Carmel Kelly from Ireland: „Međugorje means everything to me”

date: 25.09.2014.

Carmel Kelly, 79-years old pilgrim from Ireland recently brought her 100th group to Medjugorje. She came here for the first time in 1997 and she came only because of her husband. This is what she told us about her first trip to Medjugorje: “I used to go to Lourdes every second year until 1997. I did not know anything about Lourdes. My husband, who never came to Lourdes and never wanted to come to any religious destination, once read about Medjugorje and told me that he would like to come here. Since he expressed desire to go on the pilgrimage for the first time, I booked seats for two of us for May 22, 1997. In the beginning of March that same year, he began to feel chest pain and doctors were treating him for severe chest infection. It was on April 25, 1997, that they informed the whole family that my husband had progressive lung cancer on both lungs and that he had enormous affected mass on his chest. I told his doctor that we had planned to go to Medjugorje on May 22, but he told me that my husband would not go anywhere. Back then I still had hopes in treatment and recovery of my husband. I was told that we could use the pilgrimage that we had paid for in the upcoming two years. I went to the hospital and told Bill that we would go to Medjugorje after he recovered, but he told me to go on my own if he did not get better. I told him that I would go to Medjugorje just because he wanted to go there, but he insisted and I needed to promise him that I would go to Medjugorje and bring my friend Agnes instead of him. Bill died on May 12, ten days before our scheduled trip to Medjugorje. Five weeks after he died, I called Agnes and told her that I booked a trip for two us, just as I had promised Bill to do before he died. We came to Medjugorje on June 24, 1997, and back then I did not even know that it was the anniversary date. It was really, really hot and the only reason why I arrived to this place was to fulfil the promise that I gave to my husband, but I was anyhow planning to continue with my pilgrimages to Lourdes after that trip. You see, that was why I arrived to Medjugorje at the first place. Nevertheless, I felt a special grace here and began to bring groups of pilgrims here. I brought my first group of 28 people in May 1998. In October the same year, I brought two more groups. Then I continued to bring ten groups a year for the next four years. I was coming to Medjugorje for the period of two weeks, then I would return home for two weeks and then again I would return to Medjugorje. That is how things were working during the pilgrimage season. I continued to come here even though I am quite old now. I began coming here when I was already in my senior age. I wish if only I had known for this place when I was younger, but it was not God’s plan obviously. Blessed Mother had a plan with me and She used my husband in order for Her to fulfil that plan. Medjugorje means everything to me; my whole life is about Medjugorje ever since my husband died.” Carmel told us that she has two sons: “My older son Tony came with me now for the first time. He was never in Medjugorje and he was not aware that this was my hundredth trip here until we arrived here. At the moment, he does not speak a lot about Medjugorje, but he feels it is all very positive. The fact that my son came here this year is a miracle to me. I am planning to come again because I promised to Gospa that I will continue bringing pilgrims here for as long as She places them on my way.”