Urged by numerous Meðugorje pilgrims, which convincingly claim that they were recently witnesses of unusual and vividly seen phenomena, we paid a short visit to the Meðugorje Parish again. That was one cold evening in the month of December, but coldness did not prevent the worshippers of the Lady to dedicate the evening hours to prayer in the Meðugorje parish church. After the completion of the evening ceremonies, we were met and stopped by known and unknown persons. From Meðugorje, from Ljubuški, from Mostar, from Posušje and some from considerably higher distances. It is not hard to start a conversation when “hearts are filled and open”. So we started it. But we immediately expressed the mysterious restraint towards unusual phenomena about which there has been so much talk recently. However, the witnesses of those phenomena kept their poise and did not lose their faith. There are many of them. We talked with groups and individuals. In groups and separately. And all claimed essentially the same. The difference is only that they don’t all use the same words and expressions. But that was a matter of personality and the level of education.
Testimonies about unusual phenomena
What kind of phenomena are in question is told by witnesses. Of all ages and various vocations. We listened to them attentively and noted their statements. Here are some:
“One October evening, instead of the big cross, I saw on the Križevac hill beautiful whiteness and in the middle of that whiteness something like a figure of the Lady in form of a statue”, a young man from a larger group of young men and girls, from Bijakoviæi, told us. When we remarked that it could have been the shining of the sun, they replied almost unanimously that it was impossible since there was no sun at all then. They also told us that such a phenomenon was repeated several times one day. Then a girl asked to speak and described the phenomenon in her words: “First you see the cross as usually. Then the cross disappears to the eye, and in the whiteness, a figure of a woman appears”. While the girl described that, other supplement it by descriptions of some fine details. “One morning, there were thirty of us observing that phenomenon”, the girl continued her description. “There was a man from Zagreb with his wife and child with us. When they saw that phenomenon, they went towards the cross up the Križevac hill. We were in front of the house and watched them through binoculars until they went out of our sight. And when the whiteness appeared again, we saw them clearly again walking towards the cross, as we see you now. And when they were returning, it was like that again. They were appearing and getting out of our sight, depending on appearing of the whiteness.”
The young claim that among those thirty witnesses, all ages were present, and they invited us to stay and see for ourselves, because that phenomenon is repeated from time to time.
“I saw that too”, a middle-aged woman from the Èerin parish interrupted our conversation. “I saw a figure of a woman like this on this side of the cross. I was watching it for 15 minutes, and many which came before say that it lasted for half an hour. I started to watch that phenomenon five minutes before five o’clock in the afternoon.” The woman also claimed that the sight was seen by some fifty persons, and she added: “It was raining and it was as if no rain fell on us. We were praying, rejoicing and crying with gladness. That was something biggest and most beautiful that I had seen in my life. I shall never forget it and I don’t want to die now.”
Thus said the woman from Èerin. And an older man immediately continued her statement and claimed that there is no one in Bijakoviæi who has not seen that phenomenon.
A group of students joined our conversation. They said how they stopped the religious education class on the occasion of one such phenomenon, went out to the church yard and all saw the unusual sight in the same way.
Those who describe those common seeings of theirs in greater detail point out that the mentioned whiteness was shining as the brightest light they had ever seen, and some even claim that that light had nothing in common with normal lighting. Among our interlocutors, there were those who testified that they saw exactly the same phenomenon on the cross of the church bell tower, and a sharp-witted old man described to us in detail such a phenomenon on Podbrdo above Bijakoviæi.
People also witnessed about phenomena in form of a huge flame, so that there was fear from that too. But it could soon be found that no fire was in question.
Among witnesses of those repetitive phenomena in Meðugorje, we met several priests as well. Older ones and young ones. And their testimonies actually correspond to testimonies by other followers. Here is what a sixty year old priest told us, whose special characteristic is the depth of thought and reasonable evaluation of those phenomena:
“It was about 5 p.m. on Thursday. I was with my colleague and a group of another seventy believers. I went out of the sacristy and looked up towards Križevac: No cross! But, what?! I was surprised. And while my surprise was not calmed yet, a white pillar appeared. Thus excited, I returned to the sacristy and called a reverend sister to come out and see if she saw the same phenomenon. And she immediately said that she saw a figure of a woman similar to the Lady. Then I hurried to the parish office to call other priests, but they were already out and were attentively watching the scene on the Križevac hill. Some were using binoculars too. Then I grabbed binoculars from somebody and turned them towards the hill. And soon I noticed a figure of a woman made of light. And it was so white and so pleasant light as I had near seen in my life. Then I went to church to call other believers, but they were already out and they were kneeling down on the rainy meadow, plunged in fervent prayer. After the prayer, the believers sang several songs of the Lady, and then general joy and loud cheering followed. In that overjoyed group of believers, I noticed a woman from Hamziæi that I knew. She was speaking aloud: ²Oh, thank you, Lady! I came here for the fifteenth time. May it happen to me whatever you wish, I thank you for having seen you tonight!² From my side, I must point out again that I only saw a white pillar without binoculars, but through the binoculars, I saw a figure of a woman.”
Another phenomenon happened, it seems to me, on Tuesday, on 27th October. The weather was better than the first time, so that there were a lot of people outside. And the thing was the same again: the cross disappeared. And then the cross appeared again, but how? With its upright and transverse piece and a white female figure appeared in front of the cross. The spectacle lasted about 15 minutes.
The third phenomenon with a special sign happened on 4th November at 5:15 in the afternoon. It was watched by 300 person at least. But that phenomenon appeared in another place. Maybe about 200 meters southeast of Križevci. It had the form of a flame which was resting in some kind of a frame. Something like a door, which were sometimes getting a little smaller, and then bigger again.
Thus, those are the three phenomena which were witnessed by us five priests.” These are only some of the testimonies about unusual light-white phenomena at Meðugorje. We heard many more. We must say here that all the persons which evidenced those phenomena introduced themselves to us by name and that certain descriptions of the sights seen were considerably more extensive than we have recorded them here.
Testimonies about spiritual transformation
Thus, we presented the statements of eyewitnesses. And we leave the judgment of that to God’s providence, the church teaching, and also to those which feel called to explain and clarify such phenomena and such statements. As believers, we are aware that faith does not live from such phenomena, nor does it die without them. The basis and the strength of our faith are primarily the Gospel and the evidenced evangelic life, although certain signs which God sends in a special way can wake up the dormant faith.
However, immediately next to those phenomena about which individuals and groups testified, there is something much more convincing, more palpable, and even more wonderful than the phenomena themselves which we consider wonderful. Those are spiritual transformations which happen in human souls. Those transformations were testified by the same believers which gave their testimonies about light-white signs in the Meðugorje parish. They testified by words and by examples, so that we could convince ourselves in all as well.
They said that church rites were once too long for them even if they lasted only for half an hour, and that even four hours were not too long for them now. Moreover, it happened lately that the priest urged the believers to go home in the evening, but that many still remained praying. They did not have to prove that to us, because we saw for ourselves that it really was so.
They further told us that no swearing had been heard in their place for months already, and we heard none too – although we went to places where nobody knew us.
They stated names and examples of reconciliation of those which had started court proceedings a long time ago, so that there is no reason not to trust that too.
The young and the old pointed their finger to their yesterday’s sinful life, which they then changed radically. And on their faces one could see that they are not feigning.
Some stated a particularly touchy example evidencing a deep believer’s transformation. Namely, on last Christmas, one of their citizens was crying bitterly because his sons became so religiously indifferent that they did not even wish to attend the Christmas mass. And now those same sons are by the very altar in devoted prayer and sincere piety each Sunday and each evening.
Let’s point out also that such factual testimonies about inner spiritual transformations don’t refer only to Meðugorje believers, but to many Meðugorje pilgrims from parts close by and far away.
And those spiritual transformations, that inner whiteness and light, are evangelic values and ideals towards which each Christian believer should continuously strive. Why, Christ himself, who came to redeem and save the world, was called “the Light of the World” himself.
Naša ognjišta, XI., 10 (78), Duvno, December 1981, pp. 13-14.
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