The climb up Krizevac is quite demanding, but
not even my sudden shortness of breath slowed
me down. I had to reach that cross that was
inviting me to lift myself up. And there, on the
mountain, a look over the whole of Medjugorje
enlightened me all of a sudden on where I had
really ended up.
I was at the appointment. But had
that Something already come? I realised
immediately afterwards because it passed
through me. Like a gust of wind that
frees up your lungs and lets you
breathe, with a sigh of relief.
I could see nothing or hear
nothing. I could just perceive
something different, I felt
good without any particular
reason, only because I felt
a sense of peace being
generated in my soul, as
it made space for itself in
my heart. I felt above my
normal everyday self, that
fact of matter and human
laws. Which are sometimes
too tight. There’s a new air
there. You don’t know what
it is, but you know it’s there!
There were very few of us
around the cross that morning
during mid-August. It was like
everything was suspended, almost
surreal in the silence that enveloped me,
the creatures and all things. I almost held my
breath so as to avoid breaking the spell. But it
didn’t last long. The groups that I passed out
previously were now approaching, I could see
them, but above all, I could hear their noisy
voices that together caused a din.
I felt a tear in my heart. Harmony had
reigned up to then, everything was quiet,
even the crickets that you can hear singing in
the summer. Perhaps they too were absorbed
in our same prayer. But it was now shattered
by the superfi cial nature of men, a noisy and
irresponsible sense of excitement. Creation
itself protested: a choir of crickets in their
thousands began to cry out, in an almost
deafening manner. “Be quiet men, this land is
holy. We are on the mountain of silence. Here
you should only hear one voice, a whisper. That
of Mary”.
Fabio Macchioni
Caldarola (MC – Italy)
“My” Medjugorje
Lately I had been experiencing a strong
desire to go there. I really had to go on that
trip that so many people had spoken to me
about. I had also heard about it on television
from famous people whom you would never
expect to speak publicly about “certain things”.
That desire soon changed into a decision:
“I invite you to know how to welcome the
new spring that the Lord is stirring up these
days within the Church, not least through
the Ecclesiastical Movements and the new
Communities. The Spirit has many forms
in his gifts… He blows wherever he wants.
He does so in an unexpected manner, in
unexpected places and in ways that you
might never before have been able to
Pope Benedict XVI
testimony”, says Claudia. Is this perhaps
accidental? Perhaps not. Perhaps someone
wants to set aside the idea that people go
there because Our Lady is alive, and can be
seen through channels that our logic is unable
to manage, often the daughter of subtle
calculating interests…Queen of peace, pray
for us!
I’m leaving! In the company of my family.
Including my young children.
Everything coincided: holidays, the boat,
and the organisation. But why then was I
crying in the days leading up to my departure?
I did feel happy, but what was that Something
that was insistently touching my heart, almost
disturbing it? Something that was managing to
rummage in the depths, pulling out the memory
of shortcomings, repeated sins and the inability
to love like I would have liked to. And then that
subtle sense of inadequacy before the stature of
the Mother whom I was going to visit…
“Cry, don’t hold it back”, a friend said to
me, “that’s a sign that Mary has already started
her work. Not only is she waiting for you, she’s
here with you and she’s packing your bags
for the trip: the baggage that you must leave
there with your sins, and the empty ones that
you need to take away the graces that She has
reserved for you. This is a blessed cry, tears that
free up the heart and prepare it to be changed”.
Excitement accompanied me. But
there was a lot of expectation also,
expectations of things that I had
imagined, having heard others
speak about their experience.
“That’s what it will be like
for me too”, I said to myself.
It wasn’t true, because
where I expected to “feel
something” it seemed
empty to me, almost
insipid. And therefore
But you can’t plan
grace. It always surprises
you. It was just as I didn’t
expect it that I felt myself
being grasped by a true
sense of peace, in the depths,
where everything calms
down and you feel reassured. I
felt reconciled with myself, with
others, with the Creator. Something
great had been established within me,
and it never left me.
The Medjugorje that I was expecting wasn’t
that with the noisy shop-lined streets. Nor did
Apparition Mountain meet my expectations,
perhaps it was too crowded when I climbed up
there with my family.
It was in the silence of evening Adoration,
guided wisely by a young priest, that Grace
awaited me. It was in the quietness of the
Community that welcomed me. It was in the
peaceful faces of these friends who were housing
me. In the areas set aside for recollection and
prayer. In all of this I met “my” Medjugorje,
the one that the Virgin had prepared and that
was waiting for me alone. And my yes.
But I did not leave it there. I realised that
something had changed when I returned home.
Grace followed us here and changed our way of
dealing with things: from frenzy to calm, from
agitation to peacefulness. It’s a miracle.
I did not speak very much about what I
had experienced. I didn’t want the pearls of the
treasure that I had been given to get swallowed
up in the wave of my enthusiasm. I kept them for
myself, to enjoy them all the more and to allow
them to be like a “slow release”, a testimony
that is not “shouted”, that risks getting lost in
the wind, but an inner experience that leaves a
mark. This is the best way of notifying others
about it, because it can be seen.
Cinzia Vinchi
Caldarola (MC – Italy)
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“Oh, you sent us true light,
that guides all men to salvation,
give us the strength of your Spirit
so that we might prepare
the PATHWAY of justice and peace
before your Son.
(From the Liturgy of the Hours)
Villanova M., 14 september 2009
I am near to you
and I will not abandon you,
- fi rst of all because I am Love: if only you
knew the extent to which you can be loved!
- and then because I need you very much,
more than you think.
Because you feel weak, you are strong with
my Strength, powerful with my Power.
Do not count on yourself, count on Me.
Do not count on your own prayers. Count on
my prayer, the only one that is worth any-
Unite yourself to it.
Do not count on your own action, or on your
infl uence. Count on my action and on my in-
fl uence.
Do not be afraid. Trust in me.
Worry about my worries. When you are
weak, poor, during the night, in agony, on the
cross…offer my essential, incessant, univer-
sal offering.
Unite your prayer with mine. Unite your
work with my work, your joy with my joy,
your pain, your tears and your suffering with
Unite your death with my death.
Now, for you, many things are a “mystery”,
but they will be light and the reason for you
to give thanks in glory. Actually, it is in this
light and shade of faith that people opt for
my favour and merits are obtained for which
I myself will be the eternal reward.
Gaston Courtois
(From: Quando il Maestro parla al cuore)
a piece of heaven and
a piece of the world
During the summer, Davide spent his
days sitting at a very special viewing point:
a shop situated along the road that leads to
Podbrdo. Pilgrims pass him by, they enter,
they start talking, they reveal the world that
they brought to Medjugorje and what they
came to take from here…
How should we defi ne Medjugorje?
A piece of heaven, yes, but that’s not all.
I would say a piece of heaven and a piece of
the world.
The heavens bend down, they become
small, visible and comprehensible to man and
they come down to meet him. In its blinding
rhythm, the world sometimes remembers to lift
up its gaze, to lift up its hands.
The heavens are present here without a
doubt, the grace of this place is experienced
and witnessed by thousands of pilgrims every
year. And the world is also clearly visible and
it can be experienced here.
If we look in the mirror at the people
passing through the town, we will notice the
frenzy that characterises our days and it often
doesn’t abandon us even here in Medjugorje, in
that week of rest that we had so looked forward
to in the midst of our tiring urban rhythm. It is
diffi cult to get out of the suffocating mechanism
that we have become so accustomed to:
full schedules and timetables that lead us to
continue our crazy race through this world,
even in this corner of paradise.
This frenzy may even suit us, it is a sweet
prison that we have now grown accustomed to
living in but that undoubtedly puts the heavens
further out of our reach, less perceptible and
more diffi cult to actually attain. Is this only a
habit? Or is it perhaps a little trick that we play
on ourselves to void thinking about what we
have come to put at the feet of Jesus or Our
Another trap is the run up to events, a
chase after testimonies, meetings, appointments,
but with the risk of concentrating too much on
these, becoming addicted to them, as though
our meeting with God were to essentially come
about through an extraordinarily great event. I
believe that the personal event that will touch
us so as to change us in our depths, depends
more on God than on any external factors. He
works in our hearts, in silence and in calm, and
he knows how to transform us at the simplest,
most common, most anonymous yet personal
moment, in such a way that our meeting with
him does not become a group event, but a
unique and unrepeatable touch of his grace.
How easy it is to throw the smoke of our
world into this celestial clear air that the Lord
gives to us through Mary! This is the same
struggle that each of us experiences within
ourselves: two spirits that meet each other and
engage in a battle, God’s spirit and the spirit of
the world. Or better: God’s heaven, which lives
within man’s heart by nature, that is invaded
by the spirit of the world and by sin that seeks
to corrupt it.
I personally experience this, I see it in the
people I meet here in Medjugorje, with whom
it is possible to exchange a few words and some
experiences. They carry faith, hope and often
pain within themselves. Here is a mother who
has just accompanied her son to the Comunità
Cenacolo and who is seeking the strength
from God to accept this separation. There are
those who speak of miracles experienced here,
those who bear witness to how their lives have
changed…All men and women who, perhaps
without knowing it, with their faith, their
actions and their heroism, are enlightening
the heavens of the soul within themselves and
distancing themselves from Satan’s smoke. In
this way, in the communion that embraces and
unites all men, it is as though a piece of the
world were to be purifi ed of its spirit of deceit
and transformed into a piece of heaven.
The world goes by in Medjugorje, we are
all part of that world. It goes by in those who
run past in a bewildered state, and in those who
stop, accepting the gift of peace that the Mother
gives to us. In those who have come to breathe
in a piece of heaven, only to discover that
heaven lies within them, it is present and alive
within the soul. In contact with the graces of this
place and with a sincere desire for conversion,
the soul then brightens up, allowing the sun to
reappear. Then the time comes to return home.
But let us take home the heavens touched in
Medjugorje, so that they might remain with us.
This is the true dream. The Father gives us
numerous external gifts by way of confi rming
the truth of his presence on this earth. But there
is only one sign that truly counts: “The glory of
God is the living man”. You are the sign!
Davide Cavanna
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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
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it. May God reward you and your
loved ones onehundredfold!
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E-mail: info@ecodimaria.net
Our readers write…
Sergio Leon from Havana (Cuba):
Dearest brothers, thank you so much for send-
ing us Echo of Mary, which gives us some
great information and food for thought. We
distribute Echo throughout Cuba, where infor-
mation is quite scarce and it helps us a lot in
our missionary work within the communities
in the countryside. We cannot pay you for it
with money, but if prayers are worth some-
thing, we pray for you every day.
We shared in the pain of the Italians fol-
lowing the earthquake and we prayed for you.
Here in Cuba there are several priests who
work hard alongside the Cuban Catholic church
and they are very good and extremely kind.
Ester Zampetti from Bergamo (Italy):
“Continue always in your Apostolate, because
you are doing much good; the world truly
needs to think of the soul. Rest assured, Our
Lady will be generous with you and she will
reward you like only SHE can. I send you my
very best regards”.
our lives be the expression of His Presence
so that every creature might feel God’s
love and so that we might be Mary’s hands
outstretched towards all creatures. Her
hands are outstretched to draw us towards
her, not to us push away, to point out a path-
way of hope. Hands outstretched like Mary’s
hands, that give everything without keep-
ing anything, pitiful hands, like those of the
Samaritan. Hands outstretched so as not to
rob but to give, so as not to refuse but to draw
close to itself, so as not to crucify but to take
man down from all crosses.
Nuccio Quattrocchi