Community of Caritas

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Every year in Medjugorje, the children celebrate Bread Day. Mothers, with their children helping, spend the day before and throughout the night baking bread of every kind for their children to bring the next morning. The children sell their bread to villagers and pilgrims alike to raise money for those in need in the village and surrounding area, or to help with school materials or adding classrooms for the school. It is a wonderful reminder, especially to the pilgrims, of the call Our Lady has given to us of the importance of fasting.

“The word appears over one hundred twenty-four times in Our Lady’s messages. It is a subject which does not necessarily bring about great excitement, yet many are interested in it. Over the years many have requested we write about it. Our Lady certainly holds it as a major part, a part of the very foundation of all of Her plans.”1 The Community of Caritas, following the witness of our founder, has incorporated Our Lady’s call for fasting into our way of life based on the four basic messages of Medjugorje:  peace, prayer, fasting, and penance.

“We fast on bread and water twice a week on Wednesdays and Fridays,” which Our Lady specifically asked for, “as well as other designated days throughout the year. We begin teaching and training our children at a young age to incorporate sacrifice into their lives. This is not done through pressure or force, but largely through our own witness of offering sacrifices often and with joy…”2 Our children will join the fast with us for all or part of the 9-day fasts that we do! It brings them the joy of accomplishment and helps them begin their spiritual journey.


It is of the greatest joy to grow ones own wheat for animals and bread. To labor for God in spreading Our Lady’s messages, all the while earning our own keep is a life with meaning. It makes for a joyous heart. To work for the ‘harvest’ of souls, to populate Heaven, and the ‘harvest’ of wheat for our daily bread is a life of meaning.

“The sense of joy your soul experiences, because of its coming closer to God and growing in strength, will manifest itself in your heart. A good feeling will be within you knowing the flesh is under control and tamed. The early Christians fasted on Wednesdays and Fridays... two days a week on bread and water is sufficient in growing in strength to control the flesh. Fasting is to the soul as jogging is to the body. It exercises the soul, strengthening it to stand up to the flesh and dominate its passions to make it (the flesh) conform.”3 (Click for free Fasting booklet) or (Click to purchase the Fasting booklet on mejmart)

1. Fasting, A Friend of Medjugorje
2. “A Way” In A New Time, A Friend of Medjugorje
3. Fasting, A Friend of Medjugorje


Above is an example of the type of bread one would find if present in Medjugorje on The Day of Bread, known as Dani Kruha, It is beautiful to see not only the creativity of the Croatian mothers, but baking bread with the help of the children fosters love for bread and gratitude. “Give us this day our daily bread.”

A Friend of Medjugorje stated:

We find some people say, in regard to fasting, that they do not like bread. In the Community, we see this like or dislike for bread is strongly attached to the mentality of how one was raised. Italians, like Croatians, are raised with love and gratitude for bread, therefore, fasting is even easier for them. A child’s mind with a quasi or negative attitude for bread will not love or will even reject fasting because they do not like bread. In the Community of Caritas, we foster, build, and support a mentality of love for bread. It is not enough for a child to be surrounded by parents who hide their dislike for bread by being silent, and it is just as critical that they are not neutral about their like or dislike for bread, rather avidly display a love and gratitude for bread, culturalizing it into the family. This pro-attitude, in both actions and comments, add later to their child’s spiritual life by ‘forming’ their attitude, while a negative statement by parents and peers about bread destroys what attitude God wants about “our daily bread…,” that we are to be grateful for it.

I, along with my wife and several Community members invited a Croatian family over to eat at the Community’s cabin in Medjugorje. After dinner, my wife noticed a thirty-year-old Croatian woman retrieved a piece of bread that had been thrown in the trash. My wife observed her gently picking it up, wiping it off, and then watched her kiss the bread and begin to eat it. My wife asked her what she was doing. She said that she was taught never to throw bread away, that it was held as sacred. When reflecting upon her statement later, I realized this was true. If, in Bethlehem, the manger, a food trough, held Baby Jesus, who is the Bread of Life, then the sacredness of what bread represents should always be in our hearts.

The Community of Caritas fasts twice a week on bread and water as Our Lady has requested through Her messages. Two to five times a year, the Community does a nine-day fast. These fasts are very purifying, plus grace is received that is needed for special intentions, strengthening our direction or achieving a difficult task. The above shows some of the Community boys making bread for the entire community. The smell of fresh Italian bread baking, triggers memories of past years of fasting imprinted in the life of the Community’s “a way of life” of which fasting is an integral part of our life. Our Lady desires this culturalization of the message of fasting to enter into every culture.

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