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Medjugorje - Međugorje

Medjugorje ('between the hills') has been a place of pilgrimage and conversion since 1981 when, on 24th June, 6 children saw a beautiful woman on the hillside who, on the second day, told them she was the 'Queen of Peace'. Marija, Vicka and Ivan continue to have daily apparitions to this day; Ivanka and Jakov have apparitions once a year; Mirjana, as well as an annual apparition on 18th March, sees Our Lady on the Hill of Apparitions on the 2nd of each month. The parish is served by the Franciscans. Pope Benedict XVI set up a new commission to look into the authenticity of these apparitions.

While until the Church has made a pronouncement on Medjugorje, there are no official pilgrimages, several million pilgrims have travelled to Medjugorje in a personal capacity (over 1.25 million consecrated hosts have been distributed at Masses in Medjugorje between 1985 - 2010). What is known for sure is that Medjugorje has been the place of a conversion of heart for many. For more about Medjugorje, visit the parish of St James's website.

3 2us on Our Lady Queen of Peace by Mgr Leo Maasburg       
"Our Lady takes us to the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, and she comes to us, inviting us to open our hearts to the Lord. Our Lady is the expression of the highest dignity which God has bestowed on men and that dignity which makes him a real child of God. St John says 'Now we are children of God. What we are going to be, we do not know, but we will see Him as He is.' So let's get rid of false glitters and idols, that our eyes become clear and that we can collaborate with Our Lady, to bring not only ourselves to conversion, fasting, prayer, to the Lord, but to take many with us; to be co-redeemers, to be collaborators in the redemptive work of God; that we too one day can say 'Our Lady, your visit was not in vain. You have stayed so long with us but thank you because you have convinced us, that through your humility, through your simplicity, through your tender love, you have convinced us that we can follow you, that we can open our hearts to you and that you can lead us into the open heart of your son."

Eric, from America     
"It was a week that God opened my eyes, it was a time of prayer, of really coming to know what my faith was about. I spent some time on the mountains, praying to Our Lord to give me some direction, to figure out what He wanted in my life. And all of a sudden came an incredible realization of His presence, of a presence that loved me, that knew me and that I was in his hands, that there is nothing that I need worry about, that I was in his hands, that He was going to take care of me. It was an overwhelming sense of his love for me, absolutely overwhelming and I couldn't escape it. I knew after this experience that I had to do something, I had to change the way I was living. … I came back from that week in Medjugorje with such a hunger to learn more about my faith, to learn more about God."

Jamie, from Ireland      
"When I went to Medjugorje, I just felt a mother’s love that was so powerful and profound, and it completely changed my life. Ever since then Mary's just been so with me and personal and just a mum. We say she's our spiritual mum - it doesn't mean that it's not real, it's so real that she's our real mum. Just from coming to know her, you get to know Jesus because that's what happens, that's how it follows. I'm in the seminary now and I've nearly finished my time there and I say that if I didn't have her and if I didn't have the rosary, I wouldn't have lasted. She's the one that keeps you going, like a mum she encourages you when times are getting tough. So it's all really to Jesus through her and that's the only way."

Ella, from Hong Kong      
"Mary grabbed my hand way back in 2000. I knew a community who had a great love of Mary and with the introduction of a brother we started to pray a rosary together and it was my first full rosary. Then I went to Medjugorje and then I went again and again. Since 2001 I have already been 20 times. .. Mary has been holding my hand. She's been waiting for me and finally I realised how much she has loved me and how long she has waited for me."

Julian, from Colombia               en español  
"I went as a pilgrim to Medjugorje 5 years ago with my fiancé … At the beginning I was sceptical about Medjugorje since in Latin America we never heard about the apparitions. But once I was there, my first impression was to see around 30 cubicles with priests speaking in many languages and receiving people for confession, day after day, hour after hour. That made me realise that if God is calling so many people to conversion and repentance, the work of the Holy Spirit must be in that place and especially the one with Our Lady."

Jan, from Italy       
"My relationship with Mary started becoming closer and closer when I went to Medjugorje a year ago. In her I found a mother, I found forgiveness and felt peace, and when I came back to my city that was the only thing that I could think about and look for in the months that came. And I started praying the rosary every day and she started bringing me closer to Jesus, day by day, and what happened next is I started discovering again the sacraments and the Mass."

Ruth, from Craig Lodge Community Dalmally in Scotland     
"When I was a teenager I picked up a book on Fatima and I think that was a bit of a wake up call. I detected the urgency in her messages and I began to think about what she was asking of us all and asking of me, and that was when I began to try and say the rosary fairly faithfully. I think that was a preparation, looking back, for the real turning point which was going to Medjugorje when I was 19 in 1983. That was the moment when I felt Our Lady was inviting me to a deeper commitment to her, a giving of everything really to her which I wanted to do, which I completely wanted to do. Ever since then I have tried and the emphasis is on the word tried because I fail so often, but I've tried to live the messages that she gives us at Medjugorje. Really my life is hers as far as I'm concerned and I've tried to give her everything."

Robert, from England      
"There’s a wonderful sense of Mary being a pilgrim and a traveller with you, in that she was just like you and me but without sin, and she had to take all those leaps of faith. In fact she was the first believer, as John Paul II said, she believed in Jesus before anybody else did. So I would say she helps my faith and helps me through her prayers believe in Jesus."

Father John, a Pallotine priest from Ireland      
"I just thank our Blessed Mother for Medjugorje, it has been key, I can't but mention it. I was very blessed, at a time in my life when I really needed I suppose help. I was lost in the grief of my older brother who had died of cancer a year previous to that at 23 years of age. I was 21 and I was wild in the world, very lost in so many ways and thinking the world might satisfy my loneliness. And yet Medjugorje just gave me the embrace of our Blessed Mother. And when one knows how special one is, when one experiences being loved in such a spiritual deep way, something has to change and my heart did change. I knew I had to come back, I knew I had to commit to my faith. And Our Lady I believe from Medjugorje gave me the tools, she gave me those things that I needed to bring me back on the true journey which Our Lord had for me. So thanks to our Blessed Mother for that."

Aisling, from Scotland      
"It was all through Mary that I came to know Jesus and she is part of my life every day. She is my model, a model of a pure heart, of a perfect woman, of a mother, of love and she is who I strive to be like."

Daniel, a seminarian from England    
"I like the image of the rosary as being those reins of our Heavenly Mother holding us and us holding her so that we're free to enjoy this wonderful world, but that she's always there, guiding us, not just keeping us away from evil but leading us ever closer to the goal which is not just to understand our faith better but to know her Son better. I've come to realise now that it's not possible to love our Heavenly Mother too much because she only ever leads us to her Son."

John Paul, from Ireland      
"Our Lady invited me to go to Medugorje in summer 2010 and from that time she has been leading me back to her son, Jesus. So I just encourage all of you to turn to Our Lady. If you're experiencing any difficulties in your life, turn to Our Lady and she'll never let you down. She'll hold you by the hand if you ask her and, through the rosary, she'll lead you back to her son, Jesus."

Giorgia, di Roma       
"A Medjugorje, ho scoperto Maria presente nella mia vita, per me, che mi guarda, che aveva un cuore per me."

Callum, from Craig Lodge, Dalmally      
"Our Lady freely gave me the grace to love her very, very much. Whenever I pray the rosary, which I love, or even think about her, I receive a beautiful inner peace, even in times of sadness or when discord is around."

Rosamund, from England      
"I met Our Lady in Medjugorje and from that moment on my life was completely changed in the sense that she brought me to know her Son Jesus in a deeper way, first through the Eucharist and then through so many ways .. It was Our Lady who helped me to fall in love with Jesus in new ways."

Veronica, from London       
"It is the most exceptional thing to be gathered with people from all over the world - they really have come from all over the world - and to be praying together. You get a very remarkable sense of the vigour and faith and unity that allows us to belong to each other because of the Holy Spirit's work in the body of Christ; it's very, very moving. Of course the best and loveliest thing about going to Medjugorje is the realisation that Our Lady knows each of us individually and cares for us in a very powerful and maternal way; and that we can entrust our lives, our needs, our fears, our anxieties and our love to her, and all of this is relayed to Jesus Our Lord in such a perfect way. So my advice would be to anybody who's thinking of going to Medjugorje and who has perhaps thought that they didn't have time or that it wasn't really for them, that they should take this opportunity to say 'well we can't predict how long this miracle will be allowed by God', and not to delay and to go there, and to receive the graces that Our Lady has promised to bestow on all her children."

Christianne, from England      
"I went to Medjugorje several times in the 80s and 90s. After our first visit, my sister and I returned with different people who had expressed a desire to see for themselves the place that Our Lady had chosen for this most special visitation in our time. After our first visit we can back so excited by everything we had felt and witnessed, and I felt that a profound change had taken place within me. Going to Medjugorje most definitely changed my life, deepened my faith. Our Lady touches us in a special way when we make the journey to hear her message. It has been a great blessing, a great challenge, a privilege and most extraordinary blessing to have her messages and presence in our world today."

Frederica, from Italy      
"Mary is for me a mother, a friend and I have been a non-believer for a very long time, for 29 years, and then I went to Medjugorje."

Joao Paulo, from Portugal      
"After my first visit to Lourdes, I went to Medjugorje for the first time and Medjugorje was an experience I will never forget. First time I went there, I came back full of faith and first thing was - I have to go to Mass more often. Suddenly, after 6 months, I was going to Mass daily. After being 7 years away from Mass, I start going to Mass daily, which was a very, very big grace. .. When we go to Medjugorje the visionaries are there, but straight away we feel a call to go Jesus, not to go to the visionaries, not to go to Our Lady, because Our Lady is always calling us to come back to her son Jesus, who loves us so much. For me so far, Medjugorje is just an amazing grace that happened in my life. Our Lady is coming to us, to our rescue, she's inviting us to come back to Jesus. "

Anne, from England      
"I was well on my 60s when my eldest daughter said to me, 'Mummy, the Virgin Mary is appearing in Yugoslavia, behind the iron curtain.' And I was transported back to when I was 6 or 7 when I'd seen the film The Song of Bernadette, and I thought 'If it's true, if one jot of the Christian story is true, if the Nativity is true, then I want to be part of the moving train and I want to hear about it and I want to see it and maybe I'll see her.' So Charlotte, my eldest daughter, and I went off to Yugoslavia in search of the Virgin Mary, and that 24 hours changed my life."

Rita, from Ireland        
"As I looked at Vicka and she looked at me, something happened to me. It was as if the Blessed Mother herself had looked into my eyes at that moment and I felt such love, such motherly love. I had never experienced before the love of the Blessed Mother as I did at that moment, and that love of the Blessed Mother has stayed with me ever since. "

Franice, from the United States       
"This is my 6th journey to Medjugorje, and I come for Our Mother's call. She's calling all of us, she's calling all of us to be closer to her son. She does not want to be the centre but she is like a mother: she enfolds us, she covers us with her mantle, she blesses us. There are many graces that pour from this site and the most important, beyond the visionaries, beyond the sites and beyond the swirling sun, is the change of heart, is that you leave your hard heart and your mother replaces it with a heart that is soft and open to Our Lord Jesus. And as our mother says: 'Come. Come and meet my son, come and meet him here.'"

Nicole, from Mauritius       
"Blessed Mother, you opened the door of my heart to let Jesus in, in Medjugorje.  I thank you and I love you."

Lidia, from Sicily       
"I went to Medjugorje and my life changed… Mary helps me today, every day, forever.  ..
Io sono andata a Medjugorje e questa esperienza m'a cambiato totalmente la vida .. "

Ruth, from the UK       
"I went to Medjugorje for the first time when I was 17. Mary always leads me into my faith and does it with such gentleness and love, it's doable."

"If I weren't Pope, I would already be in Medjugorje confessing"

Mgr Slawomir Oder (Judicial Vicar of the Appellation Tribunal of the Vicariate of Rome), in his book 'Why He Is a Saint - The Life and Faith of Pope John Paul II and the Case for Canonization', writes:

"His devoted love for Mary only grew and flourished when the connection between the 3rd secret of Fatima and the assasination attempt of May 1981 became clear. In connection with that dramatic event, extrajudicial sources confirm, John Paul II also saw a link with the apparitions of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje, in the former Yugoslavia, which began at the end of June of the same year. The confirmation of this link would later come, to those who believe, in the message to the faithful from Mary herself on August 25, 1994, in the period when the Pope was preparing for his pastoral voyage in Croatia scheduled for the coming September 10-11. "Dear children, I am united in prayer with you today in a special way, to pray for the gift of the presence of my beloved son in your country. Pray, my children, for the health of my most beloved son who suffers, but whom I have chosen for these times."

Although he never took an official position on these apparitions, in private Pope Wojtyla did not conceal his own belief. To Monsignor Murilo Sebastiao Ramos Krieger, Archbishop of Florianopolis in Brazil, who was going for the 4th time on a pilgrimage to the Sancuary of the Queen of Peace, he confirmed: "Medjugorje is the spiritual center of the world!" In 1987, during a short conversation, Karol Woytyla confided to the seer Mirjana Dragicevic: "If I weren't Pope, I would already be in Medjugorje confessing." This intention finds confirmation in the testimony of Cardinal Frantisek Tomasek, Archbishop emeritus of Prague, who heard him say that, if he weren't Pope, he would have liked to go to Medjugorje to help with the pilgrimages.

Even more eloquent in this connection are the words written black on white by the Bishop of San Angelo, Texas, Monsignor Michael David Pfeifer, in a pastoral letter to the diocese on August 5, 1988: "During my visit ad limina with the bishops of Texas, in a private conversation with the Holy Father, I asked him what he thought about Medjugorje. The Pope spoke of it in very favourable terms and said: "To say that nothing is happening at Medjugorje means denying the living and praying testimony of thousands of people who have been there." 

Dating back to March 26, 1984, is another epiosde recalled by the Slovakian Archbishop, Pavel Hnilica, one of the prelates who was closest to the Pontiff. When he went on his secret mission to Moscow - to celebrate Mass secretly within the walls of the Kremlin - the Pope asked, "Pavel, did you go to Medjugorje, then?" When Hnilica said no, because of the dissent expressed by certain Vatican authorities, the Pope replied, "Go incognito and come back and tell me what you have seen." Then he took him to his private library and showed him a book by Father René Laurentin in which a number of messages from the Queen of Peace were quoted, commenting, "Medjugorje is the continuation of Fatima, it is the completion of Fatima."

After John Paul II's death, his friends Marek and Zofia Skwarnicki made available the letters that he wrote to them, abounding in specific references to Medjugorje. On May 28, 1992, the Pontiff wrote to the couple: "And now every day we return to Medjugorje in prayer." Welcoming them as guests that same year for the Christmas greeting, on December 8, he wrote on the back of the image of a saint: "I thank Zofia for everything concerning Medjugorje. I too go there every day in prayer: I am united with all who are praying there and who receive the call to prayer from there. Today we better understand this summons.""

Magnus, from Scotland, founder of Mary's Meals      
"For as long as I can remember I've prayed to Mary, but when I was 14 years old and went to Medjugorje for the first time, I came to know Mary in a new way, maybe in a more dramatic way. Through the grace I received there and a real new gift of faith, faith in the fact that Our Lady was and is appearing and that she is inviting us there back to her Son. Her presence there and our attempts at responding to her invitation have led to all sorts of beautiful different thing in my life and the lives of all my family. One of the things would be my Mum & Dad starting Craig Lodge House of Prayer in the Highlands of Scotland and later, in my own life, it led to the start of the work Mary's Meals. Mary's Meals, obviously named after Mary the mother of Jesus, is a very simple work aimed at helping the world's poorest children. Through this work we simply provide one daily meal in places of education for the good of children in the world. We began in Malawi, in 2002, by just providing meals in one small primary school, for about 200 children. We thought this work was especially Our Lady's, and that's why we gave it to her and gave it her name, and asked her to intercede for this work and for us, especially that we would know how to do it the way she would do it, as a practical and loving mother. I'm sure that's why the work of Mary's Meals has grown & grown." [Over 800,000 children receive
Mary's Meals every school day.]

Milona, from Germany, lives in Medjugorje. She was Father Slavko's translator & now works with Mary's Meals       
"In Medjugorje I met Our Lady in a new way. I knew her in my early life through Fatima and there was always a little corner of paradise that stayed in my heart after a day in Fatima. But here I met her as who she really is and she was just simply for me the beginning of a new life. Because what I met was a woman that is so close to us and so motherly, and motherly in the most securing way that .. I didn't know this was possible. A mother that never wants us to worry; she always makes me understand 'Do not worry. I am the Queen. I am there. There will be a way out.  Pray, pray and trust and be at peace.' She has taught me that there is not one moment of the day that I'm not being looked after, that I'm not being looked at. And I went through some very, very difficult moments, where I felt I was in absolute pits of darkness and nearly despair. But yet there came the moment when I couldn't anymore, there came a light and I could breathe again. So she for me she is like the breath of fresh air every day that brings me a God that she knows, the living God who is close, close, close. So she for me is a wonderful bridge between us humans, because she's like us and she's also the fruit of what her son did for us like in advance. And so she knows it all, she knows the strength of decision, she gives us all the secrets, all the mysteries of her relationship with the Lord, she gives it to us. And this is what I just love about her, because she's totally unselfish - she would be, wouldn't she - but she says it's all out of dear love for the Lord and for you, my children. So she gives everything to us that He has given her ... She for me is the deepest joy and a sign of hope and she gives me strength every single day and I just praise the Lord for having such a mother and for having her to us."

Father Danko OFM, one of the Franciscan parish priests in Medjugorje      
"There was a big battle inside me and I couldn't support this. One day, after Communion, I sat down in the last bench in an old church in Mostar and I told Jesus, "Jesus, I will die a healthy sportsman, because I can't support this pressure. And I have to decide and right now I decide, I will become your priest." At that moment, I felt like a burden of about 500 kilos that had been on my shoulders just disappeared. And at that time I saw that I guessed. Now I have been a priest for 11 years, I am 41 years old and if I had to be born 100 times I would choose to become a Franciscan priest, because I am very happy, as a priest, as a Franciscan and as a man, because Jesus calls me and gives me the grace to say 'Yes, I go with you'.  ... If somebody is in the cross to be or not to be a priest or not, I recommend do not be afraid, go ahead, and Jesus will give you big grace. What's important - don't be afraid."

Deirdre, from England      
"Our Lady brought me back to Jesus and that is why I love her so much."

Dom Rod OSB, a Benedictine monk from Worth Abbey in England      
"I remember too my first pilgrimage I made, back in 1989, when I arrived in Medjugorje for the first time on 1st January, the feast day of Our Lady Mother of God. And how, from the very first moment, those first hours, I was aware that here in this place, in a remarkable way that Mary has touched with her presence. Over the years as I have returned there, I've found a source of strength on my journey, a source of strength in my ministry, a source of encouragement and of real joy. So now when I return, I return there because I have as sense in quite a remarkable way, returning to be alongside, to be with, to spend time with the Blessed Mother, our mother, the mother of Our Lord. It's as if within that place, her presence can be felt, when our hearts are open to receive her love. And in receiving that love, we're aware that she's calling us not only closer to her heart, but always, through her heart, to the heart of Jesus, her son, our Lord, our Saviour. It's as if in our own day, Mary has been given to us as such a wonderful gift, given to us that our hearts may be opened not only to her presence but through her to the presence of the Lord."

Silvia, from Rome      
"Mary is the most important person in my life because she is my reference about love. Love is the most important thing in my life, in the life of every single person. Mary touched me, she is a teacher about love and she improves my way of loving. I want to learn from her to love people, to love life, to love everybody in my ordinary life. She is the milestone in my life and I know she observes me in everything in my life. I know she cures every aspect of my life and I can consider her as the basis of my life. I think she is the peace of my life .. I love to pray to her as the Queen of Peace and everybody can ask her for peace in the heart .. Mary is very present in these moments of the history of the world. She is very concentrated in what is happening in this world and she is not indifferent to our destiny.. I firmly believe that she can influence in a very important way the destiny of humanity in these moments.

Maria è la maestra d'amore"

Mary, from England      
"It was really through Fr George Tutto, who celebrates 60 years as a priest this week-end, and because of his holiness and his spiritual integrity, he said to us at the prayer group he used to run, 'Our Lady is appearing in Yugoslavia' and from that moment I really believed it. Because of who Fr Tutto was - he's a wonderful canon lawyer with great intellect but more than that great holiness. Today is 25 June 2011. This is a very special day because 30 years ago today Our Blessed Lady appeared to 6 young teenagers in a little hamlet in the former Yugoslavia called Medjugorje; the name means 'between the hills'. They first saw her on the 24th June but they were so scared they ran off. They were told by their parents to go back at the same the next day which they did. And Our Lady appeared to them again and her message was very simple. She said, "I am the Blessed Virgin Mary and I have come to tell you that God exists." "

Olivia, from England       
"Our Lady is the reason that I am a Christian because, when I was at university, I went to a pilgrimage place called Medjugorje where it was said that she was appearing to some children. As soon as I got there, I found I believed it. I felt her presence and ever since then she has pointed the way to her son, Jesus. I would say really that my relationship now is focused on her son. I feel really very blessed that I have friends that took me to that place, because it changed everything. I am very, very thankful to her because I don't really feel I know her that well but I do feel that she has helped me to know her son."

Father Bert Koppen FSO, from Holland        
"A profession you choose yourself, a vocation is something that comes from God. I did not make the decision to be a priest, God did. I wanted to be an engineer but God wanted me as a priest. And I only had to say 'Yes. Yes God, I will do your will, I follow your way' and then He gives the strength for it; Day by day, not in advance, years before. No. He gives His light, His graces, His strength at the moment you need it. And we have to go day by day His way, to hear His voice, to go His ways, work with the graces you're given at the moment, and in that you can far, far overcome yourself, because He wants it."

Michael, from England       
"Mary came into my life about 20 years ago. Having been brought up a Catholic and kicked it all pretty well into touch, somehow a place called Medjugorje came on the scene to me, and when I was searching I thought 'Yes, I'll have a look at this place. If she is there, she can tell me. If not, I'll carry on the way I'm going.' I went to Medjugorje - Mary touched me in the most extraordinary way and I can't really say very much other than that my parish priest (who said I was the most unlikely member of the pilgrimage) asked me what I was feeling and I said 'I am feeling extraordinarily loved, unbelievably loved and yet I am absolutely nothing.' And that has remained with me ever since. So Mary, through Medjugorje, brought me back to her Son and since then, yes, a change of life."

Mary, from the USA       
"My favourite quote is from Our Lady of Medjugorje when she says 'If you knew how much I loved you, you'd cry for joy.'"

Tessa, from London      
"Mother Mary has been a real mum to me and she’s given me so much love. When I think of her I think of a beautiful pink rose that's glistening and it's got little dew drops on it, and I think of an amazing hug, and I think of sitting on her lap and she's got her arm around me, and just peace. So, yah, she means everything to me. I got these little Miraculous Medal earrings in Medjugorje. The first time I went to Medjugorje I was just blown away, and I thought Mother Mary is living in Medjugorje, I want to go there. It's just so beautiful, she loves us all so much, she wants us to come to know her son, she wants us to pray, she loves the rosary. It's such a beautiful gift, I carry a rosary here in my pocket - it's just so easy, she takes us to Jesus."

Lily, from Scotland      
"I had a conversion from Our Lady 8 years ago in Medjugorje. I had been recently bereaved and I had gone there not really as a pilgrimage but more as a healing. And I felt Our Lady reach out to me in Medjugorje on that particular time. It was a shock to me because I had never really thought too much about Our Lady at the time, but I felt the presence of Our Lady. On going back to Scotland, I felt totally transformed, it was a conversion if you like. And from there I've been back several times but I personally feel that Our Lady drew me to Our Lord her Son in the Divine Mercy, and my faith has deepened through Our Lady and led me so much to her Son in His Divine Mercy, especially here in Poland."

Vincenzo, from Argentina / Italy      
"Me sostiene la Virgen.
La Vergine Maria è la mia Mamma."

Helen, from Ireland      
"I had great devotion to Our Lady when I was a child: I used to pick little primroses and my mother had a little altar. During the month of May I used to decorate it with the veil and the flowers, but over the years I strayed away and it was the blessed lady who brought me back again to Jesus. I went on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje and it changed my life. Her greatest contribution to me is that she's like the refuge of holy love, the protectress of the faith and I pray to her every day to protect my faith because I never want to lose it again; it's the most precious thing I have."

Chantal, from Madeira     
"I forgot a little bit about Our Lady until I was taken by the scruff of my neck. She didn't forget about me, I was her child, a child of Mary in my childhood. So she took me to Medjugorje and then she taught me about her love for me, and I learnt to love her there. Loving her has drawn me to her son, has drawn me to Jesus. I love her very, very much and think of her every day."

Olivette, from Sierra Leone       
"When I went to Medjugorje and they asked for 3 rosaries a day, I started doing that. And since then the life with Mary means the life with a mother, a spiritual mother, you can go anywhere with and everywhere, night as well as during the day, and I thank God for Mary."

Kate, from England      
"So I've been looking for little signs and asking God where he'd like me to go and one of those places was to Medjugorje ... Each day at Mass I would pray and ask Our Lady to guide me; because I wasn't on a formal pilgrimage, I asked her each day to guide me and each day I would meet different people and it would become very clear where she wanted me to go. So on one day I climbed the mountain of apparitions and met Our Lady in a very profound way on that mountain; and another day she called me to climb the mountain of the Cross, Krizevac, and again I journeyed with Our Lady up that mountain, meeting different pilgrims on the way but also meeting the Lord. As I met the Lord he would guide me and help me to discern the way forward in my life. "

Rose, from Scotland      
"Our Holy Mother came into my life many years ago when I was a child and she has stayed with me all my life. When I went to Medjugorje she came into my life in a special way and now I pray the rosary every day. Our Lady has helped me through many trials and tribulations, and I couldn't live without her. And she's the Queen of heaven and the Queen of my heart."

Lolita, from the Philippines      
"Mama Mary is very, very precious to me because Mama Mary, especially Mama Mary of Medjugorje, is the one who helped me to go back to God. She is our mother, she helps us so much. And everything that you need, just go to Mama Mary and she promises something: she will help you - that's the way she did it with me."

Marian from America       
"I had a lot of scepticism and everything about coming to Medjugorje, and I feel I had a lot of obstacles to overcome and I had a lot of tragedies in my life, and I feel that the Blessed Mother put her hand on my shoulder and brought me here to Medugorje. It has been an eye-opener to see everybody with the Blessed Mother in their heart, and coming that so many miracles have taken place through the Blessed Mother."

Eileen, from Ireland       
"I had a lot of miracles from Our Lady, especially when I went to Medjugorje for the first time. I was addicted to drugs and drink and she helped me to come off all that. She helped to be strong. .. She helped me in all my situations, especially with my family and my children, and she kept me strong and she kept me praying."

Angela, from England       
"Blessed Mother I wouldn't do this for anyone else! I went to Medjugorje in 1987 and I didn't want to go at all but you got me there by hook or by crook and you really changed my life there and my love for you just keeps growing now and I just thank you."

Mauro, from Italy      
"I discovered that I have an interesting liaison with Mary because I was born on the day when she gave the scapular to St Simon Stock, an English saint (16 May)... and also I've been to Medjugorje once and from there I started to come back to religion. And now again I've discovered Our Lady of Fatima and all her messages and now I feel much more in peace.  

Ho avuto un'esperienza con la Madonna da quando sono stato mali in Italia e sono stata a Medjugorje ... Posso dire che da quando ho riconosciuto Maria la nessima volta mi sta dando molta pace, molto amore per il prossimo."

Lucy, from England       
"Our Lady for me has always been a very important presence in my life. When I was in my teens I went to Lourdes several times and then in my early 20s I went to Medjugorje. Both experiences were very significant for me in different ways."

Richard, from England       
"There have been moments when Mary has been very important to me, the one which most comes to mind is through a visit to Medjugorje, where her presence is very strong. "

Rose, from Malaysia       
"I never stop loving Our Lady."

Willy, from Italy      
"Ho avuto un grande incontro con la Madonna a Medjugorje un anno fa. La via della mia vita è cambiata e ringrazio tantissima la Madonna perché mi accompagna ogni giorno."

Mary, from the United States       
"I wasn't really especially close to the Blessed Mother until I too became a mum. Also a couple of years back I went to Medjugorje - it was a very special trip because it helped me to appreciate the Blessed Mother a lot more. It was a time to connect with the Blessed Mother and what she means to me, first and foremost, as a mother."

Rosamund, from England       
"I met Our Lady in Medjugorje and from that moment on, my life was completely changed in that she brought me to know her son Jesus in a deeper way, first through the Eucharist and then through so many ways. I am a practicing Catholic, I always have been, but it was Our Lady who helped me to fall in love with Jesus in new ways."

Adriana, from Italy       
"It is only in my adulthood that I have realised how much of a mother Our Lady truly is to me. But I must also say that this was very much born in Medjugorje, since my first journey there in 1991 when I felt her embrace. I realised the importance of praying the rosary and my heart was on fire when I was praying the rosary in Medjugorje. So I was given this understanding of the importance of the holy rosary. She is my mother and I am so happy to know that she is guiding me to Christ in my life."

Annette, from London       
"Our Lady has been a real mother to me. My first time really feeling her closeness was in Medjugorje, my first time. I really felt Mary as a mother, she wasn't distant, just in heaven, but very close. She's been with me ever since and I gained great peace and I feel her loving presence every day. She has brought me closer to Jesus and has given me jobs for me to do for her. I have experienced heaven through her and it makes me long more for heaven."

Rodolphe, from France      
"For a long time I didn't know who Mary was. I mean, I had a personal relationship with Jesus, and the Father and the Holy Spirit. Then 2 years ago I went on a pilgrimage in Bosnia and I really experienced the love of Mary as a mother. And it was really new to me and it really changed my relationship with Mary and helped me pray the rosary every day.
Pendant longtemps je connais pas vraiment qui était Marie. J'ai eu une relation personelle avec Jésus, avec le Père et l'Esprit Saint. J'ai fait un pèlerinage marial en Bosnie et là j'ai pris conscience de l'amour de Marie comme Mère de Dieu et Mère de tous les hommes et le chaplet a pris un autre sens pour moi et j'ai pu le prier tous les jours."

Anton, from England      
"Apart from Our Lady being one of the major figureheads of the Church and an important part of my life in the sense that I pray to her daily in the rosary, she played a big role in my life for 6 months when I was in a place called Medjugorje, where I was able to deepen my relationship with Our Lady and really experience her love as a mother, but also as someone who is able to offer comfort and joy and peace and pretty much every good measure of life all in one."

Gina, from England      
"When I went to Medjugorje I had quite a conversion in my relationship with our Blessed Mother Mary. It was when I came to the Station of the Cross and I saw Jesus looking at his mother that I realised if Jesus needed her as his mother, then so did I."

Christina, from Scotland       
"I really feel Mary has in every single step of the way taken my hand and led me to her son, even times when I haven't realised it. And I look back and realise how much Mary really has been there with me."

Kathy, from England      
"I knew it all in my head but I couldn't get it in my heart, and I couldn't pray to Mary, until I went to Medjugorje. I was invited by the grace of God on a retreat with Father Jozo and it was during that retreat, I had an agonising desire to receive Jesus as Mary had. .."

Ljubica, from Croatia: "Every single day Mary is in my life."      

Joan, from Ireland      
"I am a member of the Legion of Mary: ‘I’m all thine, my Queen and my Mother, and everything I have is thine.’ I’m just back from Medjugorje, where Our Lady has been so good to me."

"I went to Medjugorje and I think that was the real start of me with Our Lady, and I just felt her wonderful, wonderful presence, and I just feel that when I'm down or a bit fed up, it is always her that I ask to help me."

3 2us on Mary the Mother of God by Mgr Leo Maasburg        
"The World Day of Peace is about God who works together with us to change the state of the fallen world into the state of the redeemed world of paradise. Mother Teresa in her 80s was asked by a journalist "What have you changed in the world?" She answered "I never wanted to change the world. I only wanted to be a drop of fresh water in which God's love could be reflected into the world." .. I hope that we will be the same - to be little drops of clean water through which the love of God can, unhindered, be let through into the world. And that love of God is done by faith, by prayer, by fasting and by alms giving. In this way our love for God and for our brothers and sisters will grow, and through that the light of God will start shining into the world. Here in Medjugorje this is precisely the message of Our Lady: faith, to change our way, to believe in God, to fast, to pray and to give alms. This is the classical teaching of the Church throughout all the centuries. Our Lady does not change - she is the same, with her complete dedication, her complete obedience to God: "Be it done unto me according to Thy Word.""