The following is Deacon Ken Finn’s account of his remarkable interactions with Mary, the Mother of God.
My first encounter with the Blessed Mother happened when I was travelling in an RV with my wife, Marie. We co-authored a Catholic Bible-study, called The Bread of Life, and we were making a grand circle, clock-wise through the outer states of the country, introducing our study to parishes. One night, at the beginning of our trip, we parked our RV in the parking lot of the mission in Santa Barbara, and as we lay down to go to bed, our conversation turned to the sadness of people who are unable to bond with their mothers from birth. My wife and I had adopted three children, who were about eight weeks when we got them, and we wondered if they might have been deprived of the precious gift of early bonding.
A young man from the United States, Michael, came to Medjugorje in March and he just sent me a letter. I share it with you because it may encourage and inspire each one of us in our personal call to prayer in the midst of our daily concerns.
"My last pilgrimage to Medjugorje was life changing for me, as the Gospa revealed to me early in the pilgrimage that I needed to pray for peace in my soul. I realized that, though I prayed and believed and had many miracles happen to me in the past, I still did not have much peace inside me. It was hard for me to pray with love, to mean what I was saying.
"I was raised in a devout Lutheran home in New York and always believed in God, but from my teen years onward I rejected organized religion, believing it was created totally by man and not by God. After marrying Ed and reluctantly agreeing to raise our children Catholic, I told him, ' Don't EVER expect me to become Catholic. You have to be born that way - you'd have to be crazy to choose it voluntarily! ' I rejected the Church's teachings, thinking they were made up by men who had nothing better to do than make people feel guilty and miserable. I occasionally went to church with my family, but found it profoundly boring.
By Michael H. Brown
... I'll go by what the Church ends up formally concluding (it is currently in the hands of a Vatican commission) -- period -- but my personal belief is that this is a place halfway between here and the hereafter, a supernatural spot where the dimensional partition is thin. I had gone through my "conversion" (actually, my return) to the Church years before, as I said (independent of any apparition), but this brought me into a deeper and richer phase of Catholicism. It also spurred my writing in the Catholic realm. Not only did virtually everyone change for the better after visiting, but did so profoundly -- converting others, establishing Adoration in their parishes upon return to the U.S., starting uncountable Rosary groups, and in many cases becoming priests. The seers are human -- and not perfect (is anyone?) -- but the good fruits vastly outweighed any "bad."
The young Franciscan Peter Kim Dae Woo visited Međugorje for the second time. He comes from the parish Incon in Korea, where he serves as the assistant parish priest. He was ordained in 2009, despite his great desire to become a singer. He studied at the University for electrical engineering, but he dreamt of music, and that had even reduced his student’s performance at the university. “I studied for four years, but I was not interested in that at all. I would spend most of my time playing and singing, the music was my whole life. I was student only up to the moment when I got to know music a bit better. At one point, I was no longer attending classes. Back in those days, I used to have a nick name “factory of curses”, because all of the words that were coming out from my mouth were bad, but I did not care for that at all. I only cared for music and lived in its world completely. I socialised with ‘so-called musicians’”
“Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed” (Jn 20, 29)
Christianne Claessens – the first witness of healing of woman from Switzerland Joelle Beuret – Devanthery in Medjugorje, in October 2010, as she describes the pilgrimage and all of the events.
The more we listen to our guardian angel or the Lord, the more they speak to us. That was discovered by a woman in Massachusetts who experienced a dramatic conversion from life as an exotic dancer to a promoter of the Rosary -- leaving us lessons along the way.
This is all according to the book, Full of Grace: Miraculous Stories of Healing and Conversion through Mary's Intercession, an anointed work by Christine Watkins that details a number of incredible life turn-arounds.
Druggies. Homeless. A New Ager.
Famous Italian actress Claudia Koll, who made her cinematic debut in Tinto Brass' movie "Cosí fan tutte" in 1992, tells the story of her conversion to the Christian faith.
"Until recently I thought I was a woman who loved and loved a lot, a passionate woman who consumed stories because in reality they were never enough."
"I had to go through love experiences to understand the difference."
Famous Italian actress and convert, Claudia Koll, came to Medjugorje in the beginning of November on a pilgrimage. She gave interview to radio station “Mir” Medjugorje and she openly spoke about her life and her conversion. It felt as we had listened to the unwritten story of Mary Magdalene of our days. She told us about all of the troubles and difficulties she had while she was growing up, all beacuse her mom had died during her birth. She was raised by her granny and had many identity crises while she was educated and at the end got completely lost in the world of movie production.
How does a young person feel when he or she is called to discover God's love? We asked a member of the Beatitudes Community, Br. Jean Uriel Frey, to tell us about his conversion which began in Medjugorje, and about the way in which he uses his "treasure" to help others.
My Lord and My God, You are all Good, all Powerful, all Merciful. I don't believe I can imagine how beautiful God is, and I have a big imagination...but Medjugorje gave me an experience of the profoundly personal and beautiful relationship with God each person is called to through the beauty that is Our Lady. In Medjugorje, it is like Heaven has come down to earth. I felt the deepest desires of my heart were seen and constantly being revealed to me in prayer. I prayed for most of the 14 weeks I was in Medjugorje, and every day was filled with God's presence, all of the prayer and fasting came completely natural and was desirable while I was there. I experienced my relationship with God in a tangible way, my relationship with God became more real to me than the mountain I was standing on. Every dream in my heart was answered by God while I was there, even the deepest most hidden desires.
David Parkes, the son of a successful band leader and trumpet player, born in Dublin, he wanted to be a professional soccer player. Several years ago, stared death in the face. A man with everything to live for: a young family, star professional footballer, and standing on the brink of a promising pop music career, he was diagnosed with severe Crohn's disease. Having endured ten major bowel operations, yet still in constant, debilitating pain, he was informed by his medical team that there was nothing more they could do for him.
The testimony of Sister Samuela, a Franciscan Sister of Slovakia
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