Two years earlier, on October 6, 1986, Caritas of Birmingham’s founder was given permission by Fr. Pervan to ask Marija to present a question to Our Lady. He explained to Fr. Pervan why he would like this asked of Our Lady as well as other information concerning the Birmingham area so that Marija would have a clear understanding of why this was desired. In Medjugorje, after discussing several things about the Birmingham region with Marija, she requested to keep the question and stated that if Our Lady gave an answer, (many times She gives no answer), she would write it down and return it following the apparition that night. The question:
â€œDear Blessed Mother, if it is God’s Will, we humbly ask that the conversion taking place in Medjugorje be allowed to take place in the parish of Blessed Sacrament and that it divinely be spread throughout the whole region.â€
Our Lady responded by saying:
From that time, Caritas’ founder sought to enter into deeper prayer for the intention that Our Lady would bless this region of the United States for the purpose of conversion. He enlisted others to pray for this intention as well.
Two years later, on October 10, 1988, a Friend of Medjugorje arrived in Medjugorje and went to see Marija. He was surprised to see her distressed and in tears. She explained that her brother Andrija was in a critical physical state suffering from kidney disease. Despite being on a dialysis machine twice a week he was barely surviving. He needed a kidney transplant, but it was very risky for him with an 80% chance of not suriving, according to doctors in Milan. Marija had offered to donate one of her kidneys to her brother, but there were also risks on her part as well. The cost would also be very expensive. Caritas’ founder understood everything she was saying, which was remarkable because she did not know English, yet she was using all the medical terminology with ease in English. He asked her with surprise:
â€œMarija when did you learn English so well?â€
Marija, still distraught, did not know she was speaking in English. It wasn’t until the founder was flying back to Alabama that he realized there had been a purpose that Our Lady wanted him to know all that Marija had told him.
Walking through an airport he saw a headline that read:
City Hospital Number One Kidney Transplanter
His heart started beating fast as he thought about the question he had asked Our Lady two years ago; about Marija’s brother needing a kidney transplant; and the Crucifix that Fr. Slavko had just spontaneously given him from the apparition room. He remembered back over the summer when he and his wife were with Ivanka in her annual apparition on June 25, 1988 and Our Lady had everyone kneel to receive Her blessing while She said:
In stunned wonder, he began to question Our Lady if She was moving events that would bring Her apparitions to his own home.
Several weeks later, on October 31, 1988, Our Lady gave a message to Ivan during his prayer group on Apparition Mountain in Medjugorje. She said:
Within days of this, back in Alabama, while the founder of Caritas was praying the Rosary with his brother and several friends overlooking an empty field, a huge golden full moon slowly rose and bathed the open field in bright light. In the silence that followed, he was filled with a deep assurance that Our Lady would be coming soon in the apparitions.