"Dear children! Today I thank you for every sacrifice that you have offered for my intentions. I call you, little children, to be my apostles of peace and love in your families and in the world. Pray that the Holy Spirit may enlighten and lead you on the way of holiness. I am with you and bless you all with my motherly blessing. Thank you for having responded to my call." June 25, 2005
THE PRIESTS WHO LOVE JESUS
It is very little - or not at all - that we think about the servants of God, it depends… When they do their usual - I would even say expected - works of mercy, one does not speak of them. But if they make the least wrong step, everyone wants to know about it, to speak about it, to write about it. Jesus, by inviting the apostles to follow him, showed clearly what awaits them: trial, mockeries, prison, judgment…
The priestly vocation is difficult to be understood, it is even inconceivable for those who think the thoughts of this world and not the thoughts of God. A philosopher said that, compared to the world, the spiritual vocation was “a logic of madness”. There is much truth in that. Humans tend more towards having then towards being. They tend to want to carry out their works according to the parameters of this world: professional career, family, children, heritage, reputation… However, in a priestly vocation, and more still in a religious vocation, one gives up all that. Jesus is clear. He asks that one give up everything to follow him.
In these times, much is spoken about a certain “civil society”. What does it mean? At the first thought, it seems to be a noble idea, because it supports freedom and equality between the people. And yet, if we reflect a little better, we will see that this attitude contains the denial of certain states of life and of certain vocations. A “civil society” will have difficulties to support servants of God who wear a habit, as well all those who announce a life according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. Let us thus not be surprised if the media make fun of priests, and if they are charged of all kinds of faults, with the goal of marginalizing their action. What is most dangerous, it is generalization. Let us say, if a professor does something evil, the media will say his name and will stress that this is an individual case. But as soon as it is about a priest, it is generalization, and it is said, “the priests do what is evil”.
The priests need neither consolation nor protection that comes from this world. Jesus himself said that, when they are led in front of the courts, they should not prepare their defence. The priests, on the contrary, need companions in prayer and in giving witness. The faithful, by their prayers, must obtain holiness and strength for their priests. Such priests, nourished by the prayers of their faithful, will be courageous witnesses, and nothing will be able to break them.
In Medjugorje - that I also perceive as a therapeutic centre for priests - we are seeing many spiritual vocations born in the environment of prayer prepared by Our Lady. In June this year, four young newly ordained priests from Poland and from Ireland, full of enthusiasm, came to give thanks to Jesus for having chosen them. They are happy, because they belong to Jesus and because they serve Him. We need priests, and we must obtain them in prayer. We need priests who abandon themselves into the hands of Jesus. An American scientist said so well that we need priests who love Jesus.
Fr. Mario Knezovic
NUMBER OF COMMUNIONS AND NUMBER OF CONCELEBRANTS
During the month of May 2005, 131.500 communions were distributed and 2.838 priests from this country and from abroad concelebrated Holy Mass in Medjugorje.
In May, pilgrims were here from: Italy, Poland, France, Korea, Ireland, England, Canada, the USA, South Africa, Lebanon, Serbia and Montenegro, Germany, Slovenia, Austria, Gibraltar, La Reunion, Spain, Hungary, Slovakia, Panama, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Nederland, Belgium, Argentina, Australia, Switzerland, China, Scotland, Ukraine, Brazil, Mexico, Zimbabwe, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia.
VISIT OF AN ARCHBISHOP FROM INDONESIA
Archbishop Hieronymus Herculanus Bumbun, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Pontianak (Indonesia) was in Medjugorje on May 13 and 14, 2005. He came on a pilgrimage with a group from Jakarta organised by Harry Karnadi. He said that he came to Medjugorje because of his devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. He is very impressed by the message of Medjugorje given to the 6 visionaries. He thinks that it is good for people to follow these messages, because they lead to peace, hope and faith. He sees them as a basic catholic education for the families. He says that it would be good for the families to pay more attention to these messages. In his diocese of Pontianak in Indonesia, they increase the community spirit. The messages of Medjugorje can be very well applied to the living philosophy in Indonesia. They are closely related to the life of the people and the Church. In the present globalisation of the world, which is affecting the relationships in the family, these messages can help the family to feel as the basic cell of the Church. He said that he is very touched by the openhearted way in which people offer hospitality to the pilgrims in Medjugorje. What they say is not exaggerated, there is no promotion; it is simple and real. About the prayer in the church, he said that is easy to see the strong spiritual life. He is impressed, he praises the Lord for the possibility to be here and to see with his eyes and to hear with his ears.
RENOWNED SLOVENIANS IN MEDJUGORJE
Renowned Slovenians Alojz Rebula and Zora Tavcar came to Medjugorje in the mid of May. Alojz Rebula, member of the Pontifical Academy of science and art is the most productive Slovenian writer and translator. He translated the Holy Scripture into Slovenian language, and several documentary films were made about him in Slovenia and in Italy. This is what he said about his experience of Medjugorje. “I have to be grateful to one of my teachers for Medjugorje. It is with him that I came to Medjugorje for the first time in 1983. I wrote then my first article about Medjugorje, because of my very positive experiences. I was also very impressed by my conversation with Fr. Ljudevit Rupcic. I think today that Medjugorje has become one of the greatest Marian Shrines in the world, at the level of Lourdes and Fatima. We only can desire now that the Church acknowledges this. For me, it is a great thing that Our Lady wants to show us that she is with us at every moment.”
Zora Tavcar, a professor of Slovenian language, said about Medjugorje: “The conversion of my husband is Our Lady’s work. I told her to look at all my troubles, and I asked her to bring peace to me and to my family. I want to suggest to every one to come to Medjugorje and make the experience of the spiritual life and of peace.”
THE MAYOR OF ZAGREB IN MEDJUGORJE
On May 26, 2005, the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, M. Milan Bandic, mayor of Zagreb (Croatia), came to Medjugorje. In a short meeting with Fr. Branko Rados, parish priest of Medjugorje, and Fr. Mario Knezovic, Director of the Information Center “Mir” Medjugorje, he was informed about the pastoral life in the parish, about the care for the pilgrims, and about the activities of the Information Center “Mir” Medjugorje.
In an interview for Radio “Mir” Medjugorje, he said: “I came here to thank God and to Our Lady for everything, especially for my health. I also wanted to pay a visit to the Franciscans who are working here so diligently and so patiently for the Homeland and for the whole world. As a believer, I am at his moment somewhere between the 6th and 7th Station of the Cross.”
GENERAL MINISTER OF THE FRANCISCAN SECULAR ORDER IN MEDJUGORJE
Encarnacion del Pozo, Minister General of the Franciscan Secular Order, was in Medjugorje on May 22 and 23, 2005. Together with Fr. Ivan Matic, the Assistant General of the Franciscan Secular Order, and Fr. Milan Kristo, National Assistant, she was on her regular working visit to the fraternity in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She also wanted to visit the Shrine of Medjugorje. This is what she said about her experience of Medjugorje: “For me, this s a new, deep and wonderful experience. Here, I see the wonderful work of Providence. Everything here can bee observed and understood only with the eyes of faith. I also went to the Apparition Hill. Walking on these paths, my reflection brought me to understand the way of simplicity. I am happy because of the possibility to be in this place.”
IN MEMORIAM OTTO HERZ
A great friend and benefactor of Medjugorje, Mr. Otto Herz (63 years), was called into the heavenly homeland on May 19, 2005, after a long and very serious illness. Since his first pilgrimage to Medjugorje in the year 1994, the importance of Medjugorje and the large needs of the population became the central task of his life. With Fr. Slavko Barbaric, he founded in the year 1995 the non-profit association „Tal des Friedens“ e.V., in Pöring near Munich, in order to win godfathers for the war orphans of the children in Bosnia and Herzegovina and to support with donations various humanitarian projects, which had been founded by Fr. Slavko. Thus, in the course of the years and thanks to the untiring and generous service of Otto and his wife Betty, not only considerable sums of money were collected for the poor of this country, but also humanitarian goods were collected and transported for the needy, in a way exceeding his forces. This long-lasting devoted activity was recognised by the Federal Republic of Germany, which honoured Otto and his always helpful and affectionate wife Betty in the year 2002 with the Medal of merit.
Because of his serious illness, it was no longer possible for Otto to visit his beloved Medjugorje in the past year, although this was his greatest desire. We thank Otto for his great heart, always open for the poor and the needy of our country, and for everything that he did for the intentions of Our Lady in such a generous and exemplary way. Thank you, dear Otto, thank you, dear Betty, we include you both into our prayers.
AN ITALIAN BISHOP ON PILGRIMAGE IN MEDJUGORJE
Mons. Salvatore Boccaccio, bishop of the diocese Frosinone near Rome, was on a private pilgrimage in Medjugorje from June 4 to 7, 2005. During his stay, he visited the places of prayer and participated in the liturgical and prayer programme in the parish church. He also met the Medjugorje Franciscans. Asked about the reasons for his pilgrimage to Medjugorje, he said: “In my diocese, I have young people who were converted and whose life was changed in Medjugorje. Their witness was for me a sign of a great presence of God in Medjugorje. I also read what Rene Laurentin wrote about Our Lady’s apparitions, and it also had an influence, but most of all, I was inspired by personal witnesses of the pilgrims. I congratulate the Franciscans who are tirelessly serving the pilgrims and patiently and humbly supporting all attacks and provocations”, said the Mons. Salvatore Boccaccio, visibly filled with joy because of his coming to Medjugorje.”
LEADERS OF THE CROATIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCE AND ART IN MEDJUGORJE
On Thursday, June 9, 2005, the leaders of the Croatian Academy of Science and Art came to Medjugorje. The President of the Academy Milan Moguš, the Secretary General of the Academy Slavko Cvetnic, and the secretary prof. dr. Slobodan Kaštela led the delegation. President Moguš expressed his joy for coming for the first time in a place where so many are converted and where s many pour out their prayers to God through Mary. In a conversation with the parish priest Fr. Branko Radoš, and the Director of the Information Centre “Mir” Medjugorje Fr. Mario Knezovic, they were informed about the work of the Parish and the Shrine. The academics showed a special interest in documentation and proofs of miracles and healings at the intercession of Our Lady. While visiting the space around the parish church, they expressed their satisfaction about the harmonious and artistic details, which structure the space of prayer.
The 14th traditional Peace March was held as every year on June 24th, the eve of the 24th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady. It began with prayer and the blessing of the pilgrims in front of the Franciscan monastery of Humac. About 3000 pilgrims started their march at 6 am. Upon their arrival in Medjugorje, pilgrims gathered in front of the parish church for a short common prayer. “The Peace March” is the fruit of an idea born in the hearts of Medjugorje pilgrims and friends of Medjugorje at the time of war, in 1992. Although the years of war are behind us, Our Lady reminds us in her messages that there are wars “in our hearts”. This 13 km-long march is a response to the trouble, violence and hatred, as well as an appeal to real peace and reconciliation. This Peace March was led by fra Ljubo Kurtovic fra Bože Milic.
THE CELEBRATION OF THE 24th ANNIVERSARY OF OUR LADY’S APPARITIONS IN THE PARISH MEDJUGORJE
During the last 24 years, Our Lady’s message of peace was spread all over the world through pilgrims, reached homes all over the world, and made Medjugorje one of the most visited places of pilgrimage, a powerful source of grace and of conversions. This is confirmed by the presence of more than 100 000 faithful from 5 continents that came to Medjugorje for the 24th anniversary. Very many local pilgrims came on their bare feet to pray to the Queen of Peace, their heavenly mother.
In the morning of June 24th and June 25th, Holy Masses were celebrated in 13 languages. During these two days, 40 000 communions were distributed.
The evening Mass on June 24th was presided by Fr. Valentin Vukoja and concelebrated by 163 priests. About 15 000 faithful were present.
The evening Mass on June 25th was presided by Fr. Branko radoš in front of about 50 000 faithful. 205 priests from approximately twenty countries concelebrated the evening mass.
REGULAR ANNUAL APPARITION TO THE VISIONARY IVANKA
The visionary Ivanka Ivankovic-Elez had her regular annual apparition on June 25th 2005. According to the visionaries, Vicka, Marija and Ivan continue to have daily apparitions, and Mirjana, Ivanka and Jakov have an annual apparition.
At Her last daily apparition on May 7, 1985, Our Lady confided to Ivanka the 10th secret and told her that she would have an apparition once a year on the anniversary of the apparitions. It was that way also this year. The apparition lasted 10 minutes. Ivanka had the apparition at home in the presence of her family, her husband and her three children.
Our Lady gave the following message:
„Dear children, love each other with the love of my Son. Peace, peace, peace.”
Our Lady was joyful and spoke to Ivanka about the 6th secret.
THE 16th INTERNATIONAL YOUTH FESTIVAL - MLADIFEST 16 – MEDJUGORJE 2005
August 1st to August 6th, 2005
“WE COME TO ADORE HIM” (Mt 2,2)
Sunday, July 31 07:00 pm - Holy Mass – general rehearsal for the choir and the orchestra 08.00 pm - Adoration - – general rehearsal for the choir and the orchestra Monday, August 1 06:00 pm - Rosary 07:00 pm - Holy Mass 09:30 pm - Adoration Tuesday, August 2 09:00 am - Morning Prayer 09:30 – 12:00 am – Lectures and testimonies 04:00 – 05:30 pm - Lectures and testimonies 06:00 pm – Rosary 07:00 pm - Holy Mass 09:30 pm– Adoration Wednesday, August 3 09:00 am - Morning Prayer 09:30 – 12:00 am – Lectures and testimonies 04:00 – 05:30 pm - Lectures and testimonies 06:00 pm – Rosary 07:00 pm - Holy Mass 08:30 pm – Procession Thursday, August 4 09:00 am - Morning Prayer 09:30 – 12:00 am – Lectures and testimonies – Sister Elvira's Community 04:00 – 05:30 pm - Lectures and testimonies 06:00 pm – Rosary 07:00 pm - Holy Mass 09:30 pm –Theatre and musical show Friday, August 5 09:00 am - Morning Prayer 09:30 – 12:00 am – Lectures and testimonies 04:00 – 05:30 pm - Lectures and testimonies 06:00 pm – Rosary 07:00 pm - Holy Mass 08:30 pm - Adoration 09:30 pm - Singing Farewell Saturday, August 6 – Transfiguration of the Lord 05:00 am - Holy Mass on Cross Mountain
Things to bring with you: small FM radio with headphones, a Bible and umbrella.
All groups participating in the Youth Prayer meeting: please do not arrange or make plans for any other programs during this week.
The evening prayer programme for all begins with the Rosary at 6 pm followed by Holy Mass at 7 pm.
On arrival in Medjugorje, please register at a registration table set up from 9 am to 6 pm every day; registration will take place throughout the entire week.
DURING THE TIME OF THE YOUTH FESTIVAL (except on Sunday)
THERE WILL BE NO MORNING MASSES FOR PILGRIMS.
ALL PILGRIMS WILL ATTEND THE EVENING MASS WITH YOUTH.
During the whole Youth Festival, THERE WILL BE SIMULTANEOUS TRANSLATION.
Published by: INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice Mira (Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace), 88266 Medjugorje.
Last Modified 07/03/2005