Caritas Silver Jubilee: What Happened on November 25, 1988

Caritas Silver Jubilee: What Happened on November 25, 1988

November 25, 2011 A.D.

What Happened on November 25, 1988


Beginning on January 25, 1987, Our Lady had begun giving Medjugorje visionary Marija a monthly message that was directed to the whole world. From 1984 until 1987, Marija had been chosen by Our Lady to receive a weekly message for the parish of Medjugorje every Thursday evening. These messages were given for the purpose of guiding the parish into the spiritual life. In January, 1987, Our Lady suddenly announced that the Thursday messages would no longer continue, as now it was time to bring Her messages and plans for the salvation of the world to a new level. When Marija came to stay in our founder’s home, she was present for three of Our Lady’s monthly messages, November 1988 through January 1989. It was, of course, very moving to have Our Lady speak to the world from your own home. These three monthly messages have particular meaning to the Caritas community because they significantly influenced the way of life Our Lady established here through our founder.

The apparition took place at 10:40 a.m. in the Bedroom. The message Our Lady gave:

“Dear children, I call you to prayer for you to have an encounter with God in prayer. God gives Himself to you, but He wants you to answer in your own freedom to His invitation. That is why, little children, during the day find yourselves a special time when you can pray in peace and humility and have this meeting with God, the Creator. I am with you and I intercede for you in front of God. Watch in vigil so that every encounter in prayer be the joy of your contact with God. Thank you for having responded to my call.”


This was not the first time Our Lady had mentioned finding a time during the day for a personal encounter with God. Reading this in other messages, our founder had already been trying to establish a specific time every day that he could devote himself to quiet prayer and contemplation. He was a father of, soon to be, four children. He had his own thriving business. He had already started Caritas of Birmingham. Life was full and it was difficult finding a specific daily time to commit to prayer because often he was interrupted with family or business concerns. When Our Lady gave the above message in his home, he became determined to live this message. He tried different hours of the day, becoming increasingly frustrated because at every point of the day he found the time wasn’t always conducive to prayer. At 6:00 a.m., he found that though he could pray, he was leaving the full responsibility of the household to his wife including getting the children up, dressed, serving breakfast and out the door for school. It caused a great deal of un-peace for everyone and he knew he couldn’t convenience himself at the cost of neglecting his own responsibilities at home. He tried 12:00 noon, but there were always interruptions from his work. He tried at night, after dinner and the children were in bed, but found he was too tired after putting in a full day’s work, to be concentrated in prayer. It was after all these efforts that the Holy Spirit finally enlightened him. A question presented itself in his thoughts. Why not just deny yourself an hour of sleep each day and get up earlier in the morning before its time to start getting the kids out of bed? He began rising a little before 5:00 a.m. every morning and praying for an hour and was never interrupted by distractions in the quiet predawn. He never had to worry about missing his prayer time because of an interruption and found that his mind was clear of worries first thing in the morning so that he could give his full attention to God. 5:00 a.m. prayer was the perfect fit for his busy life.

This eventually became “the way” of the community as different people began to come following the call of Our Lady. No matter what the workload the community is carrying with the mission, we never miss 5:00 a.m. prayer. It was primarily through the November 25, 1988 message given in his home that gave this inspiration to our founder. It was only years later that he discovered that Jesus himself, as well as Our Lady, and consequently many of the saints in imitation of them, arose early in the morning for prayer.


On Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 1988, as Medjugorje visionary Marija walked to the Field for the apparition this day, she playfully tossed 3-year-old Tony in the air, third son of our founder and his wife. One thing so striking about Marija is how natural she is with those around her, though she sees the Virgin Mary every day. Though some may expect a visionary to walk around with hands folded in prayer and eyes turned upward all day long, as the saints are so often depicted in books, the Medjugorje visionaries are very normal and do not put on an air of false piety to impress anyone.


Looking at the Pine Tree from the outer ridge of the Field on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 1988. Near to a thousand people were present for the apparition that took place in the morning. This was quite astonishing since the apparition the day before was at 10:30 p.m. It wasn’t until 11:00 at night when the first phone calls could be made to inform people that the apparition would be at 10:40 the next morning, yet word spread. Not only local people came, but there were those who drove long distances, even through the night, to be in the presence of Our Lady. The fact that the apparition in the Field took place on Thanksgiving Day, in and of itself, was not significant at the time. It only became significant, in time, through reflection and prayer.


Being so preoccupied with the apparitions, our founder and his wife completely forgot that it was Thanksgiving Day. However, family and friends saved the day when they began arriving at the house after the apparition with turkey and dressing and a whole Thanksgiving menu. Here in the sunny kitchen of the home, Marija, second to the left, takes part in the celebration feast of Thanksgiving.

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Community Plea 2023-2024 - $190,500 of $200,000

Only $9,500 left to reach the goal!

See where we stand in reaching the goal for the 2023-2024 Community Plea. If you have not yet read this update, a Friend of Medjugorje gives some strong teachings which are important for you to be informed.

For the latest update and to help us reach the goal visit here

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