Praised be Jesus and Mary! My name is Tatiana and I come from Ukraine. I want to share my testimony about the presence of God in my life and how I came to know Him through Our Lady in Medjugorje. Before this encounter, my life was filled with complete darkness. My idea of God was limited by the image of God being my “walking stick” to help me in extremely difficult situations. I had never known Him as a real person with whom I could have a living relationship. I didn’t go to Holy Mass because it was hard for me to endure the liturgy. And if I did go, it was only because I needed something to be blessed, and that meant great holiness to me.
In my family I was often the cause of restlessness and quarrels because of my ego. When I now review the events that happened at that time, I see that even then Our Lady was preparing me to meet God – and this was due to a great desire to fill the emptiness that was filling my heart.
My first encounter with the Lord happened in March 2021 in Medjugorje when a priest said during a homily the following words, “Whoever wants to be an apostle of Our Lady and an apostle of peace should not forget to say to God: ‘Yes, I am ready!’” I didn’t know exactly what it meant to be an apostle of peace, but I immediately said ‘yes’ to God in my heart. And then, when I was praying at Podbrdo, close to the Mother of God, I said to Her, “I do not know what an apostle of peace should do, but I am ready for it!” When I returned home, I was listening to the silence that was in my heart. After returning home, I tried to read and live Our Lady’s messages every day, and I noticed that something new was born in my heart… I realized that I could not live without a daily Mass.
Gradually I began to meditate more and more on the Word of God. I saw how my desire to know the Lord more intimately grew. In a short time, I was back in Medjugorje at the Marian Spiritual Retreat, after which my heart was more and more inflamed for an even greater conversion, and an even greater service for God. During the pilgrimage I learned more about the Silence, Prayer and Fasting Seminar. And I heard the phrase that Our Lady invites her chosen warriors to do this. And then the thought came to my mind, saying, “This is not for me. I still need to grow and grow…” But a year later, Our Lady invited me again to attend this seminar and I had an amazing time! It was a time when I understood the real essence of fasting. I understood that it was not just about giving up food, and practicing patience, but that it was something more profound. I realized that if I could give up food, why not give up sin?
In that silence I also realized the importance of being with Jesus during the adoration. The time at his feet is truly precious to my heart. At the end of the seminary, the desire to help Our Lady was very strong in me, but I didn’t understand exactly what to do. I bought rosaries and meditated on every word that was given to me. Before the seminary, I had a negative attitude towards fasting and thought it was only for those who wanted to show their piety before others. And when I came back from the seminar, I noticed that I didn’t feel hungry on Wednesdays and Fridays. It was a sign to me that Our Lady was personally inviting me to continue fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays. And on the way home, I realized how I could help Our Lady in a specific way. I decided to organize prayers in the public, inviting others to join me in praying the rosary together, as I had done in Medjugorje.
I also didn’t understand why my heart was set on fire at the idea of inviting young people to prayer. On the third day after my arrival from Medjugorje, I formed a prayer group which is still active. Every day we meditate on Our Lady’s messages, we share the Word of God, and we also pray and fast for Our Lady’s intentions, for the realization of her plans for peace in Ukraine and throughout the world. At the same time, my relationship with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament has deepened greatly. During my first pilgrimage, I did not understand how a person could spend an hour in adoration, what there was so much to do. And now 3 hours are like a second for me.
Once, when I went to adoration in church, I met children who were praising Jesus with songs. That’s when the thought came to me that the children should be active in our prayer group too. And that very day we invited the children and youth to pray and praise God with us.
Today our prayer group meets twice a week and I want to testify how important these meetings are for my life. I always come to our prayer meeting weighed down by all the burdens that the day has brought, but after prayer I am refreshed again, my heart is full of hope and joy. And now I want to thank Our Lady who, as Mother, tenderly prepared my heart to meet the living Lord. For me, Medjugorje is a “rehabilitation center” where, thanks to the procedures, human hearts experience healing, renewal and open a new page of the book of life.
I wish you God’s peace and blessing!
May every heart know that God created him for happiness and may he come to know Him!