HUSBAND, WHO WAS THREATENING ME WITH DIVORCE, IS NOW HELPING ME WITH
PILGRIMAGE TO NAJU”
My name is
Maria Won, from the Yangjae-dong Parish in Seoul.
I have visited Naju many times for the past ten years, because I
have had many things to pray for. I
came when my husband was faced with a default on a loan that he made to
someone; I also came when a friend of my son’s died while playing with
my son. Also, my second
daughter was experiencing excessive pains every month.
Once I had to call for an ambulance and take her to the emergency
room, but the doctor did not find any serious problem.
She also expressed disbelief and animosity toward the Blessed
Mother. Sometimes she said
that the Blessed Mother’s feet (on her statue) were ugly and criticized
the Blessed Mother in other ways. I realized that darkness was at work through my daughter and
decided to take her on my pilgrimages to Naju.
She soon realized her fault and prayed for forgiveness on her knees
before the Blessed Mother’s statue.
I became more elated and was about to begin working on the rest of
Then, in early
1998, my husband found an article in the Peace Weekly (one of the
Catholic newspapers in Korea), which was reporting on the Kwangju
Archbishop’s negative declaration on Naju.
He said to me, “Come and sit here for a minute.
From now on, if you go to Naju one more time, we will have a
divorce. Do you
night, in my dream, I saw the Blessed Mother walking by me, weeping.
I woke up immediately and looked at the clock.
It was 3 a.m. I could
not sleep any more. I went to
work in our store, but my mind was filled with thoughts about the Blessed
Mother of Naju. I thought, “Every
time I was in trouble, I asked the Blessed Mother for help and she helped
me. After receiving so many
graces, can I now be a daughter who betrays her instead of consoling
her?” I looked at the
clock; it was almost the time the pilgrimage bus would leave for Naju.
Without any preparation or any other thoughts, I ran to the bus and
left for Naju.
In the mean
time, my husband found out about my absence in the store and called our
daughters to see if I was at home. Filled
with anger, he said to them, “Tell your mother never to come home
again!” I called my
husband, “Honey! I am
going to the Blessed Mother of Naju even if I have to sign the divorce
papers. Divorce or no divorce
is your decision!”
difficulties, I continued making pilgrimages to Naju, because I wanted to
be a daughter of the Blessed Mother who consoles her with an unchanging
love. Gradually, the Blessed
Mother poured many blessings on my family.
My husband got the money back that he thought was lost; our second
daughter’s faith continued growing; and my first daughter, her husband,
and their children have also experienced many miracles.
I was getting more allies. Eventually,
my husband, who was threatening me with divorce, changed greatly, even
carrying water bottles to the bus and saying kindly, “Have a good
Whenever I make
the monthly pilgrimage to Naju, I become filled with joy.
When I miss one, thinking that the pilgrimage involves too much
work and missing it once would not make too much difference, the whole
month afterwards becomes a mess. Everything
seems to go wrong. So, I have
decided never to miss the pilgrimage.
After each pilgrimage, I am overjoyed with the thought that I have
won a victory over the devil.
Now, when I am
in Naju, I pray, “Blessed Mother, help me come back next month.” At
home in Seoul, for three days before each pilgrimage, I light a candle
before the Blessed Mother’s statue and pray.
Because of the busy work in the store, I do not have much time to
pray at work or at home. So,
while lighting the candle, I say, “Mother, even when I am not
praying, my heart is always with you.” She has answered all my prayers.
I hope that all of you brothers and sisters here (visiting Naju)
will always unite your hearts with the Blessed Mother’s. Then, I believe that she will certainly guide you in
everything. Thank you.
Sangil Plaza #107
837-26 Yuksam-dong, Kangnam-ku
August 4, 2002