"Dear children! Today I rejoice with your patron saint and call you to be open to God’s will, so that in you and through you, faith may grow in the people you meet in your everyday life. Little children, pray until prayer becomes joy for you. Ask your holy protectors to help you grow in love towards God. Thank you for having responded to my call." July 25, 2002
MEDJUGORJE – A BRIDGE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
Martin Thurner, a journalist, compares today’s youth to the famous “Bridge of Avignon”. Avignon is an old French city in which there is a beautiful but unfinished bridge. Under the bridge flows the Rhone River. The arches of the bridge have still not joined one another. There is a void in between. Builders have tried to cross the river and to join the arches, but without any success. The foundations were not strong enough to build on them and join the arches.
This is how Thurner sees today’s young people: they seem to lack solid foundations and seem to need a mediator to go across the obstacles and step forward. His observation about our need of a mediator is very accurate. Indeed, we need a steer man who will take us to the other shore, who will cross the obstacles of this life. We need parents and teachers, friends and priests… We can do nothing alone. We especially need Jesus Christ, our guide along the way, and Our Lady, the mediator of graces who leads us to Christ. We need courage to walk in the footsteps of our God who says to the apostle Thomas and to all of us: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”. If we find this, who can harm us? Is there any place left for fear? Is there any place left for despair and for a passage to the dark side of life? Embrace Jesus and build your future with Him! Open your door to Him and allow Him to enter into your interior! Be a bridge for His grace, His love and His goodness! Allow the river of God’s grace to flow through you!
In Medjugorje, we so often have the occasion to meet young people who have reached the other shore. Yes, many of them had to abandon false foundations and build new ones, but they have succeeded. They understood that a better future could not be built on weak foundations. Young people have felt - here - that there is someone - here - to take them by the hand and to lead them from meaninglessness to meaningfulness. They have felt that – here – they can be recognised as beloved creatures – as persons with their full dignity. In Medjugorje, for young people, such a person becomes an experience of the living God. Under the protection of Our Lady, young people become Someone. They find their hope in Our Lady, in Jesus. Then, they are enkindled with the divine fire of faith, of hope and of charity. Then – of course – everything changes. Then, they can overcome their imprisonment and captivity.
We live in a time that is serious and slippery. Nowadays, it is not easy to succeed in life. Crisis can be felt in all areas. Young people err and seek. Many have no desire for life, no courage, no initiative. They bear a grudge against their parents, teachers, friends, priests… Young people sometimes have the impression that everyone is on the way of their happiness. The prophet Elijah experienced something similar in the Old Testament: The Holy Scripture says that God sent an angel to feed him with bread in his misery and in his hopelessness, to give him strength and food for life. God intervenes in our seeking and wants to give answers to our questions. This is precisely why Our Lady is an answer from Heaven to all of our doubts and seeking. Young people have recognised this and therefore gladly come to Medjugorje.
Fr. Mario Knezovic
NUMBER OF COMMUNIONS AND NUMBER OF CONCELEBRANTS
During the month of June, 125,000 communions were distributed and 3,262 priests from this country and abroad concelebrated Holy Mass in Medjugorje.
Pilgrims were here from the USA, Australia, Slovakia, France, Poland, Belgium, Germany, England, Ireland, Italy, Austria, Canada, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Malta, Slovenia, Yugoslavia, Vietnam, Korea, the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Guatemala, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Japan, Indonesia, Lebanon, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
GLORIOUS MYSTERIES OF THE ROSARY ON APPARITION HILL
For the 21st anniversary of the apparitions of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje, the parishioners have put up on the Apparition Hill, along the path leading from the place of the apparitions to the Blue Cross, five bronze reliefs representing the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary. They are the work of the Italian sculptor Carmelo Puzzolo, whose reliefs of the Joyful and Sorrowful Mysteries, as well as the Way of the Cross, have inspired the pilgrims for prayer on the Apparition Hill and on Cross Mountain for many years now.
“THE LITTLE FLOWER” AND PADRE PIO IN THE CONFERENCE HALL
For the 21st anniversary of the apparitions, thanks to anonymous donors and friends of Medjugorje, two statues have been placed in the Conference Hall: a statue of St. Therese of Lisieux and a statue of St. Padre Pio of Pietralcina.
The statue of Little Therese comes directly from Lisieux and was made especially for Medjugorje, and the statue of Padre Pio is a work of Carmelo Puzzolo, whose bronze statues and reliefs already stand in many prayer places at the Shrine of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje.
TWO PERUVIAN BISHOPS ON PRIVATE PILGRIMAGE TO MEDJUGORJE
Two Peruvian bishops, Msgr. Julio Ojeda Pascual and Msgr. Gerard Anton Zerdin, both from the Diocese of San Ramon in Peru, came on private pilgrimage to Medjugorje from July 4 to 6, 2002. We shall write about their impressions in the next issue of the Bulletin.
THE 7TH INTERNATIONAL MEETING FOR PRIESTS
The 7th International Meeting for Priests at the School of Mary took place from Monday, July 1st, to Saturday, July 6th, 2002, on the theme: “THE PRIEST AT THE SERVICE OF HEALING AND DELIVERANCE”. This seminar gathered 483 priests and seminarians from 36 countries (speaking a total of 22 languages), from all of the continents.
During these days, priests were sharing, praying and celebrating the Eucharist in communion with the people of God. The day before last, they climbed the Cross Mountain praying the Way of the Cross, and the last day, they celebrated the Morning Prayer at the tomb of Fr. Slavko Barbaric, who initiated these Priests Meetings in 1996.
From year to year, the number of priests who choose to make their annual retreat in Medjugorje, under the protection of Our Blessed Mother – the Queen of Peace, is growing. The abundance of fruits of this meeting can be seen in the unexpected large number of participants. We entrust them into your prayers.
This year’s meting was also marked by the painful news about a terrible car accident, in which, on a highway in Hungary, 19 Polish pilgrims died and 33 were wounded, among them three priests who were coming for the priests’ retreat. The intention of the Evening Mass on July 2nd, 2002, presided by Fr. Branko Rados, pastor of Medjugorje, was for peace of the souls of the deceased, for the health of the wounded and for their families.
THE 10TH INTERNATIONAL MEETING FOR GUIDES AND LEADERS OF PEACE CENTRES AND MEDJUGORJE PRAYER, PILGRIM AND CHARITY GROUPS
The 10th International Meeting for Guides and Leaders of Peace Centres and Medjugorje Prayer, Pilgrim and Charity groups will take place in the New Hall in Medjugorje from February 23 – 27, 2003. The theme of the meeting is:
“The essential of Medjugorje”
Sunday, February 23, 2003
Monday, February 24, 2003
Tuesday, February 25, 2003
Ash Wednesday, February 26, 2003
Thursday, February 27, 2003
The Lecturers At This Year’s Seminars Are:
Dr. Fr. Ljudevit Rupcic, OFM, - was born in 1920 in Hardomilije, Ljubuski. In 1939 he entered the Franciscan Order in the province of Herzegovina, and in 1946, he was ordained a priest. He finished his studies in Theology in the University seminary in Zagreb. He completed a doctorate in 1958 and received the habit there. From 1958 until 1988 he lectured in New Testament exegesis on Franciscan theology in Sarajevo, and also in the University seminary in Zagreb. Under the former Yugoslavian Communist regime, he served two prison sentences from 1945 to 1947 and again from 1952 to 1956. For a longer period, (1968 until 1981) he was a member of the theological commission aiding the Episcopal Conferences of former Yugoslavia. He has accomplished a translation of the New Testament from the original into the Croatian language, and his translation has had continuous republication. His books, studies and articles have been published in Croatian, English, German and Italian, and he has lectured at various conferences and meetings throughout Europe and America.
Fr. Petar Ljubicic, OFM, – was born in 1946 in Prisoje, Tomislavgrad. In 1967, he entered the Franciscan Order in the province of Herzegovina, and in 1972, he was ordained a priest. He studied theology at Sarajevo and Koenigstein. He was parish vicar in Vitina, Tihaljina and Seonica, and from 1984 to 1995 in Medjugorje. After leaving Medjugorje, he was serving in the Croatian Catholic Mission in Switzerland. He is author of several books about the events of Medjugorje. During his stay at Medjugorje and later, he took part in numerous prayer gatherings organised by Medjugorje pilgrims all over Europe. At present, he is in pastoral service in Germany, in the parish of Hosenfeld, diocese of Fulda.
Fr. Svetozar Kraljevic, OFM, - was born in 1951 in Kocerin, Siroki Brijeg. In 1970, he entered the Franciscan Order in the province of Herzegovina, and in 1977, he was ordained a priest. He studied Theology in the USA. As priest, he served in the Croatian Catholic Mission in New York, and then in his homeland in the parishes of Humac, Konjic, Bijelo Polje and Siroki Brijeg. At present, he is in Medjugorje, in charge of “Mother’s Village”, the establishment for the education and care of children in need. He wrote several books on the events of Medjugorje and participated in numerous prayer gatherings organised by Medjugorje pilgrims all over Europe and the USA.
THE 10TH INTERNATIONAL MEETING FOR GUIDES AND LEADERS
The 10th International Meeting for Guides and Leaders of Peace Centres and Medjugorje Prayer, Pilgrim and Charity groups will take place in the New Hall in Medjugorje from February 23 – 27, 2003.
The number of places is limited, and the number of participants is increasing from year to year. This is why we ask you kindly to make your registration as soon as possible, latest by the end of November 2002. You can send your registrations by Tel/fax + 387 36 651 988 (for Marija Dugandzic) or by e-mail: email@example.com, or personally in the Information Office. Simultaneous translation is available for all language groups. This is why we ask you kindly to take with you a small FM radio with headphones. The price of the seminar is 62 € per person. This includes all the fees of organisation and of functioning of the seminar (lecturers, translations of texts, simultaneous translation and lunch the last day). While you register and pay on the first day, you will receive a badge, which will allow you to participate in the seminar. We ask you kindly to organise personally your accommodation in Medjugorje. We believe that it is not a problem for you, because you come to Medjugorje for many years now and you have your friends and acquaintances here.
We are looking forward to your reservations and to welcoming you at this meeting!
SEMINARS AT “DOMUS PACIS”
During the month of June, two “Prayer and Fasting” seminars for about 90 Polish pilgrims were held in the house of prayer “Domus Pacis”. They spent a week in prayer and fasting in order to deepen their faith and their abandonment to the Lord.
Contact for “Prayer and Fasting” seminars: Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic, Zupni ured Medjugorje, Gospin trg 1, 88266 Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina. (Fax: 00 387 36 651 444)
Published by: INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice Mira (Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace), 88266 Medjugorje.
Last Modified 07/26/2002