Tuesday, January 17, 2017


[The following testimony, or something very similar, appears on numerous websites. I extracted this one from www.medjugorje.ws. 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.”

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