Pio: Man of God (new
The official beatification video with the story of the humble Capuchin priest, how he first received the stigmata, and how he lived with it for 50 years. Includes interviews with those who knew him best, and stunning footage of Padre Pio saying Mass and speaking to his spiritual children. CLICK HERE
WHAT WILL THE 'GREAT SIGN' OF MEDJUGORJE BE?
When we left off we were discussing the "permanent sign" prophesied to occur at Apparition Hill in Medjugorje, where the Virgin Mary, coming as the Queen of Peace, first appeared in 1981. We had discussed the fact [see previous article] that the sign would be to prove the Blessed Mother appeared here. We had mentioned that according to one seer it would not be a sign in the heavens but "on earth." We had quoted a seer as saying that it would lead to healings and conversion, that many would come to see it.
"When the permanent sign comes," seer Jakov Colo once commented, "people will come here from all over the world in even larger numbers. Many more will believe."
According to Jakov (the youngest of the seers, and one who has all ten promised secrets), "it will be something that has never been on the earth before."
The permanent sign will be on the hill of apparitions, adds another seer, Mirjana Dragivecic Soldo, and "everybody will be able to see that it's coming from God, that human hands could not make it."
The seers -- or at least four of them -- know the date of it. It's the only secret we know they share.
But what could it be?
The seers have indicated that there are advance signs of the great sign, and one of them occurred on October 28, 1981. On that night villagers in Medjugorje saw a large fire that seemed to be burning on the hill. Hundreds saw it, including priests and nuns. At the time, the hill was still under guard by Communists who were trying to quash the apparitions. When they investigated, neither police nor firemen could find a trace of fire.
The flames had burned for about 15 minutes but consumed nothing.
There was no sign of it.
Shortly after, the Virgin commented that the incident had mystical significance. "The fire, seen by the faithful, was of a supernatural character," she said. "It is one of the signs, a forerunner of the Great Sign."
A sign. A forerunner. A precursor. Does that mean that the great sign will likewise involve light?
Seer Marija Pavlovic Lunetti was once asked about the advance signs and mentioned that "many people see luminary signs."
But that doesn't mean the sign will be luminous. Such has never been directly stated. And yet we wonder if it will somehow involve luminiscence. A light near the ground? A prism into the supernatural? A manifestation that people will see from certain angles?
Or something physical, like a healing well?
Could it be something even greater?
At first, the temptation is to say no -- that anything greater than the type of phenomena already occurring at Medjugorje would be too blatant and infringe on the test of faith. Anything too obvious would eliminate the need to believe. It doesn't seem to be the way God usually works. Normally the Lord leaves room for some doubt. Indeed, most great supernatural signs have had limited witnesses, or have been at the edge of nature. With Fatima the great sign was an extraordinary display of the aurora borealis. Believers knew what it was while others described it in a natural way.
Will that be the same at Medjugorje? Will the manifestation be something extraordinary to believers but still something that ardent skeptics will try to rationalize?
Through history there have been remarkable, permanent signs that even modern skeptics, equipped with technology, struggle to explain. The image of Guadalupe, a colored portrait of the Virgin that was miraculously left on a piece of tilma, is one example; the Shroud of Turin is another; and then there is the House of Loreto, which tradition says was supernaturally transported to Italy.
Do these offer us hints?
Is something similar going to appear on Apparition Hill? An image, an object, a healing spring?
Or will it be ethereal?
All we have are little hints. "The sign will be indestructible and permanent," we repeat from Mirjana "Naturally, it will be clear to everyone that it is not something constructed and erected. Nobody will be able to say that it was brought and placed in that particular spot by, let us say, someone from Medjugorje."
That still doesn't tell us if it's ethereal or physical. And it could fit anything. For example, a healing spring is something that could not be placed there by humans, and many times in history, a sign has been left in the way of just such healing springs. We think of Lourdes, LaSalette, Zarvanystya, Hrushiw, and many historical sites.
But then there are Jakov's words: something that has never been on the earth before...
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