Ellen from Albany, New York

I was very fortunate to travel to Medjugorje this past March.  I have known about Medjugorje since I first learned that Our Blessed Mother was appearing to children there back in 1983.  I was on a trip to Hungary to visit relatives when I heard people talking about the visionaries.  Over the years I would read about Medjugorje, Garabandal, Fatima, Our Lady of Knock, and I would think about someday making a pilgrimage to one or more of these special places.  Then, the Covid Pandemic arrived in the world and I feared my chances to go were over.  When the opportunity to join this Pilgrimage came up, I was excited, apprehensive – both at the same time.  Would this be a smart time to travel?  Will I have another opportunity?  Questions, doubts and uncertainties loomed, but I decided that the opportunity outweighed the questions and doubts. 

When I arrived I learned I was in a different hotel not far from the other, on the 3rd floor, with a not-working elevator.  I found myself – in my head –  being very critical of the hotel, the food, the weather, the people.  Though I did not say anything to anyone, the specialness of being in this Holy, peaceful place was being lost on me.  I began to reflect on this and wondered why I was thinking critical thoughts while everyone else seemed to be experiencing wonderful happenings.  Being critical was not new for me. I have always had a critical spirit and I really wanted to stop this destructive, unhappy thought pattern. 

As I prayed about this, attended International Mass, Holy hours, and prayed rosaries at The Blue Cross, a series of events occurred that I could never have prepared for or predicted. Everything – absolutely everything – that I had been so unhappy and critical about – turned out to be total blessings.  The hotel, the stairs, the people, the weather, the food – everything – was exactly what was best for me and was what I ended up needing. God and Our Blessed Mother took care of me by sending me angels on earth who, each in their own way, blessed me with graces and met each of my needs. This pilgrimage turned out to be a wonderful opportunity to learn to truly understand what I  mean when I say, “Jesus, I trust in you.” And those times when I do still have critical thoughts – I’ve learned to say prayers for them. Some people and situations are getting many prayers for themselves from me – but hey! That’s a good thing!  And I now look forward to see how God, in His Divinity, will use this person, or situation, or event to accomplish His Will.  And I thank Our Blessed Mother and her Son, Jesus, for teaching me this valuable lesson. 

iMedj note: Ellen had to unexpectedly extend her stay in Medjugorje for an additional 19 days.

I would not change a thing that happened on this pilgrimage.  I’m different, changed for the better and even though I could not do all I wanted, I received so many graces and blessings, and I will hold Medjugorje, and the people I met and grew to love, in my heart forever. 

Come while you still have the energy to climb the hill.

Mary’s messages are all of peace and love and not fear. I think it’s important to remember that.