Mary’s Meals – a Fruit of Međugorje rooted in prayer
Read more about the strong link between Medjugorje and the charity that feeds 2.4 million children every day in a place of education.
On 25 June 1981 Our Lady began appearing to a group of young people in Međugorje, leading them deeper into the heart of the church and awakening greater love for God and neighbour. Forty-two years later, many others have been profoundly moved and changed through personal encounters in this place of pilgrimage. One such a spiritual awakening led to the founding of international movement Mary’s Meals, named after our Blessed Mother. This charity currently provides meals for more than 2.4 million children in their place of education, in areas of the world where hunger and poverty often stand in the way of learning.
Founder and CEO Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow was only fifteen years old when he first visited Međugorje in 1983 with his brother and sister – in fact, his siblings were similar in age to the visionaries. It was a life-changing experience, and Magnus reflected years later:
“During those few days in Medjugorje, I experienced a feeling of deep joy unlike anything I had felt before. I felt exhilarated. Our Lady had come to tell us that God existed. I believed her with every fibre of my being. I decided to respond to Our Lady’s invitation in my life as best I could.” (from The Shed That Fed 2 Million Children by Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow).
Guided by prayer and faith, the following years brought about a humanitarian aid effort during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, then a famine relief response in Malawi that evolved into a global school feeding programme.
There are many ways to respond to the call of Our Lady at Međugorje, and Mary’s Meals is one flourishing example of the momentum that can gather when prayer and action work handin-hand. Mary’s Meals has a permanent presence in Međugorje – a Visitor Centre on Pope John Paul II Street nicknamed “the blue container” – providing information on the charity’s work, along with a warm welcome and a place to meet friends. The charity’s presence here is not focused on fundraising, but about inviting a response to Our Lady’s call.
Međugorje continues to be a place of great importance for the Mary’s Meals movement – and one where Our Lady continues to call people to action. It has become the birthplace of many dedicated national groups, initiated when pilgrims found themselves moved to spread the word of Mary’s Meals in their home countries. It also has become a natural gathering place for pilgrimages and conferences concerning the charity’s work.
Mary’s Meals is grateful for the support of the Međugorje parish office, the parish priest, and also Archbishop Cavalli, the Pope's envoy to Međugorje. On the 42nd Anniversary of the apparitions in Međugorje, we thank God for many blessings upon the work of Mary’s Meals, and continue to pray that the graces present here will see many new and beautiful expressions with each passing year.
Do you want to get involved with Mary's Meals? Find out more here!