[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.