The black dog in the middle photo above was taken next to the statue of the “Risen Christ”. A rose had been placed on a ledge by the Christ statue and as I was admiring the great work, a friendly black dog slowly walked up to the rose, took a sniff, looked up at the statue then walked away.
By Stephen Ryan
I left Hotel Dubrovnik and headed to Blue Cross early in the morning of November 2, 2O17. I was hoping to get a decent place to see Mirjana experience her monthly apparition. I really wanted to see Mirjana up close.
Despite my ambitions for a good spot, I soon discovered my plans were foiled by hundreds of determined Italians. They had surrounded the perimeter and they were not going to budge. I looked at my watch. It would be another two hours before Mirjana makes her way to Blue Cross and I was already cold.
I needed plan “B”. I had just arrived in Medjugorje and I did not know Medjugorje well but I had learned that Blue Cross is a short walk to Apparition Hill. A brisk climb up a rocky hill, I thought, would be good for my rapidly cooling body.
As the crowd patiently waited for Mirjana to arrive, organizers provided outdoor prayers on loudspeakers mixed in with beautiful soft Croatian music and song. The soothing sounds were interspersed with wonderful moments of quiet.
As I made my way up the hill, a new instrument was added to the symphony – softly barking dogs in the distance. When the prayers would end and the music would stop, a handful of barking dogs in the valley would add their voice to the silence and for some reason, it calmed me. I had recently published an article that an Austria mystic had claimed that dogs were the “most hated animal of the devil and demons because they are the closest and most helpful animal to mankind.”
I smiled at the sound of barking dogs. Our Lady was on her way to spend time with Mirjana and I could not help but think the dogs knew it. They are the protectors of Medjugorje and they do what they can to keep Our Lady safe.
Just as I reached the magnificent statue of Our Lady on Apparition Hill, I noticed an extended silence coming from the bottom of the hill towards the Blue Crosses.
Our Lady had arrived on a beautiful Wednesday morning to the village of Medjugorje and it seemed as if the world had come to a complete stop. It was a beautiful silence.
But outside the world the devil and his demons do not rest and so after a moment of quiet, the dogs of Medjugorje get back to their work, perhaps seeing the unseen and, in their way, protecting Medjugorje which is the light and the hope of the entire world.