This beautiful letter came to us from Miriam, Swamiji’s nurse…
Dear Ananda family,
About a month ago, Swamiji decided to go to Medjugorje where apparitions of the blessed Virgin Mary appear to one of six visionaries. She has appeared to them for the past 28 years and gives daily, monthly, and yearly messages to the world through them. He wanted this to be a pilgrimage and decided to take only myself, (his nurse), and Nandini, from Ananda Assisi, as his guide in Medjugorje.
The first few days were strange as Nandini attempted to obtain interviews for Swamiji with any of the three visionaries who are currently here at this time. She has been told so many different things and been promised interviews which never happened, to the point where we could no longer believe anything would happen until it actually did. It seems that almost everyone is related and most particularly everyone is a “cousin” to one of the visionaries.
After being here for a day and a half, Nandini asked, “Do you perceive anything, Swamiji?” He answered, “No. But this doesn’t mean it’s not here. Maybe it’s only me.” Later that day, Swamiji said, “I’m glad I came, but I’m not inspired. So far, anyway.”
After many promises of, “yes, you have an interview with Mirjana, no, it’s a public satsang, no, it’s been canceled due to rain, …,” we finally made it to a satsang with Jakov on Tuesday afternoon. (He was 10 when the visions began coming to him and he’s now 38.) There was a very large group of Italian pilgrims there and he spoke to them fluently in their language. We only heard him speak about 10 minutes or less and then he quickly disappeared. He has a very sweet, angelic face that seemed to always be smiling.
On Wednesday morning we planned to go to the Apparition Hill to The Blue Cross (this was where the visionaries met secretly during the communist regime). The Blessed Virgin appears here on the second of every month to Mirjana. This area is also the site of the first apparitions in 1981.
There have been many storms and a lot of rain in the last days. We prayed that Wednesday morning would be clear or at least not raining, so we could somehow manage to get Swamiji up on this hill. There was also the possibility that Swamiji would have an interview with Vicka sometime after the appearance of apparition.
By the grace of Divine Mother and Nandini’s immense tenacity, Swamiji was able to be at the apparition this morning sitting about 1 meter from Mirjana. The meeting was in the house of Mirjana and not on Apparition Hill due to the rain. Only a few select people could be inside with Mirjana and the rest of us were outside surrounding the house. Swamiji couldn’t hear much nor did he see that he was so near the visionary. However, he said afterward, “Although I couldn’t hear, I felt a strong love in my heart. This is what matters.”
In these days, we’ve felt a certain caution from those who live here. Today Swamiji wore his nayaswami robes and now people approach him with reverence, calling him “Padre.” Some have asked us who he is and we try to explain simply.
After the meeting of the apparition, we were taken to the home of Vicka, the oldest and perhaps most dynamic of the visionaries. She sees the Blessed Virgin daily. We had an incredible satsang with Vicka and her husband, Mario. Her husband’s eyes are so full of light and joy and he spoke some time about his inner relationship with God. Nandini asked some poignant questions of Vicka:
1) What does the Madonna say about meditation?
“Meditation is very good. First pray. Then read the holy scriptures. After that, be in silence and meditation.”
2) What does the Madonna say about other religions?
“All religions are the same in the eyes of the Mother. She looks at the heart.”
3) What about yoga?
“It depends on your heart’s intention.”
4) How can we overcome the ego?
“Live Christ in your heart. Speak less and pray more.”
5) How can we better serve others?
“By example. If you truly love Christ and serve Him through serving others, everyone will be inspired.”
Swamiji was able to have a private meeting with Vicka. Of this meeting, we only know that she told Swamiji, she would always pray for him and asked that he always pray for her.
It’s hard to express in words what it was like to be in the presence of these two people. We were moved to tears talking with them and even while taking photos together. Swamiji weeps even now when he talks of Vicka and says he feels as though she’s a dear friend. He would like to see her again if possible before leaving Medjugorje.
We thought our time in Medjugorje had essentially ended last evening after a full day of blessed meetings. However, this morning brought even more adventure and blessings. After three days of rain, wind, and storms, it became clear and sunny. The visionary, Mirjana, who received the message yesterday, gave a public satsang this morning outside in front of her house. Swamiji was allowed to be inside the gate on the driveway right in front of where she was speaking. When she came out she immediately came up to Swamiji and greeted him. She talked for some time about her initial experiences as a child when she began seeing the apparition. She is a dynamic speaker and spoke fluent Italian to the group. Nandini asked a question about the prophecies regarding three days of darkness and Mirjana said that the Madonna has never spoken about this. Swamiji said that he found her very impressive. She spoke with great clarity, truthfulness, and understanding. (I, unfortunately, did not bring the camera so there are no pictures of Mirjana and Swamiji.)
Later this same morning arrangements were made to have Swamiji transported in a chair to the top of Apparition Hill. Six young men from the community of Cenacolo came with a special chair and took Swamiji up the hill. These young men are all recovering drug addicts and live in a community here that was founded by Sister Elvira. Their testimonials are amazing and through living in spiritual community, their lives have been completely transformed. These six young men stopped with Swamiji at each one of the Stations of the Cross, allowing him to pray while they also prayed the Rosary. They would continue to recite the Rosary as they climbed further up the hill. It was one long and beautiful prayer to the top of the hill. They requested that Swamiji bless them and you will see pictures below of him doing this.
This trip has been full of the blessings of Divine Mother and we’re grateful to all of you who have prayed for Swamiji in these days.
In Master’s love,
Outside of the home of Mirjana, Dec. 2, waiting for the apparition. Swamiji is inside the house.
Swamiji and Vicka
Vicka and her husband, Mario, along with the 3 of us.
Nandini and Vicka
Meditating at the Blue Cross at the bottom of Apparition Hill. Waiting for Cenacolo boys and their magic chair.
Swamiji being carried uphill by Cenacolo angels.
Prayers and rosary at one of the Stations of the Cross.
Meditating at the foot of the Madonna, top of Apparition Hill.
Receiving a blessing from Swamiji.
Swamiji and the Cenacolo boys
Ever new joy!