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We who live in the 20th Century encounter reports of the Blessed Mother’s apparitions and messages at various places in the world more often than in previous times. Many of us seem to have a habit of paying little attention to them. Despite such indifference, however, the Blessed Mother’s apparitions and messages are attracting attention from more and more people. There are an increasing number of people spreading them and trying to practice the messages in their lives. Of course, I am well aware of the Blessed Mother’s apparitions in Lourdes and Fatima, which have been approved by the Church already. It seems that our own age is being overwhelmed with reports of apparitions and messages regardless of our own attitude or intentions. I have given some serious thought to this.

We may consider the events in Naju, which is close to us. Two years ago, I visited Naju together with the Pastor of our neighboring parish. I went there because I thought it insufficient to rely on what I heard from others. In the Chapel in Naju, I signed the guest book, watched a video, and saw the fragrant oil exuding from the Blessed Mother’s statue. I even dipped one my fingers in the oil. I could not see Julia, but heard from Rufino general explanations. Then, I went to the Naju Parish Church and asked the Pastor several questions:

First, when I asked him if the messages that Julia received contradicted any of the Church teachings, the Pastor said, "No."

Second, I asked him about Julia herself. The Pastor said she was a very devout, humble person. He said she was a kind, exemplary Catholic.

Third, I asked him about her husband. The Pastor said that Julia’s husband was president of the Parish council. I was satisfied with these answers and came back. I could not find any problems. It was noteworthy that nothing in the messages received over a period of seven or eight years was at variance with the Church teachings. Besides, Julia was a devout Catholic and had a happy family. I concluded that what was happening in Naju was genuine. Of course, no one can make a definite judgment until the final decision by the Church. However, I think it inappropriate to ignore it unconditionally in the absence of any obstacles.

About a month ago, on May 22, I listened to Julia’s testimony at the Okchun-dong Parish in Kangnung City, where she was invited to speak during a retreat. I listened to her intently. I have never heard such a talk, so kind, well-organized and fruitful. I heard that she had been very ill for three days before coming to Okchun. Her testimony, however, was filled with energy, far beyond ordinary expectations. She said, "Do not try to receive special graces (=charisms), because they are accompanied with burdens and can also lead one into a swamp. Many people went the wrong way, because they received special graces. Please do not think that there is anything special about me."

That is right! God is fair. When He gives one a special grace, He also demands a price from him. Julia said that everyone must accept the Blessed Mother’s messages in a hurry and prevent the approaching disaster.

After the retreat was over, I had an opportunity to talk with her during a meal. She was surrounded with a powerful fragrance of roses. This fragrance, I have heard, is a sign of the Blessed Mother’s presence. Even though I was with Julia only briefly, I concluded that she was the Blessed Mother’s instrument. Since July 18, 1985, the Blessed Mother has given us a substantial amount of messages through Julia. I read these messages often with much benefit. First of all, they help me better understand the signs of the times. In the present age, material civilization has been highly developed, but the Church has not been successfully coping with it. Of course, there is the public revelation in the Scripture, but the messages given at particular times fill what has been empty for a long period of time and shorten the distance between God and men. In this sense, I sincerely hope that the Blessed Mother’s messages in Naju will be approved soon by the Church, and become spread and practiced widely.

Rev. Paul Se Kwon Chun
Sul-ak Dong Catholic Church
June 19, 1995
Phone: (392) 34-7625 

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