Since the beginning of 1992, the construction of Caritas of Birmingham’s Tabernacle of Our Lady’s Messages had been moving forward. In the summer of 1993, the construction company gave a projection date for the completion of the building. Not having any idea as to the significance of the date, they chose December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. A Friend of Medjugorje began planning the Dedication of the building for December 8th, but he wanted to prepare for it in prayer. Our Lady’s message of July 25, 1993 gave him the inspiration of writing a number of novenas that would be prayed one each month leading up to the December 8th Dedication. This was the message Our Lady gave on that day:
A Friend of Medjugorje wrote the novena prayer to call down God’s mercy upon the United States, and for the followers of Our Lady to recognize the need to seek reconciliation with God,first in our own hearts, then in our families and finally, in our country. The novenas are prayed for the intention of the reconciliation of ourselves, our families and our nation back to God. The novenas culminate in a retreat that is held yearly on the grounds at Caritas in Alabama, beginning on December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (patroness of the United States) and ending on December 12, the Feast of Our Lady of the Americas. It is known as the Five Days of Prayer that is patterned after the spirit of Medjugorje. The first Five Days of Prayer was in December 1993. Marija has come for this event several times over the years. Though initially the novenas were written to prepare to Dedicate the Tabernacle of Our Lady’s Messages, they were so well received by the faithful that praying the novenas for our nation’s conversion became a yearly prayer event. Each year has built upon the previous one creating a movement of prayer that is responsbile for generating millions of prayers over the years through the collective body of believers who particpate in them each year. Though they eventually became The Seven Novenas for the Reconcilation of Ourselves, Our Families and Our Nation back to God, and they begin being prayed in June each year leading to December, the first novena was actually prayed beginning on August 25, 1993, a month after Our Lady gave the July 25, 1993 message that was the inspiration behind the novenas.