Critical Information About Our Founder, a Friend of Medjugorje
The story you are about to read was written by the hand of Our Lady…
Friday April 16, 2021
Our founder, who is a Friend of Medjugorje, and the Caritas Community spent the day on a Field Trip. It was the first time in several years we were able to do so together as a community.
Our founder keeps a six-day, 80-hour work week. He has so much Our Lady wants him to do that he never stops. Because of that, field trips together and other kinds of excursions are very rare.
Everyone had a beautiful time. The community arrived back home late in the evening.
This night, April 16, 2021, Our Lady gave a message through Medjugorje visionary Ivan. Our Lady said:
“Dear children, this is the time of responsibility, accept and live my messages responsibly. Return to my Son, return to prayer. Little children, allow God to speak to your heart. satan wants to reign and destroy your life. Children, be persevering, courageous, patient and strong for holiness. I am with you and I bless you all with my maternal blessing. Thank you, dear children, because you have answered my call once again today.”
We did not find out about Our Lady’s message until several days later.
Our Lady’s words would have great meaning.
Saturday April 17, 2021
Our founder’s wife Annette was helping their daughter in a nearby town. Annette was not at home the day before and spent Friday night with their daughter. They planned to have a nice breakfast together Saturday morning.
At the last minute, on a whim, Annette decided to simply drive back home to her house.
The community gathered in front of the Tabernacle of Our Lady’s Messages to pray and begin the workday.
Our founder, in his usual energetic way, came bounding down the large spiral staircase of the Tabernacle. Together we started to pray.
The community prayed the 7, 7, 7 Prayer (7 Our Father’s, Hail Mary’s and Glory Be’s) and then picked a message at random from Words from Heaven.
For those who don’t know, picking a message at random was a way of praying that our founder was inspired to start doing more than 30 years ago. The Caritas Community and thousands across the world follow his inspiration in doing this.
The message picked at random after 8:00 AM prayer was:
October 2, 2014
“Dear children, with motherly love I implore you, love one another. May there be in your hearts, as my Son desired from the very beginning, love for the Heavenly Father and for your neighbor in the first place—above everything of this world. My dear children, do you not recognize the signs of the times? Do you not recognize that all of this that is around you, all that is happening, is because there is no love? Comprehend that salvation is in true values. Accept the might of the Heavenly Father, love Him and honor Him. Walk in the footsteps of my Son. You, my children, my dear apostles, you are always gathering around me anew, because you are thirsty. You thirst for peace, love and happiness. Drink out of my hands. My hands are offering to you my Son who is the spring of clear water. He will bring your faith back to life and purify your hearts, because my Son loves pure hearts and pure hearts love my Son. Only pure hearts are humble and have firm faith. I ask for such hearts of you, my children. My Son told me that I am the mother of the entire world. I ask of those of you who accept me as such to help me, with your life, prayer and sacrifice, for all of my children to accept me as a mother—so that I may lead them to the spring of the clear water. Thank you. My dear children, as your shepherds offer you the Body of my Son with their blessed hands, always in your hearts give thanks to my Son for the Sacrifice and for the shepherds that He always gives you anew.”
After the message was read aloud, our founder asked, “What was the date of that message?”
We repeated the date to him. Our founder said, “Everyone needs to love one another. Make a copy of that message so people can read it all day.”
The community separated into different groups to begin the workday. Our founder went down to his house where a small project was going on outside.
His wife, Annette, had just arrived home from their daughter’s house.
Our founder began telling his wife about the beautiful field trip the day before.
As she left the room, he felt a burning sensation going up his neck. He thought a headache was coming on, so he walked out to his truck to get a Goody’s powder, a fast aspirin-based pain reliever.
On the way to his truck our founder felt an intense burning pain grip his chest. He knew something was not right, so he began to search quickly for the Goody’s powder.
He could not find one.
He headed back to the house and with every second the burning pain tripled in intensity.
He started to run to the house.
While running, he remembered in the back of his mind something he read years before – “put cayenne pepper under your tongue.”
Our founder ran straight into the kitchen.
He found the cayenne jar but could not get it opened.
The intensity of the pain was increasing.
He felt he had only seconds to do something.
He spotted cayenne residue on the lid of the jar and started to wipe it with his fingers and put it under his tongue.
He felt his chest was on fire.
He worked the jar open and dumped the cayenne under his tongue. The pain remained but did not get worse.
At this moment, his wife Annette came back in the room. She, who got home only minutes before, saw him with his head leaning on the kitchen counter.
Annette asked him what he was doing. When he looked up, she knew something was not right.
He signaled that his chest was in pain and then told her to take him to the emergency room. Annette started to walk him to her car and by looking at him, realized she couldn’t leave without calling someone. She also didn’t feel comfortable driving him in this state.
From the front seat of the car, our founder said, “Call 9-1-1.”
Annette called out to their son, Tony, who was outside, as she walked him back into the house, to their living room. She quickly called 9-1-1 and put out the “all-call” to the community on a special community emergency line.
Tony rushed in. As he looked at his father, their eyes met, and Tony saw a look of pain and helplessness in his father’s eyes – emotions not normally seen in his father’s face.
Tony looked back mirroring the same emotions in his own eyes.
The 9-1-1 call was heard by Dennis Brasher the local fire chief. Denis was on his way to another call. When Dennis heard this new call and who it was, he turned his truck and immediately headed straight towards our founder’s home.
Dennis was the first to arrive on the scene.
The community all-call was spreading fast.
The first place that the community members headed when they heard the news was the third-floor chapel in our mission building, The Tabernacle of Our Lady’s Messages.
To those who have followed him for years, you know that our founder has talked about people who put their faith in every medical option. Then, when everything fails, they say, “Well, there’s nothing left to do but pray.”
But his method has always been that prayer is the first recourse.
God is to be the first option.
For the community, one in heart and one in mind, his thinking is in the very fabric of who we are.
If we are not needed to help on the scene, we are needed to help by being on our knees.
A few of the community men ran down to the house. Everyone else ran to prayer.
As community members rushed from place to place, telling of what was going on, people continued to gather in the chapel while the Rosary was being prayed.
Our founder’s granddaughter, Victoria, ran out to where some other youth were feeding animals. Victoria told Anne, another community youth, about what was going on with her “Papa.” Anne said, “We can’t lose that man.”
Another community member said that as he was heading to the chapel he thought, “If Our Lady takes him, he’s okay. But I would not be okay.”
Similar thoughts were racing through everyone’s mind as we gathered in front of Our Lady’s stained-glass window of the chapel.
The little children were quiet and somber, not their usual rambunctious selves.
Our founder’s grandson, “little Tony,” looked sad and upset. He was kneeling next to one of our large angel statues. One of the community members encouraged him to pray to the angels for his Papa. He was told the prayers of children are heard by Heaven even more than those of adults.
Little Tony turned to the angel and laid his head on its chest.
His youngest sister, 1 ½ year old—Maddalena, whenever she was told that Papa was very sick, she responded with a sad cry, “No, no.”
In prayer before Our Lady, the community was coming face to face with the realization that our founder was close to death.
From in the chapel, we could hear the siren of the ambulance coming down the road, then slow down and then turn off. Now there was EMS at the house.
Our founder was the very picture of health and vitality. He was rarely ever sick.
Even at age 67, we had just watched him bound down the very steps which lead to the chapel we were now praying in.
Besides his 80-hour work week, it was normal for him to sleep a few hours a night, then be up in the middle of the night, walking the grounds doing his prayers.
Now, our founder was surrounded by his wife Annette, by his son Tony and his daughter-in-law, Erin, by a few community men, the fire chief and the EMS team which just arrived.
We ended the Rosary in the chapel by again picking a message at random. It is moments like these that we really need to hear from Our Lady.
Our Lady’s words were:
December 25, 1997
“Dear children! Also, today I rejoice with you and I call you to the good. I desire that each of you reflect and carry peace in your heart and say: I want to put God in the first place in my life. In this way, little children, each of you will become holy. Little children, tell everyone, I want the good for you and He will respond with the good and, little children, good will come to dwell in the heart of each man. Little children, tonight I bring to you the good of my Son who gave His life to save you. That is why, little children, rejoice and extend your hands to Jesus who is only good. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
What was “good” that Our Lady was referring to? Was She seeing this scene unfold that we were living in at this moment?
Looking closer at the message that had just been picked, we realized the words were speaking of the “heart”:
“…carry peace in your heart… good will come to dwell in the heart of each man…”
And Our Lady also said:
“…my Son who gave His life to save you.”
This inspired us to look at the message we picked that morning – the very message that our founder told us to make copies of, and to read throughout the day.
We were shocked.
This was the message picked that morning:
October 2, 2014
“…May there be in your hearts, as my Son desired from the very beginning, love for the Heavenly Father and for your neighbor in the first place—above everything of this world. My dear children, do you not recognize the signs of the times? Do you not recognize that all of this that is around you, all that is happening, is because there is no love? …My hands are offering to you my Son who is the spring of clear water. He will bring your faith back to life and purify your hearts, because my Son loves pure hearts and pure hearts love my Son. Only pure hearts are humble and have firm faith. I ask for such hearts of you, my children. My Son told me that I am the mother of the entire world. I ask of those of you who accept me as such to help me, with your life, prayer and sacrifice, for all of my children to accept me as a mother—so that I may lead them to the spring of the clear water… always in your hearts give thanks to my Son for the Sacrifice and for the shepherds that He always gives you anew”
Our Lady said the word “hearts” seven times that morning!
Our Lady literally warned us, ahead of time, everything that would happen.
Her words would be needed in the coming difficult hours and days.
Back at the House. (9:00 a.m.)
This part of Alabama is not very Catholic. Dennis, the fire chief, has not always been on the same side religiously as with our founder, and at times there was friction between what our founder knew we were supposed to be doing and what the local authorities were wanting us to do.
But today, all those things were in the past and unimportant.
Dennis knew all was not well. Seeing our founder climb onto the stretcher and being put into the ambulance, so compliant to the EMS team, Dennis said to our founder’s wife Annette, “He’s not right is he? This is not like him to just sit here and let us do all this to him.”
Our founder, out of love for all who were greatly concerned for him and to reassure his family and community, said that he was feeling a little better as they loaded him up in the ambulance.
His witness has always been to minimize his own sufferings.
While all his vital signs looked good, he had expressed that he had never felt this kind of pain before, so feeling “a little” better, didn’t convince anyone that he was suffering any less.
The closest emergency room was too full, so the EMS team diverted him to the next nearest hospital. He was severely dehydrated, so they hooked him up to an IV.
The first tests were vague. The EKG was abnormal at first then was normal. The blood work showed almost normal.
This only added to the mystery.
One doctor said that without the story of how it all happened with the burning pains, etc. they would say that he was just dehydrated.
The hospital took blood tests every several hours and monitored him through the night.
Sunday, April 18, 2021
When the results from the blood work started coming back, it showed signs of a major problem. It appeared he had suffered a heart attack.
With each new test, the enzyme levels that indicate trouble with the heart were rising.
Our founder was admitted into the Cardiovascular unit and spent Sunday with family while more testing was ordered for Monday, April 19th.
One of the first things his daughter-in-law, Erin, asked him when she saw him at the hospital, was if he had been given some premonition of his possible death.
She asked this because of his great devotion to the St. Bridget Prayers. One of the promises given by Christ for those who pray these prayers is 15 days before your death you will be given some sign that your time is coming.
Our founder told her that he did not have any premonition.
The cayenne pepper jar, laying at the spot where Annette saw our founder with his head leaning on the counter. The holes in the top of the lid are so that you can sprinkle it while cooking. When using the jar this way, it leaves residue on the lid. This residue is what our founder was wiping with his fingers to put under his tongue.
↓ There’s more to this story… Keep reading… ↓
Monday, April 19
Testing was ordered for Monday, April 19, to perform a Coronary Angiogram, a medical procedure where a doctor uses dye and an x-ray to detect blockages in the arteries and heart.
If the doctor finds a blockage, he can use a catheter to open the blockage and/or place a stint in the blocked area.
Our founder went into this procedure and we were beginning to breathe a sigh of relief knowing that the problem would be found and fixed.
The Caritas Community youth climbed to the Cross this morning to pray for our founder. After praying a Rosary, the youth picked a message at random from Words from Heaven. The message picked was:
October 25, 2017
“Dear children! I am calling you to be prayer in this time of grace. You all have problems, afflictions, sufferings and lack of peace. May saints be models to you and an encouragement for holiness; God will be near you and you will be renewed in seeking through your personal conversion. Faith will be hope to you and joy will begin to reign in your hearts. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
In the afternoon, a call came in from our founder’s daughter, Bridget, who was with him at the hospital. A community member answered the phone and asked, “How is it?” Bridget replied, “Not good. They can’t put in a stint.”
The community member asked why, and Bridget replied, “It’s one of the main arteries right above the heart – the one they call the widow maker. He’ll have to have bypass surgery. We’re trying to figure out the details right now.”
As the details came in from the hospital, it turns out that the blockage was 80-90%.
He could have another heart attack at any time.
What are the chances that it could have happened while on the field trip the day before? What are the chances that his wife Annette had not come home on the spur of the moment? Or that his son Tony was not outside the house?
Our founder’s sister, who is a nurse, commented that the cayenne pepper probably saved his life. She says she carries a bottle in her purse for emergencies.
What are the chances he remembered about the cayenne pepper?
One of the community members who ran down to the house with cayenne pepper had literally just got in a shipment of a stronger cayenne pepper which was ordered just for an emergency like this.
What was even more shocking is that the scans showed all his other arteries, and his heart were in perfect health.
The doctor who did the sonogram of the heart said: “You have a beautiful heart.”
We know the doctor was speaking medically, but we understood it confirmed, also, a prophetic spiritual statement.
When the scans were being done on the other arteries another doctor said, “I can tell you’ve never smoked a day in your life.”
Our founder said, “Never smoked, never drank.” – He made a vow at age 14 never to drink alcohol, a remarkable feat growing up in a strong Italian family.
All the “what-ifs” played out as we realized how serious this really was.
Open heart surgery was scheduled for some time on Tuesday afternoon.
Three of our founder’s sons who live out of town were waiting to hear whether they should come or not. They immediately decided to fly into Birmingham the next morning.
When the community youth found out that he was having open heart surgery, they immediately remembered the words they picked earlier on the mountain:
“…problems, afflictions, sufferings… joy will begin to reign in your hearts…”
Our Lady was writing a story.
Tuesday, April 20, 8:00 a.m.
There was a Caritas/BVM pilgrimage group coming to Caritas today, on a five-day pilgrimage that began on Monday, April 19 and would end on Friday, April 23.
Our Lady says, “nothing is by chance.” We knew these pilgrims were meant to be at Caritas at this exact time.
We also knew our founder would expect us to give ourselves fully to our pilgrims and not let anything that is happening with him interfere with their pilgrimage experience.
When told our founder’s situation, the pilgrims immediately began praying and offering their pilgrimage also for him, his family and the whole community.
It was a great grace to have the pilgrims with us for the week. They walked beside us in the uncertainty we were facing, sharing in our pain, offering their prayers and sacrifices for our founder.
Day by day the pilgrims were experiencing profound graces in being immersed in the sacred sites Our Lady has blessed with Her presence here.
The witness of our founder in putting the messages into his life and his family produced the “way of life” that the community follows, gave the pilgrims a window of strength in carrying their own crosses.
They became a part of the unfolding of the story as some of the messages Our Lady was giving to them as a group each morning when they opened Words from Heaven, directly related to the circumstances of our founder.
This first morning of the pilgrimage, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, which was the day of our founder’s open-heart surgery, the random message Our Lady gave the group had actually happened in the Bedroom of Apparitions.
This is the message the group picked at random, on Tuesday morning:
February 17, 2009
“Our founder and Marija’s husband were out of town early yesterday morning before apparition time. They were scheduled to be back Tuesday morning, but our founder knew it would be impossible to make it back for the apparition, especially since Our Lady said in yesterday’s apparition, “Same time. Same place.”
“The community met in the Bedroom and began the Rosary at 10:00 a.m., with the anticipation that Our Lady would appear at around 10:40 a.m. However, in today’s apparition, Our Lady refrained from appearing at this normal time. They had prayed two full Rosaries and had started a third and still Our Lady had not appeared. As time passed without Our Lady appearing, some in the room began to wonder if Our Lady was purposely waiting to give the founder an opportunity to make it back for the apparition.
“Finally, almost 30 minutes past the normal apparition time, Our Lady appeared. For those who had been hoping the founder would make it, there was a little feeling of disappointment, knowing that it had been so close. But then, in the silence of the apparition, they suddenly heard the kitchen screen door open and shut, and the founder came running in. He knelt beside Marija, and as the apparition was long, lasting four minutes, the apparition was only just half over. It was a big joy for everyone to see this unfold.”
The above apparition of February 17, 2009, was a big joy as several community members had been praying to Our Lady, during that apparition, to “wait” for our founder, knowing how badly he wanted to be there with Her.
After all, this was the deepest respect we could show to someone who had given his entire life and heart to Our Lady. None of us would be here if it were not for him. The least we could do was ask Our Lady to wait.
Tuesday, April 20, 9:00 a.m., at the hospital
Medjugorje visionary Marija called to speak to our founder.
They spoke for 45 minutes. Marija told him that she went up Apparition Mountain for him and was getting other people to pray.
During their conversation, our founder remembered the last time Marija was here in 2019, Marija had told him, “We’re the only ones left.”
They had been speaking of Medjugorje and all their experiences over 30+ years together. So many significant people involved with Medjugorje, including many good friends met along the way, were now dead. They were somewhat sad reminiscing and remembering the earlier years.
These were the thoughts going through his mind as the nurse came in and he finally had to hang up with Marija.
But before hanging up, Marija told him she would offer her entire apparition to Our Lady for him in a couple of hours.
This inspired him with a thought which came from his heart: he wanted to see the community and have us all together for this special apparition.
With all of the coronavirus restrictions still in place at the hospital it would be impossible to get 35 people into the room.
But his room overlooked the front of the hospital. What if the community could go there and he could see them?
He asked his daughter-in-law, Erin, to call Caritas and tell everyone to immediately come for Rosary.
Because of the glare on his window, he knew the community wouldn’t be able to see him, so he asked for a flashlight that he could flash periodically out the window that would indicate to everyone outside where he was in the room.
It was a big joy for him and all of us to have the opportunity to be near, joined in prayer as much as was possible, during the Rosary in which Our Lady would be blessing him in a special way.
Tuesday April 20, 2021 (Rosary Time) – Part of the Community seen during Rosary time in front of the hospital. Little Maddalena Mia, our founder’s granddaughter wants to wave, so she is being held up. Our founder’s room is circled.
Tuesday April 20, 2021 (Rosary Time) – A closer view of the room. Our founder would alternate between a flashlight and a piece of paper, waving it in the window, and the Community would wave back.
↓ There’s more to this story… Keep reading… ↓
There was no set time given to our founder regarding when he would be pulled for surgery.
Everyone was hoping his three sons, who lived out of state and would be arriving at the airport late that morning, would get to the hospital to see their Dad before he went into surgery.
When the nurse showed up to prep our founder for surgery, the sons were just 10 minutes away, racing through heavy traffic as quickly as possible to get to the hospital.
While there was still time before the surgery, the medical crew wanted to take him to the operating room, but one of our founders’ son, Casey, who lives in Birmingham and was already present with his Dad, stepped in and refused to let them take his dad.
The supervisor was called and then those with higher authority. Casey firmly told them that this hospital has been hired by the family for their service, but their service does not supersede the right of the family to be with their father.
Therefore, he said, the hospital will wait until his other brothers arrive so their father can see them all before his surgery.
When the other three sons finally arrived, they were told they couldn’t go to their father’s hospital room because only two people were allowed at a time.
They all three replied back to security that their father was about to go into open heart surgery, and they were not going to let anyone stop them from being able to see him. Like father, like sons!
Remembering the random message picked earlier today (Tuesday, April 20) by the group, the February 17, 2009 message, the scenario that played out with our founder and his sons was just like that apparition.
But instead of our founder rushing home from the airport to be there with Our Lady, it was his sons rushing from the airport to the hospital to be with their father before the surgery, where the outcome was not certain.
Our Lady made a way for the boys to make it.
Our founder’s whole family: his wife, daughter and five sons were gathered round him as he lay on the gurney ready to be taken to the operating room. It was touching to see the lengths of which Our Lady let us know She was walking all of this with us, even in the finest details.
This was just one more fingerprint left by Our Lady’s Motherly efficacy, Who was writing an amazing story.
Our founder’s doctor explained the procedure that he would be undergoing.
His breastplate would have to be broken, and his heart lifted out of his body, while the doctors performed the bypass surgery.
Some of the community members said, “Does this doctor know whose heart he’ll be holding in his hands?”
This is a heart that has heard directly from Our Lady.
This is a heart that received a revelation of how to live. Caritas was not his “vision.” It was “revealed” to him through prayer and Our Lady’s messages.
This is the heart of one who has written more than anyone in the world about Medjugorje, including the priests in Medjugorje.
This is the singular definer of the Medjugorje messages.
This is a Friend of Medjugorje…
The community and family members were being updated on the news several times a day.
The surgery was completed in just three hours. The doctor said everything went as planned. The surgery ended up being a double bypass.
When our founder was wheeled into the recovery room, the family encircled him again, but his appearance was disquieting for them, seeing him lying there as if he had died. The family was instructed to leave for the night because the next 4-6 hours would be critical in getting our founder off the ventilator machine.
Seeing Annette’s reluctance to leave, his nurse assured her that she wouldn’t leave his side and would be praying for him through the night.
After they left, in the middle of dinner, they received a call that the nurses were able to get our founder off the breathing machine without difficulty in less than two hours.
At every step we were seeing the result of all the prayers being said for our founder.
Witness to Those Around You…
When Annette called the hospital early Wednesday morning, April 21, our founder had already been sitting up, had his breakfast and been for his first walk!
He was not going to sit around and wait to be healed.
With the surgery behind him, he wanted to begin the recovery process immediately, and by his strength of will, with prayer, he was able to overcome the intense pain.
That was nothing new; this was how he overcame every obstacle placed before him over the past 40 years of walking with Our Lady.
The mission of Caritas would not exist if he did not possess that strength of will to never let an obstacle stop him.
One may think that being a patient in a hospital eliminates the requirement of being a witness to those you encounter. Not so with our founder.
No matter the pain level, he is always courteous, cooperative, in good humor, friendly and inviting, as is his whole family. So much so that they give a beautiful witness to everyone they meet.
All the nurses were happy to be assigned to him and experienced a lot of joy in his hospital room.
Curious about this family, many of them wanted to learn about the mission that our founder was the head of, and several told him they want to come out and see it. One nurse was so engrossed in his conversation with our founder that he forgot to give him his pain medicine!
Even the doctor who performed the surgery just came in and sat with he and his family. He just enjoyed being there with them.
Those working on other floors were hearing about this family.
Our founder never lets himself off the hook when he is with people. He always wants to find a way to bring Our Lady into the conversation.
With every nurse that came in, something was handed out to them.
With this kind of surgery, it is important to get the person walking on their own as soon as possible. The nurses come in and attempt to make the person complete a walking lap.
Every lap is 300 feet.
Every time our founder would do one lap, he would do another one.
Finally, after two days of laps, on one of the walks, he did several more laps. The nurse said, “You just broke the record! We’ve never had someone do that many laps!”
The doctors said the recovery process would be the hardest part.
But the doctors don’t know certain things.
There are some things harder than recovery.
Angels and Demons
A Friend of Medjugorje said on the April 2, 2016, broadcast, prophetically titled, “Our Lady’s Bypass Surgery for the Church,” that he knows Our Lady has written the script for his life.
His life is a spiritual walk with Our Lady. No physical thing which happens to him will be without an effect on the spiritual side.
Our founder revealed something a week after his heart attack on Friday, April 23. He said he never thought Our Lady was going to take him.
There are certain things he knows Our Lady still wants him to accomplish before he dies.
For 30+ years, he has formed and structured the mission of Caritas to survive and continue on hundreds of years after he is gone. But his building for the future is not yet complete.
Our founder revealed that he felt the presence of satan very strongly at times while in the hospital.
Several community members relayed the night before his heart attack they were awakened throughout the night and felt an intense need to pray.
His truck mysteriously broke down on Friday morning, the day before his heart attack.
Then on Sunday, the day after his heart attack, at midnight, Medjugorje.com went offline. It was a culmination of traffic and a few problems that came together and caused the site to go off. It took many hours of work and at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday the site finally came back online.
A visiting priest friend, who came to give him Communion and the Anointing of the Sick at the hospital before the surgery told him that he thought the devil was trying to kill him.
One night in the hospital, our founder had an experience of evil which was so intense, that he couldn’t even pray the Rosary.
He felt the devil was wanting to take his life.
He revealed the details to a few community members who came to see him.
That same day, we received word about Medjugorje visionary, Ivan’s message that he received on April 16, which was given the day before our founder’s heart attack. What did Our Lady say?
April 16, 2021
“… allow God to speak to your heart… satan wants to reign and destroy your life… Children, be persevering, courageous, patient and strong for holiness. I am with you and I bless you all with my maternal blessing.”
Reading Our Lady’s words to our founder while sitting in the hospital, Our Lady was confirming that, yes, satan wanted to destroy his life.
Why would satan want to take his life?
The devil is willing to allow him to die and gain Heaven, because by dying too soon, his mission has less of a possibility of surviving until the time Jesus comes back.
This is what our founder is establishing for the future of Caritas of Birmingham. There are those in the community that have been here for almost 30 years who are still learning and being formed by what Our Lady has revealed through him.
Our Lady’s words through Ivan, spoke directly to our founder. He was to be persevering, courageous, strong – all the while he was a “patient.”
Our Lady has confirmed over and over through the years that She is writing the story of his life.
Not every experience was one of evil.
His daughter-in-law, Erin, called Dennis, the fire chief to give him an update on our founder. Dennis, who was the first on the scene the day of his heart attack, said, “Tell him we just love him! Tell him we’re praying for him and we just love him.”
Another prominent local man heard about our founder. In the past our founder had experienced some resistance from him. But he came by and said, “Tell [our founder] that he’s got a bunch of Baptists praying for him!”
What does this word mean for our founder?
It is the place he loves and wants to be more than any other place he goes.
His mission has required him to travel all over the world. But he says that there is not any place like home.
Our Lady has appeared in his home, in the Bedroom of Apparitions, in the Field, in his writing office, and at the Cross. Her presence is everywhere here.
On Friday, April 23, the doctor came in to check on him. When our founder asked if he would see him again, the doctor replied, “Will you still be here on Monday?”
Our founder said, “I don’t know. When can I go home?”
The doctor said, “When would you like to go home?”
Our founder said, half-jokingly, “Tomorrow.”
The doctor said, “I think you can do that.”
It was not 100% certain yet, but the morning of Saturday, April 24, 2021, our founder was told they were sending him home.
We made a rush to get the house ready for his return. Everyone was excited.
Saturday, April 24, 12:00 p.m.
Though still in great pain, he wanted to see all the community and asked us to come pray a Rosary in the Bedroom in thanksgiving for Our Lady saving his life.
Though very happy to see him, it was difficult for us, as we could see clearly the evidence of his suffering still very present on his face.
But his eyes lit up in seeing his beloved community again and he regaled us with a colorful account of all his experiences in the hospital.
There were some tears, but mostly joy and laughter in being able to be with our founder again.
When we finally settled in the Bedroom of Apparitions to begin the Rosary, our founder, our patriarch, insisted on kneeling at the foot of the Bed, at least for the first decade. Once again, giving a witness of courage to give all to Our Lady, “…sacrifice your life for the salvation of the world…”
Our Lady’s presence was strongly felt, especially in the words She gave to us, randomly selected when we opened Words from Heaven at the end of the Rosary.
September 2, 2013
“Dear children; I love you all. All of you, all of my children, all of you are in my heart. All of you have my motherly love and I desire to lead all of you to come to know God’s joy. This is why I am calling you. I need humble apostles who, with an open heart, will accept the Word of God and help others to comprehend the meaning of their life alongside God’s word. To be able to do this, my children, through prayer and fasting you must learn to listen with the heart and to learn to keep submitting yourselves. You must learn to keep rejecting everything that distances you from God’s word and to yearn only for that which draws you closer to it. Do not be afraid. I am here. You are not alone. I am imploring the Holy Spirit to renew and strengthen you. I am imploring the Holy Spirit that, as you help others, you too may be healed. I am imploring Him that, through Him, you may be God’s children and my apostles.”
Then with great concern Our Lady said:
“For the sake of Jesus, for the sake of my Son, love those whom He has called and long for the blessing only from the hands which He has consecrated. Do not permit evil to come to reign. Anew I repeat – only along side your shepherds will my heart triumph. Do not permit evil to separate you from your shepherds. Thank you.”
Again, Our Lady spoke to us about “heart.”
One final and beautiful part of this story of his coming home Saturday, April 24, 2021.
It was his 68th birthday.
Our Lady writes the story of his life.
Sunday April 25, 2021 (Rosary Time) – Our founder’s son Tony praying the Rosary in the Field over the microphone. The Sunday after our founder got back home, the Community prayed the daily Rosary in the Field over the microphone so he could hear from the porch his house. This day, Our Lady gave the 25th message and in Her message She said:
“Dear children! Today I am calling you to witness your faith in the colors of spring. May this be a faith of hope and courage. May your faith, little children, not waver in any situation, not even in this time of trial. Go courageously with the risen Christ towards Heaven, which is your goal. I am accompanying you on this way of holiness and am placing all of you in my Immaculate Heart. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
↓ There’s more to this story… Keep reading… ↓
Recovery is the hardest part, so we have been told. But the spiritual battle is even greater.
There are always complications from this kind of surgery. Our founder is not completely out of the woods yet.
It will take many prayers to block anything satan may bring up to stop or slow his recovery.
By Our Lady’s words given through Ivan on Friday, April 16, 2021, we know Our Lady desires us to be persevering, courageous, patient and strong.
We can assure you as we watch our founder recover each day, our mission will be even stronger…and so will our founder. In fact, the doctors and nurses continually have stated, “[Your founder] will have even more energy than he did before!”
In the message we picked randomly the morning of his heart attack Our Lady said:
“…give thanks to my Son for the Sacrifice and for the shepherds that He always gives you anew…”
Our shepherd, our founder has been given to us “anew.”
You can expect to see him even more bold than ever before.
However, this “real life and in real time” story has been a wake-up call that time is running out.
Our founder often reminds us of the message when Our Lady says, “be ready.” But, without knowing what we are to be ready for, it is difficult to know if we are in fact capable of facing and enduring whatever circumstances life brings to us.
We could not have imagined, when we awoke on Saturday morning, April 17, 2021, that within just a few hours, we would be confronted with one of the hardest trials we could ever imagine, the loss of our founder.
We learned that we, in fact, “are not ready” for that particular trial.
One community member said he felt a peace throughout the week. The reason was that he could not see Our Lady taking our founder because we were not ready for that.
But, the unfolding and escalation of events made the outcome very uncertain for the first few days.
Our founder is among the first generation of Medjugorje believers. He is an eye-witness to so many events in the early years, not someone on the sidelines, but right in the middle of many significant events of Medjugorje.
There are things about Medjugorje that would never be known without him. Like the story of the Gumno on August 2, 1981 – the separation of the wheat and the chaff, the call to confession, Our Lady’s Special Blessing, etc.
No one spoke about the apparition at the Gumno and Our Lady’s message given that night. Mirjana could not remember all the details of it herself. It was our founder who pieced the story together as a whole and broke its meaning open for the world.
Our founder has singularly been the one to expose the new Motherly efficacy given to Our Lady in this time, enabling Our Lady to do more than your earthly Mother can do for you.
Who else has spoken about that?
Our founder revealed much about the role of St. Joseph in this time. No one was talking about it before him.
The last apparitions on earth… everything not of God will fall apart… revelations of the messages…the bridge from the Island of Patmos and Revelation to Medjugorje.
The list goes on and on.
The Radio WAVE broadcast we aired on April 25, 2021, was created in real time on the message Our Lady gave on April 2, 2016. The broadcast was given the title by our founder, “Our Lady’s Bypass Surgery for the Church.” Could it have been more prophetic?
Our founder, a Friend of Medjugorje, is not a follower of Medjugorje.
He is a definer of the purpose and meaning behind the apparitions and messages and is the first witness of putting Our Lady’s messages into “a way of life.”
The recent story about how he put together the book Words from Heaven – and how Our Lady acknowledged it in Her message. Was that a coincidence?
And there are a hundred, no, a thousand more stories like that, yet to be revealed.
What a loss it would be, not only for the community, and mission of Caritas of Birmingham, but the whole Medjugorje world if he were called to leave this earth before the secrets are revealed.
Medjugorje visionary Marija, herself, has stated to our founder that she will depend upon him to help her during the time of the secrets.
Yes, we know death could still happen at any time, as no one is time’s own master, as Our Lady says, “…Do not lose time, children, because you are not its masters…” February 2, 2009
The community has been struck by the urgent need to not let too much time pass without extracting from him all his knowledge, experiences, wisdom and prophetic insights that will help to ensure his witness and the continuance of everything Our Lady formed in his life for the purpose of saving souls and leading them to the life of Her messages.
If you expect our founder to stop now, you don’t know who he is.
If you think our founder will be more “politically correct,” “nuanced” or “watered-down” in his writings and broadcasts now, you don’t know who he is.
He has told us many times that he has a limited amount of time on earth to do everything Our Lady wants him to do.
You can expect him to be doing those things until the minute Our Lady finally takes him with Her for good.
We ask you for your continued prayers and support during this time of recovery – not only for him, but so that our mission will be able to keep up with his new vigor!
Our Lady is writing his story… that we thank God, continues on.
Caritas of Birmingham
Operated by the Community of Caritas