In the apparition of March 23, Our Lady told Marija that the fol lowing 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 they had wanted and hoped to present a school play for Marija that had been presented to the school kids at the beginning of the school year. 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, they not only were able to do the school play, but have plenty of time to gather at the house to unhurriedly write out their petitions and prepare in peace, without rushing, for Her apparition. It was a beautiful Rosary offered in thanksgiving for so many conversions that had taken place in these days while all their petitions lay on the Bed at Our Lady’s feet.
After the apparition Marija sat down with the Community and they all shared stories from the past five days, their first opportunity to be all together. It was sweet having Marija in the middle listening and sharing these beautiful stories. She was packed and ready to go, but not in such a hurry that she couldn’t stop and give a lesson in the kitchen on how to make crepes, though the community told her they would have to wait until Easter to have the â€œsweet fillingâ€ crepes drizzled with chocolate and whipped cream because they had given up sweets for Lent. Finally, it came time to say goodbye.
A special phenomenon took place the first night of Our Lady’s apparitions, on March 19, 2011. A full Moon of rare size and beauty rose in the east at sunset. It is called a â€œsuper moonâ€ by scientistsâ€”the biggest seen in the night sky in almost 20 years. The moon is often described as the perfect symbol for Our Lady because the moon lights up the darkness of the night, not by any light of its own, but by reflecting the light of the sun, just as Our Lady reflects the light and love of Her Son, Jesus Christ, to a world sinking in sin and darkness. This event taking place the first night of Our Lady’s visit signified to many people present that Our Lady had special graces to dispense during these five days of March 19-23, 2011. The next day, on March 20, 2011, in the evening before Our Lady’s apparition in the Field, Our Lady gave the gift of the miracle of the sun in which the sun â€œdancedâ€ in the sky with intensity and motion. Pilgrims across the Field fell on their knees, pointing up at the sun, with tears streaming down their faces, and with great shouts of joy and awe. People have witnessed the sun dancing before here at Caritas, but not since the 1988 apparitions had they seen the activity so strongly as on March 20, 2011.
These two events spoke to the hearts of the pilgrims and opened up to them a deeper experience of Our Lady’s presence which led to deeper conversion in their lives, especially as the week went on with the apparitions, the talks by Marija and a Friend of Medjugorje, the visiting of the Bedroom of Apparitions, etc. The apparitions themselves were powerful and grace-filled. So many people who had never heard of Our Lady’s apparitions had come attracted to the events through a March 19-23 announcement billboard, or through seeing a flyer in the back of their church, or through a friend’s invitation. This encounter with Our Lady led many to reconcile with the Church after being away for many years. Many also were moved in their spirit to make changes in their lives and families after witnessing the way of life, the way of the messages, as lived by the Community of Caritas.