By Michael H. Brown
Rosary Miracle Claimed In Connection With Statue That Exudes At Medjugorje
Pilgrims continue to pour into the famed apparition site of Medjugorje (last August, we’re told, was the busiest month on record), and there continues to be a high and perhaps even increasing incidence of purported miracles. We noted this during the recent pilgrimage to this place in Bosnia-Hercegovina where the Blessed Mother has been appearing since 1981 and about which we will have further reports.
Perhaps most curious during a pilgrimage we sponsored was the testimony of an Iowa woman who says two pairs of rosaries inexplicably intertwined after they were both anointed with fluid from an exuding bronze corpus of the Crucified Jesus that stands behind the parish church.
Darlene Kucera, 56, of Newhall, Iowa, says the event apparently occurred on the afternoon of Saturday, September 28, after visiting the grave of a recently deceased priest and praying near the 14-foot statue — which has been emanating an unidentified oily-watery liquid from the right knee for at least two years [see previous stories]. “Someone from our group was reaching up and touching religious objects because it was exuding,” recalls Mrs. Kucera. “She took two of my rosaries and rubbed them on the fluid.”
One of the rosaries is blue and was given to her at her Confirmation, says Darlene — who made no effort at promoting the event but who graciously allowed inspection by many baffled pilgrims. It bears a Miraculous Medal and is blue (a color often associated with the Virgin). The second is relatively new, bears a medal with a picture of the Blessed Mother as she is said to appear on the side of a building in Clearwater, Florida, and has red beads (representing the Blood of Jesus).
Both pairs are now one and the same — looping inside of each other as if they were formed that way during their manufacture!
It’s not a case where one rosary is tangled in the other. They remain individually intact and their links are clearly separate. It’s simply the case that one now loops inside the other.
Mrs. Kucera, who was on the pilgrimage with her daughter, says it was only afterward that she noticed that they were intertwined. “We started praying the Rosary after [the objects] were touched to the fluid and I was praying them together, at the same time, because they had a lot of the liquid on them and I wanted them both to dry out,” she says. “It was later that day or the next that I noticed it when I took them out, and I knew it couldn’t be possible for anyone to do that.”
Pilgrims gathered in awe around the rosaries as the soft-spoken woman allowed them to feel the rosaries and inspect each link — none of which showed signs of manipulation. The woman who actually touched Mrs. Kucera’s rosaries to the corpus, another Iowan named Sandy Kaiser, says the corpus was exuding fluid most of that Saturday.
At times the statue emanates for days or even weeks, and then stops for periods that are unrelated to rainfall or other aspects of the weather. Some pilgrims have claimed that the flow is related to the intensity of prayers. The intermittent flow has been noted at least since October of 2000. Although thought at first to be a result of humidity, it has done so in summer and winter alike, both hot and cool weather. While initially skeptical, priests at the parish church are now open to the possibility that it is a miraculous event, says Father Svetozar Kraljevic, who oversees English-speaking pilgrims.
The fluid flows from what looks like a wound on the right side of the right leg just below the kneecap. It sometimes drips slowly, with droplets materializing from the discolored metal every few minutes, while at other times it flows in profusion — allowing pilgrims to gather in great numbers rubbing cotton and cloth to the liquid, which some claim heals. A Canadian group asserts that liquid absorbed into cloths they touched to the statue last May turned the cloth blood red.
But most of the exudation is a clear liquid. Bronze experts including John Blair, project manager for Jozef Custom Ironworks, a large firm in Bridgeport, Connecticut, have said they knew of no ready explanation for bronze exuding fluid in such a manner and over such a lengthy period of time. “It was constant,” testifies Mrs. Kaiser. “I touched a number of things to it — many medals and rosaries. It was doing it all the time we were there.”
Visitors from Ireland, Poland, Italy, and other parts of the world have brought the site of Medjugorje to a level of visitation comparable to the early 1990s — before civil war in what was formerly Yugoslavia caused great decreases in American pilgrimages. Despite widespread misconceptions, there has never been any official Church ruling on Medjugorje. A local bishop sought to reject the site in 1986, but his authority was removed by the Vatican, which is seen as having rescued the site of apparitions — now approaching the size of Lourdes, with an estimated 30 million visitors. Final judgment is in the hands of a national commission of bishops which has indicated it will not render final judgment until the apparitions come to a conclusion.
You are at www.spiritdaily.org