TO LIVE WITH THE HEART / The life and work of Fra Slavko Barbarić / Fr Marinko Šakota

SKU: 9789958362309
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About the Author

Fr Marinko Šakota was born in Čitluk in 1968. He completed elementary school, as well as the first class of High school in Čitluk. As he discerned the call to become a Franciscan, he joined the Franciscan Minor Seminary in Visoko, where he completed the second class of Grammar school. The third and the fourth class he completed at the Jesuit Grammar School in Dubrovnik, where he also graduated. He received the Franciscan habit on 15 July 1987 in Humac, where he spent his noviciate year.

He began studying philosophy and theology in Sarajevo at the Franciscan School of Theology (1989-1990) and continued in Zagreb at the Jesuit College (1990-1992). He made his final vows in Široki Brijeg in 1993. He graduated in Fulda, Germany, in 1995. He was ordained a deacon in Zagreb in 1996, and a priest in Frohnleiten in 1996.

He first served at the Franciscan monastery in Innsbruck where he spent one year as helper, and then he worked as Spiritual Assistant in Frohnleiten and as Assistant Priest in Augsburg. He served as the Assistant Priest in Mostar for three years, and then as the Parish Priest in Gradnići for seven years. Since September 2010, he has been serving in Medjugorje, first as the Assistant Priest, and since 2013 as the Parish Priest.

He writes for the magazines Glasnik mira and Naša ognjišta. As a seminarian and a young priest, he met Fr Slavko Barbarić and followed closely his pastoral work. After Fr Slavko’s death, he began to collect testimonies about him and to study his personality and his work. The fruit of his research is his book To Live with the Heart – The life and work of Fra Slavko Barbarić. The book was translated into English, French, German, Italian, Slovak and Slovenian. Other translations will follow.

The Author Speaks

Many years have already passed since the death of Fr Slavko Barbarić. This book is a sign of my gratitude towards him, but I wrote it also for all of us, to reflect more deeply on our Christian life in the light of his example. I tried to get through to the heart of a man who became an instrument of God’s grace, a man who lived among us, who was so close to all of us and like us in so many ways, and yet truly special. In his singularity, he was so simple, that we could easily overlook his uniqueness.

Those who did not recognise him, did not understand him and often attacked him. It was easier to criticise, to contest and to be suspicious, than to follow in his footsteps. However, their blindness and jealousy could neither demean his work nor stop his mission of proclaiming the Word of Christ. Those who discovered his value, considered him to be an apostle of love, a tireless fighter for the truth of the Gospel, and an irreproachable servant of the little ones. They recognised in him a true witness to the faith, a St Paul of our times.

I was writing my thoughts about Fr Slavko, about the paths he took, about his thoughts, words and deeds. I tried to describe my encounters with him, what he meant and what he continues to mean to me. I was listening to the reminiscences and impressions of his fellow Franciscans, his relatives and his friends, and of all those who worked closely with him. I thank each one of them for their wholehearted kindness and readiness to testify about their encounters with him.

I tried to describe at least partly his path from birth to death, but I mostly tried to present his thoughts, his writings and the variety of his pastoral work. In the course of these past years, many Franciscans, priests, nuns and lay people, have given an immense contribution to the spread and protection of the Medjugorje message, which merits deep respect and gratitude. In this book, however, I have turned my attention exclusively to Fr Slavko.

I hope that I have succeeded to open at least slightly the door of Fr Slavko’s large heart. This book is in fact only a small introduction to his life. I genuinely hope that it is only the beginning of a deeper and more fundamental study of his life and work. I believe that this little work will inspire many others to give their witness about him and contribute with new and important details to the mosaic of his ministry.

The book To Live with the Heart will live up to its intention if these lines, which accompany Fr Slavko from station to station of his exceptionally rich life’s journey, become for you, dear reader, a compass for your own spiritual growth and maturation.



From High School Graduation to Postgraduate Studies

The Encounter with Medjugorje

Spiritual and Pastoral Work

Spiritual Profile

Born into Heaven

Publisher: ICMM

Author: Fr Marinko Šakota

Original language: Croatian

Translation / Review: Lidija Paris / Fr Leon Pereira O.P.

Edited in 2020

Size: 200 x 200

156 pages with photos