"Dear children! This is the time of grace. Little children, today in a special way with little Jesus, whom I hold in my embrace, I am giving you the possibility to decide for peace. Through your 'yes' for peace and your decision for God, a new possibility for peace is opened. Only in this way, little children, this century will be for you a time of peace and well-being. Therefore, put little newborn Jesus in the first place in your life and He will lead you on the way of salvation. Thank you for having responded to my call." December 25, 1999
T I M E
The end of the year and the beginning of the next millennium is an opportunity for many to underline their own person. So some go through the trouble to create as much fear as possible, while others await the new century only to get rid of some of their difficulties. On average obviously is interior insecurity for the former and a personal feeling of impotence for the latter. The majority is conscious that shifts and turning points do not happen in a short span of time.
The time in which we are living we have already called "the new time". But to a large extent that which we call new is, nevertheless, just "a different time" from the preceding. The concept of time and its content today has countless interpretations. What ought it to mean for the Christian two millennia after Jesus' coming? Besides all the appreciation of the celebrations that are being suggested for the beginning off 2000, a Christian ought to connect the idea of time with what Jesus said at his meeting with Zacchaeus: "I must stay at your house today." (Lk 19:5) Here there is contained something authentically new. Wishing everyone a blessed New Year, I would wish that we be open to the Lord's word, "Today I must stay in hour house!" That would be a life for us completely new and thereby really begins a new time.
Fr. Ivan Landeka
N E W S
CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR IN MEDJUGORJE
As In addition to the evening prayer program in church, to prepare for Christmas the rosary was prayed on Apparition Hill during the novena before Christmas. During Advent at the "Domus Pacis" House of Prayer three fasting and prayer seminars were conducted. About 130 pilgrims from home and abroad participated in these seminars, desiring through prayer and fasting to prepare for Christmas and to draw closer to the mystery of God born on earth. During the entire year of 1999 in the house of prayer 57 seminars were held with various themes and participants.
During the Christmas holidays peace prevailed in the shrine of the Queen of Peace with an atmosphere of prayer and unity among the faithful who arrived from all parts of the world. For the feast of Christmas itself there were about 800 pilgrims in Medjugorje. The most numerous groups were from France, Korea, Germany, Belgium and Letonia.
On Christmas Eve about 3000 faithful took part in Holy Mass. The Eucharistic celebration began with a childrens' musical-recitative presentation and thereby wished a Merry Christmas to all the assembly of the faithful and to the Medjugorje pilgrims from around the world.
At 10 pm with the church full of faithful began the prayer vigil that ended with holy mass at midnight. The feast of Christmas itself passed in the Christmas peace and joy of pilgrims and parishioners gathered around their Mother.
ANNUAL APPARITION OF JAKOV DECEMBER 25, 1999.
At the last daily apparition of September 12, 1998 Our Lady told Jakov olo that he will have an apparition once a year and that on Christmas day, December 25th. Thus it was also this year.
The apparition began at 3.00 pm and lasted 10 minutes. Our Lady came joyful and in a golden dress with the baby Jesus in her arms. She spoke about the secrets and blessed everyone. She gave a message:
"Dear children! Today on the birthday of my Son, when my heart is filled with immeasurable joy and love, I invite you to a complete openness and to a complete abandonment to God. Throw all darkness out of your heart and allow God's light and God's love to enter into your heart and to dwell there forever. Be carriers of God's light and love to all mankind, so that all in you and through you may feel and experience true light and love which only God can give you. I bless you with my motherly blessing."
VISIT OF ARCHBISHOP FRANIC
Even though in the advanced years of his life, the great friend of Medjugorje, retired Archbishop of Split-Makarska, Msgr Frane Franic, visited Medjugorje December 20th. During his one day private visit he celebrated holy mass in the chapel of apparitions.
The day before in Mostar there was a presentation of the Archbishop's book, The Church, Pillar of Truth.
FIFTH INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF PRIESTS
The Fifth International Meeting of Priests begins June 30th and ends July 6th, 2000. The theme of the meeting is: "THE PRIEST - MAN OF THE MOST BLESSED TRINITY AND SERVANT OF THE LORD'S BODY!"
Each day (except July 2nd) the meeting begins at 9 AM with prayer of Lauds in Latin, led by Don Cosimo Cavaluzzo.
Friday June 30: 18:00 Rosary
Themes for each day
Sunday July 2: "Jesus, the Great High Priest gives Himself as a victim on the cross!"
Monday July 3: "The Priest, servant of the Lord's Body!"
Wednesday July 5: "Come to me all you who labor and are heavily burdened!"
Thursday July 6: Sharing of experiences, suggestions, testimonies
Daily Program: 09:00 Lauds in Latin
It is recommended for all priests who intend to participate in this Seminar to bring along:
a small FM radio and earphones, bible and Latin breviary if possible, alb and stole.
All meetings will be held in the hall behind the church. During the seminar meeting with the visionaries and other witnesses will be possible. Departure to the Hill of Apparition and to Cross Mountain will be organized. Every evening the priests together will all participate in the prayer program.
The parish community donates room and board to all priests who will participate in the seminar. On arrival in Medjugorje it is sufficient to register in the parish office. Then parish families will take care of you for the duration of the entire seminar. Expenses for the presenters will be covered by five mass intentions.
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 12/29/99