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Praise Jesus!  I am Catherine Lee from Sungnam City in Kyungki Province.  I am a newcomer in the Catholic Church, having been baptized only one year ago.  Our second child, Martina, was born in April last year.  Only about 100 days after her birth, she was diagnosed to have leukemia.  I was in panic, especially because it was soon after I became a Catholic.  It was some consolation to me that the chief physician at the hospital where my daughter was examined was also a Catholic.  He said, “Let’s begin an anti-cancer treatment and pray to God.  Bone-marrow transplants are often quite effective.”  Hearing the encouraging words from the doctor, my husband and I thanked God.  We became even more grateful when our four year-old son was found to have the same bone marrow as our baby daughter’s.  The whole family was thankful, as the bone-marrow transplant was performed. 

However, the joy was short-lived, as, only two and a half months later, the baby’s leukemia came back.  My world fell into total darkness.  I was even more shocked when the doctor said, “It appears that God loves the baby so much that He is going to take her back.  Give the baby many delicious foods.”  The baby also had blood poisoning and was suffering so much pain.  I even prayed, crying, that God would soon take the baby to the place where there is no pain, as she was suffering too much.

My daughter received the Sacrament of the Sick and, then, the pains from her blood poisoning eased somewhat.  The doctor asked us to take her home while her condition was somewhat better and give her many delicious foods at home.  So we brought her home.

Some days passed, and my godmother brought us some publications on the Blessed Mother of Naju.  My husband examined the publications with some interest.  Then, he said, “Honey!  Let’s visit this place once.”  He insisted, but everyone else in the family opposed, as the baby’s condition was so bad that she was even having difficulty breathing.  Nevertheless, at my husband’s insistence, we made a pilgrimage to Naju with our baby girl, as if we were trying to grab a straw while drowning in a river. 

After our first pilgrimage to Naju, we were on the way back home.  When I was feeding milk to the baby, she was sucking so forcefully.  Before, she had not had that much energy.  My husband and I were surprised and overjoyed.  We were so grateful.

After the pilgrimage, our baby girl continued to improve.  Test results showed that she was being healed of leukemia.  Seeing that, I discontinued sterilizing the toys and other things that the baby was using, which I had been required to do before.

During our third pilgrimage to Naju, I was reading the River of Grace (a book of testimonies in Korean).  I had heard that some people had smelled the fragrance of roses while reading this book and others had received the grace of conversion, but I had not had any such experience.  I had not smelled any fragrance; nor had I shed the tears of repentance.  I was wondering why I was not able to repent.  After the third pilgrimage, I began praying fifteen decades of the rosary every day, asking for the grace of conversion. 

Then, we made our fourth pilgrimage to Naju to participate in the First Saturday overnight prayer meeting on April 6, 2002.  On April 5, when I was praying in the Chapel, I began clearly remembering how often I had failed to take good care of my sick baby, many times being impatient and even angry because of her illness.  I repented deeply, shedding tears.

Afterwards, my daughter’s condition continued improving.  Test results showed that most of her cancer cells died and only 7% remained.  The doctor said, “It is a miracle that most of the cancer cells died and only 7% remain.  Now, let’s kill the remaining 7% with the anti-cancer treatment and do another bone marrow transplant.”  I answered, “I know how painful it is for the baby to have a bone marrow transplant.  I do not want her to go through it again, but would rather entrust this whole matter to the Lord and the Blessed Mother.”  As the doctor was a Catholic also, he understood me.

My daughter had another blood test on April 25.  Amazingly, no cancer cells or any other abnormal cells were found.  The doctor said, “It is a miracle that no cancer cells were found in the blood.  However, if blood samples are taken from the bone marrow and examined, some cancer cells may be found.”  We took the baby to a larger hospital for a test of her bone marrow.  The test result was that there were no cancer cells at all in the baby’s bone marrow.  The doctor in that hospital, who was an authority on leukemia, said, “When the patient had blood poisoning, low blood pressure, and a recurrence of leukemia, that means a dead end.  In this baby’s case, it must be a miracle.  In my whole medical career, I have never seen anything like this.”  We were overwhelmed with joy and gratitude.

Thank you, Lord and Blessed Mother!

Catherine Lee
Kachi Village Lotte Apartments 401-1403
63 Kumi-dong, Bundang
Sungnam City, Kyungki Province
May 4, 2002

(Translator’s note:  Mrs. Catherine Lee later mailed medical records of her daughter, Martina, including test results and doctors’ statements, to the Chapel in Naju.)   

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