A Medjugorje Surprise
By Editor of "Spirit of Medjugorje" Newsletter June Klins

Every Medjugorje pilgrimage is full of surprises, and my June, 2001 pilgrimage was no exception. Like thumbprints or zebra stripes, no two pilgrims’ experiences are exactly alike. On this trip, some people had the awesome experience of seeing our priest’s hair and face turn gold during the Corpus Christi procession. I didn’t. Some people, actually most of my group, saw the sun spin. I didn’t. Some people saw the cross on Mt. Krizevac disappear, and one lady saw the cross on fire. I didn’t. Some people had things said to them that could not have been known by the person who said it. I didn’t. These were all gifts to the people who experienced them, “a hug from the Blessed Mother,” explained Sandee McAleer, our group leader. My surprise in Medjugorje was quite different from all of these, but nonetheless, just as exciting. My surprise is the story I am about to relate. And I wouldn’t trade it to see the sun spin a hundred times!

My story actually began when I was in Medjugorje for the 18th anniversary. It was very crowded, so I was sitting on a curb on the side of the church for the outdoor Croatian Mass. After Mass, during the Glorious Mysteries, an adorable little boy holding a Rosary walked up and looked at me, so I took out my camera and snapped a photo of him. I forgot about taking this picture until I got my photographs back from the developer. As soon as I saw that picture, I knew there was something special about it. To me, this little boy just seemed to be a “poster boy for the Rosary.” Everyone I showed agreed. One lady looked at the picture and said, “Those eyes - they are the eyes of Jesus.” It was if the little boy were urging, “Please pray the Rosary with me.”

A year later, I decided to have a tote bag made with my photo. Next to the picture were the words of Jesus, "Whoever does not accept the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it." As more and more people would admire the bag, the light bulb went on in my head. Maybe I could have some more bags made and ask a suggested donation to give to an orphanage. So I gave it a whirl. The first batch went fast, so I had more made. Now I needed an orphanage to give the donations to, so I did some research on the Internet, and was overwhelmed by the number of orphanages in the world. I sent out letters and e-mails with pictures of my tote to many organizations that support orphanages. I was disappointed that I never heard from any of them.

Then, in the first week of October I was looking at a flyer for a Medjugorje conference in Ohio and I noticed that it said that profits from the conference would benefit Hearts of the World Marian Center for Sister Janja’s orphanage in Mostar, near Medjugorje. I thought it was worth a try to send them a picture of the tote, and so I did. A few weeks later, I got a phone call from a very excited woman who heads up the Hearts of the World Marian Center. She said she loved the idea of the totes, and wanted to take me up on my offer. Periodically I would send her the money I made on the totes for her to give to Sister Janja. Many people asked me who the little boy was, and wondered if he was an orphan. I said that he was not an orphan, that he was with a family when I took the photo. I had no idea where the little boy was from. There were reportedly 75,000 people in Medjugorje at the time, from many different countries.

Last spring my son and I were invited to go to Medjugorje again and we went with Hearts of the World. One of the side-trips they make is to Mostar to visit Sister Janja’s orphanage. So, on Saturday, June 16, we made the 45-minute trip to the orphanage. Several of us had money to present to Sister Janja for the orphanage. When I gave Sister the latest donation I showed her my bag. Sister took one look at the tote and said, “That looks like little Boris.” And then she did a double-take and said, “That is little Boris.” It turns out that the child I had been calling “my poster boy for the Rosary” had actually been an orphan under Sister’s care years earlier. I could not believe it. I burst into tears. What an awesome surprise, a surprise that could only have been orchestrated from Above! It became very clear to me now why none of the other orphanages had answered my letters! Sometimes when it seems that God is not cooperating with us, even when we are trying to do something good, it is because He has something BETTER in mind. He ALWAYS knows best.

This is not the end of the story though… After I composed myself, Sister Janja proceeded to give me a little history on Boris. She said that Boris was placed in the orphanage at a young age when his mother, who was a single parent, became unable to care for him because she was disabled. Sister said that a beautiful and loving family adopted him a couple of years ago. She said that she had not heard anything about Boris in years, but recently had heard an incredible story about him that she would share with us. Sister said that about 3 weeks earlier Boris woke up one night at 1:00 A.M, jumped out of his bed and went running into his parents’ room crying. When his mother asked him what was wrong, he said that he had dreamt that she had died. She hugged him and consoled him that she was just fine, and let him sleep the rest of the night between her and her husband. At 8:00 the next morning, Boris’ mother got a call from a lady in the social office in Central Bosnia. She called to say that Boris’ biological mother passed away in the night. When Boris’ mother inquired about the time of death, the woman answered, “About 1:00 A.M.”

This story took the breath away of all of us who heard it. My first reaction to this story was to say, “This is a very special little boy, ” and Sister Janja agreed completely.

I felt so very blessed to have been gifted with the photo of this little angel. I have always felt that the best way to show appreciation for a gift is to use it. So I will continue to carry my little tote bag, which people now know as my “trademark.” The bag is, after all, a very inexpensive “mobile billboard, ” a shrewd way to promote Our Lady’s messages.

“With a little child to guide them… the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the Lord.” (Is 11: 6, 9)

Note: Many people have asked for a tote bad, so June Klins has been making them and selling them for a very small profit which is being donated to Sister Janja's orphanage. If you would like to see or order the tote bag or send an email to June Klins click here>>>>>>>Rosary Boy Tote Bag

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