In his homily, given at Holy Mass, August 3, 2017 in Medjugorje the Cardinal said:
Again God has directed me by his glory and the benefit of people. God has so honored me and rewarded me that I am able to be here with you. Often times I am invited to proclaim the good news. I am very happy and I feel that heaven is open above this place and the angels descend upon this place, that they rejoice with us at this great meeting, because you are all at this meeting with the Lord!
It is a joy for us to participate in the presence of the living Lord Jesus Christ. At the beginning I asked the Pope. As the Church teaches us always, we must be in union with the head of this Church. I greatly desired that I would be here as a priest. To celebrate Holy Mass here in Medjugorje. His Holiness, Pope Francesco, I would say another St. Francis, a great heart, a man of the Church. I said to him, “Holiness, here people come who want to meet Jesus, to encounter Him. I would like to hear your word. The Word of Christ from your lips.Until yesterday, I was an ordinary priest from Albania. But today in this position that you have given to me, Holiness, may I witness before the people of Medjugorje? I ask you, as the Vicar of Christ on earth.” His word, with great joy He said to me, “Go to Medjugorje. Spread the Good News!”
I am so excited to be here (Medjugorje). I have the impression that angels are descending to be with us in this beautiful atmosphere. In this beautiful place. In invite you that even though it is summer, that we all experience Jesus Christ in this heat.
In 1945 what started was a difficult year, a Calvary for everything that was Christian in Albania. It was evil and the force of darkness, Satan. It came to make the Albanian country full of blood, to make martyrs of the Albanian people. But the situation was more and more complicated when Stalin took control with his hands. He wanted our Albanian government to say that he would open the Church in the world. He gathered all the priests together. We did not know why they invited us. But we found out. They wanted to detach us from Rome, from the Vatican. So we would not be a Catholic Church. But the Catholic clergy never wanted that. As they were able to see that we persevered, they told us, do what you want with the Vatican. You are free. But it was a false freedom. The world was told we had freedom but this was false news. But still the ideology became stronger and stronger and more crazy.
You see what was happening was such a difficulty. It was a prison without wall, and we the people young and old, they were pushing.
In 1956 I became a priest. I started my own mission. I didn’t know that I was always followed. They had spies watching me and wrote every word I said. They would use that information one day against me. But you see even though we could feel in our spirit that difficulties were coming, we left two things to the people of God, pray the Rosary and adore the Blessed Sacrament. And that is how they would survive.
The government knew this. That is how the persecution began. 1963, midnight. They came and tied me up, and brought me to an unknown area. I received the decree that I was condemned to death because I was telling the people they would all die for Jesus Christ. They also had a secret camera the recorded what I was saying and doing. That is how I ended up in a small room, two meters by two meters.
One of my good friends had been a secret agent. He was a spy. I thought he was a good man, but he was a spy. And he started to attack the system. I could see what was going to happen. So I changed my tactic. I said Jesus teaches us to love our enemies. To love everyone. Jesus doesn’t want us to have enemies.