Reflections on My First Pilgrimage to Medjugorje (1995)

Where do I begin? What words do I choose? How do I convey the story of my soul’s journey? Perhaps by recalling that I never wanted it to end, that I desire to relieve it now, and that when I p
icture myself praying on my knees at the foot of the cross on top of Mt. Krizevac I long to live through that moving encounter with God again. Most especially, I desire to be with Jesus and Mary in Heaven. Nothing on this earth could ever satisfy my mind, heart, and soul. Thank you Mother Mary for calling me to Medjugorje. Thank you for planning and arranging for my sister, mother, wife, and me to make this pilgrimage together. Thank you for inviting my fellow pilgrims and me to the top of Mt. Krisevac to receive your message and special blessing. Never allow me to forget your humility, hospitality, generosity, and love or my unworthiness of such a privilege.

Mass and Adoration in St. James Church:
The simplicity of this church enables the participants at Mass and Adoration to perceive how truly pious is the manner of the congregation. God’s inspired reverence displayed by each individual participant unites with that of all those present and adorns the church with more sanctity than all of the man-made icons of Rome’s St. Peter’s basilica could hope to animate. The opening song at our first Mass was “ Make Me a Channel of Your Peace”, the prayer of St. Francis. This song always moves me to tears, so much so that I am never able to completely participate. This time I was able and I felt fulfilled. I recall being gifted with multiple visions of a cross projected on the wall behind the alter during this Mass and at least one other. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament nurtured by the reverent Father Slavko Barbaric absorbs every soul present and permeates the entire church with love of God and repentance for offenses inflicted upon Him. Father Slavko understands Mary’s messages and has ably communicated their meaning to the faithful through his talks and writings. God has truly blessed us with the gift of this saintly priest.

The Divine Peace at Medjugorje:

Elsewhere we tend to forget that our Heavenly Father and Blessed Mother are with us and protect us during our trials; but at Medjugorje we are constantly aware of their intervention. My wife Julie was healed for the duration of our pilgrimage and even climbed Mt. Krisevac barefooted by flashlight. My seventy-four year old mother climbed Mt. Krisevac by flashlight as well as my sister who could barely walk as a result of being injured earlier that day. Our group prayed over her just prior to our climb. Each of them had climbed Mt. Podbrdo earlier in the week. More than just our bodies were protected from harm and made receptive to do God’s will. Our minds, hearts, and souls were enveloped in peace and open to all of the miracles that we perceived without surprise or astonishment. The healings, the miracle of the sun, our personal visions, and the apparition of our Blessed Mother to Vicka during which the aroma of flowers permeated the air.

The Apparition on Mt. Krisevac:

The visionary Vicka notified everyone that Our Lady invited all of us to the top of Mt Krisevac on Friday night (the eve of the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary) where she would appear to Vicka at 10:30. We began our climb around 6:30 and prayed before the Stations of the Cross along the way. I will not attempt to describe this experience. After the apparition Marina translated Vicka’s words as follows, “ Our Lady was joyful as always, she greeted us with ‘praised be Jesus’ and this is the message she gave to us: ‘Reinforce your prayers, pray for the realization of our plans’; then she blessed all of us and she extended her hands over all of us and she prayed for us; after that she greeted us with the words ‘go in the peace of God’”

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