"Dear children! Also today I call you to prayer. In this time of grace, may the cross be a sign-post of love and unity for you through which true peace comes. That is why, little children, pray especially at this time that little Jesus, the Creator of peace, may be born in your hearts. Only through prayer will you become my apostles of peace in this world without peace. That is why, pray until prayer becomes a joy for you. Thank you for having responded to my call." November 25, 1999
THE JUBILEE CHRISTMAS
"According to the flesh, there is only one single Mother of Christ, but according to faith we all give birth to Christ." (St. Ambrose)
While interpreting Luke's Gospel for his faithful, St. Ambrose thus honors Jesus's Mother Mary. Her bodily maternity of the Son of God was already a preordained part of her life, but it continues with maternity of the entire Church in which the person of Christ desires to be totally incarnated. Ambrose therefore does not allow for losing time. He his gaze and the gaze of the Church to that which follows - to birth Christ into the world.
The Jubilee Christmas and the Jubilee 2000 first of all charge us with that as our task and and therefore deserve our attention in external celebrations, but still more in acquiring the capacity to birth Christ to this generation. Are in a position to restore the youthfulness of giving birth to our weary Church by our own faith life? The Jubilee is the historical opportunity of this Christian generation: In ourselves and in our vicinity once again to establish a place for the Lord.
It is in this sense that from our heart we wish to all our readers and pilgrims a Blessed Christmas and Noble Born Jubilee!
Fr. Ivan Landeka
N E W S
CROATIAN PRESIDENT FRANJO TUDJMAN DIES
On Friday December 10, 1999 Dr. Franjo Tudjman, the President of Croatia, died. We report the news about President Tudjman's death to the friends of Medjugorje because of his ties and interest in the events at Medjugorje. During his Presidency he visited the Shrine of the Queen of Peace three times. On more than one occasion he also expressed thanks to the Medjugorje pilgrims for helping unselfishly during the war in Bosnia-Hercegovina and Croatia. We commend our deceased President and the Croatian people to your prayers.
NUMBER OF COMMUNIONS AND CONCELEBRANTS
In the month of November at the shrine of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje 50,000 Holy Communions were distributed and at the holy masses there were 1,085 concelebrations by priests from home and abroad, that is, 36 per day.
During November the most numerous groups were from: United States, Germany, France, Australia, Hungary, Austria, Vietnam, Poland, Canada, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Italy, Korea, Haiti, Lebanon, Republic of South Africa, Portugal, Letonia, the Philippines and, of course, Croatia.
MEETING OF THE WORKERS OF MEDJUGORJE ORGANIZATIONS
On November 20th at the Franciscan monastery in Slano a meeting was held for all the workers of the Mothers' Village, the "Domus Pacis" house of prayer, the "Medjugorje-MIR" Humanitarian Association, The Friends of the Talented Fund and the Medjugorje "MIR" Information Center. The meeting in which about 30 workers took part was conducted by pastor, Fr. Ivan Landeka, Fr. Slavko Barbaric and Fr. Miljenko Stojic. Fr. Slavko addressed those gathered on the theme "The Gift-Concerns Developing in Medjugorje". The aim of this annually held meeting is a deepening consciousness about the responsibility of working with pilgrims and all those who cover the activity of these organizations.
They are recommended to our prayers!
SEMINAR FOR VICTIMS OF THE HOMELAND WAR
From December 2nd to 5th a seminar was held in Medjugorje for the victims of the homeland war (widows and parents of the deceased, missing in action and captured Croat defenders). The theme of the meeting was based on the words of St. Paul: "Who will separate us from the love of Christ?"
At the conclusion of the seminar this Joint Declaration of the participants was adopted:
"In these difficult times for the Croatian people and state, Medjugorje all the while has been a signpost for where and how to go further. Many have right in this difficult, but simultaneously gracious time, found comfort and strength in Mary's patronage. And this seminar was one step toward helping everyone, in the light of Jesus' gospel messages and the messages that Mary gives here, to look together according to that light for new ways, ways of hope against every hope. In this seminar, as always, we thought about those dearest to us and sought to conform our thoughts to those of Jesus and Mary, being aware that only with Jesus and Mary can we be Christians in the third millennium."
CELEBRATION OF ST. NICHOLAS DAY
On the feast of St. Nicholas, December 6th, a large number of children gathered in the Medjugorje church for a communal celebration. This year also the arrival of St. Nicholas aroused joy in the childrens' hearts. There was no end to their prayers, enthusiasm and joy. St. Nicholas this time also rewarded the childrens' goodness, and those who are not always obedient were invited to be better, especially now when Christmas is at the door.
FEAST OF IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
In recent days the atmosphere of prayer, peace and community characterized the shrine of Medjugorje due to the large number of pilgrims groups that visited it for the feast day of Immaculate Conception. Local pilgrims came from all parts of the country, while the most numerous foreign pilgrims groups were from France, Italy, USA, Czech Republic, England, Brazil, Austria and Korea.
On the day itself the Peace Rosary was prayed on Apparition Hill. Several thousand took part in the evening Holy Mass.
A prayer vigil for the New Year will be held also this year in the church of Medjugorje. The Vigil begins at 10 PM, and ends with Holy Mass at midnight. These are days when the greatest number of young people gather in the shrine of Medjugorje. Therefore, on this occasion we invite all young people who are still thinking about where to close the old year and bring in the New Year, to spend that "craziest" of nights with their peers in the shrine of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje, and through prayer and song go on in life with the Lord.
7TH MEETING OF LEADERS OF CENTERS OF PEACE AND MEDJUGORJE PRAYER GROUPS
In Bulletin #127 we announced the Seventh Meeting of the leaders of Centers of Peace and Medjugorje Prayer Groups. The parish office of Medjugorje for the 7th year already is organizing a meeting for the leaders of prayer groups, and of charitable and pilgrimage groups connected with Medjugorje. This time it will also be held in Neum at Hotel "Sunce" from March 19th to 24th, 2000 (The Hotel "Sunce" has been renovated!) The theme of the seminar is: "Medjugorje - A Prophetic Thrust For the 21st Century." The program for the Seventh Meeting for Leaders of Centers of Peace and Medjugorje Prayer Groups can be found on our web pages. You can also get it at the Information Office of the shrine during your pilgrimage.
Since the number of spaces is limited and each year the number of participants is always greater, we ask you to register your coming to the prayer-educational seminar as soon as possible and no later than the end of December. You can register by fax at +387 88 651 444 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (marked "For the Meeting of Leaders at Neum") or right at the Information Office of the Shrine.
Simultaneous translation for all language groups will be organized. The price for lodging, transport and seminar is 315 DM per person for double room (a day extra!). Single supplement is 40 DM. Payment will be made to the Seminar organizer upon arrival at the hotel. There is possibility for transport from the Split airport to Hotel "Sunce" in Neum. All who need transport on March 19 should give notice of the flight number and exact time of arrival to the Association "Medjugorje-Mir" in Split no later than the end of December by fax +385 21 361 354. For the last day transport will be organized from Neum to Medjugorje. Radio and earphones for simultaneous translation should be brought along. Radio and earphones will also be made available during the seminar.
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 12/15/99