"Today's youth loves luxury, behaves badly and scorns authority, challenges their parents, sit with crossed legs, and tyrannize their teachers" (Socrates). We would all agree that this sentence is an up-to-date statement of a disappointed parent or a worker in education. But, the Greek philosopher Socrates wrote it more than two and a half thousand years ago. Today's young generation is not the first that does not understand and of which it will be said that many good values gained so far will disappear. It is true that spread among the youth of this time there are forms of behavior that cause concern. They not only cause concern to adults, but also to many young people. Maybe really in those following and in her youthful courage are hidden the successes of many good hopes.
Last week several thousand youth came together in the parish of Medjugorje. They gathered around Jesus' mother, Mary, for a week to get to know Jesus in praying, singing, listening and dialoging. Just when it seemed that Mary was completely lost to theology and pastorals, young people are coming back to the Church of our day. Then how can we have doubts about them?
Fr. Ivan Landeka
N E W S
NUMBER OF COMMUNIONS AND CONCELEBRANTS
During July in the shrine of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje 82,000 Holy Communions were distributed and there were 2,763 concelebrations at Holy Masses by priests from home and abroad, that is 89 per day.
We shall enumerate some of the countries from which pilgrims visited Medjugorje during the month of July: USA, Canada, England, Ireland, Holland, Germany, France, Austria, Latvia, Estonia, Korea, Hungary, Romania, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Montenegro and, of course, Croatia.
FR. RUFUS PEREIRA VISITS MEDJUGORJE
At the end of last month, more precisely July 27-28, Fr. Rufus Pereira, the charismatic and exorcist from India visited at the shrine of the Queen of peace. The first evening of his stay after the evening prayer program he led prayer for inner healing, praying before the Blessed Sacrament. The second day he gave an inspirational sermon at the 7 PM after which he again led the prayer for healing. Along with the foreign pilgrims, also a large number of faithful from Bosnia-Hercegovina and Croatia gathered for it.
INTERNATIONAL YOUTH PRAYER FESTIVAL
The 10th traditional international youth prayer festival was held from July 31 - August 6, 1999. The theme of this year's meeting, in which about 15,000 youth participated, was "God the Father - source of life". The meeting opened July 31st at the evening prayer program. Sub-themes on which the youth dialoged and meditated were:
- "Mary calls: Return to the Father" (Fr. Maurizio de Sanctis);
- "Your Life - the gift of God the Father" ( Ms Jo Croissant Fr. Cosimo Cavaluzzo);
- "Cooperating with God the Father" (Fr. Tim Dieter, Fr. Maurizio de Sanctis);
- "The Father's love will heal you." (Sr. Elvira Petrozzi, Fr. Cosimo Cavaluzzo);
- "Mary, the handmaiden of Life" (Fr. Jozo Zovko, Fr. Cosimo Cavaluzzo);
- "Renewed by the Father's life, you shall be his witnesses" (rosary and Holy Mass on Cross Mountain.
The Medjugorje visionaries also talked to the youth about their experiences. The seminar ended with holy mass on Cross Mountain on August 6th, the feast of the Transfiguration of Jesus. There is a symbolic connection of the final day of the prayer meeting and the feast that the Church celebrates on that day. Many youth, that is, after the week spent in prayer, song, community, and recollection, return to their homes truly transfigured. Confirmation of that is this tenth such encounter. And all those in the future we put in the hands of God's providence, recommending them also to your prayers.
CELEBRATION OF THE EXALTATION OF THE CROSS
The celebration of the Exaltation of the Cross will be held also this year on the first Sunday after the Nativity of Mary, that is, on September 12th.
This is an occasion to introduce all of you who intend to come on pilgrimage to Medjugorje for that feast to a short history of Cross Mountain and the cross erected on it. About one kilometer from the Church of Medjugorje, as the crow flies, rises the Cross Mountain, interconnecting with the hill of apparitions and the church to form a triangle. At its peak (520 meters above sea level) the pastor of that time, Fr. Bernardin Smoljan and the parishioners in 1934 erected an 8.56 meter high reinforced concrete cross. On it are inscribed the words: "To Jesus Christ, Redeemer of the human race, as a sign of their faith, hope and love, the pastor Fra Bernardin Smoljan and the parish of Medjugorje erected [this cross]. From every evil deliver us all, O Jesus." On the back side of the cross in memory of the 1900th anniversary of redemption are inscribed the dates "33 -1933".
Inside the cross itself the builders embedded relics from Rome obtained especially for that occasion, a small piece of the cross which Christians venerate as the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified, the largest part of which is preserved in the church of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem in Rome. The cross was completed on March 15, 1934. From then on the custom arose of celebrating Holy Mass in honor of the Exaltation of the Cross every year at the foot of the cross on the Sunday following September 8th, the Nativity of Our Lady.
The Cross Mountain does not attract so many pilgrims because of natural beauty nor because of the significance of the cross that is erected, but only because a great number of people confirm that after the start of the Medjugorje apparitions they saw various signs of light and others signs on Cross. They all related them to Our Lady's apparitions and to the message of the Medjugorje apparitions - peace between God and man and peace among men. They understood that the cross is central to Our Lady's messages and that the way to peace leads through the cross. Indeed a great many have found peace and their way to God on that mountain. In their pilgrimage devotion and practice they have included the veneration of the Cross. While climbing that difficult path to the Cross on Cross Mountain, pilgrims pray the Way of the Cross. For that there are fifteen bronze reliefs with Our Lady's image portrayed in each one placed along the path. Our Lady accompanies Jesus and us as well on life's way of the cross.
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 08/11/99