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Friday, June 8, 2018

Terror Inflicted on the People in the First Days of Medjugorje

This is an amazing eye-witness account of the terror the Communist soldiers inflicted on the people in the early days of Medjugorje, including an account of watching Fr. Jozo's arrest... Read how the Holy Spirit inspired a visiting priest to offer Mass defying the armed militia... It is taken from the June 2018 newsletter at:



http://www.spiritofmedjugorje.org
Fr. Stanko Dodig's Story
By Louise Lotze
On my last pilgrimage to Medjugorje, I purchased the book, Medjugorje, Our Lady's Apostles, Vicka's Testimony, ©2016 by Mario Vasilj. Mr. Vasilj interviewed Vicka, her mother Zlata, and her brother Franjo, as well as Fr. Stanko Dodig. The interviews were focused on the early days of the apparitions. I was impressed and in awe of Fr. Stanko's story. 
Fr. Stanko was born in Medjugorje in 1949. He was ordained a Franciscan priest on June 26, 1977. Currently he resides in Dubrovnik, after having spent 32 years in Rijeka. 
When Fr. Stanko first heard about the apparitions, in June of 1981, he was, of course, surprised and thought perhaps it was a fabrication by the Communists to discredit the Church. He heard about the apparitions from relatives, various publications, and mass media – the latter, of course, in negative context. At first he was in shock and disbelief. But believing that for God everything is possible, he told himself to study all the information, to be open-minded and to have an open heart. His conclusion was – if it is God's work, it shall definitely survive, and if it is human or Satan's work – it shall stop by itself and disappear. He states that the fruits of Medjugorje are evident, and they tell us that Heaven is involved in what is going on. However, the fruits do not guarantee with certainty that Heaven is coming down to earth. 
It was merely four days after the first apparition that Fr. Stanko came to Medjugorje. He wanted to find out firsthand what was going on in his birth parish. He talked to the visionaries as well as others who participated in some way in the events. Based on his inquiries, he returned to Rijeka to inform his fellow brothers, other priests, as well as interested lay people of the events in Medjugorje. 
On the occasion of his next arrival, during his vacation, on August 17, 1981, Fr. Stanko was with his mother in the morning in the field to pick tobacco and string it up in the shade for the day. This time was during the most violent and brutal repression of the visionaries and believers. As people were passing by, and above their house, they heard voices and crying, and even roars. Father told his mother he was going to see what was going on. The people said that the militia had placed guards around the church and kept them from coming close to the church. They were also convincing people that the apparitions were fabricated and that there would be no evening program anymore in the church. Strong militia forces, armed with automatic weapons and accompanied by trained dogs, surrounded the parish house and church. Father did not see any helicopters, but he found out later that the militia and dogs had been dropped off from helicopters in front of the church, which intimidated the people.
What Fr. Stanko did then, he stated, was definitely God's grace. Something pushed him to come closer to the church to see what was going on. Since he knew there were tobacco fields near the church, he decided to pretend he was picking tobacco. He had brought a "duhanjara" (a linen dress for picking the tobacco) in case the militia would stop and question him. He had to squat down several times, and even lie down, so he would avoid being noticed. Luckily, he found a place which gave him a good view of the whole complex. He noticed a female in militia clothes in a house of nuns. Later he learned that she had strip-searched them. Fr. Stanko also witnessed the arrest of Fr. Jozo Zovko. He saw some kind of turmoil at the stairways in front of the parish office. Fr Jozo was wearing his habit and his hands were tied up on his back. Fr. Stanko saw two local people taking Fr. Jozo. One of those informers even kicked his bottom and Fr. Jozo began to stagger and almost fell over the stairs. They pushed him into the paddy wagon and drove him away, probably to the militia station in Citluk. Then inspectors wanted to come into the parish office in order to search the books and other documents. Fr. Zrinko, who was still there, lay down at the doorstep and said, "Only over my dead body!" 
At that time, the church bells sounded. Fr. Stanko found out later who had rung the bells (Fr. Jozo Jolic) and how he had shouted in front of the open window at the house of nuns, "The key?" Then somebody threw the key outside. He immediately unlocked the door of the bell tower and pulled the rope several times to ring the bells. Some people had come on foot from Duvno to Medjugorje. They were kneeling at the barrier, praying and singing. About 6 P.M., a militia car came, and a gentleman stepped out. When the barrier was removed, the people crowded from all sides and soon came in front of the church. After hearing the bells, the other townspeople of Medjugorje hurried to the church. The door was hammered shut, but the men easily broke the boards and set the door free. Women embraced the statue of Our Lady inside the church by loud imploring in prayer. 
In those moments, Fr. Stanko said some strong hand which he could not resist was leading him. He felt a huge peace, but with a bit of fear at the beginning. He said he received some additional strength, which enabled him to move. He strongly believes that he was led at that moment by the hand of the Queen of Peace and Her Son. 
As Fr. Stanko was crawling towards the sacristy door, he was praying for it to be unlocked. He was thrilled because when he grabbed the door handle, it was indeed unlocked. This made him realize that it was God's work and it gave him the shivers. After entering, he removed the "duhanjara", locked the door, and rolled a wardrobe against the door so the militia could not break in. He then faced a dilemma – how to turn on the lights and loudspeakers, since he was not familiar with the room and its technical equipment. He was pushing all the switches with a shaky hand and testing the loudspeaker, which he found functioning. After washing his hands and face, he dressed for Holy Mass and prepared the wine, water and readings for the Mass. While he was dressing for Mass, he looked through the sacristy window and could see the confusion of the militia and that they were making gestures to one another. Kneeling down, he prayed, "Jesus and Mary, I implore you to show now if this is truly Your work that has been going on! The enemies of Your Church, Christ, have joined their forces against Mary and all of us who believe in You. Now it is the opportunity to break them their wings. And that is why I go to the altar in the name of You and in the name of the Queen of Peace." 
The people did not notice Fr. Stanko until he came to the altar and crossed himself. All heads suddenly turned to the altar. He could hear the words of blessings: "Our Lady, thank you! Jesus, praise be with You for sending this priest!" Fr. Stanko remarked that this moment was impressed on his memory and it shall stay there until the end of his life. 
Fr. Stanko related that he had butterflies in his stomach and was under great pressure. All this time he was concerned about the conditions outside. In front of the church the militia stood with automatic weapons and ferocious dogs. There was a possibility of their breaking in at any moment. He said he was not so afraid for himself, but for the people. 
Fr. Stanko said in this interview that he could not remember his sermon that day, but that he began by saying something like this: "Dear believers, you thought that you would make a short vow, come to kneel down before Jesus and Our Lady and to come back [to] your homes. However, it shall not be the case. Heaven wants the Holy Mass to be celebrated here and now." The militia had told the people that the Bishop of Mostar had forbidden the evening program and the celebration of Mass. Father Stanko told the people that this was not true. "We have nothing to be afraid of." 
Towards the end of his interview, Fr. Stanko spoke about the fruits of Medjugorje and that he is happy for Medjugorje to have become a "world chapel" and a "world confessional" where people come and in which they convert and sincerely repent and want to be better persons and believers. He emphasized that Medjugorje is a school of love, of prayer, of kindness, and the school of motherhood. He agreed that he also is an attendant of Her school. "First of all, I am an apostle of Christ. It means, of course, that I am also the apostle of Our Lady because She is a faithful executor of God's will and She does everything what He orders Her to do. We all have to be the apostles of Christ's Gospel. We also need to be the witnesses of Our Lady's apparitions in Fatima, Lourdes and Medjugorje so that we could stimulate the world to become better." He added, "Everybody should be satisfied with what they have. Everybody should express love, kindness…We should thank God every day…and thank Our Lady for not getting tired of us. But our thanks should be expressed rather by our acts than by our words." 
Thank you, Fr. Stanko, for sharing your participation in the early days of Medjugorje with your vivid and honest eyewitness account. 
Editor's note: Louise is from Ashtabula, OH. She received permission from the author to share this story with our readers.

http://www.spiritofmedjugorje.org offers an online newsletter each month -- filled with stories, testimonies and miracles of Medjugorje. Check it out!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Does God Love the Devil?

Does God Love the Devil?
What do you think?

Vasili-Surikov -The Temptation of Christ-1872
This question was reflected on by Father Leon Pereira, OP., the Chaplain to English-Speaking Pilgrims in Medjugorje.  
A transcript of his homily and answer follows: 
Sometimes to know what we truly believe, we have to ask questions, and ask good questions! And expect an answer. And the sort of questions that children ask are usually very good. For example, children will ask things like, "Does God love the devil?" What's your answer? Anyone for yes? Anyone for no? Ok! Undecided! 
Now, does God love the devil? That is a very important question. The short answer is, yes! Of course He does. I knew someone who always used to say, "I can't reconcile the idea of a God of love with the existence of Hell." So I said to him, "Well, look, if there is no Hell, it means we are forced to go to Heaven. And if we are forced to go to Heaven against our will, then God is some kind of despot, or He is not love." Right? Because we are forced, and if we are forced it is not love. So Hell exists because God is love. 
And I will put it to you this way. The cause of all three things, Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven, is God's love. In Hell the damned are love by God, and they don't want to be loved. So they experience it as shear torture. In Purgatory, the Holy Souls are loved by God. And they see how they have held back from His love. How they have been selfish. And this pain purifies them. In Heaven the Blessed are loved by God, and they delight in being loved. And this is the cause of their Beatific State, seeing God as He is, face to face. Becoming like Him, living by His Divine Life. Ok, so all three are caused by God. 
In the Narnia Chronicles, the last book - you know those children's books by C.S. Lewis - the last book is called "The Last Battle". Near the end, there is a scene in which the heroes, the children, end up in a barn with all the bad guys. And the heroes, the children, experience the barn as all lit up beautifully, with all these wonderful silver candlesticks holding candles, and a wonderful meal set out on silver platters. And they drink fine red wine out of crystal goblets. But meanwhile, the baddies think they are in a dark barn, eating and drinking swill. And they tread on each other and they curse each other, and they hate everything and everyone including themselves. 
This is a powerful image of both Heaven and Hell, both caused by God's love. To the extent you are open to God's love and mercy, you receive it. To the extent that you are closed, you receive His justice. There is a gentleman, a friend of mine now, who was a pilgrim like you. And he said, "Father I used to struggle to believe that God loved me, but ever since you said that God loves the devil, I think I can believe it now!"
But remember God is love, God is not sentimentality. We must be open to that love. And if we are not open, then He will lovingly send us to Hell. 
What an amazing answer and reflection on the God of Love Whom we serve and worship!!! St. John expresses the essence of God as Love:
God is love. In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. (1 John 4:8)
not to be confused with sentimentality as Fr. Leon clarifies, but that He, GOD, is - in and of Himself - LOVE! 
Love Unconditional and Unchanging! 
What good news! 
God cannot not love! 
Because to not love is against His very nature.

For those of us who struggle with believing that God can really love us after all we've done and all the mistakes we've made - like the pilgrim Fr. Leon mentions in his homily - may reflecting on Fr. Leon's words help us to accept the REALITY of God's love for us!  

May we not only accept, but receive this Life-giving, Transforming Love of God! 
May we allow God's love to pour into us anew and heal our woundedness that keeps us always questioning and leery of God, and thus, separated from the union God desires to have with us.   

© Janet Moore 2018. All Rights Reserved.

We can listen to Father Leon's wit and wisdom daily, as his homilies are posted on MaryTV each day. For example, in today's homily, for 6/7/2018, he gives an incredible teaching on the Holy Mass! 
Please make sure to click the link above!  It is an excellent teaching on the greatest gift God gives to us and a glimpse into the Reality of Heaven's worship. 

Lastly, my family and I were blessed to first meet Father Leon on our pilgrimage to Medjugorje last year and then, were blessed also to host Father Leon in my diocese a few months back. So many people loved him, that we estimate 1000 people came to listen to his teaching and his testimony. 

If you can't get enough of Father Leon, you can watch and listen to the talk he gave to our diocese here:


Thank you to Cathy Nolan of Mary TV for transcribing his homily and for posting his homilies each day!

May God bless each of us and transform us by His Love!  

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Be Glad and Exult! The Lord, the Mighty Savior is in Our Midst (by Mary's Visitation)!



“Shout for joy! Sing Joyfully!
Be glad and exult with all your heart!
The Lord, a mighty savior, is in your midst;
you have no further misfortune to fear!
Fear not, be not discouraged!
He will rejoice over you with gladness and renew you in his love!”
 (cf. Zep. 3: 14-18).

On this day of the Feast of the Visitation, I am struck with God’s call for us to rejoice in His Presence – like Elizabeth did so long ago, filled with the Holy Spirit, she couldn’t help but cry out in in joy!

“Most blessed are you among women
And blessed is the fruit of your womb.
How does this happen to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”
(cf. Lk 1: 42-43).

I cry out, especially on this Feast, with these words of Elizabeth,
“How does this happen that the mother of my Lord should come to me - to us?!!!”

Each day, by a prompting of the Holy Spirit, Mary reportedly goes in haste to love and serve us by bringing us Jesus in a small town called Medjugorje – just as she went in haste to Elizabeth so many thousands of years ago!

And each day, when she arrives, she opens Heaven to us in an utterly unique and privileged way as she brings Jesus to us yet again. Her presence, her words, her call to repentance and her proclamation of the Gospel, like St. John the Baptist, whose feast she first visited on, (June 24, 1981), bring Jesus to life in the hearts of those who come to meet her and who are attuned to hear the sound of Mary’s greeting like Elizabeth. For the Spirit leads all who hear her words to leap for joy like the infant St. John did in the womb, and “to be glad and exult with all our heart” for Mary has brought “Our Savior in our midst!”

Mary, as the first disciple and apostle and the mother of Our Lord, is able to come to us in this remarkable way in and through the will of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  She said in her first message that Her Son sent her, and He reportedly continues to send her to earth each day. When she comes as St. John did, crying out like a voice in the desert, “Prepare the Way of the Lord!”

I’ll never tie of hearing the way Ivan described what it was like to meet with our Lady for the first time:

“She was floating on cloud, smiling, motioning to us…
My legs buckled, and I couldn’t go forward or backward…
In a moment, like I was floating, with no pain, I was going over rocks and bushes” --(up what is now known as Apparition Hill, a hill so covered with thorn bushes and rocks that the villagers never climbed it. Even the strongest villagers couldn’t keep up and were left far behind when the six children – the chosen seers - appeared to float and fly rapidly up the hill over the rocks and bushes).

“Mary was holding the baby Jesus in her arms,
And with her right hand, she blessed us, saying:”

“My dear children, I am with you. I am your Mother. Do not be afraid of anything. I will protect you. I will help you. I will guide you.”

“It was very difficult to calm down or come to senses…
Who are you? What is your name?”

“I am the Queen of Peace, and I have come my dear children, because my Son has sent me to help you. My dear children, peace, peace and only peace. My dear children, there must be peace. Peace must reign on this earth. My dear children, peace must reign between God and man and among people. My dear children, this world and this humanity is finding itself in a great danger and there is a threat that it will destroy itself.” 
(See and hear more of Ivan testimony here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGZZziXk9Ek)

Later that week, Mary appeared to Marija alone. Marija saw the Virgin again, in tears, near a cross with rainbow colors, saying:
"Peace, Peace, Peace! Be reconciled! Only Peace. Make your peace with God and among yourselves. For that, it is necessary to believe, to pray, to fast, and to go to confession."

Mary has continued to come every day for 37 years as of June 24!!! And each day when she comes, she longs to bring us Jesus.  It is heartbreaking that this same Jesus that she longs to bring to us is again despised, abused, neglected, disbelieved in and crucified again and again by the weight of our sins and indifference today.  A Savior so unwanted that most fail to even care or be moved by these amazing miracles and this Grand Rescue Mission that Heaven sends us daily to wake us up and save us. 
How incredibly important, powerful and never conceived of in the mind of man for something like what is taking place daily in Medjugorje to be happening - if these reported apparitions are true and there are mountains of evidence to attest to it’s truth!!! (see

So Jesus remains hidden to all, except to those who listen to Mary’s voice and let it reach their ears as Elizabeth did, saying with her:

“Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled” (Lk 1:45).

We, too, are blessed, like Mary if we believe what is spoken to us by the Lord will be fulfilled!  The Lord spoke to Mary through an Angel.  We are being spoken to by the Lord through His blessed Mother, who says to us,

“If you knew how much I loved you, you would cry with joy!”

For a mother thinks about her children day and night, even if they are not with her and will love them in a way they will never understand.  She comes to us as not our Jesus’ Mother, but ours, striving to save us from our ruin that will inevitably come if we continue to live as if God doesn’t exist.

I write this, because again and again this morning, the Spirit prompted me to write about this incredible Feast Day of the Visitation, (even though sick and exhausted from a completely sleepless night last night) - I didn’t know how I could put two words together or what I was supposed to write, but I chose to respond and as soon as I began – the words flowed through me.  All I knew when I began was that I wanted to share that on this Feast Day last year we arrived in Medjugorje. I have pondered why Mary planned for us to arrive on this blessed Feast Day; and in doing so, it has inspired, moved and humbled me that she would invite my family to visit her on this day we celebrate her visitation. I know that pondering this fact has led me to what I’ve written above, as well as to be ever more grateful for her daily physical visitation to this world – to each of us!


I pray, that perhaps through these poor ponderings, the Holy Spirit leads each of us to leap for joy, to exult at the Presence of Our Savior that Mary carries to us in our midst! I pray that her words and messages draw us to God in a deeper way, and pierce our hearts to an ever-greater response of love and action.  I pray that all of us live and ponder, ever more fully, what the Lord is speaking to us through the words of His Mother, Mary.  Again, how utterly important it must be for Jesus to send us Mary daily for 37 years – may her messages reach our ears and move us to repent and respond and to rejoice that in the fact that the Mother of Our Lord has come to us!!!!

I pray that each of us welcomes Mary into our home in a special way (perhaps, begin by doing so for these next three months?), so she and the Savior in her womb can administer to our needs and care for us in this utterly profound and unique way, so that while they are with us now - and after they stop visiting us in this extraordinary way - we can go out into the world as Mary’s Apostles - changing the little area of our world (and beyond in ways we cannot imagine!) with our Love, our Prayer, our Masses, our Repentance and Fasting, all done in and through our communion with Mary and Our Savior.  

Mary comes to fulfill Jesus’ great command to proclaim His Good News to all the earth, and when we respond to her requests, we also proclaim Christ to our world – a world in which so many are lost in nearly complete confusion and darkness.  Let us never be afraid to say yes to what God is asking of us through Mary, remembering that He is with us and He promises: “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I AM” (John 14:12).

May our recognition of this Glorious Visitation and our response to it, cause us to exult and cry out for joy, for no matter our circumstances:

“The Lord, a mighty savior, is in your midst;
you have no further misfortune to fear!
Fear not, be not discouraged!
He will rejoice over you with gladness and renew you in his love!”

© Janet Moore 2018. All Rights Reserved
Image 1: The Visitation by Raphael
Image 2: First Night of Our Family Pilgrimage May 31, 2017, Janet Moore 2018. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!


How thankful I am for the gift of Jesus in the Eucharist and for each of you! 
On Thanksgiving Day at Mass, the LOVE God poured out upon me in Holy Communion was so tangible and real that waves of infinite love, grace, mercy, light and life just flooded upon me again and again! The experience was so tremendous that I couldn't stop crying. I cried and cried and cried and cried. I cried in thanksgiving -- overwhelmed by how deeply God loves me and how intimately and tenderly He cares for me!!! 
I share this with you because I believe God wants to remind each of us of how deeply He loves us!!! 'God shows no partiality!' He knows and sees everything you are going through and holds you close to Himself in your every need. He is with you -- breathing life into you, into your family, into your situation, whether you can see it outwardly or not! He has a great plan for you and He is with you always, so know that you are never alone! (How much I pray for those who don't have family or friends to spend time with during the Holidays!) Know that not only God, but Mary and all the angels and saints also surround and protect you and guide you. 
Oh, Lord, open our eyes to see the power of our prayers and how you have ordained that they hold up the world through Your Grace. May we see a glimpse of Your Glory that hides so humbly before us in the Adoration Chapel, and how in each Communion and at our every invitation, You truly come to 'live and move and have your being' within us. 
How thankful we are that EVERY DAY the greatest miracle takes place on the altars of Catholic Churches throughout the world as bread and wine become 'Your Body given up for me', and 'Your Blood poured out for me'! 
No wonder the word Eucharist means Thanksgiving!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

An Amazing Thing Happened 100 Years Ago Today! But Are We Responding?


A View of the Nightly Candlelight Procession at the Shrine of Fatima, Portugal taken May 2017.

Why I Write about Fatima and Questions to Ponder for Today:

I was about 8 years old when I first heard about the events of Fatima. 
Something in me was so deeply touched that I have never been the same again. 
Since Jesus had ascended to the Father, I had never heard of anyone coming from heaven to help us!! 
I was (and still am) amazed at the thought of Jesus sending His Mother to us to be Our Mother! 
And wondered, how could this be? How amazing! 
And yet, if she came down from heaven to speak to us, it has to be really important! How can we not listen to her? 
How can we ignore her words when she has come to remind and warn us that Heaven and Hell are REAL and TRUE?!  And that people go to both places?!

In her messages, she has given us the answer to all the problems the world is wrestling with to this day -- She tells us God's plan to achieve world peace, to the end of war, to the conversion of ourselves, our friends and family, and has given us guidelines in how we are to live!!!

And yet, the answers heaven gives us are conditional. They are based on our response!
So, the million dollar question is: 
Will we respond?

But first, what exactly happened? 


An Amazing Thing Happened 100 Years Ago Today!

100 years ago today, on August 19th, 1917, in the midst of World War I, a beautiful lady from heaven appeared to three shepherd children for the fourth time in four months. She asked them to renew their sacrifices, saying:

“Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and pray for them.”

The Background:

Every month since May, “a beautiful lady from heaven” had come to the children and requested that they return on the 13th of the following month to see and speak to her. She promised she would visit them through October. 
So, why are we celebrating something today, that took place on August 19th, instead of the 13th? What happened that the seers were unable to see the Lady as she promised?

It was because the local civil administrator, Arturo Santos, kidnapped, threatened and imprisoned the three little children on the 13th of August to prevent them from seeing the Lady at their appointed meeting time. Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta were only 10, 9 and 7 respectively. Santos hated all the talk of heaven that children were inspiring; and he was determined to make the children stop lying about seeing Our Lady and to stop the great influx of people who were coming in ever greater numbers to witness these heavenly events, so he held the little seers captive from August 13-15th! (By the way, August 15th is the Feast of Mary being released from this earth and taken up to heaven by God.)

The children, however, would not recant their story: they had seen a beautiful lady from heaven and they could not deny it.  Nor would they share the secret that was revealed to them the month before -- even when threatened with death. The children were told if they didn’t reveal the secret or deny the "Lady" they would be put into a vat of boiling hot oil that was on the other side of the door. Each one went willingly through the door, rather than to deny they had seen the Lady.  (They lived because there really was no pot of boiling oil).


These littlest ones endured three days apart from their families, suffering from the anger, insults, threats and abuse of this official set against them.  They were even put in the same room with the criminals in the prison! (These same convicts eventually became so inspired by the children that they began to pray the rosary with them)!

Yet, despite all they endured during this trial, the little ones revealed their deepest pain was not being able to see the beautiful Lady and to fulfill her request to be at the appointed spot to meet her. When the 13th came and went, they were heartbroken at fear of offending the Lady by not showing up… and because they didn't know if they would ever see her again. 

While enduring this suffering, they often reminded themselves and each other: “Why should we fear? If they kill us, we’ll just go straight to heaven!” (They were given a glimpse of heaven during the first appearance of the Lady in May, in which they received the promise that they would all go to heaven).  
And they remembered their mission to offer sacrifices to save souls. So they often said, as they were making some sacrifice, the prayer our Lady taught them:

“O Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

The mission to pray and sacrifice for sinners began to fill every part of their lives, especially following what they had seen and heard during the previous apparition, which occurred on July 13th.  That day, like all the other appearances since Mary, Mary asked them to continue to “pray the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war, because only she can help you.”

Then a three-part secret was revealed to them that would only be shared in part in 1941, when Lucia revealed that the children had seen hell and all its horrors. The terrible sufferings and the images of damned souls, as well as the words that Mary spoke to them never left the children. It would drive them to make tremendous sacrifices – even unto death for the two youngest, (who died heroically from illness not long after these appearances ended).

This is what the Lady said to them after they witnessed the vision of hell. She said with great sadness:

“You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end; but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father.
“To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”

These words are so important to remember. Perhaps it is a good idea to read them again and again, until the plan of God penetrates our hearts, for amazingly, it is revealed that the salvation of many souls rests on our response. 

August 19, 1917:
After the children were released, they went back to their lives as shepherds, except for Jacinta, whose mother began to keep her at home because she feared so much for her little girl's safety. Yet, they still feared they would never see the Lady again. The children need not have worried, the Lady did come again. But, it wasn’t until the 19th of August, while Lucia and Francisco were tending to their sheep not too far from their homes, (at a property named Valinhos), that they sensed Our Lady was coming. Francisco and Jactinta's older brother, John, was with them; so they sent him home to bring back Jacinta. Our Lady waited for Jacinta to arrive before instructing them, saying:

“Go again to the Cova da Iria on the 13th and continue to say the Rosary every day.”

She also continued to promise that a great miracle would take place so that all would believe, however she added that if they had not been kidnapped the miracle would have been even greater.  She then spoke the words that began this article:

“Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and pray for them.”
My daughter praying at Valinhos in May 2017, during our 100th Anniversary Pilgrimage

These words, this TRUTH, has echoed through my being since I first heard them. 
And, I ask myself, if we truly hear these words, how can we fail to respond to them? 

I don’t always feel like praying the Rosary, but how do my feelings or experiences compare when faced with the reality that immortal souls go to hell for eternity, because there is no one to pray and sacrifice for them???

Each time I don’t feel like praying the rosary, or I’ve been so overwhelmed and busy that I haven’t been able to pray the rosary unto the wee hours of the morning, this reality comes to my mind: Souls are going to hell because there is no one to pray and sacrifice for them. 

If I take the time to ponder this, this thought expands my heart enough for me to begin to pray. 

Likewise with sufferings, when I’m inconvenienced, sick or suffering, when trials come upon me or upon my family… it has become a habit to think of the souls who can escape hell, if only I offer up this as a sacrifice for them! 

What a glorious exchange for things that we all must endure anyway! For suffering comes to all of us in different forms, but how differently can we react to them! So, I strive to offer up all I am and all I experience for love of Jesus, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for all the sins committed against the hearts of Jesus and Mary (who love us so!!!) 
This is ultimately what consecration is and what God so often asks of us through Our Mother’s repeated intercessions for us.

Each day, we have multiple opportunities to either say “yes” or “no” to God. 
If we say "yes" repeatedly to God's calls, our heart truly does expand; and thus, God is able to use us, for we are open to his inspirations and we are able to do more and more with, in and through Him. 
Likewise, each time we say “no” our heart becomes a little harder, which makes it harder to hear God's voice; until eventually, if we keep saying “no” our heart becomes so hard that it is increasingly difficult to say “yes” and go beyond ourselves – and thus, we hinder the amazing experience of allowing God "to live and move and have His Being in us!"

Yet, God, in His Most Gracious Mercy, gives us an infinite number of times to begin again, for our human frailty often fails us! 
So, it is not about perfectly responding, but never giving up in responding. 
If we continue to strive, He continually pours out His Grace and Life to help us!

During this time of such great darkness and deceit, when Satan is inviting violence and despair, I know God is calling ALL WHO WILL LISTEN TO HIM,  to live the answers He has sent to us!!!! 
Can you imagine how transformed our world would be if a countless multitude of little souls answer His Call to pray much and offer sacrifices to save others?? For He is able to:

"do infinitely more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us" Ephesians 3: 20.

Thank you for taking the time to read through to the end of this article. 
I pray that God may bless you and all your loved ones today and always! Know that I pray for all who read my words and have prayed for you for many years (that is another story to tell at a later date). 
May you accept God's gift of Mary and "Behold your Mother" as Jesus requested from the Cross; and may these words from heaven come alive for you: 
“Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and pray for them.”
Please watch for further posts on Fatima to see what happened next... the Great Miracle... Why is it so important to Pray the Rosary?... Practice 1st Saturday Devotions? and Consecrate Ourselves to God through Mary? What is the 3rd Secret of Fatima? Also, why would God send Mary to us?

© Janet Moore 2017. All Rights Reserved. 


For further Reading:
100th Anniversary Year of Fatima 
Pope Francis declared this 100th Anniversary Year of Fatima as a time of great grace. He even journeyed to Fatima himself to declare Francisco and Jacinta saints, giving a beautiful homily that began:
“[There] appeared in heaven a woman clothed with the sun”.  So the seer of Patmos tells us in the Book of Revelation (12:1), adding that she was about to give birth to a son.  Then, in the Gospel, we hear Jesus say to his disciple, “Here is your mother” (Jn 19:27).  We have a Mother!  “So beautiful a Lady”, as the seers of Fatima said to one another as they returned home on that blessed day of 13 May a hundred years ago.  That evening, Jacinta could not restrain herself and told the secret to her mother: “Today I saw Our Lady”.  They had seen the Mother of Heaven. " 
All our recent Popes have reiterated the urgency of Fatima's messages. St. John Paul II believed Our Lady of Fatima saved his life on May 13, 1981, and afterward proclaimed the message of Fatima extensively, saying:
“… the evangelical call to repentance and conversion, uttered in the Mother's message, remains ever relevant.... It is still more urgent.
 ...Mary's appeal is not for just once. Her appeal must be taken up by generation after generation, in accordance with the ever new "signs of the times". It must be unceasingly returned to. It must ever be taken up anew.”

Saturday, June 24, 2017

36 Years of Apparitions: Are We Living Our Mother's Call to Prayer and Conversion While There is Still Time?

What if Jesus has been reaching out to save us through the heart of Mary, his Mother?



What if Jesus has sent his Mother to us every day – for a period of time longer than the years He lived on earth?

What if, amazingly, God sent His Mother 36 years ago to save us; and He has never stopped sending her to us, because we so desperately need to know Him and His mother’s love for us (in this world so lost in the darkness of sin and death and acts as if God doesn’t exist)?

If this is all true, how are we to respond to these extraordinary events?
Should they mean something to us?
Should the messages that are being given impact our lives?

In Medjugorje, it is reported that Our Lady first appeared on the feast of the Birth of St. John the Baptist, June 24, 1981 – covering and uncovering the Infant Jesus in Her arms from a nearby hilltop. This hill was largely inaccessible to the people who lived in the villages nearby – especially to young mothers and their infants -- due to the thorn bushes and rocks that covered it.

It wasn’t until the following day that she spoke to the children and thus, June 25, 1981 became the official first day of apparitions.
In that visit, Mary told the children:
“I wish to be with you to convert and to reconcile the whole world."

As she called us in Fatima, could she not be calling us again through Medjugorje? Could Mary, like John the Baptist did so long ago, Mary comes as a voice calling out in the wilderness, “Prepare the Way of the Lord!”?

Pope Saint John Paul II thought so. He likened Mary’s call in Fatima to John the Baptist’s call for conversion, saying:
"Can the Mother, who . . .desires everyone's salvation, keep silence on what undermines the very basis of their salvation? No, she cannot.
So, while the message of Our Lady of Fatima is a motherly one, it is also strong and decisive. It sounds severe. It sounds like John the Baptist speaking on the banks of the Jordan. It invites to repentance. It gives a warning. It calls to prayer. It recommends the Rosary.
The message is addressed to every human being. . . The heart of the Blessed Mother . . . calls us. She not only calls us to be converted; she calls us to accept her motherly help to return to the source of redemption."

Not only did St. John Paul liken Mary’s call to John the Baptist, but he also recognized a connection between the Fatima apparitions and those of Medjugorje, and said to Bishop Paolo Hnilica in 1984:
"Medjugorje is the fulfillment and continuation of Fatima!"
He understood that Our Lady was coming in Medjugorje to continue her prophetic work in the world, to save us from war and self-destruction. 

Our Lady, herself, also spoke of continuing her work begun in Fatima in Medjugorje, in her message of August 25, 1991:
"Dear Children! Today also I invite you to prayer, now as never before when my plan has begun to be realized. Satan is strong and wants to sweep away my plans of peace and joy and make you think that my Son is not strong in His decisions. Therefore, I call all of you, dear children, to pray and fast still more firmly. I invite you to self-renunciation for nine days so that, with your help, everything that I desire to realize through the secrets I began in Fatima, may be fulfilled. I call you, dear children, to now grasp the importance of my coming and the seriousness of the situation. I want to save all souls and present them to God. Therefore, let us pray that everything I have begun be fully realized. Thank you for having responded to my call."

In light of this, let us listen to an account of the first words of Our Lady, according to one of the visionaries, Ivan:

“My dear children, I am with you. I am your Mother. Do not be afraid of anything. I will protect you. I will help you. I will guide you.”

 “I am the Queen of Peace, and I have come my dear children, because my Son has sent me to help you.  My dear children, peace, peace and only peace. My dear children, there must be peace. Peace must reign on this earth. My dear children, peace must reign between God and man and among people. My dear children, this world and this humanity is finding itself in a great danger and there is a threat that it will destroy itself.”

Ivan says, “Our Lady’s greatest desire is peace.” In order for us to have peace, she asked us to decide daily and to persist in accepting the words of Christ and the Gospel.
“To live this way we will grow in holiness!”

Ivan continues:
“We are enrolled in school of peace, love and prayer. I wish to be a good student. I wish to complete the homework assignment on a daily basis.

What are the most important things is our Mother calling us to?
There are 8 Messages she is inviting us to live:
Peace
Conversion
Returning to God
Prayer of the Heart
Penance and Fasting
Strong Faith
Love
Forgiveness
Eucharist
Confession
Hope

Our Lady is leading us through these messages.
She speaks of them simply so we can better understand and live them.

How necessary peace is to today’s tired world… tired families… tired young people… tired Church.
“My dear children, you are the Church. You are my lungs of the Church. You are my living Church. If you are strong, then the Church will be strong.  If you are weak, then the Church will be weak. There is no living Church without living families.”

That is why every living family must be a living Church – a family where prayer happens and the sacramental life is being lived out. We have to bring prayer back in our families.
That is why Our Mother is coming to us…She points out what is not good and leads us on the path to good. She wishes to encourage us, and comfort us – she wishes to offer us a divine cure for us and for all our pain. She wishes to heal our wounds, to bind our wounds with such great love and motherly tenderness --to lead us to her Son.

“My dear children, today more than ever before, the world and humanity is going through its greatest crisis. The greatest crisis is when you are distant from God, you become distant from prayer. My dear children this world and its humanity have wished to go into the future without God. They wish to go alone. But know my dear children, this world is not able to offer you peace. The peace that this world is able to offer you will soon disappoint you, because peace is of God and is of Him alone.”

Peace comes only if there is living faith and prayer.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGZZziXk9Ek

How can we summarize 36 years of supernatural experiences and events? It seems impossible.

But, perhaps, it is as simple as saying that Mary comes to us as our Mother, again and again, tirelessly, as only a Mother can -- in order to call us to conversion "for the last time" (as she said once in her messages).  

This constant theme of the urgent need to convert is evidenced in our Mother’s most recent messages:

"Dear children! The Most High has permitted me to call you anew to conversion. Little children, open your hearts to the grace to which you are all called. Be witnesses of peace and love in this peaceless world. Your life here on earth is passing. Pray that through prayer you may yearn for Heaven and the things of Heaven and your hearts will see everything differently. You are not alone; I am with you and intercede before my Son Jesus for you. Thank you for having responded to my call." May 25, 1017

She even said in her latest message that we must "be ready. This time is a turning point":
“Dear children, as in the other places where I have come to you, also here I am calling you to prayer. Pray for those who do not know my Son, for those who have not come to know the love of God, against sin, for the consecrated – for those whom my Son called to have love and the spirit of strength for you, for the Church.
Pray to my Son, and the love which you experience from His nearness will give you the strength to make you ready for the works of love which you will do in His name. My children, be ready. This time is a turning point. That is why I am calling you anew to faith and hope.
I am showing you the way by which you need to go, and those are the words of the Gospel. Apostles of my love, the world is in such need of your arms raised towards Heaven, towards my Son, towards the Heavenly Father. Much humility and purity of heart are needed.
Have trust in my Son and know that you can always be better. My motherly heart desires for you, apostles of my love, to be little lights of the world, to illuminate there where darkness wants to begin to reign, to show the true way by your prayer and love, to save souls. I am with you. Thank you.” June 2, 2017

Why would Mary come to us daily for nearly 40 years?

Is it because Our Lady wants to save all souls and present them to God?
This task has been given her by the Father.

And why does she comes daily, asking us again and again to pray, to confess, to go to Mass and adore, to forgive, to read Scripture, to fast...?  
Could it be that she needs us to pray, to fast, to sacrifice and to believe as she needed the three shepherds of Fatima before us -- in order to save so many souls that are falling into hell, because there is no one to fast and pray for them?

Could it be that this is an extraordinary time of grace and a gift from God, Who loves us beyond our capacity to understand and Who will do anything to save us? 

If so, are we living Our Mother's messages of repentance, fasting and prayer in this time of grace, while there is still time?

Points to Consider regarding Pope Francis’ Comments on Medjugorje by Dr. Mark Miravalle:

The Ruini Report : Church Approval of First Apparitions in Medjugorje: http://www.medjugorje.org/wordpress/archives/178

The Papal Envoy, Archbishop’s Hoser’s, remarks on Medjugorje: http://www.medjugorje.org/wordpress/archives/169