Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A break from blogging...

The Emperor’s decree is a reminder to myself to take stock and enjoy the company of my Roman family during the month of August. So I won’t be blogging much over the next four weeks. However, I will post and email Our Lady’s messages given to Mirjana (2nd) and Marija (25th).

And should another ‘decree’ from Rome materialise during August, in light of the recent story that the “Pope’s verdict on Medjugorje appears imminent”, I’ll post on that as well.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Unusual happening during apparition

In a conversation with Fr Livio Fanzaga on Radio Maria last weekend, the Medjugorje seer Marija Pavlovic reported that during a recent apparition at a seminary in Verona, Our Lady appeared in front of her and then, surprisingly, went past her and approached an unwell child in the front row of the gathering of priests, seminarians and families.

Marija said she was shocked when Our Lady went past her in this way and she got up from her kneeler and turned around to watch where the apparition was going. Marija said she saw Our Lady caress and bless the little girl and heard very clearly the child cry out, “Hail Mary! Come to my house! Come into my heart! Hail Mary, full of grace!”

Marija added: “I don’t know if the child saw the Madonna or not. She wept, as did others, when this happened. Since then the child was brought to Medjugorje. They call her the Angel of the Madonna.”

The Medjugorje seer was speaking with Fr Livio on the mention of angels in Our Lady’s latest message
(July 25): “I am with you and, with the saints and angels, intercede for you.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

New logo design for youth Festival


The 25th Medjugorje International Youth Prayer Festival gets underway on July 31 and with it comes a new and inspiring logo designed by Vanja Sivric and Katarina Vasilj.

The logo depicts two hills (Krizevac and Podbrdo), the cross (also raised hands in prayer or perhaps even the raised arms of the Risen Saviour), the letter M for Mary, Medjugorje and Mladifest presented in the shape of an open heart.

The new design is also strangely reminiscent of the spectacular sight witnessed in the sky at the Youth Festival two years ago – floating rosary beads created from yellow, blue and white coloured balloons.

The Youth Festival attracts tens of thousands of pilgrims from around the world. It runs for seven days and ends on August 6.

Friday, July 25, 2014

July message to Marija

Dear children! You are not aware of the graces that you are living at this time in which the Most High is giving you signs for you to open and convert.

Return to God and to prayer, and may prayer begin to reign in your hearts, families and communities, so that the Holy Spirit may lead and inspire you to every day be more open to God’s will and to his plan for each of you.

I am with you and, with the saints and angels, intercede for you.

Thank you for having responded to my call.


Medjugorje message, July 25, 2012

Waiting for the Good Samaritan...


We are waiting for the good Samaritan, the Samaritan who wholeheartedly meets and helps the needy. He always has something to give and offer, and never walks without the indispensable oil and wine. He knows where the medical clinic is and to whom the patient should be taken to have his health restored.
Fr Jozo Zovko, July 17, 2014

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Works of love...

Works of love directed to one’s neighbour are the most perfect external manifestation of the interior grace of the Spirit...Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium

Dear children! Today I call you to love and mercy. Give love to each other as your Father gives it to you. Be merciful – with the heart. Do good works, not permitting them to wait for you too long. Every mercy that comes from the heart brings you closer to my Son. Medjugorje message, March 18, 2001

Just as I was posting this item this morning, my next-door neighbour brought me a head of red-leaf lettuce from his garden allotment! So it’s salad for lunch!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bridging the gap

More from Henri Nouwen...

To become neighbours is to bridge the gap between people. As long as there is distance between us and we cannot look into each other’s eyes, all sorts of false ideas and images arise. We give them names, make jokes about them, cover them with our own prejudices, and avoid direct contact.

We forget that they love as we love, care for their children as we care for ours, become sick and die as we do. We forget that they are our brothers and sisters and treat them as objects that can be destroyed at will.

Only when we have the courage to cross the road and look into one another’s eyes can we see that they are children of the same God and members of the same human family.


Dear children! Today I come to you with a motherly desire for you to give me your hearts. My children, do this with complete trust and without fear. In your hearts, I will put my Son and his mercy. Then, my children, you will look at the world around you with different eyes. You will see your neighbour. You will feel his pain and suffering. You will not turn your head away from those who suffer, because my Son turns his head away from those who do so. Children, do not hesitate.
Medjugorje message, May 2, 2007

Monday, July 21, 2014

Crossing the street

More from Henri Nouwen...

We become neighbours when we are willing to cross the road for one another. There is so much separation and segregation: between black people and white people, between gay people and straight people, between young people and old people, between sick people and healthy people, between prisoners and free people, between Jews and Gentiles, Muslims and Christians, Protestants and Catholics, Greek Catholics and Latin Catholics.

There is a lot of road crossing to do. We are all very busy in our own circles. We have our own people to go to and our own affairs to take care of. But if we could cross the street once in a while and pay attention to what is happening on the other side, we might become neighbours.


Little children, pray and do not permit Satan to work in your life through misunderstandings, the non-understanding and non-acceptance of one another. Pray that you may be able to comprehend the greatness and the beauty of the gift of life.
part Medjugorje message, January25, 1990

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Love of neighbour...

This item arrived in my email box today (Sunday)...

“Love your neighbour as yourself” the Gospel says (Matthew 22:38). But who is my neighbour? We often respond to that question by saying: “My neighbours are all the people I am living with on this earth, especially the sick, the hungry, the dying, and all who are in need.” But this is not what Jesus says. When Jesus tells the story of the good Samaritan (see Luke 10:29-37) to answer the question “Who is my neighbour?” he ends by asking: “Which... do you think, proved himself a neighbour to the man who fell into the bandits’ hands?’ The neighbour, Jesus makes clear, is not the poor man laying on the side of the street, stripped, beaten, and half dead, but the Samaritan who crossed the road, “bandaged his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them... lifted him onto his own mount and took him to an inn and looked after him.” My neighbour is the one who crosses the road for me!
Henri Nouwen

Dear children! Today I call you to love. Little children, without love you can neither live with God nor with brother. Therefore, I call all of you to open your hearts to the love of God that is so great and open to each one of you. God, out of love for man, has sent me among you to show you the path of salvation, the path of love. If you do not first love God, then you will neither be able to love neighbour nor the one you hate. Therefore, little children, pray and through prayer you will discover love. Thank you for having responded to my call. Medjugorje message, April 25, 1995

Friday, July 18, 2014

Pope’s statement claim surprises Provincial

Medjugorje Today has quotes from Franciscan Provincial Fr Miljenko Steko refuting the claim the Pope asked him to pray that he made the right decision on Medjugorje... report here...

UPDATE: July 22, 2014
Fr Kevin Devine has issued a public apology for the impression given in spontaneous announcements made at the end of a Mass in Medjugorje on June 25 – that the Holy Father had reached a decision on Medjugorje – and for erroneously attributing the statement source to the Franciscan Provincial Fr Miljenko Steko.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Who is my neighbour?


Dear children! With motherly love I desire to encourage you to love your neighbour. May my Son be the source of that love. He, who could have done everything by force, chose love and gave an example to you. Also today, through me, God expresses immeasurable goodness to you and, you children, are obliged to respond to it. With equal goodness and generosity behave towards the souls whom you meet. May your love convert them. In that way my Son and his love will resurrect in you. Thank you.
part Medjugorje message, July 2, 2008

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Imagine a sower going out to sow...


You will know that you are on the right path when you will be on earth with your body and with your soul always with God. Through this unconditional and pure love you will see my Son in every person.
part Medjugorje message, August 2, 2007

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Do not be afraid…


Can you not buy two sparrows for a penny? And yet not one falls to the ground without the Father knowing. Why every hair on your head has been counted. So there is no need to be afraid; you are worth more than hundreds of sparrows. Matthew 10 : 29-31

Dear children, I call you to accompany me in my mission of God with an open heart and complete trust. The way on which I lead you, through God, is difficult but persevering and in the end we will all rejoice through God. Therefore, my children, do not stop praying for the gift of faith. Only through faith will the Word of God be light in this darkness which desires to envelop us. Do not be afraid, I am with you. Thank you. Medjugorje message, October 2, 2007

We so often hear Jesus saying to his Apostles, “Be not afraid.” Someone counted that this expression, that we need not be afraid, is used in the Bible 365 times. Mary is our mother and the only new message of Međugorje is that she tells us... “I am with you”.

When we really believe this, and understand this with the heart, then we will no longer be afraid. Even when we have worries and, seen humanly, also fear something, if we know that Mary is with us, then our hearts will react to her presence and to her voice, and thereby be freed from all fear.

And especially in these modern times, it is so important to overcome this fear, this fear for our lives, this fear for the family, this fear for the Church, and this fear for the whole world.

It is sad that many who are involved in Marian movements are also wounded by this fear. Many Catholic Christians today spread an apocalyptic atmosphere and in so doing spread only more fear.

Here in Medjugorje we have never heard anything in the messages of which we are meant to be afraid, but exactly the opposite – that we need not be afraid, because in the end God is the Lord and the Ruler, and he will turn everything to the good.

That is why I want all of us, and especially those who live in fear, to hear these words very clearly – BE NOT AFRAID. This is Mary here who is speaking.

Fr Slavko Barbaric OFM

Friday, July 11, 2014

Bearing witness...


By your life bear witness for God’s joy. Do not be anxious nor worried. God himself will help you and show you the way.
part Medjugorje message, May 25, 1988

Beware of men: they will hand you over to the sanhedrin and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and pagans. But when they hand you over, do not worry about how to speak or what to say; what you are to say will be given to you when the time comes; because it is not you who will be speaking; the Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you.
Matthew 10: 17-20

I call you, dear children, to pray for the gifts of the Holy Spirit which are necessary for you now in order to be able to give witness to my presence here and to all that I am giving you.
part Medjugorje message, April 17, 1986

“A sad face cannot become witness to God’s joy. A heart without an inner life cannot be witness to the living God. A heart without love cannot become a witness for God’s love. That is why it is a condition to witness God’s love for us to be able to carry God's love and joy within our hearts.”
Fr Slavko Barbaric OFM

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Silver or gold I do not have...


Yesterday the Vatican held a press conference to announce major changes in its economic and administration structures. The overall goal, said Cardinal George Pell and now head of the newly formed Secretariat for the Economy, is to make the Vatican “a model of financial transparency instead of cause for occasional scandal.”

A cause for scandal among the group of disciples who walked with Jesus was the accusation made against Judas of stealing from the common purse he had been put in charge of.

In today’s gospel
(Matthew 10 : 7-15) Jesus gives instructions to his disciples before he sends them out on mission. They are to provide themselves with no silver or gold for the journey, not even a few coppers for their purses not even a haversack, a spare tunic, footwear or a staff. Instead they are to rely on the hospitality of others – God providing for his labourers through the generous hearts of others. “The workman deserves his keep” adds Jesus.

This week some 300 hundred priests from around the world have arrived in Medjugorje to attend a five-day seminar.

As in previous years the priests are housed and fed without charge through the generosity of the local people, recalling other words of Jesus spoken in today’s gospel reading. “You received without charge, give without charge.”

While at times it may seem that the Medjugorje phenomenon has prioritised into an economic phenomenon for the village, this generous gesture by house-owners and families in providing meals and accommodation for those who labour for the Lord’s harvest is a shining sign of living the Gospel message.

“Whatever town or village you go into, ask for someone trustworthy and stay with him until you leave. As you enter his house, salute it, and if the house deserves it, let your peace descend upon it…”

What a wonderful blessing for the people of Medjugorje to be able to welcome priests into their homes in this way. And what a wonderful blessing for the priests also.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Commissioned


Commission is a word very much associated with the Medjugorje phenomenon. The investigative work of the group of people summoned and commissioned by Benedict XVI in March 2010 to study the Medjugorje phenomenon is completed and under review by the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith.

In today’s Gospel (Matthew 10 : 1-7) Jesus summons and commissions his twelve disciples to go out and proclaim the kingdom of heaven to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. He provides the disciples with authority and instructions on how to go about fulfilling his commission.

In June 1981, Our Lady was also commissioned and sent out by the Lord to proclaim his kingdom on this earth. She chose the parish of Medjugorje as the place to make her messages known to the world.

Dear children, I love you and in a special way I have chosen this parish, one more dear to me than the others, in which I have gladly remained when the Almighty sent me. Therefore I call on you – accept me, dear children, that it might go well with you. Listen to my messages! March 21, 1985 

“God has sent me among you so that I may help you…” January 25, 1991 

“God, out of love for man, has sent me among you to show you the path of salvation, the path of love.” April 25, 1995

“God sent me to lead you toward eternal life.” October 25, 2006

In truth, we are all commissioned by God to proclaim his name and love in our daily lives and so to the world.

In Monday’s gospel the people were amazed by Jesus when he cured a man of his dumbness and he could speak again.

Mary desires us to be able to find our voice again in a way that proclaims and gives witness to the healing power of God in our lives.

As Jesus does with his twelve disciples the Blessed Mother also encourages and instructs her children on the steps to take to bring healing and peace to lost sheep.

In a recent message to Mirjana she spoke of living humble lives and said that the love that comes forth from humility will bring light to the world where there is darkness and blindness. July 2, 2014

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

International seminar for priests at Medjugorje


Medjugorje’s 19th International Seminar for Priests got underway yesterday and will end on Saturday.

This year’s themes are: “Behold Your Mother
(John19 : 27) and “In Our Lady’s School”.

Last year’s event was attended by 297 priests from 23 countries.

Leading the seminar is Fr Ljubo Kurtovic OFM who served in Medjugorje between 2000 and 2007. He is now the parish priest in Veljaci, Herzegovina.

Monday, July 07, 2014

The Immeasurable Love...


Dear children! In these peaceless times I am coming to you to show you the way to peace. I love you with an immeasurable love and I desire for you to love each other and to see in everyone my Son – the immeasurable love. The way to peace leads solely and only through love. Give your hand to me, your mother, and permit me to lead you. I am the Queen of peace. Thank you.
Medjugorje message, August 2, 2006

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Humble and gentle in heart...


The peace of Christ is found by those who ‘take up’ their ‘yoke’, namely, Christ’s commandment: Love one another as I have loved you. This yoke cannot be borne with arrogance, presumption or pride, but only with meekness and humbleness of heart.
Pope Francis, October 2013

With the love that comes forth from humility you will bring light to where darkness and blindness rule. You will be bringing my Son who is the light of the world. I am always alongside your shepherds and I pray that they may always be an example of humility for you. Thank you.
part Medjugorje message, July 2, 2014

Once you have received the refreshment and comfort of Christ, we are called in turn to become refreshment and comfort for our brothers and sisters, with a meek and humble attitude, in imitation of the Master.
Pope Francis, Sunday, July 6, 2014

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Dear children, I, the Mother of all of you...


Our Lady tells each one of us, “I am your Mother and I love you. If you knew how much I loved you you would cry with joy.”

And she asks, “Do you love me?”

There is only one right answer – the answer St Peter gave to the Risen Jesus in response to that same question, “You know that I love you.”


Fr Jozo Zovko FM

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Feast of St Thomas, Apostle


When Thomas the Twin was told by the disciples of Jesus that they had seen the risen Lord, he did not trust their witness, even from so many. He doubted. He needed to see for himself, to be able to touch the wounds of Christ.

Many who travel to Medjugorje go there with reservations and doubts about the claimed phenomenon and the testimony given to them by their friends, family and other witnesses. They are not entirely convinced and want to experience and see for themselves.

In reality, and perhaps not realising at the time of decision to go on pilgrimage, they are actually seeking an ecounter with Jesus, just as Thomas felt the need to. The witness of others was not enough to convince him. His faith was suspect. He set and demanded conditions for believing.

It is only through a real encounter with the Risen Jesus that our faith is strengthened

I’m always interested to observe the reaction of pilgrims to the phenomenon at Medjugorje where the Risen Saviour sculpture trickles water from fractures in the right knee of the cast.

Many ask why this is happening; many seek a natural explanation; most seem to want to experience and accept the phenomenon as miraculous.

Waiting lines of pilgrims queue to touch the spot from where the water weeps, symbolic perhaps of reaching out to Jesus, either in faith or in doubt, seeking confirmation of all they have seen and heard about this ‘miraculous’ feature.

Because of the height of the thirty-metre bronze sculpture, it is not possible to touch the hands or the side. The fracture, the ‘wound’ above the right knee, is accessible but only by standing on a raised platform. It is so tempting to do this and very few pilgrims ignore the opportunity.

Does this suggest that there is the ‘doubting Thomas’ in all of us – or just the need to touch something what is perceived as ‘miraculous’, possibly seeking healing by doing so – to encounter Christ?

When Jesus did eventually appear to Thomas he said to the disciple: “Give me your hand, put your finger here… doubt no longer but believe.”

Thomas was overcome and uttered those memorable, faith-filled words, “My Lord and my God!”

Jesus responded, “You believe because you can see me. Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.”

And in those words is a connection with Our Lady’s appearances and messages at Medjugorje. Six witnesses are privileged to see the Blessed Mother and hear her speak. The rest of us are invited to trust and believe their witness without seeing.

Many doubt the Medjugorje phenomenon, even from the time Our Lady first appeared at Medjugorje 33 years ago. However, one of the reasons Our Lady gave for coming to Medjugorje was because there were many true believers living there.

Those who had doubts then requested the visionaries to ask Our Lady for a sign. They did, and she gave this response: “Blessed are those who have not seen and who believe.”

“Give me your hand” said Jesus to Thomas… These are also words used by Our Lady. In a message given to Mirjana she said, “Give your hand to me, your Mother, and permit me to lead you.”

Extending our hand and touching the fractured surface of Risen Saviour sculpture can inspire many to a deeper faith in Jesus and a desire to meet with him in the Sacraments. Reaching out and touching the wounds of others we meet in life is also another way of experiencing Christ in our everyday lives and becoming the miracle for them, becoming the witness of Medjugorje and the resurrection in our own life.

Interestingly, John’s gospel (20 :24-29) doesn’t make it absolutely clear if Thomas ever actually touched the wounds of Christ as he was invited to. But seeing the risen Jesus was enough for him to make his declaration and be the only person in the Gospel to address Jesus directly as God.

This reminds me of the time my wife returned from Medjugorje after her first visit (my first visit came two years later).

When I went to collect her at the airport and asked if she enjoyed her pilgrimage. She responded by breaking down into a flood of tears and her first words to me before any greeting were: “Don’t ever tell me there isn’t a God!”

Like Thomas, she had encountered the Risen Lord. And that witness was enough for me to want to experience my own faith encounter with Jesus at Medjugorje.

Dear children! In these peaceless times I am coming to you to show you the way to peace. I love you with an immeasurable love and I desire for you to love each other and to see in everyone my Son – the immeasurable love. The way to peace leads solely and only through love. Give your hand to me, your mother, and permit me to lead you. I am the Queen of peace. Thank you.
Medjugorje message, August 2, 2006