The Apparitions of July 1-5, 2008 and 2009 at Caritas
The second day of the Five Days of Prayer called for the personal and individual consecration to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. This consecration took place during the time of Our Lady’s apparition. Although the apparition was in the Bedroom, there are no walls that separate Our Lady from the hearts who have gathered to be with Her. Both in 2008 and 2009, a special grace was given in the apparitions of July 2. Since Our Lady’s arrival, She chose each day to appear in the Bedroom, but on July 2nd, Our Lady told Marija that the apparition on the next day would be in the Field—but not at the same time. Rather, on July 3, 2008, She said She would appear at 10:00 PM and on July 3, 2009 She said She would appear at 10:30 PM in the Field. Marija told those in the Bedroom what Our Lady had said in the apparition on July 2, 2008:
This announcement was so unexpected, and something of a shock, that several in the room asked Marija to repeat what she had just said.
“Our Lady said, not here (the Bedroom), but in the Field, tomorrow night, 10:00 P.M. Our Lady [the apparition is] for everybody. These days Our Lady appears always here (in the Bedroom), saying “Same time, same place.” And I think all other people are a little bit jealous of us. So thank God. Thank Our Lady. So, not two times will there be an apparition, but only tomorrow night, in the Field for everybody. You go out now and tell everyone this beautiful news. And God bless you all.”
The founder of Caritas spoke about Our Lady’s actions both in 2008 and 2009. He said by Our Lady not following Her normal routine, She shows that She is involved in the events going on. She recognizes the purpose of this gathering is for the consecration of the nation, and She changes the time of Her apparition to be present at the Vigil of July 4th, the nation’s birthday. This was a beautiful gesture by Our Lady, and one that heightened the significance of this gathering for all those who were in attendance.
Marija is so personable with the pilgrims, many who have traveled long distances to be with her, and with Our Lady, in these days of prayer. Though Marija is not fluent in English, she prefers to speak in English rather than have a translator. Her exuberance for Our Lady covers up the language difficulties. People find it a delight to listen to her, and often a simple story of different ways she has applied the message in her own life has helped others see how they can change their own situations in their homes and families.
The day of the individual consecrations is also the day for the climb up Grotto La Pluie. It is a difficult climb walking parallel with a mountain creek that turns into a small waterfall as you near the top of the mountain. “La Pluie” is French for “the rain”. The hike leads to a grotto where a statue of Our Lady has been placed, hidden amidst the leafy trees and shrubbery. For many people who come to Caritas, it is out of character for them to climb such a challenging mountain, but in keeping with the spirit of sacrifice of the event, they want to put forth the effort to receive the graces they have come seeking from Our Lady. Often, it is the experience of helping and being helped up to Our Lady’s grotto that makes the biggest impression on them, or rather, where they learn the greatest lessons.
The apparition of July 2, 2008. Our Lady says She will appear on July 3rd during the Vigil prayer for the birthday of America at 10:00 P.M.
On the morning of July 3, 2011, Marija stands before the Tabernacle of Our Lady’s messages to speak to the large crowd gathered. She often says she is like everyone else, living in the world as a wife and a mother, trying to bring the light of Our Lady to those she encounters at her children’s school or in the grocery store. Yet, sprinkled throughout her stories are profound insights and unique moments that confirm to the listener that this ordinary woman before them truly is connected to Our Lady in a particular and special way. You can see this on the expressions of the faces of those who have come to listen to the one who has become known as the voice of Our Lady.
Marija stands here with the wife of A Friend of Medjugorje, Annette. Marija surprised the crowd by sharing with them how much their friendship has meant to her throughout the years, and especially recalled the love and care shown to her by Annette when Marija was a young girl, far from her home, when in 1988 she came to donate her kidney to her brother in a big city hospital in Birmingham. Annette cared for her like her own mother would and Marija has never forgotten this all these years. Marija asked Annette to join her up by the podium, and Annette, who never likes to be in the limelight shared a few memories of her own. These two women have shared so many beautiful experiences together with Our Lady in between them.
The apparition of July 2, 2009. After the apparition, Marija stands on the stairs and shares stories of Our Lady with those who were present in the house. No one is ever anxious to leave after an apparition. Knowing this, Marija graciously invites them to stay for a little while to prolong the peace and joy of this moment with Our Lady.
July 3, 2008 & 2009
Throughout the third day of the Five Days of Prayer, pilgrims prepared for the consecration of their families. Many formally prayed the consecration prayer during the morning Rosary, others waited to visit the Bedroom of Apparitions to pray it there, still others waited for Our Lady’s apparition during the prayer Vigil that night for tomorrow’s feast day of our nation.
Early evening many from the Caritas community, joined by an increasing number of watching pilgrims, set up the altar for Our Lady’s apparition with more than ????? candles. These candles represented the prayers and intentions of people from all over the world. To see it finished with all the candles lit up was breathtaking. As more and more pilgrims made their way to the center area of the Field, they were impacted by the beauty and reverence of the moment
A special Rosary had been planned this night, with music that had been specifically written for this event to lead everyone into a deep prayer for our nation’s conversion. The songs were played in between each decade, each one following the them from 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, I will forgive their sin and heal their land.” Slowly, the last vestiges of light left as daylight faded into night, but with 2,500 candles lit around Our Lady, and a clear sky that began to fill with stars, everyone in the Field was blanketed in a sweet peace as apparition time approached. The last song played, ended in these words: “Lord of our nation, we crown You King. Rule over us, over everything.”
When the Rosary ended, the entire Field fell silent, everyone waiting with expectant hearts to greet their Heavenly Mother. Marija was also silent, entering into a deep prayer. She told the pilgrims this morning that she felt something strong inside her that Our Lady was going to grace us. After several Our Father’s, Hail Mary’s, and Glory Be’s, Marija’s voice faded away, and the thousands in the Field became silent again. For those who saw Marija’s face, there was a deep intensity, different from her normal, daily apparitions. After several minutes passed, the silence continued as Our Lady continued to stay.
After the apparition had ended, Marija said that Our Lady prayed over everyone for a long time, looking at us while She did so. The apparition lasted eight minutes, an incredible grace for everyone present. Our lady surprised everyone gathered when Marija asked Her what time and place She would like for the apparition on the 4th of July, and Our Lady said, “Same time, same place,” meaning again, in the Field at 10:00 p.m. Knowing that this was something out of the ordinary, and feeling that Our Lady was giving us all another day to spend in prayer for our nation’s conversion, joy swept through the crowd.
Marija took over the event from that point. She asked the crowd, “Would you rather sleep or would you rather pray?” And then she said, “I think we must pray very much in these next 24 hours for your nation.” She then began praying the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be, inviting everyone around her to pray one set a piece, while Marija passed the microphone around to each person. It was very beautiful so see Marija being so open and intimate with everyone, very much a part of the gathering herself, and encouraging everyone to continue to pray to Our Lady for all that we are asking Her to accomplish in these days of prayer. Though the large crowd slowly began to drift away in the darkness, and the numbers of pilgrims around Our Lady’s statue decreased as time passed, Marija stayed, joyfully continuing to draw willing pilgrims to prayer. At midnight, when the 4th of July officially began, those still present, several hundred people, gathered around Our Lady’s statue on our knees, prayed for our nation, and then everyone sang, “This is the Day that the Lord has Made.” It was a beautiful, breathtaking night, and one that filled all of us with great anticipation for Our Lady’s apparition the following evening.
During the apparition of July 3, 2009, at 10:30 P.M. in the Field, Our Lady did something remarkable and beautiful, in an apparition that lasted almost eight minutes. Marija said that when Our Lady came tonight, She was facing her directly, but at the moment when Our Lady began looking at everyone present, She actually turned Her body around, with Her arms outstretched in a manner of blessing, to the left to see everyone on that side of Her, and then turned Her body to the right to do the same on the other side, which was a beautiful gift for all those present at the apparition tonight. Marija had never seen Our Lady do this before. We then learned that Our Lady gave a message this night. Following is Marija’s description of the apparition:
“In the moment of the apparition when Our Lady come, I recommended each and every one of us, I offered Our Lady also all of our prayers for this nation. And Our Lady extended Her hands over everyone of us. She watched us all and She prayed one Our Father and then She blessed us all. Our Lady stayed with us a long, long time. When I offered our prayers for this nation, for conversion, to come back to God, Our Lady answered and said “Thank you. I need your prayers. I need, dear children, everyone in this world be my extended hands.” And Our Lady began one other time to pray. And before Our Lady blessed us with a final blessing, I asked Our Lady for tomorrow and Our Lady said “Same time, same place.” And Our Lady blessed us all. Our Lady was happy, She’s happy tonight.”
From this consecration, both in the year of 2008 and 2009, we felt immense confidence in Our Lady that no matter what came to us in the future, it was in Our Lady’s hands for the good of our nation and its eventual return to God. Without a doubt, Our Lady received this consecration, which gave Her title of our nation. It belongs to Her. It is always darkest before the dawn, and we are experiencing that even now in our nation, but it is through purification that we will come to a new dawn and we are confident that is coming through this consecration.
The Solemn Consecration of the United States the night of July 3, 2009.
The tree is lit up on one side, by the thousands of candles around Our Lady’s statue, and on the other side by an almost full moon. With Our Lady’s apparition took place in the midst of such beauty.
Marija in ecstasy the night of the Vigil of the Birth of our Nation, July 3, 2009, at 10:30 P.M.
More of What Happened on Other Days: