** July 1, 2008 **
A large stream of pilgrims are seen here leaving the Field after today's apparition. For many of them, the day started at 3:30 am or 4:00 am to leave their hotels in time to attend 5:00 am prayer in the Field at Caritas. From there many left to attend Mass at a nearby church, surprising all of us by the large attendance, filling the main body of the Church. While the apparition of Our Lady was in the Bedroom, several thousand pilgrims gathered in the Field. It was a beautiful blue sky day with clouds that often floated in front of the sun providing a break from the summer sun, and a cool breeze. After two mysteries of the Rosary, many knelt down facing in the direction of the house where Our Lady would be appearing. We asked Our Lady to help all of us know how we stood with God, that the Holy Spirit would reveal any sins that we were in need of confessing, and that we would be healed from all our spiritual illnesses.
More than 35 pilgrims were randomly chosen to attend today's apparition in the Bedroom, while the community joined all the other pilgrims in the Field. This picture shows Marija at the moment of the apparition, while Our Lady was appearing above the Bed giving Her blessing to all those in attendance in the Bedroom. Our Lady also blessed those in the Field and blessed their religious articles. Following is the description of the apparition.
Today, Marija asked everyone to kneel down and pray in preparation for the apparition. She said to pray for all those who are not here, for those who are in the Field, as well as those we recommend in our prayers and in our hearts. In a special way we pray for all sick people, because what is impossible for man is possible for God. We asked Our Lady, who is here present, for the grace of healing. The Marija called all of the children in to pray during the apparition. Our Lady appeared during the fifth Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be. The apparition was three minutes and forty-five seconds long. The following is Marija's description of today's apparition:
"In moment of apparition, when Our Lady came, I recommended to Our Lady our intentions. Our Lady prayed over us and She Blessed us all. I recommended also all religious objects to be blessed. Also, people who are in the Field. And Our Lady blessed also all the people there."
After the apparition, those present thanked Marija. She told them to thank Our Lady. There was a priest present who had a Crucifix with a relic of the True Cross of Christ contained in it. Marija asked Father to bless all those present with this Crucifix. In response to Marija's question of where and when the apparition would be the following day on July 2, Our Lady responded "Same time, same place" choosing once again to have the apparition in the Bedroom at 11:40 am.
In the afternoon A Friend of Medjugorje spoke to the pilgrims helping to guide them to open their hearts to desire conversion. Priests began hearing confessions in the Field, as pilgrims took to heart the advice given to them to make holy confession in anticipation of the consecration of their hearts to Our Lady and Jesus in the apparition the next day.
For those of you who are walking this week with the community members and pilgrims at Caritas, join us in the prayer of the Rosary at 10:50 am CST, praying two mysteries, and when 11:40 am approaches, recite the prayers of consecration from the heart, along with your own ardent prayers at the time of apparition. Choose to offer up some sacrifice in union with all those who will be climbing up to the Grotto, for all of Our Lady's intentions for this week of prayer.
Caritas of Birmingham