"Dear children! Also today, I call you to renew prayer in your families. By prayer and the reading of Sacred Scripture, may the Holy Spirit, who will renew you, enter into your families. In this way, you will become teachers of the faith in your family. By prayer and your love, the world will set out on a better way and love will begin to rule in the world. Thank you for having responded to my call." April 25, 2005
TOTUS TUUS, JOHN PAUL!
He is gone! He went on a journey, leaving traces in the hearts! What to write? They say that he has died, but isn't this in truth a birth? There is no death for people like him, they travel… The Pope Jean Paul II left for his last pilgrimage - towards the arms the heavenly Father. He went home. He went to his heavenly Mother. Yes. Once again, he wants to tell her: “Totus tuus, Mary – all yours, Mary”.
Why did we love him? Because he was our Pope? This is true, but there were others Popes who were not loved in such a way. In Jean Paul II, we loved God to whom he opened his door. In him, we loved Mary who was his advocate. In him, we loved the ordinary man who found a shelter in his heart. In him, we loved the Church, which he has served and not governed. We loved in him the illness and the weakness, which he did not hide. We loved him because he was love. He loved until the end, each one and everywhere. He loved where love was not loved, according to the words of saint Francis.
We should not neglect the fact that we have accompanied from this world to the other a Pope who approached death with the rosary in the hand. His “Amen” is like the cry of Jesus: “All is accomplished”. He accepted the realization of the plan of God in him until the last limits. His Fiat, may your will be done, was pronounced like Mary did, who was his mother and his teacher.
From the perspective of Medjugorje, we can say that a man left who celebrated and accompanied the apparitions of Our Lady in silence. He was incontestably in favour of Medjugorje. Cardinals, bishops, priests, personalities to whom he gave his blessing for a pilgrimage towards the Queen Peace in Medjugorje, give witness about it. As a man devoted to Mary, he was able to recognize the power of the sacramental life of the Church, which was spread in the world like a river. He has not physically come to Medjugorje, but his heart was here. This Pope counted on Our Lady and Our Lady counted on him. They travelled together while inviting people to come towards Christ. Together, they were “conquering” a world marked by hatred, and they were gradually transforming it into love and harbour of peace. After all, let us not be surprised by the words of a young girl: “Totus tuus, Jean Paul II!” These same words, according to which he lived, we can repeat ourselves: Totus tuus!
Fr. Mario Knezovic
NUMBER OF COMMUNIONS AND NUMBER OF CONCELEBRANTS
During the month of March 2005, 81.000 communions were distributed and 1396 priests from this country and from abroad concelebrated Holy Mass in Medjugorje.
In March, pilgrims were here from: the USA, Italy, Spain, Germany, Korea, Mexico, Egypt, England, Rumania, Malta, Sri Lanka, Belgium, France, Ireland, Argentina, Japan, Canada, Slovenia, Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia.
HOLY FATHER JOHN PAUL II HAS DIED
Holy Father John Paul II has died on April 2, at 21.37. The parish Medjugorje and the pilgrims were in Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. While Holy Father, according to the words of his nearest collaborators “is already contemplating God”, perpetual prayers are held also in Medjugorje. On Saturday, April 2, the usual hour of Adoration at 9 pm is prolonged until midnight, for the intentions of the Pope and for the Church. At the moment when the Pope was dying, the priest was meditation on Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane who is calling his disciples to be with him and pray. The faithful were singing. “Stay with me, remain here with me, watch and pray”, and after this: “I need you, Jesus, I give my life to you, you are the source of my life, consolation of my heart, I implore you, Jesus, Lord, hear my prayer.”
John Paul II was a Pope devoted to Mary. His pontifical slogan was “Totus tuus ego sum et omnia mea tua sunt”. For him, Mary was the Mother of the Church and the way that is leading to Christ. In this sense he renewed the devotion to Mary, especially the prayer of the Rosary, introducing into the Rosary the Mysteries of light. He was always saying that the devotion to Mary has to be lived in a Christ-centric way and he was writing about thism especially in his Encyclical “Redemptoris Mater» (1987) and in the Apostolic letter “Rosarium Virginis Mariae” (2002), but also in the Apostolic letter “Novo Millennio Ineunte” (2001), in which he entrusted to Mary the lives of all human beings and of the world of the new millennium.
Holy Father has never officially recognised the apparitions of Medjugorje, but he believed in them, and he told this to many. During his pontificate, ha was putting into practice what Our Lady was inviting us to.
POPE JOHN PAUL II ABOUT MEDJUGORJE
These statements are not confirmed by the Pope’s seal and signature, but are brought by trustworthy persons.
1. In a private conversation with the visionary Mirjana Soldo the Pope said: "If I were not Pope I would already be in Medjugorje confessing."(1987).
2. Mons. Maurillo Kreiger, former bishop of Florianopolis (Brazil), visited Medjugorje four times. He writes as follows: "In 1988, after a private mass with the Pope, before leaving Rome, he said, without having been asked anything, "Pray for me in Medjugorje". On another occasion, I told the Pope "I am going to Medjugorje for the fourth time". He concentrated his thoughts and said, "Medjugorje, Medjugorje, it is the spiritual heart of the world". On the same day I spoke with other Brazilian bishops and the Pope at lunchtime and I asked him: "Your holiness, can I tell the visionaries that you send your blessing?" He answered: "Yes yes", and embraced me.
3. To a group of doctors, who work for the defence and protection of the life of the unborn, the Pope said on the 1st of 1989,"Yes, today the world has lost the sense of the supernatural. In Medjugorje, many seek and re-find this sense in prayer, fasting and confession."
4.On November 11, 1990, the Korean national weekly newspaper ("Catholic News") published an article by Mons. Angelo Kim, President of the Korean Bishops' Conference: "Prior to the conclusion of the last Bishops' Synod in Rome, the Korean bishops were invited to a lunch with the Holy Father. On this occasion, Mons. Kim addressed the Holy Father directly and said, "Father, thanks to you, Poland was able to liberate itself from Communism". To this, the Holy Father responded, "No, this is not my merit. This is the work of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as She had predicted in Fatima and in Medjugorje."
5.The Pope said to Fr. Jozo Zovko on the 20th July 1992: "Busy yourself with Medjugorje, look after Medjugorje, don’t tire. Persevere, be strong, I am with you. Watch over, follow Medjugorje."
6.The Archbishop of Paraguay, Mons. Felipe Santiago Bentez, in November of 1994 asked of the Holy Father, the Pope if he was right to give approval to the faithful gathering in the spirit of Medjugorje, especially with the priests of Medjugorje. The Holy Father answered: "Approve all that is related to Medjugorje".
7. In the unofficial part of the meeting of Pope John Paul II with the Croatian delegation of Church and State held in Rome on the 7th of April 1995., the Holy Father amongst other things said that there was some possibility of renewing his visit to Croatia. Together with this he mentioned the possibility of arriving in Split, and from there on to the shrine of "Marija Bistrica" and Medjugorje. ("Slobodna Dalmacija", 8th of April 1995, page 3.)
8. On March 15, 1997, the Croatian President, Dr. Franjo Tudjman, said: "Again I repeat that on the occasion of my last conversation with him Pope John Paul II said that, on the occasion of his visit to Bosnia-Herzegovina, he would like also to visit Medjugorje."
OUR LADY ABOUT THE POPE JOHN PAUL II
1. According to the testimony of the visionaries, May 13, 1982 on the occasion of the assassination attempt on the Pope, Our Lady said, "His enemies tried to kill him, but I have protected him."
2. Through the visionaries on June 26, 1982 Our Lady sends her message to the Pope, "Let him be considered as the father of all people and not just of Christians; let him tirelessly and courageously announce the message of Peace and Love among men."
3. Through Jelena Vasilj who had an internal locution September 16, 1982 Our Lady pronounced about the Pope, "God has given him permission to defeat Satan."
She requests of all and especially of the Pope "to spread the message that I have received from my Son. I desire to entrust to the Pope the word with which I have come here to Medjugorje: Peace; he should spread it to all parts of the world. . .he should unite Christians by his word and his preaching. Let him mainly among youth spread the messages that he has received from the Father in prayer. God inspires him then.
Taking into consideration the difficulties of the parish regarding the bishop and the commission for investigation of the events in the parish of Medjugorje, Our Lady said, "Church authority should be followed. However, before it pronounces its judgment it is necessary to progress spiritually. It will not pronounce its judgment hastily. It takes place as with a birth that is followed by baptism and confirmation. The Church will confirm that which is born of God. We should go and progress in the spiritual life, impelled by this messages."
4. On the occasion of the Pope's visit in Croatia Our Lady said, "Dear children! Today I am united with you in a special way, praying for the gift of the presence of my beloved son in your homeland. Pray, little children, for the health of my dearest son, who is suffering, and whom I have chosen for these times. I pray and intercede before my Son, Jesus, so that the dream that your fathers had may be fulfilled. Pray, little children, in a special way, because Satan is strong and wants to destroy hope in your heart. I bless you. Thank you for having responded to my call." (8.25.1994)
MEDJUGORJE IS PRAYING FOR THE POPE
Because of serious health conditions of the Holy Father, on the day before his death, in Medjugorje we were praying for his intentions in all the Masses.
We have invited all the friends to be united in prayer for John Paul II, to whom Our Lady told on September 26, 1982: "Let him be considered as the father of all people and not just of Christians; let him tirelessly and courageously announce the message of Peace and Love among men", as well as on September 16, 1982: "to spread the message that I have received from my Son. I desire to entrust to the Pope the word with which I have come here to Medjugorje: Peace; he should spread it to all parts of the world. He should unite Christians by his word and his preaching. Let him mainly among youth spread the messages that he has received from the Father in prayer. God inspires him then.”
HOLY MASS FOR THE POPE JOHN PAUL II
On the day of Holy Father’s burial, Friday, April 8, in the evening, in Saint James’ parish church in Medjugorje, there was Holy Mass for him. In the filled church, Holy Mass was presided by the Parish priest, Fr. Branko Radoš, in concelebration with the Franciscans of Medjugorje and 41 priests from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and abroad. On that day, we have also prayed at his intentions the Way of the Cross on Cross Mountain.
RADIO PROGRAM ABOUT THE POPEM
From the very moment when we heard that the Pope John Paul II was seriously ill and suffering, Radio “Mir” Medjugorje is broadcasting a special whole-day program in the honour of the Holy Father. Our Radio was the first to reject the false news about Holy Father’s death, the news that was spread one day before his death by numerous agencies and other medias. Our program is broadcasting Holy Father’s talks and his messages to the Church and to the world, especially to the Croatian Catholics. During these days, the program broadcasted by Radio “Mir” Medjugorje was occasionally retransmitted by dozens of other radios in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
FRANZ GOLLOWITSCH’S 365. ORGANISED PILGRIMAGES TO MEDJUGORJE
Franz Gollowitsch (Fragollo Reisen, Austria) organised his first pilgrimage to Medjugorje on July 8, 1985. During the past 20 years, he accompanied personally 365 pilgrimages, which means that he spent two years in the bus, and more than three years of his life in Medjugorje… He was not giving up during the war either, when – together with the pilgrims – he was tirelessly bringing humanitarian help and helping the orphans.
83 YEARS OLD AND STILL ORGANISING PILGRIMAGES!
These days, the 83-years old Blaženka Brdar from Rijeka (Croatia) is celebrating the 150th pilgrimage that she has organised to Medjugorje. She came for the first time on May 7, 1983, and she remembers well this difficult time when the police was forbidding to the pilgrims to climb the Apparition Hill and Cross Mountain, and when the Franciscans from Rijeka were disapproving her going to Medjugorje. During the first years, she was taking two cars a year, and with the time, there were 12 cars a year. Everything was happening without any advertisement, simply by phone and through personal contacts.
TWENTY YEARS OF FIDELITY TO MEDJUGORJE
Luc Gevaert from the Flamish part of Belgium came on his first pilgrimage to Medjugorje with his whole family, on March 29, 1985, in order to celebrate the marriage anniversary. Since then, many lay people and priests, especially young people, asked him to take them to Medjugorje, and this is how he began to organise pilgrimages. He was coming even during the war, without fear, because he felt that Our Lady was protecting him. In the meantime, two of his five children are married, and one of his sons has become a priest. Luc is a witness of many graces, even of exceptional healings.
THE 6TH INTERNATIONAL MEETING FOR MARRIED COUPLES
The 6th International Meeting for Married Couples will take place in Medjugorje from October 26 to 29, 2005.
The theme of the seminar is «Dialog in the Family – How to Educate Children?»
Program: Wednesday, October 26, 2005. 1 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, October 27, 2005. 9 am – Morning Prayer 9:30 am – Lecture, sharing (dr. Petar Krešimir Hodžic) 12 am - Silent adoration 3 pm – Lecture, sharing 5 pm – Evening Prayer Program in the church (Rosary, Holy Mass, Adoration) Friday, October 28, 2005. 6.30 am – Prayer on Cross Mountain 9:30 am – Lecture, sharing (Croatian Community of Marriage Encounters - HZBS) 12 am - Silent adoration 2 pm – Lecture, sharing (Croatian Community of Marriage Encounters - HZBS) 4 pm – Preparation for confession 5 pm – Evening Prayer Program in the church (Rosary, Holy Mass, Veneration of the Cross) Saturday, October 29, 2005. 7 am – Prayer on Apparition Hill 9 am – Morning prayer 9:30 am – Lecture, sharing (Croatian Community of Marriage Encounters - HZBS) 12 am – Holy Mass – end of the seminar
Bring with you: a small FM radio with headphones (for simultaneous translation) and a Bible.
The seminar will take place in Medjugorje in the New Hall. Participation per couple: 40 €.
You may make reservations by e-mail: email@example.com, or by fax +387-36-651-999 (for Marija Dugandzic).
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.
Petar-Krešimir Hodžic doctor of medicine, CIMI, was born in 1974 in Trogir (Croatia). He completed his studies in medicine in Zagreb in 2001. During his studies, he was elected the first president of the Association of the students of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Zagreb. In this function, he was involved in the co-operation and the international exchange of students. He also was at the origin of two international projects within the framework of the World Federation of the associations of the medical students. With his wife Rafaela, engineer in biology and musician, he specialized in prenatal and perinatal psychology, education and health in the USA. In 2001, he also obtained the certificate of instructor in massage of the newborn babies. In February 2002, he was appointed advisor of the Association for prenatal and perinatal education and health in the USA. At the end of 2002, he is the founder and the first president of Croatian Association for prenatal and perinatal education and health. In 2003, in Zagreb, he started to give courses of prenatal communication according to the programs of the international project PROCREOS, and since September 2004, he is preparing his doctorate by correspondence in prenatal and perinatal psychology at Santa Barbara, CA, USA, the only institution in the world which proposes the masters programme and the doctorate in this field. Since December 2004, he is working for the Council for the family of the Croatian Episcopal Conference. He lives in Zagreb with his wife and their daughter. He is giving conferences and takes part in international conferences in Croatia and abroad. Together with a team of experts, which gathers around him, he is directing all his efforts towards the well being of children and the family.
The principal goal of the “Croatian Community of Marriage Encounters” (HZBS) is the renewal of the sacrament of marriage and of priesthood. In its program, the HZBS supports the open communication between fiancées and in the marriage, as well as between the parents and the children. For this, it organizes monthly workshops of communication for couples, as well as meetings for couples. The entry in this movement (known in the world as “Marriage Encounters”) is a stage of communication for the couple, called the Marriage Weekend, led by three formed and experienced couples and a priest. The experience of the workshops for fiancées and for married couples, whatever their age, showed the efficacy and the need for such a form of renewal and strengthening of the family. Many married couples give witness to the improvement of the relations inside the couple, and a great number of them gave up the project of divorce after such a weekend.
Prof Dr. Sc Elza Jurun was born in 1958 in Split, where she completed her studies in economy. She obtained her Masters Degree in 1986, and her doctorate in 1993 at the faculty of economy in Zagreb. She is teaching the Quantitative Methods in economy at the faculty of economy in Split. She is author of several scientific texts and vice-president of the Croatian Pan European Union Split. As a member of the Council for the demographic development at the Ministry for the development and the renewal, she is one of the authors of the National Program of the demographic development of Croatia. For her merits in the demographic development and the promotion of moral and social values, she was honoured by the President of the Republic in 1996. She is active in the Association of the parents with four or more children “Club 4+”, of which she was also the president. She is member of the Episcopal Council for the Family and the Working group of the Episcopal Conference of Croatia. She is married and has six children.
Nikica Jurun was born in 1953 in Split. He is working at the engineering department of the Faculty of economy in Split. His greatest richness is his family - his wife Elza and their six children. Since 1998, with his wife, he is leading the Marriage Weekends in the HZBS. The couple taught at the Family Summer School in Zagreb and gave many testimonies during the seminars for married couples, round tables and retreats in all Croatia.
Andja Veža was born in 1955 in Imotski. In 1980, she obtained her Masters Degree in Economy of the Faculty of Split. She is working in the economy, and her greatest richness is her family - her husband and their four children. She is member of the “Club 4+”, she is implied in the HZBS with her husband Ivica since 1978. They led about thirty meetings in Split and in Dalmatia. With Father Josip Sremic, they were the national team of the HZBS during three years.
Prof Dr. Sc Ivica Veža was born in 1951 in Split. In 1975, he graduated in Construction of machines and ships in Split, in 1980 he got his Masters Degree, and in 1985 his doctorate. He completed his specialization in the Fraunhofer Institutes in Berlin and Stuttgart (Germany). Since 2000, he is a pro-dean for teaching at the Faculty of electrical engineering, of construction of machines and ships in Split. He is author of four books and more than 100 scientific texts published in local and international reviews, and Proceedings of symposiums. He is member of several associations of specialists in the country and abroad. He is member of the Council for the family of the Croatian Episcopal Conference. He is married and is father of four children.
SEMINARS AT DOMUS PACIS
In this last period, “Domus Pacis” received six “prayer and fasting” seminars for 150 pilgrims from Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ukraine, Franca, Hungary, Austria and Italy. There were also three recollections for 100 members of the Franciscan Youth Fraternity from Herzegovina (FRAMA), as well as one recollection for 40 young girls, led by the Franciscan sisters.
Published by: INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice Mira (Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace), 88266 Medjugorje.
Last Modified 05/01/2005