“I was leaving for Medjugorje in four weeks, and then we got a phone call because my grandpa was having some complications. They said, “His cancer has progressed. It’s very aggressive, and it could be eight weeks; it could be four weeks until he passes away.”
And I was like, “I do not want to got to Medjugorje if he’s passing.” It was four weeks to the day that we found out I was supposed to leave. I remember just being up at night like, “I really don’t want to go, leaving him on his death bed.”
He passed away three weeks to the day after we got that call. So then I had just a week to be with my family, to grieve and have the funeral.
Then there was just the gift to go to Medjugorje. I wore his hat while I was there.
It was just complicated because I was like, “Lord, how are You calling me to the place I’ve always dreamed to go to and spend time and serve Our Lady and her mission, but my grandpa’s dying right now? What do You want me to do?” And my grandpa passed so peacefully, but it was three weeks later so it freed up my heart to go to Medjugorje and carry him with me in a sense.
It was two months, but I did a Marian consecration the whole time I was there, and it was a deep investigation into the wounds that I’ve had to deal with in my life and healing from those and staring those in the face. That’s what Medjugorje was. It was staring my wounds in the face and working through them but in my favorite place in the world.
It was deep healing because I had so much time to spend reaching down, like Father Slavko would say, you have to dig, dig, dig, dig, dig until you find the root, put your hand on it, and then start pulling as hard as you can.
iMedj note: After graduating from Franciscan University, Jarred joined us in Medjugorje for a two month internship to help film, photograph, and capture stories for Stella Mar Films.
One of the gifts of working for Stella Mar Films was getting to be so close and film the apparitions and use the gifts that God has given me with digital media to serve Our Lady in her mission. It almost felt like, ‘is this actually going to happen? is this really about to happen?’ but also trying to be focused on filming was really a surreal thing.
Then Mirjana went into visionary mode and I remember when the apparition started, I just evaluated myself and my heart. I’ve always thought, what is it like to enter into prayer during an apparition; to see what’s going on in your heart?
It just wasn’t the encounter I was expecting. It felt like whatever was happening, wasn’t warm and domestic – catering to my ideas of sensitivity and maternity. Her presence had such an immense strength it felt like all I could do was internally proclaim her Queenship. It felt like rocks were turning. It felt like something was happening where creation was responding.
Not to sound Hallmark or sentimental, but it took every sentiment I had ever heard about the Blessed Mother and was like, this is her strength. This is the Queenship. I just felt that in my head and my heart over and over, Hail Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth. That’s all I could say. It felt like I was pushed down, like I just had to bow, because whatever was going on was just immense, the strength.
The two apparitions I was at, there was a pretty noticeable solar miracle right afterwards that everybody saw. It was just a moment of, what in the world is going on? Because I had my own encounter in prayer, but then it felt like creation was responding and all of a sudden the sun began to do things where people were bawling their eyes out looking at the sky.
It just felt like, what is happening where the earth is responding? where on a celestial level, something is going on?
It’s been a year since I left Medjugorje. I would love to get back soon. I think we all would.”