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A Personal Testimony by Lucia Hwang
June 30, 2006

 

First, I would like to give my sincere thanks to the Lord and the Blessed Mother of Naju for letting me stand here and give this testimony. 

My name is Lucia Sun-Hee Hwang from Chung-joo City in Korea.  I had been a Protestant in my high-school days.  It pains me to reveal this, but I had suffered many painful wounds since my childhood.

After my parents divorced, I grew up under a stepmother.  I experienced indescribable difficulties in my childhood, puberty, and maidenhood.  I often asked myself, "I am only a burden to my parents.  Why should I live like this?" 

After my marriage, difficulties continued because of my mother-in-law.  She was a Buddhist but also was deeply into superstition, frequently inviting a shaman to perform exorcist dances.   She said to me, "You can go to church after I die."  So, I did not go to church, but participated in many of the superstitious exorcist rituals.  I actually hated to do it, but, because of the weakness in my faith and for peace in the family, I did it with my mother-in-law for twenty years. 

My mother-in-law continued bringing the female shamans, eagerly wishing good luck, but, instead of having any luck, my husband failed in business twice.  We even lost our house and lived on the streets for a while. 

To feed the children and survive, I got a job and worked hard, but it was so difficult.  I became so tired because of the continuing conflicts with my husband, my husband's family, and other matters.  My hatred for them grew. 

In the mean time, I noticed some lumps in my breast.  When I visited a local hospital, the doctor advised me to go to a larger hospital.  The tests at a university medical center revealed that I had a breast cancer.  Those of you who had a cancer would remember how you felt when you first heard the diagnosis.  Most of the people who hear about their cancer experience a traumatic shock thinking that they are going to die soon.  In my case, however, I had so much pride that I thought the advanced modern medicine would easily remove the tumors through a surgery.  The tests showed that I had two large lumps with a diameter of 2.5 cm each. 

The doctor did not perform the surgery yet, but did another test called PET-CT, which examined my whole body from the top of the head to the tips of the toes.  He said that this test was needed to see the extent of spreading of the cancer in the body.  It was May 5, 2005.  A week later, on May 12, I went back to the hospital to see the test result.  I still was not too worried, thinking that the lumps could easily removed through a surgery.  To my great surprise, however, the PET-CT images showed that my neck and breastbone were filled with tens of thousands of little tumors.  I could not see anything, as it was total darkness before me.  It meant the end of my life and a death sentence for me.

The doctor said, "It is too late for a surgery.  The surgery is unthinkable.  We can only try the drug and radiation treatments.  The condition is very bad."  Then, he gave me an injection. 

Those who have not received an anti-cancer injection would never imagine how painful it is.  I became delirious because of the pain from the injection.  I got a high fever and vomited up.  I had pains in my stomach and every other part in my body.

Actually, about ten years ago, I went to a Catholic church and was even baptized, because I disliked the superstitious practices of my mother-in-law so much.  After my baptism, however, I did not go to church, but frequently participated in the exorcist rituals with my mother-in-law.    

While I continued suffering in the desperate situation of my breast and breastbone filled with cancer cells, my elder sister, who is a Catholic, told me about the Blessed Mother of Naju.  Also, Maria Lee from Busan, who had been cured of a tuberculous cancer of the bone marrow in Naju, encouraged me to visit Naju.

I was still suffering the side-effects of the injection and even had difficulty in opening my eyes, but was almost dragged by my sister to Naju on May 16, 2005, when there was supposed to be some special prayer meeting.  In the Chapel, I watched a video and, when Julia began speaking and praying, I felt so painful and lay down on the floor like a corpse.  My sister, sitting next to me, was praying hard, crying a lot and shedding lots of tears as if throwing up blood. 

Then, I went home.  Until then, I had always thought that I had lived an exemplary life by being so devoted to the family, but I began realizing that I had been mistaken.  When I got the anti-cancer injection at the hospital and came home and lay down in the room, I heard my children say, "Mommy, we are back from school!"  Because I had been going to work every day for twenty years, I had never heard my three children say that until I became sick with cancer. 

Then, I received another injection and, on June 30 last year, exactly one year ago, I came back to Naju.  There were so many people who came to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Blessed Mother's first weeping in Naju.  Because of the anti-cancer treatment, I lost all my hair and was wearing a hat.  As I was participating in the prayer meeting, I felt painful and sad in my heart.  "When others look at me, they will notice that I am a cancer patient!"  The prayer meeting was held on the mountain.  This time, unlike during the previous visit, I began feeling that I had been away for a long time but was now being welcomed by the Mother.  I began feeling peace and joy in my heart. 

During the prayer meeting, I could not pray for healing, but prayed that I could do my best for my children, my parents, and my husband until the last day I live, whether I had just one more day, ten more days, or one more month to live.  I prayed that I could make up for my past failures to love them until the last day I live.  I became filled with emotion and felt hot in my heart.  While Julia was praying over me for my healing and conversion, I suddenly began feeling deeply guilty about my life of 48 years.  I repeatedly asked the Blessed Mother for forgiveness.  I kept praying loudly until my throat was hurting that my sins be forgiven.  I kept on crying and screaming. 

When I returned home, I asked for forgiveness from my father-in-law and also my husband, whom I had been swearing not to see again.  "Father, I am sorry.  I did too many wrongs against you."  My husband was puzzled, "Where have you been?  How come you are so different?"  They saw peace in my face despite the approaching death and began to love me a lot.

The doctor said, "Even if you receive the anti-cancer treatment twelve times, this does not mean that your cancer will disappear."  Many patients die while they receive the anti-cancer treatment.  Actually, they die because of the injections.  They die, because the injections kill all the white blood cells. 

A while later, the doctor said, "Let's wait for the effect of the anti-cancer treatment, and then decide what to do next."  Once more, X-ray images were taken.  The results were expected on July 4.  This time, I went back to the hospital together with all my family.  While looking at the monitor, the doctor seemed very confused, asking the nurse if the images belonged to a different patient.  While the doctor was taking time to examine the images, I also looked at them with my own eyes.  I could see that the two large tumors and tens of thousands of little ones that had filled my breastbone were gone!  If this had happened to someone else, I would not have believed it.  I had much faith in the modern medicine but no faith in Jesus and the Blessed Mother.

For a very long time, I had stayed away from the church, committed so many sins including superstition, and hated my family so much, but the Blessed Mother of Naju has never ceased to love me and healed me.

There is something else that I think is important.  I thought that I did all the repentance I needed on June 30, but realized that I did not.  Today I came back to give thanks to the Blessed Mother and Julia Kim for the healing that I received one year ago.  Julia welcomed me with much joy, but soon began suffering pains in reparation for the sins of abortion.  Her abdomen was becoming huge.  She was suffering the pains because of me.  I am ashamed to say this, but I had abortions before.  I did not even imagine the Julia would suffer in my place.  I had even forgotten about the abortions.  The Blessed Mother was reminding me of the abortions that I had and how grave those sins were.

Dying means the end of the life on earth.  I was so close to it, but, after a year, I am standing here, giving a testimony.  How could I have even dreamed about this?  Do I look like someone who was sick?  I am so healthy now.      

When I had the cancer, I often lamented and was resentful, thinking "Why me?  Why should I have this cancer?"  Now, I realize that the cancer a blessing to me.  If I did not have it, I would probably never come to Naju.  I would probably still be busy making money, eating well, living well, hating others, never forgiving them, and feeling miserable.  But, because I had this terrible terminal illness, I came here and am standing here.  I am in the bosom of the Blessed Mother of Naju, which is the seat of graces.

My life has changed so much during the past year.  Before, I was only doing the things that God did not like.  Now, I only do the things that God likes, the Lord likes, and the Blessed Mother likes.  My love for the Blessed Mother of Naju, who has never abandoned me but protected me, led me with love, and healed me, will never change.  I will never cease to make her known.  I also give sincere thanks to Julia who helped me find a new life and suffered so much in my place.  My thanks also go to Maria Lee who so persistently encouraged me to come here.

Dear brothers and sisters, have a firm faith.  And ask and cry out.  Then, you will be answered.  I did not know how to pray one year ago, but did pray real hard.  Ask earnestly as if throwing up blood, repent of your sins, ask for forgiveness with tears, promise that you will never commit those sins again, and put this resolution into practice.  Isn't this repentance and conversion?  If you really repent, you will receive healing.  The Blessed Mother does not fail.  Amen!

 

Lucia Sun-Hee Hwang
Woo-Am Dong, Sang-Dang Ku
Cheong-Ju City, Korea
June 30, 2006


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