Flew the ocean for more than 100 times just to come to Medjugorje.

Flew the ocean for more than 100 times just to come to Medjugorje
Amongst many pilgrims who are arriving to Medjugorje after the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we met Mary Fernandez from Florida, who came to Medjugorje 109 times so far. She came to Medjugorje for the first time more than 22 years ago, after reading a book about apparitions and that is when she decided to come for the first time on pilgrimage with her husband. Already on that first pilgrimage, they brought 37 pilgrims with them. Mary says that that was the love on the first sight.“ We always prayed in my home, but after Medjugorje, pryer became different. I learned here how to pray the Rosary and I started to live the Holy Mass. Encounters with Medjugorje tought me how to accept all oft he realities that were happening in my life. I learned that problems are not going to disappear, but are being resolved in much easier way with God. Medjugorje is a school of life, it is like my second home. I feel peace both here and in my home, as well. „Together with her husband, she is bringing groups from South America and Spanish speaking people from Miami, USA. source-Medjugorje Official

Eighteen Year Old Pauline's Medjugorje Conversion Story

Before I came to Medjugorje, I had really hit rock bottom. My parents are atheist. When I was 9 they divorced. After that I let myself be taken in by all the evils in society. At 13 I started doing drugs. My broken family slowly reduced me to a state of fear and withdrawal. I was going forward without feeling, without seeing, without living, like a zombie. Empty. I threw myself into the 'pleasures of the flesh', and I fell apart. I took refuge in my work. Last summer I attempted to commit suicide. Waking up in hospital I realised that life was just horrible. I had no way out, no future. I had a Catholic friend, Alice. Her life had changed after coming back from Medjugorje, and every time she talked to me about Mary, I could feel light coming into me. At the end of July she called me: "Pauline, I'm going to Medjugorje and I've booked three seats - one is for you. Come." It was a shock to me, because I felt Alice's words were a calling. I immediately said 'yes'. However, I had a summer job as an extra on a film set, and I couldn't quit. Also I had no money for the trip. So I asked my dad, without much hope, because he had told me in the past that he was done helping me. Miracle of miracles, he immediately said 'yes' for half the amount. My mom gave me the other half. Then the studio informed me there was to be a 10-day break in filming, just at the right time. I arrived in Medjugorje on the last day of the Youth Festival. I went to evening adoration, then we climbed Cross Mountain for the Mass at dawn. As I climbed I tried to experience this time with God, but I couldn't concentrate in prayer. I felt only emptiness. When I got to the top I paced back and forth. I felt tormented inside. Finally I left the Mass and went down the mountain alone. It was like I had heavy armour around my heart. It made me suffocate, and it was blocking out God. I was not baptised and, at that moment, I understood the importance of baptism. A boy from my region told me, "Pauline, you have to go to confession!" But the idea of telling all my sins to a priest stressed me out completely. I was thinking, "How am I going to say this? And that? It's too horrible, I can't do it." But I did it anyway. It was my first confession, and I did not know you had to be baptised to receive the sacrament. Right from the beginning the priest seemed to see very clearly the immense wound that was inside me, and he told me the solution: take Mary as my mother and become again like a little baby in her womb. What mattered to him most was not my sins but rather having me welcome the heart of the God who was waiting for me and who was suffering with me. During confession and the blessing that followed, the emptiness that had been inside me disappeared and I cried for joy. I was laughing! It was like all the evil that had built up inside me since the beginning was coming out of me. I could feel all the filth leaving me. After that, joy kept coming into my heart more and more every day; at last I could pray with the heart. Now I got up every morning to say my prayers. I experienced the feeling of being filled for the first time. I could feel God healing me. I know the road will be long and tough. "Be strong and hold on!" - those words keep coming back to me. Now it is impossible for me to consider life without the Holy Trinity. The truth is there. It is so good to be happy. Pauline, 18, is now preparing for baptism. [This story is taken from the book, The Hidden Child of Medjugorje, by Sister Emmanuel.](Via Alive )
Posted by John Barry at 7:09 PM



"Holy Spirit"- Through the Holy Spirit we are restored to paradise, led back to the Kingdom of heaven, and adopted as children, given confidence to call God "Father" and to share in Christ's grace, called children of light and given a share in eternal glory."- St. Basil, De Spiritu Sancto

Cardinal Mercier's Prayer To The Holy Spirit:
I am going to reveal to you a secret of sanctity and happiness. For five minutes every day quiet your imagination, close your eyes to everything visible and your ears to all external sounds and withdraw into the sanctuary of your baptized soul which is the temple of the Holy Spirit. There, speak to the Holy Spirit and say:

*O Holy Spirit soul of my soul I adore you. Enlighten guide, strengthen and console me. Tell me what I ought to do and command me to do it. I promise to submit to everything that you ask of me and to accept all that you allow to happen to me. Just show me what is your will.

If you do this, your life will be happy and serene. Even in the midst of troubles you will experience great consolation, for grace will be given to strengthen and help you to cope with every difficulty.


Medjugorje Youth Festival, August 2010

The 21st Youth Festival that began on Sunday, August 1st with the main theme: “Good Master, what shall I do to inherit the eternal life, ended on Friday, August 6th with the Holy Mass at 5 a.m. on the top of the Cross Mountain that was celebrated by Fr. Danko Perutina.


A Reflection by Sr. Isabel of Our Lady's message of August 25, 2010

Message from Our Lady of Medjugorje
August 25, 2010

Dear children! With great joy, also today, I desire to call you anew: pray, pray, pray. May this time be a time of personal prayer for you. During the day, find a place where you will pray joyfully in a recollected way. I love you and bless you all. Thank you for having responded to my call.
A Little Reflection ( by Sr. Isabel) With renewed joy, Our Lady greets us today and encourages us, once again, to make prayer a special part of our daily schedule. She knows that we are bombarded with distractions and things which can take away even our desire to pray. Yet, prayer is the secret to a happy life and to our appreciating all that God has blessed us with. We may be in the midst of great suffering or we may know deep joy. But whatever it is, God is in control. When we spend time each day in prayer, we grow deeper into that relationship with God which brings joy and peace regardless of our daily circumstances. Our Lady suggests that we find a quiet place where distractions will be minimized and where we can focus on God, be still and listen to Him. How consoling and encouraging it is to hear Our Lady say she loves us and blesses us. Amen, amen. Thanks be to God.

On a Personal Note( from Sr. Isabel)
I will be going to Medjugorje on September 9 where I will remember you and your intentions. No need to send them to me. Our Lady knows what they are and she will take them to her Son, Jesus.


Mother Teresa at 100

Mother Teresa at 100
From Skopje to Calcutta to the Worldby JOHN BURGER, REGISTER NEWS EDITOR 08/25/2010 Comment

Tomorrow marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Agnes Bojaxhiu, better known as Mother Teresa of Calcutta. She was born to an Albanian family in Skopje, a city at the crossroads of the Balkans, and went off to Ireland at the age of 18 to become a missionary with the Sisters of Loreto. She received the name Sister Mary Teresa, after St. TherĂ©se of Lisieux. The diminutive nun arrived in Calcutta, India, in 1929 and taught in a girls school. In 1946, on the way to her annual retreat, she received what she termed a “call within a call” to serve the poorest of the poor with a new community,... READ MORE

Revelation: Saint Maria Faustina

In the evening, He gave me to understand how fleeting all earthly things are, and [how] everything that appears great disappears like smoke, and does not give the soul freedom, but weariness.

Happy the soul that understands these things and with only one foot touches the earth. My repose is to be united with You; everything else tires me. Oh, how much I feel I am in exile! I see that no one understands my interior life. You alone understand me, You who are hidden in my heart and yet are eternally alive.

Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, 1141

Our Lady's Message of August 25, 2010 to Marija

“Dear children! With great joy, also today, I desire to call you anew: pray, pray, pray. May this time be a time of personal prayer for you. During the day, find a place where you will pray joyfully in a recollected way. I love you and bless you all. Thank you for having responded to my call.”


Rita Klaus’ Miraculous Healing from Multiple Sclerosis

Rita Klaus

Too disabled and poor to go to Medjugorje, Mary gave her a prayer to pray after 20 years of severe disability....
(wonderful 7 min video narrated by Robert Stack)
Multiple sclerosis had forced Rita Klaus first onto crutches, then into braces. Even surgery that turned her right kneecap inward to help her walk didn't stop her slow physical deterioration into paralysis. At first, her spirit had also been paralyzed, with anger and bitterness, but her faith remained strong.


Seeing With The Heart

Monday, August 23, 2010

Seeing with the heart... Posted by Pilgrim

In today’s Gospel (Matthew 23 : 13-22) we read of Jesus accusing the scribes and pharisees of being blind, not in a physical sense, but within their hearts, unable or not wanting to to see the truth and so “acting” in a way that distorts the truth of what is holy and sacred. Blindness is a disability. We all suffer from it at times for varied reasons. It can be because our heart is cluttered with stuff that we have refused to let go of, or is filled with the many distractions the world has to offer, and even our worries and concerns. There is an endless list that can fill our heart to the level of blindness. These days we are encouraged by the medical profession to have regular check-ups, to examine our bodies for lumps and marks that may indicate we are not in the best of health, and if we do discover something of concern then we are advised to get it checked out. Our Blessed Mother sees the state of our hearts, what is causing our blindness, and encourages us to get checked out in a spiritual sense.

Little children, you seek signs and messages and do not see that, with every morning sunrise, God calls you to convert and to return to the way of truth and salvation... She encourages us to look within...

Dear children! Today I call you to look into your hearts sincerely and for a long time. What will you see in them?and then to seek healing…Seek the grace of healing of your heart from God, so that you may see God and man with the heart. remedied through prayer, fasting, penance and conversion…

Pray and believe little children, God gives you graces and you do not see them. Pray and you will see them... I desire all of your hearts be purified by fasting and prayer…. It is sufficient that, in a cleansed heart, you place my Son in the first place, and then you will be able to see...

And like all good mothers, our Blessed Mother is always on hand to assist in making things better, bringing us to the one who can heal our blindness of heart, and transform us from being ‘actors’ into the true likeness of God.

Listen to me and permit me to lead you to this in a motherly way.... I desire that you may see my Son...Dear children, my motherly call, which I direct to you today, is a call of truth and life. My Son, who is Life, loves you and knows you in truth. To come to know and to love yourself, you must come to know my Son; to come to know and to love others, you must see my Son in them.

Therefore, my children, pray, pray, that you may comprehend and surrender with a spirit that is free, be completely transformed and, in this way, may have the Kingdom of Heaven in your heart on earth. Thank you!
Posted by pilgrim at 4:59 PM

Our Lady Wants A Revolution

Medjugorje visionary, Marija spoke to several thousand pilgrims about Our Lady’s call to conversion. Her testimony was translated into several different languages, because there are pilgrims here in Medjugorje from all over the world.

“Welcome to all of you here today. Please raise your hand if it is your first time in Medjugorje. It looks as if most of you are here for the first time, so again welcome. Let us give thanks to Our Lady. Our Lady continues to invite us, and She is not tired.
“I am Marija, one of the six children chosen by Our Lady in 1981, and today, as you can see, we are all grown. From my heart, I want to bring you closer to Our Lady through my testimony. I want you to go home being in love with Our Lady. The six of us fell in love with Our Lady. We grew up in normal families. We went to Holy Mass on feast days and Sundays and we prayed in our families. The Rosary was always prayed by my grandmother; it seemed at the time, that it was mostly prayed by older people. “Today, I know that the Rosary is the most beautiful prayer and a prayer for modern times. We so need this prayer in these modern times! Through our response, we are helping Our Lady to change the world. She has given us the weapon, the Rosary, to obtain this change.
“Our Lady first appeared on June 24, 1981, and we like to say this began the most beautiful adventure in the world today. At first, we visionaries thought all of those on the hill could see what we could see. We found out that they could not see Our Lady, and so we asked, ‘Why us? Why me? Why did You choose us and not some better ones?’ Our Lady said, ‘God gave Me the possibility to choose, and I have chosen.’“Imagine those days when our country was under a Communist regime. A harsh, strong regime called communism that seemed to get harsher everyday, and Our Lady came to us. In 1981, President Tito had been dead only a year.“It was a few days after the apparitions began, that the main television station and the most watched newscast reported, ‘That six children from the village of Medjugorje in Hercegovina claimed to see the Blessed Virgin Mary.’ I tell you that this Communist station made the best advertisement for Medjugorje at that time. It was broadcast all over Yugoslavia. The six of us were blamed for being used to destroy Communist Yugoslavia. The Communists feared a revolution or rebellion against the regime. They claimed that a revolution started and, today we can say, a revolution had started, but not the revolution they were thinking of. They brought in police and many soldiers to surround the hills. The distance between each soldier was 1 meter. Special troops came in and surrounded the parish. Imagine Medjugorje invaded with fully armed soldiers and specially trained dogs! “They forbade us to go up Podbrdo, where Our Lady was appearing. We asked Our Lady to advise us about this situation.
At the same time Father Jozo, the pastor, was very confused about all the people climbing the mountain and not coming to the Church. He prayed, ‘God give me the sign. What am I to do?’ “Pilgrims flowed into Medjugorje like a river, and they would not be stopped. Day and night, they continued to climb Podbrdo, the place Our Lady was appearing. Finally, Our Lady told us, ‘Go to the Church, you will be protected there.’ We asked Her three times to make sure we understood that we were to go to the Church. At that time, you see, we were afraid of Father Jozo. The Church was closed during the afternoon, and there were no evening Masses at that time in the summer of 1981.
Our Lady told us, ‘Go to the Church.’ We had to go if She told us to go. “Father Jozo was in the Church praying, and when he opened Sacred Scripture, he read ‘They are My beloved children.’ When we arrived we saw Father Jozo praying and we said to him, ‘Our Lady told us to come here.’ He said, ‘Just now in Scripture I read you are My beloved children. This is my sign.’ “At this time, honestly, we did not know how to lead the Mysteries of the Rosary, we were only children. Because Our Lady had asked for the Rosary, we learned to pray it correctly. We prayed on our knees, thanking God and Our Lady for all the graces we were receiving. Prayer brought us closer to Our Lady, and, we began to follow Her more intensely. I must say, that even now, I am still learning how to pray.
“We came to the altar, in St. James Church; we knelt and prayed the Rosary with the people. At this time Our Lady would appear to us. Early on, Our Lady said, ‘Ask your parish priest to celebrate Holy Mass. Also, pray two Mysteries of the Rosary before Holy Mass.’ We prayed the Joyful and Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary before Holy Mass. At the end of Holy Mass, we would pray the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary in thanksgiving for the graces received. The pilgrims were bringing many sick people, and Our Lady said, ‘Pray with them, and have the priests pray over them and bless them.’ Today, we still have these healing prayers at the Croatian evening Mass.“Our families and the villagers had strong faith, thank God, and when we asked Our Lady, ‘Why have you come to us?’ She said, ‘I have chosen this place because, here, I have found a living faith.’ “On one occasion, the special armed troops blocked our entrance into the Church. The villagers came and did the only thing that they could do; they got on their knees and surrounded the Church, and prayed.
Father Jozo was imprisoned; some of the Sisters were locked in a room in the rectory while the rectory was being searched. I’m not sure if I understood all that was happening at the time, but I knew the police were everywhere. The soldiers were ordered to guard the Church area .They were there for many hours at a time. They were not allowed to leave, and, they were hungry and thirsty. Our families would bring them food and drink because they saw that the soldiers had been on duty for two days. My own mother, as well as our neighbors, would prepare extra food for these soldiers, and, take them water. Water was very scarce here, but they took it to them anyway. We were the children of peasants, and, we were used to sharing what we had with those in need. When the police saw the villagers bringing the soldiers food, they asked, ‘What kind of revolution is this?’ They began to question why they were here as armed guards against good people. The commander of the police force decided to withdraw his troops, dogs, and policemen. The helicopters zooming around the Church could only find people on their knees praying. The General then ordered the Church doors to be opened, and the people were once again able to attend the apparition and Holy Mass.
“It truly was a revolution, but, not the one that the Communists were expecting. It was a revolution of God’s love and mercy. Our Lady continued to teach us, and we followed Her, and fell in love with Her messages with all our hearts.“I was 16 at this time, and, I wanted to learn to pray more and do good deeds. The six of us waited for Our Lady with great joy. Many nights we would gather together and spend the night in prayer. At daybreak, we would go home to meet our parents to work in the fields all day. It was a beautiful time.
“My father, as well as Vicka’s and Ivanka’s fathers, worked in Germany. The regime threatened Vicka’s father. They were going to confiscate his passport so he could not go into Germany to work. He had eight children to provide for and this would be the road to starvation for them. Vicka’s family said they would not deny Our Lady. They were ready to starve, to die for Her. They were strong witnesses to Our Lady’s presence here in Medjugorje. “Our Lady stressed monthly Confession, three Mysteries of the Rosary everyday, and She taught us to look toward Heaven, to have a strong desire for Heaven. She taught us the importance of Holy Scripture, to place God in the first place in our lives. Families would gather and read Scripture before work and end the day with family prayer and Scripture reading. My own father had a 4th grade education and was a poor reader. We would say ‘Come on father, read something, it’s alright if it is slow.’ He than began to read us a Psalm or some short verse from the Gospel. He, as the head of the family, was so proud and happy that he did this and could respond to Our Lady’s invitation. He was very joyful doing this for Our Lady. We changed, and became stronger in our family prayer. We began fasting as Our Lady asked us to do. Our Lady said, ‘With prayer and fasting, even wars can be stopped. Certain evil spirits can only be cast away through the power of prayer and fasting.’ We had such a great desire to change our lives, we were on our knees and we gave Our Lady our ‘yes.’ Our Lady said, ‘Through your witness, I will begin to change the world.’ “I want to tell you something very important; this is the time of grace, this is Our Lady’s time. Our Lady chose the Six of us to tell you, ‘God does exist .God should be the center of your lives.’ Our Lady says, ‘I intercede before My Son for each one of you. God has not forgotten you. He loves you and He invites you to be the salt of the earth, and, the light of the world.’“We are not called to be Crusaders, to liberate the Holy Land, as in the past. Our Lady wants us to be Her extended hands in today’s world. She wants us to become the hands of love. She wants us to become missionaries where ever God sends us. She wants us to become a true Image of God, and witness with our lives, that we belong to Him. “The youth of today’s world are empty because they do not have God. Our faith is no longer witnessed to them. They need to know God exists for them. It is not too late for you to start living your faith. Start living your faith today. This culture of materialism and consumerism gets in the way of faith.
The modern world denies God. There are many people in today’s world that proceed forward without asking God to lead them. satan wants to convince the world that man can live without God. Our Lady says, ‘Without God, you do not have a future.’ There will be no eternal happiness without God.“We may not meet again, but I beg you to make good use of your time during this time of grace, Our Lady’s time. Use this time for prayer, the devil will tempt you in many different ways. Do not permit him to stop your prayers! Pray unceasingly, and use your time here in Medjugorje to climb the mountains. Take your Bible, and, find a rock to sit on, take a seat and pray. Meditate before the Blessed Sacrament, Adore Him, and be on your knees and pray before Jesus. Spend time with Jesus, and get to know Him.
We all need God, and, that is why Our Lady has been appearing these 29 years. She has come to bring us back to Her Son. She repeats, ‘Dear children, do not forget that I am your Mother, and, I love you.’ Our Lady so often says, ‘Thank you for responding to My call.’ She says this because She knows we can do it, if we really want to do it. God gives us the freedom to choose Him. Attach yourselves to God and love His Commandments. In this way, Paradise will start here in your hearts, in your families in the world. “Our Lady wants a new revolution, a revolution of love, and She started it on June 24, 1981. I am a witness and I share this testimony from my heart. God bless you.”
Source-Medjugorje Com


Fr. Joe Whalen - Healing Ministry

Fr. Joseph Whalen of Saint Raphael Holy Healing Ministry:

Fr. Joe Whalen is the founder of Archangel St. Raphael Holy Healing Oil Ministry. He conducts many healing services and his healing ministry is international. He has spent his entire priesthood witnessing to Christ's healing presence.You can contact Fr. Whalen by mail at Saint James Church, 12 Franklin Street, Danielson Ct. 06239 or call 860-774-6553 or 802-343-0573
Testimonies- http://www.straphaeloil.com/testimonies
Fr. Joe Whalen's World Healing Prayer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zel81pJnmhM

The Eternity of Hell

Photo: Titled- Gates of Hell
Justice the founder of my fabric mov'd: To rear me was the task of power divine, Supremest wisdom, primeval love. Before me things create were none, save things Eternal, and eternal I endure. All hope abandon, ye who enter here.
"I come to gather nations of every language; they shall come and see My glory." -Isaiah 66:18
Years ago in the fire and brimstone era of the Church, we got the idea that hardly anyone went to heaven. Most people hoped to just slip into the back door of purgatory. Nowadays, we get the idea that everyone goes to heaven. Some people even say there is no hell, or if there is, no one's there but Judas, Hitler, and Jack the Ripper.
What does Jesus say? In answer to the question about whether few would be saved, Jesus replied: "Try to come in through the narrow door. Many, I tell you, will try to enter and be unable" (Lk 13:24). Jesus also said: "The invited are many, the elect are few" (Mt 22:14). It seems unbiblical and presumptuous to think that almost everyone accepts Jesus as Lord and goes to heaven. On the other hand, it is not part of our heavenly Father's plan that even one person be lost (Mt 18:14), for He wants all to be saved (1 Tm 2:4). If God had His way, all would be saved and go to heaven.Therefore, we should be confident but not presumptuous about our eternal life with Jesus. "Be solicitous to make your call and election permanent, brothers; surely those who do so will never be lost. On the contrary, your entry into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly provided for" (2 Pt 1:10-11).
Prayer: Jesus, Savior, have mercy on me !Promise: "Make straight the paths you walk on, that your halting limbs may not be dislocated but healed." -Heb 12:13 Praise: Praise You, risen Jesus. You came to seek and save the lost (Lk 19:10). You are our Salvation (Ps 27:1). Alleluia!
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 13:22-30.
"Strive to enter through the narrow gate"
He passed through towns and villages, teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, "Lord, will only a few people be saved?" He answered them, Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough. After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door, then will you stand outside knocking and saying, 'Lord, open the door for us.' He will say to you in reply, 'I do not know where you are from.' And you will say, 'We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.' Then he will say to you, 'I do not know where (you) are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers!' And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves cast out. And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south and will recline at table in the kingdom of God. For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last."


Apparition to Ivan

Tonight, Friday, August 20, 2010, the apparition to Ivan took place on Apparition Mountain in Medjugorje.

Several thousand people were present. Several Rosaries were being prayed throughout the crowd, as is usual for the mountain apparitions. When the announcement came that it was time to begin to prepare for Our Lady’s apparition, flashlights were extinguished, and all the pilgrims present began to sing in unison. The first song that was sung was an Italian version of the American song, “I Can Sing of Your Love Forever,” a beautiful opening to prepare for the Queen of Peace, Who is the Love of God.*
The apparition to Ivan began a little before 10:00 P.M., and the apparition lasted around ten minutes. Below is Ivan’s description of what took place:
*Tonight, the most important from the meeting with Our Lady was that Our Lady came, She was very happy and joyful. She greeted us as always by saying “Praised be Jesus my dear children.” Our Lady then prayed for a longer time with Her hands extended over us present. She then blessed us all with Her Motherly Blessing. She blessed all the religious articles brought for blessing, and then Our Lady prayed for a while especially for the conversion of sinners and for families. Ivan recommended all us, our needs, intentions, our families and especially all the sick, and those who especially recommended themselves to our prayers. Our Lady then continued to pray with Her hands extended over all of use here. She prayed for the sick and She also prayed over the priests present. Then Our Lady left in an illuminated Sign of the Cross saying, "Go in peace my dear children."Ivan accentuated that for a longer time Our Lady prayed over all of us, for conversion of sinners and for families. Source-Medjugorje Com


The village of Medjugorje is the fastest-growing Catholic pilgrimage site in the world.


Ivan Speaks - Our Lady Invites Us To Wake Up From Our Spiritual Coma

Our Lady Invites Us To Wake Up From Our Spiritual Coma

Ivan speaking to several thousand pilgrims today about Our Lady Her messages.
Today August 18, 2010 Medjugorje visionary Ivan gave a talk to several thousand pilgrims. Our Lady invites us to pray with the heart and shows us the way.
“Today, my dear friends in Christ I would like to greet all of you deeply from my heart. My desire is to share Our Lady’s messages given to us these 29 years. I hope you will understand that it is difficult to explain all the messages Our Lady has given over the years. I will talk about some of Her main messages.
“For the last 29 years Our Lady is coming to the world, and She is bringing us joyful news. She is coming as a Mother for all of us, and She brings hope to this tired world. She invites all of us to come to Her. As Jesus says in the Gospel, ‘Come to Me all of you who are weary and I will give you strength.’
“We come to Medjugorje to be with our Mother, to give Her our needs, wishes, and intentions. We come to our Mother with our problems, with our troubles and give them to Her. We come to our Mother, to sit in Her lap and ask for Her protection. We come to Mother Mary to ask for Her prayers, to ask Her to intercede for all our intentions to Her Son Jesus. Yes, Mother prays for all of us and intercedes for all of us before Her Son Jesus. Today, we have to decide to follow Her and take the path that leads to Her Son Jesus.
“Twenty-nine years ago Our Lady knocked on the door of my heart. She chose me to be an instrument in Her hands. She chose me to be an instrument in God’s hands. For me and my life and for my family, it was certainly a great gift, but, at the same time, a great responsibility. I know that God has given me much, and He asks much of me. To each one that is given a lot, much is expected in return.
“It is not easy, these 29 years, to be with Our Lady, to talk to Her everyday and be in the Light of Heaven, and then return back to this earth and continue to live here. Everyday I need a few hours after the apparition to come back to the reality of this world.
“Today, I would especially like to speak about the main messages Our Lady has given during these 29 years: Peace, conversion, praying with the heart, penance and fasting, a firm faith, love, forgiveness, the Eucharist, and hope. These things are Her invitation to follow a path to holiness. Our Lady is leading us through all these messages. She keeps Her messages simple to understand and teaches us how to live them.
“In 1981, I was just a child. I was 16 years old. Her coming was a great surprise to us. Before that first day, I couldn’t imagine that Our Lady would appear to anyone. The six of us were very excited when She appeared to us. She came as the Queen of Peace. She said, ‘I am coming to you dear children, because My Son sent Me to help you. Dear children, peace, peace, peace, only peace. Peace must reign in the world. Dear children, peace must reign between man and God and between all men. Dear children, this world and mankind is in a dangerous time, it would have destroyed itself.’ This is one of the first messages She gave us and the whole world. That second day we recognized Mother in Our Lady, and we are still with Mother today.
“What is Our Lady’s greatest desire? Peace is Our Lady’s greatest desire. Mother is sent to us by the King of Peace. Who, then, would know peace better than Our Lady, Our Mother, in what ways peace is needed in this tired world? She knows peace is needed for tired mankind. Oh, how much peace is needed in tired families, the youth, and the tired Church. Mother comes as the Mother of the Church. She comes because She wants to help us and encourage us, to console us, and to point out the wrong paths we have been taking. She comes to lead us to all good things. She comes to bring us medicine, Her Words, to heal us. She comes to give us love, and to bring Her gentleness and Her Motherly warmth. She comes to lead us to Her Son. Only through Her Son will we find peace.
“In one message Our Lady said, ‘Dear children, today more than ever mankind is falling into a difficult situation.’ Man is so far from God and prayer, and the biggest crisis is the crisis of no faith. ‘Dear children, mankind looks toward the future, but, without faith and without God. Dear children, today’s world cannot give you peace.’ You will soon become disappointed in what the world offers. You must decide for Jesus, put Him in the first place in your life and go toward the future with Him. ‘Dear children, today there is no prayer in your families.’ Parents no longer pray with their children. Families spend very little time together and there is no love amongst them anymore. Fidelity is gone in the family. There are so many broken and tired families. Our morals are gone, and Mother comes to invite us to peace. ‘Dear children, return to prayer in your families.’ In this way, the family can experience the Living Word of God.
“Mother comes to bring us from darkness into the light. Our Lady brings us hope, and She says, ‘Dear children, do not talk about peace, but, start living peace. Do not talk about prayer, but start living prayer. Dear children, in today’s world there are too many words. I invite you to stop talking and start working toward peace.’ She wants us to work on ourselves and our family life. ‘Dear children, only with prayer, and love for your families can your family be healed.’ In today’s world and in today’s families, it is important to pray because Our Lady tells us the world is spiritually sick! This is the diagnosis of Our Mother. We cannot have a physical healing before we have a spiritual healing. We must heal ourselves in a spiritual way through prayer. Today this world is not in a recession, it is in Spiritual Recession.
“Our Lady invites us to wake up from our spiritual coma which leads us to spiritual death. She wants to strengthen us in our faith through prayer. She wants to lift us from this sinful world. She worries about our salvation. She says, ‘Dear children, I am with you. I come to bring you peace. Dear children, I need you, I need you! Decide for good, dear children, and fight against sin and evil.’
“Mother speaks simply. She invites us with Her words, and She never tires. I repeat my testimony many times, and I speak about Our Lady’s messages. I am not tired. I am not tired because I see Our Lady everyday, and She is not tired. She continues to invite us to pray.
“Like many of you mothers here today who continue to encourage your children to be good, to study, to work hard, and to listen. You repeat it thousands and thousands of times, and I hope you are not tired. How many of you have had to encourage your children only one time and there was never a need to repeat it? Mothers have to repeat their direction to their children many times so they will remember it. Our Lady continues to repeat Her messages to us.
“ She comes as a Mother of hope. She brings hope to families and to the Church. Our Lady says, ‘Dear children, if you are strong, then the Church will be strong, but, if you are weak, the Church will be weak.’ You are the laymen of the Church. ‘Dear children, there is no healthy Church without healthy families.’ Our Lady invites us to family prayer and to renew prayer in the family. Our Lady invites us to attend Holy Mass and to make it the center of our lives. Attending Holy Mass is having an encounter with the Living Jesus. She wants us to open our hearts to Him.
“Our Lady invites us to monthly confession. She wants us to adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in front of the Cross. In a special way, Our Lady invites priests throughout the world to start Adoration in front of the Cross in their parishes.
“Our Lady invites us to pray the Rosary with our families and to read Holy Scripture in our families. In one message Our Lady said, ‘Dear children, place the Bible in a visible place in your homes.’ Read the Holy Bible, and Jesus will be born in your hearts. Forgive and love one another. Our Lady said, ‘Dear children, if you knew how much I love you, you would cry tears of joy.’
“The important message from Our Lady is the invitation to pray with the heart. To pray, pray, pray. Do not pray with your lips, do not pray mechanically, do not pray out of tradition, do not pray and look at your watch, and do not wait for the end of prayer. Our Lady wants us to decide for prayer, to find time for prayer and we must find time for God. Praying with the heart means to pray with love and out of love for Jesus. Pray with all your being so your prayer becomes an encounter with Jesus. In this way, prayer becomes a conversation with Jesus, and you can rest in prayer with Jesus. Praying with the heart is joyful, and you will not be anxious about the future. Our Lady says, ‘Dear children, if you want to attend the school of prayer you must know there is no vacation.’ We must be in the school of prayer everyday. ‘Dear children, if you want to pray better, pray more.’ Prayer is a personal decision and a grace for those who pray more.
“Today, we complain that we do not have enough time for prayer. We always blame time as the problem. Our Lady clearly says, ‘Dear children, do not say you do not have time. Time is not a problem, dear children. The problem is love. Because, dear children, if you love something you will always have time for it.’
“Our Lady invites us to pray, and She shows us the way to joyful prayer. I hope you respond to Our Lady’s messages and become witnesses of Her love. I hope a seed has been planted in your hearts during these days in Medjugorje. I hope this seed finds good soil and bears good fruit. I hope your pilgrimage to Medjugorje is the beginning of your spiritual renewal. Take this spiritual renewal back to your homes and share it with your families.
“You will be a sign, pointing to Our Lady’s presence, and you will bring Her into your families. Decide for peace and decide for God. With God, we will have peace. God bless you.”
Source-Medjugorje Com


Medjugorje Miracles bring John and Judy to the Catholic Faith.

My husband John and I were married in a civil ceremony in 1984. John was not Catholic, and I was a fallen away Catholic. Why we ended up in Medjugorje was truly an invitation from the Blessed Mother . . .
In April of 1989, my mother died, and the circumstances surrounding that were awful. I couldn’t seem to shake off the “blues,” and so John suggested going to church, and I hadn’t thought of that at all. The only church I knew was the Catholic Church, and John didn’t really care where we went, as long as I didn’t ask him to become a Catholic. So we started going to Sunday Mass occasionally in September, 1989.
Around late November, I heard about Medjugorje from a friend who had read an article about it in her home town newspaper. When she briefly mentioned the article, I was “transported” back to a moment in 3rd grade, just after I had been transferred from a public school to a Catholic school, in the middle of the school year. That year my younger sister was diagnosed with leukemia. My mother had made a marriage vow to raise her children Catholic, and she wasn’t doing it. I think she put me in Catholic school because she thought that if she corrected that vow, then perhaps God would let my sister live; but my sister died.
I had only been in Catholic school for a few weeks when the nun told us a story about how the Blessed Mother appeared to Bernadette in Lourdes, France, in 1858. I was completely enthralled. This seemed marvelous to me. After the story was over, I wanted to go to Lourdes desperately. Wondering how I could get there, I looked out the window and thought, “Well, I know my mother won’t take me there, much less believe the story (because she was not Catholic). And the Blessed Mother won’t appear to me because I’m not nearly as good as Bernadette and she only chooses one girl—that won’t be me.” Even so, I said to myself, while thinking about Mary appearing on earth, “If that ever happens in my day, I’m going!”
I hadn’t thought about that “vow” that day until the moment I heard that Our Lady was appearing in Medjugorje. And the vow immediately flooded my mind. I was going! Somehow, someway, I just knew I was going to Medjugorje. My husband and I ended up watching some videos about Medjugorje that a priest on my mail route gave me. Wow, was I excited. Then my husband and I read every book on Medjugorje we could get our hands on. But my husband was not open to going at all, so I prayed the rosary on my fingers, since I didn’t even have a rosary.
One Sunday after Mass, in January of 1990, John found a flier about a church’s upcoming trip to Medjugorje. He said we could go! We had four months to prepare and knew we had to do so with prayer and by living the messages Our Lady was asking for.
My prayer was for God to give John “more than me” while we were in Medjugorje, so we could stay happily married, because I knew I was going to go back to the Eucharist and my Catholic faith no matter what. (I had never discussed my religion with John, since I hadn’t thought about it in many years, and he knew nothing of what the Eucharist was). I had immediately felt called when I had heard about Medjugorje to go back to receiving the Eucharist. You see, belief in the Eucharist had never left me. I had just forgotten about it. And now I had to have Jesus. I was ready to give up everything to have Him.
Our first day in Medjugorje, May 25, 1990, we went to the 10 a.m. English Mass, and afterwards, the priest, Fr. Pavich, blessed everyone’s articles. My husband John held up his camcorder and looked at me like a little kid, to see what I thought. I gave him a look of, Why not? I’d never thought about blessing a camcorder, but what did I know . . . so it was blessed . . .
At 3 p.m. on that first day, Fr. Jozo, a well-known priest connected to Medjugorje, was giving a talk in St. James Church. The church was packed. During that talk, something remarkable happened. John saw Jesus’ face on the altar, clear as day, just like we see one another. At the moment in which Fr. Jozo said “And Jesus stands before you,” it happened. And it was only through his blessed camcorder that John saw the Lord’s face. When John looked above the altar with his eyes, there was nothing. I wasn’t sitting next to John in the church, so he passed the camcorder down to me with a message of what happened, and I knew then that this was God answering my prayer to “give him more than me” . . . which actually was much more for me!
That evening our priest said we should meet and share our day with one another. I was so overwhelmed and in awe over what happened, since we were able to still see the image in the camcorder, that I stayed in my room, while John, the only non-Catholic in our group, excitedly left to meet with the others and testified to what he saw. He added, “I now know that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist.” This was a great blessing, not only for me and my marriage, but for the group and for our priest.
Many other things happened to us in Medjugorje that were enlightening and miraculous. One day during an apparition that was taking place in the church, we saw the sun spin, pulsate, and throw out many colors. At one point, three small clouds appeared with three crosses passing through them, one at a time . . . And then Our Lady appeared in the sky, plain as could be! So incredible!
During the Thursday night rosary prayer meeting that the visionary Ivan’s group has on Apparition Hill, Our Lady came, and all became so quiet. In the black of night, when I couldn’t see what was happening just a few feet in front of me, I could look over a mile or so away at Cross Mountain and see the Cross on top of it, as plain as day. It looked like it was lit up . . . and this was impossible. There was no electricity on the mountains. Things like this happened to us the entire time we were there and has happened to thousands of others! We felt as though we were not on the earth, but surrounded by something supernatural. Even climbing the hill, we felt like we were being ‘lifted’ up there.
We came back home, and John went to RCIA to learn about Catholicism. He became a Catholic the following Easter , and we got married in the Catholic Church one year later on the same exact date we had arrived in Medjugorje: May 25, 1991. We love going to daily Mass and praying the rosary, and we try to live Our Lady’s five main messages of prayer (especially the rosary), frequent reception of the Eucharist, fasting, regular Bible reading, and monthly Confession. John became a lector, and we started making Mother Theresa rosaries, based on a story I read about them in the Catholic Digest (1991). This has become John’s exclusive ministry now. He has made over 8,380 rosaries to date, and gives them away to whomever Blessed Mother puts in our path. Many miraculous stories of physical, emotional, and spiritual healings have resulted through the years because of this rosary. But that’s another story . . .
Medjugorje has truly shown us that believing is the key to the miraculous.
*About the Author Christine Watkins is an inspirational speaker and the author of Full of Grace: Miraculous Stories of Healing and Conversion through Mary's Intercession by Ave Maria Press. See http://www.christinewatkins.com/, http://www.holychoices.org/, and http://www.enliveningfaith.org/ http://www.medjugorjemiracles.com/2010/08/medjugorje-miracles-bring-john-and-judy-to-the-catholic-faith/
ADDITION TO TESTIMONY: ++++++++++++++++++++++
During the Thursday night rosary prayer meeting that Ivan group has on Apparition Hill, Our Lady came that evening and it was so quiet. A whole group of us were going up the back side of the mountain which leads to the blue cross (where Our Lady first appeared to the children). This is where Ivan has his appartion on his rosary prayer nights on the hill. It was so dark we could barley see anything but we knew there were huge rocks everywhere. I stumbled along and found a spot to sit and was leaning up against a rock wall. John and others were kneeling in front of me and to the side. I thought about kneeling but the rocks had jagged edges and there didn't seem to be any room. The next thing I heard was that Out Lady was here and it was quiet before but now it was complete silence. Then 'someone' punched me directly in the middle of my back and I hit the ground kneeling. I knew immediately that this was impossible since my back was up against the rock wall. I thought I had probably cut my legs because the force of the punch was dramatic but I didn't dare move an inch because I knew it was the 'hand of God'. When the apparition was over we all got up and we walked back down the hill. My legs were not injured or bleeding at all and I had no pain. Later on, back home, I found this message from Our Lady - On June 25, 1988, Ivanka, one of the six Medjugorje visionaries, during her apparition, said to those present at the apparition, many of whom were standing up or sitting: “Our Lady wishes for all present to kneel down.”


A Surprise at the Confessional

A surprise at the confessional.
In the beginning of May 2010, an Italian family from Naples arrived at Medjugorje in a state of profound distress: on a spiritual level they had no peace, on a physical level they were carrying a heavy cross: not only was their 5 year old almost completely deaf since birth, but their 8 year old son, Antonio, suffered from epilepsy. His seizures multiplied day by day and occurred more and more frequently. His parents couldn’t bear to see him suffer like this anymore! One evening, they were able to go with the other pilgrims to pray on Apparition Hill with Ivan, and they recited the Rosary under the stars as they awaited the coming of Our Lady. There, they placed everything into Her motherly hands. They hoped for a powerful, heavenly assistance during this pilgrimage.
The next day, the father went to share with the responsible of their group the painful situation of his family, hoping for a comforting word from her part. But she simply said to him, "Go to confession!" Surprised by this seemingly harsh word, the man made a solid examination of conscience. Actually, he was living in sin and had not been to confession in years! Seeing within that word an invitation to make his peace with God, he decided to make a good confession and he sincerely renounced his sins.
To everyone's amazement, his son Antonio (ignorant of this confession) had no longer any seizures since then! As for the little 5 year old girl, upon returning from the pilgrimage, she began to speak, pronouncing intelligible words for the first time...
The father concludes his beautiful testimony in this way: "I am changed! My wife and I see life with different eyes. It is a great comfort for me to have found peace again, and to rediscover the optimism of my wife. Since that confession at Medjugorje, I can touch with my own hands the benefits of a life lived in the light of God."

Yes, the Blessed Mother knows why she asks for monthly Confession.

"When there is sin”, she says, “there is no peace". "Monthly Confession shall be a remedy for the Church of the West". (1982)

“I desire to lead all of you to my Son, your Savior. You are not aware that without Him you do not have joy and peace, nor a future or eternal life. Therefore, little children, make good use of this time of joyful prayer and surrender.” (07/25/2010)

“I ask of you to sincerely look into your hearts and to see how much you love Him (the Father). Is He the last to be loved? Surrounded by material goods, how many times have you betrayed, denied and forgotten Him? My children, do not deceive yourselves with worldly goods. Think of your soul because it is more important than the body: cleanse it. Invoke the Father, He is waiting for you.” (11/2/2009)
source- children of medjugorje


Fr. Mark Bozada--Be Sober and Awake

Fr. Mark Bozada – Signs of the Times; Be Sober and Awake
My Dear People,
Paying attention to the signs of the times has never been more important than right now. We are watching history unfold before our very eyes. As Catholics, our vision needs to include Sacred Scripture, and the Holy Tradition intimately connected to the Bible. Without this corrected to the Bible. Without this corrected vision, we might miss the importance of world and history unfolding rapidly in His own day.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us another parable about “readiness”. The welcome the Master’s return. A good steward is always exercising the gifts of the holy Spirit within the framework of his/her vocation. God’s expects payment from the gifts given and Baptism and Confirmation. And so, as we draw closer each day to Our Lord’s Second Coming, wise stewards will be sober and awake. We cannot get drunk in the obsessions and cares of this world. We must be alert and ready to welcome Jesus, whether on our deathbed, or otherwise. Stay vigilant. Pray, Pray, Pray.
Entrusting you to the care of Our Lady,
Fr. Mark Bozada
May we be always be awake and ready to welcome the Lord when He returns.


Medjugorje: The Last Homily of Fr. Slavko, November 24, 2000

THE LAST HOMILY OF Fr SLAVKO BARBARIC O.F.M. Given on the morning of his last day on earth, November 24, 2000, at 9.00am Mass in St James’ Church, Medjugorje.


The unity of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Almost every message of Our Lady ends with the sentence, ‘Thank you for having responded to my call’. I have often asked myself, whom does Our Lady give thanks to, who is so important that she comes down from Heaven to say ‘Thank you’ to that person? She does not expect a lot from us, but she sees everything good we have done already and that is why she thanks us.

FORGIVENESS- Let us also ask God's forgiveness for all that was not good, where selfishness, jealousy or arrogance prevailed in the past, so that, by our prayer and fasting, we may help in the dawning of a new time; as Our Lady said in her last message (25th October 2000) I would like to say quite consciously, together with Mary, once more ‘Thanks’ to all who have answered her messages in their own special way. It is always good to know, time and again, that Our Lady cannot do anything without our help! When we heard her ‘Thank you’ for the very first time, we were somehow taken aback, for we are used to ask God for everything. Of course, there is nothing wrong in expecting everything from God, to ask and pray to Him, the Almighty One – but there is a message coming back to us, saying: ‘I need you, you are important to me, I cannot do anything without your help!’ We often cannot comprehend this, but it is truly a fact. God wanted each and everyone of us, at our time, in our own surroundings, where we live. He wanted us and He has bestowed certain talents to us, which He wants to develop and make grow in us by His grace, so that we may serve Him by using our talents.

CRITICISM- Everyone who, by using his or her talents, serves, loves, believes and hopes, is helping and respects others. We all are essential, in our time, at our place in our life, where God has decided us to be. I have often said this to people who criticise others a lot, or to those who believe they themselves would have done better had they been in God’s position. If God would have thought that you would have lived and served better at a different time or at a different place, then He would not have put you where you are now, but at that other place. Never say ‘I’ in God's place, but rather open your eyes and ears to your time and to your neighbour with whom you live. This is your very first task; this is where you are irreplaceable; this is where you are important for God and this is where God cannot do anything without your help. In that way we experience God's love and, His love, that same love reaches others through us.

GOD NEEDS US- When we receive consolation from God, it is only right to give it to others and – this we can only do at the time, at the place where we are just now. Only there, and now, can we do God's will and He cannot do anything without our help. Mary has succeeded in one thing during these 19 years and 5 months: Many people, who thought it sufficient to attend Holy Mass on Sundays only, have become very active in their religious life through the messages. That is why we can say today ‘Thank you’ for all the people across the whole world, who consciously spread the messages, with Our Lady's and other's help.A Croatian monk, a missionary who spent his time in India, once told me that every Saturday night and evening programme like the one in Medjugorje is being celebrated not just in one parish, but in several. This is another reason for Mary saying in her last message, that she thanked God and is delighted that so many people have come here during this Jubilee year and that the Church has been spiritually renewed.I believe we still must change quite a lot ourselves, for instance, to be able to see the Church and our families with the eyes of Mary. We are often inclined to judge and to complain about people and our time when we look at the world around us. Of course, there are a lot of problems. But Mary looks upon this world with different eyes than we do. She sees the good, however small, however insignificant. She recognises it and is grateful for it.

GRATITUDE- Gratitude is the best guideline in education. When you want to educate someone, you must first look at the good inside that person; however insignificantly small it may be. Then you must try and visualise how the individual could be and work on that together with the person. If we are blind to these things we only see the negative aspects; things that are imperfect; things alien to our momentary fancy and so we can get cracking with our criticism; we condemn and reject. Mary, on the other hand, only sees the good things in this world. She also sees what could be better, and right there she begins with her teaching. Read the Messages! They are positive and they give hope, they are encouraging. In the same way, Mary has awakened the positive power within us and that is why we thank her.The one who follows Mary has no time to criticise. Mary gives us courage to do something even where we might believe it might disturb, or not be good, or be too much for us. Only in this way can Mary, together with her Son Jesus, enter the third Millennium. Therefore, thank all the people in the world who follow Mary, who visit us untiringly, who organise pilgrimages without ever getting tired.Let, as Mary says, a new dawn arise, a new springtime. It is not springtime in a calendar sense, but it is springtime of a new decision. Let the New World begin, where we believe it is outdated, contaminated and destroyed. When you decide to love God and our neighbour as yourself and when many besides you do likewise, then the new time has arrived. Amen.
Father Slavko Barbaric died on November 24, 2000 at 3.30 p.m. After the Way of the Cross, that he animated usually every Friday on the Hill of Krizevac for parishioners and pilgrims, he felt some pain. He sat down on a rock, then lay down on the ground, lost consciousness and gave his soul over to the Lord.


You Gotta Believe a 6 Year Old.

Howard County Sheriff Jerry Marr got a disturbing call one Saturday afternoon a few months ago. His 6-year-old grandson, Mikey, had been hit by a car while fishing in Greentown with his dad. The father and son were near a bridge by the Kokomo Reservoir when a woman lost control of her car, slid off the bridge and hit Mikey at a rate of about 50 mph. Sheriff Marr had seen the results of accidents like this and feared the worst. When he got to Saint Joseph Hospital , he rushed through the emergency room to find Mikey conscious and in fairly good spirits. 'Mikey, what happened?' Sheriff Marr asked. Mikey replied, 'Well, Papaw, I was fishin' with Dad ,and some lady runned me over, I flew into a mud puddle,and broke my fishin' pole and I didn't get to catch no fish!

'As it turned out, the impact propelled Mikey about 500 feet, over a few trees and an embankment and in to the middle of a mud puddle. His only injuries were to his right femur bone,which had broken in two places. Mikey had surgery to place pins in his leg. Otherwise the boy is fine. Since all the boy could talk about was that his fishing pole was broken, the Sheriff went out to Wal-Mart and bought him a new one while he was in surgery so he could have it when he came out. The next day the Sheriff sat with Mikey to keep him company in the hospital. Mikey was enjoying his new fishing pole and talked about when he could go fishing again as he cast into the trash can.
When they were alone Mikey, just as matter-of-fact, said,'Papaw, did you know Jesus is real? ''Well,' the Sheriff replied, a little startled.. 'Yes, Jesus is real to all who believe in him and love him in their hearts.''No,' said Mikey. 'I mean Jesus is REALLY real. ''What do you mean?' asked the Sheriff. 'I know he's real 'cause I saw him,' said Mikey, still casting into the trash can....'You did?' said the Sheriff .'Yep,' said Mikey. 'When that lady runned me over and broke my fishing pole, Jesus caught me in his arms and laid me down in the mud puddle.
GIVES YOU GLORY BUMPS, DOESN'T IT? GOD WILL DO THE REST. I asked the Lord to bless you As I prayed for you today To guide you and protect you As you go along your way His love is always with you His promises are true And when we give Him all our cares You know He will see us through. So when the road you're traveling on Seems difficult at best Just remember I'm here praying And God will do the rest.



"TO FORGIVE IS DIVINE" Then in anger the master handed him over to the torturers until he paid back all that he owed. My heavenly Father will treat you in exactly the same way unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart." -Matthew 18:34-35

If we do not extend to others the forgiveness the Lord has given us, He promises we will be handed over to the torturers. When we refuse to forgive, we will be tortured by depression, fear, anger, self-hatred, compulsions, violence, anxiety, or suicidal tendencies. Many problems are forms of torture traceable to unforgiveness.

The Lord is not being cruel to us in letting us undergo these tortures. Rather, He is merciful in giving us only a partial payment of the wages of our sins (Rm 6:23) so that we will repent before we ride the train of unforgiveness into eternal damnation. Right now, let the Holy Spirit help you recall how the heavenly Father forgave you such an awesome debt of sin. Then decide by Jesus' power to extend that forgiveness to everyone who has ever hurt you. Now picture yourself embracing those people you've forgiven as the Father embraced the prodigal son (Lk 15:20). Whether or not you feel it, the Lord has worked the miracle of forgiveness in you.

Prayer: Father, forgive me and make me forgiving. Promise: "That is why the reign of God may be said to be like a king who decided to settle accounts with his officials." -Mt 18:23


Irene Sendler Dead at 98 - Awesome Lady

Irena Sendler Dead at 98 –awesome lady

What an incredible woman. Look at her smile, it says it all,
you can't help but smile with her. After you read the story, come back and look at her smile.

Irena Sendler There recently was a death of a 98 year-old lady named Irena. During WWII, Irena, got permission to work in the Warsaw Ghetto, as a Plumbing/Sewer specialist. She had an 'ulterior motive' ... She KNEW what the Nazi's plans were for the Jews, (being German.) Irena smuggled infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried and she carried in the back of her truck a burlap sack, (for larger kids..) She also had a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto. The soldiers of course wanted nothing to do with the dog and the barking covered the kids/infants noises.. During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 kids/infants. She was caught, and the Nazi's broke both her legs, arms and beat her severely. Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she smuggled out and kept them in a glass jar, buried under a tree in her back yard. After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived it and reunited the family. Most had been gassed. Those kids she helped got placed into foster family homes or adopted. Last year Irena was up for the Nobel Peace Prize ... She was not selected. Al Gore won, for a slide show on Global Warming. Powerful message. Let us never forget!


Life of Fear or Faith

LIFE OF FEAR OR FAITH?"Do not live in fear, little flock." -Luke 12:32

The Lord commands us not to live in fear (Lk 12:32), for we can be slaves our whole lives because of the fear of death (Heb 2:15). The Lord has simply commanded us to not fear anything (Mt 10:31). To escape a life of fear we usually try to avoid fearful situations, but Jesus tells us to sell what we have and give alms (Lk 12:33), actions which would place us in a position needing to trust radically in God. Although this seems to increase our fears rather than allay them, the way to overcome a life of fear is to challenge, not avoid our fears. If we try to control and avoid circumstances, we will always be fearful and victims of circumstances.
However, if we sell what we have and refuse to play it safe, we will find that our heavenly Father knows how to take care of His children. We will be fearless regardless of circumstances. We will have a fearlessness based on God Himself. Even the fearsome events at the end of the world will not trouble us. We will "stand erect and hold our heads high" (Lk 21:28). We will be fearless, for the Lord is our Light and our Salvation; whom shall we fear? (Ps 27:1) Prayer: Father, "though an army encamp against me, my heart will not fear; though war be waged upon me, even then will I trust" in You (Ps 27:3). "Faith is confident assurance concerning what we hope for, and conviction about things we do not see."


British Soldier Credits Rosary Beads With Saving His Life.

British Soldier Credits Rosary Beads With Saving His Life
Published August 02, 2010
Eastnews Press Agency/Peter Lawson
British soldier Glenn Hockton, 19, says his rosary beads saved him while on tour in Afghanistan. He dropped the prayer beads, he said, and noticed as he bent down to retrieve them that he was standing on top of a land mine.
A British soldier says that rosary beads given to him by his mother saved his life after he stepped on a land mine while serving in Afghanistan.
He also claims that his grandfather was saved the exact same way, The Daily Mail reported Monday.
Now home from a seven-month tour of duty, 19-year-old Glenn Hockton was on patrol when his rosary beads suddenly dropped from his neck. He bent down to retrieve the chain and realized he was on top of a land mine.
Hockton stood still for 45 minutes while his colleagues worked to secure the land mine.
During his tour, Hockton's duties involved patrolling and loading the mortars while he was based in Kabul and Helmand Province, which has seen a significant amount of violence.
Glenn Hockton's great-grandfather, Joseph "Sunny" Truman, was also said to have been saved by his rosary beads while serving in the British army during World War II.
On a separate occasion, Hockton, who joined the military when he was 16, was shot in the chest, but his body armor protected him from the bullet. Since then, Hockton's mother and stepfather have kept the bullet that could have ended their son's life.
Hockton's great grandfather, Joseph (Sunny) Truman, also is convinced a rosary saved his life in World War II when a blast killed six members of his platoon.
Before Hockton was deployed to Afghanistan, his mother gave him the rosary beads for protection. Despite the gesture, his mother, Sheri Jones, feared the worst. "I couldn't watch the news because the children used to say: 'Is Glenn on there?' each time they said another soldier had been killed," she told the Daily Mail.
Hockton currently is training for his next deployment


The Amazing Fruits of Medjugorje

Photo: Visionary Ivan Dragicevic with Cardinal Schonborn:
The amazing fruits of Medjugorje - Religious vocations point to authenticity
Recommend this article...
By Daniel Klimek June 8, 2010

Anti-Medjugorje critics—from names like Manfred Hauke to E. Michael Jones and their supporters--in efforts to find any bad fruits from the Bosnian village and to justify their antagonism toward the phenomenon, frequently invoke the fact that none of the six Medjugorje visionaries have entered religious lives (as priests or nuns). This claim is invoked in order to, somehow, undermine the validity of the apparitions. Of course, such critics completely ignore the fact that the visionaries lead exemplary lives as devout Roman Catholics, fasting on bread and water a few times a week, dedicating many hours to prayer each day, welcoming endless groups of pilgrims into their homes, being habitually present at Mass and Confession, beyond simple Sunday attendance. In essence, constituting an example for the laity on how to lead holy lives that sanctify daily life.
Anti-Medjugorje critics also ignore the fact that marriage and starting a family, lifestyles which each of the visionaries have embraced, constitute a sacred vocation, and a specific calling, within the Church. Anti-Medjugorje critics also ignore the fact that visionaries from some of the most prominent Marian apparitions in Church history have never entered religious life either—yet, this did not stop the Church from acknowledging the positive fruits and authenticity of the apparitions experienced at such locations (the eminent case of St. Juan Diego—who was never ordained but, in fact, canonized—and his apparitions from Our Lady of Guadalupe speaks for itself).
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, anti-Medjugorje critics ignore the fact that, if religious vocations constitute a sign toward the authenticity of apparitions, then Medjugorje must be one of the most authentic apparitions in Church history, being responsible for countless of vocations to the priesthood around the world. Eminent Church members, from archbishops to cardinals and papal advisors, have acknowledged this reality.
During the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary, on September 12, 1996, Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, the Archbishop of Vienna and—with Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, the current Pope—the main author of the Catachesim of the Catholic Church, acknowledged this striking reality about Medjugorje while addressing an audience of 10,000 in Vienna. He explained: “If I was an opponent of Medjugorje I'd have to close down my seminary since almost all the candidates have received their call to the priesthood through Medjugorje!” What a remarkable and powerful claim – the fact that almost all of Vienna's candidates to the priesthood came to the priesthood through the apparitions in Medjugorje.
In a future interview with Gebetsktion Wien, a few years later, this past January, Cardinal Schonborn reiterated this claim while explaining why he came to Medjugorje as a pilgrim in 2010. “I will just repeat what I once said in one interview: if there was something wrong about Medjugorje, we would have to dismiss half of our seminarians, since so many of our priestly vocations are both directly and indirectly related to Medjugorje.” Not only did Cardinal Schonborn acknowledge the fruits of faith present in Medjugorje through the immense influence the apparitions have had on priestly vocations but, equally important, he explained how much the sacred example of Medjugorje's visionaries played a role in inspiring his pilgrimage to the village. “...was in Vienna last year and I spoke with him, Marija Pavlovic Lunetti this year, they were both in Cathedral of St. Stephen and I gave my permission for those events. Both of those two encounters have impressed me so much, primarily because of modesty, simplicity, clarity and heart warmness of those two visionaries. That only strengthened my decision to quietly and simply come to Medjugorje.”
Archbishop Georg Eder of Salzburg, Austria, also recognized the undeniable connection between Medjugorje and religious vocations. His words are as powerful as they are urgent for a European culture that has lost its sense of the spiritual. A sense that has been reawakened through Medjugorje. Archbishop Eder explained:
“My impressions here are not surprising. I know that groups from Salzburg very often go to Medjugorje, that new prayer groups are constantly started, that there are more and more people who say: 'In Medjugorje I received my vocation!'”
The Archbishop further added - “I am reflecting: We are losing three things that we are getting back in Medjugorje: penance, conversion and vocations. In Austria we look in vain for these things. Conversion is not mentioned anymore because people do not need it; Confession is dying out with us except in shrines and in the churches of religious orders where this sacrament is sought and lived; spiritual vocations are less and less. In Medjugorje this is happening constantly: Confessions, conversions and spiritual vocations!”
It is fascinating how in a European culture like Austria's, wherein faith is constantly ignored and on the decline, hope emanates from a distant Bosnian village. Both Cardinal Schonborn and Archbishop Eder have implied that, if it was not for Medjugorje, then Austrian Catholicism—at least in the realm of priestly vocations—may become obsolete. Thus the influence of the apparitions has played a monumental role in reawakening the spiritual life in Austrian Catholicism.
Bishop Paolo Hnilica, an esteemed Jesuit who was close friends with Cardinal Karol Wojtya and, later, a close papal advisor once Wojtya became Pope John Paul II, also acknowledged the fruits of Medjugorje. He once noted about John Paul II: “The Pope, for his part, recognized a long time before that supernatural events are really at work in Medjugorje!” But beyond John Paul II's love for Medjugorje— (see, “Pope John Paul II – Medjugorje 'spiritual heart of the world'”)---Bishop Hnilica himself could not ignore the overwhelming impact that Medjugorje has had in influencing both vocations to religious life as well as miraculous healings. He once noted:
“So many are the people who have experienced the presence of Mary at Medjugorje that they cannot be counted, just as the stories of spiritual and even physical healings can no longer be counted. Countless, as well, are the vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life born of the grace of Medjugorje. These are just some of the main spiritual fruits which have brought many to the conclusion that the Queen of Peace is truly present in Medjugorje.”
Since many of the seminarians who have been inspired to enter religious life as a result of Medjugorje, both future priests and nuns, are young people, this reality itself – Medjugorje's influence on the youth in converting to, and renewing, the faith – could not be ignored by Church leaders. In 1983, only two years after the apparitions began, Cardinal Kuharic, then-Primate of Croatia, reflected: “How can I doubt that Medjugorje is God's doing?...Do you know that half a million young people have surrendered to Christ? The Lord is stirring this country! They need fifty to sixty priests every weekend just to hear confessions and to counsel these young people! And it's all because this apparition!”
Fr. Donald Calloway, the popular American priest of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception who is a leading proponent of the Divine Mercy devotions, and the author and editor of numerous books on Mariology, was another young person who experienced the grace of Medjugorje in his remarkable conversion story and in his road to the priesthood (see the story, “Father Calloway – Saved by Medjugorje and the Virgin Mary” on MinistryValues). Fr. Calloway, who studied at the Franciscan University in Ohio and at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C., acknowledged that even in America—where we often are reminded of the shortage of vocations—Medjugorje has played a central role in encouraging young men to pursue the priesthood. In an interview that Fr. Calloway gave in February 2004, he explained how many young men he met in seminary who were as inspired by Medjugorje as he was to pursue the vocation:
“I loved every minute of Medjugorje. I'm going back in March. It's the edge of Heaven, wonderful...Our Lady is building up this army, this whole new generation, layer by layer. Rank by rank they are coming out of seminaries to take their places. There's a whole generation of priests coming, and they're just like me. No nonsense. I always tell people, get ready, because it's coming to a parish near you...We've been formed by the Blessed Virgin Mary and her apparitions. So many of the guys I knew in seminary, they loved things like Medjugorje or Betania or Amsterdam or Kibeho. They don't have a problem with it. They bite onto truth like a shark, and they're going to be the guys in the seminaries teaching. They're going to be in parishes. One cardinal said if it were not for Medjugorje, he would have hardly any seminarians. I compare it to Guadalupe.”
Even men who have been ordained for many years have been attracted to Medjugorje, including countless of bishops from the international world. Bishop Stanislas Lukumwena Lumbala from Kole, Congo, once made the fascinating observation about Medjugorje: “One should not worry about approval all the time. The approval will certainly be given. Bishops come, and they come to pray. There is something that we are drawn to, something that has impressed us. Little by little, Medjugorje will be approved!”
What is that mysterious something—as the bishop speaks of—which draws bishops, and cardinals, and countless of young people, and pilgrims to Medjugorje? What is that something which inspires massive conversions and leads individuals to religious vocations in countries where the faith seems dead, like Austria or America? Perhaps the answer could be summed up in the words of the late, great pontiff, Pope John Paul II, who once poignantly observed:
“Today's world has lost its sense of the supernatural, but many are searching for it – and find it in Medjugorje, through prayer, penance, and fasting.”
The Belgium-Catholic philosopher Alice von Hildebrand once beautifully wrote in an essay: “Now let us abolish the terms 'conservative' or 'liberal', the terms 'left' and 'right' which are secularistic. I suggest that we say from now on 'those who have kept the sense of the supernatural and those who have lost it'. That is the great divide, that is the essence. Do you look at the Church and her teaching, whether dogmatic or moral, with a supernatural eye, or do you look at it with secular lenses? That is the divide. Left and right confuses the issue. Let us rediscover the greatness and the beauty of the supernatural...”
At Medjugorje, countless of people, young and old, have rediscovered the greatness and the beauty of the supernatural, realizing that the miraculous is not a thing of the past but something that exists in the modern world. This sublime rediscovery has opened the door to religious vocations in the most unexpected places, transcending the standards and norms of modern secular culture with a spiritual awakening so profound and powerful that it could only be explained as a grace of God.


I Have Come to tell the World that God exists.

Words from Medjugorje - "My Son Exists"

On August 2, 2010 Mirjana, one the Medjugorje visionaries released a message from 'Our Lady the Queen of Peace" that seemed to echo the first powerful message given to the Bosnian children in 1981.

In that early message answering the question from the children "Why have you come" Our Lady She Said " I have come to tell the world that God Exists. He is the fullness of life, and to enjoy this fullness and peace, you must return to God'.

Adoration Medjugorje Youth Festival


Da Mihi Animas: "Didn't Know You Were So Beautiful!"#links#links

Da Mihi Animas: "Didn't Know You Were So Beautiful!"#links#links

Our Lady's Message of August 2, to Mirjana

Dear children! Today I call you, together with me, to begin to build the Kingdom of Heaven in your hearts; that you may forget that what is personal and – led by the example of my Son – think of what is of God. What does he desire of you? Do not permit satan to open the paths of earthly happiness, the paths without my Son. My children, they are false and last a short while. My Son exists. I offer you eternal happiness and peace and unity with my Son, with God; I offer you the Kingdom of God. Thank you.


Father Donald Calloway - Saved by Medjugorje and the Virgin Mary

Father Donald Calloway - Saved by Medjugorje and the Virgin Mary

By Daniel Klimek May 20, 2010

Heroine, cocaine, opium, marijuana, excessive alcohol, not to mention hallucinogenic drugs like mushrooms (psilocybin) and LSD – he consumed most of these before the age of 18, many before he turned 14, the addictions growing stronger as the existential emptiness deepened. What sounds like an introduction to a Hunter S. Thompson novel actually constitutes the autobiography of a Catholic priest. Fr. Donald Calloway of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception retells his dramatic and heart-wrenching life story in No Turning Back: A Witness to Mercy.
As a destructive youth, Calloway spent his adolescence succumbing to temptations large and small, from sins of the flesh with constant promiscuity, to crimes against the law with thousands of dollars of grand theft in stolen merchandise, as well as nightly partying with friends consuming all forms of drugs and addictives while listening to heavy-metal music.
At one point, Calloway became a follower of the rock band the Grateful Dead, inspiring entrance into a psychedelic culture which—among other things—left him with a big Grateful Dead tattoo on his arm. To this day he has it, as a remembrance of the past he lived. The past he left. To this day he doesn’t have a clue how that tattoo got there, being stoned to oblivion during the night of its implementation.
During his youth, Calloway was such an angry and rebellious kid that he names a chapter in his book “Animal” in describing himself, his early mentality, his vicious ways. His family (especially his parents) suffered great emotional trauma as a result of their son’s behavior. For a while, they lived on a military base in Japan, for Calloway’s stepfather was an officer. This didn’t last too long. Running around with Japanese gangs, stealing tens of thousands of dollars in merchandise—from electric guitars to cars—got young Donald Calloway arrested and deported from the country. He was escorted through the airport by military guards with chains and shackles around his hands and feet, while he spat at his captors and threw out verbal obscenities to surrounding pedestrians, angrily cursing his way onto the plane.
Although, like any angst-filled adolescent, Calloway developed a strong hatred for his parents—notwithstanding their efforts to help their struggling son, praying for him and checking him into rehabilitation facilities numerous times—a guilt-stricken consciousness still haunted him about his younger brother, where a stronger bond existed. Fr. Calloway describes his feelings poignantly:
“The only bond that I had left with my family was with my little brother, Matthew. When it came to him, I felt terribly, almost inexplicably conflicted. Ten years younger than I, he would often plead, ‘Brother, play with me.’ A part of me wanted to stay home and be the big brother I wanted to be and thought he needed. But I was so preoccupied with my girlfriends and drug buddies that I didn’t want to commit to anything domestic.”
After returning from Japan and checking into an ineffective rehabilitation clinic in Pennsylvania, things did not get any better. For years the drugs continued, so did the promiscuity, the theft, and another arrest. In terms of his growing addictions, Calloway describes vividly what a poisonous rabbit hole he fell into, hitting rock bottom in what reads like a distant and dreary space.
“On one occasion, I even found myself in a crack house, crawling around on the rug on my hands and knees looking for any cocaine that might have fallen on the floor. There were cockroaches running around and maggots in the sink from all the unwashed dishes. A crying baby could be heard, unattended in a back room. Yet there I was on the floor, right along with the baby’s mother, searching frantically for white specs on the floor. If we found anything white, we’d put it in the bowl and smoke it, even if we didn’t know what it was.”
So, what on earth could have turned this rebellious youth, this struggling addict, this “animal” (as he later described himself), into a devout Catholic priest, not to mention into an eloquent author of books on theology and Mariology?
It all began one night in March 1992 when, to the surprise of his friends, Donald decided not to go out partying, as was the usual routine, but to stay at home for the night. He felt immensely depressed, a longing and emptiness occupied his very being. “I found myself sitting there alone in my room with nothing to do and no one to turn to. My existence was laughable. My life was a waste, and I was hoping it would somehow come to an end…I hated my life. I was restless and anxious about everything.” Looking for a way to fill the time, he began browsing his parents’ bookshelf, not to find anything to read but, preferably, land on a National Geographic for the pictures. Instead, his hand landed on something else, an odd book about a subject so alien and obscure to the teenager that it was intriguing enough to read. The book was called The Queen of Peace Visits Medjugorje.
Essentially, it was the story of the Marian apparitions in Medjugorje which brought on the crisis of his conversion. He was only one of the first of a long line of Christians who were to fall under the spell of the mystical Bosnian village, embracing that land of mystery.
“This book showed me a side of things I had never really heard of or experienced before, but I certainly could relate to the radical nature of the message…It wasn’t long before I realized this book was presenting me an offer to change my life and surrender to something greater than myself – to believe in God and be different. It was a revelation that required a revolution in my thinking. Could this be the way out I was looking for?”
He spent the whole night reading the book, until the early hours of the morning. In the process, the inner beings of his soul were transformed from the anxiousness and restlessness he previously experienced to a deep serenity and peace that radiated and pervaded his spirit. The messages of Medjugorje touched him on a higher level, the return to prayer, peace, fasting, a reconciliation with God and the need for conversion. For the first time, something offered him hope from his abusive past, from his life of sin and despair.
“The Virgin Mary was saying things that were so clear and captivating that I found myself moved and literally experiencing emotion in a deep way. This was a kind of emotion I hadn’t experienced since I was a little boy who really loved his mother and wanted to make her happy. And yet the Virgin Mary was saying that she was my mother, that she was the mother of those who had gone astray and was calling us back to God, to Jesus. She made it clear that she was not God, but she was pointing to her Son and saying He is the Messiah, the Savior of the world. I found myself totally falling in love with this mother, this woman.”
The aesthetical quality was sublime. He was experiencing a beauty he hadn’t felt in a very long time. In this Woman, the Virgin Mary, he found a beauty that was not poisonous and sinful—like his past encounters with women—but pure and refreshing, an immaculate gentleness that offered a ray of hope and emanated a radiant light into Donald’s darkened world. Spiritual and sublime, this attraction led Donald to a small prayer of the heart, in which he revealed his longing for this mysterious presence in front of him.
“As I continued to read, I said to her in my heart, ‘I want to believe. I really do. You are piercing the little bubble of my world and offering me something more than I ever heard. I need this.’”
This inner need, this spiritual longing, was being satisfied. As he continued reading, a strange, but wondrous, rebirth from death to new life occurred. “Although I was in serious despair about my life, as I read the book, I felt as if my heart was being melted. I hung on to each word like it was transmitting life straight to me.”
Then a new day came. “Early in the morning, when I closed the book, I said, ‘The message in this book is life-changing. I have never ever heard anything so amazing and convincing and so needed in my life.’ One might say that this was my first prayer. Whoever this Virgin Mary was, I believed what she was saying – that she was my mother and came from heaven for me.”
Instantly, after telling his overwhelmed mother about the experience, Donald—though not a Catholic yet—ran off to Mass for the first time in his life, speaking to a priest afterwards, confessing his entire past to the man. When he came back home, Donald began throwing out all of his filthy possessions from his past life, from drug paraphernalia to pornographic magazines ranging from his Playboy and Penthouse collections, to his heavy metal records, and his water bongs and pipes. Six 30-gallon bags were the result.
After clearing his space of all distractions, Donald knelt by his dresser and deeply desired to go into prayer. But he didn’t know how to pray. As he recalls, “Until earlier that day, I had never said a prayer in my entire life.” This did not stop him, however, from falling into an overbearing ambiance of deeply healing and purifying tears. His past was still very prominent in his mind and the remorse, the regret that was felt was overwhelming – the need for forgiveness encapsulated his entire being.
“In fact, I started crying so hard that I could hardly breathe. I had to literally gasp for air because I was crying so uncontrollably. There were torrents of liquid coming out of my eyes. Before long, the clothes I was wearing were soaking wet.”
Hours of such excruciating crying led to inexplicable tears of joy and, all of the sudden, Donald felt an immense peace in his heart, a tranquility that surpassed understanding. “I started to feel almost bubbly and giddy, almost like a child being tickled by his father. Suddenly, I was animated. I had life again and felt so much different. My body tingled all over. I was so wrapped up in Jesus that I became aware of how much I was loved.”
This purifying peace led to something inexplicable, a mystical—if not downright supernatural—experience. Like thousands of patients who have reported undergoing near-death experiences, Donald left his body.
“But all of a sudden something below me and within me – this is very difficult to explain – knocked me out of my body. I literally felt as if I had left my body. My physical form remained on the couch, but my soul or spirit had left.” The experience paralyzed him, as he gradually saw his body farther and farther away from him, his spiritual presence being slowly removed from the physical. Out of desperation, he led out a penetrating, spiritual cry to that person who had just touched his soul. “Mary!” What happened next was phenomenal. Donald was “violently slammed back” into his body.
“After I got over the shock of the impact, a feeling of peace overwhelmed me, a peace that was tangible. Then I heard a voice, the most pure feminine voice I have ever heard and ever will hear. It was within me, it was outside of me, it was like liquid love being poured over me. It was pure maternal love. It said, ‘Donnie, I’m so happy.’ That’s all I heard, but I knew who it was. Nobody called me Donnie but my mother. Nobody. I knew this was the voice of Mary, the Blessed Virgin Mary. I was so at peace that I felt like a little boy snuggled close to his mother’s breast. I was so at peace, so loved, and so at rest that I went into a deep sleep. I hadn’t slept like that since I was a young boy.”

The phenomenon that Donald experienced, in addition to leaving his body, is called an interior locution (locution cordis), the mystical grace of hearing a spiritual presence – in this case, Our Lady – in an interior way through the depths of the soul.
After his profound spiritual experiences, an official conversion to Roman Catholicism followed. What also followed was the desire for the priesthood. Not just any priesthood. Donald wanted to become a Marian priest, both for Our Lady and for the reason that the Marians of the Immaculate Conception are the official promoters of the Divine Mercy devotions of St. Faustina Kowalska, the Polish nun and mystic who experienced visions of Christ in the 1930s. Donald saw himself, through his past, as the poster-boy for Divine Mercy. For, through the grace of God, he received the greatest mercy after a life of sin.
Becoming a priest meant going back to school. For this high school dropout, this wasn’t the easiest task. Notwithstanding, through his subsequent education and efforts, Donald was able to encounter some of the most eminent Catholic intellectuals and scholars in the world. After earning his GED and spending some time in community college, the Marians sent Donald to study at the Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, where he earned his B.A. in theology and philosophy. It was at Franciscan that he encountered some of his favorite professors, including the prominent Catholic intellectuals Scott Hahn and Mark Miravalle. Donald admits that Professor Hahn had an influential impact on his studies, implementing a deeper love of God in his mind. Professor Miravalle, a theologian and Mariologist, is a leading figure in the Marian movement, and also played a great influence on Donald. Miravalle is the president of Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici, a movement within the Catholic Church that hopes to gain papal approval to deem Mary as the Co-Redemptrix, becoming the fifth Marian dogma. Interestingly, Miravalle’s own connections to Medjugorje are not small. He has written numerous books on the subject and, when he was a doctoral student in Rome, his dissertation was called, The Message of Medjugorje: A Postconcilar Formulation of Lourdes and Fatima. The dissertation showed how the messages of Medjugorje align with Chruch tradition, ranging from the Gospels to the teachings of the early Church Fathers in their foundational elements and, of course, to Vatican II and other approved apparitions. The thesis was successfully defended in the Pontifical University of St. Thomas (Angelicum) in Rome in 1984. Beyond inspirations like Professors Hahn and Miravalle at Franciscan, Donald went on to study with other greats. He received both his M.Div and S.T.B. at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C., and then earned an S.T.L. at the International Marian Research Institute in Dayton, Ohio. At the Institue, Donald studied with such prominent theologians and Mariologists as Fr. Luigi Gambero and Fr. Eamon Carroll. Most remarkably, Donald took the last class that the great French theologian and Mariologist Rene Laurentin taught at the Institute. Laurentin himself has been one of Medjugorje’s greatest supporters for years, with countless of books on the apparitions. Donald’s S.T.L. dissertation concentrated on the Mariology in the diaries of St. Faustina Kowalska, combining his love for Our Lady with his love for the Divine Mercy devotions. The dissertation was over 200 pages long, contained over 700 footnotes – in Latin, French, Polish, Italian, and Spanish – and, years later, was published into a book called, Purest of All Lilies: The Virgin Mary in the Spirituality of St. Faustina. He even graduated summa cum laude with his S.T.L. The former drug addict, convicted criminal, and high school dropout graduated summa cum laude with an advanced degree, studying with some of the most renowned theologians in the world, and publishing his work into a book about the Mother of God. Today, Father Calloway is the House Superior for the Marians of the Immacluate Conception and their vocations director. He preaches his story throughout the world, reaching countless of hearts. His life story is an example of grace and divine mercy in motion, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and particularly her continuing work in Medjugorje. No Turning Back constitues a powerful and poignant testimony about one man’s journey, being led out of a tunnel of darkness and despair into the radiance of hope and belief in something purer, truer, and warmer than the temptations of contemporary culture – what the human soul longs for, spiritual sublimity and meaning in one’s existence