Queen of Peace Missionaries 평화의 모후 선교회
요조 신부님 묵상

Message of August 25, 2009

"Dear children!

Today I call you anew to conversion.

Little children, you are not holy enough and you do not radiate holiness to others, therefore pray, pray, pray and work on your personal conversion, so that you may be a sign of God's love to others.

I am with you and am leading you towards eternity, for which every heart should yearn.

Thank you for having responded to my call."

The call to conversion, which is a precondition for holiness, which imbues this message, has been known to us from before. At the moment when the disciples want to discuss with Jesus as who is the greatest in the Kingdom of God, Jesus teaches them that converts are the greatest and that conversion is a precondition of life with Jesus in the Kingdom of God. For full 28 years has Our Lady been calling us to conversion. The call to conversion can be understood and accepted only in prayer. For it is actually in prayer, in the meeting with Christ, that we are imbued with the need for the change of our own being, for the conformity with Christ.

To covert – means to come back to one's own soul, to one's own being, to the image in which God created me, and that is the image of holiness.

Be holy because I am holy, said Jesus, and this call of His should be our lasting inspiration. Today the Church celebrates St. Monica who by her self-sacrificing motherly love obtained by prayer the conversion of her son whom we honor as St. Augustine.

Holiness is to be obtained by prayer, it is the reflection of our spiritual life with Christ. It is with responsibility that we should listen to and accept this message by which the Mother is calling us to conversion. For, as long as we are not converted, we shall not be able to intercede for the conversion of others and to be a sign of God's love in the world.

Therefore this month we are going to pray for the following intentions:

For the gift of personal conversion.

For the gift of openness to Jesus and to the incentives of the Holy Spirit.

For the gift of prayer so that all members of our prayer family may be Mary??s army today, who with the rosary in their hands will by prayer obtain peace and blessing for the whole world.


Message of July 25, 2009

"Dear children! Let this time be a time of prayer for you. Thank you for having responded to my call."

Here we have a very short message of Our Lady, and maybe we are more intrigued by its shortness than by the call itself. But, if we get into it a bit more deeply, we will come to realise that this message contains all the messages that the Queen of Peace has given in these last 28 years. It is obvious that even after so much time we have failed to understand the importance and purposefulness of prayer. So, for some people prayer has become a pattern recited by heart, which they rattle off without being aware of the importance and beauty of the words. For some people prayer has become an obligation, which they fulfil at a precisely set time, with a routine ritual. There are even those for whom prayer has become a burden, and they themselves have become a burden to others, because they do not live what they pray.

Our Lady speaks about the "time of prayer". She calls us to make a time of prayer out of every hour, day, and moment of ours. We cannot ponder over this call without first defining what prayer is?!

  • Prayer is seeking of God.
  • Prayer is a dialogue with God.
  • Prayer is surrender to God.
  • Prayer is consecration to God (of oneself and others)
  • Prayer is friendship with God.
  • Prayer is living together with God.
  • Prayer is singing praises to God.
  • Prayer is exaltation of God
  • Prayer is "filling the empty water-pots" like at Cana, and Jesus does the miracle.
  • Prayer is the "place and time" of transfiguration – Tabor

The call to let "this time be a time of prayer" is a call for us to live our time with God, immersed into Him, that by living the experience of the meeting with Him we become a blessing for others. A Christian is a happy man because he has got something to give away! We are called to refresh the tired, to comfort the sorrowful, to nurse the sick, to feed the hungry" In order to be able to respond to this call, we should pray, fill our time with God and with the blessings He bestows on us abundantly. By imbuing our time with God, we bring God into the time and space of our generation, and in this way people are being blessed. By imbuing our time with God, we are being enlightened, becoming so the beacons showing the right Way. Our intentions for this month:

Let us pray for the gift of a pure and open heart so that God could make His abode in it.

Let us pray for the necessary gifts of the Spirit so that we could live the Glad Tidings and imbue with joy the time we live.

Let us pray for the young gathered at the Festival in Me??ugorje. Let us pray that they may be Mary's army of praying people and joyful Christ's worshipers, and to bear out that in our time, too, one can be Jesus' disciple and witness.


PRAY FOR THE COMING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

"Dear children! In this time, I call you all to pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit upon every baptized creature, so that the Holy Spirit may renew you all and lead you on the way of witnessing your faith – you and all those who are far from God and His love. I am with you and intercede for you before the Most High. Thank you for having responded to my call."

Message of May 25, 2009

Before his Ascension Jesus told his disciples not to leave Jerusalem , but to wait for the promise given by his Father that they would receive the strength of the Holy Spirit and would be His witnesses not only in Jerusalem , but to the ends of the earth. After he said this, he was taken up to his Father (cf. Acts 1:4-9). The disciples and apostles were preparing for this coming through prayer. They were not alone. Mary, the Mother of Jesus, was with them. Among those present she was the only one who had the fullness of the Holy Spirit that had come upon her at the conception of Jesus. She must have encouraged the disciples to abandon fear and to take practice of fervent prayer. Before the coming of the Holy Spirit the apostles and disciples were timid, fearful. When the Holy Spirit came upon them, they changed. From timid disciples they were transformed into fearless witnesses of Christ. They witnessed what they had seen and heard when they were with Jesus. The flame of love and truth lit inside them encouraged them to immediately start announcing the Joyful News.

In her message of 25 May 2009 Our Lady calls us also to pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit upon every baptized creature. We have become the children of God through baptism and have entered into communion with Jesus and his act of redemption. Our Lady calls us to pray because prayer is a means that opens our hearts so that the Spirit of God can operate in it. Opening up to the Holy Spirit leads to a renewal of spiritual life encouraging us to bear witness to our faith. We, Christians, have been called to be carriers of the message of God in this world, of the Word of God and to spread the acts of the love of God. Mary, our mother and intercessor, the teacher of prayer to the Holy Spirit helps us to do this. Together with Mary we pray that the Spirit of the Truth and Love operates in us and around us, that it teaches us and makes us stronger in order for us to live a new life doing the will of God.

Intentions:

For the Saint Catholic Church and her herdsmen, that they will be guided by the Holy Spirit, and bring the bright message all over the world

We will pray for Father Jozo, for all pastorate and members of the pray partnership "the Visitation", to be able to live out their faith and the presents from the Holy Spirit, and to witness Jesus love in the world.

We pray for the divided Christ's, and the one's who are not baptized, so that God with his love, can bring them to the Church community.


Message of March 25, 2009

"Dear children! In this springtime, when everything is awakening from the winter sleep, you, too, should awaken your souls with prayer so that they may be ready to receive the light of the risen Jesus. Little children, may He draw you closer to His Heart so that you may become open to eternal life. I pray for you and intercede before the Most High for your sincere conversion. Thank you for having responded to my call."

Dear brothers and sisters! Dear members of our big prayer family! We are well into Lent. This Lenten program is also the wish of the Church that is trying to interpret Christ's call and will for conversion and a radical change of life. One should die to oneself, one should get out of the old self. It is a dying that is directing us daily to the Risen Lord that we may walk in the light and hope to recognize Him alive, as the apostles did, in his Word and the sacraments through our humble prayer.

The Queen of Peace takes a picture from the nature without fear: the picture of spring. Winter deprived the nature of the appearance of life. Winter allows no vegetation. At the first sight everything is black and dead. All deciduous trees are without signs of life. On the outside no difference between a dead and a living tree can be observed. They are all alike, the same. But it is not so. Living trees are alive in winter conditions as well. This life is hidden to the eye, but it is real.

Springtime reveals this best. After winter months the sun appears and remains longer and longer in our sky with each day. Its warm rays awaken the dormant life in every tree, in every seed. This heliotropism hides in every even the least living grain and its delicate embryo, wakening it and directing it to grow towards the sun. In the heart of each of us hides a longing after God. In our soul there is an irresistible yearning after the Living God. As the nature awakes from the winter sleep, so the Queen of Peace wants us to awaken to a new life. The Resurrected Jesus, our Lord and God, is our sun that we are searching and irresistibly pining for. And we are all looking for him and we all need him. How is it possible to give up the dream?! Is it possible not to wake up and remain in sleep for Easter?! Yes, it can easily happen. This happens to those who in these times are busy hectically watching the Church and censuring it for lack of feeling and loyalty for others. They do not hear what is being preached to them and what they are called to. They dwell on weaknesses or disorganization of the faithful which prevent them from giving more help, especially to the infirm and the poor. And indeed, Our Lady has no words of praise for us. She allows unbelievers to teach us a lesson, reminding us in this way that we are not perfect, that we have not by far responded to her call. A Christian who has ruined his family and his sacramental marriage by his haughtiness, is always on the lookout for somebody else??s weakness to show the Church and other Christians that they are no better than him. How to wake up and turn to oneself? This is not possible without true conversion. And again, conversion cannot occur without persistent and humble prayer. That we may wake up in this holy Eastertide, let us watch the pictures of spring. Every bud is an untold life story. Every shoot, every flower is a miraculous sign before our eyes.

Man often tries to make flowers, leaves, fruit and the like by imitating nature. From afar you think it is alive. But when you look closer or touch it with your finger, you see it is an imitation. It is no original. Only God creates and gives life. Only he renews it. So we are responsible for our life. We have been called to bear fruit. We cannot do it without God. It is a grace of God to be a fruitful Christian. It is no imitation of holiness, love, goodness, but a gift of God given to each of us.

Learn from flowers. Learn from the least living creatures and they will teach you. Everything is a miracle and everything speaks of Him – their Creator. How is it possible to wake up in this springtime permeated by the Easter grace and light? Only through the inner activity. Let us start with prayer. Let us prepare through prayer for Easter and the meeting with Jesus. These days all churches are full. Every believer is eager to give up his sin. Just think: Sin is our real death. Not a semblance of death. It is indeed our death. Go to confession in contrition, and like the prodigal son decide to return to the father. Who is the prodigal son and who is the father? A sinner is the prodigal son, and the father is the merciful God who is waiting for us. He is not sleeping. He is waiting for us awake. And he always feels compassion and is always sensitive to our tears, our repentance, and our decision to remain faithful to the Father. Through the sacrament of reconciliation the good Father embraces us, and takes us to his feast. This feast is Holy Mass. Ever since the Lateran Council Easter communion has been a commandment of the Church and our obligation to feed on the food of immortality by God??s grace. It is this light that shines from these divine sources. Freed from death and given eternal, immortal life to drink, a Christian receives the light of the Resurrected Jesus. Jesus became man, died and rose from the dead only that all men may be saved.

This truth of salvation and our redemption brings us to his pierced Heart from where we got everything. That fortunate apostle Thomas, after having put his hand into the pierced heart, fell prostrate, confessing repentantly against all unbelief: "My Lord and my God!" And his new life started from this meeting. This is what happens to each of us when we kneel down in the confessionary and, beating our chest, find his grace and salvation. This is the Easter light and his peace, the truth that never passes, that never devalues, because it is divine. To this grace do I open myself, and it secures eternal life for me. So, my God is alive, risen from the dead, and he is my peace. He is my eternal life. Already here did he plant into our souls this aspiration, this heliotropism after eternity. This is not an empty wish or a phrase of awkward preachers of old, but the truth of his Resurrection.

The Queen of Peace is in prayer for us and our conversion, i.e. our springtime of faith. Let us wake up and continue waking up others and preparing for the meeting with him. Here we have the prudent virgins to teach us. They took both the lamps and the oil, and were awake when the Bridegroom and the guests arrived. And they went in with him to the wedding feast. And the door closed. This is the time when we can wake up our neighbors and help them fill their lamps with oil. Let us turn in this holy and gracious Easter time to the Resurrected and his Mother, and let us recognize him in every brother.

In this month of spring, April, we are going to pray for the following intentions:

For our successful and fruitful Assembly, that the Queen of Peace may instruct us this year, too, how to respond to the call and how to live her messages in a more fruitful way.

For all members of our fraternity – the prayer community of Visitation – that we may truly wake up, that our community may grow not only in numbers but also in holiness.

For the visionaries, parishioners, for all pilgrims, for all priests in Medugorje and those leading the pilgrims, that they may do nothing out of habit, but that they may rather live and preach the grace of Our Lady's apparitions as witnesses.

Dear brothers and sisters! One more message and one more call, one more chance like spring stands before us. Let us be grateful to Our Lady for everything. I ask the Queen of Peace to instruct us in everything, to be close to us, lest nobody should fall off. I pray to the Resurrected Lord to come out into the paths and roads of our life and to liberate us from every fear and illusion, to plant us deep into his Easter truth. At the end I wish each of you a happy and blessed EASTER. With sincere greetings


Message of February 25, 2009

"Dear children! In this time of sacrifice, prayer and penance, I call you anew: go and confess your sins so that grace may open your hearts, and allow it to change you. Convert, little children, open yourselves to God and to His plan for each of you. Thank you for having responded to my call."

The Queen of Peace reminds us that this time is special, gracious, that this is the time of sacrifice, prayer and penance. Yes, this is the time that we started on Ash Wednesday, by bestrewing ourselves with ashes, as a sign of transience, the dust from which man was created and to which every living creature returns, including man. A man bestrewed with ashes is put on the road that has got its goal.

Lent is a time of forty days. It is a period that was familiar both to prophets and saints, a period which they used to spend in the desert, fasting and praying. Jesus, too, after having been baptised by John the Baptizer, went to the desert, where He devoted Himself to fasting and prayer. During that time He went through strong temptations by Satan. But He rejected Satan's offers and promises, and remained faithful to the Father and to His mission.

The climax of Lent is in the Holy Week. Jesus passed through all temptations and humiliations. This did not confuse, but rather strengthened Him. At the end He took up the cross and death as the only way – through the grave to the final glory and Resurrection and the victory over death and sin. Likewise, our Lent confronts us, who are transient, with the intransient, the eternal. Lent brings us, sinful and miserable as we are, face to face with the grace and goodness of God. This is the time of our return to the Father. Throughout Lent one is called to see his limitations, his sins and weaknesses. To live without sacrifices, without fasting, without prayer, means to be hiding from God. This mantle of selfishness is so heavy that it blinds us. This wall of our haughtiness is so hard that it closes the last door of our hope. Therefore this message touches in us what is essential – our human nature. It does not allow us to hide our weakness but calls us to recognise it and to confess it humbly in the sacrament of reconciliation. This grace that flows and pours into us through the holy sacraments comes from God – not from our sacrifices and prayers but from the pierced heart of our Lord. Our prayer, our fasts and sacrifices are our humble response with love. For, the Lord created us without us and without our consent, but without our "yes" He cannot save us. This is the greatness of our Lent. My decision, my choice, my ??yes?? is great. It is in this that our human dignity is manifested. "What are humans that you are mindful of them, mere mortals that you care for them? Yet you have made them little less than a god, and put all things at their feet." (Cf. Ps 8:5-6)

Who am I and where am I heading for? Who am I and why do I live? These are the questions haunting all generations. Only Jesus gave answers to them. Only He, and only His word is our way, our rule and measure of life. Lent is a time of imitation of Jesus in a special way: through fasting, prayer, penance, sacrifice and sacraments. There is no other way. It is from prayer and sacrifice that the light comes to each of us – that we may see what the world is offering us, and what the Lord is offering and asking.

Penance and sacrifice, fasting and prayer open my heart and the eyes of my soul so that I may see properly, that I may decide, in due time, for one goal, and that is my God. It is not an ordinary word, but the truth without which I am in error, in deadly danger, where I no more distinguish between the good and the evil. We are surrounded by various people, we meet the ruined and the disappointed, we meet seducers who offer us everything in the name of the Evil one. Young people are in great danger to decide for the wide road of sin, which ultimately means ruin. There are people who are completely committed to evil, and to its programmes and promises. Today it is necessary to switch off the television so that one could feel free and find peace. But, you will not be able to do it unless you have fasted and prayed. You are nervous without a cigarette, without a glass of your favourite drink, and you forgive it to yourself saying that you will sacrifice yourself in some other way. Unfortunately, we are never able to make this substitute sacrifice, because the first one failed to occur.

We are called to confession, to give up our sin for ever. Once I visited one of the largest Buddhist temples. There are 12 thousand Buddha's statues in it. At the temple entrance there is a dragon. Its paw is so bright that the question poses itself: "Why? A teacher of Buddhism explained to me that Buddhists leave their sins under the paws of the dragon for it to keep them while they are in the temple. And when they leave the temple their sins again follow them like a shadow. That dragon is some kind of a cloakroom for sins. But only for a short while the dragon keeps the sins lest they disturb one while he is in the temple.

I wonder whether you are aware of how exalted is our faith and our God! How our God gives us grace and responds to our needs, how He redeems our sins. No man can take sins upon himself. Nobody can destroy them, to burn them like paper. Neither a psychologist nor a psychiatrist can say to you: "Have no fear! You have confessed your sin and it is no more in your conscience, in your life." A thing like that surpasses human power. Only God forgives sins. In Jesus and through Jesus He forgives our sins. Jesus left this gift and this grace to the Church through His priests. Our sin has not been deposited in some darkness, in a space of oblivion. No! Our sin has been forgiven in a sacramental confession. In the confession it disappeared in the ocean of God's mercy and love. Have no fear. After confession your sin will no longer weigh down upon you. Therefore the man whose sins have been forgiven, knows to whom he should go and to thank for the immense and divine peace in his heart, conscience and soul. Confession is medicine. Confession is a gift that only God gives to His children. This grace, this sacramental grace opens my heart and changes it, and I wish only one thing: Never more to offend my God and spurn His love!

I know that He has a plan for my life, my marriage, my profession, my cross. So during this Lent I am going to learn how to imitate Jesus and to keep Him constantly before my eyes.

O, Redeemer of sins, merciful victor over our sins and frailties, let us live in You so that Your mighty love may powerfully act in us, a love that is stronger than sin. O, victor in suffering, O crucified Saviour, in You we want to endure all dark hours. May everything that befalls on us be a way to the eternal light of resurrection. O, King of Hearts, may Your crucified Love shield and protect our tired and fragile love. Wake up in us what we lack: compassion with You, the love of You, faithfulness and perseverance in contemplating your passion and death. Let our prayer family come back to You, to Your cross and Your love in the Most Blessed Sacrament. Give us grace that we may be a sign to others like You are.

This month we are going to pray for the following intentions:

For all Christians who have neglected fasting, penance and prayer, that their hearts may open in this Lent, that they may respond to the call of the Queen of Peace.

For our prayer family, that we may be open to God and Our Lady for their plan for us. It is not us who have chosen Her, but it is Her who has chosen us. Let us pray that we may give a good example by our life, and by living the messages give testimony to all people.

Let us pray for all the sick, for all the strayed from the Church. Let us pray for all the responsible people in the Church and society that they may put the Lord and His will in the first place, and in doing so to serve all on the way to salvation. Let us pray for the visionaries, priests and all those responsible for the messages of the Queen of Peace, that in this time of grace Her will and Her plans may be realised.

Dear brothers and sisters, I turn to you with a great hope that you will wholeheartedly accept Our Lady's message and put it into your apostolate. "For none of us lives to himself" – said the apostle. Yes, we are indeed obliged to pray, fast, do penance and deeds of mercy for everybody.

I pray for you all and do not let you out of my love, out of my heart. May the Queen of Peace strengthen and console you on your way.


Message of January 25, 2009

"Dear children! Also today I call you to prayer. May prayer be for you like the seed that you will put in my heart, which I will give over to my Son Jesus for you, for the salvation of your souls. I desire, little children, for each of you to fall in love with eternal life which is your future, and for all worldly things to be a help for you to draw you closer to God the Creator. I am with you for this long because you are on the wrong path. Only with my help, little children, will you open your eyes. There are many of those who, by living my messages, comprehend that they are on the way of holiness towards eternity. Thank you for having responded to my call."

My dear brothers and sisters!

While my heart is hearkening to this message, it is raining outside. It has been raining for days and the rain is becoming oppressive, because the horizons are veiled with leaden clouds, which, firmly riveted to the cold winter sky, are tirelessly pouring down their winter load. Amidst the gurgle of the rain I hear Mother's voice and Her repeated call to prayer. As an excellent teacher She leads us through the experience in the nature. Namely, when this rain stops and the spring sun shines up, and the earth dries up a bit, farmers and gardeners will go out into their fields and gardens. They will start cleaning them, preparing them for the spring sowing. Nourished and cultivated, the earth will open and receive the seed. It will give it all the conditions for it to spring up, to grow and bear fruit.

What is happening with our prayer!? Is it pouring, like this winter rain, onto the cold earth, jaded and tired with rain, which is unbearable not only to us but also to the earth it is flooding. Rivers and brooks react with floods, their beds being overfull.

No! Our prayer is pouring into the Most Pure Heart of our Mother and mediator of all graces. She bears our prayer to Jesus with love. Such prayer, like the sound seed, bears its fruit. A sower does not scatter around and does not throw his seed in vain. He does it with responsibility and with a great hope that he would reap abundantly. It is these fruits that we live on. Our salvation and the salvation of our souls is the ultimate purpose of our earthly life. Can a man be saved if he does not pray!? Can earth give fruit if it is not tilled, if it has not been sown!? Experience tells us that it is not possible.

To be in love with eternal life is not an illusion, it is not a false dream, something impossible, unreal. Already while sowing, the sower sees in his heart the ears of grain, ripe ears, which are the fruit of his sweat and of the earth he ennobles and to which he gives over his seed with love. Likewise a believer - who joins his hands in prayer, whom love calls to pour out his praises, his love, his deprecation to the Lord - does not waste his time, does not fool himself like a drug addict in search of a false sensation, but rather enjoys the vicinity and beauty of God with the greatest hope and peace, and wishes that this grace may never cease. He is like Peter on Mt Tabor while he was praying with Jesus. He spontaneously poured his joy out of the heart asking that they may for ever remain in that gracious vicinity: It is good that we are here, it is so nice here, let us move to live here.!

Likewise a praying man, living the togetherness with God, wants to be in His vicinity. All worldly things are in the service of our eternal goal. Everything is for us and we are for the Lord. We have to be vigilant all the time that we may not be seduced by any glare of earthly things and programs, goals and values. We must not stop in front of a creature and not see the Creator. On the contrary, everything has to serve us to come to the Lord and to serve Him. He is our God and our everything. Everything is inferior to Him and to His love.

Think of all brothers and sisters who have chosen the wrong way! Our Lady who loves us, tells us without fear that we are on the wrong way, if anything has separated us from His love. Day after day in a motherly way she helps me open my eyes lest I should choose the way of error, the way of sin, the way of ruin. Jesus also speaks about a wide and easy road, in contrast to a narrow and steep one leading to the final goal. How important it is for me to have my eyes open! If a blind man guides a blind man, they will both fall into a pit - says Jesus. Our Queen of Peace sees and loves; She knows and intercedes for us all to direct us to the right and only path, and that is holiness, that is the way of peace, that is the way leading to Jesus.

How badly do I need your help, O Queen of Peace, so that my eyes may open: the eyes of the heart, the eyes of the spirit by which I recognize the other side of life and of worldly values.

Oh, how persevering I must be and daily live Your messages that my eyes may open!

How hard and scandalous it is to listen to the people who judge You, who do not even follow Jesus' principles: "Look at the fruits. You will know the trees by their fruits, and distinguish between good and bad ones." The man who does not pray, who does not fast, who does not listen to and read the Word of God - is such man in a position to judge You and Your messages!? We are called and instructed in a special way by this message, too, what it means to live the messages of the Queen of Peace. Let us ponder this whole month on this message with the depth of the heart and love. We are called to prayer that flows out of our hearts like the living seed into the heart of the Virgin, and She presents it to Jesus, not against us, but for our salvation. Without Her mediation there is no salvation for us. Jesus included His Mother in the plan of salvation, and said to us: "Here is your Mother." We need the Mother. Without Her we cannot vanquish our enemy, the Dragon with seven heads and ten horns, as St. John sees him in the Revelation.

Why has She been with us so long!? Why are we on the wrong path? Which is the wrong path? Do you, as a member of our praying family, recognize and distinguish between the right and the wrong path?! We are in a world of false values. Imagine so many false teachers who shamelessly, through all media, teach you and call your children to immoral and permissive way of life. Look at these teachers and their calls to distractions in which they strip you and your family of human and Christian dignity and morals. Look at the teachers who show you the way of life where everything is permitted. Theirs is a way of life where there is no sin, no conscience. Is it possible that a man can build his future if he is brought up without God and His commandments, without the tenets of Christian faith?

We daily meet ruined people; we meet disappointed, humiliated, and frustrated people. How to help them? "Only with my help will you open their eyes", said the Queen of Peace. Oh, what a lot of blind men we have in our midst!

My dear praying family, be extended hands to all who are seeking help. Be in prayer and fasting for all those who have fallen or gone astray. Be apostles and witnesses to those who are under the influence of false teachers. Be a hope to all who have been overpowered by the sin of addiction to drugs, alcohol, chance games, fornication, and by the sin of hatred. Be at least a small light to those on whom the darkness of evil and curse has fallen. I implore you to do more than before for your brothers and sisters, so that the following words of the Mother could be applied to us and to our praying family: "Thank you for having responded to my call."

This month we are going to pray for the following intentions:

For all of us that it may bee seen and felt that our citizenship is in Heaven, that is, that each of us lives and works for eternity. That we may live and bear witness to our faith. That this-worldly may be in the service of the eternal and heavenly.

For all pilgrims who are confused by the controversial statements of irresponsible people about

Me??ugorje and the messages, that they may persevere in seeking the Mother and find the necessary graces. For all the members of the New Commission that they may be led by the Holy Spirit and find out the whole truth, and impart it responsibly to the Church.

For all the visionaries and parishioners of Me??ugorje, that they may not stop being the chosen parish, who have the task to help and inspire by their life all those coming to Me??ugorje. For all priests, preachers and confessors that the Lord may give them His light, His peace, and the fatherly love for all sinners and pilgrims.

Dear brothers and sisters, through fasting and prayer abandon yourselves to the call of the Mother, and let Her word produce ample fruit in everybody. Praying for all of you, that you may persevere in the call and comprehend that we are on the way to holiness, is

Yours faithfully fra Jozo

29.01.2009., Siroki Brijeg


Message of December 25, 2008

"Dear children! You are running, working, gathering - but without blessing. You are not praying! Today I call you to stop in front of the manger and to meditate on Jesus, Whom I give to you today also, to bless you and to help you to comprehend that, without Him, you have no future. Therefore, little children, surrender your lives into the hands of Jesus, for Him to lead you and protect you from every evil. Thank you for having responded to my call."

Dear brothers and sisters, my dear praying family!

The Queen of Peace said these words on the very Christmas day. What grief, what sorrow and what pain are radiating from these words! We have learnt to live for days and weeks, for months and years like all other PAGANS OR SOME ROUTINE CHRISTIANS who live as if there were no God. Yes, She watches my everyday life, the beginning of my day, of a new workday or feast, it does not matter. Each of these days is the same as that of other people in my midst whom I do not influence. In all this race of mine I, too, have got the aims and the means I use to realise them. I do not think of or count on blessing. I do not start my day with prayer and do not ask for blessing. I am sure only of my work, of my results, of my projects. In fact, the race that has taken hold of my heart is like an athletic discipline to which each competitor is subjected: there is the start, measuring of time, adherence to every rule, and the like. My life is conditioned by work discipline, by regulations in traffic, by regulations at work; my life is conditioned by the fashion and the trends dictated by shop-windows, television screens and various shows. Such attitude to the social environment excludes my faith and hope in God, excludes every blessing. I do not feel that God wants to act upon and change people through me. I am one of them. All of us, who know each other, are like eggs in a basket. It is here that our apostolate stops, and so does our ability to be the salt, the light and the yeast to this generation.

When I heard men and women speak shamelessly, flipping the ash off their cigarettes while doing so, I remained dumbfounded. To see how the mentality of this world, the world of consumerism of all forms and colours, has become the law of communication and false prestige among people! We are all affected by this race the Queen of Peace is speaking about. A believer has no time, a priest has no time, mummy has no time, doctor has no time, nobody has time. Everybody is running, but without knowing where and why. This curious disease has affected all classes and all ages.

A man who has no time and finds no time for another man, finds no time and has no time for prayer either. I observed and studied people who speak and live as if they had no time for their family, for their children, for their friends. They lose their family and their friends. Such people do not pray. They persistently argue they have no time for prayer. They never deny God, no, but they like to say: "I am a believer, but I have no time to practice my faith, I have no time for prayer."

Such people are unsuccessful in their family, and frustrated in the society, are a failure in their vocation whatever it might be. Such people anxiously reiterate how they failed to finish this or that job. Somehow they feel they have reached the point when they can attain their goal, but is eludes them at the last moment. They are difficult people who start looking for culprits for their failure and start accusing everybody, starting from their loved ones in the family, at the workplace and the like. This race is being intensified and spread like a plague through modern technology and communica??tions. Alienation is growing. Today you get not a letter written by a human hand that has a contact with the heart, but an SMS message which is pale and almost empty. The race alienates us from each other and breaks our nature: to be with others as a social being, to live, to sacrifice oneself for others. For a meeting with others enriches me. It brings me close to others and I am sure that I am not alone, that I have not been forgotten. A running man gets tired and as such he does not want others and to be with others.

You are working and gathering, but all without blessing. A powerful word of the Mother. We must not shut our ears to it. We hear terrifying life stories by many: "I have been working all my life, providing and gathering, and today I am forsaken and without blessing. My family, my children do not appreciate it, do not see it, consider me frustrated, and the like. How hard and painful it is to listen to so many and such life lamentations. Why has happened what nobody wants? Because our life and work have been without blessing. Blessing comes from God. It pours out through prayer into our work and our family. The running and hurrying man does not find time for prayer, because he feels safest when watching the fruits of his hands, of his work, of his skill and career.

You are not praying! This truth is a sickness that our family suffers from. It is a sign that we have not come to believe and accepted to live Our Lady's messages yet. One of the messages that the Queen of Peace is daily calling us to live is the prayer of the Rosary. By praying we learn how to pray. By praying we win others over for prayer, because prayer yields magnificent fruits. It is through prayer that our deeds and our work, our day and our week, our fields and our studies, our cross and our suffering are blessed. There is no such temptation and no such weakness as could be an excuse for our putting off or missing the family prayer for any reason whatsoever. The renewal of the family, of the parish, of the Church is not possible without prayer. To renew prayer means to renew the family and the Church. Like our mystics said, "Prayer is the breathing of the soul", so did She, too, repeat this truth, this experience of the Church. So the body is alive as long as it breaths. Since it is alive, it has to breathe. All the toxic, poisonous matter in the body is thrown out through breathing. Likewise our soul enjoys its full of God's freshness and grace through prayer, and gets rid of evil habits and sin. In this way prayer changes a man. It is always fruitful. If it fails to change us, then we have to change our prayer. Prayer must run from a humble and penitent heart. Prayer starts after the reconciliation with everybody and the forgiveness to everybody both in heart and mind. So, it is an act of love and a total surrender into the will of God. Prayer educates us in humbleness and profound faith in God.

The praying man has got time and finds it more and more and takes it out for prayer, because he loves, because without prayer he cannot live.

Mother's call on Christmas - Little children, surrender your lives into the hands of Jesus, for Him to lead you and protect you from every evil, is a powerful and a gentle call. Everything without Him is empty, a failure, a vain effort and a useless race. With Him everything is blest and successful. Simply said, protected from every evil.

My life is not filled with peace and rest without Him. Christmas is a feast that teaches me to surrender to Him and to serve Him. That is why the Mother calls us to stop before the truth of the manger, the stable, the closed door. She calls us to meditate on Jesus whom She gives to us to bless us. She, the bearer of God to man, as Benedict XVI put it so nicely, gave birth to and brought her Son to bless us and enlighten us so that we may comprehend with our heart that the world and our life have no future without Him. He became man to save us, to redeem and deliver us from every damnation and give us His peace and blessing. I need His peace and blessing. I do not want to be a damned, but a happy and blessed man: parent, priest, child, worker, etc.

This month we are going to pray for the following intentions:

That each of us may know how to apply the life principle of saints: Pray and work! (St Benedict). That we may not be affected by the fear and the fever of the "crisis" being announced by the people who have been building and gathering and running without God. As work belongs to human dignity, so does prayer.

For our praying family that we may revive the ardour for prayer and the love for the apostolate of everyday family recitation of the Rosary.

For blessing and peace in the new year 2009 in the Church and in the world, among peoples and nations.

That we may learn from St Francis, the 800th anniversary of whose Order the Church is celebrating, to be bearers of peace and propagators of the Gospel. That we may learn from him how to pray to and praise God.

Dear brothers and sisters, this message is a strong call and sign to us all at the beginning of a new year. Respond with love and enthusiasm to this call. We have felt the need to respond to the call of the Queen of Peace. Therefore, renew your vow and your promise. Kneeling and praying for you is your devoted brother

Fra Jozo

Siroki Brijeg., 28.12.2008.


Message of June 25, 2008

"Dear children! Also today, with great joy in my heart, I call you to follow me and to listen to my messages. Be joyful carriers of peace and love in this peaceless world. I am with you and I bless you all with my Son Jesus, the King of Peace. Thank you for having responded to my call."

The joy in the heart of the Mother is the fruit of obedience and filial response to Her call. If we look at the Novena we have been praying in appreciation of the twenty-seven years of Her apparitions and immeasurable favours bestowed upon our generation, we can see that this Novena was a thanksgiving from the heart. Think of all those large numbers of pilgrims who with prayers and fasting had been preparing for the meeting at Medugorje. It was rivers of barefoot pilgrims who had but one goal: to respond to the call of the Queen of Peace and to pray for her intentions, and for the needs of the Church and every single pilgrim. Our Lady's heart is glad because strong and gracious responses to Her call are occurring. There is a multitude of prayer groups today that meet and build their apostolate on the messages. There are various magazines that carry out their apostolate with word and picture. Our Lady calls with joy everybody, especially us who had taken the vow and repeated it at our Assembly: To live the messages of the Queen of Peace and to testify to them with our life.

Out of Our Lady's joyous heart did the call issue: Follow me! But how?!

What does it mean to follow?! What else if not to imitate, to persevere on the road with the Mother?!

I remember the visionaries when they were children, I remember how, like lambs, they were trembling before the police, numberless spies, open hostilities. The visionaries have grown up but persecutions persist. The Satan is constantly, especially before the great days of grace, engaged in waking up his followers to destroy, to blur with ignorance and slanders. Our Lady simply covers it with the cloak of her motherly goodness and protects her sincere and open admirers and followers. This was the case this year, too.

Our Assembly was a gathering before which the force of the Evil one trembles. It was the power and the grace that brought us into the Novena of the apparitions, and inspired us with new zeal and apostolate.

But how is it possible to follow Our Lady if we forget the events of Bethlehem?! All doors and all families were closed. There was no place. She could have easily stayed overnight under a tree, by the roadside, but how - what was She to do with the Son to be born?! She was not disappointed or despondent. St. Joseph found what was the most necessary - a stable. They had hardly left the stable when Herod started searching for the Child to kill Him. The flight was necessary, a flight to the Arab world, to Egypt. What a lot of humiliations, what a lot of trials, what a lot of denials!

Golgotha and the cross. The words: "Behold, your son", and then "Behold, your mother". From that hour the disciple took her into his own household. Are Her apparitions not a repetition of this well known way of the human heart? Denial, contempt, statements of priests and others who made bold, not seeing the fruits and what we see, to pronounce and write a judgement.

When looking at the destiny of the Mother and Queen of Peace, I feel and realise that Her life was difficult and despised by many. That's how it was yesterday; that's how it is today. I wonder with a humble heart: "Am I ready to follow the Mother and Her way?" Have I maybe superficially understood the call: "Follow me", that is, "Come after me"? In the response to this call lies the whole wisdom and greatness of Medugorje. Not in the number of pilgrims and buses, the number of hotels and visiting notables, but in the number of those who are ready to follow Her, our Mother and Queen of Peace. For many this way was not narrow and thorny at the beginning, but in the first place rather popular. Such is not the case today. Today we are aware that this way - to follow Our Lady in Medugorje - means to take upon oneself all mockeries, chastisements, derisions and denials. It means to include into our prayers and sacrifices all pilgrims and their needs, their vows, and protect them with the hope and prayer before the Lord and the Mother.

We are called not only to follow Our Lady, but also to listen to Her messages. Yes, this is very demanding: to listen to the messages, not as to some sort of information, but rather to spread them as a way of life. Medugorje asks for sacrifice and self-denial in every respect even today: giving up one's will, one's ambitions, career and the like. To hear the messages today means to be a living sign of Our Lady. Like an orchard: once planted, it grows and bears fruit. This is no more a theory or wishful thinking but reality. A planted orchard needs labourers and the sacrifice of maintenance, nursing and keeping. In that case the crop will not fail.

My dear brothers and sisters! There, we have followed the Mother and decided to listen to, that is, to live the messages of the Queen of Peace. That is why I feel more strongly our pressing need for an authentic response and unselfish and dedicated living of the messages. The fruits are great. These days priests from Moscow and from Korea have come and full of enthusiasm ask: What are we to do?!

To listen to the messages for me and for my heart means to live and persevere on this road, without my arbitrary interpretations and wishes, but humbly and with dedication. Many hear or read but do not undertake anything in their lives and work, their families or the Church. This is the point where the man Pharisee comes in: he comes, he is a sympathiser, he loves Me??ugorje and the like. We have to come to terms with the fact that man is weak and that we have to pray even more fervently for conversions and miracles to happen in our lives.

Let us pray for priests. Can he who does not do anything, who does not listen, that is who does not live the messages, can he hear confessions and lead pilgrims?

It is here that big problems emerge in the hearts and souls of those who have heard the call. It suffices that an ungodly man writes an article or gives a statement to make some people falter. But our call is not just to join a group or family, but to start living and bearing fruit. In this peaceless world that does not accept God and His grace, His Mother, His Church and sacraments, man remains without peace and love. And peace and love are not goods that can be imported or exported by a company. They are a gift of God. Only those who cooperate with Him and serve Him can carry His gifts of peace and love. Without these gifts the world is a desert, including America and Europe and Russia, and every family and every soul. We are called to be joyous carriers and distributors of these gifts. If we have no sympathy for those who are in troubles and crises, who have remained without peace and love, then we have failed to understand the message. Brothers and sisters, it is us this word is addressed to. Not to journalists, not to the media but just to us who will live it with our lives. Dear Mother, thank you for the blessing and your love. We badly need them. We ask for them in order to see and recognise all those who have been given to us as a gift and put on our life's path. May no one remain without consolation and grace. Thank you for encouragement! This month we are going to pray for the following intentions:

For all priests who in this month and this year are going to be anointed, consecrated with this greatest gift, the sacrament of priesthood, that they may persevere on the way of holiness and devoted apostolate. That they may be open to the Mother, that is, Marian priests.

For all boys and girls who are called, or feel a call to priestly or religious ministry, that they may enthusiastically accept and respond to the call with their life.

For all priests who these days are coming to retreats in Me??ugorje, that is, to Our Lady's school, that the Holy Spirit may enlighten them and fill them with enthusiasm for the call and the way of holiness. For all the pilgrims for this anniversary as well as for our prayer family that we may persevere in living and testifying to the messages.

Our dear Mother, thank you for having once again clearly spoken to us through a new message. We have heard you with the heart and we pray to live it. Give us your blessing!

Greeting you all and praying for you is

Yours faithfully fra Jozo


Message of April 25, 2008

"Dear children! Also today, I call all of you to grow in God's love as a flower which feels the warm rays of spring. In this way, also you, little children, grow in God's love and carry it to all those who are far from God. Seek God's will and do good to those whom God has put on your way, and be light and joy. Thank you for having responded to my call."

My dear brothers and sisters;

Spring is in full swing. Even the last buds of the hard oak trees and soft linden are ready to open. Everything has blossomed and everything sings in harmony with the spring melody. Everything speaks of and exclaims a new life and new growth. These new flowers, new leaves and new buds are solely love and life. The elusive spring sun, for a moment, hides behind the clouds and permits the rain to wash the face of the blossoming earth. Then again, it restlessly shows itself, its brilliance and love. The fervent, warm and always new rays kiss the blossoming flowers that have just burst forth. The splendor of the colors and the tenderness of the petals speak of their great Creator who, also this spring, said : get there be flowers and they were born. The first violets on Palm Sunday, then the lilacs, the pansies, the tulips and finally the roses of all colors call to me saying: You also, open yourself to the grace of God. Awaken from sleep and death. Grow where you are planted. God is your Sun. His grace, His Easter joy and peace are the rays of His warmth and peace, calling you to grow in His love.

If even the smallest flower expresses God's beauty and reacts by awakening and growing, encouraged by the sun and its?rays, how much more am I responsible to respond to God's love, to His grace and His goodness according to my conscience - to respond to the greatest love with my love. When I pause before the lives of Saints they delight and enchant me. The smallest flower, a blade of grass, an ant, the cosmos, a smile of an innocent child, the sound of the wind in the branches of the trees, the song of a skylark, the rays of the morning sun on a drop of morning dew, the ark of the rainbow and the wonderful colors inspired St. Francis of Assisi to sing and give glory to God. He always united his song of praise to God to nature - to what his eyes, heart and spirit observed and recognized. In everything he saw the greatness of the Creator and read His most Holy Name. He called on all creation to never cease giving glory to the Creator and to never stop singing to Him.

So many of Jesus' parables refer to flowers, the grass, the birds, the rain and the wind in speaking about important mysteries which we have not yet sufficiently grasped. Saints are essentially different than we are. Whereas we look with our eyes, they looked with their heart. While we feel with our senses, they experienced with their souls. In fact, all that is created is a mystery. I cannot create even the smallest flower. Man can make an imitation flower from different materials - from silk, plastic or paper. He can skillfully color it and make it resemble a real flower. This, however, is his limit. As man, I cannot breathe life into the work of my hands. My flower remains dead and I cannot admire what is dead but only what is alive.

The riddle continually remains unresolved: how are we to carry God's love to all of those who are far from God? Love is not carried by the law of propaganda, by material means or by roads. Love is the name and the nature of God. I must have a heart for that Divine gift of love to dwell in. I must permit love to grow in me by being open to God and His grace to work in me. I must renounce myself so that I no longer live as the old self but that Jesus may live and love in me. That is the fullness of wisdom and the content of conversion. Only Saints can be joyful vessels of God's authentic gift of love to others and not those who are manipulators or deceivers or those with a mask. That is the image of God in us. We see so many of those around us who are far away and foreign. That is a sign that we have never tried to live as true merciful Samaritans. A merciful Samaritan is the one who has time for the needy and wounded. He offers his first-aid, he gives everything he has and can. As for the rest, he commissions others and pays for all the expenses. He does not feel indebted but free. For him everything is reconciled, all debts are paid. Yes, that is love at work. That is what it means to do good to those whom the Lord puts on our way.

No one will ever ask us for what they see and know that we cannot give them. For this reason, we, as the church today are living a continuous crisis. We have nothing to give to today's society. Many have become similar to the pagans of our time. They kill unborn life without a guilty conscience; they break and destroy the holiness of matrimony with Christian marriages ending in divorce, even more frequently than pagans and unbelievers. Today, Christian families without Sunday and the Holy Mass, without prayer together and without Christian education of their children have become, in reality, atheistic. How painful it sounds to be a Catholic atheist.

How magnificent and marvelous it is to watch pilgrims in Medjugorje! They return to prayer and continue to pray in their families. How many of them return again to the Sacraments and holiness of life! How many can no longer imagine their day or the education of their children without the Bible! How many Anglicans powerfully itness that they have became Catholic because, in Medjugorje, they found the Church that forgives sins and believes in the living Christ and Lord in the Eucharist! How many of them witness that they have found the Church which, united with the Mother, prays and witness the new Pentecost!

It is sad to watch those who have no humility, courage or love to observe the fruit. We are obliged to look at the fruit and our Savior tells us that if the fruit is good, the tree is good. If the fruit is bad then the tree is bad. Our Lady encourages and calls us to seek God's will by beginning our apostolate in living the Gospel, by living her essages and by living holiness. If our life bears such fruit, then those whom the Lord sends to us as a gift, will come on our life뭩 path. We are obliged to witness love to them. We owe them the fullness of love to the point of death, to the point of the greatest sacrifice. We are obliged to be the light to those who need and seek us. We are obliged to be joy. Darkness and night are always a source of fear and prejudice. Our Lord is the light and He tells us that we, too, are obliged to be the light of the world. The world seeks truth; it seeks love. This means that it seeks those values recognized in the light of faith shining through our example of holiness and goodness. This is why saints are joyful: because they are always able to give something and do something for everyone. Saints are the greatest benefactors of mankind and the greatest and most successful builders of the new and better world.

Most sincerely yours, Fr. Jozo Zovko o.f.m.

30.04.2008, Siroki Brijeg


Reflection on Our Lady's Message By Fr. Jozo Zovko, O.F.M. February, 25 2008

"Dear children! In this time of grace, I call you anew to prayer and renunciation. May your day be interwoven with little ardent prayers for all those who have not come to know God??s love. Thank you for having responded to my call.?"

My dear brothers and sisters;

A month ago Our Lady told us that we are beginning a holy time of grace – Lent. That message became so near and so motherly to us. The Queen of Peace compared us to the ploughed, nurtured ground in the spring time, awaiting the seed and once sown, bringing abundant fruit. She encouraged us to fast and to pray in Lent, because we must decide for what is good and noble - for holiness. With our hearts we recognize that the Queen of Peace remains on the same path in this holy time. Again, she calls this time by its’ true name, a ‘time of grace’. It is for this reason that we need to fill it with prayer and renunciation.

In these days I vividly recall my childhood and the Lent of my youth. Our people in Herzegovina recognizably changed their daily lifestyle during that time. Radio or any other music was considered inappropriate. The only song that was heard in our homes, on our grazing fields, on the roads, in the villages and in all the meetings was the melody of ‘Our Lady’s Sorrow’. Our daily prayers became longer and somehow more devout because the verses of ‘Our Lady’s Sorrow’ sung of the passion and death of our Lord and Savior according to the Gospel of St. John. Tears would flow from our eyes. Lent was also the time of our sorrow. Our compassion was awakened for the Mother and for Jesus who was betrayed, insulted, scourged and crucified. Their immeasurable suffering was the atmosphere in which our prayers penetrated our hearts and blessed our work, inspiring us to even greater fasting and sacrifices. Lent was also a time of reading the Sacred Scripture. I remember how my tears flowed as I read the Bible out loud to everyone by a small oil lamp. Everyone would say, “You see and read the best. Read out loud for us”. I was happy in such an ambiance of Lent.

We prayed the Way of the Cross every Friday and Sunday. The heart-wrenching melody filled with pain of ‘Holy Mother hear my prayer, in my heart each wound renew of my Savior crucified’ would melt away all unruliness and every heart of stone. Spiritual splendor and sincere repentance formed our Lent. All of our Lenten penance experienced its’ pinnacle on Good Friday in the Veneration and kissing of the Most Holy Cross and His wounds.

Today, in our midst, there are those who have not come to know God’s love. They come from families where prayer was extinguished long ago. They come from families where swear words and arguments were heard. Alcohol and a life without Sundays and Sunday Mass together impoverished those who perhaps tried to substitute their deficiency with a diploma or a political career. As Our Lord tells us those are families built on sand. They fall. They create pain and fruitless victims. We are grateful that Our Lady never accuses them or their parents; nor does she accuse us for our many failures. Instead she encourages us to pray and to renounce. What then are we to renounce?

First of all, I need to renounce my criticism and condemnation of such individuals and families. I need to renounce my comfort and conviction that I have done all that I could. I need to renounce my ego and selfishness which blinds me so that, like the priest and the Levite in the Gospel, I do not see the wounded poor. They saw him but cunningly avoided him and left him behind without feeling guilty.

I must renounce my conviction that I am praying enough and that what I am giving to God is more than just a little. I want to ascertain ‘how’ I am giving to Him. Our Lady calls us to pray short prayers, encouraging us to make them ardent. This means with all our hearts and souls. I need to learn ‘how’ I give not only ‘how much’. I also need to renounce my intentions for my own family and my loved ones because my neighbor is the one who has not come to know God’s love.

This Lent I want to renounce false fasting. Many have renounced vices such as cigarettes, alcohol, nightclubs and gambling. They are watchful and sensitive to swear words or have renounced meat or certain pleasures as they continually count how many days are left before their promise ends along with their unendurable sacrifice. After Lent, they then return to their prior habits, vices, companionships and sins. I must renounce such fasting. I must set aside such a sacrifice which does not enable me or inspire me to enduring love and enduring sacrifice. Sacrifice is not a torment of self but a freeing of self and of one’s family. Fasting is positive because it frees us for what is good.

I want to renounce my fear that I am wasting my time when I give it to my Lord, to my prayer family and to the Church on Thursdays. I want to renounce my thinking that nothing exceptional is accomplished through prayer. I want to renounce my bad habits, profanities, coarse language and gossip directed against others. I want to renounce my superficial approach to the Medjugorje messages. I want to renounce looking at the messages as information and the Medjugorje movement as mere sensationalism.

I want to be in the service of Medjugorje, of the Queen of Peace and of her projects by living the messages and fulfilling the Apostolate which includes each one of us and our witness with our life by our fruit.

For this reason, in this remaining time of my Lent, I will learn fervent short prayers which I can pray at my work, while driving, in my sickness and in my suffering. I will practice short and ardent prayers to Our Lady, to Jesus and to His Divine Mercy.

Let us remember St. Francis of Assisi who stopped in the middle of the city to pray. Let us remember the Saints who, with their ejaculatory prayers, continually stood in God’s nearness. When in my heart I carry the light to those whom I meet and who live and look at faith differently, they receive the light of grace and conversion. Yes, I truly want to be ‘the light of the world and the salt of the earth’. I truly want to be the leaven that has the power of rising and changing the ‘dough’ of my surroundings.

This month we will pray for the following intentions:

For all Christians, that this Lent they may be reborn through the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Eucharist. For all priests and confessors, that they may show the image of the merciful, good Father to the penitents. For our prayer community, especially the newly established groups, to have a holy and persevering spiritual guide – a priest, who lives Our Lady’s messages and loves her. For all the sick and needy who come to the Queen of Peace and ask for our prayers – that they may be heard and find consolation, health and peace. My dear brothers and sisters, I pray for each of you and heartily commend myself into your prayer. The Seminars, our meetings with the pilgrims and our witness are an important Apostolate. The Queen of Peace desires this and I thank you with all my heart for praying for all of us and for our perseverance. I send you my heartfelt brotherly greetings along with prayer for perseverance in the call.

Most sincerely yours,

Fr. Jozo Zovko o.f.m

27.02.08 Srioki Brijeg


Fr.Jozo 25.11.2007

My dear brothers and sisters,

I invite you to profoundly immerse with me into this message which, at first sight, seems simple and seems to us that we have understood it. However, it is very demanding and encompassing because it embraces the essence of the Gospel and the fundamental existence of an individual and of the Church. Namely, it is necessary to awaken faith in Jesus, who is the King of all that is created. The almighty Word of God created everything and then became Man. All Creation is redeemed. “In Him we have the redemption, the forgiveness of sins…by him all things were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible…all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the Church; he is the beginning and the first born from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood shed on the cross.” {Col 114-20)

Yes, as a Christian I know who my Creator is. I know who my Redeemer is , and to whom I belong. Therefore, Christ the King, by His power and Divine Love destroys all idols and false friends and redeemers. I know that He alone is my God and my all. I know that my heart will never be at rest or at peace if it does not rest in Him. For this reason, my life will serve Him alone, and for Him alone my soul shall live. For this reason, I have only one longing – to completely give myself to Him and to belong to Him. He has shown His love by His sacrifice and complete self-giving; by His surrender for my peace, my salvation and my eternal life.

With all of my being I desire to enter into the very core of that Love and to respond to the greatest challenge of love. How am I to do this? It is through my surrender. Our Lady tells us that only through giving will we be able to comprehend the gift of Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross for each of us. Yes, we are to respond to Love, with love. And there is no greater love than this - to give one’s life for one’s friends. Our Lord says so simply, “You are my friends”. How are we then to respond to this grace with our life and how are we to live it? The Queen of Peace tells us that it is through giving. Our giving is the beginning of this way of faith and love. She also tells us what it is that we have to give, “ Little children, give time to God.”

Today I must begin with the basic step: I must find time for God. So often we hear the most frequent and most empty excuse, “I don’t have time.” The family is persecuted through television programs which are advertised as offering something for everyone. After their successful and persevering manipulation we feel enslaved: I have to follow this or that program or series. Unnoticeably we become enslaved, glued to the television, the newspapers or the like.

How are we to be freed form this bondage? By giving time to God. My first step must begin with a firm resolution – to find time for prayer, to find time to listen to the Word of God and to find time to meet with Him alone, in the silence of my heart, in the Sacraments, in my cross and in my trials. Without giving this time to the Lord, today and every day, without time spent with Him, I cannot advance in holiness. I will turn my faith into a debate, a criticism and an anguished calculation of how much I have served and invested as opposed to how much I have received or didn’t receive. This is not to be my way. This is not the way on which the Mother directs me today in this teaching and message. I desire to gaze at my King and to come to know Him. The shortest way is for me to look at Him and listen to Him as He speaks to me from His throne, the Cross,.

Yes, finally, I must understand that God is the One who can transform my heart and my life. Finally, I must realize that He, and He alone, can fill my heart with grace - with Himself. That gift of grace will open the eyes of my heart that I may see and discern love from blind selfishness; that I may come to know humility and distinguish it from my arrogance; that I may come to know goodness and distinguish it from my cunningness. Finally, led by the Holy Spirit , I come to discover that the Cross is my freedom, my way, my life, my peace and my strength.

The power of God’s love which never ceases flowing from the Cross will not only transform and change me, it will enable me to fulfill the basic assignment of the Church – to be an apostle for others and to give good example to all, consciously and with love.

My dear brothers and sisters, I must admit with sincerity that Our Lady’s statement from her message struck me deeply when she said, that she is a gift of grace and love, which comes to us from God for this peaceless world. The most holy and humble Mother is not afraid to tell us the truth about her mission. She is a gift of grace, a gift for us. She does good to all. She brings God and His graces to us. She is the Ark of the Covenant. She, who is full of grace, gives us the gift of her presence and by her example inspires us to all that is good.

She is a gift that cannot be earned. She and her love are simply a gift to us, poor sinners. That is why her life is Noah’s rainbow proclaiming that there will not be another flood. She is a sign that life is present on earth. Yes, she is a sign that man has a blessing on this earth; that he has grace and salvation. She is a sign that man will never again be cursed because there is the gift of grace and love that comes from God. Not only does she give and bring God to us but she also leads us to God. Inasmuch as she is a gift and sign to all, she asks that I too be a grace for others.

This is the strength of a Christian. He is not just a pale sign or mere information about God, but is a bearer of grace to others. For this reason the mission of the Church is close to us - to make all people His disciples.

This message is most dear and close to me. It is yet another inspiration to Christian action and witness of the Gospel. With this message we begin the time of Advent. This is a time of preparation and expectation of our Lord Jesus. Let us strive to give our utmost to be a grace to others and an inspiration to all to seek the Lord. Christmas is more than a custom or a traditional solemnity with candles and decorations. Christmas is the acceptance of the Lord and His Mother. This message knocks on our hearts as on the doors of Bethlehem which remain closed to this very day. Let us open our hearts through, prayer, fasting, good works and holiness of life. Without Jesus there is no Christmas. Without His Mother there is no Christmas or His gifts. Let us open ourselves and others to those gifts.

This month we will pray for the following intentions:

For all our Christian families that in this Advent they may become open to the Lord and His Mother through Dawn Masses, prayer, and the Sacraments. For all the families who are in conflict, who do not pray, and who do not live Christmas joy and hope.

For all the Bishops and Priests. For all the missionaries and those who proclaim the Gospel to prepare the way to the Lord, and show it with their lives.

For the visionaries and for our Prayer Family scattered like the seed throughout so many countries and among so many nations – that at this holy time they may bear rich fruit by living the messages of the Queen of Peace.

Most beloved brothers and sisters, as I write these thoughts and reflect on these words of grace and inspiration from the message, I pray for each of you, holding you in the great heart of the Immaculate Virgin. May God’s grace and peace accompany you during these days. I pray for each of you and send you my brotherly greetings as I recommend myself to your prayers.

Most sincerely yours,

Fr.Jozo Zovko, ofm.


Message of September 25, 2007

“Dear children! Also today I call all of you for your hearts to blaze with more ardent love for the Crucified, and do not forget that, out of love for you, He gave His life so that you may be saved. Little children, meditate and pray that your heart may be open to God’s love. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

My dear brothers and sisters, Such a simple and concrete message! How are we to open to God’s love? How are we to open our own hearts and souls? How are we to open our lives to free in them the love for the Crucified and for His love? Our Lady simply tells us that through meditation and prayer we can succeed to open and move our hearts to love. If the crucified Love does not draw a Christian, then there is nothing else or more powerful that can draw him. If a Christian does not react to the love witnessed on the Cross, then even God does not have a chance to move a closed heart of stone. It is evident from the message that we do not love the crucified Lord. We live as if He did not die for us – as if it does not concern me that He died for me. This blindness revealed its’ great power in separating so many souls and hearts from Jesus and His love. How does this happen? When a person neglects prayer in his family, he behaves as if nothing happened. We forget that the day someone neglects or abandons prayer, he takes the first step to unbelief and practical atheism. A person who does not pray does not become immersed in God’s mercy and love. He feels that he does not have the time and that it is of no benefit because he lacks the fundamental experience received from prayer. This experience is that God is alive - that we meet Him and that we are in His nearness when we pray. In prayer, a person completely leans on God and believes in Him. He entrusts himself to God without fear. A person who prays with the heart, through prayer, becomes immersed in a new experience of God’s nearness, which is meditation. He continually feels the need to remove the garment of the old and cursed self and to be clothed in the new self created in God’s image.

The image of my God is love. The face He reveals to us is Love. It is because of this irresistible Love that I gaze on and meditate on the Cross and the Crucified Love on It. The drawing power of the Cross is incomparable to anything else. The power of the Cross more and more draws the one who meditates and prays. It draws the one who harkens to His Word in his heart and responds to It with prayer, permitting Love to speak to him and to reveals Itself to him that he may experience It. This is why prayer before the Cross gives birth to irresistible love. It is this love that desires to completely equalize and identify with the one it loves.

When St. Francis of Assisi came to know the crucified Christ, He cried out: “ You are my God and my all.

I desire to love nothing but You and because of You there is nothing I cannot love.” Spending nights and days before the Crucified, St. Francis became His image – the living image of the Lord. He continually spoke to the brothers about the Crucified Love: “Love is not loved.” A person is created to love and is happy only when he loves. A person is created to pray and is happy only when he prays. So many are unhappy because they did not return love for love, and they did not repay goodness with prayer and thanksgiving. That is why man fails to realize himself and feels frustrated, a failure, unnecessary, and dispensable - because he has done nothing in his life that remains forever – he has not loved. We have to get on our knees and pray so that love comes to dwell in us and that we may be its’ witnesses. How are we to ignite the fire? How are we to set the fire ablaze? It is possible only from the Eternal Flame, which is the Cross.

I remember it was Sunday morning when I set out from the parish house to the Church in Medjugorje. It was an unforgettable scene. Everyone was kneeling facing the Cross on Cross Mountain. I also fell to my knees. Tears flowed. I watched the Cross Mountain covered with a white veil of light, before which the Queen of Peace stood and said: “Dear children, contemplate the Cross of my Son, His passion and His wounds, and pray before the Cross. Learn from Him.” Then the Cross on Cross Mountain became visible again and from it the message ‘MIR’, meaning ‘peace’, flowed. That gift of peace is the fruit of the Cross and of God’s love. Man is reconciled to God. He can go to the Father again because the Cross is a bridge by which we come to the Father. In meditating on the Cross we hear Yahweh’s word powerfully: “I have redeemed you, you are mine. By name I have called you and you belong to me. You are precious in my sight and I love you…I have carved your name in the palm of my hand.”(Is. 43)

As of that event, we started Veneration of the Cross every Friday with prayer before the Cross. Millions have learned this, but our love has grown cold. Our flame is in danger of being extinguished in the winds and storms of the time in which we live. We cannot be without this gift and sign. It is easier for a sailor to enter into a harbor without a lighthouse or a pilot to land without a watchtower then it is for a Christian to live with an extinguished love for the Crucified. No, that love – that gift and sign of grace: the Crucified Lord - must not be extinguished or uprooted from the hearts of men, from the hearts of parents and families.

The Mother again calls us for our hearts to blaze with love for that divine crucified Love. There is no greater sign under the Heavens then the Cross and there is no greater love than to give one’s life for others. As we meditate on this message our hearts say to us: “The Cross strengthens and draws me. I love my crucified Lord. When I pray I am certain that my God loves me. I am no longer unhappy or a prodigal son imprisoned by so much slavery. My God frees me and I am grateful to Him. I feel happy and am grateful for such a great love and sacrifice for me. Only my Jesus tells me that He died for me on the Cross because He loves me.

My heart recognizes this spiritual dimension and love and responds to love. All of our Martyrs and Saints have done this. They put God in the first place – before themselves and their selfishness.” In prayer, all chains of slavery dissolve along with all attachments to what He is not. I cannot succeed without prayer and meditation and I have an irresistible need to succeed. I desire to respond to the greatest Love with love, purifying it through meditation and by listening of God’s word everyday.

Dear brothers and sisters, this message is a call for us to enter into the essence of our being and vocation. I do not write this to you as to someone unknown but to those who are called to pray and to love the crucified Jesus from the beginning. Thank you for fulfilling your Apostolate of the ‘family altar’ with greater fervor. On this altar put the Crucifix of our crucified Master along with His Mother, the Queen of Peace, the Bible, the Rosary, and blessed water. May our family altar truly be a place of encountering the Lord’s love.

This month we will pray for the following intentions:

That each of our families may have a Crucifix in a visible place. That each of our members may come to love the Way of the Cross and the crucified Love. For the conversion of all those who are responsible for arising against the Cross, especially in schools and hospitals.

For all the youth who carry the Cross for fashion or other reasons and especially for those who support the satanic cross and powerfully promote against crucified Love and His Cross.

For all those who are sick and helpless and for all those in temptation - that they may carry their Cross and accept It as Jesus did – with love, surrendering It into the hands of the Father. That all the sick and afflicted may come to know the greatness of their own Cross, which, by the power of Jesus, helps everyone. Oh Most Holy Cross, we adore you and we love you because you bore the most beloved fruit – Jesus – through whom we are all saved. We adore you oh Christ and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

My beloved ones, as I meditate on this and write this, I am thinking of each of you and praying for all of us to powerfully respond to the greatest Love.

With brotherly greetings I remain sincerely yours,

Fr. Jozo Zovko o.f.m.

27.09.2007 Siroki Brijeg


Message of July 25, 2007

"Dear children! Today, on the day of the Patron of your Parish, I call you to imitate the lives of the Saints. May they be, for you, an example and encouragement to a life of holiness. May prayer for you be like the air you breathe in and not a burden. Little children, God will reveal His love to you and you will experience the joy that you are my beloved. God will bless you and give you an abundance of grace. Thank you for having responded to my call."

So often Our Lady points to the lives of the Saints, who have left an inerasable imprint in the history of the Church. Saints are people for all times. With their lives, always in a new and exceptional way, they have shown love for God and for neighbor.

The life of a Saint is a fruitful tree, whose beauty and value do not pass. As there are abandoned, uncultivated and fruitless orchards, so there are poor people who invest very little or nothing into their lives, their family, or their faith. Saints are those who resolve to live according to the Gospel, led by the Holy Spirit. That wondrous climate of grace has given us Saints - the great spiritual athletes - giving them to the Church for all times.

Saints are those who had a goal in life and put in a maximum effort to realize it. Through all times, the Church had the Saints as proof that God lives with His people. By living with these prophets, we come to know the goodness of God and to live in His nearness. To meet a Saint means to see Jesus at work. To meet a Saint means to discover the beauty of faith and discover the power of holiness. Saints are 'the living Gospel' which is, in truth, the only choice for all generations.

To meet a Saint in his time is always a new inspiration, as St. Augustine expressed in the words directed to himself and to each of us; "Augustine, if so very many were able to realize holiness and were witnesses, why can't you?"

Yes, I too can daily renounce my selfishness and myself more and more and witness the Gospel so as to bring Jesus closer to others. Yes, I too can learn to fast on Wednesdays and Fridays and, in this way, free myself from evil vices and open my heart to love. Yes, I can pray with the heart, with my family, my community and the Church. Yes, with greater solidarity and love I can participate in Our Lady's plans, which She reveals in Medjugorje through the 26 years and one month.

Often before our eyes are the life and the life's journey of St. Joseph. He understood that he was chosen by God and was therefore always open to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He never put his reflection or desire in front of God's plan. It is important today to decide to accept God's call and humbly respond to it.

By their lives, the Saints raise the dignity of man to the greatest level - to the level of Sons of God. For this reason, every Saint is a great 'sheet of paper' on which the Lord writes His Name and evidences His love. Every Saint leaves a message in his time. Saints do not live their lives for a scene or for the applause of their generation. To the contrary, they are humble and patient builders of a new world - the world of Christ.

When among a nation or in a given time there are no Saints, the world enters into a crisis and darkness falls on the entire generation, because the voice providing security is not heard. In such circumstance, voices of Saints who are an echo of God's voice and a sign of His presence with us are not heard. Without Saints, the world would be in a state of hopelessness and chaos. Without Saints, humanity would be disoriented like a large city without traffic lights. Our Lady calls us to find our examples and the measure of our activity and love in the Saints - in our lives, in our families, and in our work places.

To denounce Saints, or to erase them from the life of the Church is to deny God, who loves and saves man made in His own image. We are called to honor and imitate the Saints who have shown exceptional courage as witnesses for Christ. We need them because they help us on our life's journey. We need Saints to find the answers to the most profound questions of our existence. Their lives are like the most beautiful music, which God gave to humanity. We are blest when we honor the Saints because they inspire us not to wane on our life's journey.

Dear brothers and sisters;

Let us respond to this message of Our Lady. Let us help others discover the gift of prayer, which is like a precious treasure in our heart.

This month we will pray for the following intentions:

For the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, who remained an hour in prayer before the image of the Queen of Peace. His secretary witnessed that he was so moved that his face transformed. May the Queen of Peace protect him with Her mantle.

For all the spiritual individuals who pray less and less, setting out on their apostolates without prayer. May they return to the source that the Saints drank from, may they return to prayer.

For our prayer community to be educated and to educate others in prayer. For our example to be saintly. Dear brothers and sisters, I pray for all of you and I greet you all warmly. May the Queen of Peace bless you and help you so that day by day we may accept and live Her Motherly call with an even greater love.

Yours most sincerely,

Fr. Jozo Zovko O.F.M.


Message of June 25, 2007

"Dear children! Also today, with great joy in my heart, I call you to conversion. Little children, do not forget that you are all important in this great plan, which God leads through Medjugorje. God desires to convert the entire world and to call it to salvation and to the way towards Himself, who is the beginning and the end of every being. In a special way, little children, from the depth of my heart, I call you all to open yourselves to this great grace that God gives you through my presence here. I desire to thank each of you for the sacrifices and prayers. I am with you and I bless you all. Thank you for having responded to my call."

My dear Brothers and Sisters,

How powerfully, in Her simplicity, does the Mother and the Queen of Peace summarize the entire mystery of Incarnation and Salvation in this message! After 2000 years, the Gospel and the person of Jesus Christ have not crossed the threshold of the hearts and cognition of 5 billion people in the world. We are responsible for this. God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son so that every one who believes in Him will not be lost, but have eternal life. For God sent His Son into the world not to condemn the world but to that through Him the world might be saved”. (John 3:16-17).

Today this world does not have apostles and missionaries, instead it has technology by which it enslaves and manipulates hearts and human lives. The Fathers love can be transmitted, proclaimed and witnessed only with ones’ life. Christ is not an object of science or of theories but the content of our lives and the goal of our salvation. Today we have forgotten what the Church is, the Church which is established by Jesus to continue His work of Salvation. For this reason He told us that we are the leaven in the dough which can not be seen but is felt, the salt that gives flavor and the light that illuminates.

The Incarnation of Jesus Christ is the greatest event in human history and the greatest intervention of God in the world after creation. It is the central event which must not be forgotten or set aside in a secondary plan. As we observe the world, we see how many have abandoned Jesus and His Church. There are so many that have placed themselves and their programs in the first place, living for them and ignoring Jesus. Catholic countries have never had so few priests and missionaries. Ireland, France, Italy and Spain are countries that have entertained themselves with their own godlessness, and that is why their Seminaries are empty.

The world is in a crisis, not because it lacks money or medicine, experts or schools, but because it lacks saints in the Church. This creates a crisis in the world and in the universe causing destruction of families and causing man to feel insecure and alone. It destroys and breaks apart the Parish family whereby a believer becomes abandoned and isolated. The Church falls into ruin when man destroys the principles on which it is founded.

A week ago, the Holy Father, Pope Benedict, visited Assisi and the place where the crucified Jesus said to St. Francis: “My Church is falling apart. Help me to rebuild my Church”. St. Francis was overjoyed at what he heard and discerned with certainty, “God need me such as I am. Christ is calling me to help Him.” He converted completely and became transformed to resemble Him, becoming a complete and living image of the Lord. In this message, the Queen of Peace accentuates: “Little Children, do not forget that you are all important in this plan which God leads through Medjugorie. God desires to convert the entire world and to call it to salvation”. This confirms that the apparitions of Medjugorie are not a private opinion but, in them, from the very beginning, Gods’ final goal and plan can be detected. Namely, this is the plan of our conversion, the conversion of the entire Church and through the Church, the conversion of the entire world.

God become man, similar to us in every way but sin. He chose man for His work and project of redemption. Unfortunately, He did not succeed in finding those who were literate in the temple among the priests, because they rejected Him. Instead, He was content with the fisherman who responded to the call. They confirmed and witnessed with their blood. Like Christ, Our Lady needs the visionaries who responded at the beginning. She spoke the same words to them that She again pronounces to you and to us; “You are all important in this great plan”.

The children, the visionaries, were persecuted. The journalists and those in power rejected and ridiculed them. However, a multitude inspired by grace believed them, accepted the messages and living them bore wondrous fruit. We could not have believed that this small movement in the beginning was a plan for the entire world. I remember the reaction of the regime of the time that continued to accentuate out of fear: “You are destroying order. By your declaration that you see Our Lady you are destroying the system”.

Who could have believed that in 10 years that cruel, iron system of Communism would disappear before our eyes like the snow of a winter past. Who could have imagined that of the 26th Anniversary of the Apparitions, the Church of Siroki Brijeg would be full of Russians?

Who could of have imagined that all these people from the East, the West, the North and the South would ask as the Wise Men of Jerusalem, ”Where is the King? Where is the Mother and what does She want of us? Tell us. Teach us.” Each time, I feel these meetings to be as the meeting of Pentecost between Peter and the Jews in Jerusalem. It is never setup or organized. It is always filled with grace with a final question: “What can we do and what do we need to do ”

Medjugorie has been chosen and, in this way, became the center of Gods’ great plan. Medjugorie is chosen and has become as Pentecost with, everyone understanding each other and answering the fundamental questions of their Church which is speaking to millions as Peter did. Medjugorie is a place and a time of prayer with the Mother. Medjugorie is like Nazareth where Jesus remained obedient to the Mother, growing in grace and wisdom before God and man for 30 years. In Medjugorie, the Church has been growing with the Mother for 26 years and we feel that there is only a little still lacking in the fullness of that time. God desires to convert the entire world because it has been redeemed by the Most Precious Blood of the Lamb.

Our Lady needs you in that process and plan. She needs our prayer family which bears exceptional fruit, like a well cared for garden. I feel that nearly everything has been revealed to us in this message – our dignity and our call. She calls us to open ourselves to this great grace which God gives to us through Her Motherly presence. How blessed are those who can comprehend and, like the Apostles or St. Francis, leave everything because everything else is less important than this plan – the plan to convert the entire world. There is nothing more exalted or grace filled than this. This is why Our Lady thanks us for each of our prayers and sacrifices.

From so many countries in the world, as well as from our own, there is opposition, rejection, despisal and deformation. We must suffer for Medjugorie. Only the one who bears the marks on his body, his heart, his faith and his life is an authentic witness.

Dear brothers and sisters, I feel so joyful and certain because the Queen of Peace, in this message, tells us everything that is important to us. Medjugorie is much more than what is preached and what we have seen and heard. Only Our Lady knows how to express what it is and has finally done so. Medjugorie is Gods’ plan for Salvation and conversion of the world which She carries out through those who respond to the call to conversion.

I feel a fullness of our call, which Our Lady has defined and expressed in this message. Now we know who we are.

Just like when at Caesarea Philippi Peter answered in the name all: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). To this, Jesus replied: “ Simon, son of Jonah you are a blessed man! Because it was not flesh and blood that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven”. (Matthew 16:17). I am grateful to you, dear Queen of Peace, for the simple explanation and the answer to us as to who we are and what Medjugorie is in Gods’ plan. It is no longer important to us what others say about Medjugorie but only what you say to us. The errors and human conjectures do not disturb us because they are only human answers. We rejoice and are grateful for your true and complete answer. We need this message in the mosaic of our certainty and your Motherly messages. Thank you for this clear and most profound message which defines the truth about Medjugorie, and about us, our call and our mission. We desire to surrender completely to you and to serve to the very end. We desire to sacrifice ourselves for Gods’ plan of salvation and conversion of the world.

This month we will pray for the following intentions:

We will pray for all the pilgrims and especially those who were in Medjugorie for the first time for this Anniversary – that they may accept and live the messages without fear for the conversion of the world.

We will pray for all those called and responsible for the immeasurably important plan of God which can be recognized by it fruits. That those who have been bound by jealously, envy and hatred may accept that plan.

We pray for the visionaries and all those who have responded to the call of Our Lady that they may persevere in living Her messages in prayer and sacrifice.

My dear brothers and sisters, be joyful and in all humility, give thanks to the Lord for these days of the 26th Anniversary. We were witnesses of hundreds of priests and tens of thousands of faithful gathered together by the Mother. Most touching were the pilgrims who traveled bare-foot tens of kilometers, in prayer, giving their great contribution to the plan of conversion in such a peaceful and gentle way. Thank you for having prayed the Novena as a prayer of thanksgiving for the graces and gifts received. These are days of praise and gratitude for all we have received in this past time of grace.

I greet you all with my brotherly greeting and I pray for you all. Yours most sincerely.

Fr Jozo Zovko O.F.M.

28.06.2007 Siroki Brijeg


Message of May 25, 2007

"Dear children! Pray with me to the Holy Spirit for Him to lead you in the search of God's will on the way of your holiness. And you, who are far from prayer, convert and, in the silence of your heart, seek salvation for your soul and nurture it with prayer. I bless you all individually with my motherly blessing. Thank you for having responded to my call."

My dear brothers and sisters,

When our Mother, on the vigil of Pentecost, called us to pray with her, I felt an immeasurable joy. Yes, that call is like the one in the Hall of the Last Supper. St. Luke pronounces those who respond to the call and enumerates them by name: Peter, John, James, Thomas, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, James, Simon, and Judas the brother of James. They were all persevering and of one spirit in prayer, together with the women, with Mary the Mother of Jesus and with His brothers (Ac ts 2: 1).

The fruit of prayer together with Our Lady is the miracle of Pentecost - it is the gifts that were necessary to the Apostles and to the people gathered from all nations in Jerusalem. They all understood the proclamation of the first Pope. They all felt the same grace in their hearts, " What must I do?" Peter told them: "Convert and be baptized." In this way, the community of the Church, with some three thousands newly baptized members, was born.

Our Lady's call: "pray with me to the Holy Spirit" is a clear image to us of the first prayer with the Mother in Cenacle. To pray with Our Lady is a special grace. I am pleased when St. Luke enumerates the names of those who prayed. Clearly, the one who prays with the Mother is not anonymous or insignificant. Such a person is always the one on whom She and Heaven count on. To pray with the Mother means to pray with the Church and for the Church. Through that prayer, everyone received such important and necessary gif ts which made them capable of proclaiming and witnessing to bloodshed what they had lived, seen and heard. I am pleased to hear these words of our Mother who has called us, in particular, from among so many pilgrims and those who are inclined to Medjugorje, that we may be members of this family which perseveres in prayer and in living Her messages, together with Her.

Through prayer, the Holy Spirit leads the one who prays to discover God's will and then, through His grace and gifts, enables him to say and to respond with his life: "Here I am." This means, to daily, and in all circumstances say as the Blessed Virgin "Here I am, behold the handmaid of the Lord." That 'Fiat' of the Blessed Virgin is the 'Creed', the 'I believe'. I believe that my God is all powerful and that everything is possible to my God. When I reflect on such a concrete and clear call to holiness I see us as a child enrolled in school by his parents. Everyday there is a new lesson, everyday there is a new step in education. All this, so that at the end of the school year an entire mosaic of knowledge can be recognized as a fruit of our work in school and of the teachers with the children.

The goal is to teach and educate a child and to realize a given school program. In the same way, our life which we receive as a gift and our Christian vocation, have a final goal of holiness. Everyday there is a new step, everyday a new prayer, a new plan of God and a new response. Holiness is accomplished in the daily effort and sacrifice, in prayer and in Sacramental life. We discover God's will through Revelation, through example, through positive inspiration of the saints, through the Church and through Her proclamation. We also discover God's will through our conscience through which the Lord speaks to us. Our weakness is very often concealed and opposed to God's will. It is often our experience to be in conflict with God's will. To renounce oneself and one's will, and to accept G od's will, is true wisdom and a victory of grace in us. This is the fruit of the Holy Spirit in us.

It has never been heard that someone managed to become holy without prayer. It has never been heard that someone has renounced his will and accepted God's will without the help of the Holy Spirit. To pray with Our Lady is a privileged call to pray with those whom She has invited, who felt the grace and who have responded. Our prayer group, THE VISITATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY TO ST. ELIZABETH - our PRAYER PARTNERSHIP - is, in particular, a grace given to us. I see all of our prayers and the many thousands of those who are pure and faithful to the Mother, the Queen of Peace, as a link to Medjugorje.

Yes, I see us together with the Mother, in prayer, in Adoration and in living the messages. In this message, she clearly separates those who pray from those who do not "and you who are far from prayer, convert." She does not hesitate to say that there are those who do not pray, those who are far from prayer. We are also aware of this. This is why, I so often emphasize that our call is specific and that we are different from the pilgrims and those inclined to Medjugorje who come for a visit, who pray their prayers and carry out their promises - and then return home without changing anything in their daily life or work. Our family has a promise of living Our Lady's messages perseveringly, humbly, surrendered to the will of God, watching vigilantly over our own life and example and keeping away from all criticism, judgment, conflict and rejection.

Our Lady calls us to conversion. Namely she calls us to begin praying everyday and to set aside time in our day which we can call a time of silence in our own heart, and to seek salvation for our souls in it. The Mother tells us that our soul is nurtured by prayer. To me, these are such warm motherly words. I feel that prayer is like mother's milk that a child is nursed by to feed his soul. Yes, the soul needs food, care and concern - and this is what prayer is. In fact, these are the messages with which we nurture our faith, our love and our soul. How easy and simple it is for people to abandon family prayer. There are so many temptations. In these days, I listened to a priest with a doctorate in Pastoral Theology in the United States, who said that he never prayed the Rosary in the Seminary or as a priest. He told me that he came to love the Rosary in Medjugorje through the prayer group of our Prayer Partnership in the States. I cried with joy, and at the same ti me I was sad because of the Seminary in which the prayer of the Rosary is lacking.

Our prayer group has an immeasurably great meaning and mission. Daily I am convinced of the fruit of so much prayer. If we were to stop praying, in Medjugorje and throughout the world there would be fruitless trees. There would be a desert. There would be extinguished lanterns which would help no one and would serve no pu rpose. With these thoughts, I desire to call you to an even more preserving and fruitful prayer with the Mother of the Lord. Without prayer there is no Pentecost. There is no rebirth or renewal of the Church and a healthy Christian family. Our generation needs the Church as a witness, the Church that prays and through which the Lord accomplishes His works and gives signs to the world. Be humble and grateful for the great grace that has been given to us. Especially let us be vigilant and of one spirit in our prayers and fasting during these weeks preceding the 26th Anniversary of the Apparitions. The enemy will do everything to stop the Church and i ndividuals on their way to conversion and on the way to the Mother in the Cenacle. The enemy will write, name, criticize and attack. You just be at peace and preserve in prayer for all the pilgrims and those who suffer because of Medjugorje. Let us never forget that every pilgrim is a fruit of prayer. He is a gift. He is a fruit of prayer and sacrifice. May every pilgrim find the much necessary graces for himself, for his soul, for his family, for his parish, for his Church and his home-land.

This month we will pray for the following intentions;

For all pilgrims who have been in Medjugorje or who will come for the Anniversary, that in peace with God and themselves, they may find the necessary graces for their soul, their body and their families. That they may experience a grace-filled meeting with Our Lady who is calling us. That they may readily respond to the call to conversion and accept the messages.

For all the Confessors, that especially at this time the Lord may give them the gift of humility and of joyful service to the brothers who seek the grace of forgiveness and healing. That every penitent may feel the good and merciful Father and His embrace in every priest.

For all the sick and burdened in soul and body, for all the wounded and destroyed families that, through t he intercession of the Queen of Peace, the Lord may help unite, heal and convert them.

Dear brothers and sisters, for this great and grace-filled Anniversary I send you my greetings and prayers as I recommend each of you to the Queen of Peace.

With brotherly greetings,

Yours sincerely Fr. Jozo Zovko O.F.M.


Message of April 25, 2007

"Dear children! Also today I again call you to conversion. Open your hearts. This is a time of grace while I am with you, make good use of it. Say: "This is the time for my soul". I am with you and love you with immeasurable love. Thank you for having responded to my call."

Also in this brief message one can surmise an important intention, in fact, the goal a person must accomplish in his life on earth. Conversion is a daily process in our thoughts, in our relationship with God and neighbor, in our vocation and the environment which surrounds us. Most often, when the Gospel, the Church or the Queen of Peace call us to conversion, we consider that we need to improve our relationship with God and our faith. Jesus has never separated the love for God from the love for man - for one's neighbor. In this way, in the parable of the merciful Samaritan, He places the emphasis on the neighbor who is completely unknown and wounded by unknown criminals. To help as the good Samaritan is the call and inspiration directed to everyone: "You also do likewise."

To convert means to daily renounce our constraining boundaries and to grow in faith and love, following Jesus. Often we are blinded by our very self, by our plans and by our desires, which we desire to realize at any cost. If we put our ambitious and selfish plans in accord with God's will and the spirit of Jesus, as recognizable in the Gospel, then we must quickly withdraw and renounce our will and ourselves and accept God's will. This is the most difficult. This is called dying to one's self and one's selfishness. Conversion is the way of humility. It is the truth about ourselves and our call to serve the Lord in the least. St. Francis describes this to us in his victory when he descended from the horse and embraced the leper despite the stench. He stressed that after that, everything changed to a joy and sweetness for him.

So often we take from the Gospel and the messages what pleases us and confirms our will and selfishness. We are afraid to say like the Blessed Virgin, "Here I am Lord." Yet, our 'fiat' is so important in the process of our conversion and all the more profound entry into the mystery of the mystical union with God. When I feel God's love, that true 'being in love' with Jesus and His Word, His Sacraments, and His Church, then nothing can cause me to waver in my faith or separate me from His love. Adoration before the Most Blessed Sacrament becomes such a joy and a song of praise that corresponds to my heart and soul. It nurtures and strengthens me; it helps and raises me. The prayer of the Rosary is no longer a burden or boring but a true, most pleasing satisfaction of my soul. I then feel prayer as fresh air, the oxygen that my soul breathes which passes throughout my being. It purifies my thoughts, my bad feelings and the evil that I have seen which succeeded to enter through my eyes and thoughts into my heart. When my soul prays it breathes, eliminating everything bad and toxic from within. In prayer I become completely bathed and cleansed. I become blessed and inspired to respond to every inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He leads my prayer and inspires me to follow the Mother, Jesus and my Saints, who are heroes of my Church. Conversion is the all encompassing activity of my soul and my life put in accord with God's will.

Once again, the Queen of Peace accentuates the importance of an open heart. We recall the parable of the sower and the seed. When the seed falls on the rock, amid the thorns or on the road, it does not have a chance to bear any fruit. The seed seeks good, plowed, cleaned and nurtured soil. In such soil, every grain bears a yield. The master teaches us that a person can have a heart of stone, a heart of thorns that pierces with every gesture and word, leaving a wound behind. Rock is so cold and heavy. My conversion is the cultivation of my heart and a continual sowing of the noble seed of grace and virtue. To have an open heart is a gift and a pre-condition for hearing God and feeling the need of one's neighbor.

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man should hear my voice and open the door to me, I will come into him and dine with him: and he with Me." (Rev. 3, 20) Jesus has time. He stands, He knocks and He waits. He does not violate. It is man who needs to continually return to himself in order to hear, to recognize the knock and to open the door to the Lord - so that they may dine together. At that supper, that togetherness and love, our Emmaus takes place - our meeting with the Lord and the recognition of Him. Once the disciples recognized Him in the breaking of the bread they became overjoyed and tireless witnesses.

I need to be at home. Even now I must set out to return home to myself and, without doubt, He will join me. To have an open heart means to overcome every fear and doubt and to resolutely say: "It is late, remain with us Lord."

Truly, this is the time of special graces. These past 26 years of Our Lady's presence with us have been a time of great conversions and great fruit. A book is being prepared with a collection of only some of the more outstanding fruits of Medjugorje as signs of special graces, times and influence of human lives. In these days, a young professor and daughter of a renowned Hungarian communist and atheist was baptized. In coming to the Hill of Apparition, she came to know God, the Church, the blessing of faith and the beauty of the unity in the Church as a Sacrament of Salvation. For a long time I have not seen a person so happy - mingling tears and Baptismal water into a bath of grace and new birth. Newly Baptized, with joy she exclaimed: "Now I know who I am and to whom I belong to."

This time of grace and with Our Lady is a time that the Mother has given as a gift to us to teach us to love, to pray, and to be obedient to God. We are overjoyed that we immediately responded to Her call. Yes, this truly is the time for my soul. When you climb the Hill of Apparitions and when gaze at the opened Heaven and listen to the voice of the Mother as a prophet does, it is time for your soul. When you have a headache and feel the stress of fasting, say to your heart: "Fear not. This is the time for my soul." When you turn off the television or put away the magazine that disturbs you, say to your heart: "This is the time for my soul." When you open the Bible, listening to the Lord as Samuel did, say to your heart: "This is the time for my soul." In this way, continue to go through Our Lady's messages one by one. Accept them resolutely and say to your heart: "This is the time for my soul."

We are happy that the Mother is with us. We are happy that She is waiting for us whenever we set out to meet Her. We know that she loves us immeasurably. This immeasurable love of Our Lady, heals our immaturity and helps us to become more mature in our love for Her, for God, for the Church and for our neighbor. "Mother, I know how great your love is. I am ashamed to try to compare it with what is visible and measurable because it is immeasurable. Thank you for so great a love."

This month we will pray for the following intentions:

For a response to our Annual Meeting and its success. For the growth of our Prayer Partnership and for daily immersion all the more profoundly into Our Lady's movement with whole-hearted participation.

For Spiritual and religious vocations - that the Lord may give us new, holy and zealous priestly and religious vocations. Let us not forget that the renewal for the world begins in the heart of the priests and religious.

For all the priests and pilgrims who come to Medjugorje to be open to Our Lady and to Her messages. Especially let us pray for the sick in soul and body that they may find consolation and health.

My Dear Brothers and Sisters, in observing nature in this springtime, everything inspires me to have our community grow and blossom as a chosen garden of Our Lady - that we may bring fruit of perseverance.

Praying for you and recommending you to the Queen of Peace with brotherly greetings,

Yours most Sincerely,

Fr. Jozo Zovko, OFM


Fr. Jozo's Easter Message

Go into the whole world and preach the Gospel to every creature?? (Mk 16:15)

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Most Respected Prayer Family,

I am always joyful and grateful to the Lord when I am to write to you. This Easter greeting is my personal gratitude to the Lord and to His and our Mother for each one of you. I feel that you are a gift and I recognize you as a sign.

You are a gift, which the Queen of Peace has given to each of us. We are not just an individual who loves, who is a pilgrim, who reads and reflects on the movement of Medjugorje, we are a part of a great family of those who honor the Queen of Peace and whose goal is to live her messages. Our family is so strong, with so many signs, graces and the presence of God accompanying it through conversions, healings and other graces. We are illuminated by the Lord’s word, which teaches us to look at the fruit, and to recognize the tree by its fruit. If the tree bears good fruit, it is good. If the fruit is bad, the tree is bad.

Daily the fruits of our prayer family are evidenced. The fruits of fasting and our novenas are all the greater and more abundant. At our seminars, in the hearts of all participants, an irresistible desire is born to belong to our prayer community. I am happy when I sort through the mail and with my heart collect all the intentions, the needs, the promises and the thanksgiving from individuals and groups from throughout the world – those who every Thursday come to our community and knock on the door of our prayer. I am grateful to the Lord for having shown the way to so many through our prayer family. It is for this reason that I consider you to be a gift.

I consider and see our prayer community as a sign – Our Lady’s sign. I see it as Our Lady’s rainbow, which she has extended over the horizon of so many storms and shipwrecks. There are more and more broken and wounded hearts and marriages. More and more darkness has fallen over the eyes of our generation. Who is to turn on the light? Who is to show the way out? Who knows the way to peace and love?

From the Hill of Apparitions a wondrous light shone and from the magnificent image of the holy Mother, the words were heard: “Dear children, I am your Mother and I love you. I need you. I have chosen you.” From that day to today, for nearly 26 years, the Queen of Peace gathers, leads and inspires all those who have accepted her. We are overjoyed because we are chosen. We are grateful because we are sent. We are blessed that the Mother, without fear, has entrusted her messages to us and we try to comprehend them and to enthusiastically and perseveringly live them with love. In this way, each one of you has become a sign in your family, in your community and in your parish. Grace is spreading and darkness withdrawing. Light from Heavens fills the hearts and anguish disappears. Grace has been given to us as a gift.

Her words touch us to the very essence: “your freedom is your weakness.” Yes, I can in freedom, decide for a step or an action but I must also accept the consequences of that decision. If I do not decide to have time for prayer, that is my decision and freedom but it shows all of my weakness. I thus remain without the gift, without grace – as a fish cast on the shore. I cannot go on living because I need God and a meeting with Him. If I have chosen a Sunday without Mass or a day without reading the Word of God, it is my decision, but it is a bad one. That is why the Mother again calls us to accept and live her messages with seriousness.

An alternative is not given to us because there is none. There is no other way. That is why we are a sign of a good choice to everyone. Jesus speaks to us as to Mary of Bethany saying that she has chosen the better part, which will not be taken from her. This is our choice. Truly today, this is the best part chosen according the message of the Mother.

With Brotherly Greetings, Your Most Sincerely ,

Fr. Jozo Zovko, OFM 27.03.2007., Široki Brijeg


Message of February 25, 2007

"Dear children! Open your heart to God's mercy in this Lenten time. The Heavenly Father desires to deliver each of you from the slavery of sin. Therefore, little children, make good use of this time and through meeting with God in confession, leave sin and decide for holiness. Do this out of love for Jesus, who redeemed you all with His blood, that you may be happy and in peace. Do not forget, little children: your freedom is your weakness, therefore follow my messages with seriousness. Thank you for having responded to my call."

My dear brothers and sisters,

In this message, the original Motherly, love and goodness emanate. It is because a mother can never sufficiently inspire and ingrain the fundamental values in her children. This is especially difficult today, when various shop windows and vendors compete for every child and every person. Some offer entertainment and leisure, others spring pleasure and fashion, and others still offer various programs for all age brackets.

In her message, Our Lady reminds us that this is a holy time of Lent and that this is, in particular, a time of God’s mercy. The indelible trace of that great mercy is retained in the most beautiful parables and teachings of Jesus in the Gospels as well as in His encounters with sinners and sinful inclinations deserving punishment - even stoning. Jesus’ encounter with the sinner, the woman caught in adultery, is unforgettable. In it, Our Lord by writing on the ground with His finger, saves the poor, abandoned sinner. In contrast to those who condemned her, Jesus approaches her and forgives her sins. Moved by His love and mercy, she leaves her sin and becomes His follower.

Reflections on the Way of the Cross and Our Lady’s Lamentations along with Veneration of Our Lord’s Cross and meditation on It, evidence and reveal to our soul and our heart the depth of God’s mercy. They help us to comprehend how much Our God loves us and inspire us to respond to that love. We are called to do the same as St. Francis of Assisi did when meditating on the Crucified Master, he cried ‘because Love is not loved.’ He accepted that Love and responded to it by humbly following the Crucified.

In this message, the Mother reminds us that “The Father so loved the world as to give His only Begotten Son, that none may be lost.” (Jn 3:16) So that none of us may be lost, our Lord instituted the Holy Sacrament of Reconciliation with the Father and the Church. He reminds us that only God forgives sins and that only He can say through His priest, “I absolve you of your sins.”

Man has a need to bare his sins and to free himself from that wound and the fire that burns and incinerates. People often think that they are relieved if they speak of their sin to a psychologist, a psychiatrist, a journalist or to a friend while having coffee. However, a sin that is only entrusted to someone and not confessed returns again to us as our shadow and a personal evil that follows and persecutes us.

Sin can enter into our hearts in a thousand different ways. It can enter through our eyes if they watch inappropriate and scandalizing scenes and images. It can enter through our thoughts if we dwell on what is bad and inappropriate. Sin simply poisons and stains our thoughts. So it is also with our other senses. There is only one way and means how we can leave sin and be truly free of it – it is the Sacrament of Holy Confession. Only God forgives man his sin. It is in that Sacrament that God’s love and mercy are evidenced the most.

To have a good and holy confessor has always been a great gift of God. St. Padre Pio and St. Leopold Mandic both helped their penitents leave their hidden sins and thus come to the peace and the grace of forgiveness. In such confessions, by a single embrace, the Saints would change a heart of stone making it repentant. It is through confession that a Christian finds peace and the strength to forgive and to receive forgiveness.

To decide to be holy and to desire to live a holy life is our life’s ultimate goal and call. We are called to holiness because our God is holy and we are made in His image. We must not deny Him by our sinfulness, instead we must acknowledge and follow Him with our holiness. Holiness is a personal decision for each one of us. Just as sin does not take place without us, so holiness is not realized without us or without our consent and cooperation. To follow Jesus is our assignment and call and we can only follow the One we know and love. We can only follow Him who is our example and the ultimate ideal.

To follow Christ is not an unrealizable goal for only certain individuals, but a fundamental assignment and the way. To love and to follow Jesus is the fullness of wisdom and greatness of a Christian. His Cross, His wounds, His most precious blood are an inspiration to every Christian. We have not been redeemed by gold or silver, as our first Pope Peter said, but by the blood of our Lord. He nailed our debtor’s note to the Cross and paid all of our debts. To look at the Cross and to make the sign of the Cross means to have gratitude and a sincere love for everything that has been given to us as a gift. The Cross always tells us “I redeemed you. You are mine. You are precious in my sight and I love you.” (Isaiah 43)

The power of the Cross frees us from every fear, from punishment and from temptation of thinking that the Lord will not forgive us. The Cross is a sign that God is mercy alone and that He calls us to reconcile with Him and our neighbor. In my freedom, I must not choose evil and sin. I must not reject love. In that freedom, I must accept the consequences of my choice. This is why the Blessed Virgin tells us that “our freedom is our weakness.” My freedom is my choice and I can choose the greater good and be faithful to that good – my God, His way and His Gospel. In all this we are reminded of Our Lady’s call to follow her messages with seriousness.

This month we will pray for the following intentions:

For all Christians to prepare themselves for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and to confess - in this way to leave sin and sinful habits.

For priests, the confessors, that the Holy Spirit may inspire them in meeting with penitents. That every sinner may feel the embrace of the good and merciful Father in the priest.

That this holy Lenten time may be a spring time for our Church and our faith. In this time of grace, we pray that the Church may give a powerful witness of faith, hope, love of God and man to those who have not yet come to know God and those who have fallen away from the faith.

My dear Brothers and Sisters,

Let us use this time well to also confirm our apostolate with good works. The Church and the Lord need us and that is why the Mother is calling us. Let us purify our love for the Church and for all sinners.

I pray for all of you and invoke the blessing of the Queen of Peace upon you. With brotherly sincere greetings to all,

Fr. Jozo Zovko, OFM 28-02-2007

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Message of January 25, 2007

"Dear children! Put Sacred Scripture in a visible place in your family and read it. In this way, you will come to know prayer with the heart and your thoughts will be on God. Do not forget that you are passing like a flower in a field, which is visible from afar but disappears in a moment. Little children, leave a sign of goodness and love wherever you pass and God will bless you with an abundance of His blessing. Thank you for having responded to my call."

My dear prayer family,

Once again, the Queen of Peace most movingly tells us to read and to keep the Sacred Scripture in a noticeable place in our family. Through the Bible, as the Book of Hebrews tells us, God speaks only one Word - His Only Begotten Word- through which He completely expresses Himself. The Second Vatican Council teaches us that the Word of God is the salvific power of God for everyone who believes, noting that it is present, and in a prominent manner shows its' power in the New Testament. The central content of the Bible is Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of God; it is His work, His teaching, His death and His glory. It is the initiation of His Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Second Vatican Council calls all faithful to read and reflect on the Word of God.

The saints of our Church were fed by the living Word and lived from it. In this way St. Cezarius teaches us that there is no better, more precious or luminous teaching then the text of the Gospel. He reminds us to observe and to keep in our hearts what our Lord and Master, Jesus taught by His words, and fulfilled by His actions. St. Therese of the Child Jesus tells us that the Gospel, before everything, absorbed her during her time of prayer, and that in it, found everything necessary for her 'poor soul.' In it, she always discovered new revelation and hidden, mystical meaning.

St. Jerome pointed out that ignorance of Sacred Scripture is ignorance of Christ. The Second Vatican Council notes that the Church has always honored the Divine Word along with the Body of Our Lord, telling us that both are 'food' and the 'rule' of all Christian life. There is such might and power in the Word of God for it is the foothold and the life giving strength of the Church. It is the pure and inexhaustible spring of spiritual life. St. Hugo teaches us that the entire Sacred Scripture is a single book, a book that is Jesus Christ. He tells us that, in truth, the entire Scripture speaks of Christ and is completely fulfilled in Him.

Pope Benedict XVI, announced an Episcopal Synod for October 2008 entitled "The Word of God in the life and Mission of the Church." He accentuates that the Church and the Word of God are inseparably connected. He tells us that the Church always needs to remain youthful and be renewed, and that the Word of God, which never ages and cannot be exhausted, is the preferred means for this purpose. The Holy Father tells us that by perseveringly reading the Sacred Scripture, accompanied by prayer, we realize an intimate dialogue in which, by reading the Word of God we listen and by praying we respond with a trusting and open heart. He assures us that this practice, efficaciously advanced, will bring forth a spiritual springtime.

When we read the Word of God, God's spirit and life enter and work in us all the more powerfully. Reading of the Word of God is one of the foundations of a spiritual life. If that foundation is lacking, your life will be on frail feet - weak, ineffective and without fruit. Our Lady has already interceded many times for the Bible to have a visible place in our home. That visible place is our 'family altar' in our living room, where today's family daily gathers, rests, converses, and watches television. We need to have a new under-taking; our Christian family must have an altar around which it can gather daily to listen to the Word of God and to have family prayer.

On that small table in the living room, first of all, put the crucified Lord. The Cross is the teacher of love from which our family is born as a Sacrament. It continually teaches us what love is - that love is to give one's life for others and to sacrifice for others - that it is to forgive everyone, especially our enemies - that it is to respond to the Father as Our Lord did: "Not my will but your will be done."(Mt 26; 42)

By the Cross on your family altar, put a statue or an image of the Mother, the Blessed Virgin. "Behold your Mother"(Jn 19; 26) is the testament that continues throughout history and the future as it pertains to each of us. We need to take the Mother as our own, because without Her we cannot conquer the cunning enemy. In this way, your family will find the shortest way to God. On your family altar, also put your family Bible, the living Word of God. Whenever you take it from the family altar you will be able to hear the Father's voice, like the disciples did on Mt. Tabor, "This is my beloved Son, listen to Him."(Mt 3; 17)

After 25 years and seven months, we have only two messages where our call and program of what we are to do everyday, is powerfully accentuated. It is to pray the Rosary everyday, to pray it together and to pray it with the heart and to read the Word of God. Therefore, on your family altar keep your family Rosary, to be used by the one who leads prayer. On your altar, also put blessed Holy Water and bless your home and family at least weekly. We regularly do this on Saturday, at the end of a week. You can also put your family prayer book and a candle on your altar. Light the candle while you read the Word of God, which is the light on our way of faith. Your family altar and the daily gathering around it is an important family practice. Soon the whole family will feel strength from the altar holding the family in peace and unity. That altar will remain even after your death as a sign to your children who will have it as an unforgettable experience and security. They will always be able to say to themselves that they know where their parents drew their strength and found peace. They will know that they too can succeed in the footsteps of their forefathers.

The Bible in the wise Proverbs tells us, "My son, harken to my words, and incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not depart from your eyes, keep them in the midst of your heart: for they are life to those that find them."(Prvb 4; 20) If I read and retain God's Word in my heart, like the Blessed Virgin, I too will come to know prayer with the heart. Not only will God's thoughts and words be in my heart, but, as the Queen of Peace teaches us, my thoughts will be on God. There is nothing more exalted in this world than the most wonderful experience of being completely immersed in the Word of God and being nurtured by it. That is true holiness of life. Illuminated in this way, man becomes wise and never forgets that he is like a flower in a field, blossoming, most beautiful and visible but only for a short while. When the wind blows, it is gone. The prophets and the Apostles also teach us of how we are passing, and that time cannot be stopped. Although we cannot stop time, we can leave signs and fruit in it. Our Mother concretely tells us ".leave signs of goodness and love, wherever you pass."

These signs are immortal and do not pass away. This is the fruitfulness of the saints of this time. Acts of goodness and love do not die. They are immortal and bear a divine seal. These works witness for us and about us. This time is especially a challenge to us and to our call to live Our Lady's messages by leaving signs of grace in our daily life, suffering and apostolate.

This month we will pray for the following intentions:

For Christian families to be a school in which generations are raised to leave a sign of goodness and love. For a renewal of family prayer of the Rosary and family reading of Sacred Scripture.

For the renewal of Religious Communities, which are called, like the merciful Samaritan, to daily leave signs of goodness and love. For us to especially notice all those wounded today by drugs, alcohol, immorality and every other addiction and to come to their help.

For the intention of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, for the unity of all Christians and the Church - to be one flock with one Shepherd.

My dear ones, no one speaks to the children as warmly and tenderly as the Mother. This message, in particular, is an expression of the fullness of motherly care and love. I pray and fast for all of you, as I remember you in the sacrifice of the Holy Mass.

Your's most sincerely,

Fr. Jozo Zovko o.f.m.

Siroki Brijeg 30.01.2007

 

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