In the beginning of July 2012, Medjugorje visionary Marija Pavlovic Lunetti has once again visited so-called Caritas of Birmingham community for 5 days. Unfortunately, some uniformed, gullible and undiscerning people understand simply Marija’s Pavlovic Lunetti visits as an endorsement and validation of so called “Friend of Medjugorje” and group of his minions Caritas of Birmingham. But in fact, already since 1988 it became obvious that persons with connections to Marija Pavlovic Lunetti are definitely not necessarily credible, and some of them can even pose a serious threat for those, who might naively trust these persons.
A talk (question and answer session) given by Mirjana in the Oasis of Peace on 3rd October 2009
Mirjana: We will start our meeting with one Hail Mary. Queen of Peace, Pray for us.
We have gathered so that you may ask whatever you may be interested in. Anything that can help you to understand Medjugorje, and if I know, I will be so glad to respond to you because I desire with my entire heart that you may understand what Our Lady desires from us. The first thing is, she invited you. She needs apostles. That’s why feel free to ask anything that can help you.
I would like to greet you all with the most beautiful of greetings: Praised be Jesus and Mary. I am so pleased to be here with you today and even more pleased that you are ready to hear the message of Our Lady.
For 28 years I have been asking God the very same question: Why did you choose me? I know that I was given a great grace and also I know that at the same time I was given a great responsibility.
Ivan Dragicevic from Medjugorje spoke on Tuesday, September, 16th 2008, before thousands of the faithful at the Peace prayer in the Viennese St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Austria.
The cathedral was overfull with the faithful from diverse prayer groups and movements. They met under the slogan „A Message for You”. The Malteser provided for a smooth operational sequence of this large meeting. The Malteser Youth, called Johannesgemeinschaft, was also very active in invitation and preparation. Under the guidance of Mag. Oktavian Eiselsberg, everything was organized in the best way.
Jakov is going to share with us the most important that is about our Lady’s apparitions: And what is the most important, the messages on which Our Lady is calling us here? Apparitions are continuing, are lasting already nearly 25 years. Many people have come here to Medjugorje, they ask themselves, why apparitions are lasting so long ? Why Our Lady has been giving us so many messages? Many people say the messages are many times the same. I always say to everybody, instead of why, we should say thank you. Thanks to God for graces which he gave to us. Thanks to God because he allows Our Lady to be here for 25 years.
This was given in May 2007, on the steps of the blue house where Vicka frequently gives her testimony to groups of pilgrims in Medjugorje. I regret I do not know the name of the guide who provided the translation. Vicka spoke in Italian and this was then translated into English. The guide began by introducing Vicka. Throughout this entire testimony, Vicka smiled, waved and blew kisses at everyone.
In her talk to us, Mirjana began by recounting the early days of the apparitions. She did this primarily for those who had never been to Medjugorje before. Any words in italics are mine. The first part of the overview is presented here. Mirjana's words were translated by Miki Musa and therefore are not always grammatically correct but you will get the idea.
Visiting Vicka recently I was ushered into her house and mixed in with a small group of Italians who were listening intently to Vicka's words. She answered their questions and spoke to them from the heart, which gave me an opportunity to again witness her incredible wisdom. After all, that is her trademark (ask anyone from the village): wisdom grounded in solid common sense! When I came she was speaking to several Italian families who were deeply suffering in their family life. Naturally Vicka responded to their distress by expressing a few observations on family life today:
I was overjoyed to hear these incredible insights about Lent that Vicka shared with a pilgrim recently:
"Many times we see Lent as a time when we make sacrifices and practice self-denial by giving up coffee, alcohol, chocolate, cigarettes, TV, or whatever we are overly attached to. But we must renounce those things out of love for Jesus and Mary, and be careful not to do it for our own glory. Often we wait for the end of the forty days, only to drink again, to watch TV again, etc. This is not the right way to live Lent!
Around the 1st of January, large crowds of pilgrims once again gathered on the main street in Bijakovici. Vicka, after an absence of nine months for health reasons, returned to the stairs of her blue house to give witness! This year however, we will have to wait until March for her to resume her normal rhythm of speaking three days per week. By then the treatment of her shoulder should be finished. In these last nine months, Vicka has suffered more than usual, but she knows how to remain happy in all situations, even those that are apparently negative.
When someone asked St. Ignatius how he would react if his order broke up, he replied that it would take him no more than "an hour of prayer" to get over the shock and disappointment. Anyone who prays - not just this saint - is able to experience that the fruit of prayer is peace. When a spiritual man pours out his soul to God through prayer (encounter with God), his restless heart finds rest. Just as it is the nature of fire to burn upwards, so do man's desires tend to go upwards. And it is in following this order of things, to which man is destined by the bonds of charity, that he finds peace.
On August 24, 2002, Jelena Vasilj got married to Massimiliano Valente in St James Church, Medjugorje. It was indeed a very prayerful and joyful wedding! Visionary, Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti, was Jelena's Maid of Honor. Rarely do we see such beautiful and striking newly weds! A week before the wedding, they visited our home and shared at length about their values as a christian couple. Let's remember that Jelena had been taught by Our Lady herself for many years, through inner locutions, under the wings of Fr. Tomislav Vlasic, and she was chosen by Our Lady to lead a prayer group until she started her studies in the US in 1991. I'll start reporting here some of Jelena's answers to my questions.
At the recent Youth Festival in Medjugorje Mirjana said: Since 1987 my favourite day is the 2nd of each month. On this day I pray with our Blessed Mother for non-believers, who says, however: "for those who have not known God's love." She is asking for our help, of all of us, of all those who think of Her as Mother. Mary says we cannot save the non-believers if not through our prayer and example. She is asking us to give utmost importance to prayer in their favour, because She has said that the worst things - such as war, divorce, abortion - come from people who do not believe: "When you pray for them, you are praying for yourselves and for your families and for the good of the world."
This feeling cannot possibly be put in words, for there are no words to describe it. It is something special, a special peace, satisfaction, a joy that cannot be experienced with any man, but only with Our Lady.
Our Lady always asks us to live her messages. She doesn't want us to depend on them, but she calls us to be joyful bearers of her words and to be good Christians. The Blessed Virgin gives us the opportunity to come to Medjugorje and begin a new life. That is why she chose us 19 years ago. When Our Lady appeared we asked her why she chose us, and she replied: "God gave me the possibility to choose, and I chose you." As one of Our Lady's witnesses I wish to help you, that you may be touched by this special grace in this year of the Great Jubilee.
Tomislav Vlasic: Mirjana, we have not seen each other for some time, and I would like you to tell me about the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and especially with the events that are connected to you.
Mirjana Dragicevic: I have seen the Blessed Virgin Mary for eighteen months now, and feel I know Her very well. I feel she loves me with Her Motherly love, and so I have been able to ask Her about anything I would like to know. I've asked her to explain some things about Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell that were not clear to me. For example, I asked Her how God can be so unmerciful as to throw people into Hell, to suffer forever. I thought: If a person commits a crime and goes to jail, he stays there for a while and then is forgiven - but to Hell, forever? She told me that souls who go to Hell have ceased thinking favorably of God - have cursed Him, more and more. So they've already become a part of Hell, and choose not to be delivered from it.
The village is quiet during these winter months. For many pension owners and the visionaries, less pilgrims means more time spent with family around the wood-burning stove. This past month a woman from China stayed in Medjugorje, with my community. She mentioned that she thought it must be easy for the visionaries to discern what God wants of them. "When you see Our Lady every day", she said, "you know how to follow the right path. But for us, how are we to know the will of God in our lives and how can we be sure not to be mistaken?" I took a chance that Vicka would have some "winter time" to spend with us and would share some insights of hers. She welcomed my friend very kindly. Because she radiates such a heavenly joy and love, one may think she can give a magic recipe for peace! Well, she did draw a clear line to happiness, but indeed nothing magic!
26.01.2002 – On Saturday, January 26th, 2002, in the parish church of St. James in Medjugorje, the wedding of Vicka Ivankovic from Medjugorje and Mario Mijatovic, a native from Sarajevo, was celebrated.
The marriage that was blessed by Fr. Branko Radoš, pastor of Medjugorje, the Holy Mass at which concelebrated Fr. Jozo Zovko and Fr. Ivan Landeka along with more than 20 other priests from all over the world, the wedding that attracted hundreds of friends from all over the world and more then 30 photographers and journalists, means for Vicka - the always smiling parishioner who still today has daily apparitions of Our Lady - that with her henceforth stands a man with whom she is eternally bound in love, and who will be a sure support at the service of Our Lady’s messages and the faithful, who day and night come seeking light on their Christian path.
Svetozar Kraljevic: Ivanka, you and Mirjana were taking a walk together that day. Why were you walking together?
Ivanka Ivankovic: We regularly walked together in that area. We had been at my house; then we decided to take our walk.
On 7th October Mirjana was interviewed by a group from Foggia.
Mirjana Dragicevic: Yes, Our Lady always appears to me on 18th March and 2nd of each month. With regards to the 18th March She told me that Her apparitions would last all my life. I do not know when those of the 2nd will finish. They are very different from those I experienced with the other visionaries up to Christmas 1982. While Our Lady appears for these at a set time (5.45 pm) I do not know when She will arrive. I begin to pray when it is about 5 am and at times Our Lady appears in the afternoon, or even in the late evening. The duration of the apparitions also differs: those of the visionaries last about 3 to 8 minutes, the ones I receive on the 2nd of each month from 15 to 30 minutes.
I remember well the first time I came to Medjugorje. It was in 1997 and I was 14 years old. That pilgrimage marked a turning point in my life. It gave my life a definite direction. The journey, of course, is gradual, but at different moments I have been asked to give my response to God, and in total freedom I renewed my “yes” each time.
I was a boy at the time, and when I first came here to this blessed land I had no particular expectations or biased opinions of any type. As I look back I think I was simply led here by Our Lady. She took me by the hand and led me towards the God of Love. Till then I knew God only by hearsay, but I was soon to be seduced by Him.
With the musical version of the Litany, the Saints were called to witness at the wedding celebration between Jelena Vasilj and Massimiliano Valente on 24th August 2002 in the Shrine of the Queen of Peace at Medjugorje.
Over 500 guests (mostly from abroad) filled St. James church to join the parishioners to pray for this new family. "From his shrine may the Lord bless you.." read Fra Dragan Rucic at the start of the Mass. A choir of splend-id voices from Vicenza (Italy), and several soloists, helped make the cele-bration more sacred and solemn.
For years, Jelena was formed by the Gospa. For years, Jelena was trained by the Gospa directly and today she remains a well of light for whoever wants to understand Our Lady's maternal spirit. Here are a few words that I gleaned these days from Jelena:
"Before I was married, my life was easier. I was studying, I was free, actually, I was working on my personal formation. Now my life as a spouse and mother obligates me to practice everything I learned. That is to say, to give all of myself constantly and without counting the cost. My children - they are my superiors. Looking at my children teaches me a lot about God. God is relationship and we are created in His image. I can tell by looking at my children! When a child makes noise, cries, weeps, hits, it's because he wants to enter into a relationship with us. A child, just like God, is always seeking a relationship. For a child this relationship is vital because it is through this relationship that he is built up. The richness of life is communicated through relationships. We all live out of relationships.
"When a child is experiencing relationship, he doesn't need television. Rather, he is at peace. He is satisfied. I've noticed that with my children. They never want television and even when they go to the homes of their friends, they don't want it. Television is interruption of relationship and sharing that unites family and friends. Often, we erect walls of protection against life and we lock ourselves in. When I am in a room with someone and I turn on the television, it is as if I am telling him that he is not interesting enough for me and doesn't deserve my attention.
We’re expecting our third child, but the pregnancy hasn’t been going according to previsions, and I’ve been confined to total rest. But I’ve seen how this condition of immobility regards my body only, while my spirit has been able to broaden out continually. So this has been a time of grace for me, because love has two sides to it. There is the joy and the enthusiasm of giving, even though this is accompanied by the cross, but it is when the cross is accepted, that our joy is even deeper. Then, everything is okay. It seems as though life should be always downhill to be true – or that’s how we imagine it. However, I am coming to understand ever more how suffering is our true life. So I can say that right now I am living this “true life.”
Vicka: ... When you look at Our Lady the beauty of her face is so wonderful that words can't describe it. She herself has said that she is beautiful because she loves. This is the way we must be beautiful - above all, beautiful inside - so that our faces can radiate this beauty too... Unfortunately, we hide our faces behind many types of masks; we hide everything inside.. We have to begin to love to be beautiful. With all our hearts we should begin by loving those in our homes, our family and then the others around us. True beauty is spiritual beauty.
Vicka: ... Just entered, we have gone on, walking, perhaps three, four meters. We have not visited the whole Heaven, but the Gospa has made sense of it. We have seen a great space wound by a light that it doesn't exist here on the earth. We have seen the people that are neither fat, neither thin, but all equal ones and they have dresses of three colors: the grey , the yellow and the pink. The people walk, sing, pray. There were some small flying Angels. The Gospa has told us: "Look at how much the people are happy in the Heaven". And a joy that cannot be described and that here on the earth it doesn't exist.
While thinking about the theme assigned, the word of John comes to mind: "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life -- the life was made manifest, and we saw it, and testify to it, and proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the Father and was made manifest to us -- that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ." (1 Jn 1:1-3)
Marija: Many young people decide to spend their nights in discotheques, on their Saturday nights for example, but we decided to spend this time with Jesus. And we think we received much more joy than they do. And if I could go back in time and again have to decide which of the two, in going to the discotheque or going to be with Jesus for the whole night, I would choose again to be with Jesus.
Interview by Marijan Sivric
Vicka Ivankovic: "She would like us to accept the message with our hearts and to live them. Often we accept the message, we begin to live it, but then we get tired and we remain the way we were before. And Our Lady would like that everyday we live her messages a little bit and that we would make progress in our lives."
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