"Dear children! Wake up from the sleep of unbelief and sin, because this is a time of grace which God gives you. Use this time and seek the grace of healing of your heart from God, so that you may see God and man with the heart. Pray in a special way for those who have not come to know God's love, and witness with your life so that they also can come to know God and His immeasurable love. Thank you for having responded to my call." February 25, 2000
THE REALITY OF TESTIFYING
At all times throughout history the Church has tirelessly repeated Jesus' command: "Go and make all nations my disciples!" With the water of baptism God bestows on man the grace of adoption, but also the duty of making others Christians. That is a universal command that holds equally for each one. So the human creature would not forget its order, God arouses him in various ways: through joy and sorrow, sickness and health, success and failure. So that he would not forget the necessity and duty of testifying God again uses various occasions. One of them is also this Jubilee Year 2000 of the birth of Christ. Another occasion is the special presence of Our Lady here in Medjugorje. And her latest message again brings this problem to reality. A Christian is a man for others or he is not a Christian at all. Others on the path of our life are for this that they lead us to Life - Christ. Opening ourselves to them, therefore, we purify our heart and permit God to fill it with this immeasurable love.
Fr. Branko Rados
N E W S
NUMBER OF COMMUNIONS AND CONCELEBRANTS
In February at the shrine of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje 23 000 Holy Communions were distributed and there were 608 concelebrations at Holy Mass by priests from home and abroad.
February, like January, is usually a month with the least number of pilgrims visiting. Yet, in spite of that, we recorded the visit of groups from: France, Lebanon, Ireland, Poland, Austria, Czech Republic, USA, Germany, Slovenia, Italy, Canada, England, Korea, Australia and, of course, Croatia.
MISSIONARY TRAVEL OF FR. SVETOZAR KRALJEVIC
At the invitation of Medjugorje pilgrims and Centers of Peace, in February Fr. Svetozar Kraljevic visited the United States of America and England. Upon his return he said the following:
"Again and more than ever we realize that the priests from Medjugorje have to travel even to the most distant places in the world and get around to the prayer groups and communities that have come together for the purpose of personal and community Christian renewal, for a more intensive Christian living and for spreading the message that Blessed Virgin Mary has spoken through the visionaries in Medjugorje.
Already a tradition, a Marian conference is held every year in February (first Friday, Saturday and Sunday) in the California city of San Ramon, near San Francisco. The chief organizer is Anna Marie Maagdenburg with Rev. Richard J. Culver. Anna Maria is well known to us in Medjugorje for the expert and practical help that she unselfishly provides to young people with impaired hearing.
In this Jubilee Year the main theme of the meeting was "THE YEAR 2000 OF CHRIST'S PRESENCE". The principal participant was the Most Reverend bishop Kenneth D. Steiner. About 1200 participants with hearty applause welcomed his strong call to practical living of the holy sacraments and daily prayer. Listening to Bishop Steiner all of us again discovered how it is possible in a joyful and interesting manner to speak about the most serious truths of the Christian life. I spoke about pilgrimage as being prayer made incarnate. The believer on pilgrimage experiences the essence of prayer which biblically engages human life and helps the praying person especially to experience prayer and clearly to witness his Christianity to the world.
We all listened to the words of Fr. Rene Laurentin as to the words of one's beloved teacher. He spoke about the place, meaning, and nature of Marian calls in the modern Church and world. The words of visionary Ivan Dragicevic, full of courage and hope, were listened to by all with gratitude. The birth of his second daughter stirred a special feeling of respect in everyone.
The community of Medjugorje prayer groups held a retreat from February 18-20 in the town of Nuneaton near London. About 80 leaders and involved members of those communities gathered in the monastery of the Dominican Sisters. Daily Eucharistic celebration, praying the rosary, adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament, meditation on the reality of the cross, sufferings, and death of our Lord, meditation on the Christian life and vocation that we have, were our themes that filled up those three days. The participants especially stressed how they realize that they need to organize these kinds of Christian, spiritual encounters to maintain the spirit that Mary began in the hearts of all and even more so to be able to live a Christian life in the modern world, full of temptations and doubts."
DAY OF THE SICK AND INFIRM
A day for sick and infirm people is designated in the program for the Jubilee year in the parish of Medjugorje and, that according to the recommendation of the bishops of Bosnia-Hercegovina, to be on February 11, the day of Our Lady of Lourdes. At the evening mass the parish church of St. James was full of sick and infirm people of the parish and of neighboring places. On every first Friday throughout this Jubilee Year the evening liturgy program will be dedicated to the sick. In future years in the parish of Medjugorje the day of Our Lady of Lourdes will be designated as a day for the sick and infirm.
"RADIO PRAYER GROUP"
Every Tuesday on the "Mir" Medjugorje radio station the program "Pray together with joyful hearts" is broadcast.
On Saturday February 19, the members of prayer groups for all parts of Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina gathered in Medjugorje for an unordinary way of prayer. In question, namely, is the group that participates every Tuesday in the prayer that Fr. Slavko Barbaric leads on the waves of the radio station "Mir" Medjugorje. The members are all those that the radio broadcast reaches, and wish also in this way to be connected with Our Lady's messages of peace and conversion by means of prayer. About 130 members from Bosnia-Hercegovina and Croatia came together. Their intention is to meet in prayer by means of radio not only on Tuesday, but all the more often also on pilgrimages to the shrine of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje.
REMEMBERING THE HOLY LAND
The Medjugorje parish group of pilgrims that went on pilgrimage to the Holy Land in November last year, gathered February 19th at the evening prayer program in the church of St. James, Medjugorje. The evening mass was presided at by Fr. Bozo Lujic, who was their guide in the Holy Land. In a moving sermon he reminded those present of the Divine footprints and the ways on which they made pilgrimage, stressing the healing activity of Jesus, both the bodily as well as the even more important way - the spiritual. Something that in this Jubilee Year we should not forget!
ON FOOT TO MEDJUGORJE
The Polish pilgrim Henrik Kozlowski stayed in Medjugorje some days on his journey to the Holy Land. Henry is 48 years old and has already made pilgrimage on foot to Santiago de Compostela, Lourdes and Fatima. The goal of his journeying on foot is to reach the Holy Land on March 23rd to meet with the Holy Father who will then be on pilgrimage in the homeland of Jesus.
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 03/08/2000