Visionary, Marija, was a young 24-year-old woman when she first came and stayed with Caritas of Birmingham’s founder and his family in 1988-1989. She returned two more times with her husband, Paolo, in the 1990sâ€”in February 1994 and May 1998. Both of these visits were private. In December 1999, Marija attended Caritas’ Five Days of Prayer for The Reconciling of Ourselves, Our Families and Our Nation Back to Godâ€”an annual event. It had been ten years since Marija was present for apparitions at Caritas in which the public was present. It was the cause of great excitement to have Our Lady here for five days and five apparitions. People came from all across the country, and within the five-day period, it was estimated by county officials that 40,000 people had attended the event. There were many remarkable conversions that took place during these days of prayer and beautiful graces given by Our Lady that impacted the lives of thousands of people. Our Lady gave several messages through Marija during this visit. Two of the highlights of this visit were the apparitions on December 11 and December 13.
On December 11, 1999, there was a special Christmas celebration. Every pilgrim was asked to bring a flower to present before the crib of Jesus to show their love and commitment to Him. This is based ina message Our Lady gave on December 20, 1984, to the parish of Medjugorje when She said:
During the celebration, twelve thousand people came that night carrying their flowers and their hearts in their hands to place before Jesus in the Manger. At the moment when Our Lady arrived She looked at each and every person present. She remained in silence. Marija began to recommend everyone and all the intentions that they had in their hearts and still Our Lady remained in silence. Then Marija began to recommend all of the sick and Our Lady still remained in silence and watched everyone present. Marija said that she kept looking at Our Lady and then smiled and said:
â€œWell, I recommend all the little ones and the big ones.â€
Our Lady gave Marija a big smile in return. Then Our Lady began to pray over everyone. After this, Marija felt in her heart that Our Lady wanted to say something so Marija said:
â€œDo you have something to tell us?â€
Our Lady said with deep emotion:
In the apparition, Our Lady came, to the surprise and joy of all, with three angels.
On December 13, the last apparition of this visit, was a private apparition with the Community of Caritas. Our Lady appeared again with angels. As Our Lady appeared those present could tell by Marija’s face that this apparition was special. Marija, throughout this apparition, had a smile on her face. At the end of the apparition, Marija broke the silence saying:
â€œOur Lady came with five angels today! Our Lady prayed over us and blessed us. She looked at each and every one of us.â€
After, Marija and all the community wept as she described the angels. She said they were small, like the size of a two-year-old. Two had black hair, two had brown hair, and one had blonde hair. Two were on each side of Our Lady and the blonde haired angel fluttered above Her head. Marija said that thay were gazing at Our Lady, never taking their eyes off of Her. Marija also said that never, in all her apparitions, has she seen the angels look away from Our Lady even for a second.