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As we heard from people all over the world who were adopting the Feast of Morta for their families, we share with you, the evening of our Medjugorje alternative to Halloween, the Feast of Morta.

The Feast of Morta with the Community of Caritas

It was dusk, when the members of the Caritas Community walked through the empty Field of Our Lady’s apparitions towards a column of gray smoke that could be seen rising above the trees that surrounded the community’s cemetery. The consecrated men of the community had come earlier to start the good sized fire, and as families joined, blankets were laid out in a circle around it. As always, the children were excited to be together, in the fall weather, running through crisp fallen leaves, around the fire, the adults and each other. One family came carrying a box—and had a surprise story to share. As they were getting ready to join the community for the prayer in the cemetery, they heard chirping coming from their laundry room. Following the chirping, four newly hatched ducklings were found with a box, although two had jumped out and were running around to the happiness and delight of their two small children. The ducklings became a part of this night of joy, as all the children reached out their hands to hold the squirming puffs of fluff.

The Feast of Morta with the Community of Caritas

The story of the Community’s tradition of celebrating the Feast of Morta was shared not only for newest members of the Caritas community and the children to hear, but for all those who have participated over the years, to refresh in us our history of what our founder was inspired to institute in the community's way of life: that being a tradition that was started 14 years ago of a celebration contradicting Halloween in which our hearts are purified. The first year it was done all felt this would spread around the world. Then each member remembered their special loved ones who had passed on from this life in prayers asking Our Lady to give them each a kiss from us in Heaven, and if they were in purgatory, that these prayers would comfort them and hurry their release. We remembered our loved ones, buried here in our own John Jacob’s Cemetery, as well as so many friends of Our Lady’s mission who have passed away over the years. Our special saints were called upon for their intercession. Though it is always hard for each us individually to remember everyone, that is what makes being “in community” beautiful, because someone else remembers—and when a forgotten name is mentioned, it brings warmth to one’s heart and gratitude to be able to remember their lives in our prayers.

The Feast of Morta with the Community of Caritas

The culmination of our prayers is the Rosary that follows the naming of our beloved dead. A dead leaf is chosen by each member, and held onto for a time of reflection and prayer. Each community member then goes up during the Rosary to toss it in the flames after naming everything in our hearts we want purified out of us. By burning these dead leaves we ask OurLady to rid everything in us not of God, even naming those things in the silence of our hearts before dropping them in the flames to be consumed. In doing so we realize how true Our Lady of Medjugorje's words are when She said:

August 25, 2001

“…do not forget, little children, that your life is as passing as a flower…”

A prayer is offered by our founder to Our Lady and the intercession of the saints, and then by each of us silently, that we would receive the gift of conversion, that sin, weaknesses, failures, personal interests, etc., would die, be burned up in us so that we can be born anew. Words from Heaven, the book of messages of Our Lady in Medjugorje, is handed to A Friend of Medjugorje, who holds it in silent prayer, and then opens it to a message at random to complete our night of prayer. The message he asked Our Lady for was beautiful and brings a greater sense of Our Lady’s presence of why we were gathered on this special night, a night spent in nature, in thanking God for our loved ones, in remembering that we are only creatures, and thanking our Creator for the gift He has given us in sending us His Mother. The message OurLady Queen of Peace of Medjugorje gave to the Caritas community to end this year's Feast of Morta follows:

October 25, 1995

"Dear children! Today I invite you to go into nature because there you will meet God the Creator. Today I invite you, little children, to thank God for all that He gives you. In thanking Him you will discover the Most High and all the goods that surround you. Little children, God is great and His love for every creature is great. Therefore, pray to be able to understand the love and goodness of God. In the goodness and the love of God the Creator, I am also with you as a gift. Thank you for having responded to my call."

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