"Dear children! At this time of grace, I call you to prayer. Little children, you work much but without God´s blessing. Bless and seek the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to lead you at this time so that you may comprehend and live in the grace of this time. Convert, little children, and kneel in the silence of your hearts. Put God in the center of your being so that, in that way, you can witness in joy the beauty that God continually gives in your life. Thank you for having responded to my call." May 25, 2001
TWENTY YEARS AFTER
Twenty years since the beginning of the events of Medjugorje is enough time to give us a sufficient distance to observe the beginnings and the ensuing development. A greater chronological distance facilitates a sober distinction between what is central from what is secondary, and allows the focusing on what was essential all the time, without ever being questioned.
What is the permanent content of the events of Medjugorje throughout all these years? What can be considered as central, permanent and generally valid for the life of Christians today? In discerning the phenomenon of Medjugorje, this has to be continuously examined and underlined.
In the life of a Christian, there are forms of behaviour and substance, which are irreplaceable. These elements were given and repeated to us by Jesus. Two millenniums of Christianity have - without any doubt shown the righteousness of the basic elements of the life of a believer.
One of the main elements in the messages of Our Lady is that piety and spirituality are not to be hidden or to be ashamed of. Our Lady underlines this at a time, which is unfavourable for expressions of piety and of spirituality, which are indispensable for life. Let us not forget that these themes are very poorly and shyly represented in the preaching of the Church.
While we hear more and more about renouncing food for the sake of bodily beauty, Our Lady speaks of renouncing food fasting as an exercise in the imitation of the life of Jesus, and finding inner peace. While the opinion prevails that prayer can be replaced, as it is supposed to be just demanding and asking Our Lady calls to prayer, without necessarily saying why or for whom. While speaking of reconciliation, we strongly think about its underlying political, social and public aspect - Our Lady speaks of reconciliation with God and with oneself. Integral reconciliation means reconciliation of inner tensions and enmities within a person, because these tensions and enmities remain within man even when political, social and public peace is assured. All this says that Medjugorje and similar movements in the world are a real need of Christianity today, and that if we approach them with faith they will fulfil their role in a period of the life of the Church. They will fulfil it also because, in their way, they underline principally what is essential in the Gospel.
Fra Ivan Landeka
NUMBER OF COMMUNIONS AND NUMBER OF CONCELEBRANTS
In the month of April, 115.000 communions were distributed and 1925 priests concelebrated Holy Mass in Medjugorje.
Pilgrims were here from Slovenia, Germany, Italy, Albania, Romania, Poland, Belgium, Holland, Ireland, France, Malaysia, Slovakia, The Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, the Caribbean, Hungary, Latvia, Letonia, USA, Canada, Luxemburg, Korea, Indonesia, Brazil, Vietnam, England, Scotland, Mexico, Lebanon, La Reunion, Argentina, Chile, Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina.
MEETING OF THE PRAYER GROUP «PRAY TOGETHER WITH A JOYFUL HEART»
On Sunday April 22, the prayer group Pray Together With a Joyful Heart met for the fourth time in Medjugorje. This prayer group was founded by fra Slavko Barbaric, with the desire to gather the friends of the Queen of Peace for prayer on the radio-waves Mir-Medjugorje. Every Tuesday from 8 to 9 pm (in summer from 9 to 10 pm) and several times the year in Medjugorje itself, it reunites hundreds of faithful within the broadcasting range of radio Mir-Medjugorje.
This Sunday, 400 members first gathered on Apparition Hill to pray the rosary, then they met in the parish hall to share their experiences, suggestions and personal needs and they ended the day taking part in the Evening Prayer Program in the parish church. During the meeting, they made some simple decisions regarding prayer to keep them united outside their regular meetings on Tuesdays on the radio: Every day, they will pray 7 Our Fathers, 7 Hail Marys and 7 Glory Bes for the intentions of the Queen of Peace, and they will join the Novena to the Queen of Peace, which will unite all Medjugorje prayer groups and Centres in the world.
Fra Branko Rado, who accompanies them during their regular meetings in Medjugorje, distributed Membership Cards, with which they give witness of their belonging to the Catholic Church and to the Queen of Peace, as well as medals signs of perpetual prayer - and images of fra Slavko Barbaric, the founder of the prayer group.
The next meeting in Medjugorje will take place around the Anniversary of the Apparitions.
FIRST COMMUNION IN THE PARISH OF MEDJUGORJE
In the Parish of Medjugorje, the young children traditionally receive their First Communion on the first Sunday in May. This year, 81 children received this sacrament of unity with the Eucharistic Jesus.
On Saturday, May 5th, the children experienced their First Holy Confession, in order for Jesus to become their truth and their peace. The following day, Sunday, May 6th, they received their First Holy Communion, so that Jesus may transform, teach and protect them. Their Godparents accompanied them in the procession into the Church along with Sister Slavica Koul, Father Branko Rado, and other Franciscan sisters and priests. Celebrating this most special day with them, were their parents, who gave them the good example in the family. Older children in the parish choir also helped them with their singing to prepare their hearts for the meeting with Jesus, so that He may manifest Himself in them.
In the message of February 25, 1998, Our Lady said: Only if you come closer to Jesus will you comprehend the immeasurable love He has for each of you you will become more open to the gift of faith and love towards the Church and the people who are around you.
Let us pray for these children and for all people in the parish of Medjugorje, that they may always be faithful to its mission in the Church!
THE GOLDEN JUBILEE OF PRIESTHOOD OF THREE HERCEGOVIAN FRANCISCANS
On May 13th, in the parish church of Posuje, Fra Dobroslav Begic, fra Marko Dragicevic and fra Leonard Orec celebrated in a solemn eucharistic celebration 50 years of their priesthood. In the Mass, the homily was given by fra Milan Loncar, director of the ZIRAL editions in Mostar.
Through a prayer-tridium, the faithful prepared themselves for this great jubilee, which is important not only for the priests, but also for the faithful, for whom they cared untiringly during 50 years. All three Franciscans are linked to Medjugorje: fra Marko Dragicevic was born in the parish of Medjugorje, Fra Dobroslav Begic was its chaplain from 1991 to 1995, and fra Leonard Orec was its pastor from 1988 to 1991, and later Director of the humanitarian association Medjugorje-Mir, based in Split.
The great number of faithful who gathered for solemn Holy Mass shows the important role the Franciscans played in the Church of Hercegovina in the past. In the name of all our parishioners and those who came to Medjugorje during the last 20 years, we convey our best wishes and thanks to them for all they have done.
A PERUVIAN BISHOP IN MEDJUGORJE
Mgr. José Antúnez de Mayolo, Bishop from the archdiocese of Ayacucho in Peru, came for a private visit to Medjugorje from May 13 to 16, 2001. These are his impressions:
I heard about Medjugorje for the first time several years ago from a cousin of mine who lives in Germany and who had come to Medjugorje. She invited me to come to Medjugorje and, because I have to go to Rome this year, I decided to come to Medjugorje with her. This is a beautiful sanctuary where I find much faith, where I find faithful who live their faith, where faithful come for confession. I was hearing the confessions of Spanish pilgrims. I participated in Eucharistic celebrations and I liked everything very, very much. It is really very beautiful here. It is right that Medjugorje is called a place of prayer for the whole world and the confessional of the world. I have been to Lourdes, but it is a very different reality. Lourdes and Medjugorje cannot be compared. They are two different realities. In Lourdes, the event has ended, but here, everything is still developing. Here, faith can be felt in a much stronger way than in Lourdes. Medjugorje is still quite unknown in Peru, but I promise to become an apostle of Medjugorje in my country. The faith is strong and alive here, and this is what attracts so many pilgrims from the whole world. I should like to tell them to have a strong love for the Blessed Virgin Mary. Let them love Her mightily, because She is our Mother and because She is always with us. This is why, those who live and work here have to love Her, but so do the priests who come from abroad. Pilgrims who come here have already started their spiritual journey towards the Blessed Virgin Mary and they already have faith. But many are still without faith. Here, I didn´t feel their presence. I shall come back, I shall surely come back! It is beautiful here. Thank you for your fraternal welcome, for all you have done for me, personally, and for all the pilgrims who visit this place. May God, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, bless you and your country!
SEMINARS IN DOMUS PACIS
In the house of prayer Domus Pacis several seminars took place during the month of April.
April 20-22: 30 members of the Franciscan Youth, leaders in their parishes in Hercegovina, accompanied by Franciscan sisters.
NINTH INTERNATIONAL MEETING FOR LEADERS OF CENTERS OF PEACE AND MEDJUGORJE PRAYER GROUPS
The 8th meeting for Leaders of Centres of Peace, Charitable and Prayer Groups will take place in Medjugorje from February 10 to 14, 2002. The theme of the meeting is Pray, pray, pray
Sunday, February 10, 2002 15:00 Inscriptions 17:00 Evening Prayer Program in Church Monday, February 11, 2002 08:30 Morning prayer 09:00 Lecture: Prayer in Holy Scripture Fr. Ivan Dugandic, ofm 10:00 Intermission 10:30 Meeting and Discussion with the lecturer 11:30 Humanitarian Activities Linked to the Apparitions of Medjugorje Fr. Leonard Orec, ofm Dinner 14:00 Meeting of the German-speaking group with the Parish priest 15:00 Meeting with the Franciscans 17:00 Evening Prayer Program in Church 20:00 Meeting of the English-speaking group with the Parish priest Tuesday, February 12, 2002 08:30 Morning prayer 09:00 Lecture: Prayer in the Messages of Our Lady Fr. Ivan Landeka, ofm 10:00 Intermission 10:30 Meeting and Discussion with the lecturer 11:30 Meeting of the Italian-speaking group with the Parish priest Dinner 13:30 Meeting of the Spanish-speaking group with the Parish priest 15:00 Departure for Hill of Apparitions 17:00 Evening Prayer Program in Church 20:00 Meeting of the French-speaking group with the Parish priest 21:00 Meeting of the Polish-speaking group with the Parish priest Wednesday, February 13, 2002 Ash Wednesday: Day of Prayer: Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic, ofm and Fr. Jozo Zovko, ofm 09:00 Lecture, Prayer, Discussion 12:00 Dinner (bread and water) 14:00 Departure for Krievac (Cross Mountain) 17:00 Evening Prayer Program in Church 21:00 - 22:00 Adoration Thursday, February 14, 2002 08:30 Morning Prayer 09:00 Experiences of the Participants 11:00 Holy Mass - Fr. Ivan Sesar, ofm Community Dinner
LECTURERS FOR THIS YEAR´S SEMINAR ARE:
Fr. Ivan Dugandic, ofm Franciscan priest, member of the herecegovinian Franciscan province. He was born in 1943 in Krehin Grac, Citluk, Hercegovina. After his baccalaureate in Dubrovnik in 1962, he entered the Franciscan order. He studied theology in Sarajevo and Königstein (Germany). He was ordained priest in 1969, after which he continued his studies in Königstein (Germany), where he obtained a doctorate in theology. Since 1990, he lives and works in Zagreb (Croatia), where he teaches the exegetics of the New Testament and Biblical theology at the Faculty of the Catholic Theology and its institutes. He published numerous articles in special theological revues and in diverse religious papers, where he treats diverse biblical themes in modern ways. He lived and worked in Medjugorje from 1970 to 1972 and from 1985 to 1988.
Fr. Ivan Landeka, ofm Franciscan priest, member of the Hercegovinian Franciscan province. He was born in 1954 in Rastovaca, Posuje, Hercegovina. He attended elementary school in Posuje, and attained his baccalaureate in the Franciscan classical lyceum in Visoko. He entered in the Franciscan order in 1973. He studied theology in Sarajevo and Augsburg (Germany). He was ordained priest in 1981. Until 1988, he lived and worked in the parish of Humac, and from 1988 to 2000 in the parish of Medjugorje. He is the author of numerous articles linked to the events of Medjugorje, and of the book Glas Mira from Medjugorje. At present, he is parish priest in Humac.
As the number of places is limited due to space and the number of participants is increasing from year to year, we ask you to register as soon as possible, but no later than the end of November 2001. You can register either by fax: 00387-36-651-300 (for Marija Dugandic), by e-mail: email@example.com, personally at the Information Office of the Shrine or by telephone at 00387-36-651-988.
Simultaneous translation will be organized for all language groups. The fee for the entire seminar is DM 120,-- per person. Included in the fee are the expenses for the organization and the work of the seminar (speakers, translation of texts, simultaneous translation and the community dinner on the last day). Upon paying the fee at the beginning of the seminar, each participant will receive an accreditation enabling him to participate in the work of the seminar. Everyone it asked to personally arrange the lodging in Medjugorje. We believe that this will not cause any difficulties for you, since you have been coming to Medjugorje for many years, and you have your friends and acquaintances here. Radio and earphones for simultaneous translation should be brought along, however, they will also be made available during the seminar.
We are looking forward to your reservations and to welcoming you at this meeting!
Published by: INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice Mira (Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace), 88266 Medjugorje.
Last Modified 05/31/2001