The Bible

Jelena Vasilj with the Bible, central to her and central to the prayer group the Virgin Mary asked her to form. When she was 11 years old in 1982 Jelena began to hear the Virgin with her heart. Several messages about the importance of the Bible were given to Jelena whose communication with the Virgin Mary was important for the spiritual formation in Medjugorje in the 1980s

In a still more secular society the Bible is oftentimes dismissed as just an old book without relevance for modern-day man. Quite on the contrary, the Virgin Mary has said in Medjugorje. She has said the Bible has a special relevance for these times – and she has connected her own coming to the Bible:

“If you pray, God will help ypu discover the true reason of my coming. Therefore, little children, pray and read the Sacred Scriptures so that through my coming you may discover the message in Sacred Scripture for you.” (June 25th 1991)

“Read Sacred Scripture, live it, and pray to understand the signs of the time. This is a special time. Therefore, I am with you to draw you close to my heart and the Heart of my Son, Jesus.” (August 25th 1993)

This emphasis on the Bible as the central book for this time is far from the degree of importance that most people ascribe to the Bible. And so the Virgin Mary lamented:

“You have forgotten The Bible.” (early 1980s; exact date unknown)

The fruits of reading The Bible

The mesaage about the forgotten Bible was given to Fr. Jozo Zovko, the parish priest in Medjugorje by the time the apparitions began. At least during the early years the Virgin Mary appeared to him, too. Fr. Jozo is reluctant to talk about his own mystical experiences. The message about how The Bible was forgotten is among the few he has expounded upon:

“I have seen many mothers mourn the death of a child, but I have never seen a Mother cry with such a deep sorrow as the Virgin Mary’s when she said ‘You have forgotten The Bible’ “, Fr. Jozo has oftentimes told in his lectures.

The Virgin Mary’s sorrow is the sorrow of seeing an inspired work being, by and large, rejected. Every book in the Bible is inspired in the sense that they are all the combination of God’s Spirit and the hand of man. Because the Holy Spirit was in the biblical books from the beginning, the Holy Spirit is still in the Bible.

The Virgin Mary wants all her children to receive the Holy Spirit. This is the foremost gift from God when a process of conversion goes well and is being nurtured and lived every day. As one means to obtain the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary emphasized reading of the Bible – side by side with prayer, the topic she has talked about most often:

“By prayer and the reading of Sacred Scripture, may the Holy Spirit, who will renew you, enter into your families. In this way, you will become teachers of the faith in your families. By prayer and your love, the world will set out on a better way and love will begin to rule in the world.” (April 25th 2005)

“The most important thing in the spiritual life is to ask for the gift of the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit comes, peace will be established. When that occurs, everything changes around you.” (October 1984, exact date unknown)

The Virgin Mary also said, in making reading of the Bible a necessity for, indeed, everyone:

“Every family must pray family prayer and read the Bible.” (February 14th 1985)

The Bible as a meeting with God

The Bible like the Virgin Mary would like to see it positioned in the homes of her children: Set apart and given a place of its own as a reminder of daily prayer, reading and reflection. In this way the holiness she calls to will come

Because the Bible is God’s revelation to man, it is also a self-revelation of God. Appearing in Medjugorje with a mission of drawing all of mankind to God, pointing to the Bible is second nature to the Virgin Mary. She knows that meetings between God and man indeed take place through Sacred Scripture. This is why the Virgin Mary also calls to pull out the Bible from its place in a shelve alongside other books – and to give the Bible a place of its own in the home:

“Little children, you do not know how to live in the grace of God, that is why I call you anew, to carry the Word of God in your heart and in your thoughts. Little children, place the Sacred Scripture in a visible place in your family, and read and live it. Teach your children because if are not an example to them, children depart into godlessness. Reflect and pray and then God will be born in your heart and your heart will be joyous.” (August 25th 1996)

“Put Sacred Scripture in a visible place in your family and read it. In , you will come to know prayer with the heart and your thoughts will be on God. Do not forget that you are passing like a flower in a field, which is visible from afar but disappears in a moment.” (January 25th 2007)

Peace and joy are other fruits of reading the Bible regularly. And so the Virgin Mary mentioned both when, at the turn of the century, she put in place her most marked antithesis to the widespread notion that God is far away, if anywhere at all. God is, among other places, in the Bible, the Virgin repeated:

“Dear children! Today again I call you to become carriers of my peace. In a special way, now when it is being said that God is far away, He has truly never been nearer to you. I call you to renew prayer in your families by reading the Sacred Scripture and to experience joy in meeting with God who infinitely loves His creatures. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (September 25th 1999)