What Happened on August 15, 2003: Caritas Silver Jubilee

What Happened on August 15, 2003: Caritas Silver Jubilee

Today was another big joy and surprise for us. The apparition took place in late afternoon. Again, our founder guided everyone to write a letter to Our Lady for Her feast day of the Assumption to give them to Our Lady when She appeared.


Friday, August 15, 2003
Apparition at Dune Haven
The Feast of Our Lady’s Assumption

Today was another big joy and surprise for us. The apparition took place in late afternoon. Again, our founder guided everyone to write a letter to Our Lady for Her feast day of the Assumption to give them to Our Lady when She appeared. This was in response to the apparition of two days before on Wednesday. As a result of that apparition of August 13, we wanted to live these fresh words of Our Lady, taking advantage of the grace Our Lady desired to give while She was here with us. The beauty of the day was the same as it had been all week. We wrote our letters and petitions and love notes with a new vigor knowing on Wednesday She told us, “I wish to give you graces. Ask for them.” It was very moving to be able to do this on the special feast day of the Assumption and be with Our Lady. It’s hard to conceive the grace of writing a letter and knowing that Our Lady would be reading them in a short while after they were written. When Marija began to pray before the apparition, Our Lady came earlier today—just after beginning the 7,7,7, prayer.

During the apparition, we again walked up and with respect, laid our letters directly at Our Lady’s feet while She was present. We continued this for some time, one-by-one in awe of the grace and moment of such an undeserved privilege. When the apparition ended, we could hardly wait to see what Our Lady did. As Marija came out of ecstasy, she began to look at us. Then, Marija’s face broke in a big smile, and she said Our Lady had come with angels today, many angels, hundreds of angels, thousands of angels, even more than thousands. As Marija began to describe the apparition, several had tears in their eyes, all had goose bumps. We were stunned. More than thousands? What kind of angels? Little angels? Big angels? What were they wearing? Where were they? Were they looking at Our Lady? What color hair did they have? Marija just smiled at the thousand questions we now had! What did Our Lady look like? How was She dressed today?

We tried to grasp the reality of the words of what Marija had told us. This was like the beginning days of Medjugorje. It seemed impossible. It brought to us the pictures we have all seen of Our Lady’s Assumption—surrounded by all the little baby angels escorting Her to Heaven. But were they baby angels? It was such an honor for us to be present for this very rare occurrence in the apparitions.

Following is the transcript of our conversation with Marija after the apparition had ended containing the incredible answers Marija gave of what happened and what she saw in this incredible apparition.

As the apparition was ending, and Our Lady was ascending back to Heaven, Marija really saw “an assumption” on this Feast day of the Assumption. As Marija looked up, higher and higher, for what seemed like at least 30 seconds of Our Lady being raised back into Heaven. When Our Lady was gone, Marija then turned to us and began by letting out a happy sigh. Then after pausing slightly she said,

Marija: “Our Lady come with angels.”

A collective expression of delight and surprise from the community followed that statement. Our founder asked how many.

Marija responded by saying, “Many.” Many, we asked? She responded firmly and quickly, “Many.” Jokingly but sweetly Marija said, “She come also with Annette’s angel.” Marija said this because Annette had teasingly asked Marija for several days in a row, after each apparition, where were the angels? Marija continued, “She prayed over us and She blessed us and She gave us no message.”

Was She in gold? “She was in gold. Many angels.” (Marija said again.) “She come also with (unintelligible word) angels” (We laughed at that—Marija was joking.). How many are many?

Marija: “I don’t know, many.”

Founder: “If you had to count…5…10…25?”

Marija: “Hundreds.” Marija later said many more than hundreds when back at Caritas she was walking through the Field of Apparitions and our founder asked her to be more specific of how many angels she saw. She looked at the Field in full bloom with tens of thousands of flowers and Marija said as many as these flowers we see here.



This picture captures just a very small portion of the Field that was filled with flowers on the day Marija and Paolo took a walk with our founder on their return to Caritas. It was these flowers that Marija was looking at when our founder pressed her to describe in more detail the number of angels she saw in her apparition of August 15, 2003. “As many as these flowers we see here,” she said.



Founder: “Did She come very happy?”

Marija: “Tranquil.”

Founder: “So were they baby angels or grown-up angels?”

Marija: “Baby. All baby angels…all different.”

Marija’s little boy Francesco wants to know if St. Francis had come too because St. Francis is his namesake. We all laughed with Marija when she translated this to us.

Founder: “This is beautiful, you have to give us more details. Were they all beside Her and in front of Her?”

Marija: “All back.”

Founder: “All in back of Her?”

Marija: Yes.

Founder: “What were they looking at? Every angel always looks at Our Lady.” He said this because Marija had told him on several other occasions when they discussed the angels in Our Lady’s apparitions that they only look at Our Lady.

Marija: “No. At us.” Marija then said, “Yes, the angels look at Our Lady but this time they look at us.”

Founder: He was shocked at this and repeated, “They were looking at us?”

Marija: “Yes.”

Founder: Still stunned at this because Marija always told him they never take their eyes off Our Lady, he asked again: “They weren’t looking around the room or just looking around in general, they were looking directly at us?”

Marija: “Yes.”

Founder: “Were some a far distance and some close up?”

Marija: “No, all the same.”

Founder: “Incredible, this is a big message.”

Everyone was so joyful over this and began saying that maybe Our Lady brought all the baby angels to be with us on vacation. So other questions followed such as the following one by one of the kids.

Joseph: “Were some swimming?” (Laughter)

Everyone was in such a happy and excited mood that different community members were throwing out questions in joy, but filled with the wonder of knowing Our Lady had appeared with hundreds of angels this day and wondering what they looked like and what they were doing.

Founder: “Were you surprised when you saw angels?”

Marija: “No.”

Annette: “Were the dresses they have long?”

Marija: “Yes, long.”

Annette: “You could not see their feet?”

Marija: “No, it’s like…roman tunics.”

Annette: “The colors were like many colors like us or…what?”

Marija starts to describe, “Blue, white…”

Founder: “There were four or five colors?” He and his wife began asking more specifics of the colors, suggesting pink and yellow?

Annette: “Did you see Red?” Everyone laughed because Annette’s favorite color is red. “That’s what I’m asking, were they like baby colors or bright colors like what we are wearing?”

Marija tried to think of the word that best describes the color.

Annette: “Were they like baby colors, pastel?”

Marija: “Yes, like pastel.”

Our founder asked were the angels all tranquil, were any smiling?

Marija begins to explain about the angels. She said they come like Our Lady. “When Our Lady sad, they are sad. When Our Lady tranquil, angels are tranquil. When Our Lady is happy, the angels are so happy, more happy for Our Lady.”

Founder: “So Our Lady’s feast day dress after 22 years (22 years as of August 15, 2003) is still the same feast dress?”

Marija: “Always gold.”

Question: “Does She ever have a jewel or something like this.”

Marija: “No, just dress.”

Annette: “Do you think She is having a party now in Heaven?”

Marija: “Yes.”

Founder: “Our Lady goes to a feast? Did She seem in a hurry?”

Marija: “Yes. You see apparition shorter all the time on Our Lady’s feast. Many times all time like this on Feast Day.”

Founder: “Yes, feast day apparitions are shorter. It’s strange.”

Marija: “No strange. Our Lady go make feast.”

Annette: “Ask Her tomorrow what She did.”

Founder: “So She gave one blessing?”

Marija: “One.”

Later that night, we all went to sleep with difficulty, but at the same time with ease. The wonder of it all kept everyone awake, the mind spinning making it difficult to go to sleep yet the overwhelming feeling of peace made sleep come easily, even while thoughts were racing. Another beautiful day ends!

community praying with the visionary marija in the beach house

The Community is again gathered, not only for the apparition of Our Lady’s assumption, but for the last apparition at the beach house, Dune Haven. The following day we would be going back to Alabama and Caritas. It would also be our last day of our “holiday-vacation”. So, as we sat in the silence of our own hearts before beginning the Rosary, we had much to ponder and also, we had great anticipation of what Our Lady would do in this apparition. Even though the petitions of August 13th had been long and detailed, with the knowledge of Our Lady’s message of wanting to give graces, and wanting us to ask for them, we poured our entire hearts out to Our Lady and laid them at Her feet. That was a great, undeserved grace given to us.

the medjugorje visionary praying

Before we had all gathered in silence for the Rosary, this day of August 15, 2003, Marija had begun making little one-decade rosaries out of string and shells. She would make 10 knots in a string, bring it together in a loop and then after finding a small shell with a tiny hole in it, attached the shell to complete the rosary. As she completed them she would give the little rosaries to different community members—they would become beautiful keepsakes after being blessed by Our Lady in the apparition.

kids decorating

Marija soon had several helpers who wanted to learn how to make these special rosaries. These children will grow up one day, become adults, and look back on these moments through memory and pictures and wonder how they could have had the grace of being taught by Our Lady through a visionary who sees Our Lady everyday how to make a rosary. Marija told our founder that Our Lady told her about Her personal life with Joseph and Jesus. Marija told him the purpose of this was to help her (Marija) in her personal life and witness. To be with Marija is to be with traits Our Lady impressed upon her, of how Our Lady was when She walked the earth. To sit with her, laugh and joke with her—and see her in ecstasy in countless apparitions is to have a window, a glimpse of Our Lady. Will these community youth grasp better when they are grown what they experienced as a child? Or will it be more incomprehensible to them as ever before?

medjugorje visionary in extacy

All too soon, the moment came. It was beautiful to be before Our Lady, but with the joy, there is a longing that can’t be satisfied. The visionaries know this much better than we, for the greater the grace received, the greater the desire to be loosed from this world and be in the arms of Our Lady, not for a mere five minutes a day, but for all eternity. Medjugorje visionary, Ivan, has said many times to people who come to hear him speak: “I would challenge any one of you if you ever had the grace to see Our Lady for only one moment, to ever again find anything in life interesting at all.” Days like today, when we knew this special time of Our Lady was coming to an end, we could grasp for ourselves, in community, a little better these words of Ivan.

Why did we cherish these days so much when we have been with Our Lady so many times before? Because our time, when Marija comes to Caritas, requires months of preparation for thousands of people. It requires many nights with little sleep, sacrificing our lives for others, all the while running the mission with an increase in activity because of so many requests about coming to attend the apparitions, and much more. So, when we went on vacation with Our Lady, there were no demands. Our Lady came into the family of our community, relaxed, there was total peace and every moment was precious.

medjugorje visionary talking

The joy on Marija’s face tells better than our words the happiness that came to her in the apparition today. The feast of the Assumption…Our Lady dressed in gold…surrounded by countless angels, all different, all in long tunics of soft pastel colors, all looking at us. Marija’s English vocabulary is good, but still limited compared to her Italian and Croatian, but even if we could speak Italian or Croatian—to Marija, what words exist that could convey to us the absolutely incredible vision that she had just experienced?

the community talking

Our founder’s wife Annette and community member, Ruth, look at each other in amazement as Marija begins to tell us what she had seen. Annette has always collected angels, even before she met Marija. Marija especially realized how much our founder and Annette love the angels when she first stayed in their home in 1988. In fact, our founder and his wife so wanted angels to appear in their house with Our Lady during that first visit, that they prayed for this grace. Amazingly, Our Lady granted their request, and not on a feast day, but on an ordinary day of the week, which departed from what Our Lady’s normal course of action of angels only appearing on feast days, concerning Marija’s apparitions. Because Annette is always wanting to know if any angels come with Our Lady, Marija joked with her today saying that even Annette’s angel was present in the apparition.

It was also incredible to us that Marija said the angels were looking at all of us in the room. She so often had told our founder that when angels come with Our Lady, they are always looking at Our Lady. Marija said that they are overjoyed at being with Our Lady—though they perfectly reflect the mood and expressions of Our Lady when they are with Her. If She is happy, they are exceedingly happy. If She is tranquil, they are as well. Knowing this, it was more than a surprise to know they came today, looking at us.

statue of our lady

Hail, holy Queen enthroned above, O Maria,
Hail, Queen of mercy and of love, O Maria…

Triumph, all ye Cherubim,
Sing with us, ye Seraphim,
Heaven and earth resound the hymn
Salve, salve, salve Regina

The cause of joy to all below, O Maria,
The spring through which all graces flow, O Maria…

“I wish to give you graces, ask for them.”

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2 thoughts on “What Happened on August 15, 2003: Caritas Silver Jubilee”

  1. I feel from the description and pictures, especially on this day, the feast of the Queenship of Our Lady that I am present to this experience as in real time. You have captured the beauty and excitement of Our Lady’s presence so accurately that I am able to experience it as if it happened moments ago. What an incredible gift to be able to be share in the joy of an event that happened 8 years ago as if it happened today. Thank you Caritas!!!

  2. I feel from the description and pictures, especially on this day, the feast of the Queenship of Our Lady that I am present to this experience as in real time. You have captured the beauty and excitement of Our Lady’s presence so accurately that I am able to experience it as if it happened moments ago. What an incredible gift to be able to be share in the joy of an event that happened 8 years ago as if it happened today. Thank you Caritas!!!

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