Who was fra Slavko Barbarić? What Medjugorje meant for him? And who was he for Medjugorje?
During next few weeks, before 21st anniversary of his death we will write to You about this great man and friar who, through his life and work is much alike to the well-known Assisi saint. The one whose habit he had proudly worn all his life. Fr Slavko was there from the very beginning of Medjugorje's apparitions, present in spirit and mind, with his body and sacrifice. With every fiber of his being. We will let him to talk through his books, those words that we need to hear and LIVE WITH THE HEART and at the end to die for. As Fr Marinko Šakota, the current parish priest of Medjugorje, writes in his book Living with the heart- The life and work of Fra Slavko Barbarić: „Isn't Fr Slavko's death as unique, as astonishing and as symbolic as his life? Isn't his death on the Cross Mountain on a Friday, after the prayer of the Way of the Cross, the very crown of his life? Doesn't Fr Slavko's passing show that death is truly our sister, as St. Francis of Assisi used to say?“ Then he continues: „Really, at that moment, everything in this death was so holy, so mystical and so symbolical.“
This book will be simply and wonderfully humble in getting to know Fr Slavko's character. Actually, Fr Slavko gives us signs even today, signs which lead us to the holiness. These signs are Our Lady's messages, which he gladly listened and happily spread over.
And as Fr Marinko's gaze then shifted from the hill of Križevac he stared into the distance and wrote these lines: „Then I looked towards the place of Our Lady's apparitions above Bijakovići. It looks like an inexhaustible source of an invisible river that for many decades now flows into the hearts of millions of people.“ That is our Medjugorje, an inexhaustible source, mystical sign and a guide mark to a holiness.
Fr Marinko's book, let's call it „a research work“ is based on real events, experiences and authentic descriptions with beautiful archival pictures. This amazing book with those inspirational quotes, where every line from the beginning of the „phenomenon“ is the phenomenon. Every line makes that the gaze jumps from words to the picture and then back to the reality that creates questions, personal questions for which we all seek some answers. It looks like they had an agreement that made their efforts joined, one by his life and the other by his words to make a deed, which acts on us, today!
And the Lady? He writes: „After having intensively observed and examined the visionaries and their behaviour before, during and after the apparition, and after having overcome his initial reserve, Fr Slavko was personally convinced of the authenticity of the apparitions, and he put himself completely at the service of Our Lady. Living the messages to the letter day in day out, he came closer and closer to Our Lady's heart and her plans.“ Just as then, Our Lady ask us now to put our lives in her service and search for peace which we shall find, as Fr Slavko once wrote: „The human being is a pilgrim on this earth, and his life is a pilgrimage towards the eternal life. It is precisely renunciation that frees him from excessive attachment to all that is earthly and material, creates within him the attitude of expectation, and awakens the desire for what is eternal and everlasting.“
Let's be pilgrims of peace and love, let us be those who turn words into deeds, let us use the material objects to reach the spiritual. Let us use this two-way communication that Fr. Slavko had with his pilgrims, he received pilgrims and made pilgrimages to them but do that with as he said: „Our own conversion!“
More of these beautiful quotes from the book To live with the heart - The life and work of Fr Slavko Barbarić by Fr Marinko Šakota will be continued on Saturday on October 30!
God bless You!
You can buy the book and see more detailed informations in the link below:
To live with the heart - Fr Slavko Barbarić, Fr Marinko Šakota