Monday October 27, 2008
Talk Given by Visionary
Jakov Colo in Medjugorje
October 27, 2008
I would like to start by saying what is the most important regarding Our Lady’s apparitions, and then what is the most important of all and that is Our Lady’s messages and what Our Lady is calling us to do in these twenty-seven and some more years. When the apparitions first started, I was only ten. I used to have a normal life of an average child around here. I was living in the faith of a very small child and this is what my parents were teaching me. They were teaching me that God exists and that Our Lady exists. I was praying with my family like every other child around here. Sometimes I would look forward to the end of the prayer. I used to go to church to Holy Mass, and it was very difficult to be still for an hour. That was my life before the apparitions.
Jakov Colo, the youngest of the six visionaries, speaks as a group of English-speaking pilgrims listen intently to what he has learned through Our Lady.
On June 25, 1981, God gave me a great gift. That is to be able to see Our Lady. I can share with you, that was the most beautiful day in my life. When we found ourselves at the foot of Apparition Hill, and we were able to see this image of Our Lady motioning to us to come to Her, what I felt in that first moment was fear. I was very scared. I really had the desire to run away from this place but at the same moment, what is strange is, I felt a desire in my heart to go near to this person and to get to know Her. I do not remember how I found myself in front of Her, but I remember what was the most beautiful and that was when I first looked into Our Lady’s eyes and then I saw that love of Our Lady. What I felt in my heart was that I was so loved. I felt so protected. In those moments there are no words good enough to describe the beauty of this feeling. In that moment you can only talk in your heart, and in my heart I was saying, I hope that this is never going to end. This new peace and this new joy was something extraordinary and at that moment my new life started. This new life was something that I was never asking God for, because I never knew that Our Lady was able to appear in this way. I was wondering, at the beginning, am I going to be able to follow all of this and accept all of this? Am I ready for this? At that moment, I also understood in my heart, if God has chosen me then He knows why, and just one thing was left for me and that was to put my life into His hands and to say my yes to Him.
That is how everything started, and it has lasted for twenty-seven years now. As I was growing up, I was given to understand one more thing. I just shared with you that I was given a great gift from God to be able to see Our Lady. After some time, I understood that I received an even greater gift than that one and that is to be able to get to know Jesus through Our Lady. That is why Our Lady is coming here, to bring us all to Jesus. Our Lady has been appearing here for twenty-seven years and for many people that is very strange. Many people are wondering why She is coming for such a long time and why so many messages. I always say to all of them, we are not supposed to be wondering why. God knows why. That is the plan of God. We need to say something else, and that is something that you are forgetting most of the time. That is to be grateful and give thanks to God for all of the graces that we are given here, because if each one of us opens our heart you will understand why Our Lady is coming. You will understand that Our Lady is our Mother, a Mother who tells us so much. A Mother who wants to bring us to peace and to Her Son and that is Jesus Christ. That is why Our Lady is giving us Her messages, because Our Lady’s messages are nothing but the way to get to Jesus.
Everything comes only through prayer, conversion, peace, fasting and Holy Mass. When you hear these messages for the first time, there is so many of them. I also was wondering at the beginning how we are able to read all of these messages. Our Lady told us in the beginning, “Dear children it is enough that you open your hearts and let me do the rest.” It is really up to us if we are going to be willing to put ourselves into God’s hands and are we ready to live these messages. Our Lady says pray; pray the Holy Rosary, renew prayer of the Rosary. Our Lady always says that you need to pray from the heart. You need to feel peace and joy in prayer. You need to turn prayer into joy. You are not supposed to feel like prayer is an obligation for you. Prayer must become a joy. Prayer must become our everyday nourishment. But prayer is also something else and that is what Our Lady shared with us here. Prayer is response in answer for everything that you are looking for. You are coming to Medjugorje with so many questions. You’re coming to us visionaries and searching for answers. We are not able to give answers for all of your questions. If you open your hearts, and if you start praying, you are going to understand yourself what God is asking from you.
Our Lady says that you need to pray in your families. You need to put God in the very first place in your life, and you must have the time for God. Because if God is in our family then we can be the type of family that Our Lady wants us to be, and that is a holy family. Our Lady also says there is nothing that is able to unite a family like praying together. You need to bring up your children in the faith, because we parents have a great responsibility because children are a gift from God. Everything is starting from the family. There is one thing I would like to repeat that Fr. Slavko used to say. He said from the very beginning you need to plant the seeds of faith into your children. He also said, even if someday they distance themselves from God, they will be back for sure. Because with every seed you gave to them in the early days, it has stayed in their hearts.
Our Lady also says one needs to fast on Wednesdays and Fridays on bread and water only. Many people find it very difficult to fast. Many people have difficulties even starting to fast. As soon as you say bread and water, that is always a problem. They are wondering why, what is the point in fasting? There is one message that gives us a straight answer to this. Our Lady said, “Dear children, with fasting and prayer you can achieve everything, you can even stop wars.” This is why fasting is good. We do not understand. We are listening, but we are not hearing. When we are fasting and praying, why are we doing this and for whom are we doing this? This is all for us, for our own future and for our own salvation. When we are fasting, we need to do it out of love, in silence. Not everybody is supposed to know that we are fasting. If you accept fasting with love and silence, you will be grateful to God. How many of us are really thanking God for everything that He has given to us, even this piece of bread that we are getting every day on our tables? You know how many people are starving all around the world. So often we just ask and ask, God grant me this, and God grant me that. Whenever we ask for something, we want to get it right away. I get to hear every so often from different people who say, “I’ve been praying for this for a year and nothing has happened.” This is not faith. Our Lady always says, “Pray and have a strong faith.” Everything else is going to be provided by God, and who knows us better than God? Who knows what the best is for us in every moment? Who loves us so much? That is God. We need to open our hearts to Him, and He will take care of our lives.
When you come here to Medjugorje, why are you coming? The visionaries are not supposed to be in the first place, even though some of us are quite beautiful. (laughter) We’re not mentioning names. You are not supposed to come to Medjugorje for signs. Many people are looking for signs. If you really and truly are looking for signs, signs are all over the place. We are the sign of God. God is going to give you a sign in His time; you’re not supposed to be looking for it. The greatest sign of Medjugorje is conversion – to change our lives here and to start a new life here. A new life with God. What is even more important is to take this with us back to our homes. We can take as many souvenirs as we want from Medjugorje, but if we bring a rosary with us, are we going to be praying with this rosary? Are we going to be praying in front of the Cross? The greatest souvenirs from Medjugorje are Our Lady’s messages. We need to bring them to our homes. We need to live them. We need to pass them on to others, because Our Lady says “be my apostles” around the world. When we say “apostle for Our Lady,” it doesn’t mean to be going around and preaching, because we all are very good with words, but we need to be living them. We need to be an example with our lives, and may others recognize God in us and how God is working within us. This is what I wanted to share with you, and I will now take a couple of questions.
Jakov, through his translator, answers questions from several of the pilgrims present.
Q. Would you comment on the painting of Our Lady that is behind you?
A. I cannot really make any comments on this painting, but I will try to describe how Our Lady looks in the apparitions. It is impossible to describe the beauty of Our Lady. I am able to see Our Lady like a very young person. She has a grey gown and a white veil. She has blue eyes and dark hair. She is standing on a cloud. Everything else is very difficult to describe because we were very surprised by Our Lady’s beauty. We did not know that it was possible for someone to be so beautiful. We asked Her why She is so beautiful. She said, “I am so beautiful because I love. In order to be beautiful you must love also.”
Q. When you stopped receiving the visions in 1998, did you receive a parchment like Mirjana?
A. No I did not receive a piece of parchment. I am so smart that I can keep everything in my head. Mirjana is older, that is why Our Lady did that. (laughter).
Q. How did you or what was your take on the October 25th message?
A. I think that all of us in Medjugorje must take and understand these monthly messages. In these messages that Our Lady gives on the twenty-fifth, there is a message for us (visionaries) just as there is for you. Each one of us must pray about it. There is one thing in Our Lady’s messages. Every message that Our Lady gave here in Medjugorje, each one of them has all of the main messages that She gave. In order to be able to understand every message of Our Lady, we need to start living the main messages of Our Lady.
Q. Could you describe what Heaven, purgatory and hell were like when you and Vicka were taken there?
A. I usually talk about Heaven only. Every so often people ask me about this, and they always start with hell. But you came to Medjugorje, and Our Lady wants us all to be in Heaven. We need to be thinking about Heaven. I truly believe that no one is able to describe Heaven in the right way. I did see one huge endless space. There was a most beautiful, special, and extraordinary light – one warm light which you really feel great being in. We were able to see many people there, but I was also especially surprised that I was not able to see differences in age of the people there. Vicka always likes to say there are no skinny or heavy ones there. (laughter) This is what we were able to see with the eyes. I was only eleven at the time. It took me a long time to understand some things and lots of praying too. I understood, at some point, that Heaven is not what we are able to see with our eyes. Heaven is in our hearts. I’m sure that even here on earth, if we place God in the very first place and if you live with God, even here you can live a kind of Heaven. There is one question that we need to be asking ourselves all of the time, are we ready for Heaven? This is the greatest secret of every individual, and that is also to be ready for God in every moment of our lives.
Q. What does Our Lady think about the state that the world is in or what does She think about what is taking place in the world?
A. I can only talk about the time of the apparitions here in Medjugorje. During this time of the apparitions, Medjugorje has been visited by approximately thirty million people. Many people have found conversion here in Medjugorje. They found God in Medjugorje. So many prayer groups have been founded all around the world as a fruit of Medjugorje, but Our Lady is still coming, and She is always encouraging us to do more. She wants us to live Her messages. I think each one of us has to ask ourselves, “What did I do so far? Was I able to do more?” There is one more thing that people forget so often. Sometimes we are embarrassed in front of God. For example, how many of us would make the Sign of the Cross and start our meal with prayer in a restaurant? We are embarrassed at what others may say if we do that. We do not know that as we’re doing it, we may be helping someone else, because if Our Lady says that through prayer and fasting we can even stop wars, then that is really true. We need to start living in this spirit. I believe that each one of you that comes to Medjugorje, your real pilgrimage will start when you go back home. At that time you will see what you have received in Medjugorje and whether you will be able to continue to live it.
Q. Jakov for ten years now you have not been seeing Our Lady everyday. How do you feel at the apparition time? How are you taking this situation that you are not able to see Our Lady on a daily basis any more?
A. I grew up with Our Lady’s presence in my life, and Our Lady meant so very much to me, especially at the beginning of my life. I lost both of my parents when I was very young. Our Lady meant everything to me. On that day, when Our Lady told me that She was going to stop Her daily apparitions to me, I asked myself so many questions. “How am I going to be able to continue my life if I don’t get to see Her every day? What am I going to do at twenty to six when She used to appear before?” As I told you earlier, Our Lady told us to pray and you will get all of the answers. I did get my answer. I understood that it is not so important to see Our Lady physically, but it is most important to have Our Lady in our heart. To be able to see Her with the eyes of your heart, but I’m still anxious to get to Christmas time every year.*
I will be praying for all of you for all of your intentions and you please, pray for us. We all need your prayers. Let us all stay united in prayer.
*When Our Lady announced to Jakov that She would no longer appear to him everyday, She told him that he would see Her now only once a year, and that it would be on Christmas Day. Every Christmas Jakov has been promised to see Our Lady until the end of his earthly life.