August 4, 2017
St. John Vianney
Dear Family of Mary!
On this feast of the Patron of Priests, St. John Vianney, I am so happy to share excerpts from the testimony of Cardinal Ernest Simoni-Troshani, given at the Medjugorje Youth Festival on August 3, 2017! The Cardinal shares from his heart about his life and how important Jesus and Mary have been to him. He also shares his impression of Medjugorje! (This is a transcription of the Cardinal being translated from Albanian to Croatian to English!)
In his homily, given at Holy Mass, August 3, 2017 in Medjugorje the Cardinal said:
Again God has directed me by his glory and the benefit of people. God has so honored me and rewarded me that I am able to be here with you. Often times I am invited to proclaim the good news. I am very happy and I feel that heaven is open above this place and the angels descend upon this place, that they rejoice with us at this great meeting, because you are all at this meeting with the Lord!
It is a joy for us to participate in the presence of the living Lord Jesus Christ. At the beginning I asked the Pope. As the Church teaches us always, we must be in union with the head of this Church. I greatly desired that I would be here as a priest. To celebrate Holy Mass here in Medjugorje. His Holiness, Pope Francesco, I would say another St. Francis, a great heart, a man of the Church. I said to him, “Holiness, here people come who want to meet Jesus, to encounter Him. I would like to hear your word. The Word of Christ from your lips. Until yesterday, I was an ordinary priest from Albania. But today in this position that you have given to me, Holiness, may I witness before the people of Medjugorje? I ask you, as the Vicar of Christ on earth.” His word, with great joy He said to me, “Go to Medjugorje. Spread the Good News!”
In his teaching and testimony in the morning session on August 3, 2017 the Cardinal said:
I am so excited to be here (Medjugorje). I have the impression that angels are descending to be with us in this beautiful atmosphere. In this beautiful place. In invite you that even though it is summer, that we all experience Jesus Christ in this heat.
In 1945 what started was a difficult year, a Calvary for everything that was Christian in Albania. It was evil and the force of darkness, Satan. It came to make the Albanian country full of blood, to make martyrs of the Albanian people. But the situation was more and more complicated when Stalin took control with his hands. He wanted our Albanian government to say that he would open the Church in the world. He gathered all the priests together. We did not know why they invited us. But we found out. They wanted to detach us from Rome, from the Vatican. So we would not be a Catholic Church. But the Catholic clergy never wanted that. As they were able to see that we persevered, they told us, do what you want with the Vatican. You are free. But it was a false freedom. The world was told we had freedom but this was false news. But still the ideology became stronger and stronger and more crazy.
You see what was happening was such a difficulty. It was a prison without wall, and we the people young and old, they were pushing.
In 1956 I became a priest. I started my own mission. I didn’t know that I was always followed. They had spies watching me and wrote every word I said. They would use that information one day against me. But you see even though we could feel in our spirit that difficulties were coming, we left two things to the people of God, pray the Rosary and adore the Blessed Sacrament. And that is how they would survive.
The government knew this. That is how the persecution began. 1963, midnight. They came and tied me up, and brought me to an unknown area. I received the decree that I was condemned to death because I was telling the people they would all die for Jesus Christ. They also had a secret camera the recorded what I was saying and doing. That is how I ended up in a small room, two meters by two meters.
One of my good friends had been a secret agent. He was a spy. I thought he was a good man, but he was a spy. And he started to attack the system. I could see what was going to happen. So I changed my tactic. I said Jesus teaches us to love our enemies. To love everyone. Jesus doesn’t want us to have enemies.
And there was one other accusation. Two weeks before the American president, John Kennedy, died. And we, all the priests of the world were asked to say three Holy Masses for the late American President, John Kennedy. I did this, because the Holy Father asked. So I became the enemy of the system. And of course, the image of the late president, and his wife, Jacqueline, disturbed the communist country. I was to be hung by the neck. They would use these points to accuse me.
Still there was another accusation. That people would be happy that I was hung, because I conducted an exorcism. That souls would be saved. But the president when he heard that, said I should not be hanged. Of course I remained in prison. I remained in solitude in that cell, but I was not killed. Today I am proud I was in a prison. Because I was able to bring the joyful news of Jesus Christ. It was good that I was in prison.
So my business card, my dear young people, is that I was able to speak about God in the prison, in the catacombs. So now you can see how they call me the cardinal, the little creature of God.
After 10 years, they took me back to court. Again they wanted to judge me. This time they brought a group of young Catholics who lied about me so that the court would bring the death penalty against me. So you can see dear brothers and sisters, that when man can no longer act, God intervenes. They could not bring me the death penalty. So I remained again in solitude, in prison. I would say Holy Mass, and here confessions. I was a prisoner among the prisoners.
Then after 28 years in prison, in the catacombs, I was freed. But I had to clean the toilets and do the worst work. But the hand of God led me, even though I had heard I would be working. I still could be a priest, and when I wasn’t working, I could say Holy Mass. In 1990 I went for another interview. And they said, we invited you to tell you that the Church is going to be open soon.
Again, Vatican is going to come to Albania. The Church is going to have freedom and God will return to the people. And I was happy. May it be so. But I have the Holy Father in Rome. I will continue to do what I did, as a priest. Then together with the people I experienced freedom!
That was when we truly experienced, all the people of God, Catholics, Muslims, Orthodox, we all experienced freedom. After that time, I had the experience in all the places I visited, I would give a joyful speech about Jesus, who in the prison I was able to confess. Again, we were able to have all that joy again. Then Mother Teresa came to Albania. And together we were going to visit the Holy Father. That is when things began to be renewed, Mother Teresa and the Holy Father. People began to invest in our lives and that is how we began to live.
I did not expect to be a cardinal in my life. I was invited to come to Assisi, to a peace conference. I didn’t know why I was invited. Imagine me, little priest, unknown priest from Albania, when I looked around me and saw people – presidents and leaders from all over the world. Why was I there? I didn’t understand. And more interesting for me, the Holy Father invited me to lunch! I didn’t know, Holy Father didn’t tell me. Holy Father came to Albania in 2014, and I spoke before him, and that is why he invited me. So I didn’t know anything. Not Holy Father nor anyone there in Rome told me I would be a cardinal. But on the screen I saw my name, Cardinal Ernest.
So today I am saying this. This is God’s gift. This is a reward of the Mother of God, and anyone who says three Rosaries a day will experience a miracle that he would never be able to experience. If you pray the Rosary you will experience a greater miracle than I did! And I am trying to tell you, that the Mother of God, the Queen of Peace, she is going to bring you in your life, and give you in your life, the light. You will have peace too.
So I want to witness what I in my years, 89 years old, learned. Whatever we pray and give to Our Lady, to the Mother, she will give it to Jesus and He will answer it for you. That is what I want to tell you today. For two thousand years Christ’s mother, Our Lady, is supporting what Christ wants, what Jesus wants. And that is how she will continue in the world. The Cardinal brought a book, a book each of you should see. It has all the apparitions of the world. Everywhere that Our Lady is there is the salvation of the world. Here is the book. Please read about the apparitions. The one who will pray to God for the salvation of the world. All the apparitions of Our Lady up to 2000.
What is the most beautiful thing that happened to me in my life of 89 years? My life is connected with the providence of God. I say this humbly. When I became a priest, when I had Jesus Christ in my hands. Further when the Holy Father appointed me as a Cardinal, and he rewarded me for all I did for God.
We have the impression that we have heard a saint speak!! And his advice is to pray the Rosary and give everything to Our Lady! He is truly Our Lady’s Cardinal!
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Mary TV 2017
PS. The Youth Festival is in full swing. There are two sessions:
(The afternoon session is beginning an hour later than planned, due to the heat.)
See you there at www.marytv.tv