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Medjugorje Blog - From this world to the next. He said to the woman: Your faith has saved you; go in peace. ~ Luke 7:50
By: Peace Pilgrim

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Wednesday, 8-Oct-2008 17:50 Email | Share | | Bookmark
VIDEO: Michael Palin in Medjugorje, Bosnia - Herzegovina

Michael Palin's New Europe
Michael Palin
Michael Palin's book: New Europe
I came across Michael Palin's show, New Europe, on the travel channel. He was visiting Dubrovnik, the pearl of the Adriatic, and a place in Yugoslavia that we visited in 2006, when we returned to Medjugorje to personally thank Our Lady, in the spirit of the one leper who returned to Our Lord, Jesus Christ to thank him for his healing.

This "chance" encounter with Michael Palin's show lead me to google him and discover this video of his visit to Medjugorje on Youtube. Our Lady is now Our Lady of the Internet; she's putting this media to great use. Here it is:

"Michael Palin's travels in New Europe take him to Bosnia and Herzegovina, a remarkable Balkan country where East meets West, and modern ways live alongside ancient traditions ..." (and where Mary, Our Mother, is appearing in present time).





Thank you, Michael Palin.


>> A discussion on this show can be found at the Medjugorje Forum:
Michael Palin's New Europe: Bosnia and Herzegovina

>> Michael Palin's book: A New Europe


Monday, 6-Oct-2008 06:53 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Padre Livio Fanzaga's interview with Vicka of Medjugorje (2008)

 
 
 
>> http://holy.harmoniae.com/medj_eng_interview_vicka_dic2008.htm

ENGLISH VERSION

Padre Livio's interview with Vicka of Medjugorje (2008)
This was broadcast live by Radio Maria Italia from Medjugorje on January 2nd, 2008 from 2.30pm to 3.30pm



For over 20 years Padre Livio Fanzaga has been the director of Radio Maria Italia, the Catholic radio most listened to in the whole world and which grew on the wave of fervor generated by the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin ("Queen of Peace") at Medjugorje to which Padre Livio is profoundly tied (the well-known Radio Maria Poland is not associated with the Radio Maria family). The radio is funded exclusively by the listeners. There are 8 hours of prayer daily including the holy Mass and over 8 hours of instruction and formation. As conductors of various radio programs there are about 60 priests and almost as many lay people. And most of the priests are professors at various Pontifical schools. There are also quite a few Cardinals and Bishops who participate either with live programs or who are featured via pre-recorded talks/interviews/catechesis: Cardinal Giacomo Biffi, Archbishop Emeritus of Bologna (who preached the Lenten retreat for the Roman Curia and Pope Benedict XVI in 2007), Cardinal Angelo Comastri, archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica (at the Vatican), Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture and president of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church, Mons. Girolamo Grillo, Bishop of Civitavecchia, Mons. Cosmo Francesco Ruppi, Bishop of Lecce, Mons. Alessandro Maggiolini, Bishop of Como. Radio Maria is among Italy's top ten most popular radio stations.

***





Listen interview with Vicka
(original Italian audio by Radio Maria Italia)

PADRE LIVIO – Dear friends of Radio Maria, hello and good afternoon to you all. At the beginning of this new year we are blessed to be able to do a live broadcast from Medjugorje with the seer Vicka. Vicka, before we get started I'd like for you to say hello to everyone and to reassure us about your health.

VICKA – Dear listeners I am very happy to be able to greet you today but I am even happier to be able to give to you what the Madonna says and which I am able to say to all of you.

PADRE LIVIO – Since it has been some months that you have not been able to be in touch with the radio listeners and the pilgrims on account of your health, I wish to ask you how you are doing now.

VICKA – I am feeling very well, really.

PADRE LIVIO – I have noticed over the last few days how you have been receiving pilgrims standing even for several hours out in the cold. It was even 8 and 10 degrees below zero [centigrade] but I noticed that you held up well under the strain.

VICKA – This little health problem happened last May. On May 17th it was the anniversary of the operation I had on my back. I was already there, ready to receive the pilgrims who would be coming here to the stairs and I was feeling very well. At 9:30 in the morning though, I reached to shake the hand of a pilgrim and I felt a pain in the bone. The Madonna perhaps wanted to give me a little challenge; she asked me to receive this small bit of suffering and I was very happy to accept it.

I always say to the Madonna that I am ready to accept with all my heart everything that she asks of me. But now I am fine and all these health problems have been taken care of.




Padre Livio Fanzaga with Vicka
(broadcast live by Radio Maria Italia from Medjugorje)

27 years of apparitions

PADRE LIVIO – It is now 27 years that the apparitions have been taking place. It is a very long time, almost a third of the life of a person. After 27 years how does it seem to you that the Madonna's messages have been received?

VICKA – When one looks back over these 27 years it seems that a lot of time has gone by. But to me it doesn't seem that way because the time seems to have flown by very quickly.

It is 27 years that the Madonna has been among us and they have been 27 years full of great graces. None of us can imagine the value of her presence among us. Really, this period has not been too long but too short... I say too short because of all the blessings we have here! As long as the Madonna is here among us we are assured of having her special maternal protection.

PADRE LIVIO – But the Madonna said that in this period many have responded to her call but many have also lost their way. Have you also had this impression?

VICKA – I never really had that impression even though I did not understand what the Madonna meant by that expression, because for my part I want to always follow what the Madonna wants.

The Madonna says, "I am very happy with all the pilgrims who come here to Medjugorje, but I am even happier for those pilgrims who, after having come to Medjugorje, embrace the messages and take them to others". Each one of us must be carriers of her messages and of her peace.

Many times we make a start at living the messages but then after a while we grow tired, we stop and then we don't go on. The Madonna says that when we live her messages with joy and love we will not grow tired anymore. It is for this reason that the Madonna encourages us to persevere day after day. She says not to try and live her messages all at once, but to take them little by little and this way our hearts are gradually converted.

PADRE LIVIO – One of the objections to these apparitions which is always brought up, even by Church authorities, has to do with the length of these apparitions... Have you ever asked yourself why the Madonna has remained among us for so long? What answer have you given to yourself?

VICKA – This was also the objection made by our priests. Once they made us ask the Madonna how long she would still be staying with us and she responded by saying: "Have you tired of me?". We did not ask that question for ourselves but for others. It makes me think how often when we have something that is important to us, that we care about and we always tell the Madonna what we would like her to do for us.

The Madonna has said, "I am your Mother, I am the Mother of all of you and I love you with the same love and I came to save you all". I am certain that her presence here for so long among us means something like, "dear children, for such a long time I am waiting for you, I am not tired, I want you to be saved".

She has also said, "you do not know how many graces are bestowed upon you with my presence among you", and this will be so for as long as the Madonna remains here among us. The Madonna prayed to her Son and He gave her the possibility of this grace to remain so long with us.

PADRE LIVIO – So, the presence of the Madonna for such a long period of time is a sign of her immense motherly love.

VICKA – When the Madonna appears she gives you so much serenity, she gives you so much peace, she gives you such happiness, but there is also this. I see within the Madonna's heart which suffers.

There is a great suffering within her heart. I am actually able to see this. She could even cover this suffering with a smile, but the suffering cannot be cancelled. Just like you and me, we are speaking and I see you, I can tell if you are not happy. Every day when the Madonna comes, you can see immediately the great sorrow within her heart.


PADRE LIVIO – So, the Madonna is joyful for all those who convert, but there is also suffering for all those who have begun to convert but who haven't persevered.


VICKA – Yes, but sometimes after meditation or prayer I think this: how great is the love of the Madonna for us! It is something that cannot be imagined: an infinite love!

The Madonna is always waiting, is always accepting, she always loves. There is no person in the whole world who has a heart, a love as big as this or arms open like these! Such an open heart that in every moment is waiting... waiting for her children, "here I am my child...".

One who wants to believe, who asks her, she says "come, I embrace you". For those who are still far away she leaves them free to decide, "my child, choose what you feel is best and I will remain close to you and wait for you... surely one day you will come".



The period of conversion and the Ten Secrets

PADRE LIVIO – One of the reasons these apparitions are so important has to do with something the Madonna said after the first year the apparitions began. The Madonna made certain pronouncements which I would like for you to comment on, giving your interpretation of them.

The Madonna said: «My apparitions at Medjugorje are the last ones for humanity. Hurry to convert» (April 17, 1982) and, «I came to call the world to conversion for the last time. In the future I will come no more upon the Earth. These are my last apparitions» (May 2nd, 1982). Do you think this means that Medjugorje are the last apparitions of the Madonna here on Earth?

VICKA – For me the message that the Madonna has given is very clear: this is the last time that she will be present here on Earth in the way she has been present at Medjugorje for such a long period of time. I heard her speak those words because I was the one who received them personally; the words of the other message I did not receive personally and maybe the other seers could add something more.

Still today the Madonna is inviting us to conversion, because it is today that we are living this time of grace. We must not wait for tomorrow in order to convert, we must do so today because tomorrow could be too late. The Madonna says, everything that you can do today, do today. And also, our conversion isn't something that happens on just one day, but it continues over our entire life.

Mary calls us in order to bring us closer to her Son. She has never said that she should have the first place. I have never heard this from her mouth. Always when the Madonna speaks she says, "put my Son first; I come second".

She says, "when you pray, always pray to my Son first, and then afterwards to me, and then the many graces God gives to me, I can give to you".

The Madonna is only a go-between between God and men. God gives these graces to the Madonna and then she gives them to us.


PADRE LIVIO – I was really struck by what the Madonna said about the third secret, which concerns the sign on the mountain. You seers said that it will be a visible sign, an indestructable sign that comes from God. However, she also added, «Hurry and convert yourselves. When the promised sign on the hill will be given, it will be too late», (Sept. 2, 1982).

Another time she also said, «And even after I've left this sign on the hill which I have promised to you, many will not believe. They will come to the hill, they will kneel, but they won't believe» (July 19, 1981). Why is it, in your opinion, that people will see the sign but they won't convert?

VICKA – The third secret is about a sign that she will leave here [Medjugorje] on the mountain of the apparitions. This sign will remain forever. It is given above for all for those people who are still far away from God. The Madonna wishes to give these people who will see the sign a chance to believe in God. I was able to see this sign...

PADRE LIVIO – You have already seen the sign?

VICKA – Yes, I saw it in a vision.

PADRE LIVIO – Jakov once said in an interview with Radio Maria that in order to see the sign it will be necessary to come here to Medjugorje, is that true?

VICKA – Yes, it's true. The sign will remain on Podbrdo and one will have to come here to see it. This sign will be indestructable and will remain in that place forever.

I want to say about those people who will see it and not believe, the Madonna leaves everyone free to believe or not but those are ones whose hearts are too closed. It's the same thing as the Madonna said to us, "if one wants to go to heaven, he will go to heaven, if one wants to go to hell he will go to hell".

Those people who are far away from God and do not want to believe, these will not believe in the sign. For those who do not know God but have good intentions and a desire to love, these will be benefitted by the sign. But I think that those who do everything against God, they will run away from the sign, they will not believe.

PADRE LIVIO – So, this is a time of grace, this is the time of conversion, "don't wait for the sign in order to convert yourselves" the Madonna said. Well, so why leave a sign like some last extreme help: is it in order to move the Church to recognize the apparitions as authentic?

VICKA – Yes, certainly it will be for the Church so that they will have no doubt that the Madonna had been among us and it is also for those who are still far away from God. So the Madonna is thinking about both groups of people, and then it is up to us how to be ready to respond to the sign, to respond to her call through the sign.

Everyone who comes, who will see, you know, you can say "I don't believe it" and that is your personal idea, that's what you believe, but that the Madonna is here, that she is present, that she leaves this sign, a sign that no man can make; it is something only God can make and so nobody will be able to say that it is a small thing or something else. This arrives in such a way that they won't have words to say what it is.

PADRE LIVIO – This means that when the time of the secrets comes, the fourth through the tenth secrets, secrets which are evidently rather arduous, it means that in any event, in the time of the secrets, we will always have the sign of the Madonna which will comfort us. But you also said the last time, last year, that during the time of the ten secrets one of the seers will still have the daily apparitions of the Madonna.

VICKA – Yes, it is certain, it is something I repeat now. We will see who it is, there is still me, Marija and Jakov, afterwards we will see who the Madonna has chosen, who of us three remains with the apparitions. Or maybe it will be someone else that the Madonna has chosen.

PADRE LIVIO – Well, you know me, I have no scruple about asking certain questions...
So, you, Marija and Ivan... one you three with Jakov. Someone said something to Mirjana like "Vicka said that during the time of the ten secrets there will be one seer who will continue to have the daily apparitions" but Mirjana said that she didn't know anything about this. What does that mean? That this was told to you personally by the Madonna?

VICKA – Yes the Madonna told me personally. Afterwards we shall see, the Madonna didn't say, "Vicka, it will be you". Now we just wait to see who it will be. She said that when the time comes, to the person who will continue to have the apparitions, she will explain every "how and what" to that person.

The value of suffering

PADRE LIVIO – Allow me to ask you a rather particular question. In the last few years the Madonna gives her messages for us through Marija on the 25th of every month, through Mirjana on the 2nd of every month and sometimes through Ivan when he has the apparitions on the mountain. I noticed that it's been a few years that you don't receive messages for the people.

VICKA – No, I receive these, you know, when the Madonna wants to give them. She knows when. The Madonna said that there are many messages to give but that we are not ready to receive them. It is useless that she gives us a message which goes in one ear and out the other and in the heart there remains no trace of it.

The Madonna wants us to live these messages. She said, "take my messages and when I see that you make some progress, I am ready to give you more", that is, when she sees that we are following her. What else is she to do? It is useless to throw pearls to pigs, as the saying goes. That is what I think too.

PADRE LIVIO – Well, I had another thought about it. [...] Seeing as how you were asked by the Madonna to pray for the sick, maybe the Madonna wants you to be like a living message of how to be patient in accepting all this suffering that you've been through.

VICKA – For sure, suffering cannot be explained, suffering can only be lived in one's own heart. When the Lord gives us a suffering, a cross, pain, this is really a big gift that God gives.

We often think, how can sickness be a gift? But it's a big gift!

Only God knows why he gives this gift and only He knows the reason for when He takes it back. It is only up to us how we are ready to accept this gift. The Madonna told us that many times when this gift come to us we always ask a thousand questions, and she says stop asking questions.

It is enough to say, "I thank you God for this gift, that you still have something that you want to give to me, I am ready to receive it. I ask only your strength and courage so that I may carry on".

And also the Madonna has already told us, "you don't know how great is the value of your suffering in the eyes of God". I am telling you what I am able to through my own suffering... my suffering is a gift.... I am not saying that we are always 1000% ready to embrace suffering but I have a great desire, a great joy to suffer something for the Madonna and for Jesus.

There is nothing that I wouldn't willingly suffer for them. The Madonna can say to me, "Vicka, do this, do that", and I await with all my heart, with open arms. Because I want to respond to that to all the good that the Madonna has given to me, and with what little is mine suffering I can respond with this to her love.

And so I say to you, dear listeners, when you are suffering, and today there are different kinds of suffering: there is the suffering that God gives and there is the suffering that we make for ourselves and these are two different things, they don't have the same value.

We must try to accept that which the Lord wants and we must give thanks and when one gives thanks for this great gift, then graces and fruits and everything come sooner. And then we can't say "I'm suffering, I'm in pain", God knows this: accept it, don't talk about it. One who is still able to speak isn't suffering. Suffering is to be lived in our soul and in our hearts.

PADRE LIVIO – I seem to recall that on several occasions the Madonna spoke about smiling though one is suffering.

VICKA – Certainly, and this too is really beautiful. Because when you smile in your suffering it's because you have accepted it and you belong totally to God and afterwards you don't perceive the suffering anymore but you will feel joy; because you suffer with joy there is no tension, there is nothing that tires you, you feel very happy.

But that joy doesn't come from anything outside, it comes from within you, from your heart. And you feel an urge, every day it becomes stronger, and you don't feel the heaviness anymore. I don't feel any heaviness, I feel a joy so great that I want to do more for the Madonna, to suffer more, and you feel the suffering but there is a great happiness, there is love, because you suffer, you bear the suffering with love.


PADRE LIVIO – That's fine for you but the reality is another, that is, those who discover that pain is a gift are relatively few while the great majority of people when they are sick ask to be healed and in their desperation even go to the wrong kind of people like tarot card readers, astrologers, healers and the like.

The Madonna told us instead how to obtain healing: «For the healing of the sick, firm faith is needed and persevering prayer accompanied by the offering of fasting and sacrifices. I cannot help those who do not pray and do not offer sacrifices», (August 18, 1982). [note: sacrifices means denying ourselves a certain pleasure or eliminating a bad habit or vice or also praying more and going to daily Mass, etc.].

So, in order to obtain this healing, you know there are so many mothers who want this healing for their children, what must one do?


VICKA – Well, I will only explain a little bit. God is always ready to give healing. But for God it's not so easy for him to give us this gift because there are problems.

What are these problems? It is like this: many times when there is some difficulty or suffering for our children, a husband or one of our neighbors we beg God with great energy to heal their suffering, we are ready to accept anything, do everything, get on our knees, pray for hours but only for that particular moment.

Also the Madonna is ready to give the grace that is being requested. And many times the grace is given in order to show that person that God is near. But the Madonna also said to us that those graces are not to be played around with, because the Madonna said to us that some people after receiving a miracle behave worse than before and then the next time they need a special grace, they pray expecting to be satisfied a second time, because they think, "You gave me once before so must give me again today". In this way we start playing around with these graces from God.

Already the Madonna said to us, "there is no problem for the graces, I am able to give them; through my Son I can pray for these gifts and give them, but the problem is with your hearts. You all ask for healing of everything in the body, but too few ask for healing of the heart. When your hearts begin to heal, then your bodies will begin to heal".

We often ask in a way that is wrong for the things we need; we ask thinking God should always answer our prayers: "The Madonna today must give me this thing or else I won't pray anymore". But this is commerce, this is about buying and selling things. If you want to pray, pray, If you don't want to pray, don't pray, there is no problem; there's no one imposing this, saying you must do this... no, no.

God gave you total liberty.

And another thing, for sure, we must pray for our faith, to have a lively faith. We should pray every day for this gift and this gift will grow every day in our hearts.

Our faith shouldn't be only in words, but it should be our life, and we must search and ask for faith with our lives, with faith. And everyday when we pray for faith, it grows, and afterwards we will have a treasure in our hearts... our hearts will be healed. Until we do this we will not be healed. It is useless going to astrologist, healers, psychics... by going to such people it's clear that you don't believe in God. God doesn't allow this, going to these healers and psychics.

The only one who can give these graces of healing is God and the Madonna. You can go anywhere looking for help but you will always return to the same place. The only one who can give you healing, joy and peace is Christ, who waits for you.



PADRE LIVIO – Of course, because if the Madonna were to heal us without us being converted, we would make use of the healing in order to continue sinning.

VICKA – Oh yes, this is for sure. Once the Madonna explained to us that today, everything that was once normal is no longer normal, and everything that was once considered not normal has become normal. This is our own doing; we made this mess on our own. God doesn't have anything to do with it and God has give to man a chance a test to demonstrate what he can do now, today in order to set things right.



The difficult situation of peace in the World

PADRE LIVIO – In fact the Madonna had some very worrying messages about the situation in the world in which evil seems to be increasing. In one message the Madonna said: «The world today lives in the midst of very strong tensions and is walking on the edge of a catastrophe. It can be saved only if it finds peace. But it will find peace only by returning to God» (February 15 1983).


VICKA – But certainly. Many times we look for peace in the wrong places.

We must look for peace in God and in the Madonna.

When we pray for peace in the world, the world is us. Sometimes we think: "today I'll pray for the world" but we pray as if we had nothing to do with the world we are praying for. But I am the world, and I must know this and remember this and then pray for the intentions of the Madonna and in this way she can find peace for the world. And when we will make peace inside our hearts, the world will change.

PADRE LIVIO – The Madonna also spoke of false prophets saying, «Those who make catastrophic predictions are false prophets. They say: "in that particular year, on that particular day, there will be a catastrophe". I have always said that the chastisement will come if the world does not convert. Therefore I invite everyone to conversion. Everything depends on your conversion», (December 15, 1983). So now I ask you, if we convert will there still be the ten secrets, or no?

VICKA – No, no, the ten secrets will take place for sure. The Madonna has already given them. She has described nine of them to me and now I am waiting for the last one.

I can only tell about the secret which is the sign on the mountain which I already spoke about and now I only want to say this about the seventh secret: that the Madonna said that half of the seventh secret has been cancelled because of our prayers. She recommends that we continue praying because with our prayers we can cancel also other secrets. The other one was the ninth secret...

PADRE LIVIO – So, in essence, the discourse is this: the Madonna urges us to convert, she tells us not to wait for the sign on the mountain in order to convert, and in any event, «...all the secrets that I have confided will be realized and also the visible sign will be made manifest. When the visible sign comes, for many it will already be too late», (December 23, 1982). What does that mean?

VICKA – The Madonna did not explain why it will be too late and I did not ask, she only said that we are now living in {color=red]a time of grace[/color].

PADRE LIVIO – So, it is important to convert before the sign is made manifest?

VICKA – Every day the Madonna calls us to conversion, to the conversion of our hearts, you understand? And 27 and a half years later the Madonna is still among us and our hearts are still too closed, too distant. I don't know, I don't know what it could be, but "too late" seems right.

PADRE LIVIO – You have always said, and also the Madonna of Medjugorje, that when we talk about the ten secrets, we must do so always inviting everyone to hope. In fact in one of the Madonna's messages she said, "we must never take away hope".

The Madonna didn't come to frighten us but to call us back to responsibility and to conversion in a context which always inspires hope. The Madonna even once said, in the first year of the apparitions: «For the Christian there is only one attitude with regard to the future: hope of salvation» (June 10th, 1982).

VICKA – Well, you see, the Madonna is here among us to save our souls, truly. She did not come in order to boss us "do this, do that or else"... she is here to occupy herself with our souls, she says that she is the Mother of everyone and loves everyone, "you do not know how much I love you; if you knew you would cry for joy". We are still a long way away from her joy... you understand?

All those little things, simple things, she always gives hope. And then you read her face which she shows you: it is so sad! but she gives you so much joy! she lifts you up, she gives you strength! And this is so encouraging.

PADRE LIVIO – In all of my radio broadcasts I try to underline this fact too, that the ten secrets are a time of grace because it is in this time that the power of the evil one will be conquered by the Madonna. The Madonna is here as "Queen".

VICKA – The Madonna many times has told us that the evil one knows where we are weakest and he looks for the empty places in us [places not dedicated to God] that he can inhabit: and he has found many places among the young and in families, breaking them up. The evil one does a lot of things like this you know. But the Madonna has said that when we feel peace in our hearts and joy and tranquility, then you can see very clearly that this comes from God.

If instead there is fear in our hearts and we feel disturbed, then we must be very careful because this doesn't come from God. We must be able to distinguish immediately that which comes from God and that which does not, we need to keep awake and persevere with making the change in our lives so that we can keep the evil one at bay.


PADRE LIVIO – This means that if we stay close to the Madonna we will feel joy in our hearts and we will not feel this anxious fear about our future. In fact, the Madonna once said that he who prays has no fear about the the future.

VICKA – Certainly: he who prays has no fear about the future and he who fasts has no fear of the evil one. We have a great grace, we are living in a time of grace.

I have never heard a word come from the Madonna that created fear. She always gives you hope, she gives joy and tranquiity. You can see that the Madonna and her Son defeat all that evil that exists. We shouldn't have any fear but we must follow what they want. He who follows the Madonna and lives her messages has no motive for being afraid. He who has fear, is afraid even of himself, he must do something to start himself going in the right direction and then he can follow the messages of the Madonna.

PADRE LIVIO – Power is of God, evil is dangerous and satan is strong. Anxious fear for the future certainly is not befitting of believers but today there exists a worrying concern which is not to be undervalued. On two occasions John Paul II affirmed that the world was in danger of destroying itself. The seer Ivan declared in a video broadcast that the Madonna had said the very same thing to him, that is, that the world was at risk of destroying itself. So, it's not wise to be too superficial.

In one message the Madonna said, «I will pray my Son to not punish the world, but I beg you: convert yourselves. You all cannot imagine what will happen and neither that which God the Father will send upon the earth. For this I repeat, convert yourselves. Renounce everything. Do penance» (April 25th, 1983). Here one sees how hope and concern can coexist.

VICKA – The Madonna has been with us all these many years precisely so that we might come near to God and convert ourselves. As a mother, the Madonna does not want to lose even one of her children.

She comes from heaven to the Earth to save us but we are still too far away from her. But she never forces anyone, she never says, "you must convert, you must do this and that": no, she doesn't force anyone. She says to each one of us, "my son, do what your heart tells you to do".

And she waits for us like a mother. She waits for everyone. She does all that she can do, but apparently our hearts are still very, very hard.



The presence of Satan and the existence of Hell

PADRE LIVIO – The Madonna mentions satan in almost one hundred messages, 80 of which are messages that have been directed to the parish of Medjugorje and these messages reveal the nature of satan's activity.

In the first years of the apparitions the Madonna gave a rather particular message which however finds confirmation in the experience of other mystics and also in the experience of Pope Leo XIII. She said: «The time has come in which satan is allowed to operate with all his strength and force. This present hour is satan's hour» (February 10th, 1983). What does it mean that to satan is conceded such power?

VICKA – For sure satan is strong but not stronger than God or the Madonna. But he is in a position to disturb us.

In our families today satan can do whatever he wants because all the windows and the doors are open and so he enters however he wants. Also because today no one prays in the family today, the families do everything but pray.

But Satan tries to disturb the families where there is prayer; satan tries to disturb those people for whom God has the first place in their hearts but I am very certain that where there is a person who prays, who is faithful, who loves Jesus and the Madonna... satan sees there is prayer and so he tries for a little while to bring down this person or family but satan sees he can do nothing and so he soon runs away.

PADRE LIVIO – In fact the Madonna said, «Confront satan and defeat satan with the Rosary in your hand» (August 8th, 1985).

VICKA – That's right, the only thing the Madonna told us, "keep the Rosary in your hands and pray. Praying the Rosary is the only way you can keep satan away".


PADRE LIVIO – Anyway it's incredible how the Madonna saw 30 years ago that satan would attack above all young people and families.

VICKA – Yes, for the youth and for families it's a very difficult period: divorce, drugs...everything, all the evil that is in the world can be seen in the way young people and families are destroying themselves.

PADRE LIVIO – Listen Vicka, the Madonna said that she came to save souls, "I want you all with me in paradise".

It is underlined that the Madonna is here in order to save us, but she also said a certain phrase, which she pronounced on two different occasions and which gives an impression... well, which makes us very concerned. She said: "Today, many people go to hell". She said this also at Fatima. She said that the souls of the damned do not repent and they continue to refuse God; they become part of hell and they do not want to be freed from that place. So the Madonna is here, she speaks to us about the devil, she warns us that he wants us to go to hell, she tells us that the souls in hell do not want to convert, that they refuse God and that from many pulpits in many churches it is preached that satan doesn't exist, that there is no one in hell, etc. etc...

VICKA – Well, the first thing I want to say, it's like when we spoke about that sign that will be given that many will see but won't believe, that they refute this sign.

As for the people in hell, what else can they say or want? They went there with their own free will. God sends no one to hell against their wishes. He gives us freedom to choose and so they chose that and went down there.

And I want to say this, the Church cannot say what people want to hear; people say they do not agree with the Church; but I can tell you this truth because I saw it for myself that hell is not empty, in hell there are a lot of people. With my body, the Madonna took me by the hand and took me there and I saw that there are a lot of people in hell. And the Madonna told us that those people went there with their own free will. God did not send them there, the Madonna did not send them there. They wanted to go there and so that's where they went.

PADRE LIVIO – In this there is for us a very great responsibility for us... At Fatima the Madonna in fact said that many go to hell because they have no one who prays for them or makes sacrifices for them. We should feel responsible for souls, that they should be saved.

VICKA – Padre Livio, we pray for all of them, you know, and we also make many sacrifices and everything but they also need to make us feel some pity for them. Do you understand? I do not say that our prayers and sacrifices are useless, no, and with all our hearts and love we are near them but they too need to say something, asking for prayers. They must verbalize this desire to change.

We pray for them that they may be able to change and we pray that we may be a good example to them, that by changing ourselves and making a good example of our lives they may be able to change too.

PADRE LIVIO – I know that the Madonna once said with regard to the diffusion of the messages that «in order to spread these messages, you must above all live with peace in your hearts. Without that people won't believe you and they will refuse your words" (Dec. 20, 1983). So, the problem for you seers is not only transmitting these messages but also to live them so that you may be credible.

VICKA – Yes, when the Madonna gives me a message, I must be the first to live this message, and only afterwards give it to the world. That is why: I try with all my might to live the messages and with all my heart, and then afterwards, with my heart and soul, I am able to respond to others.



Fasting and the prayer for priests

PADRE LIVIO – One of the messages which you know about really well is the one about fasting. Explain to us, well, two things: first of all some people think that the message about fasting is not so valid any more, and then what exactly is this fast that the Madonna asks for and why does she ask for it.

VICKA – When the Madonna recommends fasting she specifies only on Wednesdays and Fridays and fasting only on bread and water. She has also said that people who are not well they should not fast, it is enough if they will make little sacrifices of their own choosing. For all other people who are healthy, who say they can't fast because it makes their head spin, the Madonna says that when we do the fast for love of God and her, that there are no problems, what is missing is a strong will-power.

And the Madonna doesn't want us to fast only to fast and which in the mean time makes us sad or nervous or irritable. It's better not to do it at all. If one does the fast it must be done out of love; it must be something that gives you joy, that you really want to do.

And it is not to be done, announcing this to others, it would lose its value. The fast is to be done with love, with the heart so that no one knows we are fasting.

Fasting signifies purification. And the Madonna wants this fasting on bread and water for the purification of our soul. The Madonna and Jesus want to prepare us on the inside and when we become free of those things which disturb us on the inside, then we can begin to do the fast the way the Madonna wants.


PADRE LIVIO – The Madonna has repeated more than once that fasting on bread and water is fundamental and she has stated on more than one occasion that fasting cannot be replaced by alms giving.

However, she has suggested other kinds of sacrifices, and I mention this specifically for those people who are at the beginning of this "walk of faith" and who do not yet feel capable of doing a bread and water fast. The Madonna indicated other kinds of sacrifices like giving up TV, alcohol, cigarettes and other things that give us pleasure (from the message of Dec. 8, 1981)


VICKA – Oh yes, that's right, to begin like this, a little bit at a time, step after step.The Madonna never said that one must begin right off with a bread and water fast. But begin first with other things and afterwards, when you pray the Lord for this grace to fast, He will give it to you--because you want to fast, and so He is ready to give you this grace.

But you must feel it with all your heart: "Lord, I'm ready to do this fast for you" for sure the Lord will give you this grace, because you asked with all your heart and He responds with love.

And also another thing the Madonna told us, she said: "You don't know what great value our fasting has in the eyes of God". With our fasting we can even stop wars. That's how powerful fasting is.


PADRE LIVIO – The Madonna, in teaching us the virtue of renouncing, has as her objective to strengthen our resolve in renouncing sin.

VICKA – Our lives are too comfortable, we have too many things. It is difficult to convince people to renounce something. People are always thinking about eating more, and they think that if they don't eat for one day that they will die of hunger.

The important thing is to make a start at fasting, liberating our hearts, and to follow what the Madonna wants. The important thing is to begin in order to see that we can liberate ourselves from these fears, that is, trusting our hearts to do the rest.

And the Madonna will give us this grace. Because you want it. It is enough to want it and to apply a strong will-power. With a strong will-power, everything can be done. For sure.

PADRE LIVIO – Of course. The last subject I'd like to talk about is the number of priests who come to Medjugorje, more than in other sanctuaries. It seems that the Madonna calls not only the simple faithful but also priests.

The Madonna has asked many times for prayers for the Pope, for bishops, for our pastors and for priests. She has also asked that the priests be respected, which in Italy is not done much – they are mostly criticized and spoken ill of. In a message from the first year of the apparitions the Madonna said: «Too many people base their faith on how the priest comports himself. If a priest seems to fall short then people say: "God doesn't exist".

And then the Madonna said, "One shouldn't go to church to see how the priest behaves or to examine his private life» (October 11th, 1982).

VICKA – Well, you know, we must understand that the priest is a great gift which God gives to us. That the priest is a great gift – which has a great gift: Padre Livio, you are a father, you have this great gift: are you prepared to respond to this gift?

PADRE LIVIO – Let's hope so!

VICKA – But I believe so! Because you want to!

It is a terrible thing to judge. Whenever there is something that goes wrong, people who are far from God think immediately that the priest is to blame. When we see our priests in error or in difficulty we should be ready to give him a hand and to help him because he too needs our prayers as we need his.

We should not look at our priests as distant from us but we should consider them our brothers whom we can help with our prayers and whom we can support with our love. To fight them or fight with them means there is something in us that isn't good and too ready to judge. Don't stand in judgment of priests, you can judge only yourself. Don't make excuses [excusing your being critical of any priest].

Many priests come here to Medjugorje – you know, I see when the people are against the priests, and every year there are more and more priests who come to Medjugorje. You can see that the priests are tired and feel empty, or maybe they have had troubles, or they are just searching, feeling a need – they come here to Medjugorje, they know the Madonna is here – it is the only place where they can come, where they can receive strength from her and to have her blessing in order to be able to carry their parishes. And so I'm sure that the priest are praying for their parishoners and their parishes.

But I say, don't always be ready to think badly of them, we must stay closer to them and pray for them. If we pray more for our priests, and with our example, they will be more courageous and good and holy.


A greeting for Radio Maria listeners

PADRE LIVIO – Vicka, we've been speaking for over an hour and we're here with equipment that is not the best for this kind of live broadcast because unfortunately the telephone lines have been out of order for the last few days... We have received much from the Madonna in 27 years...

There is one of the Madonna's messages that comes to mind which really struck me, it was from November 2nd, 1983. The Madonna made a rather particular request which is something that could be addressed to the Radio Maria public – Radio Maria which is entirly run by volunteers and funded by private donations. The Madonna said, and with this we conclude: "Let the world see that you have a generous heart".

VICKA – Well, you know, Padre Livio, this is evident. From something, from the part of the Madonna because you have lasted so long, people have been sending in their contributions for so long and so you can see that Radio Maria is the Madonna's radio and Padre Livio--and I don't say this because you are here and because I am just complimenting you but because it is the truth – you give your time, your life everything for the Madonna, for this, she bestows through you many graces on Radio Maria and on the listeners. And so I am always happy that I am a friend of Padre Livio, because by being a friend of Padre Livio I am also the friend of all of you radio listeners... and I wanted to say that I'm always close to you all and I accompany you with my prayer, but more than that, I present your hearts to the Madonna.

PADRE LIVIO – So, you will have the apparition this evening and you will present all of us to the Madonna.

VICKA – Of course, of course, this I do with all my heart... All the listeners of Radio Maria, and I wish you all many blessings for the new year and may you become better this year... may those who are far away come back, may you love more and grow closer to the Madonna. And then another thing, and it's the most beautiful thing I can tell you, I pray for the sick and am close to them, and that my first word to the Madonna when she appears is always for you. So be certain that you all always have someone who remembers you to the Madonna and who prays for you.

PADRE LIVIO – Very well, Vicka. We thank you for this wonderful conversation. But let's finish the way you do when you give the messages, with an Our Father, a Hail Mary and a Glory be.

VICKA – Padre Livio, you know, I am always ready to do anything for the Madonna, and also for you, so whenever you want. I am ready to do radio interviews. There is no such thing as "no". I'm always ready. So, now let's say an "Our Father", a "Hail Mary" and a "Glory be" for all the radio listener's intentions.

(recitation of prayers follow in Serbo-Croatian and in Italian)

Queen of Peace, pray for us.
May the Madonna bless us with her love and her peace.
I salute you, I love you all and send everyone a kiss...
Goodbye!




Friday, 26-Sep-2008 15:23 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Andrea Bocelli in Medjugorje

Andrea Bocelli in Medjugorje (AP)
Andrea Bocelli - Romanza
Andrea Bocelli - Sacred Arias
Reports of classical music being dead are greatly exaggerated. True, in this vast metropolis where I live, there remains only one classical FM station. There are still many of us who are classical music devotees. No, I am not one who, refined, genteel, poised, and surrounded by candlelight, fades into the rapturous melodies of the classical giants. Rather, today, in harsh morning light, I sat in front of my laptop -- in a baggy t-shirt and even baggier shorts -- and with eyes closed, got lost in two flashes of holiness that I found on Youtube.


I was first introduced to Andrea Bocelli's music by my friend, Jill, when she gifted me with ROMANZA in 1997. I fell head over heels in love with his classical music renditions and especially when I heard him sing Ave Verum Corpus, K 618 on his SACRED ARIAS CD, a song that we sang in our high school choir. These days his SACRED ARIAS gets tons of play on my laptop via iTunes and my iPod.


His tenor voice has been described by the Washington Post as "radiant . . . with a soulful purity that is absolutely mesmerizing." I agree. A little background on Andrea Bocelli: He was born with congenital glaucoma; when visiting Lourdes at age 8, he asked the Madonna, not for the restoration of his sight, but for serenity. He was granted this gift of serenity and shares it with others through his music. >> More on this

He has performed Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI and is a Catholic who respects and stands up for his faith. This past summer, on August 7, 2008, he traveled to Medjugorje to perform at a concert that concluded the Medjugorje Youth Festival. Through song, in one of the most serene places on Earth, where heaven meets earth, he expressed his profound love for the mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ there.


Andrea Bocelli singing the moving AVE MARIA by Franz Schubert in Medjugorje.

>>For another Youtube posting of this song, click HERE.

Ave Maria, Gratia plena,
Dominus tecum
Benedicta tu in mulieribus
Et benedictus fructus ventris Tui, Jesus
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei
Ora pro nobis peccatoribus
Nunc et in hora mortis nostrae.
Amen.


Earlier, the BALKAN INSIGHT wrote:

August 2008 Sarajevo: "Bocelli Draws Crowds to Medjugorje"

"Large crowds were expected to hear Andrea Bocelli sing on Thursday, August 7, in Medjugorje, the shrine town in Bosnia and Herzegovina, about 25 kilometres from Mostar.

Up to 100,000 visitors were expected to descend on the town to hear the famous Italian tenor, whose hit songs, including Time to say goodbye, All For Love and Miserere are well known all over the world.

He will be accompanied by members of the Czech philharmonic orchestra, the chorus from the Split opera and the soprano Paola Sangunetti from Parma. The conductor will be Marcello Rotta.

Bocelli's 19 albums have sold about 60 million copies around the world, and he has recorded six operas.

“I am coming to Medjugorje to receive a message, not to give one, since the only message I can give are those in my songs and notes I sing, but not something I could do or say,” Bocelli said before the concert, which will be broadcast live on one of the public broadcasters in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The once small village in western Herzegovina became famous in 1981 after six local children claimed to have seen and spoken with the Virgin Mary."

>> To see and hear Andrea Bocelli singing THE PRAYER in Medjugorje, click HERE.



Andrea Bocelli: Interview in Medjugorje (not in English)

Before the concert in Medjugorje, he said that this would be a "unique experience" and spoke about faith:

"Those who have no faith, have difficulties to find reasons to live and always risk to be disappointed, because life without faith is a tragedy and ends as a drama. Faith helps us to live, in itself it is a reason to live. Life is a trial and in this sense, faith has an important place and is a solution for many problems."

Bravo, Andrea Bocelli, child of God!


>> Read excerpts of his biography: ANDREA BOCELLI: A CELEBRATION


Thursday, 25-Sep-2008 04:15 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Our Lady's Monthly Message From Medjugorje

Our Lady of Medjugorje
Message of September 25, 2008:


"Dear children!

May your life, anew, be a decision for peace. Be joyful carriers of peace and do not forget that you live in a time of grace, in which God gives you great graces through my presence.

Do not close yourselves, little children, but make good use of this time and seek the gift of peace and love for your life so that you may become witnesses to others.

I bless you with my motherly blessing. Thank you for having responded to my call."


Monday, 15-Sep-2008 18:23 Email | Share | | Bookmark
BOOK LIST A Catholic Lifetime Reading Plan by Fr. John McCloskey

Fr. John McCloskey
So many books, so little time.
I came across this list of the top 100 essential Catholic books for your library (Thank you, Steven R. McEvoy!).

From Catholicity: "Father C. John McCloskey, III, STD is a priest of the Prelature of Opus Dei. He currently is Research Fellow of the Faith and Reason Institute in Washington DC. From 1985-1990, he was a chaplain at Princeton University. He is perhaps best known for guiding into the Church such luminaries as Dr. Bernard Nathanson, Lawrence Kudlow, Robert Novak, Judge Robert Bork and Senator Sam Brownback." >> More


As an inveterate reader and truth seeker, I was delighted to find it. I am posting it here for my own reference -- and maybe yours, as well, gentle reader.

Titles in italics are books that I have in my library, a few I've read from cover to cover, but most, in dribs and drabs. I've a long ways to go before I put a significant dent in this list of 100 ESSENTIAL Catholic books... Thanks be to God!

May God grant me the expansion of time to read these books thoughtfully and in a spiritually profitable way. Yet, let me be mindful that the Bible tops any book list. I am reminded of what my wise friend, June Klins, wrote: "Someday Our Lord may say to us, "I only wrote one book - why didn't you read it?"


A Catholic Lifetime Reading Plan by Fr. John McCloskey


Catholicism Explained/Theology

Catechism of the Catholic Church
The Spirit of Catholicism by Karl Adams
Spirit and Forms of Protestantism by Louis Bouyer
Christianity for Modern Pagans by Peter Kreeft
The Lord by Romano Guardini
Essay on Development of Christian Doctrine by Cardinal Newman
Parochial and Plain Sermons by Cardinal Newman
End of the Modern World by Romano Guardini
Rome Sweet Home by Scott & Kimberly Hahn
Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Ludwig Ott
The Four Cardinal Virtues by Josef Pieper


History and Culture

The Great Heresies by Hilaire Belloc
How The Reformation Happened by Hilaire Belloc
Survivals and New Arrivals by Hilaire Belloc
Christendom I: Founding of Christendom by Warren Carroll
Christendom II: The Building of Christendom by Warren Carroll
Christendom III: The Glory of Christendom by Warren Carroll
Christendom IV: The Cleaving of Christendom by Warren Carroll
Triumph : The Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church by H. W. Crocker III
Enthusiasm by Ronald Arbuthnott Knox
Love of Learning and the Desire for God by Jean Leclercq
Christianity and European Culture by Christopher Dawson
Our Lady of Fatima by William T. Walsh



Holy Men and Women

Something Beautiful for God by Malcolm Muggeridge
Apologia Pro Vita Sua by John Henry Newman
Journal of a Soul by Pope John XXIII
The Long Loneliness by Dorothy Day
St. Thomas Aquinas: The Dumb Ox by G. K. Chesterton
St. Francis of Assisi by G. K. Chesterton
Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton
Mary of Nazareth by Federico Suarez
Cure of Ars by F. Trochu
Thomas More: A Portrait of Courage by Gerard B. Wegemer
Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II by George Weigel


Literary Classics

Lord of the World by Robert Hugh Benson
The Diary of a Country Priest by George Bernanos
Hopkins: Poetry and Prose by George Manley Hopkins
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
Christianity and Culture by T. S. Eliot
The Idea of a University by John Newman
Silence by Shusaku Endo
Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz
Lost in the Cosmos : The Last Self-Help Book by Walker Percy
Love in the Ruins by Walker Percy
Kristin Lavransdatter I: The Bridal Wreath by Sigrid Undset
Kristin Lavransdatter II : The Wife by Sigrid Undset
Kristin Lavransdatter III: The Cross by Sigrid Undset
Flannery O'Connor: Complete Stories by Flannery O'Connor
The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh


Spiritual Classics

Confessions of St. Augustine by St. Augustine
Little Talks with God (modernized version of "The Dialogues") by St. Catherine
City of God by St. Augustine
The Problem of Pain by C. S. Lewis
Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross
Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis
The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis
The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton
Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton
The Greatest Story Ever Told by Fulton Oursler
Meditations from a Simple Path by Mother Teresa
Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila
The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila
Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux
My Way of Life/Summa Theologica by St. Thomas Aquinas


Spiritual Reading

The Great Means of Salvation and Perfection by Alphonso Liguori
Uniformity with God's Will by Alphonso Liguori
Spiritual Theology by Jordan Aumann
Frequent Confession by Benedict Baur
In Silence with God by Benedict Baur
Difficulties in Mental Prayer by Eugene Boylan
The Tremendous Lover by Eugene Boylan
Covenanted Happiness by Cormac Burke
The Soul of the Apostolate by Jean-Baptiste Chautard
Friends of God by Jose Maria Escriva
Christ is Passing By by Jose Maria Escriva
The Way, Furrow, The Forge by Jose Maria Escriva
Way of the Cross by Jose Maria Escriva

All for Jesus by Frederick W. Faber
Abandonment to Divine Providence by Jean-Pierre De Caussade
Introduction to Devout Life by Francis deSales
Treatise on the Love of God by Francis deSales
Three Ages of Interior Life Volume I by Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange
Three Ages of Interior Life Volume II by Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange
Sinner's Guide by Venerable Louis of Grenada
The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A. Kempis
True Devotion to the Holy Spirit by Luis M. Martinez
True Devotions by Louis-Marie Grignion De Montfort
The Hidden Power of Kindness by Lawrence G. Lovasik
The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni
The Sadness of Christ by Thomas More
Conversation with Christ by Peter T. Rohrbach
Spiritual Combat by Lorenzo Scupoli
Theology and Sanity by Francis J. Sheed
Theology for Beginners by Francis J. Sheed
To Know Christ Jesus by Francis J. Sheed
Life of Christ by Fulton J. Sheen
Three to Get Married by Fulton J. Sheen
The Spiritual Life by Adolphe Tanqueray
Abba Father by Bonaventure Perquin
Transformation in Christ by Dietrich von Hildebrand


Miscellaneous

Crossing the Threshold of Hope by Pope John Paul II
Companion Guide to Rome by Georgina Masson
The King's Good Servant but God's First by James Monti
50 Questions on the Natural Law by Charles E. Rice
The Intellectual Life by A. G. Sertillanges
Essays on Woman by Edith Stein


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