National team goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has joined the growing ranks of Italian top football players who visit Medjugorje. As my good friend put it… “now Gianluigi Buffon’s just gone to Medjugorje…dnt blame him I’d be cryin out to Mamma after that appaulin loss!!!”
But it’s not only Buffon, Roberto Mancini is pictured here leaving the Medjugorje Church of St. James during his Bosnia trip.
So what is going on here? Arn’t these men satisfied with their incredible careers, enormous wealth, glamorous life style and beautiful women? Well they probably are! – but obviously they are looking for something more. It is reported that this is not the first time either of them have visited Medjugorje. What is it that keeps them, and many other top Italian footballers returning?
Is it the peace? The complete contrast to their life of bright lights and glitter? Perhaps it is the simplicity of the message that is coming out of Medjugorje – “Pray, pray, pray.” (I bet Buffon wishes he had done a bit more of that Before his game last week!)
To be honest it is probably the same reason I will be returning their next week (perhaps I will bump into Buffon?!). It changed everything. That’s the only way i can describe it! In fact i could spend all night trying to explain myself and i still wouldn’t have scratched the surface.
Everything i had been taught about the Catholic faith suddenly made sense. It was relevent. It was happening NOW. It was real – Jesus and Mary were earth shatteringly real, and they were right here.
Perhaps the hardest thing for me to accept was not the apparitions themselves, but coming to terms with the realisation that I was loved. Loved by God. For the first time i knew what that was like – and i was so grateful. This change of heart is experienced by many, some all of a sudden like me, and others slowly over years.
So what can i tell you about the hype? …
Am i allowed to make a pilgrimage to Medjugorje? – Yes. Private pilgrimages are totally allowed by the Vatican.
Does the sun spin in Medjugorje? – Yes.
Do Rosaries turn to gold? – Yes.
Are people healed? – Yes.
Did 10,000 people standing on the mountain side during an apparition see the most incredible display of lights and bangs in the sky accompanied by the overwhelming fragrance of roses, followed by an enormous cross in the sky made out of light? – Yes, i was one of them in June 1998 aged 18.
But the biggest miracle is that 30 million people have visited this small town in Bosnia over the last 31 years and that there is now more pilgrims than ever! People are changing their hearts, and taking it back to their families. They are finding hope and truth and true friends, and their faith is exploding into life!
I can’t wait to go back next week – and whats more, our group is staying with Jacov Colo! (the youngest visionary).
Our group leader Liam Driver from www.medjugorjepilgrimages.co.uk just called me to let me know they have been granted a further 10 places on our trip next week. So, do you wanna come? We leave from London Gatwick on 17th July and return on 24th. First come first served!
Here’s the details:
See you there!
For more information on Medjugorje please visit: http://www.medjugorje.org/