I was a cradle Catholic and grew up in the faith of my parents, went to Religious Education classes but the faith really didn’t belong to me until June 25, 1998. Our family faced many difficult times, we nearly lost our first born son but a brand new doctor showed up at the last minute with a cure the more experienced doctors didn’t think know about. We were told he would be retarded and physically handicapped if we tried the treatment. He graduated with a double major and a BA from a well known university. Our daughter didn’t have any problems at all. Little did we think that nineteen years latter on April 26, 1991 our second son would be killed by a drunk driver and the only reason my wife is here is that a high school student that just finished a CPR class gave her life back to us. Stress was high in the family; we all seemed to go our separate ways in search of meaning.
My wife Betty came home the next year with this crazy idea about a modern day Fatima happening Bosnia. Anyway my attitude was wonderful. So what’s for dinner? My attitude then was if I couldn’t feel it, touch it, smell it, and see it live, then it’s probably not real.
The next year Betty dragged me off to an annual Medjugorje Peace Conference that’s held at UC Irvine, CA. I was board but felt compelled to stay because of Betty and the fact that we went in one car.
The Sunday morning speaker was Mary Lou Mc Call somebody that worked for I think CNN or NBC. Anyway she went to Medjugorje to do a story. You would have to hear the talk. She was great. She assumed like any of the better news media people that you knew nothing of Medjugorje and she explained everything in detail; She went as a skeptic and returned as a believer. She explained the whole experience step by step. Mary Lou got me interested.
I read every one of Wayne’s books, then another and I decided it was time for a trip. I had things pretty much set up before talking to Betty about it; you really had to see the look on her face. “You, Medjugorje?”
A couple of months later we were staying with Ivan’s cousin just two houses down the street from his. Ivan is one of the visionaries. We were also right next door to Jakov, another visionary. Marianna lived across the street. We had the chance to meet or at least hear each one of the five visionaries speak. I am still at the “Ya, so prove it to me stage.”
An interesting aside is that Ivan, one of the visionaries (a person that speaks with the Blessed Mother), married a girl from the Back Bay in Boston. He met her in the states at one of the Medjugorje conferences.
Ivan is very nice to be around. He invited our tour group to his house so that we could be present for an apparitions (coming of the Blessed Mother) for her daily talk with him. She appears to him not to anyone else in the room. There was a pregnant lady with us. You had to see her unborn baby going wild when the apparition was going on. When the apparition stopped so did the unborn child. My first thought was when Mary visited Elizabeth and the baby stirred in her womb.
As part of the trip we took a bus ride to another town to meet Fr. Jozo. He was the pastor when the children, now 25 years older, began having apparitions. The church didn’t believe the visionaries, there was a communist government in power, so Fr. Jozo was removed as the pastor of Medjugorje because he did believed and supported the children.
He had a nice talk. I’m still at the ya, so show me stage. Fr. Jozo blessed the priests with the power of the Holy Spirit
And then were sent into the crowd to pass on the blessing. I decided to go to the restroom early so I left the church. When I returned Betty still hadn’t come out, so I went back in. What the heck everyone is getting blessed and so I decided to join the line. One priest came to me, places a cross on my forehead and repeated the blessing. The power of the Holy Sprit came into me then. I had this warm and overwhelming feeling of peace and security. It’s hard to explain. I had to grab on to the pew to stop myself from falling backward. I wasn’t the only one that it happened to.
We returned to Medjugorje it was June 25th, our wedding anniversary and the anniversary of the beginning of the apperations. People started to share, what had happened to them since arriving. They were bringing out pictures. I didn’t have much to say because I was still trying to explain away what had happened to me at Fr. Jozo’s. You know it must have been group hysteria, weak at the knee because of lack of food but I simply couldn’t find a logical explanation for what happened. Betty was getting a little upset with me because she wanted to talk but I didn’t want to, I wanted to think.
The English Mass is held each day about noon. On this particular day because it was the anniversary of the apparitions, there was an additional Mass being held outside for about 30,000 people. This Mass was said in I don’t know how many languages and the homilies went on forever. Because there was so many people our group we couldn’t sit together. As it turned out it was a good thing.
At the consecration of the Mass, the sun divided into two distinct suns and they began spinning in opposite directions.
Suddenly the crowd started making ouing and ahhing sounds and turned to look at the sun, so did I. As you know looking at the sun is not something humans can do for very long. I this case you could look at it until the two suns rejoined. Well, that did it for me. First Fr. Jozo and now two suns, what else do you need?
We went back to the house and shortly after that our group came together for what we affectionately called group therapy. Nearly everyone in the group saw what I just described. Guess you can see why I don’t share this with people unless they ask. You really had to see my daughter Kathleen’s face when I told her about it. It was the look of what have you been drinking on the plane.
Our local church sent a group and one lady had been having trouble with her knees for sometime. Her knee problems stopped and have not restarted since the trip. Another lady had her rosary turn into gold. There are many more stories about people in our group.
The thing to remember is that you shouldn’t go to Medjugorje looking for a miracle. You should go looking for inner peace. Life is much easier for me now. People that were a pain in the neck have now drifted away from my life. The new people have come into my life are truly a joy to be around.
My wife of 44 years will tell you I experienced a true conversion in Medjugorje and I would have to agree with her. It seems God nudges you little by little until you travel the narrow path. I now have a doctorate in divinity and operate the www.SaintPaulMinistries.net website. All of the materials offered on the site are free and we average 20,000 downloads per month. Many times people will ask questions, sometimes people will try and attack myself or the faith but it always seems the Holy Spirit is there to give me the patience and the right thing to say.
“Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ”