Friday, April 24, 2015

Feast of St Mark, evangelist

God wants to save you and sends you messages through men, nature, and so many things which can only help you to understand that you must change the direction of your life. part Medjugorje message, March 25, 1990

Pray and ask for the grace of memory

“He never forgets, but we forget the encounter with Christ. And this would be a good assignment to do at home, to consider: ‘When have I really felt that the Lord was close to me? When have I felt the need to change my life, or to become better, or to forgive someone? When have I felt the Lord asking something of me? When have I encountered the Lord?’ Because our faith is an encounter with Jesus. This is the foundation of our faith: I have encountered Jesus, as Saul did.” Pope Francis, Homily, April 24, 2015

Dear children! My call to you is that your prayer be the joy of an encounter with the Lord.
part Medjugorje message, August 14, 1986

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Archbishop testifies to the fruit of Medjugorje

Mgr Salvador Piñeiro García Calderón, the Archbishop of Ayacucho and President of the Peruvian Episcopal Conference, was in Medjugorje this month. It was his second pilgrimage to Medjugorje. His first was in June 2003.

In an interview with Radio Mir the 66-year-old Archbishop said:

“I have long been listening to Our Lady’s messages of conversion and adoration, but it’s not easy to come here because it is so far away. Some pilgrims from Peru were able to come and I am here because of them.

“In Lima we have a centre called the Queen of Peace and people come there to spread Our Lady’s messages and acquaint us more and more with Medjugorje.

“During my stay here I heard many confessions, and it is a huge comfort to the priest when he sees so many believers come with pain and tears and then leave and go home happy. This is the fruit and wonder of this place.”

Medjugorje is base for U.S. soccer camp

The U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Soccer Team head coach, Javier Perez, arrived with a 20-player squad in Medjugorje this week for the team’s first training camp of 2015, running from April 22-May 1.

During camp, the U-18 MNT will play three friendlies. It will match up against Siroki Brijeg on April 25, followed by a contest against Bosnia U-18’s on April 28. A second game against Bosnia will take place two days later on April 30.

To be a pilgrim...

A pilgrimage is a journey, assigned by God. It brings the pilgrim, not only to a physical place, but also out of himself and into the presence of God. All else falls away. There is only the child, his Father, and eternity...

By Fr Svetozar Kraljevic OFM

In ancient times, pilgrimages were made to holy places. As an act of faith, or to renew the relationship they once had with God, or to gain one that others seemed to have, pilgrims journeyed to the traditional sites of the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus. If that was impossible, they travelled to a shrine or a great cathedral. It might take many days or even weeks to get there, but the distance did not matter; the journey itself was as important as the destination. For it was a preparation and a purification. Coming to the decision to go – and all that led up to it – was also part of the process. In a sense, the pilgrimage began at the moment it first occurred to the individual that he or she might undertake such a venture. It would mean considerable sacrifice – in time, if not money. In other centuries only the richest pilgrims travelled by coach or horseback; the rest went on foot. But rich or poor, the time such an undertaking would require was indeed significant. And it was an act of faith. There was no assurance that the pilgrimage would bring one closer to God. One could only hope.

Meanwhile, the enemy was constantly whispering, for the best chance of dissuading the pilgrim was in that time leading up to the determination to go. Nothing will change, he murmured. Your heart will come home as barren as it is now, and your purse will be as empty as your soul. Your work will be taken over by another, and those who now mock you behind your back will laugh openly and call you a fool. Yet there was another voice – still and small, appealing to the heart of the pilgrim: Come, leave the distraction and despair behind. Separate yourself unto me. And fear not, for I will go with you. Come. If the pilgrim heeded his spirit, as it yearned for the Spirit of God, if he gave not into the reasoning of his intellect or the willfulness of his soul that did not want to make the sacrifices or endure the hardships, then eventually the time to depart would come. Leading up to that moment, the arguments against going would continue to rise and swell to a crescendo. But once he actually set forth, a sense of peace would settle over him. Grace would surround him. God honours even the smallest steps of obedience.

The enemy, however, was far from finished; he may have lost the first battle, but there would be many more contests before the outcome of the campaign was decided. At the moment, he was regrouping, but it would not be long before he counter-attacked – more subtly this time. A short distance into the journey, where the way grew difficult, the pilgrim gave in to the temptation to look back: should he have come when so much was hanging in the balance at home? What had he been thinking of? With the door open, suddenly he was assailed by doubts: it was cruel, selfish, heartless of you to leave your wife and little one in such need. How can they manage without you? It was irresponsible to leave at seed-time… especially when your neighbour covets your field… even now he is probably talking to the landlord about you… Now the pilgrim was vulnerable, the pilgrimage itself was in jeopardy. He could be turned. You can be home very quickly, the hard voice murmured. You can tell them that you came to your senses and realised what a foolish thing it was that you were doing. They would accept that; nothing would be lost. You merely suffered a momentarily lapse of sanity, that was all. But you must return now. The other voice was also there, very still, very small – so small that the pilgrim could hear it only by stopping and praying, and listening. Remember why you had come, it said. Remember what you once had; the serenity of resting in the hollow of God’s hand; the bliss of being raised up to meet His gaze. the joy of knowing His delight in you. Remember why you came. The pilgrim heard – and remembered, and resumed his journey.

The next test came in the form of a stranger who sort to distract him from his purpose and, perhaps, lure him into sin. It had been a long journey and would be longer still. What harm could there be in tarrying a while – in partaking in some refreshment and worldly discourse, which was really no different than what the others did all the time; no different than what the pilgrim himself had done often enough at home? If he prayed then, he might hear the small voice saying: but you are not at home now, and while you are in the world, while you are on this pilgrimage, you are not of the world. If you are weary and feel in need of refreshment, slake your thirst at the well of Living Water. There your spirit will be refreshed and renewed, the appetites of your flesh will be subdued, and you soul will know peace.

The pilgrim did pray and was refreshed and journeyed on – alone – and that was the next test. For in all his life, he never felt so alone. There might be others on the path with him – indeed, he might find himself surrounded by friends – but he was still alone; so alone that he longed for his wife, his children, his mother, those who loved him. How he longed to spend just a moment with someone who cared. But he was not alone. That was another ploy of the enemy, whose tricks were growing ever more subtle. For in truth, the Lord God, who had assigned him on this journey, was with him – always... every step of the way. All he had to do was stop and pray. (From a distance, as a pilgrim, he could see his loved ones with greater clarity and completeness – and embrace them as never before.)

So he did, and he was reminded of what the First Pilgrim had given up to make His pilgrimage. Matthew had recorded His words: Foxes have dens, and the birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest. He had given up everything; and in the end He would give up His life, too. The pilgrim saw, then, that it was necessary to give up the comforts of home and family and loved ones so to be completely free to know God, bit by bit drawing closer to God as the pilgrimage continued.

He had picked up his old habit of praying with the heart – it was like an idle tool that had grown rusty from lack of use. But it still worked. It still fit the hand – and with use, the rust began to wear off. He was also learning to listen with the heart and to see with the heart. As he travelled, his spirit was awakening. Gradually he came to perceive that his journey was a quest – a spiritual adventure, undertaken at God’s behest. On it, nothing happened by accident. There were no chance meetings, no coincidental remarks. Some things that befell him might not be aligned with the centre of God’s perfect will for him; some might be fiery darts from the enemy. But he came to see that even those were within the bounds of God’s permissive will. For the enemy could not afflict him without God allowing it. Therefore, in everything that happened to him, there was a lesson, a reward, or a test. God was waiting to see how he would respond: would he heed his flesh, his soul, or his spirit?

And now, in His infinite mercy, God gave him a fellow pilgrim for companionship along the way. He was joined by someone else who was going to the same holy place, with the same hopes and expectations. Someone else was learning similar lessons and facing similar tests. He had never been alone in spirit; now he was no longer alone in the flesh. To pass the time, the two pilgrims told each other their stories, ending with how they came to be on this pilgrimage. In the process, each took the measure of the other’s heart. When the pilgrims decided that they could trust one another, they now shared not only feelings, but also dreams and aspirations. As they did, a bond began to form between them. It was a bond forged in the fire of shared adversity and tempered in the water, the water of shared prayer. It was a bond that would last long after the pilgrimage was over, and the pilgrims parted ways. They discovered each other, like many do, coming from the East and from the West. In pilgrimage they discovered the world in and around themselves.

Like a long river approaching its mouth, the way of the pilgrims was broadening, fed by other tributaries from other villages, other lands. There were many pilgrims walking with them now, behind and ahead of them, speaking in foreign tongues as well as recognisable dialects. In spirit, it was a gathering, not a crowd, for all had a common purpose and a common call. There was an undercurrent of joy and anticipation, for their destination was close at hand. When at last he arrived, our pilgrim’s heart was full. So strong were his emotions, he could not trust himself to speak. He wanted to pray in a quiet place, but the holy site was thronged with pilgrims. Then he found one. He knelt and thanked God for bringing him, and for all that He had shown him, for he realised that he had been part of His plan. As he had journeyed, God had begun a work in him and he prayed that it would be a work that would never stop. When he arose he felt a great peace. In the ensuing holy days, he joined in the processions, the worship, the singing and the solemn assemblies, and the traditional rituals of that place. In each, he was able to keep his heart, mind, soul and being centred on God and only Him. Each act, each inner revelation, was etched indelibly on the bronze tablet of his memory. Over the years the edges might weather, but they would never be forgotten.

Before each pilgrim left, God would confront him or her with the ultimate challenge: Make your life a pilgrimage. On the journey now completed, you have begun to see things as I see them. Keep this. Treasure it. For this – not the world – is reality. This is eternity. I want to you to share this with me, always. And so I will go with you always, even unto the ends of the earth. Will you go that far with me? If the pilgrim’s hearts says yes, his life would be forever altered. He already knew that he was a different person than he had been when he left home. Now, in spirit, he would never be that person again. There was no remorse, no looking back. There was only peace and great joy. For some pilgrims, the point is indeed accompanied by signs and wonders. But for most it will be a quiet, growing contentment that will stay with them even in the midst of the most trying circumstances, as they continue on their eternal pilgrimage.

• Adapted from: Pilgrimage – Reflections of a Medjugorje Priest, by Fr Svetozar Kraljevic, published by Paraclete Press.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Planting joy...

This morning I received a phone call from a lady I know. I hadn’t spoken with Margaret for a couple of years, at least. But she called to thank me for a Medjugorje newletter I had recently sent to her.

And then she said she would post me a cutting from a plant she has had growing in her garden since 1983. She didn’t know the name of the plant but explained she brought it back from Medjugorje that same year.

Later on I was thinking about this surprise call and then remembered today is Earth Day 2015, a day set aside to honour the earth and the concept of peace.

Because of health issues I haven’t been able to get to Medjugorje for quite a while now and it’s unlikely to happen this year, so in this surprising way, a little bit of Medjugorje, heaven on earth, is coming to me instead!

As in springtime the earth opens to the seed and yields a hundredfold, so also your heavenly Father will give to you in abundance. I am with you and love you, little children, with a tender love. part Medjugorje message, February 25, 2006

Plant joy and the fruit of joy will grow in your hearts for your good, and others will see it and receive it through your life.
part Medjugorje messsage, January 25, 2008

On Earth Day, Pope Francis invites us to see the world through God's eyes...

Addressing the faithful present at the end of today’s catechesis, Pope Francis urged all to “see the world through the eyes of God the Creator: the earth is the environment to protect and the garden to cultivate. The relationship between man and nature must not be governed by greed, manipulation and exploitation, but rather should preserve the divine harmony between creatures and creation, in the logic of respect and care, to place it at the service of our brothers and for future generations”.

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

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Mystery of bishop’s missing Medjugorje memo

Last month, St Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson published a memo on his diocesan website in regard to an invitation extended to Ivan Dragicevic to witness to the Medjugorje phenomenon at a location in the Diocese scheduled for March 18 .

The memo was reported and circulated widely on the internet and on social media.

But mysteriously, the page and memo have been removed from the website since it was posted on March 4. Neither is there any reference to the notice on the website’s newsfeed. And a search on the website for the name ‘Ivan Dragicevic’ produces no result.

So who gave the instruction for the page and the memo’s removal?

And why was it deemed necessary to remove the notice?

The Archbishop’s memo was vague. It didn’t state when the notice from the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith was issued. Was it a recent notice, or the notice sent to US bishops two years earlier in February 2013? Neither did the memo state who cancelled the event, the Archbishop or the event organiser, Blessed Anne Catherine Emerich Foundation?

The memo also stated that no other events should be scheduled. But now that the memo has been withdrawn could it also indicate the Archbishop’s instruction to not schedule Medjugorje events in his diocese is also withdrawn?

Above: The memo published on the St Louis Diocese website.
Below: The error notice which has replaced the memo.

Feed the world...

Dear children! Also today, I call you to be love where there is hatred and food where there is hunger. Open your hearts, little children, and let your hands be extended and generous so that, through you, every creature may thank God the Creator. Pray, little children, and open your heart to God’s love, but you cannot if you do not pray. Therefore, pray, pray, pray. Thank you for having responded to my call. Medjugorje message, September 25, 2004

Thus says the Lord: “As the rain and the snow come down from the heavens and do not return without watering the earth, making it yield and giving growth to provide seed for the sower and bread for the eating, so the word that goes from my mouth does not return to me empty, without carrying out my will and succeeding in what it was sent to do.” Isaiah 55 : 10-11


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Pope says, Mary says...

Today, Pope Francis concluded his Regina Caeli address by asking Mary’s intercession to help Christians become “witnesses of the Lord’s Resurrection, carrying to the persons who we encounter the Easter gifts of Joy and Peace.”

Dear children! Today, I and my Son desire to give you an abundance of joy and peace so that each of you may be a joyful carrier and witness of peace and joy in the places where you live. Little children, be a blessing and be peace. Thank you for having responded to my call.
 Medjugorje message, December 25, 2010

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Mercy and Medjugorje

Come back to Him. I am with you because He, in His mercy, sends me. November 2, 2009

So why did Our Lady Queen of Peace, sent by God, choose to first appear at Medjugorje on the feast day of the Nativity of John the Baptist? Why not wait another day until June 25 (a date now allocated to the anniversary celebrations)?

What significance, if any, is John and his feast day to the Medjugorje phenomenon?

1) It was the angel Gabriel who prophesied to Zechariah that many will rejoice at the birth of John.
Dear children! Today I rejoice in my heart in seeing you all present here. June 25, 1994
2) Gabriel also proclaimed John’s mission in life would be to bring back the many sons of Israel to the Lord their God.
My children, I am gathering you as my apostles and am teaching you how to bring others to come to know the love of my Son; how to bring to them the Good News, which is my Son. October 2, 2013
3) Probably of most significance is Gabriel’s instruction to Zechariah to name his son John – a name that no one in the family shared – a name derived from Hebrew meaning GOD-IS-MERCIFUL.
God is merciful and gives special graces, therefore, seek them through prayer. May 25, 2008
Our Lady’s first message at Medjugorje (given to the seer Marija Pavolic on June 26) was a call to peace, “through reconciliation between God and man and between men”, a message proclaiming God’s merciful love and echoing the words Mary spoke to Elizabeth, mother of John: “His mercy reaches reaches from age to age for those who fear him […] He has come to the help of Israel, mindful of his mercy – according to the promise he made to our ancestors – of his mercy to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.” (Luke 1 : 46-35)
I desire for you to feel the joy of the blessing of God’s promise. March 18, 2014
When Mary set out as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah, she set out on a mission of mercy to assist her cousin Elizabeth in giving birth to a son who would proclaim the Good News and bring people to repentance. Mary remained with Elizabeth for three months.

Likewise at Medjugorje, Mary’s mission is one of mercy; to assist with the Good News becoming incarnate in people’s lives and who in turn become merciful witnesses to God’s everlasting love for all of his creation. Mary has remained for almost 34 years.
Dear children, it is for your sake that I have stayed this long so I could help you to fulfill all the messages which I am giving you. October 30, 1986
Finally, the first of the six Medjugorje visonaries to see Our Lady on Mt Podbrdo was sixteen-year-old Ivanka Ivankovic. Ivanka is the feminine of the name Ivan, translated as John, a name that testifies to God’s mercy. And then there is Ivanka’s family name to also consider. It translates as son of John, or in a more wider context, family or decendants of John.
Little children, renew prayer in your families and your heart will glorify the holy Name of God and heaven will reign in your heart. I am close to you and I intercede for you before God. May 25, 1997
Dear brothers and sisters, I have often thought about how the Church might make clear its mission of being a witness to mercy. It is a journey that begins with a spiritual conversion. [...] From this moment, we entrust this Holy Year to the Mother of Mercy, that she might turn her gaze upon us and watch over our journey. Pope Francis, March 13, 2015, announcing a ‘Holy Year of Mercy’
I am with you and unceasingly keep watch over every heart which is given to me. February 25, 1989

Turin Shroud

Revealing sign...

The one who does not dialogue wants to silence those who preach the newness of God...

And the sign that reveals that a person “does not know to dialogue,” “is not open to the voice of the Lord, to the signs that the Lord does among the people,” the Pope said, is the “fury and the desire to silence all those who preach in this case the newness of God, that is that Jesus is Risen. There’s no reason, but they reach this point. It is a sorrowful journey. These are the same people that paid the guards at the sepulchre to say that the disciples had stolen the body of Jesus. They did everything they could to not open themselves to the voice of God.”

POPE FRANCIS, April 18, 2015, HOMILY here

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Pope tells journalist: “Go to Medjugorje”

Interviewed for the Italian magazine Chi, Paolo Brosio said of his recent meeting at the Vatican with the Pope: Francesco said to me:

“GO TO MEDJUGORJE and tell everyone you have spoken to the real Pope.”

Two years ago Brosio was cruelly deceived into thinking he was speaking with Pope Francis in a telephone conversation recorded for Italian TV. The footage was uploaded to YouTube last January.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Pope blessed Medjugorje hospital project

When journalist Paolo Brosio was invited by Pope Francis to meet at the Vatican last Thursday he not only witnessed to his conversion experience in 2009 at Medjugorje but also spoke about  Olimpiadi del Cuore, a charity that assists with humanitarian projects in Bosnia Herzegovina.

The charity’s current project Mattone del Cuore – translated “Brick Heart” – is providing a hospital facility for pilgrims at Medjugorje.

Brosio also presented to Pope Francis, a bas-relief artwork, used to promote the hospital project, 
for his blessing on the venture.

Describing the moment on his website, the Italian journalist captioned the above photo: “Pope Francis lays hands on the brick of the heart, so blessing the hospital project and the church of St James in Medjugorje.”

The terracotta relief was sculpted by Fr Silvio Zannelli, a diocesan priest of Florence. It shows an image of Our Lady Queen of Peace hovering on a cloud between the two bell towers of Medjugorje’s St James church.

The design is based on the simple, prophetic painting by Vlado Falak from the hamlet of Šurmanci, part of the Medjugorje parish. Falak completed the artwork in 1974, seven years before the claim of apparitions at Medjugorje.

The painting by Vlado Falak which inspired the “brick heart”. photo: BG

photos courtesy of

Lift up your hearts...

I tell you most solemnly, we speak only about what we know and witness only to what we have seen and yet you people reject our evidence.

If you do not believe me when I speak of things in this world, how are you going to believe me when I speak to you about heavenly things?

No one has gone up to heaven except the one who is in heaven; and the Son of Man must be lifted up as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him. 
John 3 : 7-15

Dear children! With a full heart I am asking you, I am imploring you children: cleanse your hearts of sin and lift them up to God and to eternal life. Part message, March 18, 2015

Monday, April 13, 2015

Medjugorje... speaking freely and openly...

The Church is a place of “openness” where people should say things with frankness. That’s what Pope Francis said at the morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican on Monday. The Pontiff added that only the Holy Spirit is able to change our attitude, the story of our lives, and to give us courage – just as the Apostles were inspired by Christ’s Resurrection.

"We cannot keep silent [about] what we have seen and heard," Pope Francis said in his homily, alluding to the day’s First Reading from the Acts of the Apostles where Peter and John ask the Lord to enable them to speak freely and openly.

Full report at Radio Vatican

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Has Rome opened the door to Medjugorje?

At the discretion of the local ordinary, a similar door may be opened at any Shrine frequented by large groups of pilgrims, since visits to these holy sites are so often grace-filled moments, as people discover a path to conversion. Pope Francis, April 11, 2015

Are these words from the Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, Misericordiae Vultus, announced on Saturday, the basis of a formula for recognising Medjugorje as a grace-filled place of prayer and worship for the faithful, a place of pilgrimage and conversion, a holy site?

They appear in item 3 of the document which reads:

3. At times we are called to gaze even more attentively on mercy so that we may become a more effective sign of the Father’s action in our lives. For this reason I have proclaimed an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy as a special time for the Church; a time when the witness of believers might grow stronger and more effective.

The Holy Year will open on 8 December 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. This liturgical feast day recalls God’s action from the very beginning of the history of mankind. After the sin of Adam and Eve, God did not wish to leave humanity alone in the throes of evil. So he turned his gaze to Mary, holy and immaculate in love (cf. Eph 1:4), choosing her to be the Mother of man’s Redeemer. When faced with the gravity of sin, God responds with the fullness of mercy. Mercy will always be greater than any sin, and no one can place limits on the love of God who is ever ready to forgive. I will have the joy of opening the Holy Door on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. On that day, the Holy Door will become a Door of Mercy through which anyone who enters will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons, and instils hope.

On the following Sunday, the Third Sunday of Advent, the Holy Door of the Cathedral of Rome – that is, the Basilica of Saint John Lateran – will be opened. In the following weeks, the Holy Doors of the other Papal Basilicas will be opened. On the same Sunday, I will announce that in every local Church, at the cathedral – the mother church of the faithful in any particular area – or, alternatively, at the co-cathedral or another church of special significance, a Door of Mercy will be opened for the duration of the Holy Year. At the discretion of the local ordinary, a similar door may be opened at any Shrine frequented by large groups of pilgrims, since visits to these holy sites are so often grace-filled moments, as people discover a path to conversion. Every Particular Church, therefore, will be directly involved in living out this Holy Year as an extraordinary moment of grace and spiritual renewal. Thus the Jubilee will be celebrated both in Rome and in the Particular Churches as a visible sign of the Church’s universal communion.
Elsewhere in the document, at item 14, Pope Francis encourages the faithful to undertake pilgrimage, “to reach the Holy Door in Rome or in any other place in the world, everyone, each according to his or her ability, will have to make a pilgrimage.”
14. The practice of pilgrimage has a special place in the Holy Year, because it represents the journey each of us makes in this life. Life itself is a pilgrimage, and the human being is a viator, a pilgrim travelling along the road, making his way to the desired destination. Similarly, to reach the Holy Door in Rome or in any other place in the world, everyone, each according to his or her ability, will have to make a pilgrimage. This will be a sign that mercy is also a goal to reach and requires dedication and sacrifice. May pilgrimage be an impetus to conversion: by crossing the threshold of the Holy Door, we will find the strength to embrace God’s mercy and dedicate ourselves to being merciful with others as the Father has been with us.
“This place [Medjugorje] is the largest confessional in Europe. This perhaps is the strongest sign in Medjugorje, not an apparition, not a message, but the creed professed and restored.”
Cardinal Vinko Puljic, Archbishop of Sarajevo, December 2014

Dear children, I am continuously among you because, with my endless love, I desire to show you the door of Heaven. I desire to tell you how it is opened: Through goodness, mercy, love and peace – through my Son.
part Medjugorje message, June 12, 2012

My presence here is to take you on a new path, the path to salvation. This is why I call you, day after day to conversion. part Medjugorje message, June 25, 1992

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Missionaries of Mercy

Our Lady has been appearing at Medjugorje on a mission for almost 34 years – for some, a life-time. She is with us because, as she says, “God, in his mercy, sends me.” She is a missionary making us fully aware that there is a home from where we have been sent and to where God desires us to return. Through God’s merciful love Mary is chosen to be the bearer of Light along the way.

We are all God’s choice, his creation, chosen in different ways to be witnesses and missionaries of his merciful love.

Pope Francis is a very visible choice to the merciful love of God in the world. Even his papal coat of arms bears the motto: CHOSEN THROUGH MERCY.

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn once said of Medjugorje: “When you look at a place like Medjugorje, you can see a superpower of mercy. Many merciful deeds were born here or they were supported here.”

In Mark’s Gospel
(5 : 1-20) Jesus said to the man he had healed of an unclean spirit: “Go home to your people and tell them all that the Lord in his mercy has done for you.” The man, in fact, had begged Jesus to be allowed to stay with him, but Jesus had other plans. He sent him on a mission. So the man went off and proceeded to spread throughout the Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him. And everyone was amazed.

Countless are the unclean spirits that have been banished from the lives of pilgrims visiting Medjugorje these past 33 years. Countless are the resurrections to new life. Countless are the pilgrims who have come to their full senses through the mercy and grace of God present at Medjugorje.

And because of the joy and happiness experienced at Medjugorje it is sometimes very difficult to leave the place – described by some as heaven on earth. But leave we have to. There is a mission to undertake.

The mission that Jesus gave to the man from Gerasene is the same mission Jesus has for everyone visiting Medjugorje, to become a witness to his Divine Mercy and healing.

Invoke the Father, he is waiting for you. Come back to him. I am with you because he, in his mercy, sends me.
part message, November 2, 2009

Dear children, do not be of a hard heart towards the mercy of God, which has been pouring out upon you for so much of your time. In this special time of prayer, permit me to transform your hearts that you may help me to have my Son resurrect in all hearts, and that my heart may triumph. Thank you.
Medjugorje message, April 2, 2007

Mercy is the message

Today, in his homily for First Vespers of Divine Mercy Sunday, Pope Francis explained why the Church has proclaimed a Jubilee of Mercy which begins on December 8. He said:

“Many question in their hearts: why a Jubilee of Mercy today?  Simply because the Church, in this time of great historical change, is called to offer more evident signs of God’s presence and closeness.  This is not the time to be distracted; on the contrary, we need to be vigilant and to reawaken in ourselves the capacity to see what is essential.  This is a time for the Church to rediscover the meaning of the mission entrusted to her by the Lord on the day of Easter: to be a sign and an instrument of the Father’s mercy (cf. Jn 20 : 21-23)

“For this reason, the Holy Year must keep alive the desire to know how to welcome the numerous signs of the tenderness which God offers to the whole world and, above all, to those who suffer, who are alone and abandoned, without hope of being pardoned or feeling the Father’s love:

“A Holy Year to experience strongly within ourselves the joy of having been found by Jesus, the Good Shepherd who has come in search of us because we were lost. 

“A Jubilee to receive the warmth of his love when he bears us upon his shoulders and brings us back to the Father’s house. 

“A year in which to be touched by the Lord Jesus and to be transformed by his mercy, so that we may become witnesses to mercy. 

“Here, then, is the reason for the Jubilee: because this is the time for mercy.  It is the favourable time to heal wounds, a time not to be weary of meeting all those who are waiting to see and to touch with their hands the signs of the closeness of God, a time to offer everyone the way of forgiveness and reconciliation.

“May the Mother of God open our eyes, so that we may comprehend the task to which we have been called; and may she obtain for us the grace to experience this Jubilee of Mercy as faithful and fruitful witnesses of Christ.”

Dear children! Today also I am calling you all in order that each one of you decides to live my messages. God has permitted me also in this year, which the Church has dedicated to me, to be able to speak to you and to be able to spur you on to holiness. Dear children, seek from God the graces which he is giving you through me. I am ready to intercede with God for all that you seek so that your holiness may be complete. Therefore, dear children, do not forget to seek, because God has permitted me to obtain graces for you. Thank you for having responded to my call.
Medjugorje message, August 25, 1987

What’s in a name?

This horse – GODSMEJUDGE – is the closest link I could find to Medjugorje when I scanned the runners and riders for today’s Grand National.

It’s rumoured that some British clergy are punting on the Irish horse to win at Aintree later today (4:15pm). Odds are around 20/1 which suggests the horse has a chance of a place.

And yes, not many years ago there WAS a racehorse that went under the name of Medjugorje. In fact, there were two: Medjugorje Message and Medjugorje Lady

UPDATE: Godsmejudge failed to complete the race when he was pulled up at the penultimate fence (29).