Mons. Eduardo Horacio García, Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires, was in Medjugorje with a group of pilgrims from Argentina in the beginning of October 2008. Mons. García is born in 1956, and he is a bishop for five years now. Marija Stegnar, an Argentinean Croat who is regularly bringing groups to Medjugorje for many years now, accompanied this pilgrimage.
Monsignor, would you be so kind to tell us why you came to Medjugorje?
A group of Catholics invited me, and I accepted. I was thinking about this invitation for only two minutes. I am not here because of the journey, but because of conversion. I came to see, and I see that this is a place of grace, of prayer, of silence, most of all a place of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. This is what struck me mostly - people in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I think that precisely the awakening of faith is the greatest miracle that our Mother has accomplished.
Is there a difference between Medjugorje and other Marian shrines?
Everywhere, there is prayer, everywhere, Holy Masses are celebrated, but here we find the Apparition Hill and Cross Mountain, and most of all – Adoration. Adoration is a sign of our times. This is very special here. People come late in the evening; they come for Adoration at night. This is where inner wounds are healed.
Have you noticed any signs of the presence of Our Lady?
The fruits are the signs. Love for Mary, love while waiting for the moment of apparition, joy… are indicative of the presence of Mary. People seek peace. The Medjugorje messages lead to peace. These are simple messages for everyone. Simple faith. Love, joy. Joy to believe, joy to love, joy to share with others. I have no words.
Have you been hearing confessions in Medjugorje?
Yes. I heard confessions of those who did not go for confession for 30 years, as well as of those who went three days ago.
What is the significance of Medjugorje for the universal Church today?
This is a place of grace for the whole Church. It offers in a special way graces of prayer and of Adoration… it leads to inner transformation, which can be seen in daily life. This is contagious. In Argentina, more and more young people seek Adoration that leads to inner prayer. Life without inner life is no life. In Adoration, they encounter Christ who changes them. I was impressed by the universality of the Medjugorje messages. Mary is inviting all people of all countries, and she strengthens our faith. Here we can experience the “globalization of faith” and universal brotherhood. The apostles went into the whole world. This is how the Church grew.
Did you assist at an apparition?
This morning, people started to gather about four o’clock to be present for the apparition with Mirjana. I was praying every day for a special intention. Today, I was praying for priests. I was there for the apparition, and during the apparition, I felt within as if Mary had told me: “I am taking care of you all”. When, after the apparition, Mirjana told that Our Lady is inviting us in a special way to pray for priests, I was deeply touched. God is speaking.
Have you met the visionaries?
I met Vicka. She asked for my blessing and this impressed me. I was also impressed by her normality, simplicity, joy.
All the visionaries are married…
Yes. God’s presence can be experienced in a normal daily life.
It is interesting that lay people are intensely involved in the organization of the pilgrimages to Medjugorje, because priests and bishops are not allowed to do so.
God is speaking. We have to open our hearts and listen to him… and wait patiently. If this is God’s work, it will remain. If it is not from God, it will vanish by itself. When people pray for inner renewal – let them continue.
Would God give so many graces if these events were based on a fraud?
The Pope himself told that he wanted to come to Medjugorje. This is the approval of Medjugorje.