Watching her, what she communicated to you was an immense love, a very personal, direct love. She looked at me as if I were the only person in the whole universe, and she loves me powerfully. It was overwhelming. I think at that time I would not have known who I was or where I came from, or anything. I just knew that I was looking at the most beautiful young girl I had ever seen. She looked about 16. She did not look like any picture or statue of Our Lady, a young girl, I can’t emphasize that enough. I would never describe her as a woman. Fr Leon Pereira.
Our Lady loves you and she looks at you like you are the only child in the universe, and that she loves you so powerfully, so deeply. I want you to believe that at least. You don’t have to believe the rest of it, it’s not important. Fr Leon Pereira.
Mystic Post just returned from Medjugorje on November 7, 2017. During our visit, I had the good fortune to hear Fr. Leon Pereira’s extraordinary testimony about his personal encounter with the Blessed Mother. Fr. Leon, as he is known in Medjugorje, is truly a holy man and is destined to change the world. Steve Ryan Mystic Post.
The following is part 2 of a three part lecture . Part one Father Leon talks about how Medjugorje should not be a place to seek “Sign and Wonders” Part 3 Father Leon stresses is the most important part of his talk and that is Medjugorje is to be about the “Five Stones”.
Part 2 Fr Leon Pereira:
I first heard about Medjugorje in 1983, it was in a book about extraordinary things – paranormal things. So in between a chapter on UFOs and poltergeists there was a chapter on Medjugorje. I was brought up in Singapore, and for Confirmation classes we had to write an essay. I chose to write about Medjugorje, only I couldn’t pronounce it so I called it Citluk – Our Lady of Citluk.
I credit Medjugorje with bringing me back to the Catholic faith. When I was 17 I fell in with a group of Evangelicals. I came to Medjugorje first in 1991. In Singapore we still had National Service. We had to do two and a half years, and I was in the Infantry. I came here when I was in the army, and I had broken my spine in two places during military training. It took me 14 months to recuperate.
I came here with my mother and a group from Singapore in 1991. At the beginning, even before we got off the coach they were all looking at the miracle of the sun. I refused to look because I thought, “This is putting the Lord to the test, and ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’” Was I smug or righteous? I think I was righteous – now I’m smug! I did all the right things you are meant to do on Medjugorje: pray in the church; pray on Podbrodo, the Apparition Hill; pray on Krizevac, Cross Mountain; and I spent some time in Adoration. I did not look for signs and wonders. I admit now, the miracle of the sun, I see it all the time, so much so that I have stopped looking.
I tell pilgrims, “do not go looking for signs and wonders. A sign has to point to something. If you see a sign, “Killarney,” it means, “This way to Killarney.” If you see the miracle of the sun and it looks like a host, it could be saying, “Go to Mass and stop looking at the sun.” If the links of your Rosary turn gold it could be saying, “Pray the Rosary until you wear out the metal links, or, the Rosary is worth more than gold.”
On the second to last day my friend, Kevin, who was a year younger than me wanted to go up Krizevac early in the morning to take photos of the sunrise, so we had to leave at 4.00 in the morning. From a long distance away we saw a round orange/gold light on the mountain. We were saying the Rosary as we walked along and after a while the light disappeared and then it re-appeared. At the kink in the road the light came back with a vengeance. It was bigger and brighter and we were so close that we could see what it was. It stunned us into silence.
For years we did not talk about it, except to each other. So when we were home, back in Singapore, I was on the phone to Kevin and I said, “Do you remember that morning?” He said, “How could I forget it?” So I said, “You take a piece of paper and write down what you thought you saw and I will do the same.” In that way we would not influence one another. We both described the same thing: the light was in the shape of a young girl. She had a veil on her head which went straight down. She had narrow but square shoulders, because I remember looking at her and thinking, “Oh, you work out.” She wore a simple dress and all this was bathed in this gold light and was very bright and gleaming.
Watching her, what she communicated to you was an immense love, a very personal, direct love. She looked at me as if I were the only person in the whole universe, and she loves me powerfully. It was overwhelming. I think at that time I would not have known who I was or where I came from, or anything. I just knew that I was looking at the most beautiful young girl I had ever seen. She looked about 16. She did not look like any picture or statue of Our Lady, a young girl, I can’t emphasize that enough. I would never describe her as a woman.
We made the decision to climb Krizevac and somewhere about the Stations 10-12 we looked down at Podbrodo and she was there, with her hands in the Immaculate Conception position. At the top of Krizevac there was a couple from Florida, in their 60s. They had seen nothing. We did not tell them what we had seen, apart from very vaguely saying that there was a light. We did not want to tell a soul what we had seen because it was so personal.
We came down the mountain and went to the church where the Croatian Mass had just finished and the church was empty. Kevin went around taking photos. I went to the statue of Our Lady, thinking and praying – thinking I’d lost my mind. The children of Fatima see Our Lady, St. Bernadette sees Our Lady, but not people like me. I thought, “I can never tell anyone. What does it all mean?” I was very disturbed by it.
That is when the second part happened. I can swear on the Gospel that I saw a young girl made of orange/gold light, standing on the mountain. The second part I can’t swear to because it was a voice in my head. St. Teresa of Avila said that voices in your head come from God, the devil or your imagination. Then there is schizophrenia!
It was a beautiful voice, a woman’s voice. She said, “You are happy because you have seen me.” I said, “Yes, I am very happy.” I was a bit shy and said, “Who are you?” She said, “I am your mother, and I want you to tell everyone you meet that I am their mother and that I love them.” Everything she said in this conversation was instantaneous, but she also made you feel the accompanying feelings. I would not call it possessiveness. The conversation is very difficult to describe. When she said, “I am their mother,” she made me understand that as though she had given birth physically to each one of you. It was as if she said, “This one is mine, this one is mine, this one is mine…” very much a strong claim. And when she said, “And that I love them, she crushed me with this love to show me how – it was like a banana slipping out of its skin. It was like being outside myself in joy, literally being ecstatic. It was the same powerful love, very, very powerful. She loves every single one of you like you are her only child, and there is no one else, and she is looking just at you. I don’t know how she does it, it is very overwhelming. I was in tears, seeing her and listening to her.
I was thinking, “I need to see her again, how can I arrange to see her again?” So I said to her, “Blessed Mother, I would very much like to die now, please.” She said, “Would you not like to live a bit longer to help me?” I knew she meant anything from nine days to 90 years and I was thinking, “Oh dear, how boring. I don’t want to hang around and waste time, I want to go with her now because she is so beautiful.” Now, I don’t think she was giving me a choice, but I thought she was, and I said, “All right then, but you had better make it worth my while.” I wasn’t being cheeky, I was just disappointed I couldn’t die there and then. She laughed, but that was the only time she let me say what I wanted to, after that she controlled the conversation.
Then she said, “You will forget much of what I am telling you.” I said, “No, this is the best day of my life, I am not going to forget a single thing.” And as soon as the conversation finished I promptly forgot. There is a big chunk in the middle I can’t remember. I have a feeling about what it concerns. It is like when you have had a general anesthetic – there is part of your life missing and you just can’t remember it. Then she said, “Do not begin to imagine that you deserve to see me. God gives grace as he chooses.” She said. “The day will come when you will regret ever seeing me.” I said, “How can you say that, Blessed Mother? This is the best day of my life.” She said, “The day will come when you will deny ever having seen me.” I thought of St. Peter and I didn’t protest, I was too happy talking to her. When I think about it, I saw Our Lady and she talked to me and she told me how rubbish I am – that I didn’t deserve to see her and that I was going to be rubbish in the future.
All that came true because within five years I was at Medical School in England and I remember saying to her very clearly, “I wish I had never seen you.” It is very complicated but I thought I had let her down. Later a lot of people made fun of Medjugorje and called it “Megaforgery.” I used to do that as well and I used to laugh. A priest I knew used to look at the messages of Our Lady and I would go to his room and mock him. “What has she said now, ‘pray, pray, pray? Thank you for your response to my call?’” He used to say, “You’re terrible, Leon, Our Lady will get you.” And now he thinks it is hilarious: that I’m here doing this.
There is a reason that all this has happened as well. It happened through my fault: I regretted it and I denied it. It is all freely chosen by me through my free will. But I think my life is like a living parable of what is going to happen in the whole Church. I don’t remember her words about that, there is this confusion that I felt. If someone had asked me, “Did you see Our Lady?” I would have said, “Yes.” If he then said, “Why are you mocking Medjugorje?” I would say, “I don’t know, I don’t understand why I am doing that.” I have a strong feeling that the whole Church is going to do this very soon, somehow forget, somehow get confused. When I say the whole Church I mean most of the Church, but I don’t remember what Our Lady said as such. She never talked to me about the future. She didn’t tell me to be a priest, she never talked about vocations.
I told her all my problems at that time which were quite significant. It was one of the worst periods of my life because I had broken my spine, but that was nothing compared to the emotional pain I was going through. My sister had run away from home, everyone was fighting, no one in my family spoke to me for a long period. So I told her all my problems and she ignored me. After all this she told me to give my life to Jesus; to pray with a firm faith and to surrender my life to Jesus. At the time it felt like a slap in the face. I thought, “Why are you ignoring me?” But I could not object, she was controlling the conversation at this stage. I can see now that when she answered me she told me what I needed to do to do the right thing: to give my heart to Jesus, to pray with a firm faith and to surrender my life to Jesus.
So those of you who have come to Medjugorje to pray for some special need and you come to me for some wisdom, I have no wisdom to give you except what Our Lady has given me – if it’s good enough for me it’s good enough for you: “Give your heart to Jesus, pray with a firm faith and surrender your life to Jesus.” That is what she told me. She told me that I must not go looking for her, that I would not see her again, except she would come for me when I died. There are a few other things that she said that I don’t think are relevant.
So that’s what happened. After that I kept quiet about it for years. I did not tell a soul until more recently. Those of you who are more observant will realize that I am actually being obedient to Our Lady. She said, “Tell everyone you meet that I am their mother and that I love them.”
Honestly, I don’t care if you don’t believe me. I try to imagine if I were sitting in your seat there was this little brown priest on the stage telling me this story about Medjugorje, about seeing Our Lady, would I think he was mad? I don’t care if you don’t believe me, I really don’t care, but what I want you to believe is that Our Lady loves you and she looks at you like you are the only child in the universe, and that she loves you so powerfully, so deeply. I want you to believe that at least. You don’t have to believe the rest of it, it’s not important.
Having seen Our Lady just once has had two side effects: first, everything in life in life is a bit boring. The most exciting things in life are boring and it is a bit difficult sometimes. The second one is that it has left me without a fear of death. When people tell me they have cancer and have only a few months to live, I say all the right things to them, but inside me I’m always thinking, “Oh you lucky thing, you are going to see her.” Then I try to imagine it from their perspective – it must be terrifying. But I still think, “No, you lucky thing, you are going to see her and she is so beautiful.” Why would you not want to go? I would go now if given the choice. She is so beautiful.
Fr. Leon Pereira is chaplain to the English-speaking pilgrims in Medjugorje, Bosnia & Herzegovina.