© Children of Medjugorje 2009
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November 20, 2009
Dear Children of Medjugorje
Praised be Jesus and Mary!
1 – On November 2nd Mirjana received her monthly apparition at the Blue Cross, at the foot of Apparition Hill. After the apparition, she shared the following message:
“Dear children! Also today I am among you to point you to the way that will help you to come to know God’s love, the love of God Who permitted you to call Him Father and to perceive Him as Father. I ask of you to sincerely look into your hearts and to see how much you love Him. Is He the last to be loved? Surrounded by material goods, how many times have you betrayed, denied and forgotten Him? My children, do not deceive yourselves with worldly goods. Think of your soul because it is more important than the body, cleanse it. Invoke the Father, He is waiting for you. Come back to Him. I am with you because He, in His mercy, sends me. Thank you!”
2 – The power of Confession! To bring something to light is to bring victory! An Italian friend of mine, Cristina, understands what “the soul is more important than the body” means. A very beautiful woman, happily married for the past 12 years, Cristina and her loving husband had three children. Cristina’s strong faith has helped her to persevere in its practice, and everything in her life ran like clockwork. Until one day, during a dinner party, she met another man and immediately fell for him. He was in her thoughts, her imagination and in her heart. Her whole being was seized by thoughts of him. She couldn’t resist. Troubled by her obsession, and knowing the man felt the same attraction toward her, she asked God to protect her. So often she was afraid that she would act upon her feelings, and she did not want to betray her husband. As a precaution, she asked her husband to join her whenever she went out, so that he could protect her. After 3 weeks, Cristina went to Confession like she did every month, as asked by Our Lady in Medjugorje. Soon after the Confession began, even though she hadn’t committed adultery with the new man in her life, she divulged her attraction for this man and the temptations she could barely resist to the priest. The priest listened to her, and after giving her a few pointers to resist the temptations, he gave her absolution. At that moment, as the words of absolution were being said, all the attraction that Cristina had to this man disappeared completely, like the smoke of a cigarette in the wind. She felt like she was just coming out of a bizarre movie, back to reality. “But what was it that attracted me in this man?” She pondered. “He is nothing special!” She could no longer comprehend how she could have been so attracted to him even just a few minutes earlier!
“I didn’t realize the power of this Sacrament,” she would later tell. “A simple absolution delivered me! I understood that the Evil one does not like the light, he needs darkness to act and to dissimulate the ugliness of his acts. So I just needed to bring all this to the light (a great humiliation for me!) and expose all the temptations to the priest for satan to let go!”
Thank you Lord for this family who escaped destruction! Cristina's habit of monthly Confession saved it.
3 – Help Medjugorje! A call from the parish of St James at Medjugorje: Fr. Danko, Assistant Pastor, is collecting testimonies from those who received their call to priesthood or religious life through Medjugorje. It will allow that the fruits of Medjugorje, over the past 28 years, be examined. This request will be very important in Rome. “A tree is known by its fruits.” This is why whoever this request personally affects, or whoever knows of someone who is personally affected, is invited to take it very seriously. Your responses may be one page in your native language. Please, be very specific in stating your facts, providing your date of birth and current address, as well as the necessary details to allow the review committee to contact you if necessary. You may send the final draft in 2 different ways:
• By this e-mail address, provided by the Parish of Medjugorje: email@example.com
• By Post to: Fr. Danko. Zupni Ured, 88266 Medjugorje. Bosnia and Herzegovina
There is a questionnaire to be filled out on the parish website: www.medjugorje.hr
4 — I give thanks to God for a great anniversary! Exactly 20 years ago, on December 5th 1989, in bone freezing weather, we arrived in Medjugorje to settle. My first time here was in June 1984, when the village was still in its primitive state, and I am so happy to have known it during those very particular times that will never come back. In September 1989 then, I came again with 2 Sisters, this time to make an interview for our French magazine Feu et Lumiere.
I had barely set foot on this fiery ground when Our Lady grabbed my heart, as she does so well! I experienced a very powerful inner calling to team up with her and to become an instrument in her hands to carry out her plans. I could see that she was in need of help, and that saddened me. I wanted to spread her messages - pearls of great price - and to help her motherly voice to reach out to a large number of hearts. Her message, “Without you, dear Children, I cannot help the world. I need you!” Though she addressed this message to everyone, it haunted me.
Back in France, I shared this call with the founder of my Community. After praying at length about it, he confirmed my calling and said to me: “You leave in a month, get ready! Take a Sister along with you!” Sister Marie Raphael was chosen and she became my dear companion for the first year.
We lodged in a very tiny room, freezing cold, half of a mile away from the St. James, but we were so happy to be in Medjugorje! It was the “golden age” of Medjugorje when, even for wealthy pilgrims, it was such a joy just being there, in the midst of very poor conditions, just praying under Mary’s mantle; just knowing that she would come today again to this untouched, beautiful place.
Thanks to St. Joseph’s generosity, we arrived in Medj. with a car and, when it was too cold in the house, we’d get into the car to sing our morning liturgy, the Lauds. That car was our only possession, but it enabled us to do our shopping in Citluk. We were still under the Communist regime, and in those days, the supplies available at the market near the post office were to be avoided!
We spent hours on the mountains, asking Our Lady to show us what she wanted from us. I remember, during that short time, Marie Raphael told me, “I’m saturated with idleness!” That word would never be repeated in the future, it did not take Our Lady long to answer our desire to help! We were employed full time by the Gospa, to the point that we flopped into bed late at night in wonderful exhaustion.
Throughout these past 20 years, Our Lord has been guiding us gently, despite our blunders, and lack of conversion. But we were never short of enthusiasm, nor of gratitude! Every day we renewed our commitment. We wouldn’t miss a single bit of this extraordinary plan, divine indeed, enfolding from Medjugorje for the salvation of our restless world.
On March 19th 1990 (St. Joseph’s Feast day!), we founded the French apostolate, “Les Enfants de Medjugorje” which became Children of Medjugorje in which you are taking part today! The path we walked since then would fill entire books to relate, including the period of the war! I thank you from the bottom of my heart: your faithfulness and your prayers have done so much to hold us up! And I could never give thanks enough to God for those 20 years of happiness and struggles; of intimacy with the Divine, and of crosses. And so I want to join with David, King of Israel, in his song: “How could I repay the Lord for all He has done for me?” (Psalm 116:12)
5 - The year for priests: This month, our prayer for priests will be taken from St. Faustina Kowalska:
“O my Jesus, I beg you on behalf of the whole Church: grant it love and the light of Your Spirit, and give power to the works of priests, so that hardened hearts might be brought to repentance and return to You, O Lord.
Lord, give us holy priests; You Yourself maintain them in holiness. O Divine and Great High Priest, may the power of Your mercy accompany them everywhere and protect them from the devil's traps and snares, which are continually being set for the souls of priests.
May the power of Your mercy, O Lord, shatter and bring to naught all that might tarnish the sanctity of priests, for You can do all things. I ask You, Jesus, for a special blessing and for light for the priests before whom I will make my confessions throughout my lifetime. Amen.” (Diary, §1051)
5 – Mission in the United States and Canada, October 11th – 26th, 2009. It has been a deep joy for me to finish a 16-day mission in the States (+ Canada) this past October! With my assistants, we felt the hand of God over us, and His blessing throughout the mission, everywhere we went. I was especially impressed by the very special attentiveness on the part of the people, as never before according to my experience of the past years in the North America. For our 3-day retreat in St. Malo, Colorado, we had 100 people. Among them were our dear President of Children of Medjugorje, Mr. Arnie Ochs and his wife, as well as many collaborators of COM. It made the whole retreat a kind of “Family gathering” around Our Lady. It was a very special and intimate time, a delight!
Sister Emmanuel with Children of Medjugorje Summit Retreat 2009 Priests: Fr Greg, Fr Mark, Fr Tom, and Fr Francesco at St Malo Retreat Center, Colorado
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have participated in those venues, those who have opened their home to us, and especially all our many and invisible friends who have humbly supported this mission with prayer, fasting and sacrifices. May God reward all of you 100-fold in graces and blessings!
Dearest Gospa, may you be as happy with us as we are with you!
Sister Emmanuel +
(Translated from French)
PS1: Our retreat and many of Sister Emmanuel’s talks throughout the US mission were professionally recorded. We are currently working on editing them in order to get them into production over the next couple of weeks. We will send out an email as soon as they become available –hopefully in plenty of time for holidays, as they will make beautiful Christmas gifts!
PS 2: Vicka is still suffering in the Zagreb clinic, while her therapy is ongoing. Let us keep praying for her and with her! Father Jozo Zovko left his Croatian island and is now living in Austria. He is well.
PS 3 - Banning the crucifixes? We are very proud of our Italian fiends who tried so hard to reject the request from the Strasburg High European Court to remove all crucifixes from schools! They have organized protests and they even have added crucifixes where they were missing. Let’s be always standing for Christ!
PS 4 – 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 or a wedding gift! In the US go to our store: http://www.childrenofmedjugorje.com then click “Shop COM.”
English version in UK, 7£, +44 2920 460 189 - firstname.lastname@example.org - In Ireland, 9€ Veritas, Dublin, +353 1878 8177 - email@example.com - In S. Africa, +27 393 172 825. firstname.lastname@example.org - In Malaysia: email@example.com - In Medjugorje at the Parish bookstore, Devotions and Catholic Bookstore –
French: www.editions-beatitudes.fr - Spanish: “Hijos de Medjugorje”, (Spain). +34 62979 2849 - firstname.lastname@example.org, at Paulinas (Argentina), email@example.com - Croatian in Medjugorje (7.50€), at “Devotions”, +387 63377497 - firstname.lastname@example.org and “Catholic Bookstore”, +387 6332 2492. In Zagreb at “AGM”, email@example.com - Portuguese: 13€ (with Imprimatur) at Diel, Lisboa - www.diel.pt - German: 22€ Parvis Verlag, Swizerland +41 269 159399 - www.parvis.ch - Polish, 8€ Wyd. Marianow, Warsaw +48 22 6425082 - www.wydawnictwo.pl - Italian, 9€ Shalom, Ancona +39 071745 0440 - www.editriceshalom.it - Dutch, 15€, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com +32 56 777373 - Lettonien, “Dzīvības Straumes” +371 29544267 – Arabic, Lebanon. +961 1255 500 - firstname.lastname@example.org - Chinese, email@example.com - In Thailand: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bookstores may contact us at email@example.com
© 2009 Children of Medjugorje, Inc
PO Box 18430, Denver CO 80218, USA. Tel. 877-MIR-MEDJ