Published May 4, 2020 A.D.
Today is the first release of a new Medjugorje book. This is the first time this story is told. Each day, there will be a new chapter released. Each chapter is about a 20 minute read. Spread this to all your friends and family, to your prayer group members, mail lists and all your social media.
· Chapter 1: Turn Back the Clock…
· Chapter 2: Extinguish the Flames
· Chapter 3: Missing the Messages
· Chapter 4: March 18… Trust the Plan
· Epilogue, by a Friend of Medjugorje
Our Lady said in Medjugorje on July 24, 1989:
“…I need you, dear children, to cooperate with me, because there are today many plans that I cannot fulfill without you…”
Over the course of 34+ years, a Friend of Medjugorje, also known as the founder of Caritas of Birmingham and the Community of Caritas, has seen that Our Lady has many plans going on in the world. When Our Lady came to Medjugorje, She did not come blindly, but She came with a plan. Her plan would require many people to walk down different paths and fulfill different functions for the fulfillment of Her plans. Before Our Lady came to the home of a Friend of Medjugorje and his wife in Alabama, in 1988, She had laid a foundation ahead of time, to bring about the effect She desired, for the fulfillment of Her overall strategy against evil. This book will take you down the evolution of just one of the plans, never before told until now.
Chapter 1 – Turn Back the Clock…
A Friend of Medjugorje often tells the story about the early years of the apparitions, when Mirjana asked Our Lady for a sign. Our Lady responded to Mirjana by smiling. After the apparition, Mirjana noticed that her watch had turned backwards. A Friend of Medjugorje has explained this story many times. We are not focusing on that story here, but rather, we want to take this opportunity to “turn back the clock” for you…
It was January 2, 1997. Medjugorje visionary Mirjana had been receiving inner locutions with Our Lady on the second of the month during which she was being guided by Our Lady towards her future mission for nonbelievers. Inner locutions mean that Mirjana saw and heard Our Lady in an interior way, not like the normal apparition that the other visionaries were experiencing. These experiences were always in private. We know that on occasion, Our Lady would appear to Mirjana in a normal apparition, as She did until Mirjana’s apparitions ended in December 1982. Mirjana would not be forewarned before Our Lady came in these apparitions. But, on this day, it was different. On January 2, 1997, Mirjana was told by Our Lady in an inner locution, that the next month on February 2, 1997, She would come to Mirjana at 11:00 AM, Medjugorje time. What did this mean that we suddenly knew Our Lady would come ahead of time, at an exact time?
To answer this question, we need to first turn back the clock a few more months.1 A Friend of Medjugorje had an in-depth conversation with Mirjana in March 1996 in which he learned many new things concerning Mirjana’s apparitions. The result of that conversation/interview was released in the Caritas Field Angel Newsletter of July/September 1996 under the title, Mirjana, A Mystery is Revealed. Before it went to press, he wanted Mirjana to read it to make sure everything he wrote was correct. He sent two senior community members to Mirjana’s house in Medjugorje with the writing. They spoke with Mirjana on her front porch, reminding her of her conversation with a Friend of Medjugorje and presented her with a copy of his writing, explaining that a Friend of Medjugorje wanted her to read it to make sure everything in it is correct. He wanted her to point out anything he may have said in error so he could make the changes before publishing the writing. Mirjana agreed and after a few days when the community members returned, Mirjana told them that everything in it was correct. She found no errors in the writing at all.
This writing laid open for the first time, on a worldwide scale, Our Lady’s pleading call for prayers for nonbelievers. Mirjana had shared with a Friend of Medjugorje, during his March 1996 conversation with her, details about a secret prayer that Our Lady had taught her. Mirjana had been praying this prayer with Our Lady on the second of each month for the conversion of nonbelievers. According to Mirjana, this prayer, though not one of the secrets, is at the same time connected to the secrets. It is important to note that a Friend of Medjugorje learned later that others knew about this secret prayer of Mirjana for nonbelievers before he learned of it, but it never became “known” among Medjugorje followers. Doing research over the years, a Friend of Medjugorje discovered knowledge of this prayer buried deep in a few books no longer in print. This was big news, yet no one was spreading it. That changed through the July/September 1996 Caritas Newsletter. A Friend of Medjugorje informed tens of thousands of people around the world, for the first time, about the prayers and the importance of praying for nonbelievers. As they became informed, they began responding by praying for Our Lady’s intentions for nonbelievers, especially on the second of the month.
In Mirjana, A Mystery is Revealed, a Friend of Medjugorje wrote a prayer that he titled, Prayer for Nonbelievers, that arose from the sorrow he felt for nonbelievers after learning from Mirjana how concerned Our Lady is for these souls, whom She said are nonbelievers because they do not know the love of God. A Friend of Medjugorje became filled with the desire to see the release of Our Lady’s prayer that She had revealed to Mirjana. The Prayer for Nonbelievers was embraced around the world. Today, it is still being given out by the thousands in Medjugorje through the Caritas Mission House, through orders being sent out from Caritas in Alabama, and through the Caritas website, Medjugorje.com. Many people have been praying this prayer for years every second of the month, especially for family members. As you read the Prayer for Nonbelievers, realize, again, that at the time a Friend of Medjugorje wrote it, Our Lady had not yet given Mirjana any hint that the second of the month inner locutions would soon become apparitions and that Our Lady would begin to open up Mirjana’s apparitions to everyone to attend who wanted to be present. With that in mind, read carefully what he was asking for in this Prayer for Nonbelievers.
Prayer for Nonbelievers
Come Mary, come tomorrow again and again. We will pray with you. Bring back our loved ones who have left the Church, those who have left God. We will join you on the second of each month. We will pray for greater graces to be attached to your intention. We will pray that the dam of love, of God’s mercy, will break forth, that your new prayer2 be released soon. We will pray that it will flow out as a river to all the nations, that as the rivers fill the oceans, your love of God will fill the earth. We wait. We anticipate that great day, and we call you as you have called us, to add our prayers, fasting and sacrifices to Mirjana’s in order that you may obtain all your wishes for the world. O loving Mother, thank you for the gift that the world is on the brink of receiving!
Written by a Friend of Medjugorje
Through Mirjana, A Mystery is Revealed and the above prayer many, many prayer groups began to form, specifically for the purpose of praying for nonbelievers. A Friend of Medjugorje brought the second of the month out of the shadows, for countless followers of Our Lady. An awareness of the importance of the second of the month began to grow and prayers for nonbelievers began to increase. But, re-look at the Prayer for Nonbelievers more closely. Look how a Friend of Medjugorje ended the prayer. He wrote, “O loving Mother, thank you for the gift that the world is on the brink of receiving!” He was anticipating the gift of the prayer being released, yet something else happened instead, something much greater than the release of the prayer. Something that was a precursor of the release of the prayer.
Four months after the release of Mirjana, A Mystery is Revealed (in the July/September 1996 Newsletter), on January 2, 1997, a dramatic and unexpected change happened with Our Lady. Out of the blue, with no warning, Our Lady gave a definitive time that She would be appearing to Mirjana on the next second of the month, February 2, 1997, and an invitation for people to join Her if they would like. This was incredible news and the cause of both wonder and excitement. A Friend of Medjugorje, upon receiving this news, immediately put out the first widespread call for people to pray at the same time that Our Lady would be praying with Mirjana for nonbelievers. A Friend of Medjugorje wrote in the December 1996/February 1997 Caritas Newsletter:
For anyone desiring to respond to this call, it would mean rising up in the middle of the night, depending on where they lived in the world, in order to be praying at the same time Our Lady was appearing to Mirjana. A Friend of Medjugorje strongly encouraged people to get up in the middle of the night and even to ask their priests to open up churches or give them the keys so people could gather together. Was that an extreme thing to ask? Not if you know the history of Medjugorje. A Friend of Medjugorje knew of times Our Lady has asked for the prayer group in Medjugorje to go up Cross Mountain in the middle of the night. He cites August 2, 1981 apparition when Our Lady told Marija to go to her family gumno (a field where the wheat crop is harvested) at 2:00 AM. Not only Marija went, but also Mirjana along with 40 other people. If that was the case, why would it not be pleasing to Our Lady for people across the world to be in union at the exact moment Our Lady was appearing upon the earth in Medjugorje. One story that he told to many Caritas pilgrims in Medjugorje to inspire and challenge them to climb the mountains while in Medjugorje, came through visionary Marija. Marija recalled that in the early years of the apparitions, on a very cold and blustery evening, during her apparition Our Lady asked all the prayer group to climb Cross Mountain at 11:00 PM because Our Lady was in great need of their sacrifice for a specific intention. A very strong icy-cold wind was blowing, and it was raining. Making their way up the mountain was treacherous because of the strong wind, the rain caused the path to be filled with slippery mud and it was completely dark with no moonlight to guide them. Marija climbed in a wool skirt and remembered how freezing cold everyone was. When the group made it to the 11th station, Our Lady suddenly appeared to Marija and bade them to turn around and go back home. Their sacrifice was sufficient to give Our Lady what She desired. She then thanked everyone for their sacrifice. An extraordinary special grace was given for this heroic response to Our Lady’s request, none other than directly by Our Lady Herself. Everyone of the group actually heard Our Lady say “thank you” to them.4
Going back to the call to hold a nightly vigil in union with Our Lady, many answered the call with enthusiasm. The believers convinced many priests to come and participate in this vigil prayer. We learned later that many priests experienced profound conversion in seeing the fervent prayer of Medjugorje followers. There was never any question why the gatherings were taking place—they were all for the purpose of praying for the souls of nonbelievers in union with Our Lady in the February 2, 1997 apparition. A Friend of Medjugorje continued in the December 1996/February 1997 Caritas Newsletter:
Again, a Friend of Medjugorje knew that for many, it would be a sacrifice to get up in the middle of the night and pray with Our Lady, so, he included in the December 1996/February 1997 Caritas Newsletter a note to encourage them:
A Friend of Medjugorje wanted to raise the people’s spirits above the flesh so that they could respond to Our Lady’s invitation with love. The response to a Friend of Medjugorje’s call to prayer on the second of the month was like a wildfire spreading. What he wrote about doing in the December 1996/February 1997 Caritas Newsletter, is exactly what happened. People, in every part of the world, either alone, or with their families or prayer groups prayed at the moment that Our Lady was with Mirjana on February 2, 1997. People wrote to us saying that their priests opened their churches so people could pray. One woman from Puerto Rico said that her church was full and several other churches throughout Puerto Rico were opened and also full. A letter from Reno, Nevada, sums up the spirit of the people who were praying because of a Friend of Medjugorje’s call to pray with Our Lady on February 2, 1997:
“Sunday at 2:00 AM, seventy people, including two priests and a seminarian, gathered at the church to pray the Rosary. Everyone was so exhilarated! No one felt tired. Had we thought before arriving that our presence was a sacrifice because of the early hour, no such thought remained. What a great privilege and joy to be allowed to pray with Our Mother. We also know that many people set their alarms at home to rise and pray with us.”
One woman sent a fax to Caritas and said that she had just found out about this special prayer vigil on January 31, at 10:30 PM, just one day’s notice. She immediately called her priest, who was already in bed and asked him if he would open the church at 5:00 AM on February 2. The priest said yes right away. The next day, the woman was interviewed on Catholic radio and invited people to come and pray. The morning of February 2, 1997, the church was full at 5:00 AM. From 5:00-6:00 AM, they had Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, sang and prayed the Rosary. The woman wrote to us:
“The whole two hours seemed like 15 minutes. It would be wonderful if we could pray together like this once a month (on the second of the month). Everyone was happy that they could respond to Our Blessed Mother’s call for prayer for the unbelievers.”
Another person from Florida wrote:
February 4, 1997
“We did pray together from 5-8:00 AM on February 2, 1997. In fact, we spread the message and were accompanied (in spirit through distance) by at least 100 others – seventy of which were Polish nuns in Krakow, Poland. Of course, their time was the same as Croatia. We called them with the information. They also received the information with joy.”
Palm Coast, Florida
We received a letter from Argentina that said:
March 23, 1997
“…we decided to respond on February 2nd by making a mini-pilgrimage to San Nicolas… February 2nd dawned a magnificently crisp clear and cool day (rare here, as we are in mid-summer on that date in the southern hemisphere)… Roads in Argentina are not exactly the greatest, but we were hoping and praying to be able to pull off the road at about 6:50 at some nice spot where we could all gather and pray together at 7:00 AM approached. Precisely at 6:50 AM a beautifully paved crescent shaped turn-off presented itself to us on the right-hand side of the road. We all proceeded to pull off and exit our car. A powerful current of wind was blowing (‘I come in the wind!’ – Our Lady’s words recalled) and the sky was magnificent…”
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Some were saddened that so few people were going to hear about this special opportunity to be in prayer with Our Lady, knowing only a few Medjugorje followers. But when February 2, 1997 arrived, they ended up being pleasantly surprised as the following testimony shows:
February 3, 1997
“Upon receiving your special notice that a Friend of Medjugorje sent regarding the February 2nd time Our Lady was to appear, I called my sister, who I keep abreast of everything, and we decided to meet at a perpetual Adoration Chapel in the next town at 5;00 AM that morning. I belong to no prayer groups or anything, and my own parish priests are reluctant to acknowledge Medjugorje. As I was driving to the chapel, I thought how sad it was that my sister and I and possibly one or two others would be the only ones to pray in this small chapel; to share this great gift of Our Lady’s. As I drove, I noticed other cars on the road, and I was wondering if they were going to work. As I got closer to the chapel, I realized we were all going in the same direction, and as I pulled into the parking lot, there were many cars there and many others still coming. By the time 5:00 AM struck, the small chapel, which holds almost 60 people, was full and that parish’s priest came and lead us in song and the Rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. We all prayed for nonbelievers together. I write this to let you know that your love and sacrifices for your God and for your people are worth all your efforts. I pray for you and thank you.”
Turners Falls, Massachusetts
We are barely scratching the surface of letters, faxes and phone calls which were received in the days following February 2, 1997. Thousands had participated around the world in this prayer vigil with Our Lady. We know some of you who are reading this now were among those who were part of this historic event 23 years ago. The stories told afterwards were very special and the results were very profound. We were to learn shortly after that Our Lady, Herself, seemed to respond to the enthusiasm across the world of those who prayed with Her in spirit, by making a major change in the status of Mirjana’s inner locutions. Mirjana gave the happy news after her apparition on February 2, 1997:
“Please tell everyone that Our Lady’s apparitions to me on the second of the month will now be like the regular apparitions to Vicka, Ivan, Jakov, and Marija. Our Lady said that whoever wants to be present at that apparitions can come. Our Lady said that much prayer is needed for those who have not yet come to know the love of God. This is all.”
Needless to say, this was a response from Our Lady that was beyond expectation.
• First, we had the “intel drop” from a Friend of Medjugorje, sharing about the secret prayer that Mirjana prays with Our Lady, and exposing people to Our Lady’s desire for everyone to pray for nonbelievers through his writing in the July-September 1996 Caritas Newsletter, entitled Mirjana, A Mystery is Revealed.
• Many respond to a Friend of Medjugorje’s invitation to start prayer groups and to include the Prayer for Nonbelievers in their time of prayer.
• Just four months after the release of a Friend of Medjugorje’s writing, Mirjana, A Mystery is Revealed, a break in the routine of Mirjana’s meetings with Our Lady takes place. On January 2, 1997, Our Lady told Mirjana in the following month, on February 2, 1997, She would appear to Mirjana in an apparition and gave a specific time for the apparition. Our Lady asked Mirjana to make this public— and let people know that She was inviting them to come and be present for the apparition.
• A Friend of Medjugorje reacted to this news by calling upon Our Lady’s followers to pray in union with Our Lady, at the same time around the world, encouraging people to even get up in the middle of the night to join in this great prayer event.
• Which, in turn, was followed by Our Lady choosing to replace Mirjana’s second of the month inner locutions with actual apparitions and then inviting Her followers to come to be in Her presence!
“O loving Mother, thank you for the gift that the world is on the brink of receiving.”
Our Lady was moving ahead with Her plan. A Friend of Medjugorje observed from all of this that it was almost as if Our Lady was testing the ground through this prayer invitation. She was once asked by the visionaries how long will She stay. Our Lady responded to their question:
June 29, 1981
Did the prayer vigils around the world influence the grace of initiating God’s decision to begin sending Our Lady in apparitions to Mirjana on the second of the month, especially those who joined at 2:00 AM, 3:00 AM, 4:00 AM, 5:00 AM, with many in churches before the Blessed Sacrament in Adoration.? Had this been a test to see if the world still “wanted” Our Lady? It can’t be denied it had an effect and certainly Our Lady was pleased to see such devotion from thousands who participated in this prayer for nonbelievers, as those who participated in the vigils on February 2, 1997, testified how they were unexpectedly filled with great joy during the Holy Hour and experienced profound prayer. There was story after story sent into Caritas expressing to the founder (a Friend of Medjugorje) the many graces received by so many. They felt the presence of Our Lady and they felt the power of the unified prayer. Many people experienced conversion. Members of the Caritas Community were also in prayer at 3:00 AM, gathered in the Bedroom of Apparitions, with the wife of a Friend of Medjugorje, who was just a week away from giving birth to their seventh child. Despite the early hour, the prayer was strong and profound.
– Caritas of Birmingham