On August 11, 1989 it was three days before Our Lady’s Assumption which would be the official end of the Year of the Youth that Our Lady had called for the year before on August 15, 1988. As part of the preparation for the First International Youth Festival, it was suggested to the youth to offer three days of fasting preceding August 15th. The evening of August 11, Ivan and his prayer group were meeting on Apparition Mountain and thousands of youth climbed with them to be present for Our Lady’s apparition. Our Lady made known a special request She desired of them before Her Assumption. She said that night:
Our Lady came and confirmed what had already been encouraged for the youth to do in offering something during the three days leading up to the Assumption. A Friend of Medjugorje and his family was staying with Marija during these days. It was sweltering hot in Medjugorje. Homes and pansions did not have air conditioning nor was it common to find ice even in resturants. At night, they had to make a choice whether to keep the window open, but then be eaten up by misquitoes all night, or to keep it closed, but to suffocate in the heat with no air ventilation. That August, there was only one thing that offered a brief reprieve from the heat in Marija’s home. Her family had only one tray to make ice with. It became a great joy a couple of times a day to meet by the freezer and everyone receive one small cube of ice. Even Marija’s mother looked forward to this. But when Our Lady gave Her message of August 11, asking everyone to give up something, â€œdear to you in life,â€ the most dear thing to everyone those days was that one piece of ice, so that is what they offered to Our Lady. It was a difficult sacrifice as they had looked forward to the joy of that moment each day, but they were brought to joy knowing they were giving something of value to Our Lady.