March 23, 2011
The apparition that ended the Five Days of Prayer was in the Bedroom of Apparitions. All the pilgrims attending the event gathered in the Field for the last time, to pray the Rosary in preparation for Our Lady coming. It was quiet in the Field, reverent with anticipation of Our Lady’s coming, knowing this would be the last opportunity to be with Her. This day was dedicated to Thanksgiving, and everyone was encouraged to lift their hearts to Our Lady with deep gratitude for all the graces and blessings bestowed upon them in the apparitions.
After the apparition, Marija returned to the Field once more to relay what had happened in the apparition. She said, “At the moment when Our Lady come, I recommend all us, I recommend all us, all our intentions and Our Lady pray over us and She blessed us all.” She spoke about ten minutes to seriously encourage everyone, once they have returned to their homes, to be light, to be salt. It is Our Lady’s call and it is so needed in our world today. A Friend of Medjugorje gave a few parting words as well, encouragement to accept the call to become Our Lady’s apostles. As she has done each night, Marija invited the priests who were present to come forward and give Christ’s blessing to all gathered. Everyone knelt down to receive the blessing. As a parting gift, pilgrims were invited to take home a candle from the Field that had been blessed by Our Lady’s presence, to blow it out and light it again in their own homes as a reminder to “be light.”
By the fifth day, the days had fallen into an expected routine, with 5:00 a.m. Morning Prayer, 6:30 a.m. Mass at St. Mark’s church in Birmingham, 9:00 a.m. meeting time in front of the Tabernacle of Our Lady’s Messages for prayer and announcements, and gathering in the Field at 10:45 a.m. for the prayer of the Rosary. In the afternoon, Marija met with A Friend of Medjugorje in front of Our Lady’s Tabernacle for a question and answer session with the pilgrims. The Bedroom of Apparitions was open in the afternoon as well to give everyone who wished to visit the room the opportunity to make their personal consecration and family consecration in the room where Our Lady prefers Her apparitions when She comes to Caritas—in order to press upon us that healing must start in the family if we can ever hope to see the healing of our society and nations.
It had been a week of Spring for everyone, and many were heading back to winter, with snow and freezing rain. It would be another month or more before signs of spring would be seen in their own home towns. Yet, through Our Lady’s presence and Her love, spring was already blooming in their hearts, a spring that would sustain them even in the cold of winter, not just the physical winter of the seasons, but the spiritual winter in which today’s world is frozen in. But being with Our Lady this week, it was felt that Spring is on its way.
March 25, 2011
The week with Our Lady had brought profound conversion in so many people’s hearts who made the pilgrimage to Caritas. We will be sharing these conversion stories with you throughout the next few weeks. The Caritas Community is taking a few days of rest and retreat after three months of intense work in preparation of Our Lady’s apparitions. We wish to say a special thank you to all those who participated in the days of prayer through your own prayers and sacrifices united to those gathered at Caritas. They increased the beauty and graces of this special time with Our Lady. Have confidence in Our Lady that She heard also your intentions, and in time you will see your own prayers being answered.
March 24, 2011
In the apparition of March 23, Our Lady told Marija that the following day the apparition would be at 12:00 noon in the Bedroom for the community only. For the community, this was a beautiful gesture of Our Lady because we had planned to put on a small play for Marija and the few remaining pilgrims who had not yet left. It was a play that was put together for the opening of our school year this year—for the students of our community school. But it was so beautiful to us, that we wanted to share it with others when we had the opportunity. The plan was to do it first thing in the morning, unless Our Lady chose an early time for the apparition. But once She chose 12:00 noon, we not only were able to do the school play, but have plenty of time to gather at the house to unhurriedly write out our petitions and prepare in peace, without rush, for Her apparition. It was a beautiful rosary offered in thanksgiving for so many conversions that had taken place in these days while all our petitions lay on the Bed at Our Lady’s feet.
After the apparition Marija sat down with the community and we all shared stories from the past five days, our first opportunity to be all together, and it was sweet having Marija in the middle of us to listen and share as well these beautiful stories. She was packed and ready to go, but not in such a hurry that she couldn’t stop and give us a lesson in the kitchen on how to make crepes, though we told her we would have to wait until Easter to have the “sweet filling” crepes drizzled with chocolate and whipped cream. Finally, it came time to say goodbye. Thank you, Marija, for giving us a beautiful week with Our Lady, and for the “light and salt” that you are in sharing with the world Our Lady, in your witness and your love.