A Personal Testimony by Lucia Hwang
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
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
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
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
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!
Woo-Am Dong, Sang-Dang Ku
Cheong-Ju City, Korea
June 30, 2006