Thursday, November 27, 2014

Medjugorje and the ‘Miraculous Medal’

Today is the Feast of the Miraculous Medal. The medal has an association with Medjugorje. On November 27, 1989, Our Lady said to the visionary Marija:

These days, I want you to pray in a special way for the salvation of souls. Today is the feast day of the miraculous medal, and I want that you pray, in a special way, for the salvation of those people who are carrying this miraculous medal. I want you to spread the devotion and carrying of this medal, so that more souls may be saved, and that you pray in a special way.

O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you.

On November 27 1830 at 5:30 pm, during meditation, St Catherine Labouré saw at the present location of the Virgin of the Globe (Rue de Bac) a vision of the Blessed Virgin. She was standing on a globe holding in her hands a small golden globe, her feet crushing a serpent. Coming from the open hands of the Blessed Virgin were beautiful rays of light. At that same moment Catherine heard a voice saying: “These rays are symbols of graces that Mary obtains for people.” Then an oval formed around the vision and Catherine saw emblazoned in a semi-circle this invocation written in gold letters, and until then unknown: “O Mary conceived without sin pray for us who have recourse to you”. Then the oval turned and Catherine saw on the reverse side, the letter M surmounted with a little cross and below it the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Catherine then heard these words: “Have a medal made as this. Those who wear it with confidence will receive great graces.”

further information about the Miraculous Medal and St Catherine Labouré can be found at the official website of the Chapel of the Rue de Bac.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Identity and mission...

Pray, little children, so that you may comprehend who you are and where you need to go.
part message, November 25, 2014

Jesus clearly understood who he was and where he needed to go, as Luke reveals in this Gospel passage (9 : 18-23)

Now one day when he was praying alone in the presence of his disciples Jesus put this question to them, “Who do the crowds say I am?” And they answered, “John the Baptist; others Elijah, and others say one of the ancient prophets come back to life.” “But you,” he said “who do you say I am?” It was Peter who spoke up. “The Christ of God” he said. But he gave them strict orders not to tell anyone about this. “The Son of Man” he said “is destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes and to be put to death, and to be raised up on the third day.” Then to all he said, “If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow me.”

Another Gospel passage which highlights who we are and where we need to go is the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15 : 11-32)

When the younger son becomes destitute and hungry he recalls the benevolence of the father he left behind. He remembers and comprehends the special relationship he once had with his father until his sins led him to a distant country and to squander his inheritance.

In his poverty he is led to understand who he is and where he now needs to go – to journey back to his father and restore the relationship.

His father welcomes and honours him as his son, without recrimination, without judgement, overjoyed that his lost child has come back to life.

Understanding God as our Merciful Father, and accepting that his love is greater than our sins, sets us free to realise our true identity (who you are) and mission in life (where you need to go).

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Message for Europe is message for the world

In a wide-ranging speech to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg today, Pope Francis urged members to pursue the cornerstone of the Council’s mission, to serve the common good.

With words echoed by Our Lady’s message given to the world on the same day, Pope Francis stressed the need for the European Union to rediscover its identity and mission – to remember its profound roots (comprehend who you are), and have a sound and humane utopian vision for the future (where you need to go).

Pope Francis then outlined the importance of Europe’s continuing responsibility to contribute to the peace and the cultural development of humanity (Be carriers of the good news and be people of hope. Be love for all those who are without love).


Words of Our Lady’s message highlighted blue
Pope Francis speech to the Council of Europe
• The Mission of the Twelve and Identity Issues... (see Luke chapter 9)

Our Lady’s November message to the world...

Dear children! In a special way, today I am calling you to prayer. Pray, little children, so that you may comprehend who you are and where you need to go. Be carriers of the good news and be people of hope. Be love for all those who are without love. Little children, you will be everything and will achieve everything only if you pray and are open to God’s will – to God who desires to lead you towards eternal life. I am with you and intercede for you from day to day before my Son Jesus. Thank you for having responded to my call.
Medjugorje message, November 25, 2014

Talking about the Temple


When some were talking about the Temple, remarking how it was adorned with fine stonework and votive offerings, Jesus said, “All these things you are staring at now – the time will come when not a single stone will be left on another: everything will be destroyed.” Luke 21 : 5-6

Dear children! Today again I would like to say to you that I am with you also in these troubled days during which Satan wishes to destroy all that my Son Jesus and I are building. He desires especially to destroy your souls. He wants to take you away as far as possible from the Christian life and from the commandments that the Church calls you to live. Satan wishes to destroy everything that is holy in you and around you. This is why, little children, pray, pray, pray to be able to grasp all that God is giving you through my coming. Thank you for having responded to my call. Medjugorje message, September 25, 1992

Monday, November 24, 2014

Fr Slavko Barbaric 14th anniversary


Fr Slavko Barbaric • Born: March 11, 1946 • Died: November 24, 2000

I rejoice with you and I desire to tell you that your brother Slavko has been born into heaven and intercedes for you.
part message, November 25, 2000

This is the testimony given at Fr Slavko’s funeral by Magdalena Pajic, on behalf of the Mother’s Village.

• Dear brother Slavko, we are still waiting for you! On Wednesday, after the Way of the Cross, you were supposed to come to the Mother’s Village. I don’t know whether you wanted to see someone in particular or all of us. But now, we are all here in this row full of sorrow. Even little Maja from Bjelovar has come, Boris and Toni are here, and – what a surprise – they are silent, and aunty Ružica adds a Hail Mary for you while praying her rosary.

Friday night, we were up for long time, wondering why you didn’t come and where you had gone, and we saw our religious sisters keeping a long silence instead of giving us an answer. Some of us still cannot realise what has happened, some will not even remember your face, but all of us are full of sorrow and a little angry, and we all have the same desire, to tell you a big thank you.

Thank you, brother Slavko, for having had the idea to create the Mother’s Village; thank you for not having been afraid to receive us, as different as we are.

Thank you for teaching us how to be courageous, asking us to animate the decades of the rosary on the Podbrdo while we were still learning how to pray.

Thank you for letting us see that toys have colors, that Nutella is sweet, and that it takes two persons to see-saw.

Thank you for making it possible for us to put on a white dress for the First Holy Communion, like all other children.

Thank you for having taught us how to love Our Lady and how to pray to God.

Thank you, because – in spite of everything – we have discovered what the word love means.

Other people told us that time heals all wounds, but you were the only one to tell us that time is just a companion on the way, and that only love heals everything. Your death tells us the same.

As short as the instant was that death took you away from us, as short was the instant we needed to understand your love and your sacrifice. We know now that each little piece of paper thrown on the road, each bad note in school and each disobedience towards auntie were an offence. This is why, speaking these words over your open tomb, we make a vow of fidelity to your word and to your work.

While humanly in such a deep sorrow, we feel as if you were asking us: “My children, where is your faith?” In faith, we see you united to our Mother and to your Mother Mary, and we suffer less; and this is our only hope, because, truly, through your leaving, the Mother’s Village, our orphanage, became itself a big orphan.

If we were to continue to wait for you, we would undoubtedly be overwhelmed by fear. We prefer to ask you to wait for us, now that you have reached the heavenly sanctuary. And, while we imagine you walking down the road, slightly bent forward, turning your back to us, for the first time we do not say, “Brother Slavko, goodbye”, but, with a wounded heart, with a pure children’s soul and full of enthusiasm, we say, “See you and thank you, our dear brother Slavko!”


Further information about Mother’s Village
• source: Shrine of the Queen of Peace

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King


The Lord says this: I am going to look after my flock myself and keep all of it in view. As a shepherd keeps all his flock in view when he stands up in the middle of his scattered sheep, so shall I keep my sheep in view. I shall rescue them from wherever they have been scattered during the mist and darkness. I myself will pasture my sheep, I myself will show them where to rest – it is the Lord who speaks. I shall look for the lost one, bring back the stray, bandage the wounded and make the weak strong. I shall watch over the fat and healthy. I shall be a true shepherd to them. As for you, my sheep, the Lord says this: I will judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and he-goats.
Ezekiel 34 : 11-12, 15-17

I am with you and unceasingly keep watch over every heart which is given to me.
part Medjugorje message, February 25, 1989

Friday, November 21, 2014

Step by step...

Dear children! Today I call all of you to decide for holiness. May for you, little children, always in your thoughts and in each situation holiness be in the first place, in work and in speech. In this way, you will also put it into practice; little by little, step by step, prayer and a decision for holiness will enter into your family. part Medjugorje message, August 25, 2001

Step by step, stone by stone,
Mother Mary, lead us home.
Prayer by prayer, bead by bead,
Mother Mary, intercede.
Joy by joy, light by light,
Mother Mary, star so bright.
Cross by cross, grace by grace,
Mother Mary, we embrace.
Step by step, stone by stone,
Mother Mary, lead us home.

bg 2011

• According to the tradition in the Eastern Church, when Mary was three years of age, Joachim and Anne took her to the Temple so that she might be consecrated to the service of the Lord. The legend says that they invited the young girls of the town to walk before her with lighted torches. As soon as they had reached the Temple, Mary, alone and unhesitatingly, went up the steps of the sanctuary where she was to remain, living in the contemplation of God and miraculously fed by the Archangel Gabriel, until the day she was espoused to Joseph, shortly before the Annunciation.

The theme of the feast is that Mary the Immaculate One, the Temple of the Living God, is offered to the Almighty in his holy house in Jerusalem. This day witnesses the bond between the Word and the Virgin predestined in eternity: this day is the fountainhead of all her privileges.

Fr Thomas Rosica
Feast of the Presentation of Mary in the Temple of Jerusalem

• At the conclusion of his November 19 general audience, Pope Francis paid tribute to contemplative religious.

“Friday, November 21, on the liturgical memorial of the Presentation of Mary in the Temple, we celebrate the Pro Orantibus
[For Those Praying], dedicated to cloistered religious communities,” he said.

“It is a good opportunity to thank the Lord for the gift of so many people who, in monasteries and hermitages, dedicate themselves to God in prayer and silent work, recognising the primacy that only He deserves,” he added. “We thank the Lord for the testimony of cloistered life. May they never lack our spiritual and material support to carry out this important mission.”

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Recognising our time of visitation...


As Jesus drew near Jerusalem and came in sight of the city, he shed tears over it and said, “If you in your turn had only understood on this day the message of peace! But alas, it is hidden from your eyes! Yes, a time is coming when your enemies will raise fortifications around you, when they will encircle you and hem you in on every side. Luke 19 : 41-43

Dear children! Today I wish to give you my own love. You do not know, dear children, how great my love is, and you do not know how to accept it. In various ways I wish to show it to you, but you, dear children, do not recognise it. You do not understand my words with your heart and neither are you able to comprehend my love. Dear children, accept me in your life and so you will be able to accept all I am saying to you and to which I am calling you. Thank you for having responded to my call.
Medjugorje message, May 22, 1986

“I ask myself: today we Christians who know the faith, the catechism, who go to Mass every Sunday, we Christians, we pastors, are we content with ourselves because we have organised everything and do not need new visits from the Lord? And the Lord continues to knock on the door of each one of us and of his Church, the pastors of the Church. Yes, the door of our hearts, of the heart of the Church, of her pastors will not open: and the Lord weeps, even today.”
Pope Francis, homily, November 20, 2014

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Pope Francis says... Mother Mary says...


Holiness is a gift that is offered to all, without exception, so that it constitutes the distinctive character of every Christian… Holiness is gifted to us by the Lord Jesus, when He takes us up with Him and clothes us in Himself, making us like Him.
Pope Francis, Angelus address, November 19, 2014

Dear children! Today I am inviting all of you, without exception, to the way of holiness in your life. God gave you the grace, the gift of holiness. Pray that you may, more and more, comprehend it, and in that way, you will be able, by your life, to bear witness for God. Dear children, I am blessing you and I intercede to God for you so that your way and your witness may be a complete one and a joy for God. Thank you for having responded to my call.
Medjugorje message, September 25, 2014

Vessels of gift...

Dear children! You are the ones responsible for the messages. The source of grace is here, but you, dear children, are the vessels which transport the gifts. Therefore, dear children, I am calling you to do your job with responsibility. Each one shall be responsible according to his own ability. Dear children, I am calling you to give the gifts to others with love, and not to keep them for yourselves. Thank you for having responded to my call.
Medjugorje message, May 8, 1986

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The man in the sycamore tree

Look, I am standing at the door, knocking. If one of you hears me calling and opens the door, I will come in to share his meal, side by side with him. Revelation 3 : 20

Consecrate your heart and make in it the home of the Lord. May he dwell in it forever. Medjugorje message, March 18, 1996

The sycamore tree mentioned in today’s Gospel passage (Luke 19 : 1-10) is a “fig” sycamore. Although Zacchaeus wasn’t hiding in the tree but on the lookout for Jesus, he was covered by fig leaves, comparable to Adam and Eve covering their nakedness (sinfulness) when God came looking for them in the garden.

But Jesus did not banish Zacchaeus from his company because of any sins. Quite the opposite, he came to reconcile the tax collector with God, balance the books so to speak, redeem the debt, and become a friend of someone who probably had very few in life because of the way he treated others when collecting taxes.

The particular species of fig tree – ficus sycamorus– was in leaf, but had not reached its fruit-bearing season when Jesus arrived in Jericho on his journey to Jerusalem for the Passover, ahead of his death.

An unusual feature about the fruit of the ficus sycamorus is that it is unable to ripen unless it is slashed or pierced. Three days after being pierced, usually with metal hooks, the fruit is ready to be harvested. The yield is prolific and other figs quickly form beneath. So abundant is the fruit that seven crops can be harvested in a single summer!

Zacchaeus was ‘picked’ from the tree by Jesus after undergoing ‘piercing’ criticism for his role as a senior tax collector. As soon as Zacchaeus was called the signs of further fruit began to appear when he said to Jesus: “Look, sir, I am going to give half of my property to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody I will pay him back four times the amount.” The tax collector in the tree became a sign of good fruit.

Soon after, when he was slashed and pierced during his passion and death on the cross, Jesus finally redeemed the ‘lost’ life of Zacchaeus.  It had to be this way if the life of Jesus was to bear fruit through his resurrection three days later.

Pierced or pruned, it has to be like this for all of us if we are to ripen in faith and welcome Jesus joyfully.

ZACCHAEUS • Luke 19 : 1-10

Jesus entered Jericho and was going through the town when a man whose name was Zacchaeus made his appearance; he was one of the senior tax collectors and a wealthy man. He was anxious to see what kind of man Jesus was, but he was too short and could not see him for the crowd; so he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to catch a glimpse of Jesus who was to pass that way. When Jesus reached the spot he looked up and spoke to him: “Zacchaeus, come down. Hurry, because I must stay at your house today!” And he hurried down and welcomed him joyfully. They all complained when they saw what happening. “He has gone to stay at a sinner’s house” they said. But Zacchaeus stood his ground and said to the Lord, “Look, sir, I am going to give half my property to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody I will pay him back four times the amount! And Jesus said to, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man too is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek out and save what was lost.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

A message for you...

The annual Medjugorje prayer meeting at Vienna’s St Stephen’s Cathedral has become one of the largest religious events in Austria.

This year, again, thousands of people will gather to pray for peace of the heart, in families and communities, in the country and in the world. Peace is the most precious gift.

The prayer event begins at 15:00 GMT with witness from Artie Boyle, cured of cancer at Medjugorje, and Ania Goledzinowska, one of the ‘Berlusconi Party Girls’ whose life changed dramatically after a pilgrimage to the Queen of Peace sanctuary.

The Medjugorje seer Ivan Dragicevic will lead prayer at 18:00 and this will be followed by Holy Mass at 19:00 celebrated by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, and then Adoration.

The event is broadcast live on the internet.


Ivan gives testimony in Paderborn, Germany

Yesterday evening, before travelling on to Vienna today, Ivan Dragicevic gave witness to the Medjugorje phenomenon in front of a congregation of around 700 people gathered in the church of St Laurence in Paderborn, Germany. This event was also broadcast live on the internet.

Medjugorje seer Ivan Dragicevic at St Laurence church, Paderborn, last night.

Ivan witnessing in St Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna, this evening.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Heal the wounds... heal the wounds...

In the time of Jesus, Samaritans and Jews kept their distance. They were opposed to each other and avoided contact…

Except if they were lepers.

Cast out and exiled to live along the border of two separate societies – the lepers of Samaria and Galilee formed a new community united in suffering and rejection.

Ten of the lepers from this community meet with Jesus in today’s Gospel
(Luke 17 : 11-19)

We know that one of the number, at least, is a Samaritan, the one who returns to thank Jesus, a Jew, for cleansing him of his disease.

Earlier this year I had a month’s stay in hospital. The 10-bed ward was a mix of nationalities, of faith and no faith. None of us had a problem wanting to receive treatment and healing from the nurses and doctors, be they Jew or Samaritan, Christian or Muslim. What united us all in our hospital community was our sickness and our cross, not any differences in nationality or religion.

Dear children! Wake up from the sleep of unbelief and sin, because this is a time of grace which God gives you. Use this time and seek the grace of healing of your heart from God, so that you may see God and man with the heart. Pray in a special way for those who have not come to know God's love, and witness with your life so that they also can come to know God and His immeasurable love. Thank you for having responded to my call.
Medjugorje message, February 25, 2000

“The thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity. I see the church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else. Heal the wounds, heal the wounds.... And you have to start from the ground up.”
Pope Francis, September 19, 2013

Monday, November 10, 2014

This ‘thing’ called love...


Following on from cardinal Gerhard Müller’s attempt to suppress witness to the Medjugorje phenomenon at prayer meetings in two Italian dioceses last weekend, it will be interesting to see if the CDF prefect will continue his campaign to silence the visionaries and other witnesses as more prayer gatherings are announced.

Cardinals Müller and Schönborn,
together at the recent Synod in Rome.
For starters, has cardinal Müller notified his brother cardinal and CDF member, Christoph Schöborn, reminding him of the Zadar declaration? The Vienna archbishop is due to host the Medjugorje visionary Ivan Dragicevic at St Stephen’s cathedral on Saturday – and not for the first time. That’s the day after Ivan testifies at St Laurentius Church in Padenborn, Germany.

Another witness to the Medjugorje phenomenon, Gino di Crano, is also billed to give testimony this week, on Friday evening, at St Nicholas church in Cesarolo, situated in the Italian diocese of Concordia-Pordenone.

It comes as no surprise that both the archbishop of Vienna and the bishop of Concordia-Pordenone, Giuseppe Pellegrini, have made pilgrimages to Medjugorje.

So also has Msgr Domenico Sigalina, bishop of Palestrina, who permitted the prayer gathering and witnessing of Medjugorje seer Vicka Ivankovic in his diocese last Sunday and supported the event by celebrating Mass, despite receiving a letter from Cardinal Müller reminding him of the Zadar Declaration.

And will the CDF prefect also attempt to silence the witness of the youngest Medjugorje seer Jakov Colo at the national prayer event scheduled for Milan on January 18?

The most effective move so far in suppressing the testimony of the Medjugorje seers was against Ivan Dragicevic (left), when cardinal Müller notified the American bishops in February 2013 and again in October of the same year via nuncio Carlo Maria Viganò. This was shortly after Benedict XVI had appointed his German compatriot as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith – coincidently around the time the Vatican International Commission had completed its investigation into the Medjugorje phenomenon and had handed the report over to the CDF for further study and examination.

Cardinal Müller clearly believes that because investigative work of the CDF is still ongoing any witnessing to the Medjugorje phenomenon should be curbed, especially on the undecided question of the validity of the apparitions.

The difficulty in all of this is that the Church can never ‘prove’ the reality of apparitions. It can only decide that the claims are worthy of belief or not, or remain undecided until further investigation. The latter is the current position of the Church since the Zadar Declaration made in 1991.

What some will argue, as it appears the CDF prefect does, is that because “it cannot be affirmed that one is dealing with supernatural apparitions and revelations” then one should not be allowed to witness to the phenomenon. Others will argue differently and support the claim to be able to witness and testify.

While the jury is still out, it is understandable that by testifyng to the Medjugorje phenomenon on Church estate there is the risk that some of the faithful may wrongly assume the Holy See has ‘approved’ the claims of apparitions when it hasn’t.

But using this reason to attempt to silence not just the visionaries, but priests and the faithful from witnessing to the phenomenon anywhere else is clearly not what the Zadar Declaration was intended for, as some who oppose the phenomenon would want the world to believe.

Did the predecessors of the CDF prefect, cardinals Ratzinger and Levada, ever issue letters to bishops reminding them of the Zadar Declaration in an attempt to silence the visionaries and the faithful from testifying to all they have seen and heard?

The apostles Peter and John came up against this prohibition mentality from the Sanhedrin who warned them on no account to make statements or to teach in the name of Jesus. The apostles retorted: “You must judge whether in God’s eyes it is right to listen to you and not to God. We cannot promise to stop proclaiming what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4 : 18-20)

When bishop Lorenzo Loppo of the Alagni-Alatri diocese in Italy issued his prohibition notice and gave details to a local newspaper two weeks ago, he expressed no doubt that Pope Francis would not legitimise “this thing”. He even went as far as saying he would eat his prohibition letter in front of everyone if “this thing” was made legit.

But is Msgr Loppo aware that Pope Francis HAS acknowledged Medjugorje, and its fruits of prayer and conversions, when he invited Medjugorje’s parish priest, Fr Marinko Sakota, and 30 parishioners (witnesses to the events of Medjugorje when they began in 1981) to the Marian Days of prayer at the Vatican last October 12-13. The invitation is normally extended only to representatives of shrines officially recognised by the Church. Interestingly Fr Sakota and his group were given prominent places at the event.

While accepting that as bishop and pastor of his flock, Msgr Loppa has authority over ecclesiastical matters concerning his diocese, his comment about “this thing” is surely a personal view after all, as was the decision taken by bishop Sigalini last weekend to allow the visitation and witness of Vicka Ivankovic in his diocese.

It has been said that while the Medjugorje visionaries continue to claim they are receiving apparitions, then the Holy See will not make a final decision as to the authenticity. If this is the case, then it will suit the prohibition policy of the CDF prefect, especially against the visionaries.

By primarily targeting the events where the six visionaries give public witness, cardinal Müller is, in effect, also targeting the faithful and priests in his prohibition campaign against the Medjugorje phenomenon.

But in pursuing a prohibition policy in this way does cardinal Müller have another agenda? Is it simply an attempt to separate and distance the visionaries and the apparitions from the very visible fruits of Medjugorje which the Church is rumoured to soon formally acknowledge and so legitimise “this thing” that will unite bishops, priests and the faithful in a way that is acceptable to everyone?

The communist authorities of former Yugoslvia attempted to silence the visionaries in many threatening and frightening ways. They failed to succeed. The witness of the six seers has continued throughout the 33 years of the Medjugorje phenomenon.

Gamaliel offered good advice to his fellow members of the Sanhedrin who were intent on silencing the witness of the apostles. He said, “Men of Israel, be careful how you deal with these people… What I suggest, therefore, is that you leave these men alone and let them go. If this enterprise of theirs, this movement of theirs, is of human origin it will break up of its own accord; but if it does in fact come from God you will not only be unable to destroy them, but you might find yourselves fighting against God.”

His advice was accepted.

Afterwards they preached every day both in the Temple and private houses, and their proclamation of the Good News of Christ Jesus was never interrupted. Acts 5 : 34-42

ZADAR DECLARATION

At the ordinary session of the Bishops' Conference of Yugoslavia in Zadar from April 9 - 11, 1991 the following was adopted:

Declaration

The bishops, from the very beginning, have been following the events of Medjugorje through the Bishop of the diocese (Mostar), the Bishop’s Commission and the Commission of the Bishops Conference of Yugoslavia on Medjugorje. On the basis of the investigations, so far it cannot be affirmed that one is dealing with supernatural apparitions and revelations. However, the numerous gatherings of the faithful from different parts of the world, who come to Medjugorje, prompted both by motives of belief and various other motives, require the attention and pastoral care in the first place of the diocesan bishop and with him of the other bishops also, so that in Medjugorje and in everything connected with it a healthy devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary may be promoted in accordance with the teaching of the Church. For this purpose, the bishops will issue especially suitable liturgical-pastoral directives. Likewise, through their Commission they will continue to keep up with and investigate the entire event in Medjugorje.

In Zadar April 10, 1991
The Bishops of Yugoslavia

Jakov to witness in Poland and Italy...

Medjugorje visionary Jakov Colo is heading to Poland this weekend to witness at a three-day youth event modelled on the successful programme of the Medjugorje Youth Festival, Mladifest.

Jakov will be accompanied by the Medjugorje priest Fr Stanko Cosic OFM, as well as members of the Franciscan youth prayer movement FRAM.

The youth event in Poland is organised by Divine Mercy Foundation, a Polish Medjugorje information centre, and takes place at Piotrków Trybunalski from November 14 to 16.

Another venue Jakov is scheduled to give witness at is the Mediolanum Forum in Milan. He will be joined on January 18, 2015, by Fr Petar Ljubicic OFM and other speakers for a day of national prayer at the 12,000 capacity stadium.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Weekend news updates

GOSPA: CHURCH IN MUCH NEED OF PRAYERS...
Our Lady gave a message to Vicka during the apparition at the prayer gathering in Palestrina on Sunday. She said she had many messages to give but asked that we start to live the messages she has already given. Our Lady also asked for hearts to be open and pray for the Church, adding that the Church was in much need of prayers. She ended her message saying “Go in the peace of the Lord, my dear children.”


Bishop Domenico Sigalina headed a number of priests present at the prayer gathering in his Palestrina diocese where the visionary Vicka Ivankovic was also invited to give witness to the Medjugorje phenomenon. Vicka is pictured seated among the priests.
photo: guardacon.me

VICKA SHOWS AT FIUGGI PRAYER DAY 
Contrary to an earlier statement by Vicka Ivankovic reported by Medjugorje Today, the Medjugorje visionary has made an appearance at a prayer event in Fiuggi prohibited by the local bishop.

A local tv news channel estimated the attendance to be 2,000 people present for the day of prayer and witness, as well as the apparition of Our Lady which Vicka’s still receives daily.

photo: guardacon.me

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Prayer meeting ban prompted by CDF Prefect


Bishops differ on response to Müller letter...

According to a report in the Italian magazine Medjugorje, the recent prohibition against Medjugorje prayer meetings in the Anagni-Alatri diocese of bishop Lorenzo Loppa was instigated by Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

A report by Maurizio Caverzan in today’s edition of Il Giornale confirms the revelation made by Medjugorje magazine, that Cardinal Müller (left) had sent a letter to the bishops of the two neighbouring dioceses, of Angani-Alatri and Palestrina, comparable to the one he sent to U.S. bishops in October last year via nuncio Carlo Maria Viganò, which effectively prevented the witnessing of the Medjugorje seer Ivan Dragicevic in America.

When bishop Loppa (right) sent out his prohibition notice last month to parishes in his Angani-Alatri diocese he made no direct mention to the letter he had received from the CDF prefect, only to say “I had heard” that “in accordance with the rules for proceeding in the discernment of alleged apparitions and revelations…” He also made reference in his prohibition order to “Mrs Vicka Ivankovic”, and this begs the question, was Vicka’s name also included in Cardinal Müller’s letter to the two bishops?

Cardinal Müller also contacted bishop Domenico Sigalini (left) of a neighbouring diocese with the same letter, but the Palestrina bishop has refrained from issuing any prohibition order and instead given his blessing to the organisers to host the prayer event in a church in his diocese tomorrow, November 9.

“Regardless of the Medjugorje phenomenon being recognised as supernatural or not, I am interested in meeting with Mary and the faith of the people,” he told Il Giornale.

Bishop Sigalini has twice visited Medjugorje.

Another prominent Church leader, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, has also made a pilgrimage to Medjugorje and next weekend will host the seer Ivan Dragicevic at St Stephen’s cathedral in Vienna.


UPDATE… Despite bishop Loppa’s prohibition notice, the prayer meeting in Fiuggi went ahead yesterday as scheduled with Vicka in attendance. Today’s prayer gathering in Palestrina, which has the blessing of bishop Sigalina, has also taken place with the bishop, priests and Vicka present. (see sidebar for details and photos)

Friday, November 07, 2014

Vicka... yes and no...

The planned prayer meeting at Palestrina, Italy, where the Medjugorje seer Vicka Ivankovic is scheduled to give witness on Sunday, November 9, will still take place, but not at the original advertised sports venue, according to the blog of Paolo Brosio.

The Italian journalist says the event will instead be hosted in the diocesan church of bishop Domenico Sigalini.

It was unclear if Vicka would be present in Palestrina after confirming this week she would not attend the prayer meeting at Fiuggi planned for the previous day November 8.

The weekend events were linked and promoted by Centro Regina Pacis Frascati but thrown into doubt after bishop Lorenzo Loppa issued a notice to all parishes in his Anagni-Alatari diocese, which includes the Fiuggi venue, prohibiting meetings, conferences and celebrations related to the Medjugorje phenomenon.

However, it was not certain until now what effect this would have on the event at Palestrina and if the bishop of that diocese, Domenico Sigalini would also take steps to prohibit the meeting on Sunday.

By switching the event to his church it is clear that bishop Sigalini has given his backing to the event. This is not surprising as he has twice made pilgrimages to the annual Youth Festival in Medjugorje.

Earlier this week Vicka Ivankovic confirmed with Medjugorje Today, “The local Bishop is happy about the meeting taking place, and so I will be there on Sunday.”

Did admission price prompt ban on prayer meeting?

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Bosnia Herzegovina bishops called to Rome...



Will 2015 ‘ad limina’ visit coincide with expected Holy See statement on Medjugorje?

Bishops of the Bosnia & Herzegovina Episcopal Conference were informed this week that their next ad limina visit to the Vatican and meeting with Pope Francis will be in 2015.

The announcement was made by the Apostolic Nuncio to BiH, Msgr Luigi Pezzuto (left), at the two-day Episcopal Conference held in Sarajevo on November 4/5. 

No specified date was given in the press release issued by the Bishops’ Conference, but the two previous ad limina visits (usually scheduled every five years) were in February 2006 and January 1999, so it is not unlikely for the upcoming visit also to be scheduled for sometime in the first quarter of 2015.

News of the ad limina visit to Rome (normally spread over five days) is certain to prompt speculation that this may coincide with an announcement from the Holy See on the Medjugorje phenomenon and a possible visit by Pope Francis to Bosnia Herzegovina.

The Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord falls on March 25.


Last month, Vjekoslav Bevanda, Chairman of the Council of Ministers for BiH, announced that the Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin would soon visit the country and that this could be seen as an indication that Pope Francis may also visit BiH in 2015.


The Holy Father’s address to bishops on an ad limina visit is usually published and the following are some comments made by John Paul II and Benedict XVI during the two previous visits made by the BiH bishops.

• Pope John Paul II included the following comment in his address to the bishops of Bosnia & Herzegovina on January 15, 1999:

“I keenly hope that it will be possible to find peaceful, satisfactory solutions to problems concerning the organisation of apostolic activities. This is essential, if all pastoral workers are to devote their energies with renewed enthusiasm to the service of the Gospel.

“The irreplaceable ministry of priests and the prophetic witness of consecrated persons should be joined with the courageous activity of the lay faithful, who are also called to be a fearless and effective presence in your country, through action that is faithful to the apostolic teaching, with the support of frequent recourse to the sacraments.


“This is the vocation of all the faithful, whatever social category they belong to: farmers or business people, merchants or those involved in the service, cultural or political sectors. Their apostolic presence, of course, calls for appropriate Christian formation, which is the fruit of constant, systematic commitment.

• On February 24, 2006, Benedict XVI, included these words in his address.

“As I thank you for the attentive ministry you carry out, I would like to reflect on certain concerns that you yourselves have expressed regarding some aspects of life in your Dioceses.

“It is important first of all that every effort be constantly made to increase the unity of Christ’s flock: between you, the legitimate Pastors, and the Religious, especially those who carry out a pastoral ministry in diocesan territory; between diocesan clergy and consecrated persons; lastly, between all who serve the Christian people, overcoming, if necessary, misunderstandings and difficulties linked to past events.


“The Church everywhere pursues a single goal: to build the Kingdom of God in every land and every heart. The task of keeping the Lord's heritage intact, adhering faithfully to the Church's doctrinal and spiritual patrimony in its entirety, is entrusted to the Successors of the Apostles and to their collaborators in their pastoral ministry.

“Blessed are the peacemakers! These words aptly apply to internal relations among the Church’s members as well as to her external mission. The various ecclesial bodies, in their legitimate parts, are regulated by canonical norms which are an expression of an age-old experience and have received help from on high in their development. It is up to the Bishop, the father of the community entrusted to him by Christ, to discern what serves to build up Christ's Church. 



“In this regard, the Bishop is a “pontefice”, that is, a “builder of bridges” between the different needs of the Ecclesial Community. And this is a particularly important aspect of episcopal ministry at the present time when Bosnia and Herzegovina is resuming their journey of collaboration to build a future of social development and peace.”

Some Medjugorje news


THE POPE, MALAWI AND MEDJUGORJE…

Pope Francis met with bishops from Malawi at the Vatican today, including the Archbishop of Blantyre, who knows all about the fruits of Medjugorje.

There’s a St James church in Blantyre constructed exactly in the same style as the St James church in Medjugorje. This is complimented by a Way of the Cross feature on a nearby mountain with replica stations as seen on Medjugorje’s Mt Krizevac.

Here’s a link to the KRIZEVAC PROJECT and other community initiatives at Blantyre, Malawi, inspired by Medjugorje.


MARIN CILIC PLANS RETURN TO MEDJUGORJE

Paul Newman of The Independent reports that U.S. Open tennis champion Marin Cilic is looking forward to the day when he will climb into the hills above Medjugorje and give thanks.

The 26-year-old Croat’s hometown has a population of fewer than 5,000 but has been a place of pilgrimage for millions of Catholics ever since 1981, when two local teenagers first reported a series of apparitions by the Virgin Mary.

A deeply religious man, Cilic has been yearning to visit the place following his remarkable victory at the US Open two months ago. “I get a spiritual feeling when I go home,” he said. “I just feel better when I go there, even for two or three days. I just fill myself with energy. It makes me feel positive.

“At the end of the final [in New York] that was my desire – to visit the small hill where she first appeared. But there were so many people around when I first went home that I didn’t have time. I will leave that for [later this month], when I will go back again.” 

READ MORE...

VICKA WON’T BE AT PRAYER MEETING IN FIUGGI...

A report by Medjugorje Today quotes the visionary Vicka Ivankovic as saying she has cancelled her participation in the prayer meeting at Fiuggi, Italy on November 8.

This announcement was not unexpected in view of bishop Lorenzo Loppa’s recent notice to parishes in his Anagni-Alatari diocese prohibiting meetings, conferences or celebrations related to the Medjugorje phenomenon.

Meanwhile, the organiser(s) insist that the meeting with Vicka in Fiuggi will still go ahead, despite the restriction placed by the bishop and Vicka’s confirmation that she will not attend.

Admission price prompts ban on prayer gathering

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

What does Our Lady say about Purgatory?


We all want to believe that our deceased friends and loved ones are now happy and at peace with God in Heaven, and yet the Catholic Church teaches in its Catechism that: All who die in God’s friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven. (1030)

So what exactly is this place or state of purification which the Church calls Purgatory? And are we all destined to go there, or is there any hope of a direct route into Heaven?

Although Our Lady speaks little about Purgatory in her 33 years of giving messages at Medjugorje, she does confirm its reality and also that it is not necessarily a place that we are all destined for. She also stresses the importance of prayer for the purification of souls in Purgatory. In 1982 she responded to a question concerning Purgatory: There are many souls in Purgatory. There are also persons who have been consecrated to God – some priests, some religious. Pray for their intentions, at least the Lord’s Prayer, the Hail Mary and the Glory Be, seven times each, and the Creed. I recommend it to you. There is a large number of souls who have been in Purgatory a long time because no one prays for them. July 21, 1982

A few days later Our Lady stressed the importance of the Sacraments in bypassing Purgatory. Responding to question about a person being bad all one’s life and asking forgiveness, she said: Whoever has done very much evil during his life can go straight to Heaven if he confesses, is sorry for what he has done, and receives Communion at the end of his life. July 24, 1982

Only once in all of Our Lady’s weekly and monthly messages does she request prayers for the souls in Purgatory. Dear children, today I wish to call you to pray daily for the souls in Purgatory. For every soul, prayer and grace is necessary to reach God and the love of God. By doing this, dear children, you obtain new intercessors who will help you in life to realise that all earthly things are not important for you, that only Heaven is that for which it is necessary to strive. Therefore, dear children, pray without ceasing that you may be able to help yourselves and the others to whom your prayers will bring joy. Thank you for having responded to my call. November 6, 1986

So from these few messages alone we can gather certain facts about Purgatory.
1. Purgatory exists.
2. Many souls go there – even priests!
3. A sense of time exists.
4. Souls in Purgatory are in need of our prayers.
5. Our prayers create joy for souls in Purgatory.
6. We can bypass Purgatory through receiving the Sacraments.
7. By praying for the souls in Purgatory we receive new intercessors.

DAY BY DAY for the Holy Souls of Purgatory
by Susan Tassone


This book includes prayers, teachings about purgatory, real-life stories, meditations, quotes from the saints, and more. You can use this book however you like – as a daily devotional, as a year-round ‘novena’ (to follow the seasons) – or just pick it up and read as the Spirit leads you. Available HERE.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Seers’ latest messages stress shortness of life

It is interesting to note that the two latest messages given to the Medjugorje seers Maria and Mirjana stress the shortness of life and the longing for eternity.

A little over a week ago Our Lady gave these words to the seer Marija on October 25: “Little children, be aware that your life is short and passing. Therefore, yearn for eternity and keep preparing your hearts in prayer.”

This morning, the Blessed Mother, said in her message to Mirjana: “…you who strive to say your prayers with the heart; you who offer your pain and suffering to my Son; you who comprehend that life is only a blink; you who yearn for the Kingdom of Heaven.”

This is the full message given to Mirjana this morning at the Blue Cross.

Dear children, I am with you with the blessing of my Son, with you who love me and who strive to follow me.

I also desire to be with you who do not accept me.

To all of you I am opening my heart full of love and I am blessing you with my motherly hands.

I am a mother who understands you.

I lived your life and lived through your sufferings and joys.

You who are living the pain understand my pain and suffering because of those of my children who do not permit the light of my Son to illuminate them; those of my children who are living in darkness.

This is why I need you – you who have been illuminated by the light and have comprehended the truth.

I am calling you to adore my Son so that your soul may grow and reach true spirituality.

My apostles, it is then that you will be able to help me.

To help me means to pray for those who have not come to know the love of my Son.

In praying for them you are showing to my Son that you love Him and follow Him.

My Son promised me that evil will never win, because you, the souls of the just, are here; you who strive to say your prayers with the heart; you who offer your pain and suffering to my Son; you who comprehend that life is only a blink; you who yearn for the Kingdom of Heaven.

All of this makes you my apostles and leads you towards the victory of my heart.

Therefore, my children, purify your hearts and adore my Son. Thank you.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Happy All Saints!


Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up the hill. There he sat down and was joined by his disciples. Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them:

How happy are the poor in spirit; theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Little children, allow the Holy Spirit to lead you on the way of truth and salvation towards eternal life.  May 25,1998

Happy the gentle: they shall have the earth as their heritage.
I want each one of you to be happy here on earth and to be with me in Heaven. May 25, 1987

Happy those who mourn: they shall be comforted.
Give me all your feelings and all your problems! I wish to comfort you in all your trials. I wish to fill you with peace, joy and love of God. June 20, 1985

Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right: they shall be satisfied.
When you find unity with God, you will feel hunger for the word of God and your heart, little children, will overflow with joy.  January 25, 1997

Happy the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them.
God is merciful and gives special graces, therefore, seek them through prayer. May 25, 2008

Happy the pure in heart: they shall see God.
Little children, may your hearts be pure and pleasing, so that love and warmth may flow through you into every heart that is far from his love. November 25, 2009

Happy the peacemakers: they shall be called sons of God.
Do not talk about peace, but make peace. I am blessing each of you and each good decision of yours.  February 25, 1991

Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right: theirs is the kingdom of God.
Pray, pray, that you may comprehend and surrender with a spirit that is free, be completely transformed and, in this way, may have the Kingdom of Heaven in your heart on earth. July 2, 2010

Happy are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.
Today, with a motherly heart, I call you to learn to forgive, completely and unconditionally. You suffer injustice, betrayals and prosecutions, but by that you are closer to and dearer to God. September 2, 2009

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween... NO MASKS IN HEAVEN


God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them. Genesis 1 : 27

I am your Mother, little children, and I do not want satan to deceive you for he wants to lead you the wrong way, but he cannot if you do not permit him. Therefore, little children, renew prayer in your hearts, and then you will understand my call and my desire to help you. part message, July 25, 1993

One of the wonders of a pilgrimage to Medjugorje is to discover how quickly we discard the many masks we choose to don in life and hide behind. For first-timers this process may take a few days to happen; but most returning pilgrims seldom have need to masquerade anymore. Their hearts have already been exposed on previous visits having received the revealing light of knowledge that they are truly loved by God. They are not ashamed to be naked in front of each other. Everything is as God intended. What need is there for masks in heaven?

Hearts of all conditions, shapes and sizes are clearly visible and on display in Medjugorje, and even more prominently the hearts hiding their nakedness behind revealing fig-leaf masks.

First-time pilgrims arrive in Medjugorje for a number of different reasons. Often these reasons serve as a mask to disguise the real need to discover and meet with God in our lives. Whatever the pretence, whatever the colour and pattern of the mask, God does not disappoint. Rather, he surprises! We discover him in the most unexpected ways and places, especially in Medjugorje.

Of course there are places to hide in Medjugorje but God calls out: “Where are you” (as if he didn’t know already, but is asking only for us to acknowledge him and respond to his call). In Medjugorje, we find ourselves responding to God’s call big-time! We learn there is no longer a need to hide and be fearful because when God’s call comes, it is a loving call, not a call of condemnation or threat. It is the call of the Father. The Loving Father reveals himself to us. He does not allow the world to place him behind a mask, to disguise or hide him, to distort him in a way that the serpent desires to present. Our Father is a God of revelation. He is with us. He refuses to hide from his children. Seek and you shall find.

I experience a great and simple pleasure each time I visit Medjugorje. I always make a point of trying to be late for breakfast on the first morning. That way, when I leave my room to head down the tiled staircase, I can hear the wonderful and joyous sound of chattering and excited voices echoing from the breakfast room up the stairwell. And when I enter the dining room it’s like entering a classroom of young, happy children. There isn’t the silence broken only by scraping knives and forks on plates as one would hear in a normal hotel breakfast room. Already the masks are beginning to be discarded. Hearts are opening up to each other, and as the week progresses the communal sharing, excitement and joy at meal times continues, even after the most tiring of days.

I wore a mask, many in fact, for about four days on my first pilgrimage. On the fifth day I even used the cover of darkness as a mask. In fact, at the time of tears I was so grateful that no one could see me weeping that night at the Blue Cross. How naive I was to believe that darkness would protect me from others knowing that God had entered my life in such a special way at that moment, or even thinking that God shut shop when darkness descended. Such was my ignorance at that time, still trying to hide. There was no longer to be a hiding place for me. From the moment I was conscious of the wonderful gift of God’s love and understanding which immediately flowed into my heart and soul after the tearful awareness of my sinful nature, I have seldom felt the need to want to hide or mask myself anymore, certainly not to hide from God who knows me better than I know myself and daily teaches and reveals to me more about his never-ending love.

Now I know and accept that I cannot “hide” any more. I searched for the love of God for much of my life but without really knowing what I was searching for. I thank God for the souls and witnesses that led me to Medjugorje, a grace-filled garden where God walks and reveals himself to all who masquerade.


Jesus replied, “You may go and give that fox this message: Learn that today and tomorrow I cast out devils and on the third day attain my end.” Luke 13 : 32

Be the light...


Dear children, I wish that you all be the reflection of Jesus, which will enlighten this unfaithful world walking in darkness. I wish all of you to be the light for everyone and that you give witness in the light. Dear children, you are not called to the darkness, but you are called to the light. Therefore, live the light with your own life. Thank you for having responded to my call.  part Medjugorje message, June 25, 1986