The director of Radio Maria: “Our Lady sees that man rejects God and can destroy the planet. Therefore she came as a queen of peace, to preserve us”
Together with the French theologian René Laurentin, Father Livio Fanzaga, director of Radio Maria and author with Diego Manetti of The secrets of Medjugorje, is one of the greatest connoisseurs of the phenomenon of Marian apparitions in the village of the former Yugoslavia.
Father Livio, in a few weeks it will be 38 years that the Madonna appears in Medjugorje: how should we read such a long-lasting phenomenon?
Mirjana Dragicevic Soldo in Medjugorje“
“These are the longest public appearances since the Marian apparitions existed. They are part of a plan that goes from Fatima to Medjugorje as the Madonna herself said. That is, that it has come to complete what it began in Fatima with regard to a time of peace for humanity. The visionaries themselves say that we are still at the beginning of this plan partly realized with the conversion of Russia already in place thanks to the regained religious freedom. For the most part, however, it has yet to be realized because apostasy from faith is also taking place in the West and at the same time the world for the first time in human history is at risk of self-destruction ».
Is this danger of self-destruction to make such a powerful initiative of the Mother of Jesus indispensable?
“Our Lady said she came to awaken faith in a new world that is without God. Our Lady sees that we are building a world without God: for this you are unhappy and for this reason there is neither future nor eternal life. Self-destruction is a concrete possibility: man can destroy the planet on which he lives and Our Lady has come as Queen of Peace to preserve us “.
In the book The secrets of Medjugorje that the Journal will publish from tomorrow you write giving a methodological indication that “we must be able to read human events in their connection with spiritual events”. Then he uses very strong terms, speaking of “apocalyptic clash”, of “combat” between the forces of evil and good.
«Our Lady gave the theological vision of the current historical moment since the first months of the apparition when she said that a battle is taking place between her Son and Satan.That his Son would have won, but that Satan would also have his share “.
What part would it be?
“As already in Fatima, Our Lady said that today many souls go to hell”.
Because the role of Satan finds great space in these messages. Normally we are used to not talking about it, considering it as an entity of other times …
“The central message of Medjugorje is that Jesus Christ is the savior of the world, and that heaven is the goal to which we must strive with all our strength. At the center is the love of God. But Our Lady speaks to a world that largely rejects God and therefore opens the perspective to hell. One of his recurring phrases is that “in hell there are those who want to go”. The catechism speaks of self-exclusion “.
She writes in her book that with her appearances, with her messages, it is as if Our Lady supplied “a lack of catechesis” and wanted to guide Christians through the words revealed to the visionaries. Is that so?
“There is no doubt that as it has not done in any other apparition, in Medjugorje it gives regular messages that are a real form of evangelization. A maternal evangelization, simple but very profound and very Catholic, that is, absolutely in conformity with sound doctrine “.
But does it not seem to you that, thanks to the media, never in these years the catechesis of the Pope, vicar of Christ, is disseminated throughout the world?
“There is an impressive harmony between what Our Lady says and what the last three popes, John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis teach. That is: the centrality of the person of Christ. From here descends the whole Christian life: the sacraments, especially confession and the Eucharist, prayer “.
I insist: is it not enough to follow the magisterium of the Pope and the bishops to be Christians?
“Yes sure. But we must not forget that Our Lady carries out a maternal task that does not replace that of the Church but supports it ».
How can we frame the choice of the six visionaries?
«In my opinion the most significant thing is the choice of a village located inside the famous iron curtain. Our Lady prepared us for the collapse of communism which she prophesied since 1981, ten years before it happened. Then urging fasting and prayer he got from there that the third world war did not break out as could happen “.
These six boys had nothing in particular: why were they chosen?
“Because, according to Our Lady’s words,” they were neither better nor worse than others. “But it must be said that after 32 years they were faithful to their task, also because in the first years they were made the object of persecution by the State and the political police even with threats to families, interrogation, sudden imprisonment ».
More than in the town of Medjugorje the apparitions are linked to them: Marija lives in Italy, at Monza, Ivan spends long periods in Boston.
«All the six visionaries are rooted in Bjakovici, the fraction of Medjugorje, near the hill of the first apparitions where also Marija and Ivan spend a good part of the year. It is in Medjugorje that Our Lady gives special graces, as you said. But these apparitions are not tied to the place, but to the person of the seer in any part of the earth he is “.
Some say that in these years the visionaries have become rich.
«In Medjugorje all families live on welcoming pilgrims. There are no other job opportunities.Everyone tries to have at least 50 beds available to accommodate a coach. Even the visionaries, who have families with several children, thus provide for their livelihood. Home and work are part of the “daily bread” that we ask of the Lord. There is also to say that in Medjugorje the demand for housing is higher than the offer “.
Why is the question of the collapse of communism so important? It seems to me not for a question of classes and wealth, but for a philosophical question: it represents man’s claim to do without God.
“The question of communism concerns its atheistic and materialistic view of life which, however, over the years has been supported by the State with the persecution of the Church. It is not so much a political question, but an ideological one in the sense that this vision still remains the true great temptation of the modern world. In other words, man puts himself in the place of God. He pretends to save himself, to be self-sufficient ».
Our Lady insists on fasting and penance. Is a slightly Lenten Christianity that emerges from these apparitions?
“What appears in Medjugorje is a Christianity centered on prayer, in particular on the sacraments of the Eucharist and confession. Today the most serious temptation is the loss of faith and the most effective antidote is prayer ».
But isn’t believing in the apparitions of Medjugorje binding for being Christians?
“Medjugorje is the biggest event in two thousand years of Christianity. Losing this opportunity to have Our Lady as a guide on the spiritual path is in a way unforgivable. It would be foolish to overlook or ignore such help ».