Only one single Mass per year
|Pictured: Fr. Edward Sousa Jr.|
One single mass per year?
Many are still unaware of a magnificent and astonishing element in Medjugorje’s history. It is a joy for me to share this with you today, because it is directly linked to Divine Mercy Sunday!
The Turks ruled the country for more than four centuries (1463-1873). Now during this period of time, the Christians were submitted to terrible persecution and forced to convert to Islam. In fact, according to the Papal visitor Peter Masarecchi, by 1624 40-50,000 Croat Catholics were forced to convert to Islam in the central part of Bosnia. (This explains the presence of Muslims in the country, who are in fact “ex-Christians” according to their roots).
The government at that time did not allow Catholics to celebrate the Mass, so a sort of secret Christian life grew that was similar to the secret life of the first Christians who celebrated Mass in the Catacombs of Rome, (also similar to the lives of Christians in modern day China). The Bosnian government did however make one concession: Christians were granted permission to celebrate one Mass per year, only one, in a predetermined place, in the middle of nowhere, far from any city. The date of this Mass was predetermined too - the first Sunday after Easter, the same date that Jesus would later choose as the Feast of the Divine Mercy, according to the revelations of Saint Faustina Kowalska. The Christians, who were so fervent in this era, did not hesitate to go by foot to this chosen place in their thousands, walking for days and through the night in all weather facing dangers along the way, in order to be able to live this Mass and “see Jesus” present in the host at least once in the year. This pilgrimage was, for them, the source of their strength, their hope, their joy, and their light in the night of persecution.
We know that there is method in God’s ideas! We will only see in Heaven, the whole tapestry that he weaves in the world in his Divine Providence, and how strongly we are connected to one another through the communion of Saints! Only then will we discover how certain events, which appear to be new to us, are in fact deeply rooted in the past, in the heart of several generations of believers who have prayed and paid the price, who have even spilled their blood for their faith. It happens that sometimes God reveals a little of his mysterious designs and illuminates a surprising continuity in His choices.
So this place, blessed by the annual mass for these thousands of suffering Christians, was none other than the rocky countryside of Medjugorje, in the exact spot where the cemetery of Kovacica is now, (where Father Slavko is buried)!! It is found just a few meters away from St James, where thousands of pilgrims gather again today!
No wonder then to see rivers of graces flowing on this village! Isn't our God truly Amazing? source- Children of Medjugorje