On Sunday, January 21, 2007, was commemorated the fifth anniversary of the death of Dr. Fr. Leonard Oreč, former parish priest of Medjugorje and founder of the religious-humanitarian organization “Medjugorje-Mir”. Holy Mass was celebrated for him in the parish church. It was presided by Fr. Ivan Landeka, another former parish priest of Medjugorje and actual president of the organization “Medjugorje-Mir”, and concelebrated by the present parish priest of Medjugorje, dr. Fr. Ivan Sesar.
From 1988 to 1991, Fr. Leonard was serving in Medjugorje, thereof more than one year as Pastor. During these three years, he left an indelible imprint as an experienced and wise priest, spreading Our Lady’s messages of peace and reconciliation fervently. Many ideas were born in his heart and mind, which were also realised in the past years. Knowing many people all over the world and the difficult situation of our people stricken by the war, he started the humanitarian association “Medjugorje-Mir” in Split in 1992. Thanks to the friends of Medjugorje, this association distributed dozens of tonnes of humanitarian aid during the war, and continues today with its humanitarian work. Fr. Leonard worked also on the spiritual renewal of people wounded by the war and, according to Our Lady’s message of peace and reconciliation, was a link between nations and religions.
Since 1997, Fr. Leonard was serving in the Franciscan General Curia in Rome. He was in Rome until July 2001, when he became seriously ill. Precisely those days, he celebrated his 50 years of priestly ordination.
Fr. Leonard Orec's Spiritual Testimony
On January 14th, 2002, seriously ill and dying at the hospital Dubrava in Zagreb, conscious of his imminent going to the Lord, Fr. Leonard Orec verbally expressed to his co-workers Zeljka Puljak and Miljenka Majic from the humanitarian association “Medjugorje-Mir” his spiritual testimony for his Franciscan brothers, near-ones and friends:
“When I came to Zagreb from Rome, I did not pray to God for healing, in any case not a healing by a miracle, but to accept His will, “Our Father, may Your will be done”, but also “My Father, if it is possible, let this chalice pass me by”!
I do not pray for myself and do not expect miracles from any place. I also prayed that, if the illness should last for long time, that God may allow me not to feel pain. This miracle is happening.
I see and I hear an awful lot of prayers for me and I see that these prayers are really granted, because I have no pain, I sleep well… and I believe; not only for myself but for all those who go through similar sufferings. If someone would interpret these events in another way, I think hat he would be wrong.
I keep on saying: “I do fight for health, I am not afraid of death.” And do not be disappointed: I will pray my sister Death not to hesitate. I am not able any more to write a spiritual testimony. My testimony to all, to my Franciscan brothers, to friends, to the friends of Medjugorje from all over the world, is the same that I have received from my father: “Keep the faith you have received, pray to God as you have learned and do the job you are doing.” I tried to hold on this and I council this to others.
Through the intercession of the Queen of Peace, may the almighty God bless you, Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.”