Our Lady of Tihaljina statue near Medjugorje

A few pilgrims traveled to Tihaljina (30 minutes from Medjugorje) to pray before the famous miraculous statue of the Blessed Mother. For many people, this statue is the emblem of Medjugorje, however, it was offered to this church before the apparitions took place in Medjugorje.

Statue of Our Lady of Tihaljina is often mistaken for the Gospa of Medjugorje.

After prayer, a pilgrim asked my Spanish friend, Teresa, to take a picture in front of the statue to immortalize this blessed moment. Once the picture was taken, a man kneeled before the statue and, with his head in his hands, began to pray with fervor. The pilgrim, seeing that the photo was beautiful, asked Teresa to take another one. But Teresa told her to wait so as not to interrupt the man praying. This prayer went on and on, for more than 20 minutes, so the pilgrim became impatient and said out loud: “Well, no point in waiting any longer for the photo, let’s go!”

The man, hearing this remark apologized and got up to give her some room. A new picture was taken. But when Teresa saw this second picture, she was in for a surprise! The sweet face of Mary had changed. She expressed a silent reproach, clearly visible in her eyes and her mouth. The pilgrim understood the message: She should never have interrupted the man’s prayer for a photo!

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When she was just 6 years old, St Catherine of Sienna was playing outside with her little brother. Suddenly the Lord Jesus appeared to her, seated on the chair of Peter and dressed in pontifical clothes. Fascinated by this apparition, little Catherine was absorbed by God who was speaking to her and was already preparing her for her great mission in the Church, close to the papacy. This conversation lasted for some minutes when the little boy, impatient to continue playing, drew her out of her contemplation. She turned around and scolded him, but when she returned to her prayer and looked again in the direction of the apparition, Jesus was gone! This plunged her into deep sadness. Jesus himself would undoubtedly have liked to continue His dialogue with her… But the distraction had ended this moment of divine intimacy.

How often does the same scene occur in our churches! Too few people really pray with their hearts. So should we not in fact rejoice to see others immersed in a relationship with God? Who knows what is going on between God and a soul? Who knows if God has not planned to give a specific grace to His child at that moment? Who are we to interrupt an intimate dialogue between God and a soul? This dialogue is sacred. Of course, in the event of an emergency, we have to interrupt them, but that does not happen at every Mass!

One day, I was praying after Holy Communion with my head in my hands. Someone patted me on the shoulder and asked me, “Are you, Sister Emmanuel?” I must confess that I was not very kind, because I said, “It doesn’t matter who I am, but the one I’m trying to talk to is Jesus!” I quickly repented of my reaction because the person must surely have been hurt. So now, whenever this happens, I say: “Yes, we will speak to each other, but please let me first finish speaking with Jesus who is in my heart! Besides, He is also in your heart, why not give Him another 10 minutes of your time to talk to Him?” The fruits are excellent! One day, a group of eight pilgrims came to interrupt me; so I exhorted them to pray for a few more minutes in silence. All of them did so willingly, and they were so blessed that after 10 minutes, they no longer wanted to leave the church!

Source: Use of text approved from “Children of Medjugorje” website www.childrenofmedjugorje.com.