"Dear children! Also today I call you to live my messages. God gave you a gift of this time as a time of grace. Therefore, little children, make good use of every moment and pray, pray, pray. I bless you all and intercede before the Most High for each of you. Thank you for having responded to my call." August 25, 2005
THE UNDERSTANDING HEART OF THE HUMBLE
Have you already known the situation in which you have the impression that you have not given a good and skilful answer, the best possible answer, to certain important questions? These moments can be frequent. Important questions surprise us and we give answers with which we are not satisfied. We have difficulties to find right words and wise answers.
An episode from the Old Testament is the typical example of how to answer wisely to important questions of life. In the First Book of the Kings, we read that God, in the night, comes to Salomon and says: “Ask what I shall give you.” And Solomon answers: “Give thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad.” (1 Kings 3,4-10) Solomon gave a wise answer. He aspired to what is essential. He has asked for help to rule the people, which the Lord entrusted to him. Solomon passed his test of maturity what concerns the humility.
Our experience teaches us, that it is difficult for us to admit our powerlessness, our limitations, our ignorance, our fear in front of the challenges. Some think that they are experts in almost all fields of life, that they are universal scientists. They think that they know everything about history, medicine, music, sports, faith, policy, etc. In their company or in conversation with them, we feel ill at ease. Moreover, if such people take hold of power or of titles, it becomes even more complex. One has the impression that they become their own goal. Others do not exist any more, they are not important any more except as tools for exploitation and for accomplishing of individual ambitions.
The desire of Solomon to obtain a perspicacious heart is a model to be followed. In life, many things seem precious and important to us, but most important is to recognize what is really important. Solomon knows it. As a king and a leader, he is asking for help. He does not think that he can do everything, that he knows everything. His answer is reflecting one of the most splendid qualities: that is humility.
We will also be - and daily we are already - in the midst of challenges, important questions and answers. During our spiritual growth, our spiritual pilgrimage, we usually ask questions to God. However, let us not forget that God is asking us questions too. Let us thus ask for a wise heart, full of humility, a heart that is serving, like the heart of Mary. And let us not forget that, alone, we can do nothing, but God with us can really do everything - even what is impossible.
Fr. Mario Knezovic
NUMBER OF COMMUNIONS AND NUMBER OF CONCELEBRANTS
During the month of July 2005, 120.000 communions were distributed and 4.022 priests from this country and from abroad concelebrated Holy Mass in Medjugorje.
In July, pilgrims were here from: Italy, France, Poland, Belgium, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Ireland, the USA, Slovenia, Germany, New Zeeland, Hungary, Rumania, Austria, Mexico, England, Korea, Canada, Greece, Israel, Lebanon, India, Netherlands, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
VISIT OF A BISHOP FROM INDIA
Mons. Geevarghese Mar Divannasios Ottathengil (54), Indian catholic bishop of Syro-Malankara rite, bishop of the diocese Bathery from Kerala (India), was on pilgrimage in Medjugorje at the occasion of the 24th anniversary of the apparitions. He came to Medjugorje with a group of 25 pilgrims from Switzerland. On Saturday, June 25, the Anniversary of the Apparitions, he concelebrated the evening Mass, which was presided by Fr. Branko Rados, the pastor of Medjugorje.
After having finished his studies in Rome, Mons. Geevarghese went back to India where he was appointed rector of the minor and of the major seminary in his diocese. He was named bishop in 1997. In 2003, during his ad limina visit in Rome, Holy Father said that the syro-malankara Church was one of the fastest growing Churches in the world. The diocese of Bathery exists since 1979. There are about 25.000 Catholics, 98 priests, about 250 religious sisters, 45 seminarians and many vocations. The western relativism is penetrating big cities, but not the countryside, because the religious roots are very strong.
Mons. Geevarghese gave his testimony about Medjugorje:
“I heard about Medjugorje for the first time about 15-20 years ago, but I was doubting. I was not very much interested in coming here, but a friend of mine, a priest from Switzerland, told me about Medjugorje and about his experience. His attitude as a priest had tremendously changed after Medjugorje. He was praying well, and in his relationship with others, he became very human. He is a real priest now! That made me think: There must be something in Medjugorje?! Roman Gruether told me that Medjugorje was different from other places of pilgrimages, that the natural atmosphere is kept, and that people are really praying here. Last year, I made up my mind to come and see. I came now with a group from Switzerland led by Sylvia Keller.
My experience is corresponding to my expectations. These 3 days are a confirmation. One can feel the family spirit here. People who are involved in the service, even the smallest service, do it with love and with joy. This place gives us also the experience of the universal family. Everyone feels here at home, like in one’s mothers house. I met the visionaries; I visited Marija, Ivan and Vicka. I think that they are real visionaries. Medjugorje will be recognised, there is no doubt! Today or tomorrow, maybe little later, it will surely be recognised!
These messages are really needed. Prayer, Holy Mass, penance, confession, fasting, conversion. At any age, they are the fundamentals of spiritual life. Without Jesus, there is no spiritual life. Self-denial, living for God and for others. Often, we are tempted to think that, at the modern age, we are competing with God. But we have to realise that human beings are limited. Catastrophes help us understand our limits. September 11th, or Tsunami… we understand how small we are.
Medjugorje is for our time a real call from God. The people who live here are fortunate. You have a special vocation. You have to keep this universal brotherhood. This is not only for this parish, this region, this diocese… It is for the whole world. You have to promote this universal spirit.”
FEAST OF ST. JAMES, PATRON SAINT OF THE PARISH
On July 25, feast of St. James the Apostle, the parish of Medjugorje celebrated its patron saint. In the morning, according to the custom, the Eucharistic celebration began and ended by the singing the litany of All the Saints and a procession with the statue of the Patron Saint, which was carried by the residents of Vasilji. Holy Mass was concelebrated by numerous local and several foreign priests in the little park near the church. It was presided by Fr. Tomislav Puljic, and concelebrated by the Herzegovinian provincial Fr. Slavko Soldo, and the pastor of Medjugorje Fr. Branko Rados. The parishioners prepared themselves for the feast of their patron and of the patron saint of the pilgrims by a tridium.
16th INTERNATIONAL YOUTH PRAYER FESTIVAL
The International Youth Prayer Meeting in Medjugorje took place also this year from August 1 to 6. About 25.000 young people from all over the world gathered together. There were also about 400 priests, who accompanied their young parishioners to this meeting.
The theme of the meeting was, “We came to adore him”. During the evening prayer programme, numerous other pilgrims joined young people, and about 30.000 faithful participated in the programme each evening.
Lecturers and witnesses invited young people to come to know Jesus Christ who is a brother for each one of us and the Saviour of humanity, and whom young people need so much today, and to adore him. The General Minister of the Franciscans OFM, Fr. Jose Carballo, assisted at this encounter and spoke to the youth.
This meeting was another exceptional spiritual experience for all young people who participated. This is why we invite them to come next year again to Medjugorje and to renew their fidelity to God, to the Holy Father and to the Church.
The meeting was simultaneously translated into 15 languages.
SOLEMNITY OF THE ASSUMPTION
Several thousands of local and foreign pilgrims came to Medjugorje for the solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. During the morning, Masses were celebrated in about ten languages. The solemn evening Mass was presided by Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic, and concelebrated by 34 priests. Also this year, numerous Croatian pilgrims came on bare feet. They were arriving already during the night, after having walked many kilometres.
SEMINARS IN "DOMUS PACIS"
There were 3 "Prayer and Fasting" seminars led by Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic for pilgrims from Russia and from Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Ther eas also a seminar of contemplative prayer led by Fr. Mladen Herceg.
As a preparation for the Feast of the Pentecost, 3 prayer groups from Zagreb made a retreat. Young people from Split wit the Salesian Fathers, young people from Medjugorje, Franciscan Youth Fraternities from Herzegovina also made their retreats. In August, the Art Colony stayed also there.
Published by: INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice Mira (Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace), 88266 Medjugorje.
Last Modified 08/31/2005