Medical Cures at Međugorje
Also relevant to determining the supernatural character of an apparition site would be any miraculous cures that take place. In July 1987, Newsweek magazine declared that "already 290 miracle healings [in Međugorje] are under study by Catholic physicians."
The first cure to occur at Međugorje took place on the fifth day of the apparitions, June 28, 1981. A three-year-old boy named Daniel Setka was brought to the place of the apparition and commended to the Madonna. His condition was extremely serious: he was unable to walk, speak or even hold his head up. Electroencephalogram scans revealed that the child experienced "paroxysms" at the rate of three to five per second, and the conclusion was a combination of spastic hemiparesis and epilepsy. On the evening of the 28th, he was carried up the hill toward the site of the apparition by his parents. One of the visionaries, when presenting the boy to Mary, called out, "Please make a miracle so that everyone will believe us." The visionaries reported that for approximately a minute Mary stared with great mercy at him, then said, "Let [his parents] firmly believe that he will be healed", and then concluded with, "Go in God's peace." Following the apparition, the first sign of a healing took place: at dinner the boy slapped the table and declared, "Give me a drink." The following day, still unable to walk, he was taken again to the place of the apparition, and about halfway up the hill he began to walk under his own power. As he gained more strength ascending the hill, he began speaking words and then climbed atop a rock and called out, "Mama, look, I'm walking!" His full healing would be declared complete that very day.
Another cure was a case compiled by the University of Milan's Specialist Clinical Institute. The case involved an Italian woman named Diana Basile, a mother of three who had developed advanced multiple sclerosis, an incurable disease. By 1983 she was completely incontinent, shaking uncontrollably, completely blind in her right eye, unable to raise her right arm and capable of walking only with a shuffle when aided by others. She traveled to Međugorje at the invitation of a nurse at the clinic and managed to enter the room where the apparition was to take place. At the time of the apparition she suddenly became completely unaware of her surroundings. Instead, she viewed past episodes of her life, many of them previously forgotten. As the apparition ended, she stood and exited the room with the visionaries, walking normally. By the following morning she was cured of incontinence and blindness in her right eye; by the time she returned home, every sign of her illness had disappeared.
At least two people who have claimed healings in Međugorje were medical doctors. One, a general practitioner from the Philippines, had contracted breast cancer that had recently metastasized. While in Međugorje she prayed the Stations of the Cross on Mt. Krizevac, and at the 12th and 13th stations received a "spiritual healing." The spiritual healing was accompanied by a physical cure, because when she arrived back in the Philippines, all signs of her cancer had disappeared. The other doctor was an Italian pediatrician with a life-threatening ulcerated colon and abscessed fistula. The family prayed in Međugorje for a cure in the fall of 1984, while he prayed in Italy for the first time in years, he said. He promised Mary that if he were healed he would travel to Međugorje himself. That night the fistula closed and he was cured.
Perhaps the most celebrated cure came to Vicka, one of the six visionaries, who mailed a letter to the bishop's commission investigating the apparitions (as well as a letter to her confessor and the priests of Međugorje) indicating the exact date she would be cured of an inoperable brain tumor. Seven months later, on September 25, 1988, she asked the letters to be opened by the recipients in the presence of two witnesses. The letter stated that her brain tumor—not a punishment from God but a gift to aid in the conversion of souls—would be miraculously healed on that date, September 25. Her tumor, in fact, vanished on that date.
Other teams of doctors from Italy, Poland, Austria, England and the United States would study the children. Dr. Luigi Frigero, the doctor who supervised a team of doctors from Milan's Mangiagalli Clinic, concluded that the results "cannot be explained naturally, and thus can be only preternatural or supernatural."
1. ^ "Holy See confirms creation of Medjugorje Commission". Catholic News Agency (ACI Prensa). March 17, 2010. http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/holy_see_confirms_formation_of_medjugorje_commission/. pp. 95, 102
2. ^ Cited in The Miracle Detective, Randall Sullivan, pp. 216-217
3. ^ Ibid, pp. 217-218.
4. ^ The Visions of the Children, Janice Connell, St. Martin's Press, 1998, p. 266.
5. ^ Ibid.