June 26, 2022
If we knew...
“If we knew how good it is to forgive, we would never live in an argument. If we knew what a treasure it is to have peace, we would never seek conflict. If we knew how great grace is in repentance, we would never be arrogant. If we knew how divine it is to be simple, we would never complicate anyone’s life. If we knew how much power there is in humility we would never push for first places. If we knew how much power there is in selflessness, we would live a life of love. If we knew how blissful and upright it is to speak the truth, we would never sell ourselves to anyone. If we met Mary, we would know that Christ is the only Saviour of the world.”
From the homily by Fr. Jozo Grbeš, Provincial of the Franciscan Province of Herzegovina, given at the Mass celebrating the 41st anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions.
June 25, 2022
Medjugorje message, June 25, 2022
Dear children! I rejoice with you and thank you for every sacrifice and prayer you have offered for my intentions. Little children, remember that you are important in my plan for the salvation of mankind. Return to God and pray that the Holy Spirit may work in you and through you. Little children, I am with you in these days when Satan is fighting for war and hatred. Division is strong and evil is at work in man as never before. Thank you for having responded to my call.
June 24, 2022
“Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord?”
Although the 'official' anniversary of Our Lady's apparitions isn't celebrated until tomorrow, June 25, she did actually appear for the first time on Podbrdo on June 24, 1981, the feast of the Nativity of John the Baptist.
It's said the reason why the anniversary is celebrated on the 25th is because it was the day on which the established group of six visionaries first came together. My view is that Our Lady specified the 25th because she didn't want the Baptist's birthday celebration to be overshadowed by her own coming to Medjugorje and, perhaps, to confirm that she was actually present for John's birth.
The two visionaries who witnessed the first apparition on the 24th, Ivanka and Mirjana, said the Virgin was carrying an infant in her arms, and what seemed at first to be a lamb. It is assumed the infant was Jesus, but was the seers' first impression that she was carrying a lamb Our Lady's way of honouring the birth of John, the voice in the wilderness who pointed out Jesus as the "lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world"?
June 23, 2022
Walking to Medjugorje
Continuing a long tradition, a group of 67 pilgrims from Rama set of on foot this morning to make a 60 mile journey and arrive in Medjugorje on Saturday to coincide with the 41st anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady celebrated on June 25.
June 11, 2022
Feast of the Holy Trinity
While Augustine was working on his book On the Trinity, he was walking by the seaside one day, meditating on the difficult problem of how God could be three Persons at once. He came upon a little child. The child had dug a little hole in the sand, and with a seashell was scooping water from the sea into the small hole. Augustine watched him for a while and finally asked the child what he was doing. The child answered that he would scoop all the water from the sea and pour it into the little hole in the sand. “What?” Augustine said. “That is impossible. Obviously, the sea is too large and the hole too small.” “Indeed,” said the child, “but I will sooner draw all the water from the sea and empty it into this hole than you will succeed in penetrating the mystery of the Holy Trinity with your limited understanding.” Augustine turned away in amazement and when he looked back the child had disappeared. source: medievalists.net
• Detail from Masaccio’s fresco, The Holy Trinity, in the church of Santa Maria Novella, Florence
June 06, 2022
I saw the Spirit coming down on him from heaven like a dove and resting on him.
John 1 : 32
“The Holy Spirit will never tell you that on your journey everything is going just fine. No, he corrects you; he makes you weep for your sins; he pushes you to change, to fight against your lies and deceptions, even when that calls for hard work, interior struggle and sacrifice.” Pope Francis, Pentecost 2022
June 04, 2022
Come and pray
Dear children! God wants to make you holy. Therefore, through me He is inviting you to complete surrender. Let holy mass be your life. Understand that the church is God's palace, the place in which I gather you and want to show you the way to God. Come and pray. part Medjugorje message, April 25, 1988
June 03, 2022
Where are any of our thinkers today? *
The above image is detail from a painting depicting the Presentation of the Virgin at the Temple. It’s one of a cycle of frescoes portraying the life of Mary that can be seen in the Tornabuoni Chapel in the church of Santa Maria Novella, Florence, Italy. The frescoes were painted between 1486 and 1490 by the Italian Renaissance artist Domenico Ghirlandaio and his workshop.
Mary is shown climbing the steps to the temple. Her father and mother, saints Joachim and Anne, stand behind her at the foot of the stairs. But that isn’t the only narrative embedded in the fresco. There are others, the most notable being a reference to the first two chapters of St Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. Clues to this are the fluted Corinthian column and the two philosophers in discussion standing in front of the half-naked “thinker” sitting on the Temple steps.
Today, I thought about going to Mass. I didn’t. Instead I just sat thinking about it. I regret not making the effort to do so.
In her Medjugorje messages, Our Lady speaks about attending Mass. In her message given to Mirjana she relates to Mass as “climbing the hill of salvation”, comparable, perhaps, to Ghirlandaio’s painting showing Mary climbing the steps to enter the Temple of God.
Dear children! I wish to call you to a living of the Holy Mass. There are many of you who have sensed the beauty of the Holy Mass, but there are also those who come unwillingly. I have chosen you, dear children, but Jesus gives you His graces in the Mass. Therefore, consciously live the Holy Mass and let your coming to it be a joyful one. Come to it with love and make the Mass your own. Thank you for having responded to my call.
Medjugorje message, April 3, 1986
Dear children, In my coming to you, here among you, the greatness of God is reflected and the way with God to eternal joy is opening. Do not feel weak, alone or abandoned. Along with faith, prayer and love climb to the hill of salvation. May the Mass, the most exalted and most powerful act of your prayer, be the centre of your spiritual life. Believe and love, my children. Those whom my Son chose and called will help you in this as well. To you and to them especially, I give my motherly blessing. Thank you.
Medjugorje message, August 2, 2008
* 1 Corinthians 1 : 20
June 03, 2022
Long for heaven...
He will wipe away all tears from their eyes. There will be no more death, and no more mourning or sadness. The world of the past has gone.
Revelation 21 : 4
Dear children! Pray, witness and rejoice with me because the Most High continues to send me to lead you on the way of holiness. Be aware, little children, that life is short and eternity is waiting for you to give glory to God with your being, with all the saints. Little children, do not worry about earthly things, but long for Heaven. Heaven will be your goal and joy will begin to reign in your heart. I am with you and bless all of you with my motherly blessing. Thank you for having responded to my call.
Medjugorje message, September 25, 2021
June 02, 2022
As a flower opens itself to the sun...
Dear children, I invite you to open the door of your heart to Jesus as the flower opens itself to the sun. Jesus desires to fill your hearts with peace and love. You cannot realise peace if you are not at peace with Jesus. Therefore, I invite you to confession so Jesus may be your truth and peace. So, little children, pray to have the strength to realise what I am telling you. I am with you and I love you. Thank you for having responded to my call.
January 25, 1995
May 30, 2022
When our thoughts are incomplete...
“The Holy Spirit can inspire true change only when our thoughts are incomplete; when they are complete, it doesn’t work... When someone is a know-it-all, the gift cannot be received. When we think we know everything, the gift does not educate us because it cannot enter our hearts... In other words, there is nothing more dangerous for synodality than thinking that we know everything, that we understand everything, that we control everything.”
Pope Francis, May 2022. source
May 30, 2022
Official Diocesan pilgrimage to Medjugorje
The Elphin Diocese in County Sligo, Ireland, is organising an official diocesan pilgrimage to Medjugorje led by bishop Bishop Kevin Doran. The week long pilgrimage is scheduled to leave Ireland on August 10 and return on August 17. Details are published on the Diocese of Elphin website. Pilgrimage organiser is Marian Pilgrimages.
May 26, 2022
Covid restrictions lifted for entry into BiH
Today, the Council of Ministers for Bosnia and Hercegovina lifted restrictions for foreigners entering the country. After two pandemic years foreigners with valid travel documents can now enter Bosnia and Herzegovina without presenting covid certificates or a negative corona virus test. Source: brotnjo.info
May 26, 2022
New appointment for Fr Miljenko Šteko
Fr Miljenko Šteko, former parish priest at Medjugorje, has been elected as Guardian of the Antonianum International Institute in Rome. With this appointment, Fr Miljenko becomes the religious head of the international fraternity which has more than one hundred and fifty Franciscans from six continents and fifty different provinces and custodies of the Franciscan Order. Source: brotnjo.info
May 25, 2022
Medjugorje message, May 25, 2022
Dear children! I am looking at you and thanking God for each of you, because he permits me to still be with you, to encourage you to holiness. Little children, peace is disturbed and Satan wants peacelessness. That is why, may your prayer be even stronger so that every unclean spirit of division and war may be stilled. Be builders of peace and carriers of joy of the Risen One in you and around you, for the good to win in every man. Thank you for having responded to my call.
May 12, 2022
Little man... big heart
Alongside the bank of confessional boxes outside St James church in Medjugorje is a statue that stands almost unnoticed, except for those praying in front of the small bronze figure before they enter the confessional. The sculpture is of St Leopold Mandic, a Croatian Capuchin friar famed for his extraordinary work as a confessor. Such was his devotion to the Sacrament of Reconciliation that he became known as the Apostle of the Confession.
St Leopold once remarked, “Some say that I am too good to the people, but if you come and kneel before me, isn’t this sufficient proof that you want to have God’s pardon? God’s mercy is beyond all expectation.”
For nearly 40 years and 12 hours a day, St Leopold received, counselled and absolved thousands of penitents, and would then often spend many hours at night praying for them. “I give my penitents only small penances because I do the rest myself. I must pray for them,” he said.
A small man in stature, but big in heart, Leopold died in May 1942. He was canonised by Pope John Paul ll in October 1983 and his feast day is celebrated today, May 12.
May 08, 2022
Yesterday, the Sacrament of Holy Confirmation was received by 58 young people at Medjugorje, administered by Msgr Petar Palić, Bishop of Mostar-Duvanj and Apostolic Administrator of Trebinje-Mrkanj. Concelebrating were Msgr Aldo Cavalli, Apostolic Visitator with a special role for the parish of Medjugorje and parish priest Fr Marinko Šakota and other priests.
Msgr Palić said, “After prayer and anointing with holy oil, which is consecrated on Holy Thursday, the Holy Spirit will descend on you today. It may not be as spectacular as Pentecost, nor will there be any special signs, but the sacrament, that sign of God’s presence and love in your heart, will still work. It will happen because you want it to. Because you want to give God the opportunity to dwell in you, to take over your life, so that through your life and your Christian witness, these gifts of the Spirit will be visible in this world.”
May 11, 2022
Medjugorje... a place of great grace
Speaking to a group of pilgrims from South Africa visiting Medjugorje for the first time, Archbishop Aldo Cavalli, Apostolic Visitor with a special role for the parish said: “Many here find the peace, the peace that each of us needs. Many graces are happening here, many have changed their lives here, many have found their spiritual vocation here, at least 600 of them. Rosary is prayed here every day, Holy Mass is celebrated, there is adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, veneration of the Cross of the Lord... Every day the evening prayer programme here lasts at least three hours.”
Msgr Cavalli also explained to the pilgrims that there were only a few houses in Medjugorje before and that many hotels had been built in the meantime, but that this was normal, because where would pilgrims sleep, get the necessary food and drink, bring souvenirs and all else. He emphasised that the grace that is in Medjugorje can be found by all people, regardless of the culture they come from.
April 25, 2022
Medjugorje message, April 25, 2022
Dear children! I am looking at you and I see that you are lost. That is why I am calling all of you: return to God, return to prayer—and the Holy Spirit will fill you with His love which gives joy to the heart. Hope will grow in you, also for a better future, and you will become joyful witnesses of God's mercy in you and around you. Thank you for having responded to my call.
April 24, 2022
Divine Mercy Sunday
Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
April 23, 2022
Earthquake shakes Bosnia and Herzegovina
A strong earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale shook Bosnia and Herzegovina last night at 11:07 p.m. The epicentre was in the municipality of Berkovići in Strupići [25 miles from Medjugorje]. The tremor, which lasted about 30 seconds, was felt in the area from Slovenia to Albania. The Mayor of Stolac has declared Sunday, April 24, 2022, a Day of Mourning in the city of Stolac, where a 27-year-old woman was tragically killed.
April 21, 2022
Fr Robert Faricy SJ
Fr Robert Faricy, the Jesuit priest who co-authored two books on Medjugorje with Sister Lucy Rooney SND, died last month, March 4. He was 95.
The book titles are Medjugorje Unfolds, and A Medjugorje Retreat.
A reflection on his life is published at this link.
April 15, 2022
Easter message of Fr Miljenko Šteko
“Lately, it has become evident how practically powerless we are in this world. Witnessing many devastating images, we wonder if it is possible that something like this is happening in our world. Our souls are in constant spasm and fear of questioning what will happen, where is the end of it?” More at this link.
April 14, 2022
The Passover and Botticelli’s Primavera
It’s said that you can't judge a book by its cover and a similar maxim can be applied to Sandro Botticelli’s famous Primavera painting. While art historians may focus on themes related to Greco-Roman mythology, Botticelli also embedded several religious narratives.
Primavera means Springtime, and the Old English form meaning ‘Spring season’ is Lencten. It's shortened form is Lent. So the painting is primarily about the liturgical season of Lent, a time of reconciliation, restoration, and turning back to God.
Today, Holy Thursday, Christians celebrate the Last Supper, the Passover meal Jesus shared with his Apostles before he was taken to be crucified.
April 14, 2022
From broadcaster to the priesthood
Following a pilgrimage to Medjugorje, Shaun Doherty drew strength from the peace he found there and his decision to move to something else in life became clearer.
• More at this link.
April 11, 2022
Writtten on the forehead
The Hebrew form (אל) appears in Latin letters in Standard Hebrew transcription as El – a generic word for God. In the above image, which shows detail of Christ’s forehead as it appears in the Turin Shroud, the blood flow seen above the right eye of the face is usually described as a reverse numeral three or the Greek epsilon (ε) (e). The blood flow on the left temple is shaped as the Greek lambda (λ) (l). Combined, the letters form the word EL, meaning God.
Next in my vision I saw Mount Zion, and watching on it a Lamb who had with him, a hundred and forty-four thousand people, all with his name and his Father’s name written of their forehead. (Revelation 14 : 1)
April 10, 2022
THE DONKEY, by G.K. Chesterton
When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born.
With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil’s walking parody
On all four-footed things
The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.
Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.
April 07, 2022
A medical facility to serve Medjugorje
The dream of Italian celebrity Paolo Brosio came a step closer to realisation this week when the journalist and tv presenter signed an agreement on behalf of “Olimpiadi del Cuore” the charity he founded with the intention of building medical facilities to serve Medjugorje. The joint agreement with the Čitluk Municipal Council will see the Olympics of the Heart Association funding the construction of a Health Centre while the Council will provide land and all necessary permits and utilities for this purpose. The agreement also states that an ambulance station will be located in the parish of Medjugorje.
• Right to left in the photo is Paolo Brosio, Predrag Smoljan, President of the Čitluk Municipal Coumcil, and Dr Ozana Medić, Director of the Čitluk Health Centre. Source: hercegovinia.info
April 06, 2022
On worshipping statues...
Then King Nebuchadnezzar sprang to his feet in amazement. He said to his advisers, “Did we not have these three men thrown and bound into the fire?” They replied, “Certainly, O king.” “But,” he went on “I can see four men walking about freely in the heart of the fire without coming to any harm. And the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” (Daniel 3:25)
April 05, 2022
An outstretched hand
An outstretched hand mirrors the heart. It can be a hand that threatens and strikes, or a hand held out to help, to wipe away the tears; a hand that begs, that seeks healing, or a hand that rejects, used to keep others at a distance or in their place, that sets boundaries and says “come no nearer” or “go no further”. The hand of Jesus says: “Come closer, come closer to my heart. Receive my peace.” His outstretched hand desires to hold me in peace.
April 02, 2022
Finding peace and security in Medjugorje
“There are currently 151 refugees from Ukraine in the area of the local communities of Medjugorje and Bijakovići. The number of people who found peace and security in our municipality is accurately recorded through our daily work, and so far we have also recorded that 44 people who fled from Ukraine traveled to Ukraine, Poland, Croatia and other EU countries after staying in the area.”
Andrija Stojić, Secretary of the Red Cross of the Municipality of Čitluk
April 02, 2022
Saint Mary of Egypt
Mary of Egypt was an Egyptian saint, highly venerated as a Desert Mother in the Eastern Orthodox and Coptic Churches. The Roman Catholic Church commemorates her as a patron saint of penitents. Born in Alexandria, at the age of 12 she ran away from home and became a prostitute. When she reached Jerusalem at the age of 29, an inner voice kept her from entering the Basilica. She repented and and retired to the desert to live the rest of her life as a hermit. (Painting, José de Ribera)