"Dear children! Also today, I call you to open yourselves to prayer. Especially now, in this time of grace, open your hearts, little children, and express your love to the Crucified. Only in this way, will you discover peace, and prayer will begin to flow from your heart into the world. Be an example, little children, and an incentive for the good. I am close to you and I love you all. Thank you for having responded to my call." March 25, 2004
TWO MOVIES: THE POWER OF GOD AND THE POWER OF MONEY
When "The Lord of the Rings" appeared on the screens, the media exalted the perfection of the technique, the art of the actors, the quality of the script... More still, this film was presented as an inimitable and unsurpassable mythical work. The financial means invested were beyond anything that has ever been done in cinematographic industry. It was adorned with praises and accompanied by a systematic and aggressive publicity in all the media. And more… The power of money, visible in all dimensions of this movie, went even further: the film gained all the 11 Oscars. "Perfection! Miracle!", said radio, television, the press... the capacity of the money was presented in all its might.
At the time of this summit of the world cinematographic production, a film that speaks about the last hours in the life of Jesus Christ appeared on the screens. Exaggerated sensibilities… turmoil in the hearts of those who feel embarrassed by the Christ and by the Church… attempts to disqualify the movie. Accusations concerning the presentation of the subject of this movie. However, the sons of this world - who counted on the capacity of the money and the media that they control - were mistaken. Their calculations proved to be false, because they forgot the words of the Gospel of Matthew: "For men it is impossible, but for God all is possible." (Mt 19,26) God showed His power and His might once again. For the first time in the world of the cinema, it happened that the distribution of the Academy Awards happened in the shadow of another movie.
The film "The Passion of the Christ" in which much less money has been invested than in "The Lord of the Rings" conquered the world. The cinema halls became too small. The media could not dissimulate it.
Perhaps we ask ourselves how it can be possible? The answer comes from the Christ who says that all is possible to God. What is particularly interesting in this story, written according to the plan of God, is that Jim Caviezel, who plays the main role, bears witness: "I received this role thanks to Medjugorje, thanks to Our Lady. During the preparations, I was using all that I learned through Medjugorje. Mel Gibson and myself went every day together for mass. I was also fasting. I was reading Our Lady’s messages all the time. I was praying the rosary every day."(Interview for Radio "Mir" Medjugorje, December 6, 2003)
By reading that, let us not be surprised that this film surpassed all the expectations and raised above all malevolent criticisms. When somebody collaborates with God, the miracle can arrive. This film shows it in an extremely clear way. Glory to God!
Fr. Mario Knezovic
NUMBER OF COMMUNIONS AND NUMBER OF CONCELEBRANTS
During the month of February 2004, 22.000 communions were distributed and 652 priests from this country and abroad concelebrated Holy Mass in Medjugorje.
In February, pilgrims were here from Italy, Poland, the USA, Canada, France, Korea, Slovenia, Germany, Austria, Spain, Australia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
THE 11TH INTERNATIONAL MEETING FOR GUIDES
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 about 100 participants from several countries of the world. The theme was, “Penance and contemporary men”.
The participants concluded with a common declaration, which we publish entirely.
Just as in the preceding years, we gathered under the protection of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje for the 11th International Meeting for Guides and Leaders of Peace Centres and Medjugorje Prayer, Pilgrim and Charity Groups. Open for the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, inside of the Holy Church and with the intercession of our heavenly Mother, we were meditating on “Penance and contemporary men”.
In the world that is becoming more and more a society of consumerism, we renewed God’s own words about penance and about renunciation. In an atmosphere of prayer, we listened again Our Lady’s messages in which she is calling us to penance. “Dear children! Also today I call you to fasting and renunciation. Little children, renounce that which hinders you from being closer to Jesus…” (March 25, 1998) Keeping this in mind, we believe that Our Lady’s voice from Medjugorje is able to open to contemporary men the door to Jesus. In a time in which young generations live more and more according to the flesh and not according to the Spirit, we consider that it is important to hear and to respond to the call to penance, to renunciation, to fasting.
From this meeting, we invite the Church and every member of the Church to walk again on the path of conversion towards Jesus. “Be converted, the Kingdom of God is near” (Mt 3,2). Numerous experiences of pilgrims inspire us to declare that precisely in Medjugorje, by means of Our Lady’s call, people decide more easily for renunciation, fasting and penance. Through Mary, God proposes to us again his covenant and a time of grace in which we can reach our personal salvation. So, let us read “the signs of times” (Lc 54-59), because there is also a time that is lost and that never comes back.
From this meeting, we invite in a special way the pilgrims of Medjugorje to be a blessing for the Church, a strength and a hope for our times, through their personal sacrifice, renunciation and prayer. We deeply believe that with prayer and fasting wars also can be stopped and all other evil. (Cf. Our Lady’s message, February 2, 2003) May the blessing of the Queen of Peace lead us on this way.
Medjugorje, February 26, 2004
LENTEN ACTION OF THE PARISH MEDJUGORJE
During this Lent, the parish Medjugorje is praying for special intentions and helping the needy. The parishioners and all those who can do so are invited to pray for love and peace in the families.
Works of mercy and solidarity with the needy will accompany their prayer: blood donations for blood transfusions, as well as material donations in funds, food and other supplies for the parish and the Franciscan monastery in Plehan, in Bosnia. The parish of Plehan has greatly suffered from the war: the church and the monastery are destroyed, and the parishioners are expulsed. Before the war, there were about 10000 inhabitants, and now, only a few hundred people remain there with their Franciscans.
IRISH AND POLISH AMBASSADORS IN MEDJUGORJE
Mr. Gerald F. Ansbro, Ambassador of Ireland for Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, visited Medjugorje on Thursday, February 26, 2004. A special motive of his visit was the fact that numerous citizens of Republic of Ireland come on pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Queen of Peace.
Mr. Dr. Leszek Hensel, polish ambassador in Bosnia and Herzegovina, visited Medjugorje on Saturday, February 28, 2004. During his meeting with the representatives of the Tourist Association Medjugorje-Bijakovici, he discussed the question of the entry visas for Bosnia and Herzegovina for Polish citizens who come numerous to the Shrine of the Queen of Peace.
Fr. Branko Rados, Pastor of Medjugorje, received both ambassadors and informed them about the life of the parish and the events of Medjugorje.
MEDJUGORJE IN SLOVENIA
A painting representing Fr. Slavko Barbaric, work of Angel Zerbo, an autodidact painter, was blessed on February 29, in Korte (Slovenia) by Fr. Dinko Bizjak, in the presence of a prayer group that gathers each Sunday for the prayer of the Rosary and the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
CELEBRATION OF THE 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE CROSS ON CROSS MOUNTAIN
On March 16, the parish Medjugorje commemorated the 70th anniversary of the blessing of the cross and of the celebration of the first Mass on Cross Mountain. At 1.30 pm, there was prayer of the Way of the Cross, and at 3 pm, Fr. Branko Rados, pastor of Medjugorje, presided holy mass in presence of about 3000 parishioners and pilgrims, in concelebration with 25 priests from the country and from abroad.
It was a day of thankfulness to all those who built the cross and a day of abandonment to God of the whole parish and of all the pilgrims who will come here. Let us remember: this cross was built during the Jubilee year of the Redemption, in memory of 1900 years of the death of the Redeemer. At that time, the hill called Sipovac received the name of Krizevac (Cross Mountain).
For this occasion, a commemorative booklet with a “Way of the Cross” has been published. There was also an exposition of old photographs, recalling the history of Cross Mountain.
THE ANNUAL APPARITION OF OUR LADY TO MIRJANA DRAGICEVIC-SOLDO ON MARCH 18, 2004
The visionary Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo had daily apparitions from June 24th 1981 to December 25th 1982. During the last daily apparition, Our Lady gave her the 10th secret, and told her that she would appear to her once a year, on the 18th of March. It has been this way through the years.
This year several thousand pilgrims gathered to pray the Rosary at the Cenacolo Community in Medjugorje. The apparition lasted from 13:58 to 14:03 and Our Lady gave the following message:
“Dear children! Also today, watching you with a heart full of love, I desire to tell you that what you persistently seek, what you long for, my little children, is before you. It is sufficient that, in a cleaned heart, you place my Son in the first place, and then you will be able to see. Listen to me and permit me to lead you to this in a motherly way.”
SEMINARS AT “DOMUS PACIS”
At “Domus Pacis”, members of the “Legion of Mary” from Zagreb had their time of recollection.
Here were 3 “Prayer and Fasting” seminars for pilgrims from Korea, France, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, led by Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic.
There were two recollections for 80 members of the Franciscan Youth Fraternity.
Franciscan School Sisters led 2 seminars for 85 young girls.
Franciscan novices from Herzegovina and from Bosnia also had a recollection in this house of prayer.
Published by: INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice Mira (Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace), 88266 Medjugorje.
Last Modified 03/26/2004