There is a special place in my heart – Medjugorje. Twenty five years ago, our lives were changed and our faith transformed by a pilgrimage to this apparition site, in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is the 34th anniversary of Our Lady’s apparition today.
What made us endure a 20-hour trip and spend a precious sum of money to go on a 2-week long pilgrimage? It was God’s sign to us and an inner desire to go on our very first pilgrimage before our marriage.
In Medjugorje, we climbed Mt Križevac (Cross Mountain) and Mt Podbrdo (Apparition Hill) several times. We prayed, we went for confession, we attended daily Masses. At that time, the site was still relatively undeveloped. We had to stay in the homes of the villagers, who also provided for our meals. There was no television and some homes were without proper water supply or sanitation too.
A pragmatic couple was ecstatic when the wife stepped out of church to witness the noon-day spinning sun, while her husband who was praying inside saw Jesus in the sanctuary. Another lady saw the sun emanating rainbows of colours. There were only five of us in our tour group, but Ben and i saw nothing.
Despite having heel pains, i could climb the mountains. Despite a sensitive stomach, i could fast only on bread and water for the entire day. We experienced being ‘slain’ in the Spirit for the first time. We saw the radiance and joy on the faces of the priest and visionaries who saw Our Lady. In this place, we truly felt peace and the presence of God.
On our return, Ben had a strong desire to be baptised. We started a prayer group in our home where we prayed the way Our Lady taught us, and witnessed manifestations of the Holy Spirit merely by praying the Rosary meditatively.
When we stray far far away from her Son Jesus and sin greatly, she always brings us back to HIM in a most miraculous way. This is why Jesus gave us His mother at the foot of the Cross:
When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own household. John 19:26-27 (NASB)