Tuesday, August 19, 2003
Apparition in the Writing Office of A Friend of Medjugorje
in The Tabernacle of Our Lady’s Messages
This was the first apparition ever in The Tabernacle of Our Lady’s Messages
On December 31, 2000, when Our Lady appeared to Marija in her normal evening apparition, She told Marija to climb Apparition Mountain at midnight. Our Lady had not made this request of Marija in many years. This news spread throughout the village and thousands of pilgrims and villagers climbed the mountain that night to be with Marija. At midnight, when the New Year was just being born, January 1, 2001, Our Lady gave a very disturbing and unexpected message. She said to Marija:
January 1, 2001
Our founder called Marija when he heard this message to confirm it and discuss it with her. He said we all believed satan had this past century and he was loose, hasn’t satan already been “unchained?” Marija responded by saying, “No, satan had long chain, now has no chain.” After several months of pondering this message, our founder began a project to help protect against the increased freedom to roam that satan has won. Our Lady had told the Medjugorje visionaries in the first years of Her apparitions that it was necessary for people to wear more blessed objects, have them in our homes, and to restore the use of Holy Water. Our founder began contacting companies who mined and packaged salt that one buys in grocery stores, working with them to acquire salt for the purpose of having it blessed by Our Lady that it may help bring protection against satanic influences. He had obtained 50,000 canisters of salt before Marija’s visit to Caritas in December, 2001. He, with the community, prayed to Our Lady to bless the salt. She graciously answered our prayer on December 11, 2001. As the salt began to be distributed, people began reporting graces received from its use—graces of protection and of healing,
Realizing how powerful of a grace was attached to the first shipment of salt that was blessed in December 2001, our founder made an all out effort to get two more trailer of salt in for the apparitions at Caritas in August, 2003. On top of these two, two other truckloads were offered to us as there had been a problem with an order and the company would be taking a total loss on the shipment. Knowing that we were a mission, they donated part of the shipments to us. Our founder thought this couldn’t be just coincidental. We all felt this could only have come from the hand of Our Lady. So we had six truckloads of salt sitting in our print shop, two that already had been blessed, and four waiting to be blessed. All of us were hoping and praying that Our Lady would specially bless the newly delivered salt, but we were cautioned by our founder that it would be wrong of us to be presumptuous that Our Lady would do so just because we expected it from Her.
In the year 2001, when Our Lady blessed the first shipment of salt while Marija was present at Caritas, She did so from the Field. The salt wasn’t in the Field, but was across the street in the print shop of the Tabernacle of Our Lady’s Messages. Our founder asked Marija several times if it was certain that Our Lady had blessed the salt. Marija said for certain that Our Lady had. Now, in August of 2003, with the four additional truckloads of salt and hoping Our Lady would bless these as well, we wanted Her to appear in the Tabernacle for this occasion. However, Our Lady had never appeared before in the Tabernacle, and with this first apparition, there were several in the community who felt the apparition should not be in the print shop but somewhere else in the building.
We approached our founder about having the apparition in his writing office. For us, this is the most important room in the building, as it is here that the witness of living Our Lady’s messages is transmitted into his writings. Our Lady specifically gave a message to our founder, through Marija, calling him to be a witness—and through this witness he showed the community “a way” of life of living Our Lady’s messages. Our Lady, through Marija, told our founder and the community to be active in the propagation of this witness and way of life. (See May 31, 1995 click) These writings have impacted millions of souls over the years because they are based on the day to day experience of putting Our Lady’s words into life. The writings have power to convert because what is offered is not empty words, but words that have been lived, and therefore, they have the power of conviction behind them. It was in this room, more than any other, that we desired Our Lady to appear in the Tabernacle for Her blessing upon it. Saying that he could not be the one to decide this, our founder allowed us to pray and seek an answer from Our Lady. We were given a sign that confirmed our desire for the apparition to take place in his writing office. So this was how the place of the apparition was decided upon.
The community met together at 6:00 P.M. to begin the Rosary. Our founder was showing Marija and Paolo through the building, and they all joined us a few minutes later. During the prayers of the apparition, Our Lady came a little earlier than what had been Her normal apparition time. The Magnifcat was prayed after the apparition and the prayer ended with one Glory Be.
Marija said: “Our Lady blessed us and She prayed over us. (Marija then picked up the canister of salt that was on our founder’s desk.) And She bless also, I ask for all salt, in first floor.”
Founder: “So She blessed us first and the salt second?”
Founder: “What were the words you said to Her?”
Marija: “I asked Her to bless salt. (Marija had a hard time pronouncing the word “salt”, so she said, jokingly, I said in Croatian.)”
Founder: “Did Our Lady say anything in return?”
Marija: “No, She bless, She make Sign of Cross.”
Founder: “Which way did She do it…”
Marija: “Like always…”
Founder: “In which direction? Towards you?”
Marija: “There, there is salt (points to salt on desk and points downward inferring where the salt is in the print shop on first floor). And to this (salt canister on desk) and to other (salt on 1st floor).”
Founder: “Amen. So She was tranquil today?”
Marija: “Yes, thank God.”
Founder: “She pray over us like yesterday?”
Marija: “She pray little bit. I recommend all of our intentions, what we have in our hearts and I ask Our Lady to bless all salt together. She make little prayer over us and after She bless.”
Founder: “Thank you, Marija.”
Marija: “To me or to Our Lady?”
Founder: “To Our Lady for your collaboration.”
Children, horses and blooming flowers surround Our Lady in the Field the morning of August 19, 2003. The daily Rosary said here in the Field, every day, brings peace and harmony to all of creation that surrounds us. We have seen through the years where damaging storms heading in our direction, suddenly veer off the path leading to Caritas, and though damage may be all around us, we find ourselves and property protected. Even this past April, 2011, with the horrific and deadly tornadoes that were the worst in Alabama history, though we did sustain some damage, it was minimal compared to so many areas that were entirely devastated—and we had been in the direct path of the tornado. Every day the valley, the trees, the mountains and all the animals are given to Our Lady in our prayer for Her blessing. We have often experienced a particular peace during this Rosary time, but also, so many unique encounters with animals, both from the wild and those that are Caritas animals, that have been so beautiful as to touch our souls with peace.
Marija’s husband, Paolo, and their oldest son, Michele, enjoy a ride on one of the horses through Our Lady’s Field. The grass in the Field has just been cut, and is laying out to dry before being made into hay bales. We feed our animals on the hay that we ourselves produce. We entered into living the agrarian way of life in order not to be a tax upon the mission of Caritas. It was our desire that every dollar donated would go towards the propagation of the messages and preparing for the great evangelization that is coming. It was also our strong desire to do as St. Paul did that was relayed in Scripture, “Even when I was amongst you I worked for my own keep, so as not to be a burden to you.”
Fr. John Gomez blesses the five tractor trailer rigs of salt during his visit to Caritas after Our Lady’s blessing on August 19, 2003.