November 19, 2011 A.D.
What Happened On November 19, 1988
The apparition of Our Lady took place at 10:40 a.m., in the morning, Central Standard Time (CST) on November 19, 1988. In Medjugorje, which was seven hours ahead of CST, the time was 6:40 p.m. This was the time Our Lady had set for Her daily apparitions since they had begun in 1981. It made sense, then, that Our Lady would be appearing at 10:40 a.m. in Alabama because it coincided with Our Lady’s daily apparition time in Medjugorje. However, in this apparition Our Lady said that the following day She would appear at 10:30 p.m. From the very first apparition, Our Lady began a pattern not to have a pattern for Her daily apparitions while She was appearing in our founder’s home. Every day She would inform Marija when the apparition would be the following day and the time was different every single day. This was the cause of real excitement because it demonstrated, among many other things that She was not following Her normal routine established in Medjugorje. She was doing something different.
Our founder had determined, before he left to bring Marija to the States, to bring Marija to a church in Birmingham for her daily apparitions. The church was at least a 30-minute drive from their home. They would attend Mass before the apparition. That meant the household had to be up fairly early to give everyone time to get ready, have breakfast and get to the church before Mass began each day. It had not been advertised that a Medjugorje visionary was coming to the Birmingham area. Our founder did not know if it was God’s desire to make this known. He and his wife decided not to tell anyone, except a very few trusted friends. They left it up to God to spread the news if He desired it. When they arrived at the church they came to the realization that this was not to be the place where the apparitions would take place. It was a consensus they all strongly felt, even Marija, while they were attending Mass. This caused a dilemma because they had not made a second plan in case the first did not work out, and yet Our Lady’s apparition would take place at 10:40 a.m. regardless of where Marija was.
Wanting to maintain a place of privacy, the only place they knew to go that would give them privacy was back to their home, but they had at least a 30-minute drive ahead of them, and with morning traffic it could be longer. It was a race against the clock, but they arrived in time with a few minutes to spare. They brought Marija through the house, room by room, to find a location for the apparition. The last place she was shown was the bedroom where the Crucifix was now hanging. Upon standing at the foot of the bed, Marija firmly and even authoritatively said, “The apparitions will take place here.” Our founder and his wife, who were standing on either side of Marija, looked at each other shocked.
In time, it became clear as to how the Bedroom was chosen, not by Marija, but chosen by Our Lady, Herself. The impact Medjugorje had made in the life of our founder was profound. After his first pilgrimages to Medjugorje, he began to pray that God would show him how to become holy, especially in living out his vocation as a husband and father. This became a very focused prayer, and, for several years, he prayed this every day. When Our Lady came and began to appear in the Bedroom, Marija would kneel at the foot of the Bed while our founder, his wife and their children would gather on their knees around it. Our Lady would then appear upon the Bed. Centered above the Bed was the Crucifix that had been brought from Medjugorje from the room where the daily apparitions were taking place. This was the setting for the apparitions for the next two months. And as everyone was to soon find out, Our Lady had come with a lot to say, in both spoken and unspoken ways.
On this day of November 19, 1988, Our Lady came and was very happy. She blessed everyone. Marija recommended everyone present to Our Lady and Our Lady prayed the Lord’s Prayer and one Glory Be. Our Lady told Marija that for tomorrow’s apparition, She would appear at 10:30 p.m., Sunday night. It was, of course, wonderful to hear that Our Lady came very happy in this first apparition in their home.