"Dear children! Also today, I call you to live my messages even more strongly in humility and love so that the Holy Spirit may fill you with His grace and strength. Only in this way will you be witnesses of peace and forgiveness. Thank you for having responded to my call." April 25, 2004
WHY ART THOU CAST DOWN, O MY SOUL?
At the threshold of death, a nine-year-old girl revived the wavering faith of her mother... This mom had always prayed with her children, she took them for mass, she spoke to them about Jesus and about eternity. And yet: when her daughter was seriously ill and at the threshold of death, the mother was only able to groan, and she even doubt about the eternity… At this point, the girl challenged her mother: “Mom, why are you crying, since you know that we will be again joined together in eternity? Didn't you tell me that, after death, we all go to heaven, to God, where one is much better than here on earth?” By hearing these words, the mother remained silent...
We have just celebrated Easter, the day of victory and the beginning of eternity for those who believe. Can we remain indifferent in front of such an event? Can we retain our emotions and prevent ourselves from exclaiming: “Thank you, Lord and Savior! Live Jesus the champion! You are our salvation! In you is the source of life, in your light we see the light!”
As Christians, we should not weaken when the burden of life weighs too heavily upon us, or when we are undergoing a hard trial. Faith, which Jesus is asking from us, must be stronger than passing adversities of this life. Jesus remains faithful to his Father until the end, and Mary, his Mother, does not back off from the way of the cross of her Son. The day of Resurrection is the luminous way, which always leads us on our way. We should never doubt the joy that is promised to us in eternity, at the end of the combat. We must live in our real life the victory of Jesus over death, and we must give an authentic witness to it.
In our life, we will undoubtedly know moments when we fall under the weight of the cross, without force and determination to get up again; we perhaps already experienced them. The sin makes us fall, and prevents us from getting up. If this is the case, let us remember that Jesus died for us; let us remember that his resurrection can be an inspiration for us. If we want to follow Jesus, a fall does not mean the end. To stand up and to continue on the way: this is the task of those who believe that - with Jesus - they can arrive to eternity. On this way, Mary walks with us. Through her apparitions, she showes how much she cares that nobody becomes discouraged, but that all live in the light of the victory of her Son. In everything, it is faith that is most important. As the faith of that small girl, who was not discouraged at the threshold of death.
Fr. Mario Knezovic
NUMBER OF COMMUNIONS AND NUMBER OF CONCELEBRANTS
During the month of March 2004, 58000 communions were distributed and 1185 priests from this country and abroad concelebrated Holy Mass in Medjugorje.
In March, pilgrims were here from the USA, Spain, Germany, Austria, Australia, France, Belgium, Canada, Korea, Ireland, England, Mexico, La Reunion, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
EASTER IN MEDJUGORJE
During the entire Holy Week and for Easter, numerous groups of pilgrims arrived in Medjugorje, desiring to prepare themselves for Easter and to celebrate the greatest Christian feast here. For Easter itself, there were several thousand pilgrims from all over the world, but the most numerous were Austrians and Germans. Also very numerous were Croatian pilgrims, and those coming from neighboring parishes, who wanted to make their Easter confession here. Every evening, during the three-hour prayer program, there were about 30 priests hearing confessions.
The Holy Triduum was celebrated in deep recollection and prayer. The liturgical celebrations of Holy Thursday and Good Friday (as well as the Way of the Cross on Cross Mountain), and the Liturgy of the Word in view of the Easter Vigil, were celebrated in 12 languages.
AN ARGENTINEAN RETIRED BISHOP IN MEDJUGORJE
Mons. Bernardo Witte, Oblate of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, retired bishop of Conception (Argentina), spent the Holy Week in Medjugorje.
He came on pilgrimage with a group from Germany, because he is a German himself. He was presiding the morning Mass for German speaking pilgrims, he was praying and hearing confessions. He said :
“In 1984, after my stay in Rome, I went to Vienna to visit a friend of mine, a priest. He spoke to me about Medjugorje and I believed at once. Since then, I have the desire to come to Medjugorje. Now, as I am retired, I have more time then before, so I came to spend the Holy Week in Medjugorje. I want to see, to know, to pray.
Fr. Mathuni, who spoke to me about Medjugorje, was present during one apparition. He saw the sincerity of the children and the intensity of prayer of those who were present. Since then, I keep an eye on the events of Medjugorje, and in past 20 years, I have been convinced that they are true. They convey a message of faith and a message of hope, which the Church is conveying, while calling to prayer, to fasting and to conversion.
This intensity is rather surprising, but this is how I interpret it: morality and ethics in the world are in great danger. In an extreme danger for the world, for the Church and for souls, extreme measures are needed. I admire and I rejoice! Each apparition is a new hope and a new challenge. Also to this question, I have the same answer: in a great danger of the civilization of death, these apparitions promote a civilization of life.
I have the impression that everything is happening in a harmonious way: these apparitions, the pontificate of John-Paul II who encourages the renewal of the pastoral life in the Church, and many bishops who consciously give a Marian orientation to their episcopate… To resume, I would repeat the words of Our Lady in Fatima: “At the end, my Immaculate Heart shall triumph!” I think that both, the apparitions of Fatima and of Medjugorje, signify a call to the renewal of Europe. In Medjugorje, the communist East has begun to collapse. Medjugorje is a carrier of joy, of hope and of trust.”
RADIO “MIR” MEDJUGORJE IS BROADCASTING 24 HOURS A DAY
Since March 25, 2004 – feast of the Annunciation - Radio “Mir” Medjugorje is broadcasting its program 24 hours a day. Our radio, which can be heard in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in a great part of Croatia, as well as (through satellite) in Europe, in the Middle East and in the Northern Africa, broadcasted until now 12 hours a day. The new 24-hours scheme in enriched with new and various contents, that are also adapted to the needs of our listeners all over the world.
These days, we are finishing the work on the improvement of the listening to our Radio "Mir" Medjugorje through Internet. The access to our Web site is also improved now, because we have increased the speed of our link. As you are using different operating systems and programs for audio and video reproduction, see the link http://www.medjugorje.hr/uputeaudiovideohr.htm, which can help you to resolve eventual problems.
SEMINARS IN “DOMUS PACIS”
In the house of prayer “Domus Pacis”, there were four “Prayer and Fasting” seminars for pilgrims from Ukraine, Austria, Italy and Germany. Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic led these seminars.
There was a recollection for the members of the Franciscan Youth Fraternity from Herzegovina.
Franciscan School Sisters led a seminar for 33 young girls.
THE 9TH INTERNATIONAL MEETING FOR PRIESTS
The 9th International meeting for priests will take place in Medjugorje from July 5 to 10, 2004. The theme of the meeting is “The Identity of the Priest”.
You may make reservations by e-mail: email@example.com, at the Information Office personally, or by phone: +387-36-651-988 (for Marija Dugandzic), fax +387-36-651-999.
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 Organizers of pilgrimages, Prayer Groups and Centers 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.
THE 5TH INTERNATIONAL MEETING FOR MARRIED COUPLES
The 5th International Meeting for Married Couples will take place in Medjugorje in the New Hall from November 3 to 6, 2004. The theme of the seminar is,
“How to heal the marriage and the family?”
PROGRAM Wednesday, November 3, 2004 3 pm – Registration of the participants 4 pm – Introduction to the seminar 5 pm – Evening Prayer Program in the church (rosary, holy mass) 9 pm – Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament Thursday, November 4, 2004 9 am – Morning Prayer 9:30 am – Lecture, sharing (Community “MiR”) 12 am - Silent adoration 2 pm – Lecture, sharing (Community “MiR”) 5 pm – Evening Prayer Program in the church (Rosary, Holy Mass, Adoration) Friday, November 5, 2004 6.30 am – Prayer on Cross Mountain 9:30 am – Lecture, sharing (Community “MiR”) 12 am - Silent adoration 2 pm – Lecture, sharing (Community “MiR”) 4 pm – Preparation for confession 5 pm – Evening Prayer Program in the church (Rosary, Holy Mass, Veneration of the Cross) Saturday, November 6, 2004 7 am – Prayer on Apparition Hill 9:30 am – Morning prayer 10 am – Lecture, sharing: 12 am – Holy Mass – end of the seminar
Bring with you: a small FM radio with headphones (for simultaneous translation) and a Bible. Participation per couple: 30 €. You may make reservations by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or at the Information Office personally, by phone: +387-36-651-988 or by fax +387-36-651-999. The number of participants is limited because of the available space in the Hall, se we ask you to send your registration as soon as possible, latest by the end of September. All the participants are invited to individually provide their accommodation in Medjugorje.
The Community "Word and Prayer" (Community MiR) is a catholic society of lay believers, whose founder is Ph.D. Tomislav Ivancic. The teachings of the Council Vatican II, which was held whereas he was a student in theology in Rome, are the source and the support of his inspirations related to the apostolate of the laity. In the Encyclical of the Pope Paul VI "Evangelii nuntiandi" (1975), consecrated to the evangelization in the contemporary world, the Community recognized its own nature. This is why the following period was marked by a spirituality of evangelization, and expressed through prayer groups and seminars of evangelization. In the 20-year-old practice, the evangelization activity proved to be an particularly successful model of evangelization, not only in Croatia, but also abroad. They showed that the experience of the presence of God acts like a remedy in the healing of spiritual sufferings. Thus Dr. Ivancic gradually developed an authentic model of proposal for a spiritual help, called later the hagiotherapy, according to which one works in the Centers for spiritual help, of which the first was founded in 1990, in Zagreb (Croatia).
The activities of the Community include several fields. The Community "is recognized by the Croatian Bishop Conference for a special mission: to lead people to the experience of the living God, through the seminars of evangelization, to work on the spiritual renewal of the world and to offer spiritual help in Centers for spiritual help (CDP). The first Center for Spiritual Help (in Croatian: CDP) was founded in 1990 as a humanitarian organization, serving those who suffer spiritually, persons plagued by fears, dejection, meaninglessness, aggressiveness, guilt feeling, suicidal thoughts, sense of failure, inability to accept oneself or others, marriage and family crises, problems with children, loss of a beloved person etc.; persons with deviant moral attitudes (bitterness, revengefulness, meanness, dependence of ideologies, sects, criminal deeds etc.); drug-, alcohol-addicts, dependence of the occult, of people etc.; persons searching for meaning, God, hope, understanding... Centers for Spiritual help exist in Croatia, in Austria, in Germany, in Belgium, in Switzerland, in Netherlands and in Italy.
The name of the Community, “Prayer and Word”, designates its essence: in prayer, it receives the power of the Holy Spirit who makes her able to give to people the living God through the Word.
SUMMER SCHEDULE AT THE SHRINE
The summer prayer program schedule at the Shrine of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje begins on May 1st.
Prayer of the Rosary in the parish church will begin at 6pm. Holy Mass will be at 7pm, followed by the blessings and the third part of the rosary. Eucharistic adoration on Thursday will be after the evening Mass and on Wednesday and Saturday from 10-11 pm. Veneration of the cross will be on Friday after the evening Mass.
Rosary on Apparition Hill and the Way of the Cross on Krizevac will begin at 4pm. You can make your confession every evening during the evening prayer program.
Published by: INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice Mira (Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace), 88266 Medjugorje.
Last Modified 04/27/2004