Caritas Silver Jubilee: What Happened on February 18, 2009

Caritas Silver Jubilee: What Happened on February 18, 2009

What Happened on Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Our Lady smiled again today. Today was the last apparition, as Paolo and Marija would be leaving in the morning. Rosary was scheduled for 10:00 a.m. We would only be praying one Rosary and then immediately go into the 7,7,7. Since Our Lady said She would come when we pray, apparition time would be a little earlier, giving time for Paolo, Marija, our founder and his wife to leave for the airport in Atlanta so as not to be so rushed. The community began arriving around 9:30 a.m. and began writing petitions to Our Lady. The names of the supporters of Our Lady’s mission were placed on the Bed, including our extended community members, Mission House supporters, those who have been supporting the retooling of Our Lady’s Tabernacle, Field Angels, supporters and others who have helped Her mission. We asked Our Lady to bless them all during this apparition. Our founder told Marija that if, today, Our Lady gives time to ask a question in the apparition, he would like her to ask Our Lady to give some sweet words to end Her visit with the community.


Marija’s Description of Apparition, February 18, 2009 in the Bedroom

In moment of apparition, when Our Lady come I recommend like always all us in special way, everyone present today and I ask Our Lady if She has some words to say to us. And Our Lady beginning to smile, said: “I give my love to you, you give it to others.” And after She beginning to pray over us and after She make blessing and She go.

The surprise visit ended as quickly as it had begun, but with so many joys in-between, and a beautiful message in which Our Lady gave to us Her love. Marija, Paolo and son Giovanni, after saying their good-byes to everyone left and returned to Italy. The community stayed behind, returning to the Bedroom to say some final prayers in thanksgiving for Our Lady’s goodness to us through Her surprise visit. Before closing our prayer, as we do each day in the community, we opened randomly to the following message and could not help but smile ourselves at the words Our Lady gave to us upon Her leaving:


October 29, 1983

“I give you my heart; accept it! I would not want to distress you, nor to stop talking to you, but I cannot stay always with you. You have to get used to it. In the meantime, I wish to be constantly with you, with the heart. It is necessary to pray much, not to say: ‘If today we have not prayed, it is nothing serious.’

“You must strive to pray. Prayer is the only road which leads to peace. If you pray and fast, you will obtain everything that you ask for.”


The petitions that we had all just written before Our Lady’s apparition still lay on the Bed in the grace of Her last blessing She gave in our presence. To receive the words ‘…you will obtain everything that you ask for…” through prayer and fasting, were such unexpected words of hope. But to also read the words, just after Marija left, “…I cannot stay always with you. You have to get used to it. In the meantime, I wish to be constantly with you, with the heart…” were such sweet words, and were perhaps given in answer to our founder’s request as much as the words She spoke in the apparition this day, “I give my love to you, you give it to others.”

Remarkably, there is one more story to tell before ending the report on Our Lady’s visit. Though the weather was beautiful the morning of Paolo and Marija’s departure, warnings of thunderstorms, heavy winds and tornadoes later on in the day were being reported for much of central Alabama. Coming back from Atlanta after saying good-bye to Marija and Paolo, our founder and his wife found themselves in the middle of a ferocious storm. At one point a whole stretch on interstate 20 from Atlanta to Birmingham was closed due to the storms. There were several multi-car pile ups involving many cars and trucks in different areas. Along I-20, unbelievably straight-line winds were reported blowing at 103 miles per hour. One tractor trailer rig who had passed them, was flipped over on its side five minutes down the road with several other cars that had crashed. The wind piled up hail in many piles as much as two feet thick. Traffic was literally stopped and passengers were strongly encouraged to exit the highway. With the ground-hugging fog from the coolness given off by the piles of hail, the scene looked apocalyptic. One looking at this scene biblically could not help but think of satan and his fury against the Woman he hates so much, who just ended eight beautiful apparitions. Some would say tornados and storms happen all the time. It’s ridiculous to link it to Our Lady’s apparitions at Caritas in Alabama and that is true of the secular. But we are called to be biblical people and to view the world around us with biblical eyes. It is Our Lady who said in Her messages:


March 25, 1990

“…God wants to save you and sends you messages through men, nature and so many things which can only help you to understand that you must change the direction of your lives…”


For the believer, everything speaks to us biblically.

Marija in ecstasy

As Our Lady gave us the joy of our founder being allowed to set the time of the apparition today, it would be unhurried, giving all the community a chance to recollect over the past week of so many graces, and settle our hearts before saying good-bye. There was still a mystery that covered these apparitions of Our Lady’s kindness and love that She showed towards the community during this week, which made this final Rosary full of sweetness, but also sadness to see Her go. Her words to us on this day were the perfect ending of Her time with us, “I give my love to you, you give it to others.”

Names of Caritas Supporters placed on the Bed
Every grace that comes to the community is passed on to those who support and depend upon the mission of Caritas. We gathered the names and petitions of so many of our Field Angels, core members, extended community members, retooling supporters, etc., and placed them on the Bed where Our Lady appears—asking Our Lady to hear all the intentions of the hearts represented by these names and petitions. Marija also recommended all of these “extended hands” to Our Lady in her prayer to Our Lady.

3 babies on the Bed
Again, 3 babies on the Bed
There is a little time for pictures before Marija, Paolo and son Giovanni must pack up and head to the airport. The two granddaughters of A Friend of Medjugorje, Victoria and Olivia, and the youngest community boy, Andrew, are arranged on the Bed just after Our Lady’s leaving. Marija helps to arrange the little sweet bundles to hopefully snap a few pictures before one of them begins to cry. Mission Accomplished!

Last hugs before leaving
Hugs go all around as the community says good-bye to Marija. Marija is hugging 14-year-old Joshua, fifth son of Caritas’ founder. If you read the February 5, 1994 entry of our Silver Jubilee, you will know that it was through Marija and Paolo’s intercession to Our Lady on this day that saved Joshua’s life when he was no bigger than the three babies above on the Bed. These children, especially those of our founder, have literally grown up with Our Lady and now are getting married and bringing their own children to receive Our Lady’s blessing in Her apparitions. What a time we are living in that the apparitions of Medjugorje are lasting through generations of families!

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