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Echo of Mary Queen of Peace 210 (May-June 2010)

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Message of the 25
of March 2010:
“Dear children! Also today I desire to
call you all to be strong in prayer and in the
moments when trials attack you. Live your
Christian vocation in joy and humility and
witness to everyone. I am with you and I
carry you all before my Son Jesus, and He
will be your strength and support. Thank
you for having responded to my call.”
Jesus will be your
strength and support
Man cannot do without God. The
temptation of the divider is still snaking
around Creation and it continues to allure,
trick and seduce humanity. The age-old dream
of being able to live without God not only
fails to solve man’s existential problems but,
unhinging the order of creation, sows seeds
of death rather than life in it. From a cosmic
point of view, as from an individual point of
view, doing without God does not help to
solve the great problems of existence and all
progress in the fi eld of science re-proposes
two roads for humanity: that of life and that
of death (cfr Dt 30, 15-20). The freedom of
choice between good and evil conquered
by Adam and Eve exalts and, at the same
time, depresses man; without the continuous
intervention of God, human history would
have been over millennia ago. But God does
not abandon man, he brings forth his great
plan of love and, in the fullness of times, he
reconciles it to himself in a communion that
is much deeper than that offered in Eden.
The coming of Christ into the world not
only marks a new alliance between God and
man, it makes man a new temple of God on
earth. Now man knows that God can live
in him! What better nearness between the
creature and the Creator in Eden! Now man
is not only the image of God but, if you wish,
he can be a son in His Son Jesus! Whatever
about the Darwinian evolution! With the
Incarnation, evolution in Christ is opened
up and offered to man! For the wages of sin
is death; but the gift of God is eternal life
in Jesus Christ, our Lord (Rm 6, 23). Man
is called to a diffi cult but divine road: the
road already taken by Christ that requires
free acceptance of God’s will (abandonment
to Him), renounces Satan and his promises
(which are false and deceptive), also requires
a decision for God (decide for God, Mary has
said to us many times).
It is the way of the Cross but it is the Way
that allows Christ to be present in our lives, to
give fulfi lment to that which, of his torment,
is missing in our fl esh (cfr Col 1, 24). Today
I desire to call you to be strong in prayer
and in moments when trials attack you.
Are we afraid? Let us take refuge in Mary,
in Her the Tempter cannot reach us. I am
with you and I bring you all before my son
Jesus and for you He will be strength and
support. The trials of life are often hard and
unsustainable without the help of the Lord;
but He is there, always ready to carry our
cross, to take it up with us and in place of us;
let us draw strength and support from Him
to take up our cross and follow Him (cf Mt
16, 24-26). Live your Christian vocation in
joy and humility and witness to everyone.
The Christian vocation is nothing other than
the divine call to follow Jesus Christ. It is not
a call to pain that destroys, but to suffering in
joy, to pain that gives birth to Love, because
Jesus is in us, Mary is beside us, the Angels
and Saints are there for us and we will feel all
of this, experience it and bear witness to it so
that the Cross might appear in its true light.
With Mary we stand before Jesus, to draw
from Him the antidote to the poison of the
ancient serpent. We stand with the humility
necessary to allow ourselves to be penetrated
by the saving Mystery of his death, to allow
ourselves to be fl ooded with his consolation
that generates joy, true joy, not fl eeting joy,
that God assures those who are humble of
Nuccio Quattrocchi
“The very thought of Christ to penetrate
and move our decisions, promote our
actions and grant us the wisdom in all
things, in every event and moment of our
lives. The result will be peaceful existence
in the deep, reconciled, free ...”
Message, 25
April 2010
“Dear children! At this time, when in
a special way you are praying and seeking
my intercession, I call you, little children,
to pray so that through your prayers I
can help you to have all the more hearts
be opened to my messages. Pray for my
intentions. I am with you and I intercede
before my Son for each of you. Thank you
for having responded to my call.”
Pray for my intentions
This message from Mary is a clear sign
of her pleasure in the prayers addressed to
Her from the whole Catholic world during the
month of May which is about to begin and She
immediately establishes its objective: pray so
that through your prayers I can help you
to have all the more hearts be opened to
my messages. The message is entirely in this
invitation and this underlines the importance
and the urgency in our opening up to the
messages that She gives us in Medjugorje.
Her prolonged presence, Her insistence
on the need to return to God, to convert, to
abandon ourselves to Him, to pray, to fast…
are unmistakable signs of a decisive call to all
of us. Is the number of those called who have
opened themselves up to her messages not
yet complete?
This message from Mary is an explicit,
vibrant, urgent call to close ranks around Her
during this month of May that is traditionally
dedicated to Her and to pray the Rosary. It is
a call that does not linger in any particular
explanations: Pray for my intentions. All
of us who say we are Catholic know Her
intentions well; those of us who believe in Her
messages, like those among us who express
their perplexity or deny all authenticity, all of
us know well what Her intentions are. From
the time of the calling to divine Maternity,
She always said yes to God’s will; this was
how things were in Her hidden life, which
was humble but careful, in which She never
tried to move away from what was happening
to Her but she kept all these things in her
heart (Lk 2, 19.51b). This is how things were
throughout Her Son’s life, up to the supreme
moment of His Passion and Death, when at
the foot of the Cross, She silently welcomes
Her Father’s will and offers Herself, with
Jesus, to it.
We know all of this well and we know
that we are Her children, She is our Mother
since Jesus entrusts Her as such to the Apostle
whom He loved (John 19, 27). Her intentions
have always been to do the Father’s will and
honour the will of the Son who gave Her to
us as a Mother. She is called to intercede
for the salvation of the world and faithfully,
incessantly, tirelessly, She works for this: I
am with you and I intercede before my Son
for each one of you.
May-June 2010 - Year 26 # 5-6 - Echo of Mary, Via Cremona, 28 - 46100 Mantova - Italy. - A translation of the original Italian: Eco di Maria
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Her Fiat, Her Yes to the Father cannot be
confi ned to this or that episode in Her life:
it resounds yesterday, today and always;
it is written in Eternity because it is hidden
in God and housed in Him! And as for us?
Saint Louis Marie de Montfort invites us to
enter into this mystery of love, calling us to a
devotion to Her that might be interior, tender,
holy, constant, disinterested (Treatise on true
devotion to Mary, thesis 106-110). Let us try
not to be so foolish as to fail to recognise the
time of Her presence among us, this special
time of grace, and let us take care so as not
to allow ourselves to be taken unawares on
the day of the glorious return of Christ. Little
does it matter whether or not we are still in
this mortal body when He comes; will the
quality of our awaiting of His return have no
bearing on God’s judgement?
Come, Lord Jesus, hasten to help us! Come
through the powerful intercession of Mary,
Your Mother and ours!
Popular devotions:
pathways to Heaven
In 1346, Saint Brigit of Sweden received a
revelation from the Lord of the orations to be
recited every day for twelve years, with which
special promises were associated. But is it
really suffi cient to recite certain formulae every
day in order to obtain the graces promised by
God? Can the Lord use the human measure
of I will give you something if you give me
something? From this point of view, such
forms of devotion conceal the great danger
of fl attening people’s personal relationship
with God to a mere formalism: the spirit is
suffocated by pre-packaged words.
Must we therefore disregard these prayers,
which the Lord so concernedly taught us
through the mystics and saints of all times?
Let everyone make their own assessments
according to their conscience. However,
we need to understand a pedagogical value
associated with these vocal prayers: fi rst of
all, they enable us to understand that it is
impossible to grow spiritually if we fail to fi nd
time to dedicate to God every day.
It is a journey. And the arrival point is an
intimate dialogue with God, knowing how
to savour His presence, a proximity that no
longer needs words; and so the formulae are
like the greetings to start a conversation, when
we have just re-encountered a friend and we
still do not know what to ask him or tell him,
even if we feel that we would like to spend
whole hours with him. It is a journey….
In the ECHO of Mary Queen of Peace, the
bulletin that I have been distributing now for
years to various communities near to me, in
some captions I read testimonies of those who
have visited far-away lands and who bring back
their own sensations and experiences of such
moments. And so, I recently returned from
a month of volunteer work associated with
a working project carried out in the Central
African Republic, and precisely a Catholic
Mission in the outskirts of Bangui which is its
capital. I can affi rm that this nation is one of
Africa’s poorest, due to a lack of means and
development plans, and given its geographical
position (the fact that it doesn’t have any areas
overlooking the sea), it fi ghts its struggle every
day not only to live but often just to survive.
There are no health prevention measures;
mortality is high given the unfortunately
well-known AIDS virus. The State does not
intervene, where there are schools they are
fee-paying ones and so illiteracy is rampant: it
would seem as though this is a land burdened
with the perennial fate of being “third world”.
And yet the people who live there have a desire
to learn, to relate to others: good sense exists
within these people! Like the Christian faith,
which is rooted in part of the territory thanks
to the work of the Missionary Fathers above
all, such as the “Apostles of Jesus Crucifi ed”
associated with Padre Pio, for whom I worked
during my experience in Africa. A signifi cant
contribution to this is made by the Comboni
Sisters, whom I met and who exercise their
Christian Mission in the villages within the
forests, but with extreme diffi culties.
I believe that it is time to really come to
realise what is happening in these parts of the
world, where there is no prevention, hospitals
are few and far between and people are being
protected less and less; where governments
exist only on paper and do little or nothing for
their inhabitants; where corruption, inertia and
ignorance reign. We should all recall that all
people, even if they are coloured or of different
races, have the same feelings as us. If I have
a headache I know what I must do to relieve
the pain; many people
on the other hand,
cannot fi nd aspirin,
or they cannot afford
it! Direct contact
with certain poverties
in the world, has
aroused a new sense
of appreciation in me
for everyone’s life, as
the Gospel says.
Dino Forte
In the year dedicated
to the Priesthood
Mary as the Mother
of all priests
In the context of the Year of Priests, I would
like to talk about the link between Our Lady
and the priesthood. It is a link that is deeply
rooted in the mystery of the Incarnation. When
God decided to become man in His Son, He
needed the free “yes” of one of His creatures.
God does not act against our freedom. And
something truly extraordinary happens: God
becomes dependent on freedom, on the “yes”
of one of His creatures; He awaits this “yes”.
In one of his homilies, Saint Bernard of
Chiaravalle explained this decisive moment
in universal history in a dramatic way, where
the Heavens, the Earth and God Himself await
what this creature says.
Mary’s “yes” is therefore the doorway
through which God was able to enter the
world, to become man. And so Mary is
truly and deeply involved in the mystery of
the Incarnation, of our salvation. And the
Incarnation, the fact that the Son became
man, was aimed at the gift of oneself from the
beginning, the giving of oneself with much
love in the Cross, to become bread for the life
of the world. And so sacrifi ce, the priesthood
and Incarnation go together and Mary lies
at the centre of this mystery.
Let us now go to the Cross. Before He
died, Jesus saw His Mother beneath the Cross;
and He saw the chosen son and this chosen
son is certainly a person, a very important
individual, but more: he is an example, a pre-
representation of all the disciples who were
loved, of all the people called by the Lord to
be a “beloved disciple”, and as such, priests
in particular. Jesus entrusts His Mother to the
care of the disciple. But He also says to the
disciple: “This is your mother” (John 19, 27).
The Gospel tells us that from that moment,
Saint John, the chosen son, took the mother
Mary “into his home”. This is the Italian
translation; but the Greek text is much deeper,
much richer. We could translate it as follows:
He took Mary into the intimacy of His life,
of His being, into the depths of His being. To
take Mary with ourselves, means to introduce
Her into the dynamism of the whole of our
own existence – it is not an exterior thing –
and in everything it constitutes the horizon of
our apostolate.
The second Vatican Council invites
priests to look to Mary as a perfect model
of their existence, invoking Her as “Mother
of the supreme and eternal Priest, Queen of
the Apostles, Aid of the presbyters in their
ministry”. The Holy Curate of Ars, whom we
call to mind in a special way this year, liked
to say: “After having given us everything that
He could possibly give us, Jesus Christ wants
to make us heirs of what is most precious to
Him, that is, His Holy Mother”. This is valid
for every Christian, for all of us, but for priests
in a special way. Let us pray that Mary might
make all priests, in all the problems of the
world of today, conformant to the image of
Her Son Jesus, dispensators of the inestimable
treasure of His love as the Good Shepherd.
(from the General Audience of the 12
August 2009)
“The teaching that the priest is called to offer, the truths of the faith, must be interiorised
and experienced in an intense personal spiritual journey. On occasion the priest’s voice
seems to be the “voice of someone who cries out in the desert” but in this lies its prophetic
strength: in the fact that it is never homologated, or it never can be homologated to any
culture or dominant mentality, but in the fact that it shows the unique newness that is
capable of implementing a deep and authentic renewal in man, that is, that Christ is Living,
He is the God who is near, the God who works in the life and through the life of the world,
and who gives us truth, a lifestyle”.
“Nobody can choose the priesthood on their own, nor is it a manner in which to attain a
form of security in life, or to conquer a position in society: nobody can give it to themselves,
or seek it out themselves. The priesthood is the answer to the Lord’s calling, to His will, to
become the announcers of what is not a personal truth but His truth”.
Benedict XVI (extract from his homily)
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Echo 210
That man
of the Shroud
There’s a queue to get in. It’s long but
orderly and as you approach the entrance it’s
more recollected and silent, because of the
solemnity of the moment. You look a few
metres into the distance to see the shroud that
Jesus was wrapped in after his death and that
among the millenary linen fi bres of the fabric,
houses the features of his body, the marks of
his passion, the chronicle of his crucifi xion.
Ten years from the last exhibition (during
the Jubilee year of 2000) the Sacred Shroud,
Christianity’s most important relic, is once
again being exposed to the public (Turin
April – 23
May). An incredible number
of pilgrims from all parts of the world are
fl ocking to see with their own eyes, that man
who miraculously left his traces on a piece
of canvas, a perfect photograph – in negative
– impressed in a manner that still remains a
mystery today. The God born of woman has
precise features that can be looked at to meet
our need to visualise the Mystery without
using our imagination, which may risk
moving us away from the truth.
Jesus has a
face, Jesus has a
body and we can
contemplate them.
This is a grace for
which we can only
be grateful. It strikes
us to our very depths
to see how much
the body of the
Lamb was tortured
in reality: there are
marks from the whip
everywhere; not
even a centimetre
of skin was saved. A
veritable slaughter.
The extent of the pain
that Christ endured
without saying a
word is told by the
rivulets of blood that
descend from the
points in which the
nails and the thorns
pitilessly pierced
the innocence of
His fl esh; the same
that He had received
from Mary, His
Immaculate Mother. The Crucifi x is not
only a story; the Shroud gives Him to us and
makes Him contemporary…
But there is more besides the Passion on
that white canvas (which unfortunately was
burnt and stained by an ancient fi re). There
is the Easter of the Risen One, that incredible
energy of life that unleashed itself from the
inertial body of Jesus and projected itself
onto the canvas, remaining there, forever.
Power of life, power of light, striking power
of resurrection (according to certain studies
that have just been published, a fl ash of light
lit up an image on the fabric that science
is still unable not only to reproduce but to
It remains within you when you leave, a
living presence that follows you everywhere
and reminds you that Jesus is Living, now
like He was then and He asks you to live with
Him every instant, so that the refl ection of
His face might be recognisable on ours; so
that like the Shroud, we too can be evidence
of the Truth: visible images of that man, dead
and risen so that it might always be Easter for
Stefania Consoli
Who are you for me?”
“For me, seeing the Shroud is like
meeting Jesus at the moment he met Mary of
Magdalene, on the morning of Easter, in the
garden, knowing well that “it is the Lord”
and not another (…).
In the Shroud we contemplate the fact
that “the Author of life” (Acts 3, 15) became
a man; the fact that the “Word
of life” (1 John 1,1) became our
fl esh; the fact that the life of
each man will not be abandoned
to hell. We are now witnesses
to what happened without any
witnesses in the little house in
Nazareth, to what happened
without any witnesses in the
tomb of Jerusalem, because the
body of the Shroud is the body
conceived in Mary in Nazareth,
it is the body born of her in
Bethlehem, it is the body risen
from the dead in Jerusalem
While our intellect has an
intuition that the mystery of
the Shroud undoubtedly harps
back to the mystery of Christ
himself, on the one hand we
are fascinated by it, as proof
that the Shroud has the power
to touch the deepest chords of
the human person, on the other
hand we do not dare to do the
only thing that would transform
the stupor of the mind into the
joy of an authentic meeting
with the risen and living Lord,
that is, to answer in all truth and freedom to
the real underlying question: “who are you
for me?”
Father Angelo Favero
“We must obey God rather than men!
The God of our fathers raised Jesus from
the dead—whom you had killed by hanging
him on a tree. God exalted him to his own
right hand as Prince and Saviour that he
might give repentance and forgiveness of
sins to Israel. We are witnesses of these
things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom
God has given to those who obey him.”
(Acts of the Apostles 5,29)
“A silent, imperceptible and hidden
unction gives us a taste of God’s life in the
intimacy of our spirit. This is the Pentecost
that prepares us to burst forth like a bud in
Spring from the seed of the resurrection
planted in us at Easter, the seed of new
life, the seed of freedom. A great sound
characterised the fi rst Pentecost. Silence
accompanies the perennial Pentecost that
beats time on the gradual opening of the
souls who continuously give themselves
to God’s touch”.
Tania Motta
to be tomorrow
“The Christian of tomorrow will be a
mystic, a man who has experienced something,
or he will not be at all”, said the great German
theologian Karl Rahner. Has Medjugorje not
perhaps become a school of mysticism for
the Church and for the whole of humanity in
the plans of the Heavens? The urgency of this
question emerges in Medjugorje after every
serious encounter with young people who
have rediscovered “the centre of their lives”.
In our time we often abuse mysticism. All
sorts of aberrant anomalies of the human spirit
become packaged and put onto the market
with the name of “mystic”. People struggle
to fi nd a fi eld in which mysticism does not
fi nd a space of its own. It is now considered
to be a super-religion, the last and the most
essential. In essence, there are mystics of all
Experience the Mystery
In the discourse on mysticism associated
with the Medjugorje event, it is important to
consider the measuring metre of Christian
mysticism. Mysticism may be considered
as an “experience of God in the intimacy
of our being”. It is a relationship of “union”
with God, it is an experience full of mystery
with God. Mysticism is the meeting with
he in whom we believe. True mysticism is
centred on love.
Love, experienced love, is the objective
of the main messages of Medjugorje. What’s
more, Christian mysticism has a particularity
that is worth noticing, it is radically open.
God is only experienced in a radical opening.
An essential condition for belonging to the
Medjugorje prayer group (guided by the
Virgin through the Messages to Jelena ed.)
is total abandonment, total opening to God.
Mysticism does not mean peacefulness. We
always refer to a journey in Medjugorje.
Medjugorje is not an arrival point, but it
remains a calling, a solicitation, a constant
recommencement, a continuous trusting
questioning of the degree of our willingness
as regards God’s action in the soul (…).
A full-sighted person amidst the blind
The mystic is like a full-sighted person
amidst the blind; he experiences the true
reality. On the contrary, the non-mystic is
like a fi sh in an aquarium. The limited basin
of water constitutes his world. He is happy
to remain there as long as he doesn’t know
any better world. He doesn’t know that there
are lakes, seas, oceans, vast continents, an
infi nite variety of creatures…Through the
glass of his tank he catches a glimpse of the
shadow of human beings, he frighteningly
withdraws from them because he doesn’t
understand their nature, he is unaware of the
existence of more developed forms of life, he
is incapable of understanding.
And so the mystical and non-mystical are
set against each other. One of them is well
aware of such a difference, the other is not and
he perseveres satisfi ed and full in his artifi cial
isolation. The mystic however harbours the
hope that even the non-mystical “fi sh” will
one day obtain the grace to overcome the sides
of the aquarium to conquer the indescribable
and unlimited wealth of the other world, to
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Lest there should be any misconception
about the place of devotion to Mary in
Catholic piety, we honor in a special way the
Immaculate Heart of the Mother of Jesus, i.e.,
the person of Mary in her eminent sanctity
and glorifi cation by God, because it is the
wish of her Son - as Our Lady revealed in
her second apparition at Fatima. Jesus knows
well that true devotion to His Mother leads
souls to Him. As Pope Paul VI wrote in his
encyclical celebrating the centenary of the
apparitions at Lourdes: “Everything in Mary
leads us toward her Son, our only Savior,
by whose foreseen merits she was preserved
immaculate and full of grace; everything in
Mary lifts up our hearts to the praise of the
Holy Trinità.” And as Our Lady assured
Lucy, June 13, 1917: “I will never abandon
you, my child. My Immaculate Heart will be
your refuge and the way that will lead you to
The Church sees Mary, then, not as the
goal, but as the guide, who always leads souls
who honor her with true devotion - to her Son,
especially to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
When we pray to the Immaculate Heart of
Mary for help in time of need, she in turn
points to the Tabernacle, to Him who is “the
Way, the Truth, and the Life” and has a way of
conveying to us what she said to the steward
at Cana: “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn.2:5).
From Mary we learn that we must be
open to the news to welcome the unction
of the Spirit. We cannot ask the Spirit to
renew us, to guide us, to anoint our whole
being with his love yet at the same time
remain closed to his impulses that push
us towards newness. This point is very
important in order to live a spiritual life
that is not conformant with the mentality
of this century, but is transformed by
modelling our thought to that of Christ
(Cfr. Rm 12,12).
We are reborn from
by Antonio Gacioppo
Nicodemus was a Pharisee of Jesus’ era. A
cultured man who was nevertheless capable
of humility because he was willing to seek, in
the night of his uncertainties, the truth from
he whom everyone said was a Master who
had come from God. A series of questions,
perplexities in the attempt to understand…
“You must be reborn from above!” Jesus
answers him fi rmly (John 3, 7).
But what is the meaning of this invitation
that is also valid for us today? What must
we really do? In these words it is like we
are listening to an incessant appeal that Our
Lady repeats to each of us in Medjugorje:
“Dear children…I invite you all to convert”.
Without this conversion, which is a veritable
rebirth from above, it is diffi cult to understand
the times in which we are living.
The Lord Jesus gave us the possibility
of being reborn from above through his
Mother. It is She who immerses us in the love
of the Father and the Son to regenerate us in our
dignity as children of God. Forgiveness and
peace are the fi rst fruits that are experienced.
The entire passage from the Gospel that
we have just quoted (John 3, 1-21) offers
important cues that may help us to pay more
attention to what the Mother is “opening and
generating” through her children who give
themselves to Her unconditionally: “I tell you
the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God
unless he is born again” (John 3, 3).
The departure point for every rebirth is
dying to ourselves to be generated by the Holy
Spirit. Usually those who reach Medjugorje
arrive with the weight of their cross or trials,
and unfailingly the Mother ensures that her
presence and her consolation are felt. But it
does not stop here. The relief, the grace that
Mary gives us, are the help that allows us to
go one step further: to die to ourselves. It is
crosses that strip us, leave us naked; in this
way we are obliged to seek what is truly
essential to live and not to survive.
Meeting the Mother is meeting ourselves
in truth, but above all it is being embraced by
the maternal love of God who loves us as we
are and in that love He regenerates us, heals
us, frees us…
Medjugorje is not fl eeing the cross but
climbing onto it like the Son of God taught
us and like He himself did. Medjugorje is
accepting the cross with-in-for the love of
Jesus: to die giving everything back into the
Father’s hands and to enter into the immaculate
silence of Mary. Not just any silence, but an
immaculate silence, where every noise that
is born of the wounded I is silenced by faith,
hope and above all by love.
What is experienced is something
indescribable, it is the resurrection, because
what dies on the cross is only the corruptible
man, sin, the superfl uous, freedom from
Satan’s mortal bite! If we are open to God
in trials and we seek communion with
Him, the Holy Spirit generates us like new
creatures and gives us his life, his light, a
new comprehension of his laws and a new
be introduced into the “Mystery of love”, into
the happiness of divine life (…).
Points of reference for the world
The world of tomorrow will not listen
to the individual Christian, it will on the
contrary, address those mystics and those
Christian communities that have discovered
the pathway towards the infi nite spaces of
the experience of God. Mystics experience a
healthy and impassive relationship with the
world (…). Although he lives in the world,
a Christian does not however belong to it…
Our Lady of Medjugorje invites us towards
Medjugorje is the new exodus in this
millennium that is being born, the invitation
to open up a pathway for ourselves, to leave
misleading certainties behind to meet God
and experience him, the experience of eternal
love, so as to go forth armed with vigour
towards the “promised land” (the future)
where milk (life) and honey (the spirit) fl ow,
and where the fate of humanity is nearer to its
fulfi lment.
Alfons Sarrach
(From: The prophetic journey of Medjugorje” Ed. Ancilla)
look over the whole of creation. After all, all
of this belongs to the baptismal reality and
Mary teaches us, in her simplicity, that if we
want to be reborn from above and allow the
Holy Spirit to manifest his omnipotence, it is
essential to hand our lives over to God through
her immaculate Heart and remove everything
from us that stands in the way of the triumph
of the life of the Risen one.
There is however, another aspect to be
taken into consideration: Mary makes us be
born again in God’s plan. This forces us to
get out of all selfi shness (as the pretext to bend
God to our will), from all false interpretation
of God and it places us in the communion
of the mystical body of Christ. Without this
interior opening to the infi nite spaces of God,
we risk suffocating grace in devotionalism
and experiencing a spirituality that pours new
wine into old wineskins.
When we are touched by the grace of
God, our whole person becomes involved in
a novelty that the Spirit gradually unveils to the
soul. Like it was for Mary, it will be the same
for each of us, according to our originality.
Jesus’ discourse to Nicodemus arrives at a
point in which it is necessary to get out of
every form of mental narrowness: “You should
not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be
born again.’ The wind blows wherever it
pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot
tell where it comes from or where it is going.
So it is with everyone born of the Spirit”
(John 3,8). These are strong words that knock
the levels of immobility and passivity in a
soul or in a group. When Mary welcomed the
annunciation of the angel, she opened herself
to the news, to a generation that goes beyond
human laws. In her opening, Our Lady was
made fertile by the Spirit; every “yes” of hers
was always fresh, virginal, and open to the
mystery of God.
The invitation of the Queen of Peace –
the fact that she is in a position of listening
and of prayer to be able to understand her
coming and God’s plan in that holy place – is
always current and recalls that addressed by
Jesus to his disciples in Gethsemane “pray
that you will not fall into temptation” (Luke
22, 40). Temptations are multiple. On this
point also, the gospel mentioned above is
very clear: “Flesh gives birth to fl esh, but the
gives birth to spirit” (John 3, 6), and so
it is very important to learn to discern what
is born of the Spirit of God from what is
born from our own selves. The Most Blessed
Mary taught us that this discernment should
be carried out every day, giving everything
to the Holy Spirit and allowing his light to
illuminate our selves so as to free ourselves
from interest, from selfi shness and above all
from the fear of losing our lives.
We are in a liturgical time illuminated
by the light of Pentecost. Let us ask our
Immaculate Mother to help us to make more
space in our lives for the Spirit of the risen
Lord. She has given us simple tools, through
which we can immerse ourselves in the
powerful action of the Spirit and thus become
new creatures, but above all, Mary is present
as a Mother who forms the new priestly
people, awoken and reborn from above, for a
new Pentecost that the Father is preparing in
the silence of our souls.
background image
Reflections of light
Mary’s land
by Stefania Consoli
That grace
The news that the Vatican’s International
Commission will soon start an enquiry
into the events of Medjugorje (“in rigorous
reserve” specifi es the offi cial press release)
spread fast around the world. The fi gures
that the appointees will have to deal with
are extremely high: twenty-nine years of
apparitions, millions of pilgrims, thousands
of messages, countless conversions and who
knows how many calls to consecrated life, to
a life given, to a life risen…This is already a
fact that many take for granted; as we know,
numbers are not an opinion (and perhaps they
are what actually attracted attention!) The
quality of the grace that has transfi gured the
lives of many is actually what will really have
to be assessed, a grace that will not make do
with reawakening the faith of souls, but that
wants to bring them to the depth of God’s
life, to full communion with the Most Blessed
Trinity, to a living conscience of the fact that
they are children and so heirs
Medjugorje carries the indelible seal of
the Mother and as such, it is impressed on
her children in
a direct, im-
mediate man-
ner that is not
mediated by the
rationality that
the male gen-
der. In layman’s
terms: it does
not go through
the mind but
rather, it bursts
forth from the
free heart of a
creature that has
adhered to God
without calcu-
lation, without complex assessments, simply
saying “yes” through faith and love.
With this same immediacy in Medjugorje,
Mary informs us of that grace: a spiritual milk
that is poured into us and that nourishes us, that
makes us grow, that makes us become adults
in faith, without causing us to be burdened
with questions on how or when…It explains
only the reason why: “Dear children, you are
not conscious of how God loves you with such
a great love because He permits me to be with
you so I can instruct you…(Message 25th
March 1988).
The best way to bear witness to the
immense value of Medjugorje at this time will
not then be to carry out make-up operations to
appear in the best form, elegant and acceptable
according to human canons (perhaps sweeping
under the rug what we do not want others to
see because it is considered unpresentable),
but to live with passionate conviction that
grace where everyone is. It will be grace
itself that will communicate itself through
the invisible channels of the Spirit. Those
who wish to understand it will simply have to
welcome it, with a pure and willing soul. It
will not be diffi cult to assess its capacity.
We can live
on love
There are two reasons for which to look at
a person in the eyes. To discover something
hidden behind the veil of appearances or to
communicate something important that we
are carrying around inside us, without words.
“Jesus looked at him and loved him…” we
read above. Mark’s gospel is also the story of a
young man, but this time a man who is looking
for something and not escaping something. He
asks Jesus for indications regarding his future
and with a gaze, the Master gives him the most
The Only One
It was almost my turn to pay at the
cash desk. I was standing distractedly in
the queue when I unwillingly overheard
the conversation between two young
till operators: “Maybe I’ll come to the
wedding too, but I’m not going into the
church!”, declared the man decidedly.
His colleague was a little perplexed and
simply replied: “Why not, what harm can
it do you? …It’s only a wedding!”. “No, I
can’t go in…”, concluded the young man.
And it ended there. I paid and left.
But something continued to bother me,
I couldn’t feel at peace. In reality I don’t
tend to make do with the cultured answer
by chance. Why could that young man
“not” enter a church? What or who was
preventing him from doing so? Was it
his conscience that was accusing him of
possible sins? Was it a position against the
ecclesiastical institution? Was it the choice
of other spirits present within him that
might “react” upon coming into contact
with grace? Or was it something else that I
am unaware of?
I was continuing to ask myself this
but I couldn’t fi nd an answer. I couldn’t.
It remains in the intimacy of that young
man’s soul. I couldn’t fi nd peace however:
how can we stay “outside” while “inside”
there is the Only One who cannot wait to
meet us to give us good? The Only One
willing to cancel out all accusations that
make our sins as heavy as lead? The Only
One who put up with the disgrace of the
cross to shatter the rigid formality of the
Temple and give dignity back to the last
ones, the lowly, the rejected? The Only
One who with a simple gaze could chase
away demons who feared his dominion?
…If all of this is true, what is that young
man doing “outside” of the church?
The answer is up to him. I have only
one prayer: “Oh Lord, let that young man
realise on the footpath outside that the Only
One will reach him outside of the church,
in the iciness of his indifference, in the bite
of his fears, in the sting of his prejudice,
in the hell that oppresses him….”. “Jesus
looked at him and loved him” (Mk 10, 21).
But why is it the Only One who goes out,
while the others remain comfortably in
their armchairs? Who knows, perhaps this
is all we should ask ourselves.
or perennial
Over the years, all over the world,
thousands of pages have been written about
Medjugorje: chronicles, stories, investigations,
refl ections, some of which are very deep from
a spiritual and theological point of view. In
theory we should be an educated population,
aware of the extent of this event, so as to
be able to maturely and responsibly bear
witness to the years spent with the Queen of
Peace. We should shine forth like stars in the
dark of a confused humanity, often without
references, constructive ideals, folded back
on itself. After a journey spanning many
years, it is time to reap some rewards. If the
fruits are truly mature, then they cannot but
be convincing and prove the dedication of the
Mother of God to be right, along with those
who have offered their lives, their reputation
and much more for her…. Nevertheless, there
is always the risk that we might stop on the
surface, remain on the initial levels of the
If, after 29 years, there are still new faces
in Medjugorje, then it means that someone
has been effective in bearing witness and has
pointed out the right direction to them; and
the wonder is forever new! But let us not stop
at the enthusiasm of the fi rst hour; let us not
allow hurried and superfi cial visits make us
remain on the outskirts. The Mother of God
has come to take us and lead us along a long
road of conversion, healing, sanctifi cation; a
road that has many stages, routes of all kinds:
steep, fl at, slippery…but we must persevere to
the end, especially when we come up against
We need to be convinced, we need to
have faith, even when what we had hoped in
seems to have crumbled and failed. We need
to remain free on the inside from any human
conclusion to be the gift ourselves that Mary
wants to offer to the Church today: people
who know how to trust God, certain that He
guides all things to perfection; people who
are voluntarily willing to leave the old and
welcome the new that the Spirit continuously
puts in front of us.
“Those who go to Medjugorje to see
something could save themselves the cost
of the trip and stay at home. But those
who go there progress on their journey
towards the truth, towards the deepening
of their own interiority, can rest assured
that God, having called them, will not
abandon them. In the evening, when the
sun sets powerfully over Medjugorje and
the sky is coloured like love above the
mountains, those who pray know that
they are very near to the threshold of
their most intimate dreams, of Eternal
Love. This is the message of Medjugorje
for this millennium and for all times”.
Alfons Sarrach
(From: The prophetic journey of Medjugorje”
Ed. Ancilla)
background image
Always trust the Lord!
I experience the day in a sort of limbo,
in the hope of fi nding what I have forgotten,
what I feel is no longer mine; the missing
thing that led me to the brink of a nervous
breakdown, that continuous sense of
emptiness, that wears you down…bit by
bit…What is it that I am looking for? What
is it that gave me the strength to react, what is
it that allowed me to breathe despite the fact
that I was completely submerged? I pack my
case, without thinking…I leave. I ask to drive.
We encounter fog, ice, wind, stormy rain…
the state of my soul is mirrored fl awlessly in
the nature of the month of January.
Medjugorje! As soon as my foot touches
the ground, a sense of peace comes up along
me as far as my mind. I am wonderstruck,
I don’t say anything. I look at the strangers
who smile at me as they welcome me into the
home where I will be accommodated. Without
even getting undressed, I fall asleep on the
bed, exhausted from the 11 hour journey.
A new day is here. The rain pours down,
its descent continues unperturbed. It gets
dark very early. We go towards the church, it
is imposing with its two bell-towers. We go
beyond it, to a square. My curiosity is aroused
by a multitude of benches. And there He rises
up imposingly, with His arms outstretched,
immediately conveying the sense of an
embrace, the Risen Christ…A strong sense of
peace assails me. I sketch a smile, shocked,
happy for a brief moment…
It’s raining and my mind is still too
obscured to really understand what is
happening in that place. We enter the church,
the mass is in Croatian. I am still there with
my thoughts that will not go away, with
my gaze lowered. When we return we have
dinner, more smiles, I force myself to smile
back but it’s still “raining”…
The next day I don’t even look out the
window…I already know. It’s raining. We go
to Mass, in Croatian again. It resounds like
a buzzing sound in my head, an incessant
mumbling. Later in the afternoon, during
a moment of simple prayer near a block of
stone where a “sacrifi cial lamb” is sculpted,
something happens…A fl ash, a deep cut, a
sincere caress…from whom? I ask myself…
to me? Why? I am unsettled by that physical
fl ash, like a sword that pierces you from your
head to your feet, but not a sword that causes
pain, a sword that brings peace. How is this
possible? God? Is that you?…it’s still raining.
The next day however I see the sun
rising in the distance, I breathe it in and I am
under the impression that it is not me who
is approaching, but there is a meeting…
“Convert and believe in the Gospel” recites
the psalm that I listen to at Mass and I get
a shiver down my spine…a pleasant shiver,
another caress…and suddenly I feel the
desire to read something from the Bible, my
curiosity is aroused by what I have always
called coincidences (up to now).
I spend the afternoon in my room, I read
the whole Book of Genesis…we are his
children! He loves us, He always puts us to
the test, but He Loves us, with a capital L. He
almost jokes with Abraham, struck by the fact
that he appears willing to sacrifi ce his only
son for Him, it is like He is saying to him: are
you crazy? Would I ask you this? I Love you,
I only want good, the best for you and your
family. You are all indistinctly the same in
my eyes, all the same and mistaken. And how
wrong you are! But if you understand I will
forget and Love you more than before…I am
surprised, incredulous, my God Loves me!!
All He asks is for me to believe, to trust,
nothing more.
The desire to go to confession is natural,
instinctive, I feel ready Lord to welcome You
into my heart, but I want to purify myself, to
get rid of this dirt, to make this rain stop… But
the Lord wants an even deeper search from
me, because there are no confessors. I am
disappointed and I believe that God will see
to it. Up to now He’s dealt with everything,
hasn’t He?
A new alarm. I’m impatient. I spend
the day thinking back at the moments of
my life, the choices, the suffering, the
disappointments, the faults, but I am not
unhappy, I am not sad… The Lord only wants
you to think it over well, to engage in an
adequate examination of your conscience…
and as usual, He’s right. I needed this day.
I have my “rucksack” ready. I have to fi ll it
with all these things and go and empty it,
so as to be able to start again to fi ll it with
extraordinary things that I will fi nd, because
NOW, I am aware that they will come, the
Lord Loves me!
Outside, near the church, in the square of
the 15 confessionals. Ice, more rain, no Italian
confessor…I don’t lose hope, I won’t move
from here until I’ve emptied my rucksack!
After an hour of waiting without any result, I
take a walk, I say the Rosary walking back and
forth…I have a feeling that someone wants
to put obstacles in my way, discourage me,
but nothing could, at the cost of “tackling” a
priest when he comes out of Mass…and this
thought becomes reality…I stop a priest: he’s
Italian! I go in, peaceful, ready. He takes my
hands and I already feel good…he gives me
the blessing and happiness bursts forth from
my heart: I feel it, physically.
I leave the confessional with a smile on
my face, I feel like jumping up and down,
crying out…I’m happy, how much I’ve
missed the warmth of an embrace like that!
The ready arms of the Saturday now embrace
me strongly…what a wonderful feeling, what
an unforgettable moment.
THE SUN!!! I feel alive, I feel alive in
this world. I no longer feel one among many,
irritable, bored, I feel alive. I feel privileged…
the Lord Loves me! The moment has come
for me to give thanks to Our Lady. Here, the
nerve centre of the new world is here. You
arrive here fully charged up and you return
home “outsized”, but in a positive sense!!
What is there that is better than this?
I go to Podbrdo with Elena, my wife,
and she shares this marvellous stop-off in
Medjugorje with me. Apparition hill, peace
on earth. I chose to give thanks to Our Lady,
because She is my mother, my guide, She
accompanied me towards God, She was
always there, at the foot of our Cross, She
always believed in us.
valuable thing, beyond every possible request:
Without love we die. Or better, we manage
to survive because our vital functions are
active, but we are emptied inside, we lack
motivation, we have no light, we lack creative
impulses…Love makes us into people, it tells
us that we are important, gives us a sense of
confi rmation if we are unsure of ourselves, it
acts as a mirror if we no longer know who we
are... Love colours our day and often appears
to us in black and white, often solitude dries
out our hearts and gives back a smile to dull
and bored faces.
We need this more than ever today. We
do not seek other remedies because they are
fi ctitious, transitory, they vanish immediately:
once the spotlights that give us light during
the sensation of the moment are switched
off, we are the same as before and without
any perspectives… Dear children, refl ect
on everything human, on everything that
does not permit you to set out after my Son
– on transience, imperfection and limitation
- and then think of my Son, of His Divine
infi niteness... (Message of the 2
of April
2010 to Mirjana).
Love created us and we return to Him like
a river in fl ood, pushed by the currents that
cannot stop because they are inscribed in the
fact that we are creatures: Dear children!
Today I call you to love with all your heart and
with all your soul. Pray for the gift of love,
because when the soul loves it calls my Son
to itself. My Son does not refuse those who
call Him and who desire to live according to
Him. Pray for those who do not comprehend
love, who do not understand what it means
to love. Pray that God may be their Father
and not their Judge. My children, you be my
apostles, be my river of love. I need you….”.
These are the words that the Virgin Mary
said to Mirjana on the day of her birthday, the
of March last. Simple, direct, more than
comprehensible. But if it is easy to understand
the Mother’s invitation, it is more diffi cult
to implement it in our lives, because we are
selfi sh, some more so and some less so…
we can pray for the gift of love!
In this way we would be able to see God in
others, where He manifests himself in a
unique, unrepeatable way. Let us contemplate
him. Let us listen to him. Let us respectfully
leave him to be himself, without attempting to
change him, without wanting him according to
our image of him. We will be the river of love
that gives sense and peace to those who believe
that God is the judge and not the father!
background image
The feeling of being a welcome, well-
loved guest is instantaneous. I feel at home,
welcomed, spoilt, loved. You breathe in a
sense of peace, tranquillity, joy, the opposite
of my state of mind. I struggle to keep myself
from crying and at times my efforts are in
vain. I feel overwhelmed by pain, lost and
disarmed. I immediately grasp the sensitivity
of the soul of the people around me: examples
of a life lived, conversion, faith. Medjugorje
gave me this and much more, with its places
where God gives you an appointment, through
His Mother…Something literally explodes
within me before the Risen Christ, before
the statue of Our Lady at the blue Cross, on
Podbrdo, on Krizevac, after Confession and
in Church…
I have been at home for two days and
diffi culties are knocking at my door. In any
case, I feel happy because I have the Lord
in my heart, Our Lady is protecting me and
prayer is strengthening me. This description
of Medjugorje by Brother Ljudevit Rupčić
recounts in words what I experienced in
reality: “Medjugorje is not only a village
where Our Lady appeared to someone, where
some millions of pilgrims fl ock, where some
unusual things happen, it is an endless source
of grace, constant action by God, through
His Mother. It is an incessant appeal and
at the same time it is the offering of divine
life and peace through faith, conversion and
prayer, with unforeseeable consequences
for the Church and for the whole world. In
Medjugorje grace bursts forth and purifi es
sinners, gives the blind back their sight, it
strengthens the weak, it heals the ill, it shakes
the sleeping awake and reawakens those
whose breath was gone”.
Elena Casucci
An open hand
My husband Nicola and I were in for
one of those weekends that leaves its mark
on you. Obviously, given that we are dealing
with Medjugorje, it leaves a positive mark
on you. This time, Our Lady sent Her
invitation through a dear friend, who called
me one rainy afternoon… My morale was
very low during those days and I felt alone,
lost, disheartened; I saw myself as a failed
and useless person/mother/wife. That day, a
little after my umpteenth crying session on
my own, Stefania called me and asked me if
I wanted to go to Medjugorje for a few days,
at the end of April. It was Mary who was
inviting me, I felt it straight away. And I said,
that if it was God’s will, then we would go.
During the days immediately prior to our
departure, naturally, the thought of having to
leave the children at home was bothering me
signifi cantly, as I had imagined it would, yet
Our Lady had called us and She would not
let fear or anxiety get in our way, nor would
She let anything go wrong. In fact, that’s
the way things went: the journey was fi ne,
the children were at home, very happy to be
The gift of prayer
We can never thank God enough for the gift of prayer. The ability to pray does not belong to
us, it is a gift that comes to us from Above because “We do not know what we ought to pray for,
but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express” (Rm 8, 26).
Man does not know how to pray alone, he doesn’t know what to ask for, what to say to his
Lord, he doesn’t know how to praise him. When the Spirit prays in us, then we pray truly and
communion is created with God, in a relationship of friendship, of love. It is important, then, to
pray according to the Spirit. We do not always realise this grace, which is prayer, for which the
Father offered his Son. Without prayer what would God be for us? What about our relationship
with Him?
With prayer we must speak to him to say “our things”, to come to know his thoughts but,
above all, to discover his love. With prayer God makes himself available to us, to listen to us and
to manifest himself to us. Prayer is a meeting, a being with God, in which we can see his beauty.
What a great gift! How can we not thank him! For this reason, prayer is not so much linked to
words, functions or particular rites: it is strictly associated with the gift that God always gives,
to his friends “even during sleep”. And so we can pray always, as long as we welcome the gift.
Then everything that we do can become prayer, even that which may not appear to be prayer.
Let us rejoice and give thanks for this extraordinary gift that can transform our whole existence,
even when it becomes more tiresome. May Mary take us by the hand so that everything might be
prayer, as it was for Her. In this way we will always know how to see God’s love in others and in
Model of Newness
Even we sometimes fall into the same temptation as the Jewish population, when, in the
desert, they complained about the inhospitable and unvaried environment, in which they had to
continuously eat the same food: manna. They said that they were tired and nauseated by that place
where life was monotonous and fl at, without any newness. In actual fact, their problem wasn’t the
place or the food, but a problem of the heart, as they had wandered far from He who makes things
“also bloom in the desert”, from He who makes all things new. They couldn’t free themselves
from such oppression…The Father was moved by his people and said: “Behold, I shall make
all things new” (Is, 43,19) and he sent “something” wholly new and beautiful to earth: his Son.
From Him they learnt that life, even if it is made of small issues that are repeated every day, may
always be new, beautiful. With Him they discovered that they were no longer in a monotonous
and inhospitable place: everything had changed, everything was bright, even in places where there
were only shadows before. Everything became harmonious in them and around them, and they
stopped complaining and began to give thanks to their God.
And so we too, when we feel that our existence is insipid and perhaps a little monotonous,
should readily look to Jesus, we should entrust ourselves to Him, so as not to fall into the same
temptation as the people in the desert. Then the light will appear to us too, where we were unable
to see it before; the reality will appear beautiful to us too, and no longer grey and monotonous; we
too will spontaneously give thanks to our God.

Let us not forget to turn with trust towards our Mother, the most beautiful Model of Newness, like
her Son in every way, to become a sign of newness also; like Jesus, like Mary. Perhaps there are
those who expect nothing other than this from us.
One more appointment the next day: we
go to the “big Boss”. The climb up to Krizevac
reminds us that every step is hard, tiring,
full of danger, but if we have an open mind,
an open heart and prayer, then nothing can
prevent us from getting to the summit. This
imposing Cross leaves us speechless. We are
enchanted, all the silence that surrounds us
helps us to think back over our tiredness, the
fatigue that we will have to deal with but that
also makes us think of the end, at the summit
is the Cross that frees us from everything,
there is Jesus who will give us back Peace.
This is the word, the meaning of
Medjugorje…Conversion, physical, pure,
interior and exterior. God gave me a little of
that awareness that we lost when we were
tempted in the garden of Eden. I feel like
this, like I have been pardoned. God wanted
to give me a gift, which is little in the eyes of
someone but very big for me and I will make
a great treasure of it.
Life will still be full of temptations, it will
put trials in our way before which we will feel
powerless, but it will be a life with a rainbow
present even during rain.
On the return journey, a friend continued to
repeat to me in Brescian dialect: “FIDAS,
FIDAS SEMPER”… always trust in the
Lord. He never disappoints us.
Giovanni Saiani
by Pietro Squassabia
with their grandparents and we were fi nally
concentrated a little on ourselves.
Those were three great days, especially for
me: in Medjugorje I cried also, as I often do
at home. But there the crying was liberating,
a little like throwing some poisonous toxins
out of my heart and soul. Those toxins will
return, it’s normal and it’s part of everyday
life. But in Medjugorje, Mary reminded me
that I’m not alone, ever, not even (actually,
especially) when I’m carrying life’s big little
crosses, when I trip up, when it seems as
though the world is very ugly.
I’m not alone, because She is with me. In
Medjugorje Our Lady is represented in every
statue with Her hands outstretched, facing
outwards. That is the hand that moves me
each time, because it is there, ready to take
yours to accompany you on your journey, as I
always do with my two children. My Mammy
in Medjugorje gave me Her hand this time
too and I know that She will continue to hold
it out to me always. Thank you!
And thanks to those who were Her
messengers…for giving us their hands,
during the brief but intense spiritual journey
we experienced there!
Maria Roselli
background image
“Poste Italiane s.p.a. - Spedizione in Abbonamento Postale - D.L.
353/2003 (conv. in L. 27/02/2004 n° 46) art. 1, comma 2, DCB Mantova
Legal Dir. A. Lanzani; Printed by DIPRO Treviso
Personal cheques accepted; also
International Postal Orders.
And where convenient (within Europe)
by bank transfer
(specify for Echo of Mary Assoc):
1) Italy: Banca Agricola Mantovana,
Agenzia Belfi ore Mantova, Italy. IBAN:
IT 02 Z 05024 11506 000004754018
Swift : BAMNIT21-185
2) Scotland: Royal Bank of Scotland,
26 George St., Oban, Argyll.
Acc. no. 8326 0400 154351
Villanova M., 20 may 2010
Echo fully relies on readers’
To all who have been instruments
of Providence for Echo, enabling us
to continue to help Mary reach her
children, goes our heartfelt thanks,
whom we remember especially in
prayer and at Holy Mass.
If you desire a written response for
your donation, please kindly request
it. May God reward you and your
loved ones onehundredfold!
ECHO on line:
This time the danger of us “closing shop” is more than real. The challenge comes in style from
Poste Italiane: an increase of 480% in the cost for posting the individual magazines! In fact, to
send the little Echo to your homes, we are being charged almost fi ve times what we were paying…
What should we do? Echo doesn’t make any profi ts because, as you know, there is no sale price.
It survives thanks to the goodness of its readers. We know well that the ill-famed economic crisis
has affected everyone, therefore we do not expect any signifi cant efforts from those who have been
following us for years with sincere affection and esteem. But if problems should be discussed within
families, then we should speak to all of you about it, you who are more than family members in the
spirit of the Queen of Peace…What should we do?
There are several hypotheses: Close shop here and be grateful for having had the Echo for 26
years? Make it quarterly and then have two dispatches less per year? Send it in bulk to someone
in the cities who will then deal with posting it on to the various addresses? Organise collections of
money to cover the new costs? ….Or are there any other proposals?
We have continuously marched onwards in the knowledge that if Mary wants the Echo she will
certainly not leave us alone. Providence has always helped us and if it is her will, it will continue
to do so. Let us pray, let us pray with faith, let us ask the Lord for the light and the resources to
continue to serve him with this little tool, which is so looked forward to throughout the world (a few
days ago we received a message from the Ivory Coast: “We are a community of ninety people, send
us the Echo because it helps us to refl ect on the messages of the Queen of Peace and we need it for
our spiritual education…”). We cannot drop everything, but the problem is now getting serious.
In the meantime we are going to publish this edition and “skip” the July-August summer
issue like we did last year. This will enable us to save a little on the costs so as to then start over
in September. We will also have the time to refl ect on what should be done, to pray and listen to
the suggestions of the Spirit and to welcome your proposals. We both have the responsibility to
deal with this new challenge in the best possible manner. We are sure that there will be no lack
of imagination, creativity and initiative from all of us, men and women of good will! Heartfelt
The Editorial Staff of the Echo of Mary
Letter to the editorial staff
“I’ve been reading the Echo of Mary for 25 years
now, this magazine that was created and founded by
Father Angelo Mutti, and I distribute it to all my friends
in the Nola prayer group, which is celebrating its silver
wedding anniversary this year with the Queen of Peace,
who has tirelessly guided us with her messages during
this quarter of a century. Just like your little magazine,
we started out stealthily, not expecting to get where
we are, with so many people who continue to pray and
come to the blessed land of Medjugorje.
My meeting with Father Angelo is still vivid in my
mind, in his parish of Villanova Maiardina in December
of 1995, where we went with a representation to show
him our closeness and our affection (regarding this,
attached please fi nd one of the many letters that was
sent to me during the correspondence of those years)
due to the great initiative that he was engaging in
with the Echo, which has perhaps become one of the
world’s most widely read Catholic magazines. I was
very excited when in 1997 I noticed it in the Cathedral
in Sydney, Australia and in Caracas in 1998 in the
Basilica dedicated to Our Lady of Coromoto. I felt even
more fl attered for having contributed in my own little
way to distributing this publication so desired by Mary.
It does not avail of advertising, it does not benefi t from
any fi nancing apart from offerings from readers. I am
happy and with me, all the friends of the prayer group
in this Jubilee year – for us! - for the journey that we
have embarked on together. I will not say any more,
also because I always read the complements that you
receive from all over the world; I will limit myself to
saying that we will read it and distribute it until the
last moment of our lives, knowing that this makes the
person who has been watching over us from Heaven
for some time happy. I am certain that Father Angelo
is enjoying a well-deserved reward in Heaven and that
one day not too far away we might all meet him there,
as we will meet our Celestial Mother who constantly
protects us under her mantle and who wants to save all
of us.
With esteem and affection, I wish you and all your
collaborators the joy of being able to reap one hundred
times what you have sown for the Glory of God.
Gennaro Caccavale
The only one
who is truly a child
The Holy Virgin did not have either
triumph or miracles. Her Son did not allow
human glory to touch her, not even with the
slightest puff of its wild wing.
Nobody experienced, or suffered, or died
so simply and in such deep ignorance of their
own dignity, a dignity that therefore sets Her
above angels. Because, ultimately, She was
born without sin, what surprising solitude!
Such a pure and clear source, so limpid and
so pure, so much so that Her own image could
not be refl ected in it, made only for the joy of
the Father – sacred solitude!
The ancient demons that man is familiar
with, masters and servants at the same time,
the terrible patriarchs that guided Adam’s fi rst
steps on the threshold of the cursed world,
astuteness and pride, you see that they remain
far from this miraculous creature situated
outside of their attention, invulnerable and
Georges Bernanos (1888-1948)
“We are the implementation of the
secrets, because the good or bad
turn of events depends on us. Mary’s
Heart is ready to give us everything
if we open ours. And so her plan of
salvation will be fulfi lled”.
Father Angelo
Dearest readers of the Echo,
we of the Echo
Family share the intimate
awareness that this “little
magazine”, as its founder
Fr. Angelo Mutti liked to
call it, is a spiritual tool that
has burst forth from the Heart of the Queen
of Peace, to be at the service of the grace of
Medjugorje, to facilitate it in all physical and
spiritual places, where there are hearts that
are open and ready to welcome it.
Due to recent legislative measures, from
the 1
of April of this year, the postal fees
applied for the dispatch of magazines and
bulletins have almost quadrupled, generating
a burden on the Echo Association that may
compromise what is already a very fragile
fi nancial balance, with the consequent more
than probable cessation of the publications.
Our intention is to continue publishing
the Echo, however, we have no choice but
to restructure the manners in which we post
it, reducing the dispatch of individual copies
to a minimum and seeking to organise new
distribution centres, in every territorial area
if possible and increasing the number of
copies sent to individual distributors, with
the aim of ensuring that all those interested,
can gain access to a hard copy of Echo.
Obviously in areas where internet access is
readily available, readers may still download
the multilingual edition of the Echo free of
charge. We trust that you will understand
the inevitable inconvenience that this turn of
events will cause, but nevertheless, we are
certain that the Queen of Peace will also be
able to transform this trial into an occasion of
greater grace and communion for all.
For our part, from now we can assure you
of our personal commitment to guaranteeing
the continuity and the quality of a job that has
been freely entrusted to us and that we wish
to serve.
The ECHO team


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