Last night I, along with my parents, fiance, and hundreds of others experienced at St. Andrew's Church in Billerica, Massachusetts a powerful prayer session and Mass with Ivan Dragicevic, one of the Medjugorje visionaries. The theme of the night: evangelize!
There was a palpable electricity in the building at the beginning of the night, an energy in the packed house that I don't think has been matched by any Mass I have ever attended. It seemed there was eager anticipation by many who had not yet heard Ivan speak, to learn about his experience as a visionary and why the Virgin Mary has been appearing to him and giving messages to the people of the world for 28 years. But the highlight of the night may have been the homily by the pastor of St. Andrew's, Fr. Michael Parise.
Fr. Michael, during a Mass celebrated after praying the Luminous and Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, delivered a bold, challenging message to the congregation: Those who had come that night to see Ivan had come to the wrong place!
He explained what everyone had come to experience was truly a gift from God, but the point of the evening was not to see some spectacle of the Virgin Mary or hope for some miracle to occur. He criticized those who followed Ivan from place to place across the world, simply putting another "notch in the belt" of how many times they had seen Ivan. He pointed out the only other times he has seen his church as filled as it was last night was during Christmas Masses, and that while the United States media is always pointing out the high percentage of Americans that state they are Christians, the number of practicing Christians is actually utterly pathetic. The point of this evening, according to Fr. Michael, was to take this incredible blessing from God and go back to our parishes, communities, and families and live the messages and spread the Word of God, otherwise the blessing of the evening was lost.
Ivan carried the message in his own lecture, a beautiful, sometimes humorous account of the story of his life as a messenger of the Virgin Mary, saying Fr. Michael was correct in what he said, and that we should realize Ivan is simply like the rest of us, and not some holy figure to be admired. He said it is Our Lady of Medjugorje's wish that all will be called to a more holy life as a result of the messages, because as a whole the people of the world are currently on the wrong path.
Ivan, who experienced his daily apparition at 6:40pm EST, during the 9th decade of the Rosary prayed last evening, shared the message from Our Lady that evening, saying Satan was working hard to destroy her plan on Earth, and that only through our prayers, fasting, and penance can she achieve her plan of converting the hearts of all throughout the world to complete surrender to and love of God.
Our Lady of Medjugorje has appeared to six visionaries since 1981, telling us God exists, and that we need to return to a life of prayer. She has told them these will be her last apparitions on Earth.
This blog is here to help you live a the full, holy, and enriching life Our Lady says God wants us to live, by providing you with reviews of books related to the apparitions and messages.