"Dear Children! Today I call you to open yourselves to prayer. May prayer become joy for you. Renew prayer in your families and form prayer groups. In this way, you will experience joy in prayer and togetherness. All those who pray and are members of prayer groups are open to God's will in their hearts and joyfully witness God's love. I am with you, I carry all of you in my heart and I bless you with my motherly blessing. Thank you for having responded to my call." September 25, 2000
WHAT HAS PRAYER TO DO WITH FAITH?
"I believe, because I pray", said Cardinal Ratzinger on one occasion. The experience of that great theologian who is our contemporary, is the experience of the great men and women of Christianity. For the walk of faith through life, nothing else can take the place of a life of prayer. As we begin the month of October which in the Church is also called the month of the rosary, it is a precious experience for us.
The praying of the rosary is only a small part of the rich spiritual and prayer heritage of the Church. It is important because of its simplicity and yet one thing more: it takes the key experiences of New Testament salvation history and considers them through Mary’s eyes. The one praying the rosary understands it is Mary who takes him by the hand and that, yet once more while praying, all that is recalled together.
Fr. Ivan Landeka
N E W S
NUMBER OF COMMUNIONS AND CONCELEBRATIONS
During September in the shrine of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje 160 000 holy communions were distributed and there were 3206 concelebrations at holy masses by priests from home and abroad, that is 107 per day.
Going by the number reported it is evident that there were really a lot of pilgrims. To that we can add that they came to Medjugorje from all parts of the world.
VISIT OF ITALIAN BISHOP
At the end of September retired bishop Msgr Janez Moretti was in Medjugorje for a two day visit. Before retirement Msgr. Moretti served as apostolic nuncio in Brussels, Belgium.
PRAYER MEETINGS IN BELGIUM AND GERMANY
From September 15 - 18 Fr. Slavko Barbaric led prayer meetings in Belgium and Germany. Adoration was held on the evening of September 15 in the Franciscan Church in Brussels. Quite a few people gathered to pray. The already customary meeting was held on September 16th at the national shrine of Beauring where Our Lady at the beginning of 1930 and especially called for prayer for the conversion of sinners. Despite the bad weather and the barricades on the highways because of expensive petrol and gasoline, quite a few faithful gathered for the day-long prayer program which began at 10 AM and ended at 6 PM. After the community praying of the rosary in French, Flemish and German, there followed a talk on the Medjugorje messages. At 12 noon Father Jean Boulanger spoke about the sacrament of reconciliation. During the afternoon program the rosary was prayed, Holy Mass was celebrated and there was an hour of adoration with prayer for healing. Besides the faithful from Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg, a large group of faithful from Congo who are located in Paris also participated. They sang African songs and organized the solemn offering of gifts with music and liturgical dance. The prayer groups led the singing. There truly was a real atmosphere of prayer. Ten confessors were available for confession throughout the entire day. Those who know this shrine well, recognize that the Medjugorje days of prayer are always the most intensive.
“Marian days” were organized September 16th and 17th in Fulda. It was the idea of Archbishop Johannes Dybe, who died in the meantime, and the auxiliary bishop Msgr. Ludwig Schick took his place. Sunday morning he presided at the solemn mass in the presence of many Marian devotees, of which the majority were Medjugorje pilgrims. The first day, in addition to the themes “Mary, sign of unity”, “Renewal 2000 -The Church and a new Europe”, and “The visionaries of Fatima”, there was an organized devotion of the way of the cross, the rosary and celebration of mass. In the evening the well know convert composer - singer Inge Brueck with a choir of young people from Neuhof prepared an evening program of music with testimonials of faith.
The morning solemn holy mass in connection with this Marian days was celebrated in the cathedral by the auxiliary bishop, Msgr. Ludwig Schick. He spoke on the theme, “With Mary into the third millennium”. In the afternoon there was the Medjugorje program (rosary, spiritual talk and adoration) in the Franciscan church at Frauenberg led by Fr. Slavko Barbaric. The church was filled to the last seat. The atmosphere of prayer was truly beautiful. These kind of meetings show that the Medjugorje spirit of prayer has caught many people in all parts of the world and that it brings fruits of conversion and enables the faithful to come with Mary to Jesus and so enter safely into the third millennium.
12TH INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICAN CENTERS OF PEACE.
The representatives of about twenty Latin American countries gathered together from September 22 to 26 for the 12th international meeting of the centers for peace. The theme of this years meeting was “Celebrating the Great Jubilee With Mary”. These centers have arisen in parts of Latin American as the places for the gathering of all those who have felt the importance of the Our Lady’s call in Medjugorje. Their activity is considered mainly to spread the messages and to organize prayer groups and pilgrimages. As we have said, it was the 12th meeting, and the fourth time it was held in Medjugorje. The 650 participants spent the five days in prayer and meditation, exchanging the experiences of their years-long work in the spreading of Our Lady’s message of peace among the faithful of the Spanish speaking world. Particularly stressed was the importance of spiritual growth for each individual in living Our Lady’s messages, as well as the spreading of the messages to others and the establishment and guidance of prayer groups. This is an incentive and a good example for everyone of how it is possible to work together in the spreading of the message of peace.
After the program ended about 100 participants, mainly leaders of prayer groups and Centers of Peace, continued their pilgrimage stay with a three-day spiritual retreat in Medjugorje.
NOTICE TO MEDJUGORJE PILGRIMS ABOUT THE NEW SYSTEM OF VISAS AND PASSPORTS
According to the newest regulations for visa and passport entry into Bosnia-Hercegovina, and so also for coming to Medjugorje, it is possible for citizens of certain countries only if they have an entry visa for Bosnia-Hercegovina in their passport. An entry visa is not necessary for citizens of the following countries: Austria, Bahrein, Belgium, Borneo, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Katar, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Norway, Oman, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United States of America, Vatican, and Yugoslavia,
For citizens of all other countries a visa is necessary for entry into Bosnia-Hercegovina.
According to the same constitution a passport is necessary for all foreign citizens. Therefore, a personal identity card is no longer sufficient, except for citizens of Croatia.
Published by: INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice Mira (Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace), 88266 Medjugorje.
Last Modified 10/04/2000