Our first pilgrimage to Medjugorje came up suddenly and most
unexpectedly, a common link shared by many of our tour group's
members. In hindsight, much of what had transpired for many of us over
the proceeding days, months, and years was only leading up to this
pilgrimage and the events that would unfold in Medjugorje.
For me (Mary), there was a powerful conversion experience that began
when I prayed the Rosary for the very first time in September, 1998.
And although this was the day that I realized an abundance of graces
from the Blessed Mother, it was Divine Mercy Sunday when I knew in my
heart the unfathomable mercy of Jesus (as Sr. Faustina describes). My
confession, after many years, triggered the start of an incredible
spiritual journey that eventually led me to Medjugorje. Our Lady was
laying the groundwork, so to speak, perhaps in an effort to ready me for
what I was to experience there.
We are still very much overwhelmed by the events that unfolded as 5 of
us climbed Apparition Hill on October 28, 1999. And, although we have
separate accounts written by each of us who were part of the experience
of that day, we've decided to share just one (Margie's account) because
they are all lengthy and very similar in essence. Our Lady's presence
in Medjugorje is very real as you will gather from our "experience"
(Those on Apparition Hill for this incredible experience were: Margie,
my "spiritual anchor" of sorts, who was surprised with the money to
travel to Medjugorje just in the nick of time; Eileen, my sister and the
one whose subtle urging prompted Margie and me (Mary) to go; Diane, a
nurse, wife, and mother from Wisconsin who was a member
of our tour group; and Marcie, Diane's mother and a grandmother who's
also from Wisconsin and was a member of our tour group.)
This is an account, written by Margie, of our experience upon Apparition
Hill, Medjugorje, on October 28, 1999:
I knew upon awaking Thursday morning that this was destined to be a
terrific day. Not only was the morning itself beautiful, with bright
sunshine, clear blue sky and perfect temperature, but most amazingly, we
finally got hot water for our showers after several days of cold water!
Croatian French toast with Log Cabin syrup just added to our joy. After
breakfast, we prayed the Rosary with members of our group outside in the
glorious morning, then went to the English Mass at 10 a.m. After Mass,
we shopped and walked around downtown, planning to head over to
Apparition Hill around lunchtime. We stopped to get some sandwiches for
lunch, then began to climb the hill.
Before beginning, my friend, Eileen, pulled me aside and hesitantly
asked me to look at her rosary beads to see if I thought they might be
turning gold. She was almost afraid to consider this possibility, and
actually thought she might be imagining it. I looked at them, and sure
enough, the links connecting the crucifix and the medal to the clear
crystal beads had turned gold. The links looked just like my husband
and daughter's rosary beads, which had turned gold earlier this year.
Eileen was very happy about this, and said that the fact that only a few
links had turned gold meant that she needed to keep praying the rosary.
Eileen, her sister Mary, and I each took out our rosaries and began to
pray as we climbed. We were distracted by a man sitting at the side of
the hill. He was sketching the most beautiful portraits of Our Lady and
Jesus that we had ever seen. We stopped and admired them, and tried to
purchase one from him, but we were unable to communicate with him
because he spoke no English. Even our experience with hand motions and
sign language, which we had mastered during the week, was of no help.
Unlike other local merchants, he did not even understand the word
"dollars". We motioned to him that we would climb the mountain and on
the way down we would each buy one of his drawings.
We continued up the hill, praying the first mystery. All of sudden,
Eileen stopped walking and looked up at the sun. She announced that she
could not see the sun, that it looked like a "giant blur." Mary then
looked up at the sun and she too announced that it was not there; she
could not see it. But in place of the sun, Mary saw a large white disk
that she thought looked like a host. I then tried to look at the sun as
they both were, staring directly into it without shielding their eyes in
any way, but I was unable to do so. The sun was just as strong and
bright as it ever had been all week, and I could not look directly into
it, try as I might. I exclaimed several times, "How can you two do
that? This is killing my eyes each time I try!" They continued to
stare at the sun like this for several minutes. Accepting the fact that
I would not experience this miracle of the sun, I took my camera out of
my backpack and snapped two pictures-one of them looking at the sun and
another of the sun itself.
After the phenomenon stopped, we shared our experiences with it and then
started climbing and praying again, with even more exuberance. Just
then, Eileen looked down at her rosary and shrieked, "They are
completely gold now!!! Look!!" I ran over to her and saw that the beads
which only minutes before were completely clear in color had turned to
gold, along with every connecting link. But even more amazing was that
the beads looked to have grown in size, to almost triple the size they
had been. Even more incredible was that these beads were not only gold,
they were glowing! They seemed to be giving off light in rays shooting
out from them. We passed them around between us, but Mary was not able
to see the gold, or the size change, or the light. Only Eileen and I
could see this, and we both jumped up and down and exclaimed about how
they were so gold.
We were making such a spectacle of ourselves that two men climbing near
us came over and asked what was going on. We told them about the
miracle of the sun and showed them the beads. They were unable to see
that the beads were gold-they saw them as silver. We passed them around
several times and even tried to convince them that they were gold, but
they just did not see it. A young man from their group walked by; they
called him over and asked him what color the beads were, and he answered
that they were silver.
We began to realize that this little miracle might be only for us to
see, so we said goodbye to the men and continued to climb and pray. We
spotted two women. Marcie and her daughter, Diane, from our pilgrimage
group coming down the hill toward us, and so we called out to them.
We met them halfway and showed them the beads and told them about the
miracle of the sun. Both of them shrieked when they saw the beads-they
could see that they were gold. We passed them round between us
exclaiming about these events, and suddenly, Marcie shrieked, "Look at
your hands!" The palms of our hands looked as if they had been dipped
into gold glitter, and we understood that this resulted from our passing
the rosary beads back and forth between us. It was almost as if the
gold had "rubbed off" onto our skin! Or maybe Our Lady had sprinkled us
all with gold dust, because the glitter seemed to fade and be replaced
by circles of golden light, about the size of nickels, on our hands. We
looked up at each other and saw that the circles of gold light were on
our shirts, appearing and moving and disappearing on all of us. The
gold light changed to white light, and we continued to see the circles
on only a few of us, then only on our friend, Mary.
What happened next is very difficult to put into words, but here goes.
We watched the circles of light on Mary's white T-shirt for about a
minute, and then Eileen, Diane, and I started to see images appear
within the circles. The images looked like a negative image for a
photograph, in shades of gray, light and dark. As we watched the
circles, images would develop there, like an instant photograph
develops. The first image to appear was Our Lady, which changed into
the face of Jesus. I saw images of the Blessed Mother, Jesus, little
crosses, the Sacred Heart surrounded by thorns, the Immaculate Heart of
Mary pierced by a sword, Mary holding the Infant Jesus, St. Joseph, Mary
crying, the resurrected and glorified Christ, the Shroud of Turin face,
a globe with North and South America connected by a cross, St. James
Church with mountains in the background, a chalice with a host over it,
a host with a dove on its bottom left, an African nun, a man playing a
flute, a hand holding an empty bowl, and other images which I can't
recall exactly. The images I saw were as clear as a real picture, or
drawing, and the detail was amazing.
As each of these images would appear, I would describe what I was seeing
to the others. Other than a few images at the beginning, Eileen,
Marcie, and Diane could not see what I saw, but they did see the circles
of light and saw images of human faces which they could not identify
develop within them. Mary could not see anything, and it was almost
comical to watch her, trying to hold still in one position so as not to
upset what was happening, and shouting "What do you see now?"
One image in particular struck me with an awareness of Our Lord's
presence there on the hill. I saw a globe with the outlines of North
and South America, connected by a cross over the area where Mexico would
be. As I prayed out loud for clarification, I asked the Lord what this
meant. The continents faded and were replaced by a circle with a dove
in the lower left-hand quadrant. I understood the circle to represent
the Holy Eucharist in the form of a host. The words came from my
mouth: "The Holy Spirit will bring us peace."
After several minutes of this amazing happening, I began to doubt that
this was divinely inspired, and wanted to stop. I did not want to be
"imagining" or inventing anything, and I thought that maybe I was doing
this. I have a very deep devotion to Our Lady and did not want to
offend Her in any way. I made a conscious effort to stop, and looked
away from Mary and began to pray. I asked Our Lady and Our Lord if this
was real, and if it was from them. I told them, in just these words and
just as I speak to my friends and family, that I did not want to be
involved in this if it was not divine, and I did not want to be creating
miracles or "looking for signs." I looked away and prayed out loud for
a minute, then I felt an uncontrollable need to look over at Mary
again. Crying, almost unwilling to continue, I shrieked, "Oh - oh -
there's another one!" and the circles kept appearing with images for a
Several times I stopped, prayed, and felt the need to look again. It
soon became clear that this was some form of communication between
heaven and us here on the hill, and that we needed to be open and
cooperate if we were to hear and understand what Our Lord and Our Lady
were trying to tell us. Our prayer changed then, to one of apology and
sorrow for having doubted this event was divine, and we pleaded with Our
Lady to please make clear to us what She wanted of us. The images
continued, and I saw more images of Our Lady and Jesus, churches and
The images seemed to stop, so we all caught our breath and shared our
thoughts about what had happened. We knew for sure that we needed to
keep praying, so we started up the hill again doing just that. Diane
had been climbing the hill barefoot, and so we decided to join her in
this as an act of thanksgiving for this miracle. We found some rocks to
sit down on and removed our shoes. Mary sat on a rock directly across
from me, facing the sun while all of us had our backs to the sun. We
all noticed that the circles of light had returned but how they were
much larger, about the radius of a water glass and all over her shirt.
Again, we could all see the circles except Mary.
What was interesting about this is that the position Mary was sitting in
would have resulted in a filtered sunlight effect on her body and
clothing, as the sun was shining down and through the brush on the side
of the mountain-but instead the light formed into perfect circles. Even
when we asked Mary to move, the circles remained in the same place on
We immediately began to pray and ask Our Lady what these circles meant;
we were desperate to know what She was trying to tell us. Just then,
all the circles lined up, and formed themselves into a chain.
Simultaneously, we all exclaimed, "She wants us to pray the rosary-they
are in the shape of rosary beads." We also saw a silhouette of light,
which resembled the outline of Our Lady, with Her arm extended out,
pointing toward the rosary. This was a no brainer for all of us-it was
as clear as day that if we wanted to know Her desires for us, we should
pray the rosary.
At this point we felt a gentle breeze blow by us, yet there had been no
wind on the Hill that day. I recalled reading the night before that Our
Lady says the wind is Her sign. I mentioned this to the others, and
Diane exclaimed that she too had read the same thing last night. We all
felt a real presence of Our Lady at that moment.
We were satisfied with that and thought that was the end. But Our Lady
is full of surprises. What happened next was truly extraordinary.
Again, I was privileged to see images in the circles. The first image to
develop was that of a beautiful baby on his mother's shoulder. It was
clearly a baby boy, with curly hair, bright eyes, and a happy toothy
smile. I took this to mean that we should be praying for the children
in the world, perhaps especially the war orphans in Bosnia.
Then that image disappeared, and I saw the image of the face of a fetus
appear-it seemed to be a child in the womb, perhaps 3-4 months old. I
am the mother of 4 children, so I recognize the facial features of a
fetus. We all took this to mean that we should be praying for an end to
abortion in the world, and that we should work for the pro-life cause.
In a few moments, I saw a circle of light appear on Mary's sleeve.
Within it I saw an image develop which was hard to discern at first, but
after a minute I could see that it was a baptismal font like they have
in some churches, with a dome over it and a cross on the top. On either
side of the font stood two tall candles, and the font was on a table of
some sort. Behind the font I could see that it was inside a church.
I told the group what I saw, but I really didn't get the meaning of this
one. A baptismal font? What could that mean? Was Our Lady trying to
focus us on the importance of the sacraments? Again, I asked Our Lady
for help in discovering Her messages here. We all discussed how puzzled
we were by this, and then Mary said, "Maybe I should have another
baby-maybe that's what Our Lady is trying to tell me." We all agreed
that that was a possibility, but to be sure we should all pray the
rosary as Our Lady had told us and then we would know.
Then, Marcie began to see an image in another circle, which I could not
see. Up till now, Marcie had not seen any of the images. Marcie began
to cry and was seemingly shocked to see an image appear. Because she
wanted to be certain, she asked Mary to move to the right and then to
the left, and was overwhelmed to see the circles move with her. Through
her tears, she described what she saw-two silhouettes, a man and a woman
facing each other, about to embrace, and perhaps kiss.
It was getting toward the time when we needed to return to town, so we
started down the hill. Mary and Marcie were so overcome with emotion
that they practically ran down the hill ahead of Diane, Eileen, and me.
The three of us passed the artist on the side again and he stopped us.
The artist gave a drawing of Jesus to Eileen, then grabbed it back and
gave her a drawing of Our Lady. He repeated this procedure with Diane,
and gave me a drawing of Our Lady. He refused to take any money so we
just threw some cash at him, thanked him and started to leave. He began
to point down the hill at Mary and Marcie. He kept pointing and saying
something we could not understand until we asked him, pointing to Mary,
"Her? You want her?" He nodded.
We shouted down to Mary to come back up. Reluctantly, she climbed back
up and when she reached the artist, he was rifling through his 1" pile
of drawings. He seemed to know exactly which one he was looking for,
and upon finding it, pointed to the sky, said the only English word we
could understand, "MADONNA", and then pointed to his ear. He handed
Eileen the picture and motioned for her to give it to Mary. Eileen
looked at it and exclaimed, "Here's Our Lady's answer."
When she handed it to Mary, it was absolutely amazing. The drawing was
of a beautiful little baby, very similar to the image I had seen on her
shirt. Unlike the other pictures, it was not a drawing of Mary or
Jesus, and did not resemble what we would consider the Christ child to
look like. The artist again pointed up to the sky with praying hands,
and again said "MADONNA." He pointed to his ears, then pointed to Mary,
and said "bebe." It seemed that he was trying to communicate that Our
Lady had told him to give this picture of the baby to Mary.
When Mary showed the picture to Marcie, she burst into tears and pointed
to the baby's hands, where it looked like the baby was holding a pair of
rosary beads. A closer look revealed that the baby was holding a
necklace chain with some sort of medal on it. Marcie could barely get
the words out to tell us that the image in the medal was exactly the
same image she had seen on Mary's shirt, that of a man and woman
entering into an embrace.
Words cannot express the absolute joy and wonder we all felt at that
moment. It seemed to be Our Lady's direct answer to our questions on
the hill. She even gave us a tangible reminder of Her desire-that She
wishes for Mary to cooperate with God to bring a new life into the
world-a life that we are sure will have a very important job to do for
We cried as we quickly rode a taxi back to the church, where we joined a
group of people pointing up to Mt. Kriezevac and exclaiming. We looked
up and witnessed another miracle, a huge fire at the base of the cross,
almost a neon bright light, which we saw break apart and come together
again several times. Eileen saw a circle of pink over the cross. We
later learned that no one climbing the mountain that afternoon at that
time saw any fire there. Our guide told us that in fifteen years
working there she had never witnessed anything that spectacular.
Inside the conference center, I asked Eileen to pull out her rosary
beads so I could see them. They had turned back to their normal size,
shape, and color. Yet, later that evening, Marcie was astonished to
discover that the links of her husband's rosary beads, which she had
been carrying in a bag around her neck, had turned to gold.
When asked to comment on the light at the cross outside, Fr. Brandimir
recalled Jesus' words, "These people are seeking signs." He went on to
explain how signs mean nothing for him, but that Jesus means everything
to him. He told us that there are signs everywhere, but we fail to see
them. In fact, he said that out of 100 people who would witness the
light on the mountain, most would try to reason it away and many would
not believe it at all. The real power of Medjugorje is not in the
signs, he explained, but in the sacraments. It is there that we
experience a profound meeting with Christ Himself. It is this meeting
that Our Lady wants to bring about by Her appearances here. Our Lady
wants to once again give Jesus to the world. Fr. Brandimir went on to
remind us that Our Lady invited each one of us here, and that we should
strive to behave like Her, imitating Her virtues of humility,
self-sacrifice, complete trust and faith in God. Like the wedding at
Cana, Our Lady instructs us here "Do whatever He tells you."
After the talk by Fr. Brandimir, we all went outside. We looked up to
see if the light was still at the base of the cross, but it was gone.
Diane saw the cross surrounded by a pink ball with gold rays streaming
out in all directions. It reminded her of a monstrance.
These miracles are just one of the many wonders of Medjugorje. Yet,
Medjugorje is not about supernatural, cosmic events, or miracles, which
convince us that God is real. Faith built on miracles alone is no faith
at all. Medjugorje is about God-a God who loves each and every one of
us in a very personal and individual way, a God who knows us better than
we know ourselves, and who gives us exactly what we need when we need
it. The miracle I experienced on Apparition Hill was custom designed
for me by the one who custom designed me at my creation-God.
This miracle on the hill was just one example of how God showed me this
very personal love that week. I could write volumes about the many ways
He loved me in Medjugorje, and continues to love me here in
Massachusetts. I could tell you about how He took something very
painful to me and turned it around to help someone else there that week,
something I had waited over 11 years to happen. I could tell you how
each one of us in our group brought something special and unique with
them to share with others on the pilgrimage, so that like a beautiful
symphony we all resounded together in one harmonious song of joy,
sorrow, and love that week.
But the thought I will leave you with is this-how great the Father's
love is for us, we will not fully comprehend until our time on earth is
done. Yet, in moments of grace, He allows us just a glimpse of Himself,
for He knows just how much of Him we are ready to welcome.
May Jesus and Mary bless you abundantly! MIR--
Margie, Eileen, Mary, Diane, and Marcie
Three years have passed since we experienced the miracle on Apparition Hill. We have since come to learn that October 28 is the Feast of Saint Jude, the patron saint of impossible causes. Saint Jude is now our special intercessor. One year later on October 28, 2000, Mary and Diane returned to Medugorje and marked the anniversary of our miracle with yet another miracle, this time a sudden appearance of medals at the Blue Cross. The medals were of a unique design and were inscribed with the words “Jesus , Redeemer of All, Born and Unborn.” There was one medal for each person present to witness the miracle.
One of the people present to witness this miracle was yet to be born. On August 15, 2000, the Feast of the Assumption, a visit to her obstetrician confirmed that Mary was indeed expecting a baby, due on or around Divine Mercy Sunday 2001.
This incredible gift from God, Maria Grace, was born on March 30, 2001 and baptized June 24, 2001 on the twentieth anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions at Medugorje.
“Blessed is she who believed that what was spoken to her by the Lord would be fulfilled.” Luke 1:45