I’m 18 years old. This is the first time I’ve ever been on a pilgrimage and to Europe.

My favorite part was Cross Mountain. I decided to take off my shoes, up and down. It was way more painful going down. I felt like it was really easy going up, and then down was terrible.

I just chose to do it. I wanted to know if I could do it, and to have the challenge. Other people were struggling. I was like, I might as well have a struggle.

I like being here with my brother and my grandpa and my dad. It’s special that we all get to be together because we are usually apart doing our own thing at home. This is bringing us closer.

My dad has always kept us as the Three Musketeers since we were little. He’s kept us together because our family has been through a lot, but he’s like, “You’re siblings are the most important thing. You’ve got each other.”

I’ve been learning way more about Mary because I had no idea about Our Lady or anything. That’s my main focus. I think it’s fascinating. 

I just became a Catholic. My grandpa put us in RCIA. That’s what we did before we went here. I got that done 2 months ago, and this was the big trip after that. 

Now I’m freshly new. All of this was a bit overwhelming. I was like, “I don’t really understand,” but I’ve just been taking it in. 

It’s a lot of love. That’s the whole thing that I’ve seen around me, a lot of love. 

Because you question it a bit, and you’re like, “Oh my gosh, this is a lot. What am I going to do?” But stepping back and seeing how people interact, there’s just so much love around you. People are so sweet, and it’s crazy. 

My brother and I are like, “I don’t know how it’s going to be when we get home. What’s waiting for us at home? It’s going to be so weird.”

He was here before, and he’s like, “This trip is so much more spiritual.” He’s loved it too. He’s had a different experience too, and it’s cool to see. 

He was telling me his story and how he saw the apparition with Mirjana. He slept on the hill and waited for her. Then he was like, “I don’t even know who this lady is. There are all these people. She must be a celebrity or something.” 

Then when he came here this time, he was sitting at the table and she was serving him. He was like, “Oh my gosh! She’s right here serving me meatballs!” He was all flabbergasted.