Saturday, November 26, 2016


[The following testimony is taken from an article by Jakob Marschner which I found at and have slightly edited. I have found the same or similar testimony on other websites. From what I have seen and read the story appears genuine].

Elena Artioli’s type of brain disease never vanishes or decreases in size.  But hers did after she went to Medjugorje. Her Italian specialist knows of no other cases in the world when this has happened. To Elena herself, her spiritual renewal is the greatest miracle and gift that she received.

Cerebral arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is just about as bad as it sounds. It is a blood vessel disease inside the brain whose size does not decrease, but only remains the same or increases.

The one exception from this in the world is Elena Artioli from Bologna, Italy. She became this exception after she went to Medjugorje.

The Italian girl was 16 years old in 1998 when recurring eyesight problems led to her being diagnosed with AVM in the rear left frontal region, three centimetres in dimension.

AVM is an abnormal connection between the arteries and veins in the brain. The most frequent AVM problems are headaches and seizures. Other common symptoms are a pulsing noise in the head, progressive weakness, numbness and vision changes as well as debilitating, excruciating pain.

“From that moment, my life completely changed. I was living in fear, in anguish, in the unknowing, in sadness and in daily anxiety of that which could happen at any moment,” Elena tells in her testimony at Guarda Con Me, the blog of Medjugorje photographer Daniel Miot.

With serious cases of AVM the blood vessels rupture and there is bleeding within the brain. Symptoms due to bleeding include loss of consciousness, sudden and severe headache, nausea, vomiting, incontinence, and blurred vision.

Impairments caused by local brain tissue damage on the bleed site are also possible, including seizure, one-sided weakness, a loss of touch sensation on one side of the body, and deficits in language processing.

Elena went throughout Italy searching for the expert who could give her the confidence and answers she needed. After several big disappointments, she found him in Dr Edoardo Boccardi, the chief neurologist of the neuroradiology department of Milan’s Niguarda Hospital, and an international expert in the field.

“He told me that at that time he would neither perform surgery nor carry out any type of therapy because it was an area too large and too thin to treat with radiosurgery. I could carry on with my life as calmly as possible — however, I had to avoid any activities that could provoke an increase in cerebral pressure,” Elena tells.

“Thank God, the results of my MRIs, consistently taken each year in Milan, showed no significant differences over time. The next to last MRI dated back in April 21st 2007, to be exact. Since then I always put off further testing out of fear of discovering that something had changed over the years.”

It had been more than four years since the now 29 year old Elena’s most recent medical check-up when she allowed a close friend and co-worker to persuade her to go to Medjugorje. Her friend had described the place as a destination of internal serenity and great peace.

“That was what I needed at that moment. And so, with a lot of curiosity and a little bit of skepticism, I left on August 2nd 2011 with my mother for Medjugorje’s Youth Festival” Elena tells.

“I lived four days of intense emotions. I came very close to the faith and to prayer. The ascents of the two mounts, especially on Cross Mountain where I teared up  by surprise following a prayer, are places of profound peace, joy, and inner serenity — precisely those sensations that my friend continuously referred to, and which I struggled to believe.”

Though Elena prayed a lot in Medjugorje, she did not ask anything for herself.

“It was as if something ‘entered’ inside you that you were not asking for. I prayed a lot but I was unable to ask for anything because I always thought that there were people that had precedence and priority compared to me, and compared to my problems,” she says.

“I returned home, profoundly changed in my spirit, with joy in my eyes and serenity in my heart. I was able to deal with daily problems with a different spirit and energy. Prayer became a daily necessity — it makes me feel better.”

As time passed, Elena gained the awareness of having received an unusual grace. She found the courage and decided, after five years, to book her usual test in Milan, set for April 16th 2012.

“After the MRI, I went for the exam with my doctor. Comparing the last study with that from five years earlier, there was a sharp reduction in the size of the vascular nidus and an overall reduction in the calibre of venous drainage, with proximal parenchymal pain” Elena testifies.

“The meeting with the doctor, still in disbelief, showed that the size of the vascular nidus was about one centimetre, and that it is practially impossible that an AVM spontaneously shrinks, without any type of treatment. My doctor says that I am his first case of this in all of his vast professional experience, even overseas. An AVM usually either grows or remains the same size.” 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


It is a well-known, documented medical fact that one of the Medjugorje visionaries, Vicka Ivankovic (married name: Vicka Ivankovic-Mijatovic) had been plagued by suffering for several years. She was said to have had a brain tumour that caused severe headaches, coma state periods, nausea and other symptoms for years. However, on 25 September 1988, the pain stopped. Vicka wrote about her healing six months before it happened. The following is her letter addressed to a local priest at the time. Fr. Janko Bubalo:

Bijakovici — February 4, 1988

Fr. Janko,

That which I promised you — a ceasing of pains; September 25, 1988. Only under the seal of confession. My greeting to you! Your little sister, Vicka.

Fr. Janko wrote the following on the bottom of Vicka’s letter:

Received — Fr. Janko Bubalo, February 4, 1988.

This statement was sealed in an envelope and delivered on February 4, 1988 with the instructions to be opened on September 25, 1988.


  1. Fr. Janko Bubalo
  2. Fr. Vinko Orgicevic
  3. Fr. Luca Susac.

Fr. Janko, along with the other two witnesses, had received the letter from Vicka dated February 4, 1988 and were told to open the letter on September 25, 1988. When the letter was opened, Vicka stopped having pains — just as it was stated in the letter. The president of the new commission assigned to study Medjugorje was present when the priests opened their letter. It was no coincidence that Bishop Komarica was also there.

Vicka’s healing demonstrated to the commission that the apparitions were real. The letter had been sealed in three different places for six months. 

[Extract from Caritas Newsletter October/November 1988 and re-published at].

Monday, November 21, 2016


The following is a short extract from the testimony of the late John Watters who died in October 1997 but not before documenting his story (officially, The Testimony of John Watters — ISBN 0 9519718 0 8):

It was a Wednesday night, 05 December 1984. December had just made its first impression on the landscape. The last of the girls had been dropped off near her home and John Watters was driving the works van to his own house at Dundonald, Ayrshire, Scotland. It was threatening frost and the sky was a deep purple and starless.

Turning the bend on this quiet country road, looking between the branches of the trees, John was aware of horizontal white lines in the sky. As he approached the next bend, a hundred yards away, he found himself wondering “what have we here?” knowing that this question would soon be answered as he turned the bend and came out of the trees. As he did so, the lines he had seen turned out to be three huge three-dimensional letters floating in the night sky. The letters formed a word — MIR.

As John slowed down, thoughts faced through his mind. What a funny time to advertise! What is this advertisement for? Beer? Washing liquid? Furniture polish? The only logical explanation was that this was sky-writing which he had seen many times as a youngster.

Then he noticed how perfectly these letters had been formed. He marvelled at the technology. As John watched, it became clear that these letters were made of cloud, as the knurls were obvious to the eye. They did not waver or waste away.

As the road was deserted he took the opportunity to study this formation closely. John looked at and enjoyed the beauty of these letters in the stillness of the night, unaware that what he was watching was going to bring about the most unbelievable change in his life.

The letters remained in the sky for about five minutes, by which time John had come to the end of the road. As he turned into the village of Drybridge, the letters disappeared behind the houses. He knew he would see them again — this time from a different angle — when he left the houses behind. As he did so, he turned to look at the letters once again, but all that was left were some wisps of black cloud wasting away.

John arrived home minutes later. His main thoughts concerned what his colleagues would find to say about this sky-writing in the morning. At work the next morning, John told of his experience of the previous evening and was surprised to find that not one of his colleagues had noticed the letters and, after a few jokes about what the letters stood for,  the incident was put down to sky-writing and forgotten. 

The following Sunday John attended Mass in the village hall at Dundonald, the small community being served by the Passionist Fathers from the nearby retreat centre at Coodham. After Mass, Fr Tom Scanlon made a statement.

“If any of you watched a skit on television about a fortnight ago, about the alleged apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje in Yugoslavia,” he said, “we have a man who has just come back from there, and he is giving a talk on his experiences in Medjugorje. You are most welcome to come and listen.”

John had seen this programme — the tailpiece to ITN News which very briefly reported on the alleged appearances. His feeling was that this was really very remote — it was happening in Yugoslavia but had little to do with him.

This was not the sort of thing that John would normally have attended. However, when the day of the talk arrived, John was there. Having seen the TV programme, he was able to follow the story with interest. The priest, Fr John Mary Griffin, was certainly convinced that Our Lady was appearing there and considered the apparitions were authentic. He was finishing his talk when he said something that completely shocked John.

“…and seen in the sky by hundreds of people was the word ‘peace.’ Of course, it was written in Croatian, whose word for peace is MIR.” This was the first time that John had heard the word mentioned.

And it was the beginning of John’s commitment for the remaining years of his life to spread and promise Our Lady’s messages of peace within Scotland.

Thursday, November 17, 2016


It’s easy to dismiss the idea of a supernatural event occurring in the real world in the twenty-first century, whether it be recently deceased Aunt Molly appearing at your beside in the middle of the night or some witch-like psychic telling us she’s in touch with people on the Other Side. Or the Blessed Virgin Mary regularly appearing to six people in Bosnia and Hercegovina for some thirty-five years.

These events defy common sense, our intelligence, our knowledge of how the universe works. Right? Or could it be possible there’s something in it after all?

Here’s what St. Augustine had to say about miracles: “Miracles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary to what we know about nature.” And this, from G. K. Chesterton: “The most incredible thing about miracles is that they happen.”

Those taking a closer look at this blog will note that in April/May 2016, I travelled to Medjugorje in Bosnia and Hercegovina to get the feel of the place myself. Before I go further I declare my bias: I do believe in miracles because, to my mind at least, I’ve been on the receiving end of one, though not associated with Medjugorje.

For anyone who stumbles upon this blog and doesn’t know the first thing about Medjugorje, there’s a potted history entered on 29 April 2016.

Over 500 books have been written on the phenomenon. Added to that, there are countless websites and YouTube videos. The Church is deeply divided and the long awaited decision of the Vatican’s  Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith which investigates these phenomena is yet to materialise.

Given the Church’s history of taking things slowly — sometimes centuries — I prefer to know things now, not posthumously. So I thought I’d gather what material I could find on alleged miracles associated with Medjugorje and see what I could make of it all.

On the pages that follow, I propose taking one event at a time, researching it as best I can and recording the testimony of those who say they've been on the receiving end of a miracle associated with Medjugorje or those who have written articles about such people. Whether, in each case, we are talking about a miracle I will leave to the reader.

Please bear in mind that I will try to keep the testimony or articles as near as possible to the original and most of this material is not written how I would normally write or talk.

My view is, for what it’s worth, that given the sheer number of events, it would be a miracle if at least some of them weren’t miracles. 

For those who say the whole thing is an elaborate hoax, here are a few questions for you:

  • what is the actual cause of the sun spinning on its axis, jumping up and down and generally acting strangely as reported in the testimony of countless witnesses, none of whom, as far as I know, were tripping on LSD at the time?

  • what causes silver coloured Rosary bead chains to change to gold, also reported in the testimony of numerous witnesses, one of whom is known to me?

  • how is it that so many, perhaps hundreds, of people have been cured of illnesses that doctors have advised were incurable?

  • why is it that during the Bosnian war, one of the most savage the 20th century could throw at us, villages all around Medjugorje were heavily bombed but either no bombs fell on the village or those that did failed to explode? (see below)

  • how could six unrelated children, ranging in age from 10 to 16 all look up at what they say was a three dimensional apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary and drop to their knees all within one fifth of a second of each other without looking from one to the other to get the cue to do so? (This is recorded in medical expert testimony).

  • how could six unsophisticated children, including a ten-year-old, possibly carry on a hoax for 35 years without slipping up for one moment?

  • how can any of them, again unsophisticates, recall the words they say are spoken to them by the Blessed Virgin Mary and then repeat them verbatim to an interpreter? (Recent messages have been over 300 words long. Try it yourself — ask someone to read aloud a 300 word passage you’ve never heard before and, without having taken notes, recount it word for word moments later).

  • how is it that countless scientists, medical professionals and others have tested the visionaries to an extraordinary degree yet failed to find any evidence of dishonesty, deceit, hallucinations, drugs or trickery of any kind?

  • how was the visionary, Vicka able to predict in January 1988 the exact date, 25 September 1988 — which she says was was given to her by the Blessed Virgin Mary — when she would be cured of a mysterious and serious illness? (She wrote the date down, put the paper in a sealed envelope and gave it to a Church commission investigating the apparitions; when Vicka’s symptoms left her on 25 September 1988 as predicted, the seal was broken and the envelope opened by commission members to indeed reveal that date).

  • what would lead an atheist doctor sent by her (then) Communist government to examine the visionaries and attest to what was expected to be the result of drug taking or paranoia to not only report that the children were normal but to abandon her atheism and become a practising Roman Catholic?

  • how is that hundreds, if not thousands of people witnessed the word ‘MIR’ — Croatian for ‘peace’ — written in the sky without any sign of a skywriting aircraft?
Regarding the lack of destruction of Medjugorje during the Bosnian War this is what visionary Mirjana, living there at the time, has to say in her autobiography My Heart Will Triumph:

But even though Medjugorje was surrounded by war, it seemed like we were in a protective bubble. Missiles and mortar shells were launched into the village but they only landed in the fields. According to a Serbian (i.e. enemy at the time) newspaper, Yugoslav warplanes sent to destroy Medjugorje could not drop their bombs because a "strange silver fog" developed over their target.

These questions relate to just a handful of unusual events and are by no means exhaustive. If anyone can provide a rational explanation perhaps I will be moved to change my view. Until then I remain convinced — Medjugorje is a place of miracles.

We must keep in mind that there will be some who will classify almost anything that happens to them as a miracle, such is the level of their enthusiasm. There may also be some of the events described in the following pages that, upon a more detailed investigation, have a perfectly rational explanation. But given the volume and intensity of these occurrences, even if only ten per cent are inexplicable what are we to make of those?

You be the judge.