Thursday, August 24, 2017 A.D.
12:00 p.m. Alabama Time
You have asked for it. Through God’s grace, we have delivered. At your fingertips is the brand new Caritas of Birmingham page.
In its beginnings, the city of Birmingham, Alabama, grew so rapidly that it was unexplainable. It became known as the “Magic City,” because people could only explain its expansion as “magical.”
Caritas of Birmingham grew in the same way. It quickly expanded, growing in size and influence in such a way that rather than being “magical,” its growth can be explained as something “spiritual.”
From Caritas’ beginnings, so many things repeatedly came together that it became evident that Our Lady of Medjugorje was establishing a major set of plans; something much greater than anyone could foresee. Her plans for Caritas of Birmingham have grown so rapidly that it is hard for the Community of Caritas to keep up.
Caritas of Birmingham started two years before Medjugorje visionary Marija came to stay for three months in the home of Caritas’ founder and his family, November 1988 through January 1989. She came to give one of her kidneys to her brother in need of a kidney transplant. The operation took place in Birmingham, Alabama. While here, Our Lady began doing many beautiful things. Even Marija said that Our Lady is doing special things here. News of Our Lady’s apparitions spread by word of mouth rapidly and hundreds and then thousands began spontaneously traveling to Birmingham from all over the United States to witness the events; much like how the events began in Medjugorje. As in Medjugorje, people were experiencing tremendous conversions in the apparitions. The founder was not orchestrating the events. He, instead, wanted to give Our Lady maximum freedom to do what She wanted to do. Our Lady began giving messages everyday, something She was not even doing in Medjugorje at the time. People experienced the dancing sun, rosaries turning gold and other signs in nature. These events caused people to spread the news that Marija was here and encourage others to come. Yet in the midst of all this beautiful conversion, the founder began receiving phone calls and visitors saying that there were those in Medjugorje who were not happy with what was taking place in Birmingham with Marija.
The founder went to Medjugorje for over a month the summer of 1989 just after Marija’s visit. During his time there, he was severely reprimanded about what had taken place at his home with Our Lady and the apparitions. On the afternoon of July 24, 1989, those in Medjugorje confronting him kept saying, “The plan is here in Medjugorje.” They shouted at him saying, “The plan is here! You lock up your place, you shut down the field, you stop, the plan is here!” The founder was taken aback at their accusations that he had somehow “stolen” Our Lady from Medjugorje. He knew that the events that led Marija to Birmingham were entirely led by grace, not his manipulation. He knew he had done nothing but give Our Lady freedom when he saw She was wanting to be with the people. He had been more surprised than anyone in seeing what Our Lady was doing. And he also knew that what took place in Birmingham had actually brought great attention and exposure to Medjugorje. So, he was perplexed by these angry contradictory demands to shut down what Our Lady had blessed.
The very evening that all of this confrontation took place, Ivan had a prayer group meeting on top of Apparition Mountain. While up on the mountain, the founder of Caritas stayed out of the crowd and knelt behind the brush. He asked Our Lady in a deep prayer with the heart, “Mary, I’ll do whatever you want me to do. I’ve understood that you have a plan with me in Alabama. I will stop if this is not what You desire, so please say something to me clearly in tonight’s message to confirm that what I am doing in Alabama is Your will. I know that you cannot speak something directly to me in Your message, but please give me some light on what Your plan for me is; or should I stop?” When the prayer group apparition ended on July 24, 1989, the following message was given:
When the founder of Caritas heard the message, he couldn’t believe it. He was not only shocked, but also invigorated to stand against the pressure placed on him to stop all his activities with Caritas of Birmingham in Alabama. The confrontation earlier that afternoon and his concerns were completely annihilated. He gained a new strength as well as confidence that it was Our Lady who chose him and not those demanding him to stop. His call had been generated from Our Lady, bypassing those who were trying to stop him. He discerned that he had no obligation to submit to their exercising a choking, controlling veto power, that God had not given them this authority over him. The founder worked for Our Lady. He would not submit to filtering what Our Lady showed him through an “establishment” system that tells you what you can and cannot do. Our Lady, with Her words through the prayer group message freshly given, made him an outlier, someone who stands apart from the main system, the central group. This was by no means an easy path to take. It was often a very lonely and painful path for he and his family. Yet, Our Lady filled him with the strength to follow his convictions.
The July 24, 1989, message shows that She has “many plans,” and there are different degrees of responsibilities given to those to whom these plans are assigned by Our Lady. Her many plans with the founder of Caritas of Birmingham are today very evident. Hundreds of examples can be given to show just how “major” Her plans are through Caritas of Birmingham…millions of people have been affected, from those who have been able to be in Our Lady’s presence through the encounters with Marija on the grounds; to people who have come into the Caritas Mission House in Medjugorje and received materials on Our Lady’s messages for free; to those on the Caritas Mailing List; to the countless number of conversions through God’s grace, that have occurred as a result of encountering one of the many arms of Caritas of Birmingham, it can be said with humble certainty that the plan‘s’ here are “major” and have touched and affected people across the world. With the foundation now laid for the future, it is clear that these plans of Our Lady through him will impact hundreds of millions in the centuries to come. A Friend of Medjugorje has always been faithful to what Our Lady has shown him to do, even when great pressure is placed upon him to compromise, he will not sway from his responsibility to be obedient to Our Lady’s directives. Our Lady said on January 25, 1987:
He believes these words in simplicity: “She said it. I believe it. I do it.” After Caritas of Birmingham had been well established for 15 years or more, a pilgrim went up to a Friend of Medjugorje and said, “I’ve been coming here once a month and I’m amazed. I have often asked myself, ‘What is Caritas of Birmingham?’ The best answer I can come up with is, ‘Caritas is a new Caritas every month.’” She told him that she still didn’t fully understand the entire scope of the mission and was still trying to figure it out. A Friend of Medjugorje responded, “I myself am still trying to understand Caritas.” It seems unreal that every month Caritas is a different operation.
We give this new section to you, for you to be able to use as a tool to share with others what you have been part of, what you have helped make happen and what you would like others to experience. Next time someone asks you, “What is Caritas of Birmingham?” You can say, “Go to Mej.com and click on ‘Caritas of Birmingham’ in the top menu ribbon.” Thank you for you collaboration. With your collaboration with Our Lady and Her collaboration with us, it is possible for Our Lady and for Her apostles around the world to be strenghtened and Her “many plans” to be implemented through Her plans here at Caritas and through a Friend of Medjugorje. Be sure to spend time in each section. This is your “home.” Welcome.
Come on In…
Visit or revisit the previous days’ launches below: