I first heard about Medjugorje sometime in my childhood, little bits here and there from my family. 

The first time I went was 2017. I really didn’t know anything about it. It was me and my mom and my dad. 

When we arrived, we got to the hotel and we got settled around 6 o’clock then it was the beginning of the evening program. We came in the back of the outside church and knelt down. We all just breathed a big sigh of relief. It was very emotional for me.

Everyone describes it as peace. Some people have described it as Our Lady just gives you this big hug. That was pretty awesome, and it was so overwhelming. There were like 7,000 people there, just on a Thursday. What is going on?

We had only planned to be in Medjugorje for two days, but with the help of Our Lady, we ended up staying for six days because I had to go to the dentist. I had horrible tooth pain. It was agony. I had to have a root canal. 

There was a clear attack from the devil. He was definitely trying to get us out. We just had to pray, and we stayed. 

We didn’t do too much. We went up Apparition Hill. The miracle, I think, was my parents getting up Mount Križevac [Cross Mountain]. They did it, and it was pretty amazing.

I had such an amazing time on my second and third trips, it was incredible. All of these unexplainable things were happening. It’s a lot of little things. 

At that time in my life, there were a lot of stressful things going on back home, but I came here and it’s like everything is gone. I don’t have to worry about anything. It’s like no other place you could ever go in the world. 

This is my fourth trip. It’s been really good. I don’t know why I’m here this time. Probably for many different reasons.

Before my trip, everyone was like, “Are you excited to go?”

I was like, “I don’t know. I guess.” I think it was finally when I got here that I was like, “Okay. Now I’m here. I’m back home. This is real.”

It’s very consoling because we’ve had such a hard year in the church and in the world. It feels like real life here. It feels like people aren’t playing a part and trying to get something out of you. Seeing all the pilgrims that are coming, it seems like everybody is just ready to come back to the church.

What advice would you give to somebody who is interested in coming to Medjugorje?

First of all, before anything, you should pray about it. If you’re not Catholic, if this whole Mary thing is weird, pray to Jesus about it. 

If you’re feeling apprehensive or skeptical about it, just come to pray. You can just do that. What’s the harm in that? 

If you’re feeling like, “Hmm maybe I should go,” you probably should go. 

Other than Mass, I think Medjugorje is probably the closest you can get to peace on earth. 

I was talking to this German guy on the road back through the fields, and we were discussing the fact that Medjugorje is like the heart of the world. The heart is beating, and the heart is growing again. Even when everything else is going crazy around you, we can center on this one place. 

It’s not centered on these visionaries. It’s centered on everyone is going to Mass, everyone is praying the Rosary and going to Confession.