Tag Archives: miracles

Agoo, Philippines, 1989-1993


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.

The statue of the Virgin Mary in Agoo, Philippines
The statue of the Virgin Mary in Agoo, Philippines

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.

  1. Attend daily Mass.
  2. Visit the Blessed Sacrament often.
  3. Wear the Brown Scapular (cloth).
  4. Pray the 15 mysteries of the holy rosary with the litany and Hail Holy Queen.
  5. Do the Way of the Cross.
  6. Go to Confession regularly.
  7. 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.”

Visionary Judiel Nieva experiencing a Eucharistic miracle; Host turns to flesh and blood in front of witnesses.
Visionary Judiel Nieva experiencing a Eucharistic miracle; Host turns to flesh and blood in front of witnesses.

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.”

The weeping blood of the Virgin's statue in Agoo. The observing bishop placed his fingers in it.
The weeping blood of the Virgin’s statue in Agoo. The observing bishop placed his fingers in it.

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.

Our Lady of Naju, Korea, 1985-2002

“Our Lady of Naju”
NAJU, KOREA (1985-2002)

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.

Julia Kim (in blue) begins having Eucharistic miracles in her mouth.
Julia Kim (in blue) begins having Eucharistic miracles in her mouth.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. FRAGRANT OIL FROM OUR LADY’S STATUE: For seven hundred consecutive days from November 24, 1992, to October 23, 1994.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.


  • 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.

Julia's statue of Mary, Mother of Mercy begins shedding tears and blood.
Julia’s statue of Mary, Mother of Mercy begins shedding tears and blood.


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.

A supernatural photo -- the Host and Chalice appear, "but aren't there."
A supernatural photo — the Host and Chalice appear, “but aren’t there.”

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.”


“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.”

Many officials observe Eucharistic miracles in Julia's mouth.
Many officials observe Eucharistic miracles in Julia’s mouth.

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.”


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.

The Host turns into bloody, pulsating, and living flesh.
The Host turns into bloody, pulsating, and living flesh.

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.”

Even Pope John Paul II observes a Communion miracle in Julia's mouth.
Even Pope John Paul II observes a Communion miracle in Julia’s mouth.

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.


“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.

The white Host becomes bloody and fleshy in Julia's mouth.
The white Host becomes bloody and fleshy in Julia’s mouth.

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.

Religious officials film and document these miracles.
Religious officials film and document these miracles.


“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.

A Host becomes a lump of bloody flesh 13 times for Julia.
A Host becomes a lump of bloody flesh 13 times for Julia.

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.”

These are the seven Hosts that descended out of thin air.
These are the seven Hosts that descended out of thin air.

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.

People quietly pick up evidence from a "rain of blood."
People quietly pick up evidence from a “rain of blood.”


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.

Human blood rained down on these rocks in Naju.
Human blood rained down on these rocks in Naju.

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.

Our Lady of Betania, Venezuela, 1976-1990.

“Mary, Reconciler of People and Nations”

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.

 The visionary, Maria Esperanza, with life-long encounters.
The visionary, Maria Esperanza, with life-long encounters.

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.”

The site of the apparitions in Betania, Venezuela.
The site of the apparitions in Betania, Venezuela.

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.

Everyone is able to see the Virgin Mary at the picnic in 1984.
Everyone is able to see the Virgin Mary at the picnic in 1984.

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..!”

The apparition site draws crowds of pilgrims today.
The apparition site draws crowds of pilgrims today.

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..!”

The shrine to Our Lady of Betania at the apparition site.
The shrine to Our Lady of Betania at the apparition site.

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..!”

"Our Lady of Betania" in Venezuela.
“Our Lady of Betania” in Venezuela.

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..!”

Visionary Maria Esperanza experiences stigmata.
Visionary Maria Esperanza experiences stigmata.

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..!”

Eucharistic miracle: a bleeding Host in Betania
Eucharistic miracle: a bleeding Host in Betania

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..!”

Visionary Maria Esperanza shares her messages with the crowds.
Visionary Maria Esperanza shares her messages with the crowds.

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..!”

Queen of Peace, Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, 1981-present.

“Queen of Peace”

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.”

The expensive, carved Rosary cross given by Blessed Mary to Vicka's family BEFORE the apparitions began.
The expensive, carved Rosary cross given by Blessed Mary to Vicka’s family BEFORE the apparitions began.

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.”

The "Queen of Peace" arrives on the mountainside above Medjugorje in 1981
The “Queen of Peace” arrives on the mountainside above Medjugorje in 1981

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.”

Visionaries: Mirjana, Vicka, Ivanka, Jakov, Ivan, and Marija
Visionaries: Mirjana, Vicka, Ivanka, Jakov, Ivan, and Marija

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 six visionaries try to find space on the crowded mountainside in 1981
The six visionaries try to find space on the crowded mountainside in 1981


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.”

Supportive priest, Father Jozo, meets with the six children in 1981.
Supportive priest, Father Jozo, meets with the six children in 1981.

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.”

The six visionaries are entranced by Blessed Mary's visits.
The six visionaries are entranced by Blessed Mary’s visits.

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?

The visionaries' movements are constantly in precise unison.
The visionaries’ movements are constantly in precise unison.

(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!”

Attendance peaks at the St. James parish in Medjugorje.
Attendance peaks at the St. James parish in Medjugorje.

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.”

Full-capacity crowds hope to see the visionaries in ecstasy.
Full-capacity crowds hope to see the visionaries in ecstasy.

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.

Vicka, Jakov, Ivanka, Mirjana, Marija, and Ivan in ecstasy.
Vicka, Jakov, Ivanka, Mirjana, Marija, and Ivan in ecstasy.

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.

Vicka, Jakov, and Ivanka gaze at the Blessed Mother above.
Vicka, Jakov, and Ivanka gaze at the Blessed Mother above.

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.

Marija, Ivanka, Jakov, and Vicka watch the Virgin above.
Marija, Ivanka, Jakov, and Vicka watch the Virgin above.

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.

The 30-foot cement cross on Cross Mountain that spun and vanished.
The 30-foot cement cross on Cross Mountain that spun and vanished.

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.”

The apparition of the Queen of Peace as described by the children.
The apparition of the Queen of Peace as described by the children.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. All eye movements ceased in a time period lasting from 3 minutes up to 45 minutes.
  3. Nobody blinked in response to any eye being touched.
  4. They did not react to any pain they were subjected to – including an algometer which causes lesions or skin burns.
  5. There was a complete absence of sensitivity.
  6. They showed no reaction to a hearing test – an input of 90 decibels (equal to a loud explosion) in their ears.
  7. They did not blink when a 1000-watt light bulb was placed in front of their eyes.
  8. 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.”


Marija in ecstasy while onlookers watch very closely
Marija in ecstasy while onlookers watch very closely


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.”

The beautiful face of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje.
The beautiful face of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje.


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.”

The visionaries are carefully tested by scientists and medical experts.
The visionaries are carefully tested by scientists and medical experts.

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!

Scientific testing reveals amazing and unique results not seen before.
Scientific testing reveals amazing and unique results not seen before.

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.”

Bombs fail to harm Medjugorje -- often lying unexploded on the ground.
Bombs fail to harm Medjugorje — often lying unexploded on the ground.

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.”

Many years later, Ivan and several visionaries continue to allow testing.
Many years later, Ivan and several visionaries continue to allow testing.


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)

Five visionaries return for a 25th anniversary event.
Five visionaries return for a 25th anniversary event.

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 message for 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.

Mirjana today, one of several still receiving regular messages.
Mirjana today, one of several still receiving regular messages.


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 about what 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)

Our Lady of Akita, Japan, 1973-1981

“Our Lady of Akita”
AKITA, JAPAN (1973-1981)

Born in 1931, Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa was always a frail child.  She had her appendix removed at age 19, but due to a hospital error with the anesthesia, she became paralyzed.  After ten years of immobility while being cared for by a Catholic nun, she made a spontaneous and miraculous recovery.  In May of 1973, she entered the convent of the Handmaids of the Eucharist in Yuzawadai, a suburb of Akita.  One month earlier she had been suddenly afflicted with total deafness.

Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa -- visionary in Japan
Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa — visionary in Japan

On June 12, 1973, Sister Agnes Sasagawa (age 42) entered the convent chapel, focused on preparing for the Eucharist.  She was still adjusting to her recent loss of all hearing.  Suddenly, as she approached the altar to open the tabernacle door, a brilliant light broke forth — brighter and whiter than the sun.  Overwhelmed, she dropped to her knees and prayed for the next hour — feeling as if she was being held there by some heavy force.  She was able to leave after that.  The next day, as she opened the tabernacle door again, the brilliant light poured forth once more.  On the third day, June 14, a red flame encompassed the white light inside the tabernacle, but no other nuns had seen this “tabernacle fire.”  The fourth sighting occurred on eve of the feast of the Sacred Heart and had the addition of “an adoring crowd of spiritual beings” or angels, who were clearly worshiping the Host on the altar.

On June 28, she experienced a sharp pain in the palm of her left hand.  A small, rose-colored cross was etched across her palm and remained, painfully, for 3 days.  But, on July 5, the pain returned in her left hand, and it bled more than she could conceal from others.  Tears flowed from her eyes as she let another nun help bandage her hand. This was no illusion!  That night, she rose to pray at 3:00 a.m., and a voice came to her despite her deafness and said,

“Be not afraid.  Pray with fervor, not only because of your sins, but in reparation for those of all people.  The world today wounds the most Sacred Heart of Our Lord by its ingratitude and injuries.  The wounds of Mary are much deeper and more sorrowful than    yours.  Let us go to pray in the chapel together.”

The wooden statue in the prayer area that bled and cried
The wooden statue in the prayer area that bled and cried

A beautiful figure suddenly stood next to her right shoulder.  “I am the one who is with you and watches over you.” (her guardian angel) The angel led her to the chapel and then disappeared.  Sister Agnes approached a tall statue of Mary and knelt before her.  Suddenly, the statue became instantly ablaze and bathed in a brilliant light — as if the statue was coming to life!  Though deaf, she heard the statue speak to her:

“My daughter, my novice, you have obeyed me well in abandoning all to follow me.  Do you suffer much because of the handicap which deafness causes you?  You will be assuredly healed.  Be patient, it is the last trial.  Does the wound in your hand give you pain?  Pray in reparation for the sins of humanity.  Each person in this community is my irreplaceable daughter.  Pray very much for the pope, bishops, and priests.  Since your baptism, you have always prayed faithfully for them.  Continue to pray very much …”

The next morning, Sister Agnes asked Sister Kotake to inspect the statue.  She found a cross-shaped wound, bleeding, in the right hand of the wooden statue of Mary.  Sometimes it gushed blood, profusely.  Sister Agnes’ hand continued to have bouts of intense pain as well.  Sister Agnes’s wound appeared on Thursday evenings, grew worse on Fridays, and disappeared each Sunday – as if commemorating the passion and death of Jesus.

Sister Agnes prays before the statue of Mary
Sister Agnes prays before the statue of Mary

On July 26, the Feast of St. Anne, the Mother of the Virgin Mary, her wound became more painful than ever.  At the same time, the statue in the chapel began to bleed more profusely.  She went to Bishop Ito to reveal her pain and suffering; he advised going to a doctor.  But she went to the chapel, first, to pray for strength.  There, she suddenly heard the voice of the angel again:

“Our pain will come to an end today.  Pray to the Sacred Heart and the Precious Blood.  Pray for the sins of the whole world.  Tell the Bishop that the blood is shed today for the last time.”

At once the pain left, and the wound in her hand was healed.  The statue also ceased its bleeding at the same time – though the imprint of the wound remained in the wood.

The wooden statue of Mary cried real human tears on 101 occasions
The wooden statue of Mary cried real human tears on 101 occasions

On August 3, she heard the statue of Mary state to her,

            “Many men in this world grieve the Lord.  I seek souls to console Him.  In order to  appease the anger of the Heavenly Father, I wish, with my Son to search for souls who will make reparations for sinners and for the ungrateful by offering up their sufferings and poverty to God on their behalf.  In order that the world might know the wrath of the Heavenly Father toward today’s world, He is preparing to inflict a great chastisement on    all mankind.  With my Son, many times I have tried to appease the wrath of the Heavenly Father.  I have prevented the coming of the chastisement by offering the sufferings of   His Son on the cross, His precious Blood, and the compassionate souls who console the Heavenly Father, a cohort of victim souls overflowing with love.  Prayer, penance, honest poverty, and courageous acts of sacrifices can soften His anger.  Obedience is the foundation of all things…”

On September 29, with another nun at her side, Sister Agnes saw the statue of Mary ablaze with light again.  For the first time, the companion with her was able to see the unearthly light and gasped with excitement.  The statue’s hands glowed brightly and the wound was healed finally.  But, later that night, when the statue glowed again, tears began flowing from the statue’s eyes.  The tears had a wonderful fragrance of flowers that persisted for 17 days!

The other religious personnel with the miraculous statue in Akita
The other religious personnel with the miraculous statue in Akita

“I am weeping because humanity is not accepting my motherly invitation to conversion.  The (public) signs of my immense sorrow … are not believed in.  Man is becoming ever more corrupt, godless, wicked, and cruel.  A chastisement worse than the flood is about to come upon this poor and perverted humanity.  Fire will descend from heaven.  This will be the sign that God in His justice has — as of now — fixed the hour of His great manifestation. … I am weeping because the Church is continuing along the road of division, of loss of the true faith … I am weeping because, in great numbers, the souls of my children are being lost and going to hell. … Prepare yourselves to receive Christ in the splendor of His glory, because the great day of the Lord has even now arrived.”

On October 13, the 57th anniversary of the last apparition at Fatima, Sister Agnes was healed from deafness during the benediction of that church service and was delighted at hearing the church bells ring!  She telephoned Bishop Ito to report that Mary’s promise of restoring her hearing had come true.

On January 4, 1975, one of the nuns ran to the office of their chaplain, Father Yasuda, to tell him that the statue had begun to shed tears again.  The weeping was extraordinarily lifelike.  The church documented a total of 101 incidents of the statue shedding tears over the next six years, finally ending on September 15, 1981, the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows.

Professor Eiji Okuhara, a doctor and biochemist, analyzed three fluids coming from the statue: blood, tears, and perspiration.  A colleague, Dr. Kaoru Sagisaka, was given the samples without any history and blindly made his conclusions:

“The matter adhering to the gauze is human blood.  The sweat and tears absorbed in the pieces of cotton are also of human origin.”

Repeated independent analyses revealed human blood of Type B, tears and perspiration both of Type AB.  The statue continued to shed tears — 12 times in 1978 and, finally, three times in 1981.  Some miracles were connected as well (healing of a brain tumor).

The statue of the Virgin Mary also bled from a "pierced heart."
The statue of the Virgin Mary also bled from a “pierced heart.”

Sister Agnes lost her hearing again on March 6, 1975.  Two doctors who examined her declared that she would never hear again.  But on May 1, 1982, the guardian angel told her that her hearing would be returned again – this time permanently!  And it did happen on May 30, the Feast of Pentecost.  The two doctors could offer no explanation that would account for this miracle healing.

After three commissions studied the events at Akita, Bishop Ito finally declared at Easter in 1984 that these events were supernatural and worthy of belief.  Cardinal Ratzinger of the Sacred Congregation in Rome declared in 1988 that the apparitions had been authentic revelations of the Divine.


Our Lady of Fatima, Portugal, 1916-1917

“Our Lady of Fatima”

Lucia Santos (9) and her two cousins, Francisco Marto (8) and Jacinta Marto (6), were herding sheep when what they thought was an early summer rainstorm caused them to seek shelter in a cave. A sudden stiff breeze whipped the tree branches and caused them to be afraid. Suddenly, in front of them, appeared a shining, young, incredibly handsome man who was “more brilliant than a crystal penetrated by rays of the sun.” He began walking toward them over the tops of the olive trees as if following the sun’s rays to the ground at the entrance of the cave. He told them he was the Angel of Peace and taught them a prayer of adoration.

The three visionaries: Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta in 1917.
The three visionaries: Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta in 1917.

“My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love You! I ask pardon of You for all those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love You. Pray thus; the Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplication.”

He saw them again later that summer and again in the autumn of 1916. They learned about praying frequently and sacrifices. He interrupted their play:

“What are you doing? Pray! Pray a great deal! The most Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary have merciful designs for you. Offer prayers and sacrifices constantly to the Most High. This will draw peace upon your country. I am its guardian angel, the Angel of Portugal. Above all, accept and endure with submission the suffering which the Lord will send you.”

On another day, while pasturing their sheep, the children decided to pray near the cave as the angel had urged them to do. They became aware of an extraordinary light shining on them. When they looked up, the angel was standing over them. In his left hand, he held a chalice with a Host suspended above it. Drops of blood fell from the Host into the chalice. Leaving the chalice suspended in mid-air, the angel knelt down and made them repeat three times:

“Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I offer you the most precious Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for all the outrages, sacrileges, and indifference with which He, Himself, is offended. And through the infinite merits of His most Sacred Heart and of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of You the conversion of poor sinners.”

Then he took the chalice and Host with both hands, giving the Host to Lucia and sharing the chalice between Jacinta and Francisco. (from Lucia’s “Second Memoir”)

“Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men. Make reparations for their crimes and console your God.”

But, wait a minute – only priests can convert the bread and wine into the Body and Blood. How can an angel do this? This question was raised in later apparitions, and the answer from Heaven was this: Yes, only priests can do this; Angels are borrowing the consecrated Host and wine from tabernacles of parishes. So, was any parish nearby missing anything?

The Angel of Portugal meets with the three children in 1916.
The Angel of Portugal meets with the three children in 1916.

Not well known until now is the fact that a local parish 18 miles away had their Host strangely missing from within the locked tabernacle about that same time. The chalice was present, but it had been moved to a different position inside the tabernacle. The priest was so dumbfounded — as he held the only key — that he never told anybody other than his bishop. It bothered him for years as he could not explain the disappearance of these precious items entrusted to his care and protection. Several months before he died, he confessed this inexplicable incident to others.

On Sunday, May 13, 1917, a flash of light from a clear blue sky interrupted their play. They ran down a slope toward a tree only to have another flash of dazzling light send them back 100 yards in another direction. Then they saw a large ball of light settling on the top of a small evergreen tree. Inside the glowing ball was the figure of a beautiful woman of all white, more brilliant than the sun, more clear and more intense. She defied gravity by standing on the top of this tender shrub. The intense light enveloped the children, just three feet away. They were terrified, but her soft voice calmed them and melted their fears away.

“Don’t be afraid. I won’t hurt you. I am from Heaven. I want to you to come here on the 13th of every month at the same hour for 6 months. Then I will tell you who I am and what I want. You will all go to heaven someday. Are you willing to suffer all that would happen to you as reparation for sins and for the conversion of sinners?”

Lucia answered “Yes” quickly for all three of them. Streams of light flowed from her hands to the soil of the Earth. They felt deeply connected and dropped to their knees, praying as they had been taught by the angel. Mary told them to say the Rosary to obtain peace for the world and the end of war. Then she glided away into the eastern sky until she was so small that they could no longer see her. Only Francisco was unable to hear her although he saw everything. Since the younger ones could not keep a secret easily, soon many knew what had happened. Lucia’s father dismissed it completely, and her mother was outraged by what she assumed was a great and shameful lie. All three children were saddened by the negativity and doubts of others.

Yet, when June 13th came around, the three children and a number of bystanders returned to the site for Mary’s 2nd visit — and they were not disappointed. As only the children saw the light approach, bystanders noted that the sun seemed to dim in the cloudless sky. And, although the adults could not see Mary, they did witness a wispy pillar of smoke next to the holm oak. They could not clearly hear Mary’s voice, but they did report a small sound – “like the buzzing of a bee.”

The Virgin Mary appears on May 13, 1917 to the three kids.
The Virgin Mary appears on May 13, 1917 to the three kids.

This time when the Lady appeared, she said that she would be taking Jacinta and Francisco with her to heaven rather soon, but that Lucia would remain on Earth “for some time longer” to help promote her Immaculate Heart to the world. The rays of light extended from her hands again, and they felt the connection along with a vision of the Immaculate Heart – “a heart encircled by thorns that pierced it, in front of Our Lady’s right palm.” A crowd of about 50 witnesses observed the little cloud (that Mary had stood upon) rise slowly and retreat toward the east. The top branches and leaves of the holm oak were also bent as if a weight had just been on top (where Mary had appeared).

Again the doubts, ridicule, and abrasive comments soured the children’s desire to return in July, but, at the last moment they all decided to keep their rendezvous with the Lady. Two to three thousand people were already waiting for them there! Mary again insisted that they pray the Rosary fervently. Mary called herself the Lady of the Rosary. Then, the Lady did something entirely different — her rays of light poured through the children into the earth below them, opening up a view of Hell:

“The rays of light seemed to penetrate the earth, and we saw, as it were, a sea of fire. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves, together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in huge fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals.”

The Lady then shared some prophecies if offenses against God did not stop.

“You have seen Hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world a devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved, and there will be peace. The war (World War I) is going to end; but if the people do not cease offending God, a worse one (World War II) will break out during the pontificate of Pius XI (whom nobody had heard of at this date). When you see a night, illuminated by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given to you by God that He is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father.”

“To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace.”

Blessed Mary meets the three shepherd children again on June 13.
Blessed Mary meets the three shepherd children again on June 13.

And if Russia was not consecrated to her, many terrible things would happen throughout the world. One awful event would involve a pope. Another vision showed tall buildings being destroyed. A final secret was to be kept to themselves. The publicity toward the children was endless on every day. Lucia later reported the details of these visions:

“At the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an angel with a flaming sword in his left hand. Flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire – but they died in contact with the splendor that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand. Pointing to the earth with his right hand, the angel cried out in a loud voice, ‘Penance! Penance! Penance!’ And we saw in an immense light that is God, something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it – a bishop dressed in white. We had the impression that it was the Holy Father. Other bishops, priests, men and women religious, were going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big cross of rough-hewn trunks, as of a cork tree with the bark. Before reaching there, the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins, and half trembling with halting step – afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way. Having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big cross, he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him. And, in the same manner, there died, one after another, the other bishops, priests, men and women religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the cross, there were two angels – each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.”

The Virgin Mary concluded with this:

“When you pray the Rosary, say, after each mystery: O my Jesus, forgive us, save us from the fires of Hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are most in need.”

Arturo Santos, the administrator or mayor of Ourem, arrived on the much anticipated August 13 apparition date in a carriage drawn by two black horses. Pacing and acting nervously, he offered to protect the children from the growing crowds and escort them to the site in his carriage. Although they refused, he changed tactics and said they needed to visit the priest, Father Ferreira, in Fatima before the event. The three children and their two fathers agreed to go, and the children were indeed questioned by the priest. But then Santos suddenly urged them to hurry up — and quickly loaded them back into the carriage, taking off before the two fathers could react and catch up. According to Lucia, it was masterfully orchestrated.

Jacinta, Lucia, and Francisco ready to meet Mary again on July 13.
Jacinta, Lucia, and Francisco ready to meet Mary again on July 13.

News of the abduction reached the 18,000 waiting for the children, nearly inciting a riot among those who had gathered at the apparition site with great anticipation. But these many thousands were not to be disappointed as Mary did give them a number of signs that she had kept her promise to be present. There were two loud explosions – like cannon fire – that came from the holm oak where she had always appeared. People began to flee in fear. But then, strangely, the people were pulled toward the tree as if by an electric current. Some fainted – others were afraid. The clouds took on a fantastic sequence of colors: blood red to pink to blue to indigo. There were flashes like lightning. A wispy pillar of smoke rose next to the tree. Some spoke of a falling of roses! Every person had some level of experience that day and came away feeling great awe and inspiration.

Lucia later reported that the children were ushered off to Ourem where they were locked in a room and told that they would not be let out until they revealed the secret that Our Lady had entrusted in them. This caused them to miss their August 13th rendezvous with Mary. An elderly lady tried to squeeze the secret from them but failed. The authorities offered a bribe of gold coins and jewelry – which also failed. So they were then locked in the prison area of the council building. They were shown a cauldron of oil placed over a fire and told that if they had not revealed the secret by the time the oil boiled, then they would be either hung or have their heads chopped off.

They were taken to a foul-smelling detention cell and thrown in with adult male prisoners. The other prisoners became impressed – even inspired – by the strong religious conviction of the young visionaries and their lack of fear in the face of death threats. The children decided to recite prayers, recognize their suffering as necessary, and get the other prisoners on their knees to pray with them. Afterwards, the prisoners decided to cheer up the children with songs, harmonica music, and dancing.

The Virgin Mary shares many predictions and visions on September 13.
The Virgin Mary shares many predictions and visions on September 13.

The children realized that if they were put to death, it would be the ultimate sacrifice, and they could go to heaven sooner! When they faced the authorities at the crucial moment of decision — as the oil finally had boiled, they were filled with sweet peace, fearless conviction, and steadfast devotion to Mary’s wishes. Santos had lost his advantage over the children since they had decided to become joyous martyrs, so he drove them back home on August 15. A crowd cheered their return, but others were gathering to assault Mr. Santos – so he left rather quickly. (He was removed from office on December 8 of that same year.)

Blessed Mary met the children instead on the 19th of August in Valinhos. Lucia was with Francisco and her older brother John when she became aware of the signs that a supernatural visit was coming: a sudden cooling of the air, the paling of the sun, and a flash of light. She had to bribe her excited brother with two pennies to leave and go find Jacinta quickly. Just as they returned to the field, a second flash of light occurred and the “brilliant Lady” appeared over another holm oak tree.

“I want you to continue to come on the thirteenth and to continue to say the Rosary every day. In the last month, in October, I shall perform a miracle so that all may believe in My apparitions. If they had not taken you to the village, the miracle would have been greater. St. Joseph will come with the baby Jesus to give peace to the world. Our Lord also will come to bless the people. Besides, Our Lady of the Rosary and Our Lady of Sorrows will come. (Lucia asks about the donations that have been left at the site) Have two litters made. One is to be carried by you and Jacinta and two other girls dressed in white. The other one is to be carried by Francisco and three other boys. The litters are for the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, and the money that is left over will help towards the construction of a chapel that is to be built. Pray! Pray a great deal and make sacrifices for sinners, for many souls go to Hell for not having someone to pray and make sacrifices for them.”

 A huge crowd gathers to see the miracle on October 13, 1917.
A huge crowd gathers to see the miracle on October 13, 1917.

Lucia’s brother John was frustrated that he could not see or hear the Blessed Mary, but he was satisfied with hearing “a clap of thunder similar to the firing of a gun” as Mary departed. Jacinta broke off a small branch that Our Lady had rested her feet upon, which had been touched by her magnificent robe, and took it home. On the way, Lucia’s mother demanded, skeptically, to hold the branch. She was shocked to behold a “magnificent fragrance” that she could not identify – and was a changed woman from this point forward.

With the dawn of September 13th, crowds of people surrounded the children’s homes, overflowing on the roads, immobilizing movement, and demanding the children pray to Mary for certain things. As the children finally made their way to the apparition site, it is estimated that as many as 30,000 awaited them. Lucia was almost finished reciting the Rosary when the flash of light came. Then a globe of light appeared before the crowd – but this time, thousands could witness it, including three priests: Vicar General of Leiria, Monsignor John Quaresma, and Father Manuel do Carmo Gois. Here is the Monsignor’s detailed eyewitness account:

“At noontime, silence fell on the crowd, and a low whispering of prayers could be heard. Suddenly, cries of joy filled the air, many voices praising the Blessed Virgin. Arms were raised to point to something above, ‘Look! Don’t you see?’ I, too, raised my eyes to probe the amplitude of the skies, hoping to see what the other fortunate eyes were seeing before me. There was not a single cloud in the whole blue sky, yet to my great astonishment, I saw clearly and distinctly a luminous globe, coming from the east to the west, gliding slowly and majestically through space. My friend also looked up and had the happiness of enjoying the same unexpected but enchanting apparition. Suddenly, the globe with its extraordinary light disappeared before our eyes. There was a little girl near us, about the same age as Lucia. She was excited with joy and kept saying, ‘I still see Her … now She is coming down to the foot of the hill.’

The stunning Miracle of the Sun brings the crowd to their knees.
The stunning Miracle of the Sun brings the crowd to their knees.

Lucia then asked the vision of Mary, hovering over the holm oak tree, “What do you want of me?”

“Let the people continue to say the Rosary every day to obtain the end of the war. In October, I will perform a miracle so that all may believe. (When Lucia offered two letters and a bottle of cologne as gifts from the people, Mary said:) None of that is necessary for Heaven.”

Lucia shouted to the people as Mary rose to leave, “If you want to see Our Lady, look that way (to the East).” When the crowd looked, hundreds or more saw the luminous globe ascending towards Heaven. But thousands who were present also witnessed other supernatural details: a sudden cooling of the air, a dimming of the sun – so much so that thousands could see the stars at mid-day, a white mist surrounding the holm oak and the children, and a shower of white, iridescent flower petals that vanished upon reaching the ground.

Visionary Jacinta.
Visionary Jacinta.

October 13 was rainy and windy, but more than 70,000-100,000 were present to see the miracle that Mary had promised. Finally there would be proof of either a divine presence or a hoax. So skeptics as well as believers were all present together. Reporters were sent from even the most skeptical newspapers.

Promptly at noon, Mary arrived with the usual flash of light. Her snow-white feet rested upon the flowers and ribbons which adorned the tree. The faces of the children assumed an unworldly expression, their features more delicate, their color mellow, their eyes intent upon the Lady. And they were strangely dry in the pouring rain.

“I want a chapel to be built here in My honor. I am Our Lady of the Rosary. Continue to say the Rosary every day. The war will end soon and the soldiers will return to their homes. People must amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins. They must not offend Our Lord any more for He is already too much offended.”

The Blessed Virgin opened Her hands, which emitted a flood of light. While she was rising, she pointed them toward the sun, and the light gleaming from her hands brightened the sun itself.

“Look at the sun!” cried out Lucia. The rainclouds rolled back to reveal a dimmer sun — like a white disc that people could stare at without hurting their eyes. The huge crowds watched the sun bob up and down like a bright silver top. Then, it began spinning, rotating upon itself with exceedingly great speed, shooting off every imaginable color, then plunged toward the earth in a zigzag fashion. Many of the 70,000 witnesses thought they were going to die and dropped to their knees, but the sun stopped abruptly and returned to its normal position and brightness. All rain-soaked clothing was suddenly dry on every drenched person, and mud puddles were completely gone. Here are six eyewitness accounts (the last one is from Jacinta’s father):

The incorrupt body of Jacinta 15 years after her death.
The incorrupt body of Jacinta 15 years after her death.

“Suddenly the people broke out with a cry of extreme anguish. The sun, still rotating, had unloosened itself from the skies and came hurtling towards the earth. This huge, fiery millstone threatened to crush us with its weight. It was a dreadful sensation. During this solar occurrence, the air took on successive different colors. While looking at the sun, I noticed that everything around me darkened. Everything had the color of an amethyst – the sky, the air, everything and everybody. A little oak nearby was casting a heavy purple shadow on the ground. This did not give the impression of being an eclipse. While still looking at the sun, I noticed that the air had cleared. Everything far and near had changed now. Now everybody and everything looked yellow!”

“The sun was sometimes surrounded by blood-red flames. At other times it was aureoled with yellow and soft purple. Again, it seemed possessor of the swiftest rotation and then seemed to detach itself from the heavens, come near the earth, and give forth a tremendous heat.”

“The sun came out with a well-defined rim and seemed to come down to the height of the clouds. It started to rotate intermittently around itself like a wheel of fireworks for about eight minutes. Everything became almost dark, and the people’s features became yellow. All were kneeling in mud.”

“It looked to me as a luminous disc, with a bright, well-defined rim. It did not hurt the eyes. It looked like a small, brightly polished wheel of iridescent mother-of-pearl. The sun was not opaque, veiled, or diffused. It gave light and heat and was brightly outlined by a beveled rim.”

“The sun cast different colors, yellow, blue, and white. It trembled constantly. It looked like a revolving ball of fire falling upon the people. As the sun hurled itself towards the earth in a mighty zigzag motion, the multitude cried out in terror, ‘We are all going to die here.’ At last the sun swerved back to its orbit and rested in the sky. Everyone gave a sigh of relief. We were still alive.”

“We could look at the sun with ease. It seemed to be continually fading and glowing in one fashion, then another. It threw shafts of light one way and another, painting everything in different colors – the people, the trees, the earth, even the air. Everybody stood still and quiet, gazing at the sun. At a certain point, the sun stopped its play of light and then started dancing. It stopped once more and again started dancing until it seemed to loosen itself from the skies and fall upon the people. It was a moment of terrible suspense.”

Visionary Lucia becomes a nun in the early 1920's.
Visionary Lucia becomes a nun in the early 1920’s.

The Miracle of the Sun was also witnessed from other nearby cities within 600 square miles. This account comes from a priest who vividly recalls that day as a nine-year old boy, living in the village of Alburitel, ten miles away from Fatima:

“About noon, we were startled by the cries and exclamations of the people going by our school. The teacher was the first to run outside to the street with all the children following her. The people cried and wept on the street; they were all pointing towards the sun. It was the Miracle promised by Our Lady. I feel unable to describe it as I saw it and felt it at the time. I was gazing at the sun; it looked so pale to me – it did not blind. It was like a ball of snow, rotating upon itself. All of a sudden, it seemed to be falling, zigzag, threatening the earth. Seized with fear, I hid myself amidst the people. Everyone was crying, waiting for the end of the world. Nearby, there was a godless man who had spent the morning making fun of the simpletons who had gone to Fatima just to see a girl. I looked at him, and he was numbed, his eyes riveted on the sun. I saw him tremble from head to foot. Then he raised his hands towards Heaven, as he was kneeling there in the mud, and cried out, ‘Our Lady, Our Lady.’ During the minutes that the miracle lasted, everything around us reflected all the colors of the rainbow. We looked at each other, and one seemed blue, another yellow, red, and so on. After ten minutes, the sun resumed its place as pale and without splendor.”

While this was going on, the three children were treated to their own private visions. To the left of the pale sun appeared St. Joseph, holding the Child Jesus in his left arm. Both he and Jesus raised their right hands and made the Sign of the Cross three times over the world. Our Lady stood in all of her brilliance to the right of the sun, dressed in her blue and white robes of Our Lady of the Rosary. Only Lucia was privileged to gaze upon Jesus, dressed in red as the Divine Redeemer, blessing the world as foretold by Mary. Beside Him stood Our Lady, dressed now in the purple robes of Our Lady of Sorrows, but without the sword. Finally, the Blessed Virgin appeared again to Lucia in all of her ethereal brightness, clothed in the simple brown robes of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Sister Lucia receives another visit on December 10, 1925.
Sister Lucia receives another visit on December 10, 1925.

After a long study and careful interrogation of many witnesses, the Bishop of Leiria made the following proclamation:

“The children long before set the day and hour at which it was to take place. The news spread quickly over the whole of Portugal, and although the day was chilly and pouring rain, many thousands of people gathered. They saw the different manifestations of the sun paying homage to the Queen of Heaven and Earth, who is more radiant than the sun in all its splendor. This phenomenon, which no astronomical observatory registered, was not natural. It was seen by people of all classes, members of the Church and non-Catholics. It was seen by reporters of the principal newspapers and by people many miles away.”

After the last apparition on October 13, 1917, the three children tried to return to their ordinary routine life. But the general public continued to seek them out and ask a thousand questions. Francisco and Jacinta’s parents sold their flocks and kept the children closer to home so that they would be more available to speak with inquisitive visitors. The two children would escape whenever possible, often hiding in the rock area where the angel first met with them. Lucia would join them there, when possible, as she was still shepherding her family’s sheep. Together they would recite the Rosary and reminisce about the many things Our Lady had shared with them. They continued to keep the “secrets” to themselves, although Mary’s mention of the “conversion of Russia” was confusing. Lucia thought Russia might be the name of a wicked woman!

Francisco knew that he would be taken to heaven relatively soon, so school studies seemed pointless. Praying the Rosary became his primary activity. He told people,

“I liked to see the Angel so much, but I liked Our Lady much more. What I liked best about the apparitions was seeing Our Lord in that light that the Blessed Virgin put into our hearts. I love God very much. He is so sad because of so many sins. We must not commit even the smallest sin.”

Often while the girls played among the rocks, Francisco would go off by himself and pray alone. One day the girls heard him shouting in distress – so uncharacteristic of his nature! The cries were electric with fear and shocked the girls. They came upon him, trembling with fright, and unable to rise from his knees. His voice shaking, he told them,

“It was one of those huge beasts that we saw in Hell. He was right there, breathing out flames!”

Sister Lucia is given an important vision on June 13, 1929.
Sister Lucia is given an important vision on June 13, 1929.

The girls encouraged him not to ever think again about what they had seen in Hell.

Many people asked for the children to pray for them. One peasant woman and her son knelt before Francisco, asking Our Lady to cure her husband’s illness and keep him home and from going to war. Francisco asked them to pray the Rosary with him. Much later, the lady happily returned to report that Our Lady had granted both of her requests!

Jacinta also had several miracles attributed to her. One day, a woman with a foul disease fell to her knees before Jacinta. Jacinta knelt beside her, said three Hail Mary’s, and assured her with an unusual certainty that she would be healed. And the woman was indeed cured.

On another occasion, Aunt Vitoria’son had left their Fatima home and had not been heard from in some time. The woman sought Lucia but found Jacinta instead. Jacinta pleaded very much to Our Lady to help him find his way back home. The man had been jailed in Torres Novas until he managed to escape, fleeing to the hills where he had become lost. Fearful, he fell to his knees and prayed. A few minutes later, the image of Jacinta appeared to him, took him by the hand, and led him to the main road and gave him directions. Then she vanished before his eyes. By morning he had found his way home, thanks to her good directions. But, Jacinta had never been to that area, nor had she actually been with this man in person, according to her.

On another occasion, a soldier about to leave for the war had a sick wife at home and three small children. He wept like a child, begging Jacinta for either a cure for his sick wife or a change in his military orders. She told him to pray the Rosary with her and then assured him that Our Lady would grant his requests. Several months later, he brought his wife and children back with him, happily reporting that his orders were changed at the last moment and his wife had been healed as promised.

As Francisco became gravely ill and unable to move from his bed, Our Lady appeared to both Francisco and Jacinta again. She stated that she would be coming for Francisco very soon and Jacinta would follow not long after. Jacinta eagerly confided in her cousin,

“Our Lady asked me if I still wanted to convert more sinners. I said yes. She wants me to go to two hospitals, but it is not to cure me. It is to suffer more for the love of God, the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary. My mother will take me there, and afterwards, I am to be left there alone – and will die alone.”

The Third Secret: A pope may be killed in the future.
The Third Secret: A pope may be killed in the future.

A woman visited Francisco’s sick room one day to ask him to pray that her husband and her son might be reconciled. Her husband had banished the son from their home, greatly upsetting the mother. Francisco reassured her, telling her not to worry because he would be going to heaven soon – and would ask Our Lady for that grace when he arrived. Sure enough, it was later learned that the father and son were reconciled on the very day that Francisco went to heaven!

After much suffering but no complaining, Francisco died quietly before age 11 from pneumonia on April 4, 1919. His skeletal remains were transferred from the Fatima cemetery to the great Fatima basilica on March 13, 1952.

Jacinta spent two months in St. Augustine’s hospital, and then returned home from September through December, 1919. She had many visits from Lucia during that last period of time at home. By mid-January she was sent to a second hospital – this time in Lisbon (as predicted by Mary), where she suffered through February with the foul-smelling rotting of her own body from purulent pleurisy and two infected ribs. She sent word to Lucia that Our Lady had appeared again to her, telling her of the exact day and hour that she would be taken to heaven. She also foretold some other matters. One doctor asked for her prayers, and she prayed for him – but told him that he would die soon – and he did. She told another one of her doctors that he and his daughter would die soon, and they did, shortly after her death. She also confided to Mother Godinho that a well-liked, young, dynamic priest “will turn out badly” – and later, he indeed abandoned the priesthood and took up living in open scandal.

Father De Marchi lists a number of teachings from Blessed Mary that Jacinta shared with Mother Godinho during her stay:

“The sins which cause most souls to go to hell are the sins of the flesh.”

“The world is perishing because the people do not meditate.”

“Many marriages are not of God and do not please Our Lord.”

“Wars are punishment for sin.”

“Priests must be very, very pure.”

“Confession is a Sacrament of Mercy, and we must confess with joy and trust. There can be no salvation without confession.”

“The Mother of God wants more virgin souls bound by a vow of chastity.”

Pope John Paul II visits Lucia after the Virgin saved his life.
Pope John Paul II visits Lucia after the Virgin saved his life.

Jacinta died at 10:30 p.m., alone, in her hospital bed, on February 20, 1920. A nun swore that tears of dried blood were on her face, suggesting that she shared something of her Savior’s agony. Doctors were amazed that after three days, her body smelled “as sweet as a bouquet of roses.” This was a surprising and drastic change in fragrance from the horrible, repulsive stench of her illness. She still looked alive in her coffin with cheeks and lips of a beautiful pink color. A number of witnesses testified to the extraordinary sweet odor emanating from her body. It was clearly the fragrance of flowers!

On September 12, 1935, her body was transferred to a memorial where people could honor her life. When the coffin was opened for positive identification, her parents, medics, clerics and a few others were stunned that her body had not yet decayed in 15 years! During her transfer to the final resting place in the great basilica in 1951, her coffin was opened again – and her body was still incorrupt with very little decay after 31 years.

After these two young visionaries died, a small chapel was built at the site of the apparitions in the Cova da Iria. But on March 6, 1922, two bombs were placed at the site – one in the chapel and one by the holm oak tree. The bomb in the chapel blew the roof off, but the one by the tree, where Mary had appeared, failed to explode. This attack enraged people, leading to a rebuilding of the chapel, and a grand procession of 60,000 faithful followers on May 13, 1923 to return the preserved statue of Our Lady to its home in the chapel.

Lucia became a nun and joined the Dorothean Convent in Tuy, Spain. On December 10, 1925, Blessed Mary appeared to Lucia in her room at the convent. The Child Jesus was at Mary’s side, elevated upon a luminous cloud of light. Our Lady placed one hand on Lucia’s shoulder while in the other hand she held a heart surrounded by sharp thorns. The Child Jesus spoke first:

“Have pity on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother. It is covered with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce It at every moment, and there is no one to remove them with an act of reparation.”

Then Blessed Mary added,

“My daughter, look at My Heart encircled with the thorns with which ungrateful men pierce It at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. Do you at least try to console Me and announce in My name that I promise to assist at the hour of death with the graces necessary for salvation for all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, go to Confession and receive Holy Communion, recite the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary with the intention of making reparation to Me?”

Lucia could never forget this vision of Mary’s bleeding heart. She could not get her confessor or superior to spread this devotion. Two months passed, and on February 15, 1926, the Child Jesus appeared again to Lucia, inquiring if she had spread this devotion. Lucia explained the complications that her superior had had in trying to promote this by herself. The Child Jesus replied,

“It is true that your superior alone can do nothing, but with My grace, she can do all.”

While praying in the convent in 1927, Lucia received permission from Heaven to reveal the first two parts of the Secret: the vision of Hell, and the urgent need for devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Mary then explained further to Lucia,

“You have seen Hell, where the souls of sinners go. To save them, God wants to establish throughout the world the devotion to My Immaculate Heart. … I shall come later to ask for the Consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart.”

True to her word, the Virgin Mary appeared again to Lucia on June 13, 1929, while she was praying in the convent at Tuy, Spain, during the Holy Hour of Adoration and Reparation. In her own words, Sister Lucia writes:

“Suddenly, a supernatural light illuminated the whole chapel, and on the altar appeared a cross of light which reached to the ceiling. In a brighter part on the upper part of the cross, could be seen the face of a man and his body to the waist. On his breast was an equally luminous dove, and nailed to the cross, the body of another man.

Pope John Paul II meets Lucia in 2000; Luminous Mysteries in 2002.
Pope John Paul II meets Lucia in 2000; Luminous Mysteries in 2002.

A little below the waist, suspended in mid-air, was to be seen a Chalice and a large Host onto which fell some drops of Blood from the face of the Crucified and from a wound on His breast. These drops ran down over the Host and fell into the Chalice. Under the right arm of the Cross was Our Lady. Under the left arm of the Cross were some big letters, as if it were crystal-clear water running down over the altar, formed these words: Grace and Mercy.” Then Mary stated:

“The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father to make, in union with all the bishops of the world, the Consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means.”

Both Pope Pius XI and Pope Pius XII ignored her requests. On May 18, 1936, Father Goncalves, her confessor, challenged Lucia as to whether she should persist in this request. Lucia replied,

“I do not know. Recently, I was speaking with Our Lord and asked Him why He would not convert Russia without the Pope doing that consecration. Jesus replied, ‘Because I want My whole Church to recognize that consecration as a Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, so that later on it will put the devotion to the Immaculate Heart beside the devotion to My Sacred Heart’.”

On October 24, 1940, Sister Lucia was ordered by the Bishop of Gurza to write to the Pope and simply ask for the consecration of the world with only a “special mention” of Russia. She knew this was NOT what Mary had requested, so she prayed to Jesus. He responded that if the Pope were to respond to this favorably, He would reward that act by shortening the days of World War II – but that it would not bring about world peace until the consecration was specific to Russia. On December 2, 1940, Lucia made the request.

Pope Pius XII consecrated the world (with an oblique mention of Russia) on both October 31, 1942 and again on December 8, 1942. Winston Churchill notes in his writings on World War II that in early 1943 (almost immediately after the Pope’s act), “the hinges of fate” turned in favor of the Allies, and that thereafter the Allies won almost every battle, whereas before they had almost always lost. And Jesus confirmed his promise to Lucia again in early 1943 that “the present distress would be shortened.”

Sister Lucia finally wrote down the third part of the Fatima Secret on January 9, 1944.

During one of Our Blessed Mary’s apparitions in Montichiari, Italy, on Dec. 7, 1947, she appeared with two young children. Mary made a reference to one of her messages in Fatima. The visionary, Pierina Gilli, asked who the children were, and Mary replied, “Francisco and Jacinta.”

The Virgin Mary finally appeared to Lucia in May of 1952, and stated again,

“Make it known to the Holy Father that I am always awaiting the Consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart. Without the Consecration, Russia will not be able to convert, nor will the world have peace.”

On May 13, 1981, Pope John Paul II almost died from an attack by a would-be assassin. He traveled to meet Sister Lucia one year later on May 13, 1982 and thanked her for being saved by Our Lady of Fatima. The third secret had described a man clothed in white falling to the ground as though dead from gunshots. Doctors said that the bullet should have killed him but had traveled an odd, zigzag path to miss vital organs. That bullet fit neatly and permanently into the crown of Our Lady of Fatima’s statue when the Pope visited the Fatima shrine. The Pope had a statue of Fatima placed, facing Russia from his Poland, and on March 25, 1984, he consecrated the world to Mary’s Immaculate Heart in a joint effort with the world’s bishops in Rome. Within 5 years the Soviet Union was peacefully breaking apart and the Berlin Wall came down without a fight.

The Fatima, Portugal Basilica today.
The Fatima, Portugal Basilica today.

Sister Lucia was still adamant about what Mary had asked for back in 1917. Pope John Paul II had renewed the same prior consecration to the world both on May 13, 1982 and March 25, 1984 – but both efforts failed to target Russia specifically, and the bishops involved did not organize a ceremony of reparation in their dioceses. Sister Lucia continued to insist on the specific conversion of Russia to the Catholic faith.

Jacinto Marto and Francisco Marto were beatified before a million pilgrims at Fatima by Pope John Paul II on May 13, 2000.

She did live “somewhat longer” — to the age of 97, dying on February 13, 2005. Her cause for sainthood was formally opened on February 13, 2008.

Today, millions visit the shrine at Fatima in Portugal every year. Pope Benedict XVI has stated that the message of Fatima is the most prophetic message of the 20th Century.

Our Lady of Hope, Pontmain, France, 1871

“Our Lady of Hope”

On January 17, 1871, Eugene Barbadette (12) and brother, Joseph (10) heard the priest pray through Blessed Mary at Mass for mercy to come to the area.  Paris was already besieged by Prussian forces, and war-torn France was in complete disarray.  The little town of Laval nearby would be the next to fall to the invading Prussians.

That wintry night, looking outside the family’s barn at 6:00 p.m., Eugene noticed in the cold starry night that a section of the sky was without stars.  Suddenly, in that very area, a young woman of 18 years old appeared to be hovering in the sky and smiling down at him.  She was strikingly beautiful and wearing a dark blue dress covered with stars and a black veil with a golden crown on top.  He gasped a yell of surprise, and brother, Joseph came to him and stared up at the apparition as well.  Their parents then came to see what was going on but could not see what the boys continued to marvel at.  The mother boxed their ears, scolded them, and then forced them to come in and eat dinner.

The visionary children who were able to witness the spectacle in the sky.
The visionary children who were able to witness the spectacle in the sky.

They ate hastily, rushed back outside, and again saw the beautiful lady in the sky.  Joseph records the details later in his writings as follows:

“In the air above Augustin Guidecoq’s house, I saw a woman of extraordinary beauty.  She appeared to be young, about 18-20 years of age and tall of stature.  She was clad in a garment of deep blue.  When we were told to describe exactly the shade of blue, we could only do so by comparing it to balls of indigo such as laundresses use for rinsing linen.  Her dress was covered with golden stars, pentagonal in form, all of the same size and brilliant, but without emitting rays.  They were not very numerous and seemed scattered over the blue without regard to method.  The blue garment was ample, showing certain strongly marked folds, and without girdle or compression of any kind from the neck to the feet.  The sleeves were ample and long, falling over the hands. 

On the feet, which the dress left uncovered, were chaussons (shoes), the same blue as the dress, and ornamented with golden bows.  On the head was a black veil, half covering the forehead, concealing the hair and ears, and falling over the shoulders.  Above this was a golden crown resembling a diadem, higher in front than elsewhere and widening out at the sides.  A red line encircled the crown at about the middle.  The hands were small and extended toward us as in the ‘miraculous medal’ but without emitting rays. 

The face was slightly oval.  To the freshness of youth was added exquisite delicacy of feature and of tint, the complexion being pale rather than otherwise.  Smiles of ineffable sweetness played about the mouth.  The eyes, of unutterable tenderness, were fixed on us.  I give up further attempting to describe the beautiful figure of her who looked down upon us and smiled.  Like a true mother, she seemed happier in looking at us than we in contemplating her.”

The vision in the sky of the Virgin Mary in Pontmain, France, 1871.
The vision in the sky of the Virgin Mary in Pontmain, France, 1871.

But when a local nun heard the startled mother’s story, she reminded her that Mary often comes to young children.  Going on the theory that maybe only children could see Mary, she brought two young girls, Francoise Richer and Jeanne-Marie Lebosse (ages 9 and 11) from the convent school to the family’s farm.  The nun made certain to not tell the young girls anything.  Although not having heard what the two brothers had seen, the two young girls immediately began describing, excitedly, the exact same image of the Virgin Mary down to the last precise detail.

Clusters of people began to gather — within 20 minutes after this vision had begun — yet, none of the adults could see anything.  Three more small children began pointing at the sky and describing the same apparition of Mary.  Even a two-year old in her mother’s arms started clapping with joy, looking up into the sky, and holding out her arms as if wanting Our Blessed Mother to come pick her up.  A total of about 60 villagers gathered before the barn and knelt in the snow to begin praying.  Sister Mary Edward began leading the Rosary.  The children reported that Our Lady smiled throughout the Rosary, appearing very much alive and showing the dazzling whiteness of her teeth.

Many people gather to observe the children in awe of the image.
Many people gather to observe the children in awe of the image.

Afterward, Father Guerin led in singing hymns and reciting other prayers.  The children reported that the Lady became more beautiful and her garments more intense in illumination in proportion to the devotion of the people.  “Oh, there are so many stars (on her dress) that the Blessed Virgin will soon be gilt (golden) all over.”

The four young children who could describe what was happening said that three bright stars formed a triangle around Mary.  A darker blue oval backdrop appeared and formed around her.  Two candles appeared inside the oval on either side of her shoulders.  Two more candles appeared inside the oval on either side of her knees.  A small red heart appeared on her left side. About forty stars only visible to the children gathered beneath her feet.  The villagers were all able to witness the formation of the three stars in a triangle.

As Sister Mary Edward began the Magnificat, the children cried out that the image was changing again.  A white band about a yard wide unrolled itself under her feet and extended across the roof of Guidecoq’s house.  These words appeared on the banner:

Mais priez, mes enfants.” (But pray, my children.)

As the Magnificat continued, the dreadful news arrived that the Prussians were now at nearby Laval and heading soon toward Pontmain.  More letters appeared on the banner:

Dieu vous exaucera en peu de temps.” (God will hear you in a little while)

Mon fils se laisse toucher.” (My Son permits Himself to be moved)

So she was telling them that God had heard their prayers and fears about the invasion of soldiers, and that he would answer their needs shortly.  He would answer because he is a God who allows himself to be touched by pleading and prayers.  The crowd sang hymns, but when “My Sweet Jesus” was sung, the children reported that she looked sad. A blue band, the same color as the sky, began passing over the words and erasing them.  As the white banner rolled away, the Virgin lifted her hand to the level of her shoulders.  She seemed to be moving her fingers and speaking, but nothing was heard.

The small crowd prays and sings to honor the Blessed Virgin in the sky.
The small crowd prays and sings to honor the Blessed Virgin in the sky.

Her hands were then joined over her heart and a large red cross with a darker red image of Jesus appeared in her hands.  A star seemed to move and light four candles about her.  When the crowd sang Ave Maris Stella, the red crucifix disappeared and a small white cross about eight inches high appeared on each of her shoulders.  Mary looked upward.  Prayers continued and Mary smiled as the crosses disappeared.  She opened her arms outward and downward.  A white veil appeared at her feet and rose slowly upward until Our Lady was completely concealed by it.

It was now about 9:00 p.m.; the experience had lasted a total of three hours!

Our Lady of Hope tells them that God hears their prayers.
Our Lady of Hope tells them that God hears their prayers.

By the next morning the town learned that the Prussian soldiers had witnessed a vision of the Virgin Mary on the outskirts of their town.  The startled and frightened soldiers had told their Prussian superiors,

“Madonna is guarding the country and forbidding us to advance!  We can go no further – an invisible Madonna is barring the way.” 

Within eleven days the Prussian soldiers had mysteriously retreated and abandoned the country they had planned to invade and occupy.  A truce was signed and the war ended.

The next morning, the Prussian army is halted by the Virgin Mary.
The next morning, the Prussian army is halted by the Virgin Mary.

After a thorough investigation, the ecclesiastical authority fully approved in February of 1875 the appearances of the Virgin Mary in Pontmain.  The Barbadette barn first became a chapel, and then a large basilica, years later in 1900, for “Our Lady of Hope.”

Today this grand basilica honors the apparition of Pontmain, France.
Today this grand basilica honors the apparition of Pontmain, France.

Joseph Barbadette became a priest and a member of the Congregation of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.  Brother Eugene became a priest of the archdiocese.  Francoise Richer became a housekeeper for a priest, and Jeanne-Marie Lebosse became a nun.


Our Lady of Good Help, Champion, Wisconsin, USA, 1859

“Our Lady of Good Help”

The Brice family emigrated from Belgium to the United States on July 23, 1855.  On August 7, 1855, Lambert and Marie Brice purchased 240 acres of land in the Red River, Wisconsin region to establish their family farm.  Daughter Adele would walk the 11 miles by herself to the nearest church every Sunday.

In early October of 1859, Adele Brice, age 28, was taking some wheat to a grist mill along a four-mile Indian pathway.  Just as Adele came to a clearing between a maple tree and a hemlock tree, she saw someone standing between the two trees.  As she approached, her heart filled with fright, and she froze as she looked at the woman.  The woman was all white with a yellow sash at her waist.  Around her head was a crown of twelve stars.  She was standing on a small cloud.  She had yellow hair, blue eyes, and was surrounded by a bright light.  Adele watched until the woman disappeared, and then she saw the cloud disappear as well.  When she arrived at the mill, the miller could tell that she was very upset.  She was also very nervous on her return trip home, but nobody was between the trees this time.  When she arrived home, she told her parents what had happened.  Her father suggested that it might be a poor soul that needed prayers, “so pray for her if you see her again.”

Adele Brice encounters a ghost-like, glowing lady in the woods in 1859.
Adele Brice encounters a ghost-like, glowing lady in the woods in 1859.

On October 9, 1859, Adele, her sister Isabelle (age 24), and their good friend, Mrs. Theresa Vander Niessen, were walking the eleven miles together to the Sunday Mass at the nearest church in Bay Settlement.  As the three women approached the spot where the two trees stood, Adele again saw the lady in white.  She got excited and told her sister what she was seeing.  Adele froze, staring at the woman, but the other two could see nothing.  But they could see that Adele was indeed staring at something, and they could see fear in her eyes.  Then the lady disappeared, and they all agreed to pray for the “poor soul.”  Adele confessed to the priest what she had seen, and he spoke to her about the matter, suggesting that she ask the lady who she is and what she wants.  Adele felt comforted and believed by Father Verhoeff.  On the way home the three women were joined by a man who was clearing the land for the Holy Cross Fathers.

When they came to the place with the two trees, Adele stopped because she saw the lady again.  She could clearly see that she was dressed in a white gown which fell to her feet in graceful folds.  There was a yellow sash around her waist.  Long wavy golden hair fell loosely over her shoulders.  On her head was a crown of twelve stars.  The bright light surrounding her made it difficult for Adele to look at her for very long.  Adele saw that the lady had a very sweet, gentle face.  Surprisingly, she felt no fear this time.  Instead, she was completely filled with joy and peace.  She walked closer and fell to her knees before her.

Promising to teach children about religion, Adele keeps her vow to the Virgin.
Promising to teach children about religion, Adele keeps her vow to the Virgin.

A:        “In God’s name, who are you, and what do you desire of me?

VM:     “I am the Queen of Heaven, who prays for the conversion of sinners, and I wish you to do       the same.” (She spoke in a soft, sweet voice – “the sound was heavenly.”) “You were at Holy Communion this morning.

A:        “Yes, dear lady.”

VM:     “You have done well, but I wish you to do more.  Pray for nine days.  Go and make a general confession and offer your Holy Communion for the conversion of sinners.  If they do not convert themselves and do penance, my Son will be obliged to punish them.”

A horrible fire breaks out in 1871, enhanced by tornado-like winds.
A horrible fire breaks out in 1871, enhanced by tornado-like winds.

Meanwhile, the others could tell that Adele was seeing someone and talking with her. They kept asking her, “Who is she?  What is she saying?  Is she the poor soul from Belgium?  Who is it?”  Adele heard her friends and told them to kneel because “she said she was the Queen of Heaven.”  When Theresa complained about not being able to see her, Adele saw the Virgin Mary look kindly at Theresa and say,

VM:     “Blessed are they that believe and do not see. (then back to Adele:) What are you doing here in idleness, while your companions are working in the vineyard of My Son?

A:        (crying) “What more can I do, dear Lady?”

VM:     “Teach the children.

A:        “How can I teach them when I know so little, myself?

VM:     “I do not mean the science of the world.  Teach them their catechism, how to sign themselves with the sign of the cross, and how to approach the sacraments, that they may know and love My Son; otherwise, the people here will lose their faith.”

A:        “With God’s grace, and the help of your intercession, I promise, dear Lady, to be faithful to what you bid me.”

VM:     “Go and fear nothing.  I will help you.”

Nobody can escape the horrible blaze as it heads toward "Mary's Five Acres."
Nobody can escape the horrible blaze as it heads toward “Mary’s Five Acres.”

With that said, the Blessed Mary raised her eyes and hands toward heaven and slowly rose upward.  She was surrounded by a light smoke-like incense.  She looked like she was asking for a blessing for all of those kneeling before her.  Adele, overwhelmed with emotion, collapsed to the ground in exhaustion.  The man brought a cloth, soaked from a nearby stream, to help revive her from unconsciousness.  Then the four walked home, and Adele told everyone about her encounter.  Because of her character, most people believed her words.  Her father had always believed her because she had always been a truthful girl.  To show his support for his daughter and his love for the Virgin Mary, he decided to honor the location of the apparitions with the building of a very small chapel (10 feet x 12 feet) on that very spot.  Father Verhoeff gave Adele a picture of Mary to hang there.

Adele offered to work hard for the busy pioneer families if they would let her teach their children the catechism and the rosary in spare moments.  She did so for seven years, bringing each child that was ready to Father Daems in Bay Settlement to test their knowledge before each one’s First Communion.  In 1861, the community built a larger chapel (24 feet x 24 feet) that could hold a hundred people – and often did.  Mrs. Isabella Boyer donated the five acres that contained the holy site.

Sister Adele Brice leads a night-long praying of the Rosary, pleading for heavenly help.
Sister Adele Brice leads a night-long praying of the Rosary, pleading for heavenly help.

When doubters began to give Adele a hard time, miracle healings began occurring in the chapel when Adele asked for divine assistance.  Blind visitors regained their sight, deaf people regained their hearing, the desperately sick were healed, and cripples would walk again, leaving their canes and crutches behind as evidence.  Word spread across the Midwest of these divine healings near Robinsonville (later called Champion).  Adele acquired a beautiful, hand-carved statue of Mary from Belgium, and there was a glorious procession from the boat to its final resting spot in the chapel.  However, some time later, the statue was severely damaged when it caught fire from candles placed too close to it.  But farmers and other settlers took up a collection to replace it with a new statue.

In 1864 Adele and the other religious women helping her became the Sisters of Good Health – and were accepted by the Bishop of Green Bay.  In 1867, Adele opened a school next to the chapel and a boarding school, the St. Mary’s Academy, in 1869.

Devastation is everywhere the next day (actual photo).
Devastation is everywhere the next day (actual photo).

On Sunday, October 8, 1871, a most deadly fire was created by a gale force wind that turned the prairies and forests of Wisconsin into a raging inferno.  Fire tornadoes ripped through the area causing death and destruction everywhere.  Flames jumped rivers, embers rained down, and small fires were whipped up into a giant fireball that destroyed homes, buildings, farms, factories, and entire towns.  It was described as “a wall of flame a mile high, five miles wide, traveling 90-100 m.p.h., hotter than a crematorium, turning sand into glass.”  The heat was so strong that it killed people before the fire ever got to them.  Approximately 2,500 people died, 12 towns destroyed, and 1.2 million acres devastated – the deadliest fire in American history.  The ground was burned to a depth of two feet deep in some places.  Hiding in brick homes or underground basements did not help.  Only those hiding in rivers had the best chance of survival.

Father Pernin of a local church made every effort to save the tabernacle from his church, but at the river his cart dumped, and it floated away as he watched helplessly.  Many people lined the river banks, but the only ones who survived were those who jumped in the water with Father Pernin.  Three days later, among the blackened terrain and black ashes of everything destroyed, a pristine white tabernacle was discovered sitting upright on a log in the river.  Its contents were unharmed from water or heat, and the people saw it as a miracle and a sign of hope.

Only Mary's five acres remains green and untouched by the disaster; all there lived,
Only Mary’s five acres remains green and untouched by the disaster; all there lived.

Sister Adele decided it was impossible to flee the fire, so the sisters, the school children, and frantic neighbors gathered in the chapel on the five-acre grounds and prayed to Mary for help.  Then Adele led a procession around the perimeter of the chapel grounds, carrying a statue of Mary.  The procession continued all night, praying the Rosary, all around the grounds.  Everyone believed a miracle had occurred:  the wind cooled, a heavy downpour drenched the fires, but this was long after the fires had stopped right at the fence line surrounding the five acres.  The outer side of the fence posts were charred while the inside was untouched.  Everything surrounding their five acres, including the lush green forest, farm buildings, and homes were blackened, obliterated, and gone.  Only the people and animals that had come to these grounds survived.  The five-acre grounds that had been dedicated to Mary were green and untouched – “a glorious sight.”  Exhausted from their fears and night-long processions of prayers, the people praised God and retired to sleep.  Twelve years ago, on this exact day, Mary had warned of a potential punishment.

he Bishop of Green Bay approves these apparitions in 2010.
he Bishop of Green Bay approves these apparitions in 2010.

Another miracle on the chapel grounds had to do with the chapel well.  The weather had been extremely dry all summer with the deepest of wells in the region barely containing any water left.  The chapel well was only a few feet deep, and yet it was always providing plenty of water.  All the neighbors, their surviving livestock which they had brought to the grounds, and everyone else living on Mary’s five acres had plenty of water from this shallow well.  There was no explanation or logic for this small well to serve so many for so long under the dry conditions.  People started taking some of the well water home as it was believed to have led to some healing miracles.

Many other miracles were documented.  A seventeen year-old boy developed pleurisy from double-pneumonia.  Despite his lungs becoming extremely weak, he said a novena at the chapel, and he was completely healed.  Another boy, Michael Fonde, age nine, fell from a barn and was crippled.  Four years later, a group of women prayed a novena with him at the chapel, and he walked out healed, leaving his crutches behind.  A little girl with bleeding sores, who had been treated by doctors for years, was completely healed after she and her Mom made the pilgrimage to this chapel.  Another small girl had become blind from a severe case of measles.  When her mother brought her to this chapel to pray, she was instantaneously healed.  And a deaf boy brought by his Mom to the chapel completely regained his hearing.

A statue of Mary gazes at pilgrims on the site; many healings occur.
A statue of Mary gazes at pilgrims on the site; many healings occur.

On December 8, 2010, a historic event took place in this Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help near Champion, Wisconsin.  Bishop David Ricken of Green Bay formally announced the approval of these apparitions:

“I declare with moral certainty and in accord with the norms of the Catholic Church that the events, apparitions, and locutions given to Adele Brice in October of 1859 do exhibit the substance of supernatural character, and I hereby approve these apparitions as worthy of belief by the Christian faithful.”

This becomes the first approved Marian apparition in the United States of America.


Our Lady of Lourdes, France, 1858

“Our Lady of Lourdes”

Bernadette Soubirous (14) was the oldest daughter of a desperately poor, miller’s family — who had to take a foul-smelling room in the old abandoned prison to survive.  Lourdes was a village of about 4,000 people, tucked in the foothills of the French Pyrenees.

On February 11, 1858, Bernadette was sent with her sister, Toinette (11) and their friend, Jeanne to search for firewood that could be sold to the ragpicker for a few pennies that could buy a pound of bread for their dinner.  Bernadette was lagging behind the other two because of her asthma.  She suggested they cut across some fields to reach a point where the River Gave de Pau meets the canal.  She paused in front of the hollowed-out rock Grotto of Massabielle at the base of a small mountain to take off her shoes and socks so that she could wade through an icy cold stream.  She remembered her mother warning her to stay warm due to her asthma.

Bernadette Soubirous, 14-year old visionary of Lourdes, France.
Bernadette Soubirous, 14-year old visionary of Lourdes, France.

Toinette and Jeanne had already removed their wooden shoes and waded through the icy millstream to the other side when Bernadette heard “a gush of wind” come from the grotto — yet, no trees were moving.  She continued to remove her socks, when she heard the rush of wind again.  She saw some wild rose brambles stir in the niche above the grotto.  A soft light brightened the recess in the cliff.  Then, it became a brilliant light — “like a glaring reflection of the sun off water.”  In the light she began to see a young woman about her same age, dressed in white with a blue sash.  A yellow rose adorned each bare foot.  The mysterious young girl in the light smiled at Bernadette.

“When I saw that, I rubbed my eyes.  I thought I was mistaken.”  But Bernadette could not rub away the image of the girl in the light.  The Lady made the sign of the cross with a Rosary in her hand, and Bernadette knelt and said a Rosary in front of her.  As Bernadette said her rosary, the young girl in white fingered her own rosary beads but did not move her lips during the Aves.  After that, the beautiful Lady motioned for her to come closer, but Bernadette was too timid.  Glowing, as if standing in a sunburst, the Lady vanished.   Wondering what she had just encountered, she finished removing her stockings and crossed the millstream – which was surprisingly warm now.

The other two girls had not seen or heard anything.  Her sister scoffed at her story, and their mother spanked both girls when she heard such nonsense.  However, this would be the first of 18 visitations!  Despite being forbidden to return to the grotto, friends and others put pressure on the family to let her go, escorted.  Just three days later, she felt compelled to return (with father’s permission) and took a bottle of holy water and a group of her curious classmates with her down the path to the Grotto of Massabielle.

Bernadette falls into a trance before the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1858.
Bernadette falls into a trance before the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1858.

She fell into a mesmerizing trance in front of the grotto as she saw the Lady again.  Others could not see or hear anything but were impressed by her gaze that could not be broken with distractions.  When Bernadette was done praying and the Lady had vanished, friends could not move her physically from her spot.  They ran to the sawmill, and the operator of the nearby mill struggled to move the girl as she suddenly seemed incredibly heavy and hard to move.  He was able to finally drag her back up the footpath.  Later, she was again punished and warned.

Madame Jeanne-Marie Milhet thought that this apparition might be the spirit of her deceased relative, Elisa Latapie.  Because Madame Milhet often paid Bernadette’s mother for odd jobs, Bernadette’s mother, Louise, gave in and allowed her to return to the grotto with Madame Milhet and her dressmaker, Antoinette Peyret.  On February 18, these two, well-to-do women decided that they would accompany Bernadette to the grotto after Mass.  Bernadette saw the Lady for a third time, but the two women, who could not see anything, asked for the Lady to write on a piece of paper so that they, too, could believe.  Bernadette held the pen and paper up to the lady in the niche, asking her to write her name down.  Mary smiled and then spoke for the first time,

It is not necessary,” said Mary in a soft, musical voice to Bernadette only.  “Would you have the graciousness to come here for 15 days?  I do not promise to make you happy in   this world but in the next.”

On the way ome, one of the women offered to let Bernadette stay with her for those 15 days.  But, because her mother and aunt now insisted they should have this role, Bernadette only stayed with the nice woman for a couple of days.

A rare view of the actual apparition site at that time in 1858.
A rare view of the actual apparition site at that time in 1858.

The Lady appeared to Bernadette silently, only smiling during each visit.  Bernadette would always hold a blessed candle in one hand and a rosary in the other.  Despite crowds gathering and following, nobody else could see anything.  They could see that Bernadette was clearly in a trance or ecstasy as she gazed intently at the grotto, moving her lips at times, listening at other moments to someone they couldn’t see.

After the sixth apparition on February 21, Police Commissioner Dominique Jacomet pulled Bernadette in for an intense interrogation, trying to twist the facts and confuse her, adding occasional threats.  But Bernadette remained calm, sincere, and consistent — never even making the claim that this was the Virgin Mary.  And, despite his threats to jail her if she returned to the grotto, she calmly announced that she would return because she had pledged that she would.

On February 23, the Blessed Virgin told Bernadette three secrets that were for her alone.  And she never did reveal what those three secrets were.

Bernadette continues to meet with Blessed Mary for 15 days in a row.
Bernadette continues to meet with Blessed Mary for 15 days in a row.

Finally, on February 24, Blessed Mary spoke to her again:

“Penitence is what I wish of everyone.  Pray to God for the conversion of sinners.
Kiss the ground as a gesture of penance for others.  Penance, penance, penance!”

Then, on February 25, with hundreds of curious people watching her silent interactions with Mary, she performed some very strange actions.

“She told me to go drink at the spring and to wash in it.  Not seeing any spring, I headed toward the river to drink, but she beckoned with her finger for me to go under the rock.  I went and found a little muddy water, almost too little for me to hold in the hollow of my hand.  Three times I threw it away – it was so dirty.  The fourth time I succeeded to drink some and then spit it out.”

Onlookers feared that she had gone mad, digging in the mud, drinking it, and smearing some on her face.  Then she ate from a plant called dorine.  The crowd gasped at each odd behavior, but they were later told that she had been instructed to do so “for sinners.”  Nevertheless, the crowd left confused and dismissing her; her embarrassed aunts took her home.  But later that same day, clear water started flowing from that muddy place.

On February 26, despite being ordered not to go there by the police commissioner, she found 600 people waiting there for her.  Where she had dug into the mud was now a clear pool of fresh water.  As many as 1,200 crowded into the area on February 28, leading authorities to grab the girl, interrogate, and threaten her again.  But she calmly refused their demands, stating that she would not break her promise to go there for 15 days as promised (until March 4th).

The original home of Bernadette Soubirous in Lourdes.
The original home of Bernadette Soubirous in Lourdes.

At the golden dawn of March 1st, others saw the apparition as well, including Catherine Latapie and her two toddlers.  She had broken her arm, paralyzing two fingers the year before, but when she placed her arm into that clear pool of running spring water, her hand was perfectly healed.

On March 2nd Bernadette turned and announced to the on-looking crowd of 2,000 people, “Go and tell the priests that people must come here in procession, and that a chapel must be built here.”  Accompanied by her Aunt Bernarde and Aunt Basile, Bernadette approached Father Peyramale, the authoritative priest of St. Peter’s Church, and presented the Blessed Virgin’s request.  Doubtful and disgusted, the priest needed to know that this was truly the Virgin Mary.  He also demanded that this so-called “Virgin Mary” make the wild rosebush bloom in the winter grotto — as added proof.

Despite thousands of people showing up the last day, March 4, it was the same as the others — without any grand finale or miracle as was greatly hoped.  Life returned to normal — now that the 15 visits were over.

But on the night before the Feast of the Annunciation, Bernadette received an “inner call” to return to the grotto one more time.  Before the sun rose on March 25, she and her parents made their way to the Grotto of Massabielle.  They were surprised to find a crowd already there, hopeful that this feast day might bring some special blessings or favors.  The Virgin did appear again to Bernadette!  Bernadette decided to meet the priest’s request, so she dared to ask Mary four times,

Mademoiselle, would you be good enough to tell me who you are?

The Blessed Mother slipped the rosary over her right arm, unfolded her arms, extended her hands toward the ground, and then folded them at her breast.  She then raised her eyes toward heaven and finally answered,

I am the Immaculate Conception.”

The apparition site is a popular place for prayer and pilgrimages today.
The apparition site is a popular place for prayer and pilgrimages today.

Bernadette had absolutely no idea what that meant, but she kept repeating the strange words to herself all the way to Father Peyramale’s residence so that she would not forget this precious response that they had all been waiting for.  After she reported to him what Mary had told her, he was simply astonished.  How could this uneducated girl, whose catechist had described her as “a blank slate,” know that the Virgin Mary had been born without sin?  Pope Pius IX had proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception only four years earlier.  When she left, Father Peyramale was now a believer and broke down and wept.

On April 7, the Tuesday after Easter, Bernadette prayed at the grotto in the early morning.  Several hundred watched — including Dr. Dozous, who was there to examine her during her visionary experience — as Bernadette took a large candle and encircled the flames with her hands and fingers.  This should have severely burned anyone else but she had no reaction or burns as the stunned doctor examined her closely.  Bernadette reported, “Our Lady still wants her chapel.”

By the end of June at least 50 others reported visions of Mary there.  On July 16 was Bernadette’s last vision, after again receiving an “irresistible invitation” on the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.  Disguised with a cloak and not crossing the river, she admired Mary’s presence from farther away – yet felt like she was at the same distance as previous visits.  “I had never seen her so beautiful.”  This was her last visit from Mary.

On January 18, 1862, Bishop Bertrand Laurence declared,

“We judge that Mary Immaculate, the Mother of God, really did appear to Bernadette Soubirous, on eighteen occasions from 11th February, 1858, at the Grotto of Massabielle near the town of Lourdes; that these apparitions bear the characteristics of truth; that the faithful can believe them as true.”

The first of several chapels was built, and Bernadette was invited to march in the procession that Blessed Mary had requested, fulfilling both requests before she left her family and friends at age 22 on July 4, 1866, to join the Sisters of Charity in Nevers.

During Holy Week of 1879, Bernadette’s pains and ailments worsened.  “I wouldn’t have thought it took so much suffering to die.”  On Easter Wednesday, April 16, she stretched out her arms like a cross and said, “My God! … Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for me, a poor sinner.”  Then she died at the age of 35 due to her poor health.  Yet, her body lies under glass without any decomposition over 135 years later in the chapel of the Convent of the Sisters of Charity in Nevers!  She was beatified on June 14, 1925, and canonized on December 8, 1933 in Rome – on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception!

Sister Bernadette is incorrupt after death in 1879 (her body does not decay).
Sister Bernadette is incorrupt after death in 1879 (her body does not decay).

Today, as much as 14,500 gallons of water are generated daily from the spring that started as a mud hole she dug with her fingers.  The latest chapel built there is underground but can hold 20,000 people!  During the first 150 years after this, 7,000 authenticated medical cures were documented by the International Medical  Bureau of Lourdes.  Of those miracles, the Catholic Church has conservatively accepted 67 of them as clearly from the hand of God with no other possible explanation.  Here is a sampling of the miraculous healings from the waters of Lourdes:

Louis Bouriette (54), a quarryman, had lost complete vision in his right eye during a mine explosion.  He bathed his eye several times with water from the spring, and his sight was totally restored.

Henri Busquet (16) begged his parents to take him to Lourdes as his suffering from tuberculosis was unbearable.  A neighbor brought him water from Lourdes and within two days his tuberculin ulcers had healed and infections gone.

Justin Bouhort (2) had never walked and was so sick from various illnesses that he was close to death.  His mother plunged her baby into the cold waters of the spring, ignoring the fears of bystanders.  The next day, young Justin walked for the first time – and lived to attend the canonization ceremonies for Bernadette in 1933 at the age of 77.

Bedridden for over 20 years, Madeleine Rizan (58) was paralyzed on her left side.  Her daughter gave her a few sips of the Lourdes water and applied some to her face and body.  She was instantly healed!

Marie Moreau (17) had a bad infection that had nearly robbed her of most of her eyesight.  A compress soaked in Lourdes water was placed over her eyes.  The next morning, after removing the compress, her vision was completely restored!

A fallen tree had crushed the left leg of Pierre de Rudder (52).  Infection had prevented the compound fracture from healing.  Hobbling on crutches for eight years, he faced amputation soon.  He prayed to the Blessed Virgin in front of a replica of the Lourdes grotto in Belgium.  Within minutes, his bones fused back together, and he was able to walk away without any crutches.  He was quite active until he died at the age of 75.

In 1963, Vittorio Micheli of Italy (23) was suffering from a cancerous tumor on his hip bone.  Lowered into the Lourdes bath waters on a stretcher, his tumor vanished as well as all of his pain.  He resumed an active, healthy life again.

Serge Perrin (41) suffered from a blocked carotid artery which caused paralysis, blackouts, and vision issues.  In 1970 he visited Lourdes and was completely cured.

Delizia Cirolli (12) suffered from a potentially fatal tumor in her knee and faced amputation soon.  After a trip to Lourdes and praying to Our Lady, she was 100% healed.

Jean-Pierre Bely, a nurse, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1972.  By 1987 he was bedridden and 100% disabled.  After the Anointing of the Sick at Lourdes, he felt a great sense of peace; he regained his mobility and sense of touch again.

Anna Santaniello (41) suffered from severe heart disease, labored breathing, and low oxygen levels.  Carried to the Lourdes baths on a stretcher, she walked out on her own. Doctors confirmed her good health, regular heart rhythm, and breathing without restrictions.

Our Lady of Manaoag, Manaoag, Philippines, 1610

“Our Lady of Manaoag”

In 1610, a man was walking home along a lonely road in the Pangasinan region when he happened to hear a lady’s mysterious voice. Turning around, he was greatly surprised to see a radiant lady holding a small child on one arm while a rosary was suspended from her right hand.  The vision appeared to be standing on a bright cloud over a small bush.  Saying nothing, the Virgin looked sweetly at the man – who was now on his knees in profound reverence.

When the villagers heard of the vision, they hastily journeyed there and soon built a small church over the place of the apparition.  A town soon flourished near it and was named “Manaoag” — which means “to call.”

The Blessed Virgin seems to have protected this region ever since then from numerous threats.  There was a time in which mountain tribes were accustomed to burning Christian villages.  One day, when Manaoag was destined to be torched, flaming arrows were shot into the little church.  Not a single flame set it on fire.

On an even greater scale, during World War II, four bombs were dropped.  Three landed on the patio and only damaged the facade of the church. One bomb crashed through the roof of the church, but it failed to explode inside.  The church was miraculously saved.

Our Lady of Manaoag, Philippines with baby Jesus
Our Lady of Manaoag, Philippines with baby Jesus

In 1698, huge swarms of locusts began to ravage the rice fields.  They came in swarms so vast that the sky was darkened.  An image of the Blessed Virgin (that had been brought to the Philippines by Padre Juan de San Jacinto of Spain in the early 17th century) was taken out to the fields.  Desperate for help, they placed the small image on the ground and then watched in amazement as the locusts began to destroy each other in a totally unexpected manner that had never been witnessed before.  The carnage continued until not a single locust could be found alive.

Another miracle took place during the drought of 1706.  The fields had been scorched by the drought, and the seedlings were shriveled from the heat.  As days passed with more sun, heat, and no rainclouds, the people began praying to Our Lady for help and took her image once more out to the fields.  During the first day of a novena, and after a procession with the miraculous statue, Our Lady showed her compassion again for this region by gathering rain clouds as soon as her image was returned to the church.  The sky dimmed and a downpour of much-needed rain soon fell.  This rainfall continued for many days until the ground was refreshed and the crops were saved.

Another spectacular miracle was documented in 1698.  It was on Easter Sunday when a fire of unknown origin devoured the whole town and crept steadily toward the church.  The parish priest was notified of the danger and rushed to the scene.  He grabbed the statue of Our Lady from inside the church and took it out to protect it from harm.  He prayed and pleaded with Blessed Mary, saying,

“Dear Lady, if you do not spare the church from fire, I will hurl myself into the flames with you so that the two of us may be consumed by it.”

After he pleaded with Our Lady of Manaoag, the flames immediately died down and were extinguished.  Once again , the church was miraculously saved.

Many pilgrims visit the shrine of Our Lady of Manaoag every year – but, especially during the months of April and May when annual, worldwide pilgrimages occur.  Many other miracles attributed to Our Lady are depicted in giant wall paintings in the church.  The crowds were huge on April 21, 1926, when the Papal Nuncio canonically crowned the image of Our Lady of Manaoag.

Allegedly, Our Lady visits all the barrios of Manaoag and all the towns in the district of Pangasinan every twenty-five years.