Saturday, May 23, 2015

Former Medjugorje priest elected Definitor General


Fr Ivan Sesar, a former parish priest at Medjugorje, was today elected to the third highest office in the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor (Europe).

His election took place at the OFM’s General Chapter held in Assisi.

Currently professor of Canon Law at the Catholic Faculty of Theology in Sarajevo, 48-year-old Fr Sesar pastored at Medjugorje for two years until August 2007 when he was appointed Provincial of the Herzegovina Franciscan Province.

Medjugorje will go up to Sarajevo

So the Pope “will steer clear” of Medjugorje when he visits Sarajevo on June 6, according to a report by the Catholic news agency CNA quoting Msgr Ivo Tomisevic, the communications officer for the Bosnia Herzegovina Episcopal Conference.

It’s not news. Only last week the Sarajevo archbishop, cardinal Vinko Puljic, stated in a press conference that the Pope’s visit “has nothing to do with Medjugorje”. (That’s another story!)

And as far back as February 2, the day after the Pope announced he would go to Sarajevo, papal spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi said that the trip “has no connection” with issues surrounding the pilgrimage site and that “the Pope has said he is going to Sarajevo and did not say he’s going to Medjugorje.”

But rest assured, Medjugorje will not steer clear of the Pope and Sarajevo. That’s guaranteed. Its parish choir, Queen of Peace, is one of 53 choirs that will combine to sing at the Papal Mass in Sarajevo’s Kosevo Stadium.

Also, according to Msgr Tomisevic, the Medjugorje parish faithful will have an allocation of places to take part in the celebration.

CNA also quotes the editor of the Italian magazine Medjugorje, the presence of MaryEnzo Manes claims he has been informed that “some of the visionaries will take part in the Mass” and also predicts a “strong” presence from Medjugorje.

I once asked one of the visionaries a question: “For those who can’t get to or haven’t been to Medjugorje, how does Medjugorje come to them?”

The seer responded with a smile and said: “Be an example, a good example.”

Medjugorje is not simply a small parish in Bosnia Herzegovina – it’s a witness to the merciful love of God. It has nowhere to lay its head. It goes out to the whole world – even to Sarajevo.

If with your life you give an example and become a sign of God’s love, joy will prevail in the hearts of men. November 25, 1996

By your example, little children, you will be the extended hands of God, which humanity is seeking. Only in this way will you understand, that you are called to witness and to become joyful carriers of God's word and of his love. February 25, 1997

Be an example of that man who has known God and God’s love. Let people always see in you an example of how God acts on people and how God acts through them. September 12, 1998

Medjugorje choir to sing at Sarajevo Papal Mass

The Medjugorje parish choir, Queen of Peace, conducted by Sr Irena Azinović, is one of 53 choirs combining for the celebration of Mass by Pope Francis at the Kosevo Stadium in Sarajevo on June 6. It will be the largest choir ever assembled in Bosnia Herzegovina.

The Queen of Peace choir was formed in 1990.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

A blessing from above...


A Polish priest testified in October 2013 that he was once invited to breakfast at the Vatican by Pope John Paul II who, during the meal, began a conversation about Medjugorje and related to the recently-ordained priest that when he would journey east on the papal plane he would ask the pilot to fly over Medjugorje so he could bless the parish.

Next month, on June 6, Pope Francis will fly from Rome to Sarajevo. Will he also travel east via Medjugorje and perhaps bless the ever-growing parish?

Pope Francis has been known to bless Medjugorje statues and medals, and invited representatives from the village to a major Marian event in 2013. More recently he invited a Medjugorje promoter to the Vatican and listened to his witness.

Officially, we are told, the Pope’s visit has nothing to do with Medjugorje, but we may never know if Pope Francis will offer a silent prayer and blessing over the famed Marian pilgrimage destination as his flight heads towards Sarajevo.

For certain, some pilgrims in Medjugorje on June 6 will scan the skies for the contrails so prevalent above the village, and maybe wonder if a very special blessing will have been bestowed on them by the Holy Father that day.

A blessing made with the sign of the cross, perhaps, as in this image taken at Medjugorje?




An aerial view of Medjugorje from the papal plane, perhaps?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Crossing the bridge...


When he finished speaking he knelt down with them and prayed. By now they were all in tears; they put their arms around Paul’s neck and kissed him; what saddened them most was his saying they would never see his face again. Then they escorted him to the ship. Acts 20 : 36-38

Yesterday I read three writings which have a connection with today’s first reading at Mass – Paul’s leaving of Ephesus and the sadness of everyone concerned.

In the morning, I received an email from a distant relative in the U.S. Attached was a copy of a letter sent by my maternal grandmother to a niece in America. It was dated August 1959, and reading it stirred many fond memories of my silver-haired ‘granny’.

My grandmother’s sister and other siblings emigrated to America in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Only one ever returned to visit their birthplace, and once only.

The photograph above is a location that serves as a reminder of many departures and farewells. Locally it’s known as the The Bridge Of Sorrows and some of my family have passed this spot between the hills, never to return.

Families would escort the emigrant as far as this bridge, make their tearful farewells, and then wait and watch their loved one continue their journey until they disappeared over the brow to head for Derry and the boat sailing to America or Australia or Britain.

For many, it was the last time they set eyes on the ‘emigrant’.

Of course, contact would continue by letter, and news and photos exchanged this way. Money and gifts would also be sent ‘home’ to support the family left behind.

But for some, parting was like experiencing a death. “They would never see his face again.” 

The second reading I came across yesterday was the homily by Pope Francis when he spoke about our lives being marked by farewells and added that each of us should reflect on our own final farewell from this life.

And this leads into the third writing and a meditation by the Dutch priest Henri Nouwen from his book Bread For The Journey. The email I received reads:

“How do we make our deaths gifts for others?  Very often people’s lives are destroyed, harmed, or permanently wounded by the deaths of their relatives or friends.  We have to do whatever we can to avoid this.  When we are near death what we say to those who are close to us, whether in spoken or in written words, is very important.  When we express gratitude to them, ask forgiveness for our shortcomings and offer forgiveness for theirs, and express our sincere desire that they continue their lives without remorse but remembering the graces of our lives, then our deaths can become  true gifts.”

Not so long ago – last October – Our Lady emphasised in a Medjugorje message to Marija how fleeting life on earth is and that we should prepare with prayer for passing into eternity.

Dear children! Pray in this time of grace and seek the intercession of all the saints who are already in the light.  From day to day may they be an example and encouragement to you on the way of your conversion.  Little children, be aware that your life is short and passing. Therefore, yearn for eternity and keep preparing your hearts in prayer.

I know my grandmother is one of those saints who is already in the light that Our Lady speaks of in this message. The copy of her letter I received yesterday is a reminder of what a beautiful gift she was, and still is, to her family.

I look forward to meeting her again when I cross the bridge.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

New role for locutionist Marijana

MaryTV reports that Marijana Vasilj, one of the two locutionists associated with the Medjugorje phenomenon, has been appointed by the parish to meet and greet pilgrim group leaders, and help with any information they may require.

Her office is located in the old presbytery where many of the early apparitions took place.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Obedience?

There’s much talk of late from some critics of the Medjugorje phenomenon about ‘obedience’. They question the ‘obedience’ of the visionaries in not remaining silent about all they have seen and heard, how they continue witnessing to the ‘alleged’ apparitions and passing on messages, against the wishes of the local ordinary.

They expect the visionaries to keep quiet, to shut up, go away and learn the meaning of obedience… and yet in each of our lives we struggle every day to obey all that the Lord asks of us.

Fr Svet’s new book

Fr Svetozar Kraljevic, the Franciscan priest long associated with Medjugorje, has a new book coming out this week. It’s called ‘Pilgrim’ and is a collection of sermons and lectures about the key topics in Christian life.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Ratko Peric once again confirms his opposition...


Local bishop raps Medjugorje messages and apparition claims during Confirmation homily in St James church...

At the Confirmation ceremony in Medjugorje today, bishop Ratko Peric took as the theme for his homily the day’s first reading
(Acts 18 : 23-28) and the sound scriptural knowledge of Apollos and his preaching about Jesus.

However, it came as no surprise when bishop Peric, a vociferous opponent of the claims associated with the Medjugorje phenomenon, also challenged the belief of many during his homily in St James church, when he said:

“Apollos has shown us that the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace is more important than any personal talents, intractable charisms, speaking in tongues, falling on the floor, monthly double messages and tenfold talents. Our faith is founded on the Bible and tradition through the Magisterium of the Church, and not private hallucinations which occur three times daily.”


The bishop made his criticism in the presence of Ivan Dragicevic, one of the Medjugorje seers attending the Confirmation ceremony as a Godparent and sponsor of one of the candidates.

It’s not the first time bishop Peric has taken the opportunity during Confirmation ceremonies to criticise the claims associated with the Medjugorje phenomenon.  His most notable criticism was in July 2000 when he raised questions against the sheer number of messages and total of apparitions to date.

However, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has previously stated that this “should be considered the expression of the personal conviction of the bishop of Mostar which he has the right to express as Ordinary of the place, but which is and remains his personal opinion."

Bishop Peric visits Medjugorje

Bishop Ratko Peric, the local ordinary for the Mostar Duvno diocese, was in Medjugorje today (Saturday) conferring the Sacrament of Confirmation on 78 young men and women of the parish.

The visionary Ivan Dragicevic was there as a sponsor and godparent and presented his godson Anti Dragicevic to the bishop for confirmation.


photo: Mile Pavlovic

“Peace Be With You” is theme for Mladifest 26

The 26th annual Medjugorje Youth Festival is scheduled to start on July 31, ending on August 6.

This year’s theme is “Peace be with you!” (John 20 : 21), the same theme adopted by the Episcopal Bishops Conference of Bosnia Herzegovina for the Pope’s visit to Sarajevo on June 6.

The progamme includes catechesis, testimonies, liturgical celebrations, pryaer and adoration and, like every year, some surprises are promised.

Tens of thousands of young (and not so young people) travel from all over the world to Medjugorje for this ever-growing event and this year simultaneous translations will be provided in Croatian, English, Italian, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Slovak, Slovenian, Hungarian, Romanian, Russian, Czech, Korean, Arabic, Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese Chinese.

Vicka to testify at family prayer event in Italy

Medjugorje seer Vicka Ivankovic-Mijatovic is scheduled to give testimony alongside her husband Mario at a prayer meeting for youth and families in Sestola, Italy, on June 20.

She has attended the previous two annual gatherings held in Sestola’s Piazzale Romania.

The all-day meeting will be streamed live on the internet from 16:00 (local time) via the website guardacon.me

Below is a recording of the event in 2014, produced by guardacon.me

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Evil attempts to silence witness of visionary Vicka


Sr Emmanuel’s latest newsletter from Medjugorje highlights an recent incident when the visionary Vicka was confronted by evil as she was praying with pilgrims.

She writes: “The other day, when Vicka was praying for a long time over the crowd in front of her, a woman started shouting out at her with a horrible man's voice:

‘I can't stand you any longer! Stop praying! You always forgive! You should have been dead a long time ago! Shut up!’

“Those cries from the enemy are meaningful and significant. Satan described clearly here what disarms him the most! It is no wonder that Satan dislikes prayer and the practice of forgiveness! They make him powerless to do any harm!”

Sr Emmanuel also mentions that Vicka is suffering from immense fatigue but still manages to meet with pilgrims three days a week. She requests that we pray for Vicka so that her health will continue to allow her to witness and pray with people.

To obtain Sr Emmanuel’s monthly newsletter visit her website: www.sisteremmanuel.org

Dear children! By your own peace I am calling you to help others to see and begin to seek peace. You, dear children, are at peace and not able to comprehend lack of peace. Therefore, I am calling you, so that by your prayer and your life you help to destroy everything that is evil in people and uncover the deception that satan makes use of. You pray that the truth prevails in all hearts. Thank you for having responded to my call.
Medjugorje message, September 25, 1986

At Corinth one night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision. “Do not be afraid to speak out, nor allow yourself to be silenced: I am with you.”
Acts 18 : 9-10, First Reading, Sixth week of Easter, Friday

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Medjugorje has no connection to Pope’s visit?

At a press conference held in Sarajevo this morning to discuss the visit of Pope Francis to Bosnia on June 6, Cardinal Vinko Puljic insisted “Medjugorje has nothing to do with this visit.”

“I cannot talk about it,” said the archbishop of Sarajevo “since I served on the commission and it is bound to secrecy. The commission has completed its work and submitted it to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which will forward it to the Pope who will express their opinion.”

The Cardinal stated that more than 50,000 faithful from all over Bosnia Herzegovina and other countries in the region have so far registered to attend the Papal Mass to be held in Sarajevo on June 6.

Applications from parishes will be considered until May 20 for the Mass at Kosevo Stadium which has a capacity of 70,000.

The recent terrorist attack against a police station in Zvornik in eastern Bosnia, and clashes last weekend in Kumanovo, Macedonia, have increased the “attention on the safety of the Pope’s visit” said the cardinal, “but there is no reason to be afraid in Sarajevo. I am very satisfied because things are under control.”

JPII, Fatima, and the Medjugorje connection


Is the Medjugorje phenomenon Heaven’s response to the ‘Act of Entrustment’ prayer of Pope John Paul II?

Following the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II when he was shot and wounded in St Peter’s Square on May 13, 1981, the Holy Father decided to consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and composed a prayer for what he called an ‘Act of Entrustment’ which was to be celebrated in the Basilica of St Mary Major on June 7, 1981.

Since the Pope was unable to be present because of his injuries, his recorded address was broadcast. The following is the part which refers specifically to the Act of Entrustment:

“Mother of all individuals and peoples, you know all their sufferings and hopes. In your motherly heart you feel all the struggles between good and evil, between light and darkness, that convulse the world: accept the plea which we make in the Holy Spirit directly to your heart, and embrace with the love of the Mother and Handmaid of the Lord those who most await this embrace, and also those whose act of entrustment you too await in a particular way. Take under your motherly protection the whole human family, which with affectionate love we entrust to you, O Mother. May there dawn for everyone the time of peace and freedom, the time of truth, of justice and of hope.”

It appears that the Blessed Mother responded to this call in a sudden and unexpected way when, seventeen days later, on June 24, 1981 – the Feast of John the Baptist, six children reported the first of the apparitions at Medjugorje. The Mother’s embrace, the time of grace, “the time of peace” which Pope John Paul had prayed for had come.


So should we be surprised when on March 25, 1984, Pope John Paul II expressed his opinion that “Medjugorje is the continuation of Fatima, it's the completion of Fatima.”?

In a message given to Marija Pavlovic on July 25, 1990, Our Lady said: “Dear children! Today I invite you to peace. I have come here as the Queen of Peace and I desire to enrich you with my motherly peace. Dear children, I love you and I desire to bring all of you to the peace which only God gives and which enriches every heart. I invite you to become carriers and witnesses of my peace to this unpeaceful world. Let peace reign in the whole world which is without peace and longs for peace. I bless you with my motherly blessing. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

In a later message to Marija Pavlovic the Queen of Peace made mention of Fatima:

“Dear children! Today also I invite you to prayer, now as never before when my plan has begun to be realised. Satan is strong and wants to sweep away my plans of peace and joy and make you think that my Son is not strong in his decisions. Therefore, I call all of you, dear children, to pray and fast still more firmly. I invite you to self-renunciation for nine days so that, with your help, everything that I desire to realise through the secrets I began in Fatima, may be fulfilled. I call you, dear children, to now grasp the importance of my coming and the seriousness of the situation. I want to save all souls and present them to God. Therefore, let us pray that everything I have begun be fully realised. Thank you for having responded to my call.” August 25, 1991

The mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” Jesus said, “Woman, why turn to me? My hour has not come yet.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” John 2 : 3-5

“Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord?” Luke 1 : 43

Monday, May 11, 2015

Vatican book highlights ‘Medjugorje’ conversion


The Holy See’s Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelisation has issued a document that focuses on the Sacrament of Confession, entitled: God is Tenderness and Mercy.

The French-language booklet features the testimonies of three people: Edith Stein (St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross), the french writer André Frossard, and John Pridmore, a Catholic evangelist and ex-London gangster.

John Pridmore still gives testimony around the world to his conversion
(see photo above), and is actively involved in youth and parish missionary work with the Irish based St Patrick’s Community.

John’s turnaround back to faith came about when he attended a talk by the famous Medjugorje Franciscan priest Fr Slavko Barbaric, who was visiting the UK and giving testimony on the Medjugorje phenomenon.

It was at one of the talks on the theme: “Give me your wounded heart” that Pridmore’s heart was opened:

He said of the experience: “As I listened to that priest who said how every sin we commit is like a wound in our heart, I looked at the crucifix and I knew for the first time why Jesus died on that cross – because of the darkest and most terrible sins I had ever committed in my life.

“I felt an incredible sadness for all that I had done. But in addition to this sadness, there was an incredible joy. I felt that Jesus told me – ‘John, I love you so much that I would do all this just for you.’

“I started to cry. I cried for the first time since the age of 10 years because I could not believe that someone could love me enough to die for me in this agony.     

“I walked out of the conference and I said a prayer to Mary, the Mother of Jesus. I simply said: ‘What is it your Son wants me to do?’ And I felt as if a voice whispered in my heart: ‘Go to confession.’

“I had never been to confession before. I was 27 and I was scared. But Mary gave me courage.      

“While confessing all these most terrible sins, the priest (Fr Slavko) was crying because he was Jesus for me. He showed me the mercy of God.

“When I received absolution, I knew that it was Jesus who forgave me and freed me.” 


Fr Slavko died while praying the Way of the Cross on Mt Krizevac at Medjugorje on November 24, 2000. His book Give Me Your Wounded Heart is available from most booksellers.

More details about John Pridmore and his ministry can be found at his blog:
From Gangland to Promised Land

JUBILEE OF MERCY Pontifical Council For Promoting The New Evangelization

source: Chere Gospa

More scheduled visits by visionaries are cancelled

News from Italy is that Ivan Dragicevic’s scheduled witness at St Bartholomew church in Mestrino (Padua) on May 22 has been cancelled by the local ordinary, archbishop Antonio Mattiazzo.

The event organiser claims that permission was granted earlier but revoked by the archbishop to comply with a Vatican directive.


• Last week Medjugorje seer Vicka Ivankovic cancelled her planned visit to Sao Paolo later this month.

Vicka had been invited to the jubilee ordination celebration for Fr Guiseppe Sometti, an Italian priest who has pastored in Brazil for the past 40 years and takes care of abandoned children and addicts.

It was also planned for Vicka to testify in Sao Paolo to the Medjugorje phenomenon.

No reason has been given by the organiser ANSPAZ for Vicka’s cancellation, other than to post a note on its website stating the seer is unable to attend Fr Sometti’s 50th anniversary celebration of his priesthood.

Another Medjugorje seer cancelled her visit to South America in January. Marija Pavlovic had been invited to witness in Nicaragua, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela but organisers gave notice that the seer had cancelled “due to personal reasons”.

Listening with an open heart


We sat down and preached to the women who had come to the meeting. One of these women was called Lydia, a devout woman from the town of Thyatira who was in the purple-dye trade. She listened to us, and the Lord opened her heart to accept what Paul was saying. Acts 16 : 13-14

Dear children! Today I call you, through prayer, to open yourselves to God as a flower opens itself to the rays of the morning sun. Little children, do not be afraid. I am with you and I intercede before God for each of you so that your heart receives the gift of conversion. Only in this way, little children, will you comprehend the importance of grace in these times and God will become nearer to you. Thank you for having responded to my call. Medjugorje message, April 25, 1998

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Bikers’ annual pilgrimage


A group of bikers were led up Mt Krizevac on Saturday by Medjugorje’s parish priest Fr Marinko Šakota and prayed the Way of the Cross.

The bikers’ annual pilgrimage to Medjugorje is organised by Moto Klub Brotnjo. Each year they attend Mass, have themselves and their cycles blessed, make the Way of the Cross, and organise a drive-through the village to their camp outside Medjugorje.


photos: Događajnica




Friday, May 08, 2015

Living the victory


Dear children, Today, with my motherly heart, I call you gathered around me to love your neighbour. My children, stop. Look in the eyes of your brother and see Jesus, my Son. If you see joy, rejoice with him. If there is pain in the eyes of your brother, with your tenderness and goodness, cast it away, because without love you are lost. Only love is effective; it works miracles. Love will give you unity in my Son and the victory of my heart. Therefore, my children, love.
Medjugorje message, September 2, 2008

Our Lady wants us to decide for God's will and to also do it, and when that is the case it is really the beginning of the victory of her Immaculate Heart.

Everyone who, like Mary, decides for God and also stays loyal to Him, in placing Jesus in the first place in their lives, has already created the correct conditions for the victory that she always did and still does carry in her Immaculate Heart.

If we ask ourselves how this victory of the Immaculate Heart comes about, then the answer is very simple and clear.

The one who decides for God and who in so doing accepts Jesus as the Way, the Truth, the Light and Life and then acts out of love, does his work out of love, prays out of love and also constantly is fighting against all sin and against Satan, already has this victory.

And also all those who untiringly fight against all negativity and who decide for all that is good will also carry this victory further.

The triumph of the Immaculate Heart starts in our hearts and is therefore at first invisible, but all those who carry this victory in their hearts will also be able to help those in their families, in their communities and parishes and all others whom they encounter in their lives, to experience and to live this victory.

Fr Slavko Barbaric