May 25, 2023
Medjugorje message, May 2023
Dear children! I am calling you to go into nature and to pray for the Most High to speak to your heart and that you may feel the power of the Holy Spirit so as to witness the love which God has for every creature. I am with you and intercede for you. Thank you for having responded to my call.
May 19, 2023
Look to the Star of the Sea
“If the winds of temptation arise; If you are driven upon the rocks of tribulation look to the star, call on Mary; If you are tossed upon the waves of pride, of ambition, of envy, of rivalry, look to the star, call on Mary. Should anger, or avarice, or fleshly desire violently assail the frail vessel of your soul, look at the star, call upon Mary.”
St Bernard of Clairvaux
May 18, 2023
Feast of the Ascension
The apostles were still staring into the sky when suddenly two men in white were standing near them and they said, “Why are you men from Galilee standing here and looking into the sky? Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven, this same Jesus will come back in the same way as you have seen him go there.” Acts 1:10-11
The detail in the picture above is from a painting of the Annunciation by the Italian artist Giotto di Bondone (1267-1337).
May 17, 2023
Where are the miracles at Medjugorje?
In Medjugorje the miracle is not so much in Our Lady’s apparitions, nor in the words she speaks to us, but in the pilgrim’s reply, who accepts to change his heart and life. That is the great miracle!
Take St Francis: the miracle was not that Jesus spoke to him, but in the fact that he gave up everything to become poor in everything.
In the Gospel we read of the rich young man who was called by Jesus. The miracle wasn’t that he saw Christ and heard his call; it would have been in his response, had he responded. But he preferred his riches to Jesus. That is a miracle which did not occur.
In Medjugorje a pilgrim can decide to see a miracle or not. It is not a miracle for God to talk; it is normal. In Medjugorje it is the pilgrim who decides if a miracle will occur or not. All he has to do is to open his heart to respond to the call.
• Fr Jozo Zovko ofm
May 15, 2023
Nature and the flame of love
Dear children! As nature gives the most beautiful colours of the year, I also call you to witness with your life and to help others to draw closer to my Immaculate Heart, so that the flame of love for the Most High may ignite in their hearts. I am with you and I unceasingly pray for you that your life may be a reflection of Heaven here on earth. Thank you for having responded to my call. (Medjugorje message, April 25, 2011)
May 14, 2023
Give them the Light... of the Gospel
I was able to get to the 12:30 Mass today. I noticed that when the priest stood at the lectern to read the Gospel, he was bathed in a bright light by the sun shining through a window. Although he wore a white vestment for Eastertide, he appeared transfigured as the light reflected out to the front pews. The light was natural and not from any artificial source. The opening two verses of the Gospel were:
“Jesus said to his disciples: ‘When the Advocate comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who issues from the Father, he will be my witness. And you too will be witnesses, because you have been with me from the outset.” (John 15:26-27)
May 12, 2023
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 11, 2023
The Book of Psalms
The Book of Psalms is an anthology of Hebrew religious hymns. The book is divided into five sections, each ending with a doxology, or a hymn of praise. There are several types of psalms, including hymns or songs of praise, communal and individual laments, royal psalms and individual thanksgivings. The book also includes psalms of communal thanksgiving, wisdom, pilgrimage and other categories. (source Wikipedia)
May 08, 2023
Change of date for Mladifest 2023
This year there is a change to the usual date of the Medjugojre International Youth Festival. Normally hosted from August 1 to August 6, Mladifest 34 will instead be staged from July 26 to July 30.
Parish priest Fr Zvonimir Pavičić explained to Radio Mir Medjugorje the reason for the earlier date. “All those who are familiar with Medjugorje and who regularly come to Medjugorje know that Mladifest is always at the beginning of August, from August 1st to August 6th. However, this year the Pope put the World Youth Day in Lisbon on those dates from August 1 to 6, so we had to react immediately and move our Mladifest date, so that it would not be at the same time. Of course, if the Pope invites all the young people of the world to one place, we will not invite them to us, but we will be glad if they can come to Medjugorje and also go to meet the Pope.”
Fr Zvonimir went onto explain why Mladifest was shortened by one day. “We shortened it so that we as a parish could celebrate our patron saint on July 25, the feast of St James, but also to finish a day earlier so that the pilgrims who will also go to Portugal to meet the Pope can be organised and arrive on time.”
May 04, 2023
Give them the Light!
These days, most of the calls I receive on my landline are from scammers. Depending on my frame of mind at the time I respond in different ways but try my best not to be impolite. A firm “no thanks” is usually enough for the scammer to cut the call and move on to their next target.
Just lately I’ve been trying out a new response, inspired by one of Our Lady’s Medjugorje messages when she said: “People who are in darkness daily come into your homes. Dear children, give them the light!”
So now my reply to scam callers is: “Today I shall pray for you and your family.”
The callers’ reactions are varied and surprising, even encouraging. If you are plagued by phone scammers, try responding by saying you will pray for them and their families. They are seeking something from you, so give the the light!
“Dear children! In your life you have all experienced light and darkness. God grants to every person to recognise good and evil. I am calling you to the light which you should carry to all the people who are in darkness. People who are in darkness daily come into your homes. Dear children, give them the light! Thank you for having responded to my call. ” Medjugorje Message, March 14, 1985
May 03, 2023
And this stone shall be God’s house...
The statue of Our Lady Queen of Peace situated in the grounds of St James church at Medjugorje was created by the Italian sculptor Dino Felici ((1931-2002). Erected in 1987, it stands just over seven feet in height and is a focal point of prayer for the millions of pilgrims who visit the village of claimed apparitions of the Virgin Mary.
Compare the image of the Virgin with that of a drawing by the Italian polymath Leonardo da Vinci made sometime between 1504 and 1506. (source: Royal Collection Trust)
The likeness is remarkable – hardly a coincidence. More details at this link.
May 01, 2023
Ora et Labora... Pray and Work
I must confess, I spend too much time on my laptop. Some of the time is related to research and posting on my catchlight.blog and occasionally I update this website. But as I’m somewhat out of the loop on matters Medjugojrje, having not visited these past years, and likely not to do so again because of health issues, I now leave all the news gathering and reporting to other websites.
So just lately, I’m conscious how the computer and the internet has slowly become a distraction in my life. To remedy this I now have a Miraculous Medal placed beside my laptop as a reminder that as much as I consider my research important and even enjoyable “now is the time for prayer”.
Fr Slavic Barbaric used to mention the Dominican motto Ora et Labora – pray and labour – when he spoke about the recovery programmes established at the Cenacolo Community in Medjugorje.
Now I’ve decided to introduce that motto into my working life, hence the reason for placing the Miraculous Medal alongside my computer. It’s always there as a visual reminder to occasionally stop tapping keys and screen scrolling and spend moments in prayer instead.
“Dear children! Today I invite you all so that your prayer be prayer with the heart. Let each of you find time for prayer so that in prayer you discover God. I do not desire you to talk about prayer, but to pray. Let your every day be filled with prayer of gratitude to God for life and for all that you have. I do not desire your life to pass by in words but that you glorify God with deeds. I am with you and I am grateful to God for every moment spent with you. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
Medjugorje message, April 25, 1991
April 28, 2023
St Francis on show at National Gallery
“The National Gallery in London will next week display a couple of unusual objects for an art museum. A tattered piece of brown cloth and a rope belt, claimed to be more than 800 years old, will sit among beautiful loans from public and private collections, as well as the museum’s own paintings by the likes of Sassetta and Sandro Botticelli.”
• More details at this link.
April 25, 2023
Medjugorje message, April 2023
Dear children! I am calling all of you to be carriers of the peace and joy of the risen Jesus for all those who are far from prayer; that the love of Jesus, through your lives, may transform them to a new life of conversion and holiness Thank you for having responded to my call. April 25, 2023
April 23, 2023
St George’s Day
St George’s Day takes place on 23 April, which is traditionally accepted as being the date of his death in AD 303. He was beheaded for resigning his military post and protesting against his pagan leader, the Emperor Diocletian (245-313 AD), who led Rome’s persecution of Christians. The Emperor’s wife was so inspired by St George’s bravery and loyalty to his religion, that she too became a Christian and was subsequently executed for her faith. Aside from England, other countries that celebrate St George’s Day include Canada, Croatia, Portugal, Cyprus, Greece, Georgia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Republic of Macedonia.
April 20, 2023
The miracle of Spring
Were I to live a thousand years I still would know that flaming thrill,
That rush of joy when first appears —the golden daffodil.
Were I to weave ten thousand lays, knew I a thousand songs to sing,
I still would lack the power to praise—the miracle of Spring.
photo: Getty Images
April 16, 2023
Divine Mercy Sunday
While he was at dinner in the house, it happened that a number of tax collectors and sinners came to sit at the table with Jesus and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your master eat with tax collectors and sinners?” When he heard this he replied, “It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. Go and learn the meaning of the words: What I want is mercy, not sacrifice. And indeed I did not come to call the virtuous, but sinners.” Matthew 9: 10-13
April 11, 2023
Investigation into woman nicknamed “the Saint”
“A woman nicknamed “the Saint” has mysteriously vanished from a small lakeside town near Rome where pilgrims have flocked for years to pray before a statue of the Virgin Mary that she claimed shed tears of blood. The bizarre story began in 2016 when the woman bought the statue in Medjugorje. When she returned to Italy she claimed the Madonna wept tears of blood and was communicating messages to her.” Full report at this link.
April 08, 2023
‘Cross Mountain’ coming to Glasgow
Glasgow is to host the screening of the Cross Mountain (Mt Krizevac) at the Cineworld Cinema (Gallowgate, Parkhead) on April 25 at 7:30pm.
Produced by Stella Mar Films, the documentary follows eight young adults on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje and details the impact of their experience over the course of the next four years.
Tickets can be booked online at this link.
April 07, 2023
This morning I woke to the sound of the bin men and their lorry arriving on the street outside my home on their normal Friday round of garbage removal. And then I realised it was Good Friday, the day when Jesus sacrificed his life in atonement for the sins of the world, the garbage in my soul and in the souls of my neighbours.
However, I also realised that for the bin men to remove the household trash it has to be binned and presented for collection. If that’s not done then the garbage stays with me. Similarly, if I don’t routinely present the sins in my life to the One who takes away the sin of the world, then I’m just stockpiling and hoarding rubbish to rot and corrupt my soul.
April 06, 2023
On Maundy Thursday we commemorate the Last Supper and the washing of the disciples’ feet. The washing of feet is part of the Holy Thursday liturgy. Maundy comes from the word mandatum meaning ‘command’. In the ancient world washing a person’s feet, or even loosing straps on a sandal, was considered the most menial and lowly of tasks.
March 26, 2023
Stay awake, praying at all times...
With Passion Week soon approaching we are reminded of Jesus exhorting his disciples to be on the alert: “Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, and to stand with confidence before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21-36)
March 25, 2023
The above scene is detail from one of Leonardo da Vinci’s earliest paintings, The Annunciation. It shows the angel Gabriel arriving before the Virgin Mary with a message from God that she will conceive by the Holy Spirit and bear a son to be named Jesus.
What isn’t commonly known about this painting is that Leonardo embedded references to the three Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Not only that, he also made comparisons with Mary and Gabriel to two figures from Greek mythology, Athena Parthenos and her servant Nike.
In Lebanon, since 2007, the association “Together around Mary, Our Lady” has celebrated the Feast of the Annunciation every year on March 25. This celebration is attended by both Christians and Muslims as well as religious leaders.
• More at this link.
March 19, 2023
Feast of St Joseph
The angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:20-21
March 17, 2023
Taking my lead from the Trinity
I spent this morning, St Patrick’s day, in a hospital whose main entrance is opposite a church named after St Patrick. I was there for a procedure generally referred to as a “box change”, a change of pacemaker with a built-in defibrillator.
The pacemaker has three leads which feed into my heart, the leads remain in place while the “box change” is made. Ever since the leads were first inserted into my heart seven years ago, I’ve always referred to them as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, because they stimulate and resynchronise my heart, physically and even spiritually. (More details at this link).
St Patrick used the shamrock with its three petals in one leaf to describe the Holy Trinity.
Sometimes God can manifest himself in our lives in the most mysterious and surprising ways. Today was one of those occasions.
March 10, 2023
A beggar before the throne of God’s mercy
I confess to Almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and ion what I have failed to do, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault; therefore I ask Blessed Mary ever-Virgin, all the Angels and Saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord or God.
February 22, 2023
Lent is a season of grace when we can rebuild our relationship with God and with others, opening our hearts in the silence of prayer and emerging from the fortress of our self-sufficiency.
Pope Francis, February 22, 2023
February 10, 2023
Mary’s Meals Syria Earthquake Appeal
On 6 February, two earthquakes – registering 7.8 and 7.5 magnitude – hit Syria and Turkey in the space of just 12 hours, killing many thousands of people and causing widespread devastation. Mary’s Meals have launched an emergency appeal to support to children and families as they fight for survival. With its local partner, the charity is working around the clock to feed people in the city of Aleppo. But there’s so much more Mary’s Meals can do to help communities affected by these terrible earthquakes – and stand ready to expand its emergency response as funds allow. Please give what you can today – no donation is too small. More details on how to donate at this link.
February 5, 2023
You are the light of the world
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lamp-stand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”
Matthew 5 : 14-16
February 1, 2023
This is what Christ wants...
“That is what Christ wants… He wants to anoint us with His forgiveness, to give us peace and the courage to forgive others in turn, the courage to grant others a great amnesty of the heart. What great good it does us to cleanse our hearts of anger and remorse, of every trace of resentment and hostility!”
Pope Francis, February 1, 2023, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo