The visionary, Judiel Nieva, reportedly started receiving private apparitions of Our Lady in 1987 when he was only 10 years old and in the sixth grade. These initial visions took place in the privacy of his own home. He was the seventh child of eight born to poor parents who worked two stalls at the local market. Everyone in Agoo knew Judiel because he was reputed to have special powers – even at his age of ten. He was sought as a healer. He had reported psychic abilities – like being able to detect a non-believer, even from a great distance. (The name “Judiel” means “Bearer of God’s Mercy.”) He prayed frequently and wrote down on paper the messages from Our Lady each time she gave him some. Investigators noted that these hastily-written notes were carefully worded with near perfect grammar, seemingly beyond that of his age.
Later, Our Blessed Mother instructed the visionary to go with some of his friends up to the small spring of water in the hills above Agoo, the site of San Antonio. This is where the first public apparition took place on March 31, 1989. First, there was a bright flash of light. Then he heard voices and the sounds of trumpets while angels descended from heaven toward him, singing, “Alleluia” and “Salve Regina.” The angels formed an inverted “V” with three angels on either side and St. Michael at the apex with a white dove above his head. The Holy Family appeared on a cloud – St. Joseph with a shepherd’s staff, and Our Lady was sitting on a rock, holding baby Jesus on her lap. The angels identified themselves – each representing a day of the week:
St. Michael (Sunday) – holding a weighing scale and a sword
St. Gabriel (Monday) – holding a plum and a book
St. Raphael (Tuesday) – holding a fish and a sword
St. Uriel (Wednesday) – holding a weighing scale
St. Setiel (Thursday) – holding an incensor
St. Judiel (Friday) – holding a music book and a bouquet of flowers
St. Baracheil (Saturday) – holding a small child
Then Our Blessed Mother stood up over a guava tree on a rise, high, overlooking the spring, and spoke. Her Immaculate Heart was visible on her chest, and light radiated outward towards the spring of water – which the infant Jesus then waded in. Mary promised to visit Judiel every first Saturday and on her Feast days. She asked for other people to return also.
Over 50 apparitions occurred between March 31, 1989 and September 8, 1993. As each apparition day approached, he would begin a period of fasting and meditation. During this time he would not speak to anyone or appear in public. He preferred privacy, but when in public, male friends would act as “bodyguards.” Just before the Virgin Mary would appear, her presence could be detected through the extraordinary fragrance of roses. People would kiss the ground when they perceived this. A flash of light usually preceded her appearance.
Mary was “a heavenly beauty to behold.” She wore a long white dress with a long mantle which touched the cloud upon which she stood. Only her toes could be seen. At the hem of her dress was a shining star, with a brighter star on her forehead. On her head was a beautiful crown, and above the crown was a halo of twelve stars. Her eyes were bluish-brown. Her Immaculate Heart was exposed. She usually carried a rosary and sometimes a scapular. At times Mary would be weeping – sometimes tears of blood flowed profusely from her eyes.
Her messages were simple and focused on praying the rosary, penance, conversion, and consecration to her Immaculate Heart and the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She also stressed humility and sacrifice. Judiel received secrets which have not been revealed. Judiel was also shown visions of heaven, hell, and purgatory.
Large crowds were present during each apparition. Tens of thousands of people converged on this small community, causing traffic jams for scores of miles. Those present were often treated to spectacular signs and visions in the sky as well the “miracle of the spinning sun,” the aroma of roses, and a mysterious blue light whenever Mary would appear to Judiel. The miracle of the “dancing sun” was witnessed by many thousands of people on several occasions. First, the sun would change from its usual radiant glare to a softer glow covered by a disc. Then different colors would radiate from the sun, spinning these rays of predominantly blue, green, red, and yellow colors onto the crowds as colored discs. These colors would remain on the disc-shaped objects for a few seconds after the disc was touched. Images of angels, the Holy Family, Jesus, and Mary with Joseph would appear from the pulsating sun.
March 31, 1992: Our Lady presented the “Seven Keys to Heaven” and begged Judiel to pray the 15 mysteries of the rosary, daily, while traveling, so that he would be protected from all dangers of body and soul.
Attend daily Mass.
Visit the Blessed Sacrament often.
Wear the Brown Scapular (cloth).
Pray the 15 mysteries of the holy rosary with the litany and Hail Holy Queen.
Do the Way of the Cross.
Go to Confession regularly.
Make Communion of Reparation on First Fridays and First Saturdays.
April 4, 1992: Mary said that the year 1995 would be the year of sorrows. Many babies and little children will die from an unknown disease. These deaths would not be a punishment but “an act of mercy to spare them from the coming chastisement, which was too horrible.”
May 23, 1992: Mary says,
“If you don’t help me, the wrath of God shall fall upon mankind. I can hardly hold the hand of My Son back. If you don’t repent, it will happen very soon. It may happen within two years.”
June 11, 1992: Mary says,
“If the world does not change, I will send the warning. The earth will shake. The sun will spin with a big explosion, and the moon will appear in the morning and the sun at night. The miraculous phenomenon will be visible all over earth, and all of this will happen within half an hour. Big storms, floods, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and changing weather conditions are already on their way.”
July 4, 1992: Mary says,
“Pray the holy rosary — Satan will be defeated because he hates hearing the name of My Son and my name. Teach your children how to pray the holy rosary …”
August 1, 1992: An angel appeared and gave Judiel Holy Communion from a Host and a Chalice suspended in mid-air.
September 5, 1992: Many people witnessed the “miracle of the sun.”
November 14, 1992: Mary said,
“I am your Mother. Love each other. Forgive each other. Pray, pray, pray. I love you very much. … It is not enough to ask for peace, but make peace. Do not turn peace to violence. Ask for faith that you may be patient. If you do not change your ways, you will provoke the Third World War.”
December 13, 1992: A Eucharistic Miracle was witnessed by Father Cortez and nuns at the convent. A statue of Mary, carved according to Judiel’s description of her, was brought to the convent and shed tears to the amazement of the nuns and Father Cortez. When Father Cortez placed a Host on Judiel’s tongue, witnesses reported that they saw it “turn into flesh and blood.” When Judiel went back to his pew after communion, he felt liquid dripping from his mouth. Then the Host swelled in his mouth, and the person next to him alerted Father Cortez, who urged him to spit it out. The Communion Host had transformed into pulsating flesh and blood. Father Cortez wanted to preserve this Eucharistic Miracle, but Our Lady intervened and said that Judiel must swallow it. As a concession however, the nuns were allowed to press and imprint the bloody Host onto their white handkerchiefs. Each nun did receive an imprint on each handkerchief. Then Judiel put the Host back on his tongue – at which time it slowly turned back into a white host — just before he swallowed it, according to witnesses. When Father Cortez asked him to open his mouth afterwards, there was no trace now of blood, flesh, or the host.
January 23, 1993: Mary said,
“On February 6th, I will give a great and special sign to the people coming to Agoo.”
February 6, 1993: The statue of Our Lady cried tears of blood after the regular First Saturday apparition at “Apparition Hill.” A great number of pilgrims also witnessed the “Miracle of the Sun.” Later that night, the statue was brought to the bishop’s palace in San Fernando. Bishop Lazo reported that he witnessed with his own eyes the statue shedding tears of blood. He said that the room filled with the strong fragrance of roses, “and we knelt and prayed.” He even placed his own fingers in the blood that was on the face of the statue – and tasted the blood. It was salty. A photograph captured the moment, showing the smeared bloody face of the statue after he placed his fingers on it. The National Bureau of Investigation tested the blood and determined that it was human blood, type “O”. The Virgin Mary said that day,
“The only word I wish to say is conversion for the whole world. I ask only for the conversion of hearts. Be ready for everything, and be converted.”
February 11, 1993: Reported by cloistered nuns, a six-year old boy — who had been born blind – had his sight miraculously restored during the apparition on this date. This was the first documented healing associated with the apparitions. The weeping statue was also attributed to two unexpected healings of a high official’s critically ill wife.
Interest had grown tremendously in the apparition occurrences to the point that countless thousands started gathering in the days preceding an event. On March 5, 1993, the day before the next apparition, a Manila Bulletin reporter covering the events said that he personally witnessed “a spinning and dancing of the sun” for about 15 minutes. And at dawn of the apparition day, “the sun again moved and danced” for a brief time.
March 6, 1993: It is estimated that one million people gathered that day for the anticipated apparition. The crowd included top Philippine government officials, journalists, and the local bishop – acting as a representative for the Pope. Father Cortez conducted a noontime Mass at “Apparition Hill” with this massive assembly. At one point Father appealed for silence from the crowd, calling for them to feel the presence of Christ in their hearts. Suddenly, the silhouette of the Virgin Mary appeared for five seconds above the guava tree. Two government officials, the Speaker of the House and the Senate President Pro Tempore, attested to seeing this manifestation in Agoo. A radio reporter, Mon Francisco, described the apparition to listeners of Manila radio station DZXL.
“I saw a silhouette of a woman wearing a dark waistband. I had not expected to see any apparition – and I was not hallucinating!”
About ten minutes afterwards, Judiel was reading a message he had just received from the Virgin when “lights of different colors came from various directions and moved toward the sun,” according to the Manila Bulletin. Her message asked for Catholics to pray for the children of famine-wracked Somalia. Judiel announced that the next and last apparition would be on September 8, 1993.
Bishop Salvador Lazo also experienced the phenomenon. He created a commission to investigate, gather evidence and testimonies, and report to the Vatican on the events. Scores of miraculous cures have been attributed to the water spring at the apparition site.
September 8, 1993: Mary said in her final public message,
“My children, listen. You see how hard Satan is working to destroy unity in the whole world, especially between the priesthood and the flock, and in families between man and the children. Satan works to take away peace and unity, to stir up trouble all over the universe. We have to launch a counterattack – which can only be through the holy rosary. So pray the whole mysteries of the rosary daily, because this is the most evangelical prayer.”
Despite all of these details, witnessed miracles, and public events, the commission created by Bishop Lazo condemned everything without explanation – giving only reference to alleged financial misdoings by the visionary’s family and Judiel’s own personal gender identity issues – seemingly unrelated concerns that should hardly dismiss all that occurred in Agoo of a supernatural nature. Because of politics and unfair biases, this series of remarkable events, well-witnessed by thousands, remains relatively unknown because of the abrupt dismissal.
“Guardian of the Faith”
CUENCA, ECUADOR (1988-1990)
High in the cold and rainy Andes Mountains of Ecuador, Our Blessed Mary reportedly appeared in the remote farming village of El Cajas to a sixteen year-old girl named Patricia Talbot. Known affectionately as “Pachi” to her countrymen, she was a beautiful young woman who already had a promising worldly career as a fashion model. She was not a particularly religious woman and had been much more excited about traveling the world, promoting her country by modeling modern clothing inspired by the traditional clothing of Ecuador. She was not interested in spiritual things and had even refused an invitation to view a school video about the apparitions at Medjugorje, assuming that “those things just don’t happen anymore.” Her mother worried about her increasing vanity and costly trips.
On August 28, 1988, at 4:50 a.m., a great light invaded her bedroom at home, and Blessed Mary first appeared to this 16-year old out of the light.
“Do not be afraid. I am your Mother from Heaven. Place your hands on your chest and pray very much for the peace of the world – now is when it is most in need. I love you very much, my littlest daughter. Change. Pray for priests and religious, because Satan tempts them with sin, and his main attack will be to bring confusion. Tomorrow, first thing in the morning, I desire that you make me an altar in this place and put blessed candles on it. I am the Guardian of the Faith, and I will always be with you. Now, my little one, call your mother; pray until dawn as I showed you. I love you very much, my little girl.”
Pachi was very startled — but not afraid. When asked to pray, she began to quickly say an “Our Father,” but Mother Mary told her to pray it more slowly and with feeling. Then Our Lady vanished, leaving a soft scent of flowers, which remained for three days in the whole house.
Pachi felt confused and cried. She woke her mother and told her what had happened. They both prayed together until dawn. Later that morning she bought candles and created an altar in her bedroom. Over the following days, close friends and family began to pray at the site. About 23 more apparitions occurred in that bedroom over the next year. But they also occurred at three other locations until March of 1990.
At the beginning of October, Pachi traveled to Costa Rica and Mexico with a group of models. While in Mexico City, she felt compelled to kneel at the altar of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the great basilica. Upon closing her eyes to pray, Pachi felt a deep repentance for her sins. She was given a vision in which she saw a camp full of children from all races of the world. But they were covered with wounds in need of healing; smoke billowed forth from the camp. Then Our Lady appeared to Pachi – “more beautiful than ever.” Our Lady tenderly held Patricia’s hands in Her own and said,
“My little one, I am happy to see you. Don’t be afraid. Pray much for the peace of the world, because it is now that it needs it more than ever. My little child, I am holding back the arm of My Son. Change and convert. I love you very much. Adios, my little daughter.”
The next day, Saturday, October 8, the group was visiting the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe when Patricia suddenly fell to her knees; her body became rigid, tilting her head far back, and she held out her arms, palms upward, toward the sky. Other tourists became startled – but she was completely unaware of them. Later, she described how Mother Mary had appeared to her:
“She was barefooted and standing over a cloud. A blue veil covered her head and flowed down to her ankles. She wore a white skirt with a red blouse. Her eyes are big and long, the color of honey. Her hair, which comes out both sides of the veil, is also honey-colored. Her nose is small and straight, and her lips are thin. Her face is fine, and her skin is golden. She had a crown of twelve stars vertically around her head. Her arms were extended outwards and down, and she was holding the Rosary in her hands with the cross near her left hand. The Rosary is a brown color and the cross had a metal Christ.”
(On other occasions, Mary had a rose on each foot or a crown of roses around her forehead — and dressed in all white.)”
Mary thanked her for coming and told her to pray the Rosary for it “is a shield against evil.” The Virgin told her to meet with her again in 3 days at the original church on Tepeyac Hill – but the group was supposed to depart that evening to fly back to Ecuador.
Patricia expressed her dilemma, but Mary just smiled. That evening the plane was overbooked, and the girls had to wait for the next flight — in several days!
Pachi (Patricia) began to experience dramatic changes within herself. Normally, she would have spent her free time shopping for new clothes. Now, she spent her time in church, in prayer. Three days after seeing Our Lady in the basilica, she went as requested to the church on Tepeyac Hill (original apparition site of Our Lady of Guadalupe). Again Blessed Mary appeared to her and said,
“My little daughter, you do not know how much it gladdens me that you are here. Now, daughter, now I will reveal to you my great secret, which corresponds to the one revealed to the other visionaries. This secret you cannot write nor tell to anyone until I permit you. (Our Lady reveals the great secret to Pachi and then continues…) I put into your hands the great mission of the conversion and turnabout of the world. I am holding back the hand of My Son with the message that I have given you, and if My children convert, the Heart of My Son will soften and the intensity can be diminished or be lost forever. If not, the great trial will come.”
At this moment, miraculously, the Sacred Host appeared upon her tongue. Patricia felt a great Love pouring into her along with the Virgin’s promise to be with her forever. She took the responsibility of retaining the great secret very seriously.
Pachi felt her life changing, and she no longer wanted to be a model. But she was under a lot of pressure. One day, in November of 1988, praying in her bedroom back in her home town of Cuenca, the Blessed Mother revealed to Pachi the actual date of the great chastisement – telling her again that she could not reveal this to anyone. Mother Mary reassured Patricia that she had made a good choice:
“I am your Mother from Heaven, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Guardian of Faith. You do not know how much I rejoice at seeing you again, my little one. You have made a wise decision. Don’t change your mind. Don’t continue in that.”
Pachi felt a great peace afterwards. It was hard to give up her fun-loving activities and stubborn independence. She found a way to still have fun but with a new emphasis in life.
On December 1st, she stopped in the high school chapel between classes. Kneeling down before the Blessed Sacrament and near a statue of Mary, she felt a gentle breeze and saw a bright light. Her head was thrown backwards again in an awkward posture. Other students noted that she started writing in her notebook while looking upward – and were amazed that she could do that. Afterwards, Patricia had no recollection of having written anything, but here is the message she had transcribed:
“My daughter, please listen to me very well. I want the Rosary to be prayed on December 8 in an open coliseum. See to it that this message is propagated everywhere, that it be done in your country and that you be the ones who carry in your heart the Rosary, which will be the imprint of God’s love. Do not forget, in your city, to have it done in an open space. Please, have all the schools be present there and pray the complete Rosary, the fifteen holy mysteries. I love you so much. Don’t forget that I am the Guardian of the Faith. My little daughter, there always exists a happy tomorrow to a sad yesterday.”
The Bishop would not authorize the event, but said that they were free to gather to pray without official approval. He did not want to sanction the apparitions and have anybody know that that was why they were gathering. Nevertheless, in just three days, two thousand people gathered in an open site, having traveled as far as four hours away! In obedience to the bishop’s requests, Patricia refused to be identified or interviewed, but news of the apparitions had already spread.
On December 15, 1988, family and close friends noted something different when Patricia went into an ecstasy in her bedroom. She began to speak – but without her Cuencano accent! To their amazement, they realized that the Blessed Mother was speaking through Patricia. Pachi was totally unaware of what had happened and did not remember the words she had spoken.
“My daughters, I love you very much. Keep yourselves in My Immaculate Heart and the Merciful Heart of My Son. He is very sad to see that His message does not reach my little hearts. You are my chosen daughters. Put your rosaries on the front of my altar. They will be under my mantle and blessed by my Heart and by the Heart of My Son. I ask you for peace; peace in your hearts, peace with each other, and peace with your Father in heaven. You have in your hands the mission to transmit peace and the change of the world. Remember that I love you so much, and that I am the Guardian of the Faith. Please stop being lukewarm. I want all to be strong in their faith. My little daughters, stop being selfish. Do not keep all that you have for yourselves. This is my message of peace.”
The ladies immediately placed their Rosaries on the altar for Mary to bless. As they finished praying the Rosary the beautiful smell of flowers was present in the room!
On December 25, 1988, the scent of fresh flowers and candles (none present or lit) preceded Blessed Mary’s visit as a group gathered to pray. Mary told them,
“Rejoice in experiencing the love of God in your hearts. The Rosary is the most complete prayer. Do not ask yourself why you pray it. Let it be your shield against the evil one who is at work. Do not detach yourselves of it. The Spirit of God descends upon you. Feel the warmth which enters your heart.”
“My warning comes to an end. I have already said so much. You have the great mission of the conversion of the world. Please, little children, make evil disappear. It is in your hands that the hand of My Son be detained or that you are going to suffer as strongly as the pain of His Heart. Do not be afraid, because I am with you. I will pour out the necessary graces on you. I love you much.”
The day after Christmas, when this group was praying again, the strong odor of incense and flowers permeated Patricia’s house again. Blessed Mary appeared and said,
“Children, continue praying. I want that in the place where you pray for you to organize the ‘wardrobe of the poor’ – and that you collect food for the poor. Children, do not abandon those who have nothing to eat or to wear, because in them is the kingdom of heaven. See in them your Father. Do not be afraid of judgment, because in you is your Father, Son, and Spirit, and I will keep you under My mantle.”
“Do not fear, because the kingdom is near. Do not allow Satan to penetrate the heart which loves God. Little children, know that all that you do benefits the world. Your prayers, penances, and fasts are impeding the third World War. You, my little souls, do you forget that with prayer and fasting you can deter wars and natural catastrophes? It is in your hands. It depends on you whether the chastisement be as strong as the pain that My Son feels, or that it be appeased with prayers.”
On December 28, 1988, Patricia had a new and unexpected experience. She met Jesus! He was standing on a cloud in a long white robe. From his heart came forth two rays, one red and the other white. Like his mother, his skin was golden and his hair long and brown. His arms were extended outward and down. Patricia saw the wounds in his hands and feet caused by the nails of crucifixion. His voice was smooth, sweet, and deep:
“Know that He who speaks to you is your brother, Jesus Christ. Why do you sometimes doubt my presence? I have spoken to you many times, but my little souls, you are innocent in Divine Wisdom. Love My Mother because She holds back the fury of heaven. Love her in all the good that happens to you and be discreet.”
“I am the Merciful Jesus; my heart is filled with mercy. Ask, children. I would like the day of my Mercy to be celebrated. Have in your homes an image of my Merciful Heart. Do not forget that the Father is good and that I came to the world for you, my beloved ones. I am Jesus, and know that all is in your hands. The time is short, and I am already very wounded with all that my stray children have done. I love you, my chosen ones.”
Patricia revealed that these visits are unpredictable but usually during prayers at home or at church. Many times she would feel a “calling deep within myself” to go to a particular location and begin praying. She would usually see a bright light and sometimes a wind blowing right before Mary or Jesus would appear on a cloud.
From the beginning, Patricia had made a small altar or shrine in her bedroom where she had arranged pictures and statues along with blessed candles. On January 15 of 1989, these pictures and statues began exuding oil and tears. Droplets of blood formed on the crucifix. Regarding this phenomena, Blessed Mary revealed to Pachi on February 1, 1989 that the oil was an oil of salvation for those with strong faith – and that the sick should be blessed with this oil.
“The Father has allowed the grace of the holy oil, and my tears have been shed for the ingratitude of my little children due to the lack of unity, lack of love, and because each nation opens its doors to evil and to its own destruction. Love one another, children, and do not hurt the Father. I am the Guardian of the Faith.”
Patricia’s boyfriend, Andres, had been out of the country for much of this time and was not sure what he believed. Taking a dry picture of the Holy Shroud of Christ, he held it in his own hands while the group prayed. He was amazed to see oil coming from the eyes in the picture and droplets of liquid forming from around the crown of thorns. All of his doubts about the apparitions vanished with this stunning event.
A doctor took samples of the blood droplets and oil from the holy objects. The blood had red blood cells; the oil had human cells in it, but the type of oil could not be identified. In March, Blessed Mary explained that the tears were from her sadness because so many of her children were still so far away from God.
Eighteen more apparitions occurred in chapels in Quito, Guayaquil, and Paute. At one point Blessed Mary gave her visions of hell, heaven, and purgatory; Pachi describes:
“Hell is a terrible place, like a big volcano where you see souls that hate each other. There are skulls, and they don’t have faces, but they hate and insult God. I saw some of those bishop ‘hats’ in hell also. Purgatory was like a bunch of hands reaching out and crying, trying to get out of that volcano. While I was there, I heard a voice telling me to pray for them because they couldn’t do anything without our help. I didn’t go into heaven because I didn’t feel that I deserved to. There were two choirs of angels at each side of the door. The Rosary (prayer) is the door, and the cross of the Rosary is the key to open the door to go into heaven. Prayer takes us to Jesus, who is the way, the truth, and the life; the cross that we carry over our back – our sufferings – is the key to open the door into heaven.”
In June of 1989, Bernardita Jerves de Ugalde, an older model who had been entrusted by Pachi’s mother to take Pachi under her protective wing, helped Pachi look for a better place, more pleasing for Our Lady’s “little children” to gather. They traveled to El Cajas, high in the Andes Mountains at an elevation of 11,000 feet. Finding a place where there was a large rock, they knelt in prayer, seeking confirmation that this location might be pleasing to Our Lady. Patricia felt a wind upon her face and looked up to behold another visit from the beautiful Virgin. Immediately submerged into an ecstasy, Pachi heard Blessed Mary tell her,
“My daughter, you have sought long enough, and you have finally found the place. In this holy place, I will pour forth my blessings on all pilgrims who come to me.”
Mother Mary added that she wanted the area fenced off, and that a special area called “the Garden” be reserved as a holy place, a sanctuary. She said that the “Garden” would be a little piece of Heaven, and only those She invites should come into it.
On August 5, 1989, Patricia and a large number of pilgrims gathered at El Cajas because that was the day Our Lady said was her birthday (exactly the same date that she had claimed when in Medjugorje). The Virgin appeared for her birthday, dressed completely in white. Patricia presented her with a birthday cake and the birthday song, hoping she wouldn’t laugh at them. Blessed Mary smiled and replied,
“One day I was also human, my little one. The singing of my little ones is from their hearts. Their songs arrive to my soul. I am happy when you sing, my little ones.”
Jesus also appeared again to Patricia and commented on his mother’s birthday, stating that she is the most beautiful lady both on earth and in heaven.
“She is My Mother. Love My Father more than anything else. Love My Mother because She will take you to My Heart. Tell all of them that I love them. Tell them all to convert faithfully, humbly, and with simple hearts … I want you to pray the Way of the Cross and the Rosary by foot …”
On the first anniversary of the apparitions on August 28, 1989, over 6,000 people traveled from other cities and distant parts of Ecuador to participate in a grand procession. Our Lady appeared and told them through Patricia:
“Today is the first anniversary of my presence in this holy city. My children, you do not know the sorrow the inhabitants of this city cause me. You have not received with simple hearts the Love of my Son and my Love. My children, I will be with you for a very short time due to the ingratitude of the people of Cuenca. I leave you with great sorrow in my heart. I will be on this hill for six months for my pilgrims. The apparitions will be just once a month. My people of Cuenca have received me with great rejection. I ask you, my children, those who have worked with me, to continue sharing their devotion with my little ones.”
Our Lady then requested that people gather on September 7 and consecrate themselves to the Merciful Heart of Jesus and Her Immaculate Heart. If they did so, she would “pour out My Love upon these little souls with little miracles for my sinners.” In response to her request, over 100,000 people came for the pilgrimage on September 7th. The Archangels Michael and Gabriel accompanied Blessed Mary. She asked for peace, no mockery or sensationalism regarding the apparitions, more prayer, attendance at Mass, and for young people to set an example in praying the Rosary. The massive crowd witnessed supernatural events in the sky – like the sun changing colors and hurtling toward them! These celestial miracles were repeated on other occasions and witnessed by many. Mary promised to return on the first Saturday of each month.
On November 8, 1989, Patricia was trying to study in her bedroom when she sensed Mary’s presence just before she appeared to her. Our Lady told Patricia to look in the little box that the little Fatima statue had been placed on; “There is My Sacred Son.” Patricia removed the statue and opened the box; there was a Sacred Host inside! As she dropped to her knees immediately in adoration, Mary told her that St. Michael had placed it there – and that she should pray before it every day, telling very few people. After several months of dedicated adoration and cautious disclosure, Jesus told her that a priest should distribute it to the inhabitants of the house. On March 4, 1990, after the last apparition of Mary, Father Teran celebrated that special Mass in their home.
Another 6,000 people climbed the mountain for the first Saturday in December, 1989. At 7:00 p.m. Blessed Mary appeared to Patricia and told her,
“Forgive one another and remove resentment from your heart. Days of darkness are near, but greater than the darkness of the earth is the darkness of the soul. Why? Because you do not keep lit the lamp of the heart with the light of My Son Jesus. You must learn how to make amends for your faults. When you fall, you must not remain sitting, but you must get up. The greatest fault is when you realize that you have fallen and you don’t get up.”
A phenomenon was witnessed on that day by thousands of persons. The clouds parted and a great light formed the image of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in the sky. Hands and faces sparkled with a golden glow – as if from glitter. This amazing celestial image converted many people who had been “just curious” until that moment.
On December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, more than fifteen thousand gathered, and Our Lady asked them “to remove all stain of sin from their souls.” She asked them to reconvene on December 12, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. At 8:00 p.m., she appeared to Patricia and told her,
“My little children, I love you very much, and I ask you to extend your hands to God as when a little child, learning to walk, extends his arms to his mother. Little children, let yourselves be enveloped with the love of God. Fly with the wings of the Lord, gallop in the beautiful field of God.”
“Children, why do you take so long to change? Do not leave for tomorrow what you can do today. Begin today with firm steps towards a faithful conversion of love … Don’t cover the soul with a mask of hatred, resentment, and pride. Remove the cancer of pride because it is killing your souls.”
On the first Saturday in 1990, on January 6, more than 10,000 convened on the mountain and spent the night; Mary appeared to Patricia at 4:00 a.m.
“Children, there is much sorrow in my heart, for many natural catastrophes and others created by man are coming. Hard times are already taking place, a short decade filled with suffering. Children, the third world war is near. Do not frighten your hearts, because the peace of God is with you … Forgive all men. Understand the mercy of God. Understand my petitions. All that I have told you is because God the Father has asked me to. Children, the time is short, very short. Conversion must be faithful. Remove all evil sentiments because Satan penetrates in them. Remove them with the Presence of God in your souls. Children, give thanks to God for what you have … you must fill your hearts with the Light of My Son, so that a desolation of faith will not exist … Children, My Son Jesus imposes his hands on your heads to take away hatred, pride, bitterness.”
During the month of January, some of the pictures in Patricia’s bedroom sweated tears again, and the crucifix bled. There was also a drop of blood on the Sacred Host in her box. She announced in February that March 3rd would be her last visit with Patricia.
Over 115,000 people gathered for the final apparition on March 3, 1990. There was a grand procession with flower-decked litters carrying statues of Jesus and Mary. Once inside the “Garden” area, Patricia’s body arched backward as she looked up to the sky and went into the usual ecstasy. She stared at a single spot in the sky, became unaware of anyone around her, and was unaffected by the sudden drenching downpour of rain. She spoke Mary’s message without any conscious recollection afterwards:
“Today is the day of my physical departure, but my spiritual retreat will never be. I will be with you always, little children. Help those in most need. Love one another, and love God above all things. Children, priests and religious, help in the conversion of the world, the redemption of souls, the purification. Young people, be examples of light. Carry the Cross in your hearts. Put on humility. Children, white doves of peace, be the light.”
“Come always to visit me here. Never abandon me, little ones, because I love you so much, so much. At the end of all the apparitions in the world, I will leave a great sign in this place and in all those where I have been. Goodbye, my little ones, my children.”
Because there were television cameras and radio microphones present on this last apparition, the message was broadcast over the entire area as it was being given by Our Lady. People began to weep. Broadcasts repeated the messages over and over for several days throughout the country of Ecuador. The Holy Virgin also gave her instructions for building a sanctuary high in the mountains at El Cajas – complete with dimensions and descriptive details. Patricia also asked her why the statues and pictures on the altar were weeping again. Our Lady replied,
“My tears are poured out for the evil that exists in the world, through atheism and materialism, through adoring false gods, through ignoring the Word of God and the Sacraments. I have not come in order that they recognize me without recognizing My Son Jesus in their heart. I am the Mother of all who believe and who do not believe in me. The pain from having told you what is coming to the world fills my heart with sadness. I also was a Mother, and I felt the pain of saying goodbye to my Son. In the same way, today, I feel the pain of saying goodbye to you, because I am your mother. You should go out into the world, evangelizing, with the Word of God in one hand and My messages in the other.”
Patricia was especially moved by the beauty of the apparition; here is her description:
“Jesus was at the top. Below Him was the Holy Virgin, surrounded by seven angels. They were dressed all in white. There was a brilliant halo behind Jesus and Mary. The scene was beautiful and resplendent. At her feet and to her left was a little man, poorly clothed with a brown tunic that had a belt around it. He had a beard, and he was very thin. You could see he was very poor, and he was holding a skull in one hand and a Rosary in the other hand. The Holy Virgin told me it was St. Francis of Assisi.”
A geological team had been performing experiments before, during, and after the apparitions. They had two fascinating discoveries: (1) the temperature was clearly measured as warmer only within the sacred “Garden” area of El Cajas, (2) a compass needle shifted 90 degrees during the apparition, pointing in the direction of where the Virgin was said to have appeared. Sister Isabel Bettwy replicated this experiment with her own compass, watching it suddenly shift from its normal position during the apparition to wildly rotating 360 degrees one direction and then the other without any obvious cause — other than the Virgin’s invisible presence at that moment.
For two months in 1989, a Diocesan Commission of three priests was appointed by Archbishop Luna. But they did not read the journals or documentation that had been kept, nor interview any of the key people involved other than Patricia and her mother.
On April 18, 1989, the Commission presented their findings to Patricia and her mother.
Despite the documented events of statues weeping or exuding oil, pictures crying tears, drops of blood, the strong smell of roses that were never present, the sun dancing, and the celestial images of Mary in the sky seen by thousands, they stated that they could not prove any supernatural manifestations or confirm that the messages actually came from heaven. The cautious and conservative Commission appreciated her sincerity and did not dismiss the apparitions – but would not officially approve of them.
After thousands of pilgrims traveled to El Cajas from all over Ecuador and from other countries, the Bishop reopened the Diocesan investigation in February of 1990. He enlarged the commission to include five priests and three doctors. An internationally known linguist performed an analysis of Patricia’s voice during the apparitions because it was distinctly different as she related Mary’s messages. Her voice became higher-pitched and more delicate, “sweet to the ears” as many had described. The linguist’s findings were passed on to the Commission as well. But official approval remains elusive as the Commission adopted a “wait and see” attitude while giving permission for the faithful to follow the messages and requests of Our Lady as long as they are not in any conflict with existing Church practices.
Adverse publicity and ridicule led to one priest’s suggestion to Patricia to take a “vow of silence” – to not speak publicly. In her obedience to the Church, she follows that suggestion even to today. However, on April 4, 1990, she did deliver in person a message from the Holy Virgin to Pope John Paul II, receiving his blessing and support. Through Sister Isabel Bettwy, a dedicated investigator who came to Ecuador, Patricia was also able to travel to Medjugorje and become acquainted with the visionaries there. Patricia married her boyfriend, Andres Cordova, in 1991, and then dedicated their lives toward helping the poor and sick as well as teaching youth groups and young couples how to grow deeper in their Catholic faith.
The first incident actually occurred two weeks before World War I, on May 12, 1914, in the village of Hrushiv. Twenty-two people, who were mowing fields near the local church of the Holy Trinity, all witnessed an apparition of the Virgin Mary. She said to them,
“There will be a war. Russia will become a godless country. The Ukraine, as a nation, will suffer terribly for eighty years – and will have to live through the world wars, but it will be free afterwards.”
People gathered from the entire area to see the apparition – which lasted into the next day.
The people of Hrushiv had planted a weeping willow tree at the site many years ago, commemorating an appearance of the Blessed Mother some 350 years earlier. Later, a spring suddenly appeared beneath the tree. During the severe cholera epidemic of 1855, a local person dreamed that the Virgin had instructed the residents to clear and reclaim the ancient spring and hold Mass. Not one cholera death was reported afterwards.
Then, on April 26, 1987, seventy-three years later after 1914 and exactly one year after the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster, a bright light covered this church of the Holy Trinity and the surrounding area. A television program even recorded part of this light phenomenon. From within this “impressive silver dazzle” over the church, the Virgin Mary appeared and floated above the cupola of the church.
She first appeared to Marina Kizyn, age 12, who immediately called her mother and a few neighbors – who then came, and all saw her there, too. Soon, hundreds and then thousands came from all over Russia to see the apparitions which continued every day until August 15, 1987. It is estimated that a total of 500,000 people had seen her by the time these apparitions ended. On most days the crowd might reach as many as 45,000 to 70,000 people at one time. Neither the Soviet militia nor the KGB could begin to manage the crowds. The Virgin Mary was even seen by the KGB agents! Many priests (from underground Catholic churches) came and provided as many as ten Holy masses per day in front of the church. Many messages were documented:
“I have come on purpose to thank the Ukrainian people because you have suffered most for the church of Christ in the last 70 years. I have come to comfort you and to tell you that your suffering will soon come to an end. Ukraine will become an independent state.”
“Do not forget those who have died in the Chernobyl disaster. Chernobyl is a reminder and a sign for the whole world.”
“Forgive your enemies. Through you and the blood of martyrs will come the conversion of Russia. Repent and love one another. The times are coming which have been foretold as being those in the end times. See the desolation which surrounds the world … the sin, the sloth, the genocide. Pray for Russia. Oppression and wars continue to occupy the minds and hearts of many people. Russia, despite everything, continues to deny my Son. Russia rejects real life and continues to live in darkness. If there is not a return to Christianity in Russia, there will be a Third World War; the whole world will face ruin.”
“Teach the children to pray. Teach them to live in truth and live yourselves in truth. Say the Rosary. It is the weapon against Satan. He fears the Rosary. Recite the Rosary at any gathering of people.”
“I have come to comfort you and to tell you that your suffering will end soon. I shall protect you for the glory and the future of God’s kingdom on earth, which will last for a thousand years. The Kingdom of Heaven and Earth is close at hand. It will come only through penance and the repentance of sins.”
“This wicked world is feasting on depravity and impurity. Many lies are proclaimed against the Truth. The innocent are condemned. Many come as false messiahs and false prophets. Be diligent. Be on your guard.”
“Happy are they whose lives are blameless and who walk in fear of the Lord.”
“My children, all of you are dear to me and please my heart. I make no distinction of race or religion. You here in the Ukraine have received knowledge of the One, True, Apostolic Church. You have been shown the door to Heaven. You must follow this path, even though it may be painful.”
“The Eternal God is calling you. This is why I have been sent to you. You in the Ukraine were the first nation to be entrusted to me. (The ruler Yaroslav the Wise dedicated the Ukraine to the Most Holy Mother of God in the year 1037.) Throughout your long persecution you have not lost faith, hope, or love. I always pray for you, my dear children, wherever you are.”
Although Our Lady predicted that the Ukraine would “suffer terribly for eighty years” before gaining independence, she was extremely close in her prediction! The Ukraine had its declaration of independence ratified in Kiev on August 24, 1991 – some 77 years after Blessed Mary’s prediction in 1914!
The church of Saint Demiana in Papadouplo is a very small and poor Coptic Orthodox church, and the surrounding “streets” are very narrow – about four meters wide. For several months residents nearby witnessed strange flashes of light appearing over the church. On the evening of Tuesday, March 25, 1986, the Holy Virgin Mary started her appearances in the church of Saint Demiana the Martyr near El-Teraa El-Boolakia street in the overcrowded Shoubra quarter of Cairo, Egypt. Our Lady appeared beside the two towers of the church and was first seen by people living in the houses overlooking the church’s towers. Her light shone into their houses, and they saw Her in Her full body surrounded by a halo of light over the western dome of the church. This apparition repeated several times. Then the news spread and people from all sects and religions came to see these supernatural appearances. The very narrow streets became overcrowded with thousands of night vigils praying and singing doxologies, liturgies, and hymns to the Mother of True Light for entire nights.
On Wednesday, April 9, 1986, His Holiness Coptic Pope Shenouda III issued the following papal order:
“As we have received news of spiritual phenomena occurring in the church of Saint Demiana in Papadouplo, Shoubra, we have entrusted a special committee to investigate this matter and present a report after examining the news we have received, and the witnesses of those who have seen unnatural phenomena in the church in Shoubra.”
The committee examined the accounts of eye-witnesses, and on Thursday, April 10, at midnight, the members of the Papal Delegation went to the church to watch closely the reported spiritual phenomena. They stayed there till a little before morning. At 3:40 a.m. on the dawn of Friday, April 11, they saw the Holy Virgin in a clear form surrounded by a halo of light; this apparition lasted until 5:00 a.m. This headline, “Spiritual phenomena seen by thousands in Shoubra quarter,” was published Sunday, April 13, 1986 in the Egyptian weekly Watani newspaper.
A very luminous and radiating unnatural light appeared inside the church tower and was shining to the outside. The two towers above the church roof do not connect with the church interior. This light in the towers continued to shine even after the electric current was cut in the whole quarter, creating a power outage for a complete hour during that Friday night. The committee concluded that “these apparitions are a blessing for Egypt and a blessing for the Church.” The committee returned to the church on several other occasions after this and were again blessed with more appearances of the Virgin Mary along with other spiritual phenomena.
The apparitions also occurred during the daytime hours. Blessed Mary appeared inside the church on the eastern side of the altar and on the inside of the church dome next to a painting of Her Son Jesus. During the Holy Mass held by Father Heg. Dawod Tadros on the morning of Friday, June 20, 1986, a very clear appearance of the Virgin Mary occurred. She was holding our Lord Jesus Christ in Her arms. These apparitions were not limited to luminous transfigurations. At other times flames were seen, surrounding the Blessed Mother like “tongues of fire” that eventually evolved into a very bright light. Members of the Papal Delegation witnessed this supernatural occurrence.
Also on April 10, at 4:00 a.m., a flame of light was seen extending from the western tower of the church and then returning to it, turning the darkness of the night into light. The flame had a wavy surface, showing interlaced tongues and waves of light and fire. It varied in color from orange to very bright white.
Saint Demiana also made appearances, sometimes preparing the way for the Holy Virgin. One time Saint Demiana was seen holding a green branch. On another occasion both St. Demiana and the Holy Virgin were seen emerging from a luminous mass that had been moving from the west toward the east. The mass disappeared and the Virgin remained clearly in sight. She extended Her hands toward the crowds and then moved towards the balcony inside the church. Then she moved upwards into the sky until she disappeared from sight.
On another occasion a white light shone over the western tower and illuminated the wooden cross, making the cross appear as if it were a flame. At another time light radiating out from the western tower took on an oval shape. A white pigeon appeared in the middle of this light, opening its wings and then flying over the church. The Blessed Virgin appeared out of this same kind of light on another night. Writings in Coptic letters were seen in the sky.
On the night of April 13, 1986, the Virgin Mary appeared in Her full body of normal size in three bright and luminous colors: white, blue, and red. Her whole body was luminous and could be seen beside the church domes overlooking Abd El-Metaal street. This appearance only lasted a few seconds just before one o’clock in the morning. Thirty minutes later the apparition repeated — along with several flashes “like lightning,” appearing along the wall of the church.
Then miracles began to be reported. Theresa Soliman Youssef, six years old, had lost vision in her right eye after a needle had pierced her eye, injuring the cornea and lens and creating a traumatic cataract on November 17, 1984. An infection worsened the eye’s condition. On May 18, 1986, the mother took this girl to the Saint Demiana church in Shoubra for Mass. After Holy Communion they ascended to the church’s balcony and stood there with the crowd. Suddenly, a strong light shone from the right side of the veil of the altar. Young Theresa raised her hand towards the source of the light, then wiped her sick eye with the palm of her hand and suddenly shouted with excitement,
“I can see my mother … I can see mother!”
Dr. Fayez Akhnoukh examined the child and tested the acuity of both of her eyes. He confirmed that the girl has been healed miraculously. The church recorded and documented this miracle. Pope Shenouda III approved these apparitions in Shoubra.
Julia Kim’s original name is Hong-Sun Yoon. Julia is her baptismal name and Kim is her husband’s last name. She was born in Naju in 1947. Her father was a school teacher and a scholar in Chinese literature. In 1950, when the Korean War broke out, her grandfather and father were killed by the Communist soldiers. Her younger sister also died of an illness. Julia, with her mother, began experiencing extreme poverty and had to work hard for survival. She could not finish junior high school because of the poverty.
In 1972, Julia married Julio Kim, who works for the City of Naju in its agricultural department. They have four children — two sons and two daughters. Later, Julia’s health deteriorated because of cancer and other accompanying illnesses. After several surgeries, her doctors said there was no hope.
While Julia was waiting for death, her husband took her to a Catholic priest. After hearing Julia’s story, the priest consoled her by saying that her sufferings were blessings from God. Julia felt her body becoming warm and sweating and was soon healed completely. She began a fervent prayer life. One night, at 3 a.m., Julia saw a vision of Our Lord bleeding miserably, especially from His Heart, which was torn by human sins. Julia was deeply moved and promised a life of reparation for the sins in the world. Miraculously, she began suffering severe pains again. Julia also received the Stigmata, the wounds of Our Lord. These Stigmata usually last for several days and disappear. They reappear later.
On June 30, 1985, Julia saw Our Lady’s statue in her room weeping for the first time. Two and a half weeks later, on July 18, she received the first message from Our Lady. On October 19, 1986, clear tears turned into bloody tears. Julia has continued receiving messages and suffering pains. Other miracles have also continued — fragrant oil from Our Lady’s statue, the fragrance of roses, healings of incurable illnesses, and Eucharistic miracles.
TEARS AND TEARS OF BLOOD FROM OUR LADY’S STATUE: For a total of 700 days between June 30, 1985 and January 14, 1992. Samples of the bloody tears were tested in a medical laboratory and were found to be human blood.
FRAGRANT OIL FROM OUR LADY’S STATUE: For seven hundred consecutive days from November 24, 1992, to October 23, 1994.
THE EXTERNAL APPEARANCE OF BREAD IN THE HOLY EUCHARIST CHANGED INTO VISIBLE FLESH AND BLOOD ON JULIA’S TONGUE: Twelve times between May 1988 and October 1996. The miracle on October 31, 1995, was witnessed by Pope John Paul II during a Mass in the Pope’s private chapel in the Vatican. Bishop Roman Danylak from Toronto, Canada, and Bishop Dominic Su of Sibu, Malaysia, also witnessed the miracles in Naju and Sibu, respectively, and wrote their testimonies expressing their belief in the authenticity of these miracles.
THE SACRED HOST DESCENDED FROM ABOVE TO THE CHAPEL IN NAJU: Seven times between November 24, 1994, and August 27, 1997. The first two miracles were witnessed by the Apostolic Pro-Nuncio in Korea during his visit to Naju.On July 1, 1995, seven Sacred Hosts descended. They were consumed by two priests and five lay people including Julia according to the local Archbishop’s instruction. The external appearance of the Sacred Host that Julia received changed into visible Flesh and Blood on her tongue. A sample of this Blood was tested in the medical laboratory at Seoul National University and was found to be human blood.The descent of the Eucharist on June 12, 1997, was witnessed by Bishop Paul Kim of the Cheju Diocese in Korea. The Eucharist again descended on August 27, 1997, during Fr. Raymond Spies’ visit to Naju. An intense fragrance is continuing (as of May 1998) from the spot on the floor in the Chapel where the Eucharist landed.
SPIRITUAL AND PHYSICAL HEALINGS: Numerous people have regained love and peace in their families and returned to the Sacraments. Many were healed physically, especially while repenting their sinful lives after experiencing Our Lady’s love.
JULIA’S STIGMATA: Bleeding occurred on Julia’s two hands and two feet during her sufferings. Doctors examined Julia and stated that her wounds and bleeding had no medical explanation.
A SUMMARY OF THE BLESSED MOTHER’S MESSAGES
Become little children (in relation to God and your Heavenly Mother). Do not seek to be higher than others. Live a life of self-denial and sacrifices.
Offer up reparations for the conversion of sinners in the world. Repair the wounds in the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary with prayers and sacrifices.
Pray fervently, especially the rosary, to defeat the devil.
Achieve peace and love in your family. Forgive one another.
Be loyal to the Pope and his teachings. Respect, love and support priests. Pray for them ceaselessly that they may be protected from the devil’s attacks and be faithful to their mission.
Let everyone know that the Lord is truly present in the Holy Eucharist with His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. Make frequent and sincere Confessions so that you may receive the Lord more worthily.
Respect human lives — especially the neglected, the sick, the elderly, and the unborn. Let everyone know that life begins at the moment of conception and that abortion is murder.
Have complete trust in me. Love this Heavenly Mother wholeheartedly and seek refuge in her Heart. I am the shortcut to Jesus and the Helper in His Redemptive Work.
A SWORN TESTIMONY BY BISHOP ROMAN DANYLAK
I, Bishop Roman Danylak, Apostolic Administrator of the Eparchy of Toronto for Ukrainian Catholics in Toronto, Canada, and titular bishop of Nyssa, herewith solemnly testify that I concelebrated the Divine Liturgy of Holy Mass, with the Reverend Fathers Aloysius Chang, parish priest of the Kwangju Archdiocese in Korea, invited by me to assist during my visit to Korea, and Joseph Peter Finn, retired priest of the London Diocese in Ontario on Friday, September 22, 1995, at 5 p.m. in an open-air celebration on the grounds of the valley where a future church is to be erected, God-willing, to the honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Mother of God.
Following the Liturgy of the Word, I delivered a brief homily for the occasion. After the communion of the priests, Fr. Chang and I administered Holy Eucharist under both species to Julia Kim and the eleven others. As we continued to distribute Holy Communion to the others present, we heard the sudden sobbing of one of the women assisting at Mass. The Sacred Host received by Julia Kim was changed to living flesh and blood. Fr. Joseph Finn, who had remained at the altar during the communion of the faithful, was observing Julia; he noted that at the moment he turned to observe Julia, he saw the white edge of the host disappearing, and changing into the substance of living flesh.
Fr. Chang and I returned to Julia. The Host had changed to dark red, living flesh and blood was flowing from it. After Mass, Julia shared with us that she experienced the Divine Flesh as a thick consistency and a copious flowing of blood, more so than on the occasion of previous miracles of the changing of the host into bleeding flesh. We remained in silence and prayer; all present had the opportunity of viewing and venerating the miraculous Host. After some moments I asked Julia to swallow and consume the Host. And after the Mass Julia explained that the Host had become large and fleshy; and that she consumed it with some difficulty. The taste of blood remained in her mouth for some time. I then asked that she be given a glass of water, from the miraculous source of water nearby. As she drank the water, her finger touched her lips, and a trace of blood was visible on her finger. She rinsed her finger in the water and drank it.
In testimony of this, I append my signature, together with the signatures of all the witnesses present.
Dated at Naju, this twenty-second day of September, 1995.+ Roman Danylak, titular Bishop of Nyssa, Apostolic Administrator, Eparchy of Toronto, Canada.
The Holy Father witnesses a Eucharistic miracle through Julia
Message on October 31, 1995
Julia Kim: “Today I attended the private Mass celebrated by the Holy Father. I was sitting in the front and noticed the shaking of the Holy Father’s left arm. I could not control my tears, as I was thinking that, despite so much suffering, the Holy Father could not rest while looking after numerous sheep. When I received Communion, there was a strong fragrance of roses and a strong smell of blood. The Sacred Host in my mouth was becoming larger, too. Monsignor Paik, who was also attending the Mass, saw this and instructed me to go to the back and wait. While I was meditating in the back, I saw bright light shining upon the Holy Father and the area around him. I also saw baby angels in the light, dancing and guarding the Holy Father. At that moment, I heard the loving and kind voice of the Blessed Mother, even though I could not see her.”
THE BLESSED MOTHER:
“My beloved son, the Pope who is the first son of God’s Holy Church! Do you know how much I, together with Jesus, your elder Brother, have loved you and love you?
Jesus loved you (plural) so much that He came to you in person as your Food, but, as in the past, He is still being denied, deserted and betrayed by so many children today. For this reason, the hour of bloody ordeals and purification is drawing near and I came to you to rescue the children in the world. Hurriedly and with a simple heart like a child, accept the gift (=the change of the Eucharist) that God the Father has prepared and make it known to all. Teach the importance of the Mass, the importance of the Sacrament of Confession and the Mystery of the Holy Eucharist to all the children in the world who do not know them and, thereby, perpetually continue the gift of Paschal Mysteries of the Last Supper and Resurrection. The visible change of the Eucharist today was to show that Jesus came to you through the Sacrifice of the Holy Eucharist, which is a repetition of the Sacrifice completed on Calvary, Golgotha, to wash away all the sins in the world with His Precious Blood.
How numerous are the clergy who do not defend truth but keep silent for fear and remain as spectators because of face-saving and the eyes of others, even when they see errors and despite my messages of love that I have been screaming (to you) until my throat bleeds! Let all know the Sacred Real Presence of the Lord in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass where He comes as the Transfuser; help Him wash away the filthy dirt from their souls; and give eternal adoration and praise to the Lord.
My beloved Son! Thanks to your faithful love with which you have responded to this Heavenly Mother saying “Amen,” no one will be able to separate you from the Love of God or take you away from Him. Your name has already been written in my Immaculate Heart. Therefore, be happy even in the middle of misunderstanding and persecution. Whenever you were in difficulties of various kinds, I defended and helped you and encouraged and consoled you in the refuge of my mantle.
You are my beloved son whom I can put in my eyes without feeling any pain. You are my beloved first son of the Church and younger brother of Jesus. I have led you to participate in the eternal priesthood together with Jesus. Therefore, sing of the Resurrection, living a life of intimacy with Him. Then, you will become the Light of Jesus Christ that comes down through you (plural) shining brightly upon the world, penetrating the curtain of darkness that surrounds the world, and you will face the Second Pentecost. I pray that the Divine Grace and bright Light will be with you always.”
When she ended her words, the light and angels became invisible. After Mass, the Holy Father witnessed the Host that changed into visible Flesh and Blood in Julia’s mouth. After witnessing the Eucharistic miracle, the Holy Father gave rosaries to Julia and her husband.The Eucharist descends twice during the Apostolic Pro-Nuncio’s visit
First message on November 24, 1994
Julia Kim: “The Apostolic Pro Nuncio in Korea, who represents the Holy Father in Korea and whom the Blessed Mother had called, came with Monsignor Peter (his secretary) and Fr. Raymond Spies. Fr. Sang Chul Oh, other priests and lay people were also there. We placed a queen’s crown on the Blessed Mother’s statue in the Chapel and began praying at about 10:20 a.m.
It was about 11 a.m. when I saw a bright light from the Crucifix above the Blessed Mother’s statue. I said to Fr. Spies, “Father, there is a bright light radiating down from the Crucifix.” Shortly afterwards, the Blessed Mother told me, “Receive blessings from the Pope’s representative and your spiritual director so that your hands may become clean.” Immediately, the Apostolic Pro Nuncio and Fr. Spies blessed me. They blessed me for the second time on my forehead and hands with the fragrant oil (from a small bottle) that I had given to Fr. Spies about two years ago. Then, I got closer to the Blessed Mother’s statue and began praying on my knees. The statue was also radiating a bright light. The Blessed Mother spoke with a kind, loving, soft and yet anxious voice.”
THE BLESSED MOTHER:
My beloved daughter! I have a request to the representative of the Pope, my son, whom I love so dearly that I can put him in my eyes without hurting them. Ask him that a tabernacle be prepared beside me.
I feel so lonely, because many leaders are ignoring me for the sake of face-saving and the eyes of the world, paying no attention to my ardent request to look after numerous sheep that are walking toward hell . . . .
Now, look! . . . Some of the souls who used to be flower gardens for God are falling into the devil’s mire that covers everything with thick mud and corrupts it.
So many priests are offering Mass unfaithfully. As a result, the Lord is unable to perform miracles of love in them through His Real Presence. He is suffering pains and is unceasingly calling the priests who are in sins to be faithful to their duties and become united with the Lord’s Love.
Nowadays, errors are being taught even by some of my priests and are spreading all over the world. The Gospels are being promulgated by false prophets in such a way that the Gospels will become more acceptable to modern society under the pretext of civilization and innovation. But these are being promoted unfaithfully and are not the Gospels of my Son Jesus. While many kinds of sins multiply, they are being justified as if sewage water could be claimed to be pure water. Many blind people are believing such claims. The devil, who has led them into such deceptions, is overjoyed.
My beloved sons! Today I called you, whom I love most dearly, in a special way to this place where you will experience the Lord’s Presence and mine as heroic and faithful witnesses so that the Mystery of the Holy Eucharist may be made known all over the world. So, help me hurriedly to save the sheep that have been lost.
I have said repeatedly that the Mystery of the Holy Eucharist, which is the Bread of Life from Heaven, is a spring that never dries and a medicine that gives you salvation. But only very few are making preparations before receiving Him. If my numerous children only knew that the Eucharist is truly the Life, the Everlasting Spring, the Manna and a continuing miracle that is no less than the miracles of the Creation of the Universe and of the Redemption, they would not be walking toward hell . . . .
The Holy Eucharist is the center of all the supernatural events, but is being trampled upon by so many children through sacrilege, insult and humiliation. Therefore, my messages of love must be spread all over the world more vigorously so that the time of the Lord, Who is present in the Eucharist, and of the New Pentecost may be advanced.
My beloved priests! When you spread my messages of love which I give you shedding tears and tears of love, you will experience pains, too. But I will elevate you, who have been called from all over the world, to a high level of sanctity so that you may reveal the true identity of the errors and promote the Truth with your mouths that will be like two-edged swords and thus may spread the fragrance of Christ. All the falsehood, plots, tricks and cunning slanders will disappear in the presence of the light from God the Father, just as fog clears under the sun. Therefore, do not worry, but have complete trust in and reliance on me. As you are now staying in my Immaculate Heart, no one will be able to harm you. As I will clothe you with garments of all the virtues, you will be living as little souls who are being led by my fragrance at every moment of your lives.
My beloved daughter! A certain priest living in sin was about to receive the Eucharist, but the Lord was not able to live in him and is having St. Michael the Archangel bring that Eucharist to my beloved Papal Representative and your spiritual director through you. So, stretch out your hands.”
Julia Kim: “I was hesitant because of awe, but the Blessed Mother said, “Do not worry. Hurry up and receive the Eucharist.” “Yes, Mother.” As I stretched out my hands, St. Michael the Archangel, who was not visible, brought the Holy Eucharist in the middle of a powerful light. (A large Eucharist, already broken in two, came down and landed between Julia’s fingers.) When I received the Eucharist, I fell down to the floor because of the strong light. When I regained consciousness and got up, I saw the Apostolic Pro Nuncio, the Monsignor, Fr. Spies, my husband and others around me. The Sacred Host in my hands had the images of a cross and the letters “A” and “W ” on it and was already broken into two. One was in my left hand and the other in my right hand. I gave the Eucharist in my right hand to the Apostolic Pro Nuncio and the one in my left hand to Fr. Spies. The Apostolic Pro Nuncio and Fr. Spies gave Communion to other priests and about 70 lay people who were in the Chapel. Fr. Spies placed a piece of the Sacred Host in a pyx.
A miracle of the sun and a Eucharistic miracle
First message on June 30, 1995
It was the tenth anniversary of the Blessed Mother’s first weeping. From about 3 p.m., the shape of the sun was changing gradually. By about 3:30 p.m., it became a clear image of the Eucharist. It was also spinning and pulsating like a heart. It was radiating different colors—blue, green, purple, yellow, red and gold. These colors were reflected on people’s clothes. Many who witnessed this were screaming with joy and some were crying. The light was shining upon the roof of the Chapel and upon the people on the ground. I saw Jesus and the Blessed Mother near the image of the Eucharist in the sky. There also were angels. The Blessed Mother began speaking in a most merciful, loving, kind and soft manner. She was extremely beautiful and looked like her statue in Naju—the Mother of Mercy.
THE BLESSED MOTHER:
“My beloved children! I bless you in a special way today, bestowing all the light from Heaven on you so that you may now live in the light of the Lord and myself and may become the apostles of the light that radiates from my Immaculate Heart.
If you follow me completely, you will soon see the day when the darkness that is covering the Church will disappear. The light of love from the most merciful and loving Sacred Heart of Jesus and my Immaculate Heart is bestowed upon you so that peace instead of suffering and anxiety may be given to you. In this desolate world, the danger of a new war is turning into a reality. But the power of God’s Love cannot be blocked.
You came to me, because it is the tenth anniversary of my first weeping. I, who am God’s servant, will enwrap you all with my mantle and bless you. So, follow my words well.
Those who say that they are being neutral are blocking my way with a fragile cover-up and cruelty and are walking toward hell. They are leading themselves toward perdition, but do not realize this and still talk about love without practicing it.
My children! You should not refuse this Mother’s request that you reconcile with each other so that violence and fear may cease.
Now, all my children! Do not approach me because of curiosity and as spectators, but follow me with complete trust. You may not understand my words well now, but will some day. If you refuse to believe and follow my words, however, you will surely regret it.
All my beloved children in the world! It is not too late yet. If you believe, follow and trust my words as true messages originating from God, you will enjoy eternal happiness. I bestow heavenly blessings on all of you.”
A miraculous descent of the Host witnessed by Bishop Paul Kim
Miracle and message on June 12, 1997
Julia Kim: “His Excellency Bishop Paul Chang Yeol Kim, head of the Cheju Diocese in Korea, and Fr. Anthony Jung Yong Kim, an elderly priest in the Kwangju Archdiocese, came to the Blessed Mother’s House. Bishop Kim said that the Sacred Hosts that had turned into visible Flesh and Blood and the Sacred Hosts that had come down from above before should have been preserved. He was expressing concern over the indifference in the Church.
When the Bishop was saying, “If Eucharistic miracles occur again, (the Sacred Hosts) must be preserved,” light began radiating from the Crucifix. Then, the Bishop said, “Let’s pray together.” At that moment, a white object descended. I tried to receive it in my hands, but it was so sudden that I could not receive it. The white object fell on the altar before the Blessed Mother’s statue making a clearly audible sound. The Bishop, the priest, and others present heard the sound of the white object falling on the altar and went closer to the Blessed Mother’s statue. Rufino shouted, “Oh, the Eucharist! The Eucharist!” The Bishop looked at the Sacred Host and knelt immediately, saying, “Jesus Who is living!”
I knelt, too, unable to control my tears thanking the Lord for giving a sign to the Bishop who was saying, “If Eucharistic miracles occur again, (the Sacred Hosts) must be preserved.” I continued weeping, remembering how all of us who love the Blessed Mother were crying and feeling pain when the seven Sacred Hosts that came down on June 30, 1995 could not be preserved. Then, I heard the loving, kind and beautiful voice of the Blessed Mother.
THE BLESSED MOTHER:
“My beloved daughter! Today is truly a joyful day. (This) Bishop, who came to me saying “Amen” to the call of this Heavenly Mother, understood my concern and gave me consolation. Therefore, God manifested, with a special love, a sign of love by sending down the Eucharist personally, which is a substantial presence of Jesus Christ. God promised an inheritance to Abraham, not because he observed the laws well. God recognized him as a just man because of his faith and bestowed graces even upon those who were his followers. Likewise, all the souls who believe in the sign given to you today and follow it will receive the same graces as you.
Beloved Bishop! My dear son whom I can put in my eyes without even feeling any pain! Make it known in a hurry. Make known to everyone the Mystery of the Eucharist, in which the Lord is truly present, and the burning love of my Immaculate Heart and, thus, help the little soul whom I have chosen. When you follow me, keeping in mind that helping her is helping me, I will mark you with a seal of flames of the sublime and powerful love from my burning Immaculate Heart. Therefore, do not avoid me or be hesitant because of the desires of the corruptible body, face-saving and others’ eyes.
In the Church, covering up one’s own faults, having the spirit of being critical of others, and being quick and thorough about finding fault in others are what theorists do, not priests. That is because, even though reasoning is necessary, one must not jump to an impatient judgment on the love of the soul who is immersed in love.
Because even many of the clergy know with their brains and say with their mouths that a pursuit of the world and the flesh will lead to perdition and that a pursuit of the spiritual matters will lead to eternal happiness but are not practicing it, I called the Bishop, who is following me, in a special way and wish to spread the burning love of my Immaculate Heart.
Become littler. I invite you to Heaven where only little souls can enter. Because the gate of Heaven is small and large souls cannot enter it, you must become littler continuously and bring many souls to me so that they may be nurtured with my spiritual milk of love and become little souls.
My babies who have been invited to become little souls! The cup of God’s wrath is overflowing, because the world has reached a saturation point with sins and great degradation. Expedite your efforts, remembering that the time of judgment is being delayed because of the little souls despite their small number. When the number of the little souls increases, God’s voice of wrath and breath of anger will turn into blessing and this world will become the Kingdom of the Lord.
It is now the very time of purification. Hurriedly hold my hands and stay in the burning Sacred Heart of Jesus and the burning Immaculate Heart of this Mother. And offer up yourselves totally and spread the Lord’s love according to the wish of this Mother, who is the Helper in Redemption, in order to save this world which has become corrupt and polluted in great degradation. Then, even the souls who are rushing on the road to hell may return to the bosom of the Church through you who think that you are unqualified.
My beloved little souls! My Son Jesus saved numerous souls with His cruel and terrible sacrifices. But numerous children continue offending Him and are not responding to the sublime love in (His) sacrifices. But the burning Sacred Heart of Jesus and my Immaculate Heart are waiting for the return of all the children by leaving the door widely open and wish that this obstinate and wicked world will repent hurriedly and that the Kingdom of the Lord will be accomplished.
My dear souls who have responded to my anxious calls! I already said, “Those souls who carry their crosses following the Lord, spread and practice the Gospel, and accept my messages of burning love will be saved and enjoy eternal life.” However, numerous souls implore me for help as if hanging on to a life buoy only when they are in pains and, after they receive the graces they have been asking for, they return to their miserable lives instead of reforming their lives and practicing my messages of love because of the preposterous false rumors and their pride. That is why my Heart is hurting so much that I make a request to the Bishop who came to me today. Help prepare a tabernacle beside me and celebrate Mass. Consult with the Bishop (of this diocese) and the Pastor so that Masses may be celebrated (in the Chapel). Quench my thirst by complying with my earnest and anxious request. That way, prepare wholesome opportunities to present the joy of love and repentance to those souls who have become so infected with sins that they have even lost their sense of direction and are wandering about.
Now, consecrate your souls to the cause that is precious to me and become dissolved in the divine virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity in a holy and universal way. As I will always be beside you who are following me, do not have fear of anything but spread (my messages). Those who are now opposing and criticizing you will beat their chests and repent later, making the number of the people on your side increase. The reason why I speak often and repeat my request is that many of the clergy, religious and (lay) children do not understand my words. Who will be responsible, if the herds of sheep which have become lost get dispersed and fall into hell?
The subjects of Satan are dazzling many souls even by secretly employing spiritualism. Therefore, hurriedly discern them and spread my messages of love solidly to the whole world. Thus, let us enjoy eternal happiness together with the Lord Who is truly present in the Eucharist. You, who are following me and working for me, will surely stand by my side and see the glory.”
With the tears flowing from Julia Kim’s statue of the Blessed Virgin on July 18, 1985, Julia receives the first message from Blessed Mary that day:
“I am sad. Many people still do not believe even after they saw my bloody sweat and tears saying that these were drops of plain water. I ask you to spread the truth. Do you know the Heart of my Son Jesus that has been torn apart? His Heart is torn apart continually, as human sins increase more and more and disorder spreads. Mend His torn Heart. For the prevention of wars and for the conversion of sinners, let the fragrance of roses spread all over the world. This is truly a weapon.
My Heart aches intensely because of the unrestrained use of birth control. Prevent abortions and pray for those who carry out abortions. Spread the fire of love that is flaming up from my Heart. The fire of love . . . I want you to be happy. A husband and a wife are joined together so that they may lead a happy life. But my Son becomes broken-hearted when they hate each other and do not forgive each other. Love one another. Who are your closest neighbors? How can you say that you love me and love the Lord while you do not even love those in your family? Sanctify your family by practicing love and harmony with one another. This is what my Son Jesus thirsts for.
Achieve unity among those who volunteer to do my work. In doing so, become sacrificial victims. Those who work for me and Jesus are scattered from one another. As the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are One, you must also become one. Become good examples to one another by uniting in humility.”
Message on August 11, 1985
Julia Kim: “While I was praying, a strong wind blew noisily, almost extinguishing the candlelight in front of the Blessed Mother’s statue. At the moment I thought the candlelight would go out, I began hearing the Blessed Mother’s voice.”
THE BLESSED MOTHER: “Praise the Lord. Do not weep because of my tears, but look at my Son Jesus and console Him who wears a crown of thorns and sheds blood and sweat. Pray for priests without ceasing. They are now like a lamplight before wind. They are being subjected to temptations. The windows of rectories are left open. Through the open windows, three devils (of pride, materialism and lust) are peeking in. Close the rectory windows. Become sacrificial victims for priests. I am helping them, too. So, support them to the end, because they are my most precious and beloved sons.”Heaven—Our True Home
Countless angels are performing a beautiful and majestic symphony and chorus to welcome the souls who are entering Heaven. Also, numerous Saints are welcoming them with loud cheers. Jesus is waiting for them with open arms and the Blessed Mother is stretching out her hands to hold them. God the Father is smiling, expressing a welcome with His eyes. St. Joseph is also greeting them joyfully.
It is a place where there is no jealousy or envy. All are practicing love with one another. It is overflowing with love, peace and joy. It is a place of heavenly banquet where one never becomes hungry even without eating.
The Blessed Mother prepared crowns of flowers and is putting them on everyone. They are dancing holding each other’s hands. In the flower garden, Jesus and the Blessed Mother are together holding up her mantle and all are entering the inside of the mantle. All are humble to each other and are keeping order to avoid inconveniencing others. Their faces are full of smiles and are beautiful.
It is a place where one must walk into the terrible flames of fire. There, one does the unfinished penances of this world and becomes purified.
It is a place where those who died in the grace of God but still have unfinished reparations must walk into by themselves to complete the atonement. When they are completely purified, they are lifted into Heaven by the Blessed Mother’s help and the angels’ support. The process can be expedited, if we in this world pray for them. When we help them with sacrifices and penances for them, they can enter Heaver faster.
It will be too late to regret not having done penances in this world. So, while living in this world, one must offer love constantly through sacrifices for others.
When angels tie the hands of the condemned souls and drop them, devils snatch them violently. Then, they fall into the flames of fire. It is a place of perdition from which one cannot come out forever. It is useless, however hard one may regret and struggle. It is a sea of fire full of hatred. Who will grab their hands? Nobody. People struggle like a person drowning and trying to grasp even a straw, but only run around in the fire that becomes hotter and hotter, tearing and scratching each other, and trying to take food away from each other but all the food burns in the fire and nobody can eat anything, which make them snarling more angrily at each other. With their protruded eyes, they become horrible devils. It was a terrible scene I could not look at with open eyes.
While Julia was doing the Stations of the Cross on the Blessed Mother’s Mountain near Naju in the early morning of November 9, 2001, she received a message from Our Lady and saw a vision of Our Lord suffering terrible pains for our sins and His Precious Blood gushing out of His Seven Wounds (forehead, two hands, heart, side, and two feet) and Our Lady also shedding tears of blood. Soon afterwards, Julia and several others who were with her found little rocks and fallen tree leaves at the site of the Stations of the Cross stained with blood and even little pieces of flesh. They immediately knew that these were Our Lord’s Precious Blood and Flesh, torn from His Body by scourging, and Our Lady’s tears of blood. They found hundreds of rocks and tree leaves stained with blood along the whole way between the Third Station (where Our Lord fell the first time) and the Fourteenth Station (where Our Lord was buried). They collected all the rocks and tree leaves stained with blood for preservation and laboratory testing. The scenes of collecting these rocks and tree leaves were photographed and videotaped.
The blood samples are being tested at the forensic laboratory at Seoul National University, the most reputable such laboratory in Korea. The preliminary result shows it to be human blood. More details will be made public later. A Vatican-recognized team of scientists in Latin America have also indicated interest in conducting a separate test. They will soon be traveling to Korea to examine the site of the miracles, interview the witnesses, and bring some blood samples for testing.
This descent of Our Lord’s blood and flesh together with Our Lady’s tears of blood is truly a most amazing heavenly sign with a tremendous significance. It is also a powerful reminder to all of us of the fundamental Christian truth that our salvation is made possible through Our Lord’s suffering and shedding blood.
Another major miracle on the same mountain was the change of the Eucharistic species of bread and wine into those of live flesh and blood in the form of a small heart during Bishop Roman Danylak’s visit on September 22, 1995. There have also been numerous other miracles there for the past several years: physical healings via the water from the Blessed Mother’s spring, the fragrance of roses, descent of fragrant oil and more. The continuing occurrences of these miracles are the unfolding.
June 11, 2002
Julia Kim: “Suddenly there was a strong dusty wind, and I struggled not to be swept away by it. Soon, light shined from the sky and the strong dusty wind stopped. I was surprised, because there was the Blessed Mother in the sky with a sun-like bright light around her head. The helper who was with me assisted me to sit up. A while later the light was not visible any longer. (It was a cloudy day.)
At that moment, the helper uttered, “Uh!” and went to the spot where a Eucharistic miracle had occurred on September 22, 1995. Suddenly, he shouted, “Ah! There are lots of fresh blood marks on the ground. It must have come down just now.” I went to that place also.
Oh! What a wondrous sign. . . There were fresh blood marks on the ground, around a table on which photographs of the Eucharistic miracle on September 22, 1995 were being displayed. Blood on some rocks was thick and moving as if breathing.
We were speechless before the Lord’s inestimable love and amazing mystery. We just sat down plump and cried. A while later, I tried to stand up and walk, but couldn’t. So, I crawled to a nearby restroom and realized that the lower part of my body was badly damaged; all over my body, there were poking marks, which were made with an iron rod, and many bruises; and the sides were very swollen. I felt extreme pains from the head to the toes. Nevertheless, I could smile with much joy, because I was allowed to participate in the Lord’s sufferings even a little and also because I thought that more sinners would repent as the Lord opened up His Heart and shed blood at the place where the Eucharist had turned into visible flesh and blood.
When I dipped my finger in the fresh Precious Blood, the Blood continued to pulsate, pulling my finger rhythmically and with some force, like a living person’s heart. At one moment, the Blood even splashed up. We counted the pulse in the Blood, and it was 87 times per minute. My pulse was 72. Pulses were different among those who were present (Some of them came to the mountain later). Especially when Julio, my husband, touched my finger, the Precious Blood on it momentarily splashed up even making a sound. Everyone who saw this was totally amazed.”
During the overnight prayer meetings in Naju on June 30 and July 2, 2011, Julia Kim and many other pilgrims in the vinyl chapel in Naju received drops of the Lord’s Precious Blood on their clothes, arms, and feet.
Despite these miraculous events, signs, and miracles – as well as the support and witnessing by the pope and numerous other high-ranking clergy, the local bishop has yet to officially approve the apparitions in Naju, Korea.
“Mary, Reconciler of People and Nations”
BETANIA, VENEZUELA (1976-1990)
It was a gorgeous spring day for a large church picnic on March 25, 1984 for the 108 people in attendance. A grotto nearby with a spring-fed waterfall attracted the active children. Around 3:00 pm one of the children ran excitedly back to the resting adults to proclaim that the Blessed Mother was appearing to them above the waterfall near the grotto. Word spread quickly, and soon everybody was rushing to see what the child was talking about — and they ALL saw the incredible sight! The glowing white figure of Our Lady stood out against the dark green trees. Many saw a blue sash around her waist, and she was holding the baby Jesus. Many were able to see the clear, beautiful features of her face. She was silent like a statue, causing some to search for tricks or natural explanations.
Fifteen minutes later, she evaporated or “was absorbed into the trees.” But, she appeared six more times that day to the delight of the onlookers. The seventh appearance, right before sunset, was very clear and detailed so that nobody could doubt that it was a strikingly beautiful woman — not a statue or foggy illusion. All of the 108 people at this church picnic saw her clearly — not just children and poor people, but doctors, lawyers, a judge, priests, an army general, and even a few atheists!
Maria Esperanza (55) was not surprised at this event, because she had seen Mary on this same farm exactly 8 years earlier on March 25, 1976! At that time Mary spoke to her and identified herself as “the Reconciler of People and Nations.” She had asked Maria to help promote prayer, conversion, sacrifice, and to have a church built there.
Maria had an interesting life after her father died when she was only two. When she was five, she had fears about her mother leaving to go on a trip — perhaps that she would die, also. As her mother departed, she saw a smiling woman rise from the nearby river and toss a rose toward her to console her.
She would dress her dolls up to look like nuns and priests. At age 12, she developed such a severe case of pneumonia that doctors only gave her a day or two to live. The young Maria prayed to the Virgin Mary about dying, and Mary appeared to her, assuring her that she would survive in order to serve God, and then told her what medications she needed. The doctors heeded the heavenly advice, got the medications, and Maria Esperanza recovered. She had several other private apparitions of both Mary and Jesus in her youth.
The appearance near the grotto on the farm in 1976 was the most memorable — as she describes in her own words,
“I was staring at the grotto when, all of a sudden, I saw a white cloud which was enormous and beautiful. A friend thought a fire had broken out. The cloud seemed to open, and out came the Virgin Mary. And when she revealed her image, she went up to the top of a tree, and I saw she was beautiful with her dark brown hair, light brown eyes, very fine — very pretty eyebrows, tiny mouth, very straight nose, and beautiful complexion. Her skin seemed like silk. It was bronzed. I saw her dressed all in white, wearing a white mantle over her shoulders and on her head. She had some kind of veil which became tangled in the trees. Very young — like 15 or 16, with hair down to her shoulders… Rosy cheeks.”
As Mary stretched out her hands, light poured forth, illuminating everything around her. Maria was humbled and overwhelmed by the dazzling sight. Then Mary spoke,
“My little daughter, tell my children of all races, of all nations, of all religions, that I love them. All of my children are the same. There do not exist rich ones or poor ones, ugly ones or beautiful ones, black or white. I come to gather all of them to help them to go up to the high mountain of Mount Zion to my fertile land of Betania in these times so that they can be saved. I love all of them … to the youth I am directing myself so that they will really serve me and make me happy… to save the world. Little daughter, you are beholding me with my hands outstretched with graces and wrapped in the splendor of light to call all my children to conversion.”
Many more apparitions occurred in the following years. On one occasion on this farm, March 25, 1978, many saw a radiant mist coming from the woods. As the mist settled on top of a large tree, Maria — with 15 others — saw Our Lady materialize with hands on her chest. Maria heard, “Little daughter, this is not a dream. My presence among you is real.”
“Then her hands opened up, and I saw what appeared to be rays coming from her hands.
They came directly toward us, bathing us with light — and one man cried out, ‘Everything is burning up!’ The whole area appeared to be on fire. It was beautiful. The sun began to gyrate, and everyone was shouting with emotion.”
Maria was overwhelmed and fell to the ground. But, in front of everybody’s eyes, her body was raised up into the air — causing her daughter Maria and goddaughter Jacqueline to cry inconsolably from fear. During the levitation, the soft, tender voice of the Virgin Mary had asked her to accept the difficult task of bringing the message of peace and reconciliation to all nations. Word spread of these amazing sights. More apparitions continued, and more messages were given to Maria regarding Betania becoming “a new place of peace and harmony” — and the importance of salvation, prayer, and reconciliation. Later on, Mary warned:
“Mankind is currently abusing the graces received and is moving toward perdition, and if there is no change, he will succumb under fire, war, and death. But I am being sent into the world by God to avert or mitigate such a cataclysm.”
Bishop Ricardo wanted to investigate the events of March 25, 1984 himself — and was most impressed by the reports actually from several atheists and agnostics. “One of them was minding his own business, drinking water from the waterfall when he saw the apparition without any preconception or expectation — and he was not psychologically prepared for this!”
The day before Pope John Paul II was shot, she told others that she knew that it was going to happen, but had no idea how she could warn him. Then, on 14 different occasions with witnesses watching, a fragrant and beautiful red rose would emerge from her chest above her breasts, causing great pain and embarrassment each time, which she endured graciously. Mary wanted people to notice her and believe her words!
The Virgin told Maria that the presence of an unusual, evanescent, blue butterfly would be a symbol of Her presence. Many pilgrims to Betania have had the joy and privilege of seeing this unique butterfly emerge from the waterfall grotto and fly around the church.
About twenty others had verbal contacts with Mary. As many as 30,000 people gather on the 25th of each month. On one occasion, Dr. Arrieta, stricken with prostate cancer which had metastasized to his spine, was in attendance. In the morning, thousands saw the sun lose its light, turn green in its center. Then, like at Fatima, the sun seemed to come down toward the screaming, fearful crowds. Dr. Arrieta felt an infusion of heat throughout his body and believed he was being healed at that very moment. Medical tests confirmed he was now completely free of cancer. By 1987, five hundred cures had been documented at Betania. The church deemed these events to be authentic.
Each year, Maria Esperanza receives the stigmata of Jesus from Good Friday through Easter Sunday and suffers the pains of His Passion. Others have witnessed a gold glitter fall on them from the sky. Perhaps the greatest miracle occurred on December 8, 1992, during a midnight Mass on the vigil of the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Several thousand people saw a bright light over the Host. Father Otty Aristizabal, the chaplain of Betania, broke the Host in half, placing a small piece in the chalice. But the remaining piece of the Host began to bleed. Miraculously, the blood on this wafer-thin Host did not seep through to the other side. Examination revealed it to be human blood of AB type. This miracle has been preserved in the Convent of Los Teques by the Recollect Augustinian Sisters.
On another occasion, Father Rodriguez was holding this miraculous Host in its protective sealed container for pilgrims to kiss and adore when a young and most beautiful child mysteriously appeared out of thin air at his side. The child was reported by those present as having a most holy demeanor and loving appearance. When a visiting priest from Trinidad, Father Cuthbert Alexander, was presented this Host to kiss, the child placed her hand on the priest’s shoulder and then disappeared from view in front of everyone.
On March 25, 1993, author, scientific researcher, and physician, Professor Courtenay Bartholomew, M.D., heard thirty pilgrims shouting with joy near the grotto, and he turned in time to catch a glimpse of Mary – “wearing a beautiful chiffon-like long veil of light blue which floated majestically in the gentle breeze.” Immediately afterwards, the sun appeared to shed smaller golden suns which moved swiftly across the sky in various directions, and then suddenly disappeared. He was impressed that “all known laws of science had just been altered by the Creator.”
Bishop Pio Bello Ricardo published his letter of approval for these apparitions in 1987. He declared after great study and examination that they are authentic and of supernatural character. The site is declared sacred and approved for pilgrimages and worship.
First Apparition: March 25, 1976 – 8:30 a.m.
“Daughter, here you have Me with My Hands enriched with graces and covered with splendors of light, to call all My children to conversion; this is the seed of glory I offer as “MARY RECONCILER OF PEOPLE AND NATIONS”, for I come to reconcile all of you. Reconciliation is the inheritance of divine brotherhood of My Divine Son! Daughter, hand on My message to all. I will keep you here in My Heart from today on and forever!”
Second Apparition: August 22, 1976 – 1:30 p.m.
“Daughter, when all men on earth come to carry their cross with love, there will be no more pain nor weeping for they will live rising each day with My beloved Son.”
“My daughter, I wish for you to make them feel the worth of prayer and the importance of My new Apparition as Reconciler of People and Nations, for under this title they will find essential and determinant conditions to prepare their souls to receive the grace of the Holy Spirit… through the communication and the visits of Our Lord, through faith… for faith is the basis of Christianity… and increasing that same faith will make them seek with sincere love Our Father, and My Heart and the Heart of My Divine Son..!”
Sixth Apparition: November 27, 1978 – 9:00 a.m.
“My daughter, in 1983 you will be able to carry out, the land movement in a clear way… and then in 1984… the great event of My presence at the place..! And therefore, the great triumph of a march which unites, reestablishes, appraises multitudes that will start coming to My chosen place for these times..! And on the 13th of May… I will lull you in My Arms… all will turn into healthy, good and honest children..! Among those present there, some will feel Me… others will see Me… their hearts will be touched..! Daughter, that great day is coming..!”
Eighth Apparition: March 27, 1984 – 11:30 a.m.
“Children, today I make Myself present once more because the GREAT ANNOUNCED TIME has come… a CHURCH FOR ALL… THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH, which establishes the rules and points out, according to the law, a moral guide of how children should behave themselves, respecting the Commandments and Doctrine of My Divine Son… and devoting themselves to everyone’s well-being, especially to the most needy’s well-being, starting by improving their inner life, renewing their spirit with particular attention to meet with the Lord; thus, enter fully into the defense of human rights..!”
Ninth Apparition: January 25, 1985 – 3:00 p.m.
“Children, from this My Holy Mountain of this blessed place, among these trees, I gaze at you from My grotto of prayer, and in silence and seclusion I let you feel Me… so the grace of the Holy Spirit may enter fully in each one of you, and all may receive the divine vocation of service here in My Promised Land, and may be able to sweetly work for the love of My Beloved Son..! Blessed are those who offer their lives to the service of the Lord..!”
Eleventh Apparition: December 8, 1986 – 11:00 a.m.
“Daughter, children, here I am as I announced before; some will feel Me… others will see Me between the shrubs… others will perceive the perfumed roses of My garden from Heaven… and even more, some, who are sick, drinking from the water of My grotto of prayer, will be relieved; others, will be healed, attaining health and peace..! Daughter, wherever I place My Feet, it is as sowing the seed… and behold, the Doctrine and the Gospel are enacted through the faith that comes forth from the heart of those who seek Me..! And I tell you, all of you will be saved… for the Church renews and calls to a burning faith… when her children draw close to the flock of My Divine Son… to nourish themselves with His Mystical Body… and daughter, today many will be nourished..! Today there is a Feast of Angels in the whole world, and here in My Promised Land I come to call mankind to reconcile with their brothers..! I come to bestow peace upon the world and calmness to the people and nations..! I come to reign in the heart of the most humble… and I come to soften the proudest and the most arrogant… so they may mend their actions… all accompanying Me..!”
Thirteenth Apparition: July 6, 1987 – 11:30 a.m.
“My children, reaffirm your trust in the adorable Heart of My Jesus, who is in love with His Father’s delights..! Rest on the promises of the Lord who hears the prayers of His children… and whose mercy reaffirms all forever..! Do not worry, for Religious vocations will multiply. Apostles of My Heart..! fill yourselves with gratitude… for all will taste love and wisdom… since the Holy Spirit will enlighten each one of you in these apocalyptic times with His divine grace, sustaining all with bountiful fruits and divine rain..! Sons and daughters, do not stop wearing My miraculous medal to cover yourselves, in order to be protected… also distribute it generously so sinners may be converted, the sick may be healed and the moral values of today’s world may be reestablished..!”
Fifteenth Apparition: February 16, 1989 – 4:00 p.m.
“Daughter, children, here I am..! Living among you..! Children, My Heart beats with Heavenly delights as I gaze at each one of your faces which come to find the hope of better days, to solidify your steps on the road that leads to Mount Zion. For My fountain of the waters of Betania shall restore your souls to a new life… that will bring you to lead an apostleÕs life, that is to say, of service, devoted to a mission of love, which will reaffirm your trust in the light of the New Dawn of My Divine Jesus! He, My Beloved Son, wishes for all of you to live cradled in this motherly Heart, with the charismata and graces of the Holy Spirit. In this way, My children may hold hands, based on the Commandment, ‘Love one another..!’ It is the only truth that can save mankind from a war among brothers… that is to say, in these times, all should have recourse to the charitable harvest of good deeds, which is the identification of love and of truth of God’s people, who are longing for Social Justice… because as long as unity does not come forth, you will lead a life of anguish, grief, shadows and sorrow. Behold, children, the love of a Mother, who cherishes you… and comes as a starting point to lead you toward a law of justice, love, peace and reconciliation..! Prayer… Meditation… Penance… Eucharist..!”
Sixteenth Apparition: February 22, 1989 – 12:00 pm.
“Children, you saw Me just some minutes ago in the arbors of this, My grotto of prayer, as Mary of the Solitude, with the weeping and the suffering of a Mother… O, My little ones! There is so much grief in My Heart! I do not want you to suffer, I do not want to worry you, let alone for you to go through days of tribulation… but there are things that are so hard for men to understand. The only truth which remains is faith… which will build in your families the firmness and the certainty that the Lord, and this Mother live among all Our children… showing you the way, that only through deeds of faith the shadows that surround your daily living can be lessened..! Children, that is why your prayer must be constant, morning, afternoon and night, for only prayer can save you..! Never forget, the more you suffer, the closer to you We will be, soothing, healing the wounds of your hearts, to continue to live with the responsibility of being redeemers of this time, and saviors in hope for the great eternity..! Observe, to understand My message today..! Children, be courageous, and be willing to give your harvest of peace and love..! I keep you..!”
Nineteenth Apparition: April 1, 1989 – 4:30 p.m.
“Daughter, children, I am trying to talk to all of you, to tell you I lead you by the hand, covering your shoulders with My motherly mantle… Sons and daughters, I call you to the site of My new Apparition as Mary Reconciler of People and Nations… so you may begin to work on the harvest that you will sow in the hearts of the innocent children… and others, who are young and long for truth, love and justice..! I call you, for the GREAT MOMENT OF RECONCILIATION has arrived… and you need to prepare yourselves as soon as possible… for example: in the sowing of doctrine, catechism, spiritual exercises, the Gospel, and mainly the Eucharist. Daily Communion, the soulÕs nourishment, accompanied with work, in a task in which you can be productive, sowing the furrows with the holy seed of nourishment…”
Twenty-second Apparition: May l3, l989 – 7:00 p.m.
“My daughter, your own experience has taught you many things, so Evangelization takes root in your soul with vigor and infinite love… think of your personal experience as a language of love… to execute in a particular way, your task for the sake of human solidarity, growing… taking clear positions in the media of social communications… Your position must be freed from human conditioning, your basic judgment of life, your personal activity as a testimony of faith, of hope and of charity, sublime love, kindness, fidelity to your duties, with the patience, and that innate happiness, which you offer to all in a community-like way..! Thus, with courage, strive to perform your deeds with skill, reforming as you progress, with each day’s experience, the truth of love that conveys respect toward life and toward family dignity..! Behold, My daughter, work and struggle, serving everyone..! Daughter, you have seen Me covered with My white robes, with My Rosary in hand… children, you also were able so see Me and see the little shepherds who accompanied Me… O, sons and daughters! How great is My Lord’s kindness.. to give you this grace of infinite tenderness..!”
Twenty-third Apparition: May 25, 1989 (Corpus Christi) – 6:00 p.m.
“Children, you are here to learn from the classes of My Son Jesus, He uses His Priests to reaffirm His Words will never pass… that they are the ones who are in charge of giving all the proper teachings, with the orientation of appraising your faith and renewing your hearts to a new life… with the knowledge that the message of peace and human solidarity is to embrace one another in concord and brotherly unity..!”
“Children, glorify the Heavenly Father and My Divine Son Jesus, for allowing all to come and take shelter in Our Promised Land… seeking this motherly Heart..! My little ones, I contemplate each countenance of yours, looking deep inside… How I love you, sons and daughters! Continue to come, for you have the generosity of this, your Mother… who comes to live among you, and to assure all, nothing will halt the march of the truth of My presence in this place… I live among you… and among all My children, through a law of love. More will come… little by little, they shall enter… especially the Religious, these are, My beloved Cardinals, Bishops, Priests, Religious and all God’s people..! O nation of Mine, seek this, your Mother, who will be waiting for you with opened arms to mitigate your pain, grief or sorrow… I am the Mother of Mercy who comes to reconcile all… so you may love one another, support one another, and live a model life..! I love you very much..! I keep you here in My Heart..!”
Twenty-fourth Apparition: June 21, 1989 – 9:30 p.m.
“Yes, children, I continue to come to meet with all, for I am the Mother Reconciler who comes to reconcile you with all your brothers; and this is why I have confided in you the fulfillment of your duties as children of My motherly Heart… and behold, each person who comes to My place, will be heard and aided, for I am the Mother of the hungry… I am the hope of the thirsty… and the afflicted need help and protection..!”
“Children, today you have truly come to discern My message and at the same time, you have heard at daybreak, the song of the birds… in order to see My Image at the foot of a tree at My grotto… you saw the water of My spring flow over the stones, singing to the Lord… O children! My mystical eye, has observed each one of your faces and has been able to see in the bottom of your hearts the desire of an inner renewal, to analyze and contemplate all the beautiful things this temple of nature holds, temple I have chosen to receive all of My children..! Thus, sons and daughters, henceforth you will be enabled to understand the wonderful and heavenly gamut that exists here… and with will power you will be able to take part in the banquet of love My Divine Son and this Mother offer you… so you may lead a life, singing to the Lord His psalm of love..!”
Twenty-fifth Apparition: July 16, 1989 – 6:30 p.m.
“Daughter, My children, here among you at dusk, when the birds lift their flight to take refuge in their nests in the foliage of these trees, which have seen Me descend over this serene region… Yes, children, appearing to each one of you so you may feel My Voice in your hearts, with divine rhythms of new life… Thus, being able to comfort your brothers, alleviating their burden and offering them the fruits of the Tree of Grace and the blessed water of My cascade… Yes, sons and daughters, behold My announcement to the world, there is a place on earth where all My children may take refuge, hidden in the blessed mountain, seeking God’s treasures… preparing themselves… to understand clearly that only in the seclusion of prayer, living with simplicity and humility they will defend themselves from the violence of men on earth, and have the strength to proclaim the Word of the Lord with serenity; the peace of the just, wisdom, and God’s reason..! Behold, living in community you will learn much,… forgive very much and even more, love all your brothers..!”
Twenty-sixth Apparition: August 15, 1989 – 5:00 p.m.
“My daughter, My Heart I gave to you… My Heart I give to you… and My Heart I will give to you forever..! Children, I speak to all of you who have seen Me seconds ago… ascending into Heaven with My Arms opened, with a rain of roses… and you have had the proof in those petals, red fire, which signify represent the Heart of My Divine Jesus… He, as Christ Redeemer and Savior… renewing and purifying all men on earth..! Sons and daughters, all this seems like a dream to you… but it is a lively truth, and unique in these times of great calamity for men..!”
“On this day when My Assumption into Heaven is recalled… I want to leave you My roses of love… so keeping them in your hearts, you will have Me present with My Beloved Son..! I keep you here in My Heart..!”
Twenty-seventh Apparition: September 8, 1989 – 6:30 p.m.
“Yes, children, I want you to take Me with you so nothing will separate us… you must know truth always shines… and you will walk next to Me. I will lead you to the backwaters, where the water is clearer, for it comes from the springs of My grotto of prayer… Yes, sons and daughters, I want to protect you from the temptations of the world; you, youngsters, so you may follow God’s will in your ways in order to be worthy of His mercy and His infinite love.”
“All the places where I have made Myself felt are filled with spirituality, understanding and much love for My children so all may be saved… and here also, in your fatherland, entering into the countryman’s structure, to find souls who are sensitive and worthy of the love of My Lord..! This is why you should trust your Mother… and continue your path which leads to the Holy Mount..! I keep you here in My Heart..!”
Twenty-eighth Apparition: October 22, 1989 – 2:30 to 3:00 a.m.
“Daughter, children, I speak to all of you… listen to Me: In all the sites and places of the world there are many families that as days go by, time elapses, they have transformed themselves into great families… And behold, I come so all those families do not separate nor divide themselves ever… for I wish the bigger the family, the more and more they will love one another… in order to augment their own spiritual strength, and come to lead an evangelic life… And so, from now on, a call may be made for a program of human solidarity, of healthy families… with renewed spirituality… coming together and creating a nucleus of true children of God… and grow, turning into great communities, that will call on brothers of the whole world..! Start right now My little ones..! I keep you here in My Heart..!”
Twenty-ninth Apparition: November 8, 1989 – 6:00 p.m.
“Children, I am touching the hearts of My sons and daughters so they may increase their faith, and even more, for their renewal… so they may open their hearts to this Mother’s Heart… who comes to give them, through the love of Her Divine Son, the grace of the Holy Spirit, with the gift of understanding… so all may follow the current of the great truth they have in front of them..! Children, he who knows how to live according to the Doctrine of My Jesus has found his treasure… and in finding it, he will break the chains of the past that kept him mired… allowing the light to approach him… opening his eyes… to start to awaken… and fraternize with all his brothers..!”
“Children, I am offering you the great opportunity to unite, fulfilling a structural movement of consciences, with the burning flame of My Jesus… for this is the only way to go on… embellishing yourselves with spirituality..! Behold, reaffirm your steps… to meet with the pure source of a model life which is My Divine Son… which you have to live and feel inside..! I keep you here in My Heart..!”
Thirtieth Apparition: December 8, 1989 – 6:30 p.m.
“My children, today we have lived a great day of light… with the hope that all My children who have come to celebrate by My side, My Feast of Angels, as the Immaculate Conception, may have received the supreme purity of the divine spirit… and as a result you may have felt in your hearts, not only My presence, but the presence of My Divine Son… discovering the reason why in these times of great calamity for mankind, we are calling all Our scattered children from different places of the world to receive Our message… so it may be useful and beneficial for all, thus, to cultivate love… to overcome through a healthy conviction a world that is losing its mystical way..! Behold, fill yourselves with the strength and the grace of the Holy Spirit, traveling the road and following the luminous figure of My Beloved Son, who as Master continues to teach in the classrooms of Our Mother Church, in whom He is represented on earth by the High Pontiff, who with great accuracy, works with sound judgment and understanding at his mission of serving mankind, making known to everyone, that is a Christian’s duty… behold his work: building and renewing men’s consciousness..!”
Thirty-first Apparition: January 5, 1990 – 6:00 p.m.
“Great events and painful riots are growing around the world; countries and nations are being shaken by bad times..! Men have lessened their potential, in regard to their spirituality… behold they are navigating against the divine current of peace, love and brotherly unity..!”
“That is why, I am letting you feel Me and My Divine Son… so My children feel in their hearts Our soft touch and so they may listen to the announcement that: “The time of their freedom has arrived… may they make themselves present through sanctifying love…and may they continue their way seeking the light… and thus, their thoughts may receive the grace of the Holy Spirit, so they may be worthy of that light and music of the universe..! Think that: It is sufficient to enter into the constitution of men’s structure, to find an immense forge… with the mission to fulfill an inevitable duty, that is to say, to build love in each deed which represents divinity..! Much willpower is needed..! That is why, humbly obey the teachings of the Commandments of My beloved Son, so men may ascend to the stage of the: “Great truth of God meeting with His children..!” for: He comes to give life again..! Anyone, regardless of his race, caste, religion for Him all are the same… the only existing truth should be to practice what is good… and to lead a generous life..! I keep you here in My Heart..!”
“Our Lady of the Rosary”
SAN NICOLAS, ARGENTINA (1983-1990)
On September 25, 1983, Gladys Quiroga de Motta (46) was thinking about the approaching spring weather when she noticed her rosary beads were “glowing like molten steel.” Immediately, she ran to get her neighbors to come see — and they saw the glowing rosary, also! Word spread, and many groups started praying the Rosary daily. As Gladys knelt privately one day in her bedroom to pray, the Blessed Virgin was instantly in front of her. Madonna’s face was radiant and beautiful — her whole figure was glowing with light. She wore a blue gown and veil. In her arms was the baby Jesus and a large rosary. Mary only smiled at her, never speaking. And then, as suddenly as she had appeared, she vanished. Gladys was stunned, thrilled, and making sure that she was really wide awake.
When Blessed Mary appeared to her on October 7, 1983, Gladys asked her what she wanted me to do. Her image faded away and an image of a chapel appeared. “I understood that she wanted to be among us.”
As the silent apparitions continued over several weeks, it was the sixth visit on October 13, 1983, when Mary finally spoke to Gladys.
“You have been faithful. Do not be afraid. Come to see me. You will walk, hand in my hand, and you will travel a long road.”
By mid-November, apparitions of Mary were happening every day. Gladys tried to write down every word that she heard from Mary. On November 17, Gladys actually sprinkled Holy water on the apparition of Mary. The Virgin responded,
“Glorious days await you. You will rejoice in me, my beloved children.”
Our Lady was requesting that a church be built. On the evening of November 24, Gladys and a small group had walked to the location where Mary had stated that she wanted a church. As they stood there, a powerful shaft of light pierced the darkness and struck the soil. The only other witness to this in the group was a 9 year old girl.
On November 26, Gladys asked Her if she would like to be called “Mary of the Rosary of San Nicolas?”
“It must be so. My wish is to be among you, to cover you with blessings, with peace, with joy, and bring you close to the Lord Our God. Read Colossians 3:15, 4:15, 2 Corinthians 4.”
On November 27, Our Mother Mary refers to Exodus 25:8 – which reads:
“They shall make a sanctuary for me, that I may dwell in their midst.”
The significance of this passage is that it contains the instructions given by God to the Israelites for building the Ark of the Covenant by means of which Yahweh would be present to them. The New Testament and the early Church had consistently understood Mary to be the New Ark of the Covenant, who was the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit and the Bearer of the Son. The Virgin was restating this ancient teaching.
Message from December 12, 1983:
“Father, deliver us from all evil. With Your holy wisdom, Lord, save us from all sin. In the name of all those who love You, Lord, lead us on the right road. Amen. Read: Proverbs 2:1-11. He who says this prayer during nine consecutive days, together with a Rosary, will receive a very special grace from me.”
Message from December 27, 1983:
“All humanity is contaminated. It does not know what it wants, and it is the evil one’s chance, but he will not be the winner. Christ Jesus will win the great battle, my daughter. You must not let yourselves be surprised; you must be alert. For this reason, daughter, I ask for so much prayer, so much obedience to God. I say this for the whole world.”
Message from December 29, 1983:
“Speak of my messages, you cannot hide them! It is your Father’s will! He would not ask for something that cannot be done, nor say something that could not be spoken of. Read Matthew 10:26-28, 32-33, Mark 7:14-16.”
Message from January 8, 1984:
“At these moments all humanity is hanging by a thread. If the thread breaks, many will be those who do not reach salvation … Hurry, because time is running out.”
Message from January 15, 1984:
“My children, do not disobey Christ Jesus, for His pure Heart suffers if He sees you sin. The Lord wants you to be as perfect as you can. He does not want anyone to fall into worldly temptations. My daughter, today open your heart to your neighbor. Make this known, for it is my will and that of your Father. Amen. Read 1 John 2:3-6, 17.”
Message from February 25, 1984:
“The Lord will answer those who repent for their bad behavior. The Lord says, ‘Repent, and I will forgive you.’ The enemy will not advance; the hand of God Our Father will stop him. When the time comes, He will uproot all evil, purify you, and you will become good Christians. Glory be to Heaven.”
Message from April 12, 1984:
“In other places where I have appeared, the Lord has been present. My children, without the hand of God, nothing is possible. I make you listen to things that you had listened to before, but did not practice. Now the Lord gives you a new chance. The answer is in you. Amen, Amen. Read 1 Chronicles 22:19.”
Message from May 7, 1984:
“Blessed are those who love peace, because war brings total destruction. It is horrifying to see that men cannot restrain their impulse of ambition and power. They do not know how to see where the true sense of life is that can lead them to complete happiness. Only God can achieve it, and only God has the power of making it possible.”
Message from June 18, 1984:
“Those who offend Christ Jesus are like those who scourged Him and crucified Him. That is how He feels it. He suffers offenses and injustices so intensely. Remember that the God who gives life is the same One who will comfort your sorrow and will grant you the joy of life everlasting. Amen, Amen.”
During 1984 Gladys suffered painful stigmata or bloody wounds in her wrists, symbolizing the Crucifixion, on certain days of the week. In November of 1984, Gladys met the new bishop of San Nicolas, Domingo Salvador Castagna, who, in turn, then met with Pope John Paul II to discuss the phenomenon. By December 2, Mary told her,
“I want people to know that I am coming into the world. You must strike a medal with my image and my words, Mary of the Rosary of San Nicolas, and on the reverse side, the Holy Trinity with seven stars that would represent the seven graces that Jesus would grant to those who wear the medal.”
Message from December 20, 1984:
“People are unaware of the poison that the evil one places in them, and they let themselves be tempted. Today, they continue to crucify Christ with that behavior. That is why the Lord is instructing His children.”
Message from January 11, 1985:
“Tears burn my eyes when I see such coldness in those that I try to save, because I know that if they do not convert themselves, they will go to death.”
Here is her message from June 13, 1985:
“What value prayer has for the Lord, you cannot imagine! My children, that is why I ask for so much prayer! Say the Holy Rosary meditating! I assure you that your prayers will rise like a true song of love to the Lord.”
Message from February 28, 1986:
“You may ask yourselves, ‘Can the Lord forgive those who forget his existence?’ I tell you, yes, my children, the Lord can, because of His great mercy. But do not take excessive advantage of God’s kindness. Cling to my mantle strongly, for it will cleanse you and present you pure before the Lord. Glory be to the Most Holy of Heaven and the earth. Read Isaiah 29:18-19, 30:18, 21.”
Message from March 7, 1986:
“Daughter, the Prince of Evil pours out his venom today with all his might, because he sees that his sorry reign is ending; little is left to him. His end is near. Amen, Amen.”
By May 25, 1986, the medal that Mary had described had finally been created, produced, and was now being spread into circulation — just as the Virgin had requested.
Message from October 11, 1986:
“My daughter, the evil one is triumphant now, it is true, but it is a victory that will last briefly. The Lord is only giving him time, the same time that He gives man for him to return to God. That is why vices and worldly madness increase every day. The weaknesses will have to become strengths and in this way will be able to get rid of evil. As yet, man’s heart is not totally invaded. Glory be to God.”
Message from February 6, 1987:
“My daughter, in this time, I am the Ark for all your brethren! I am the Ark of peace, the Ark of salvation, the Ark where my children must enter, if they wish to live in the Kingdom of God. There is no obstacle for this Mother, and there will be none for the children.”
On April 11, 1987, Bishop Castagna meets again with Pope John Paul II and promises that he will direct a study of the phenomenon happening in San Nicolas, Argentina.
Message from May 10, 1987:
“Do not expect everything from God if you do nothing for Him. Awaken and return to the Lord.”
Message from September 21, 1987:
“My dear daughter, how sadly lost youth is! Drug addiction and easy life is the picture the evil one has set for the young! Sin, committed in very different ways, makes them stray further and further from God! If only they turn their eyes toward the Mother of God, the Mother will make them find God again. If only they penetrate the Mother’s Heart will they be able to hear the Lord’s voice.”
October 13, 1987 – The building of the church sanctuary (that Mary desired) begins.
On March 21, 1988, Gladys reports having a vision in which she sees the earth divided into two parts. One part represents two-thirds and the other part equals one-third. She sees the Blessed Virgin in the smaller part. Our Lady then responds to Gladys,
“You are seeing the world half-destroyed. These rays of light are sent from my heart, which wants to save as many hearts as it can. My heart is all-powerful, but it can do nothing if hearts are unwilling. The means to save souls are prayer and conversion. Every soul must prepare so as not to be imprisoned eternally by darkness.”
Message from Good Friday, April 1, 1988:
“My daughter, it was the blows that started His suffering, then the thorns, the nails, the lance. It was so painful for me to see Him suffer! Today, it is the sins, the hurtful words, the atheism. Yes, again they are crucifying Him; again my heart bleeds.”
Message from December 8, 1988:
“In these times of so much confusion and so little light in souls, my most pure light will be the one to guide you in the midst of so much darkness. Many are the children who do not admit that the Mother is the Mediator before the Son; many resist going to the Son through the Mother. I tell all mankind: I will help you to overcome every uncertainty; this Mother will make your encounter with the Son possible. For this it is necessary to become little and abandon yourself in My heart. I assure you, do not doubt. Preach it, daughter. Glory be to Heaven.”
Message from December 10, 1988:
“It is not mankind who is abandoned by God, but God who is abandoned by mankind!”
Message from February 17, 1989:
“Now the world must know that the Mother of Christ will overcome Satan, because by her side will be Her Son’s humble ones.”
Message from February 28, 1989:
“For these times, the Lord has marked a sign: The Woman Clothed with the Sun. She is the hope that the children must grasp. The Mother has set her eyes on you; set your eyes and your heart on God.”
Message from May 13, 1989:
“My daughter, as previously in Fatima, today my visits are renewed on earth. They are more frequent and more prolonged because humanity is passing through very dramatic times. Has mankind not understood that they must be uniquely at the service of God? If they resist, their souls are going to perish. Many hearts do not accept my invitation to prayer and conversion. That is why the work of the devil is growing and expanding. My dear children, it is only through prayer and conversion that you will return to God. May He not find your hearts dry.”
Message from May 24, 1989:
“My children, I am the door of Heaven and the help on earth.”
Message from December 7, 1989:
“My children, My Son has charged me with a mission: to be the guide of the souls who truly want to reach Him. Preach it.”
Gladys also received 68 messages from Jesus. Here is one from December 30, 1989:
“Before, the world was saved by means of Noah’s Ark; today the Ark is My Mother. Through Her, souls will be saved, because She will bring them toward Me. He who rejects My Mother rejects Me! Many are letting the grace of God pass by in these days.”
All in all, Gladys wrote down every one of 1,816 messages given to her by Our Blessed Mother Mary. She could hardly read or write before the apparitions began, but she was able to document the many messages she received with great clarity and precision
“My children, I ask you for prayers for a soul who is not praying and decreases in love of God. Let no one pretend to be agreeable to God if he is far from God. I ask for prayers and the conversion of hearts. Gladys, pray for my errant children. Pray so that each heart will permit the love of my Son to enter, so that rebellion may cease.”
News of a miracle healing of a 7 year-old boy on his deathbed detailed how his pregnant mother’s desperate prayers were answered. His paralysis ceased and an egg-shaped brain tumor began shrinking away to nothing over 3 weeks. He had been given his first Communion moments before his healing began.
The messages and visits ended on February 11, 1990. A commission of priests, psychologists, scholarly theologians, and psychiatrists declared that Gladys and her messages were authentic, the healings were both supernatural and real, and her mental state was balanced, healthy, and free of hallucinations. Bishop Castagna approved the apparitions and began accompanying a monthly procession on the 25th of each month, often accompanied by as many as 100,000 people.
In 2008, a magnificent new church was completed on the 25th anniversary of the first apparition, and 200,000 people attended and passed through it within 24 hours to see it and its new wooden statue of Our Lady of the Rosary.
On the island of Luzon in the Philippines, there is an elementary school by the name of Emilia Auginaldo. Janet Holly, age 10, a fourth-grader, was sitting on the playground at 4:30 in the afternoon. When she looked up in the sky, something caught her attention. She saw three angels, Mother Mary with a baby in her arms, and an old man standing next to her (Joseph?). They were coming out of a golden palace in a carriage pulled by winged horses. Janet was an orphan and started to cry, because she thought the angels were coming to take her away.
She ran into the classroom and called her teacher – who came out but did not see anything. But other children came running out of the buildings and did see the exact same apparition in the sky. They described the vision to a reporter in great detail. The Virgin Mary was wearing a long gown with a gold crown on her head. The angels had golden hair and long flaming gowns. One of them had a key in her hand. When the children waved their hands, the Blessed Virgin Mary waved back at them. Then the apparition disappeared altogether.
One teacher, who had seen the vision along with the children, said that she felt an awesome force making her kneel down on the ground.
A week later, the children still told the same story without changing or embellishing any of the details. However, what is most amazing is that the number of children who witnessed this apparition along with the one teacher totaled five hundred in number! It is significant when five hundred young witnesses do not change or add to their stories over time, but remain consistent and credible. Perhaps Mary allowed the one adult to see her as further validation that the event was real – and not just “imagined by children.”
Kibeho is a small African village in the mountainous terrain of Rwanda. This amazing and inspirational story would never have been known to any of us if it had not been for the miraculous survival during that country’s horrible genocide of author Immaculee Ilibagiza, who revealed the details of Blessed Mary’s visits in her book, “Our Lady of Kibeho.” The encounters began on Saturday, November 28, 1981with the first visionary, Alphonsine.
Alphonsine Mumureke (16) was away at a boarding school, helping out in the cafeteria, when she heard somebody in a strong but lovely voice — “soft as air and sweeter than music” — say, “My child …” Going out into a hallway, she immediately saw a brilliant, luminous, white cloud, materializing in mid-air a few feet in front of her. An incredibly beautiful Lady emerged from the cloud, floating between the floor and ceiling in a pool of shimmering light. She wore a flowing, seamless white dress with a white veil that covered her hair. Her hands were clasped in front of her in a gesture of prayer – her slender fingers pointing toward Heaven. The girl said that her skin and complexion was of incomparable beauty. She wore no shoes — just like all the villagers. As the beautiful figure drifted toward the girl, her feet never touched the ground. Waves of love emanated from Mary. Alphonsine felt compelled to drop to her knees, sensing a divine presence. “Who are you?” she asked. “I am the Mother of the Word,” replied Mary. And then Mary asked the amazed girl, “Of all the things in heaven, what makes you happy?” Alphonsine replied immediately, “I love God and his Mother who have given us their Son who has saved us.” Mary replied, smiling,
“It is true. I have come to assure you of this. I have heard your prayers. I would like it if your companions had more faith, because some of them do not believe enough. I want people to trust and love me as a Mother, because I want to lead them to my son, Jesus. Now watch as I return to heaven to be with my Son.”
Then Mary smiled and rose gracefully upward, vanishing into the cloud’s dwindling light. The girl collapsed on the floor in a stupor and could not be roused for 15 minutes. Almost everyone in the dining room had heard her speaking to someone! Now a group was in the hallway, trying to revive her. She was totally exhausted and had much trouble getting to her feet. When she told of her experience, nobody believed her. As more experiences continued, so did the harsh ridicule, teasing, and hurtful comments.
On one occasion she was walking along with a group of girls when she suddenly dropped to her knees as though she had been shot. She landed heavily on her knees and stared at the ceiling exactly as she had the day before. Her face lit up in ecstasy, smiling peacefully with tears of joy running down her cheeks. The transformation was so sudden and dramatic that some girls began to believe. Others howled with laughter, waving their hands in front of her eyes and shouting in her ears. But she did not blink, flinch, or react. She didn’t see the girls any longer – only the beautiful lady hovering above her again in the same soft, glorious light. Mary was the “most beautiful woman” she had ever seen – and said her skin was neither black nor white, but “shined like polished ivory.” She did not tell the girls that Mary was giving her important messages to deliver to government officials – even the Hutu president – about their policies of discrimination against Tutsis, praying the Rosary every day, following the Ten Commandments, etc.
On another occasion her classmates would toss rosaries at her while in an ecstasy, trying to hook them on her head like a ring-toss game. Some girls were respectful and laid their rosaries in front of her, hoping that Mary might bless them. When Mary told Alphonsine to pick them up so that she could bless them, the girl reached blindly into the pile of all the rosaries, unaware of the girls around her, and managed to only select those from the respectful girls. Those from the hecklers “stuck to the ground like anchors” and could not be lifted.
At the end of each apparition, Mary would tell Alphonsine exactly when she would next appear – and local villagers starting planning their schedules around them! Word spread like fire to many other villages, and school officials were afraid that an attention-seeking teenager was going to turn their school and parish into a national embarrassment. One of the priests gave permission for the harshest heckler, Marie-Claire, to go ahead and torment her even further! So she organized a group of tormenters to pull her hair, twist her fingers, pinch her very hard, scream in her ears, and shine a powerful flashlight into her eyes. But Alphonsine had no reaction whatsoever to any of this because she was in an ecstasy with the Virgin Mary. One day Marie-Claire held a burning candle under her right arm, but still there was no reaction. The priest, who was encouraging the harassment in order to expose her as a fake, now told Marie-Claire to stick a long needle several inches deep into her arm during the next ecstasy. Alphonsine still showed no response as she continued to happily chat with Mary. But she started begging Mary to let other students see her because Alphonsine was tired of the disbelief and ridicule.
Some of the faithful students also began praying for Mary to appear to others. And the Virgin Mary could not have responded with a better choice. Anathalie Mukamazimpaka, age 17, a pious, devout, no-nonsense, respected student also began to see Mary and receive messages on January 12, 1982. Feeling strangely emotional, Anathalie sat on her bed in her dormitory room with some other concerned girls. Her hands trembled violently and things went dark, and she could no longer see her friends. A blush of light illuminated a strange landscape with oddly-colored flowers and crimson floating bubbles. The confusing visions scared her, making her cry. A white sphere descended from above with intense light. Then a sad woman’s voice said,
“I am sad because I have sent a message, and no one will listen to the words as I desire. It is my wish for you to cry as you do now. Your tears are punishment – not because you have sinned against me, but to serve as a reminder that I can punish those who choose to ignore my messages. My child, you must pray, for the world is in a horrible way. People have turned from God and the love of my son, Jesus. If you will work with me, I shall give you a mission to lead those lost souls back from the darkness.”
The messages stressed the need for prayer, deep reflection, humility, and self-sacrifice. Then Mary told her something that she had told previously to Bernadette in Lourdes, “I cannot promise you happiness in this world, but I can promise you eternal happiness in the next world.” Others were impressed, but there was still a strong group of doubters led by Marie-Claire, who was more outraged than ever, determined to expose fraud. Even the priest who had encouraged her harassing, told her to back off now from being so mean. It would take a miracle to change Marie-Claire – and then it happened!
On March 1, 1982, Marie-Claire fainted during a walk in the garden between classes. She found herself in a dark area with an odor of human waste and decaying flesh – so disgusting that she felt like vomiting. She ran blindly in the darkness, hoping that she would find her school – and banged right into the front door. The darkness disappeared.
As daylight returned, she found that two classmates were actually holding her up and her clothes were drenched. They told her that she had been found semi-conscious on the floor of the chapel – and a nun had doused her with holy water to revive her. Apparently, hours had passed. Shaken and confused, she tried to recover in her bedroom – only to be back in the darkness again within minutes. This time menacing beings approached and hovered near her, threatening her with more visits from even more dark beings. Again, she awoke on the floor of the chapel with classmates surrounding her. Alphonsine handed her a small statue of Our Lady of Lourdes and said,
“Keep her with you to protect you from the evil one. Last night when the Blessed Mother appeared to me, she warned that the devil was planning to attack students at the school. She says that we can protect ourselves from the enemy by wearing our rosaries.”
The girls told her that she had had some kind of strange seizure or trance. Although confused, she remained adamant not to accept Alphonsine or her messages. But the next day in class as they were singing a hymn, she felt strange and bolted toward the door to try to avoid a blackout. This time she found herself in a beautiful landscape of manicured grass with dewy droplets reflecting a rainbow-colored sky. A soft voice came out of nowhere, calling her name, “Mukangango.” Fearing that this still all might be a trick of the devil, she spun around, fists clenched, looking to defend herself. The soft sweet voice filled with motherly love called her name again. Marie-Claire responded, “Okay, you’ve found me. I am Mukangango. I’m here, and “I’m ready to fight!”
“(With an affectionate laugh:) Why would you want to fight me, my child? What is making you so afraid? Never be afraid of your mother! … There is no need to be afraid of them. I promise the things of the night that threatened you will not frighten you again.
Sing a song for me using these words: Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.”
Marie-Claire felt ashamed that Mary was describing her own recent and nasty behavior. She refused to sing, so an amused Mary brought Anathalie into the scene to hold her hand and help her sing. Then she awakened on the chapel floor again, surrounded by thirty students who had witnessed her in a state of ecstasy, holding hands with Anathalie, and singing to the Blessed Virgin. Word spread within minutes across the campus that the sworn enemy of the visionaries had confessed to being visited by Mary as well. Marie-Claire’s rude, aggressive, and negative manner had essentially vanished overnight.
Later on, Mary showed her a black rosary, “The Rosary of the Seven Sorrows,” and taught her how to pray with it, making it her mission eventually to reintroduce it to the world. Marie-Claire asked Mary if her sister, who had died a year ago, was in heaven, but Mary explained that she was still in purgatory, waiting. The visionary complained that their family had prayed extensively for her, so why wasn’t that good enough?
“Praying for your departed loved ones is of great comfort to them and of great help for the souls in purgatory, but people still must work to earn a place in heaven.”
However, in a few days, Mary reported to Marie-Claire that “today your sister entered heaven and joined your father” – much to her delight.
A priest at the high school didn’t believe any of the girls, calling them “a pack of liars,” and wanting these three thrown out of the school. Marie-Claire approached him with a message from Mary about his “unjustly tormenting her children” and needing to do penance. “She wants you to kneel down tonight, hold your arms open to God, and pray your rosary three times.” But the priest called her a liar and ordered her to stay in her dormitory room until morning when he would then deliver a “proper punishment.”
That night, the priest decided to play it safe – just in case the visions were authentic – and locked himself in his room, drawing the curtains, and knelt on the floor. He spread his arms wide and recited the rosary three times. When he finished, he placed his rosary into his nightstand, placing some books and magazines on top of it before closing the drawer. The next morning he summoned Marie-Claire for her punishment. But she was smiling cheerfully when she arrived – and before he could speak, she exclaimed:
“Father – the Blessed Mother is very pleased that you prayed your rosary exactly as she asked you to, but she told me this morning that you shouldn’t have piled all those books and magazines on the rosary when you put it back in the drawer. She says to keep it with you at all times and pray with it every day.”
The priest was stunned at this amazing validation, and his heart was immediately converted, becoming a huge supporter of the visionaries from then on! Now, hundreds of curious villagers wanted to visit the campus or hang out near the college dormitory.
Valentine Nyiramukiza had her first apparition in church on May 12, 1982, when she heard a friendly woman’s voice calling softly to her, “You there … little child … Long life to you, child … I am the Mother of God.” She thought she had imagined this conversation after she looked around her. But Mary appeared to her in her own home days later and began a series of visits that would become the most frequent and ongoing – even to the present day. Mary emphasized to Valentine to help others learn how to pray properly,
“You must begin your prayers by offering God all that you conceal in your soul. God sees your every action and knows your every thought. You can hide nothing from Him. Hold back nothing. Admit all your bad deeds and thoughts. Then you must ask for God’s forgiveness from the bottom of your heart. Then your sins will not distract you from praying sincerely. … Then pray to forgive all of those who have trespassed against you. … Pray for the spiritual and physical welfare of your relatives. … You must ask God for strength to do His will. Pray for courage and wisdom to stay on the right path.”
Stephanie Mukamurenzi (age 14) saw Mary for the first time on May 25, 1982 while still in grade school – and was teased like the others by her classmates. Her messages emphasized placing God above everything else, praying honestly, and resisting temptations “that Satan places in front of you” that will “bring people to his darkness.”
On August 4, 1982, Agnes Kamagaju (21) had her first visions. Lying on her bed in her room, she began feeling an intense happiness that caused her to start giggling and laughing so loudly that it woke her parents. Then the Virgin Mary emerged from a spectacular glowing light. She was young and very beautiful, dressed in a white dress with a blue veil. The light surrounding her glowed like a crown about her head. She soon identified herself as “the Immaculate Conception.” She told her to start praying the rosary, and when she did, they were both transported to a beautiful field of flowers with a “crystal ship floating in the stars above.” Two nights later, her bedroom filled with light again, and Mary revealed to her that she was “the Mother from Heaven.” This time she pointed down to the ground where a dark pool “like an enormous puddle of black ink” was spreading across the ground. She was afraid of being sucked down into it.
“That is where people dwell who remain enveloped in the death of sin. My Son has a mission for you. You are to lead the young people away from the darkness of sin and back into His light.”
Then Agnes also had visions of Jesus with similar words regarding the need for conversion, prayer, renunciation of idolatry, fornication, and hypocrisy. On August 18, 1982, at a time when AIDS was becoming an epidemic in Africa, Jesus told her,
“They should not use their bodies as an instrument of pleasure. They are using all means to love and be loved, and they forget that the true love comes from God. Instead of being at the service of God, they are at the service of money. They must make of their body an instrument destined to the glory of God and not an object of pleasure at the service of men. Young men must seek to satisfy the hunger of their spirit, not feed the desires of their flesh. They should pray to Mary to show them the right way to God.”
Many thousands attended the public apparitions of Agnes and were often amazed at celestial displays that accompanied her visits from the Virgin Mary.
“The sun danced across the sky right before my eyes! It danced and changed into many colors, like a rainbow swirling in a glass circle, and then it became as gray and pale as the moon. There was suddenly another sun behind the first one, illuminating it. On the face of the moon was a giant Eucharist and chalice, and then the colors changed again – like a third sun had emerged that was red, green, and gold. And the face of the Virgin Mary appeared in the center of the sun – just as clear as day!”
“Thousands started looking up – when I looked up, I’d thought I’d gone crazy. I blinked and rubbed my eyes again … the sun really was dancing! It moved back and forth as though God Himself were tossing it from one hand to the other. And then another sun emerged from the dancing light. There were two suns in the sky! They spun in circles of opposite direction. One spun clockwise and the other counterclockwise. But then they spun into each other, reuniting as a single sun.”
Agnes pointed to the sky as Jesus spoke to her and said to the crowds,
“Behold what you see. Are there any among you who can deny now that they have a sign? Watch closely and remember what you witness. Believe your eyes or deny what you are seeing.”
“There, far above our heads, was an image of Jesus on the cross with the Blessed Mother standing below him with her head bowed in grief. When I checked to see if others were witnessing the same scene, I saw 15,000 people dropping to their knees, many making the sign of the cross as they looked to the sky through tears of love.”
Investigators and doctors continued to monitor and test the visionaries, pinching the girls with pliers, sticking them with needles, twisting their arms behind their backs, and shoving them hard to the ground. One very large man, a doctor, kneeled on top of one of the teenagers and bounced up and down on her chest! None of the visionaries ever reacted or were ever injured. In fact, they didn’t even seem to notice as their faces beamed with love and joy, chatting and singing to the Virgin.
Segatashya (15) was a poor, unschooled boy, with no religious training at all, picking beans in a field on July 2, 1982. Yet, he was surprised by a man’s voice coming out of nowhere, and then the figure of a handsome, 30 year-old man was suddenly next to him. The man calmed his fears and filled him somehow with an inexplicable joy. He taught Emmanuel the Lord’s Prayer and then identified himself as Jesus, saying, “I am neither white nor black; I am simply Lord.”
Christians in Rwanda were in an uproar — how could a pagan boy with no schooling be chosen by Jesus to give the world a message? But the boy addressed a crowd of 2,000, stating quite logically, “I am a boy with no schooling. If I had not been sent by Jesus, how could I present myself to you?” Unable to read or write, he then delivered eloquent and articulate messages from Jesus about the need for prayer and reparation, returning to the sacraments, Eucharist, and confession — all words that the boy had not heard before or understood, himself. Many members of the bishop’s Commission of Enquiry were amazed at the depth and breadth of the illiterate peasant boy’s knowledge of the Bible and theology, as well as his eloquence in conveying that knowledge. When he finally became baptized, Jesus told him to take the name Emanuel – which means “God is with us.”
Vestine (24) was the eighth and final youth to be contacted on September 15, 1982. Mary’s messages were global and did not ask the Muslims or Protestants to covert, either.
“When I show myself to someone and talk to them, I want to turn to the whole world. If I am now turning to the parish of Kibeho, it does not mean that I am only concerned for Kibeho … I am concerned with and am turning to the whole world.”
The messages were accompanied by extraordinary signs seen in the sky. Several times people saw a cross or crown of thorns in the sky near the sun. When Agnes asked for a blessing for the people present, a light refreshing rain fell on them, actually healing cuts and wounds from the pilgrims’ long treks to get there.
Three of the visionaries took mystical journeys with Mary. Before Alphonsine went on her journey, Mary instructed her to inform the school director “not to bury her – even if she appears dead.” The stunned director knew by now to take Alphonsine seriously. She told them that she would be away for the whole weekend. Failing to show for the Friday evening meal, a nun went to check on her on Saturday morning. She was stunned to find her lying unresponsive on her bed – unable to be awakened or even budged an inch. The director grabbed the school nurse and summoned Abbot Augustin Misago, a leading member of the Commission of Enquiry. Soon, there were many concerned officials, priests, and others in attendance as Alphonsine truly appeared dead. Medical experts concluded that she was still alive, but that her pulse rate was impossibly slow and her blood pressure too low with breathing almost nonexistent – a shallow breath once a minute. As many as six men tried with all their might to roll her over, separate her clasped hands, or lift her from the bed, but without any success! Eighteen hours later, Alphonsine awoke, livelier than ever — with sparkling eyes, relaxed muscles, and a glowing face. Later, she described her journey:
“The first place Mary took me was dark and very frightening, filled with shadows and groans of sadness and pain. She called it the Place of Despair, where the road leading away from God’s light ends. Another place was filled with the golden light of happiness and laughter and songs sung by so many joyous voices. Mary explained that I could not see them while I was still living below. But one called out my name and said that she had been a visionary, too, and had been persecuted for her visions. But she joyfully urged me to have faith and confidence in the Blessed Mother, for she would protect me.”
Anathalie also had a mystical journey which began on the podium in front of the crowds after a five-hour apparition. She collapsed into the same “frozen-limbs” state of near-death with the same officials and doctors vigilant and testing her. Seven hours later, she awoke and was carried to her bed where she did not speak for two days.
She finally described her journey with Mary. The first landscape was comprised of varying shades of vivid color and light, and people there traveled by “sliding through the light.” Another strange land was illuminated only by white light. She saw seven handsome men (angels) wearing white cloaks, standing in a circle, and creating the most beautiful music without any instruments. Mary called it ‘Isangano’ – a place of communion where angels praise God, watch over Earth, and aid humanity when they are needed or called upon. The third place contained millions of people dressed in white, who seemed overwhelmingly happy, but not as blissful as the angels had been. Mary called this place, ‘Isesengurwa’ – a place of purification. The last place they visited was “a land of twilight” – illuminated only by an unpleasant shade of red, and stifling dry and hot. She couldn’t look at the countless people there because of their misery and anguish. She knew it must be Hell. Mary said,
“Spend two days reflecting in silence on what you have seen. Do not meditate on the angels you saw; they are not of this world. The first place, the happy world of the cherished of God, was reserved for people whose hearts are good, who pray regularly, and who strive always to follow God’s will. Our second visit was to the place of purification – for those who called on God only during times of trouble, turning away from Him when their troubles were over. The last place of heat and no name was for those who never paid God any attention at all.”
Vestine’s trip was largely a test of faith – as Jesus asked her to die for Him on Good Friday, have her soul go to heaven, but be resurrected and returned on Sunday – like he had. But she trusted that he would keep his promise, so she begged others to not bury her if she appeared dead. Investigators, journalists, doctors, officials, and members of the Commission of Enquiry tensely awaited Easter weekend, wondering how she was going to die.
At 3:00 p.m. on Friday, Vestine was seized with a sudden pain and fell back on her bed, closed her eyes and “died.” Doctors were dumbfounded – her blood pressure had dropped to zero; no heartbeat or pulse could be detected. For hours they pondered what to do, wanting to trust that what she had said would happen — but staring at cold science that indicated she was truly dead. Vestine would take a deep breath every hour or two, so everybody sat tight and waited for the next 40 hours. Just after dawn on Easter Sunday, Vestine woke up, rubbed her eyes, stretched her arms, yawned, and exclaimed cheerfully, “Good morning, everyone! Happy Easter!” Doctors checked her and found her body to be back to complete and normal functioning again. However, a cross had formed on the center of her forehead – which doctors said was some kind of mysterious change in the pigmentation of her skin — not caused by injury, bruising, or burning. She said that heaven was difficult to describe:
“There are just no words for it. There were colors I’d never seen before, and they sounded like music. And there was music I’d never heard before that sounded like color. I just don’t know how to explain the feeling of being there. I begged Jesus from the bottom of my soul to let me stay there. He said that it wasn’t my time, so I must leave.”
With Mary promising to appear on August 15, 1982 for the Feast of the Assumption, there was much festivity, anticipation, and excitement. More than 20,000 people turned out – some hoping for cures for their sick relatives. But when Mary appeared, the visionaries’ efforts to sing to her were cut short unexpectedly by Mary’s tears of pain and grief. Mary indicated that her efforts were not appreciated, and then one horrifying vision after another came to Alphonsine, causing her to scream in terror. There were images of destruction, trees exploding into flames, torture, human carnage, severed human heads gushing blood, and a vast valley piled high with the remains of a million rotting, headless corpses with not a single soul left alive to bury the dead. Every visionary received the same horrific images from the weeping Virgin that day. For hours their horrified cries echoed through the hills, all of them describing “rivers of blood, savage murders, and the rotting remains of hundreds of thousands of people.”
The visions lasted anywhere from several months to a year for the seven youth, ending in 1989. Ten thousand were in attendance for that final contact with Alphonsine on November 28, 1989. Although it was raining steadily, the girl remained strangely dry during her experience. Here are some of the Virgin’s words on that final visit:
“My children, in truth, I am not staying as long as I used to do as I have told you all that was necessary. I have just told you what more I needed from you. As I said, I want to remind you that I am happy. I am happy with the fruits that were born in Rwanda since I came here. Don’t worry about the difficulties you have. Nothing is better than having God. My dear children, problems exist everywhere, but the most important thing is to have an accepting heart without complaining.”
“You all who are called crazy because you like to pray, all of you who are called thieves, those to whom they say that you are losing time by giving your life to God, I tell you that one day you will be happy.”
“All of you who are sick with incurable diseases, a good heart surpasses all; there are no riches that are beyond a clean heart. All of you who have had difficulties of all kinds, there are difficulties everywhere, in all walks of life. When they don’t go away, offer them to God. Every good Christian is requested to offer a sacrifice. All of you who have problems in your families, think of the Holy Family, who lived in poverty, and who lived among those who didn’t like them nor understood them, and with the problems you have, come close to them. All of you who have dedicated your lives to God, a life like that is not easy. The most important thing is to be faithful to your promises.”
“All of you young people, when you are young, you think that you can do anything; be careful not to fall and damage yourself for good. All of you leaders, who have the capacity to represent many people, don’t kill, but save; don’t be greedy, but share with others, and don’t attempt to hurt those who are trying to expose your wrongdoings. I tell you, anyone you want to hurt, because they love people and are defending human rights, because they are defending the cause of the poor and the simple, because they are defending anything good and trying to love God, I tell you, whatever you do will be in vain.”
“My children, saying goodbye to you doesn’t mean that I am forgetting Africa, not even the whole world. It doesn’t mean that I am going to forget Rwandans. I am asking you not to forget the love I have loved you with when I came to your country.”
Mother Mary also told the visionaries that suffering is “a part of our daily bread while still on earth.” She taught them how to accept and suffer well – and that suffering leads to heaven. Suffering teaches us many things that we would not otherwise learn. “Each person carries a cross, but what is important is to offer our sufferings to God and live through them without complaining.”
Our Lady said that if her warning came to pass, not to cry for those who would die because the gates of heaven would be open for them as they will have died innocently.
“Cry for those who will remain alive because many will be tempted to violence and revenge. Others will not be able to bear to live with the wrong they have done to others. There will be some who will be left; they will be left to tell of the goodness of God, because there is nothing else that could console then after the pain they would have experienced.”
Alphonsine echoes this lesson in her own learning and these words:
“With all I had to suffer, I now understand that it was necessary for me to go through it to know the truth and learn more about life. You see, if one lives without problems, one will never learn the lessons that one learns through resolving those problems. It would not be good to live without problems.”
Our Lady reminds us that the child of Mary always bears crosses graciously. The child of Mary dies with many words still in the heart. The child of Mary carries crosses with joy. The child of Mary sees the world as NOTHING. (Things do not matter.)
Then, as horribly predicted by the Virgin Mary, a terrible genocide came to Rwanda in the spring of 1994, with more than a million innocent souls murdered and chopped to pieces by the ruling tribal government in an effort to exterminate all those who belonged to the Tutsi tribe. Thousands upon thousands of decapitated bodies were dumped into rivers that then ran thick with human blood. Three visionaries, Marie-Claire, Stephanie, and the boy, Segatashya, all died in the holocaust. The author of “Our Lady of Kibeho,” Immaculee Ilibagiza, lost her whole family while she was secretly hidden in a tiny 3 by 4-foot bathroom of a preacher’s home with seven other women in silence for three months. She describes her miraculous survival and escape in her book, “Left to Tell.” Today, Immaculee Ilibagiza sometimes links up with either visionary Valentine or Anathalie on pilgrimages and hears some of the messages that Valentine still receives.
The amazing and detailed accuracy of Mary’s predictions convinced everybody of her authentic messages. Finally, in 2001, after 20 long years of investigation and seven years after the genocide, with overwhelming evidence Bishop Augustin Misago declared the apparitions to be authentic. Three days later, the Pope and the Vatican added Kibeho to the list of approved Marian apparition sites. Today love and peace flow from Kibeho as a place of spiritual hope and renewal.
“Queen of Peace”
MEDJUGORJE, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA (1981 — present)
Nobody could have predicted what was about to transform the tiny village of Medjugorje in the mountains of Bosnia-Hercegovina, starting in 1981 … … or did they? Back in 1933, the parish priest, Father Bernardin Smoljan, enthusiastically inspired his followers to haul stones, steel, cement, and wood up the rocky, thorny Krizevac Hill to erect an impressive 30-foot tall concrete cross on the 1,500 foot-high summit. This was to commemorate the 1900th anniversary of the death and resurrection of Jesus. This achievement certainly did not go unnoticed by Our Blessed Mother. Did it perhaps draw her attention? (She later told the visionaries that this cross had been part of God’s plan.)
A poor, humble, illiterate man, Mate Sego, born in 1901, repeated his prophetic predictions over many years that little Medjugorje would become a very important place one day with people from all nations coming to pray in a new church that would be built. Yet the crowds would be so vast that no church would be able to accommodate them all. He said that the Virgin Mary would come there! Before he died in 1979, he stated,
“I’m telling you this now! I will not see any of this, but you children will! There will be lots of buildings – not like the houses we have nowadays – some of the buildings will be huge. Our folks will sell their land to foreigners who will build hotels. Medjugorje and the surrounding hills will be a holy place. There will be so many people on our Crnica that you won’t be able to sleep at night. They will come for my Gospa (Blessed Mary)! Be kind and hospitable to those who come here, and all will go well for you.”
At the time, nobody took him very seriously, but just two years after his death, Our Blessed Mary began making her appearances in Medjugorje. True to his predictions, so many thousands of pilgrims prayed and sang songs through the night on Crnica, making it difficult to sleep. Hotels, large stores, and other big buildings developed over the next thirty years – accommodating the estimated 50 million pilgrims from many nations who have visited this holy place and experienced wondrous things.
Several other things happened prior to Mary’s first appearance. When the new St. James Church was completed in 1969, none of the local people could quite understand why it had been built so much larger than what this little village would ever need. Vlado Falak finished a painting in 1974 that hangs in the church choir loft – depicting the Virgin Mary appearing in the skies over Krizevac Hill. And Mary appeared there just 7 years later.
Just two months before the first apparition, Franjo, the youngest brother of Vicka Ivankovic (one of the visionaries) was preparing to take the family’s little tractor and trailer out to collect wood at 6:00 a.m. one morning. As he was gathering tools to place in the trailer, he discovered two sets of Rosary beads lying in the back of the trailer. One had a beautifully carved crucifix in ivory, depicting the scenes of all 14 Stations of the Cross. Franjo took them to his mother and grandmother, joking with them that this must be a sign from Mary, suggesting that “you need to pray more!” Nobody in the village claimed the beads or had ever seen them before.
But when the apparitions began just two months later – and his sister Vicka became one of the visionaries, the mother asked Vicka to ask Blessed Mary where the Rosary beads had come from. Mary replied,
“They were a special gift from me to your family…”
The final prophetic event occurred at the beginning of June, 1981 – just weeks before the first apparition. Father Tomislav Vlasic, a Franciscan priest from the Medjugorje region, had been feeling depressed and rather hopeless about the future of the church. He had recently resigned from his own Franciscan council, saying, “No one can do anything about the problems of the Church. All we can do is pray.” He decided to attend the International Leader’s Conference of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Rome for inspiration. Attended by around 700 participants from around the world, he asked to be prayed over for the healing of the Church.
Two of the religious participants praying over him received impressive responses. Father Emiliano Tardif from the Dominican Republic, who was reputed to have special healing powers, relayed the following locution that he received:
“Do not be afraid. I am sending you My Mother.”
Sister Briege McKenna, a sister of Saint Clare from Tampa, Florida, was also known for her special charismatic gifts – and related the following prophetic vision to him:
“I see a church with two large steeples high in the mountains. You are at the altar sitting in the celebrant’s chair. A spring of water gushes forth from behind you and flows through the church. Thousands come forth to drink of this water.”
Several months later in August of 1981, Father Tomislav Vlasic was transferred to Medjugorje – and immediately recognized the twin steeples of the church in the mountains as those described in Sister McKenna’s vision! He remained there through 1984, helping out through those amazing first several years.
The apparitions began on Wednesday, June 24, 1981 – Feast Day of John the Baptist. The day began with a violent thunderstorm and driving rains. But by late morning, all traces of the storm were gone, and the stifling June heat had returned. As the quiet evening approached, two close friends, Ivanka Ivankovic (15) and Mirjana Dragicevic (16), were walking between villages along a country road toward the slopes of Crnica. Ivanka was still grieving the sudden death of her mother, Jagoda, from just over a month before. Mirjana was a blonde-headed, street-wise teen from Sarajevo, who was visiting her relatives in Medjugorje for the summer. Some report that they were smoking cigarettes and listening to rock music as they walked along.
When Ivanka glanced up the slope of Crnica Hill, she saw something white or gray standing in the distance. “Look – the Gospa (Croatian word for Virgin Mary).” Mirjana studied her friend’s face, assuming that her grief must be causing such a vision, and said, dismissively, “Why would the Gospa be likely to appear to us?” They continued walking along with Ivanka occasionally looking up, trying to catch another glimpse of the strange figure on the rugged hillside. Milka Pavlovic (13) ran into them and asked for their help to bring her sheep down from the slopes of Crnica. They agreed to help, but Ivanka could not contain herself and begged the other two to return to the spot in the road where she saw the vision on the hillside. They agreed and returned to the spot where they had an unrestricted view of the slopes of Crnica.
Ivanka pointed up the hill with excitement – “The Gospa!” Milka and Mirjana both saw the figure now, too. About a thousand feet up the slope they saw a beautiful young woman holding a baby. Despite the distance they saw everything in very precise detail: a beautiful, graceful, young girl of about 18, silver-gray long dress, white veil, dark brown hair, dark eyelashes, and a crown of twelve stars. She held a child in her arms which she covered and uncovered with her veil. The long dress covered her feet, and she stood on a small, vaporous cloud, which seemed to hover slightly above the ground.
Another friend, Vicka Ivankovic (16) came along the road at this point, thinking that they must be watching some animal or snake on the hillside. But when she saw the apparition, she became overwhelmed with awe and fled, leaving her sandals behind in her haste to leave. Further down the road she sat down to rest on a boulder and burst into tears.
Two neighboring young men, Ivan Dragicevic (16) and Ivan Ivankovic (20) came along the road at this time and offered Vicka an apple from their bag. She blurted out her tale of what she had seen and begged them to accompany her back to the other three girls. The boys agreed to check it out with her, but when 16 year-old Ivan saw the mysterious sight, he turned, dropped his bag of apples, and ran home! They sensed that Mary was beckoning them to come closer, but nobody was brave enough to do so — and so eventually they left when it started to rain.
The next day, June 25, 1981, four of the kids (Ivanka, Mirjana, Ivan(16), and Vicka) decided they must investigate more closely. Both Milka and Ivan(20) could not return as they had other obligations. But Milka’s older sister, Marija Pavlovic (16) and friend Jakov Colo (10) asked if they could be included if Mary should appear again. The first four kids returned to the foot of Crnica Hill at the same time of the evening – and after three flashes of light, they immediately saw the apparition again. Excitedly, Vicka ran back to get Marija and Jakov, and now all six of these kids became filled with joy – not fear — at seeing her.
The Vision summoned the children to come up to her. They were utterly amazed at the ease and speed with which they advanced up the steep and treacherous slope – full of sharp-edged stones and prickly, thorny briers. Vicka describes that moment:
“We ran quickly up the hill. It was not like walking on the ground. Nor did we look for the path. We simply ran toward her. In less than five minutes we were up the hill – as if something had pulled us through the air. I was afraid. I was also barefoot, but no thorns had scratched me.”
The other kids described it as if they were flying up the rugged hillside. Those who were watching from below were astonished at the speed of the children’s ascent and did not even try to follow them (usually takes 15-20 minutes to climb – not two minutes!).
“When we were about two meters (six feet) away from the Madonna, we felt as if we were thrown to our knees. Jakov was thrown kneeling into a thorny bush, and I thought he would be injured. But he came out of it without a scratch.”
Now the six children were kneeling in front of the beautiful, shining Madonna with her slightly curly black hair, light blue eyes, rosy cheeks, slender build, and coffee-colored gown with a veil covering her head and flowing down over her body as she stood on a little cloud. Very little was said. Ivanka was finally the first to speak.
Ivanka: “Where is my mother?”
Blessed Mary: “Do not worry, my child. She is happy. She is with me.”
Jakov: “Will you return tomorrow?”
Blessed Mary: (nods YES) “Do not worry. I’ll pray with you always.”
Mirjana: “Dear Gospa, they will not believe us when we go home. They will tell us that we are crazy. Please give us a sign.”
Blessed Mary: (smiles) “Good-bye, my angels. Go in God’s peace.”
News of the apparitions spread fast; several thousand people from near and far were gathered in anticipation of a third evening appearance on Friday, June 26. Others were able to see the three flashes of light that seemed to precede every appearance. Vicka shares her thoughts at this point in time:
“On the third day, we went up the hill again. My grandmother told me to bring holy water with me. When Our Lady comes, I should use holy water and make the Sign of the Cross. So when Our Lady came, I used the holy water and said, ‘If you are Our Lady, stay with us, and if you are not, you better go away.’ Our Lady just smiled. As I threw it toward her, I could see the drops of holy water vanishing in the air. That was a sign, a sure sign for us, that it really was Our Lady.”
The essential dialogue of the third apparition goes as follows:
Blessed Mary: “Praised be Jesus.”
Vicka: (sprinkles Mary with holy water) “If you are the Gospa, stay with us. If not, go away.”
Blessed Mary: (smiles)
Ivanka: “Why have you come here?”
Blessed Mary: “I have come because there are enough true believers here. I wish to be with you to convert and to reconcile the whole world.”
Ivanka: “Did my mother say anything?”
Blessed Mary: “Obey your grandmother and help her because she is old.”
Mirjana: “How is my grandfather? (recently died)”
Blessed Mary: “He is well.”
Others: “Give us a sign which will prove your presence.”
Blessed Mary: “Blessed are those who have not seen and who believe.”
Mirjana: “Who are you?”
Blessed Mary: “I am the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.”
Others: “Why are you appearing to us? We are not better than others.”
Blessed Mary: “I do not necessarily choose the best.”
Others: “Will you come back?”
Blessed Mary: “Yes, to the same place as yesterday. Go in the peace of God.”
The next morning the government authorities from nearby Citluk had the police interrogate the children, but they stood firm in their claims. A police psychiatrist could not detect any mental issues.
When the children arrived at the hill that evening, a large crowd was already on the hill, awaiting them. The three flashes of light were often visible to many in the crowd. When Mary arrived, the children would suddenly stop the group prayer on the exact same word and drop to their knees in uncanny synchronization. It was very crowded, so when Mary appeared to them, the mass of praying, singing witnesses was a bit too close. When they saw the crowd accidentally step on the Virgin’s long veil, she would disappear. When some order was established, she would reappear. But then a boy stepped on her veil, and she disappeared again. With tears in their eyes the children cried out, “Be careful! You are standing on parts of her gown, and she keeps disappearing each time you do that!”
A few protective adults cordoned off an area to give the visionaries the space they needed for Mary to appear. The Virgin did not vanish after they did so. The children would focus on the same spot and each would be in conversation with her, separate from the others. Their mouths moved to form words but without audible sound to the onlookers.
Here is their summary of this fourth apparition on Saturday, June 27th.
Blessed Mary: “Praised be Jesus!”
Jakov: “What do you expect of our Franciscans?”
Blessed Mary: “Have them persevere in the faith and protect the faith of others.”
(Mirjana had been greatly concerned by the allegations of skeptics who attributed the visions simply to hallucinations induced by drug abuse:)
Mirjana: “Leave us a sign because the people treat us as liars.”
Blessed Mary: “My angels, do not be afraid of injustice. It has always existed.”
Others: “How must we pray?”
Blessed Mary: “Continue to recite seven Our Father’s and seven Hail Mary’s and Glory Be to the Father’s … but also add the Creed. Good-bye, my angels. Go in the peace of God.”
Ivan had not been present — either due to stomach cramps or his mother forbidding him to attend. Nevertheless, he was depressed about it and did take a short walk. (Mary had noted his absence and asked the others where he was.) The Blessed Virgin surprised him with a special appearance by the side of the road and said to him,
“Be in peace and take courage. Go in God’s peace.”
(Then she gave him a beautiful smile that he would never ever forget.)
On the fifth day of visitations, Sunday, June 28, some 15,000 people had gathered to watch. Blessed Mary appeared promptly at 6:30 p.m. again while the crowd was singing.
Blessed Mary: “Praised be Jesus!”
Visionaries: “Dear Gospa, what do you wish?”
Blessed Mary: “That people believe and persevere in the faith.”
Vicka: “What do you expect from the priests?”
Blessed Mary: “That they remain strong in the faith and that they help you.”
Visionaries: “Why don’t you appear to everyone in the church?”
Blessed Mary: “Blessed are they who believe without having seen.”
Visionaries: “Will you come back?”
Blessed Mary: “Yes, to the same place.”
Visionaries: “Do you prefer prayer or singing?”
Blessed Mary: “Both – pray and sing.
Vicka: “What do you wish from the crowd which has gathered here?
(Mary gives her a loving look, a smile, and vanishes for a few minutes. The children prayed and sang a song, and she reappeared.
Visionaries: “There she is! Let us sing a song!” (Marija leads a song …)
Blessed Mary: “My angels, my dear angels!”
Vicka: “Gospa, what do you expect of these people?” (repeats twice more)
Blessed Mary: “That those who do not see believe as those who see.”
Vicka: “Will you leave us a sign so that people believe that we are not liars or charlatans?”
Blessed Mary: (simply smiles) “Go in the peace of God.”
Visionaries: “She has left! There’s a light behind her! She is gone!”
On Monday, June 29, the children were again summoned by the authorities and sent to the neuro-psychiatric department at the hospital in Mostar. They were subjected to harsh interrogations. Attempts were made to frighten them by exposing them to severely demented patients at the hospital. They were shown dead bodies in the mortuary. But they passed every test, confidently answering every question without hesitation. A Muslim psychiatrist, Dr. Mulija Dzudza, declared,
“I have not seen more normal children than these. It is those who brought them here who should be declared insane!”
That evening, the sixth apparition appeared on the hillside:
Visionaries: “Dear Gospa, are you happy to see so many people here today?”
Blessed Mary: (smiling radiantly) “More than happy!”
Visionaries: “How long will you stay with us?”
Blessed Mary: “As long as you want me to, my angels.”
Visionaries: “What do you expect of the people who have come in spite of brambles and the heat?”
Blessed Mary: “There is only one God, one faith. Let the people believe firmly and do not fear anything.”
Visionaries: “What do you expect of us?”
Blessed Mary: “That you have a solid faith and maintain confidence.
Visionaries: “Will we be able to endure persecutions which will come to us because of you?”
Blessed Mary: “You will be able to, my angels. Do not fear. You will be able to endure everything. You must believe and have confidence in me.”
A local doctor from Citluk, Dr. Darinka Glamuzina, was sent by the authorities to observe the children. She came forward and asked the children if she could touch “this heavenly person” that they claimed to be seeing.
Vicka: “May this lady touch you?”
Blessed Mary: “There have always been unbelieving Judases, but let her touch me. She may come closer.”
Vicka shows the lady where to stretch out her hand; the doctor moves her hand to touch the Blessed Virgin. Suddenly, Dr. Glamuzina became instantly fearful and jerked her hand away. The Virgin then disappeared. The doctor described her experience:
“I felt something metallic and shocking … It sent shivers throughout my body. It was at that moment that I knew something was really happening here!”
Then Blessed Mary reappeared and the dialogue continued:
Visionaries: “The light! The light! Here she is!”
(The parents of a three-year old boy, suffering from septicemia since his first week of life, step forward, asking the visionaries to petition Our Lady for the handicapped child.)
“Dear Gospa, is little Daniel going to speak some day? Cure him so that they all will believe us. These people love you very much, dear Gospa.
Perform a miracle … Dear Gospa, say something …”
Blessed Mary: “Have them believe strongly and pray for his cure.
Go in the peace of God.”
Visionaries: “She is gone. Look! The light!”
Little Daniel could neither hear nor speak, and he walked with a limp. Although the parents were disappointed that there was no instant cure given to their son, they did as the Virgin had asked and prayed fervently and continuously on their long trip home. Later that evening, the family stopped at a small restaurant for dinner. As they discussed the day’s events at Medjugorje, little Daniel grabbed a cup and banged it on the table, exclaiming in a loud voice, “Momma, I want milk!” Several months later, Daniel could hear and speak just fine. Soon, he was running and playing with other boys. Now in his late thirties, he is completely healthy.
On Tuesday, June 30, two social workers (from the government) took the children on a long day of treats and sightseeing, deliberately away from the site of the apparitions. As the rendezvous time of 6:30 p.m. approached, the children demanded to be let out of the car. They were on the opposite side of Crnica Hill while thousands of people awaited their arrival on the other hillside. A light began to illuminate the area where the crowds had gathered but then started moving toward the children who were several miles away. Ivanka asked the social workers if they saw the light – and they did. The children knelt and Mary appeared to them. They asked if she was upset that they were not at the regular location, and she indicated that it did not make a difference. Then they asked Mary if she had any objection to meeting in the church, instead, from this time on. After some thought, she said that she would not mind at all.
Father Jozo Zovko, the parish priest, had respectfully listened to the children’s encounters and asked them many questions, but he was cautious to jump to any conclusion. What convinced him that these apparitions were genuine was his own experience on Wednesday, July 1.
“Sometime in the middle of the day, the police came to find the children because the two social workers had failed to stop them (They actually resigned after their experience). The children were evading the authorities the best that they could that day. I was alone in the church, praying, when I heard a clear voice say, ‘Come out and protect the children.’ I left my Bible and hurried to the door of the church. With my foot still in the air, and the door handle in my hand, the children were running toward me from the left, trying to escape the police. They begged me to hide them as they gathered around me, crying. I embraced the children and took them to an unoccupied room of the rectory, locking them inside. Shortly afterwards, Our Lady came to them in that room.”
Father Jozo was able to end the police pursuits by invoking an existing law that prevented the interrogation of minors without parental consent. Father Jozo was privileged to share in a “silent apparition” with the children (in the choir loft) on one evening that summer at 6:30 p.m. in which “he saw her and was stupefied.” This solidified his belief beyond any doubt.
In mid-July, Our Lady asked the children to meet her on the hillside at 11:00 p.m.; the children also invited thirty of their closest followers. One of the adults saw the sky opening up and a great, intense light coming toward them. Everyone exclaimed that they could see this light. Then a globe of light came out of the old wooden cross at this site and burst into thousands of bright stars – causing some children to panic and scream. Marija cried out, “Be calm. Our Lady is with us.” Everyone knelt and prayed for 40 solemn minutes.
Then the visionaries declared, “Our Lady is looking at all of you and telling you that those who would like to touch her may do so.” The children led the others to her, but if they stepped on her veil, she would disappear momentarily. Those that touched her described a “numbing of the hands.” If a sinner touched her, her dress would turn darker, and if too many sinners touched her dress, it would turn black and she would disappear. Marija insisted that people needed to “come clean” and go to confession. The next day there were long lines for confessions at the church!
After August 12, the apparitions began appearing in the church parish, by the road, or in private homes on a daily basis. Mary spoke simple messages of reconciliation in a voice that “was like a bell that rings softly.” She said, “Prayer and fasting can prevent even war.” Impressively, almost everybody began attending the 3-hour long Masses at St. James church. Father Jozo preached passionate and inspired messages during those days.
But the government authorities ordered him to stop these church services. His refusal to cease and his loyalty to the children led to his arrest on August 17, 1981.
The Virgin reassured the children that she would watch over Father Jozo in prison. And there were indeed signs of her supernatural presence: Prisoners and guards claimed they could see a glowing aura around the priest. The guards would turn off all the lights in his prison cell – yet his cell was always strangely illuminated by a supernatural light! The guards would lock his cell door, but it would always open as they started to walk away. No matter how hard they tried, they could never keep his cell door locked. Frightened and shaken, the guards quit trying. When Vicka asked Blessed Mary about this, she told the children on August 30 that she had been responsible for those tricks! He was finally released 18 months later.
Bishop Pavao Zanic of the Mostar-Duvno Diocese (which includes Medjugorje) believed so strongly in the apparitions during the early weeks that he visited the parish five times and met several times with Father Jozo. The bishop was anxious to meet and talk with the visionaries; once arranged, he spoke at length with all of them. He especially liked Marija with whom he quickly developed a warm relationship. He believed that these were authentic appearances of the Virgin Mary, and that in no way could these children be lying in such a consistent manner for such a period of time. Bishop Zanic concluded – as told to Father Jozo,
“I am 100% sure that it is Gospa (Virgin Mary) who is appearing to these children. I am even more certain of it than of Fatima or Lourdes! Furthermore, I am convinced that the children are not lying. They are saying only what they profoundly believe.”
Heavy pressure from the government was placed on Bishop Zanic to put an end to these apparitions and the huge, disturbing chaos that it was creating. He urgently met with Father Jozo again and told him,
“Father, today I have been summoned to come to Sarajevo. They told me that if I protected Medjugorje, if I stood by Medjugorje, they would lock me up! I cannot go to prison for Medjugorje – I am a bishop!”
A few days later, a hastily-assembled, anti-Medjugorje group of 12 priests came from Rome and threatened the bishop. If he continued his support for Medjugorje, they would “chase him out of the diocese.” Bishop Zanic cringed at such a prospect. Father Jozo was dumbfounded that he could go against what he knew was truth in his heart just to keep his position as bishop. Therefore, to save himself, the bishop immediately denounced the apparitions as false, claiming the visionaries were lying, and that the Franciscan priests were manipulating them and making up the messages—all as a grand scheme to make money and gain power for their order. He maintained this position for 12 years until his retirement in 1993!
Did the children feel betrayed, angry, or depressed about this? Apparently, they kept their emotions in check and maintained appropriate reverent respect for the bishop. Led by Marija, they went to visit him around 1985 and joyfully sang “Happy Birthday” to him when he answered the door. Marija reassured him that they were not “trying to soften him up” as he proposed but simply sharing their love and respect for him.
Father Ratko Peric became bishop upon Zanic’s retirement in 1993, and things only got worse. Bishop Peric immediately took a negative stance toward the apparitions – simply because Bishop Peric does not believe in ANY apparitions of the Virgin Mary, past or present, including Fatima, Lourdes, and Guadalupe! Bishop Peric never conducted a personal or official investigation, and he never has talked with any of the visionaries! Because the local bishop is the first important step in any approval process, Medjugorje seemed doomed for any legitimate approval. But we shall see, later on, how the Vatican cleverly removed that decision-making power away from this biased bishop in an unprecedented move in 2009 in order to finally allow a fair assessment of the miraculous happenings in Medjugorje.
None of the children had known about the earlier apparitions at Lourdes, Fatima, or anywhere else in the world when all of this began for them in Medjugorje – until one of the priests showed them a book much later on Lourdes.
In early October of 1981, Vicka received a surprise while visiting Jakov at his home. The Virgin Mary suddenly appeared and announced that she was going to take them to see Heaven. Jakov became frightened, thinking that they would not return and said, “Why don’t you just take Vicka? She has many brothers and sisters, but I am the only child of my mother.” The Virgin just smiled sweetly and took the two of them by their hands. Vicka describes the experience:
“I was wondering how many days we would be traveling (to get to heaven), and whether we would go through the sky or the ground. Our Lady took my right hand and Jakov’s left hand and took us with her. We saw the ceiling opening, giving us just enough space to go through, and within the wink of an eye, we found ourselves in heaven. Heaven is one huge endless space. There is a special kind of life that does not exist on the earth at all. We saw people dressed in pink, yellow, and gray gowns. Nobody was older than 33 years old. They were walking, praying, and singing, and there were small angels circling around. We saw people praying and singing, together in groups, but we could not understand what they were saying. It must have been some heavenly language. We experienced a special indescribable joy. Our Lady told us to have a good look at how overjoyed all those who were in heaven were. It was a special kind of joy that cannot be experienced on the earth. Everything is definitely so much more beautiful. When you are entering heaven, you experience an enormous feeling of separation from this life and enter a special new life.”
Mary: “All those who are faithful to God will have that. I did this so you could see the happiness which awaits those who love God.”
Then Our Lady took them through Purgatory; they described it as “dark and gloomy” and filled with “a gray-brown mist” and “something like ashes.” They did not actually see anybody but “felt anguish,” a sense of suffering, and a “strong yearning for peace.”
Mary: “These people are waiting for your prayers and sacrifices.”
The vision of Hell was so upsetting that Jakov refuses to describe it – even today! Vicka is reluctant to do so, but she does give us the following account:
“Fire … demons … awful. We literally saw a teenage blonde girl going into the flames and coming out as a horrendously disfigured, animal-like creature. The more they are against the Will of God, the deeper they enter into the fire, and the deeper they go, the more they rage against Him. When they come out of the fire, they don’t have a human shape any more. They are more like grotesque animals, but unlike anything on earth. It is as if they were never human beings before. They were horrible, ugly, angry! And each was different – no two looked alike. When they came out (of the flames), they were raging and smashing everything around – hissing and gnashing and screeching.”
Mary: “Do not be afraid! I have shown you hell so that you may know the state of those who are there. Keep the faith, fast, and pray. The devil is trying to conquer us. Do not permit him. I will be with you at every step.”
The children were not dreaming this, nor were they just given visions. They were physically absent from Jakov’s house for exactly twenty minutes. Jakov’s mother saw them in the home right before they departed. When she couldn’t find them a moment later, she frantically searched everywhere for them, inside and outside of the house for twenty minutes. She was becoming very fearful when they suddenly reappeared within the home, telling her where Blessed Mary had just taken them.
Vicka adds this bit of awareness, many years later:
“We all know that there are persons on this earth who simply don’t admit that God exists, even though He helps them. He tries to nudge them onto the path of holiness. But they say that they don’t believe, and they deny Him. They deny Him even when it is time to die. They continue to deny Him after they are dead. It is their choice. It is their will that they go to hell. They choose hell. When the illumination of the soul occurs in each individual (at death), they immediately have full knowledge of God and of all truths. Thus, they know where they are to go.” (also confirmed later in a message from Mary)
Speaking of Heaven, Ivanka was granted a special request by Our Lady on May 7, 1985.
“I never saw Mary so beautiful as on this evening. She wore the most beautiful gown I have ever seen in my life. Her gown, veil, and crown had gold and silver sequins of light. There were two angels with her – I don’t have words to describe this! Our Lady asked me if I had some wish. I told her I would like to see my earthly mother (deceased). She smiled, nodded her head, and my mother immediately appeared. She was smiling. Our Lady told me to stand up. I did, and my mother embraced and kissed me, and said, ‘My child, I am so proud of you.’ Then she kissed me and disappeared. After this, I asked Our Lady if I could kiss Her. She nodded her head, and I kissed Our Lady. She blessed me, smiled, and said, ‘Go in God’s peace.’”
Ivanka said later that her mother looked the same but much prettier with no evidence of the suffering that she had gone through in the last years. But her body was no longer like our earthly bodies. Ivanka added that touching Our Lady’s body was different than that – and that her dress had a “metallic” feel to it. Ivanka adds,
“Many people do not believe there is life after this life. But I am here as a living witness, and I can say there is life after life because I was able to see my Mom. This witnessing was not just for me, but for all mankind.”
In October of 1984, six thousand priests from all over the world attended a charismatic retreat in Rome – privileged to hear both Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II speak. After this retreat, 110 priests (most were American) from three countries felt compelled to visit Medjugorje. On October 13, (one of Mary’s favorite dates) they met in the late afternoon; four of the visionaries were in the hall beneath them. Our Lady appeared to the children and related a message for these priests:
“My dear sons, today the Lord has permitted me to gather you here to give you the message which is for all those who love me. My dear sons, pray and always ask God to continue to inspire you. In everything you do in the future, always seek the will of God. My dear sons, thank you for having answered my call to come here.”
In 1982, she told the six children that she would give each of them ten secrets, gradually released over time — and they would not see her as often. The credibility of the six visionaries has remained intact over the years. They have never contradicted themselves in relating messages of the Blessed Mary. They have been subjected periodically to every type of medical and scientific examination available. The following comments were the conclusions of seventeen renowned scientists, doctors, psychiatrists, and theologians from their long and detailed research on January 14, 1986 in Paina near Milan, Italy.
“The results proved that the apparitions, to which the visionaries testify, are a phenomenon that surpasses modern science – and that all points toward some other level of happening.”
Another team of specialists from the University of Montpellier, France ran many tests on five of the visionaries during their apparitions. Here are their findings:
Within one-fifth of a second, they simultaneously knelt and looked precisely at the same spot in the air without any visible reference point when the Virgin Mary appeared to them.
All eye movements ceased in a time period lasting from 3 minutes up to 45 minutes.
Nobody blinked in response to any eye being touched.
They did not react to any pain they were subjected to – including an algometer which causes lesions or skin burns.
There was a complete absence of sensitivity.
They showed no reaction to a hearing test – an input of 90 decibels (equal to a loud explosion) in their ears.
They did not blink when a 1000-watt light bulb was placed in front of their eyes.
Their regular voices stopped during the vision – yet all muscles of the mouth, jaw, and throat that are involved in speech continued, but the larynx (voice box) was shut off. This is physically impossible.
The French team concluded,
“Nothing in the physical realm interferes with their experience. This phenomenon seems to be a state of active, intense prayer, partially disconnected from the external world, in a state of contemplation with a separate person whom they can alone see, hear, and touch.”
During Bosnia’s bloody war, the conflict came to within five miles of Medjugorje. All the surrounding villages were destroyed by the enemy and most of their people massacred. But Medjugorje seemed protected – as if in a safe bubble from all evil, maintaining a tranquil, peaceful atmosphere. Even when bombs were directed at the village, they would explode safely high in the air or lie unexploded in nearby fields.
Finally, on a clear, blue-sky morning, two Russian-made MIG fighter jets approached Medjugorje to destroy it. On this cloudless morning, a dense fog suddenly appeared, mysteriously covering the entire town and obstructing their vision. They were unable to drop their bombs, and for some reason, one of the jets went down, killing the pilot. The other jet returned safely to base. Apparently, the surviving pilot was so unnerved by the bizarre incident that he defected from his military unit. The peacefulness of Medjugorje continues to only be disturbed by the church bells ringing and roosters crowing!
On August 2, 1981, (Feast of Our Lady, Queen of Angels) a series of celestial displays began and have continued to the present day. Just like at Fatima in 1917, the sun was seen to spin on its own axis just before sunset. Witnessed by 150 people that day, they could stare at the sun without hurting their eyes. It seemed to come toward those who were watching it and then recede back to its position in the sky. As it came closer, great darkness appeared behind it. The reaction of the 150 witnesses varied from praying to crying to panic and running away. After fifteen minutes, it ceased spinning as a white cloud was seen coming down over the mountain and toward the sun. A large number of people also saw numerous globes of different colors moving around the sun, while others claimed they saw Our Lady, the Sacred Heart, a great number of angels with trumpets coming out of the dimmer sun. Others also saw a large heart with six smaller hearts beneath it (the Virgin and the six children?).
Father Umberto Loncar, a Franciscan priest, describes the supernatural events of August 3rd and 4th.
“Many pilgrims observed that the sun had become pale, and that it had bright rings around it. These rings were casting reddish rays on the parish church of Medjugorje. A little later, they saw bright globes of different colors rotating around the sun. All of this was seen while Our Lady was appearing to the seers from 6:20 to 6:40 p.m. I, myself, had not bothered to look at the sky and so I didn’t really believe in them. The next day, I did gaze carefully toward the sun and did observe what the pilgrims had been reporting, but I assumed there must be natural explanations. But the next day was a different matter: At exactly 6:20 p.m. the sun paled, a breeze sprang up, and a most unusual, reddish-violet cloud traveled with considerable speed – much faster than clouds usually do – toward the huge cross on Mount Krizevac. It hovered over the huge cross for a minute or two, then started to move eastward and down toward the earth. I was awe-struck with what I saw next: a magnificent, reddish-violet figure of Our Lady, rising from Mount Crnica (Podbrdo). As it rose majestically in the sky, it slowly lost its delightful reddish-violet color and began slowly disappearing. But, I saw her unusually white veil, fluttering elegantly in the air under Our Lady’s feet for about a half-minute.”
On December 9, 1983, (Feast of the Immaculate Conception) a group of pilgrims reported their deeply-moving experience:
“We had a sun miracle at 1:00 p.m. We had just walked behind the church when a storm commenced … the church seemed to shake. Clouds as dark as night were driven across the sky by this brief storm. Suddenly, the sun broke through with spectacular rays. Then we saw the sun spin – seen most clearly by our most skeptical members! Everyone got on their knees because we all saw the darting and fiery rays breaking through the dark clouds in various directions. As the clouds disappeared, the sky became rose-red, and the sun paled. Seen in the sun was the Andrew cross. As it disappeared, a huge cross made of light began to be raised above the sun, peaked by a crown. Around it the darkness grew again – as though the judgment of God was at hand. All of this time, the huge cross on the mountain was invisible! The spectacular rose colors grew brighter and brighter, twirling around the cross of light above the sun.”
A number of times in the early years, the word “MIR” (“Peace”) was written in large bright letters in the evening sky above the cross on Mount Krizevac. The pastor and many others witnessed this phenomenon on many occasions. The most frequently observed phenomena have involved the cross on Mount Krizevac. People have seen the huge cross transform into a column of light. At other times the cross bar of the cross and its lower part have turned bright white, forming a “T” or a tau cross. At other times, the whole 30-foot tall cross has changed into the bright, luminous form of a young lady that matches the description of Mary given by the children – but with less clear detail. This occurred with most intensity for 30 minutes during the trial of Father Jozo on October 21-22, 1981. Father Luka Vlasic gives the following report:
“I noticed that the cross was gone from the mountain! In its place was now a large, white bright column. Soon this changed into a statue with the contour of a woman. She had her hands extended. She was looking towards the parish church. At times it appeared as if she was bowing to the left, then to the right. A strong thought came to my mind, ‘This is a reward from Our Lady for the long and exhausting four months of hearing confessions in Medjugorje.’ (He and three other priests had traveled to help with that!) Many pilgrims around the church and coming out of the church witnessed the appearance. Their faces were aglow with exultation. I am willing to confirm the truthfulness of this testimony by oath at any time.”
Father Janko Bubalo described his moving experience as well.
“I looked out the rectory window a little after 5:00 p.m. and saw two of the nuns kneeling on the wet ground with their arms wide open. Near them were some seventy men and women, kneeling and quite oblivious of the falling rain. Some were crying, some praying, and others singing religious hymns. They were all looking toward the cross (on the mountain), but it had disappeared! In its place was a strange, pale, rose-colored light without equivalent in real life. Through binoculars, I saw the silhouette of a woman. Her arms were open, and her feet were hidden in a luminous cloud at the base of the pedestal of the cross. I was filled with joy! All the villagers who looked were able to see her. The people prevailed upon the seers to ask Our Lady about the significance of this happening, and she told the children that it had been Her appearing on the mountain.”
Father Stanko Vasilj added a few more details from his perspective through binoculars:
“I saw the silhouette of a woman with a very light and luminous grey cape. At a certain moment, a ray of sparkling light issued from her right cheek. Everyone was on their knees outside. Three Carmelite priests arrived by car at that moment, having witnessed her from their car for the last mile and a half. At the end, a cloud rose up from the site of the cross. It was clear and transparent and divided in two, in the form of a fan. It was followed by another cloud, dark and somber, that came down like a curtain on each side of the cross. The cross finally reappeared, resuming its usual appearance. I affirm all of this, fully aware of my great responsibility before God and the Church.”
The visionaries added that Blessed Mary told them that “all of these signs are meant to reawaken the people’s faith.Every day I pray to My Son in front of that cross, asking Him to forgive the world.”
On December 11, the eve of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a “dance of the sun” took place shortly after 3:00 p.m. as described by an American woman:
“The sun started to quiver and shake as if it wanted to rip itself loose from the sky. It looked like it had a disc covering it – which also shook. The natives call this “the Host.” Then the sun started to rotate clockwise toward us. It was spectacular and awesome! It came toward us and then spun back, counterclockwise. It lasted until about 3:40 p.m.”
At 2:50 p.m. the next day, she and her friends were treated to another performance:
“The sun started to quiver and shake and then spin toward us. The more we prayed, the more spectacular the sight became. The sun started to spin faster and faster, and all of a sudden, we could see a beautiful red glow around it. This changed to yellow, orange, and a most beautiful violet. It started back again, and it came toward us, again changing colors around it. The lady next to me from England was bathed in the colors that the sun was throwing off. I also saw the ground bathed in red, yellow, orange, and violet. Suddenly, the sun jumped across the sky as if it were going down in the West behind the mountain. But just as fast as it jumped over, it jumped back. After that, it zigzagged up and down. My husband and all the others saw it, too! This spectacle lasted one full hour.”
At the end of May, 1984, Our Lady told Ivan that August 5th would be the 2,000th anniversary of her birthday (The Church actually celebrates it on Sept. 8th). That would make Our Lady about 15-16 years old when she gave birth to Jesus. Our Lady told Ivan that Jesus would present her with a special gift of many conversions throughout the world. In preparation for this day, Our Lady asked for three days of prayer and fasting just prior to August 5th, 1984. She also requested that her birthday be a special day of prayer,
“I have dedicated all my life to you through the centuries. Let it not be too much to give that day to me. There will be conversions, changes in the lives of people, in those who are psychologically ill, in sinners. Young people especially will accept me.”
The area responded with great enthusiasm; close to 40,000 followers came for Mary’s birthday. The children stated that Our Lady appeared “more brilliant than ever,” glowing, very happy, and very pleased with the widespread response to her request for prayer and fasting. “Pray, pray – never stop praying!” Around 7:00 a.m. that morning, a number of people reported seeing Blessed Mary on Mount Krizevac for 15 minutes. Her hands were uplifted, and she turned slowly, dressed in brilliant white. Somewhere around this time, the huge concrete cross was seen spinning for about one minute. Two American women reported that many pilgrims saw the “sun spinning furiously” and not hurting their eyes at all. Mary’s birthday was truly a spiritual celebration in many ways!
The most remarkable healing comes with the story of Colleen Willard from Chicago, Illinois in September of 2003. Besides having an inoperable brain tumor which threatened to end her life, Colleen had 15 other major ailments – like critical adrenal insufficiency and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. No airline wanted to accept the responsibility of flying her to Medjugorje. She was so weak from her infirmities that she could barely talk and hold her head upright. Medical clearance was somehow, miraculously obtained, and she accompanied the tour group to Vicka’s house upon arriving in Medjugorje.
It was so crowded there that the jostling, pushing, and tight quarters became a dangerous situation for this frail woman in her wheelchair. Just being touched could cause searing pain; a bang to her head could kill her. Her head dropped, and the tour leader was fearful that she had died. But her husband pushed his way to give her some medicine, and she revived. Vicka saw what was happening while she was talking. When she finished, Vicka pushed her way through the crowd and pulled Colleen from her wheelchair into a loving embrace. Placing her left hand on Colleen’s head, Vicka prayed over her.
Colleen felt a strong heat throughout her body. Many witnessed what looked like a “golden globe coming from Vicka’s hand.” Colleen felt like her head was burning. Vicka stopped the loving prayers and embrace after 10 minutes. Colleen was wheeled away to prepare for Mass and was positioned at the very front of the packed church. As the priest began to consecrate the host, Colleen heard Our Blessed Mother say,
“My daughter, will you surrender to God the Father? Will you surrender to my Spouse, the Holy Spirit? Will you surrender to My Son Jesus? Will you surrender now?”
Colleen agreed and began to feel her legs tingle. As she received the Eucharist, she could feel the heat and pain leaving her body. To the shock of everyone, Colleen stood up and left her wheelchair. After Mass, she was soon laughing and moving about freely. Everyone had tears of joy. That night Colleen danced with her husband in the joyous celebration that ensued. The next day, Colleen climbed Mount Krizevac without any trouble! Upon returning home to Chicago, she stunned the medical personnel of her doctor’s office with her healthy, vibrant presence.
The Vatican recognized that politics and personalities had tainted the formation of two biased investigating committees and had not given Medjugorje a fair assessment. Sending a clear message, the Vatican overruled the negative findings of those two commissions and made an unprecedented move to take the authority out of the hands of any local bishop there and place it, instead, with the Conference of Bishops of Yugoslavia. Furthermore, Cardinal Christoff Schonborn, Archbishop of Vienna and close friend to Pope Benedict XVI, came to Medjugorje on September 15, 2009:
“Who could make these things up? Man? No, this is not a human act. When I see the fruits of Medjugorje back at home (in Austria), I can only say that the tree is surely good. You can see a superpower of Mercy … I would advise for patience. The Mother of God is so patient with us that for nearly 29 years here, in a very direct way, she is showing her closeness and care for the parish of Medjugorje and numerous pilgrims. We can peacefully wait and have patience!”
After his trip there, the Vatican approved a new three-year, 17-member commission on March 17, 2010 to study Medjugorje, supposedly wrapping up its findings in 2013. On September 23, 2010, Cardinal Schonborn hosted visionaries Ivan and Marija at his cathedral in Vienna. With thousands of people in attendance and getting to ask questions of the seers for an hour, this high-ranking Vatican official was certainly giving informal acceptance for these events. Blessed Mary came to them in the cathedral for the children’s daily apparition. Pope John Paul II had unwavering informal support and belief in the apparitions, making numerous positive statements on many occasions. He was even quoted as saying that if he were no longer a pope, he would be in Medjugorje hearing confessions!
Regarding the power of prayer, Our Blessed Mother shared:
“Today, I am calling you to prayer. You know, dear children, that God grants special graces in prayer … I call you, dear children, to prayer with the heart. Without unceasing prayer, you cannot experience the beauty and greatness of the grace which God is offering you. May prayer reign in the whole world. You know that I love you and am coming here out of love, so I could show you the path of peace and salvation for your souls. I want you to not permit Satan to seduce you. Dear children, Satan is strong enough! Therefore, I ask you to dedicate your prayers so that those under his (Satan’s) influence may be saved. Give witness by your life; sacrifice your lives for the salvation of the world … Therefore, do not be afraid. If you pray, Satan cannot injure you, not even a little, because you are God’s children, and He is watching over you. Pray, and let the Rosary always be in your hands.”
Regarding the effects of fasting, Our Lady tells us:
“Fast strictly on Wednesdays and Fridays. The best fast is on bread and water. Through fasting and prayer one can stop wars, one can suspend the natural laws of nature … Works of charity cannot replace fasting … Everyone except the sick has to fast … There is only one path – prayer, strong faith, and fasting …”
Regarding confession, the Virgin Mary reminds us:
“Make your peace with God and among yourselves. If confession does not mean anything for you, really, you will be converted with great difficulty. Pray, pray! It is necessary to believe firmly, to go to confession regularly and likewise, to receive Holy Communion. It is the only salvation. One must invite people to go to confession each month, especially on the first Saturday. Monthly confession will be a remedy for the Church in the West. One must convey this message to the West. Do not go to confession through habit. Confession should give an impulse to your faith. It should stimulate you and bring you closer to Jesus.”
Regarding the Mass and the Eucharist, Mother Mary tells us the following:
“Jesus gives you His graces in the Mass. Let the Holy Mass be your life. Mass is the greatest prayer of God. You will never be able to understand its greatness. That is why you must be perfect and humble at Mass, and you should prepare yourselves for it … for an hour at least. May the Mass, the most exalted and most powerful act of your prayer, be the center of your spiritual life. Receive Holy Communion with an open and pure heart …”
Regarding Purgatory, Our Blessed Mother explains:
“There are many souls in Purgatory. Pray for their intentions – at least the Lord’s Prayer, the Hail Mary, and the Glory Be: seven times each – and the Creed. I recommend it to you. There is a large number of souls who have been in Purgatory for a long time because no one prays for them. These persons wait for your prayers and your sacrifices.”
Regarding going to Heaven, Our Lady tells us some details:
“You go to Heaven in full conscience – that which you have now. At the moment of death, you are conscious of the separation of the body and soul. It is false to teach people that you are reborn many times and that you pass to different bodies. One is born only once. The body, drawn from the earth, decomposes after death. It never comes back to life again. Man receives a transfigured body (in Heaven) …”
Regarding the sick, the Virgin suggests the following ideas:
“Have them believe and pray; I cannot help him who does not pray and does not sacrifice. The sick, just like those who are in good health, must pray and fast for the sick. The more you believe firmly, the more you pray and fast for the same intention, the greater is the grace and mercy of God.”
Regarding graces, Our Lady tells us the following details:
“I do not dispose all graces. I receive from God what I obtain through prayer. God has placed His complete trust in me. I particularly protect those who have been consecrated to me. The great sign has been granted. It will appear independently of the conversion of the people.”
Regarding the Virgin Mary’s role as an intercessor for prayers, she reveals:
“Jesus prefers that you address yourselves directly to Him rather than through an intermediary. In the meantime, if you wish to give yourselves completely to God, and if you wish that I be your protector, then confide to me all your intentions, your fasts, and your sacrifices so that I can dispose of them according to the will of God. I beseech you, Pray to Jesus! I am His Mother, and I intercede for you with Him. But all prayers go to Jesus. I will help, but everything does not depend solely on me, but also your strength, and the strength of those who pray.”
“The most beautiful thing is to believe. All prayers are good if they are said with faith.”
Mirjana inquired about and obtained more details from Mary about Hell and Purgatory:
“Men who go to Hell no longer want to receive any benefit from God. They do not repent nor do they cease to revolt and to blaspheme. They make up their mind to live in Hell and do not contemplate leaving it.”
“In Purgatory there are different levels; the lowest is close to Hell, and the highest gradually draws near to Heaven. It is not on All Souls Day, but at Christmas, that the greatest number of souls leave Purgatory. There are in Purgatory souls who pray ardently to God, but for whom no relative or friend prays on earth. God makes them benefit from the prayers of other people. It happens that God permits them to manifest themselves in different ways, close to their relatives on earth, in order to remind men of the existence of Purgatory and to solicit their prayers to come close to God, who is just, but good. The majority of people go to Purgatory. Many go to Hell. A small number go to Heaven.”
On June 24, 1983, Our Blessed Mother related the following urgent message:
“The sign will come; you must not worry about it. The only thing that I would want to tell you is to be converted. Make that known to all my children as quickly as possible. No pain, no suffering is too great for me in order to save you. I will pray to My Son not to punish the world; but I plead with you, be converted. You cannot imagine what is going to happen, or what the Eternal Father will send to earth. That is why you must be converted! Renounce everything. Do penance. Express my thanks to all my children who have prayed and fasted. I carry all this to My Divine Son in order to obtain an alleviation of His justice against the sins of mankind. I thank the people who have prayed and fasted. Persevere and help me to convert the world.”
“I know that many will not believe you, and that many who have an impassioned faith will cool off. You remain firm, and motivate people to instant prayer, penance, and conversion. At the end, you will be happier. When you suffer difficulties and need something, come to me.”
“Dear children, if you knew how much I love you, you would cry without ceasing!”
Other assorted messages over the years:
“Dear children! You are not aware of the importance of the messages which God is sending you through me. He is giving you great graces and you don’t realize it. Pray to the Holy Spirit for enlightenment. If you only knew how many graces God is giving you, you would pray without ceasing.” (November 8, 1984)
“Dear children! I wish to call you to grow in love. A flower cannot grow without water. Neither can you grow without God’s blessing. You should pray for His blessing from day to day so that you can grow normally and carry out your activities with God.” (April 10, 1986)
“Dear children! You are now preoccupied with material things, and in the material things you lose everything that God wants to give you. I invite you, dear children, to pray for the gifts of the Holy Spirit that you need now, in order that you may give witness to my presence here and to everything I am giving you. Dear children abandon yourselves to me so that I can lead you totally. Do not be preoccupied with the material things of this world. Thank you for your response to my call.” (April 17, 1986)
“Dear children! I am calling you to begin to pray the rosary with a living faith. Only in that way will I be able to help you. You wish to receive many graces but you do not pray. I cannot help you if you do not undertake the task of prayer seriously. Dear children, I am calling you to pray the rosary. This prayer is a must, and you should pray it with joy. Only then will you begin to understand why I am with you for such a long time. I wish to teach you how to pray.” (June 12, 1986)
“Dear children! Today I would like to invite you to pray every day for the souls in Purgatory. Every soul needs prayer and grace in order to reach God and His love. By praying for these souls you will gain intercessors for yourselves who will be able to help you recognize in this life that earthly things hold no importance; that heaven is the only goal worth aspiring to. For this reason, dear children, pray without interruption so that you may help yourselves and those to whom your prayers bring joy.” (Nov. 6, 1986)
“Dear children! Today, also, I invite you to dedicate your life to me with love, so that I may be able to guide you with love. It is a very special love that I bear for you, dear children, and it is my desire to lead all of you to God in heaven. I want you to realize that this life is very short compared with that in heaven. Therefore, dear children, commit yourselves to God today. Only in that way can I show you how dear you are to me and how much I want all of you to be saved and to be with me in heaven.” (Nov. 27, 1986)
Mirjana had an apparition in 1982 that did not greet her in the usual fashion; Satan had come to her, disguised as the Blessed Virgin. He wanted her to renounce the Madonna and follow him toward true happiness – not the “suffering” that Mary was promoting. Wisely, Mirjana rejected him, Mary immediately appeared, and Satan vanished. Mary:
“Excuse me for this, but you must know that Satan exists. One day, he presented himself before the throne of God and asked permission to try the Church for a period of time. God permitted him to try it during one century. This century is under the power of the devil, but when the secrets which have been confided to you have been fulfilled, his power will be destroyed. Already now, he is beginning to lose his power, and he has become aggressive. He destroys marriages, stirs up division between priests, brings about obsessions and murders. You must protect yourself by fasting and prayer, especially community prayer. Carry blessed objects with you. Place them in your houses. Return to the use of holy water.” (February 14, 1982)
On January 28, 1987, Our Blessed Mother gave a messagefor the world through Mirjana while she was in Sarajevo:
“In the beginning, you had fear and distrust of the children I have chosen. Later, the majority accepted me in their hearts and started to carry out my motherly requests, but, unfortunately, that didn’t last long. Wherever I appear, My Son is with me – but Satan also follows. You have unwittingly allowed him to take charge of you and rule over you. Sometimes you understand that some of your deeds are not allowed by God but you soon suppress those thoughts. Do not give in, dear children. Wipe away from my face the tears which I shed as I watch what you do. Look around you. Take the time to come to God in the church. Come into your Father’s house. Take the time to meet for family prayer and ask for God’s grace. Remember your deceased; make them happy by offering Mass. Do not look down your nose at the poor man who is begging for a crust of bread. Do not send him away from your rich table. Help him and God will help you. … Do not fool yourself into thinking, ‘I am good – but my brother who lives next to me is not good.’ You will be mistaken. It is because I am your mother that I love you and that I warn you. There are secrets, my children. This is what is not known – and when it will be known, it will be too late.”
Meanwhile, the miracles, healings, and blessings continue for many of the 50 million visitors who travel to Medjugorje. Some see the sun dance in the sky; many see statues that weep, and a number have had their rosary beads turn to gold. So what happened to those six children as they grew up? What about the ten secrets that they were to receive?
Vicka was asked by the Virgin to accept special sufferings so that she could accomplish special intentions for others. Vicka experienced a deep coma for 40 days, several periods of total blindness for also 40 days each, and strict fasting. Vicka gladly helped Mary with these amazing requests, never losing her happy smile. Between January of 1983 and April of 1985, Our Lady recounted her life story to Vicka in great detail (filling three notebooks) – to be published at a later date when Mary says that it is time to do so. Today, Vicka assists many pilgrims in Medjugorje every day with “healing prayers.” She married in 2002 and has two children.
Ivanka receives an annual apparition on every June 25. Her mission is to “pray for families.” She married in 1986, has three children, and still lives in Medjugorje.
Jakov experienced daily apparitions until he received his tenth secret in 1998; now he just has an annual apparition on Christmas every year. His mission is to “promote prayer and fasting.” He married in 1993, has three children, and remains in Medjugorje.
Ivan has had daily apparitions since the beginning. His mission is to promote “praying with your heart.” He married in 1994 and has three children. They reside in both the United States and Medjugorje where he still leads a regular prayer group on the mountainside. Our Lady gave him a message about finding time to pray in a busy world:
“If you want to pray better, you always need to pray more. Time is not a problem. The problem is love. Because, if you love something and care about something, you will always find the time for it.”
Mirjana’s regular apparitions ceased early on with her obtaining the tenth secret on December 25, 1982. She was to only have an annual visual apparition every March 18, but a monthly locution that began on the 2nd of every month, starting in August of 1987, became a full visual apparition after ten years – and continues, regularly, to the present day. Her mission is to “pray for the unbelievers.” She married in 1989, has two daughters, and remains in Medjugorje.
Marija initially received a weekly apparition in the parish church every Thursday from March 1, 1984 until January 8, 1987. After that, she routinely receives an apparition on the 25th of every month – and still does today. Her mission is to “pray for the souls in Purgatory.” She married an Italian in 1993, has four children, and lives both in Italy and in Medjugorje. Her humble and sincere attitude still impresses everyone that she meets.
So what are these ten secrets? In the early months of the apparitions, Blessed Mary presented a strange parchment to Mirjana that contained all ten secrets written in an unknown language. The parchment was neither cloth nor paper, but of a material “unknown” on earth. It could be balled and wrinkled but not torn. As of this date, only Mirjana, Ivanka, and Jakov have been given all ten secrets, including the day and date of each. Mirjana was to select a priest, Father Petar Ljubicic, who is to be given the parchment ten days before the first secret is to be revealed. He will only be able to read the first one. After seven days of fasting and prayer and three days before the event, he must announce it to the world in whatever means he chooses.
According to 26-plus years of research and interviews, Wayne Weible, respected author of nine books on Medjugorje, gives us his best clues and details about these secrets:
Secret #1: There will be a “major upheaval” somewhere in the world that “will for last for a little while.” Mirjana says that it is necessary to “shake up the world a little” – and cause everyone to “pause and think.”
Secret #2: There will be an interior “illumination” of the soul, experienced by every living human being at a specific designated time. Through the Holy Spirit, it will suddenly permit every person to see his or her soul exactly as God sees it. Every sin and every good deed will be visible to each of us — as the world will literally stand still for a matter of time. Those who believe in God will experience great benefit. Those without belief will suffer the pain of the undeniable truth that God is real. Some will die from the shock of seeing themselves as God sees them. In fact, Mother Mary commented on this,
“Tongues of fire (Holy Spirit) will come down upon you all, my poor children, so ensnared and seduced by all the evil spirits who, during these years, have attained their greatest triumph, and thus, you will be illuminated by this divine light, and you will see your own selves in the mirror of the truth and the holiness of God. It will be like a judgment in miniature, which will open the door of your heart to receive the great gift of Divine Mercy.” (Pentecost Sunday, June 4, 1995)
Secret #3: A permanent sign will be visible at the site of the first apparition (and perhaps at the sites of all apparitions worldwide). It can be seen and photographed but not touched. It is mostly a sign for atheists and others to convert, and that God is indeed real. Mirjana says, “When the permanent sign appears, unbelievers will run to the hill and pray for forgiveness …”
Secrets #4-6: Virtually nothing is known about these three secrets.
Secret #7: This was to be the first of three chastisements to begin changing the world. However, Blessed Mary tells us now that the efforts of prayer, fasting, and penance by so many who are trying to follow her messages, have greatly reduced or eliminated this chastisement!
Secret #8: This is another chastisement for mankind – one that frightened Mirjana when she learned of it on November 6, 1982. She begged Mother Mary to lessen its intensity.
(Mary) “I have prayed; the punishment has been softened. Repeated prayers and fasting reduce punishments from God, but it is not possible to avoid entirely the chastisement. Go on the streets of the city – count those who glorify God and those who offend Him. God can no longer endure that.”
Secret #9: Another severe chastisement; prayer and fasting could lessen it.
Secret #10: This will be an unavoidable “purification” of the world through “three days of darkness.” (Sounds a bit like Passover…)
“It will begin on a bitterly cold winter night in the Northern hemisphere. The wind will howl and roar with lightning and thunderbolts of an unprecedented magnitude will strike the earth. The whole earth will shake. The moon and the stars will be disturbed and not be seen in a normal way. Then, every demon, every spirit will be released from hell and allowed to roam the earth. Terrifying apparitions will take place. Many will die from sheer fright. Fire will rain forth from the sky; all large cities will be destroyed and poisonous gases will fill the air. Cries and lamentations will be heard everywhere. The unbelievers will burn in the open like withered grass. The entire earth will be afflicted; it will look like a huge graveyard.
We are to go indoors, lock all doors and windows, pull down the blinds, and stick adhesive paper on vents and around windows and doors. We are not to answer calls and pleas from outside – which sound like our relatives, our children, and our friends – even though the temptation will be overwhelming to respond. In order to protect ourselves, we are to light blessed wax candles, which can be obtained by asking a priest to bless any wax candle. Nothing else will burn, but the candles will not be extinguished once lit. Nothing will put them out in the houses of the faithful, but they will not burn in the houses of the godless. Second, we should sprinkle holy water about the house and especially near doors and windows. The devils fear holy water. We are to bless ourselves with it and anoint our five senses with it – eyes, ears, nose, mouth, hands, feet, and forehead.
We should kneel and pray incessantly with outstretched arms – or prostrate on the floor. Pray the rosary and meditate on the Sorrowful mysteries. Mercifully, some people, especially children, will be taken up to Heaven beforehand to spare them the horror of these days. People caught outdoors will die instantly. Three-quarters of the human race will be exterminated, more men than women. When all seems lost and hopeless, in the blink of an eye, the ordeal will be over. The sun will rise and shine as in springtime over a purified earth.”
Although the terrifying and gloomy nature of this “secret” sounds so scary and depressing, think aboutwhat it is really saying: All evil abolished, the end of the devil’s influence, only sincere believers in God remaining, no crime, no deceit, no abuse – truly like a new Garden of Eden – an age of peace and love and harmony …truly a “world without end.” The Virgin Mary said to not waste energy worrying about the secrets. Believe in God and practice her messages from Jesus through how we live our lives. In conclusion, Our Blessed Mother tells us:
“Resist everything that wants to distance you from My Son …”
“Dear children! Give thanks with me to the Most High for my presence with you. My heart is joyful watching the love and joy in the living of my messages. Many of you have responded, but I wait for, and seek, all the hearts that have fallen asleep to awaken from the sleep of unbelief. Little children, draw even closer to my Immaculate Heart so that I can lead all of you toward eternity. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (June 25, 2011—the 30th anniversary)