Medjugorje and the Cross

It was in the spring of 2001 where my husband Dan and I were preparing to leave on a trip to Ireland and Medjugorje.  We had arrived at Shannon Airport in Ireland and checked into our hotel.  The next few days consisted of day trips to places we had listed on our itinerary.  This included a visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock.  From there we visited Christina Gallagher’s  “ House of Prayer “ on Achile Island where we attended Easter Sunday Mass.    Two days later we were on a plane heading for Medjugorje. 

We had heard about Medjugorje from a number of people we knew. Some had already had the privilege of going there on a Pilgrimage some years earlier. We had talked about making a trip ourselves but had never really settled on just when that would occur. Upon our arrival in Medjugorje, we settled in with our host family where we would be staying with for the next few days.  We did everything that all people on  Pilgrimages do….attend daily Mass, pray the rosary, visit Apparition Hill and Cross Mountain, view the dancing and spinning of the Sun, listen to talks and so on.  It was a great time and we thoroughly enjoyed each day we were there.  After a Spirit-filled week we found ourselves once again on a plane returning home.  The  days seem to have gone by so quickly.  I promised myself that I would return someday as there was something there that was drawing me back.  I didn’t know what it was, but I knew I would be back.

Upon my return from our trip, I was attending a Friday morning Mass and I was deeply moved and inspired to erect a cross on our property.  I had no idea at the time what type it would be only that I knew Jesus and our Blessed Mother had spoken to me and I was deeply moved by what my heart was feeling.  It was during the consecration and after having receiving our Lord in the Eucharist did I become very emotional and knew from that day on that God and the Blessed Mother had plans for us.   I have to also include St. Joseph in all of this as he played a major role  in us ending up where we are today.  We had sold our home almost 3 years earlier so we could live in the country and have some land and raise animals.  We wanted to be as self-sufficient as possible and live a life of being close to the land and being good steward’s of the land that he so graciously entrusted to our care.   A life-long dream had finally come true and we knew God has other plans for us.

One day as I was looking at and reading some articles in a magazine that I borrowed from my Aunt, I came across a story about the Glorious Cross of Dozule which originated in Normandy, France. This was also a place of my ancestors which made the article even more interesting. I was so fascinated by the story that I thought to myself – could it be possible this is the Cross.  After reading about the size and weight of it (it stands 24 ft tall, has 8 ft long arms and weighs 1000 lbs)   I rejected the notion thinking where could someone acquire something of this size or how does one go about attempting to build one.   Months went by and this was on my mind constantly. One day after attending Mass, my Mother approached me and asked me if I would go to Medjugorje with her.  This was less than 5 months after my husband and I had returned from our trip.  Without hesitation I said, Yes, I would go.  This time I knew the Blessed Mother was calling me back for a reason.  The first trip was for my purification and now this return trip I was to be filled with the love and graces from God to be able to complete the mission he had planned for us. 

On my second trip I had met a lady who was in our group.  She came up to me one evening and handed me a small wooden cross.  It was a replica of the Glorious Cross ….about six inches in height and made to scale of the real one.  She said this is for you.  I was so touched by her generosity and knew than that God had sent her to me.  A total stranger and she comes up to me with a beautiful small wooden cross.  What could this mean?  A few days later our group was having diner and I was sitting next to our director of the pilgrimage and she spoke to me with very profound words.  She said…. You are going to erect a Cross on your property.  I nearly fainted with those words.  I asked her “ will it be the Glorious Cross of Dozule “ and she responded by saying… you will know when the time comes.  Tears of joy came streaming down my face.  This was the confirmation that Jesus and our Blessed Mother were speaking to me through these people.  It was at that moment  I knew I had a mission to fulfill and that God’s plan was starting to unfold.  Now all I had to do was come home and convince my husband what I wanted to do as he knew nothing of what was going on.

I prayed and asked Jesus and our Blessed Mother for their help. I knew it wouldn’t be easy to convince Dan about my dream.  When I first approached him sometime after having returned home in late October of 2001, he was reluctant at first but finally said he would give it some thought and  would let me know in the spring.  I said “ in the spring “.  No, I wanted to do this now, not in the spring. It has to be put up this fall and can’t wait.  By this time it was early November and hunting season would be starting within a week.  That meant I wouldn’t be able to do anything for at least 3 weeks and by then we would be in December.  A few days later, Dan had shot a deer on our property and one night while cutting up the deer, I asked him again if he would consider my request for the cross.  With a bit of hesitancy in his voice he conceded and said… “ if you want the cross you’ll have to ask your Mother for the money “.   You have no idea how scared I got after hearing those words but knew if this was part of God’s plan, he would see to it that it would come to fulfillment.  My Father who had passed away 11 years before also had spoken to me and said “: Ask your Mother in my memory and for all the deceased members of our family “.  I finally got up the nerve to ask my Mother and when I had mentioned to her that Dad had spoken to me, it touched a very soft spot in her heart.  As quickly as I said yes to her request to return to Medjugorje with her, she said yes to my request for the money for the cross. I couldn’t believe it.  All we needed to do now was consider where to erect it.  We decided on a small hill behind our farm overlooking a beaver pond.  It was now the week of Thanksgiving.  We got family members together and started cutting trees and clearing away  brush.  In the meantime, I had made contact with a gentleman in Canada that makes the crosses by hand and told him of our plans.  He said he was finishing a cross for a customer and didn’t think he would be building any more this year.  He suggested to call him back in a couple of weeks after we had our land cleared and he would consider it.   I phoned him back on a Tuesday and he advised the one he was working on, the party had cancelled the order and that he could be down on Friday morning to install it.  Isn’t it amazing how God works in our lives.   It was like this particular cross was meant for us.  He can work in very mysterious ways and very quickly when things are done in his name.  The cross arrived on Friday, December 14th.  That day we set up the cement forms for the foundation and poured it later that afternoon.   That night we received about 6 inches of snow and the next day we had to borrow a 4-wheel drive tractor with a loader to get up the small hill and raise it in place.    With everyone’s help things went according to plan and our cross was in place.    Fortunately the ground had not froze yet which in itself was a miracle as being located in Northwestern Vermont normally it would have been.  On December 20th, we dug a trench with a small excavator to lay the electrical line so that the  lights of the cross come on every evening and stay lit all night and goes off automatically at daylight.  The next day we had an electrician come over and hook up all the wires  with the censor which controls it to come on and off automatically.

Now the cross was up and complete.  All that was left to be done was have our parish priest bless it with holy water and say special prayers which he did after Sunday Mass on December 23rd.  We couldn’t ask for a more appropriate Christmas gift that year.  We have been so richly blessed by all the gifts that have been given to us by being faithful and listening to God when he speaks to us through his Blessed Mother.  These are the graces we receive in Medjugorje.  The cross has brought us closer to Jesus and knowing the heavy cross he carried for our sins we now have to carry our own crosses with him. 

The cross has cleansed our souls.  The cross has filled our lives with love.  The cross has protected us from all evils and has watched over our property.  The cross is the light of Jesus coming in glory. 

              Dan & Cecile Beauregard




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