Kevin – Massachusetts

It’s my first time in Medjugorje. I’m 17 years old.

My mom and sister went to Medjugorje a couple years ago. I live in a town called Hingham. Our entire town has a large devotion to Medjugorje because a few years back this man had cancer and his cancer was cured when he came to Medjugorje. Ever since then, people in Hingham have had devotion to Medjugorje. 

I didn’t really have any expectations. The thing that probably shocked me the most was the Youth Festival. We’re going to Youth Festival with our youth group, and you see thousands of young people all worshipping God. Last night there were thousands of people singing, “Lord, I need You.” That hit me in a different way. It made me contemplate how Jesus affects so many different people’s lives, the impact he has on so many people, and how people of all nations were singing out, “Lord, I need You.” 

It’s also cool to see different different people coming together based on one thing. I meet people from Ireland, and it’s immediately like, “Oh, you love Jesus? I love Jesus too.” There’s automatically a sense of fellowship or fraternity here which is unique because there’s not a lot of places in the world where you see that. 

You drive through Medjugorje, and even other places in Herzegovina, and you see crosses everywhere. I was looking at the cross on top of Cross Mountain. That’s so cool that on the top of a mountain there’s a sign that this town has faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. 

I would describe Medjugorje as a community of believers with a particular devotion to Our Lady. 

I’ve always been taught to talk to Jesus and pray to Jesus and have a relationship with Jesus and He’s there for you and you lay all your burdens at His feet, but sometimes you do get lost. You know all these things, you know you go to Jesus with your struggles, you make sacrifices for Jesus, you do things for the kingdom of God, but sometimes you get lost in a bit of desolation and those things get more difficult. 

To be able to have someone else to go to when you are lost and you can’t necessarily see the clear path to Jesus, Our Lady is there to guide you. In Medjugorje, that becomes more clear, that Our Lady is there to just bring you closer to Jesus. At the end of the day, She just wants what’s best for us. 

That’s a coming to that I had in Medjugorje a few days ago. It’s something I realized. I don’t know what it is about this place that made it click, but something just clicked. 

A lot of people call this the confessional of the world. I had a reboot, in a way. I had a conversation with a priest, and a lot of the things that we talked about were things that I already knew, but it was a refresher, a new start. I feel like I can go back with a renewed peace and a renewed sense of faith. 

My highlight was the apparition with Ivan. It’s always hard to describe those feelings that you have when you’re in a moment like that. It’s like one of those God moments. It’s a feeling of peace and joy, but it’s not like most people’s understanding of peace and joy. It’s complete peace and complete joy. It’s not like that joy or that peace is reliant on anything that you could lose. It’s reliant on relationship with Mary and relationship with Jesus. It’s something that’s, in a sense, out of this world so if you try to describe it, it wouldn’t really make sense. 

I watched this thing with St. John Paul II and his opinion on Medjugorje. Someone asked him, “What do you think about Medjugorje?” He was essentially like, “Well are they saying Masses there? Are they praying there? Are they going to confession there? Are they praying the Rosary there?” They were like, “Yeah.”

You don’t have to believe in Medjugorje. Nobody is making you believe in Medjugorje, but it’s a good devotion to have. Nothing that they’re saying here is heretical, and it can only help you in your faith. Everything here is rooted completely in the Catholic Church. 

If you’re skeptical, you don’t have to believe in it, but my choice to believe in it has helped me in my faith. It’s helped me grow closer to Jesus which is the only thing that matters. 

Medjugorje is a unique place, and it’s a gift to be able to come here. If I get the opportunity to come again, then I will definitely come again.