"Dear children! This is a time of great graces, but also a time of great trials for all those who desire to follow the way of peace. Because of that, little children, again I call you to pray, pray, pray, not with words but with the heart. Live my messages and be converted. Be conscious of this gift that God has permitted me to be with you, especially today when in my arms I have little Jesus - the King of Peace. I desire to give you peace, and that you carry it in your hearts and give it to others until God's peace begins to rule the world. Thank you for having responded to my call." December 25, 2002
A NEW TIME IN GOD'S WAY
We are entering into another new year. New minutes, new hours, new days are awaiting us… In the beginning of the year, we exchange congratulations and best wishes. What do we wish to one another? What are our desires for one another? Are we greeting with the heart or only shaking hands and pronouncing courtesies? Media publish best wishes and messages given by different companies and organisations. Regularly, they wish us much success. However, is anybody asking the question what success means, who succeeds and in which way?
The time we live in runs after success. Progress and business accomplishments are the leading ides in the world in which – according to its own logic – God should have no initiative and be unemployed. The world of trade understands only the language of profit and success at any price. In such a world, man wants to have everything under his control. Forgetting that everything is given to us, he even wants to control and dominate time, one of the most beautiful gifts. God gives it to us to walk towards Him.
God alone is the master of the time, but we all can use the time given to us by Him. God’s time is the kairos – the right moment for the good and for spiritual growth. Often, papers publish ideas about a “new time”, as if the time we have is not useful and good for man. On the contrary, this is a time of grace for each one individually. Our Lady knows it. This is precisely why, at this time, in Medjugorje, She calls us to move ahead meaningfully, and one can move ahead meaningfully only with Jesus who is the Way.
A new time is in front of us. It will be a new chance for us in proportion with our capacity to make an end to the old time and the old sinful man within us. Only Jesus – through the Church and in the sacraments - gives us a chance for the real fullness of life in the time that is before us. So, let us find time in this year to draw at the source of strength for Christian life – the sacraments. Let us not try to fix up of our time, but let us try to live it and to give it. If, as Christians, we do not find time for the One who has given us each moment of our life, then it is a sign that we become people who, in the year to come, will only wish success and business, and not life in time in God’s way. Time that is used only to achieve success and profit is a path that leads straight to death, and I believe that each one of us wants to live!
We know that our life is in Jesus, but do we belong to Jesus? If we do not belong to him yet, let us do it in the time that is before us!
Fr. Mario Knezovic
NUMBER OF COMMUNIONS AND NUMBER OF CONCELEBRANTS
During the month of November, 35,000 communions were distributed and 996 priests from this country and abroad concelebrated Holy Mass in Medjugorje.
Pilgrims were here from Canada, Italy, France, the USA, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Poland, Yugoslavia, Mexico, Korea, England, Malaysia, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
THE SECOND DEATH ANNIVERSARY OF FR. SLAVKO BARBARIC
On the second death anniversary of Fr. Slavko Barbaric, on the solemnity of Christ the King, November 24th, many Croatian and foreign faithful and pilgrims came to Medjugorje. They prayed the rosary on Apparition Hill and celebrated the evening Holy Mass in the parish church.
Fr. Slavko accompanied Our Lady’s apparitions in Medjugorje from their very beginnings and – thanks to the gifts received by God – he very soon became one of the most eminent apostles of Our Lady’s messages. His whole life was woven into Medjugorje, he is buried here, and he remains forever present here. He knew how to incarnate the spirituality of Our Lady’s messages through prayer and works. He was a man of Christ, a priest of Christ, a man of the Church. We thank him for all that he has done, we pray with him and for him, so that God’s plans may be realised in Medjugorje and through Medjugorje!
RADIO “MIR” MEDJUGORJE: CELEBRATION OF THE FIFTH ANNIVERSARY
Radio “Mir” Medjugorje started broadcasting on November 25, 1997. On November 28th, 2002, Radio “Mir” Medjugorje celebrated solemnly the 5th anniversary of broadcasting and the end of the procedure of receiving permanent approvals, in the presence of hundreds of guests, listeners and friends of the radio The programme of celebration began at 6 pm with Holy Mass at St. James’ parish church in Medjugorje, presided by Fr. Branko Rados, pastor of Medjugorje. The programme continued in the New Hall of the Parish by distribution of awards and rewards, as well as the promotion of the spiritual song of the year and the spiritual album of the year.
Fr. Mario Knezovic, Director of the ICMM and Radio Editor-in-Chief, greeted the guests at the beginning of the programme. Fr. Branko Rados, pastor of Medjugorje, Fr. Slavko Soldo, Herzegovinian Franciscan provincial, Fr. Miljenko Mica Stojic, for many years Director of the Information Centre “Mir” Medjugorje, and Fr. Ivan Landeka, pastor of Medjugorje at the time of the creation of this radio, also spoke to the assembly.
The Gold Medal of the Shrine of the Queen of Peace, for the contribution to the creation and the work of radio “Mir” Medjugorje was given to: Fr. Ivan Landeka, Fr. Miljenko Stojic and Ljubica Lukic and Ivo Mirko (posthumous). The Silver Medal of the Shrine of the Queen of Peace was given to: Marija Dugandzic, the first Chief-Editor of this Radio, Nikica Dragoje, its technical director, as well as Bozidar Vacek and Drago Pilicki for the contribution to the technical development of the Radio.
Awards for the contribution to the work of radio “Mir” Medjugorje were given to: Ankica Cavar, Stipe Cavar, Davor Dragicevic, Huanita Dragicevic, Croatian Catholic Radio, Zeljko Sivric, Dragan Soldo, Visnja Spajic, Ivo Sego, Kreso Sego, Jure Vasilj and Vedrana Vidovic.
The spiritual album of the year is a CD by Ivo Separovic and the Octet Bljesak from Okucani, The spiritual song of the year was sung by Daniela Sisgoreo Morsan from Zagreb. The award for the best Franciscan Youth Song was given to the Franciscan Youth Fraternity from Siroki Brijeg. For the first time was sung the song “To Fr. Slavko” (Fra Slavku), written by Jakov Dzolic, composed by Vitomir Dugandzic and sung by Marija, Silvija and Ana Bosnjak.
CELEBRATION OF ST. NICHOLAS DAY
On the feast of St. Nicholas, December 6th, the children of the parish Medjugorje traditionally gather together to celebrate the feast of their beloved saint – St. Nicolas. There was no end to their prayers, enthusiasm and joy. Numerous children from the parish gathered together for the Eucharistic celebration, and after Holy Mass St. Nicolas came. He rewarded the children who had been good and those who were not always obedient were invited to be better, especially now as Christmas is approaching.
THE SOLEMNITY OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
On the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, as usual, numerous pilgrims came to Medjugorje. Most numerous were Croatian and Italian pilgrims. On the day itself, the Rosary for Peace was prayed on Apparition Hill. About 2500 pilgrims participated in the evening Holy Mass.
CHRISTMAS AT MEDJUGORJE
The parishioners, the faithful from neighbouring parishes and the pilgrims prepared themselves for Christmas by a novena. In addition to the evening prayer program in church, the Rosary was prayed on Apparition Hill.
During Advent, two fasting and prayer seminars were conducted at "Domus Pacis", the House of Prayer. About 100 pilgrims Croatian and Austrian pilgrims participated in these seminars, desiring through prayer and fasting to prepare for Christmas and to draw closer to the mystery of God born on earth.
During the Christmas holidays, peace prevailed in the shrine of the Queen of Peace with an atmosphere of prayer and unity among the faithful who arrived from all parts of the world. For Christmas itself, there were several hundreds of foreign pilgrims. On Christmas Eve, several thousands of pilgrims participated in evening Holy Mass. The Eucharistic celebration began at 10 p.m. with a prayer vigil that ended with Holy Mass at midnight. The feast of Christmas itself passed in the Christmas peace and joy of pilgrims and parishioners gathered around their Mother.
On December 17th, the Military orchestra from Mostar and the Parish Choir of the Queen of Peace from Medjugorje performed in the parish church their Christmas Concert, and on December 22, the Children’s Choir from Dubrovnik “Little Singing Dubrovnik” and the small parish choir from Medjugorje “Little Doves of Peace” gave their Christmas Concert. The choirs so wished a Merry Christmas to the faithful and to Medjugorje pilgrims from all over the world.
Again, this year, the members of the “Cenacolo” community (former drug addicts) presented to the parishioners and the pilgrims a production of the Living Manger three times. Through a specific musical and scenic presentation, they showed to the faithful that they really live the motto of their community: “From darkness to light”, and that it is possible to find a way from the hell of drugs and addiction to life.
ANNUAL APPARITION TO JAKOV ON DECEMBER 25TH 2002
At the last daily apparition to Jakov Colo on September 12th, 1998, Our Lady told him that henceforth he would have one apparition a year, every December 25th, on Christmas Day. This is also how it was this year. Our Lady came with the Child Jesus in her arms. The apparition began at 5:20 pm and lasted 7 minutes.
Our Lady gave the following message:
"Dear children! Today, on the day of love and peace, with Jesus in my arms, I call you to prayer for peace. Little children, without God and prayer you cannot have peace. Therefore, little children, open your heart so that the King of Peace may be born in your heart. Only in this way you can witness and carry God's peace to this peaceless world. I am with you and bless you with my motherly blessing."
SEMINARS AT “DOMUS PACIS”
In 2002, 48 different seminars took place in the house of prayer “Domus Pacis”.
Twenty-four “Prayer and Fasting” seminars were held for pilgrims from Austria, Germany, Poland, France, Ukraine, Russia, Italy, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. About 1000 faithful took part in them, deepening their faith in the Lord, while answering Our Lady’s call to prayer, fasting and inner silence. These seminars were held by Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic.
One hundred and forty-one members of the Franciscan Youth Fraternity from Herzegovina gathered together for 5 spiritual recollections.
The Franciscan School sisters led 7 seminars for young girls. One hundred and seventy-one girls took part in them.
Eleven spiritual seminars for 400 pilgrims were organized by different spiritual movements.
For “Prayer and Fasting” seminars, contact Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic, Zupni ured Medjugorje, Gospin trg 1, 88266 Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina. (Fax: 00 387 36 651 444)
THE 14th INTERNATIONAL YOUTH FESTIVAL
Next year, the International Youth Prayer Gathering will take place as usually from July 31st to August 6th. The theme of the Festival is: “Through the Rosary Open Your Heart To Me”.
Things to bring with you: small FM radio with headphones, a Bible and umbrella.
All groups participating in the Youth Prayer meeting: please do not arrange or make plans for any other programs during this week.
During the time of the Youth Festival (except on Sunday) there will be no morning Masses for pilgrims. All pilgrims will attend the Evening Mass with youth.
During the whole Youth Festival, there will be simultaneous translation.
Published by: INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice Mira (Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace), 88266 Medjugorje.
Last Modified 12/29/2002