January 15, 2010
Dear Children of Medjugorje,
Praised be Jesus and Mary!
1 – On January 2nd Mirjana received her monthly apparition at her home. After the apparition, she shared the following message:
“Dear children! Today I am calling you to, with complete trust and love, set out with me, because I desire to acquaint you with my Son. Do not be afraid, my children, I am here with you, I am next to you. I am showing you the way to forgive yourselves, to forgive others, and, with sincere repentance of heart, to kneel before the Father. Make everything die in you that hinder you from loving and saving – that you may be with Him and in Him. Decide for a new beginning, a beginning of sincere love of God Himself. Thank you.”
On the evening of December 31, 2009, Marija asked the Blessed Mother for a special favor explaining that the next day, the feast of the Mother of God and the first day of the year, many pilgrims requested that they attend the apparition at her home the following day; but because her chapel is very small, she was sad not to be able to offer this opportunity to all who asked. So she asked the Blessed Mother for a change in location to make it easier for more people to attend. She suggested that instead of coming at 5:40, to Marija’s chapel, Our Lady would appear in the evening on Apparition Hill so that everyone could attend. The Gospa replied that she would do both on the first of the year, come to the chapel at 5:40 and come to Apparition Hill in the evening. So, on the Evening of January 1st, we were all on Podbrdo, praying our rosaries under the pouring rain, with our feet in the mud and our hearts in joy. The apparition lasted quite a while, and Marija told us, “The Gospa came today very happy, with legions of Angels! She looked at all of us and smiled at us saying, ‘You are my joy, you are my hope!’ Then she urged us to live the messages that she has given us.” This is how we started the year 2010 with Her and with Her Heavenly army of Angels. We’ll definitely need them this year! And we entrusted all of you to Her motherly care.
2 – The Cardinal wishes to come back to Medjugorje. Cardinal Schönborn (Vienna) came on a private pilgrimage to Medjugorje at New Year’s. It was a major event in the history of Medjugorje. What joy his coming brought to us! One of the numerous blessings of the pilgrimage was the positive light his coming shed on Medjugorje, it definitively eradicated from people’s minds the idea that Medjugorje is “forbidden”. Often times, when an occasion presents itself to go to Medjugorje, some refrain saying, “No, it’s not recognized by the Church.” That is true, but “not recognized” does not mean “forbidden.” In fact, Medjugorje has never been “forbidden,” but the Church, in her great wisdom, is not able to make a statement until the apparitions cease. While we wait for the official stance of the Church, we ALL have this wonderful opportunity to go to Medjugorje on private pilgrimage, because it is only the pilgrimages officially organized by a diocese or parish, that are not authorized. That is in itself a great gift, because at any time during 28 years the Church could have forbidden even private pilgrimages. From the reflections of the Cardinal, as published recently in his interviews, here are a few of our favorite highlights:
The Cardinal has stated that he came above all as a pilgrim, for prayer and conversion. (That is the best interior disposition one could have while coming to Medjugorje.) For more than twenty years, he had within him the desire to come, having seen its good fruits in his own diocese and elsewhere. He stated that he saw:
Many priestly vocations at his seminary in Vienna, the majority of which were received at Medjugorje or through Medjugorje;
The Cardinal has been able to witness beautiful conversions, even among those close to him from every strata and social group;
The physical and moral healing of so many people who arrived broken in Medjugorje, including those afflicted by drugs, despair, the grief of losing a dear one, etc;
The quality of prayer in groups from his diocese linked to Medjugorje, how joyously these groups live their faith and persevere in adoration and the sacraments. He mentioned the church of the Dominicans, which is filled to the rafters for hours every Thursday;
Mary: “I came to Medjugorje to be near the Mother of the Lord,” declared the Cardinal during the Holy Hour that he led in St. James church;
Confessions: As the majority of priests who hear confessions in Medjugorje, the Cardinal was touched by the sincerity and the depth of those he heard;
The Franciscans: The Cardinal has had positive, direct and fraternal interactions with our priests throughout his stay;
The Visionaries: The Cardinal had already been touched by their modesty and their simplicity in his meeting with Ivan, then with Marija in the cathedral of Vienna, on the occasion of a prayer meeting last year. In Medjugorje, he was able to meet some of the other visionaries and left very impressed;
Action: The Cardinal was hosted by the community of the Cenacle (founded by Sister Elvira for the rehabilitation of young people suffering from addictions such as drugs.) There, the Cardinal was able to witness also the fruits of mercy and charity emanating from Medjugorje, where thousands of young people have been saved from certain destruction, even death. He was able to visit the Mother’s Village, founded by Father Slavko, and Mary’s Meal, a Charity born through Medjugorje, led by Magnus MacFarlane from Scotland, which provides daily meals to starving children around the world (see PS2);
All of this caused him to say that if one judges a tree by its fruits, good fruits cannot be found on a bad tree. A profound joy could be read on the face of the Cardinal, and all were struck by it.
Finally, questioned about the position of the Church, the Cardinal made it clear: “I am not able to, nor do I have the intention to, make a diocesan pilgrimage to Medjugorje, as we have done to Rome or to the Holy Land. But it has never been forbidden by the Episcopal Conference or by Rome, for pilgrims to go to Medjugorje. An affirmation seems to me particularly important for us, the Bishops: pilgrims must be accompanied spiritually. I see my duty precisely that way, as Archbishop of Vienna: When I see that hundreds, thousands of people in my diocese are making pilgrimages to Medjugorje, that prayer groups are being born, that priestly vocations are happening, that conversions are taking place, then as bishop I must take care that these pilgrims also have good support.”
Cardinal Schönborn had a private audience with the Holy Father on January 15th. After that, he wrote from Rome a letter to the Bishop of Mostar, saying, “I have received your recent letter dated 2 January. I regret if you have the impression that my pilgrimage to Medjugorje did a disservice to peace. Rest assured that this was not my intention…The Mother of God and her divine Son will certainly lead all things towards that which is good. In this trust, I greet you fraternally united in the Lord and remain yours, + Christoph Card. Schönborn O.P.
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State, will visit Mostar on January 23 to ordain Msgr Petar Rajic as an Archbishop. Msgr Rajic is appointed by the Pope as Apostolic Nuncio to Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar, and as Apostolic Delegate to the Arabian Peninsula. His parents are from Doljai, in the diocese of Trebinje-Mrkan. Let’s pray hard that this special visit may bring deep understanding and true peace between Mostar, Medjugorje and Rome!
3 – The Saint that chose the Children of Medjugorje for the year 2010 is The Holy Family of Nazareth! Jesus Himself, with Mary and Joseph, nothing less! This is providential for the families who need so much help today! Our job is to pray for blessed, holy and happy families! A strong protection from the Holy Family will be most welcome as we enter this New Year.
On the other hand, without knowing that we were to receive the Holy Family as our pal for 2010, last November we built a life size manger in our garden, with beautiful statues, which are also life-size.
Mary is sitting, hands open, and the Infant lays at her feet in a real manger. The neighborhood children like to come and look at the Little Baby Jesus, like the shepherds of old. This site has become a place of prayer accessible to everyone! The idea is to permit mothers who have had an abortion or a miscarriage, or even lost a child in another manner, to lay that child into the hands of the Blessed Mother so that in Heaven she may closely watch over him or her. Doing so, these mothers are deeply comforted, they gain peace and also receive healing from many pains such as: persistent sadness, anguish of death, obsessive guilt, etc. That manger is thus a beautiful opportunity for many hearts to be healed by the mercy of God and the good care of Baby Jesus.
The little Infant Jesus is very beautiful. For inner healing of those who come to recollect themselves in front of the Infant, it is important to look at Him and be looked at by Him. It is the powerful therapy from the innocence of God that thus takes place. Come and see our manger during your next pilgrimage! (See PS3)
4 – The year for priests: This month, here is our prayer for priests:
“We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry. Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love. Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit. Lead them to new depths of union with your Son. Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us. Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will. O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son. Intercede for our priests that, offering the Sacrifice of Mass, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen. St. John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests.”
O Mother of God, dearest Gospa, you too are our joy and our hope!
Please don’t abandon us, sinners! Please draw us closer to you in this year 2010!
Sister Emmanuel +
(Translated from French)
PS 1 – Sister Emmanuel’s latest teachings are NOW AVAILABLE on both CD and DVD format! Choose a single title or purchase all six: Take the Hand of Your Heavenly Mother; Make Your Peace With God; Embrace Suffering As Your Way to Joy; Pray With Your Family: A Remedy for our World Today; Responding to Our Lady’s Call to Holiness; Prayer Groups: Our Lady’s School for Holiness.
*Use coupon code “lent” and receive free shipping when you purchase the entire set of six CDs!
*Buy the DVD set for your Lenten preparation and go on a virtual retreat with Sister Emmanuel, as experienced this fall at the Children of Medjugorje Summit Retreat in St Malo, Colorado! Use coupon code “retreat” for free shipping until Ash Wednesday (February 17).
PS 2 – Mary’s Meals is doing a great job right now in Haiti, where they had started feeding poor Children two years ago. They are in Haiti right now, and they need your help! See www.marysmeals.org
PS 3 – You can see some photos of our manger on www.childrenofmedjugorje.com The manger stands near our big white Crucifix, along our little forest.
PS 4 – Read it. Spread it! The Hidden Child of Medjugorje by Sr. Emmanuel. You won’t regret giving this book to a friend as a shower gift or a wedding gift! In the US go to our store: http://www.childrenofmedjugorje.com then click “Shop COM.”