December 8, 2011 A.D.
What Happened on December 8, 1999
Marija was a young 24 year old woman when she first came and stayed with our founder and his family in 1988-89. She returned two more times with her husband Paolo in the 1990’s—in September 1994 and May 1998. Both of these visits were private. In December 1999, Marija attended Caritas of Birmingham’s Five Days of Prayer for the Reconciling of Ourselves, Our Families and Our Nation Back to God—an annual event. It had been ten years since Marija was present for apparitions at Caritas in which the public was present. It was the cause of great excitement to have Our Lady here for five days and five apparitions. People came from all across the country, and within the five day period, it was estimated by county officials that 40,000 people had attended the event. There were many remarkable conversions that took place during these days of prayer and beautiful graces given by Our Lady that impacted the lives of thousands of people.
December 8, 1999 (FEAST OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION)
Close to five thousand people were present during this apparition which took place in the Field. At the moment of the apparition, Marija separated herself from the crowd and knelt in front of Our Lady’s statue. Our Lady appeared to Marija at 10:45 a.m. The following is Marija’s own words in describing the apparition.
"When Our Lady appeared, She came all dressed in gold. I recommended each of you and every intention of your hearts. Our Lady extended Her hands over all of us and prayed over us for a long time. I asked Our Lady to bless each and every one of us and to bless all the religious objects that you brought. Our Lady then smiled at all of us and prayed a moment and then She raised Her arm and blessed us with the sign of the cross. I then asked Our Lady if She had something that She wanted to tell us. Our Lady then looked at me and smiled and said:"
"Our Lady then raised Her hand again (a second time) and blessed us and then left."
After the apparition, Marija spoke to the thousands gathered and said she had brought miraculous medals that Our Lady had blessed. She wanted to personally hand out the medals to as many people as possible. She gave out more than twelve thousand medals that day in the Field. During the apparition, Marija had asked Our Lady what time would She appear the following day. Marija told us later that Our Lady changed the time of the apparition from the morning to 5:45 p.m. in the evening. This was a sign for us that Our Lady was "running the show here," that She had come with special plans of Her own and had Her own schedule for us to follow.
Unknown to the community, Marija had also asked if Our Lady would appear again that evening, for a private apparition for the community. Our Lady said, "Yes, in the home, at a quarter till six." We knew clearly that "in the home" meant the "bedroom" where Our Lady had appeared so many times before to Marija on previous visits. Later that evening the community gathered in the bedroom to pray the Rosary. Our Lady appeared to Marija at 5:45 p.m. Our Lady stayed with us for several minutes, a longer apparition than normal. Marija said that Our Lady looked at each of the community members individually, smiled, blessed us all and then spoke the same words She had spoken earlier in the day: