What Happened on February 1, 1994
After a Five-Year Trial Period, Our Lady Returns to the Bedroom
The apparitions of November 1988 to the end of January 1989 laid a foundation upon which Our Lady began to build, through Caritas’ founder, the mission and community of Caritas. but it was not until February 1994 that Our Lady returned, again through visionary Marija coming for a visit. The mission of Caritas of Birmingham was experiencing tremendous growth, and the Caritas Community was growing as well, with several families and single men and women.
Primarily through the high demand for the writings of Caritas’ founder that were based in Our Lady’s messages, the mission of Caritas of Birmingham, after less than five years, outgrew the facilities that contained the mission. After a period of much prayer, the decision was made to begin construction on a 32,000 square foot building for the mission’s expansion. Though there was much excitement over the impact the mission was having in tens of thousands of lives and families across the country and around the world, it was also a time of great attack on the mission. In the year 2002, Caritas of Birmingham published a writing entitled, “Entering a Time of Persecution,” a 138-page history of Caritas, detailing much of the behind-the-scenes details of significant events in their history including attacks upon the founder, community and mission of Caritas over the years. following is an excerpt from “Entering a Time of Persecution,’ the year being 1994 on the timeline of Caritas’ development. Caritas was in the middle of building the Tabernacle of Our Lady’s Messages.
“By 1994, we had suffered through so much persecution over the five years since 1988 that we began to wonder if Our Lady was not happy with us. Had we done something wrong? Was Our Lady displeased with us in what we were doing? Some were saying we were a discredit to Medjugorje. We know our intentions were pure, that our mission was fruitful and rather than drawing people away from Medjugorje, we were taking more people there, producing more materials and had the largest group of people that existed world-wide, who were dedicated to the sole purpose of spreading the messages of Our Lady. The war in Bosnia was raging, while we had the same against us. Virtually every project Caritas has ever started has had strong resistance come against it. The more impact, the more fierce the resistance.
“It was in these years that the Tabernacle of Our Lady’s Messages (TOLM) was launched. The decision to build came through a long period of prayer. We were confident in our founder’s discernment in building this 32,000 square foot, three-story Motherhouse for our mission’s operations. However, a small number of individuals, driven again by jealousy, began spreading as much resistance as possible to keep us from raising the funds for the building. The attack came from within the movement. the founder, in response to this attack, offered a quote from Abraham Lincoln to those in the movement attacking him. The quote was offered not in the sense of material wealth, but rather the “house” we were building was one of “faith” with the desire to reach more people in order to share the “riches” Our Lady was giving the world through Medjugorje. God, therefore, blessed our work and allowed it to expand. The new building was being built so that the fruit harvested would be richer and more plentiful. In our mind, it was only a matter of time before other Medjugorje centers would, in turn, do the same for Our Lady. The harvest is plenty, the laborers few. Our Lady needed every center to “expand their territories.”
“Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him work diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuming that his own shall be safe from violence when built.”
March 21, 1864
...For those in opposition, the solution was to reinterpret the purpose of the Tabernacle of Our Lady’s Messages to spread disinformation in order for us not to complete the building. Although we were hindered and damaged in this campaign, we continued…
At this time in our mission, we needed confidence from Our Lady about what was happening “here” at Caritas. So when Marija planned her second visit to us, we were overjoyed for Our Lady to come back here. So much had transpired in five years since the 1988-1989 apparitions. There had been such a price satan inflicted through persecutions for the apparitions for two and a half months in 1988 that we really needed confirmation from Our Lady to keep our spirits strong. The young community on February 1, 1994 met in the Field while Marija had the apparition in the Bedroom with the founder and his family. Through much of the war in Bosnia, Marija described Our Lady in the apparitions as not particularly joyful, but more tranquil, neither happy nor sad. Because of this we had no expectations that Our Lady would give any messages here. We did ask Our Lady for a sign when She came, however. Because of the heated attack against the Tabernacle, we had prayed strongly that if Our Lady was pleased with our efforts, that She would at least show this on Her face. That would be enough of a “message” for us. In the apparition in the Bedroom, the first of February, when Our Lady came, we received much more than this. Marija said that upon arriving, Our Lady immediately smiled and then spoke then following words:
Needless to say, for the founder there could not have been six other words he could have been more pleased to hear. From building the Tabercalce of Our Lady’s Messages to weathering many storms of persecution, Her precious words alone were enough to balance the scales…Our Lady’s words were of the sweetest fragrance to our souls, an aroma that breathed strength and greater perseverance in our mission; a refreshing and confirming message that made the five-year trial period worth every cross for the fragrance of what these six words brought to us.
March 25, 1994
The Lily of Heaven was “here.” We felt Her holiness in our presence. “Here” was Caritas. “Here” was the founder’s bedroom, and “here” was the ongoing active obedience to “carry Her holiness out to the world,” and also, “here” was being viciously attacked from behind the scenes. So the words, “happy to be here,” solidly fixed into our hearts what had been discerned already: namely Our Lady had a plan evolving “here” that began even before Caritas existed and that it was pleasing to Her. It was not a plan in competition with Medjugorje, rather it was a billboard for Medjugorje, always pointing back to the font of grace from which we received our nourishment and formation. Caritas was a fruit of Medjugorje, a child born from our Mother from Medjugorje. We were so happy that day, after so much suffering, that we wept with joy.”