"Dear children! Also today, as never up to now, I call you to open your hearts to my messages. Little children, be those who draw souls to God and not those who distance them. I am with you and love you all with a special love. This is a time of penance and conversion. From the bottom of my heart, I call you to be mine with all your heart and then you will see that your God is great, because He will give you an abundance of blessings and peace. Thank you for having responded to my call." February 25, 2004
TEARS OF JESUS, OUR LADY'S TEARS AND MY OWN TEARS
Jesus is God and man. As a true God, sent by the Father, He took upon himself our human destiny and He became similar to us in all, except the sin.
Jesus, like Mary, His Mother, knew all the bitterness of this world. The sword of pain pierced their hearts. They were saddened, in tears, misunderstood, persecuted, ridiculed. Nothing was spared to them; they did not have privileges. In fact, they are there to give priority to others, to give them privileges. Jesus cried several times. He did not hide his tears. He cried over the tragedies of the others, He cried confronted with the hardness of human hearts, He cried in loneliness while meditating on the will of the Father in his life. Together with Him, Mary poured her tears, especially at the foot of the cross, holding the body of her dead Son in her arms.
And us, how much do we cry and how? Are our tears the expression of the desire of a better and holier life, or we cry because of our unrealized desires, projects, and personal careers? In times of penance, especially in Lent, we should determine the reason of our tears and of our sadness. Jesus did not cry because of Himself but because of me and you. Our Lady did not cry and did not groan to draw the attention to her family, but to inspire the others to come to Jesus. Jesus and Mary are saddened and they cry when their sons and their daughters are not on the way of the grace offered by Heaven.
In Medjugorje, the pilgrim of Gospa cries over his sins; he cries the lack of acceptance in the marriage or the family. In the confessionals, on Apparition Hill or on Cross Mountain, he cries because he feels far from the One who can be and who is his consolation and his hope. It is good so. It is good to tear our heart and not our clothing. It is good that our conscience pushes our tears, so that we may leave all that chokes and submerges us. These tears are not a sign of despair - far from there - they open the door to Jesus. Those tears are a song of joy watered by the grace of God.
In this time, let us also pour our tears for those souls that cannot cry. On our face, with our tears filled with prayers, let us wipe also the faults of the others. A Christian is responsible for the world. Each one of us has to pray for those who do not do it, for those to whom it is not given. Gospa is delighted to see us on the way traced by Jesus. Let us become fully her children and close to Jesus, since she invites us to that through her apparitions.
Fr. Mario Knezovic
NUMBER OF COMMUNIONS AND NUMBER OF CONCELEBRANTS
During the month of January 2004, 35000 communions were distributed and 801 priests from this country and abroad concelebrated Holy Mass in Medjugorje.
In January, pilgrims were here from Italy, Korea, the USA, Canada, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
CARDINAL JOSIP BOZANIC, ARCHBISHOP OF ZAGREB: NO JUDGMENT ABOUT MEDJUGORJE
On Thursday, February 12, 2004, during an encounter with students of a Secondary School in Zagreb, Cardinal Josip Bozanic, archbishop of Zagreb, answered the question about the position of the Church on Medjugorje:
The Church says that what we are called to, is to believe the Sacred Scripture. The Church, however, also recognizes the possibility of the so-called private revelations, but the faithful are not obliged to believe in them. Medjugorje can be considered under this aspect. The Cardinal reminded that, in the beginning of the 90's, the Bishops concluded in Zadar that, on the basis of their investigations, they cannot speak about the supernaturality of Medjugorje, but neither have they denied it. Still today, we do not wish to give our judgment, because we do not have sufficient argument although we do not deny people the right to pray there or to go on pilgrimage. We desire that, what is given there, be a true catholic doctrine, but for Masses not to be linked to the alleged apparitions. (Slobodna Dalmacija, 13.02.2004.)
HOLY MASS FOR THE DEPARTED DR. FR. LEONARD OREC, OFM
On Wednesday, January 21, was commemorated the second anniversary of the dead of Fr. Leonard Orec, a dynamic Herzegovinian Franciscan who was very devoted to the Queen of Peace of Medjugorje. On that day, Masses for the rest of his soul were celebrated in Posusje and in Medjugorje. In St. James' parish church in Medjugorje, Holy Mass was presided by Fr. Ivan Landeka, the former pastor of Medjugorje and Fr. Leonard's close collaborator. While speaking about Fr. Leonard, Fr. Ivan Landeka said that - in the beginning - he was only observing Medjugorje and the apparitions of Our Lady. When he came to Medjugorje, he informed himself about the events, he sought clarity, and he understood the reality of the presence of Our Lady. This is how he became devoted to Gospa. In his old age, he was spreading love and care for the needy through the humanitarian association Medjugorje-Mir . On January 22, Holy Mass for Fr. Leonard was also celebrated in Split, where he used to spend much of his time during the last years of his life.
HOLY MASS FOR WAR VICTIMS FROM THE PARISH OF MEDJUGORJE
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. On that day, the Evening Holy Mass was celebrated in the parish church in Medjugorje in memory of 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 who 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 Eucharistic celebration was presided by Fr. Mario Knezovic.
THE 4TH INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR FOR MARRIED COUPLES TOOK PLACE
The 4th International Seminar for Married Couples took place in Medjugorje from February 11 to 14. The theme was The fruit of peace is love and the fruit of love is forgiveness (Message of January 25, 1996).
There were 75 couples from 11 countries speaking English, French, Croatian, German, Spanish, Slovak 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 11TH INTERNATIONAL MEETING FOR GUIDES AND LEADERS OF PEACE CENTRES AND MEDJUGORJE PRAYER, PILGRIM AND CHARITY GROUPS TOOK PLACE
The 11th International Meeting for Guides and Leaders of Peace Centres and Medjugorje Prayer, Pilgrim and Charity groups took place in Medjugorje from February 22 to 26. There were 100 leaders and priests who lead Medjugorje associations all over the world. The lecturers were dr. Fr. Jozo Vasilj, OFM, Dr. Fr. Slavko Topic, OFM, Fr. Ivan Landeka, 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. 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.
BISHOPS IN MEDJUGORJE AND ABOUT MEDJUGORJE IN 2003
In 2003, 12 bishops from Europe, Africa, North America, South America, Asia and Oceania came to Medjugorje. Chronologically, they are:
- Msgr. Luigi Bommarito, Retired Archbishop of Catania (Italy) - Mgr. Salvador Pineiro Garcia-Calderon, military bishop in Lima (Peru) - Msgr. Angelo Massafra, a Franciscan, Archbishop of Skodra (Albania) - Msgr. Gerard Ndlovu, retired bishop of Umzimkulu (South African Republic) - Mgr. Irynei Bilyk, bishop of the diocese of Buchach (Ukraine) - Msgr. Dr. Ludwig Schwarz, Auxiliary Bishop of Vienna (Austria) - Msgr. Hermann Raich, Bishop of Wabag (Papua New Guinea) - Msgr. Donal McKeown, auxiliary bishop of Down and Connor (Ireland) - Msgr. Abilio Ribas, Bishop of Sao Tome and Principe - Msgr. Jesus a Cabrera, Bishop of Alaminos (Philippines) - Msgr. Thomas L. Dupre, Bishop of Springfield (Massachusetts, USA) - Msgr. Tarcisio Ziyaye, Archbishop of Blantyre (Malawi, Africa)
Cardinal Vinko Puljic, Archbishop of Vrhbosna (Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina) gave an interview for Radio Mir Medjugorje, as well as an award to the Parish Medjugorje and Radio Mir Medjugorje. Msgr. Franjo Komarica, Bishop of Banja Luka (Bosnia and Herzegovina) gave an award to Radio Mir Medjugorje. Dr. Franc Rode, the Archbishop of Ljubljana (Slovenia), gave an interview for Radio Mir Medjugorje. (More about it: Bishops in Medjugorje and about Medjugorje in 2003.)
THE 9TH INTERNATIONAL PRIEST SEMINAR
The 9th International priest seminar will take place in Medjugorje from July 5 to 10, 2004. The theme of the meeting is: "THE IDENTITY OF THE PRIEST".
PROGRAMME OF SEMINAR July 5, 2004 Monday 10 am - 6 pm Registration of the participants in the New Hall behind the Church 6 pm BEGINNING OF THE SEMINAR (Prayer of the Rosary, Holy Mass, Prayer for health of body and soul, Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary) July 6, 2004 Tuesday 8:30 am Laudes in Latin and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament 9 am Instruction (Prof. Dr. Fr. Tomislav Ivancic) 10 am Break 10:30 am Prayer 3:30 pm Instruction (Prof. Dr. Fr. Tomislav Ivancic) 4:30 pm Break 5 pm Prayer 6 pm Evening Prayer Programme (Rosary, Holy Mass, Prayer for health of body and soul) July 7, 2004 - Wednesday 8:30 am Laudes in Latin and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament 9 am Instruction (Prof. Dr. Fr. Tomislav Ivancic) 10 am Break 10:30 am Prayer 3:30 pm Instruction (Prof. Dr. Fr. Tomislav Ivancic) 4:30 pm Break 5 pm Prayer 6 pm Evening Prayer Programme (Rosary, Holy Mass, Prayer for health of body and soul) 10 pm Adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament July 8, 2004 - Thursday 6 am Rosary at the Apparition Hill 9.30 am Instruction (Prof. Dr. Fr. Tomislav Ivancic) 3:30 pm Prayer, meditation 5 pm Break 5:30 pm Meeting with a visionary 6 pm Evening Prayer Programme (Rosary, Holy Mass, Adoration) July 9, 2004 Friday 6 am Way of the Cross on Cross Mountain Confessions 4:30 pm Instruction 6 pm Evening Prayer Programme (Rosary, Holy Mass, Veneration of the Cross) July 10, 2004 Saturday 8:30 am Laudes at Fr. Slavko Barbaric's tomb 9:30 Sharing of experiences, suggestions and witnessing
CONCLUSION OF THE SEMINAR WITH HOLY MASS AT NOON
You may make reservations by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, at the Information Office personally, or by phone: +387-36-651-988; fax: +387-36-651-999 (for Marija Dugandzic).
We ask all priests who have arranged their own accommodation with a family in Medjugorje to note in their application the name and the phone number of the family where they will be staying. We will arrange accommodation for all the priests who have no direct contacts and have not arranged their own accommodation. (Please note in your application if you wish us to arrange accommodation for you.)
Instead of a monetary payment, we ask you to kindly celebrate five Mass intentions.
It is necessary to bring with you: your celebret given by your superior, an alb and stole, a Bible, a small FM radio with headphones (for simultaneous translation).
Many priests who do not have access to Internet may not have been informed about the existence of this international meeting in Medjugorje. Therefore, we kindly ask all Organisers of pilgrimages, Prayer Groups and Centres for Peace to publish this information as widely as possible by all means at their disposal, so that as many priests as possible may participate. In as much as it is possible, we also kindly ask you to financially assist the priests who would like to come but do not have the necessary funds for such a journey. We thank you in advance and pray for God's blessing and the blessing of the Queen of Peace upon you and your work.
Lecturer at this year's seminar is Prof. Dr. Fr. Tomislav Ivancic, who was born in 1938 in Davor, Croatia. After his studies of philosophy and theology, he was ordained a priest in 1966 for the archdiocese of Zagreb. Having obtained his master's degree in philosophy and his doctorate in theology at the Gregorian Pontifical University in Rome, he came back to Zagreb, where he became a professor at the Catholic Faculty of Theology of the University of Zagreb. He is the director of the Cathedra for Fundamental Theology, editor of magazines, he writes for many local and foreign theological magazines, and is a member of the Society of Croatian Literary Translators. His scientific and professional articles have been published in local and foreign magazines, and many of his numerous books were translated into other languages. He is a Dean of the Zagreb Metropolitan Chapter, a member of the Counsel of the Presbyters of the Archdiocese of Zagreb and a member of the Counsel for the Doctrine of Faith of the Croatian Bishops' Conference. Since 1971, he has been a Students' Chaplain at Zagreb, initiator of a movement of prayer in the Croatian Church, founder of the Association of the Faithful called "Prayer and Word Community" (Zajednica Molitva i Rijec - MiR) and a leader of numerous seminars for spiritual renewal and evangelisation, in Croatia and abroad. For 10 years now he has been training collaborators to work in the Centre for Spiritual Help and leaders of Seminars for Evangelisation. Since 1988, he has been the Dean of the Catholic Faculty of Theology at the Zagreb University.
Subjects of his scientific work are philosophy, theology and literature. He is especially interested in the research pertaining to the human existential and spiritual dimension. He has developed a contemporary way of evangelisation and a method of spiritual medicine, which - together with the somatic and psychological - is unavoidable in healing of the whole person, and especially in healing of spiritual illnesses and addictions. His method is called hagiotherapy. In Zagreb, in 1990, he founded a Centre for Spiritual help, of which he is a director.
Published by: INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice Mira (Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace), 88266 Medjugorje.
Last Modified 02/26/2004