"Dear children! I desire to share my joy with you. In my Immaculate Heart I feel that there are many of those who have drawn closer to me and are, in a special way, carrying the victory of my Immaculate Heart in their hearts by praying and converting. I desire to thank you and to inspire you to work even more for God and His kingdom with love and the power of the Holy Spirit. I am with you and I bless you with my motherly blessing. Thank you for having responded to my call." August 25, 2000
THE CROSS AND THE CRUCIFIED
The celebration of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in the parish of Medjugorje has acquired a special significance by the construction of a large cross on Mount Sipovac. The erected cross has changed the name of the mountain: from then on it is Krizevac: Cross Mountain. Since 1981, catching site of that cross from near and far, millions have prayed, wept and rejoiced. Under that cross the Crucified has changed many human destinies, under that cross innumerable conversions from disbelief to faith have taken place. A cross vowed by the parish on the occasion of the Year of Redemption has become the common good of Christians from the whole world.
The cross, by itself, separated from the Crucified, does not mean much. The Crucified gives it sense and significance. Also those who stood beneath His cross give it meaning, especially the Lord’s Mother. Human life has from time immemorial been confronted with suffering and the search for relief. In the cross and in the Crucified both are contained - the reality of suffering and dying and that reversal that took place in the Crucified. In the cross and on Cross Mountain we commemorate that and build it into our life.
Fr. Ivan landeka
N E W S
THE BISHOP OF SAINT VINCENT AND GRENADA TO YOUTH
At the recently held Eleventh International Youth Prayer Festival on the theme: “The Word Became Flesh and Dwelt Among Us”, one of the speakers was Msgr. Robert Rivas, bishop of Kingstown, Saint Vincent and Grenada. On that occasions he addressed the assembled young people:
“My dear young people, I am writing to you in the spirit of the Great Jubilee Year. What a privilege it is to be here with you in Medjugorje for this International Youth Prayer Festival. Thank you for hearing the call and responding to our Blessed Mother’s invitation to come together in this oasis of prayer, devotion and spiritual renewal. I admire you for coming from many continents to bear witness to your faith in Jesus Christ, her Son. Thank you for keeping your appointment with Jesus for the Jubilee Year.
Our great Jubilee profession of faith is centered in Christ, in the mystery of the Incarnation. St. John, the beloved disciple, beckons us to take a deep look into the mystery of the Incarnation and the birth of Christ when he writes in his Gospel: The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. These are words of life. This is how close God has come to us. The divine has touched the human. All that was waiting, indeed all of creation, jumped for joy at the announcement of Christ’s birth. This is the great event we are celebrating in this Jubilee Year. Young people, may your hearts leap for joy today for your God dwells with you.
“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn. 1:14).
Mary is at the heart of this great mystery of faith. She said “yes” to God and gave Christ to us. The birth of Christ opens the door to the greatest love story ever told or written. Again, St. John takes us to the heart of the story: “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life” (Jn 3:16.) Mary is the bearer of that love incarnate. Her message to you, young people, is to be bearers of that love to your friends and your peers at the beginning of this new millennium. We are all part of this great love story which has to be lived and told until the end of time. He promised to be with us for all time. This is love, love that lasts for ever. Your faith in Jesus Christ is the most precious ‘gift’ of love you could share with others. Remember always your Mother’s words to you: “Do whatever He tells you!”
“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn. 1:14).
Jesus emptied Himself (Phil 2:7) and identified with us in everything except sin (Heb 4: 14-16). Jesus, therefore, knows where He stands with us. Where do you stand with Jesus? Our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, says that Jesus expects great things of young people. Indeed, at the beginning of this new millennium a great responsibility is being placed in your hands: To receive the faith, to preserve it and to pass it on to your peers and to future generations. Therefore, you cannot wait to see what others are doing. You have to be a light! Do you have a vision of the way forward for you as young Christian women and men? Do you have a plan for deepening and strengthening your commitment to Christ? Where you stand with Christ is a commitment that requires the energy and vibrancy of your youth. Give your youthful zeal to Christ today! Empty yourselves in service and love for others. You could make a big difference in the Church and your society.
Do not be afraid to be the saints of the new millennium!! (15th World Youth Day, message of the Holy Father #3). Do not be afraid to be women and men of hope. Your bishops are counting on you! The Church is counting on you. In his message to you for this year’s World Youth Day, our Holy Father points Christ out to you as the one Who is there for you and the one to Whom you must go. “Turn then to no one, except Jesus”, he says. “Do not look elsewhere for that which only He can give you” (#3).
Seek always to find Christ everywhere, in everything and in everyone. See Him in the disfigured faces of young people, your peers. Hear His cry in the cries of the poor, the rejected and those crushed by suffering. Hear the cries for justice and be concerned about the needs of others. Meet Christ daily in His Word and fall in love with Him in the Eucharist. Let your prayer be nourished by Eucharistic Adoration. Without a personal relationship to Christ, our lives are empty. Endeavor to make this one of your youthful priorities. Christ wants you to be happy. Therefore, live your faith joyfully. Jesus did not come to take away your joy but rather that through Him you would come to know real joy.
“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn. 1:14).
Young people, I exhort you to make God’s choice for life, your choice for life. Become missionaries of life. Listen, as Mary did, to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and be ready and willing to go where Christ needs you to represent Him today. Do not be afraid. Jesus, the Word made flesh, the Bread of Life, your brother, is with you!
I bless you, with your families, your priests, Religious and friends.
Our Lady, Queen of Peace, pray for us.
FR. IVAN LANDEKA LEAVES MEDJUGORJE - MEDJUGORJE HAS A NEW PASTOR
After twelve years of unselfish and dedicated service to God and all the pilgrims who have sought their way to Him, and to the parishioners of the parish of Medjugorje, Fr. Ivan Landeka has gone to a different ministry. Fr. Ivan is undertaking the ministry of pastor in the parish of Humac which is known to pilgrims as the starting point of the traditional Peace March for the anniversary of the apparitions and the parish from which Franciscans have for years come to Medjugorje to hear confessions.
In the name of all of you who have felt Fr. Ivan’s concern and care in the course of your pilgrimages to Medjugorje we wish to thank him heartily for every good deed he has done. And there was an abundance of them! We promise him also in this way that our prayers will accompany him in his continuing service to the brothers and sisters.
Also assistant pastor Fr. Branimir Musa has left Medjugorje and undertaken the ministry of Guardian at the Franciscan monastery in Humac. In the name of all of you, who, moved by Fr. Branimir’s inspired sermons, have discovered the love of God, we heartily thank him and recommend his ministry to your prayers.
The new pastor of the parish of Medjugorje is Fr. Ivan Sesar, a Franciscan of the Hercegovina Franciscan Province and a doctor of canon law. We hereby wish to express our sincere welcome to him and to the new assistant pastor Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic and promise them our cooperation and prayers.
JUBILEE 2000 AND MARY
In the letter Tertio Millennio Adveniente Holy Father John Paul II proclaimed that “The affirmation of the central place of Christ cannot therefore be separated from the recognition of the role played by his Most Holy Mother”(43). The calendar of Jubilee celebrations commemorates in a special way the feastdays of Mary linked with the mystery of Incarnation. On September 8th the commemoration of Mary’s birth is celebrated in conjunction with the nativity of Christ.
At the shrine of “Our Lady of Divine Love” in Rome the 20th International Mariological Marian Congress is being celebrated in conjunction with the Jubilee of Marian Shrines. At midnight on Saturday September 23rd the pilgrimage on foot starts from St. John Lateran to the shrine of “Divine Love”. On Sunday September 24th the Holy Father will close the Marian Congress and the Jubilee of Marian Shrines with a solemn mass in St. Peter’s Square.
On the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, Saturday October 7th, the original Fatima image of the Mother of God will arrive at St. Peter’s Square where devotees of Mary from the whole world will keep vigil together in prayer in preparation for the act of consecrating the third millennium to the protection of Mary on the occasion of the Jubilee of Bishops. All the Marian groups of the world are invited to participate in the preparation and in this act of consecration.
SEMINARS AT “DOMUS PACIS”
In recent days at the “Domus Pacis” House of Prayer three fasting and prayer seminars were conducted for Polish and French pilgrims. At the same place a seminar for a group of blind people from Croatia was conducted.
SEMINAR FOR GUIDES
Because of the interest of many who wish to work as guides at the shrine of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje, the Association of Pilgrim Guides in the parish of Medjugorje organized a seminar from August 21 - 25th. After the seminar an examination was given. All those who finish this seminar successfully gain the possibility of membership in the Association of Guides, and by that fact also acquire the possibility of working with pilgrim groups. This means that all those who wish to work as guides in the shrine must have learned and acquired sufficient knowledge to be able to provide reliable information to the pilgrims with whom they will be working in the future.
The young people heard lectures in five areas: Scriptural messages (Fr. Miljenko Stojic), Christian messages (Fr. Milan Loncar), History of the Church among the Croatian people (Fr. Ivan Maric), Our Lady’s Messages (Fr. Slavko Barbaric), and Tourism and pilgrimage in the Medjugorje events (Maria Dugandzic).
We take this opportunity to request all those who lead groups to Medjugorje to hire a local guide who can greatly help them during their stay in Medjugorje and, most importantly, they are the persons who are prepared and trained for providing reliable information, and who do their work in cooperation with the Information Office at the shrine of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje.
Published by: INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice Mira (Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace), 88266 Medjugorje.
Last Modified 09/06/2000