Search Results for: medjugorje

Medjugorje and Science

The majority of the studies conducted on the young Medjugorje visionaries, which have ranged from polygraphs to neurological examinations, psychiatric tests, electrocardiogram, blood pressure and heart rhythm examinations, and electroencephalogram tests measuring brain waves during ecstasies, have supported the integrity of the apparitions. The tests have shown that the visionaries were not lying or hallucinating, nor were they in any epileptic or hypnotic state during their daily ecstasies but, indeed, experiencing something unexplainable, beyond the boundaries of scientific understanding. Furthermore, numerous miraculous healings have also been reported at Medjugorje, many of them copiously documented with abundant medical evidence supporting the claims.

Read the entire article.

See also: Scientific Studies | 1993 Report | 1998 Report

October Medjugorje Message

Medjugorje Message of October 25, 2005

Little children, believe, pray and love, and God will be near you. He will give you the gift of all the graces you seek from Him. I am a gift to you, because, from day to day, God permits me to be with you and to love each of you with immeasurable love. Therefore, little children, in prayer and humility, open your hearts and be witnesses of my presence. Thank you for having responded to my call.

August 25 Medjugorje Message

Dear children! Also today I call you to live my messages. God gave you a gift of this time as a time of grace. Therefore, little children, make good use of every moment and pray, pray, pray. I bless you all and intercede before the Most High for each of you. Thank you for having responded to my call.


June 25 was the 24th anniversary of the purported apparitions of Our Lady in Medjugorje. For a fascinating report on Medjugorje, check out The Miracle Detective by Randall Sullivan. Sullivan is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone who approached Medjugorje as a skeptic but was swayed by his firsthand experience and interviews with the seers who continue to receive visits from Mary.

Mary delivers a message to one of the seers each month on the 25th. Here is the English translation of today’s message:

Dear children! Today I thank you for every sacrifice that you have offered for my intentions. I call you, little children, to be my apostles of peace and love in your families and in the world. Pray that the Holy Spirit may enlighten and lead you on the way of holiness. I am with you and bless you all with my motherly blessing. Thank you for having responded to my call.

An archive of messages and further information is available at

An interview with Randall Sullivan is available on Godspy.

Adventures in Apocalyptic Marianism

One link leads to another.

Mr. Burrell of All Manner of Thing recently added Bad Catholic to his blogroll, which prompted me to take a fresh look at Bad Catholic. Then I noticed “Heaven Speaks” on the Bad Catholic menu bar. Marc, the proprietor of Bad Catholic, says: “A year ago, my life was changed by the grace of God, through a little pamphlet written by Anne, a Lay Apostle, who claims to be receiving interior locutions (private revelation) from Jesus, Mary and the Saints.” Marc offers to send you one of said pamphlets if you drop him a note.

Marc’s endorsement made me curious, so I Googled “Anne lay apostle” and found Anne’s website, Direction for Our Times: Official Resources for Lay Apostles of Jesus Christ the Returning King. I read Anne’s “Introduction Letter” — a little goofy with the mention of vague illnesses and such, but possibly genuine. She also mentions Medjugorje, which I’m pretty fond of, but which might be enough to cause other Catholics I know to spit on the ground and turn away. So I found my way to Anne’s online library. After poking around a bit, I discovered that the documents overlap. The “pamphlets” and “volumes” are compiled and organized into the “books” — so I gravitated to the latter, starting with the first one, Climbing the Mountain. Now I’ve read the first thirty pages or so of Anne’s account of getting a tour of heaven with Jesus Himself as the tour guide, and involving casual encounters with Anne’s grandmother, St. Clare, St. John of the Cross, St. Peter, St. Bernard, St. John the Apostle, Our Lady, and others. Heaven is vast, with mountains and streams and rooms, gathering places and places of solitude where souls absorb and learn from Jesus, festivals of celebration, and meetings where saints strategize about how best to usher in the renewal of the world and the return of Christ as King. “Jesus said that we live in an age of disobedience, which means that many souls are living in rebellion to God’s will. He says that we are moving out of this time, toward an age of obedience, when most souls will live in unity with God’s will. The time we are in now is a transition period.” It’s pretty heady stuff, exciting, astonishing — maybe even genuine and not just Anne’s own personal excursion into a creative writing project that got out of control … maybe!

So I returned to Google. Hmmm… “Claims of Private Revelation: True or False? An Evaluation of the messages to ‘Anne,’ a lay apostle” sounds possibly useful. Someone by the name of Ronald L. Conte Jr (his CV, of sorts, here) concludes that Anne’s messages are the genuine deal, to wit:

These messages do not contain any of the characteristics of false private revelation. In truth, they show every indication of being true private revelations from God. These messages are entirely in keeping with the messages found in the Gospel. In my humble and pious opinion as a faithful Roman Catholic theologian, the claims of private revelation to Anne, a wife, mother, and lay apostle, are reliable and trustworthy.

Hmm … side trip to his blog … whoa … okay, whacky, but … interesting. Back to Google and Anne. Okay. Here’s something. Semper Fi Catholic’s Letter to Anne’s Bishop. One a them wacky* forums you find on all sorts of topics. This one is an exchange wherein Anne’s real identity is supposedly revealed, someone provides a link to private emails someone else dug up between Anne and someone she was counseling to divorce her husband in 2001, etc. Supposedly this demonstrates that Anne is a fraud, etc. Oh boy. But I’m still leaning towards accepting Anne as the real McCoy.


* Or perhaps not so wacky; see comments below. And why did I spell it “whacky” just a few lines earlier, but “wacky” here? Speak to me, O Spellcheck. “Whack!”

The Miracle Detective(s)

First there was The Miracle Detective, the book by Randall Sullivan, mainly about Medjugorje.

Now there is The Miracle Detectives, plural, the new TV show slated to begin in January on Oprah’s new network, with Sullivan as the believer paired up with a lovely young skeptic to play Scully to Sullivan’s Mulder. Interesting.

And here’s one young lovely skeptic that turned down the job.

And here is Sullivan talking about the show. A few quotes:

My approach is more based on people’s experiences, my perception of their psychological and emotional realities, and of their spiritual conditions, and testing them through the creation of a journalistic narrative, while my partner’s approach is more based on what can be measured and tested by the scientific method. At the end, we compare notes and come to our conclusions–which are rarely the same.

The show began as “The Miracle Detective,” but became “Miracle Detectives” when it was decided that we would be “more inclusive” by partnering me with a scientific sceptic. The Muldaur/Scully relationship from “X-Files” was what the executives hoped we’d model. Indre was chosen from among a very large pool of candidates after we all agreed that her combination of intelligence and enthusiasm made her the right person for the job.

My experiences in Medjugorje figure as a subtext throughout the series and are in the foreground during one of our early episodes, which involves a Marian apparition in Ohio. My first face-to-face meeting with Wayne Weible is sort of a trigger for that. I’ve been promised that in Season Two (assuming there is one) we will go to Medjugorje and shoot an entire episode about what has happened there, including what happened to me.

Have I witnessed such intellectual snobbery? I’ve been trampled by it. It remains incredible to me how many so-called intellectuals resort to mindless ideological bigotry when confronted by claims of the miraculous. I think it has to do, ultimately, with the fact that a belief in the miraculous–in the supernatural, for that matter–is rooted in personal experience. People who’ve had that experience know what I’m talking about. People who haven’t are without a clue.

Shortly before “The Miracle Detective” hit bookstores, my publisher worried that it was “too smart for religious people and too religious for smart people.” I guess I’ve never accepted that dichotomy. I don’t believe you have to be dumb to be religious. I also think that many people are sorting through their doubts and concerns and questions about how religious feelings and spiritual experiences fit into a modern world that’s been so shaped by science and technology, and by the rational skepticism that reigns supreme among those who control the levers of cultural power. About Medjugorje, you wrote: “In Rome, my own interest in that tiny Bosnian parish would increase each time I spoke its name aloud. There was no single word, I discovered, that so instantly could produce a rapturous smile, a derisive snort, or an uncomfortable silence in the Holy See as ‘Medjugorje’” It’s clearly a very controversial issue in the Church, yet you emphasized that Pope John Paul II loved Medjugorje and acquired the nickname “Protector of Medjugorje” in the Vatican. Can you elaborate more on this, and on the ecclesial politics you witnessed in Rome surrounding the apparitions?

Randall Sullivan: I’ll just note something I observed in “The Miracle Detective,” which is that just about everyone I met in Rome who criticized or questioned Medjugorje hadn’t ever been there, while everyone I met who had been to Medjugorje praised it. It’s that experience issue again. The official jurisdiction over Medjugorje’s authenticity has been taken away from the local bishop of Mostar, Ratko Peric. What do you make of this move and the new international commission, led by the Holy See, to investigate the phenomena?

Randall Sullivan: The decision you’re talking about was simultaneously a recognition of how important Medjugorje has been to millions of the faithful, including John Paul II, and how personal and petty the opposition to Medjugorje is at the diocese of Mostar. Nothing that the current pope has done has made me respect him more.

Read the entire interview.

Mary’s Message to Bloggers

Our Lady’s September 25, 2010 message:

“Dear children! Today I am with you and bless you all with my motherly blessing of peace, and I urge you to live your life of faith even more, because you are still weak and are not humble. I urge you, little children, to speak less and to work more on your personal conversion so that your witness may be fruitful. And may your life be unceasing prayer. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

confess your sins so that grace may open your hearts

Dear children! In this time of renunciation, prayer and penance, I call you anew: go and confess your sins so that grace may open your hearts, and permit it to change you. Convert little children, open yourselves to God and to His plan for each of you. Thank you for having responded to my call.


Without Blessing

Dear children! You are running, working, gathering – but without blessing. You are not praying! Today I call you to stop in front of the manger and to meditate on Jesus, Whom I give to you today also, to bless you and to help you to comprehend that, without Him, you have no future. Therefore, little children, surrender your lives into the hands of Jesus, for Him to lead you and protect you from every evil. Thank you for having responded to my call.

December 25, 2008 message from Medjugorje

Rome: Saturday – Part I

(Here Godsbody becomes a travel journal, and a somewhat random one at that. We arrived on Friday, but I’m starting with Saturday. Some of you may be completely uninterested in what follows – it’s hardly the usual sort of thing for this blog. My apologies.)

I first met William Murray – son of a Roman woman and an American talent agent – in 2000, long after his 30-year stint at The New Yorker (a stint which saw him write many of the magazine’s “Letters from Italy”) had come to an end. His Roman days were long behind him by then, as were his years in Malibu, writing for television. By 2000, he was living in the lovely coastal village of Del Mar; the most Italian thing about his newish, stuccoed California home was the stand of Italian Cypress that ran along the back of his yard. The “Letters from Rome” had given way to a string of books, many of them crime novels – and some of those set in the world of horse racing. (The Del Mar racetrack was just a few minutes away; Murray was still living close to the source.)

The occasion for our meeting was another sort of book – Murray’s memoir of growing up, largely in the care of two women who were also lovers: Natalie Danesi Murray, his mother; and Janet Flanner, who for many years wrote The New Yorker’s “Letters from Paris” under the name Genet. It was called, appropriately enough, Janet, My Mother, and Me. My paper, The San Diego Reader, was running an excerpt from the book as a cover story. (Our Senior Editor, Judith Moore, was a minor luminary in the literary journalism world on account of the long, conversational interviews she conducted with authors and then ran in the paper’s Reading column. Authors liked her; she gave them the luxury of space, a chance to ramble in the fields of nuance and detail. I think she felt that getting the excerpt was something of a coup – given the literary pedigree, it might have gone somewhere other than a West Coast alt-weekly. But she got it.) The Reader had decided to run parallel stories on the cover – the excerpt, and a profile of the author written by yours truly.

The story had an extremely tight turnaround, and I was very pleased with how it turned out. As a wannabe writer with a longtime admiration for The New Yorker, there was a vicarious thrill in talking with a man who had been a part of its world – Flanner’s letters stretched back through World War II – and who had been published regularly in its pages. But my most salient memory from the whole experience remains this: walking into Murray’s living room and beholding the framed artwork on the wall – artwork that included an original work from Peter Arno, one of the great cartoonists from the New Yorker‘s early years. It wasn’t a particularly clever piece – just a thick-lined sketch of a woman sunbathing in France – but I found myself actually wishing I could have it, this personal gift given from artist to writer. A strange feeling.

But I digress. (That’s a joke. I fear digression is going to be the order of the day. Going to Rome was a large event for me, the kind that pulls a lot of other things in its wake, and I want to get it all down.) Two years later, I chatted with Murray again, this time for his slim travel book, A Walk in Rome: City of the Soul, part of the Crown Journeys series that included Edwidge Danticant’s walk through Jacmel, Haiti at Carnival, and Christopher Buckley’s walks in D.C.. Part memoir, part highly personal travel guide, Murray’s walk began at the north end of the old city, in the Piazza del Popolo, and swung back and forth, east and west, as it worked its way south to the Verano Cemetery. It was a slim volume – not quite enough for a Reading column, apparently – and so I was assigned to write an Events piece about Murray’s upcoming reading at a local bookstore.

Chapter Two of A Walk in Rome opens thus: “The only way to really enjoy Rome and to begin to understand the city is to walk about in it. It is not even necessary to follow any particular itinerary. I’ve always felt sorry for the masses of tourists who are yanked about from one great popular historical site to another in air-conditioned buses, or herded through museums and churches in unwieldy groups led by guides spouting endless statistics and nuggets of often unreliable information. What can they get out of such visits but a bewilderingly kaleidoscopic view of the capital’s many wonders, a passing impression of historical time as reflected by such familiar monuments as the Colosseum or the Trevi Fountain?

“No one should come to Rome for only a day or two; better to stay home and watch the Travel Channel. This is a city that makes demands upon your attention, that requires a commitment to leisurely exploration. Its ancient ruins, its gleaming Renaissance palaces, its great Baroque basilicas and dozens of treasure-filled churches, its squares and fountains and statues, its maze of narrow cobbled streets, the very stones themselves, which exude an aura of time endlessly indulged, can only be appreciated in the intimacy of personal exploration. And even then you will find that whatever time you have spent in the city, you will long for more. Like Hawthorne, Goethe, Byron, Keats, Shelley, Twain, and so many other artists and writers and just plain visitors, you will find yourself lured back to it time after time by the fascination it exerts. ‘For Rome one lifetime is not enough’ is the apt title of one Roman author’s cheerful reminiscences…

“A walk anywhere in Rome cannot be hurried. I still like to stroll at random through the snarled cobweb of the centro, pausing every few yards to look around, then unfailingly up the building walls where, no matter how familiar the area or how many times I’ve already walked that way, I always spot something I haven’t noticed before – a cornice, an inscription, a fragment of a ruin, an arch, a statue…Recently on the Via Montoro, a narrow little street near the Campo dei Fiori, I glanced upward and spotted a marble tablet on the corner of a large seventeenth-century palazzo that read, ‘By order of the resident Monsignor of the Streets, it is forbidden to discard rubbish in this place under penalty of fifteen scudi and other penalties in conformity with the edict promulgated May 22, 1761.’ I had never been in the Via Montoro before or noticed such a sign, but since then I’ve become aware that it’s to be found on the corners of many buildings all over the centro.”

I didn’t see any such tablets, and I probably couldn’t have read them if I had, but I did notice this, on a wall in the piazza in front of the Pantheon:

The inscription reads: “TOTA PULCHRA ES AMICA MEA ET MACULA NON EST IN TE” – a verse from the Song of Songs which translates as, “Thou art all fair, my love, and there is not a spot in thee.” Noticing it was something of a providential moment for me – one of a great many on this trip – because I have, frankly, a pretty serious taste for the ugly. Such a taste has its uses, even its virtues – I think of Flannery O’Connor saying that Southern writers wrote about freaks because they were still able to recognize them – but it also takes a toll. A priest once told me that I ought to place Book Two under the patronage of St. John the Evangelist, who saw terrible things on Patmos. And I’m the first to admit that there are times when my taste for the ugly leads me to places that are unhealthy.

I don’t want to overdramatize, but there was a point during our visit when I told The Wife that my taste for the ugly hadn’t made itself felt for days. It certainly wasn’t gone – a few days back was enough to make that clear – but living in a city where great beauty was commonplace did have an effect on me, to the point where I stopped noticing the omnipresent graffiti (well, most of the time*) and found myself paying more attention to the sweetness and grandeur of human creativity. I’m sure some of it was because of the extraordinary character of the visit – I don’t imagine even the most pious and/or aesthetically-minded of Roman citizens spends as much time visiting churches and museums as we did – and I know that almost anything, no matter how beautiful, can become everyday and thereby cease to signify. But it was wonderful, for those few days, to delight so easily in goodness. Spotting that Marian image and that inscription above a piazza crowded with tourists, packs of teenagers, and trinket vendors made for a happy image of that experience.

(As I say, I don’t want to overdramatize. I live in San Diego, which is not exactly the bowels of Mordor. And holy cow, did we hear a lot of bad music in Rome. One of the more extreme examples: our most expensive dinner, in a restaurant with a truly world-class wine list – ’98 Pio Cesare Barbaresco for 78 Euros! – was enjoyed to the strains of Huey Lewis and the News singing “I Want a New Drug.” Plus – dignum et justum est? – a little Amy Winehouse. And there were times when it wasn’t much better in the churches. The dregs of Glory and Praise have been borne back across the Atlantic. That said, there aren’t too many town squares here at home where you’re likely to catch some itinerant tenor belting out a few easy arias for tourists sitting by a fountain on a Friday night.)


I read that passage in the Murray book on the plane from San Diego to Atlanta – in the mad rush to set everything in order before our departure, we really didn’t get to do too much in the way of preparation, which left me – surprise, surprise – worried to the point of anxiety about whether or not this astonishing opportunity would result in an equally astonishing fiasco. (The Wife, needless to say, was not so perturbed.)

One great concern: the food. My first visit, back in 1991 had been marked by unremarkable food – partly, no doubt, because of my teenage hesitance to wander too far into unfamiliar territory. Lots of pizza margharita. (Part of my trouble then was that I had just spent a week in Medjugorje, where our kind hosts had attempted to please us with American food, which translated in one memorable instance to spaghetti doused with ketchup.) So many people had since told me about the wonders of Italian dining – I’d manage to miss out the first time, and didn’t want to do so again. As I’ve said, dinner at home is often the high point of my day – chiefly because of the company of wife and children, but also because I love to eat and drink. I asked The Wife on our first night there what her hopes were for the visit. Her reply served for both of us: see great things, eat great food, spend time with spouse.

I needn’t have worried. I had one addition to The Wife’s list: shore up flagging faith. My first visit had been a wonderful high point in my spiritual life – I left Assisi certain that I would become a contemplative Fransciscan priest – and while I wasn’t chasing a high or trying to recapture the glorious purity of young(er) faith, I was making a pilgrimage of sorts. The Scavi tour to see Peter’s tomb, the Papal Mass, Divine Mercy Sunday in the church dedicated by John Paul II to the Divine Mercy – these were the most unmissable elements of our Roman holiday. I was looking to recollect myself, to recover some sense of God’s presence in my life.

That recovery started long before we left, through the workings – if not explicitly religious, then still manifestly charitable – of God’s faithful. We began by asking friends and acquaintances for suggestions about things to see/places to eat, and we were amazed at the outpouring that followed – in particular, the loving detail in the descriptions. Particular dishes to order and avoid, particular parts of certain churches to see, particular streets to traverse. Even what coffee bar to frequent. No doubt there was an element of vicarious living in all this – some people even said as much – but still: there was clearly effort in what they sent us, time carved out for the sake of another. We ate all but a few meals in restaurants suggested to us by people who had lived in or visited Rome before us, and we were never disappointed.

The outpouring made for the best sort of visit – the intimacy and reassurance of traveling in a strange place under the guidance of a friendly hand. And better still (he said, selfishly), it was just the two of us. No herded tourists, we. We would have our leisurely walks through “the snarled cobweb of the centro.” We would visit the expected places, but we would have the freedom to discover that comes with the certainty that one is well looked after in one’s wanderings. (And what a happy blunder to accidentally stumble upon the Pantheon – perhaps the coolest building in Rome – on the way to dinner. Boom – there it is. The Pantheon, all lit up and monumental.)


A final comment on that passage from Murray, an affirmation of his claim that “No one should come to Rome for only a day or two.” On our second (and final) morning at the Hotel Santa Maria (which I recommend wholeheartedly to anyone who has the means), we descended once again into the basement dining room with the ancient wood ceiling – the sort with hand-hewn beams supporting broad, gnarled boards stained the darkest of chocolatey browns. (I suppose such ceilings are de rigeur for certain sorts of places, the way hardwood floors are a given for certain homebuyers here. “Another horrible ceiling,” The Wife would sigh as we took our place at table in this or that little restaurant.) We were grateful for the nod to American breakfast habits – scrambled eggs, plus a generous array of cold cuts and fruit to go with our (sighs longingly) barely-sweet cornetto and coffee. (Ridiculously, I let my curiosity get the better of me and ordered my coffee Americano, with perhaps predictably disappointing results. When in Rome… The cappuccino the day before had been a dream, the foamed milk seeming to permeate the entire contents of the cup, the coffee strong and acidic but without a hint of bitterness.) As we dined, we overheard an older Englishman chatting with an American couple. It was hard not to overhear; the little room was generally suffused with morning hush, such that every passing scooter in the alley outside sounded not unlike an Allied bomber passing overhead, and so their conversational tones came across as positively boisterous. The Englishman asked how long the Americans were in Rome.

“A week.”

“A week? Here?”

Oh, the glories of British inflection. Back when I had my first chat with my (onetime) literary agent (this was right around when I first met Murray – see how it all ties up?), I got a splendid lesson in the power of pronunciation. She was English (though based in New York), and when she asked, “Now, La Mesa – where is that, exactly?” she dragged out “La Mesa” just long enough, and with just the right inflection, to indicate that she suspected it was situated somewhere deep in the unexplored hinterlands of some largely unknown continent, and possibly populated by cannibals. The Englishman in the breakfast room did a similar number on “A week? Here?” His incredulity was breathtaking – the very idea that a couple could throw away an entire week of their lives in Rome.

The couple was full of apologies, explaining that they had family and friends in the city, and were going house to house – really, it couldn’t be helped. The Englishman was understanding. We were flabbergasted. It became a byword during the rest of our stay: “A week? Here?” Yes, indeed.

*I say “most of the time” – here is a shot I took in the Eucharistic chapel at Orvieto. I couldn’t resist – something about the juxtaposition of the faded black Greek script and the bright white scrawlings of a more modern age:

Mary and James

Message of July 25, 2007

“Dear children! Today, on the day of the Patron of your Parish, I call you to imitate the lives of the Saints. May they be, for you, an example and encouragement to a life of holiness. May prayer for you be like the air you breathe in and not a burden. Little children, God will reveal His love to you and you will experience the joy that you are my beloved. God will bless you and give you an abundance of grace. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

Believe and Live the Word of God

Dear children! Also today I call you to be carriers of the Gospel in your families. Do not forget, little children, to read Sacred Scripture. Put it in a visible place and witness with your life that you believe and live the Word of God. I am close to you with my love and intercede before my Son for each of you. Thank you for having responded to my call.

Peace in This Peaceless World

Christmas Message from Medjugorje

Dear children! Also today, in my arms I bring you little Jesus, the King of Peace, to bless you with His peace. Little children, in a special way today I call you to be my carriers of peace in this peaceless world. God will bless you. Little children, do not forget that I am your mother. I bless you all with a special blessing, with little Jesus in my arms. Thank you for having responded to my call.