Source: The Medjugorje Message
The dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was declared by Pope Pius XII on November 1, 1950 and states that “the Immaculate Mother of God, Mary ever Virgin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven.”
In this declaration no position is taken by the Church as to the question of whether Mary actually died. However, in one of her very early messages given at Medjugorje, Our Lady gave this answer to one of the seers when asked if she went to Heaven before or after death: “I am the Mother of God and the Queen of Peace. I went to Heaven before death.” October 12, 1981
Four years ago a previously unpublished document came to light which revealed Pope Pius XII had witnessed the “miracle of the sun” on four occasions and he considered this experience as confirmation of his plan to declare the dogma of the Assumption. The information contained in this handwritten note by Pius XII went on public display for two months in the Vatican in November 2008.
Reporting at the time for zenit.org Antonio Gaspari wrote:
According to his own testimony, the Pope who declared the dogma of the Assumption saw the “miracle of the sun” four times.
This information is confirmed by a handwritten, unpublished note from Pope Pius XII, which is part of the Pius XII: The Man and the Pontificate display.
A commissioner of the display and a Vatican reporter for the Italian daily Il Giornale, Andrea Tornielli, explained to ZENIT that the note was found in the Pacelli family archives. It describes the “miracle of the sun,” an episode that until today had only been affirmed by the indirect testimony of Cardinal Federico Tedeschini (1873-1959), who recounted in a homily that the Holy Father had seen the miracle.
Pius XII wrote, “I have seen the ‘miracle of the sun,’ this is the pure truth.”
The miracle of the sun is most known as the episode that occurred in Fatima, Portugal, on October 13, 1917. According to the Fatima visionaries, Mary had said there would be a miracle that day so that people would come to believe. Thousands had gathered at the site of the visions, and the sun “danced,” reportedly drying instantaneously the rain-soaked land and spectators.
Pius XII’s note says that he saw the miracle in the year he was to proclaim the dogma of the Assumption, 1950, while he walked in the Vatican Gardens. He said he saw the phenomenon various times, considering it a confirmation of his plan to declare the dogma.
The papal note says that at 4.00pm on October 30, 1950, during his “habitual walk in the Vatican Gardens, reading and studying,” having arrived to the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes, “toward the top of the hill […] I was awestruck by a phenomenon that before now I had never seen.”
“The sun, which was still quite high, looked like a pale, opaque sphere, entirely surrounded by a luminous circle,” he recounted. And one could look at the sun, “without the slightest bother. There was a very light little cloud in front of it.”
The Holy Father’s note goes on to describe “the opaque sphere” that “moved outward slightly, either spinning, or moving from left to right and vice versa. But within the sphere, you could see marked movements with total clarity and without interruption.”
Pius XII said he saw the same phenomenon “the 31st of October and November 1, the day of the definition of the dogma of the Assumption, and then again November 8, and after that, no more.”
The Pope acknowledged that on other days at about the same hour, he tried to see if the phenomenon would be repeated, “but in vain – I couldn’t fix my gaze [on the sun] for even an instant; my eyes would be dazzled.”
Pius XII spoke about the incident with a few cardinals and close collaborators, such that Sister Pascalina Lehnert, the nun in charge of the papal apartments, declared that “Pius XII was very convinced of the reality of the extraordinary phenomenon, which he had seen on four occasions.”
As Pope, in 1940, Pius XII approved the Fatima apparitions, and in 1942, consecrated the entire world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
• Solar phenomena is repeatedly witnessed by pilgrims at Medjugorje.
RIP FR PETAR VLAŠIĆ OFM
Fra Marinko Šakota is the new parish priest of Medjugorje following the death of Fra Petar Vlašić on November 8th 2012.
The 44 year-old Franciscan was born in nearby Čitluk and ordained in July 1996. He has served as a chaplain in Medjugorje since 2010.
His appointment was proposed by Franciscan Provincial Fra Ivan Sesar and confirmed by Bishop Ratko Perić who also presided over the funeral of Fra Petar.
Fra Marinko speaks Croatian, German and English.
(Source: Medjugorje Today)
By Jakob Marschner on Feb 24, 2012
Pope Benedict XVI has met with Cardinal Camillo Ruini to discuss the investigation of Medjugorje, a veteran Vatican reporter informs. Cardinal Ruini’s commission still has six or seven months of work left, and while the visionaries have made a good impression in Rome, most Vatican observers do not expect the Commission to be openly for or against.
Pope Benedict XVI receives Christmas greetings from Cardinal Camillo Ruini. By next Christmas, the Vatican Commission’s report on Medjugorje should be finished, Cardinal Ruini told the Pope who had called him to give a briefing on the issue on February 24.
The Vatican Commission on Medjugorje has six or seven months of work left. By the end of this year the commission headed by Cardinal Camillo Ruini will conclude its work with a pronouncement to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and then Pope Benedict XVI.
Early on February 24 this schedule was presented by Cardinal Ruini when the Pope received him in audience to discuss the progress of the investigation, the experienced Vatican journalist Andrea Tornielli informs in Vatican Insider.
Like other sources before him, Tornielli likewise states that visionaries Ivan Dragicevic and Jakov Colo met with the Commission earlier this week, and that all six visionaries have now appeared before the Commission.
“Currently, it is not possible to predict what the final verdict will be. The seers have generally made a good impression on the Commission members. But the outcome considered most likely in the sacred buildings at the moment is a repeat of the 1991 suspension of judgment, without openly taking a stand for or against” Vatican Insider reports.
In 1991, the Yugoslav bishops left the issue of Medjugorje’s authenticity undecided, leaving the matter open for more investigations. Since then, the bishops’ verdict “non constat de supernaturalitate” was often misinterpreted to mean that the bishops had condemned Medjugorje while in fact the bishops refrained from raising their voices on the issue.
Vatican Insider further tells that the visionaries’ audiences with the Commission have taken place in a hall of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith where the Commission has its archives.
Local Bishop softens up to Medjugorje
[Source: Medjugorje Today]
By Jakob Marschner on May 22, 2012
Though opposed to the claims of apparitions in Medjugorje, local Bishop Ratko Peric says the town can be a Jerusalem and a site of the action of The Holy Spirit. Yet in the midst of a major building boom, the Bishop also warns the locals against turning Medjugorje into a modern Babylon.
Bishop Peric during Confirmations in Medjugorje on May 20. Photo: Mile Pavlovic, Brotnjo Online
Medjugorje can go in two different directions, and one of them will turn the village into a new Jerusalem and a place of the obvious action of God, local Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar told Confirmation candidates in St. James Church on May 20.
“You have the opportunity to make Jerusalem out of this parish, a place of action of the Spirit of God, where a multitude blends into unity, where each one understands everyone in God, and not in false wealth, where Peter’s word is heard: “Repent … and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2.39) Bishop Peric said in his sermon.
Bishop Ratko Peric with Medjugorje’s parish priest Fr. Petar Vlasic on their way to the Confirmation on Sunday, May 20. Photo: Mile Pavlovic, Brotnjo Online
Since becoming the Bishop of Mostar in 1993, Ratko Peric has upheld the critical attitude towards Medjugorje and the claims of apparitions first taken by his predecessor Pavao Zanic, and before he mentioned the Jerusalem potential, Bishop Peric spoke at more length about Babylon whose inhabitants aimed at building a tower to Heaven (Genesis 11.4), only to have their languages confused so they could not understand each other any longer (Genesis 11.5.7).
Visionary Vicka Ivankovic-Mijatovic attended the Confirmation Mass. Photo: Mile Pavlovic, Brotnjo Online
“In Babylon the fruit is from the human spirit: incomprehension of speech, breaking down of unity, loss of name, ruin of the city, destruction of the tower. Misunderstanding and chaos! Misunderstanding and fuss! In Jerusalem the fruit is from God’s Spirit: unification, diversity of human gifts, respect of every language, nation and gift. Understanding and harmony” Bishop Peric lined up the two cities.
“Dear faithful, confirmands! You have the opportunity to turn this Medjugorje into Babylon, confusion and chaos; to show a false pride up to the clouds, to give in to the race for foreigners and their money, to allow tourism to flood and defeat you with a multitude of languages, to compete over who will build the most Babylonian floors and villas, over who will open a profitable business and get richer” the Bishop said, before outlining his positive Medjugorje scenario.
While Bishop Peric has full authority over pastoral and liturgical matters at Medjugorje, his predecessor had a Bishop’s usual authority over an acclaimed apparition in his diocese removed in 1986 by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, today Pope Benedict XVI.
Upon refusing Bishop Pavao Zanic’s negative report of the Medjugorje apparitions, Cardinal Ratzinger, as Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, removed the Medjugorje case dossier from Bishop Zanic, to hand it over to the group of Yugoslavian Bishops.
Spotlight on Cardinal provides ‘report’ to Rome…
Medjugorje ‘Commission’ revealed…
When asked if he had spoken about his pilgrimage to Medjugorje during his recent private meeting with Pope Benedict XVI, the cardinal said it is not customary to report on this form of audience but he could say that because of the public spotlight on his pilgrimage, Medjugorje has been a topic in Rome and his impressions have been reported.
As part of an exclusive interview published today by the Austrian Catholic news agency, kath.net, the Archbishop of Vienna, cardinal Schönborn, has spoken again about Medjugorje and made mention of a commission set up by the Holy Father.
Cardinal Schönborn added that he is very confident the commission appointed by the Holy Father to examine the events at Medjugorje will work very well and responsibly, and that the outcome will certainly be good. He also said he is confident that great prudence and sensitivity is being applied to a phenomenon that has attracted 30 million pilgrims and produced very good fruit, but also some unanswered questions.
Cardinal Schönborn celebrates his 65th birthday on Sunday.
(Source: Medjugorje Today)
By Jakob Marschner
Jan 19, 2014
The findings of the Vatican Commission on Medjugorje make a favorable judgment an option, though in a partial form because the apparitions are ongoing. The Commission found real and significant fruits in the form of conversions, and no evidence of fraud, deception or abuse.
No fraud detected, good fruits recognized, initially positive conclusion positive while keeping in mind that the phenomenon is still going on: After four years of work, Medjugorje gets a positive review from the Vatican Commission. Photo: Hrvoje Joe Topic
Medjugorje gets a favorable review in the final report handed over this weekend from the international Commission of inquiry to the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The reports facilitates a favorable judgment, at least on matters that can be clarified and evaluated by a time when the apparitions continue, Vatican Insider has learned.
“The verdict could be positive, albeit partial. Vatican Insider has learnt that the Commission has focused mainly on the first phase of apparitions. There is apparently no proof of any tricks, hoaxes or abuse of popular credulity. However, it is proving difficult for the Church to form a definitive verdict on the supernatural nature of a phenomenon that is ongoing” the Vatican special section of the major Italian newspaper La Stampa continues.
Headed by Cardinal Camillo Ruini (left), the Medjugorje Commission was initiated by Pope Benedict XVI almost four years ago, on March 17th 2010
The Commission report also recognizes the spiritual fruits of Medjugorje:
“The Commission and Cardinal Ruini himself thanks to visits by people close to him have noticed that people really are converting to the faith or returning to the sacraments – what the Church refers to as spiritual fruits – in a significant way” Vatican Insider further notes.
While almost no one have expected the report to immediately precede the Church’s final judgment on the authenticity of the events at Medjugorje, a number of insightful sources have said the report will likely affect the future administration of the place.
In this field, Vatican Insider revives the idea of removing Medjugorje from the diocese of Mostar where Bishop Ratko Peric never believed in the apparitions. First mentioned by sources as an option in 2011, the idea has since been dismissed by others as unrealistic:
“A couple of solutions proposed in the recent past, have been to restore the old diocese of Trebinje so as to remove Medjugorje from the territory of the Mostar diocese or to create a Marian shrine that would be managed by a rector from another diocese” Vatican Insider reports.
(Source: © Informativni centar “Mir” Međugorje www.medjugorje.hr.)
In the Conclusion of the post-synodal apostolic exhortation ECCLESIA IN OCEANIA, given in Rome at Saint Peter’s, on November 22, 2001,His Holiness Pope John Paul II invites the faithful to join him in turning to the Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus and Mother of the Church:
“In times of difficulty and pain, Mary has been an unfailing refuge for those seeking peace and healing. In churches, chapels and homes, the image of Mary reminds people of her loving presence and her maternal protection. In parts of the Pacific region, she is especially venerated under the title of Help of Christians; and the Bishops have proclaimed her as Patroness of Oceania under the title of Our Lady of Peace.
In Jesus Christ, whom she nurtured in her womb, there is born a new world where justice and mercy meet, a world of freedom and peace. Through Christ’s Cross and Resurrection, God has reconciled the world to himself, and he has made the Lord Jesus the Prince of Peace for every time and place. May Mary, Regina Pacis, help the peoples of Oceania to know this peace, and to share it with others! At the dawn of the Third Christian Millennium, may true justice and harmony be God’s gift to Oceania and to all the nations of the world!”
Prayer to Our Lady of Peace
O Mary, Help of Christians,
in our need we turn to you
with eyes of love, with empty hands
and longing hearts.
We look to you that we may see your Son,
We lift our hands that
we may have the Bread of Life.
We open wide our hearts
to receive the Prince of Peace.
Mother of the Church,
your sons and daughters thank you
for your trusting word that echoes
through the ages,
rising from an empty soul made full of grace,
prepared by God to welcome
the Word to the world
that the world itself might be reborn.
In you, the reign of God has dawned,
a reign of grace and peace, love and justice,
born from the depths of the Word made flesh.
The Church throughout the world joins you
in praising him
whose mercy is from age to age.
O Stella Maris, light of every ocean
and mistress of the deep,
guide the peoples of Oceania
across all dark and stormy seas,
that they may reach the haven of peace and light
prepared in him who calmed the sea.
Keep all your children safe from harm
for the waves are high and we are far from home.
As we set forth upon the oceans of the world,
and cross the deserts of our time,
show us, O Mary, the fruit of your womb,
for without your Son we are lost.
Pray that we will never fail on life’s journey,
that in heart and mind, in word and deed,
in days of turmoil and in days of calm,
we will always look to Christ and say,
“Who is this that even wind and sea obey him?”
Our Lady of Peace, in whom all storms grow still,
pray at the dawn of the new millennium
that the Church in Oceania
will not cease to show forth
the glorious face of your Son,
full of grace and truth,
so that God will reign in the hearts
of the Pacific peoples
and they will find peace
in the world’s true Saviour.
Plead for the Church in Oceania
that she may have strength
to follow faithfully the way of Jesus Christ,
to tell courageously the truth of Jesus Christ,
to live joyfully the life of Jesus Christ.
O Help of Christians, protect us!
Bright Star of the Sea, guide us!
Our Lady of Peace, pray for us!
Given in Rome at Saint Peter’s, 22 November 2001, the twenty-fourth of my Pontificate.
JOANNES PAULUS PP. II
Provincial of the Herzegovinian Franciscan Province and former Pastor of Medjugorje
Date: September 20, 2008
Author: Dr. Fr. Ivan Sesar
Published in Večernji list, 14. 09. 2008. Interview by Žarko Ivković
(Source: Information Centre “Mir” Medjugorje (www.medjugorje.hr)
The media published in recent days a sensational news: that the Vatican began to square the accounts with the phenomenon called Medjugorje, and that the Pope himself called Medjugorje a fraud. In the background of this false information was the case of Fr. Tomislav Vlašić, punished by the Vatican for “spreading of doubtful doctrines, manipulation of consciences, doubtful mysticism, disobedience and fault against the sixth commandment (fornication)”. As this is a priest who used to serve in Medjugorje, the authenticity of Our Lady’s apparitions in Medjugorje was once again under suspicion.
What says about this Dr. Fr. Ivan Sesar, Provincial of the Herzegovinian Franciscan Province and former Pastor of Medjugorje?
Dr. Fr. Ivan Sesar: I am surprised by these wrong, and I would even say malevolent, conclusions. It is well known that the Holy See is observing the events of Medjugorje with special attention, and that it has not pronounced any final judgment yet. The Vatican is not an institution that is squaring the accounts with anyone and with Medjugorje least of all.
But the case of Fr. Tomislav, who was punished, is another proof for the skeptics that the phenomenon of Medjugorje has been invented by the Herzegovinian Franciscans?
It is a pure fiction hat the phenomenon of Medjugorje has been invented by the Herzegovinian Franciscans. All those who are well intentioned and make an effort to find out the truth about the beginnings of the Medjugorje events, will easily find out that the Franciscans who were serving in Medjugorje at that time, approached these events with much precaution.
The journalist Inoslav Bešker pushed even further and asked if precisely Vlašić “invented the apparitions”. What is the truth about the activities of Fr. Tomislav in Medjugorje?
This is an equally absurd assertion. It is well known and easy to prove that Fr. Tomislav was not serving in Medjugorje in June 1981, when the first apparitions began, as the six children said. He did not even know the children. He came to Medjugorje by the will of his superiors in September 1981, after Fr. Jozo Zovko has been arrested. He was working in the parish less then 4 years, in 1985, he was transferred to Vitina, and in 1988, he left for Italy.
Was Fr. Tomislav the spiritual guide of the visionaries? Was he presenting himself falsely, even to the Pope, as the one who “by God’s providence leads the Medjugorje visionaries”?
This provincial house has never proposed or appointed anyone as the spiritual guide of the visionaries. I think that not a single one of the parish priests of Medjugorje ever had a “mandate” to lead them spiritually. The fact is that some of the Franciscans were hearing confessions of some of the visionaries; they had, and still do have friendly relationships with them and their families. Who is whose friend or spiritual guide, you have to ask this the visionaries themselves. These days, we could read in the media that some of the visionaries denied this kind of leadership.
Is the punishment that strikes Fr. Tomislav in any relation with his activities in Medjugorje? Mons. Ratko Perić, the Bishop of Mostar, is putting it in this context.
As much as I understood from the documents that I read, Fr. Tomislav Vlašić has been punished neither because of his former pastoral activities in the parish Medjugorje, nor because of the Medjugorje phenomenon, nor because of his personal attitude towards this phenomenon. When he was transferred from Medjugorje, the bishop did not take away from him any priestly faculties! I do not see the reason to connect this with his activities in Medjugorje or with the phenomenon itself, and even less reasons to interpret this as a negative attitude of the Vatican towards Medjugorje.
What is the position of the Herzegovinian Franciscan Province towards the case of Fr. Tomislav Vlašić?
In 1992, he officially joined the Italian Franciscan Province of Abruzzo, where he is living and working. This means that – since then – this Provincial house has no access to his occupations, and to what he is doing. According to the rules of our Order, he is not obliged to give an account about his activities to the Herzegovinian Franciscan Province of the Assumption of the BVM, and he has not done it. He is under the authority of the Provincial and the provincial Government of the province to which he belongs. I have never been officially informed about the details of his activities in Italy.
The Vatican has announced a new commission that will re-examine the phenomenon of Medjugorje. What do you know about it?
The rumor about a new commission that is supposed to examine the phenomenon of Medjugorje is becoming louder and louder, but our provincial office has not received any officinal written confirmation.
Is this commission going to be under Pope’s “patronage”, has any member been appointed yet?
As much as I have been informed unofficially, it is supposed to be an international commission to be appointed by the Holy See. As a provincial of the province to which the parish Medjugorje has been entrusted for pastoral care, and as a former pastor of Medjugorje, I declare that we are totally open and ready to collaborate with any commission appointed by the official Church. From the very beginning, the parish Medjugorje has been legally led by the Franciscans who, according to the rules of the Church, are appointed by the local Church authorities. The pastoral staff desires all the events to be in conformity with the rules of the Church and the doctrine of the Church. Medjugorje is not, as some think and say, “a project of some individuals or some groups”, but a graceful gift of Heaven offered to today’s people and humanity.
Is there anything happening “behind the scene”?
In Medjugorje, there is nothing secret or “behind the scene”, hidden from the public eyes. Everyone, a believer or an unbeliever, can come and see what is happening and why so large crowds of pilgrims from the whole world gather there. The numbers confirm that, in spite of everything, Medjugorje is today one of the most famous places of pilgrimage in the world in the Catholic Church, and an irresistible magnet for many who seek God.
In October 2005, letters between Marek and Zofia Skwarnicki and the late Holy Father John Paul II were published in Marek’s recent book: John Paul II : Greetings and Blessings – Private Letters from the Pope, published in October 2005 by Bertelsman Media, Poland.
The following letters are taken from this book:
+ Dear Mr and Mrs!
I cordially thank for the joint letter from the Skwarnickis: Zofia and Mark. I also thank for the Easter wishes. I return them with all my heart to you and the Young Generation (the Children and Grandchildren), and, eventually, to the Weekly and the whole Society. I trust that our Mother of Jasna Góra (the Bright Hill) will help me on the route of my pilgrimage in June. I do ask you for your prayer. I also remember in my everyday prayers about Father Andrew B. And I am sending a special blessing for Monica on the occasion of her First Holy Communion. And may everything work out fine on the Medjugorje to Rome journey.
With a heartfelt blessing,John Paul II
Vatican, March 30th, 1991
May the Peace of Christ reign in your hearts (Colossians 3, 15)
Blessingly,John Paul II, the Pope
May 28, 1992:
Dear Mr. Mark Skwarnicki,
“…And now we everyday return to Medjugorje in prayer.” (p. 102)
December 8, 1992 (this letter was written in the pope’s own handwriting) :
“Dear Mr. and Mrs. Skwarnicki,
“…I thank Mrs. Zofia for everything concerning Medjugorje. I ,too, go there every day as a pilgrim in my prayers: I unite in my prayers with all those who pray there or receive a calling for prayer from there. Today we have understood this call better. I rejoice that our time is not lacking people of prayer and apostles…” (p. 107)
John Paul II
February 25, 1994:
“I thank you very much for the both letters. Mrs. Zofia is writing me about the Balkans. I guess Medjugorje is better understood these days. This kind of “urging” of our Mother is better understood today when we see with our very eyes the enormousness of the danger. At the same time, the response in the way of a special prayer – and that coming from people all around the world – fills us with hope that here, too, the good will prevail. Peace is possible – such was the motto of the day of prayers of January 23rd, prepared by a special session in Vatican in which Mr. T. Mazowiecki also participated.
Perhaps it is thanks to this as well that Europe is coming back to its senses. People in Poland get back to their senses, too, as follows from your writing. Maybe it will become easier for them to come to terms with the Pope who has not preached “the victory of democracy” but reminded them of the Decalogue…” (p. 119)
John Paul II
(Source: Children of Medjugorje)