M E D I T A T I O N
Even after eighteen years from the beginning of Our Lady's apparitions, the parish and the immediate witnesses of the first apparitions on Crnica mountain have not completely finalized their impressions. Meanwhile the name of the mountain has changed, many things have changed and the generation born in those years has grown up. Millions of pilgrims have passed through the parish. At work through all these years have been critics and advocates of the apparitions. But one thing stays unchanged - a multitude of the faithful gathers everyday and opens up to God for him to surprise them and shower them with gifts of grace. In the first days it was the opposition of the government, later on it was the wars and the advisories not to travel over here. The pilgrims' heart did not yield to being bothered and dangers did not frighten them. Day after day fill new pilgrims and those already long known to us fill the church of St. James and overflow Apparition Hill and Cross Mountain.
God's work here has depended on little people, on priests, men and women religious who are no better than others. Here God chooses the unknown - not to shame the great and the wise - but for the one to open the eyes of the other.
Medjugorje does not cease to surprise. It does not cease to be a wonder. We believers are not allowing the ardor of prayer, fasting and the spirit of repentance to be extinguished. But what is that in comparison to what God is doing, to what Our Lady is doing for us?
Father Ivan Landeka
N E W S
"NINE NOVENAS OF PRAYER"
On the occasion of a report in the press about "nine novenas of prayer" Fr. Jozo Zovko has published an announcement which we bring here in full.
Fr. Jozo Zovko
I am writing this declaration due to a situation which arose in connection with a letter that appeared May 4, 1999. The letter calls for nine novenas of prayer for peace in the world and especially in the Balkans. The letter is based on the message of the Queen of Peace and the experience of the Church at Lepanto and in Croatia.
The letter is signed with my name without my personal signature. The letter is datelined at Siroki Brijeg, but under the title: Appeal for Medjugorje. Because of the artificial improvisation of texts that are most frequently catastrophic and full of fear and fatalistic threats, I feel the duty to protest against these letters and texts.
In truth these fatalistic and threatening texts are obviously contrary to the messages of the Queen of Peace who for eighteen years as a mother has been arousing, instructing and inspiring millions of pilgrims and followers toward an apostolate of prayer and fasting.
She always humbly and wholeheartedly thanks everyone that has already responded and is attempting to respond to her messages.
Yes, I do believe that it is possible to stop war by prayer and fasting, as the Queen of Peace teaches us.
Yes, I do believe that the prayer of the Church is changing the face of the earth and converting the hearts of people.
Our Lady is a Mother and she has never threatened with war or catastrophe. Her love awaits children, looks for children, loves her children.
Therefore I declare: The above mentioned letters were not written by me, nor signed by me nor did I in any way whatsoever participate in composing their content and message.
Fr. Jozo Zovko
FEAST OF CORPUS CHRISTI AND CONFIRMATION
On Thursday June 3rd the Church celebrated the feast of Corpus Christi which this year has a special place in the memory of those confirmed in Medjugorje. Seventy one young men and woman received the sacrament of Confirmation as the sign of their Christian maturity. The sacrament was administered to them by the local bishop Msgr. Ratko Peric who presided at the solemn mass in the parish church. Besides with the confirmed, their sponsors and parents several hundred other faithful participated in the Eucharist. In his sermon Bishop Peric emphasized fostering the spirit of truth which they will receive in the sacrament of Confirmation. He called on them to witness for the truth which is Jesus Christ himself with a mature, faithful life.
At the beginning of the solemn mass Bishop Peric blessed the new church doors, the new confessionals and the tabernacle.
It was also especially festive after the evening mass when a processions with the Most Blessed Sacrament was held in the church yard. The Holy Mass and the procession was led by Fr. Branko Rados. The evening prayer program ended with benediction with the Blessed Sacrament in front of the Church.
STUDENTS IN MEDJUGORJE
Amidst the local faithful these last days has been especially a good number of students who at the end their school year go on their regular vacation trips. A large number of them have Medjugorje as one of their destinations where they do not forget to thank the Queen of Peace for their successfully ended school year and for their schooling.
Published by: INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice mira (Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace), 88266 Medjugorje, BiH, fax number: +387-88-651-444.
Last Modified 06/16/99