Spirit of Medjugorje
P.O. BOX 6614, ERIE, PENNSYLVANIA 16512
EDITOR: JUNE KLINS EDITOR EMERITUS: JOAN WIESZCZYK
SPIRITUAL ADVISOR: MSGR. JAMES PETERSON
WEB PUBLISHER: MEDJUGORJE USA
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VOL. 24, NO 8 Published Monthly August 5, 2011
Current Monthly Message of
July 25, 2011
THE 25TH DAY OF EACH MONTH, THE BLESSED VIRGIN GIVES A MESSAGE TO THE VISIONARY MARIJA, THAT IS TO BE GIVEN TO THE WORLD.
“Dear children! May this time be for you a time of prayer and silence. Rest your body and spirit, may they be in God’s love. Permit me, little children, to lead you, open your hearts to the Holy Spirit so that all the good that is in you may blossom and bear fruit one hundred fold. Begin and end the day with prayer with the heart. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
Best of Spirit of Medjugorje" Volume One and Two
The photo above was taken at the Church of the Assumption in Siroki Brijeg, a short drive from Medjugorje. The Dogma of the Assumption was officially declared in 1950, but as far back as the fourth century, early Christians were writing about Mary's Assumption; by the sixth century, there was a feast day to commemorate it. The Dogma states that at the end of Her time on earth, Mary was taken up into Heaven and now sits at Her Son's right hand as Queen of Heaven and Earth.
News from Medjugorje
By Ana Shawl
The following was written on July 7, 2011, by Ana Shawl, to the internet part of Ivan’s prayer group, which she leads. Ana, who is of Croatian heritage, spends much time in Medjugorje, and she and her husband, Steve, take pilgrims there often.
Many pilgrims have now gone home for the most part, after the Anniversary. Snjezana, who is a guide in Medjugorje, said that there were 100,000 people there on the evening of the Anniversary at Mass. For Mass, I was way back in the fields, but now Medjugorje has a big screen on the side of the altar and you can see the priest celebrating Mass.
The weather has been hot and humid, and now is the time that most of the people who live in Medjugorje go to the beach, or go take a vacation somewhere – preferably where there are not so many rocks!
After Ivan's apparition with the prayer group on July 4th, Our Lady told him that from now on, until She lets him know, the apparitions with the prayer group won't be on Apparition Hill or at the Blue Cross, but only private and just once a week. This has happened before several times during different years, but I wanted to let you know now before rumors start. [Ivan still receives his daily apparition. Ana was referring to the apparitions with his prayer group.]
With the heat, most of the climbing on the mountains is done early in the morning, like around 4 or 5 AM. It is that sweltering type of heat it seems where there is no breeze; it feels as though there is 95% humidity.
I am noticing many more priests hearing many more confessions. Maybe it's because of Mirjana's last message on the second of this month, when Our Lady wanted our hearts to be pure. It is great. You have to step around all the priests hearing all the confessions on the side of the church.
Still, there are those who say there is nothing special going on in Medjugorje. Why go there? There are those also who say that Medjugorje is not true. I would dare those people to come and see this with their own eyes – what is going on and how lives are being changed. If they were to just walk around the church grounds, just once, at say 5:30 in the evening, when priests are coming in droves to hear confessions, and to pick up the sign signifying what languages they speak, or the line of priests waiting to get into the sacristy to change and prepare for Mass…
What I think, sometimes, is that some of these people who speak out against Medjugorje, are those who don't want to face a change in their own lives. They don't want to face what Medjugorje is and what it means. There is no way that someone can come here and deny these fruits!
Stained glass window of the visionaries in St. James Church in Medjugorje
Seers to Meet Commission
A Croatian news source reported that the first of the Medjugorje visionaries, Ivanka Ivankovic-Elez has met with the Vatican Commission investigating the Medjugorje phenomenon.
Ivanka travelled to Rome shortly before the anniversary of the apparitions, accompanied by a Franciscan priest of the Medjugorje parish who acted as interpreter. The report said that both Ivanka and the Commission were happy to have met. Ivanka was the first of the Medjugorje visionaries to have seen Our Lady on June 24,1981 and received daily apparitions until May7, 1985, when she was given her tenth and final secret. She was told by Our Lady that in future she will always receive an annual apparition on June 25.
“Vecernji list,” quoting unnamed sources, said members of the investigating commission established last year are already in communication with Church representatives at Medjugorje and other visionaries to prepare for their arrival in Rome and receive their testimony.
Apparently the Commission has already held two sessions at which, among others, local bishop of Mostar Ratko Peric was questioned, and also Fr Ivan Sesar, Provincial of the Franciscan Herzegovina province.
The news report stated that it was not known if the Medjugorje seers would undergo any further scientific tests outside those conducted in earlier years, and it was not expected that any decision regarding the phenomenon would be reached soon.
The Medjugorje Message. UK
Jakov as a boy
Our Lady's Birthday
By Darlyne Mary Fujimoto
I came across this most touching account of Jakov's celebration of Our Lady's birthday at The Children of Medjugorje site, which is an excerpt* from Janice Connell's book, Visions of the Children. My heart was so warmed by it that I had to share this with you. It will put you right into the true spirit of celebrating this special birthday, through the eyes of a child.
"Mirjana lives a few short steps from Jakov's uncle's house, where he now resides. She told me that in the first few days of the apparitions, the Blessed Mother was most gracious about the fear of the six visionaries, and gentle about the personal suffering each was enduring. She told the children: ‘Do you know my real birthday is August fifth?’ The children said no, they did not know that. The Blessed Mother continued: ‘Would you children like to give me some presents?’
“Jakov sorrowfully blurted, ‘Dear Blessed Mother, I don't have any money!’
“The Blessed Mother smiled joyfully and said: ‘Oh Jakov, my dearest little one, you don't need money for my birthday presents! Tonight when you go home, no matter what your feelings tell you, no matter how you are stimulated, rather than speak the pain in your heart, run outside and look at the heavens and cry out, ‘It's all for the love of You, dear Jesus.’
“Mirjana said the next evening at the apparition, the Blessed Mother thanked Jakov for his ‘gifts’ from the previous evening. By the time the Blessed Mother's birthday arrived, Mirjana said that Jakov was ‘just bursting.’ He had ‘billions of presents for the Blessed Mother!’
“High-strung and nervous by nature, young Jakov could hardly contain himself during the long Rosary prayers that preceded the apparition. Finally the moment came. The great flashes of light announced the arrival of the Queen of Heaven and Earth, the gentle mother of all people, especially little ones with broken hearts. As Jakov saw Her, he literally reached up and grabbed at the Mother of God as he cried out, ‘Happy birthday, dear Blessed Mother!’ Realizing what he had done, Jakov fell on the floor in shame and fear. Mirjana said she saw the Blessed Mother tenderly lean down and pick him up as She took his little nail-bitten hand in Hers and kissed it.
“When I asked Jakov what it was like to be kissed by the Mother of God, he blushed a deep crimson. Embarrassed, he struggled: ‘There are no words to describe what it is like to be kissed by the Mother of God. It is part of the things of Heaven.’ "
Editor’s note: Darlyne is from Cerritos, CA.
My “Angel” in Heaven
By JoAnn Frederick
Going to Medjugorje and still having a heavy heart for my 27 month-old, Debbie, whom I had lost, I asked Vicka (who was presumed to have been taken to Heaven, Hell and Purgatory) about my “angel” who was in Heaven.
"Oh no", Vicka said, "God made angels and humans. Angels are angels and humans are humans, and humans cannot be angels. And also, there are no babies in Heaven. Everyone is the same age as Christ when He died."
From the bottom of my heart I did not believe this. I left Vicka feeling very unsettled.
When I came home from Medjugorje, discussing my travels with my family, my oldest daughter, Linda, said to me, "Oh, yes, Mom. When I was growing up – maybe six or seven years old – having a problem, and in my room crying, Debbie would come to me. She would sit on the edge of my bed and console me. She appeared [to a young child] to be about 18 years old with long dark hair." I said, "Linda, why didn’t you ever tell me?" And she said, "Mom, I never remembered to tell you until now."
So I knew at that moment that it was true. Medjugorje was true, and that Vicka was taken to Heaven, Hell and Purgatory was also true.
I am sharing this in thanksgiving to Our Lord, our God, for this special gift He bestowed upon me.
Editor’s note: JoAnn is from Bethel Park, PA. I recently came across an interview with Jakov in a prior issue, and he says the same thing – that everyone in Heaven is the same age.
Confessionals in Medjugorje
Mirjana’s Message on July 2, 2011
By June Klins
As I started to work on this issue in late June, I had kind of “writer’s/editor’s block.” But on First Friday, I went to Confession. As I have mentioned in previous issues, I find that after I go to Confession, the inspiration for the newsletter begins to flow. I have been cleansed, so I am more open to the workings of the Holy Spirit. So, the next morning, July 2, when I woke up, I felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to feature articles about Confession. When I got on my computer that morning to check the weather report, I could not believe that Mirjana’s message had already been sent to me at 7:15 AM. I never get the message that early. When I read it, I knew the Holy Spirit was at work.
"Dear children; today I call you to a difficult and painful step for your unity with my Son. I call you to complete admission and confession of sins, to purification. An impure heart cannot be in my Son and with my Son. An impure heart cannot give the fruit of love and unity. An impure heart cannot do correct and just things; it is not an example of the beauty of God's love to those who surround it and to those who have not come to know that love. You, my children, are gathering around me full of enthusiasm, desire and expectations, and I implore the Good Father to, through the Holy Spirit, put my Son – faith, into your purified hearts. My children, obey me, set out with me."
What a confirmation this was of my inspiration! But there was more. The note continued, “Today's apparition included some mysterious symbolism. As Our Lady was leaving, to Her left She showed darkness, and to Her right She showed a cross in golden light. Mirjana interpreted this as Our Lady showing the difference between a clean heart and an unclean one. Before the apparition ended, Our Lady blessed all of the religious objects and prayed for the priests.”
I immediately thought of a talk I had heard at the Notre Dame Medjugorje Conference that I had been wanting to transcribe since I heard it on May 14. Fr. Mark Beard had related his conversion story, and then talked about Confession.
Father began talking about Confession by saying, “It’s the greatest gift God ever gave us outside the Eucharist. And we run by it every day…I love going to confessions and talking with people and helping them carry their cross.”
Then Father proceeded to give us a little lesson on apologetics. He continued, “That Man [pointing to the Crucifix], that Man NEVER said, ‘Confess your sins directly to Me.’ Not one place in scripture does that Man ever say, ‘Confess your sins directly to Me.’ But we do it all the time. How many times does He have to tell us in John 20, ‘Peter, James, John, heal them; forgive them of their sins.’? Hebrews 5 – ‘I will choose priests among men for the forgiveness of sins.’ No one, no one should take it upon themselves. James – ‘Confess your sins to another.’
“Brothers and sisters, what are we negotiating for? ‘We don’t understand, Father. The reason I don’t go to you’ – and I hear this all the time – ‘is that I commit the same sins over and over again.’ What, you want new ones?” (The audience roared in laughter.)
Father continued, “Confess your sins. What’s going to be the argument? Are you going to stand up before the good Lord on that day and say, ‘Lord, you know I’ve been confessing my sins to you.’ And if you and I go on the same day, I know what I’m going to tell Them: ‘Look, You gave me a rule book 2000 years old; I’m just following the play book.’
“In scripture He never says to confess your sins directly to Him. Let me ask you something, brothers and sisters. How many confessions do you think the good Lord heard in scripture? NONE – NOT ONE! But yet, we’re quick to go to Him. We’re quick. We’ve got to get around that priest.
“I don’t care if you ‘priest shop.’ Find somebody that you can go to, that you can relate. Yes, I said ‘priest shop.’ It’s OK. Find somebody you can relate to. Put it on the table; it will be done with; walk away. Why do you want to carry it? Why?”
Father continued, “The good Lord knows that everything we do is based on sense experience. If we can’t touch it, kick it, feel it, taste it, we don’t want anything to do with it. You can HEAR the good Lord through the priest tell you your sins are forgiven. ‘Go…peace.’
“Brothers and sisters, the Holy Father John Paul II would go to Confession at least once a week, and at times, once a day. Can you imagine? I mean, think about it. What was his sin? He went right in the Popemobile when he’s supposed to go left? I mean, what did he do???” (The audience roared again in laughter, and to tell you the truth, I, too, always wondered what sin Bl. Pope John Paul II could possibly have had.)
Father went on, “Let me tell you this. Proverbs tells us the average holy person sins seven times a day – holy person sins seven times a day. Don’t go to Confession for a year. Do the math – 2500. Just how well do you think you’re going to drive your car with 2500 bugs on your windshield?” ( The crowd laughed again at his clever analogy ) “You’re going to hit anything and everything. And then you’re going to think it’s everybody else’s fault.“
“Go to Confession. Be done with it. Get past it. Brothers and sisters, I got past that argument because everybody kept telling me, ‘Man, you can just confess your sins to God.’ And the Man never said that.”
Editor’s note: Father Beard is from southern Louisiana. Father Beard’s conversion story was in our July issue. You can watch his presentation at the conference at www.marytv.tv.
A Surprise at the Confessional
By Sr. Emmanuel
In the beginning of May 2010, an Italian family from Naples
arrived at Medjugorje in a state of profound distress: on a
spiritual level they had no peace, on a physical level they were
carrying a heavy cross: not only was their five year-old almost
completely deaf since birth, but their eight year-old son,
Antonio, suffered from epilepsy. His seizures multiplied day by
day and occurred more and more frequently. His parents couldn't
bear to see him suffer like this anymore! One evening, they were
able to go with the other pilgrims to pray on Apparition Hill
with Ivan, and they recited the Rosary under the stars as they
awaited the coming of Our Lady. There, they placed everything
into Her motherly hands. They hoped for a powerful, heavenly
assistance during this pilgrimage.
The next day, the father went to share with the responsible [leader] of their group the painful situation of his family, hoping for a comforting word from her part. But she simply said to him, "Go to Confession!" Surprised by this seemingly harsh word, the man made a solid examination of conscience. Actually, he was living in sin and had not been to Confession in years! Seeing within that word an invitation to make his peace with God, he decided to make a good Confession and he sincerely renounced his sins.
To everyone's amazement, his son Antonio (ignorant of this Confession) had no longer any seizures since then! As for the little five year-old girl, upon returning from the pilgrimage, she began to speak, pronouncing intelligible words for the first time.
The father concludes his beautiful testimony in this way: "I am changed! My wife and I see life with different eyes. It is a great comfort for me to have found peace again, and to rediscover the optimism of my wife. Since that Confession at Medjugorje, I can touch with my own hands the benefits of a life lived in the light of God."
Yes, the Blessed Mother knows why She asks for monthly Confession. "When there is sin", she says, "there is no peace". "Monthly Confession shall be a remedy for the Church of the West". (1982)
Children of Medjugorje, www.childrenofmedjugorje (August 2010 report)
St. Leopold's confessional
During the bombing of World War II the church and part of the friary where St. Leopold Mandic lived were demolished, but Leopold's cell and confessional were left unharmed. Leopold had predicted this before his death, saying, "The church and the friary will be hit by the bombs, but not this little cell. Here God exercised so much mercy for people, it must remain as a monument to God's goodness."
“The Church is a Living, Breathing Church” On April 10, 2011, I went with two friends to Our Lady Queen of Peace in Newport Beach, California for the Apparition from Our Lady Queen of Peace to visionary Ivan Dragicevic. We arrived early at 3:00 PM, after singing a Divine Mercy Chaplet together in the car. We sat in the back of the church and prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary together, and at 3:30, we moved from the back of the church to the front pew, as I felt inspired to sit in the front. I was praying the St. Bridget prayers from the Pieta Prayer Book, and then looked up at the Crucified Jesus at the front of the church, where He had an ocean of blue tiles surrounding Him. Suddenly, the blue tiles on each side of Jesus formed into two “lungs” and began contracting and expanding, as if breathing, three times. The “lungs” were huge from under each arm of Jesus down below his feet and it was three-dimensional when the lungs were breathing. So beautiful! I did not know the meaning of this but it was beautiful to behold. Editor’s note: Jennifer is from southern California.
By Jennifer Ott
After 5:00 Mass, everyone in the church prayed a Rosary together while we waited for Our Lady to appear to Ivan. At exactly 6:40, She arrived and appeared to Ivan. It lasted several minutes, and when the apparition was over, Ivan talked to us about Our Lady's past messages and shared Her message of that evening. "I, your mother call you to pray, pray in your families, pray before the cross, reflect on the path of my Son. Thank you, dear children."
During Ivan's talk, he also spoke about the Church being a "living, breathing Church, like the lungs." He told us that Our Lady says, “Dear children, you are my living Church. You are the lungs of the Church. Dear children, if you are strong, the Church will be strong as well. But if you are weak, the Church will be weak too.” This is what I saw in the vision that was shown to me, and this explained the meaning of the vision! I hope to someday be able to speak to Ivan, and share with him the vision that was shown to me and that he explained in his talk.
“The Church is a Living, Breathing Church”
On April 10, 2011, I went with two friends to Our Lady Queen of Peace in Newport Beach, California for the Apparition from Our Lady Queen of Peace to visionary Ivan Dragicevic. We arrived early at 3:00 PM, after singing a Divine Mercy Chaplet together in the car. We sat in the back of the church and prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary together, and at 3:30, we moved from the back of the church to the front pew, as I felt inspired to sit in the front. I was praying the St. Bridget prayers from the Pieta Prayer Book, and then looked up at the Crucified Jesus at the front of the church, where He had an ocean of blue tiles surrounding Him. Suddenly, the blue tiles on each side of Jesus formed into two “lungs” and began contracting and expanding, as if breathing, three times. The “lungs” were huge from under each arm of Jesus down below his feet and it was three-dimensional when the lungs were breathing. So beautiful! I did not know the meaning of this but it was beautiful to behold.
Editor’s note: Jennifer is from southern California.
Our Lady of Fatima statue in the Franciscan convent in Miletina, near Medjugorje
Fatima Visionary Saw and Confirmed Apparitions of Our Lady of Medjugorje
By Daniel Klimek
As the Vatican continues its international Commission investigating the ongoing apparitions of Medjugorje, under the leadership of Cardinal Camillo Ruini and the CDF, the Holy See should not ignore an important, but little known, fact about these Marian apparitions. They were confirmed as being authentic by the main visionary of Fatima, Sister Lucia dos Santos, who not only confirmed but also reported experiencing apparitions of Our Lady of Medjugorje in the convent.
According to Sister Lucia's own nephew, Father Salinho – a Salesian priest who lives in Portugal – Sister Lucia continued receiving visions of the Virgin Mary long after 1917, and some of these apparitions of the Virgin spoke to Sister Lucia of the Madonna's continued work in Medjugorje. This report of Father Salinho's was documented by the French author Sister Emmanuel Maillard in her book Medjugorje, Triumph of the Heart! (Queenship, 2004), a revised edition of Sister Emmanuel's earlier popular work, Medjugorje: the 90s. Pope John Paul II met with Sister Emmanuel, was given a copy of her earlier book, and therefore this knowledge – between Fatima's main visionary and the apparitions in Medjugorje – may not have been foreign to the Vatican.
This is a very important revelation, for one of the things that the Church looks for, in evaluating apparitions, is coherence between Mary's apparitions. Fatima and Medjugorje already have an immense amount in common; from the miracle of the dancing sun that has been recorded at each location – once in Fatima and numerous times in Medjugorje – to references to Mary's Immaculate Heart in the devotion of both Fatima and Medjugorje, to the spiritual program of daily prayer – especially the Rosary – Mass, fasting, and penance for the salvation of sinners at each site; to incredibly similar depictions of visions of the afterlife, particularly of hell, which were given to both the Fatima and Medjugorje seers by their apparition. The coherence is evident. Now there is even a report from a Catholic priest and a family member of Fatima's main visionary, that Sister Lucia herself experienced apparitions of Our Lady speaking about her work in Medjugorje; and, therefore, Sister Lucia reportedly confirmed the apparitions of Medjugorje through her own private revelations of the Virgin.
This revelation also places doubt onto many theories that Medjugorje critics have advocated, perhaps most notoriously Donal Anthony Foley, the British author who - in his book, Understanding Medjugorje – lionizes the apparitions of Fatima while (quite literally) demonizing the apparitions of Medjugorje, portraying the two apparition sites as having nothing in common. Well, if Foley and like-minded critics believe in the authenticity of Sister Lucia's visions, then it becomes difficult to doubt that the Madonna is not appearing in Medjugorje since Sister Lucia herself confirmed this very fact, after being told so by her apparitional experience of the Virgin Mary. This report by Sister Lucia's nephew has, unfortunately, not been circulated widely. But it shows that Pope John Paul II was not alone in the conviction that Medjugorje completes Fatima, and that the two sites share the same spiritual source: the Mother of God.
Interestingly, from Monsignor Slawomir Oder's recent book on Pope John Paul II, Why He Is a Saint, we received confirmation that the Pope considered Medjugorje the fulfillment of Fatima, explaining in 1984: "Medjugorje is the continuation of Fatima; it's the completion of Fatima." Now we see that this conviction of the Pope's was not simply a personal opinion, for even Fatima's own visionary, Lucia dos Santos, proclaimed the same, that the same Virgin who appeared to her in Fatima continued appearing to her in the convent, and told Sister Lucia of Her – the Virgin's – continual work in Medjugorje.
It is noteworthy, in stressing this connection, that Sister Lucia and Pope John Paul II maintained a lifelong friendship. One wonders whether they ever discussed together Our Lady's presence in Medjugorje, as both held the conviction that the Virgin of Fatima continued her work in the Bosnian village. Though we could never know for sure, since both parties have passed away, this would not be an impossibility, since John Paul II proclaimed that Medjugorje is the continuation and completion of Fatima in 1984, while he met with Sister Lucia only two years earlier, when the pope was in Fatima on May 13, 1982, to thank the Virgin for saving his life from an assassination attempt. This was the same day that Our Lady of Medjugorje told the visionaries in Yugoslavia: "His enemies tried to kill him, but I have protected him."
What is interesting about Lucia's visionary experiences of the Madonna is the fact that they did not end while she was a little girl. It is true that the last apparition in the Cova da Iria fields nearby Fatima, resulting in the miracle of the dancing sun that was witnessed by an estimated 70,000 people, did conclude on October 13, 1917. However, even after the conclusion of these public apparitions, Sister Lucia continued receiving private revelations of the Virgin Mary as a nun in her cell. The same Virgin Mary that came to her as a little girl in Fatima continued appearing to Lucia as a grown woman in the convent. The apparitions lasted late into Lucia's life, even after the Madonna reportedly began appearing in Medjugorje to six Croatian youths in 1981.
Lucia dos Santos was the only remaining visionary of Fatima who lived through the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. Shortly after the apparitions of Fatima began to three shepherd children in 1917, two of the children, Jacinta and Francisco Marto – brother and sister – passed away. Francisco died of bronchial pneumonia in 1919, while Jacinta developed a serious case of pleurisy and died in a Lisbon hospital a year later. Francisco was two months away from turning eleven, and Jacinta was only a month away from celebrating her tenth birthday. It was Lucia who lived onto old age. She became a cloistered nun, making her perpetual vows on October 3, 1934 under the name Sister Maria das Dores – Mary of Sorrows – at the Institute of the Sisters of St. Dorothy in the convent of Tuy, Spain. Later Lucia would return to Portugal and become a Discalced Carmelite on May 31, 1949, taking the name Sister Maria Lucia of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart at the Carmelite convent of St. Teresa in Coimbra. Sister Lucia died in the convent at the age of 97 on February 13, 2005.
Note: Daniel Klimek recently graduated from Yale Divinity School and is now pursuing his Doctorate at Catholic University in Washington, D.C.
Mirjana during an apparition
The Tears of Mary
by Louise Lotze
Recently I was searching for a particular book in my closet storage boxes. I finally located it and also pulled out two others, all of which I hadn't read in over 10 years. A day later, while I was sitting in the waiting room of my car dealer during a routine car servicing, I opened the cloth bag to read the books I had brought with me. Having hosted the Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima at my mom's house in February, I was intrigued by one of my closet books: The Tears of Mary and Fatima... Why? by Albert J. Hebert, S.M. The copyright is 1983, but the ninth printing, May 1992, which is my copy, included an update in the 1988 printing. Fr. Hebert relates that many countries have witnessed different statues, icons, and photos of Christ and Mary weeping tears of water, blood, and also oozing oil. In a convent in Akita, Japan (located not far from the epicenter of the Japanese earthquake), there were 101 weepings and four bleedings from the right hand of the statue there. In Ohio a Fatima statue has become animated, has wept, smiled, bowed to and walked among many persons praying or saying the Rosary.
What really captured my attention was Fr. Hebert's chapter concerning weeping Fatima statues in Louisiana. In July, 1972, the North American International Pilgrim Virgin statue of Our Lady of Fatima, blessed for North America in 1947, came to New Orleans. This statue was sculpted out of cedar wood under the direction of Sister Lucy, one of the seers of Fatima, has glass or “crystal” eyes, and was blessed by the Bishop of Leiria, Portugal. This statue wept tears spread over hours, several days, and several locations in New Orleans. Fr. Hebert also notes that this same statue had wept a good dozen times before coming to New Orleans. The next month, August, 1972, an Immaculate Conception Lourdes statue wept for a total of eight times. The Blessed Mother reportedly gave a message to a lady: “I have buried them in signs!”
Fr. Hebert continues by saying that many Americans do not realize that New Orleans in many respects is the No. 1 port in the United States. It also controls the Mississippi River valley. Mary has warned us against natural calamities besides the dangers from non-natural disaster elements. This reminded me sharply of hurricane Katrina and the Gulf oil spill disaster. It made me wonder if Our Lady's tears in New Orleans in 1972 were a forewarning of these events. With our
concern for the people of Japan after their earthquake and tsunami disasters, it also gives thought to our own country and potential future possibilities right here. I recently learned that there is a major fault line in the Mississippi Valley called the New Madrid Fault. (This system crosses five state lines and cuts across the Mississippi River in three places and the Ohio River in two places). We all must do as Our Lady of Medjugorje requests and make use of the Five Stones She suggests: prayer with the heart, especially the Rosary; Eucharist; Holy Bible; monthly Confession; and fasting.
Fr. Hebert says that the tears in America are both a blessing and a warning. He says we are dealing here with many tears, copious weepings, and many witnesses. The tears indicate a certain apocalyptic urgency in our times. One of the greatest disasters, however, in the United States alone, hardly considered by many, Fr. Hebert notes, and right after the year 1972 ended, was the United States Supreme Court's abortion ruling. A million American babies (who should have been future American citizens) in the womb were destroyed within a year of that ruling. This continuing disaster in world
and American history cries to Heaven for vengeance. Is it any wonder that Our Lady cries tears? Fr. Hebert also touches on the subject of suffering victim souls. I will mention two stigmatists: 1) Sister Elena Aiello reportedly had a message concerning the United States in 1958 (and also messages for France and Italy as well). She said that the United States would be in the hands of the Communists except one area devoted to the Rosary. Fr. Hebert's opinion is that this does not necessarily mean Russian Communist armies but it would mean much of the country would be under control of atheistic-type thought and morals, and irreligion. 2) Theresa Neumann, as the author recalls, reputedly forecast many natural disasters for America; a good number of which certainly have occurred in the United States in recent decades.
A message given to Mirjana (12/25/1982) from Our Lady: “Mirjana, I chose you, and I told you everything that is necessary. I entrusted you with the knowledge of many abominations, which you must carry with dignity. Think of me and how much I too shed tears because of this. You must always be brave.”
In conclusion, Fr. Hebert relates that at Medjugorje Our Lady also wept with joy over the good being done there. So let us all do good! Remember Our Lady's promise: “In the end, My Immaculate Heart will Triumph!”
Editor’s note: Louise is from Ashtabula, OH.
Vicka Injury at Anniversary
The visionary Vicka Ivankovic was injured recently when giving one of her talks from the steps of her grandmother's house. According to local guide, Miki Musa the accident happened when an enthusiastic pilgrim pulled at Vicka's hand causing the seer to suffer unbearable pain in her arm. This is not the first time that Vicka has been injured in this way. She only recently returned (at Christmas) to resume giving testimony after a year's absence recovering from a back injury sustained in similar circumstances. It is not known when Vicka will be able to return to her favorite spot to speak with pilgrims again.
Vicka is often pulled downwards over a railing or wall when she meets with pilgrims Over 30 years, this constant pulling has taken its toll, causing considerable damage to Vicka's back and necessitating surgery and long periods of physiotherapy. But Vicka NEVER complains and accepts her suffering as a great grace.
The Medjugorje Message, UK
Msgr. Peterson at the Anniversary
Msgr. Peterson is having some health concerns and was not able to write a reflection for us this month. We offer this little witness to show how Msgr. is an example of the joyful demeanor Our Lady asks us to display.
Msgr. celebrated a special Mass in honor of the 30th anniversary of Our Lady of Medjugorje on June 25. One person, who had never met Msgr. before, later told me she was surprised by his humor. During his homily, he invited people to share how Medjugorje changed their lives, and chided that he would keep us there till midnight till someone shared!
Another humorous comment Msgr. made was during the sharing of a woman who talked about her radical conversion on her first pilgrimage to Medjugorje. She shared that she had gone to Confession in Medjugorje for the first time in many years, and was confessing sins that she didn't want to, with the help of the priest, who guided her, step by step. After 45 minutes, she stepped out of the confessional and the church bells were ringing. The priest came out and said, "Honey, those bells are for you." Then Msgr. Peterson said, "Well, you only knew him for 45 minutes and already you are "Honey?!"
Please pray for Msgr. Peterson to regain his health. We need him!
On If you join a social network such as Facebook, in your profile you are asked what your interests are, activities etc. Sometimes people will ask others another question, “What is your favorite Biblical passage?” I would not be able to pick one. But I believe that over the years, as I get older, my list of my favorite ones has changed, perhaps become simpler – probably those which do not express great calls to great deeds, but those I believe I need most. So for me, a very special passage is Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God." That I need. Those who know me know I do like to keep busy, move around, and get lots of ideas. Fortunately, I do not put most of the ideas into action. When I was younger, I did try to put many of them into action; hence, I began several manuscripts for books that never were continued. Now I try to focus, and rejoice that my friend Leo Babauta has written a book called Focus. But, being still is far more than self help. By being still we come to know God. If I may reverently use the example of listening to music – you may be playing a CD of Bach's music or Josh Grobin's, but if you are rushing about the house doing this and that, answering the phone, writing a shopping list, in a way one still hears the music (or sometimes doesn't!), but is one really listening to it? When we are still – even just sitting quietly with our intention to just be with God for awhile – then we have the opportunity to know Him, to know Him better. And He has the opportunity to do as He wishes with someone who is attentive and still. Brother Craig may be contact at firstname.lastname@example.org Our thanks to Marge Spase, Agnes Trott, Louise Lotze, Dianne Yochim, Vickie DeCoursey, Cindy Bielanin, Mary Kerman, and Joanne McIntire for help with the July mailing. Thanks to Mike Golovich, Mary Kerman, and Wendy Ripple for their photos in this issue.
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If you join a social network such as Facebook, in your profile you are asked what your interests are, activities etc. Sometimes people will ask others another question, “What is your favorite Biblical passage?”
I would not be able to pick one. But I believe that over the years, as I get older, my list of my favorite ones has changed, perhaps become simpler – probably those which do not express great calls to great deeds, but those I believe I need most. So for me, a very special passage is Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God." That I need.
Those who know me know I do like to keep busy, move around, and get lots of ideas. Fortunately, I do not put most of the ideas into action. When I was younger, I did try to put many of them into action; hence, I began several manuscripts for books that never were continued.
Now I try to focus, and rejoice that my friend Leo Babauta has written a book called Focus. But, being still is far more than self help. By being still we come to know God. If I may reverently use the example of listening to music – you may be playing a CD of Bach's music or Josh Grobin's, but if you are rushing about the house doing this and that, answering the phone, writing a shopping list, in a way one still hears the music (or sometimes doesn't!), but is one really listening to it? When we are still – even just sitting quietly with our intention to just be with God for awhile – then we have the opportunity to know Him, to know Him better. And He has the opportunity to do as He wishes with someone who is attentive and still.
Brother Craig may be contact at email@example.com
Our thanks to Marge Spase, Agnes Trott, Louise Lotze, Dianne Yochim, Vickie DeCoursey, Cindy Bielanin, Mary Kerman, and Joanne McIntire for help with the July mailing. Thanks to Mike Golovich, Mary Kerman, and Wendy Ripple for their photos in this issue.