This is my first time in Medjugorje. I came with three other friends who work with me at Maria Vision USA.

We have a statue of Our Lady in our chapel. Every time I walk in the chapel, I always give Our Lady a big hug, a physical hug of the statue, even though it looks weird and people might think I’m crazy, but I feel so close to Her and I love giving people hugs. Giving a hug every day to Our Lady before I go to work, I always ask Her, “Please bring me peace. Help me be good. Help me do my work to the best of my ability.”

I didn’t know that it was a statue of Our Lady of Medjugorje until I went on a retreat. I was like, “Wait. That’s Our Lady of Medjugorje? That’s so weird. I’ve been talking to Her all along.” I already had that connection since way before, and I did not realize that it was Her.

Our boss said there was a Youth Festival every year in Medjugorje and that some of the staff should go.

I felt so close to Her. I was like, “I can’t believe I’m coming to see you, Mom. I’m so excited.”

The Youth Festival was amazing. I loved it so much. It was life-changing. I knew Our Lady called me here for a reason. She knew the desires on my heart that I have had for such a long time that I got answered here. I felt so much peace. I lived each day in the moment. 

It was so beautiful seeing all these people from different countries come to see Our Lady and feel that presence and experience something so beautiful that is not everywhere in the world. 

I will bring my experience here in Medjugorje and what I learned from the homilies. It’s so different than anything else you experience in your daily life. I’ll definitely bring back peace.

When I first went on Apparition Hill, it was the perfect time of day because the sun was setting. I love nature. Seeing the mountains, and having Our Lady, who is one of my best friends, there, it was all so complete. I felt so at peace, like I’ve never been before. That was one of my favorite moments. It’s an experience I’ve never had before. I knew Our Lady was at the top. It was so beautiful seeing all these people praying. You can see how faithful they are. It was so beautiful to see all the intentions they brought to Her.

My prayer life is a lot different. In high school, I was very close to Our Lady in general, but I think Our Lady of Medjugorje is really calling me to pay more attention to Her messages and to take action, not to just listen to them and be like, “Okay, that’s cool. I’ll live out my day,” but to actually start listening to Her messages daily and to live them out. 

I just want to become closer to Our Mother.