Sunday, January 29, 2017


[The story of Megan McMahon is recounted in a book A Place of Healing by Connecticut medical writer, John Dinolfo; however her case is also mentioned in numerous websites including where I picked it up — I have only slightly edited it]:

Dinolfo recounts the story of Megan McMahon, a child from Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, who was born with a potentially deadly eye cancer called bilateral retinoblastoma and was taken to Medjugorje in 1987 — where Megan, by then three, reportedly saw the Virgin herself. Megan was at the one end of the pew, and her mother Jeannie knelt in the center aisle, facing the front, recounts Dinolfo. Seer Marija Pavlovic and others were in a room in the balcony of the church. As Jeannie continued to pray, she was unaware that the nightly apparition had started in the balcony room. Suddenly Megan called out, “Mommy, is that the Blessed Mother?” … Then Megan, with outstretched arms, began to say loudly, in a sing-song voice, “I love you Blessed Mother. I want to kiss and hug you.”  So striking was the occurrence that those around the girl began to weep.  When asked later what she saw, the girl also mentioned “the big angel,” the color blue, and three or four “baby angels.” When the girl recovered, according to Dinolfo, her surgeon at Philadelphia’s Wills Eye Hospital expressed belief that the force of prayer had “definitely” been at work.

Saturday, January 28, 2017


[Many of the miracles associated with Medjugorje, just a few of which are mentioned on this blog, are directed to just one person. There is one in particular, however, that has been witnessed by thousands — the miracle of the sun. And as you will see, this miracle has not been limited to Medjugoje, but to other Marian apparition sites as well. The following article appears on, an ongoing blog dedicated just to Medjugorje. I have recorded it exactly as it appears on that blog, save that paragraph headings and photographs with their explanations have been excluded]:

In Fatima, on October 13, 1917 up to 70,000 people gathered in expectation of a special sign that Our Lady would provide as proof of her apparitions there:

The Lady appeared… as the blessed mother was leaving she opened her hands, and from them rays of light extended in the direction of the sun. Gradually the sun grew pale, appeared as a silver disk at which all could gaze directly, without shielding their eyes. Rays of multicolored light shot out from the sun in every direction: red, blue, pink, green, and every colour of the spectrum. Then the sun began to spin madly on its axis and appeared like a giant wheel of fire. The sun began to dance wildly. Suddenly the sun seemed to be torn loose from its orbit. It hurtled closer and closer to earth, and looked like it was going to plummet to the earth. The people were terrified and there arose cries of repentance and appeals for mercy. Many thought it was the end of the world. Then, just as suddenly, the sun stopped plummeting downwards, and in the same swirling motion it began to climb upward until it resumed its place in the sky. The rain-soaked clothes of the people were immediately dry. This was an event reported by several newspapers of the day…

I experienced a similar spectacle on my second trip to Medjugorje in May 2001, when the sun seemed to come falling towards the earth. It also moved in a way, from right to left and towards me, as if making a sign of the cross, before settling in its original place and then pulsating many colours. I cannot find words to express my feelings at the time.

But in many visits to Medjugorje I had never encountered the more prevalent spinning sun, until my pilgrimage in May 2005. Of course, there was wonder and some excitement on my part — not so much at seeing the sun spin, but because I slowly began to understand and realise that God communicates to individual hearts through this phenomenon. 

I was taking photographs near to where the Risen Christ sculpture stands when the excitement of three women gazing into the sun, prompted me to turn and look upwards. The light was dazzling and I was forced to look away and focus on the faces of the women instead — one in particular, who was wide-eyed and continued staring towards the evening sun. I moved and stood beside her, and still I could not look up and face the sun with my eyes open. And I wondered how she could see and I could not when we were standing right next to each other!

I began to take close-up pictures of her face and witnessed a range of emotions through the lens of the camera, from wonderful surprise to tears of joy, and then questioning amazement. And I turned my head again, and still could not look towards the blinding sun. What kind of God can do these things — give such a gift to one and not another?

A little later I started to walk back along the footpath towards St James’ church, and almost casually, turned to give God another chance to let me in on the spectacle. He did! and like many before me, I thought I could record it all on camera. How wrong I was. Although I could view the spinning sun through the lens, I wasn’t able to capture what I was seeing on the digital camera. It was puzzling, but then I realised a valuable lesson. God wasn’t communicating to my camera. It wasn’t a gift for some man-made, carefully-crafted equipment, but a gift for what God had created and valued more than anything — my heart.

He was revealing himself, as he always does, in a knowing way — just as he had with the woman earlier. Heart was speaking to heart and for many pilgrims in Medjugorje this experience is a major first step to conversion, confession and heartfelt peace.

Someone once wrote: “You know very well when the Lord speaks, he touches.” How true this is!

But what does Our Lady say about such signs and wonders? In her messages, she clearly states that there is a purpose for this heavenly phenomena; that it is a gift given by God to awaken and strengthen faith. So evidently, these wonders cannot be dismissed as of no importance, or not a miracle in itself, however great or small.

All these signs are designed to strengthen your faith until I leave you the visible and permanent sign… (Our Lady’s message October 22, 1981).

It is God who gives them… It is necessary to awaken the faith… It is a gift from God… (Our Lady’s message of Spring 1982).

Our Lady makes reference to Fatima in one of her Medjugorje messages.

Dear Children! Today also I invite you to prayer, now as never before when my plan has begun to be realised. Satan is strong and wants to sweep away plans of peace and joy and make you think that my Son is not strong in his decisions. Therefore, I call all of you, dear children to pray and fast still more firmly. I invite you to renunciation for nine days so that with your help everything I wanted to realise through the secrets I began in Fatima may be fulfilled. I call you, dear children, to grasp the importance of my coming and the seriousness of the situation. I want to save all souls and present them to God. Therefore, let us pray that everything I have begun be fully realised. Thank you for having responded to my call.  August 25, 1991.

Throughout history there have been supernatural apparitions and signs which go to the heart of human events and which, to the surprise of believers and non-believers alike, play their part in the unfolding of history. These manifestations can never contradict the content of faith, and must therefore have their focus in the core of Christ’s proclamation: the Father’s love which leads men and women to conversion and bestows the grace required to abandon oneself to him with filial devotion. This too is the message of Fatima which, with its urgent call to conversion and penance, draws us to the heart of the Gospel.  The Message of Fatima — Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

According to his own testimony, the Pope who declared the dogma of the Assumption saw the “miracle of the sun” four times.

This information is confirmed by a handwritten, unpublished note from Pope Pius XII, which is part of the Pius XII: The Man and the Pontificate display. The display opened in the Vatican to the public today and will run through until January 6.

A commissioner of the display and a Vatican reporter for the Italian daily Il Giornale, Andrea Tornijelli, explained to ZENIT that the note was found in the Pacelli family archives. It describes the “miracle of the sun,” an episode that until today had only been affirmed by the indirect testimony of Cardinal Federico Tedeschini (1873-1959), who recounted in a homily that the Holy Father had seen the miracle.

Pius XII wrote, “I have seen the ‘miracle of the sun,’ this is the pure truth.”

The miracle of the sun is most known as the episode that occurred in Fatima, Portugal, on October 13, 1917. According to the Fatima visionaries, Mary had said there would be a miracle that day so that people would come to believe. Thousands had gathered at the site of the visions, and the sun “danced,” reportedly drying instantaneously the rain-soaked land and spectators.

Pius XII’s note says that he saw the miracle in the year he was to proclaim the dogma of the Assumption, 1950, while he walked in the Vatican Gardens. He said he saw the phenomenon various times, considering it a confirmation of his plan to declare the dogma.

The papal note says that at 4:00 pm on October 30, 1950, during his “habitual walk in the Vatican Gardens, reading and studying,” having arrived to the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes, “toward the top of the hill…I was awestruck by a phenomenon that before now I had never seen.”

The sun, which was still quite high, looked like a pale, opaque sphere, entirely surrounded by a luminous circle,” he recounted. And one could look at the sun, “without the slightest bother. There was a very light little cloud in front of it.”

The Holy Father’s note goes on to describe “the opaque sphere” that “moved outward slightly, either spinning, or moving from left to right and vice versa. But within the sphere, you could see marked movements with total clarity and without interruption.’

Pius XII said he saw the same phenomenon “the 31st of October and November 1, the day of the definition of the dogma of the Assumption, and then again November 8, and after that, no more.”

The Pope acknowledged that on other days at about the same hour, he tried to see if the phenomenon would be repeated, “but in vain — I couldn’t fix my gaze (on the sun) for even an instant; my eyes would be dazzled.”

Pius XII spoke about the incident with a few cardinals and close collaborators, such that Sister Pascalina Lehnert, the nun in charge of the papal apartments, declared that “Pius XII was very convinced of the reality of the extraordinary phenomenon, which he had seen on four occasions.”

As Pope, in 1940, Pius XII approved the Fatima apparitions, and in 1942, consecrated the entire world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

As well, Pius XII often spoke with Sister Lucia, the visionary of Fatima, and he asked her to transcribe the messages she received from the Virgin. He thus became the first Pope to know the “third secret of Fatima,” which Pope John Paul II would later make public.

Thursday, January 19, 2017


[The following testimony is of William E. Simon, a former U.S. Treasury Secretary. His story appears on a number of websites and in his own book. I have taken this article from and have edited it slightly]:

February 23, 2004 — Reported in online newspaper. In a new book, the late Treasury Secretary, William E. Simon is quoted as relating a “miracle” that he said occurred at the apparition site of Medjugorje in Bosnia-Hercegovina.

Simon, who served as secretary of the Treasury under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, as well a president of the U.S. Olympic Committee, recounted a number of profound mystical experiences, starting with a trip to the famous apparition site of Lourdes in southern France. “My first pilgrimage to Lourdes in 1993 changed my life dramatically and permanently,” recalls this counsellor to presidents. “I saw the sick healed and the downtrodden embraced with solace and hope.”

That, according to a close friend, industrialist J. Peter Grace, had a greater effect on the former cabinet official than anything he had ever done.

In the book, A Time for Reflection Simon, a former Wall Street wunderkind and multi-millionaire whose recollections were compiled by writer John M. Caher, then dropped this bombshell:

“At Medjugorje, I was actually the recipient of a miracle. Medjugorje (‘between the hills’) is a small village in Bosnia-Hercegovina (formerly Yugoslavia) where, since 1981, the Blessed Mother has been appearing and giving messages to the world, mainly through six young people. Since the first apparitions in 1984, millions of people of all faiths have visited Medjugorje. Countless have been healed and converted.

“After our first Mass at Medjugorje, I remember telling my son Billy, ‘That is the closest I’ve ever felt to Heaven on earth.’ I then pulled out the old, inexpensive rosary beads that I had bought about ten years earlier, and noticed that the chain was glittering in the sun.

“That was strange. The chain was just some cheap, dull alloy, yet it suddenly appeared radiant and golden and vibrant and remained so. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it, and upon my return brought the rosary to a jeweller for an appraisal. He confirmed that the chain, inexplicably, had turned to solid gold. I can’t explain the transformation, either of the rosary or my own life, except as a sign of Divine intervention.”

During a return pilgrimage to Lourdes, Simon said he felt the call to become a Eucharistic minister and tend to the sick and needy, especially those who were near death. This he did until his own death in 2000. His book carries the endorsements of President Ford, the Honourable George P. Shultz, and New York’s Cardinal M. Egan.

Simon is one of many leaders who have been touched by Medjugorje and Lourdes. President Ronald Reagan read messages from Medjugorje and attempted to speak with one of the seers after a glowing account of the site from Alfred Kingon, who served both as an assistant secretary of the Treasury and also Ambassador to the European Community. Ambassador Kingon visited Medjugorje in 1987 and was so impressed that he sent a two and a half page memo to Reagan about the messages. Soon after, he transmitted a similar report to Mikhail Gorbachev, through an Austrian ambassador and the U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union. “Something of great import is going on,” Kingon once said of Medjugorje. “The whole world is going to change.”

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


[The following testimony, or something very similar, appears on numerous websites. I extracted this one from It has been translated into English and, at times, not all that well, thus I have had to edit it but without change to the spirit of the testimony]:

Pascale Gryson-Selmeci, a married Brabantian (people who speak this language usually come from certain areas of Belgium) and mother, testifies of her healing that occurred in Medjugorje on Saturday 03 August 2012, after having communed at Mass.  Suffering from leukoencephalopathy, a rare and incurable disease with symptoms appearing like those of multiple sclerosis, she participated in a pilgrimage organised at the end of July in the event of  the children’s festival. Patrick d’Ursel, one of the organisers, witnessed this healing.

According to witnesses, this inhabitant of Walloon Brabant suffered unspeakable illness for fourteen years. It was after having taken Holy Communion that Pascale felt a force. To the surprise of her husband and relatives, she began to speak and rise out of her chair. Patrick recollects Pascale’s testimony.

I had asked for my healing a long time ago. You should know I’d been sick for more than fourteen years. I had always been a believer, a deep believer, engaged in the service of the Lord in all my life and when the first symptoms manifested themselves, during the first years, I asked, I begged. People in my family associated themselves with my request and as the answer didn’t come, at least what I expected — but there were other answers — at a given moment, I told myself that, without a doubt, the Lord was preparing me for something else. The first responses I got were graces to carry this disease, graces of power, graces of joy. Not a continual joy but in any case a profound joy, deeper moreover of the soul; the fine point of the soul which even in moments of great distress is still inhabited by the joy of God. I believe firmly that the hand of God has always been placed on me. I never doubted His love for me, despite this disease that could have cast doubt on God’s love for us.

Some months ago my husband David and I had felt a pressing call to go to Medjugorje without knowing what Mary was preparing us for, like an absolutely irresistible attraction. This great call surprised me, especially the fact that we would both be joined, my husband and me with the same intensity. Our children by contrast stayed totally indifferent, revolted as they were by my disease, revolted against God. They asked me with insistence  why God accorded the healing to certain people and not to others. My daughter said to me, “Mom, why don’t you pray for your own healing?” But me, I had accepted this disease like a gift from God, after years on the path of this journey.

I would like to share with you all that this disease brings to me. I think that I would not have been the person that I am now, thanks to the disease. I was a person very sure of myself;  the Lord had given me gifts. I was a brilliant artist, very proud; I had studied the art of speech and my education had been easy and extraordinary. In short, I think this disease opened my heart and enlightened me. It cleared my eyes and my view on life. Because it’s a disease that affects all there is. I truly lost everything, I reached rock-bottom physically and spiritually. Psychologically, I could experiment and comprehend in my heart that which others lived. The disease opened my heart and my eyes; I think I was blind and now I can see what others are able to live with; I love them; I want to help them; I want to be at their side. I was also able to discover the wealth and the beauty of the relationship to one another. Our relationship has deepened more than we could have hoped for.

Shortly before departing for the pilgrimage, we decided to bring our children. Then I told my daughter to pray for my healing not because I had the desire but because she wanted it. I encouraged her, together with my son, to ask of themselves this grace for their mom and they overcame their difficulties to believe and resist.

On our part, for my husband and I, this trip was an unimaginable challenge. Leaving with two wheelchairs, not being able to stay seated, a wheelchair as reclined as possible was necessary. We rented one, we had a crappy car, arms were put upon again and again to carry me, take me out and put me in.

I will never forget that solidarity for me is the biggest sign that God exists. For all those who helped me unable to speak, for the hospitality that I received from the organisers, for each person who made a single gesture on my behalf, I beg Our Lady to accord a special and maternal blessing a hundredfold of the good they brought me.

My greatest wish was to attend an apparition of Mary with Mirjana. Our guide agreed to take my husband and me there. Again, I lived a grace that I’m not ready to forget: several people carried me in my stretcher chair through a dense crowd defying impossible laws for to be able to join the same place, the small altar that receives Mary’s apparition. A religious missionary spoke to my husband and I repeating the message that Mary had destined especially for the sick.

The next day, Friday 03 August my husband left in the morning for the Stations of the Cross. It was very hot and my greatest dream was to accompany him. But there was no carrier available land I was really difficult to support. It was preferable for me to stay in my bef. I will remember this day as one of the most painful in all my disease. I had to seek inspiration for every breath. My husband being away with my consent, I never would have wanted that he renounce there. I knew I hadn’t drank or ate anything or taken my medication. I was pinned down to my bed; I didn’t even have the strength to pray just face to face with the Lord.

My husband returned very happy, deeply touched by the liveliness of the Stations of the Cross. Full of compassion towards me, and without me explaining anything, he understood that the Way of the Cross had taken place for me in my bed. 

At the end of the day, despite fatigue and exhaustion, Pascale and her husband went to receive the Eucharist. She continues:

I left without a respirator, so the weight of this several pound unit on my knees became unbearable. We arrived late, I daresay at the proclamation of the Gospel. At our arrival, I began to implore the Holy Spirit in a joy that I cannot express. I asked Him to take possession of all my being. I expressed to Him my renewed desire to belong to Him, body, soul and spirit. The celebration (of the Mass) continued until Holy Communion, which I awaited intensely. My husband led me into the queue at the back of the church. One priest crossed through the aisle with the Body of Christ. He directed himself immediately toward my husband and me, passing by all the other people waiting. We took communion, both alone in this moment in the line. We distanced ourselves to make room for other communicants, and began our thanksgiving. I smelled a strong and very sweet perfume. I felt then a strength pass through me, from one end to the other, not a heat but a strength or a force. The unused muscles in my legs were a cross current of life. I then said to God, “Father, Son, Holy Spirit, if You are doing what I think You are doing, to make happen this unthinkable miracle, then I ask You for a sign and a grace. Make that I can communicate with my husband.” I turned around towards my husband and I tried to say to him, “Do you smell that perfume?” He responded to me, the most naturally in the world, “No, I’ve got a bit of a stuffy nose.” I say ‘naturally’ because he had not heard my voice in a year. To wake him up I said to him, “Eh! I speak! Are you hearing me?” Then I knew that God had realised His work and in an act of faith, I got my feet from my wheelchair and I stood up. All the people who surrounded us realised what had happened at that moment. In the days that followed, my condition improved by the hour. I have no desire to stop and sleep and the pain due to my illness gave way to soreness from physical exertion that made it impossible for me for seven years.

“How did your children take the news?” asks Patrick d’Ursel. Pascale responds:

I think that the children are very happy but you have to realise they practically always knew me as sick and that this change is going to take some getting used to; a period of adjustment.

Patrick: “What do you wish to do at present in your life?”

That’s a very difficult question because when God offers a grace, it’s truly an enormous grace. My greatest wish, and also that of my husband, is to show us faithfully to the Lord, to His grace, and as much as we are capable to not deceive Him. So for to be truly concrete, that which seems clear to me now, it’s that I am going to finally be able  to assume responsibility and my life as mother and wife. It is a priority. My deep longing is also to be able to lead a life of prayer, parallel to this earthly and incarnate life; a life of contemplation. I would like also to be able to respond to all the people who ask me for help, whatever it may be. And also to witness to the love of God in our life. It is possible that other activities are to me visible now but I do not want to take any decision without careful discernment and enlightened by the board of a spiritual counsellor, in the sight of God.

Patrick thanks Pascale for her testimony but insists that the images taken during the pilgrimage are not broadcast over the Internet particularly to ensure the privacy of the mother. And he specifies: “Pascale can also experience a relapse that has already been seen. It is also necessary to be prudent like the Church asks of us.”

Saturday, January 14, 2017


[There are literally countless articles on the web regarding the apparently miraculous cure of Arthur Boyle. He is even mentioned in Maureen Orth’s excellent article on Marian apparitions which appeared in National Geographic magazine, published on 17 November 2015. The following though, is an article by Bella English of the Boston Globe of 10 August 2014 and I have reproduced it exactly as it appears]:

When Arthur Boyle and two friends boarded the plane on Labor Day weekend of 2000, they weren’t going to Myrtle Beach for a golf outing, or to see the Red Sox play an away game. Their trip was to Medjugorje, a place Boyle had never even heard of.

But Boyle’s brother-in-law Kevin Gill and neighbor Rob Griffin had heard of the 1981 apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who was said to have appeared before some children, and the miraculous healing that took place in the hill town in the former Yugoslavia.

Boyle, who lives in Hingham, was 44 and fighting metastatic kidney cancer. He had a wife and 12 children.

With nothing to lose, the three men embarked on a most unusual buddy trip. That trip is the subject of Boyle’s new book, “Six Months to Live; Three Guys on the Ultimate Quest for a Miracle.”  Boyle’s co-author Eileen McAvoy Boylen, lives in Hull.

When he returned from six days in Medjugorje, Boyle made the headlines and news shows because the cancer, which had spread to his lung, had disappeared. According to a story in the Globe on Dec. 24, 2000: “His cancer may have receded by spontaneous remission, a phenomenon that doctors have recorded before, though only rarely. Or the smaller growths could still develop into something more troubling. But this much is certain: There was a potentially lethal spot on his lung before he traveled to Bosnia in September, and it was gone by the time he got back.”

Two years later, a CT scan revealed two small spots. They were removed — renal cells that had not grown or spread. 

On the back of his book, Boyle’s urologist, Dr. Francis McGovern, blurbs: “With the severity and progression of Artie’s disease, metastatic renal cell carcinoma, it is difficult for medical science to explain why he is alive today. But, every time I see him, I am sure there is a God.”

In a telephone interview from Massachusetts General Hospital, McGovern, who had removed Boyle’s cancerous left kidney, says he can’t explain what happened. “There is a rare phenomenon with tumor biology where when you take out the primary cancer, you can have spontaneous remission of the metastatic disease.”  But, he says, Boyle kidney tumor was “huge, high grade, and aggressive,” making such remission even less likely.

Years ago, Boyle stopped his cancer checkups. “I said, ‘Listen, Doc, I’ve been healed by Jesus Christ,’” says Boyle, who is 59. “My doctor said, ‘Congratulations! You’ve graduated from the School of Oncology. Very few people do.’” That was his oncologist, Dr. Matthew Smith.

“I have seen graduations, weddings, the births of many grandchildren, and had the great pleasure of witnessing a son enter the seminary,” Boyle writes. “And I’ve had all that extra time to enjoy with my lovely wife. I have learned a truer, deeper form of gratitude.”

Another son, Brian, was a hockey star at Boston College, played for the New York Rangers, and is now with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Boyle has been to Medjugorje 13 times with various groups, including his family, and is headed back over in November with a men’s prayer group. “It’s different every time,” he says. “I just go back to recharge the batteries. There’s a supernatural peace over there.”

He has spoken all over the country, and in Europe, about his experience. He recently spoke at Glastonbury Abbey, drawing an overflow crowd of 300, with 100 others turned away by Hingham police.

Though he obviously has a following, Boyle also knows some people may not believe his story, while others may think he’s crazy. “When I first went to confession in Medjugorje, the priest told us when we went back home, just to live our lives, and say nothing. Otherwise, people will think we’re a bunch of nut jobs. And we didn’t [talk]. I don’t talk about it unless I’m asked to speak,” he says.

Some scenes in the book defy logic, but Boyle and Boylen write matter-of-factly about what the six visionaries — now middle-aged men and women — say they have seen. One of them, Ivanka, lost her mother as a child. “Since then,” Boyle writes, “Our Lady has taken Ivanka to visit her mother in heaven five times.”

Boyle believes his story is one of hope, and he has accompanied other sick people to Medjugorje. Some have been healed, others have not “In our plan, it doesn’t work every time,” he says, “But in God’s plan, it does. Just trust in God, and he’ll show you the way.”

When people ask how he was healed, he says he doesn’t exactly know. “I’m just a normal guy,” he says. “I play hockey and golf and drink beer. I love to hang out with my buddies and my family.”

He and his wife, Judy, whose children range in age from 17 to 40, attend two churches in Hingham: a prayer group at St. Paul’s and services at Resurrection. In addition, Boyle, who had a trucking company for 30 years, now works in development for the Archdiocese of Boston, raising money for inner-city parochial schools and The Catholic Appeal.

He, Gill, and Griffin all grew up Catholic and sat in church pews regularly before Medjugorje. “None of us would describe ourselves as deeply spiritual…Simply put, Rob, Kevin, and I were neither heathens nor choir boys, just three guys desperate enough to take a leap of faith,” Boyle writes. At Medjugorje, he writes, all of that changed for all of them.

“I was in tough shape. It was not pretty. But I’m still here. To me, it’s a miracle,” he says. He isn’t crazy, he adds. “I’m blessed.”

Friday, January 13, 2017


[Articles pertaining to Branka Bingula appear multiple times on the web mostly in one foreign language or another. The following is a version I’ve taken from but it is so badly translated into English it hardly makes sense. I have done my best to edit it]:

Branka Bingula (56) was diagnosed in 2005 with a malignant tumour of the breast. It was operated on, then Branka had to have her uterus removed. Just two years later, in 2007, doctors found that the metastases had spread to her lungs and Branka’s world crashed. It seemed to her as if she had spent all these years fighting in vain. She felt the end was near.

The doctors sent Branka to the hospital where she had surgery to remove the tumour. Then began the tedious and difficult recovery period. After chemotherapy Branka had a problem with her uterus and ovaries so she had them removed.  

Although she was born into a Catholic family Branka had moved away from the Church. She had had a Bible for years but never read it; it had never even been opened. Branka wondered “God, why me?” She began thinking about her life and her faith.

While in hospital, Branka heard stories about Lupoglav (Croatia). She heard the story of a woman whom doctors had given only a few months to live, and who’d beaten cancer. She went to Lupoglav, to the Community Good Shepherd with charismatics, and Reverend Drazen Radigovic. People pray there to glorify the Lord and the reverend lays hands on the sick. Branka said that after the first visit she knew God would not abandon her and that she would get well.

She then commenced making pilgrimages to Medjugorje. After several weeks, medical examinations revealed that the metastases had disappeared. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017


[The story of Randall Sullivan appears on numerous websites, including, and He has also appeared on Oprah and other television shows and there are various YouTube videos. The following article I extracted from Catholic Online It appears to be authored by Marshall Connolly. It has only been slightly edited by me]:

Randall Sullivan was an atheist, working as a war correspondent in Bosnia. He was also a contributing editor to Rolling Stone magazine. During a visit to Medjugorje, something changed his life forever.

Sullivan started his day interviewing visionary Mirjana (Soldo — one of the visionaries). He explained the interview went poorly and she kicked him out of her house.

With nothing more  to do for the day, Sullivan decided to climb Cross Mountain. The day was hot and sunny, almost too hot for a climb. Few people seemed willing to make the hike up the path but Sullivan went anyway.

As he climbed, he heard beautiful melodious voices singing in French. He came upon a party of French nuns, singing and praying the Stations of the Cross. Sullivan decided to join their party for a while.

The pleasant experience was interrupted by a developing thunderstorm which engulfed the mountain. Soon, it was raining. Thunder and lightning crashed everywhere. Sullivan suddenly felt the urge to kneel and pray, which he did for the first time in his life. 

As he prayed, a pretty, young woman appeared to him. She comforted him in the storm and placed a hat on his head. the moment was so peaceful and surreal, that Sullivan closed his eyes to take it in. When he opened his eyes, everything was gone. The brilliant sun was hot. The nuns were nowhere to be seen. The young woman had disappeared. He had no hat. Nobody else saw anything. Not the nuns, not the storm, nothing. For everyone else, it was an ordinary day in every way.

Sullivan realised he’d just experienced a miracle. From that moment on, he became a believer.

Sullivan is now a believer in the miracles of Medjugorje, having witnessed one first hand. Of critics he says, “There is no single word I discovered that so instantly could produce a rapturous smile a derisive snort or an uncomfortable silence in the Vatican as Medjugorje. What fascinated me was that those that extolled Medjugorje as a place of sacred virtue of unparalleled power all had made pilgrimages to experience the village first while those who scoffed knew only what they had read or heard. The priests inclined to dismiss reports of miracles at Medjugorje (first as an insult to their intelligence and second as an embarrassment to the Church) all seemed curiously muted.”

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


[There are countless articles regarding Gigliola Candian on the web, most in foreign languages, particularly Italian; however I have extracted the following article, slightly edited by me, from]:

September 28, 2014 — Reported in Gigliola Candian from Venice had multiple sclerosis and was confined to a wheelchair. In Medjugorje on September 13 she saw a great light, realised she could walk, and stood up.  “To me, it is a miracle,” says the 48 year old Italian who’d visited Medjugorje before, but had never prayed for a healing, “I felt a great heat in the legs and I saw a light. From that moment I realised that I could walk.”

“In Medjugorje, the Lord spoke to me and I started to stand up. I was inside a small community. We were at church, there were other people and Jesus spoke to me,” she told the Venice newspaper Corriere del Veneto. “I was praying and the Lord asked me, ‘Do you trust me?’ I replied that I trusted Him and He told me, ‘Then walk.’ I felt a tingling in the legs, saw the light and got up, watched by everyone’s incredulous eyes. “I was never rooted in faith” she says, “but I often went to Medjugorje because there is a different feel there. I feel good there. I feel pampered by the Virgin Mary.” She relates that her illness was a tragedy for her but one she had accepted with serenity.

“I never asked the Virgin Mary for my healing,” Gigliola told Italian newspaper Il Gazzettino.

In recent days, she has walked on her own in her house, done some short walks in her garden and, generally improved day by day though muscles are still lacking in her legs. Visits from specialists are scheduled in the days to come, Venezia Today reports.


[Just about everything pertaining to the visionaries is miraculous. One of them, Mirjana Soldo has written her autobiography titled My Heart Will Triumph.  Rather that quote excerpts from the book here, I'll simply post my own review of the book (which appears on Amazon and Goodreads as well as my own website]:

On 24 June 1981 two teenagers, Mirjana then aged 16 and Ivanka, aged 14, were walking near their nondescript village of Medjugorje in what we now know as Bosnia & Hercegovina, when Ivanka told her friend she could see an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Unsurprisingly, Mirjana remarked that it was impossible and they went on their way. But the following day they were motivated to return, this time with an entourage comprising Vicka 16, Ivan 16, Marija 16 and Jakov 10. The three-dimensional apparition reappeared and this time they had a conversation with the Virgin. They continue to have apparitions to this day, almost 36 years since they first began. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Over five hundred books have been written about the phenomenon of Medjugorje and countless websites, YouTube videos, documentaries and even films have covered it. Now a book has been published by the visionary Mirjana, assisted by film maker and author Sean Bloomfield and local guide and interpreter Miki Musa. My Heart Will Triumph echoes the words of the Virgin Mary in one of her numerous messages to the world via the visionaries. Despite the joint authorship, the book is really an autobiography of Mirjana Soldo.

Even non-believers will find this book fascinating. It is not only a remarkable story covering the metamorphosis of a very ordinary village of a few hundred to a pilgrimage site which has been host to anything from thirty to fifty million visitors.  It’s also the story of a very ordinary teenager from a simple village in the middle of nowhere who, along with five others, has, for over three decades been having regular chats with the Virgin Mary.

Mirjana’s story covers not only her spirituality and her meetings with the Virgin, but her childhood, schooling and early years in a what was then a Communist country, her (and the other visionaries’) persecution by the Communist authorities and those who did not believe them, her experiences during the Bosnian war, her marriage, the loss of a child, her family and much more. She was, and remains, a very ordinary person with an extraordinary story to tell. What comes through her writing is a kind, considerate and loving person who has suffered greatly for simply telling the truth.

Read the book. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry but mostly it will warm your heart. And once you’ve finished it, what you will have difficulty believing is how the phenomenon of Medjugorje could be anything other than what Mirjana says it is.  

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


[Articles, videos and testimony relating to David Parkes appear on numerous websites. Of those, I have read material on and but I have extracted the following article, written by June Klins, from It has only been slightly edited by me]:

In June 1988, Irish singer, David Parkes spoke at a retreat sponsored by Gospa Missions of Evans City, PA. “It’s funny how God works through your life,” he said, “in spite of all we do against Him, in spite of how much we kick Him, He’s just waiting for us to come back, standing there with open arms. The story I want to share with you is a very human story. It is one of anger, hurt, guilt but most of all compassion.”  David related that his story began in 1977 when he was 27. He was playing soccer professionally in Dublin, Ireland and he and his wife Ann had two children. The little boy, Ken was born with cystic fibrosis. In January, 1977 David won a major talent contest and a bright future in show business faced him. But in April that year, his whole world came tumbling down when he was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, described by him as “one of the most debilitating illnesses the medical community has to deal with.”  In the first six weeks after his diagnosis, David went from 220 pounds to 99 pounds. Over the next decade he had eight major surgeries for this illness.

On Christmas Eve, 1988 he had his ninth surgery and it was unsuccessful so it had to be repeated two weeks later. After an eleven hour surgery, the surgeon admitted that there was nothing else he could do and David had about twelve to fourteen weeks left to live. Eight weeks after this surgery, his band held a benefit concert for him. The tickets said that the benefit was for David’s “funeral expenses.”

At this concert, a man who was a travel agent specialising in pilgrimages to Medjugorje, offered a free trip for David and Ann. David knew a little about Medjugorje because he and Ann had spent their honeymoon in Dubrovnik (now in Croatia) and every time Ann would hear things about Medjugorje she would share it with David, But David was not interested in hearing about anything religious. “I didn’t want any part of it” he said, “because in 1982, you see, God and I parted company. There were two main reasons for this. The first one had to do with Ken. I couldn’t understand how this loving God could inflict such an illness on a newborn baby.”  The second reason had to do with himself. As he was getting progressively worse from the Crohn’s, he wondered why God was giving him so many crosses. So David decided to put God totally out of his life. He told Ann and the kids not to go to Mass and not even to pray in the house. He also told Ann to get rid of statues and crucifixes in the house.

Although a religious pilgrimage did not appeal to him at all, he had always wanted to go back to Yugoslavia so he accepted the trip as a “holiday” and not “a pilgrimage.” In April 1989, he and Ann set out for Yugoslavia. David had a few rules for Ann on this trip: she was not to mention religion and was not to pray in his company.

As David shuffled to the departure gate, he became very conscious of a man sitting in the front row. The man had a hood up over his head. The travel agent introduced David to the hooded man, Fr Peter Rookey. As they shook hands, David felt threatened because, in his words, “an aura of love came from Father to me. The last thing you want if you’re away from the Church is an aura of love to come at you, especially from a priest.” So David insulted Fr Rookey. It was so bad that the travel agent considered leaving David behind.

David was in terrible pain, and the three hour ride from Dubrovnik was very hard for him. After a rest stop on the way, the tour director got on the microphone and announced, “We are approximately one hour from Medjugorje and I would like us all to recite the Rosary.”  David went berserk. Ann told him to be quiet as he was making a spectacle of himself. The real surprise though came when they arrived in Medjugorje and he found that there were no hotels there and that they had to stay in people’s homes. The house he was staying in was not even fully built — there was no roof. When he protested that the house did not have a roof, the tour director said, “Oh, it will next year when you come back.”

David was so weak at this point that he couldn’t carry any of the suitcases. As they were led into their room, David thought it was the smallest room he had ever been in, and what was worse was that there were only two bathrooms for the house and sixteen people were staying there. “I need a bathroom to myself,” he protested, “I’ve two weeks to live.” He was so angry that he told Ann that in the morning he was packing up and going to Dubrovnik.

The next morning, Ann talked David into going to Mass, which was to be celebrated by Fr Rookey. David ended up giving his seat to some elderly ladies and had to stand in agony for 90 minutes. He said his only interest in Mass was counting the pieces in the stained glass windows. He also counted sixteen candles and fourteen priests but Fr Rookey was not amongst them. He felt he had been conned into going to Mass.

After Mass, Ann told David that Fr Rookey was having a healing service in the graveyard. David did not want any part of it but Ann promised him that if he went, then when it was over, she would pack up with him and they would go to Dubrovnik together. So David reluctantly agreed.

As he approached the little graveyard behind St James, he could see about 600 people on three sides and Fr Rookey and three other Irish priests in the middle. David watched as the first person got blessed. Fr Rookey anointed him with oil, traced the Sign of the Cross on the person’s forehead and then placed his hands on the person’s head. Immediately that person fell to the ground. The same thing happened with the next person and the next five people. David wondered what was going on. 

He left for a bit and when he came back he described the area as looking like a battlefield, with bodies lying all over. “Ann, this is hypocrisy,” he said, “those Franciscan priests should not allow this to happen.”  Ann asked him to have a blessing. He said, “Remember, Ann, I’m an atheist. I don’t believe in God.” But Ann retorted, “It will do you good.”

David left and came back twenty minutes later and Ann pleaded with him for two hours before he finally submitted to having a blessing.

As Fr Rookey approached David, he said, “David, there’s something you want to tell me.”  David looked him straight in the eyes and said, “Father, I don’t wish to speak with you. I’m very ill and the doctors say I’ve maybe two weeks to live.”

Fr Rookey reached into his pocket and pulled out a black crucifix containing seven relics of the seven founders of the Servite Order, the Servants of Mary.  He placed the crucifix in David’s right hand and anointed him with oil on his forehead. Then he placed his hands on David’s head and began to pray. The next thing David remembered was that he was lying flat on his back. When he opened this eyes a famous politician from Dublin was standing over him. Embarrassed to be in that position, David said, “Who hit me?” The man said, “Parkes, the Spirit is with you very strongly. You’ve been out for twenty minutes.”

David felt an intense burning heat from the top of his head to the tip of his toes. “I’ve never, ever had that sensation before, prior to Medjugorje or since Medjugorje but from that day, all the pains and aches associated with Crohn’s disease have disappeared.”

Two days after returning from Medjugorje David had an appointment with the surgeon, who got the surprise of his life. The David Parkes walking into his office was not bent over in pain, but now walked upright and was four pounds heavier.

The surgeon said, “David, whatever you’re doing, keep doing it.”  The surgeon sent him for a week’s worth of intensive testing which confirmed that there was no sign of Crohn’s anywhere in David’s body.

“I also had an incredible spiritual healing,” David declared. “At this time in my life I was very troubled.” Ken’s disease weighed heavily on his shoulders and caused tension in their marriage. In August, 1987 David left Ann and the kids and got involved with another woman. He went home but in January, 1988 he left again. he had even contemplated suicide. In June of that year he went back home.

After the physical healing, the desire to leave Medjugorje was gone. “All of a sudden this little village began to take on something very special,” he said. Ann helped him climb Apparition Hill. As he sat there looking at the twin towers of St James, he had the urge to pray but he couldn’t remember the words of the prayers. He was agitated that he could not remember the words and Ann sensed something was wrong. They embraced and he began to apologise for all the hurt he’d caused Ann, their children and their parents. Ann started to cry and then he did too. They cried in each other’s arms for about ten minutes. When they stopped David said, “I had the most incredible peace, an inner peace that seemed to allow me to live with myself and I honestly feel that if we don’t have that inner peace within us, it is impossible to converse with anyone else.”

David continued, “The graces that I received in Medjugorje have stayed with me till this very day and you know, if Jesus came beside me and said, ‘I want to put you to the test. I’ll put you back in the mental state you were in, in 1989, and I’ll inflict a physical ailment on you, then I will offer you one healing, which one is it to be?’ There would be no hesitation. I would jump in and say to Jesus, ‘I will have the spiritual healing. I could accept any form of physical ailment You want to give me, because I would accept it as a form of penance — penance for the wrongs I’ve done in my life.’ But I could not be without the love of Jesus. It’s given me a whole new meaning to life, a whole new will to love life, but most important of all, a will to live the way that Jesus would want me to live life, not for David Parkes to live in David Parkes’ old form of religion.”

“That’s my story. From that day on, my whole life changed. In September, 1993 I gave up my secure job with the band, a band I had played with for fourteen years. I decided I wanted to do the work of the Lord. I am the most surprised person in the world to be standing here before you talking about God, talking about His mercy, talking about His love.”

David is now an international Catholic recording artist. Since his healing, he has travelled extensively telling his story and giving concerts. At the present time, David is working in Medjugorje as Pilgrimage Director for Marian Pilgrimages which is based in Dublin, Ireland. If you are ever in Medjugorje, try to find out which day he is giving a free concert in the yellow building behind St James. You won’t regret it.