Miracles happen. Halfway around the world in the little village of Medujorje, Yugoslavia, I shared
a moment with God that left me speechless.On a beautiful summer day in 1990,my two sisters, my
thirteen year old daughter, and I boarded a DC10 for the eighteen hour trip to Yugoslavia. I had
only flown about three times in my entire life. I was petrified of flying, but this small, ancient town
was calling my name. "The Journey for Inner Peace" as the trip was billed offered a week of
prayer ,meditation, and reflection in a countryside where five young teens claimed to have
encounters with the Blessed Mother.
I was overwhelmed with this land of unspeakable beauty where white-capped waves broke fiercely
against magnificent mountains and trickled down into the valley. I was in awe of the people who
opened their homes and welcomed the thousands of pilgrims now strolling through their once quiet
homeland. I was astonished that the Yugoslavians spoke almost no English and we spoke no
Yugoslavian, but we were one in love, hope, and faith. Our meager living quarters were in sharp
contrast to our splendid surroundings. We all lived in small guest cottages where mosquitoes
hummed all night while we sweltered in ninety-degree temperatures because there was no air
conditioning. Twelve guests shared one bathroom with a small shower stall and a hand- held
faucet. The only telephone in the village was located at the post office over half-mile away. But
our physical discomfort paled when compared to our spiritual growth.
Masses and candlelight vigils offered prayerful reflection and meditation to the pilgrims as we
waited in anticipation for the opportunity to climb "Cross Mountain" and visit the spot where
young teens witnessed the visions . Visits with the visionaries and the trip to Cross Mountain were
a " must" for all the faithful. The trip up the Mountain seemed an unending uphill climb, and yet
the path was laden with the young, the elderly, and the disabled. There were pilgrims on crutches
and pilgrims in wheelchairs being pushed up the mountain by friends and loved ones.
Surely,something had occurred in this place that could generate so much joy, love and peace. I was
surrounded with the inner peace that I had sought, but God was not through with me yet.
On the fourth day of our visit, we boarded a tour bus to visit the mountainside and the nearby town
of Dubrovnik where we walked on medieval stone streets and visited an ancient monastery and
pharmacy. The trip around the mountains on the tour bus , however, was tense and frightening as
the driver sped around those curves traveling at least fifty miles an hour. My heart pounded and my
pulse raced as I looked down the mountainside and observed the tour buses lying upside down in
the valley. No one could have survived that fall. Was I going to come safely to this town by
airplane only to die at the foot of a mountain? I clutched my daughter to me as she cried softly and
I began to pray. I covered her face so that she could no longer look down, and I raised my eyes
towards the heavens as I prayed. Then it happened! Oh, my God, this can't be happening to me!
Why me? A manifestation appeared that burned indelibly in my soul and mind. I was totally
unprepared for the phenomena. I traveled to Medujorje seeking inner-peace; I left with so much
more. That small village and that divine encounter changed my life forever.I was no longer fearful
on the remainder of the bus trip. I never feared another plane ride, and I knew that God had a plan
for my life.
But more importantly, that encounter saved my faith during the darkest years of my life when I
started to question the existence of God. The life and success that I enjoyed for many years was
gone in an instant when I tried to fulfill what I perceived as my mission from the Almighty: to
advocate for the poor, the elderly, and the young. I watched my fortunes fade and friends and
family walk away. I lost my business and my home and was devastated by the knowledge that some
of the "friends " who remained with me were not friends at all. I was overcome with anger and
doubt; I would kneel to pray and my voice and thoughts were mute. I had lost my way spiritually
.For weeks I would sit in stunned silence feeling totally abandoned by God. But a little voice kept
reminding me of that long ago day in Medujorje. There must be a God; nothing or no one else
could have created the manifestation that I experienced on that unforgettable day. Somehow, I
recalled my experience in Medujorje and I would say out loud to myself, "I know what I saw!"
Nothing can destroy my indomitable spirit.I witnessed a miracle!
Medujorje was the scene of yet another miracle during the Bosnian War. As the war raged
throughout the land reaping death and destruction on all of the surrounding areas, that little
village was untouched. Records indicate that the town was targeted for destruction on three
separate air missions, but the radar never identified the location. Medujorje remained completely
intact. I witnessed a miracle!