August 28, 2017 A.D.
Never Before Released!
Today, the history on a Friend of Medjugorje is finally told!
The NEW Friend of Medjugorje section released on Mej v3.0!
Continue Reading Below
An Arrow Pointing to Heaven
When you first enter the Field of Apparitions and begin to travel the well-worn path to its center, the wave-like topography hides it from view at first, but slowly the top of the large pine tree can be seen and with each step towards it the tree grows inch by glorious inch to its fullness. It’s a sight you never get tired of seeing, even if you live here and see it every day.
In 2004, the Alabama Forestry Commission registered this tree as one of Alabama’s Famous and Historic Trees. The title given to it is beautiful in its simplicity:
“Mary’s Tree in the Field.”
The official description that the Commission registered for the tree states:
“This tree is the site of an apparition of the Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ, to Marija Lunetti. It came to represent for hundreds of thousands in the present and possibly into the future, a great call to prayer and a sign of peace and unity.”
Kneeling underneath the branches of this Pine everyday at Rosary time, places us above the part that gives the tree its nourishment, its lifeblood that lies hidden beneath the soil and is unseen. The roots.
Recalling conversations that the founder had with old-timers who grew up in this valley, they remembered seeing the tree as young children and they themselves place it to be about 100 years old. A professional aborist estimated it about 100 years old. A Friend of Medjugorje stated 20 years ago he thought the tree was about 80 years old. Now in 2017, all three sources—two separate sources from outside the community say 100 years old—which coincides with the 80 years the founder estimated 20 years ago [80 + 20 = 100]. Here in the year 2017, that means it would have sprouted in 1917. It cannot be proven without counting its rings. But as God has left His fingerprint in so many ways throughout the history of this valley that culminates in Our Lady’s apparitions, it would be no great surprise to find that this tree sprouted in 1917. It would be just one more indication of Our Lady’s walk with the founder, whose first profession was that of a qualified Tree Surgeon.
If this seed, had planted itself deep into the ground of this field 100 years ago, then it was birthed at the same time that satan’s reign began, and it would be there to witness Our Lady’s victory at the end of his century. Since, Fatima visionary, Lucia, said that the final battle of satan would be over marriage and the family, what a fitting symbol the tree would be for the renewal of family.
But the tree did not become a “family tree” until the founder and his wife bought the adjacent property and began making their homestead. They fell in love with their land, the mountains, and the field next door that did not belong to them. A couple of times the founder and his wife, Annette, had family picnics underneath its branches of the tree in the field. Though not the owner of the property, the founder would often “bushhog” the field for his neighbor when the neighbor fell sick with cancer. When on his tractor, rolling through the field, the founder would become lost in prayer and would feel a deep union with God.
On one particular day, when his family was by the tree, a Friend of Medjugorje commented on how this tree, standing alone in this field, had survived all these years without lightning strikes or tornado winds harming it. He said to his wife and young sons, Kyle, Casey, “Lets gather around this tree, and give it to God.” They linked hands circling the tree and together as a family consecrated it to God through the simple prayer of the father, “God, let everyone who sees this tree see You in it.”
The founder and his wife had been married in 1975. They bought the land that adjoined the Field in 1977. This consecration of the Tree took place sometime in 1981, the same year they began building their house, and the same year Our Lady began appearing in Medjugorje. Neither he nor his wife had any idea what this simple consecration of a tree would mean for their future and the future of the nation. When Our Lady came in 1988, it was through their bedroom that She created the backdrop to the story She was writing about today’s family, and it was the Field, the Thanksgiving Day apparition, and the Tree that She wanted to speak about the United States; two parts of the same story. But as families are made of hearts and souls, Our Lady’s emphasis has always been on the Bedroom except on days that are specifically for the praying of the United States.
For both of the founder and his wife, family roots ran deep. Some of Annette’s ancestors can be traced all the way back to a tribe of Cherokee Indians—a proud, peace-loving and brave people who held sacred the lands they roamed here. The founder’s relatives emigrated from Old Italy, and were strong in the love of God, family and country. As immigrants to the United States, they fell deeply in love with their new country, while maintaining their loyalty to and traditions of their Italian roots.
The Pine Tree in the Field has withstood storms of every shape and size. Standing alone in the middle of the open Field makes it the perfect target for lightning, yet even while we have often seen lightning bolts striking the ground, the tree always has remained protected. Tornadoes are common to this region, yet even in the April 2011 Super Tornado that mowed down a swatch of pine trees on the mountain just behind the Tree, the ground beneath the Tree did not show any evidence of the turbulence that was named one of the worst tornadoes in the history of the United States; there were no broken branches torn from the tree.
In 1994, the Tree was attacked by the Pine Bark Beetle. Whole forests of trees are decimated when Pine Bark Beetle descends. Once it is in a tree, it is nearly impossible to kill the beetle before it kills the tree. The founder of Caritas knows about Pine Bark Beetle because as stated previously, it used to be part of his trade as a Tree Surgeon, a business he started with his brother just out of High School. Gravely concerned was he over the Pine and what it came to represent, he had a community member go to see Marija in Medjugorje and tell her about the danger of the tree being destroyed. Marija listened as the community member began to explain to her. Marija had much cognition with being with Our Lady near the Tree, and Our Lady actually having mentioned the tree. Marija did not have to be told of the importance of the tree. She, with all of us at Caritas, and many people scattered across the world knew the Tree to be something very sacred concerning the nation and why Our Lady came to this location. Marija put her hand up to stop the community member from continuing. With a solemn expression on her face she said, “I know. I understand. I pray to Our Lady.” Marija did not just mention the tree to Our Lady in one apparition, but for the entire week. Our founder arrived in Medjugorje and spoke with Marija immediately about the Tree. Marija continued to ask Our Lady daily to save the tree for a second week and on into a third week. Once back home again, our founder called Marija updating her. Because it is hard to detect the beetles presence, it took over a month to diagnosis the Tree’s state. Marija and the community continued to pray in going before Our Lady daily. Finally, the Pine Bark Beetle did something that was unnatural to its species. The continued damage was stopped. It was a miracle. Marija, to this day, speaks about this miracle. Our Lady said:
July 21, 1982
Today you will enter a site entitled “A Friend of Medjugorje.” For years, several in the community prayed for him to let this happen. His answer was always no. With pressure, a lot of prayer and repeatedly asking, even pestering, he held out until now. The reasoning we challenged him with is that Our Lady called him to be a witness–a witness in “real time” not just in some future time; a witness very much needed today. His witness has already greatly impacted countless people. We asked him, “Why wait to draw more souls to what Our Lady has made known through you, your life and your family if more can be helped now through your witness?” So, like the miracle of the Pine Bark Beetle, this was also a miracle because never in a hundred years did we believe our founder would allow us to open up his story until after his death, and he has only done so now with limits. He has told us this for 30 years. We accepted long ago that we would sometimes have to sacrifice grace and simplicity whenever we wrote something concerning his presence as a witness, because of his strong refusal to let us use his name; so instead we use the awkward and bulky titles of “A Friend of Medjugorje” or “the Founder of Caritas.” We do this at his request so that he can be true to what Our Lady mandated for him when She gave a message to him personally on October 6, 1986, “…live in humility…”
Humility is one of those words that everyone has their own opinion of what it means. But the saints tell us what it means to be humble, what true humility is. Humility is truth. Our Lady gives an example of true humility, She who was chosen above all women, to bear the Son of God.
“My soul doth magnify the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. Because he has looked with kindness upon my lowliness and henceforth all generations will call me blessed. For the mighty God has done great things for me and Holy is His Name.”
It is God who has done great things for Her. Holy is His Name.
As you examine the contents within this site of a Friend of Medjugorje, understand that all that has been accomplished thus far in his life to lead hearts to Our Lady has been done through prayer and obedience to the words and directives given to him by Our Lady and by the Holy Spirit. Pope John Paul II said that the key to understanding Our Lady is found in the Scripture passage where Jesus says of His Mother, “Blessed is She who believed the word of God spoken to Her would be fulfilled.” A Friend of Medjugorje believes that Our Lady is appearing to the six visionaries in Medjugorje. He therefore, believes in every word that She has spoken. He therefore strives to bring these words to life in his own life, his family, the community and the mission of Caritas. Because of his faith in Her words, Our Lady has blessed his efforts. His strength and the source of his blessing are his belief in Our Lady and his public profession of Her through the thick and thin of life.
The other mandate that Our Lady gave to our founder in the October 6, 1986 message was “Pray and by your life witness…”
Like the Pine Tree in the Field, “witness” is to be seen, it is visible, but also like the tree, much of what makes the tree strong, healthy, enduring, attractive, a shade for others, strength to lean on, protection from storms, takes place underneath the ground, in the soil of the heart, secret and hidden.
As a Community of people who were birthed through the founder’s yes, we are always around his witness, his presence. We hear his words, receive his instructions, teachings and corrections. We do not always stop to consider the gift that he has been to our lives. There is work to be done here at Caritas—a lot of it—and our lives are always in motion, fluid, going from one project to another as we work each day for Our Lady together with our founder. But like the tree in the Field, he is always there—solid, faithful, strong, passionate, steadfast, enduring, courageous, focused, untiring, prayerful, beloved. But the biggest part of his life is hidden even from us, in his relationship with Our Lady and his Lord.
We know for many of you who are reading this we are “preaching to the choir.” You were renewed, strengthened in faith, made more courageous, found new hope, and were healed as you discovered the richness, wisdom and “vision” contained in his writings based in Our Lady’s messages for over three decades. A Friend of Medjugorje has spent his life mining and extracting the sweetest of honey from Our Lady’s words, this honey that is medicine for the nations. Caritas of Birmingham is Our Lady’s pharmacy. We deliver Her medicine that heals hearts.
What do we say of those who say our founder is a dangerous cult leader and that the community members are poor, misguided, brainwashed people? We say, “Time is on our side.” Truth wins out in the end. What follows within the pages of this site on a Friend of Medjugorje, as well as the newly released sites on Mejv.3.0, of the entities he founded, the Community of Caritas and Caritas of Birmingham, is enough for anyone of good will to discern the truth. A Friend of Medjugorje has never, and will never use his voice, his newsletters or this site to defame or destroy other’s reputation. He has never so much as tried to defend himself against others’ attacks against him. This new section on a Friend of Medjugorje, is not for that reason. It is for people of good will to be able to say against the untruths, “A good tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.”
How can you measure the man? By his fruit and by pondering what would the world have missed had he not been born, had he not existed, had he not said “yes” to Our Lady. The Founder’s third son, Tony, who followed his father into the mission, was struck when remembering how his father was trying to contact the owner of the property that would become the family homestead. They had been missing each other’s phone calls. Trying again, his Dad dialed the number of the property owner. Letting the phone ring 10, 15, 20 and now going on 25, he said a silent prayer that if the man didn’t pick up in the next two rings, he was letting the property go. As he began to set the phone back in its cradle after the second ring, he suddenly heard the man on the other end pick up. Thinking of this one story, Tony had a thought come to him that burned in his heart until he was able to write it down. It came to him unexpectedly, while resting on a beautiful Sunday in the South; it came like a whisper, but thunder at the same time, along with an emotion that was almost fear, thinking that the Field of Apparitions and all that has come from his father’s life could easily have not existed. Tony wrote :
“It is impossible to comprehend how the Mother of God subjugated Herself in a passing moment in time to the volatile free will decision of a man for the salvation of mankind. That had he not obeyed, who else would She have chosen? That had he said ‘no,’ what would Heaven have done?”
Two rings…a single thread that could have easily broke, affecting the whole plan of God for his life and countless others that was all dependent upon his free will decision. The Pine Tree in the Field is a perfect metaphor for the life of our founder because Our Lady called him to be a witness, and to be a witness always means being separated from the crowd, out of the mainstream, away from the forest. A witness of God contradicts the ways of the world, even the ways of wayward believers. Mary’s Tree in the Field, whose pine branches form a perfect arrowhead, does what the life of a Friend of Medjugorje was created to do; it points us straight to Heaven.
It is with eager hearts that today we release to you the new section of Medjugorje.com devoted to the words, life, and witness of a Friend of Medjugorje. As he frequently says, “I am nobody, nothing, I’m just a ditch digger,” but to the Community and to all of you whose lives have been changed by Our Lady through his witness, we know this “Nobody” was in Our Lady’s heart when She appeared in Medjugorje, and with a humble joy we present this new section to you. It is not to draw attention to the man, but to show the beauty of what Our Lady has done through him. “For the mighty God has done great things for me, and holy is His Name.”
In the Love of Our Lady,
With the Desire to Imitate the Witness of a Friend of Medjugorje,
The Community of Caritas
IMPORTANT: Not all sections of this page will be released today. Two of them will be released in the launch cycle as the features they contain are released. Be sure to check back to this page later in the week
P.S. As with each of the previous days’ releases, we know there will be some components that may not work for every visitor to the new Medjugorje.com. We appreciate your feedback and help in correcting any of these items.
Enter Friend of Medjugorje Section by Clicking on the Button Below:
Visit or revisit the previous days’ launches below: