The following was originally published on Medjugorje.com on March 14, 2013. When the Cardinals gathered in the Conclave to elect Pope Benedict XVI's successor, their names and faces were presented to Our Lady through the Community of Caritas and Medjugorje visionary, Marija. The first question that was in everyone's heart was if the new Pope would be a Marian pope. Certainly, from what follows, one can see Our Lady of Medjugorje's hand upon Pope Francis' appointment. Medjugorje places in the hearts of its followers a greater love and dedication to the Catholic Church.
Description of Marija’s March 13, 2013 Apparition from the Community of Caritas in Medjugorje:
Today, Wednesday, March 13, 2013, the Community of Caritas brought over to Marija three posters with the 115 cardinal electors on it. Marija and those around who first looked at them, stated how beautiful they are. Marija had a couple hundred pilgrims present in the apparition tonight. She immediately took the three poster boards and placed them right in front of the altar where Marija would receive her apparition. Marija spoke to the group for about 10 minutes. She pointed out to everyone the three boards and explained that these were the cardinals gathered in the conclave to elect the new Pope. She emphasized the importance of praying for each of the cardinals, for when the conclave is finished, one of them would be our new Pope.
The group of pilgrims were then led in praying the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary, with meditation and singing between each decade. Marija then came to the front of the altar and knelt down. She started praying the seven Our Father’s, Hail Mary’s, and Glory Be’s. Our Lady appeared during these prayers. Marija’s apparition lasted about 4 ½ minutes long. She seemed to be speaking several times to Our Lady. After the apparition, Marija explained that during the apparition, Marija recommended all of us and all our intentions to Our Lady. Our Lady prayed over all of us and She blessed all of us and our religious articles.
Replacing the temporary pictures of the cardinals made the day before with the laminated boards of the cardinals, Marija, after today’s apparition, took the pictures of the cardinals that were in last night’s apparition and cut the individual cardinals out. She then placed them in envelopes and had everyone there randomly pick a cardinal to keep in prayer in a special way during this time.
Shortly after the apparition today, white smoke was seen at the Vatican. Crowds of people poured into St. Peter’s square amidst pouring rain. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was chosen and took the name of St. Francis I. Of Cardinal Bergoglio’s election to the Seat of Peter, Fr. Lombardi, of the Vatican Press Office said, “I am absolutely convinced that we have a Pope who wants to serve. His election was the election of a rejection of power.” There is significance also in the date of the election. The number 3 is always representative of God, the Holy Trinity, perfect and complete. Also, in Medjugorje the number 3 plays an important role in Our Lady’s messages where She so often uses the phrase, “pray, pray, pray” which is the inspiration behind the devotion, of what we at Caritas initiated in the 1980’s, of the prayer of the 3 Hail Mary’s. Yesterday was March 13, 2013. March is the third month of the year, so the date was 03-13-13. What does it mean to be connected so close to Heaven that we have a direct line to Heaven through Marija, as in the two days of the conclave that we all can appeal directly to Our Lady of Medjugorje to choose Her Cardinal? Our Lady said:
May 25, 1996
Our Lady has also told us that Heaven has never been so near.
November 25, 2000
We live in a wondrous time in which we can be so united to Heaven that we can literally appeal to its Queen to influence and impact the universal Church. This is a gift of which we cannot comprehend. Our Lady said:
November 8, 1984
Yes, the world is sick and much of the Church is sick. But we have the Nurse whose motherly care has not abandoned us. Our Lady said:
January 2, 2011
We should all rejoice over our new Pope Francis. And we should rejoice all the more being able to see behind the scenes of the Queen of Peace’s intercession to heal the Church, to heal the world. Please remember the Caritas mission and community in your prayers as we press onward to fulfill the many projects we are involved in including the retooling, the New Communities Conference, April 18-20, and the hosting of the Queen of Heaven, July 1-5, 2013 A.D. for five apparitions wedded to five days of prayer.
In the Love of Our Lady,
Some of the community gathers, while waiting on the others to join them. Having just returned home after Rosary in the Field in which the Community of Caritas honors the time of Our Lady’s daily apparition on our knees, a call came in from Medjugorje from one of our community members who had just learned that the white smoke was seen on the roof of the Vatican. As word spread throughout the community, members began to gravitate towards our founder’s writing office, gathering around the radio to listen who would be named the Vicar of Christ over the world.
Who do you think will be our next Pope? The excitement of the new Pope was felt not only by the adults of the community, but the children were also enthusiastic even if they did not fully understand the significance of our gathering together. The fact that we had left our offices, left our jobs, left our work stations, and the Caritas youth were let out of our “Our Lady of Victory Schoolhouse" to come together told them, more than words could have, that something big was happening. The pictures of the cardinals were pondered by the Caritas children, as we explained to them that one of these would be our next Holy Father.
The poster being held by some of the children and women of the community is a replica of what we sent to Marija’s that was present in the apparition that led up to the election of Pope Francis, yesterday, March 13, 2013 A.D. With community members in Medjugorje working with members back in Alabama, the poster boards were created for Our Lady’s apparitions and transferred to Medjugorje where they were printed and mounted on foam board, and then transported to Marija’s home. Marija was very pleased, and the worker that was with Marija simply said, “bellissima” when the posters were brought in. Little Victoria is proud to have the privilege to point out our new Holy Father out of the 115 faces that were presented to Our Lady in the apparition yesterday
Keeping with the humility that characterized his life as Cardinal Bergoglio, before he would give his first blessing as Pope Francis, he asked the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square to first pray for him asking the Father to bless him. He then asked for silence and humbly bowed during this prayer of the faithful on his behalf. “Now I would like to impart the blessing, but first, first I ask a favor of you. Before the bishop blesses the people, I ask that you pray to the Lord that He bless me: the prayer of the people asking a blessing for their bishop. Let us pray in silence, this your prayer for me.” After the moment of silence, Pope Francis said, “Now I will impart the blessing to you and all the world, to all men of good will.” Fr. Lombardi, said of this gesture, “It is a sign of great spirituality to ask the people’s blessing for him before giving his own.”