Arrival at Medjugorie: Thursday, 9th July.
Our plane from Rome arrived after 6pm. We were picked up by our driver at 6.30pm. It was a 2.5 hour drive from Split to Medjugorje. As we got closer, we saw a huge Cross all lit up on the mountain lighting up the darkness.
One of our group noticed on the way that the clouds were in the formation of God the Father- (just for a minute or two) and then they dissipated.
A surprise was waiting for us.
When we got there, we found a friend waiting for us. He was an elderly, Austrian pilgrim that had come to World Youth Day in Australia in 2008.
At the time, one of our local churches had asked that we pick up 3 or 4 pilgrims each day from the Church Hall in which they slept, take them home for breakfast and a shower and return them by 9am so that they could catch the buses which would take them to the day’s activities.
I had noticed one all alone and asked the church staff about him. They said that, unlike the young ones, he could not speak English. I thought that I could use my very basic child-like German to say “hello”. I then rang my brother who could speak better than I – and that’s where the friendship started! We nicknamed him ‘Moses’ because of his long white hair and beard. There he was, in Medjugorie, waiting for us! He had been waiting for us for 2 or 3 hours.
Another surprise was dinner waiting to be served at 9.15pm! There were also 25 other priests (out of 500) staying at our hotel for a priests’ retreat. One of them had just been ordained a few days before, so we received his special blessing.
The hotel also had a chapel with an altar. The circular window above the altar looked to the skies and to Apparition Hill.
We felt like the blessings had only just begun.