"We are all hindus but Mary called us to discover her Son, Jesus"
Jyoti Bhadresa (end-right) with her family and Marija Pavlovic
JYOTI BAHDRESA, A DEVOUT HINDU WOMAN, WAS INVITED BY HER CATHOLIC SISTER-IN-LAW TO MEDJUGORJE. THEY CAME WITH US IN MAY AND JYOTI HAD A LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCE AND BROUGHT HER FAMILY BACK WITH HER TO THE YOUTH FESTIVAL. THEY STAYED WITH US AT THE VISIONARY MARIJA’S AND WE ARE DELIGHTED TO SHARE HER INCREDIBLE TESTIMONY
“For 30 years I’ve known about Christianity through my sister-in-law but I never considered it something for me, I had Hinduism, and I was a very devout Hindu. I had all my statues and images to the different gods and goddesses and did all my prayers always.”
“I’ve even visited Catholic Churches with my sister-in-law and attended masses but I never thought it necessary to change religions”
“My daughter at first called me crazy. Later she phoned me from Australia saying she had a strange dream and woke up to find her Sai Baba image snapped off her ring”“My sister-in-law was telling me about Medjugorje. She told me the National Medjugorje Movement were giving a presentation about the Shrine and asked me to come along.”
“They said they were going in May and my sister-in-law said to me ‘lets go!’ – and I said ok!”
“My view was that all religions were just all different ways to pray and it didn’t matter. When I came to Medjugorje I was wearing Hindu rings and objects. For me I did not expect conversion because I did not think it mattered, there were many gods and many religions as far as I understood.
“There was so much peace there which was the first thing that hit me. I was hearing this story of the Blessed Mother wanting to show people the way to Her Son. On the third day it was my birthday and my sister-in-law gave me a blessed crucifix. I was covered with so many of my own religious articles but when I wore this Crucifix I took off several of my objects and found my self beginning to search even more. I wanted to know more about what was happening at Medjugorje. So whilst I was there I began to seriously investigate it.
“I was scared at first and my whole family was against me, but I placed myself under Mary’s protection now many of them are coming with me”I realised I was always searching. I wanted to hear what exactly was the precise message that the Blessed Virgin allegedly had to say . It was that there was One God and one faith, and the Church was the home. From there I began to thirst to learn everything about that faith and that church. I cannot explain what happened but it was a conversion of heart. There wasn’t many gods and many religions there is one God and one true faith. I felt like I had found what I was searching for and had come home.”
The turning point for me was when I learned about confession. I was wondering what everyone was queing up for. Then when I was told it was confession I wanted to know what that was. In our faith we have a different understanding of sin: Karma. When I was being told about confession and the forgiveness of sin (no Karma!) I thought how is this possible – how can you escape karma for your sins? My sister-in-law explained everything how Jesus died for our sins so he has paid for them already and because of this I am freed from the debt through confession. She told me to go to priest and speak with him about my sins. I went before a priest and as we were speaking about sin I cried and cried and cried I could not stop. It touched the core of my being and I felt Gods forgiveness there in Medjugorje and I believe in His forgiveness. Now I cannot wait to become catholic so I can make a full confession and receive full absolution.
“My second daughter lives in Australia but I always speak to her on Skype so I was telling her about my experience.
“Not only did I understand there is one God and Mary is the Mother of Christ, but I also renounced all the previous gods and goddesses I worshipped.“She said “Mum what are you doing you are going crazy. Whatever you do you better not convert.”
“I didn’t know if I was going to convert or not, that wasn’t what I was thinking, instead I could recognise Mary’s presence and she was showing me something, and everything I believed before became nothing to me.”
“There was one last bracelet still on me – you must understand I was so devout Hindu before and now I could not believe it that I actually tore it off I felt like it was not right anymore.”
“I was initially met by resistance from my family. However I stayed strong and I knew that what I was seeing and experiencing was true.’’
I came back home and I have to say I was physically unable to kneel before my shrine with my statues, I had to set up my own one with Jesus and our Blessed Mother.
I began to pray to them from my heart and call upon them for help.
I didn’t even want to look at the photo of Sai Baba – I was scared. How was this possible before I was such a devout Hindu, now coming back from Medjugorje I can’t look at the images and don’t even want to get involved in it. There was something strange going on.
“All my life I was searching and in Medjugorje it felt right.”
To my surprise, my same daughter contacted me a few days later and her tone was completely different this time.
“Mum I need to tell you something – some strange things have happened. I had a dream that I got rid of all my Hindu statues and when I woke up in real life I found that Sai Baba’s image had snapped and fallen off my ring. I now find it extremely uneasy praying or even looking at all the different statues of gods and godesses.’’
‘I got rid of them all mum. I’ve been reading about the Christian Faith and I want to get baptised and become a catholic”
“I was shocked hearing this was happening on the other side of the world in Australia whilst I was here praying in Medjugorje. I wasn’t even thinking too much about the practicalities of becoming a catholic at this stage although I felt the call and here was my daughter wanting to be baptised.’’
“And that was exactly what happened to me I couldn’t look at my shrine so there was something strange about that. I said to my daughter “are you sure because this is a whole change of faith, this is serious you cant just convert you have to go to classes and be baptised. I told her to go and read more about it.”
“I felt like I had reached my home. My daughter didn’t even come on either of the trips to Medjugorje but just by my visit Our Lady’s grace has even touched her. She flew over this Autumn to England and we have been receiving regular catechesis of the catholic faith.
My sister-in-law invited me to return with her in a few months time for the youth festival – I declined telling her there would be no way I could with my family.
“I FELT THE CALL TO RETURN TO MEDJUGORJE SO SOON. LATER I UNDERSTOOD WHY – BECAUSE 4 MORE FAMILY MEMBERS CAME WITH ME”But later I suddenly felt the strange call to go. I thought why when I had just already been. I told my sister-in-law to book me in.
I shared my experiences of how Medjugorje touched me with the rest of my family. Not everyone accepted what I said which I completely understand.
However my nephew kept wanting to hear more. He wanted to come to the youth festival but didn’t want to leave his family. We prayed about it and the next thing we knew his wife wanted to come with their baby and also his mother – my sister.
I realised why Mary called me back so soon, because She wanted my family to come with me.
I returned there two months later, with four more family members, all from the hindu faith and all heading to Medjugorje. We were with a large group and had the most incredible week staying with the visionary Marija. Most of all we discovered Jesus in the Eucharist. Adoration was so beautiful.
That week, I can only say the Blessed Mother brought us all to discover her Son, Jesus.
My daughter and I have officially renounced our previous beliefs worshipping many gods and idols, and have joined RCIA to be baptised and become Catholics next Easter. My sister, nephew and his wife are also learning about Catholicism.
Saying the rosary every day and trying to live our Lady’s messages helps me cope with the struggles that I face on this journey.
This is only a brief witness of so much grace we are experiencing through Medjugorje. If there is one thing I would ask from the people who may read this is please pray for us on this journey. I am sure people will understand why we need your prayers and your prayers are greatly appreciated. Everything I have placed in Our Lady’s protection and I know She will bring us safely to Her Son as She started this journey.”