Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Vicka celebrates her 50th birthday

First of the six Medjugorje visionaries to reach the age of 50 is Vicka Ivankovic, who celebrates her jubilee birthday today.

She was born in Bijakovici on September 3, 1964, and married Mario Mijatovic on January 26, 2002 in Gruda, a small village near to Medjugorje. The couple have two children, Maria-Sofia and Ante.

Vicka is one of three remaining visionaries who still receives daily apparitions since first seeing the Blessed Virgin on a hillside outside Medjugorje on June 24, 1981. So far Vicka has received nine of ten ‘secrets’ – the last on April 22, 1986.

Despite her fragile health and sufferings over many years, Vicka is tireless in meeting with pilgrims, especially the sick, and radiates Our Lady’s messages with a joy and warmth that touches the hearts of everyone in her presence.

For many years Vicka gave daily witness to the messages of Medjugorje from the steps of her childhood home in Bijakovici at the base of Apparition Hill, but in recent years has switched location to meet and speak with pilgrims at Sr Kornelija’s orphanage in the village of Vionica.

Other visionaries next to reach the age of 50 are Mirjana (March 18, 1965), Marija Pavlovic (April 1, 1965) and Ivan Ivankovic (May 25, 1965).

• The top photo of Vicka is the most recent and was taken during an apparition at Corridonia in Italy last Sunday. The photo above dates back to the mid-80’s and shows Vicka being interviewed outside her family home.

photos: Chronache Maceratesi and Ian McDougall

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

September apparition of Our Lady to Mirjana

Dear children, I, your Mother, am coming anew among you out of love which has no end, from endless love of the endless Heavenly Father.

And as I am looking into your hearts I see that many of you accept me as a Mother and, with sincere and pure hearts, you desire to be my apostles.

But, I am also the Mother of those of you who do not accept me and who, in the hardness of your hearts, do not desire to come to know the love of my Son.

And you do not know how much my heart suffers and how much I pray to my Son for you.

I pray to him to heal your souls because he can do so.

I pray to him to illuminate you with the miracle of the Holy Spirit so that you may stop, always anew, betraying, cursing and wounding him.

With all my heart I pray for you to understand that only my Son is the salvation and the light of the world.

And you, my children, my dear apostles, always carry my Son in your hearts and thoughts.

In this way you are carrying love. All those who do not know him will recognise him in your love.

I am always beside you.

In a special way I am beside your shepherds because my Son has called them to lead you on the way to eternity.

Thank you, my apostles, for your sacrifice and love.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Missing Scottish pilgrim found after two-day search

Sarah McKenzie, the woman missing at Medjugorje these past two days, was found alive on Sunday morning in the high zone of Gradina hill above the place of apparitions.

Severely dehydrated, the 74-year-old Scottish pilgrim was successfully brought down from the hill by the Herzegovian mountain rescue service at 9:45 this morning.

A spokesperson for the rescue team said: “We searched the hill by zones and segments using digital cartography and GPS devices. This morning we also searched in faith, hoping we would find the Scottish lady alive. We succeeded.”

Mrs McKenzie travelled to Medjugorje with a group of pilgrims from Scotland accompanied by her grandson.

Rescuers transport Mrs McKenzie off Apparition Hill and past the fourth Sorrowful Mystery: Jesus is given his cross to carry.

photos: CMRS Mostar

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Cardinal says Church will not ‘break’ Medjugorje...

Pope keen on everything related to Medjugorje...
Medjugorje will captivate the world...

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn
In a interview by Fr Juan Garcia Inza with Cardinal Christoph Schönborn and a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, the Archbishop of Vienna reveals that “Pope Francis is keen on everything related to Medjugorje”.

Writing on his blog at
religionenlibertad, the Spanish priest said he asked the Cardinal point blank his opinion about Medjugorje.

The Cardinal answered that as a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith he has been part of the study conducted on the Medjugorje phenomenon and pointed out that it was significant that Pope Francis had requested the Commission’s completed study before the CDF deliberated on the outcome – because the Pope is keen on everything related to Medjugorje.

The Cardinal also said that although some members of the Commission had viewed with suspicion claims that the Virgin has appeared daily for so long, he answered this question by explaining that the Lord had appeared to St Faustina several times a day and this was approved by the Church who canonised the Polish nun.

When asked about the future of Medjugorje the Cardinal responded: “One thing is clear: the Church will not ‘break’ anything that has been building for years; that is, Medjugorje will captivate the world.”

Dear children! Also today I am with you and I am looking at you and blessing you, and I am not losing hope that this world will change for the good and that peace will reign in the hearts of men. Joy will begin to reign in the world because you have opened yourselves to my call and to God’s love. The Holy Spirit is changing a multitude of those who have said ‘yes’. Therefore I desire to say to you: thank you for having responded to my call.
Medjugorje message, January 25, 2011

• The importance of unity was at the heart of Pope Francis’ catechesis at his weekly General Audience on Wednesday, telling the estimated ten thousand pilgrims and tourists present in St Peter’s Square that “while we, the members of the Church, are sinners, the unity and holiness of the Church arise from God and call us daily to conversion”.

Cardinal Schönborn made a private pilgrimage to Medjugorje four years ago. He serves as a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, that for the Oriental Churches, and that for Catholic Education, and of the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church. In January 2011 he was appointed among the first members of the newly created Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation and in November 2013, Pope Francis confirmed Cardinal Schönborn as a Member of the Education Congregation.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Pope says... Our Lady says...

While we, the members of the Church, are sinners, the unity and holiness of the Church arise from God and call us daily to conversion. 
Pope Francis, General Audience, Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Dear children, pray and daily change your life in order to become fully holy.
Medjugorje message, September 13, 1986

You cannot say that you are converted, because your life must become a daily conversion.
Medjugorje message, February 25, 1993

Monday, August 25, 2014

Our Lady’s August message to Marija

Dear children! Pray for my intentions, because Satan wants to destroy my plan which I have here and to steal your peace.

Therefore, little children, pray, pray, pray that God can act through each of you.

May your hearts be open to God’s will.

I love you and bless you with my motherly blessing.

Thank you for having responded to my call

Medjugorje message, August 25, 2014

• They can’t steal Mary’s gaze from us, which is full of tenderness, which gives us strength, makes us united in solidarity among ourselves. Pope Francis, September 22, 2013

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Queenship of Mary

The queen stands at your right hand arrayed in cloth of gold.
Entrance Antiphon, The Queenship of Mary

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.
Medjugorje message, July 25, 1990

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

All men equal before God...

In his interview with journalists on board Monday’s flight from Seoul to Rome, Pope Francis spoke of unjust aggression against minorities in Iraq, and stressed that all were equal in God’s eyes.

“Thank you for using this term [minorities]. Because people talk to me about Christians, about the suffering, about martyrs. And yes, there are many martyrs. But here there are men and women, religious minorities; not all of them are Christians but all of them are equal in God’s eyes.”

Pope Francis, August 18, 2014

The Holy Father’s words echoed those given by Our Lady in response to a question from a Catholic priest who was confused as to why a child of the Orthodox faith had been cured at Medjugorje.

She said: “The Muslims and the Orthodox, for the same reason as Catholics, are equal before my Son and me. You are all my children. Certainly, all religions are not equal, but all men are equal before God.”
Part of a message given to the Medjugorje visionaries in 1984.

Today’s Gospel reading (Matthew 20 : 1-16) speaks of God’s equal and total love for all men.

Jesus said to his disciples: The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner going out at daybreak to hire workers for his vineyard. He made an agreement with the workers for one denarius a day, and sent them to his vineyard. Going out at about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the market place and said to them. “You go to my vineyard too and I will give you a fair wage.” So they went,

At about the sixth hour and again at about the ninth hour, he went out and did the same. Then at about the elevnth hour he went out and found more men standing round, and he said to them, “Why have you been standing idle all day?” “Because no one has hired us” they answered. He said to them, “You go into my vineyard too.”

In the evening, the owner of the vineyard said to his bailiff, “Call the workers and pay them their wages, starting with the last arrivals and ending with the first.” So those who were hired at about the eleventh hour came forward and received one denarius each. When the first came, they expected to get more, but they too received one denarius each. They took it, but grumbled at the landowner. “The men who came last” they said “have done only one hour, and you have treated them the same as us, though we have done a heavy day’s work in all the heat.”

He answered one of them and said, “My friend, I am not being unjust to you; did we not agree on one denarius? Take you earnings and go. I chose to pay the last-comer as much as I pay you. Have I no right to do what I like with my own? Why be envious because I am generous?”

Thus the last will be first, and the first, last.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Our Lady speaks of Pope’s peace mission...

Yesterday, the Medjugorje visionary Ivan Dragicevic received this message from Our Lady during an apparition at the Church of the Holy Crown in Vicenza, Italy.

Dear children, today in a special way I invite you to pray for peace. Open yourself to the Holy Spirit, dear children, so that the Holy Spirit may guide you. Particularly at this time, dear children, pray for my beloved Holy Father; pray for his mission of peace.
I pray with you, interceding with my ​​Son for each of you. Thank you dear children, because even today you have responded to my call. 

Message to Ivan Dragicevic, August 17, 2014

The seer said afterwards that Our Lady wanted to emphasize the peace mission of Pope Francis.

Ivan Dragicevic continues his witnessing in northern Italy with visits to Reggio Emilia (August 18) and Chiusavecchia (August 19).

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Pope says... Our Lady says...

Dear children! Also today I call you to pray. Pray, little children, in a special way for all those who have not come to know God's love. Pray that their hearts may open and draw closer to my heart and the Heart of my Son Jesus, so that we can transform them into people of peace and love. Thank you for having responded to my call. Medjugorje message, January 25, 2004

Dear children! Hatred gives birth to dissensions and does not regard anyone or anything. I call you always to bring harmony and peace. Especially, dear children, in the place where you live, act with love. Let your only instrument always be love. By love turn everything into good which Satan desires to destroy and possess. Only that way shall you be completely mine and I shall be able to help you. Thank you for having responded to my call.
Medjugorje message, July 31, 1986

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Keep Jesus close at hand...

The inspiration for this series of images is one of my young grandsons (20 months) who is never without a Thomas the Tank dvd case in his hand. He walks around with it all day, eats his meals holding it, even sleeps with it.

At first, I thought this was a strange habit, until a voice reminded me that there was a time I always had a cigarette in my hand – and sometimes a glass of alcohol in the other. These days I don’t smoke or drink alcohol, and don’t even own a mobile phone to put in my hand; but I do walk around clutching rosary beads (not an uncommon sight for those who visit Medjugorje).

Praying the Joyful Mysteries on my morning walk this morning, the words came to me: “Keep me close at hand... I keep you in mine...”

There is no better way of keeping Jesus close at hand than praying the Rosary and keeping the beads in hand. It’s a constant reminder of his presence.

And as you go, proclaim that the kingdom of heaven is close at hand. Matthew 10 : 7

For I, the Lord, your God,
I am holding you by the right hand;
I tell you “Do not be afraid,
I will help you.”

Isaiah 41 : 13

Dear children, give your hand to me, your Mother, and permit me to lead you.  Medjugorje message, August 2, 2006

I tell you solemnly, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 18 : 3

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Bishop joins the band at Medjugorje Youth Fest

There was a musical surprise at Medjugorje this week when bishop Marian Eleganti sat in with the many musicians and singers who provide the international music ministry at the Youth Festival.

The 58-year-old Benedictine, who is auxiliary bishop of Chur in Switzerland, joined the orchestra and choir on the final day of the week-long event that attracts tens of thousands of young people and families from around the world. The festival is now in its 25th year.

photos courtesy of Medjugorje parish website

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Splendour of the heavens...

There in front of them was the star they had seen rising; it went forward and halted over the place where the child was. The sight of the star filled them with delight, and going into the house they saw the child with his mother Mary, and falling to their knees they did him homage.
Matthew 2 : 9-11

The recent account of a halo appearing around the sun, seen at the Medjugorje Youth Festival, has prompted much discussion.

I like to think of the manifestation as symbolic of the monstrance and host.

It could also be viewed as symbolic of the star that guided the wise men to Bethlehem to adore Jesus. It is said that Medjugorje is the New Bethlehem because Christ becomes incarnate in so many hearts there.

Interestingly the sun halo appeared around midday, or shortly after, above St James church
(see image below), as if it had “halted over the place where the child was...”

Like the wise men, we are all invited to enter the house, fall on our knees and adore him, opening our treasures (our hearts) and offering them to him.

The Lord made the heavens;
in his presence are splendour and majesty,
in his sanctuary power and joy.

1 Chronicles 27

Medjugorje Youth Festival

Today is the final full day of the Medjugorje Youth Festival. The Festival finishes early tomorrow morning with Holy Mass (Feast of the Transfiguration) celebrated at 5:00am on Mt Krizevac.

“This is my Son, the Beloved; he enjoys my favour.” We heard this ourselves, spoken from heaven, when we were with him on the holy mountain. 2 Peter 1 : 17-18

Monday, August 04, 2014

Signs of the times...

Here’s a sign sometimes seen at Medjugorje – and in many other places around the world.

It is a supernatural sign of a sort because the King can judge hearts by our response to it.

“For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me a drink; I was a stranger and you welcomed me…” Matthew 25 : 31-46

“And when you come before my Son, in your hearts he will see how much love you had.” August 2, 2014

“Jesus teaches us to put the needs of the poor ahead of our own. Our needs, even if legitimate, will never be so urgent as those of the poor, who lack the necessities of life.” Pope Francis, August 3, 2014

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Cardinal sends message to Medjugorje Youth

Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, has sent a personal message to the tens of thousands of young people from 60 countries participating in the 25th Medjugorje Mladifest.

The Cardinal extended his best regards to all the young people in Medjugorje this week and asked that they pray especially for Our Lady to be with Pope Francis and that God grant the Holy Father all the strength he needs to enthuse us for the Gospel, because he wants everyone to be renewed with the joy of the Gospel and to evangelise.

Cardinal Schönborn also requested the young people earnestly pray to Our Lady, Queen of Peace, to bring peace to the Holy Land, the Middle East and Ukraine.

The Cardinal said he would also pray to Our Lady to bless and protect all the young people in attendance at Medjugorje and to help them have a deep trust in Jesus in all of life’s situations.

Finally, he asked that the young people also pray for him and said that his heart is with them in these blessed days. He concluded: “From me, say thank you to Our Lady for all that she gives us.”

The 69-year-old Austrian Cardinal made a private pilgrimage to Medjugorje four years ago.

He serves as a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, that for the Oriental Churches, and that for Catholic Education, and of the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church. In January 2011 he was appointed among the first members of the newly created Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation and in November 2013, Pope Francis confirmed Cardinal Schönborn as a Member of the Education Congregation.

August message of Our Lady to Mirjana

Dear children, the reason that I am with you, my mission, is to help you for ‘good’ to win, even though this does not seem possible to you now.

I know that you do not understand many things as I also did not understand everything, everything that my Son explained to me while he was growing up alongside me – but I believed him and followed him.

I ask this of you also, to believe me and to follow me.

However, my children, to follow me means to love my Son above everything, to love him in every person without making differences.

For you to be able to do this, I call you anew to renunciation, prayer and fasting.

I am calling you for the Eucharist to be the life of your soul.

I am calling you to be my apostles of light who will spread love and mercy through the world.

My children, your life is only a blink in contrast to eternal life.

And when you come before my Son, in your hearts he will see how much love you had.

In order to spread love in the right way, I am asking my Son, through love, to grant you unity through him, unity among you, unity between you and your shepherds.

Through them my Son always gives himself to you anew and renews your soul.

Do not forget this. Thank you.

Medjugorje message, August 2, 2014

“My child, why have you done this to us? See how worried your father and I have been, looking for you.” “Why were you looking for me?” he replied. “Did you not know that I must be busy with my Father’s affairs?” But they did not understand what he meant.
Luke 3 : 48-50

Medjugorje Youth Festival 2014

“I am calling you to be my apostles of light who will spread love and mercy through the world.”

Opening night of the 25th Medjugorje Youth Festival (Mladifest)

Thursday, July 31, 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.

However, “imminent” news or a decision from Rome during the month of August is most unlikely if we take heed of the notice below issued by Vatican Information Service. August is when most Romans take their summer break and try to get out of the city to escape from the oppressive temperature.

Vatican City, 31 July 2014 (VIS) – We inform our readers that during the month of August, the Vatican Information Service will remain closed. Service will resume on Monday 1 September.

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!