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October 29, 2023

The greatest commandment of all

Jesus said, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This the greatest and the first commandment. The second commandment resembles it: you must love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang the whole law, and the prophets also.”

Matthew 22 : 37-40

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October 28, 2023

Saints Simon and Jude

Today is the feast of saints Simon and Jude. They are honoured on the same day as they suffered martyrdom together when they travelled as missionaries to Persia.

 

The image above shows detail from The Last Supper altarpiece painted by Dieric Bouts between 1464 and 1468. The triptych is displayed in St Peter’s church, Leuven, Belgium.

 

The twelve disciples seated at the table with Jesus are, clockwise: John, Thomas, James the Less, Matthew, Bartholmew, Jude, Judas, James the Great, Simon the Zealot, Andrew, Philip, and Simon Peter.

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October 27, 2023

One heart

“Bosnia-Herzegovina, with its Muslims, Catholics, Orthodox and Jews, is one body, one heart. If there is any attempt to split it up, it means that this one heart would be split.”

 

Former Turkish Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, May 2016

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October 26, 2023

Give me your hand...

Then Jesus looked around at them all and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was better. Luke 6 : 10

 

God blessed me with two hands, both to receive and to give. Which hand will I stretch out today? Will it be the hand that I have always kept to myself, the hand I refuse to offer to others, the hand that has withered in time. 

 

Will today be a sabbath day for me, a time to allow Jesus to heal and make my withered hand better and so become a willing hand once more?

 

“Give your hand to me, your mother, and permit me to lead you.
”

 

Medjugorje part message, August 2, 2006 

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October 25, 2023

Medjugorje message, October 2023

Dear children! Winds of evil, hatred and peacelessness are blowing through the earth to destroy lives. That is why the Most High sent me to you, to lead you towards the way of peace and unity with God and people. You, little children, are my extended hands: pray, fast and offer sacrifices for peace - the treasure for which every heart yearns. Thank you for having responded to my call.

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October 23, 2023

Two of a kind

Last Friday, the Medjugorje seer Ivan Dragicevic, who claims to still receive daily apparitions of Our Lady, relayed a message that practically matched, word for word, a message conveyed by another of the Medjugorje seers, Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti, 41 years ago on April 25, 1991 – 12 months prior to the outbreak of the Bosnian War.

 

Maria’s message read: “Dear Children! Today I invite you to pray for peace. At this time peace is being threatened in a special way, and I am seeking from you to renew fasting and prayer in your families. Dear children, I desire you to grasp the seriousness of the situation and that much of what will happen depends on your prayers and you are praying a little bit. Dear children, I am with you and I am inviting you to begin to pray and fast seriously as in the first days of my coming. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

 

Ivan’s message on Friday, October 20, was: “Dear children! Today I invite you to pray for peace. At this time, peace is threatened in a special way, and I ask you to renew fasting and prayer in your families and to encourage others to pray for peace. Dear children, I want you to understand the seriousness of the situation and that much of what will happen depends on your prayer and perseverance. Dear children, I am with you and I invite you to seriously start praying and fasting. Thank you for responding to my call!”

So is Ivan’s message referring to the current Israeli-Hamas war and the danger of the conflict widening to other territories? This possibility would not come as a surprise. The threat of this happening has been heralded by world leaders ever since the surprise attack launched by Hamas on Israel just over two weeks ago.

No one can say that Our Lady’s messages are not repetitive. They are so for a reason.

But it will be interesting to see what Our Lady communicates in a couple of days time (October 25) in her monthly message to Marija, the message that is said to be for the whole world, and how it may relate to the message given by Ivan.

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October 23, 2023

Rochdale prayer group

A new monthly prayer group is set to begin in Rochdale (UK) with a special focus on praying for peace.

The Queen of Peace Prayer Group will meet once a month at Sacred Heart Church in Rochdale.

The first meeting takes place on Saturday 18th November and will begin at 10am with a welcome session and a talk on Our Lady’s messages and Five Stones of Medjugorje.

This will then be followed with Adoration, praying the Rosary for peace, and the opportunity for confession. The morning will come to a close with midday Mass and optional shared table.

source: dioceseofsalford.org

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October 23, 2023

Lifeless body brought down from Mt Križevac

Last Saturday, the Herzegovinian mountain rescue service of the Čitluk-Međugorje station (HGSS) found the lifeless body of a man from Croatia on Križevac or Apparition Hill near Medjugorje.

“Today we received a call from the police for an intervention in Križevac. When we arrived on the south side, we found a male person without signs of life. After the emergency services found him dead, we transported him. We send our sincere condolences to the family of the deceased,” it was announced.

Source: SarajevoTimes

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October 22, 2023

Called by name

God, the Lord, has called each of us. He has called each one by name. God is so great that he has time for each one of us, he knows me, he knows each of us by name, personally.

 

It is a personal call for each of us. I think that we must meditate on this mystery often: God, the Lord, called me, calls me, knows me, awaits my response as he awaited Mary’s response, as he awaited the response of the Apostles.

 

God calls me: This fact should make us attentive to God’s voice, attentive to his words, to his call for me, to realise this part of salvation history for which he has called me.

 

Benedict XVI, March 4, 2011 

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October 19, 2023

The Medjugorje messages and the Eucharist

Did you know that in all of the hundreds of messages given by Our Lady to the seer Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti, not one contains the word “Eucharist”. 

 

By comparison, “Eucharist” is mentioned in 12 of the monthly messages given to the seer Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo, from June 2012 to August 2018.

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October 19, 2023

The walk of life

Walking the steep and rocky ascent up Mt Krizevac is as life itself, a journey never identical. Some pilgrims walk the path to the left, some prefer the right side, some take the middle line while others prefer to criss-cross the bouldered track. But no walk is ever the same or repeated. Each trek is unique, even for those who are carried – and yet all are heading in the same direction to arrive at the same destination, alone or together, in front or behind, each in their own time. We make our own journey but share the same desire – to reach the summit where someone very special is waiting with a welcome to fill every heart with joy. Krizevac is our pilgrimage, our life.

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October 19, 2023

Open the door of your heart...

Dear children! Today I desire to share Heavenly joy with you. You, little children, open the door of your heart so that hope, peace and love, which only God gives, may grow in your heart. Little children, you are too bound to the earth and earthly things, that is why, Satan is rolling you like the wind rolls the waves of the sea. Therefore, may the chain of your life be prayer with the heart and Adoration of my Son Jesus. Give over your future to Him so that, in Him, you may be joy and an example with your lives to others. Thank you for having responded to my call. Medjugorje Message, August 25, 2016

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October 18, 2023

In the silence...

In the silence of my heart, may my faith revive;

 

In the silence of my heart, may my hope survive.

In the silence of my heart, may Love come alive.

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October 15, 2023

It is the Confidence

Pope Francis has published a new Apostolic Exhortation entitled “C’est la Confiance” (“It is the Confidence”), dedicated to Saint Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face.

English text is available at this link

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October 13, 2023

The Fatima message from Medjugorje

Dear Children! Today also I invite you to prayer, now as never before when my plan has begun to be realised. Satan is strong and wants to sweep away my plans of peace and joy and make you think that my Son is not strong in His decisions. Therefore, I call all of you, dear children, to pray and fast still more firmly. I invite you to self-renunciation for nine days so that, with your help, everything that I desire to realise through the secrets I began in Fatima, may be fulfilled. I call you, dear children, to now grasp the importance of my coming and the seriousness of the situation. I want to save all souls and present them to God. Therefore, let us pray that everything I have begun be fully realised. Thank you for having responded to my call.

Medjugorje message, August 25, 1991

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October 11, 2023

Watch in vigil

Dear children! I call you to prayer, to have an encounter with God in prayer. God gives Himself to you, but He wants you to answer in your own freedom to his invitation. That is why little children during the day, find yourself a special time when you could pray in peace and humility, and have this meeting with God the creator. I am with you and I intercede for you in front of God, so watch in vigil, so that every encounter in prayer be the joy of your contact with God. Thank you for having responded to my call.

Medjugorje Message, November 25, 1988

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October 09, 2023

Feast of St John Henry Newman

• Born in London, 21st February 1801. 

• Received into the Catholic Church, 9th October 1845, by Blessed Dominic Barberi. 

• Ordained priest in Rome, 30th May 1847. 

• Founded the English Oratory in Birmingham, 1st February 1848. 

• Created Cardinal, 12th May 1879, by Pope Leo XIII. 

• Died at the Birmingham Oratory, 11th August 1890. 

• Beatified in Birmingham, 19th September 2010, by Pope Benedict XVI. 

• Canonised in Rome by Pope Francis on 13th October 2019.

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October 08, 2023

Are you the one...?

In John’s gospel the writer identifies himself, not by name, but with the expression: “The one Jesus loved”. 

We should not be surprised by this. It is an acknowledgement by John that he had truly come to know the love Jesus had for him, and is a wonderful way of reminding us that we are all loved by Jesus. In full knowledge, John accepts the love of Jesus and when this happens to any of us it is a most natural desire to want to share this truth with others. 

This is the essence of the messages of Our Lady from Medjugorje. “Jesus loves you... that is why I am here...to share this good news that you are loved by my Son... and if you are not aware of the love my Son has for you, then I will help you come to know this love... and when you come to know and accept his love you will in turn be able to love others as Jesus loves...” 

So the disciple John, knowing the love Jesus had for him, was set free. Filled with this knowledge John was able to testify in a very powerful way to the love and the glory of God. The evangelist became a light and a witness to the Light. 

To know the love of God in one’s heart is to be set free. Nothing else matters – the love of God is light and life itself. 

I was set free in this way some years ago when I first went to Medjugorje. I was set free not because of what I had done or not done, but because God wanted me to be free and to be able to witness to this freedom and the glory of his love. 

It happened in an instance as I sat on a wooden kneeler at the Blue Cross one evening – the same kneeler was still there many years later. I was made very aware that I was a sinner, but my sins were not shown to me, only the full realisation that I was a sinner. I wept bitterly because of this knowledge, but it was then I was set free and an overwhelming sense of God’s love for me replaced the tears and penetrated my heart and every fibre of my body. While I accepted the fact that I was a sinner, I became aware that it was more important to accept the love that God wanted me to share in, to know that I was truly loved by him whatever my state or condition. 

Our Lady wishes all her children be like John and proclaim the love Jesus has for them. That is why she asks for our prayers, to pray for those who have yet to come to know the love of God in their heart. The visionary Mirjana has a special mission in encouraging us to pray for the so-called “unbelievers”. Personally, I think this is not an apt term as there are people who profess to “believe” in Jesus but without the full knowledge and certainty of God’s love in their heart. Yet the certainty is that God does love each of us, no smaller, no greater, than anyone else but that he loves each of us in a unique way. And because of this we can understand that no other person in the world can love in the same way as each of us can individually love.

We are unique in the love we give and share, because each of us is a unique expression of the love God has for all his children and the world. Each of us has a worth, a unique value, in God’s kingdom of love. We are set free forever when we know and accept this truth, the Light that penetrates all hearts. And then, like John, we can say: “I am the one whom Jesus loves...” 

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The disciple Jesus loved was reclining next to Jesus... John 13 : 23 

I will help you to come to know the love of my Son. part message, June 2, 2007 

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October 07, 2023

Our Lady of the Rosary

Dear children! Also today, I call you to prayer. Little children, prayer works miracles. When you are tired and sick and you do not know the meaning of your life, take the Rosary and pray; pray until prayer becomes for you a joyful meeting with your Saviour. I am with you, little children, and I intercede and pray for you. Thank you for having responded to my call. Medjugorje Message, April 25, 2001

The Rosary Gallery

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October 01, 2023

Feast of St Thérèse of Lisieux

“I understood that every flower created by Him is beautiful, that the brilliance of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not lessen the perfume of the violet or the sweet simplicity of the daisy. I understood that if all the lowly flowers wished to be roses, nature would no longer be enamelled with lovely hues. And so it is in the world of souls, Our Lord's living garden.”

St Thérèse of Lisieux

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September 29, 2023

Feast of St Michael the Archangel

The prayer to St Michael the Archangel, so familiar to generations of Catholics, was composed by Pope Leo XIII in response to a vision he had of an assault against the Church by the powers of darkness. Its recitation was mandatory after Low Mass until the liturgical changes of the 1960s when the practice was dropped.

 

Holy Michael the Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust down to hell Satan and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

 

• The image is part of a stained glass window in the Oasis of Peace chapel, Medjugorje.

• Michaelmas in Irish Folklore

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September 26, 2023

The Cause of Modernism

40. To penetrate still deeper into Modernism and to find a suitable remedy for such a deep sore, it behoves Us, Venerable Brethren, to investigate the causes which have engendered it and which foster its growth. That the proximate and immediate cause consists in a perversion of the mind cannot be open to doubt. The remote causes seem to us to be reduced to two: curiosity and pride. Curiosity by itself, if not prudently regulated, suffices to explain all errors. Such is the opinion of Our Predecessor, Gregory XVI., who wrote: A lamentable spectacle is that presented by the aberrations of human reason when it yields to the spirit of novelty, when against the warning of the Apostle it seeks to know beyond what it is meant to know, and when relying too much on itself it thinks it can find the fruit outside the Church wherein truth is found without the slightest shadow of error (Ep. Encycl. Singulari nos, 7 Kal. Jul. 1834).

But it is pride which exercises an incomparably greater sway over the soul to blind it and plunge it into error, and pride sits in Modernism as in its own house, finding sustenance everywhere in its doctrines and an occasion to flaunt itself in all its aspects. It is pride which fills Modernists with that confidence in themselves and leads them to hold themselves up as the rule for all, pride which puffs them up with that vainglory which allows them to regard themselves as the sole possessors of knowledge, and makes them say, inflated with presumption, We are not as the rest of men, and which, to make them really not as other men, leads them to embrace all kinds of the most absurd novelties; it is pride which rouses in them the spirit of disobedience and causes them to demand a compromise between authority and liberty; it is pride that makes of them the reformers of others, while they forget to reform themselves, and which begets their absolute want of respect for authority, not excepting the supreme authority. No, truly, there is no road which leads so directly and so quickly to Modernism as pride. When a Catholic laymen or a priest forgets that precept of the Christian life which obliges us to renounce ourselves if we would follow Jesus Christ and neglects to tear pride from his heart, ah! but he is a fully ripe subject for the errors of Modernism. Hence, Venerable Brethren, it will be your first duty to thwart such proud men, to employ them only in the lowest and obscurest offices; the higher they try to rise, the lower let them be placed, so that their lowly position may deprive them of the power of causing damage. Sound your young clerics, too, most carefully, by yourselves and by the directors of your seminaries, and when you find the spirit of pride among any of them reject them without compunction from the priesthood. Would to God that this had always been done with the proper vigilance and constancy.

41. If we pass from the moral to the intellectual causes of Modernism, the first which presents itself, and the chief one, is ignorance. Yes, these very Modernists who pose as Doctors of the Church, who puff out their cheeks when they speak of modern philosophy, and show such contempt for scholasticism, have embraced the one with all its false glamour because their ignorance of the other has left them without the means of being able to recognise confusion of thought, and to refute sophistry. Their whole system, with all its errors, has been born of the alliance between faith and false philosophy.

PASCENDI DOMINICI GREGIS Encyclical of Pope Pius X on the Doctrines of the Modernists

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September 25, 2023

Medjugorje message, September 2023

Dear children! I am calling you to strong prayer. Modernism wants to enter into your thoughts and steal from you the joy of prayer and of meeting with Jesus. That is why, my dear little children, renew prayer in your families, so that my motherly heart may be joyful as in the first days, when I had chosen you, and day and night prayer resounded -- and Heaven was not silent but abundantly bestowed peace and blessing on this place of grace. Thank you for having responded to my call

Medjugorje message, September 25, 2020

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September 16, 2023

Pray, pray, pray...

Dear children! This is a time of grace. I am with you and anew am calling you, little children: return to God and to prayer until prayer will be a joy for you. Little children, you do not have a future or peace until your life begins with a personal conversion and a change to the good. Evil will cease and peace will begin to reign in your hearts and in the world. Therefore, little children, pray, pray, pray. I am with you and intercede before my Son Jesus for each of you. Thank you for having responded to my call.

Medjugorje message, August 25, 2020

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September 15, 2023

Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows

Traditionally, the Seven Sorrows are:

1 The Prophecy of Simeon in Luke 2;

2 The Flight into Egypt in Matthew 2;

3 The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem, also in Luke 2;

4 Mary meeting Jesus on the Via Dolorosa, the Fourth station of the Cross which is not found in Bible;

5 The Crucifixion of Jesus on Mount Calvary in Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and especially John 19;

6 Jesus's Descent from the Cross in Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and John 19;

7 The Burial of Jesus by Joseph of Arimathea also in Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and John 19;

Image source: Franciscan Media

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September 14, 2023

The story of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Early in the fourth century, Saint Helena, mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine, went to Jerusalem in search of the holy places of Christ’s life. She razed the second-century Temple of Aphrodite, which tradition held was built over the Saviour’s tomb, and her son built the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre on that spot. During the excavation, workers found three crosses. Legend has it that the one on which Jesus died was identified when its touch healed a dying woman.

The cross immediately became an object of veneration. At a Good Friday celebration in Jerusalem toward the end of the fourth century, according to an eyewitness, the wood was taken out of its silver container and placed on a table together with the inscription Pilate ordered placed above Jesus’ head: Then “all the people pass through one by one; all of them bow down, touching the cross and the inscription, first with their foreheads, then with their eyes; and, after kissing the cross, they move on.”

Source: Franciscan Media

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September 12, 2023

The Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Feast of the Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary is an optional memorial celebrated in the liturgical calendar of the Catholic Church on 12 September. It has been a universal Roman Rite feast since 1684, when Pope Innocent XI included it in the General Roman Calendar to commemorate the victory at the Battle of Vienna in 1683. It was removed from the Church calendar in the liturgical reform following Vatican II but restored by Pope John Paul II in 2002, along with the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. (Wikipedia)

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September 12, 2023

Be renewed in the spirit of your mind  (Eph 4:23)

“Man is renewed by contrition, confession, and taking on or accepting penance, and by making satisfaction, and forgiving injuries. And to the extent the injury is greater, to that extent the merit of remission is greater.”

St Vincent Ferrer... image: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 

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September 08, 2023

Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Church has celebrated Mary’s birth since at least the sixth century. A September birth was chosen because the Eastern Church begins its Church year with September. The September 8 date helped determine the date for the feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8.

Scripture does not give an account of Mary’s birth. However, the apocryphal Protoevangelium of James fills in the gap. This work has no historical value, but it does reflect the development of Christian piety. According to this account, Anna and Joachim are infertile but pray for a child. They receive the promise of a child who will advance God’s plan of salvation for the world. Such a story, like many biblical counterparts, stresses the special presence of God in Mary’s life from the beginning.

Saint Augustine connects Mary’s birth with Jesus’ saving work. He tells the earth to rejoice and shine forth in the light of her birth. “She is the flower of the field from whom bloomed the precious lily of the valley. Through her birth the nature inherited from our first parents is changed.” The opening prayer at Mass speaks of the birth of Mary’s Son as the dawn of our salvation, and asks for an increase of peace.

Source: Franciscan Media

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September 08, 2023

The Holy Cordon

In the year 1008, the plague ravaged Valenciennes (Belgium). According to the chronicles, the inhabitants, terrified, relied on divine hands and prayed to the Virgin Mary to come to their aid. On the last day of August, the hermit monk called Bertholin was visited by the Virgin Mary who asked him to gather the inhabitants to pray near the church dedicated to him. After seven days, Our Lady appeared, accompanied by many angels, wearing a scarlet cord. She asked the angels to surround the city and its suburbs with this cord, then all disappeared when it was done. She immediately reappeared to the monk Bertholin and asked him to organise the next day, and every year, a procession along the route of the cordon. The contagion ceased and all the sick were cured. The following year, the pilgrimage was set up to take place on September 8, the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, and has continued throughout the centuries to this day.

Source: Wikipedia

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August 30, 2023

New role for Fr Marinko Šakota

Fr Marinko Šakota, the former parish priest at Medjugojre, has been appointed head of the Croatian Catholic Mission in St. Gallen (Switzerland). After serving as pastor in Medjugorje, Fr Marinko worked in the parish of Čerin for a little less than a year before his new role in Switzerland.

Source: brotnjo.info

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August 28, 2023

Feast of St Augustine of Hippo

Trust the past to God’s mercy,

The present to God’s love,

And the future to God’s providence.

 

St Augustine

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August 25, 2023

Medjugorje message August 2023

Dear children! In this time of grace, I am calling you to prayer with the heart. May your hearts, little children, be raised in prayer towards Heaven, so that your heart may feel the God of love who heals you and loves you with immeasurable love. That is why I am with you, to lead you on the way of conversion of heart. Thank you for having responded to my call.

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