Lord, Please remember me in your kingdom -- The Lord spoke to Paul in a vision. Do not be afraid, keep on speaking, and do not be silent. For I am with you (Acts 18:9).---Come Holy Spirit.
Featured article from January's Spirit of Medjugorje
The Hidden Treasures of Medjugorje
By Anita B. Cugini
Nestled in the heart of Medjugorje’s fragrant vineyards is a pansion that has welcomed pilgrims from around the world over for the last 33 years. Its humble walls reverberate with memories of Medjugorje from the beginning of the apparitions. It was my pleasure to stay with Mama Sivric in June of 2014, for the 33rd Anniversary of the apparitions.
Mama Sivric, although nearing 90, is a vibrant, feisty woman who proudly recalls the early days – what life was like for the people from the village, and how she and others of her generation stood toe-to-toe with the Communist regime that tried to disrupt the religious life of this quiet little hamlet. With flashing eyes and animated gestures, Mama will tell you, through Franjo, her interpreter, what it was like in Medjugorje in the first days of the apparitions.
When news of the apparitions first broke, Mama was at a wedding feast with a friend. Mama indicated that she believed in the apparitions from the beginning, while her companion said, “How could you believe such a thing?”
Mama related that all were crying and watching the sky. As the villagers watched, golden letters “MIR” [Croatian for “peace”] appeared in the sky and the words “I am the Queen of Peace” stretched across the sky from Apparition Hill to Cross Mountain. One man who could not stand was brought to Apparition Hill by his daughter-in-law, and he was cured. The man’s wife, however, didn’t like this, and started telling people that it didn’t happen.
View from Mama’s balcony with Cross Mountain in the background
Mama was no stranger to the local police who came, trying to diffuse the situation and order the villagers to leave. She knew the Chief of Police personally and proceeded to tell him off. The following day, the village was deluged with people, news, and TV cameras, and the police who forbade people to climb the mountain. They asked, “Who is lighting the fire up to heaven?”
The children were strictly forbidden to climb the hill and the President of Police, who was in the next village, announced they were going to board up the church so people could not enter to pray – which they promptly did. When Mama heard of this, she ran to the church with other women and pulled the boards off of the church doors. The police told her, “We are taking you to jail.” Mama responded, “Then take me to jail!”
Pilgrims started to arrive in Medjugorje from all over the world, and had to register with the police. Each family took in one or two pilgrims and shared their daily lives and devotion to the Gospa with these total strangers who could not communicate in their native tongue. Until 1986, there was no indoor plumbing or running water – only outhouses!
During the war in 1991-1992, each pilgrim’s passport was carefully checked. Soldiers with machine guns, in abundance in the airport, provided a grim welcome. Aid teams came from Italy to do what they could for the townspeople, but didn’t stay very long. Miraculously, despite being heavily shelled, no human lives were lost – only livestock. Incredibly, a cluster bomb that was dropped on the main street didn’t detonate! During this horrific period, the visionaries were separated so that they couldn’t be targeted by the Communists.
Life in Medjugorje, especially during the early years, was never easy. Mama recounts that as a young woman, she worked stringing tobacco leaves. Since there was no work in Medjugorje, her husband was compelled to leave his wife and family to find work in Germany. He did this for 55 years, and was able to see his wife and children only a few times a year. Mama told us she travelled to Stuttgart, Germany more than 10 times over those years.
After the Communist regime ended, Mama met the Communist officer from another town, who had threatened her with jail in the early days. Defiantly, she told him off – and he ran away! In her own words, Mama says, “I was always a strong woman – even today, I would talk about God. Pray for us that we will all heal. I will always pray for people. Pray for peace!”
Franjo, who interpreted for Mama, was one of the members of the original prayer group that Our Lady asked the visionaries to start. According to Franjo, he was asked by Our Lady to put his life on hold for three years, to fast, pray, and do what he could to help the throng of pilgrims flooding into Medjugorje. A gentle soul, whose demeanor radiates the love of God and the Gospa, he patiently answered every question posed to him, with grace and humility.
I have never seen such unbridled joy in living, as I witnessed in the people I met in Medjugorje. People who have so little, in comparison to what all of us take for granted….their graciousness and warmth is something I will never forget. It’s hard to describe the joy that radiates from them, borne of doing God’s work, in sharing their faith and love of God with all who come in thanksgiving for the Gospa’s presence in their little village.
No sooner did I get home from this pilgrimage, than I was planning my next one! My next pilgrimage to Medjugorje will be from July 27 to August 7, 2015 to experience the Youth Festival, with all its exuberance. Although we will stay at a modern pansion 100 meters from St. James Church, we will step back in time and meet with Mama Sivric and her family, and see her quaint pansion – a loving home, where she has served over 25,000 meals to pilgrims. We will listen as Franjo, our guide, interprets for Mama. They will recreate their wonderment as the Gospa appeared to ordinary village children, and share, in their incredible pride, that the Gospa is with them still. I promise that whoever joins me on this pilgrimage will come away with a renewed sense of faith and love for Our Lady. Their joy in living our faith is infectious!
Our Lady's Monthly Message From Medjugorje to Marija
Dear children! Also today I am calling all of you to prayer. You cannot live without prayer, because prayer is a chain which brings you closer to God. Therefore, little children, in humility of heart return to God and to His commandments so that with all of your heart you are able to say: as it is in Heaven so may it be on earth. You, little children, are free to, in freedom, decide for God or against Him. See where Satan wants to pull you into sin and slavery. Therefore, little children, return to my heart so that I can lead you to my Son Jesus who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Thank you for having responded to my call.
Our Lady's 2nd of the month, Monthly Message To Mirjana
Dear children, I have called you and am calling you anew to come to know my Son, to come to know the truth. I am with you and am praying for you to succeed. My children, you must pray much in order to have all the more love and patience; to know how to endure sacrifice and to be poor in spirit. Through the Holy Spirit, my Son is always with you. His Church is born in every heart that comes to know Him. Pray that you can come to know my Son; pray that your soul may be one with Him. That is the prayer and the love which draws others and makes you my apostles. I am looking at you with love, with a motherly love. I know you; I know your pain and sorrows, because I also suffered in silence. My faith gave me love and hope. I repeat, the Resurrection of my Son and my Assumption into Heaven is hope and love for you. Therefore, my children, pray to come to know the truth; to have firm faith which will lead your heart and which will transform your pain and sufferings into love and hope. Thank you.
Pray for Priests
ADOPT A PRIEST IN PRAYER
Could you find in your heart to adopt a priest and pray for him daily?
In a letter Benedict XVI expressed his satisfaction for the campaign for Eucharistic adoration and spiritual "maternity" for the sanctification of the world's priests. The campaign calls especially for "women consecrated" to spiritually adopt priests to help them, through their self-offering, prayer, and penance. It is hoped that through this initiative there will rise up to God from every corner of the earth an incessant prayer of adoration, thanksgiving, praise, supplication and reparation, so as to give rise to a sufficient number of holy vocations to the priesthood.
Prayer for Priests
Lord Jesus, present in the Most Blessed Sacrament, and living perpetually among us through Your Priests, grant that the words of Your Priests may be only Your words, that their gestures be only Your gestures, and that their lives be a true reflection of Your life. Grant that they may be men who speak to God on behalf of His people, and speak to His people of God. Grant that they be courageous in service, serving the Church as she asks to be served. Grant that they may be men who witness to eternity in our time, traveling on the paths of history in Your steps, and doing good for all. Grant that they may be faithful to their commitments, zealous in their vocation and mission, clear mirrors of their own identity, and living the joy of the gift they have received. We pray that Your Holy Mother, Mary, present throughout Your life, may be ever present in the life of Your Priests. Amen.
*Fr. John Randall, age 82 entered into eternal life on June 15, 2011, but the Body of Christ Prayer Meeting will continue every Thursday evening as before. May he rest in the peace of Christ.
Charismatic Body of Christ Meetingevery Thursday evening starting at 7:00 p.m. at Saint Charles Borromeo Church, 178 Dexter Street, Providence, R.I. 02907- Tel-401-421-6441
LIFE IN THE SPIRIT SEMINARSare also available in English and Spanish to anyone who wishes to attend. All are invited to come and join us for an evening of prayer, witnessing and healing, beginning with the celebration of the Holy Mass.
DVD of Divine Mercy Weekend with Fr. Randall, at Our Lady of LaSalette Shrine. To Obtain copy of this event call (508) 236-9068
FATHER JOHN RANDALL IS THE AUTHOR OF:
In God's Providence - The Birth of a Catholic Charismatic Parish
The Book of Revelation: What Does It Really Say?
Wisdom Instructs Her Children: The Power of the Spirit and the Word
Mary, Barrier or Bridge?
Pope John Paul Scriptural Rosary (20 decades)
Spiritual Warfare, The Twenty-First Decade
*Fr. Randall's last published book,- No Spirit, No Church,- is available at all Catholic Book Stores in Rhode Island or
order on Amazon.
*Father John J. Randall's New Rosary Prayer Book has been reprinted with a hard cover with his picture on the cover.
It also contains the Novana to the Holy Spirit and the Divine Mercy chaplet. It is being sold at Saint Charles Borromeo Church, 178 Dexter Street, Providence, R.I Tel-401-421-6441 at the cost price of $4:00 - Also available at Gabriel's Trumpet book store at 477 Washington Street, Coventry, R.I. Tel: 401-823-4884
You can also call Saint Charles Rectory at 401-421-6441
Fr. Joe Whalen, M.S.
Archangel St. Raphael Holy Healing Ministry - Click on photo...
Fr. Joseph Whalen is the founder of Archangel St. Raphael Holy Healing Ministry. He retired in 2014 at the age of 91. He has spent his entire priesthood witnessing to Christ's healing presence. Please keep him in your prayers.
August 8th 2016 Fr. Joe Whalen has gone to his eternal rest. His legacy and love for this Ministry that he founded will continue. We now have a powerful intercessor in heaven!