"Dear children! Today I call all of you to decide for holiness. May for you, little children, always in your thoughts and in each situation holiness be in the first place, in work and in speech. In this way, you will also put it into practice; little by little, step by step, prayer and a decision for holiness will enter into your family. Be real with yourselves and do not bind yourselves to material things but to God. And do not forget, little chlidren, that your life is as passing as a flower. Thank you for having responded to my call." August 25, 2001
LONELINESS IN FAITH
In 1950, Romano Guardini prophetically announced that believers would be lonely. He wrote: “The loneliness of believers will be frightening.” Guardini, speaking about loneliness of the believers, did not consider it as negative, but as condition for a mature Christian life and for community, which is conditio sine qua non of the existence of the Church and of being Church.
The second half of the 20th century confirmed Guardini’s announcement: loneliness became more and more obvious, and community, to which loneliness should conduct, was more and more absent. The dominant image of the Church of our times became the image of loneliness. Small groups speak about Christianity, people pray in small assemblies, and Christians become an almost invisible minority in the society. There are less and less occasions to transform the positive loneliness in faith into community and fraternity. This is why they seek with so much yearning gatherings and occasions to manifest their loneliness amidst a multitude that makes the same experience.
Medjugorje is becoming more and more a meeting-place of those who are lonely in their faith. In the spirituality of Medjugorje, they find the possibility to express publicly their experience of loneliness and to be nourished by community, without which their situation as faithful seems to be really frightening.
Fra Ivan Landeka
NUMBER OF COMMUNIONS AND NUMBER OF CONCELEBRANTS
During the month of July, 120.000 communions were distributed and 3774 priests from the country and from abroad concelebrated Holy Mass in Medjugorje.
Pilgrims were here from Germany, Austria, Poland, Romania, France, India, United Arabic Emirates, Indonesia, Spain, USA, Honduras, Ireland, Canada, Slovakia, The Czech Republic, Switzerland, Lebanon, Slovenia, England, Italy, Porto Rico, Mexico, Argentina, Philippines, Leetonia, South Africa, Holland, Lithuania, Russia, Belgium, Hungary, Korea, Portugal, Caribbean, Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina.
INTERNATIONAL INTERNET PRAYER GROUP (IIPG) “QUEEN OF PEACE”
The prayer group was founded by Nedjeljko Brecic, an original member of Ivan's prayer group in Medugorje, who officially named the prayer group on June 4, 1999, on the day he died. After he passed away, Ana Shawl, a Croatian who lives in the United States, has been carrying on in leading the prayer group along with the help of others.
Now, the prayer group has over 860 members from all over the world. The mission of the prayer group is to live and spread the messages of Medjugorje. Members help each other in different ways, they pray together and encourage each other in daily living of Our Lady’s messages.
Once a year, the prayer group members take their annual pilgrimage to Medjugorje. The website address for the prayer group is: http://www.iipg-queenofpeace.org
MGR LEONARD HSU, OFM, RETIRED ARCHBISHOP OF TAIPEI (TAIWAN) IN MEDJUGORJE
End of July 2001, Mgr Leonard Hsu, Franciscan, retired archbishop of Taipei (Taiwan), came for a private visit to Medjugorje. He arrived with the first group of Taiwanese pilgrims.
He said about his impressions in Medjugorje:
“People here are very kind, everybody greets us, this is a sign of being Catholic. We see people coming from everywhere. They are sincere and friendly. The piety is impressing: everywhere people pray the rosary, meditate, kneel and pray… The prayers after the evening Mass are long, people pray… Pilgrims from my group say: we have to do something to make Medjugorje known in Taiwan. I wonder how we could organise pilgrimages from Taiwan to Medjugorje, how to bring young people…
Personally, I would like to stay longer, to know Medjugorje better.”
SEMINAR FOR INNER HEALING
July 19 to 23, 2001, Father James Manjackal, a catholic priest and a missionary of St. Francis de Sales from India, held his third seminar for inner healing in Medjugorje. Because of the great interest, the seminar took place in the Sport Hall in Ljubuški, and there were about 5000 participants from Croatia, Bosnia and Hercegovina. The evening prayer programme was held in Medjugorje, and there were more than 20.000 faithful.
FEAST OF ST. JAMES THE APOSTLE, PATRON OF THE PARISH OF MEDJUGORJE
In Medjugorje, the Feast of St. James the apostle, patron of the parish of Medjugorje, is always celebrated by a procession with the statue of St. James, followed by Holy Mass in the open air. It is principally attended by the parishioners, however the foreign pilgrims also regularly come to this special Mass. This year, the Holy Mass was presided by Fr. Miro Šego, ofm, native from Medjugorje.
The parish of Medjugorje was founded in 1892 and placed under the protection of St. James the apostle.
INTER-RELIGIOUS MEETING IN MEDJUGORJE
On Thursday, August 9th, 2001, a Buddhist, Venerable Dharma Master Hsin Tao Shih, founder of the Museum of World Religions to be opened in autumn in Taipei, Taiwan, came to visit Medjugorje. He was accompanied by Bawa Jain, Jainist, Secretary General of The Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders, to be held in New York, under the high patronage of the United Nations. With them came a group of Buddhist nuns. Their visit to Medjugorje is one of the stations on their inter-religious pilgrimage, where they seek to know sacred places of different religions and receive blessings.
Fr. Svetozar Kraljevic received them in the Parish Office, and spoke to them about the apparitions of Our Lady – the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje. They shared about prayer, about peace and their search of truth, which brings together and unites all the believers of the world.
Climbing the Apparition Hill, where they spent a few minutes in silent prayer, concluded their visit to Medjugorje.
THE 12TH INTERNATIONAL YOUTH PRAYER MEETING
This year’s Youth Festival gathered around the altar more than 10000 young people from all continents and more than 300 priests. Simultaneous translation was organized for 15 languages, but there were 22 languages present.
Lecturers and witnesses called the young people to grow with Mary in wisdom and love, in order to become the light of the world and the salt of the earth, according to the call of our Holy Father.
Next summer, many young people will gather around the Holy Father in Toronto. Many will not be able to undertake such a long journey. We invite all the young people to come next year, and to join all those for whom it will remain an unforgettable experience.
Published by: INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice Mira (Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace), 88266 Medjugorje.
Last Modified 08/30/2001