June 24th is the solemnity of the birth of St John the Baptist. June 24, 1981 is also the anniversary date of the first apparition in Medjugorje. This date has rich meaning: What did John the Baptist do? The Scriptures say:
'In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the desert of Judea, saying: 'Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near'..." (Mt 3: 1-2).
John the Baptist seems stern, and to tell the truth, the message of Fatima or Medjugorje also seems stern. But behind this sternness is the power of God's love:
"Eternal salvation is found in God alone. If man persists in rejecting God this will logically lead to God's rejection of man," (cf. Mt 7:23; 10:33) and to damnation.
When the Mother desires the salvation of each man, with all the power of love she nourishes through the Holy Spirit, can she keep silent on all that threatens the very basis of that salvation? No, she cannot!
This is why the message of Our Lady of Fatima, which is so maternal, is at the same time so firm and so full of determination. It seems stern. It is as if John the Baptist was speaking on the banks of the Jordan River. It invites to penance. It is a warning. It is a call to pray. It recommends the rosary."
(John Paul II, Homily in Fatima, May 13, 1982, §7)
Zachariah knew, at the birth of John the Baptist, that through his own child God would lead the people to peace. This is why the liturgy of June 24th says:
"You wanted, Lord, that John the Baptist prepare your people to the coming of the Messiah; grant your Church the gift of spiritual joy, and guide the spirit of all the faithful in the way of salvation and peace."
(Prayer for the feast of the Birth of Saint John the Baptist, June 24)
In harmony with all the teachings of the Church, the messages say:
"Dear children, today I call you to pray, now like never before, while my plans are starting to happen. Satan is strong and he wants to sweep away my plans of peace and joy; he wants you to believe that my Son isn't strong in his decisions.
This is why I call each one of you, dear children, to pray and fast even more.
I invite you to deny yourself during nine days, so that with your help, everything that I started in Fatima may be accomplished.
I invite you, dear children, to understand well the importance of my coming and the seriousness of the situation. I want to save all souls and offer them to God. This is why we should pray that all I have started may be fully accomplished. Thank you for having responded to my call." (full message of 08/25/91)
"Dear children, today again, with great joy in my heart, I call you to conversion. Little children, do not forget that you are all important in this great plan, which God leads through Medjugorje. God desires to convert the entire world and to call it to salvation and to the way towards himself, who is the beginning and the end of every being. In a special way, little children, from the depth of my heart, I call you all to open yourselves to this great grace that God gives you through my presence here. I desire to thank each of you for the sacrifices and prayers. I am with you and I bless you all. Thank you for having responded to my call." (full message of 06/27/07
Excerpts from F. Breynaert, Notre mère, la reine de la Paix,