Ana – El Salvador

I was in a line. I didn’t realize, but one of my classmates from high school from a long time ago, he was next to me. We started to talk, and I told him I would like to go to one of the Virgin Mary’s sanctuaries, especially Lourdes in France because I’ve read many testimonies and miracles in books. I’ve also heard from people who had been healed from certain diseases when they go into the water. I found that very touching because, even if She’s not still appearing there, there’s still the blessed water that She left.

When I spoke with my classmate, he told me, “Oh no. You should go to Medjugorje because in Medjugorje the Virgin Mary is still appearing whereas in the other places She’s not appearing anymore.” 

I was thinking. “Medjugorje, where is that?” I had just heard about it. I had two rosaries from Medjugorje, but I didn’t even know where it was. I knew it was somewhere in Europe, but that’s it.

I felt it was impossible. I was like, “I don’t think I can get there. What if I get lost? I know it’s in a small town. How am I going to get there if I don’t speak the language?”

Even before the pandemic, I kept praying to Her that I wanted to go to one of Her sanctuaries. I felt it was almost impossible. I was asking, “I don’t know how You’re going to get me there, but somehow You have to get me there. If You need to get me there in a cloud, I’m okay with it, as long as I get there somehow. I’m going to keep on praying like an innocent child expecting everything is possible.”

Nine weeks ago, I went to a prayer group. There were four people who were going to Medjugorje. After the prayer meeting, they were gathering together to buy the tickets. I said, “Oh that’s nice. I would like to go there too.”

They replied to me, “If you want to go, then come with us.”

I’m like, “Really? Yeah!”

It’s hard to put it into words. What actually touched my heart and my soul was that I became more conscious about praying with the heart. 

Before coming here, I already had that desire to pray with the heart, but I was not able to. I just felt like there was a hole inside me, and whenever I would pray, the Rosary especially, I was just repeating words. I felt bad for it. 

Even when going to Mass, I felt connected, but not that much. Then I went to the Mass for the hispanic community with Fra Pablo. It was very touching, and it gave me a different outlook on the Mass. It was the most beautiful experience.

I think it’s nice to buy souvenirs for your friends and family, but the most important thing is not the souvenir that you’re going to take. It’s not about that rosary that will be blessed by the Virgin Mary. It’s about taking Medjugorje in your heart. Maybe the rosary can help you. Just carrying a rosary is annoying for the enemy.

But the most important thing is to open your heart, to experience the Mass with your heart, to pray with your heart. That way, you’re actually going to take Medjugorje in your heart, take Medjugorje to your own country. Then you can help other people and be a light to other people. If you spread love, you’re going to be able to help other people around you when you go back.

The other important thing is, not everyone is going to come here. If we open our hearts, then we can be ambassadors of Medjugorje. Then we can touch other people’s hearts the same way the Virgin Mary touched our hearts here. That’s one of the missions we all have when we get here.

People have read the book with the messages from the Virgin Mary but sometimes feel it’s obvious because it’s simple. We tend to think that because it’s simple, we already know it. That’s the biggest mistake. We have to dig into it and do an introspection. Maybe the message is simple, like pray with the heart, that sounds simple, but are we actually doing it?

The second question is, okay but how can I actually pray with the heart. Most people have been hurt and they don’t know how to love and they don’t know how to feel love from other people. This is one of the things that I started to learn here in Medjugorje. 

I’m not saying I’m at the end. I think I’m just beginning this new road, this new journey. What has helped me on how to pray with the heart is to feel every word that you’re saying. It doesn’t matter how long it will take you. It’s okay because when you do it like that and start to feel every word of each Hail Mary, then you don’t feel the time.

You have to pray the Rosary until the Rosary gives you joy. That’s my mission. That’s where I want to get to. I’m starting to feel every word, and trying to feel that every word resonates in my heart. I feel it’s working. In the end, it’s not about how many Rosaries you pray per day, but actually how much heart you put into it. 

When you pray with the heart, your prayer will go directly to heaven, express.