NO ONE CAN TURN OFF MEDJUGORJE

Our Lady descends from Heaven every day, bringing paradise to earth

By FR. LIVIO

The enthusiasm with which, years ago, I began my testimony, publishing my book “Why I believe in Medjugorje, has not weakened at all with the passage of time. On the contrary, it has become more aware and more motivated, like the mustard seed which, planted in the garden, develops into a vigorous and hospitable tree. The things of God always begin in smallness and grow in silence and faithfulness, in such a way that, when they manifest themselves to the world, they are prepared to resist the snares and difficulties of the ancient serpent. One of the reasons for the credibility of Medjugorje is the inexhaustible vitality of the event, which began on June 24, 1981, the feast of the birth of St. John the Baptist. Since then, a source of living water has opened which feeds a river of grace and peace that flows throughout the world.

In these years of the apparitions, Medjugorje has experienced an exciting and troubled history, where moments of peace alternated with those of persecution and misunderstanding. The hosts of pilgrims followed one another with impressive continuity, involving people from all over the world. There is no Marian sanctuary that has such a universal presence, despite the fact that pilgrimages are only organized privately. There are countless pilgrims who never tire of returning, as if they could not help but come to quench their thirst and restore their strength on the arduous journey of life.

Since I went to Medjugorje for the first time in March 1985, I too, like many other pilgrims, have felt the need to return, even several times a year, spending time in that oasis of prayer and peace my days of rest. At first I was attracted by the novelty of the event and the presence of the visionaries, with some of whom I formed a fraternal friendship. Newcomers to Medjugorje all have a special experience. The first encounter with the supernatural turns their lives upside down, giving them a new way of thinking and seeing. The encounter with the Madonna opens the doors of the heart and makes the scales fall from the eyes. They discover a new world, where the hand of God guides events and interweaves the events of daily life. Now they understand that the sky really exists and that it opens onto the earth, bending over each of us. The ice of disbelief and indifference melts and the heart expands to the sweet breath of love.

Nobody goes to Medjugorje by chance, even if the reasons for undertaking the journey are the most varied. In reality it is Our Lady who personally calls and takes care of each pilgrim upon her arrival. The multitudes who climb the hill feel that the Mother is alive and that she makes herself present asking to enter our lives. The sweetness of the meeting with Maria is an unforgettable experience and also accompanies the return home. It is inevitable to want to return there again, to rediscover that enchantment that the fatigue of daily life quickly dissolves.

We do not return to Medjugorje out of habit, but because we are driven by an irrepressible desire. Even those who have accumulated trips by the dozens or hundreds are moved every time upon arrival, when the Church with its two bell towers emerges from the tangle of roofs. Personally, I have long since overcome the phase of the first enthusiasms, the search for signs, the meeting with the visionaries and even the presence at the moments of the apparition, although they are an inestimable grace. Even when the visionaries are absent and there are no apparitions, Medjugorje retains its supernatural enchantment as an oasis of prayer and peace, where the Madonna grants particular graces. Nothing in this long time has been able to obscure or distance Mary’s presence.

Neither the persecutions of the early times, nor the dramatic years of the war, which rarefied pilgrimages, nor the seductions of well-being, nor the hostility of the modernist clergy. Our Lady, thanking her from the beginning for having responded to her call, wanted to assure her pilgrims of her constant presence and of the gift of her graces. The enemy, no matter how hard he tries, has not managed to make the weeds prevail where the Madonna sowed the good wheat. Only our infidelity can make this land of choice sterile.

The long presence of the Queen of Peace has seen multitudes of pilgrims follow one another, in incessant waves. Sometimes I wonder how many of them have already reached their Mother in heaven, after having so longed to see her here on earth. Ivan testifies that, four hours after the death of St. John Paul II, during her apparition he saw the great Pope contemplating the Madonna radiant with joy. Perhaps we too will one day be able to enjoy this vision, after having caught a faint ray of Mary’s beauty on the faces of the ecstatic visionaries for so long. For the many who preceded us in heaven, an equally large number joined the waves coming from all over the world. The young people who arrive in Medjugorje were born when the apparitions had already begun.

In this long time, the Madonna has witnessed a generational change. Medjugorje is an ever green tree, which grows and renews itself. In the meantime, three Popes have succeeded one another at the head of the Church, each chosen by her and her favorite and most devoted son. Time, which runs ever faster, has seen the world transform radically. The story has taken on unpredictable and disturbing traits. Medjugorje itself is no longer the village of its origins. Everything is changing and the world is starting to doubt its certainties. Will there still be a future for our planet, where the pernicious wind of hatred and violence is blowing and which could destroy it at any moment? These are distressing questions that it is useless to suffocate and which inevitably return to knock on the door of the heart.

The more time passes, the more current Medjugorje is. The more the darkness thickens, the more its light shines. The more humanity is at the mercy of the unpredictable, the more it needs a rock to cling to. The more the empire of darkness flaunts its strength, the more the presence of Heaven becomes necessary. Those who followed the event from the early years saw the implementation of a wonderful plan for the salvation of our generation. Not a single word of the Holy Virgin has lost its value and relevance. Her messages are alive and life-giving. Her presence becomes more and more intense and more necessary.

The Queen of Peace, with the radiance of her perennial youth, brought an oasis of paradise to that blessed land. Time, which devours men and things, can do nothing against that immortal light, which shines and illuminates without being consumed. Men, thirsty for the absolute, in need of rekindling the torch of faith, weakened by the ballast of the ephemeral, increasingly flock to that source of grace and hope that the merciful Mother nourishes for the arid and thirsty souls of her scattered children. her.

The ascent of thousands of pilgrims to the Podbrdo, on a cold and rainy winter afternoon, demonstrated once again that, when the Mother calls, the children come running and that no one can extinguish the flame of love they carry in their hearts.

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