Do not be like the rich young man of the Gospel who rejected Christ’s call and “went away sad”, he urges the young people.
“Have the courage to live your youth by trusting in the Lord and going with him”, declares Pope Francis in a message in Croatian language sent on August 2, 2021 to the participants of Mladifest, an annual prayer meeting for young people, which takes place until August 6 in Medjugorje.
Inspired by the Gospel story of the “rich young man”, the Holy Father invites young people to let themselves “be conquered by [Christ’s] loving gaze that frees us from the seduction of idols, from false riches that promise life but bring death.
Do not be afraid to welcome the Word of Christ and accept his call. Do not be discouraged like the rich young man of the Gospel; instead, fix your gaze on Mary, the great example of the imitation of Christ, and entrust yourselves to the one who – with her affirmative answer: “Here I am” – answered unreservedly the call of the Lord.
Pope Francis has promised young people that “the joy of the gospel fills the heart and the whole life of those who meet Jesus.
Those who allow themselves to be saved by Him are freed from sin, sadness, inner emptiness, isolation. With Jesus Christ, joy is born and is always reborn.
Medjugorje continues to be a complex place of pilgrimage.
In May 2019, Pope Francis decreed that dioceses and parishes can organize pilgrimages to Medjugorje, although no official statement on the authenticity of the apparitions has been made.
This followed after the Holy Father publicly declared that even though Mary “is not the patroness of a post office, she is there to send messages every day”, but “God works miracles in Medjugorje. . In the midst of the madness of human beings, God continues to work miracles.
“I think there is grace in Medjugorje,” he said then. “There is no denying it. There are people who have conversions.
In May of this year, when the Vatican organized a Rosary Relay with 30 shrines around the world to pray for the end of the pandemic, Medjugorje was included.
A spawn site?
Nevertheless, the supposed visions of Mary in Medjugorje have never been recognized by the Church. There have been informal discussions that the first seven appearances would be deemed credible. This assumption was made in particular by the special envoy of the Pope to the shrine of Medjugorje, Archbishop Henryk Hoser, who said that this could be the case already in 2017.
However, more recently, the former spiritual director of seers has been excommunicated.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith excommunicated former priest Tomislav Vlasic, it was announced on October 23, 2020, by the Diocese of Brescia, Italy, the territory in which the former Franciscan continued to exercise certain apostolic activities , despite being reduced to a secular state in 2009.
In March 2009, Benedict XVI signed a decree reducing to a lay state the Franciscan Tomislav Vlasic, spiritual director of the seers of Medjugorje.
He had asked to be released from his priestly functions after the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith opened an investigation against him in 2008 “for disseminating questionable doctrine, manipulation of consciences, suspicious mysticism, disobedience to legitimate orders” and for adultery. as well.
The excommunication occurred because he continued to declare himself a Catholic priest and to carry out activities as such.
What is an approved apparition?
When an apparition is approved by the Vatican, it is declared “worthy of belief” – a private revelation that can be of use to Christians striving to achieve heaven’s ultimate goal. Catholics are not required to believe in the authenticity of apparitions, even those approved by the Church.