“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.”