I’ve been wanting to come here for a little under two years now.
I studied abroad in Austria, and a group went to Medjugorje, but I had no real desire to go. I didn’t really know anything about it, and I just didn’t end up going.
Less than six months later, I became convinced that I needed to go. So it’s been a long journey where I would check every week for flights. And I had conversations with people who had been to Medjugorje, who know Medjugorje very well. I just became convinced that I needed to come. I didn’t really fully know why but all the while falling more and more in love with Our Mother.
The biggest thing that convinced me to come was actually a conversation with Jarred [Hicks]. I had heard about Medjugorje and I knew that he had been here several times. Actually the day we met, we had coffee together, and we talked for almost three hours, and he just told me every little thing about it, everything he knew.
He left the coffee shop, and I immediately opened my computer to look at flights.
I’m very intellectual. I doubt easily. A lot of what Jarred was saying was convincing to me intellectually. Like, “Oh, that makes a lot of sense.” But it was more so his witness to it. He’s a very holy man. I saw in his conversation, in his demeanor, that he was in love with Our Lady and even more so in love with Jesus. I could tell that he wasn’t just giving me lines, he wasn’t just saying something that was just what he was told to say or anything like that. He was convinced of it.
He converted to Catholicism through Medjugorje. I was like, “That means something.” And clearly this man is holy, and I want to be holy.
It just drew me. I reconsecrated to Mary at that time, and I got to know Her a lot better; to know about Her a lot better. Then I really encountered Her right before I encountered Jesus for the first real time. She very much led me to Jesus.
I had been to Fatima, and I loved it, but I just knew for some unexplainable reason…
I remember my friend asked me a few times, “Why Medjugorje and not Guadalupe or something like that?”
And I was like, “I don’t really know. I just feel a call.”
So then I dragged them [Cameron and Jonathan] with me. Now we’re all here.
It was, in a sense, exactly what I expected. I came in with no preconceptions of how my life is going to be changed and I’m going to see Mary. I had no expectations of that. But going to Apparition Hill this morning, I got there and I had so many things I wanted to bring to Mary and pray for and ask for. But as I sat there, I weeped as I was overwhelmed with thanksgiving for the ways that She’s led me to Her Son.
It’s just this sense of thanksgiving that I’ve felt that I haven’t really felt before. We always ask for so many things, but I had nothing to ask for in that moment. It was just a period of thankfulness.