Thursday, August 23, 2018


[I picked up the following article from the newsletter of Sr. Emmanuel, a Catholic nun who I believe resides, or at least spends a lot of her time, in Medjugorje. The article was dated 22 August 2018. It was accompanied by a YouTube video of the little girl, the subject of the article, walking. By the way, when someone believes they have been cured of some incurable disease or affliction as a result of either a visit to or some connection with Medjugorje, they must submit details to the local parish office whereupon the matter is subjected to a detailed medical and scientific investigation before it is accepted or circulated].

In the little village of Abeline, where Saint Maryam of Bethlehem was born, the Hahoud family was deeply distressed. Their three-year-old daughter, Eleanor, born with a disability, was doomed to never walk. A month earlier, an Israeli Catholic frier went to visit this stricken family.

Seeing the little girl, he had the idea of giving her son rose petals which he had brought back from Medjugorje and which had been blessed by the Mother of God during an apparition. The Gospa (Blessed Virgin Mary’s name in Croatian) when she appears to the visionaries actually blesses religious articles that are presented to her: rosaries, icons, crucifixes, medals as well as rose petals. Pilgrims then give them to those who cannot come, especially to the sick, as signs that their Heavenly Mother is willing to reach out to them through her maternal blessing.

With such simple signs received in faith and prayer, Mary does what she wants for the person who is suffering, giving them the graces she deems necessary.

Our friend, upon seeing little Eleanor, was overcome with compassion and began to hope for the impossible. He explained to the family where the petals were from, and left after having prayed with them. In the evening, the grandmother said to the mother, “Did you put the petals on your daughter’s legs?” “No,” answered the mother. “Well, what are you waiting for?” The mother placed the petals on her daughter’s lifeless legs, and after praying many Hail Marys, she went to bed, crying all night long because her heart was so heavy.

In the morning, the father, a construction worker, asked his wife, “Why don’t you go and see if Our Lady has done anything for Eleanor?” The mother went, tried to lift her daughter upright but — to her amazement — the little girl stood up on her own; she was comfortable standing on her two feet and started to walk in front of everyone. She went out into the courtyard and turned around several times, so amazed that she was finally able to walk.

Since then, Eleanor’s walking has come on in leaps and bounds, and the whole family continue blessing God for this miracle. Medical records attest to this healing which cannot be explained by science. The Gospa of Medjugorje visited this stricken family — how can we not cry out with joy?

Tuesday, June 26, 2018


[The following article, by Berniece Duello, was posted on the web with permission by Chicken Soup For The Soul LLC. I have copied it to here. It doesn’t necessarily describe a miracle. Then again, it might. You decide].

For all of my ninety years, I’ve had a great devotion to the Virgin Mary. I didn’t believe that Mary could answer prayers, but that she was an intercessor to her son, Jesus. While I was raising eight children, I needed all the interceding I could get! I turned to her often, mother to mother. A statue of the Blessed Virgin sat prominently on our buffet and fresh flowers adorned her, especially in May.

I knew Mary had appeared to youngsters in Lourdes, France, and to children in Guadalupe, Mexico. Then in the 1980s, I read new accounts of Mary appearing to youngsters in Medjugorje, Bosnia (and Hercegovina). Intrigued by the modern-day miracle, I bought books about it, subscribed to the Medjugorje Magazine, attended seminars on the topic… and bought a ticket to Bosnia (and Hercegovina).

At eighty years old, with  back problems and a mild heart condition, I didn’t know if I could climb the mountain, but I just knew I was supposed to go… to be there… to see where Mary had appeared.

I didn’t go planning to see a miracle, but many who had been there did. There were hundreds of accounts of miraculous healings and faith conversions.

Our tour group arrived in Medjugorje late one damp November night. The next morning we learned our scheduled trek had been postponed, due to the rain and slippery slopes. One younger man who had made the trip twice before, said he could wait no longer… he was climbing the mile-long mountain path right then.

I said, “Me too.”

So with more determination than strength, I set off for the climb. I was surprised to see the trail was only jagged rocks. Step by cautious step, I slowly hiked upward, past a woman even older than I kneeling in prayerful meditation… past a half dozen rowdy ten year old boys running and yelping with joy. They raced ahead of me; later I came upon them again kneeling in quiet prayer.

Within two hours, I stood in breathless wonder and awe at the top of the mountain, on the very site the virgin had appeared. I knelt in the sprinkling rain and did what I always do… I prayed for her children.

The trek was even more difficult than the ascent. Each step on the rugged rocks jarred me as I struggled to find stable footing. The rain intensified as we wound our way through the foreign streets of the city. I returned to the group, soaking wet but marvelling that, not only had I made the climb, I had done so without my usual pain. “Maybe that was the miracle,” I mused.

The next day was just another day in war-torn Bosnia (and Hercegovina), but it was Thanksgiving Day in the States… and the tour guide had a plan to make it a day of Thanksgiving in Medjugorje too. On every tour the staff purchased and distributed groceries and supplies to the most needy in the community. All of the dozen members of our tour group readily offered to contribute to the fund and help with the deliveries.

Our large bus stopped at the grocery store where the ordered bags of goods were loaded into the back. Carefully, we counted the twenty-four garbage-size bags. Local church and government officials had made a list of the twenty-four families in most desperate need, and the bus headed off to share Thanksgiving with them.

The first stop was a shanty with the roof partly blown off. My new friends and I filed past damaged household furniture sitting on the dirt lawn and entered the one room the family of four occupied. Laughing, smiling, and crying, the old couple accepted the food and supplies. Two young boys in clean ragged clothes chattered their gratitude while their toddler brother clung to the grandma’s leg, whining and fussing. Their parents were tortured and killed by the enemy, the tour guide had explained. Yet the family jubilantly hugged us goodbye and we headed off to the next stop.

The bus driver seemed to have the route and stops memorised from the many trips before. At the next run-down house, a wrinkled old woman in a headscarf stood waving from her cluttered front porch. As our group entered, she placed her hands on each of our faces and kissed us, one by one, thanking us in her native tongue. Inside we gathered in one of the two rooms left standing in her once three-bedroom home. There she prayed, not for herself, but for us, her guests.

The driver stopped next at a ramshackle house at the end of a lane, and before the tour guide could say, “They aren’t on our list this time,” a man and two young boys raced toward the bus clapping for joy. At the directive of the tour guide, the bus pulled away, leaving them looking forlorn and rejected.

“Can’t we please leave them some food?” I politely protested as I looked back at the family waving sadly.

“We only have twenty-four bags,” the guide explained, her voice thick with sorrow. “We have other families waiting for these. We promised them.”

The team sat, despondent, until the driver stopped at yet another war-damaged home. There, a couple who looked even older than I cared for two grown sons, both suffering from a wasting muscular disease. Yet their faith and joy exceeded ours as they crowded the entire group into their tiny kitchen to pray… and share food the old woman had prepared for us.

And so went the day, house after house, family after family, each physically destitute and spiritually wealthy.

“That’s twenty-four!” the guide said as she checked the last name off the list after the final stop.

“No, twenty-three,” someone corrected. “there is one bag of food left.”

Dumbfounded, the group looked in the back of the bus to see one lone bag of food.

“We all counted the bags and the people on the list three times,” one member said.

“There was no error,” our guide said, then beamed. “Are there loaves an fishes in that bag?”

The entire team stared at each other first in confusion, then in awe, then in elation. We cheered. “Let’s go!”

The bus returned to the ramshackle house at the end of the lane and the man and two boys raced out, as if they were expecting us.

Friday, November 17, 2017


[There is a seemingly never-ending supply of information on the Internet regarding alleged miracles of one kind or another associated with the phenomenon that is Medjugorje. The following are some extracts from a 1988 article by Monte Leach entitled Manifestations from Medjugorje, only slightly edited by me]:

Eighteen members of a Catholic prayer community in Northern California say that their rosary beads changed from a silver to gold colour both during and after a recent prayer retreat. The eighteen believe the changes are miracles performed by the Virgin Mary as part of her manifestation in Medjugorje…Changes in rosary beads have been reported in other parts of the U.S. and around the world, including some 50 parishioners in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, who say their beads changed form silver to a gold colour after a member of their congregation returned from Medjugorje last year.

Like Somers, one of the Northern California Catholics who attended the prayer retreat, says she was reciting the prayer of the rosary when her beads changed colour.  “I looked at the rosary in my hand and it was glowing,” Somers says. She has had rosary beads for 40 years, she says, and has never seen any of them change colour the way hers did that day at the retreat. In other parts of the U.S., metallurgists have examined beads that people claim have changed colour. The metallurgists have found the rosaries not to be gold, but have yet to determine their actual metallic composition.

Phenomena of all types have been reported at Medjugorje. Physical healings are common; the cross on one of the mountains lights up, and a woman’s figure is seen on the cross; the word MIR, the Croatian and Russian word for peace, has been written across the sky in bright lights, and seen by thousands of people; rosary beads in Medjugorje change from silver to gold.

Mary Ann Serrano actually witnessed one of the more commonly reported miracles at Medjugorje. “I had just come out of Mass. The sun was over Mount Krisevac, a hill where people pray every day and where Mary has actually appeared. All of a sudden I saw a crowd of people with the faces in awe. And gold light on their faces. I turned and looked and the sun was spinning across the  sky, with great rainbows of light coming out of it. Rainbows of light and most prominently a cross. You could stare straight into the sun and you didn’t have to blink. It didn’t hurt your eyes. And then all of a sudden it came back and was a normal sun again.”

Friday, August 18, 2017


[After nine months of undertaking this exercise, it seems there are countless stories on the Internet about miraculous cures attributable to Medjugorje, many more than I thought I’d be able to find. What follows, only slightly edited by me, is the testimony of Joaniee Schlagel, a woman from Colorado in the U.S. who was inexplicably cured of an inoperable and life threatening tumour simply by visiting Medjugorje]:

“It all started in my home state of Colorado. I hadn’t been to church since the time of the Latin Mass and for some reason, this Easter in ’92, it was like someone was dragging me to church by the collar. I went and met these people. They had back packs that said “Queen of Peace” on them. I asked them who they were and they said they brought medical supplies into Bosnia. I responded that I would like to go and we exchanged numbers.

“I thought to myself — Where’s Bosnia and why do I want to go there? Then I found that something else happened that was strange. I couldn’t stop saying the Rosary even though I had never liked the Rosary. Basically, I had no idea what was happening to me.

“Anyway, as I was preparing for my trip I found out I had a rare tumour wrapping around my heart and kidneys and that it was inoperable. It was called Retroperitoneal Fibrosis. (From an international search it was discovered that I was only one of 500 with it in the world, with most people dying from it because it is undetectable. As it is not cancerous, chemotherapy was not an option. Instead, steroids were used as a last ditch effort. My surgeon had actually asked me not to take them because of the damage they would do. As it happened, I blew up to 250lbs and it wasn’t just the weight — I looked almost disfigured). I called and cancelled the trip.

Then when I found out I had three months to live, I got a call from the same people and they told me they had to postpone their trip to Medjugorje — they were going in April 1993 instead. They asked if I’d like to go. I decided I would.

It is important to understand that I wasn’t going for a miracle. In fact, the way I behaved while I was there it was interesting that I had even said yes at all. When I got there, I really wasn’t doing much praying. I remember spending a lot of time in the pizza place and soon enough I was back on the plane returning home, thinking — Here I am in this holy place with three months to live. I should have been on my hands and knees praying.

“Then something happened which I didn’t expect. Suddenly, I felt so good in my heart like if I were to die it would be okay.

“When I returned home, I went to my doctor for another CAT scan. He called me in and said something was wrong. Of course, I thought I probably had a week to live. But he had other news for me. He said ‘Your CAT scan says your tumour is drastically decreased. There’s something wrong. They must have made an error. Would you please take another test?’ So I did.

“When that report came back the tumour was all gone. Praised be Jesus.

“I am left with the sense that it is not about the physical healing but the conversion of heart. I never thought I could feel this way.”

Joaniee Schlagel, Colorado, United States

19 January 2009.

Friday, August 4, 2017


[Said to be the most famous person to have received a healing courtesy of Medjugorje, details of Lola Falana’s cure appears on multiple websites. The following is a short extract from one of them, only slightly edited by me]:

The most famous person to claim that she had been healed by Our Lady of Medjugorje was entertainer Lola Falana who was also suffering from multiple sclerosis. By 1989, she was confined to either the wheelchair or her bed. One day, she was watching a documentary about Medjugorje. According to her, “When the television showed the crowd of pilgrims which ascend the Hill of Apparitions, I experienced a desire to go there, to walk with them, but my legs were inert, dead. Then, with tears in my eyes, I prayed to the Blessed Mother to heal me, promising her that if one day I would be able to walk again, I would go there.” Within a month, all the symptoms of her illness had disappeared.

As promised, she went to Medjugorje.

Thursday, July 27, 2017


[Articles relating to Italian girl Chiara Zoccante appear all over the web, mainly in Italian. I have found the following on It has only been slightly edited by me]:

10 year old Italian girl Chiara Zoccante suffered from a pituitary tumour when she attended visionary Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo’s apparition on 02 January 2006.  Afterwards, Mirjana told Chiara’s parents that the Virgin Mary had put her hands on their girl. One month later doctors discovered that the tumour was gone.

The cure must be immediate, permanent and unexplainable by medical treatments. When the Catholic Church investigates claims of miraculous healings, these three criteria must be met before a cure can be declared a miracle.

And so, when the medical experts assigned by the Vatican Commission charged with investigating the events in Medjugorje sift through the more than 400 case files of claimed healings, they might set aside Chiara’s case, now in her seventh year of good health.

At age 10, Chiara was diagnosed with a pituitary tumour. She was first hospitalised on 24 June 2005, on  the 24th anniversary of the Medjugorje apparitions.

“By chance, at the hospital we met a friend who told us about the apparitions,” Chiara’s parents, Patrizia and Mariano, told the weekly Italian magazine Oggi in June (this year — possibly 2012). We promised to take Chiara to Medjugorje as soon as she felt good enough physically. And we kept our word.

“On 31 December 2005 we arrived in the town of the Virgin. We were excited by the grace of the place where everyone invited us to pray. Meeting with Father Jozo (Medjugorje’s parish priest at the time of the first apparition) was a balm, but the most touching moment  was the meeting with Mirjana during her monthly apparition.

“On 02 January 2006, Chiara was taken near the visionary. After the apparition Mirjana told us that he Virgin had put her hands on Chiara.  Exactly one month later, on 02 February 2006, we went to the hospital for a routine MRI. The cancer had completely disappeared. And not only that: her hair also came back though the doctors told us that Chiara would remain bald, as a consequence of chemotherapy.”

Though Chiara’s story is only now breaking in English, it has been known for a while in Italy. On 18 April 2010 Chiara testified before about 20,000 people gathered for a Medjugorje prayer meeting in Milan.

Thursday, May 18, 2017


[Susan Tassone’s story appears on many websites. She has authored a number of books, including Praying with the Saints for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. The following is an extract of her testimony in her own words with just slight editing by me]:

On August 11, 1983, the feast of my patron, St. Susanna, I was hit head on and injured by a cab, which left my leg damaged. My doctor told me that my leg was permanently damaged, and that I would have constant bouts of painful swelling and tenderness of the leg for the rest of my life.

The date was even more significant. Fifty years earlier, on that very same day, my great aunt, known as “Little Mary,” who was ten years old at the time, was also injured in a car accident. She died. I survived. A priest told me that my life was spared and that I had a mission. He said that sometimes a sacrifice is made in the family for a greater cause. It shook me up.

I have had a special bond with the Blessed Mother since I was a child. My mother was very active in the parish, and we were very young when she planted the seed for the love of Our lady in our hearts. (I remember, for example, we had the Pilgrim Virgin statue in our home).

In 1993, with the permission of my doctor, I decided to go on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje, to pay a visit, experience closeness with Our Lady, and to return home. Our Blessed Mother had other plans. During an apparition on Good Friday night, 1993, I saw an image of Our Lady within a cobalt blue colour. I knew it was Her. They say the white flashes are angels that appear before Her. My knees shook. I knelt to steady them. I was in amazement and awe.

My rosary links turned to gold and my leg, my permanently damaged leg, was healed on Mt Krizevac (Cross Mountain). My doctor said it was a miracle and I was blessed. However, he waited three years before he would document the healing. He wanted to be sure it was real. Three years later, I flew back to Medjugorje to deliver the letter. It is one of the documented medical cases of registered healings in Medjugorje. Fr Slavko Barbaric interviewed me for “Mir Magazine,” the local magazine of Medjugorje.