"Dear children! In this time of grace, I call you anew to prayer. Little children, pray and prepare your hearts for the coming of the King of Peace, that with His blessing He may give peace to the whole world. Peacelessness has begun to reign in hearts and hatred reigns in the world. That is why, you who live my messages be the light and extended hands to this faithless world that all may come to know the God of Love. Do not forget, little children, I am with you and bless you all. Thank you for having responded to my call." Message of November 25, 2001
PREPARE A PLACE FOR THE GREATEST GIFT
We approach the time of Advent, a time of expectation and preparation.
It is a time of active expectation and preparation of our spirit for the greatest joy that ever happened to humanity – the coming of the Young Son from above, Jesus Christ. In our daily life, we expect events that bring us more or less joy. We expect the end of the school year, we expect marriages, we expect people we love, we expect nice weather, a job… In our expectance, sometimes we become tired and lose patience and hope that our expectation may be fulfilled. Indeed, we have to know how to wait. Expectation has to be also a preparation, and not only a waiting with our hands crossed on our chest. This kind of expectation-preparation is asked from us in the time of Advent. If we want to receive the fruits of Jesus’ birth, we have to expect His coming with the same attitude as Our Lady, who prepared her heart in humility to give birth to Him. This is precisely what we need - the modesty of Our Lady, her generosity and humility. We have to expect Jesus in the setting in which He was born.
Where was Jesus born?
He was born in a manger, because only in the manger there was place for Him. Also this Christmas, he will be born only there, where he finds a place, where the paths have been straightened. Where Jesus finds a crib in human hearts – there Christmas will happen. We prepare ourselves during four weeks, because only those who are spiritually ready will hear the joyful cry of the Saviour of the world.
Child Jesus brings a message that spurs us to work on a better world, a message that fills our hearts with kindness for the poor, the little and the rejected. If we want to be inheritants of this message, let us prepare our hearts to receive this gift.
Let us reject our heart of stone and receive a heart of flesh. In her messages in Medjugorje, Our Lady directs us all the time towards her Son. So let us be awake and seek the way to this Mystery hidden in the manger, to enter into the secret of hope, of faith and of love that Jesus brings to those who are able to receive them.
Fra Mario Knezovic
NUMBER OF COMMUNIONS AND NUMBER OF CONCELEBRANTS
During the month of October, 124,000 communions were distributed and 2,660 priests from the country and from abroad concelebrated Holy Mass in Medjugorje.
Pilgrims were here from Austria, Italy, Mexico, France, Germany, Australia, Ireland, England, Canada, Belgium, Poland, USA, Korea, Netherlands, South Africa, Lebanon, Hungary, Slovakia, The Czech Republic, Leetonia, Switzerland, Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
“TOTUS TUUS” IN MEDJUGORJE
During the second week of October 2001, we noticed the presence of a group of young people in Medjugorje, who joined our daily “house orchestra”, playing and singing during the evening prayer hours in the church. “Totus Tuus” is a group of collaborators for the New Evangelisation. A number of people from the Ruhrgebiet, Germany, were enthusiastic about the messages of Our Lady and wanted to do something for the Church. They started praying and fasting.
“We started by going to visit prisoners. We met a priest, who worked with prisoners, mainly with young prisoners. With him, we prepared Holy Masses for the youth in prison. We also gave our testimonies. We then went to the streets. From time to time, a parish would invite us to give our testimony or to play and sing.
We organise regular pilgrimages to Medjugorje. More and more young people come with us. They are enthusiastic and they bring their relatives and friends. This is how the group has grown. Many young people want to give their testimonies about what they have experienced in Medjugorje. They want to evangelise.
In 1997, we decided that we had to choose our name. After prayer, we received the name “Totus Tuus” – “Completely Yours”. The name “Totus Tuus” expresses the Marian dimension: To live the message of Medjugorje and to transmit them to others. We then, went to the Bishop of Paderborn and we presented our work and ourselves to him. He was enthusiastic and encouraged us in everything.
It is a group of young people and families who live in the world, throughout Germany. Members make a promise for one year to give their free time for the New Evangelisation. It is completely free, it is a decision, and it is the fruit of their desire. As candidates, we prepare ourselves for that, and after preparing, we can give our promise for one year. We all live normally in the world, working, studying, going to school…
We find time because we do not watch television, we do not play with the computer, we do not go for useless parties; we are occupied with Jesus and Mary. We have about 100 collaborators. We also have a circle of friends who help us in different ways, a few thousands of them. Our group is a movement of lay people, but we are accompanied by several priests. We simply live the messages. The messages of Medjugorje are what Church teaches.”
TEN YEARS OF THE “WALL OF LOVE”
On October 12th and 13th, 2001, the Humanitarian Organisation “Wall of Love” celebrated the 10th anniversary of its foundation in Medjugorje. “Wall of Love” was initially an association of mothers from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, created at the beginning of the war in Croatia. Their goal was to protect their children from evil and violence caused by war destructions, and to resist to hatred through prayer and love. Like all the pilgrim groups, this group included in its programme the sacrament of Confession, Holy Mass and prayer on the Apparition Hill.
PUBLIC STATEMENT BY THE PASTOR REGARDING UNTRUE INFORMATION ABOUT MEDJUGORJE
Prompted by untrue information linked to Medjugorje, which IS being spread in the world, the Parish Priest of Medjugorje, Fr. Branko Radoš, wrote a public statement on October 26, 2001, which we publish entirely:
“It is nothing new that some people are against truth, those who intentionally or unintentionally twist the truth. When it is the matter of Medjugorje, in recent times some untrue information surfaced. What especially troubles the numerous friends of the Queen of Peace from Medjugorje is the supposed statement of Cardinal Vinko Puljic from Sarajevo at the Bishop’s Synod in Rome; that Medjugorje was a source of disorder and disobedience in the Church in Herzegovina, and that there were Franciscans serving in Medjugorje who were disobedient.
For the sake of the truth it is my duty to say: In his talk at the Bishops’ Synod which took place in October 2001 in Rome, Cardinal Vinko Puljic did not even mention Medjugorje in a single word. All those who want it can consult the original text of his talk. By the way, I highlight that all Franciscan priests serving in the parish of Medjugorje have been commissioned by the local Bishop.
I invite all the friends of the Queen of Peace to pray, so that the peace and truth of Jesus Christ the Lord may reign in this world.”
On October 30th 2001, in an interview for “Slobodna Dalmacija”, Cardinal Vinko Puljic, Archbishop of Vrhbosna (Sarajevo) said:
“The phenomenon of Medjugorje is under the jurisdiction of the local bishop and of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and it will remain so until the phenomenon reaches another dimension, until the supposed apparitions cease. Then they will be observed in another way. The actual situation is such that Medjugorje has to be observed on two levels: On the level of prayer, penance, something that is an act of faith. The apparitions and messages are on another level, which will be submitted to a very critical investigation.”
FR. GHISLAIN NDONDJI, OFM, PROVINCIAL OF THE FRANCISCAN PROVINCE OF ST. BENEDICT THE AFRICAN, LUMUMBASHI (CONGO)
On the feast of All Saints 2001, Fr. Ghislain Ndondji, OFM, Provincial of the Franciscan Province of St. Benedict the African from Lumumbashi (Congo) came on pilgrimage to Medjugorje. At the end of his pilgrimage, he spoke about his experiences.
“My coming to Medjugorje is a marvellous experience. There are so many things to see. I think that it is a very symbolic place, but also a very important and significant spiritual centre. According to what I have seen and heard, I think that something very strong is happening here. Wherever Our Lady appears, something strong is happening. I think that something very strong is being built here in the frame of the Church. My brothers in Africa know Medjugorje through books, through informal information, which they receive in a very disorganised way. We have a brother native from here, Fr. Jozo Vasilj, and through him, we are hearing something about Medjugorje. We have no organised contacts with Medjugorje.
I have met the visionary Ivanka. I was deeply impressed. I appreciate her discretion. I think that this is a sign, which helps to understand the messages she carries. What I remember are the messages, which Our Lady confided to her to transmit to the world and to the Church: Prayer and conversion. I as impressed by what she said about people who, once during an apparition, touched Our Lady’s veil, and their hands left some stains on it. This a symbol of our world and of our humanity. As much as I understood, Our Lady calls us to change our way of living to make this stains disappear. This corresponds to Jesus’ profound words when He says: “Be converted!”
I would like our people to come to Medjugorje, but Africa is far away. I decided to take the initiative to establish a strong contact with Medjugorje. We’ll have to designate a person to be regularly in charge of it.”
MALTESE ORDER CONCLUDES THIS YEAR’S SERVICE AT THE SHRINE
In a solemn Holy Mass on November 2, 2001, members of the rescue and medical services of the Order of Malta from Köln (Germany) and volunteers concluded this year’s service to the pilgrims of the Queen of Peace. During Holy Mass for German pilgrims, Fr. Branko Radoš, Pastor of Medjugorje, thanked them for the help they are selflessly offering to the pilgrims of Medjugorje for several years now.
The Order of Malta invites volunteers who wish to join them in this service to contact them in time.
MSGR. DENIS CROTEAU, OMI, BISHOP OF THE MCKENZIE DIOCESE (CANADA)
Msgr. Denis Croteau, Oblate of Mary Immaculate, bishop of the McKenzie diocese (Canada), came on a private pilgrimage to Medjugorje with a group of Canadian pilgrims from October 29 to November 6, 2001. He spoke about his impressions of Medjugorje.
“I came for the first time to Medjugorje in April – the 25th of April to the 7th of May this year. I came as we say incognito; nobody knew I was a bishop. I had heard about Medjugorje and I knew that if I come as a priest, I would be in front with priests. I wanted to be with people, to see how people pray, to be just like anybody else, to give me a good idea about what Medjugorje was like. So, I stayed with the people. I came with a group of 73 pilgrims. Nobody knew I was a bishop. I was just a Christian. At the end, before we went back to Split to take the plane, I said: “Well, I am a Bishop”, and people were very surprised because I didn’t look like a bishop at all! I wanted to have a feel of Medjugorje as a Christian before coming back as a Bishop.
I read a lot of books, I listened to tapes, I had a fairly good information about the visionaries, the messages of Mary, and a bit of the conflict also. This is why I came incognito, to make my own mind about Medjugorje. And I was really impressed. I was so impressed that I went back to Canada and I talked to people and I said: “If you want to organise a pilgrimage, I would back you up, I would help you.” So, we organised a pilgrimage and we came last Monday, on the 29th of October, and we are leaving the 6th of November. We spent 8 full days here and people really, really liked the experience of Medjugorje. They want to come back!
What impresses me the most and what impresses the people the most is the atmosphere of prayer. Personally, what impressed me the last time and this time, is that the visionaries don’t stress neither big miracles, nor extraordinary things, nor the end of the world, nor catastrophes or disasters, but the message of Mary, which is a message of prayer, conversion, penance, to say the rosary, to go to the sacraments, to practice your faith, to practice charity, to help the poor and so on. That is the message. Secrets are there, but the visionaries don’t make a big thing out of this. The message of Mary is prayer. And people pray so well here! They sing loud, they pray loud, it gives you a good feeling. It makes you believe that it’s really true. I’ll come back again, that’s for sure! I give you my prayers and my blessing.”
A NEW BOOK: “MEDJUGORJE - RÉPONSES AUX OBJECTIONS” (“MEDJUGORJE – ANSWERS TO OBJECTIONS”)
The book “Medjugorje - Réponses aux objections”, Editions du Sarment, 2001, (“Medjugorje – Answers to Objections”), actually only in French, was written by Daria Klanac, a Canadian of Croatian origin, who organised more than sixty pilgrimages and accompanied several thousands of pilgrims. Her book “establishes the truth in a clear, objective and documented way. She is drawing from the archives she assembled herself during several years, which consist of first-hand material. Daria Klanac answers to principal objections against Medjugorje and demasks methodically, with proofs and without polemics, false and defamatory arguments” (Editor - Editions du Sarment 2001).
SEMINARS IN “DOMUS PACIS”
In the “Domus Pacis” house of prayer in Medjugorje, the Herzegovinian Franciscan School Sisters organised another seminar for girls on the theme “Seek Peace and Pursue it”. For this weekend, (November 2 to 4, 2001) the sisters gathered twenty-five high school students and girls who are already working. Through lectures, meditations, prayer and personal experiences, it was underlined that freedom and responsibility are the principal way and means to reach peace.
Two “Prayer and Fasting” retreats were also held there: November 8th to 14th, for French speaking pilgrims, and November 18th to 25th for Austrian pilgrims.
RENEWAL OF CONTRACTS MADE WITH FR. SLAVKO BARBARIC
With the desire to spread the message of peace of Our Lady, many friends of Medjugorje from all over the world made numerous contracts during past years with Fr. Slavko Barbaric, linked to the publication of his works. These contracts will not be valid any more. From now on, it will be necessary to make a new contract with the Parish Office of Medjugorje for any new edition. We hope that you will understand and be open for new collaboration.
NEW YEAR'S EVE IN MEDJUGORJE
On New Year’s Eve, the parish of Medjugorje has become for many years now a meeting place of young people from all over the world. This year, Rosary and Adoration will begin at 10 pm and the Night of Prayer will end with the Holy Mass at midnight.
A big screen will be put up in the New Hall, and a tent will be built for all those who may not find place in the church.
We invite young people again: Come and enter into the New Year in prayer, with Jesus and Mary!
THE NINTH INTERNATIONAL MEETING FOR GUIDES AND LEADERS OF PEACE CENTRES AND MEDJUGORJE PRAYER, PILGRIM AND CHARITY GROUPS: FEBRUARY 17 – 21, 2002
The Ninth International Meeting for Guides and Leaders of Peace Centres and Medjugorje Prayer, Pilgrim and Charity groups: “Pray, Pray, Pray…”, will take place February 17 – 21, 2002.
You can send your registrations (as soon as possible, latest by the end of December 2001) by e-mail: email@example.com , by fax: + 387 36 651 300 (for Marija Dugandžic), or register in the Information Office personally or by phone: + 387 36 651 988. The programme and all information about this seminar can be found under the title Medjugorje 2002: Programme.
We are looking forward to your reservations and to welcoming you at this meeting!
SECOND INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR FOR MARRIED COUPLES
Second International Seminar for Married Couples “AWAKEN LOVE IN YOUR FAMILIES” takes place from February 28th to March 3rd, 2002 in the new building behind the Church. You may make reservations (until January 31st, 2002) by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; in the Information Office personally, by phone/fax: + 387-36-651-988 or by e-mail: email@example.com.
Participation per couple: 50 DM. All the participants are invited to provide individually their accommodation in Medjugorje. Programme and presentation of lecturers: preparing
A NEW TRANSMITTER FOR RADIO “MIR” MEDJUGORJE
It is useless to speak about the importance of the means of social communication for the world of today. Conscious of this fact, we tried in different ways to reach out to all of you, spread all over the world, immediately after the fall of communism.
One of the most recent projects in the spreading of Christian values and Our Lady’s messages of peace is the activity, which we develop through our Radio “Mir” Medjugorje, broadcasting for four years now. Through this project, we wish to join the homes of our local Croatian population, which, during the years of communist reign and during the years of war, was deprived of information about Medjugorje and religious contents in the media. With you, who are spread all over the world, we are linked through this Bulletin and the Web pages – both almost inaccessible to our population.
The programme of our Radio can be heard in the south of Croatia, and through the construction of a new transmitter on September 7th 2001, in all the parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which until now could not hear our Radio. Through the Radio “Mir” Medjugorje, our listeners are permanently in contact with Medjugorje, because we broadcast every day our programme, which includes the direct transmission of the Rosary and the Holy Mass from the St. James’ Church in Medjugorje.
Knowing your generosity manifested during the years of war, when you were selflessly helping our people, we feel free to inform you about the following: For all our activities, we need spiritual and material help. This is why we have founded the Association of Supporters of the Information Centre “Mir” Medjugorje. You can become its member in two ways: Helping our Centre in spiritual and in material way. If you want to help projects of the Information Centre “Mir” Medjugorje, and its Radio “Mir”, you can choose the way which suites you the best.
1. Spiritual help. The Centre prays for and works on the best way of spreading the messages of the Queen of Peace all over the world. Join us in this by your prayers.
2. Spiritual and material help. Those who are able to help the Centre spiritually and materially could once a year offer a material support according to his possibilities:
a. When you come to Medjugorje, you can give your contribution in our Parish Office, in for of a check or of a voucher coupon. If you cannot come personally, you can send it through another person you trust. We will give you a receipt. Please mark on it: For the Information Centre “Mir” Medjugorje.
b. You can give your contribution also to one of the priests working in the Shrine. He will also give you a receipt. Please mark on it: For the Information Centre “Mir” Medjugorje.
The admittance in the Association of Supporting members of the Information Centre “Mir” Medjugorje is decided by the Direction of the Centre.
May the Queen of Peace bless your work and your families!
Published by: INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice Mira (Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace), 88266 Medjugorje.
Last Modified 11/27/2001