Wednesday, December 2, 2009
SUPERNATURAL EVENTS IN MEDJUGORJE
On 23 June 1981, a violent storm struck the village of Medjugorje. Even the most senior citizens of Medjugorje had seen nothing like it in half a century. At dusk, the sky was streaked with bolts of lightning that spread in all directions and the thunder was deafening. More than a dozen fires started by lightning strikes broke out in Medjugorje that night. By morning, the fires were extinguished and the clear blue sky could be seen once again.
The 24th of June was the feast day of John the Baptist and it was on this day that the Mother of God first appeared in Medjugorje. Since then, many supernatural events had taken place in Medjugorje. Apart from the many miraculous healings which I wrote about last month, many unusual phenomena had occurred and are still occurring in this place of grace where the Mother of God is still appearing to the six visionaries.
On 29 June 1981, the sixth day of the apparitions, a pediatrics specialist, Doctor Darinka Glamuzina, was sent to examine the six visionaries during the apparition. She had earlier boasted to the visionaries of her atheism. During the apparition, she wanted to touch Our Lady and following the children's instructions, she touched Our Lady's shoulder with her hand. Dr. Glamuzina felt a shudder and experienced a sort of electric shock passing through her entire body. She was awestruck for a moment then began to stagger back down the hill. She, who was agnostic, admitted that, "Something is going on here." Since that day, she refused to have anything to do with the investigation.
On 30 June 1981, the seventh day of the apparitions, two social workers took the young visionaries for a drive in a large sedan. Their intention was to take them far away from the place of the apparition and detain them until the usual apparition time had passed. Although the children were far away from Podbrdo Hill (Apparition Hill) at the time that the apparition usually took place, as if urged by an inner persuasion, they demanded that the social workers stop the car and let them out. The social workers knew that the children had no chance of reaching the hill on time for the apparition and did as they were asked. As soon as they climbed out of the long sedan, the children knelt in a group and began to pray. Our Lady came to meet them from the Apparition Hill that was some 7 kilometers away. She was gliding toward them through the air, her long veil streaming behind her. The two social workers were terrified. They jumped back into the sedan and sped away. Later on, they admitted that they also saw something - a light.
At the apparition on August 2, the Feast of Our Lady of Angels, a group of more than 150 people reported seeing the "Miracle of the Sun". They saw the sun spinning in the orbit, descended toward the crowd and then retreated. They could stare at the sun without discomfort to their eyes. Moments later, six small hearts appeared in the sky and centred around a large heart. Then a white cloud formed and covered Podbrdo Hill. The cloud gradually dissipated and what could be seen was the clear blue sky with the sun in its normal place again.
On the afternoon of August 24, a crowd of people who were staring toward Mount Krizevac saw the Mother of God in place of the white concrete cross at the top of the mountain. More than a dozen people in the crowd said that they saw not the Virgin Herself but a "statue" of the Madonna where the cross should have been. When the statue disappeared, they could see the cross again. More than a hundred witnesses also claimed to see the word "mir" which means peace in Croatian, written in bright golden letters across the sky above the mountain.
On 28 October 1981, a strange fire erupted on the site of the first apparition on Podbrdo Hill and burned for about fifteen minutes without apparent fuel. More than five hundred people saw this fire. The guards from the militia who had been posted at the base of the hill hiked up the hill to investigate but could find no remains of the fire whatever. There were no embers, no ashes, nothing.
Father Nicholas Bulat, a professor of dogma at the seminary in Split was sent to Medjugorje to investigate the apparitions. During an apparition, he was given a seat in the rectory directly behind the visionaries. When their ecstasy began, Father Bulat lunged forward and plunged a long leatherworking needle into Vicka's left shoulder blade. Vicka was pushed forward and to one side but she showed no reaction at all to the pain even though her blouse was soaked with blood. She continued to pray. Father Bulat stabbed her again for a second time but still there was no reaction. Father Bulat left the rectory trembling. He refused to speak to anyone.
Dr. Marco Margnelli, an avowed atheist and a neurophysiologist, came to Yugoslavia during the summer of 1988 to look for evidence to contradict the visionaries. He conducted an array of medical tests on the visionaries. A few months after he returned to Milan, Dr. Margnelli, became a practicing Catholic. What actually caused this sudden change in him? According to him, "We were certainly in the presence of an extraordinary phenomenon. Whether we are dealing with an authentic apparition or something else we cannot explain and I cannot say. It is a question I prefer not to put to myself. Since returning from Yugoslavia, I have been thinking about it continually and I confess, I also ask myself nonscientific questions, such as what the meaning of the whole thing can be." What affected him most were the birds in the trees outside the rectory where the visionaries shared their apparitions. These birds were chirping and cooing and calling by the hundreds, at times deafeningly loud especially during the late afternoon but according to Dr. Margnelli, "They suddenly and simultaneously all go silent as soon as the apparition begins." He admitted that, "This absolute silence of the birds haunted me."
During the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mirjana announced that the Mother of God had promised that Medjugorje would be protected. And true enough this village had emerged from a series of Serbian air raids and artillery bombardments virtually unscathed. More than four thousand Serbian artillery shells had been fired at Medjugorje, but the only casualties were one cow, two chickens, and a dog. When the Serbian jets tried to score a direct hit on St. James's Church, their bombs weren't dropped. According to the Serb pilots as quoted in a Belgrade newspaper, "We had lost our bearings in a strange silver fog that had covered the Medjugorje parish."
No doubt there is no explanation for these phenomena. The message here is very clear. Our Lady is really appearing in Medjugorje. The Mother of God is real. Jesus is real. The Catholic Church is real. Blest are they who have not seen and have believed. (Luke: 20:29) But what about those who have seen but still do not want to believe?