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“You have been chosen as witnesses for the Lord. Spread what you saw to people around you.”

 

I belong to St. Andrew Kim Parish in Washington, D.C.  For sixteen days from the sixth of last month (May 1995) I visited, together with several other parishioners, Toledo, Spain (a shrine of St. Teresa of Avila); Lourdes, France; and Banneux, Belgium.  I am writing this testimony, because I feel impelled to do so after the pilgrimage.  Also, I remember what Fr. Jerry Orbos said when a Eucharistic miracle occurred through Julia Kim during a Mass in St. Francis Church at Lanciano, Italy, three years ago: “You have been chosen as witnesses for the Lord.  Spread what you saw to people around you.”  As I begin writing, I pray to the Blessed Mother to be with me.         

Five years ago, in 1990, there was an international Marian conference at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  I decided to attend the three-day conference, because I thought that my devotion to the Blessed Mother was weak.  The conference was attended by about seven thousand people including several hundred priests.  Among the guest speakers was Julia Kim from Korea.    

For the past twenty years of my life as an immigrant to the United States, I had felt constrained because my English was not fluent and had never felt proud to be a Korean.  Before Julia began speaking, the rosary prayer was offered; the first part was said in Korean and the second part in English.  I prayed the Korean part as loudly as I could, feeling proud to be a Korean.  The languages were different, but our hearts were united in prayer to the Lord and the Blessed Mother.  This beautiful scene was made possible by Julia’s visit!  Besides, the Koreans attending this conference received so many kisses.  A large photograph of the Blessed Mother weeping tears of blood in Naju was on display above the platform.  Every word that Julia said penetrated and moved the hearts of many people and provided them with a turning point in their individualistic, self-centered lives.  Many were shedding tears of repentance.  I also repented the superficiality of my faith life.  There were several very long lines of people waiting to make Confession during the Conference. 

During Julia’s talk, seven thousand people including several bishops and many priests and religious gave a standing ovation more than ten times.  There also was a miracle of the sun witnessed by many during the conference.  Julia’s visit was reported by several newspapers including the New York Times and TV stations.  The presidential staffs at the White House invited her for a talk.  In one of the rooms at the White House, Julia encouraged them to work harder to stop abortions.  Those who invited Julia made reservation at a hotel, but, because Julia and her companions preferred to stay at a Korean home, I volunteered to invite them to my home.  At that time, I had no idea about what it involved to have Julia as a guest in my home.  After Julia and her companions arrived in my home, many people found out about it and began swarming to my home.  For the next fifteen days while Julia was in my home, many were healed of their illnesses or their sorrows and anxieties turned into joy by Julia’s prayer.  I was awestruck. 

One day, Julia went to give a talk at a church in Baltimore.  This church was located in the middle of a poor, predominantly black district.  There was no unity among the Koreans, because the new Korean priest wanted to start a Korean parish there, but many were against it because of the problems in the neighborhood.  Julia visited this church and spoke for three hours.  One of the priests in the audience said that it was a miracle for him to remain sitting for so long because he had suffered from much pain in his side.  Later I heard that he did not have any more pain after that.  There also were many others healed during Julia’s visit.  That church became quite famous.

Also, a friend of my husband’s had a son who had temporarily withdrawn from high school because of an illness in his head.  Nobody knew the exact nature of the problem, but it was found that some bacteria were eating away the upper portion of his skull, causing an intense headache and keeping him awake at night.  He had surgery several times to remove the bacteria but to no avail.  Because the part of the skull on which surgeries were performed was becoming thinner, additional surgeries were not possible.  Even at the reputable Walter Reed Hospital, doctors did not have any answer.  I asked the boy’s father to bring him to my home for Julia’s prayer, but he hesitated.  When I asked him again later, he agreed on the condition that a confidential, private meeting with Julia could be arranged. 

Julia met the boy in front of a statue of Our Lady of Fatima in my home.  She asked the boy, “Will you become a Catholic, if you are healed?”  The boy said that he would if he could enter a college.  After the boy made the promise, Julia prayed Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be asking the boy to repeat after her.  Then, as Julia stretched out her hand to touch the boy’s head, he suddenly stepped backward, saying, “Why did you press it?  Julia asked his father who was watching, “Did I press his head?”  The father said that she did not even touch it yet.  Nervously, the boy remained calm while Julia prayed for him, and then went home.  On the way home, he told his father that, after so many visits to famous hospitals, Julia was the first person who touched exactly where his pain was.

That night, the boy’s father called us with much excitement in his voice, “He is sleeping!”  Later, he called again, “He is still sleeping!”  The boy slept for 15 hours, and, when he woke up, he said, “Can I visit her again?”  Because Julia only had three more days before leaving for Korea and there were so many people seeking her prayers, another private meeting was not possible.  However, the boy was prayed over two more times in public gatherings.  He was completely healed and is now a college junior.

Because there were still many Koreans wanting to see and hear Julia, a retreat was arranged in a hurry at a Korean Catholic church in Washington, D.C.  Many Americans learned about this and called the Archdiocesan office about the location of the Korean church.  So, many Americans also came to the retreat.  Julia spoke for five hours without an interpreter, but everyone listened intently.  Some Americans in the audience later said that, even though they could not understand a word, they were happy because they felt the Blessed Mother’s presence.

A Korean woman, whom I had known, also came with her mother-in-law.  She was the one among several daughters-in-law whom their mother-in-law hated most.  This woman first hesitated to tell her mother-in-law about Julia’s visit even though her mother-in-law had an aching side.  But, with courage, she told her mother-in-law about it, and they came together.  After Julia’s prayer for her, the mother-in-law was healed.  Afterwards, she said, “From now on, I only listen to her,” referring to her daughter-in-law whom she had hated most but now loved most.  They became a holy, harmonious family. 

I remember another healing.  After Julia arrived for that retreat about 20 minutes before it began, she went to bathroom four times, once every five minutes.  Julia told me that someone in the audience would be healed of kidney disease.  After the retreat, I could not find anyone whose kidney disease was healed.  So, I forgot about it.  Then, about one year later, after Mass at the Korean church, a woman by the name of Mrs. Yoon said to me, “Mrs. Chun, I have a confession to make.  I was healed of a kidney problem during Julia’s visit.  I had suffered from it for a long time.  My urine had been mixed with blood.  I was completely healed and offered a Mass in thanksgiving.”  I said, “Why are you telling me now?”  She said, “I was not sure at first.”  I complained, “Still, you should have told me sooner.”  Mrs. Kim, who was listening, said, “I was also healed.  I had suffered from this disease for more than twenty years.  I even went to Seoul for treatment, but no improvement followed.  While Julia was praying for the whole audience that day, I felt my whole body becoming very warm, and some rash appeared on my body.  A few days later, the rash disappeared and I was healed.  Until now, I have not had any problem.  I think that at least four persons were completely healed that day.  I thank God for them also.”

On the day Julia and her companions were leaving for Korea, many people came to the airport.  People who hosted the conference told me that more than 50 young men decided to enter the seminary after hearing Julia’s talk and that they still receive about 50 phone calls every day about spiritual and physical healings.  The presidential staffs at the White House told them that, as soon as the message book in English became available, they would keep several copies in the White House library.  Soon after Julia left for Korea, President George Bush announced a statement to discourage abortions.

Two years later, in 1992, I joined Julia’s pilgrimage to the Holy Land and Europe.  Because it was a sudden decision for me, the airfare was several times higher than normal.  But my husband gladly encouraged me to go.  In Jerusalem, we were doing the Stations of the Cross at the Via Dolorosa, where the Lord carried the Cross two thousand years ago.  Julia was suffering severely that day, but said that she would carry the cross from the Third Station.  It was too heavy for any one person to carry.  Because of the weight of the cross and the warm weather, Julia was sweating a lot.  At the Sixth Station (where St. Veronica wiped the Lord’s holy face), a woman from the Philippines spontaneously wiped Julia’s face with a white handkerchief.  Then, to everyone’s surprise, the handkerchief was wet with red blood instead of sweat!  Also, the surrounding area became filled with an intense fragrance of roses.  Even the passers-by and merchants were experiencing the Lord’s living presence.  “The Lord saved the whole world with His Cross.”  There were many Arab merchants on both sides of the Via Dolorosa.  We were surprised when we heard some of them speaking Korean fluently, “Ma’am!  Ma’am!  I will give you a good price.  Hurry up and come.  I will cut the price of this bag by half.”  Even at this moment when I write this testimony, how many people would be selling Jesus’ name and crucify Him on the Cross again?  While being crucified on the Cross, Jesus prays for them, “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.”  Praise and glory to Jesus forever and ever!

We were on the airplane again and landed in Paris.  Even though it was a long flight, we began the sightseeing in Paris right away instead of checking into a hotel first in order to save money.  We were so tired.  When we were getting off the bus, I rolled down to the ground.  My ankle began swelling a lot, and I could not walk.  With much difficulty, I managed to arrive at my hotel room, supported by others.  I had to discontinue the trip.  That evening, Julia came to my room and said, “Let’s pray together.”  We prayed the rosary, and then she prayed more, holding a photograph of the Blessed Mother shedding tears of blood.  In the middle of the prayer, I suddenly smelled an intense fragrance of roses and, at that moment, the pain was gone and the swelling on my ankle subsided like a deflating balloon.  I was able to continue the pilgrimage.

Then, we went to Lanciano, a small city about three hours’ drive northeast from Rome, where the first recorded Eucharistic miracle occurred twelve hundred years ago.  In 1970, there was a thorough investigation by scientists from different countries.  They found that the Eucharist that had miraculously turned into visible flesh and blood during a Mass in the Eighth Century still kept all the normal properties of human heart muscle.  After the investigation, all the non-Catholic members of the investigation team converted to Catholicism.  In the same church where this miracle occurred, we offered a Mass celebrated by Fr. Jerry Orbos.  During the Communion, the Sacred Host Julia received changed into visible flesh and blood on her tongue.  After I took a photograph, I saw more blood.  After taking another photograph, I saw the flesh becoming thicker.  I took two more photographs.  I saw the Lord’s flesh and blood!  Why did He reveal to us through Julia the Mystery of the Eucharist?  Why does He have to suffer cruel physical pains?  I made a resolution to show and tell others that the bread and wine consecrated in every Mass are truly the Lord’s flesh and blood.  Fr. Orbos’s words that we, who saw this miracle, were witnesses for others always remain in my heart.  I regretted that I was hesitating to make the trip because of the high airfare, and was grateful to my husband.  I thought how much better it would have been if he had come also. 

In Lourdes I saw that the Blessed Mother’s visit and message to St. Bernadette had already been approved by the Church, and, as a result, huge crowds of pilgrims were coming from all over the world, receiving so many graces of conversion and healing.  In Banneux, Belgium also, I saw that the Blessed Mother’s apparitions had been approved by the bishop, and a beautiful church had been built, where pilgrims could visit and offer Masses.  I felt pain in my heart when I thought that the Blessed Mother loved Korea so specially, as it is a land soaked with the blood of so many martyrs, and gave many messages and signs for the past ten years, but we have done very little so far and so many people are not accepting them yet.  Of course, the investigation will take time.  But if one rejects it, jumping carelessly to a groundless conclusion that it has all been a human fabrication, while it actually is coming from God, it would be a grave mistake.  It gave me a chill in the spine to think about that.  In fact, I have always been a realistic person, not easily moved by reports of miracles.  But how can I explain away what I saw and experienced on this trip?  I still pray that the Lord will lead me to become a person of faith acceptable to Him, instead of having to rely on miracles to have faith.  I am trying to practice that faith by continuing to testify to others about what I saw and experienced.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.

Serephina Myung-Ok Chun
1901 Marbury Road
Bethesda, MD  20817
June 1995




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