At the end of February and the beginning of March 2006, nine priests from the Philippines, members of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, came to Medjugorje to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their priestly ordination. This pilgrimage was led by Fr. Alejandre Vergara, SOLT, Regional Priest Servant. The Society was founded in 1958 in the USA, and its membership is comprised of priests, religious women, married deacons and families.
A further reason behind this visit is the fact that the Philippines feel a special debt of gratitude towards the Queen of Peace because of her intervention in 1986, which they experienced during their peaceful revolution that precipitated the fall of the dictatorship in the Philippines. According to the testament of two of those priests, who were laymen at that particular time, they took part in the peaceful and silent demonstrations against the dictatorship in the streets of Manila, with nothing but roses and rosaries in their hands, when inexplicably, the soldiers from the helicopters began waving white scarves, just when the tanks and the helicopters were about to shoot on hundreds of thousands of demonstrating citizens. They landed their helicopters among the crowd, called on the soldiers to leave their tanks and witnessed that they could not shoot because they had seen Our Lady, and recognised her as the Queen of Peace.
According to the Filipino priests, Medjugorje was not known in the Philippines at that time, but Cardinal Jaime Sin had declared the year 1985 as a Marian Year for the Philippines, and invoked the help of the Queen of Peace. When in 1986, the dictatorship of Marcos was overthrown without shedding a drop of blood, Pope John Paul II called Cardinal Sin and asked him what he had done to cause the peaceful downfall of the dictatorship. The answer was: “I declared a Marian Year for the Philippines!” After this, the Pope declared the year 1988 as a Marian Year for the whole Church. In 1989, the USSR fell…
After these events, Cardinal Sin opened a large Marian Shrine in the street in which those decisive events took place, a shrine in which Our Lady is venerated under the name of the Queen of Peace. The statue that was made for this shrine resembles the statue of Our Lady of Medjugorje.
It was thanks to a donation given to them by a married couple that the nine priests of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity were enabled to visit Medjugorje. They spent their time in silence, on the hills and in the Church. (For more about this congregation, see: Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity http://www.solt3.org).