Sr. Briege Mckenna, an Irish sister with a special healing ministry to priests, was in Medjugorje recently. She was present at an apparition of Medjugorje visionary Marija and after the apparition Marija, with much joy, introduced Sr. Briege and asked her to pray over the crowded room of pilgrims.
Sr. Briege became associated with Medjugorje in the very early days of the apparitions, even before the apparitions began.
In May 1981, just one month before the apparitions began in Medjugorje, Sr. Briege was in Rome taking part in a special worldwide gathering of members of the Charismatic Renewal who were invited to come to St. Peter’s by Pope John Paul II for Pentecost.
Sr. Briege has relayed the story that during these days of prayer she met a group of priests from the Mostar diocese in Yugoslavia. One of the priests asked Sr. Briege to pray with him for the youth of his region who were succumbing to the propaganda of the communists and losing the faith. Sr. Briege explained what happened during that period of prayer:
“…What I saw was this Croatian priest sitting in the main celebrant’s chair in front, and he was looking into the body of the church, and it was packed with young people. And from behind him on the altar there were streams of water, like rivers flowing, and the young people were cupping it and drinking it, and after they would drink it they would go out and bring others in. I said to him, “You know Father you don’t have to worry, because many young people will come to your church.” I shared this with him… I told him that I saw a white church with two huge steeples. And when I said this, almost immediately, Father Emile Tardif, who is a Sacred Heart Priest, a missionary…walked over and got this prophetic word. He could not have heard what I had just said because I was speaking to another priest who was translating to the Croatian Friar. But Fr. Tardif walked over and said, “You know, Father, Our Lady is going to visit your church.”
Less than a month later, the apparitions in Medjugorje began. Ten years later, the communist regime that was trying to smother the faith of the people fell and religious freedom was eventually restored in this region.