It was around Christmas 1995 that I first heard the word Medjugorje. I was raised Southern Baptist in Gulfport, Mississippi and married an Italian Catholic. They do not become Baptist; it’s the other way around, and yes I am a convert. My wife Suzie said I needed to go to confession because it was very close to Christmas and it was something that I had to do. Our Parish is St James in Gulfport, MS. While waiting in line; I asked a young lady Gyspy Davis why was the Lady always at church early and kneeling in prayer so much. She said she was the new teacher at St John and had gone to Medjugorje where apparitions of the Virgin Mary were occurring. Her name was Christa Lopiccolo.
BINGO, that was it. I said, “What? Apparitions? Medjugorje what is that?”. I do not think we had much of a World Wide Web at that time, but I started digging and digging till I could find out what in the world could all this be. Of course my wife, Suzie was happy at least I was getting more active in the Church. I somehow found a beautiful lady in New Orleans, Jackie Sigur, who had Trinity Retreats.
I asked when her next trip was, and she said early June. Our priest at the time was the Priest for that journey, Father Dominic.
I took along my son, John, and his religion teacher Mark Ropel, which is now Father Mark. We began a 20-year incredible journey that could only be led by our Lady. We arrived in Medjugorje after an excellent tour of Rome. We visited many places that I had no idea what the importance was of each Church. I knew the Vatican was a critical part of the Catholic Church.
I was on the Advance Team of President George Bush and traveled the world as a volunteer and visited many countries. One thing that I never understood was we had a 20-car motorcade press pool for a President, but when the Mother of God appeared to the visionaries, there was not a motorcade.
How it began was climbing Cross Mountain or Mt. Krizevac as we were doing the Stations of the Cross. Cross Mountain is central to one’s pilgrimage to Medjugorje. It is a penitential climb that leads pilgrims to reflect upon their relationship with God and what they need to change in their lives to draw closer to Him. Often deep healing, cleansing, and peace is experienced at the summit of the mountain and at the foot of the cross after pilgrims arrive at the top. Our Lady has made it clear in Her messages that it is Her desire to see pilgrims climbing both Cross Mountain and Apparition Hill. At Crucifixion: Jesus nailed to the cross, and we looked up and saw the spinning of the sun. What was interesting was the shape, it appeared that the Host covered the sun, and it was like etch-a-sketch, a game we had as kids, that started going around the sun and then it began pulsating like a heart. More to come…
Bob Sawyer Executive Producer
Bob Sawyer and a visiting Sister
Adoration Chapel before Apparition
Chapel outside Medjugorje
A pilgram from Italy
Dragon and family our wonderful guide
Rosary in Medjugorje that was given to Viska by The Virgin Mary
Bob Sawyer with friends in Medjugorje: Artie Boyle, Jack Sacco, Dragon and his wonderful family