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Our Lady of Victory / St. Malachy
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This is the second instalment of the visionaries’ stories regarding the appearance of the Blessed Virgin in the village of Medjugorje. Father Darryl Kennedy has agreed to come and speak about his Medjugorje experience. He has visited the sight 25 times and will be leading a group on a pilgrimage in June. It should be noted that only the Visionaries witness the apparitions.

The Fifth Day
On the 28th of June 1981, large crowds were gathered from all parts of the country. By noon, there were about 15,000 people at the site of the apparition. That day, the local parish priest interviewed the children on what they had seen and heard to date.

At the usual time, Our Lady appeared, the children prayed with her and afterwards they questioned her. They asked her, "Dear Lady, what do you want from us and what do you want from our priests?" Our Lady replied, "The people should pray and firmly believe." Regarding priests, she replied that they should believe firmly and help others to do the same. During the day, Our Lady came and went many times. During one of these sessions, the children asked her why she didn’t appear in the parish church for everyone to see. She replied, "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe."

The Sixth Day
On the 29th of June, the children were taken for a medical examination after which they were proclaimed "healthy". The crowd on Apparition Hill, as it was now being called, was greater than ever. As soon as the children arrived at the usual place and began to pray, Our Lady appeared. The Blessed Mother encouraged them to have faith, saying, "The people should believe firmly and have no fear."

There was a doctor who was following and observing during the apparition who desired to touch Our Lady. The children guided the doctor’s hand to where Our Lady was and the doctor claimed to have felt a tingling feeling. It was reported that a child was miraculously healed that day. The child’s parents had brought her to Medjugorje, praying specifically for healing.

Moving Forward
Soon afterwards, the police began to hinder the children and the pilgrims from going to the site of the apparition. The villagers were ordered to stop going to the mountain. The police forced some of the villagers to block everyone going up and if they failed to do so, their homes and fields would be confiscated. (NOTE: The country was communist at the time)

However, Our Lady continued to appear to the children in secret places, in their homes and in the fields. From the 15th of January 1982 onwards, the children saw Our Lady in a closed-off area of the parish church. The parish priest arranged this because of the newly arisen difficulties and dangers. From April 1985 onwards, the children ceased to use the area of the church as an apparition site. Instead, they went into the parish rectory.

According to reports, Our Lady didn’t always appear in the same place, nor did her apparitions always last a specific time. Neither did Our Lady appear at the children’s will. Sometimes, they prayed and waited, but Our Lady did not appear until a little while afterwards, unexpectedly and unforewarned. And sometimes, she appeared to one and not to the others. If she hadn’t promised an appointed time, nobody knew if she would appear or not. She did not always appear to the aforesaid visionaries but at time, she appeared to others. To those who believe in the apparitions, this suggests that they are not a product of the imagination. It depends on neither time, nor place, nor desire, but more on the will of He who permits it.

From the beginning of the apparitions (June 1981) up until today, there have only been five days when none of the children have reported seeing Our Lady. She advised the visionaries that from the 25th of January 1987 onward, she would give her monthly message on the 25th of each month. It has been reported that this has continued up to the present.

If you are interested in hearing father Kennedy describe his experiences, there will be a sign-up sheet at the back of the church to gauge interest.

Next Week: The Messages and Ten Secrets.

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