Testimonies & Conversion Stories

"Testimony of Arlene Mitchell"

Sunday, May 30, 2004 We arrived at Dublin Airport for our three hour flight to Medjugorje. Little did we realize the people surrounding us for the same flight would become our friends during this next week. We landed in Croatia and boarded our buses for our 2 hour ride to Medjugorje in Bosnia. We offloaded the bus and checked in to our guest house and our Journey Began. What a privilege and honor to be here. Each person in Medjugorje is invited personally by "Our Lady." After unpacking, we walked down to explore the village and St. James. Behind the Parish, I found a large bronze statue of our Resurrected Lord, donated by an Italian group. I noticed right away that this statue was weeping. I began to Pray in Thanksgiving to be invited to this Oasis of Peace. I also knew that each Item I was to take back home, I was going to wipe with the tears of Jesus. Back at the guest house for Dinner our Guide, Claudia announced the next day we would climb apparition hill to the blue cross.

Monday, We all met after Mass and got more information about the grounds. Claudia asked our Priest to say a few words. His words were Aw inspiring. He reminded us that we are each invited here but we are to remember, "Our Lady" always leads us to Her Son, Jesus. We have an opportunity to be with Jesus anytime we choose to in the Eucharist. (Thank you Father for that reminder) We then all met at the foot of Apparition hill to climb to the blue Cross. It was very hot and very very rocky but we made it. We were told that at the top of the hill is where the first apparitions started but the crowds began to grow that the visionarys couldn't make their way to the top. They worried, that "Our Lady" would think they didn't want to see her. She then appeared to her at the First Blue Cross on the left. There are rock walls on this mountain also and remember during this time, The visionarys were being hunted down by the police. Once when singing Praises and Praying to "Our Lady" the Police were only a few feet away, but "Our Lady" protected them and the Law never seen or heard them. Again the crowds got so big they couldn't get through to that blue cross and "Our Lady" appeared to them at the second Blue Cross. One note here, I thought was pretty funny. We were told that the Cross is only blue because that was the color that Ivan's father happened to be painting the house the day they marked the spot with a Cross.

That night during Dinner, We were told that "Our Lady" invited us to the blue Cross that night for an Apparition with Ivan at 10 PM. WOW what an honor and Privilege to be invited. At 9 PM, All 2000 of us started the Rosary and singing Praises. Eileen, Crea, Sarah, Jim and Myself of course were present. I noticed Crea and Sarah got out their Rosaries also. At the moment of the apparition, We got on our knees and Prayed. The Message "Our Lady" gave to us was that she Blessed each one of and all of our Items and She will take our Petitions to her Son, Jesus and we are to Pray for Peace, Peace, Peace. There was more said but the Message is only for thoses who were present on that hill that night. Everyone was buzzing how honored we were to be invited and that our Items were not only Blessed in Medjugorje but by "Our Lady." I then took all my items to the weeping Jesus and wiped each item with his Tears.

The next day and the rest of the week was rainy and very cloudy. This was also a Blessing for me as I could of never of made the climb on any of the Mountains in the heat with my Heart condition. "Our Lady" was with me each minute of our trip. One thing I noticed during this whole week was the birds. The Birds in this village were always chirping and singing Praises, Even when it was raining.

The next day after the Apparition, Ivan was to give a talk to the Pilgrims. After Mass, we met in the conference center and Listened to the wonderful speech Ivan had planned for us. He also said that the picture next to him was exactly how "Our Lady" looks when "She appears to them.

That night during dinner, it was announced that Mirjana had invited us for her Apparition on the Second of the Month. Mirjana has received all ten secrets and I asked why she receives a message each month instead once a year like the others. I was told that after she received all ten secrets, "Our Lady" started to come to Mirjana in Locutions and finally appeared to her each month of the second. No one understands why but "Our Lady" has told her that one day we all will understand why the Second of the month is so very important. During this Apparition, I again I noticed the birds. They were all lines up on the house top looking into the tent Where "Our Lady" to appear, singing and chirping in anticipation.

I could go on and on about the Blessings sent forth to us but I will try to make this short as possible. One day while Praying at the Statue of "Our Lady" I had seen the Miracle of the Sun. I wasn't sure what I was seeing as no one else had seen it. The sun was dancing up and down and then to me it began to Pulsate and become the Eucharist. I couldn't take my eyes off it. Finally after awhile, Jim walked up and I told him what I was seeing. He agreed but we both wanted to be sure it wasn't wishful thinking on our part. So we decided we would look again tomorrow as no one else had noticed this still. After taking a short walk and coming back to the Church, We finally heard everyone yelling "Look, Look, The Sun" We then knew it was not our wishful thinking as we had witnessed the Miracle of the Sun.

At dinner that night it was announced we would walk to the top of Apparition hill at 7 AM. Jim and I got up early and I decided I didn't want to slow anyone down so I would start on my own and Meet them at the top. What a beautiful dangerous walk. Everyone needs time to themselves when they visit and this was my time. Once reaching the top, There is a Cross where the first apparition was. To the left of that was a Crucified Jesus and to make the triangle there was a Statue of "Our Lady" This Statue is one ton in weight and the Local Taxi drivers made a sling and volunteered their time and muscle to carry it to the top of Apparition hill.

That afternoon, Jim and I went to confession as there are 25 confessionals in all languages. You just can't leave Medjugorje without going to confession. The confession is like the completion of the circle of our invitation. Meanwhile, I went to our Weeping Jesus statue, while the others had dinner. It was announced there would be another apparition on the top of the mountain with Ivan and we all were invited. Jim, My husband trying to protect me decided to tell everyone NOT to disclose this to me as it was dangerous as it had rained all day. Well of course I found out and I knew "Our Lady" would protect us as it was She who invited us. Jim and I made our way up the top of the Mountain and sat and recited the Rosary. John and Kuron had received the Miracle of "The scent of the Roses" They were only 4 feet away from us but we did not receive the scent. You see, each miracle that happens is meant for that person at that time. I noticed the sky full of clouds except directly above us... a dome opened up with stars. It was my Miracle and of course hearing the Birds singing as they too were waiting for "Our Lady." When "Our Lady" appeared to Ivan and she said she was so "Very Very Very Happy with us and our Prayers" She had brought three angels along with her. She Blessed each one of us and our Items and will take our Petitions to her Son, Jesus" There was more said but again, The Message that night was for thoses who were there on the Mountain.

The next day we took a tour of Mostar, one of the large towns destroyed by the war. The war ended in 1995 and to see the devastation 9 year after the end of the war was thought provoking and say. A bridge 500 years old was destroyed but after the war the divers recovered the stones and used them in the reconstruction. It has been said they have no government. The police have not been paid in months. and they take turns each month on who is in charge. Moslims, Serbs and the Croatians. But I have to say here the people of Medjugorje are so peaceful as if they have no worries in the world. This is truely a village of Peace. As we drove back from Mostar and made the Left in Medjugorje I could actually feel the tension leave my body and was thrilled to be back in Medjugorje. During the war Medjugorje remained untouch. There was actually a mission to destroy this village. The pilot that was about to drop the bomb suddenly lost the visual as cloud covered the village. He then the next day went to see for himself this village and was converted and wrote a book of his story.

Saturday, after all the rain it was decided we would climb Cross Mountain. Sarah went ahead of our group and we started. I had heard that after the 7th station it got much steeper. We were at least able to rest during each station but our poor priest got no rest as he had to recite each station. You will notice many people climbing in their bare feet for penance for suffering for a loved one. We made it to the 7th station and I decided this was my goal and as a clap of thundering and strikes of lightning we began our decent. Jim and I recited a decade of the rosary at each station. We got to the third decade, Crowning of Thorns and I looked down and there was a torn bush. WOW. We met Sarah at the third station and just as we got to the first station we were told our group made it to the top and the clouds opened up and HAIL came pouring down. At dinner time we were told of the Miracle of this Hail storm. Claudia had told us that her father and other villagers had told the story of how the Hail used to destroy the crops and the villagers had erected this cross asking God to protect their crops from the Hail and Thanksgiving. Their crops were always protected from that day on. Claudia had said she has never heard of it Hailing on that mountain ever since, until that day so you see this Hail storm was a BIG DEAL and Miracle to all the villagers.

Sunday after Mass we were getting ready to leave to travel back home. I had read in all the books that the authors felted a sadness leaving this village. I was also experiencing this... exciting to be going home and seeing family and telling our story but a real sadness to leave this "Village of Peace." Midway into our trip we stopped in Slano for Lunch. I was sad and thinking about my week in Medjugorje. As we boarded the bus, I look on the side of the Mountain and There was a beautiful Rainbow that touch the ground on each side and it was on the side of the Mountain, Not in the Sky. I knew this was "Our Lady" saying "I am still with you."

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