Best Photograph: 206 ToursSend us pictures of your past pilgrimage(s), which we will post on our website.
Winner: Jack Brito
I had been away from the church for 35 years, twenty-three of those years I lived a life of alcohol / drugs / violence / promiscuity / spent time in and out of jails / emotionally abusing women, and a host of other things I'm ashamed of. I got sober in 1983, but continued acting as if I were still drinking, minus the alcohol. In 2005 two things happened that led me to Medjugorje. One, during a conversation with my girlfriend I mentioned not knowing why I cried during religious movies, she told me "because it's time you came back to your faith." Two, she handed me a copy of Wayne Weible's book "Medjugorje: The Message." I was immediately hooked and we decided to go with him that November. On our first full day there, one of the Eucharistic Ministers on the tour prayed over me, told me I was deeply troubled and that I needed to confess the problem. Later that morning we heard Vicka speak, she spoke of the trip she and Jakov took to heaven, purgatory and hell, with the description of the demons. At mass that morning, and during the homily the priest saying the mass mentioned a prescence of evil, I saw the monster/demons Vicka spoke about, but it was my head on top of the monsters body. I felt like a hypocrite being in such a holy place and told my girlfriend that I wanted to go home. She gave me her rosary and suggested I visit "The Risen Christ," after mass and pray. After mass I found a priest and confessed, I sobbed and the priest held me comforting me, telling me it was going to be alright. Still troubled I spoke with our spiritual director, Fr. Joe and told him I was struggling, he clarified a few more things for me. He told me that I was there because Our Lady wanted me to come, that I was being called. That night I slept very peacefully. The next day around 5:30 a.m. I went to St. James with my movie camera, shot footage of the front of the church and all other areas on the side, back and "The Risen Christ." It wasn't until the flight home, that I found the enclosed photos on my camera. At home, the pastor at my church told me, "Jack, after telling me about your struggle in Medjugorje, Our Lady was letting you know she's there for you if you want her. All you need to do is ask." My girlfriend and I were married on September 8th, Our Lady's birthday, and have returned to Medjugorje twice and looking forward to returning in November 2011 for our fourth pilgrimage.