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Good evening!  I am Michael Hong from Hwasung City in Kyungki Province.

I had been a fallen-away Catholic for more than ten years, but, earlier this year, thanks to the special graces from the Blessed Mother of Naju, I was called back to the Church, regained my faith, and was given a new life in my dead soul.  I am so grateful. 

In January of this year, my elder sister fell down some stairs while going to a karaoke bar and died of a cerebral concussion.  Soon afterwards, my daughter became sick.  On February 28, she was hospitalized for tests, and was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  Watching her struggling with so much pain and being unable to do anything to help her, I felt as though my blood was drying up and prayed, “Lord, if Thou hast to take her away, please take her soon so that she may suffer less.”  My wife and I began a novena prayer.  Because my wife was a lay leader in the parish, many parishioners visited our home and prayed for our daughter.  While we were offering the nine-day rosary prayers, I realized, for the first time in my 45-year life until then, the true depth of parental love.  One day when several parishioners were visiting our home and praying, one lady who had been making pilgrimages to Naju said, “I smell an intense odor of something burning.  Is there some food burning in the kitchen?”  My wife went to the kitchen and then looked around the house, but she could not find anything burning.  At that moment, I came home from work and smelled some disgusting odor as if a corpse were burning.  The lady who had been making pilgrimages to Naju said that it probably was the odor of burning the devils.  This intense odor was smelled on two occasions during the parishioners’ visit and prayer that day. 

Several days later, the lady who had been making pilgrimages to Naju gave us a color photograph of the Blessed Mother’s statue in Naju.  We smelled a strong fragrance of roses from it.  Also when we touched the Blessed Mother’s hands on her replica statue, her hands moved up and down and sideways.  Our daughter also saw in her dream a white dove, representing the Holy Spirit, flying into her room through the window.  After these experiences, we became certain that our daughter would soon receive the grace of healing. 

Also, during the six months of her illness, medical bills accumulated totaling more than 20 million won (about 20,000 U.S. dollars).  We were able to pay this amount with the money I received from a settlement over a traffic accident that I was involved in last year (September 2000).  Because my wounds healed quickly without any aftereffects, most of that money was available to pay my daughter’s medical bills.  We saw a pre-arrangement by the Lord in this matter.  

Thus, through the pains that our daughter suffered, the Blessed Mother of Naju awakened our souls.  My wife and I regained the faith through our daughter’s sufferings.  Now we are trying to be true Catholics who do not offer prayers in superficial ways but really work on sanctifying their family and spreading the love from the Lord and the Blessed Mother of Naju to others.  As somebody explained during his testimony at a retreat in our diocese, the devil really works hard to harm people and incapacitate their souls.  I was also overjoyed when I heard a priest speak very favorably on Naju in his homily during a Mass at a Catholic shrine (in Korea).               

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