The message of Medjugorje is a call to Conversion, conversion back to God. Our Lady, the Theotokos, gives us five Stones or Weapons, which we can use to overcome the power and influence of evil and sin in our lives. This is the “Message of Medjugorje”. Her purpose for coming to earth is to guide each one of us back to her Son Jesus. She does this by leading us step by step toward a life of holiness.
Prayer is the center of Our Lady’s plan and is the most frequent message in Medjugorje.
“Today also I am calling you to prayer. You know, dear children, that God grants special graces in prayer… I call you, dear children, to prayer with the heart.” (April 25, 1987)
To pray with the heart is to pray with love, trust, abandonment, and concentration. Prayer heals human souls. Prayer heals the history of sin. Without prayer, we cannot have an experience of God.
“Without unceasing prayer, you cannot experience the beauty and greatness of the grace which God is offering you.”(February 25, 1989)
- In the beginning, Our Lady asked for the daily praying of: The Creed, followed by Seven Our Fathers, Hail Mary’s, and Glory Be To the Father, and to the Son and the Holy Spirit…..
- Later the visionaries tell us that she also recommended adding the Rosary. “First Our Lady asked us to pray 5 decades, then 10, and finally Our Lady wishes us to pray daily, together or individually, the entire 15 Mysteries of the Rosary (Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries)”. The Rosary is an ancient prayer that reminds the faithful of the life of Christ and His Church. It is not a specific denominational prayer, but one which was said in the early church. The Rosary is not doctrinally inconsistent with Orthodox teaching. If prayed and meditated daily, it reminds us daily of our life in Christ and the formation of the Church. Each of the events remembered in the Rosary is accompanied by 10 intercessory prayers to the Virgin; 10 Hail Mary’s, and are said between each decade. This prayer does not replace the Jesus prayer which is also a sacred and holy prayer, and prayed by the faithful.
To learn more, see: the Rosary an Orthodox Prayer. For the Western version of the Rosary you can see How to Pray the Rosary. The Joyful Mysteries, Sorrowful Mysteries and Glorious Mysteries each contain 5 main events upon which we meditate, and between each event, or Mystery, the “Hail Mary” is said 10 times. These correspond to St. Seraphim’s 15 mysteries (and 10 Hail Mary’s each). If one cannot say all three Mysteries in one day, it is advisable to pray at least one each day. In the Roman Catholic tradition, each of the Mysteries is assigned a day (Mondays and Saturday are the Joyful Mysteries, Tuesday and Fridays are the Sorrowful Mysteries and Wednesday and Sunday are the Glorious Mysteries. Later a fourth Mystery (the Luminous Mystery) was added to be said on Thursdays.
Everybody should pray. Our Lady says: “May prayer reign in the whole world.” (August 25, 1989) Through prayer, we will defeat satan’s power, and obtain peace and salvation for our souls.
“You know that I love you and am coming here out of love, so I could show you the path of peace and salvation for your souls. I want you to listen to me and not permit Satan to seduce you. Dear children, Satan is strong enough! … Therefore, little children, do not be afraid. If you pray, Satan cannot injure you, not even a little, because you are God’s children and He is watching over you. Pray, and let the Rosary always be in your hands as a sign to Satan that you belong to me.” (February 25, 1989)
The power of satan is destroyed by prayer and he cannot harm us if we pray. No Christian should be afraid of the future unless he does not pray. If we do not pray, we are naturally blind to many things and cannot tell right from wrong. We lose our center and our balance.
In the Old Testament and in the New Testament, there are many examples of fasting. Jesus fasted frequently. According to Tradition, fasting is encouraged especially in times of great temptation or severe trials. Certain devils,“can be cast out in no other way except by prayer and fasting”, said Jesus. (Mark 9:29)
Fasting is essential in order to achieve spiritual freedom. Through fasting, one is better able to listen to God and man and to perceive them more clearly. If, through fasting, we achieve that freedom, we will be more aware of many things. Once we are aware that we can enjoy the necessities of life without struggle, then many fears and worries fade away. We become more open to our families and to the people with whom we live and work. Our Lady recommends fasting twice a week: “Fast strictly on Wednesdays and Fridays.” (August 14, 1984)
She asks us to accept this difficult message “….with a firm will.” She asks us to “Persevere in … fasting.” (June 25, 1982)
“The best fast is on bread and water. Through fasting and prayer one can stop wars, one can suspend the natural laws of nature. Works of charity cannot replace fasting… Everyone except the sick, has to fast.” (July 21, 1982)
We have to realize the power of fasting. Fasting means to make a sacrifice to God, to offer not only our prayers, but also to make our whole being participate in sacrifice. We should fast with love, for a special intention, and to purify ourselves and the world. We should fast because we love God and want to offer our ourselves in the battle against evil.
Usually the Theotokos comes to the visionaries happy and joyful. On one occasion, while talking about the Bible, She was crying and said: “You have forgotten the Bible.”
“Dear children, today I call you to read the Bible everyday in your homes and let it be in a visible place so as always to encourage you to read it and pray.” (October 18, 1984)
It is very rare to hear Our Lady say, “you must”. She “desires”, “calls”, etc., but on one occasion, She used a very strong verb that means in Croatian “must”.
“Every family must pray family prayers and read the Bible.” (February 14, 1985)
Our Lady asks for monthly confession. From the very first days of the apparitions, Our Lady spoke about confession:
“Make your peace with God and among yourselves. For that, it is necessary to believe, to pray, to fast, and to go to confession.” (June 26, 1981)
“Pray, pray! It is necessary to believe firmly, to go to confession regularly, and, likewise, to receive Holy Communion. It is the only salvation.” (February 10, 1982)
“Whoever has done very much evil during his life can go straight to Heaven if he confesses, is sorry for what he has done, and receives Communion at the end of his life.” (July 24, 1982)
The Western Church (United States) has disregarded confession and its importance. Our Lady said:
“Monthly confession will be a remedy for the Church in the West. One must convey this message to the West.”(August 6, 1982)
Pilgrims who come to Medjugorje are always impressed by the number of people waiting for confession and the number of priests hearing confession. Many priests have had extraordinary experiences during confessions in Medjugorje. About a particular feast day, Our Lady said:
“The priests who will hear confessions will have great joy on that day! (August, 1984)
Confession should not be a habit that would “make sinning easy”. Vicka says to every group of pilgrims, “Confession is something that has to make a new human being out of you. Our Lady does not want you to think that confession will free you from sin and allow you to continue the same life after that. No, confession is a call to transformation. You must become a new person!”
Our Lady recommends strongly recommends attending Church services. It has been reported by the visionaries that Our Lady has cried when speaking of the Eucharist. She said:
“You do not celebrate the Eucharist as you should. If you would know what grace and what gifts you receive, you would prepare yourselves for it each day for an hour at least.” (1985)
The Mass in Medjugorje is the most important moment of the day. According to Our Lady, the Holy Mass is more important than any of Our Lady’s apparitions. Marija said that if she had to choose between the Eucharist and the apparition, she would choose the Eucharist.
She also asked that the prayer to the Holy Spirit always be said before going to Church. Our Lady wants to see church as “the highest form of prayer” and “the center of our lives” (according to Marija). Vicka also says that the Blessed Mother sees attending church as “the most important and the most holy moment in our lives. We have to be prepared and pure to receive Jesus with a great respect. Churching ourselves should be the center of our lives” Our Lady is crying because people do not have enough respect toward the Eucharist. The Mother of God wants us to realize the extreme beauty of the mystery of the Mass. She has said:
“There are many of you who have sensed the beauty of the Holy Mass… Jesus gives you His graces in the Mass.”(April 3, 1986)
“Let the Holy Mass be your life.” (April 25, 1988)
This means that the sacrifice and resurrection of Christ must become our life, together with the hope of His second coming. During church, we receive the Living Christ and in Him we receive the whole mystery of our salvation that must transform and transfigure us. The Liturgy is the perfect expression of the mystery of Christ in which we can fully participate in His life. Our Lady has said:
“Mass is the greatest prayer of God. You will never be able to understand its greatness. That is why you must be perfect and humble at Mass, and you should prepare yourselves for it.” (1983)
Our Lady wants us to be full of joy and hope during church service and to make an effort so that this moment will “be an experience of God”. Surrender to Jesus and the Holy Spirit is a very important part of the messages because it is the only path to holiness. To be open to the Holy Spirit in the Sacraments is the way we are going to be sanctified. In this way, Our Lady will obtain for us, the grace to become Her witnesses in the world to fulfill the plan of God and Her plan. Our Lady has said:
“Open your hearts to the Holy Spirit. Especially during these days the Holy Spirit is working through you. Open your hearts and surrender your life to Jesus so that He works through your hearts.” (May 23, 1985)
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