"Dear children! Also today I call you to pray and fast for peace. As I have already said and now repeat to you, little children, only with prayer and fasting can wars also be stopped. Peace is a precious gift from God. Seek, pray and you will receive it. Speak about peace and carry peace in your hearts. Nurture it like a flower which is in need of water, tenderness and light. Be those who carry peace to others. I am with you and intercede for all of you. Thank you for having responded to my call." February 25, 2003
LET US LAUNCH OUT INTO THE DEEP
Pope John Paul II, aware of the situation in the Church, invited Christians in one of his talks to “launch into the deep” (Duc in altum, Lk 5,4). It is the same invitation that Jesus addressed to all of us through the apostles. The Pope feels that all of us Christians started to live attached to human values. We often put our hopes, more and more, into passing things of this world. We want to be ensured, even to enter into compromises with a perverse logic of an immoral world. We seem to become little by little part of the world in which we drown and thus stop being a boat and the haven of peace for humanity.
What would it mean to launch into the deep in our circumstances? Today, it would mean first and foremost to rely on the same Jesus upon whom the forefathers of our faith relied. It would mean to recover trust in the One who can lead us into the haven of life. A Christian today must put Jesus in the first place, and place all his security into his hands. Our Lady calls us precisely to this in Medjugorje. To launch into the deep should be understood as an invitation to run away from mediocrity, indifference and lukewarmness for the inspirations of God. God wants us to be passionate and burning for his word; he looks for witnesses.
So, let us launch into the deep and let us free ourselves from the false security of this world. Today, maybe more than ever, the invitation of Jesus to launch into the deep can be understood as an answer to the drama of the humanity that became a victim of hatred. Today’s society expects to see in Christians a concrete reflection of Jesus’ way of doing, of His love for each person. From us, Christians, it is expected to be truly the salt of the earth and the light of the world. As Christians, we must again start to follow Jesus, and this means raising our voices against the culture of death, against abortion, against divorce, against the dead of marital love, against injustices, exploitation of the poor and the weak… Jesus invites all of us into his boat and wants us to sail with Him to those who expect us as ambassadors of Christian message of hope and of peace.
Fr. Mario Knezovic
NUMBER OF COMMUNIONS AND NUMBER OF CONCELEBRANTS
During the month of January, 50,000 communions were distributed and 743 priests from this country and abroad concelebrated Holy Mass in Medjugorje.
Pilgrims were here from Korea, Italy, India, France, Slovenia, the USA, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
HOLY MASS FOR WAR VICTIMS FROM THE PARISH OF MEDJUGORJE
On February 10, the Evening Holy Mass was celebrated in the parish church in Medjugorje in memory of the Franciscans and the parishioners. On that day we remembered the martyrdom of Fr. Krizan Galic, Fr. Jozo Bencun, Fr. Marko Dragicevic, Fr. Mariofil Sivric, Fr. Grgo Vasilj and Fr. Jenko Vasilj, killed perfidiously in 1944 and 1945.
The faithful that assisted at Mass prayed for the victims of World War I and II and of the most recent war in defence of the Homeland. During these three wars, almost every family of the parish lost someone. The feast of the Blessed Croatian Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac, celebrated on February 10, is commemorated in our parish as a day of remembrance and prayer for all the victims of the war. The Eucharistic celebration was presided by the pastor Fr. Branko Rados.
THE 3RD INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR FOR MARRIED COUPLES TOOK PLACE
The 3rd International Seminar for Married Couples took place in Medjugorje from February 13 to 16. The theme was “Put God at the First Place in Your Families”. There were 120 couples from 11 countries speaking English, French, Croatian, German, Spanish and Italian.
The married couples participated in the Evening Prayer Programme in the church and climbed Apparition Hill and Cross Mountain together.
On the last day of the seminar, during the final Holy Mass, the couples renewed their promises and confided their union to the Lord.
THE 10TH INTERNATIONAL MEETING FOR GUIDES AND LEADERS OF PEACE CENTRES AND MEDJUGORJE PRAYER, PILGRIM AND CHARITY GROUPS TOOK PLACE
The 10th International Meeting for Guides and Leaders of Peace Centres and Medjugorje Prayer, Pilgrim and Charity groups took place in Medjugorje from February 23 to 27. There were 200 leaders and priests who lead Medjugorje associations all over the world. The lecturers were Prof. Dr. Fr. Ljudevit Rupcic, Fr. Ivan Landeka, Fr. Petar Ljubicic, Fr. Svetozar Kraljevic, Fr. Jozo Zovko and Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic. Fr. Mario Knezovic, Director of the Information Centre “Mir” Medjugorje, coordinated the meeting. Throughout five days, the participants prayed and meditated on the essentials of the events of Medjugorje, they climbed Apparition Hill and Cross Mountain, and spoke about practical things linked to the pilgrimages to Medjugorje. There was also an informative and entertaining evening with the sound of music by the group “Hrvoje”. The meeting ended by Holy Mass presided by the Pastor of Medjugorje, Fr. Branko Rados.
At the end of the meeting, the participants adopted a common declaration, which will be published in the next issue of the Bulletin.
SEMINARS IN “DOMUS PACIS”
During the last period, there were two “Prayer and Fasting” seminars for pilgrims from Poland and from Austria. Franciscan sisters led also a seminar for young girls, and a seminar of spiritual recollection for young people organised by the Girls’ Hostel from Split.
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)
SOCCER PLAYERS (“FOOTBALLERS”) IN MEDJUGORJE
During the last two months, many soccer players from several clubs made their winter trainings in Medjugorje. Except daily trainings, the soccer players were often seen in recollected prayer in the church, on Apparition Hill and on Cross Mountain. Medjugorje is a place of prayer and recollection for all those who come here. The soccer players, who are from year to year more numerous on winter trainings, have also recognized this.
Published by: INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice Mira (Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace), 88266 Medjugorje.
Last Modified 02/27/2003