M E D I T A T I O N
P U R I T Y
We were enthusiastic when Our Lady appeared in the parish of Medjugorje. Perhaps in the beginning we hesitated a little, however after that everything flowed well like a river. If we came to know about it all later, we were only sorry that we didn't come to know about it sooner. The events flowed on and we drank from them for days and years.
It's time, it seems to me, to stop a little and to think over how it is with us at this moment. Are the Medjugorje events flowing in us like a clear mountain river or like a river that men have polluted with anything and everything? Have we forgotten that God's word is stronger than any human word and that His wisdom should not be mixed with human wisdom? Who says it is possible to reduce the Medjugorje events to human casts so that we could later be able to manipulate them the way we want to?
Only the one who knows how to stop and take a look at his own past life, knows how to sense what purity is. He experiences it like the sun that warms him. By contrast, the one who does not know what that purity is, is groping in the dark. He thinks he has found out everything, but in reality he is lost. By his ignorance he also embarrasses others around him.
The events in the parish of Medjugorje are one great stream of purity in this modern world. It would not be good for us to be a hindrance to it, regardless of whatever good intentions we might have.
N E W S
THE POPE IN BOSNIA-HERCEGOVINA
On April 12 - 13, 1997 the Holy Father Pope John Paul II visited Bosnia-Hercegovina, that is, Sarajevo. The Holy Father is certainly the greatest peace pilgrim of our time. Several times in his sermons and prayers he has mentioned peace and prayed to God for the war torn peoples of this area. We cannot but recall his visit to Croatia in September 1994, when about one million Croatians awaited the Holy Father in Zagreb. That is one fourth of the entire population of Croatia. Already then the Holy Father announced his coming to Sarajevo. That visit had been planned even earlier, but only now took place.
On the occasion of his meeting with the Catholics of Bosnia-Hercegovina the Holy Father gave a message of hope and peace, calling for co-existence and tolerance in this multinational community. From the parish of Medjugorje about 250 parishioners and about 300 foreign pilgrims, who came from different parts of the world for this event, went to the meeting with the Holy Father. Maybe it looks out of the ordinary for people to come to Medjugorje from America or some European country in order to meet with the Pope in Sarajevo. But there's nothing extraordinary in that. They are people who recognize the importance and the power of the Pope's call to peace, the same call that Our Lady began directing to the world back in 1981. For the Holy Mass only about 50,000 people were present. Many interpreted that number as people being fearful for their personal security. The city of Sarajevo, for its part, gave the Pope a cold reception. Now that city is highly islamized by comparison with before the war when it was highly multi-national and multi-confessional.
The parish of Medjugorje, together with all of its pilgrims, prepared with prayer for a happy and blessed arrival of the Pope in this area meditating on the message of August 25, 1994. Our Lady gave this message before the Pope's arrival in Croatia. We also recall it here: "Dear children! Today I am united with you in prayer in a special way, praying for the gift of the presence of my most beloved son in your home country. Pray, little children, for the health of my most beloved son, who suffers, 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."
THE POPE, MEDJUGORJE AND THE PROVINCIAL OF THE HERCEGOVINA FRANCISCANS
The visit of Pope John Paul II to Bosnia-Hercegovina April 12 - 13, 1997 was a visit which many had hoped would end with a visit of the Pope to Medjugorje, since in several references he had expressed such a desire. Unfortunately, that did not happen. Nevertheless, the Pope did not forget Medjugorje.
At the Sarajevo airport April 12 the very first to await the Pope's arrival were the bishops and provincials of Bosnia-Hercegovina. When the provincial of the Sarajevo Province, Fr. Peter Andjelovic, as the first of the provincials approached the Pope to greet him, the Pope asked him the question, "Medjugorje?". He pointed to Dr. Fr. Tomislav Pervan, the provincial of Hercegovina who said, "I am from Mostar and Medjugorje." The Pope nodded his head with satisfaction and twice repeated, "Medjugorje, Medjugorje". All TV viewers who watched the presentation of the Pope's arrival also saw it.
While the Pope prayed with those gathered in the Sarajevo cathedral he prayed twice referring to the Queen of Peace for Bosnia-Hercegovina. Many of those present interpreted it as having recourse to the Queen of Peace from Medjugorje.
After supper in the Sarajevo Catholic School of Theology Fr. Tomislav took advantage of the occasion to personally present the Pope with the newest photo-monograph on Medjugorje which the Franciscans who work in the parish of Medjugorje had sent to him. On that occasion he spoke to him briefly about Medjugorje. The Pope did not say anything, but by the expression on his face, he accepted both the former and the latter with satisfaction and interest.
On the occasion of the Pope's departure from the Sarajevo airport Fr. Tomislav Pervan by way of greeting said, "Holy Father, we are expecting you in Medjugorje." The Pope answered with a smile, "Medjugorje, Medjugorje" as was visible also on TV screens.
BISHOPS MOGED ELHACHEM AND FRANCO HILLARY IN MEDJUGORJE
On his journey to Sarajevo which was called by the Croatian name Vrhbosna all the way up to the Turkish occupation in 1463, Pope John Paul II was accompanied by 11 ambassadors with credentials at the Holy See, Vatican journalists, representatives of the secretary of state and bishops Moged Elhachem and Franco Hillary. On its way this thirty-member delegation also visited the Shrine of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje.
Bishop Moged Elhachem presided and preached at the celebration of mass. In his sermon he said how they have set out all together for Sarajevo to encourage the Holy Father and to make a modest contribution themselves by their prayers for peace in Sarajevo, for peace in B-H, and for peace in this area.
After the celebration of mass Fr. Ivan Bradvica led them to the Hill of Apparition. There they all prayed together and discussed the events in the parish of Medjugorje.
At his departure Bishop Elhachem said that he came to pray for peace also in his own war torn homeland of Lebanon. Bishop Franco Hillary from New York announced that this was his second visit to Medjugorje and that he comes here gladly since he senses the presence of the Queen of Peace in his own life and labor. The Croatian ambassador to the Holy See, Ive Livljanic, who was also the travel guide, expressed for himself that the big miracle is just the fact itself that in these modern times a multitude of people comes to Medjugorje and prays there. He also added that the ambassadors were the chief movers and motivators for the journey to Medjugorje.
VISIT OF THE GERMAN MILITARY BISHOP
In recent days a military bishop also visited Medjugorje. He was Msgr. Johannes Dyba, bishop of the German city of Fulda. He came for a visit to the German SFOR units that are stationed in Bosnia-Hercegovina. "On the way Medjugorje was unavoidable", said Bishop Dyba who came to the Shrine of the Queen of Peace with a group of German officers and soldiers. After his visit to the Shrine he stayed longer for a hearty talk with the Medjugorje Franciscans who informed him about the events related to Our Lady's apparitions in this parish.
MILITARY DELEGATION VISITS MEDJUGORJE
On April 10 the ambassador of the OESS Mr. Morton Kraznai, General Christiansen, and a group of officers from the Croatian Armed Forces (HVO), the army of B-H, the army of the Republic of Srpska, and the international forces in B-H visited Medjugorje. In their brief visit to the Shrine of the Queen of Peace they expressed interest in the history of the place and the Shrine. They were particularly interested in what motivates people from all parts of the world to come to Medjugorje even in the most difficult times of war.
THE GOOD WORKS OF GOOD PEOPLE
Two Medjugorje pilgrims from Italy, Tomaso and Alessandro, one blind and the other with serious bodily injuries, undertook the project of renewing the childrens' village in Odzak, Bosnia-Hercegovina. Accompanied by a TV team they came on bicycles to Sarajevo for the visit of the Holy Father. After Sarajevo they went to Odzak to continue their welfare mission.
MISSIONARY TRAVELS OF FR. SLAVKO BARBARIC
After numerous invitations that came from the continent of Africa, Fr. Slavko Barbaric together with the visionary Vicka, visited several countries in the southern part of Africa for 25 days. There were many meetings and interesting events. Due to limitations of space it is not possible for us to give a complete report. We will try to present to you what is most important. Fr. Slavko and Vicka had meetings with priests, religious men and women, the elderly in retirement homes, children in orphanages as well as with the faithful in their churches. Altogether there were about 30 meetings. They also met seven bishops, and some of them also presided at the Eucharist during the program of prayer. At all the meetings the program was just like the evening program in Medjugorje, accordingly, praying the rosary, holy mass, and prayer for healing. After that Vicka gave her testimony. Sometimes the meetings were also held outdoors and also in Croatian and in one of the African languages with the usual accompaniment of live African music. On the occasion of this visit the leader of the Center for Peace in Lusaka, Zambia gave Fr. Slavko and Vicka an official invitation also to visit this part of Africa. In many areas of Africa prayer groups, inspired by the event of Medjugorje, are operating already for 10 years.
At the invitation of pilgrims and friends of Medjugorje soon after his travels to Africa Fr. Slavko visited Belgium and the Croatian immigrants in Switzerland gathered in the Croatian Catholic missions.
Published by : INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice mira
(Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace),
88266 Medjugorje, BiH, fax number: 00387 88 651 444.
Director: fra Miljenko Stojic.
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Published every other Wednesday.
Last Modified 04/23/97