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August 15, 2008
Dear Children of Medjugorje,
Praised be Jesus and Mary!
1 - On August 2, Mirjana Soldo received her monthly apparition at the Cenacle. After the apparition she gave us the following message, "Dear children! In my coming to you, here among you, the greatness of God is reflected and the way with God to eternal joy is opening. Do not feel weak, alone or abandoned. Along with faith, prayer and love, climb to the hill of salvation. May the Mass, the most exalted and most powerful act of your prayer, be the center of your spiritual life. Believe and love, my children. Those whom my Son chose and called will help you in this as well. To you and to them especially, I give my motherly blessing. Thank you."
2 - Youth: bombarded and showered!
In the aftermath of a very beautiful Youth Festival, which took place in Medjugorje during the 1st week of August, I can only be filled with wonder. Surely it was a shower of graces for the thousands of youth who came from all over the world! Again and again when the youth share about their private lives, one sees they have been bombarded in a thousand ways by ordeals, (often unbeknownst to their parents). They are being tracked down by ubiquitous snares of Evil that relentlessly seek their weakness, their depression, their slavery to destructive and sometimes suicidal passions! Yet, the Mother of God never stops calling them, lifting them up, inspiring them, offering them the perfect path, revealing the true goal of their earthly lives and true peace. It's simply splendid!
Didn't she begin everything in Medjugorje with six young people who lacked a proper education, who were fragile and vulnerable? Why were these young people chosen despite the fact that there were adults in the village who were obviously saints?
I will never forget Fr. Jozo Zovko's words to me one day, "If I had been Our Lady, I never would have chosen these children!" But Gospa did choose them. She said, "Such was the will of God!" Then why should we ask who should be chosen? God's will is God's will, that's it! She even told little Jakov that she doesn't necessarily choose the best ones! So we all have a chance!
God's will was to entrust six children with a fantastic mission: to be the voice of the Queen of Peace in our un-peaceful world. That's no little news!
What attracts them so strongly to Medjugorje?
There is no question: young people are simply invited! Such large gatherings of young people for a religious motif, cannot be humanly concocted. They just happen, because Heaven is in charge and has a plan for them. If there was a human trick to attract them, then most of the parishes around the world would have jumped on that trick to get their young people back to God!
When I am on a mission somewhere, it strikes me to see how motherly the Gospa is with the youth. One day, in a remote village of Poland, a group of young people told me with sadness, "We wish to go to Medjugorje, but it's impossible. Our parents don't even have enough money to pay for our studies!" Hearing this, my heart sank. I was thinking of the hundreds of pilgrims who had come from the West many times without any anxiety over money. I said to Gospa, "Now Mother, you are not going to fail me! Do you see your children? Aren't you able to take them to Medjugorje to be converted? Are you going to let them down just because their parents have no money? You are a mom, aren't you?" And I heard myself tell these kids right away, 'No problem at all! You just have to pray to your Mother in Heaven telling her, 'Mom, you have invited so many to Medjugorje, why not me? Am I not your beloved child too? Am I not also in need of conversion?' And see what happens! I bet we'll meet there soon!'" Sure enough the following summer a bunch of young people from Poland stopped me near St. James and asked, "Sister, do you recognize us?" I could hardly believe my eyes! They were the same kids from that poor village in Poland! Each one of them had a different story of how the money came to him!
Sometimes, young people ask us, "What is so special here? I knew in my heart that I had to come. I traveled non stop to reach Medj., but I still don't know why I am here, or what I should do with myself these days." The answer is clear, "If you don't know, the Gospa knows! You'll see for yourself later on, you don't need to be worried!"
I find that the youth are simply being invited, and warmly so! Our Lady sees their hardships and she has the most powerful keys for their happiness.
A few examples:
- Mary is a mom, and in Medjugorje many youth experience motherly love for the first time, (especially those who don't have a mom anymore)! In the face of so much damage from the lack of motherhood today, Gospa's motherly presence is so healing! It's a vital balm for their hearts! Mary's motherly love gives young people the sense of security they are longing for. They are able to experience her constant care and her loving understanding as a mom. Several young people have told me, "I don't want to leave from this place, I feel I am in my mother's womb here, I need more time with her!" As a matter of fact, their true identity is strengthened after their pilgrimage.
- As a mother, Mary comes everyday! Again this is healing, since faithfulness to being a committed parent is becoming rare. Often I run across people over 50 who cannot understand why the Mother of God appears every day. Yet I never hear that complaint from kids. On the contrary, for them her coming is a sign that she knows their needs and answers them! Indeed they badly need this security in the midst of so much turmoil.
- As a mother, Mary comes always at the same hour. This regularity helps children develop stability!
- As a mother, Mary speaks simple words from the heart as we do in a family. In fact, so many youth lack family life and relationships! Her words are guiding lights for them and points of reference. In a world of confusion and excess information, Mary is a nurse: she binds their wounds and simplifies what we make complex.
- Mary is a demanding teacher and today's kids yearn to find someone who is demanding! She is not wishy-washy with the youth, and she doesn't compromise with the Gospel. Unlike many parents, she is not afraid to lose their hearts by being firm. Like Pope John Paul II, she deeply believes in her children! She makes them realize how precious their lives are. Many know they have escaped abortion, and they appreciate to discover that their life is a blessing! Our Lady tells them, "Thank God the Creator, for He has created you in such a wonderful way!" They find out with surprise how great they can become if they decide to attend her school. She doesn't minimize their potential and is not afraid to show them the truth. She challenges them to become what they truly are, and not what the world tells them to be! She is bold with them. She challenges them with a call to holiness.
- In one word, they feel at home in Medjugorje! They can be themselves! They can even carry a rosary without being made fun of, because it's normal in Medjugorje!
- Mary makes them feel that Jesus is not primarily a Judge or a Ruler, but a loving Heart Who awaits them with treasures.
- Mary is the Queen of Peace, and kids want that true peace; they are tired of false peace, false lights. She helps them find their way in this world, their vocation. She gives them so much hope for their future!
- The Blessed Mother is always inviting new children to her home, so the youth have the opportunity to make friends with likeminded people. In fact, she calls Medjugorje "a place for encounters of the hearts!"
- Especially in Medjugorje, Mary is the Refuge of sinners. The young people can open their hearts and tell all they did in the past without being looked upon or judged. Then they are open to let Jesus purify them for a new beginning.
- Mary provides an opportunity for the many kids who live in cities, to reconnect with nature. In Medj, they see pigs, cows, sheep, hens; they see grapes growing, they pick fresh figs or olives from the trees. Here the parables of Jesus can come alive for them!
- Mary makes them discover what it is to be truly catholic, part of the Universal Church. They open their eyes to see Catholics coming from Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, North and South America, and they realize they are not alone in their faith.
In 1982 an event that is unique in the history of the Church took place: Our Lady formed her own prayer group with young people whom she chose. She asked them to attend her school for four years in a row. She even gave them a charter that explained how they could belong to her and become a saint! Today, young people can join together with the adults and participate in night time apparitions that take place on the mountain. There they can feel her incredible closeness as a mother.
This year, over 440 priests came to minister the young people during the Festival! They worked until late at night, listening to them and hearing their confession. It was a wonderful harvest!
O loving Mother, bless your most tender and vulnerable children!
Spare them from being bombarded with the viruses of this world!
Wrap them in your mantle and take them to Jesus!
Sister Emmanuel +
(Translated from French)
PS 1 – Check out the DVD section of our website at www.childrenofmedjugorje.com. There you will find stories like those above to fill your hearts with joy, laughter, wisdom and unforgettable stories from Medjugorje told by Sr. Emmanuel.
PS 2 – Read it. Spread it! The Hidden Child of Medjugorje by Sr. Emmanuel. You won't regret giving this book to a friend as a shower gift, a wedding gift, or as a fall stocking stuffer! In the US go to our COM store: www.childrenofmedjugorje.com then click "Shop COM". $19 + postage. In UK, 7£, Tel +44 2920 460 189. In Ireland, Veritas, Dublin, Tel: +353 1878 8177 - firstname.lastname@example.org In South Africa, Tel: +27 393 172 825. In Medjugorje at "Devotions", 9€. Tel. +387 36 651 497, or "Phoenix Catholic bookstore", Tel. +387 36 650 917.
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