[Testimonies by and articles about an Irish journalist, Heather Parsons appear on numerous websites and she has written books about her experience (one of which, A Light Between The Hills, I have read). The following article, by Michael H Brown appears at www.spiritdaily.net. It is obviously dated; I would guess it was written in the 1980s. Since the Church’s investigation he alludes to in the fifth from last paragraph, there has been a more high profile one which has been completed but whose findings are yet to be revealed to the world. Meanwhile the Pope has sent an emissary, Polish Archbishop Henryk Hoser, to Medjugorje on his own fact finding mission and to assess the needs of the millions of pilgrims who go there. Michael H Brown’s article has only been slightly edited by me]:
An Irish journalist asserts in a new book, Vicka, Touched by a Mother’s Love, that she encountered extraordinary sights in the skies above the famous apparition site of Medjugorje in Bosnia-Hercegovina.
The journalist, Heather Parsons of Dublin — who at the time was Protestant — says that during her initial visit there in June, 1985, she witnessed what has became known as the “miracles of the sun,” but at a level unusual even by the standards of this reputedly miraculous place. Others too, witnessed the display which Parsons, a sceptic, never expected. “Lifting my hands to shade my eyes from the bright light of the sun,” she writes in the book, “I followed the direction of their pointing fingers — and for one short, sharp moment doubted the reality of my own sight. Closing my eyes momentarily, I looked again and saw exactly the same thing. There, in the sky above me, the sun was spinning like a top. As I watched, colours appeared to come streaming from behind it — red, green, yellow, blue — to circle it independently, while all the time the sun continued to spin.
“Then the centre of the sun turned to red and then to black before returning to its usual brightness. Above it, slightly to the right, I suddenly saw what appeared to be white cloud-like letters begin to form. As I watched, the word “Peace” appeared in the sky above the dancing sun — in English, but in what I would have described as Celtic script, just like that in the Book of Kells. Remaining for what seemed like twenty or thirty seconds — although to be honest I was not counting time as I witnessed this extraordinary and unbelievable phenomenon — the word disappeared and the sun continued to spin and dance.”
Native villagers have made similar claims, asserting that a bright, inexplicable inscription appeared in the sky above the holy spot of Mount Krizevac one summer evening in 1981. But in that case the letters had formed a word, “Mir,” in Croatian. “Mir” translates as “peace.” During the 1990s Americans from the New York area snapped photos from Apparition Hill that later showed the word “Christ” in an otherwise clear sky.
Parsons, who has written in Ireland for national newspapers and magazines, reveals that the entire episode lasted about 35 minutes. At one point, the journalist says that the sun appeared to “break away from the heavens” and come rushing toward the crowd — similar to the “great miracle” reported in 1917 at Fatima.
“All around me, I heard cries of fear mingled with terror-filled prayers, as the sun’s brightness came closer and closer and all I could see was a total golden light,” the journalist, who is now Catholic, continues. “Strangely, I realised, I felt no fear before the descent of the sun stopped and then withdrew back into the sky, where it continued to spin.”
This is not what the entire book is about. It is a book about the experiences of others, including the seer Vicka Ivankovic Mijatovic (who recently bore her first child). It is a story of the Blessed Mother’s message. But the phenomena reported by Parsons were profound and of potential prophetic significance. “As I continued to stare at the sun,” she writes, “I saw what seemed like a fountain of light gush up from it. Just as with a fountain of water, where it reached its highest point this fountain of light separated and there appeared, to my utter astonishment, a bright, shining figure with arms outstretched. So bright and shining that I could never describe the whiteness of the garment, but a figure that I immediately recognised, despite my own lack of religious interest for many years, as the Risen Christ.”
Parsons says that other witnesses seemed to be seeing what looked like a Communion Host in front of the sun — a frequent claim at Medjugorje, where a disc-like shape blots out the harmful centre rays. Parsons reports that she could see the sleeves that hung from the wrists of the figure as the cloth flowed down to meet the hem of the garment where it touched the figure’s feet. “But I could not see the face,” she explains. “Try as I might, I could not make out the features on his face, although I knew it was there, framed by hair that fell to the shoulders.
“Ten times this figure disappeared, to return again almost immediately, always preceded by the fountain of light. At one point I recall holding my hand in front of my face — and continuing to see the figure as if my hand was not there. And then the realisation, as I stood in this place and continued to look up into the sky, that tears were pouring down my face and the only thought in my mind was that I was in the presence of God.”
The Church has not yet ruled on Medjugorje, with an investigation of such phenomena currently in the hands of a national commission composed of the Cardinal in Sarajevo, his auxiliary, and two other bishops. A spokesman for the Cardinal, Father Mato Vovkic, told Spirit Daily that a decision on authenticity will not be rendered until after the apparitions stop. What is the significance of this? Is there a sign for us all in the alleged manifestation of Jesus?
In the coming weeks the Vatican is expected to release guidelines for discerning such claimed apparitions and other phenomena currently sweeping across every habitable continent, and when those strictures come out, we must strictly obey them, as we should obey all that the Pope directs through his congregations. Then we will better discern such reported signs — along with the message.
That message has been peace. It has been love. It has been that the world is only a passing place and we must not allow evil to steal our happiness.
With God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus — with the prayers of His mother — we have all we need to get through even the most challenging times.
This we have known now for 2,000 years. As Parsons says, “I had gone (to Medjugorje) in 1985 as a Protestant journalist. What I expected to find was Marian propaganda. What I actually found was the gospel message.”