Official Declarations of the Shrine of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje
We, the 130 leaders of prayer groups, Centers of Peace, and organizers of pilgrimages, from 21 countries, have dedicated our Fourth International Prayer Meeting at Neum from February 24 - 28, 1997 to meditation on spirituality of the family. Through our listening to the lectures, our group discussions, the sharing of experiences, praying and celebrating the Eucharist, we have come to understand more profoundly that the family is:
We have become more aware that today's family is in crisis, but also that hope exists for the family and for the world. To all men of good will we wish to testify to that hope. To all who revere the Queen of Peace we recommend striving to live Our Lady's messages:
If God obtains his own true place in the family, then the Church, the family, and the world will be renewed. That way we will become capable of joyfully entering the new millennium with renewed hope.
To everyone in the world that spreads Our Lady's messages we recommend to remain in the service of the truth and not to spread ideas in the name of Medjugorje that are not in agreement with those messages. We recommend, therefore, interpersonal communication, as well as communication with the "MIR" Information Center in Medjugorje.
Neum, 24. - 28. 02. 1997.
The third international seminar for leaders of prayer groups, Centers of Peace, and of Medjugorje pilgrims was held at Tucepi from March 17 - 21, 1996. About 100 leaders from 17 countries, two visionaries and the priests who work in Medjugorje participated. In conclusion the following was adopted.
Aware of the circumstances in which the Church and the world are situated, we have in prayer sought the way to proceed with Our Lady into the 21st century. The lectures and exchange of ideas in the discussions and work according to language groups has brought us to conclusions that we wish to announce to all prayer groups, Centers of Peace, pilgrims and to the parish of Medjugorje:
1. The future, no matter how uncertain it might be in itself, rests in the hands of God. But God awaits our contribution for making it safer and more human. And Our Lady has called us all, in the words of her Son, to full conversion (June 1990; July 1991);
2. "Read Sacred Scripture, live it, and pray to understand the signs of the times" (June 1991; August 1993). Our Lady's Medjugorje messages are an urgent call for us - to live the Gospel of her Son;
3. It is Our Lady's desire that throughout the whole world prayer groups be organized that will open the participants to the Spirit of God to recognize in the Bible God's word for our time and in prayer to discover ways for its accomplishment.
4. Prayer groups should be the heart and soul of parish communities, a source of confidence and efficacious love and peace;
5. With its archive, library, information booth, Press Bulletin, Robofax, Internet, BBS, and its radio, soon to come, the Information Center "MIR" Medjugorje is at the service of pilgrims, Centers of Peace and prayer groups.
6. Cooperation and exchange of information is recommended between the Information Center "MIR" and the Centers throughout the world, as well as a supportive mutual closeness of the Centers within each individual country.
At the international symposium in Baska Voda held from April 2 - 6, 1995, seventy leaders of prayer groups and centers of peace from 15 states, four visionaries and the priests who work in Medjugorje participated. After hearing the lectures, exchanging ideas and experiences and praying together, taking into consideration all the criteria: regarding the visionaries, the messages of Our Lady and the fruits of those messages in the lives of the faithful throughout the whole world, we are even more convinced that the Medjugorje apparitions are a gift of God for our times. They are an encouragement for the people of God in these times of trouble and turmoil, an impulse and direction to the Church in her search for the ways of new evangelization on the approach to the third millennium. Our Lady's message are not a new revelation, but new help for revelation to be grasped in a new way and to be incorporated in new times. In them are contained, in some sense, concrete answers to the most recent documents of Pope John Paul II.
Accordingly, we recommend to all prayer groups and centers of peace:
Inspired by the messages of Our Lady in Medjugorje the directors of the prayer groups and the Centers for Peace have gathered in Medjugorje from the 21 to the 23 of June 1994 for the 13th Anniversary of the apparitions. We thank God for His gift. We thank also all the friends in the world that accept, deepen, live and spread the messages of Our Lady. After having participated in the conferences: "Marian Times in the Light of the Papal Encyclicals", "Medjugorje in Today's Church" and "The Role of the Laity in the Medjugorje Movement"; we have become even more conscious of our own responsibility for the new evangelization. We have reflected on the diffusion of the messages of Our Lady in our own surroundings and we have paid attention to the difficulties we are facing. We wish to transmit the conclusions of our reflections to all our friends, our pilgrims and to the parish of Medjugorje.
The messages of Our Lady do not bring any new revelation. All are based on that which is written in the Gospel: "Do whatever He tells you." (John 2:5). We wish to emphasize the need to transmit the messages in an authentic manner, looking for the translations to be in conformity to the original in the Croatian language while at the same time respecting the spirit of each language.
There is no need to confuse the original spirituality of Medjugorje with any other phenomena or messages. We have made a collective decision to create in Medjugorje an information center that, being tied with all the centers of Medjugorje in the world, would send to them a monthly bulletin of the events related to Medjugorje.
We also wish that all responsible for the Medjugorje shrine or any other place in the world watch over the spiritual well being whether it be that of the pilgrims, or that of the parishioners of the parish of Medjugorje.
In the common interest of all venerators of the Queen of Peace, let all those who speak publicly on an official level on behalf of Medjugorje -- be it the Priests, the visionaires, or the laity -- do it in accordance with the shrine.
We advise the groups and all those on their own to join as much as possible their own ecclesiastic community with full respect toward the local ecclesiastic authority.
We also wish to remind everyone that the messages of Medjugorje do not contain in them the fear of the apocalyptic times. Instead, it is a message of peace between man and God and peace between all people.
The shrine of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje is a Marian shrine. According to Mary's example the village wishes to remain humble, obedient and simple.
We wish to continue with encounters of this kind and we wish to cherish them so that the bonds between us may remain as alive as possible.
fra Ivan Landeka, OFM