The village of Medjugorje is beginning to fill with pilgrims who are coming in for the 26th Anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions. At the end of Croatian Mass each evening, Ivan, the visionary, comes to the podium to pray a novena prayer to Our Lady on behalf of the parish of Medjugorje. Sometimes Marija joins Ivan for this prayer. The prayer is the Magnificat, and after every few lines, the congregation gathered sings “Ave, Ave, Ave Maria.” This simple prayer to Our Lady has been prayed for many years by the visionaries, in this manner, in preparation for Her anniversary in June. Along with this novena, the parish of Medjugorje is also climbing Apparition Hill every afternoon at 4:00 p.m., while praying the Rosary. They will do this for nine days as well, leading up to the Anniversary.
Apart from these prayers, Marija also climbs Apparition Hill each day for nine days, preceding the Anniversary, as a novena for Our Lady’s intentions. The Caritas Community members, along with other close friends of Marija, join her each year for this annual offering to Our Lady. During the day of June 17th, as we climbed the Hill, we came upon one beautiful scene after another as there were many small groups of villagers and pilgrims who also were making the ascent. Some were already on top of the Hill when we arrived, other were just starting up as we returned to the bottom. This would continue throughout the night. You can feel it in the air here, that Our Lady’s Anniversary is approaching. It is a joy to see so many preparing ahead of time for the day of joy that is approaching.
Our Lady came tonight, on the Hill of Apparition, to Ivan. The apparition took place at 10:00 p.m. after more than an hour of singing and the praying of the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary. Below is Ivan’s description of the apparition:
Our Lady came happy and joyful. At the beginning She greeted us with Her Motherly greeting, “Praised be Jesus my dear children.” With great joy Our Lady prayed over us with extended hands and then prayed over the sick people present here. She then blessed us all with Her Motherly blessing and blessed all the religious articles brought for blessing. I recommended all of our intentions, us, all our families and especially all the sick present to Our Lady. Our Lady, in a particular way prayed for the sick. Then Our Lady said, “Dear children, also today the Mother calls you with great joy, especially in this time of grace, to renew my messages and live my messages in your families. Pray, dear children, pray. Thank you dear children, for having responded to my call.” Then we prayed with Our Lady an Our Father and a Glory Be and then Our Lady left in the illuminated sign of the cross, saying “Go in peace, my dear children.”