On a Mountain, In a Grotto, On Another Mountain, In a Field…But Not in a Church?

Published June 25, 2015 A.D.

 

Many are waiting to base their decision to believe in Medjugorje on Church approval.
However, many more are not waiting.

 

People across the world look to A Friend of Medjugorje , the founder of Caritas of Birmingham, who is a first-hand eyewitness to the events of Medjugorje for more than 30 years. His singular understanding that, “It is better for the apparitions to remain outside of the Church” stands in stark contrast from the majority who believe Medjugorje will be protected, will be accepted by a vastly greater amount of people once it is under the formal structure and approval of the Catholic Church. The founder of Caritas has seen clearly through God’s intervention in Medjugorje, through the messages, and through personal cognition gained through living Our Lady’s messages, that it is not God’s will for Medjugorje to be approved by the Catholic Church at this time, and thus receive the label, ‘Catholic.’ He is undeterred in his belief that these apparitions are real, are for the conversion of the world, and are to be acted upon now. For those waiting for approval and to those purposely hindering Medjugorje, there is reason to seriously examine your position or judgment, especially if made without deep thought, consideration and prayer. The founder of Caritas, A Friend of Medjugorje, stated clearly:

 

“With the reality that Medjugorje has spread throughout the world and has led to millions of conversions, the tables have turned and the greater burden lies upon those who wish to disprove the apparitions, rather than upon those who believe, to prove that they are real.”1

 

Advisor to Pope John Paul II and renowned Mariologist, Father René Laurentin, affirms the apparitions of Medjugorje are to be acted upon now:

 

“…at Medjugorje the Virgin is calling people to believe without waiting for tomorrow; tomorrow will be too late…”2

 

Our Lady of Medjugorje is calling Her apostles to actively live Her messages today, and the Catholic Church has given approval to the faithful to pilgrimage to Medjugorje and to spread the messages, as long as the apparitions are not taken for granted. At the same time, there are contradicting powers actively censoring Medjugorje in parishes, even stopping the visionaries from speaking, misinterpreting Vatican statements in order to confuse and hinder belief.

 

Archbishop Frane Franić, of former Yugoslavia, firmly believed in the apparitions of Medjugorje and understood the gravity of the plan. He said:

 

“…those who have hindered a greater response to Our Lady, Queen of Peace in Medjugorje carry a great responsibility…”3


On August 21, 1996, a press release by Vatican spokesman, Dr. Joaquín Navarro-Valls, was issued to stop the misinterpretation of the April 10, 1991, Yugoslavian Conference of Bishop’s statement. Navarro-Valls said:

 

 “You cannot tell people not to go there (Medjugorje) without proof that the apparitions are false. So far there is none (proof), thus anyone can go there if they so wish.”4
 

Great is the responsibility on those who hinder others from acting on the messages of Medjugorje. While the Church waits, science has proven the visionaries are seeing something supernatural. With 25 years of scientific testing, performed by over 56 scientists from more than 5 different countries, A Friend of Medjugorje writes:

 

Never in the history of the Church has any group of individuals been so studied and scrutinized by so many different kinds of experts and people from around the world, with the variety and complexity of the technological equipment that science offers today, for so long a period of time, as these six Medjugorje visionaries: Mirjana, Ivanka, Vicka, Marija, Ivan and Jakov. That fact in itself should give pause to even the most convinced atheist.”

 

Dr. Henri Joyeux, a Professor of Cancerology and surgeon at Montpellier’s Cancer Institute in France, made frequent trips to Medjugorje in 1984 as head of a team of five doctors. At that time he concluded:

 

“…the phenomenon…is scientifically inexplicable…”5


In 2005, two thousand and five, Professor Joyeux was asked to return and compare current results to the conclusions of 20 years ago in 1984. His conclusion was profound:

 

“After twenty years [from the original results in 1984], our conclusion has not changed. We were not wrong. Our scientific conclusion is clear: the Medjugorje events must be taken seriously.”6

 

So, why are some waiting for approval before they believe? Fr. Laurentin understood in 1984 the paradox of the theological “approval” process surrounding the Medjugorje apparitions. He says:

 

“If Lourdes were to take place in our own day, the apparitions [to St. Bernadette] would not be recognized [approved by the Church…]”7

 

He goes on to say: 

 

“…there would be enormous objections raised…in order to explain the apparitions as a purely natural phenomenon that has nothing to do with God. I have seen this done. Given the prevalent deterministic atmosphere [in the Church], God seems forbidden to perform any miracles at all.”8

 

On the sixth day of the Medjugorje apparitions, June 30, 1981, two Communist social workers took the six visionaries “sight seeing,” in order to keep them off the mountain where Our Lady had been appearing, in order to stop the apparitions. The visionaries were assured they would be brought back to the mountain in time for the daily apparition. Although the Communists succeeded in keeping the visionaries from the mountain, Our Lady was not hindered, even though the visionaries were not at the same place. She came on time, appearing to the visionaries where they were. Mirjana asked Our Lady during the apparition if She was upset because they were not on Apparition Mountain. Our Lady gave an interesting response saying:

 

“That doesn’t matter.”

 

Unsure of Her plan and wanting to protect the apparitions and themselves from persecution, Mirjana then asked Our Lady if She would be upset if they did not return to Apparition Mountain, but if the apparitions could be moved into St. James Church, the church in the village of Medjugorje. Describing Our Lady’s response, Mirjana said, “Our Lady seemed hesitant, but then She agreed to appear in the church and added:

 

‘Always at the same time...’”

 

Time and timing are measureable by science and offer proof of Our Lady’s wisdom and the visionaries’ truthfulness, confirming the visionaries are seeing something supernatural. Additionally, giving credence to the 20 years of consistent scientific conclusions regarding Medjugorje, is the 136-year history9  of psychology, with its past studies, advances and technological refinement, of which nothing like Medjugorje has ever occurred. Dr. Bartulica, a Croatian psychologist was one of the first to examine the visionaries in October 1981, and conducted additional tests from there. In 2007 he presented his conclusions particularly noting the timing of the six:

 

“…there is no such case in the history of psychiatry that six children start simultaneously [always at the same time] hallucinating10  at 6:40 p.m. (every evening)!”11

 

The founder of Caritas, praying to understand the significance of the June 30, 1981, apparition questioned further: Why was Our Lady hesitant to move the apparitions into St. James Church?

 

Both Medjugorje visionaries Marija and Mirjana testified personally to the founder of Caritas that, “Our Lady has a great spirit of decision.”12 Mirjana further confirms the consistency of Our Lady’s character to be decisive of Her character in several of her second of the month apparitions:

 

“…Our Lady was very decided today.” January 2, 2012

 

“…Our Lady was decisive...” November 2, 2012

 

“…Our Lady was determined or decisive.” June 2, 2014
 

The founder of Caritas has repeatedly understood the messages of Our Lady of Medjugorje bring the Bible to life for modern man, which is necessary, because modernity has led man away from the Truths contained in Scripture. God never changes. Jesus called and formed His apostles outside of the Temple, though all were faithful Jews. Jesus and the apostles met among the people in the activity of their daily life which happened in homes, on mountains, in the fields, on the streets, returning to worship in the Temple. Knowing Scripture gives further light and reason behind Our Lady’s reluctance to move into the Church. In Scripture, the new Church began among the people. Our Lady said on August 29, 1982:
 

“…I am the Mother who has come from the people…”

 

The Mother who comes from the people, comes among the people June 24, 1981, decidedly choosing to appear on the mountains surrounding Medjugorje, not in the Church of St. James. On July 4, 1982, Our Lady requested that Marija, Ivan and other young people form a prayer group gathering twice a week on Apparition Mountain to encounter God in nature. The beautiful sunset evenings, filled with singing and praying, viewed from Apparition Mountain are especially striking for those living their daily lives in concrete cities, now so unbiblical. To this day, many families gather together on the mountain, crossing generations, spending hours in prayer before Our Lady’s arrival, as is shown in the following description.

 

August 11, 2014


Pilgrims started arriving at the Blue Cross before 6:00 p.m. and continued to arrive up until apparition time. Small groups of pilgrims of different languages found quiet spots nearby and prayed and sang in their own language until the prayer group began singing around 8:30 p.m. There was singing for the next hour, until 9:30 p.m. when Ivan announced that we would be praying the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary in preparation for Our Lady coming. Our Lady appeared to Ivan at a little after 10:00 p.m. and the apparition lasted around 8 minutes…13

 

Our Lady is using this single prayer group to teach those from around the world how to return to their homes and start their own prayer groups in their own families and communities. 

 

On the mountain, Our Lady is free of structured restrictions and free to set the schedule. Pilgrims gather early, filling the mountain with prayer, often staying for a time after Our Lady has left, singing and praying. The desire for and length of prayer by pilgrims who come to the mountain is a sign of the great need for prayer that people around the world are feeling in their hearts.

 

August 8, 1994 


Ivan, Blue Cross, 10:00 p.m., “Tonight the people prayed the full fifteen decades of the Rosary instead of the usual singing and one mystery. Our Lady appeared happy and joyful….”


Not only is Our Lady very joyful on the mountains, but the length of the apparitions is itself a message. A sampling follows:


• June 23, 2002 – Ivan, Apparition Mountain, the apparition lasted 15 minutes


• June 12, 2009 - Ivan, Apparition Mountain, 10:00 p.m., the apparition lasted 11 minutes


• June 24, 2011 - Ivan, Apparition Mountain, 11:00 p.m., the apparition lasted 13 minutes


• June 21, 2014 – Ivan, Apparition Mountain, 9:00 p.m., the apparition lasted 14 minutes14 
 

Through all the years of the apparitions in Medjugorje, Our Lady has always been the happiest on the mountains where She is freely accessible to great numbers. 

On June 29, 1981, the fifth day of Our Lady’s apparitions, the visionaries asked Our Lady if She was happy to see so many people present [on Apparition Mountain]. Our Lady replied:

 

"More than happy."


August 14, 1989 – Ivan, Apparition Mountain, Our Lady said:


“…Tonight your mother is happy, happy, happy to be with you and to see you in such large numbers…”

 

August 5, 1991 – Ivan, Apparition Mountain, Our Lady said,


“…I am very happy tonight to see you in such large numbers…”


July 9, 2007 – Ivan, at the Blue Cross said, “…[Our Lady] was very, very happy…” Several thousand pilgrims and villagers were present.15
 

Thousands of people anticipate being in the presence of Our Lady on the mountain. It is an effort to climb the mountain, many of them heading there through the fields or by the roads hours before the prayer group begins. Almost every available space is taken up by people in and around Our Lady’s statue and continues much further back. It is a beautiful scene in which one can imagine Our Lady coming down from Heaven, often accompanied by angels.

 

• January 7, 1991 – Ivan, Apparition Mountain, 10:00 p.m., 3 angels appeared with Our Lady

 

• June 24, 1997 – Ivan, Apparition Mountain, 3 angels appeared with Our Lady

 

• August 21, 2006 – Ivan, at the Blue Cross, 3 angels appeared with Our Lady

 

• January 1, 2010 – Marija, Apparition Mountain, 10:47 p.m. “…a myriad of angels…” appeared with Our Lady

 

• June 17, 2013- Ivan, Apparition Mountain, 10:00 p.m., 3 angels appeared with Our Lady16

 

A witness to the manifold conversions of pilgrims in Medjugorje that happen while climbing the mountains and walking through the fields, A Friend of Medjugorje saw that God Himself was intervening to define Medjugorje and its place outside of a church building: “It is better for the apparitions to remain outside of the Church.”

 

A Friend of Medjugorje talked and met with Bishop Pavao Žanić, (the bishop over Medjugorje at this time, 1987), on several occasions. Though Bishop Žanić was opposed to the Medjugorje apparitions, A Friend of Medjugorje found him engaging, likeable, and sincere in his beliefs. At the end of his meeting with Bishop Žanić in October 1987, A Friend of Medjugorje asked Bishop Žanić if he believed he was serving God’s purpose for the plan He has in Medjugorje. Bishop Žanić, with sincerity, replied to A Friend of Medjugorje:

 

“…this is God’s will what I am doing.”17

 

This interview with Bishop Žanić planted seeds in the heart of A Friend of Medjugorje that evolved into the following understanding of how Bishop Žanić was doing the will of God because through his actions he was actually protecting Medjguorje and the apparitions:

 

“Through Bishop Žanić, God took the apparitions out of the Church a few years after the visionaries started having them there. The Franciscans then moved the apparitions into the parish house, which was still on church grounds. A few years after that, God, again through the bishop, drove the apparitions out of the parish house. The visionaries were told if they go into the choir loft and Our Lady appears there, as parishioners they could pray where they like. The bishop, again decreeing the will of God that the visions should not be in the Church, said that they were not allowed in the choir loft...The apparitions then returned, as they were in the beginning days—to the homes of the visionaries and, yes, back on the mountain where Our Lady wanted to be in the first place, and where She was when she answered hesitantly when asked by Mirjana to appear in the church. On the mountain, Our Lady is free of restrictions and free to speak, and free from the contamination that plagues the church today.”
 

A Friend of Medjugorje outlines the above as follows:

 

• June 24, 1981: Our Lady chose to appear outside the village and the church on Apparition Mountain.

 

• June 30, 1981: Mirjana requests the apparitions move inside the Church of St. James for protection. Our Lady submits to her request, though She appeared “hesitant” when asked about moving into the Church.

 

• 1981 - 2005: With 25 years of testing, it is science that validates the visionaries are seeing something supernatural.

 

• 1985 - 1990: Bishop Žanić does the will of God and orders the apparitions: 

 

 

As Medjugorje is in virtually every diocese across the world, God can still be seen intervening through church hierarchy to navigate the place of the apparitions of Medjugorje out of churches. This is not because Our Lady is against the Church. She is its Mother. Why then are the apparitions of Medjugorje not to be in churches? 

 

In 1988, Our Lady came to Birmingham, Alabama, through visionary Marija for three months. The founder of Caritas of Birmingham intended the daily apparitions to take place in a church

 

Medjugorje visionary, Marija, upon visiting the church in Birmingham felt something very strong well up inside her. She turned to the founder of Caritas and said:

 

“The apparitions are not supposed to take place here [in the church].”18

 

The founder of Caritas initially felt strongly the apparitions would be in the church, but was taken aback when Marija said this because he also felt during Mass very powerfully and very clearly something change. He felt that Our Lady did not want the apparitions to take place there in the church. He, therefore, was shocked when Marija turned to him and relayed what he himself had been thinking during Mass. Upon leaving, others who had joined them at Mass voiced the same feeling. Our Lady began to take over at that point to show where She wanted to appear. At this surprise, A Friend of Medjugorje and his wife took Marija back to their home where Marija was staying. Upon arriving, they took Marija through the whole house to familiarize Her with the home. As apparition time was approaching, he with his wife showed Marija their bedroom. Marija, looked over the bed at a Crucifix19 on the wall and clearly, authoritatively said:

 

“The apparitions will take place here [in the bedroom].”20

 

Both were not only surprised, but shocked, questioning interiorly, “Apparitions over our bed?” That would have been the last place they would have chosen for Our Lady’s apparition. Through November, December 1988 and January 1989, Our Lady appeared there, in the most sacred room of the family home, and gave messages almost every day.

 

Marija has said Our Lady taught her that every family is like a small church. It is the small church21 of the home itself that Our Lady first desired to bring conversion. She indicated during the first year of the apparitions Her desire to be in homes:

 

Spring, 1982


“… If it is necessary, I will appear in each home…”

 

Our Lady has a great spirit of decision. Yet, She gave way to the visionaries’ request to go into the Church, only to slowly lead events back out of the Church.

 

On November 24, 2000, Fr. Slavko, a well-known priest, died suddenly near the top of Cross Mountain. The visionaries and the entire village of Medjugorje were shaken and many were heartbroken. Visionary, Marija, spoke to the founder of Caritas that night on the phone relaying what had happened in the apparition. Marija, upset by the death of Fr. Slavko, had asked Our Lady during the apparition:

 

“Now what?”

 

Her question was as if to say, ‘What do we do now? What will happen now?’

 

Our Lady said firmly, decisively to Marija:

 

“Avanti.” (Italian meaning ‘forward’)


“Ispred.” (Croatian meaning ‘advance’)


“Go forward.” (English translation)

 

It is Our Lady, the resolute decision of God, who said on March 25, 2006:


“Courage…’I’ decided to lead you…”

 

A Friend of Medjugorje clarifies the significance of these statements made by Our Lady:

 

“To understand Our Lady’s plans, the word ‘I’ is a very important word in Her messages. We must contemplate the word ‘I’ to understand Who is speaking to us, what She wants of us, and what She is doing. Medjugorje is not led by an individual, or a group or by priests or bishops or the Church. Who then is in charge of this movement? Medjugorje is a movement guided by Our Lady through the people. “You,” She says, “are important.”

 

The Medjugorje apparitions have repeatedly been pushed out of the Church structure of St. James and other churches worldwide through the legitimate Church authority, through the will of God, consistently proving, for the propagation of Medjugorje, it is better for the apparitions to remain outside of the Church.
 

Our Lady’s first appearance was on Apparition Mountain and this act gives a message paralleling other apparitions: Guadalupe (on a mountain), Lourdes (in a grotto), La Salette (on a mountain), Fatima (in a field) and many others. Why do Our Lady’s apparitions always take place outside of a church building? Because Our Lady of Medjugorje has come to “construct the Church anew,” and She must begin from the outside because the Church’s weakened state would infect the purity of the plan of God. This is made very clear by A Friend of Medjugorje’s inspired vision, “Rebuilding the Church.”22

 

Our Lady is bringing about a revolution that we are not to just go to a church building, but we are to be the Church. A Friend of Medjugorje saw clearly Our Lady point to authority, yet:



“She [Our Lady] tells all of us to be obedient to the bishop, yet She gives us a sign that we are the Church.”

 

On August 25, 2014, A Friend of Medjugorje spoke of the plans of Medjugorje:

 

“… She [Our Lady] said, ‘…pray for my intentions…’ Why? Because satan wants to destroy Her plan. In 2008, Our Lady continues and says, ‘…pray for my intentions so that, through your prayers, you may stop satan's plan over this world…’ This is not about one nation or one part of a nation. This is about the whole world. Never in history have we had Heaven speaking to us of a spiritual battle over the whole world. This is unprecedented.”

 

Medjugorje visionary, Mirjana, confirmed the same:


“The Gospa is with us for almost 27 years [in 2008] and not once has She said: ‘Dear Croats, dear Italians, dear Americans.’ She always says: ‘Dear children.’ ”23

 

Jesus’ last words to His apostles before ascending were:


Matthew 28:19


“…make disciples of all nations…”

 

Our Lady’s words to Her apostles, February 2, 2015:

 

“…Do not waste time thinking about whether you are worthy to be my apostles…pray that you may comprehend that you are worthy to work for Heaven…”

 

Repeatedly, from the early 1990's, A Friend of Medjugorje has stated:

 

“THE MEDJUGORJE APPARITIONS ARE NECESSARY

FOR MODERN MAN’S SALVATION, AND

ARE THE FULFILLMENT OF REVELATION

AND THE EXPLANATION OF SCRIPTURE FOR MANKIND.”

 

Bishop Jose Viloria of Venezuela states of the apparitions of Medjugorje:

 

“...Without this supernaturality, these events could never hold out to such an extent and spread like this throughout the whole world…What is being announced here is the essence of the Gospel, therefore we have to accept it!”24

 

But will the Church accept it and at the same time give Our Lady freedom to fulfill Her plans according to the will and mystery of God? Or will they be weighed down by their own preconceived ideas of how they think Our Lady should think, should speak, should act, when She should appear, how long She should appear or even who She should choose to be Her witnesses and Her apostles?

 

This was the error of the Jewish leaders who had preconceived ideas of what the Messiah would look like, would act like, and would say. Jesus had to reveal the truth of who He was outside of the synagogue walls because He could not penetrate the thickness of hearts of those inside the walls.

 

Is it any different today? God has sent Our Lady among us and is revealing in fullness, through Medjugorje, Who She is. She is the Mother of the whole world. And what She was sent from Heaven to do. She was sent to call the whole world to salvation. Like Jesus, She remains outside the walls of the Church. But this is not a problem for Our Lady, nor for Her followers who love Her and love the Church. There is a purpose of being outside the Church.

 

Jesus spoke a parable to His disciples:

 

“A man once gave a great banquet, and invited many; and at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for all is now ready.’ But they all alike began to make excuses…So the servant came and reported this to his master. Then the householder in anger said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and maimed and blind and lame.’ And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges, and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.” Luke 14:16, 20-24

 

By Her words and Her witness, Our Lady has been teaching Her followers, Her apostles, to set out with Her to find the lost and the forsaken, the unbelievers, the wounded and diseased souls, “in the streets and lanes of the city…down the highways and hedges,” and invite them to come to Her, and She will lead them into the Banquet of Her Son, “that my house may be filled.” Medjugorje is the renewal of the Church--from the outside in. Read “Rebuilding the Church.”  

 

Endnotes:

1.The writings of A Friend of Medjugorje are producing hundreds of thousands of conversions, if not millions, through grace, and are requested worldwide from every corner of the earth. The author, therefore, will not take credit for a work that, by proof of the impact of these writings, have led hearts to conversion. Our Lady gave him a direct message to witness not with words, but through humility. It is for this reason that he wishes to remain simply, “A Friend of Medjugorje.”

2. Is the Virgin Mary Appearing at Medjugorje?, by Fr. Rene Laurentin, 1984, p.2

3. Publication “Nasa Ognjista,” XXV, 1995, pp.4, 9.

4. “You Cannot Spread Medjugorje?” by A Friend of Medjugorje, November 2013.

5. Interview with Dr. Joyeux printed in the publication “Paris Match,” Summer 1985, reprinted in MIRecorder, Peter Batty, 1986, 4-6; Can also be read on Mej.com/Scientific studies.

6. “Medjugorje Tribune,” January 2007, No. 1; Also on Mej.com/Scientific Studies, “Specific Tests Administered to the Medjugorje Visionaries and Their Results.”

7. Is the Virgin Mary Appearing at Medjugorje?, by Fr. Rene Laurentin, 1984, p.7.

8. Ibid.

9. German professor, physician, and philosopher, Wilhelm Wundt opened the first psychology lab in 1879 and is credited as the father of modern psychology.

10. Twenty years of scientific tests conclude without a doubt the visionaries see something supernatural and are not hallucinating. Mej.com/Scientific Studies.

11. “Medjugorje Tribune,” January 2007, No. 1. Also available on mej.com/Scientific Studies, “Psychological Testing.”

12. In personal interviews in Medjugorje, 1997

13. From the article, “Fight Against Evil,” describing Ivan’s prayer group meeting and Our Lady’s message on August 11, 2014, Mej.com

14. Words From Heaven, by A Friend of Medjugorje, 2015, 15th edition; St. James Publishing, Caritas, AL.

15. Ibid.

16. Ibid.

17. Bishop Žanić, A Friend of Medjugorje, October 7, 1987 meeting, with Bishop Žanić at the Diocesan Office in Mostar.

18. Words From Heaven, by A Friend of Medjugorje, copyright 1990-2015, 15th edition; Mej.com, “History of the Apparitions in the Bedroom and in the Field,” November 19, 1988. See endnote for full story.

19. In 1988, the founder of Caritas of Birmingham was given this Crucifix by Fr. Slavko, taken from his bedroom in the rectory where many apparitions took place from 1983-1987. See endnotes for full story.

20. Words From Heaven, by A Friend of Medjugorje, copyright 1990-2015, 15th edition; Mej.com, “History of the Apparitions in the Bedroom and in the Field,” November 19, 1988. See endnote for full story.

21. Family Consecration Prayer, 1987, Caritas of Birmingham, Caritas, AL. See the endnotes for the full story.

22. Click here to read a detailed explanation of how, “Rebuilding the Church” will take place.

23. A Conversation With the Visionaries, by Kresimir Sego, 2011.

24. Medjugorje Press Bulletin #131, December 1, 1999. Print.

 

 

Referenced Above-The Story of the Crucifix in the Bedroom of Apparitions

 The founder of Caritas was in Medjugorje in October 16, 1988. While passing by the rectory and Fr. Slavko’s office, our founder noticed Fr. Slavko was removing everything from his shelves and packing it all up in boxes. Fr. Slavko told him that he was being transferred to another parish and was moving. Our founder offered to stay and help him. This room was actually the room of Our Lady’s daily apparitions at the time. At the end of the afternoon, Fr. Slavko took the Crucifix off the wall. It was before this Crucifix that the visionaries knelt each evening to prepare for Our Lady’s coming. Hundreds of apparitions had taken place before this Crucifix. Holding it in his hands, Fr. Slavko approached our founder and asked him to take it as a gift. Though, of course, he wanted to accept it, our founder felt it was too precious a gift to be given to him and tried to tell this to Fr. Slavko. But Fr. Slavko insisted strongly that our founder receive this gift and in the end he accepted it.


Before leaving Medjugorje, A Friend of Medjugorje brought the Crucifix to visionary Marija. He explained to her how he received it and then asked her to say a prayer over it that Our Lady could somehow use it to help bring about the conversion of the United States. Marija took it in her hands and entered into a deep prayer. She then bent and kissed it, and she did so with such love and reverence that it deeply impacted our founder. It made him ponder more deeply this gift that had been given him. 


Upon returning home from this trip, he brought the Crucifix to Annette, his wife. He wanted to pray to ask God where in their house they should hang it. Annette, not having been raised Catholic, who had only just converted to the Catholic Church a few years earlier, did not yet understand many of the Catholic traditions. The only place she told her husband she didn’t want the Crucifix to hang was above their bed in their bedroom. She knew that many Catholics kept to this tradition but being raised Protestant she wasn’t used to seeing Jesus hanging on the Cross. After much prayer, they were not led in any direction as to where to hang the Crucifix. Believing that God wanted more prayer and reflection before giving an answer, our founder put the Crucifix away until the Holy Spirit gave some enlightenment. Weeks went by without thinking of it. 


Around the middle of November, a close friend of Marija’s spoke to our founder telling him to immediately come to Medjugorje that Marija and her brother were ready to travel to the Birmingham for her brother, Andrija’s kidney transplant. Marija was to donate one of her kidneys to her brother. A Friend of Medjugorje flew to Medjugorje, leaving Annette, in her last month of pregnancy, to prepare for Marjia and Andrija coming to stay in their home. Annette learned the three of them would all be arriving home on November 18th. The night of November 17th, Annette was awakened after having a dream that was very vivid in detail. She dreamt that she was hanging the Crucifix they had received from Fr. Slavko over the bed in her bedroom. Not having thought of the Crucifix for the past several weeks, she wondered why suddenly she was dreaming of it. She drifted back to sleep and was awakened a second time after having the very same dream. It was in the middle of the night and she tried to put the dream from her mind as she went back to sleep. A third time she dreamt the very same dream but when she woke from it this time, she had a fire in her heart unlike anything she had ever experienced, to hang the Crucifix over the bed. She said it was a burning desire and she could hardly wait until morning. She never went back to sleep. At the first light of day, she woke her young sons, went to find a hammer and nail, and altogether they hung the Crucifix in the place where she had told her husband she never wanted it to hang. And yet, hanging it now was the cause of the greatest joy. Though she did not understand why this made her so happy, she believed with all her heart this was where Our Lady wanted it to be. 


Late that night, November 18, 1988, our founder, with Marija, Andrija and two close friends arrived at the house. Our Lady had already appeared to Marija that day. In the apparition Our Lady had told Marija that the next day, November 19, the apparition would be at 10:40 a.m. in the morning—which coincided with the evening apparition time in Medjugorje. It had been previously arranged that they would attend Mass in a church in Birmingham each morning and the apparitions would take place at the church following Mass. That was their plan. They would discover the next day, however, that Our Lady had different plans of where She wanted Her apparitions to be. This began a two-month stay for Marija. Other than their own homes, never had a visionary from Medjugorje stayed in one place for such a long time. Over time, Our Lady began to unfold a beautiful love story, establishing a way of life through Her messages.


Referenced Above-Consecration Prayer for the Family


This Prayer was first prayed by Marija in June 1987, in the presence of the married couples who were part of Caritas of Birmingham pilgrimage to Medjugorje. The couples wanted to renew their wedding vows in Medjugorje and at the request of our founder, Marija interceded for them to Our Lord through this spontaneous prayer. When the young Croatian guide, who happened to be Muslim, translated the prayer into English, she was so moved by Marija’s words and her deep spirit of prayer, that she began to weep.

 

Marija’s words on Consecration:

 

I shall recommend all of you to the Blessed Virgin. I want each of you to start living a new life so that each of you will become Our Lady’s witnesses and that you will take this consecration seriously. Our Lady says that every family is like small Church. You have to grow spiritually, but it is impossible for an individual to grow spiritually. We have to grow together in our holiness and in that way we shall become united and unity is what Our Lady wants. Our Lady always says that it is very important for us to set an example by our way of living for one another and that is the way we shall show one another the way to holiness. God bless you.


My Lord, I plead You tonight for my family. I plead You to bless us, to take care of us and to show us which way leads to salvation. My God, it is Your will that every single one of us will be changed, that our lives may become Your life; and tonight, my God, I am giving my family to You and I plead You, You embrace us and lead us, because You can do everything, You are Almighty. From this night on, I am giving my family to You and I plead You, give us Your blessing tonight because we are not strong enough to carry our burden alone, and I plead You my Lord, set us free from other ways but Yours. Let us be turned only towards You, towards Your will. Let us do only what You would like us to do. Let us always search for Your will; and I plead You, my Lord Jesus, give my family Your blessing tonight. Amen. 


Prayer by Marija Lunetti

Adapted for this Special Consecration

by Friend of Medjugorje