The first time I heard about Medjugorje was about ten years ago when my daughter started high school. She went to a Catholic school. The moms from the high school invited me to pray the Rosary with them.
I accepted because I wanted to get to know the moms, but I actually didn’t know how to pray the Rosary even though I grew up in a Catholic school and a Catholic family. It was embarrassing.
They had a guide so I sat in back. I really liked the way they did it. After every Mystery, people would pray for someone. It was powerful and profound. I was like, “This is not what I knew about the Rosary.” I thought it was repetitive and boring.
I started going very often. One of the moms gave me a rosary, my first rosary. She said, “This is for you, and it’s from Medjugorje.” Back then, I had no idea what she said.
One day, I looked at the beads and I counted, one, two, three. I thought it was a rosary that was missing beads. I didn’t understand.
It’s the Peace Rosary. It has seven sets of three beads.
[ iMedjugorje note: The Peace Rosary begins with The Apostles Creed followed by seven sets of the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be. This is prayed every day in Medjugorje after the International Mass. ]
Looking back, my first rosary was from Medjugorje. Little did I know that ten years later I was going to be here.
Time went by, and I started learning more about what being Catholic means. I started getting interested in the messages from the Virgin Mary from Lourdes and Fatima and Medjugorje.
About five or six months ago, I’m sitting in Mass, waiting for them to start the First Reading. I felt something on my right foot. I was wearing close-toed shoes. It was the second time I’d worn them. I felt a poke in my shoe, all of a sudden.
I took my shoe off, and I see something shiny. It’s a medal. How did it get there? It’s not my medal. I had never seen it.
I thought, “Is this the Virgin Mary?” I couldn’t recognize Her, but I had seen that picture before. I was shocked.
Two days later, I was at the gym, and I had this urge to go to church so I left everything there, took a shower, and went.
After Mass, outside the church, a lady comes out and she starts talking to us. She was wearing beautiful earrings, and I just kept looking at her earrings. I go, “Excuse me, do you mind if I touch your earrings? What is on there?”
She goes, “Oh these earrings are from Medjugorje.”
I go, “Oh! That is the Virgin!”
My friend goes, “Does your medal have two steeples on the back?”
I go, “Yes.”
She said, “Oh yeah. That’s Medjugorje.”
For Mother’s Day, my husband says, “Let’s go on pilgrimage. I want to give you a pilgrimage to wherever you want to go. I think we should go to Medjugorje. I think Mother Mary is calling you.”
The experience here has been unforgettable.
I didn’t know what to expect. We have travelled a lot because my husband is in the military. Here, it was so different, of course it’s because it’s spiritual. I just wanted to come see the Virgin Mary.
As soon as I got here, I saw the church that was on my medal and I started crying because I couldn’t believe I’m here.
I was telling the Virgin Mary, “I’m here. My Mother, thank you for bringing me here.”
We didn’t know that we were going to stay in Mirjana’s house. We didn’t know that she was going to be here almost every day serving us. She welcomed us. That was amazing.
I cannot wait to go home and tell people about the experience that I had. There’s something in this place, something amazing.
I cannot wait to bring my kids here.
What was it like to be here for the 40th Anniversary?
I could not believe it. I have never seen that in my life. The Monstrance out, thousands of people worshiping the Lord. That is how we are supposed to do it.
I think Mother Mary, She was so happy to see that. The Lord deserves that, everybody kneeling down and worshiping and silence, so many thousands of people and everything is silent.
I texted my son, I said, “Michael, this is an amazing place. Hopefully the Lord allows us to come back with you guys. If we didn’t have you guys, I would stay here. We would move here.”