Medjugorje Youth Festival Begins

Arrived by bicycles from Germany for the 26th Youth Festival

date: 30.07.2015.
Two pilgrims from Germany, Lukas Lorenz and Roland Kiechle arrived by bicycles to Medjugorje two days before the beginning of the Youth Festival. They began their journey in the mid July and they travelled for 1820 km all the way from Munich. They told us they were proud of what they did and very grateful to the Queen of Peace for all of the graces they received and for the opportunity to participate in the Youth Festival: „We are especially gladly anticipating the evening prayer programme and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the confessions. Lucas said that he came to Medjugorje 15 years ago for the first time and many good memories are related to that pilgrimage: „I gladly accepted this pilgrimage as this is the opportunity to give thanks to God for my experience of conversion, prayer and life with Him, all graces I received at the Youth Festival. There were difficult moments, but our goal was to come here for this event and we made it. “ Lucas and Roland spoke also about the youth movements that exist in Germany and were inspired by Medjugorje: „There are really strong movements connected to Medjugorje in Germany. We have many people who pray and live with us and we always return to Medjugorje. We bring all graces we receive here back to our homes and those graces influence our spirituality a lot. “ (photos)        http://www.medjugorje.hr/en/


Surrendering to the Holy Spirit

Published on Nov 20, 2013
Ave Maria!
Fr. Larry Richards�of the diocese of Erie in the sixth talk for the 2013 Priest's Retreat at Mother of the Redeemer Retreat Center in Bloomington, Indiana titled Becoming the Priest God has Called us to be. In this talk he reflects on the need to�surrender to the Holy Spirit to be a good priest, to be an icon of Christ.
To Download Audio go to http://airmaria.com?p=39048


Healing Prayer


 LORD, JESUS CHRIST, I AM DEEPLY SORRY FOR MY SINS. HAVE MERCY ON ME. In Your name, JESUS, I ask You for the grace to forgive myself. I ask your forgiveness for hurting others. I ask for the grace to forgive all those who have hurt me in this life, and especially the one person who has hurt me the most. I renounce forever Satan, ALL the evil spirits and all their works. I give you my entire self Lord JESUS, now and forever, you are my Lord, God, SAVIOR AND REDEEMER. Please heal me, change me, strengthen me in body, mind and spirit for my greater service in Your Kingdom. Allow me to lead other souls to You through my good example. JESUS I trust in you! Come Lord JESUS, cover me with Your most precious blood, and fill me with Your Holy Spirit, I praise You, I thank You, I glorify Your name, JESUS. I love You JESUS WITH MY WHOLE HEART, SOUL, MIND, BODY AND MY WHOLE BEING. O’ Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, with Holy Raphael the Archangel and all the holy Angels and Saints, pray for us! Amen


Our Lady's Medjugorje Message to Marija of July 25, 2015

“Dear children! With joy I am with you also today and I call all of you, little children, pray, pray, pray so as to comprehend the love which I have for you. My love is stronger than evil, little children, therefore draw closer to God so as to feel my joy in God. Without God, little children, you do not have a future, you do not have hope or salvation; therefore leave evil and choose good. I am with you and, with you, I intercede before God for all of your needs. Thank you for having responded to my call.”


Gabrielle Colins talks about her testimony regarding Medjugorje

date: 19.07.2015.
Many experiences of various pilgrims remain hidden from the public, but we also very often have chance to talk to those who do not hesitate to speak publicly about the special graces given to them at Gospa' intercession.  Here we bring story of Gabrielle Colins from Ireland. She came to Medjugorje for the first time just because of her sister: „I was raised and grew as Catholic, but eventually with years, I stopped going to the church. Then I had a heart attack and I had to stop working, so I spent most of the time at the house. My sister was already in Medjugorje on few occasions and she proposed to me a trip to Medjugorje. When we arrived here, I really had nice time, but I never thought I would return ever again to Medjugorje. But already in February the following year, I came to Medjugorje. This is where one can feel ultimate peace, this is where the Mother dwells. I was very sick and I spent lots of time in the hospitals. I got really sick for another time just before I was to arrive here, few days before the Anniversary in Medjugorje. I did lots of lab tests and they told met hat the main artery, going from the heart to the brain was blocked for 70%. I was told that the surgery was a simple procedure, but in my case it was nearly impossible and I was not given lots of hope.  The doctor told me that if I did not accept the surgery, it was just a matter of time when I would have died. He suggested that I invite my family so he would explain the whole case to them as well as the necessity and the urgency of the surgery. Instead, I decided to come to Medjugorje and to deal with this new situation upon my return. I was thinking of that as of the last week of my life and I wanted to handle all after my visit to Medjugorje. When I came here I felt perfect peace and there was not a single bit of anxiety or worries. It was one afternoon that I began to pray with my sister outside the church. I sat there for a while and suddenly in one moment I felt drops of rain falling on me. I looked up, but the sun was shining and the drops of rain were all over me. I was trying to understand what was going on, I was turning around me and I saw the rain was only on me. I asked my sister about this strange phenomenon and she peacefully responded that it was the blessing. We did not bring up that experience again. Upon my return home I felt such an amazing peace. I went to see my doctor who was determined to have the surgery scheduled as soon as possible. I wanted to have another exam and CT scan, even though he was saying how unnecessary that was since all of the tests were done few weeks ago. He was really angry as I did not want to listen to him and he ordered another scan. After the results came back, he was absolutely shocked as there was no trace of any previous blockage. He asked me what was going on, where did I go and what happened to me. I just told him that I went to Medjugorje, and he asked to keep those results as the unique case that happened in that hospital. Everything in my life changed after that experience. I feel immense love of God and joy in every moment and I just desire to share it with every person I happen to meet in my life."    http://www.medjugorje.hr/en/ 

Watch and Pray

"Mark well, then, the parable of the sower. The seed along the path is the man who hears the message about God's reign without understanding it. The evil one approaches him to steal away what was sown in his mind." -Matthew 13:18-19

The fact that you're reading this book means you are probably not the footpath. You have received the seed of God's Word. If you have read this book and especially the daily Scripture readings regularly for an extended time, you are probably not the rocky ground (see Mt 13:20). You are in the minority of people in our society who have the potential to bear fruit.
Therefore, if you bear thorns rather than fruit (see Mt 13:22), it will be a great loss to the world. If you don't bear fruit, who will? "When much has been given a man, much will be required of him" (Lk 12:48). In a world of footpaths and rocky ground, the Church desperately needs you to bear fruit to the maximum.
Therefore, you must be very careful to watch and pray so that "worldly anxiety and the lure of money" do not choke off your rare, precious, and greatly needed fruit (Mt 13:22). Even if you are not rich, be careful not to desire to be rich, for "those who want to be rich are falling into temptation and a trap. They are letting themselves be captured by foolish and harmful desires which drag men down to ruin and destruction. The love of money is the root of all evil. Some men in their passion for it have strayed from the faith, and have come to grief amid great pain" (1 Tm 6:9-10). Don't give up your lifesaving potential to bear fruit for a comfortable, pleasurable, barren lifestyle, for Jesus commands us to live in Him and to bear fruit abundantly (Jn 15:5).

 Father, make me fruitful even in the midst of a barren desert.

 "Honor your father and mother, that you may have a long life in the land which the Lord, your God, is giving you." -Ex 20:12


A Cat trying to revive his friend

A sad event, a street cat tried for over two tragic hours to revive his beloved cat friend who was hit by a car.


"We want to see You work some signs." -Matthew 12:38

To those who wanted to see Him work a magic trick, Jesus replied: "An evil and unfaithful age is eager for a sign! No sign will be given it but that of the prophet Jonah. Just as Jonah spent three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of Man spend three days and three nights in the bowels of the earth" (Mt 12:39-40). In other words, in answer to their request for a sign, Jesus gave them the sign of the cross.

The sign of the cross is like a stop sign. When we are driving and we see a stop sign, we automatically come to a stop and look to see what is happening. When we see a crucifix, we must react the same way. We should immediately stop. We look on the crucified Jesus, keeping "our eyes fixed on Jesus" (Heb 12:2). This should stop us in our tracks. As mighty men and women of old have reacted (Is 52:14-15), we stand speechless before the sight of the Son of God hanging in agony. We listen to Jesus, as He says: "Stop, and know that I am God" (see Ps 46:11).
Stop sinning, stop striving, stop running. "You have only to keep still" (Ex 14:14). Stop, in the name of Love!

 "I will sing to the Lord, for He is gloriously triumphant...He is my God, I praise Him" (Ex 15:1, 2).

 "Fear not! Stand your ground, and you will see the victory the Lord will win for you today." -Ex 14:13

The Medjugorje Message: The seed is the word of God

The Medjugorje Message: The seed is the word of God: Dear children! Listen, because I wish to speak to you and to invite you to have more faith and trust in God, who loves you immeasurably. Lit...


Dear Children of Medjugorje

From the Desk of Sr. Emmanuel Maillard
 July 17, 2015

Dear Children of Medjugorje, praised be Jesus and Mary!

1. On July 2, 2015 Mirjana received her monthly apparition at the Blue Cross in the presence of a very large crowd. After the apparition, she conveyed the following message:

"Dear Children! I am calling you to spread the faith in my Son - your faith. You, my children illuminated by the Holy Spirit, my apostles, transmit it to others - to those who do not believe, who do not know, who do not want to know - but for that you must pray a lot for the gift of love, because love is the mark of true faith - and you will be apostles of my love. Love always, anew, revives the pain and the joy of the Eucharist, it revives the pain of the Passion of my Son, by which he showed you what it means to love immeasurably; it revives the joy for having left you his body and blood to feed you with himself - and in this way, to be one with you. Looking at you with tenderness, I feel immeasurable love which strengthens me in my desire to bring you to a firm faith. Firm faith will give you joy and happiness on earth and in the end the encounter with my Son. This is his desire. Therefore, live him, live love, live the light that always illuminates you in the Eucharist. I implore you to pray a lot for your shepherds, to pray so as to have all the more love for them because my Son gave them to you to feed you with his body and to teach you love. Therefore, also you are to love them. But, my children, remember, love means to endure and to give, and never, ever to judge. Thank you. Pray for your shepherds. They belong to my Son. He called them. Pray that they may always have the strength and the courage to shine with the light of my Son. 

2. Pray before the cross, dear Children!  

I just returned from a 10-day mission trip to the United States (see PS1).  Among the testimonies that were reported to me, here is one from one of our assistants who has lived with us for over a year in Medjugorje, and who participates, as a prayerful presence, in exorcisms which take place in her parish in California:

"When Father John was ordained, someone gave him the gift of a metal crucifix. A hidden compartment in the crucifix contained a small piece of wood reported to be a piece of the true Cross. He wasn't really sure of the authenticity of this relic, so he didn't pay much attention to this gift, but he kept the crucifix along with other religious articles in his possession.  Nine years later, he found himself involved, at the request of his bishop, in prayers of deliverance and even of exorcisms. One day, a man came to him and asked for help, specifically for prayers of deliverance. The man had become possessed by the devil while visiting prostitutes in South America. During the sessions of prayers of deliverance, Father John noticed that the man had a strong aversion to the standard wooden crucifix that he was using to bless him. The man would turn his head away from the cross and do everything he could to avoid having it contact his skin, and he would shout anytime Father made the sign of the cross over him with the crucifix. 

"The same behavior continued for 3 meetings in a row.  Then Father John remembered the metal crucifix that he had received long ago.  For the following session, he brought that little cross with him, but he said nothing to the team or to the man about the difference between the two crucifixes. As soon as Father raised that crucifix to bless the man, the possessed one flung himself away from the cross so forcefully that his chair went over backwards and he landed up against the wall several feet away.  He continued shouting and tried desperately to get away from this cross.  Everyone else in the room was surprised at this extreme reaction, more violent than anything that had happened with him before. After the prayers were concluded and calm had returned, Father John opened up the hidden compartment of his cross to show everyone the small relic hidden inside.  No one had the slightest doubt as to the authenticity of what father held in his hands."

It was by His cross that Jesus conquered Satan and delivered us from his hold! This type of testimony is not rare among exorcists.  But I am anxious to call attention to it here, because today, aren't we all on a truly cruel battlefield? It would be utopic to believe that we can conquer evil without Christ and without His Cross.  This testimony also demonstrates how precious these true relics are, and to despise these objects of piety would deprive us of many graces that God desires so much to give us.
3. The Medjugorje Case.  

In the midst of all the waves crashing upon and against Medjugorje recently, let us underline the words of Cardinal Vinko Puljic of Sarajevo, who welcomed Pope Francis on June 6th.  During a clear and sober interview in the newspaper 7Dnevno, he declared, in substance, that the media has manipulated the statements of the Pope on his return flight, "interpreting them as inconclusive, which is unacceptable," he said. "Their interpretations have shaken the spirit of the faithful, the priests and the pilgrims who have links to that place of pilgrimage.  It is very regrettable that the media gave more -mistaken- attention to certain statements the Pope made on Medjugorje, rather than focusing on some of his more powerful messages about other problems Bosnia-Herzegovina is facing."  He added, "I believe Francis' decision on Medjugorje will be good and right."

Note that Cardinal Puljic (see photo) is the president of the Episcopal Conference of Bosnia-Herzegovina and a member of the Commission for Medjugorje named by Benedict XVI.

See the link: http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/the-vatican/detail/articolo/medjugorje-puljic-42059  

4. Welcome to the young people!  

We expect thousands of young people for the Festival from July 31st to August 6th.  In the prophetic vision of Sister Briege McKenna in 1984 (See PS2), there were rivers of living water flowing from the altar of the sanctuary (St. James church), and a few young people came there to avidly drink the water in order to quench their thirst.  

Realizing that they were re-born into life, the true life, they left full of joy and back home called their friends over to drink eagerly of this living water, which is none other than the river of blessings flowing from the wounded Heart of Jesus.  Today there are thousands coming to drink from this source of living water, not to "go wild," but, on the contrary, to reconnect with the deepest part of their hearts, to unify themselves interiorly and find the true happiness that is so often hidden from them in their surroundings.  Let us pray for one great and beautiful harvest of souls again this year, along with the many priests coming too, so happy to do their work as shepherds in Medjugorje!  Last year, there were more than 500 priests assisting the young people, and there was no chance they'd suffer unemployment in the confessionals as they do so often in their own parishes!
5. Rosie's wedding.  
Rosie and Her husband Matthew
During our mission to the USA, we had the joy of being at Rosie's side for her marriage to Matthew, in New Jersey on July 4th.  Many of you know her, because she spent 3 years with us in Medjugorje, in the school of Our Lady.  Her wedding was magnificent!  She taught theology in a Catholic high school for 2 years.  She is beloved by her students, who, for the most part, need a serious update on the true Catholic faith, even though they are baptized.  She engages in deep dialogue with them on themes essential to life, and her stay in Medjugorje greatly enables her to do that.

A significant anecdote:  Since Matthew taught in the same high school, the students know him well. One day, the theme of engagement and marriage came up, and Rosie told the kids how important and beneficial it is to live in chastity before marriage, and that she and Matthew had made this choice.  The students burst out immediately, "What?  People like you still exist?" ... Apparently yes!

6. Good news!  It is now possible to get a new app for your smartphone and receive all the official messages of Our Lady since 1984.  This app is free and available in many languages.  This is found at the app store.  In the search menu, type Medjugorje Friends of Mary.  Share this super news with your friends!  What a beautiful means of evangelization!

Sister Emmanuel +
(Translated from French)

New Medjugorje App

Good news!  It is now possible to get a new app for your smartphone and receive all the official messages of Our Lady since 1984.  This app is free and available in many languages.  This is found at the app store.  In the search menu, type Medjugorje Friends of Mary.  Share this super news with your friends!  What a beautiful means of evangelization!





VISIONARY IVAN DRAGICEVIC invited the tour guides of Medjugorje to be present for a private apparition that took place yesterday in Ivan’s chapel in Medjugorje. Ivan testified of his experience and relayed a message he said Our Lady gave him.
ivanIvan spent the whole afternoon and early evening in prayer with the group, first leading them to the apparition hill where they climbed and prayed the rosary at 4pm in temperatures reaching 40 degrees Celsius . He then took them to his family house speaking about the apparitions, some of the guides told us ‘the experience was so beautiful, it was like the first days of the apparitions’. Ivan and the group of guides then went to his chapel where they prayed another rosary together.
Afterwards Ivan’s apparition took place at the regular time of 18.40:
Ivan related to the tour guides the details of the apparition immediately after it took place, speaking in deep contemplation:
“I would like also today with some words to bring you closer to this encounter with Our Lady this evening.
For me it is hard to find good words in this world of today. There are no words to describe – how can you describe her beauty? The beauty of Her love, of Her gaze…all these years. 
This evening when Our Lady came…Her gaze…Her eyes… when she looked at us all here…  always the feeling of Her joy makes you want to cry when you see it, how can you describe Her voice…Her smile…All the images, statues, that you can see in all the churches in the whole world are beautiful. But believe me, the beauty of Our Lady is very difficult to transmit, through statues, through images, through words.
This evening Our Lady came joyful. She greeted us all with her maternal greeting:
‘Praised be Jesus Christ, my dear children!’
After this Our Lady extended Her hands and prayed over all of you present and over all the priests.
She prayed in her mother tongue, Aramaic.
After she prayed in a special way for the sick people and in a special way I recommended all you priests and all the sick present.
After this, Our Lady continued again to pray for all present – you tour guides present because I recommended you all to Her in a special way: your work with the pilgrims and your mission, and to live the messages of Our Lady…this mission that you all have.
After this Our Lady said to us:
“Dear children, also today I am happy with you and I bless you all with the blessing of Peace. Be persevering, dear children, in the prayer, and be my signs – the signs of my presence. Be, dear children, My flowers. I pray for all of you before my Son. Thank you dear children for also today having responded to my call.”
After Our Lady gave the maternal blessing and blessed all the religious objects.
I recommended all of you, and like I said in a special way I reccomended you tour guides and your families – all that you have brought in your hearts – Our Lady knows this better than us.
After our Lady spoke some words privately to me.
Then in the prayer and in a sign of the cross in a light She greeted us:
‘Go in peace my dear children.’
and She went up into heaven.
These were the most important parts of this encounter tonight.”
The Medjugorje Guides are locals that have devoted their lives and vocation to guiding pilgrims around the history of the area. They have trained, studied and qualified on Church history, Local history, History of the Medjugorje phenomenon, Vatican, languages, interpreting and many topics.
The Official Tour Guides of Medjugorje

The Medjugorje Message: When seers are sent packing...

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The Medjugorje Message: Medjugorje seer confirms restriction…

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Galway family claim pilgrimage ‘cured’ terminal cancer in boy, 11

Saturday, May 16, 2015

A Galway man has claimed that his son has been given the all-clear from cancer two years after he was told the illness was terminal.

The Reilly family from Eyrecourt is attributing 11-year-old Stephen’s recovery to a pilgrimage to Medjugorje in 2013, the Connacht Tribune reports.

The newspaper reported that Stephen was diagnosed with bone cancer at the age of six, which later spread to his lungs and lymph nodes, and he subsequently lost one of his legs.
Stephen’s father Michael told the newspaper the family travelled to Crumlin Children’s Hospital on New Year’s Eve 2012 to be told that the cancer had returned.

“After two days of tests the doctors told us that the cancer had spread to his lungs and lymph nodes and that there was no more that they could do,” Mr Reilly said.

The Reillys had already booked the pilgrimage by this point and decided to go ahead with their plans.
Mr Reilly claimed that a number of unusual occurrences took place during the trip.
He said that his son saw a statue of the Virgin Mary move, and that he himself saw “what might be described as the impression of a giant hand over his son’s head”.
Mr Reilly said that Stephen’s scans showed a slight improvement two days after the family returned from Medjugorje, the town where it is claimed that the Virgin Mary appeared to six local children in 1981.
Mr Reilly said that his son subsequently went from strength to strength, and in July of that year, was taken off the books of the Galway Hospice.
Last month, Stephen and his father returned to Medjugorje, where the boy went up Cross Mountain unaided.
“I only carried him through a really hard part and the ramp to the cross at the top,” Mr Reilly said.

Prayer to the Blessed Mother for the Healing of our Country

Prayer to the Blessed Mother for the Healing of our Country

The 20th International Seminar for Priests

The experiences of the participants of the 20th International Seminar for Priests

date: 08.07.2015.
The 20th International Seminar for Priests is taking place in Medjugorje at the moment, with 400 priests, deacons and seminarians participating. Fr. Bozo Mandaric, the member of the Franciscan Province of the Most Holy Redeemer from Split, serving in the parish of St. George in Gracac, came here for the second time: “This international seminar for priests means a lot to me, as there are many events and lots of prayer. I have chosen Medjugorje as this is the place of silence, peace and encounter with God with the Queen of Peace. As a young priest, I get strength and grace here to be able to persevere in my preisthood. Fr. Franjo Radman, professor at the Franciscan Classic Grammar School in Visoko is also here. He is the educator of the future priests. He told us that Heavenly Mother always brings him to Medjugorje and this year he is here to celebrate his 25th anniversary of his priesthood. “This is the opportunity for me to examine my own priesthood as I can meet here priests from all over the world. It is at the same time revision of our life journey. It is very important for us priests to find time for ourselves as we have been burdened with many obligations and duties.”


Holy Spirit Gives Us New Life

Holy Spirit Gives Us Completely New Life
St Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary of the Gospel of John

It can easily be shown from examples both in the Old Testament and the New that the Spirit changes those in whom he comes to dwell; he so transforms them that they begin to live a completely new kind of life. Saul was told by the prophet Samuel: The Spirit of the Lord will take possession of you, and you shall be changed into another man. Saint Paul writes: As we behold the glory of the Lord with unveiled faces, that glory, which comes from the Lord who is the Spirit, transforms us all into his own likeness, from one degree of glory to another.
Does this not show that the Spirit changes those in whom he comes to dwell and alters the whole pattern of their livesWith the Spirit within them it is quite natural for people who had been absorbed by the things of this world to become entirely other-worldly in outlook, and for cowards to become men of great courage. There can be no doubt that this is what happened to the disciples. The strength they received from the Spirit enabled them to hold firmly to the love of Christ, facing the violence of their persecutors unafraid.


The Sin of Silence

MONDAY, JUNE 29, 2015

To Sin By Silence: A homily by Fr. Peter Mitchell

Fr. Peter Mitchell is a pastor of St. Mary of the Immaculate Parish- Greenville, WI. The following is the homily he delivered on the Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (June 27-28, 2015)
"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards out of men." - Abraham Lincoln

My dear parishioners, I had hoped I would not have to give this homily. But as your pastor and shepherd, I must speak today, lest I sin by silence and act in cowardice. This past Friday, June 26, by a 5-4 decision, the US Supreme Court has told us that our entire nation must accept the redefinition of marriage. The decision is being hailed by many as a victory for love. Our President's twitter account acclaimed the decision as victory for freedom with the signature #LoveWins. It is no secret that the Catholic Church opposes this decision, and so it would seem to many in this confused cultural moment that we are now part of a church that is opposed to love, and is in fact a church that proclaims hatred by its teaching. For a long time now our society has been being prepared to celebrate and affirm this decision as a victory for love - the press, the entertainment media, our schools, the medical profession, business associations, the military - every aspect of our society has veryaggressively been told that to oppose this decision is to be against the free expression of love. Why would wewithhold the right to happiness and love from fellow citizens? Why would we tell others they cannot fulfillthemselves in the way they choose to? Everyone is now forced to accept this redefinition by means of judicialrewriting of the law. And - here is the crux of the issue for us as the church - if we will not accept thisredefinition, we are expected to be silent. And it is in this light that I wish to take President Lincoln'schallenging words - "To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards out of men" - and ask how wemay respond courageously and joyfully to the present challenging cultural moment.

Let's be clear about what happened on Friday in terms of the big picture of the history of Western Civilization.I've brought a few books along for dramatic effect. Let's see... Socrates...out the window. Plato...out thewindow. Aristotle...out the window. Roman law...out the window. Notice we haven't gotten to Christian sources of law and culture yet. The Old Testament - Genesis 19, out the window. The New Testament - Romans 1 - read it, it is so clear! "While claiming to be wise they became fools...God handed them over to theirundiscerning mind to do what is improper" - out the window. St. Augustine, out the window. Thomas Aquinas,out the window. The entire legal precedent of the United States up to 2003, out the window. The implication ofcourse is that all of these sources of our law had a blind spot of prejudice when it came to the definition ofmarriage. All of these wise men were unenlightened, and it is only as of June 26, 2015, that we can say that we truly live in a free and loving society. Hence the hashtag, #LoveWins.

What was the reason for all of these foundational sources of our culture condemning the behavior associatedwith the redefinition of marriage, for calling such behavior a sin and a crime? Let's say this very simply - withgreat wisdom, they understood that such behavior is destructive. It is destructive of the human body because it goes against human nature - it causes disease and death, and no less importantly it is destructive of the human soul. It leads to depression, anxiety, loneliness, mental illness, and even suicide. It is destructive of families and of children's happiness. This was the established consensus of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), until 1973, when it removed such behavior from its lists of mental disorders in a change that had absolutely no scientific or medical basis but was pushed through by pressure from a small group of activists.

Now, however, we are told that the entire society must legally accept the redefinition of marriage and thusaffirm the rationalization that what is bad and destructive is actually good and fulfilling. My dear people, let'ssay this simply and clearly - to call what is bad good is a lie. And the redefinition of marriage into somethingother than a permanent covenant between a man a woman for the purpose of raising a family is a lie. Whywould we be opposed to Friday's decision? The simple answer is- because it is based on a lie.

If someone would ask us, "Why is it a lie?" we need to be able to connect the dots as to how we got here. There is a very simple thread of logic running through the Supreme Court's decisions since 1966 concerning, first contraception, then abortion, and finally the redefinition of marriage. All three issues are intertwined, andultimately to embrace one as a right is to embrace the others. We need to be able to understand that logic so as to refute it. First, in 1961 Planned Parenthood sued the State of Connecticut for the right to distributecontraceptives, which was at that time against the law. In 1966 in Griswold v. Connecticut, the US SupremeCourt defined the right to contracept as part of the "right to privacy" it claimed to find in the Constitution. Thisdecision was then invoked in the decision with which we are all familiar, Roe v. Wade in 1973, which legalizedthe right to abortion as part of the "right to privacy.' It made logical sense. If children intrude upon our right toprivacy, we need to have a way to eliminate them. To fully embrace the use of contraceptives, many of whichact as abortifacients by killing the developing embryo in the mother's womb, is to affirm abortion, which is theultimate act of contraception. The Church's beautiful teaching has always seen this connection and proclaimed it, even as our culture has scoffed. This brings us to 2015. Friday's decision was entirely consistent with the precedent of Griswold and Roe. If we as a culture have sterilized married love by legalizing contraception and abortion, it is logically consistent that we would redefine marriage so that it no longer has any necessary connection with procreation, based on the "right to privacy." A culture where everyone is contracepting and in which anyone can get an abortion, must, to be consistent, redefine marriage. Our Supreme Court acted consistently on Friday. It invoked its own language defending the right to abortion: "At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life" (Planned Parenthood v Casey, 1992). Justice Kennedy's opening sentence in Friday's decision reaffirms this definition of liberty: "Liberty includes the right to define and express one's own identity." This is the heart of the lie. But there can be no freedom divorced from the truth of God's law, which is also the law of human nature. In ignoring the natural law, our Supreme Court has proclaimed that we must all accept a lie.

What is to be our response as disciples of Jesus Christ to the lie? It is the same joyful witness that we alwaysgive: living lives of poverty, chastity, and obedience and mercifully inviting others, with us, to heed the firstwords of Jesus in the Gospel, "Reform your lives, and believe in the Gospel!" (Mark 1:15). Our witness needsto be joyful and compassionate, convicted and committed. No less than we are convicted that we would neverlet our little ones play with matches, because they are potentially destructive, so we must be convinced that the redefinition of marriage is destructive to individual people and to our entire society. If we are so convinced, we will joyfully invite others as fellow sinners to turn to the Merciful Jesus and know his healing grace as thewoman with the hemorrhage did in today's Gospel.

We can turn more than ever to the intercession of some of the great martyrs of our faith who were called on towitness to the truth of God's law in the face of legal redefinition of the truth. I am thinking of the joyful witnessof St. Thomas More and the Martyrs of England in the 1500's. When King Henry VIII wished to deny the truthof his marriage, he ordered Parliament to pass the Act of Supremacy, which proclaimed Henry head of theChurch and thus able to redefine marriage. The vast majority of bishops in England acquiesced to Henry'sdemand. The law was changed and persecution followed for those who did not remain silent. The courageousmartyrs of that storied moment in English history are interceding for us. They stood firm as they were accusedof hating their King and hating their country. St. Edmund Campion's powerful words ring clear - at hissentencing to execution, he said simply, "In condemning us, you condemn all of your own ancestors, all thatwas once the glory of England." The present redefinition of marriage has indeed condemned all the great figures in American history as having been fundamentally opposed to freedom and rights in their understanding of marriage as a God-given gift between a man and a woman.

I am thinking of the joyful witness of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the martyrs of the Third Reich. All of the reforms of the 1930's were accomplished legally as the German nation was told to embrace a lie about the human person - that the Jews were not truly persons. As long as people were silent, the lie had room to grow. Anyone who loved Germany was expected to support the Fuhrer. The law was changed and persecutionfollowed for those who did not remain silent. Those who spoke out paid the ultimate price. Bonhoeffer, aLutheran pastor who dared to speak out in protest and to resist, wrote before his execution, "Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

I am thinking, lastly, and perhaps most powerfully, of the courageous witness of John the Baptist, whose birththe Church just celebrated this past week. Face to face with King Herod, who had redefined marriage by taking his brother's wife to be his own wife, John spoke the truth about marriage: "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife" (Mark 6:18). John chose not to remain silent, and persecution followed. Because he spoke the truth about marriage, John was beheaded.

 "To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards out of men." My dear people, all we have to dotoday is to remain silent in the face of the lie and we will be able to remain comfortable. May this comfortablesilence never be our response. In the words of the great Russian dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn, "Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me." The Church in America in 2015 needs to callupon the intercession of all of these holy martyrs, asking them to obtain for our bishops and priests and for all of us the courage to bear witness to the truth about marriage.

So many are confused and hurting in their search for love today - they are searching for Christ without evenknowing it. It falls to us at this moment to show forth Jesus by our witness of poverty, chastity, and obedience.This witness will mean having the courage to face whatever persecution, large and small, will come to us as a result of our refusal to remain silent. It will mean enduring accusations that we are opposed to love and hateful of those who celebrate and promote the redefinition of marriage. Let's be confident that the Holy Spirit is with us and is raising up a great generation of witnesses - joyful, loving, compassionate, merciful, courageous witnesses. I am confident that I am looking at those witnesses as I preach to you today.

Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
St. Thomas More, Edmund Campion, and the martyrs of England, pray for us.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the martyrs of the Third Reich, pray for us. Amen.

Come, Holy Spirit!
Father Peter Mitchell