Three years ago the idea for a charity to help the poor and needy was conceived in the heart of Medjugorje visionary, Jakov Čolo .
Jakov approached Fra. Marinko Šakota, the parish Priest in Medjugorje, who listened and he told Jakov to wait a few days and to pray. Jakov was accustomed to witnessing and giving his testimony, but he sensed the time had come to do something to be ‘active in his spirit’.
Fra. Marinko, after a few days, offered the old parish office to Jakov as an office for the poor and needy. At first, Jakov was afraid, but then he realised that this could be his calling. He found it difficult in the beginning to go to someone’s home and ask them what their needs were, but then he came to the realisation in his heart, that through his actions, he was able to be a true Christian.
In June of this year (2016) the office was registered as a Humanitarian Organisation and Jakov asked Fra. Marinko by which name should the charity be called and he immediately said “MARY’S HANDS”. (‘Marijine Ruke’ in Croatian)
On the 25th February 1997, Our Lady gave this message and truly it sums up what the charism of this organisation is.
“Dear children! Today I invite you in a special way to open yourselves to God the Creator and to become active. I invite you, little children, to see at this time who needs your spiritual or material help. By your example, little children, you will be the extended hands of God, which humanity is seeking. Only in this way will you understand, that you are called to witness and to become joyful carriers of God’s word and of His love. Thank you for having responded to my call. ”
In a recent talk, Jakov said, that we take everything for granted in our lives, we think we need to have the latest gadget, we have a mobile phone, a Tv, we can make coffee whenever we want, but there are many families that don’t have those luxuries.
‘The first help for every human being, and I always try to say this to the volunteers, is not the items we bring, but our encounter with them, our smile, our embrace, our conversation with them, our prayer with them, that they may feel loved. Unfortunately in this materialistic world people are lacking in love, they feel rejected. A smile is free, and embrace is free, there is no cost for a Hail Mary.’
The Organisation is made up of about 50 young local volunteers from Medjugorje and the adjoining areas, who give of their time and love to help those most in need and thus they become the extended hands of Mary. The more they work the more they recognise that they want to be Mary’s extended hands, to help to build houses, feed people, bath someone who is very sick and to recognise Jesus in everyone.
Jakov says that they meet every Monday and before the meeting they pray. He prays, ‘ Lord give us love, give us joy’ because only in that way are they able to help other people.
The Cenacolo Community are always willing to help out whenever it is needed and Jakov said he is so grateful to the Lord for their assistance and to all the volunteers of Mary’s Hands, he is so thankful because without them the organisation would not be.
Every month, there are about 200 people who come to the office to look for food, they give out about 200 packages, visit the families, homes for the elderly, hospitals, wherever the help is needed they gladly help. Jakov humbly admits they make mistakes, there are failures and omissions, but it does not prevent them from going forward.
Mary’s Hands address:
Gospin trg 1,
(Please do not send money through the post)
Donating to Mary’s Hands:
Raiffeisen bank: Zmaja od Bosne bb Sarajevo
SWIFT CODE: RZBABA2S
IBAN CODE: BA391610000163330066