Medjugorje Fact of Fiction?
By Doris Stanton

I am a traveled person. I have been all over the world on both joyous trips and several pilgrimages. So, when I was moved to make my first pilgrimage to Medjugorje, Bosnia-Hercezgovina, Croatia, sight of the Marian Apparitions to small village children, for the past 21 years I was skeptical. Skeptical, you say. Yes, it sounded too much like Fatima, Portugal to me. I have been to Fatima a beautiful, beautiful place nestled in a mountainous region of Portugal, to experience the peace of Our Lady in a solemn way. I have been to Lourdes to experience the peace of Our Lady in a most joyous way amid the suffering of many wheelchair bound persons who come for a healing of any kind, and so I just didn't believe that there was a repeat of the miracle of the sun and all that goes with it, but I was compelled to visit this place no matter what.

Medjugorje is not a place you just go to. It is such an arduous journey to begin with, a flight from New York's Kennedy Airport to Frankfurt, Germany, seven hours, a layover of 2 hours, then a flight from Frankfurt to Split, Croatia, 3 additional hours of flight time then a 2 hour wait for our bus to take us on a three hour bus ride around the Adriatic Sea to Medjugorje, Bosnai- Hercezgovia , and that's not counting the time it takes to get to the airport to begin with. I believe that Our Lady calls you there. Not just anyone goes there, it is a call from one heart to another for reasons only Our Lady can explain. My first trip took 17 hours from start to finish and was filled with every kind of blessing I could in my simple mind imagine. From the presence of wonderful people who searched for different things in the spiritual life to the miracle of the sun spinning like a top in one direction and then another at the hour of the Angelus. I was awestruck.

When I arrived with a tour group most of whom I did not know I was moved at how much at home we were with each other. 25 strangers who all shared the same thirst, one of seeking God's love in a new way. Seeking Our Lady in our hearts, a fulfillment of some kind, but one shared never the less. We became a family. Some had been here before, some like myself had not, but we were all here together searching for the Truth, God's Truth that is. There is Holy Mass each day in several languages. There is constant prayer of all kinds. There is joy and there are a loving, caring, devoted people who begin and end each day with prayer and Mass and Eucharistic Adoration. I don't know about any of you but for me I can say that at no time in my life have I experience Eucharistic Adoration in the way it is here. Every heart, every mind, every soul in this little village is purely and totally devoted to the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. While singing songs of praise to this wonderful Lord of ours there was only one voice. In the midst of 5000 people from all over the world, there was one voice. No one began singing before anyone else, no one ended his or her hearts song after anyone else, and it was magnificent. Our voices joined together to pay homage to Our Lord, Our Savior, to raise our voices high to His glory and honor and praise. The crescendo reached is like nothing I have witnessed neither before nor since my first pilgrimage here and that echoed off the roof of St. James Church which is the center of life for these beautiful people.

This second trip would take us a total of 27 hours from leaving my friends house for the airport to arriving in Medjugorje at midnight but it is a trip I would take in a New York minute. My Lady has called me back. We have some unfinished business She and I. It is the universal call to holiness, which is given to all of us who travel life's spiritual roads. But I am one of Her stubborn children. It is hard for me to give up. But She gently prods me everyday to come and see. Come and join Her in the love of Her Son Jesus and I am happy to oblige. I am thrilled to go back and spend a little time with my Mother, my Friend, Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ. I have no agenda now. I am to be with Her in Her land of love, to defer to Her will for me this time and surrender to Her Son's will totally.

When you first see Medjugorje you cannot help but be reminded of Fatima, Portugal. They are so similar, the rocks are even the same, and it is mind-boggling. For those of you who have traveled on pilgrimage to Fatima, Medjugorje is the same and so is the message, "Return my children to my Son Jesus" "Prayer, Fasting, Reconciliation and the Eucharist, they will heal you of all that has wounded you in this life." Jesus is love, pure love. His forgiveness knows no bounds. He is waiting for you. From Apparition Hill to Blue Cross, to Cross Mountain He is waiting for you to come to His heart for His love. Will you?

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