"Dear children! Anew I call you to live my messages in humility. Especially witness them now when we are approaching the anniversary of my apparitions. Little children, be a sign to those who are far from God and His love. I am with you and bless you all with my motherly blessing. Thank you for having responded to my call." May 25, 2005
DO NOT BE AFRAID!
The Bible says 365 times in different occasions: do not be afraid! As God and man, Jesus deeply understands the reality of our existence. He knows at which point we vulnerable, disturbed, distressed and despaired. The words of Jesus are not just poor and false consolation, but the birth of hope in the space of our despair. Nowadays, the fear enters by the large door into the world, in the person. Each one is afraid of something: we are afraid for our children, we are afraid of our parents, of our teachers, of the school, of the law, of marriage, of giving birth to children, of death… We are even afraid of God, although Jesus said to us that he did not come to judge the world but to save it. The fear is not a sickly state; it is an enemy of human beings. Mary was afraid - at the time of the visit of the angel Gabriel, at the time of the flight to Egypt, when she sought her Son who was lost, during the Passion of Jesus…
What can we do against fear? Firstly, what is most important, we have to believe deeply that nothing can arrive to me if I give everything into the hands of God and if, with the psalmist, I live the words: “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for you are with me.” Mary, for example, was completely released from fear by accepting until the end the will of God. It is also important to be conscious of one’s own fear and to recognize it. The fear is not a sign of failure and fall. One should not deny or suppress the fear. The cardinal Doepfner wrote: “When we recognize darkness which is in us, the step towards the light will be given to us.”
When a child is afraid, it runs into in the arms of his mother. It asks protection and safety. It is not unusual that we run not only in the arms of our earthly mother, but also in those of our heavenly Mother. Mary, our Mother, offers safety and protection to all the children of the world. Let us thus not be surprised by the fact that Marian shrines are full. People go where they feel acceptance and love. The frightened and despaired man seeks God, and the door towards God is open for him. Only God can thus give earthly peace. Psalm 62 sings: “Only in God my soul finds peace”. Gospa, the Queen of Peace, often speaks about peace. She knows that this world cannot give it to us. She reminds us in fact of the words of Jesus: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (Jn 14,27) Fear will not disappear by itself. It is necessary to overcome the fear by trust in God who can transform all our anguishes into a joyful game and eternal safety.
Fr. Mario Knezovic
NUMBER OF COMMUNIONS AND NUMBER OF CONCELEBRANTS
During the month of April 2005, 93.000 communions were distributed and 1.965 priests from this country and from abroad concelebrated Holy Mass in Medjugorje.
In April, pilgrims were here from: Austria, Italy, Slovenia, the USA, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Korea, Switzerland, France, Brazil, Poland, Belgium, Indonesia, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Argentina, Rumania, Canada, Australia, Lebanon, England, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia.
16TH YOUTH FESTIVAL
The 16th International Youth Festival – Mladifest – will take place in Medjugorje from August 1 to 6, 2005. The theme “We come to adore him” (Mt 2,2) is in harmony with the Year of the Eucharist and the World Youth Day, which, later in August, will gather together in Cologne hundreds of thousands of young people around the Holy Father.
ADORATION BEFORE THE ELECTION OF THE NEW POPE AND WHOLE NIGHT SILENT ADORATION FOR THE INTENTIONS OF THE NEW POPE
On Saturday, April 16, before the beginning of the Conclave, the usual one-hour Saturday adoration was prolonged, and we prayed in a very special way for the Cardinals and the election of the new Pope. In the night from April 25 to 26, there was a whole-night silent adoration and prayer for the intentions of our Holy Father Benedict XVI.
FRANCISCAN SCHOOL SISTERS – SEVENTY YEARS IN THE PARISH MEDJUGORJE
The 70th anniversary of the presence and of service of the Franciscan School Sisters in the Parish Medjugorje (1935 – 2005) was celebrated on Sunday, April 17, 2005, with a solemn Holy Mass presided by Fr Branko Rados, parish priest, and concelebrated by 19 priests, among whom also the Franciscan OFM Provincial, Fr. Slavko Soldo. After Mass, in the New Hall, there was a special program organised for this occasion.
CONFIRMATION AND FIRST COMMUNION IN MEDJUGORJE
On Sunday, April 24, 2005, 93 candidates received in Medjugorje the sacrament of Confirmation from the hands of Mons. Ratko Peric, bishop of Mostar. Liturgical celebration began with a procession and the solemn entry into the church of the bishop, the priests and the candidates. Fr. Branko greeted the bishop and the candidates on behalf of the parish.
On Sunday, May 1st, 76 children from the Parish Medjugorje received the Sacrament of First Holy Communion in St. James’ Parish church. Holy Mass was presided by Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic and concelebrated by Fr. Branko Rados, the parish priest, Fr. Petar Vlasic and other priests. The preceding day, the children made their first Confession. The occasion was embellished by the singing of the “Little Doves of Peace” - children’s choir under direction of Sr. Slavica Kozul. Days of Confirmation and of First Communion always fill the parish community with a very special atmosphere. Numerous local and foreign pilgrims joined the young, the children and their parents in the celebration of these events.
FRANCISCAN SEMINARIANS IN MEDJUGORJE
On Sunday, May 8th, a group of Franciscan seminarians from Sarajevo (Bosnian Franciscan Province) came to Medjugorje. With their singing and playing, they enriched the evening Mass, which was presided by their educator and professor, dr. Fr. Miron Sikiric. After Mass, young seminarians gave a concert of spiritual songs that was very well received by all the faithful that were present in the church, especially by foreign pilgrims. Dr. Fr. Slavko Topic and maestro Pero Cubic directed their concert.
MARATHON: MEDJUGORJE - BLEIBURG
At the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the tragedy of Bleiburg, commemorated on Saturday, May 14, 2005, on the Bleiburg field (Austria), the honorary Bleiburg unit in coordination with the Club of Croatian Home Comers from the exile are organising a 650 km long ultra marathon from Medjugorje to Bleiburg. Aleksandar Aco Golo, a marathon runner from Mostar, started this ultra marathon on May 7, 2005, at 9 am in front of the church in Medjugorje. The marathon runner was accompanied by prayer, and the blessing given by Fr. Mario Knezovic. This pilgrim of peace was also given a rosary around his neck, which will accompany him on this long way.
THE NEW DOCUMENTARY “THE LIGHTS OF MEDJUGORJE”
The new documentary entitled “The lights of Medjugorje” was shown on Saturday, May 14, in the yellow hall. The documentary was made by three young men from Dubrovnik: Maro Jovic, director, who also wrote the screenplay; camera: Mato Kristovic; montage: Boris Jovic. The documentary is showing the visionaries, the Medjugorje Franciscans, priests from the country and from abroad, pilgrims and people who were converted or healed in Medjugorje.
A PRAYER CONVENTION OF THE CHINESE
The Second Prayer Convention of the Chinese in Medjugorje took place from May 13 to 15. This prayer meeting of more than 200 Chinese was consecrated to Our Lady, Queen of Peace. As Fr. Peter Chin (Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, Toronto) told us, there were Chinese from North America, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mauritius, Caribbean and China. In Medjugorje, they were praying for freedom of faith in their native country China, where the activities of the Church are forbidden.
SUMMER SCHEDULE AT THE SHRINE
The summer prayer programme 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 prayer programme according to the day of the week. Eucharistic adoration on Wednesday and Saturday will begin at 10pm. Rosary on the Apparition Hill and the Way of the Cross on Krizevac will begin at 4pm. Confessions every evening during the Evening Prayer Programme.
THE 13TH INTERNATIONAL MEETING FOR LEADERS OF PEACE CENTRES AND MEDJUGORJE PRAYER, PILGRIM AND CHARITY GROUPS
The 13th International Meeting for Leaders of Peace Centres and Medjugorje Prayer, Pilgrim and Charity groups will take place in the New Hall in Medjugorje from March 5 to 9, 2006. The theme of this encounter is: “You shall be my witnesses until the ends of the world” (Acts 1,8)
Sunday, 5. 03. 2006. 14:00 - Registration 17:00 - Evening Prayer Program in Church Monday, 6. 03. 2006. 09,00 - Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament 09,30 - Lecture, sharing - dr. Fr. Ante Vuckovic, ofm 10,30 - Intermission 11,00 - Meeting and discussion with the lecturer 15,00 - Meeting with the Franciscans 17,00 - Evening Prayer Program in Church Tuesday, 7. 03. 2006. 09,00 - Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament 09,30 - Lecture, sharing – Fr. Mario Knezovic, ofm 10,15 - Intermission 10,45 - Meeting and Discussion and sharing between guides 11,30 - “Humanitarian Activities Linked to the Apparitions of Medjugorje” – Fr. Ivan Landeka Meeting and discussion with the lecturer about humanitarian activities 15,00 - Rosary on Apparition Hill 17,00 - Evening Prayer Program in Church 20,30 - Meeting of the participants with the Parish priest Wednesday, 8. 03. 2006. Day of Prayer: Fr. Jozo Zovko, Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic 09,00 - Prayer, lectures, sharing… 12,00 - Lunch for all the participants (bread and water) 14,00 - Way of the Cross on Krizevac (Cross Mountain) 17,00 - Evening Prayer Program in Church 21,00 - 22,00 - Adoration Thursday, 9. 03. 2006. 09,00 - Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament 09,30 - Experiences of the Participants 11,00 - Holy Mass Lunch for all the participants
Dr. Fr. Ante Vuckovic, OFM, was born in 1958 in Sinj (Croatia). He is member of the Franciscan Province of the Holy Redeemer. He attended the little seminary and the classical college at Sinj, completed his studies of theology in Makarska and Zagreb, then was ordained a priest in 1983. He made specialized studies in philosophy at Muenchen and in Rome, taught philosophy in Rome, at the pontifical University Antonianum, and at the Franciscan Theology in Makarska. He is teaching now at the Catholic Faculty of Theology of the University of Split. He is leading retreats, seminars and spiritual recollections. He published several books in spiritual matters and is collaborating in several specialized and popular reviews.
Fr. Mario Knezovic, OFM, was born in 1973. in Posusje. He attended the seminary in Dubrovnik, Visoko and Sinj. He entered in the Franciscan order in 1993, completed his studies of philosophy and theology in Zagreb in 1999, was ordained a deacon in 1999 in Detroit (Canada) and a priest in 2000 in Chicago (the USA). He spent its year of deaconate in New York, then he worked during one year in St. Peter and Paul parish at Mostar. As a student in Zagreb, he was a redactor of a newspaper of students. From 2000 to 2004, he was a secretary of the Conference of the major religious superiors of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Currently, he is director of the Information center “Mir” Medjugorje, chief editor of Radio “Mir” Medjugorje and collaborator of several media in the country and abroad.
The 13th International Meeting for Leaders of Peace Centres and Medjugorje Prayer, Pilgrim and Charity groups will take place in the New Hall in Medjugorje from March 5 to 9, 2006.
The number of places is limited, and the number of participants is increasing from year to year. This is why we ask you kindly to make your registration as soon as possible, at the latest by the end of November 2005. You can send your registrations by fax + 387 36 651 999 (for Marija Dugandzic), or by e-mail: email@example.com .
Simultaneous translation is available for all language groups. This is why we ask you kindly to take with you a small FM radio with headphones.
The price of the seminar is 60 € per person. This includes all the fees for the organization and running of the seminar (lecturers, translations of texts, simultaneous translation and lunch the last day). When you register and pay at the beginning of the seminar, you will receive a badge, which will allow you to participate in the seminar. We ask you kindly to organize personally your accommodation in Medjugorje. We believe that this is not a problem for you, because you have come to Medjugorje for many years now and have friends and acquaintances here.
We are looking forward to your reservations and to welcoming you at this meeting!
SEMINARS OF PRAYER, FASTING AND SILENCE
Published by: INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice Mira (Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace), 88266 Medjugorje.
Last Modified 05/27/2005