POPE'S TAKE ON MEDJUGORJE: 'I BELIEVE, I BELIEVE, I BELIEVE'
 @Spirit Daily
 Those are the words John Paul II reportedly used in a hushed tone when an Italian cardinal mentioned the happenings at Medjugorje and  if true join a pantheon of such statements attributed to the Holy Fath
 on the monumental apparition site in Bosnia-Hercegovina.
 "I spoke with the Holy Father on the 24th of February, 1990," said Bishop Murilo Krieger of Brazil, according to a booklet called  Medjugorje: What Does the Church Say -- from which we draw
  information for this article. "I told him I had been to Medjugorje three times and that I was going to return the following week. He said simply: 'Medjugorje is a great center of spirituality!'"
 We have heard the same from other bishops. We have talked to men like Bishop Sylvester Treinen and Archbishop Philip Hannan about their conversations with the Holy Father. And there is no doubt:
  while bishops and others wrangle over the apparitions, and while the authentication is currently in the hands of a national commission  (as well as Vatican observers), the Pope has time and again
 expressed his strong support for a site that will one day rank with Fatima and Lourdes.
 "Yes, it is good for pilgrims to go to Medjugorje," the Pope told Bishop Treinen on May 14, 1989. "It is good!"
 As the booklet (by Medjugorje expert Denis Nolan) points out, the year before, Bishop Michael Pfeifer of Texas gathered the same impression from John Paul. "In a private conversation I had with our Holy Father, I asked his opinion about Medjugorje," related the bishop. "The Pope spoke very favorably about the happenings at Medjugorje."
 And there is no doubt:
  while bishops and others wrangle over the apparitions, and while the authentication is currently in the hands of a national commission (as well as Vatican observers), the Pope has time and again
 expressed his strong support for a site that will one day rank with Fatima and Lourdes.
 "Yes, it is good for pilgrims to go to Medjugorje," the Pope told Bishop Treinen on May 14, 1989. "It is good!"
 As the booklet (by Medjugorje expert Denis Nolan) points out, the year before, Bishop Michael Pfeifer of Texas gathered the same impression from John Paul. "In a private conversation I had with  our Holy Father, I asked his opinion about Medjugorje," related the bishop. "The Pope spoke very favorably about the happenings at Medjugorje."
Blessed Virgin, according to her affirmations at Fatima and Medjugorje.And according to a Montreal newsletter, the Message de Paix, John Paul, when asked if pilgrimages should be permitted, told
 Archbishop Patrick Flores of San Antonio, "Let them go... Sometimes the people follow the bishops. Sometimes the bishops follow the  people.
To former Medjugorje Pastor Father Jozo Zovko the Pope said on June 17, 1992, "I give you my blessing. Take courage. I am with you. Tell Medjugorje I am with you. Protect Medjugorje!"
 These statement are crucial at a time when many have been led to believe that the Church has ruled against Medjugorje -- when in fact no official determination has ever been accepted by Rome.
 When such an attempt was made in 1986 by the Bishop of Mostar, it was rejected. That itself stood as an indication of the Pope's viewsCould this change? Yes. The Vatican could always decide negatively.  There is a long way to go. But so far it has judged Medjugorje on  its fruits and has seen it as a lifesaver -- a site that has created more vocations and more converts than any known situation since
World War II, if not before.
"Authorize everything that concerns Medjugorje," the Pope told yet another prelate, Archbishop Felipe Santiago Benitez of Asuncion, Paraguay -- and indicated his own desire to visit the site during
conversations with both bishops and government delegations. "I want to go to Split, to Maria Bistrica, and to Medjugorje," the Pontiff told a delegation from Croatia in 1995. That same year, when asked by the Bishop of Mostar when he was going to visit Sarajevo,  the Pope responded, "Oh, I thought you were going to ask me,   `When are you coming to Medjugorje?'" The same was expressed  two years later to the president of Croatia -- the country neighboring Bosnia-Hercegovina.
 And indeed during his historic visit to war-torn Sarajevo the Pope  mentioned the "Kraljice Mira" ("Queen of Peace," the title Mary  uses at Medjugorje), and referred to the pilgrimages that continued
  there despite the war.
 The same feeling was conveyed to one of the Medjugorje seers,  Mirjana Dragicevic Soldo, who told us that at a brief private meeting with the Pope he told the visionary, "If I were not the Pope, I would  be in Medjugorje already."
 

Mother Theresa's views on Medjugorje:

She was the most recognizable Christian after the Pope.  Many considered her a saint when she was still alive. And her devotion to the Virgin Mary appeared to be total. Her
  name was Mother Teresa of Calcutta and in looking back at her life we note that she had all but directly endorsed the apparitions of Mary at Medjugorje in Bosnia-Hercegovina.
 "I am grateful to Our Lady of Medjugorje," she once told a magazine called Mir Monthly. "I know that many people go there and are converted. I thank God for leading us during these times this way."
 That's a lot coming from a woman who was herself a miracle-worker. We recall a documentary that showed her visiting Beirut, Lebanon during the unending civil
war. When told she wouldn't be able to go across town on her endless business of helping the poor, she said
  that she had prayed to the Mother of God and there would be no problem. The next day, for the first time in weeks, there was no sound of gunfire.
 She told another periodical, Medjugorje Messenger, that Mary was "my mother. She is the mother of
 Jesus. She is the source of our joy, especially in the communities of the Order. She is there to help. She
  is there to protect." When asked about Medjugorje's  central messages of confession, prayer, penance, fasting, and peace, she described these as "precisely the requirements for the present day."
 Prayer and fasting, she said, leads to a clean heart.
And as for peace: "The world has never needed peace so much as now," she said, commenting on
  a site where the Virgin comes as Queen of Peace.
  "There is also so much evil, so much destruction, especially of life itself."
 The "living saint" -- who died in 1997 but is already up for beatification -- had an interesting request.
 "Tell everyone who comes to Medjugorje: 'pray to Our Lady of Medjugorje for a drug to cure AIDS!'"
 That doesn't sound like she had much doubt about what was occurring. Indeed, the apparitions had
 started in 1981 -- not far from her native Albania and  she had obviously heard constant reports about them.
  According to a booklet called Medjugorje: What Does the Church Say? Mother Teresa wrote a
 revealing letter to Denis Nolan, coordinator of the annual Marian conferences at Notre Dame and now
  director of Children of Medjugorje, on April 8, 1992.
  In that handwritten note this soon-to-be saint indicated not only a belief in Medjugorje but an incipient
 practice of devotion. "We are all praying our Hail  Mary before Holy Mass to Our Lady of Medjugorje,"
  she wrote, "asking Her to give us the medicine for  AIDS patients."
 According to Medjugorje Messenger she specially recommended this prayer: "Mary, Mother of Jesus,
  give us your heart, so beautiful, so pure, so immaculate, so full of love and humility, that we may become
worthy to receive Jesus in the Bread of Life, to love Him as you loved Him, and to serve Him in the
  poorest of the poor."

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