Manoj Sunny, international coordinator of the catholic organisation “Jesus Youth” from India (Kerala) and engineer by profession, came on pilgrimage to Medjugorje in the beginning of March 2006. George Ettiyil, a member of the organisation, and Lufthansa airport manager in Chenay, accompanied him.
The catholic faith is deeply rooted in the Indian province of Kerala. Although the Catholics are a tiny minority in India as a whole, in Kerala they number 22 million, which is one third of the population of that province. Although the word Medjugorje is widely known, the events are not at all well known in India. What Our Lady is asking in Medjugorje is effectively lived by the Catholic parishes and families in Kerala: rosary, confessions, sacramental life… Many young people come to church, and the faith is strong, although in the big cities, this outlook is changing due mainly to the influence of the media.
The first time they heard about Medjugorje in India, was from a nun who gave conferences there. Their first impression was that these events were very catholic, and that the message was simple and clear, but very powerful nevertheless. They read books and felt a desire to come and see things for themselves. They established contacts with Medjugorje and received an invitation to come on pilgrimage. It took them two years to obtain their visas and they encountered other unbelievable difficulties, but they never gave up.
In Medjugorje, they participated in the international seminar for leaders. They experienced joy and peace, and a spiritual renewal, especially when praying on the Apparition Hill and on Cross Mountain. They were impressed by the conferences given by the Franciscans. They met Vicka, the visionary, whose manifestation of joy and love impressed them deeply.
They themselves said that they hoped Medjugorje would not loose the simplicity which characterises it at present. According to their words, Mary is coming to simple people. Her spirit is here, and here it will remain as long as people continue to pray, and if there are those who seek holiness and live according to her messages. Those who come here from the outside should not primarily seek material profit, but should seek rather to imitate those parishioners who live Our Lady’s messages and who have shown the way during the past 25 years.
The “Jesus Youth” movement was founded in 1976 in southern India (Kerala) and is active in 19 countries around the world (USA, Canada, Italy, Great Britain, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, New Zealand, Singapore, Australia, Germany, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand, United Arabic Emirates etc. (See: www.jesusyouth.org)