MARY’S HANDS – FEEDING THE POOR AND SAVING LIVES
Mary’s Hands is an organisation founded by Fr Marinko Sakota, PP of Medjugorje, and Jakov Colo, the youngest of the six visionaries. Jakov’s last daily Apparition was in September 1998 and we can only imagine what effect the loss of daily time with Our Blessed Mother had on him. Thankfully, Our Lady appears to Jakov every Christmas Day and promises to do so to the end of his life.
In 2013, Fr Marinko put Jakov in charge of the Medjugorje parish office for “people in need”. In 2016, they registered “Mary’s Hands” (Marijine Ruke in Croatian) as a Humanitarian Aid Organisation. They were inspired by the words of the Queen of Peace Who said on September 25th, 2004:
“Also today, I invite you to be love where there is hatred and food where there is hunger. Open your hearts little children and let your hands be extended and generous so that, through you, every creature may thank God the Creator”.
Reading Our Lady’s messages and understanding what She was asking of them, Jakov and his friends decided to answer Her call and become Her Extended Hands. They understand, as St Mother Teresa of Calcutta before them, that they did not need to do big deeds but small deeds with great love.
They have refurbished houses, provided furniture and cookers and tended many gardens. They visit people in their homes, nursing homes and hospitals. Currently, more than 600 people come to them every month to receive food or have it delivered. They also help with taking people to hospital appointments and they supply medicines and other necessities of life. They pay utility bills for those who cannot pay and they also pay rents to keep a roof over people’s heads.
Wood is like gold dust in Bosnia Herzegovina. It is usually the only source of heating and cooking. An average family uses 7m3 in Herzegovina and 10m3 in Bosnia where it is colder and winter is longer. An average cost for 1m3 of chopped and delivered wood is €45 which is a huge amount of money for poor families with very little, if any, income.
Jakov and his 90+ volunteers want to do good, to bring hope and to spread love and peace. They can’t do this wonderful work without donations from kind people. As there were so few pilgrims this year, Jakov was unable to give his talks and accept donations. Funds are very low and they have reached out to Arthur McCluskey Foundation in the hope of receiving support.
The reality is that unemployment was already very high before the pandemic caused chaos, especially in the Medjugorje area. People who worked in pilgrim houses, bars and restaurants or who drove taxis now find themselves living in poverty. The numbers of families seeking help from Mary’s Hands will increase dramatically. Not only has there been almost zero income around Medjugorje, but a factory has shut down in Mostar leaving many people without jobs.
We know from experience that there are no unemployment benefits or redundancies in Bosnia Herzegovina. We know too that those who have worked in a bankrupt company for many years lose their pension entitlements.
Please help us to support the work of Mary’s Hands this winter. They are not only feeding the hungry but they are saving lives. If you would like to help, click the Donate Now button and chose “Mary’s Hands” from the dropdown menu of projects. No amount is too small – remember how Jesus loved the “widow’s mite”?
Mary’s Hands ask you to help financially if you can and they would appreciate your prayers for their ongoing work. May the Lord bless your kind hearts.