"Dear children! I call you anew: be open to my messages. I desire, little children, to draw you all closer to my Son Jesus; therefore, you pray and fast. Especially I call you to pray for my intentions, so that I can present you to my Son Jesus; for Him to transform and open your hearts to love. When you will have love in the heart, peace will rule in you. Thank you for having responded to my call." July 25, 2004
200 TIMES WITH YOU
Ten years ago, November 23, 1994, those who served in Medjugorje at the time launched a Press Bulletin. We arrived now at number 200, which is a significant jubilee for the editor and for the readers. In Number 0, the editor wrote: " These are times in which the words love and reconciliation, justice and love of truth are easily pronounced and heard with joy, but rarely practiced and lived. Many people live like a river that flows without an aim, not knowing always where it is going or why.” The desire of the editor was undoubtedly to connect the friends of Our Lady from the country and from the whole world, while transmitting Our Lady’s message and all other important information related to Medjugorje. During 10 years and through the 200 numbers, the Bulletin was not a river which flows without a goal. Its goal was always clear: to bring the truth. We hope to have succeeded...
In the leading article of February 2001, Fr. Ivan Landeka wrote: “It is enough to be naïve to choose any direction. The one who wants to keep the chosen direction needs a compass”. (K. Steinbach) The direction and the goal are important if we want to arrive at the goal. The Bulletin of Medjugorje always went on the paths where Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, always listening to the echo of the messages of Our Lady. This is why we thank all those who filled out the pages of the Bulletin, thus connecting many hearts in only one family. Those who wrote these leading articles are often surprised with which attention you are reading each line. Thus, you are influencing our effort to bring closer to you all that occurs at the Shrine of the Queen of Peace.
In Medjugorje, all that happens and all that is done - including this Bulletin - pronounce its "thank you" to God through Marie. Thank you thus to God, to Our Lady and to all people of goodwill who are at their service, for all that has been done for your information.
Fr. Mario Knezovic
NUMBER OF COMMUNIONS AND NUMBER OF CONCELEBRANTS
During the month of June, 140000 communions were distributed and 3100 priests from this country and abroad concelebrated Holy Mass in Medjugorje.
Pilgrims were here from Spain, Italy, Korea, Poland, Hungary, England, Ireland, Indonesia, Canada, the USA, Slovakia, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Australia, South Africa, Albania, Mexico, Lebanon, Peru, La Reunion, Germany, Leetonia, Lithuania, Russia, Vietnam, Slovenia, New Zealand, Scotland, Rumania, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
MSGR. BRUNO TOMMASI, RETIRED BISHOP OF THE DIOCESE LUCCA IN ITALY, ON PILGRIMAGE IN MEDJUGORJE
Msgr. Bruno Tommasi, retired bishop of the diocese Lucca in Italy, came on pilgrimage to Medjugorje in June 2004. On June 19, he presided the pilgrims’ Mass for Italian speaking pilgrims.
CANADIAN INDIANS ON PILGRIMAGE TO MEDJUGORJE
A group of Indians from the north of Canada came on pilgrimage to Medjugorje for the 23rd anniversary of the apparitions. Fr. Chatland, a missionary among the Indians in the diocese McKenzie, as well as Mrs. Becket, were among them. Msgr. Denis Croteau, their bishop, is supporting Medjugorje and these pilgrimages. In 2001, he came on pilgrimage twice.
Fr. Chatland has noticed positive spiritual fruits in those who came back from Medjugorje, and had the desire to come and see for himself. Mrs. Beckett underlined how much good the messages from Medjugorje are bringing to her fellow Indians, who are thorn apart between their traditional Indian culture linked to ancient customs, and the new way of life to which they are trying to become accustomed.
DR. FR. LJUDEVIT RUPCIC'S FIRST DEATH ANNIVERSARY
Dr. Fr. Ljudevit Rupcic’s first death anniversary has been commemorated in Medjugorje on Saturday, June 26, 2004. Fr. Rupcic, a very appreciated Franciscan from Herzegovina, has written numerous essays and books in theology and was a renowned expert in biblical sciences. Holy Mass at the outside altar of St. James’ parish church in Medjugorje was presided by Fr. Mario Knezovic, director of the Information Center “Mir” Medjugorje, and concelebrated by 90 priests.
“Fr. Ljudevit was a great fighter. His fight and his struggle took place in the area of the Church and of the Fatherland. Since his early days as a Franciscan, he was imprisoned in communist jails”, said Fr. Mario in his homily. “but his ‘blade’ never lost its sharpness, o the contrary: he prepared himself for tasks that had to come within the Church and the society in general. As a professor of biblical sciences, he translated the New Testament and Psalms form the original into Croatian language. As a member of the Theological Commission of the Bishops’ Conference, he gave an orientation to the theological reflection within the Church.” As for the events of Medjugorje and Our Lady’s apparitions, “Fr. Ljudevit gave the last 22 years of his life to Our Lady and to Medjugorje. He did not as anything in return, except the Truth, for which he was burning during his whole life. He always sought the right way of venerating Our Lady of the living the messages; he always required clarity and transparence in liturgical celebrations and the evangelization at the Shrine in Medjugorje. Concerning Medjugorje, he knew no compromising; nothing was difficult or unacceptable for him. During the last years of his life, the love for the pilgrims was his vocation. He was almost running to meet them, in order to transmit to them the message. We can say that Fr. Ljudevit was a herald of Medjugorje. His voice was listened to in the Church, his words were read and respected, whatever others may have said or written.”
THE NINTH INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF PRIESTS
The 9th International Meeting for Priests took place from July 5 to 10, 2004. This seminar gathered 361 priests from 36 countries (speaking a total of 16 languages), from all of the continents. Prof. Dr. Tomislav Ivancic spoke to them on the theme: "Identity of the priest".
During these days, priests were sharing, praying, and celebrating the Eucharist in communion with the people of God. Feeling here at the school of Mary, they went to pray at the places that Our Lady had especially chosen for prayer: the Apparition Hill and Cross Mountain. The last day, they went to pray at the tomb of Fr. Slavko Barbaric, who initiated these Priests Meetings in 1996.
From year to year, the number of priests who choose to make their annual retreat in Medjugorje, under the protection of Our Blessed Mother - the Queen of Peace, is growing. The abundance of fruits of this meeting can be seen in the large number of participants and in their moving testimonies at the end of the retreat.
We entrust them into your prayers.
SEMINARS IN "DOMUS PACIS"
In the month of July, there were three "Prayer and Fasting" seminars led by Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic for pilgrims from the Czech Republic, France, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
There were two recollections for the members of the Legion of Mary from Zagreb, as well as for a gozurp of young people from Montenegro led by Fr. Franjo Dusaj.
THE 15TH YOUTH FESTIVAL
The 15th Youth Festival is inspired by Holy Father’s message for the World Youth Day 2004, “We desire to see Jesus”. It wants to be one of the spiritual contributions and preparations for the celebration of the 20th World Youth Days in Cologne 2005.
Encounters of young people from all over the world represent one of the charms of the Youth Festival, therefore it is a good occasion to explain to the youth that the fundamental encounter, which is written in the depth of the human heart, is the encounter between the Creator and the creature, and that “the highest human dignity resides in its call to enter into relationship with God in an exchange of glances that transform life” (Holy Father’s message for WYD 2004).
Prayer, music and encounters should lead us to allow Jesus to see us (theme of the 1st day), because only through this experience of his glance full of love can be born the desire to encounter Him. Then, we should discover that the encounter with Jesus is giving the full meaning to our lives (theme of the 2nd day), and this encounter happens in the Eucharist (theme of the 3rd day), and in the Eucharistic love, which is a selfless giving and sacrificing of oneself for others, because “to love does not mean only to feel; it is an act of the will; love consists in preferring the good of others to our own good”. (Holy Father’s message for WYD 2004).
Finally, the participants are invited to become witnesses of the One they have met (theme of the 4th day), because the world is seeking true witnesses of the One who alone gives life.
There is no encounter with God without Mary. She is the one who is “forming a contemplative heart and teaching how to gaze at Jesus”. (Holy Father’s message for WYD 2004) This is why Medjugorje is the ideal place for such an encounter, the ideal place for the renewal of our consecration to God through Mary, as Our Lady is asking from us: “I invite all those who have said "yes" to me to renew their consecration to my Son Jesus and to His Heart and to me, so we can take you more intensely as instruments of peace in this unpeaceful world.” (April 25, 1992)
THE FIFTH 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?” It is recommended to ring 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 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.
Published by: INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice Mira (Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace), 88266 Medjugorje.
Last Modified 08/01/2004