There is always a difference felt in the community in Alabama when community members are in Medjugorje. The power of the prayers being said from Medjugorje for the community brings new strength, joy and deeper prayer to those in the community who remain in Alabama at Caritas to look after the mission. This is especially felt during the days of the anniversary of Our Lady’s apparition in June. Knowing that our founder, his family and several other community members are before Our Lady in the apparitions each day in Medjugorje adds greater depth to the prayer of the whole community. It also brings joy to have a window, through our community members in Medjugorje, into what is taking place within the village of Medjugorje as these days pass.
Those of the community that were not in Medjugorje planned their own celebration of Our Lady’s 30th Anniversary on June 24 & 25. It was an intimate gathering of community with some friends and supporters, some of whom drove long distances to be here to honor and thank Our Lady for these 30 years of apparitions. On Friday, June 24th, a rain storm suddenly came in the afternoon, with heavy winds and hail, threatening to disrupt the plans to hold an evening vigil in the Field of Apparitions to usher in Our Lady’s anniversary. But when we gathered together that evening, the sky was clearing and the fading sun began making an appearance behind the clouds. We spent the evening sharing stories and remembrances of our experiences with Our Lady over these past 30 years, singing prayers between the stories, and then finally playing soft inspirational music after darkness had fallen. Our Lady’s statue was lit up by 1,600 candles from people all over the world representing their intentions to Our Lady. The stars came out as the last rain clouds drifted away and for some, that night in the Field was too lovely a scene to leave, too much peace surrounding this little piece of earth that Our Lady has sanctified so many times in past apparitions to Marija, that they decided to spend the night with Our Lady. Little community children, already sleeping, were tucked into warm blankets while their dads and moms held a silent prayer vigil of their own beside them. Some of the young girls of the community could be heard whispering and laughing while they watched a small field mouse running around within the maze of the candles, every once in awhile poking its face outward making its presence known to anyone watching. Our young girls then settled down with their Bibles reading by candlelight, eventually falling asleep with their Rosaries in their hands. From time to time, a single solitary person would come to kneel before Our Lady’s statue bringing their hearts to Our Lady, half way in the light, and half in shadows. The music faded away to silence, except for the sound of the crickets and an occasional bellowing of a cow in the distance. The peace and the joy in our hearts were exceptional that night. It will make our book of remembrances for future anniversaries of Our Lady when we stop and celebrate Her presence in our lives. It will be a comfort to us remembering this night when Her apparitions have ended and we know She no longer is appearing. Her words given during these anniversary days will also be a comfort.
June 24, 2011
June 25, 2011
Remembering You All in our Prayers during these Special Anniversary Days,
The Community of Caritas