Michael Douglas (author of Medjugorje -
All profits from this book go to Fr Svetozar's "Mothers Village". Copies of the book are available from the following outlets VERITAS bookshop Abbey street Dublin 1, Clonfert (Eddie Stone), Cathedral bookshop Galway and Mothers Village Medjugorje.
Michael can be contacted via the following:
Phone: 00353 861 789496
Story 16 from Medjugorje -
I first heard of Medjugorje in 1986, I was 15yrs old and the apparitions of Our Lady were already occuring daily since 1981. My neighbour had a rather large garage and they invited us neighbours to come and see a video of Medjugorje. I was very moved by it and remember thinking that I was the same age as the youngest visionary Jacov. It wasn't until 14 years later that I landed on Medjugorje soil.
I had been deeply touched by Our Blessed Mother on Tues 31st August 1999. Touched to such a degree that it totally changed my life. God had poured out His grace upon me during this my first ever trip to Medjugorje. He gave me the grace to see Our Lady. What a profound experience that will live with me until I die. The church was full, so we sat outside on a bench to pray the rosary -
During that trip at Holy Mass one morning, the priest spoke about fortune telling, horescopes and new age practices in his homily. It hit me straight in the heart, it was if I was the only one in the church and that homily was directed at me. I had been to many fortune tellers over the years and had encouraged my friends to go also. I thought it was fun, I didnt think it as a sin. That evening I decided to go and confess it in confession and when I opened the door of the confession box there in front of me was the priest who had given the homily that morning! I told him about going to fortune tellers and all my other sins. He prayed a deliverence prayer over me and gave me absolution. From that day to this I haven't been to a fortune teller or read my horescope. I came out of that confession as free as a bird.
I went home a changed person. All I knew was that I had an over whelming desire in my heart to return to that place, where Heaven and earth meet. That place, a small valley surrounded by holy mountains. That place where the void in my heart was filled and filled to over-
I arrived back in Medjugorje in June 2001, confident that the Holy Spirit had put it on my heart to give up my montessori teaching job and spend some time there. The week I arrived was the week of the 20th anniversary of the first apparition. The village was thronged with people of all nationalities, all there because they had responded to Our Lady's call. I was comfortable with my surroundings, I felt I was at home.
The dawning of each new day led me to Podbrdo, the hill where Our Lady appeared for the first time to the visionaries and indeed many subsequent times. I would take my time climbing, stopping at each plaque depicting the Joyful mysteries and pray the rosary. Arriving at the summit I would find a smooth rock to sit on and pray to Our Lady or just sit in silence and observe the beauty of the ruggedness-
Living in Medjugorje was like looking in a magnifying mirror. It seemed as if all my faults and failings were staring me in the face. You are made aware of your sins. Before this I would just have confessed the same childhood sins in confession time and time again, but here you get a deeper awarness of your faults. The sacrament of Confession is under-
I had the opportunity to help a nun called Sr Muriel, who brings food parcels to the poor and elderly of the neighbouring villages. It was such a humbling experience to serve these beautiful peeople. Sr. Muriel is an American nun living in Medjugorje for many years who daily visits the elderly. I recall one day loading up the van with food parcels and going out with Sr. Muriel to visit some people. As Sister drove along a windy road I asked who were we going to visit and Sister's reply was a very elderly man in his 70's, I laughed because Sister was in her mid seventies at that time, but didn't look a day over 50! On reaching our destinations we would bring the food packages into the houses or shacks. Sometimes there was no electricity or running water in the houses or one roomed homes. If the homes were simple the occupants were twice as humble. We were always greeted by a smiling face despite the pain and suffering they endured. We would pray 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and 1 Glory be in Croaian. I would hold their hands as we prayed. I only had a few words of the native language, so the personal contact had to suffice. One lady showed me her wedding photo, her husband had been killed in the war in 1992. The years of hardship had taken their toll on the face of this woman, but her eyes were sparkling and they were filled with sadness as she spoke of the death of her husband and filled with deep gratitude for the food and for spending a brief moment with her. I didnt understand most of what she said but her eyes told her story. They say the eyes are the window of the soul. As I reflect on these times as I write, I come to the realisation that those people gave more to me than I ever gave to them.
One grace Our Lord gave me while I lived in Medjugorje was the gift of spending time adoring Him in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Almost every afternoon I would go to the adoration chapel. It may sound strange, but Our Lady guided me in my prayer life while I was there. It was gentle as only Our Lady can be, Our Lady prepared me for what was to come. Adoration of Jesus in the Blessed sacrament is a poignant time where Jesus pours an abundant of graces and blessings into our hearts. Each moment we spend adoring Him, deepens our union with Him and makes our soul everlastingly more beautiful and glorious in Heaven.
The days living in Medjugorje turned into months and at the end of the 5th month, I began to get sick. I lost alot of weight and was vomiting constantly. The Croatian family I was living with brought me to a clinic and the doctor gave me an injection to stop the vomiting but it didnt work. I had to be hospitalised in Mostar (my first time ever to be in hospital). This hospital was very basic and had no heating, we were in the throws of winter and I was getting weaker. Fortunately for me, one senior doctor spoke English and he organised a heater for me and extra blankets for my bed. Fr Ciaran Mc Donnell, an Irish priest living in Medjugorje at that time brought me Holy Communion every day. Chris form Colombos resturaunt in Medjugorje brought me food and two friends Suzi and Martin visited me everyday, I am forever grateful for their kindness. After a week I came out of hospital, feeling well again but this didnt last long as mid-
With my Mums tender loving care and good cooking I felt well again but by January the weakness and vomiting returned. I was driven to hospital by a dear friend Michael and remained there for over 3 weeks and was diagnosed with a rare auto-
After being diagnosed, thank God I was able to lead a pretty normal life. I began to bring small groups out to Medjugorje and to bring young people out to the youth festival. I had 4 weeks holidays a year from work and I used them all up to go to Medjugorje. I began to grow deeper in my faith and I joined a youth group called Youth 2000 which held weekly prayer meetings and retreats a few times a year and I also joined a group called Pure In Heart who promote chasity before marriage. Through these meetings I made many friends, true friends that have walked with me on my road of suffering even to this day.
In June of 2006, I was diagnosed with another very rare auto-
I have been striped of all my masks, my attachments! I loved my fashion, make-
Its 2010 as I write and my condition has progressively worsened since then. I am now permenantly confined to a special chair that was made for me, or to my wheel-
I've learned to accept this cross and not to fight it. There were time when I did try to fight it and I fell into a deep depression. I was prescribed anti-
I won't pretend its easy but I just take one day at a time and I'm learning to trust in Our Lord's mercy and goodness. I offer up this cross to Our Blessed Mother and Jesus everyday for their intentions and for the conversion of souls.
I have a few close friends who visit me all the time. There are many many people spread across the world praying for me and having Holy masses offered for me and I ask the Lord to bless them all abundantly. I can no longer travel to Medjugorje, but I have it in my heart and it comes to me every evening via the internet.
I thank God everyday for my faith because without it I don't know where I would be. I've had miracles in my life and I know I will have a huge one when I'm healed and the Lord will be Glorified and the doctors baffled!!!.
Always be joyful, pray constantly and for all things give thanks
This is the Will of God for you in Christ Jesus
(1 Thes 5: 16-
My Gift to You Dear Mother
That Beautiful August evening I will never forget,
On a bench, Rosary in hand my prayers for to say,
Zdravo Marijo, Milosti Puna, I couldn't keep up,
Hail Mary full of grace, I said it my own way,
There standing on a cloud,
As radiant as could be,
Was Our Lady all dressed in grey,
Smiling down on me.
Arms outstretched towards me,
In the gesture of a loving embrace,
I felt the love of Our precious Mother,
Our Lady -
No words could impart Her beauty,
I couldn't even begin,
I wanted this moment to last forever,
Our Lady, spotless, without sin.
Her loving rays came through me,
Piercing my stone heart,
Now filled with peace and joy,
I wanted to make a fresh start.
My dear friends, I ask you,
Behold your heavenly Mother,
Gently by the hand She'll take you,
To Her Son Jesus -
Thank you for your apparitions in Medjugorje,
And for inviting me to this wonderful place,
May I always hold You by the hand,
My Mother -
So in a special way today,
My beautiful Mother I give to you,
A bouquet of white roses,
Your loving daughter,
1. Editor’s Comment: The writer is not claiming to be a visionary but is sharing with the reader, a personal and private experience which can be accepted or rejected.
2. Addison's Disease: "A life-