As I mentioned yesterday I had the opportunity last night to see the visionary Jakov. The hall where Sunday Mass in English was conducted was the venue. It was absolutely chock full of people, with squashed standing room only but at least I got to see and hear Jakov. He was speaking in Italian (what else?) but his words were interpreted in English as he went along. As I said, it was just a fund raiser but it was interesting to see and hear someone I've only seen in videos, usually as a little boy.
This morning was Marjana's apparition. It was due to be held at 8:30am so I thought I'd be smart and go there at around 6:30am to try to get as close as I could to where she normally stands. Well, fool me. I think to get a good position you'd need to go at about 4am. There were thousands there already and thousands more to come. I ended up poised on slippery rocks about no more then ten metres from where she was but that ten metres was filled with raincoats, umbrellas, hats and bustling pilgrims, mostly (yes you guessed it) Italians.
I should explain the "mechanics" of how these public apparitions take place. People gather there early and there is lots of singing and praying. This is led by various priests using a mic and loudspeaker. This goes on for a couple of hours before Marjana arrives. She is led there surrounded by security (because people try to touch her, grab her, take a piece of her as she walks by). She joins in the prayers. Everything is incredibly loud. Someone is playing a guitar, the entire crowd sings, then there are prayers in various languages. Then Marjana suddenly looks up, she has a look of sheer ecstasy on her face, she sometimes cries. If this is an act she has been putting on for thirty-five years she would put Meryl Streep to shame as an actress. A complete silence falls over the crowd, by now in the many thousands. It is all quite moving. The apparition takes a few minutes, maybe five or so this morning. She is given a message for the world in Croatian. A local tour guide, Miki Musa roughly translates it to English and probably other languages and it is read out. Later it is transcribed and translated carefully and posted on the Internet. This is all recorded on a quality video camera so you can see it on YouTube. The messages are also written on numerous websites.
As soon as today's video appears on YouTube I'll see if I can upload it to this blog in case anyone is interested.
Meanwhile I managed a photo but you have to study it with a microscope to see a portion of the blue cross and statue of Mary under which Marjana stands. This was taken very early on before my view was completely obliterated.
During most of this time, it was raining so the rocks were treacherous. It took me about half an hour to get back down in the throng of people all trying to do the same thing.
By the time I got back to my hotel I was absolutely drenched and covered in mud.
But it was worth it. It was, as I say, a quite moving experience, despite the circumstances.
The rest of the day will be spent indoors though. I've had enough of being drenched for one day. Dubrovnik in Croatia tomorrow so hopefully I'll have more to report.