Mary, the Mother of God, the Queen of Peace, has been appearing daily to visionaries of Medjugorje, in the former Yugoslavia, since June 24, 1981. More than 45 million people have been drawn to this little place of heaven on earth and discovered a true love of Jesus, through Mary, by means of repentance, conversion, miraculous healing and spectacular visible signs.

I am one of those people.

My story, though, is not as extraordinary and inspiring as those told in Full of Grace by Christine Watkins. Christine’s own story is one of six testimonies that read like accounts of healing and conversion from the pages of the Holy Bible when Jesus walked the earth.

Clearly, the age of miracles is not passed.

In Full of Grace, I read about Papá Jaime Jaramillo, the founder of la Fundación Niños de los Andes (Foundation for the Children of the Andes). For more than thirty years, Papá Jaime has descended into the freezing, lightless, toxic, rat infested sewers beneath the streets of Bogatá, Columbia to rescue children who have made the excrement filled tunnels their home.

Papá Jaime’s story is about seeking out and serving the poor and neglected.

Several weeks ago, I was driving with my thirteen-year-old daughter to the mall to do some Christmas shopping. On our way, she pointed out a homeless tent community on the grounds of Sierra Presbyterian Church in rural Merced, California. I did not even bother to turn my head and look.

I have ears but I did not hear. I have eyes but I did not see.

That was yesterday.

Today, thanks to the Blessed Mother in Medjugorje, Papá Jamie, the children of the sewers in Bogotá, Christine Watkins and my precious daughter, my heart was filled with grace and my ears and eyes were opened once again. It was – in a word – an epiphany. I followed a star that shown brightly over the presence of Christ in the homeless. I didn’t have any gold, frankincense or myrrh, but now, our sweater bins and our blanket chest are roomier and lighter. There are few more empty hangers in our closets.

I didn’t seek out the poor and neglected in the city sewers. I was just on my way to the mall.


Copyright 2011 Brian K. Kravec


About Author

Brian is cradle Catholic, husband and father. He is a 4th degree member of the Knights of Columbus. Brian and his wife are consecrated members of the Militia Immaculata, a worldwide evangelization movement founded by St. Maximilian Kolbe in 1917 that encourages total consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary as a means of spiritual renewal for individuals and society. For information on the MI and total consecration visit www.consecration.com.

1 Comment

  1. Brian, thank you for this very inspirational column. As we begin a new year, I’m so appreciative of your sharing of your gifts here, and of the great role model you set for me personally. Thanks for sharing this moment in your life with us, and for all of the gifts you offer to our CatholicMom.com family.

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