Thursday, August 21, 2003
Apparition in the Field
This was a special apparition. In the Field were gathered those who have been very special supporters of our mission over the years, some who drove but mostly flew in from all over the United States. The evening was very hot and humid. At the beginning of the week, the weather forecasters predicted record-breaking high temperatures. People began gathering in the Field around 5:30 P.M. The apparition was expected around 6:40 P.M. All three mysteries of the Rosary were prayed, with the exception of the fifth glorious mystery. The air was still, the heat suffocating. There was a very thin shade cast from the tree in which a few people took refuge. All the rest of the people gathered, accepting the sacrifice of being in the full sun, in front of the statue of Our Lady. The humidity was so high that most everyone was perspiring. But despite the heat, there was a strong presence of prayer and reverence as those gathered awaited the time of the apparition.
In the middle of praying the Rosary, a large, grey storm cloud, which had been drifting in the sky, had made its way to the sun and covered it. At the same time, a strong, cool wind began to blow, and continued, not for a minute or two, but through the last four decades of the Rosary. In just minutes, all of us suffering from the heat were not only cooled off, but the wind was strong enough to dry the dampness of our clothing. It was actually pleasant to be there in the Field—and as the distracting heat had gone, all present were able to enter more deeply into prayer. It was so amazing, and also beautiful to watch the expressions on people’s faces because it wasn’t like standing in the shade on a hot day, but rather the temperature literally changed. There was not one person in the Field who did not recognize Our Lady’s presence in the coolness of the wind, as it was that startling of a change.
When Marija began the prayers for the apparition, everyone in the Field knelt down. Even a Jewish man who knew us, but did not necessarily believe in the apparitions, was so moved by the sudden change of temperature that he too, went down on his knees. Strangely, Our Lady didn’t come after just a few sets of Our Father’s, Hail Mary’s and Glory Be’s. Marija recited eight sets, and on the ninth one, finally Our Lady came. This is not the norm. Because of the devoutness of the people gathered, there was an intensity of prayer experienced that was felt by all those present. Perhaps Our Lady was taking advantage of such heartfelt prayer in delaying Her visit.
After the apparition ended, Marija said: The moment of apparition, I recommend all of our intentions, all that we have in our hearts. And Our Lady pray over us. And I ask also that She bless all objects that we have here. And Our Lady after praying, She blessed all objects with the Sign of the Cross, and I recommend all we have special way of all these people who is here and special way all sick people and Our Lady one other time, She open Her hands and She beginning to pray, and She pray five minute I don’t know. And after She give blessing like Sign of Cross, and She say, “Go in peace” and She leave. And Our Lady, normally when She come She is sad, or tranquil or joy. Today She is tranquil and She watch all of us.
For those present, it was felt to be an honor to be with Our Lady. Several gifts were given this evening, beginning with the long, cool wind during the Rosary. The apparition was also long, almost four minutes, which is a beautiful grace. During the apparition, Our Lady prayed over everyone not just one time, but two times, and as Marija said, Our Lady “watch all of us.” As Marija explained later, Our Lady looked at the faces of all those present in this apparition, from one face to the next, showing She sees each and every one of us. These were all special gifts given and made this apparition one to be especially remembered for those gathered this day.
After the apparition, we walked up the hill to a special dinner at the Tabernacle of Our Lady’s Messages and the evening ended with Marija speaking to all those gathered, with Paolo, her husband, translating, much to the delight of everyone gathered.
All during Marija’s visit, the little children of the community were plucking up courage to pray out loud some of the decades of the Rosary during the times that the community was praying. Also, Paolo and Marija’s young boys were enthusiastic about leading the rosary. Marija always commented on this after the Rosary was over, encouraging them along with our founder. This led to asking a few of the more daring children to lead one of the rosaries in the Field the evening of August 21. Though a little nervous, they said yes, and did beautifully. Many of the pilgrims present in the Field that evening were particularly touched by the witness of these younger members of the Caritas Community.
Marija, with her young son, Giovanni, in the Field before the apparition of August 21, 2003.
A beautiful picture of Marija in ecstasy—the position of Our Lady’s statue is almost perfect in helping us to imagine what it is like when Marija sees Our Lady standing on Her cloud before her—and, too, what it is like to have Our Lady hovering above us, blessing us, watching us, praying over us in Her apparitions.
Marija and Paolo graciously greet these friends of Our Lady’s mission at Caritas, and thank them for helping Our Lady by embracing in their own lives Her messages. Marija feels compelled to help support the conversions of those whom Our Lady has touched by offering them insights into Our Lady’s messages and encouraging them to continue giving their hearts and lives to Our Lady. Her talks are always filled with examples from her own life of how she tries to incorporate the message into the daily life of her family, church and community.
Marija relates a story that caused Paolo to smile as he translated it for the crowd who was delighted to have this opportunity of seeing Marija and her husband together at the podium. Our Lady knew that the world was most in need of witnesses to a holy family life in this materialistic world. This helps to explain why all six visionaries of Medjugorje decided to marry rather than choosing to become priests and nuns. Holy families breed holy priests and nuns—and also future holy families. The statue of Our Lady present at the “vacation with Our Lady” stands over those gathered. It now resides overlooking our Radio WAVE studio for Worldwide AVE. But we will always hold this statue dear for it’s presence during the incredible week with Our Lady at the beach.