It was a long apparition, lasting for 10 minutes, and it was felt Our Lady did something there in the Field and valley, though not completely understood and somewhat of a mystery. It would manifest later in Our Lady using the Bedroom and the Field to bring conversions to tens of thousands of souls. It has always been believed that Our Lady placed some kind of seal over the valley and the mission.
The Caritas Community had come to know many of the construction crew who were working on building the Tabernacle of Our Lady’s Messages. Most of them were Protestant of various denominations and when hired to do the job, came with some trepidation as they did not have an understanding of Our Lady’s role in the Church or of the apparitions. Through time, however, they became friends with the community and grew to respect their work. They were invited to attend Marija’s apparition in the Field on February 3. Out of curiosity, many of them came. Marija greeted them personally and made them feel welcome. They silently and respectfully watched from a short distance. But even they felt the strong peace that enveloped the Field during the long minutes of the apparition. Several of these rough construction workers had tears running down their faces while Our Lady was present. They listened, with the rest of those gathered to Marija’s description of what Our Lady did on this day. Marija’s husband Paolo translated Marija’s Italian into English.
Anyone who works in construction knows that as soon as quitting time comes in the afternoon, it doesn’t take long for the workers to leave the job site. These men were no different. However, on the afternoon of February 3rd, long after quitting time, we found a small group of these construction workers standing around a fire they had made in a large 50-gallon drum, talking about their experience in the Field, the peace and wonder they felt and what it all meant. They did not want the day to end. They knew they had experienced something not of this world. It is one of the beautiful remembrances of that special apparition in the Field.
Viewed from on top of the mountain overlooking Caritas, the Pine Tree in the Field and the top of the Tabernacle of Our Lady’s Messages can be seen nestled among the tops of pine trees filling the valley. This is the valley, at the tail end of the Appalachian mountain range that Our Lady extended Her hands over in pray and blessed in an apparition that lasted 10 minutes on February 3, 1994. It is a mystery, even to this day, of what that blessing was for. However, over the past 17 years, since this apparition, we have witnessed countless times God’s protection over the mission, homes and property that make up Caritas of Birmingham and the Community of Caritas.
The Tabernacle of Our Lady’s Messages was in full construction during Our Lady’s visit February 1-3, 1994. During the apparition of February 3, when Our Lady stretched out Her arms in a blessing, She was directly facing the Tabernacle, which is hidden from view when one is in the Field by the many trees surrounding it. It is also believed that Our Lady’s blessing extended to the building that had just been dedicated to Her for the propagation of Her messages on December 8, 1993. In looking back at this history, it moves the heart to reflect upon Our Lady’s return to Caritas this March 19-23, 2011 in which the consecration of the newly expanded Tabernacle of Our Lady’s Messages will take place in the Virgin Mary’s actual presence. There can be no doubt as to the power of Our Lady’s blessing when one looks at the growth of Caritas’ mission over the years, even in hard economic times, and the impact the mission has made upon hundreds of thousands of souls around the world. We thank God for the gift of Our Lady who has helped grow this mission over the years through the many graces She has dispensed upon it.