Talk by Medjugorje Visionary Marija, November 1, 2010
All of you know that I married an Italian man, and many years ago, I went to live in Italy. Upon my arrival, I thought that all Italians were saints. So many saints come from Italy. In a special way, I am committed to St. Joseph Cupertino. I was always praying to him for his intercession in my success in school. Our Lady always encouraged us to learn from the lives of the saints. Traveling through Italy, every town in Italy has a saint they respect. But not only one saint, there are so many saints in each town, in each city. It doesn’t matter what city you go to: Rome, Milan… And all of these saints touched my life so deeply. In a special way, I am recalling St. Catherine of Bologna, who is an example of holiness and obedience. In a special way I am emphasizing her, because I believe that in today’s modern world, what we are missing the most is humility and obedience. St. Catherine of Bologna was an example of holiness, holiness which was reached with complete obedience. When they opened her grave after a couple of years, they found out that her body was incorrupt. The sisters from the convent of St. Catherine were not able to change the clothes which were on her. While they were burning the candles by her grave, they even burned the clothes that were on her. St. Catherine was known as a saint who was even obedient in her death because the Mother Superior of that convent said, “You who were so obedient during your life, sit up.” And even the dead body of St. Catherine sat, so that they were able to change her clothes. These virtues of humility and obedience have great value, especially in today’s world because all of us are placing ourselves before others and always say, “I, I, I.”
From the 24th of June, 1981, since the apparitions started, all of us children who were chosen by Our Lady, we started walking on this path of holiness, the path which places God in the very first place. When Our Lady appeared, all of us were shocked. It was the time of communism. We were living in a small village and our lives were very simple. We were working very hard in the fields. But the faith was always in the first place. In a special way, we really tried to live authentically the Christian faith. I can recall well, when we were little we were not allowed to start eating before saying our prayers. Mother used to stick us with a wooden spoon if we did not say the grace. She used to tell us, “You know, you are not cows to start just eating. You need to say grace and to thank God.” Even though this Christian life was giving us the living faith, I have to say, according to our opinion, we thought we were living here on earth and that God was always in Heaven. None of us had heard anything about other apparition sites. We did not know that the apparitions were possible. We can recall when we saw Our Lady, for instance, Vicka took off her sandals so that she could run away faster.
As time went by, we started falling in love with Our Lady. We started getting closer to Her. We started praying together with Her. I know that one of the first questions we asked Our Lady was, “Is there life on another planet?” And Our Lady answered to us, She smiled back to us, and She said, “Dear children, this is not the moment to ask this question, the moment is for prayer.” Then we started praying together with Her. We had faith in Her. We started living with our hearts every message, everything She asked from us. In simpleness, we started changing our lives. Our Lady was praying together with us. The first prayer we prayed together with Our Lady was the prayer of the Creed, and then the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be seven times. So every evening, after the evening Mass, we pray this little rosary, kneeling, in order to give thanks to God and to Our Lady for everything She has done to us. We have started living patiently everything that Our Lady asks us to do. We were little children. We fell in love with Her so much that She was the only food we had. It was the sort of love which was coming from Her presence, which we felt getting closer to Her on a daily basis.
The Rosary – we use to pray with our Grannies. Our Lady invited us to pray the Rosary constantly. But when we pray the Hail Mary, Our Lady listens to us. She never prays this with us, but when we pray the Our Father and Glory Be, then She prays together with us. We started praying every day, more and more, so the prayer was not only during the day, but it was during the night as well. We were giving up our rest, our sleeping, in order to pray more. The more time we dedicated to prayer, we were falling in love, deeper and deeper with Our Lady. And She was pleased with us. Her pleasure, Her satisfaction, was giving us great joy. As time went by, Our Lady started stepping to the side, and She started teaching us that the only thing that She desires is to take us to Her Son – that we fall in love with Her Son Jesus. How? With prayer. When the apparitions started, we were just children. We knew how to say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be, but to be sincere with you, to say the Creed – it wasn’t easy. But when the apparitions started, we started learning more and more prayers.
Our Lady told us to place the Holy Bible in a visible place in our homes. But we did not possess Bibles. When Our Lady told us to have the Bibles in a visible place in our homes, that is what we started doing. We started reading the Holy Bible every day. As a family, we started gathering at our homes and we started praying together, praying as a family. Our Lady told us that the first prayer group we should form should be our family. Then She started asking more. She asked us to form prayer groups in our community, in our parishes. So many different prayer groups were formed: the prayer group of youth, the prayer group of married couples, the prayer group of elders. All of us wanted more and more to get to know God better. We started opening ourselves more and more.
I can recall this day very well – when Our Lady told us one day that She was going to appear the second time in the same day. All of us informed others all around us. We told them to come again for the second apparition. That day we told them that it was important, that probably Our Lady had something else to tell us, something more. Then Our Lady appeared and we were praying a lot for Her intentions. Our Lady gave permission that everybody that was there was allowed to get closer to Her and to touch Her. We were so shocked, and we asked Our Lady how it was possible for them to touch Her because they are not able to see Her. This reminds me to tell you that at the very beginning we thought that everybody was able to see Her, but as time went by, we realized that we were the only ones who were able to see Her. When Our Lady said that every one was allowed to touch Her, we asked Her how was this possible because nobody was able to see Her but us. Then Our Lady said to raise the hands of those people and bring them close to Her. We said to everybody that Our Lady told them to touch Her and that is the way it was. Everybody who was there touched Our Lady. All of them felt something. Some of them felt heat. Some of them felt cold. Some of them felt electricity. But the most important thing is that all of them deeply believed that Our Lady was standing before them. All of them became witnesses. But while the people were touching Her, we visionaries were able to see that every time somebody touched Her, dirt was left on Her dress. Then we started crying and we asked Our Lady, “Why is your dress so dirty?” She answered that the dirt on Her dress were our sins. At that moment, Our Lady told us how important Confession is. She also invited all of us to go to Confession, to chose a spiritual director who is going to teach us how to differ what is wrong and what is right. The next morning all of us did the same thing. We prepared the food all day for all the animals that we had. And together, with all our family members together, we went to church where all of us had the desire and the need to go to Confession, because, in the depths of our hearts, all of us knew that none of us wanted to make Our Lady’s dress dirty again. Then we started living the sacrament of Reconciliation. We started living together with Jesus in truth. This is the way we started the way of conversion. This is the way Our Lady wants all of us. Our Lady tells us it doesn’t matter who we are, where we come from, but all of us are invited to holiness.
What does holiness mean? Some people, unfortunately, think that nobly they think they should leave their families and go to Africa to work as missionaries. No, this is not what Our Lady wants from us. Our Lady wants us even more that our Africa becomes our own family. The society in which we live is sick and lives without God. And in Europe, until almost yesterday, was Catholic, and that Christian/Catholic culture is visible in our architecture, in our monuments, in every corner of the streets we see. How many artists were inspired throughout history to make the sculptors, the paintings of Our Lady, the paintings of the Holy Family. That is why Our Lady invites us, because She knows that we are going through a difficult period in our life, and She teaches us to create a culture. She invites us to create culture with God. She invites us to participate together with Her to create a new culture where God is going to be in the very first place in our lives. Unfortunately, today’s culture is the culture which only uses and throws away everything. Just imagine one million people are dying today. How many children are dying today of starvation, and the earth is so big that we have everything to feed everybody on earth. Open your closets in your houses and notice how many clothes you have. Why have our hearts become so cold that we are not able to feel the suffering of other people who have much less possessions than we do? Our refrigerators are full of food which we are throwing away. There are advertisements for need machines, for us just to buy everything that they offer to us.
Our Lady invites us without any fear, invites us to pray. She invites us to go to Confession, but She also invites us to fast. In Holy Scripture it says that even you can cast away evil spirits only with prayer and with fasting. Is there any of you here who is capable of saying “I am perfect.” I am not talking about children, they are perfect. I am talking about adults. Is there anyone able to say “I am perfect?” Many people say that they would like to lose weight, a couple of kilos. Or sometimes some people say to others, “I lost 20 kilos. I am dieting and I lost 20 kilos.” Then there is the other side, we have so many diseases: anorexia, bulimia. Our Lady, you see, is telling us to awake, to be awakened towards these things as well. At the very beginning of Her apparitions, Our Lady invited us to fast. Our Lady told us with prayer and fasting, we can even stop wars all over the world. I am repeating the words from Sacred Scriptures: with prayer and fasting you can cast away evil spirits. Some evil spirits can be cast away only with prayer and fasting. Remember that.
In the world, there are more and more people practicing witchcraft. And the people are celebrating Halloween these days, but we Christians must remember that we are invited to glorify holiness and that we live holiness. Our Lady invites us all to walk on the path of holiness. She says that all of us are capable of doing this. Fasting is going to help us on our way towards holiness. The best fasting, Our Lady said, is the fasting on bread and water. We tried this. I can recall the first times when we started fasting, and the first time we fasted, we fasted 40 days on bread and water. All of us wanted to do this. We were so much carried away with that love towards Our Lady that we always wanted to do more and more. If you ever saw the pictures of the visionaries in the very beginning of Medjugorje, you can remember how thin we looked in those pictures. My mom was so worried that I was going to die that she was always trying to make me stop my fasting on bread and water during those 40 days. But among us in our prayer group, there was this girl who was a little bit chubby. She decided to fast on bread and water because she was hoping in her heart that she was even going to lose some weight. And you see, she succeeded in her intentions of fasting on bread and water for 40 days. Her mother witnessed to us that her daughter wasn’t eating anything else but the bread and water and she was also worried that her daughter was going to die. But you see, after 40 days of eating bread and water, you know she gained weight. All of you who have fear of fasting, that maybe you are going to die, this is proof not to be afraid of fasting. Our Lady has never said how much bread we are supposed to eat and how much water to drink. We have to start this new culture, the culture of fasting. There are so many different ways of fasting. I can recall the meeting of American pilgrims who asked me if they could drink Coca Cola. They drink Coca Cola so much, maybe they could give up Coca Cola, knowing that will be their way of fasting. You can fast from TV, video games. You can fast from speaking too much. Each one of us has to make the personal decision. What I am telling you is the best fasting, Our Lady said, is on bread and water. Don’t try to find excuses, but, of course, there are different ways of fasting. The fasting can be very often to love the husband or wife a little bit more, to find the time for family members, to find the time for children and to play with them. There are so many other things. Everything to which we are hooked, we can give up all these things: TV, video games, shopping, all of these things. We can give them up and fast this way. And this is what our grannies used to say. These little sacrifices we are doing are the little flowers we are presenting to God.
Our Lady invited us to start walking on the way of holiness with the little steps. So the first step in the prayer was to say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be seven times. You see, we were taking little steps. Then Our Lady asked us to do more – to pray the Rosary. Then She asked us to spend every day, three hours in prayer. I can recall all these years, when people started coming to our homes and walking through our homes, we always said with all these people, one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be, just one, but we said so many prayers during the day. All day long we prayed with pilgrims, and then in the evening we climbed the mountains here in Medjugorje. We would conclude our days with prayer at 1:00 a.m. in the morning. Then the days, we would start with prayers at 5:00 a.m. in the morning.
Our Lady called us to find a spiritual director. The spiritual director I chose was Fr. Slavko. I feel so sorry for some of you who came here for the first time, who were not able to meet this great priest who was a psychologist, who came as an expert to find out what was going on in Medjugorje. He also came to study us visionaries, what was going on with us before, during and after the apparition time. I can recall really well, when I asked him to become my spiritual director and to become my confessor, he told me does it suit you at 5:00 in the morning. And to be honest with you, I really love to sleep. I was thinking at that time, what a great gift I had to see Our Lady and when I started this serious and great way of conversion, I realized that I have an even great gift and that greater gift was my life which was given to me by my parents. My parents not only gave me life here on earth, but they also guaranteed me eternal life because they asked for my Baptism. Baptism is the greatest gift. I am telling you this because there are so many people in the world who are ashamed of their Baptism. As Our Lady says, more and more man is creating the world and the future without God. We have to be aware of this movement, which is a pagan movement among all of us. Our Lady came to us to invite us to come back, to come back and to find peace in Her Immaculate Heart and the Merciful Heart of Jesus, because without them, we have no future. We do not have eternal life without them because there is good and evil in our hearts. God gave us freedom and each one of us is asked to choose between good and evil.
How many people have we met in our life, people who have never met God? People who were pagans and who told us that they felt need in their hearts, the need to find God? We were created after the image of God, and that longing was placed by God into our hearts. That longing we have in our hearts, which was left in our hearts by God, is something which we cannot buy. It is priceless. We can discover this only through prayer. That is why Our Lady repeats. She repeats and never gets tired. Place God in the very first place in your lives, and then you will be able to see that nothing else will be important. Our Lady invites us constantly. In this way, not only us, but our families, our society, and the entire world will change. If we do not start changing, if we do not place God in the first place in our lives, the world has no future. We do not have a future. We are aware of self-destruction which exists all around us, and our society has become tired, has become old. Our youth are not pleased with anything. We are trying to give all material things to the young people – to give them cars, houses. But despite all these things they have, all they possess, they are not happy. They are not happy because we did not give them God. We see when youth come here to Medjugorje, how joyful they become when they discover God. They become joyful witnesses of God. Then it seems that all of us become singers, all of us become poet writers because we are united in that glorifying of God, because we start feeling in our hearts the closeness of God. We start feeling the closeness of Our Lady. Through Her presence we get closer to God.
I am sure that all of you know that Our Lady appears always in this grayish dress, white veil, that She has 12 stars, that She has blue eyes, long black hair. I can tell you only this, that Her beauty is something that I cannot describe, because She is the most beautiful. There are no paintings, no sculptors which can even get close to describing Her beauty. We asked Her once, “How come you are so beautiful that we cannot describe your beauty to others?” Our Lady answered to us, “I am beautiful because I love.” Our society and our mankind have a need for love. If we love God, we know how to love our neighbor. Because, you see, from Jesus we can learn how to love, because He gave His life for us. Just recall the words He said on the Cross when He said to St. John, “Here is your mother.” He said, “Son, here is your mother.” He gave Mother to all of us. Our Lady came here as the Queen of Peace, and She desires to give us Her peace. She wants to lead us all on the way that leads to Her Son who is King of Peace. Our Lady desires that we fall in love with Her Son, Jesus. I also say, I desire that all of you fall in love with Mary and to be in love with Her messages, in this way you will be able to fall in love with Her Son.
That is why I am inviting all of you with all of my heart, on behalf of Our Lady Queen of Peace, to use the time you are staying here. There are so many of you and there is room for everybody, for some many people. I desire for all of you to fall in love with Jesus. There are so many places for prayer. Go to pray on Apparition Mountain, on the Cross Mountain. Do not forget to enter into the Adoration Chapel. Go regularly to church so that this time in Medjugorje becomes the time of prayer. May this time become the time of prayer for each one of you. You see, all of us can talk and talk and talk, but if you do not pray, if you do not have your own experience with God, my talk brings nothing. When you have your personal experience with God, when you experience that meeting with God, then nobody is able to take Him away from you.
You see, we were ready to die for Our Lady at the very beginning of the apparitions, because a new love, a new path was shown to us. Remember, it was the time of communism. It was the great persecution of us visionaries, of the local people. We were persecuted in school. The system of education was under atheism. Every day the schools were proclaiming Church as manipulators. The people who were working for the Church were proclaimed as manipulators. Just imagine what kind of life we had. We were really tortured in school. Then, on the other side, Our Lady appeared to us. She was the one to whom we gave our hugs. She was the one that we accepted. We saw Her crying, and we saw Her laughing, as well. We decided with all our hearts that we wanted to become Her joy. Then with joy, with the joy of children, and today, with the joy of adults, we want to thank Her for everything She did for us. We are accepting Her as our Mother. As St. Paul said, when I was little I was taking things I needed as a child. But now as a grown up, I desire for all of you to become the best, the best who are going to glorify the glory of God. May this time become the meeting of God, and then Our Lady is going to provide us and encourage us on this way of grace. With joy, witness to other people about God with your lives. May it be that way in your lives. May God bless you all.
Tonight, when Our Lady comes to me – Vicka, Ivan and I have daily apparitions. Very often I say, to receive grace, you need to be in grace. If you need the grace of healing, you have to be in a state of grace in order to receive that healing. During the apparition time, every day, Our Lady appears to the three of us on a daily basis (Vicka, Ivan, and Marija). We recommend all our people to Our Lady. All people we meet during the day, every day we pray for you. Tomorrow Our Lady is going to appear to Mirjana, and these apparitions are for those who haven’t felt God’s love yet. Our Lady says to pray for grace from God, and as children of God, we can ask Him anything. So during the apparition time, we visionaries always intercede for all of you. Our Lady intercedes for all of us before Her Son. That is why I desire to spend this time, the time in prayer and to be in the mercy and grace of God. Now the priests are going to bless all of us. Thank you for your attention and thank you for your willingness to hear the messages of Our Lady. Have a nice evening.
– Medjugorje visionary Marija