Dear friends of «Maranatha-Conversion»
The adventure of «Maranatha» is already 12 years old. It’s not yet fully mature, but we’re approaching it! In the early years, the main focus was on prayer meetings, retreats and pilgrimages, which often brought together a large number of participants.
Over time, things have evolved and progressed. As my last editorial was in 2017, it is time to give you an update on recent events.
The year 2018 was a particularly rich one. On January 18 in Mexico City, Sabrina Covic Radojicic and François Eliat received, on behalf of «Maranatha», two official reproductions of the miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, protector of Life and protector of our movement «Maranatha». One of the two copies is in Ghent (Ghent), at the home of François, in the house «Maranatha-Belgium» and the other has been received in the Peace Centre «Sakramento» which is, in a way, the «Mother House» of the movement in Medjugorje. This means that, for the people who pray before them, it is as if they were recollecting in front of the original image. Splendid!
In 2018 we also organized important meetings such as, for example, the «Witness Nights» week from 21 to 24 September in partnership with «Aid to the Church in Need» (ACN). These meetings brought together hundreds of faithful around Cardinal Puljic in Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Bishop Janjic in Kotor (Montenegro), Bishop Uzinic (Dubrovnik) and Bishop Hoser in Medjugorje (Bosnia and Herzegovina). Also present were Marc Fromager, Director of AED-France, Father Kyril Gorbunov, Vicar General of Moscow, and Sister Houda Fadoul, a Syrian nun, superior of a monastery located in the desert 80 km from Damascus.
Now, we are setting up these exciting and important meetings named «Maranathons». What a find it is that this name invites us to «run» to the One who «comes»! They will begin on the 4th of each month with an exchange with people from all spiritual traditions who will come to share their views on spiritual themes in an informal and fraternal way. As far as possible, we will try to organize these days around a unifying means of expression such as art, especially music, with the help of Christian artists. The day of the 4th will be followed by the 5th and 6th of the month, which will be days of prayer and, for those who so desire, fasting.
The «Maranatha-Conversion» movement spontaneously tends to spread to the whole world. That’s the logic of it! For the challenges are immense and we all feel that this is a serious time, in the Church and in the whole world. Hence the urgency to create links, to weave like a Network of Light, a Web of Hope throughout the world, taking as privileged support points the Shrines of the world that will feel called to join us. First of all, we must refocus on the prayer intentions proposed each month by the Pope. Every month, among the main intentions proposed to the participants of the «Maranathons» will therefore be those presented by the «World Network of the Pope’s Prayer». That is why the videos produced by this network are included in our sites.
Already several shrines have joined us or are about to set up a group of volunteers in their sanctuary for these 3 exceptional, monthly and world days… The first sanctuary was Kibeho, where, in February 2018, a first «Maranathon» was held, in the presence of the bishop, Mgr Célestin, the seer Nathalie and a small group of 7 enthusiasts from Maranatha-Belgium.
Of course, we offer Marathon pilgrimages to Medjugorje. For those who wish, they can be privileged times of «training», in case they would like to found a «Maranathon» in a Sanctuary near them, or to join an already existing group. We will keep you regularly informed of various news and initiatives and, if you feel called to do so, we would be pleased if you would join us.
Dear friends, the world is potentially on fire in many ways. All human, political, diplomatic, social and economic means must be used to avoid major disasters. But nothing will succeed without prayer. In each of her apparitions throughout the world, the Virgin Mary has insisted on this. The comparison used by Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus is eloquent. «Give me a point of support and a lever and I will lift the world,» Archimedes said. The «clever» girl from Lisieux reasoned in a similar way: «To raise the whole world spiritually, we have Jesus risen and Mary raised to heaven as our support.» And our lever is prayer. He who has ears, let him hear!
Savines-le-Lac, December 12, 2018, on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe,
Bishop André Léonard,
Archbishop Emeritus of Mechelen-Brussels,
Chaplain at the Sanctuary of Notre-Dame du Laus