History of JMJ Pilgrims

In 1988 Joyce Lightner began taking pilgrims to Medugore. Joyce heard a calling, from Our Lady, that she wanted “souls”

JMJ Pilgrims was founded by Joyce Lightner in 1988 as a response to a calling from Our Lady. Following her first trip to Medjugorje, Joyce discerned Our Lady’s desire for “souls,” and began to consider how to best “bring souls to Her.” In answer to her prayers, she heard Our Lady saying to “blossom where you are planted.” Thus, out of her home in Oconto, a small town in northern Wisconsin, Joyce began organizing pilgrimages to Medjugorje. Over the course of more than two decades, she successfully led 95 powerful, life-impacting JMJ pilgrimages.

In 2011, Joyce’s health necessitated that she end her frequent trips to Medjugorje and on July 19th she passed away to finally meet our Blessed Mother and Our Lord. Bob and Arlyss, along with her daughter Gloria, now faithfully carry out her ministry. Words simply cannot do justice to the power and beauty you will witness in Medjugorje. If you choose to make a trip to this tremendous, but little-known corner of Bosnia and Herzegovina is sure to be a profound spiritual experience – one that you will undoubtedly remember for a lifetime. First time pilgrims typically describe Medjugorje as one of the most spiritual, and peaceful places on earth. In fact, one of our favorite descriptions, and, in our opinion, one of the most appropriate was the observation that “Medjugorje is a place where Heaven touches the earth.”

All of our groups are hosted by the visionary Mirjana Soldo; she and her husband graciously organize our lodging, and serve as a source of spiritual support, joining their hearts with ours in thought and prayer during our time together. We also have a local English-speaking guide, Miki Musa, who provides leadership for our groups during their time in Medjugorje. Additionally, when possible, we have a Catholic priest act as our spiritual director. The visionaries in Medjugorje tell us that no one comes to Medjugorje by accident; rather, we are each called individually by Our Lady. If you feel a calling to Medjugorje, then take the step necessary to answer Her loving invitation! Please join JMJ Pilgrimages on our next miraculous spiritual retreat.