I’ve always loved the Blessed Mother. Since I was little, I’ve adored Her and loved Her as Jesus’ Mom and turned to Her as a female for guidance. In times of trouble, I’ve felt like I should unite my pain as a mom or anything I fear for my kids, unite my pain to our Blessed Mother’s at the cross.
Look at what She went through. I can get through this.
She’s just always helped me. I’ve had tremendous faith in Her, love for Her, respect for Her. I always heard about Lourdes and Fatima and thought, “Oh! I wanna go there.” I did go to Our Lady of Guadalupe on pilgrimage as a teenager. That helped my growth even more in the faith.
When I was 18 years old, this boy asked me out. On our first date, we sat down and we were talking for hours. He had just come back from Medjugorje. We just spoke for hours. He couldn’t believe I didn’t know what was going on. That was our date, and I knew, “Oh, I’m marrying this guy. Could there possibly be someone who loves Mary more than me?”
He’s now my husband, we have four kids together. We have a beautiful, blessed life together.
And from that day, for 30 years, I’ve been, “When is it going to be my turn? When can I go?” Then life gets in the way. You have your family, which is all beautiful. Mary wants that for all of us and a good life. My prayer was always, “Mary, if you want me to go, you have to pave the way. You really gotta let me know you’re calling me. I can’t have all these obstacles. I have kids. Who’s going to watch the kids? I gotta work. I gotta help my husband.”
Trips have come up, one was with four or five best friends. They were all going, we were all going together, and I couldn’t go. There were obstacles in the way. And I was okay with it. I always knew, “When She calls me, She’s gonna make it happen.”
That was now, in a pandemic. COVID tests and everyone thinking we’re nuts. But everything fell into place.
My anticipation of coming here, I could cry every day. Every day I would be in tears, jumping up for joy and seeing my girlfriend that came also. I would just see her and it reminded me, “We’re going to Medjugorje!” And I would start crying in Mass.
These last two weeks was such a countdown. I packed a week ahead of time. I was ready to go. And my heart was jumping out of my chest.
It’s just a blessing from our Blessed Mother. I’m thrilled to be here.
I’m eager to get to confession and to make a really great, deep confession. I think that’s one of the fruits of Medjugorje, one of the five big pillars, five little rocks that we need to learn on. And that’s the one I feel I need to work on more, with once a month as She recommends. I don’t do that so I’m striving to work more on that.
Another one is fasting.
I started doing the Wednesday and Friday fasting a few weeks ago. That has been life changing. And that’s from Medjugorje. I know on Fridays of Lent to abstain and fast, and I’ve done that, but the Wednesday was very new to me. I read a book, Wayne Weible wrote a book on fasting in Medjugorje. I’ve just been moved to learn more.
I would say fasting and confession have really been something growing in me, in our faith, and that came from Medjugorje.
In our town, in Long Island, a sister-in-law and a friend one day, we were getting together for a birthday, and one of us said, “Why don’t we do a Rosary?” And from that one encounter, we now have a group of about 25-30 women. We crave it, and we miss it. With the pandemic we couldn’t do it, and we started doing it on Zoom. We do it Mondays on Zoom. We see each other then. It’s continued, so the pandemic didn’t stop it.
I think the power, the connection, the blessing of the Rosary gets us closer to Our Lady. Certainly for me.
Now here, we’re doing two, three a day on Apparition Hill and in between and learning from Miki our local guide, “Don’t waste time.” If you’re on a bus ride, do a Rosary. If you’re driving, do a Rosary. I’ve see that growth throughout my adult life.
It’s that quiet moment with Mary. No distractions. And you start sensing, the world is very loud. With all that noise of radio, music, and televisions on, shut it down because then we can’t hear God’s voice. It’s too loud.
Focusing on the Rosary, keeping it silent, that moment of quiet. Light a candle. Be in front of Our Mother– a blessed statue, a painting. I find that’s very helpful.
Many people hated the shutdown of the pandemic. We were in New York. Everything was shut down for months. My college kids came home. My son was studying in London. Everybody came home.
I have some of the most beautiful memories because we started doing the Rosary as a family every night.
My husband’s a physician so he was a frontline worker dealing with COVID patients. We were worried about him. But we would come together for the Rosary no matter what. The most vivid memories for me of that shutdown are not horrible. They’re so precious because we were doing a Rosary every night as a family.
I’m gonna bring that back again.
Because now the world opened and everyone went back to college. The kids have sports again. It’s opening up little by little. I don’t want us to get away from doing a family Rosary. We can still do it.