During the 70’s, in Germany. Monica was 17 when she lost her mother whom she loved very much. She was left behind with three siblings and her father who was a non-practicing protestant and an architect near Bonn. Monica detested her father. He had very little interaction with his children, so she found him cold, rigid, and insensitive. Since she was unable to connect with him on a heart level, she moved out at 17, using her studies as an excuse.
A beautiful, extroverted, lively girl, in love with God. But the beauty of God’s plan for her life becomes shiningly apparent in the last two years of her illness. 18 years of life: a model for people of all ages.
Chiara Luce Badano was born is Sassello, near Savona (Northwest Italy), on October 29, 1971, to parents who had been trying to have a child for 11 years. Her childhood and adolescence were serene: she lived in a loving, united family from which she received a solid Christian education.
A surprising event took place in Medjugorje on August 3rd. Since the articles on the internet about the events spread many errors, I wanted to make a serious inquiry before writing about it. So, below I have written the facts as I received them from Dominik’s family.
Deborah Gyapong - Canadian Catholic News
Sherbrooke, Quebec - Jennifer Y.M. Lee, gave up a promising career as a concert pianist to consecrate her life to God.
Martin Bilodeau, 34, left behind a professional salary and glamorous travel as a mechanical engineer to live in community in lay consecrated life at Famille Marie-Jeunesse (FMJ), a new religious community that began about 25 years ago in Quebec City.
Andrée-Ann Brasseur, 25, an accomplished violinist, knew from the time she was 18 that she belonged with FMJ but she had to wait eight years until she was old enough to consecrate her life permanently.
"... A few weeks later I met a friend of mine called Aidan, who told me about a mutual friend of ours called Louise who had been to Medjugorje and had rediscovered her faith, or as Aidan put it: ‘she has become all religious and holy.’ I was intrigued, because Louise was my own age and from a similar background. So I called around to her and asked her about it. I remember she talked for about an hour and a half about what had happened. At the end of the conversation she invited me to come to a prayer meeting here in Galway. Now I wasn’t that keen to go to a prayer meeting. I thought I was much too cool for such things. But Louise was smart enough to know that and she asked another girl whom I fancied, to ask me. Naturally I went! Both of those girls are now married and I’m a priest!"
Jožef Ratković, a Croat from Austria, walked from Zürich to Medjugorje to fulfill a vow: to pray for healing of his wife who suffers from multiple sclerosis. In 42 days he walked 1,400 km. “I believe in God and I hope for his help. I also pray for peace with God and with people. For me, peace is when we reach out to another and great another. This is basic.”
She died the year Our Lady’s apparitions at Medjugorje began. She loved the Blessed Virgin, and inspired by her, she adhered to the divine will in a radical way, even when God’s plan asked of her a degree of immolation beyond human capacity. She bore Christ’s wounds, and she let herself be consumed for the salvation of souls.
Excerpt taken from book Letters to Marc About Jesus by Henri Nouwen:
Now I´d like to tell you one or two things about her, not just because I happen to be here but because, all along, I´ve been wanting to write to you about Jesus as the hidden God.
I don´t think you´ll ever be able to penetrate the mystery of God´s revelation in Jesus until it strikes you that the major part of Jesus´life was hidden and that even the “public” years remained invisible as far as most people were concerned. Whereas the way of the world is to insist on publicity, celebrity, popularity and getting maximum exposure, God prefer to work in secret. You must have the nerve to let that mystery of God´s secrecy, God´s anonymity, sink deeply into your consciousness because, otherwise, you´re continually looking in the wrong direction. In God´s sight, the things that really matter seldom take place in public.
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.
In 1991, my father asked me to see a video of Medjugorje, after I had dinner at my parent’s house. I always loved Our Blessed Mother. It was fascinating to hear that she was appearing in this country, and I said to my father, how can this be? Ten years, and I have never heard a priest speak about it in a church! My father told me that it was a protestant man who made the tape. That evening, there was a bad storm, and I could not drive back to my home, so I spent the night at my parent’s house. During the night, I really felt Our Lady’s presence in the room. Never anything like that happened to me. At one hand, I was excited, at the other nervous, but I felt peace. Something happened that night. She touched me. It was always in the back of my mind. When I would hear the word Medjugorje, it fascinated me.
He managed to inﬂame whomever came close to him with the same love for God and Mary. His name: ST. BERNARD of CLAIRVAUX (1091-1153), one of the ﬁ rst Cistercian monks, third mediaeval father and last father of the Church in chronological order. He was a beacon of spiritual light that illuminated all of western Europe during the XII century.
St. Thérèse of Lisieux
The Story of a Soul (L'Histoire d'Une Âme): The Autobiography of St. Thérèse of Lisieux
Entitled by herself: "The Story of the Springtime of a Little White Flower"
with additional writings and sayings of St. Thérèse
...In the early years, Kathleen tells us, the church would be packed and the people - with great zeal - would always sing the "Ave" at the end of Mass. Marija said that very often Our Lady would reappear and she'd go above the people back and forth in the church, and she would be weeping. Marija once asked her why she wept. Our Lady said, "Because I didn't know so many people loved me!" (Kathleen's observation: She cried for joy because she didn't expect to be loved - which means she's not used to being loved by us
Last summer, a dear Croatian friend went back to the Lord, after a very painful cancer. At her bedside I met an Austrian woman who often came to see her, prayed with her, and helped her to prepare for the great meeting. I was so impressed with her tactfulness, her know-how by a dying person, and the appropriateness of her words that I asked her for her secret. She told me her story and how the Lord had countered her plans to put her in His service. The testimony of this woman, Elizabeth, is worth knowing. The month of November is the month of All Saints and also the month of the dead who are waiting to come into the Light. Therefore everything that can help us Christianize our vision of death is good to take on!
We recently celebrated the Jubilee of Heaven: Our Lady’s presence in our midst for 25 years. Since that distant 25 June 1981, a good part of the world has been to Medugorje. Some pass through but once, but the greater majority return after the first visit, and continue to return as though to a special appointment that one is anxious for.
Medjugorje is known by now in every corner of the world, even if merely by hear-say. Every time one returns is though to drink fresh water from a well-spring which quenches our thirst for God and His love. This thirst is in the hearts of all, but at times is ignored, wittingly or unwittingly, and we often seek to quench it with “polluted water.” Mary came to awaken in us this thirst and to help us find at Jacob’s well Him who quenches every thirst: her Son Jesus. This then, explains the ongoing desire to make this pilgrimage, to begin the journey on which to encounter the Lord. At Medugorje, it is difficult not to encounter Him, not to hear the call to conversion, the need to pray, to reconcile with God through confession and begin a new life.
Whatever the circumstances that bring us to Medjugorje, we are called. As a cloistered nun it was due to health problems that I was able to come (with due permission, of course). Providence saw that I found hospitality at the contemplative Community, Kraljice Mira (Queen of Peace, Wholly Thine...); and it is with immense gratitude that I ask myself why is this granted me, that the Mother of my Lord should call me.
Approximately 2,000 people inhabit the Hungarian speaking rural parish of Sts. Peter and Paul, in the town Male Pijace in Voivodina (Serbia). They have Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in their church every Thursday. They listen to the meditations from the church in Medjugorje thanks to “Radio Maria” from Novi Sad, which, in turn, relays the broadcasts from Radio “Mir” Medjugorje. Whenever translation into the Hungarian language is not possible in Medjugorje itself, the translation is done in the studio in Novi Sad.
Beyond all possible thoughts and imagination. Beyond all possible capabilities and merits. Beyond all possible plans. Such is Mary’s presence at Medjugorje. She is present, beyond all possible human logic; beyond all possible will to keep or ignore her; beyond all possible human law and reasoning.
For nearly 25 years the Blessed Virgin has been visiting Medjugorje to visit her children who still belong to time and space, to help them cross the frontier; now, here on earth.
In the message of 25 July 2005 Our Blessed Mother at Medjugorje said: “Dear Children! I call you to fill your day with short and ardent prayers.”
There are countless brief and ardent prayers. Perhaps we all have a favourite one we like to repeat more frequently. It would be an ardent task to find the origins of each, but I think it is fair to say that they are all inspired by God’s Spirit of Love; by Love for Love, for love of souls and love of us. One such inspiration was given to the Servant of God Sr. Maria Consolata Betrone (1903-1946, Italy) after reading St. Therese of Lisieux’s Story of a Soul. Consolata herself was granted mystical experiences, but she is particularly remembered for her “very small way” which can be summed up in the following three points which are the nucleus of Our Lord’s instructions to her:
In Christian mysticism a victim soul is by no doubt the highest state one could aspire to. In a certain sense, one could say it was both a compendium of all vocations, and a crown upon them all. But we must understand the meaning of victim. A victim soul is a person who offers himself willingly, and even if he is to suffer, he does not offer himself to suffering itself, but to the Man of sorrows, out of love, to share in His passion of love. Yes, he is a person who sacrifices himself, but in the sense given by the Old Covenant: that is, to offer a sacred gift to God.
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