I'm a 33 year old male and I'm happily married with 2 fantastic children. I would have described myself as a watered down Catholic up until recently. I went to mass maybe once a month and at Easter and Christmas. I was raised a Catholic and was even an altar server for 5 years. As I grew older my faith didn't really mean anything to me, my religion was football!!!!
Going to mass was a real chore and something I always tried to avoid.
In August of this year myself and my family set out a 2 week holiday to Croatia. We toured around the dubrovnic coast and our last port of call was the town of Cavtat.
During an evening stroll around the local shops in Cavtat (25th August)I went into a shop selling souveniers of Medjugorje. Now I had heard of this place from various family members throughout the year but never thought anything of it.I began chatting with the women who was working in the shop and she told me Medjugorje was only an hours drive away and I should visit it. I spoke with this women for a few minutes and something inside me decided I would make an effort to go. I spoke to my wife who agreed it would be nice to see as it's so close.
I made enquiries into getting there and discovered it was not possible to get there by bus.So we decided to rent a car and drive there.
The following morning about eight o'clock we set off on this hours drive!!!
Having nearly turned back on a number of occassions, 3 hours later we arrived in Medjugorje!!!!
My first immpression was "Is this it?" not knowing what to expect. We parked next to St James's and walked around the town buying up souveniers for family and friends. We visited the information centre to get our bearings and find out where the Virgin Mary appeared to the visionaries and we were given a map. Now bear in mind it's 40 degress and we have 2 small children who would rather be at the beach than here,so off we head accross the fields to Apparition Hill. On setting off up the hill all my family become silent which is very unusual. We walked to the site and remained there in prayer for some time something I have never done!! I can't describe how I felt at this time.
We spent the rest of the just walking around enjoying the calm relaxed atmosphere of the place. We remained there until 6 o'clock, when we decided to leave.
As my wife was telling me we had to head for home as she didn't want us driving the roads in the dark,I had a strong urge to stay and felt at peace here in Medjugorje but our flight home was in the morning . Anyway we left and as I was leaving I began reciting "Hail Mary's" in my head all the way back to Cavtat. We returned home that evening to Cavtat and I can only describe the feeling as "Magical". I told my wife how I was feeling and she told me it will wear off the next day.
That evening I sat up and read the book I purchased in Medjugorje and felt at peace reading the messages.
The next day I awoke and felt fantastic ,continually going on about the story of Medjugorje. I felt it was consuming me, I wanted to tell everyone who would listed to me to go there.
We left Croatia that day and returned to Scotland.
I thought when I returned home I would forget all about this trip to Medjugorje. How wrong could I have been there is not a single day that passes when I don't think of this day on the 26th August 2008.
I have returned to church not only on a Sunday but every chance I get. I have told everyone who will listen about this truly special place.
Although nothing dramatic happened on that day whilst in Medjugorje what has followed is so special.
I now know I was lost but now I'm found and nothing can comare to Gods love.
I really beleive this is a very special place here on earth and cannot wait to return there with my renewed faith.
"If this is of human origin,it will destroy itself and disappear. If it is from GOD, nobody will be able to destroy it" Fr Tomislav Pervan