United States Issues Travel Ban

United States Issues Travel Ban

Due to the escalation of the war, the United States, as well as other nations around the world, issued travel bans to their citizens concerning going to any of the Balkan states. Caritas of Birmingahm had a pilgrimage scheduled to go in November 1991 and decided to continue with plans to go. All pilgrims who were signed up for the November pilgrimage were called to see if they still wanted to go despite the deteriorating conditions caused by the war. The majority decided not to cancel. They were among the last pilgrims to go to Medjugorje from the United States before the war made it impossible to continue traveling to Medjugorje. With the threat of war building around the regions surrounding Medjugorje, it became apparent to many people around the world that Medjguorje would not escape the conflict. Medjugorje organizations and supporters from different nations began putting their efforts in sending aid, relief and medical supplies to the war front in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Medjugorje believers from Italy, France, England and other European nations had organized deliveries to war-torn areas. A Friend of Medjugorje was one of the first from the United States that organized large shipments to send medical and relief supplies right to the heart of Medjugorje. Other areas in Croatia and Bosnia were receiving aid, but Medjugorje had yet to receive any supplies. He wanted to help the people who had opened up their homes and given their lives for Our Lady’s plans in Medjugorje. Having connections through the friendships of the Croatian people enabled a safe passageway of the shipments to get through areas that were embattled. Over the course of three years, Caritas sent over 16 large planeloads of supplies. Such was their success that the United States State Department out of Washington, D.C., contacted a Friend of Medjugorje to ask how he was getting supplies in. They said Caritas of Birmingham was the only large scale operation which had been able to bring supplies from the United States to the areas most in need. Other Medjugorje centers from the United States eventually began sending relief supplies as well.

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