Pope John Paul ll with the statue of Our Lady given to him by Bishop Hnilica
upon his release from the hospital after the assassination attempt.
May 14, 2021
Dear Family of Mary TV, Apostles of Our Lady of Medjugorje,
“The Catholic Thing” carried an article yesterday titled “Signs and Wonders”. Noting that May 13, 2021, the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, was the 40th anniversary of the assassination attempt on the life of St. John Paul ll, Stephen White posed the question to readers:
“What signs of God’s action in our own day have we missed because we are too skeptical, too cynical, too eager to seem sophisticated?”
After the assassination attempt “as he was being rushed to the hospital, John Paul ll said, more and more feebly as the moments passed, only Our Lady’s name, Mary, and none of the things the newspapers attributed to him,” (Andre Frossard, “Portrait of John Paul ll”, p.55).
The following month Our Lady started appearing in Medjugorje.
Perceiving the hand of providence – the assassination attempt happening on the anniversary of the day, at the very hour, of Our Lady’s first apparition in Fatima – the Holy Father asked Bishop Paolo Hnilica to bring to him, while he was convalescing in Gemelli Hospital, all the materials he could gather on Fatima.
As a result, Pope St. John Paul ll asked bishops throughout the world to join him in his March 25, 1984, Act of Consecration to Our Lady that he did in response to her request at Fatima. In a book of her writings published after her death Sr. Lucia confirmed that Our Lady had accepted it in response to her Fatima request. Sisters of her convent in Portugal reiterated this again recently.
Sr. Lucia of Fatima also confirmed this to me in a February 12, 1992 letter sent by Fr. John D. Marchi, “Yes, the Consecration of the world is well established”.
Traveling to Moscow and secretly slipping into the Kremlin, Bishop Paolo Hnilica consecrated Russia while saying Mass behind an issue of the communist newspaper “Pravda”. Returning to Rome the following day he arrived in St. Peter’s Square just as the Pope was beginning to recite the words of consecration. (Bishops could do the consecration on March 24, as Bishop Hnilica did, or on March 25th.) The Holy Father was overjoyed hearing Bishop Hnilica’s account of his trip. They spent four hours together later that day in the Pope’s private apartment. Taking from his shelf Fr. Rene Laurentin’s first book on Medjugorje (that he had written with Fr. Ljudevit Rupcic), “Is the Virgin Mary Appearing in Medjugorje?” the Pope read to him several sections out loud, asking, “Didn’t you stop in Medjugorje on your way back to Rome?” In response to the bishop’s reply, “No, your Holiness, it has been forbidden,” with a wave of his hand Pope John Paul ll said, “Pay no attention! Go to Medjugorje! Medjugorje is the continuation and fulfillment of Fatima!”
Our Lady confirmed the Holy Father’s words in her August 25, 1991 message. She invited her children to nine days of prayer and sacrifice: “so that, with your help, everything that I desire to realize through the secrets I began in Fatima, may be fulfilled. I call you, dear children, to now grasp the importance of my coming and the seriousness of the situation. I want to save all souls and present them to God. Therefore, let us pray that everything I have begun be fully realized. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
Four days later, on August 29th, the Supreme Soviet of the USSR suspended the activities of the Communist Party throughout the country. But the devil wasn’t backing down. The following month Our Lady warned in her September 25, 1991 message:
“Dear children! Today in a special way I invite you all to prayer and renunciation. For now as never before Satan wants to show the world his shameful face by which he wants to seduce as many people as possible onto the way of death and sin. Therefore, dear children, help my Immaculate Heart to triumph in the sinful world. I beseech all of you to offer prayers and sacrifices for my intentions so I can present them to God for what is most necessary. Forget your desires, dear children, and pray for what God desires, and not for what you desire. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
Pope John Paul ll did not miss the signs of God’s action in his own day. On February 24, 1990 he said, “Medjugorje is the spiritual center of the world!” (“Why He Is A Saint, the Life and Faith of Pope John Paul ll and the Case for Canonization”, p. 168, by Msgr. Slawomir Oder, Postulator for his Cause of Sainthood). In the chapter he includes on the Pope and Medjugorje, Msgr Oder quotes from eight letters the Holy Father had written in regard to Medjugorje.
For example, on December 8, 1992, in his own hand: “I thank Sophia for everything concerning Medjugorje. I, too, go there every day as a pilgrim in my prayers. I unite in my prayers with all those a who pray there or receive a call for prayer from there. Today we have understood this call better. I rejoice that our time is not lacking people of prayer and apostles.”
And it wasn’t just St. John Paul ll. An August 6, 2019 Catholic News Service headline gave the Church’s verdict: “Vatican confirms Medjugorje approval by joining youth festival”
In response to the Holy Father’s appeal earlier this month for prayer to bring an end to the pandemic, thirty representative Shrines scattered throughout the world have been chosen to lead the Marian prayer each during one day of the month of May. Vatican News reports that “the Shrine of Our Lady Queen of Peace at Medjugorje in Bosnia” has been chosen to lead the Rosary tomorrow, May 15, 2021.
With the 40th anniversary of Our Lady’s daily apparitions in Medjugorje now upon us, maybe the author of that article in “The Catholic Thing” should pose this question as it relates to Medjugorje: What signs of God’s action in my own day have I missed because I am too skeptical, too cynical, too eager to seem sophisticated? Mainstream traditional Catholic outlets should do the same.