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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.

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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.

 

source: medjugorje.hr

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May 08, 2022

Medjugorje Confirmations

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.”

 

source: brotnjo.info

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May 03, 2022

Joe Walsh Tours back in business

Joe Walsh Tours, the Irish travel company that went into liquidation a year ago, is up and running again after the business was bought from the liquidators by a former manager of the company. The company is now advertising pilgrimages to Medjugorje.

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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.

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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.

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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.
Source: hercegovina.info

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

The Passover is referenced in the Primavera painting. More details here and here.

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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.

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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)

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April 10, 2022

Palm Sunday

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.

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April 08, 2022

Contemporary art gallery for Medjugorje

A contemporary art gallery – the first in Herzegovina  – is set to open in Medjugorje later this month, after Easter, on April 20. The Our Mother Gallery is located in John Paul II street.

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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
 

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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)

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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.

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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

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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)

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