Father Leon Pereira had a private encounter with Our Lady on Krizevac Mountain in 1991. He left his career as a doctor to become a priest.
This is his incredible story
The first time I heard about Medjugorje was in 1983. It was in a book of extraordinary things – paranormal. So among UFOs and ghosts there was a chapter on Medjugorje. I grew up in Singapore and at the end of my confirmation studies we had to talk about a topic. I chose to write about Medjugorje even though I couldn’t pronounce the name correctly.
I say that Medjugorje brought me back to the Catholic faith. When I was 17 I was with a group of evangelicals. I came to Medjugorje in the year 1991 when I was in the army. I served in the infantry for two and a half years and broke my back twice during my military service. It took me 14 months to recover.
I came with my mother and a group from Singapore in 1991. At first, while everyone was looking at the miracle of the sun, I refused saying, “This is putting the Lord to the test” and “You must not test the Lord your God”. Was I being presumptuous or fair? I did all the things one is supposed to do in Medjugorje: I prayed in the Church, I prayed on Apparition Hill, in Krizevac and I spent some time in Adoration. I wasn’t looking for signs and wonders. I admit now that I saw the miracle of the sun all the time, and from seeing it so much, I stopped looking at it.
I say to pilgrims: “do not look for signs and wonders” But if you see the sun as a host, it may be saying: “go to Holy Mass” and if the metal of your rosary turns to gold it may be saying to you: “Pray the Rosary until you wear out the metal, or it tells you the Rosary is worth more than gold”.
From the second to the last day, my friend Kevin who was very young, wanted to climb Krizevac every day early in the morning to take pictures of the sunrise, so we had to climb at 4:00 am. From a great distance we saw an orange/gold ball on the mountain. We were praying the Rosary on the way and after a while the light disappeared and then appeared again. At a bend in the path the light returned with full force. It was bigger and brighter than we could see who it was. This left us stunned and silent.
For years my friend and I didn’t talk about it, except to a few people. When we got back to Singapore, I called Kevin and said, “Do you remember that morning?” He replied to me: “how could I forget that?” So I told him, “Take a piece of paper and write what you think you saw and I will do the same.” In that way neither one could influence the other. We describe the same thing: the light was shaped like a young girl. She had a veil on her head that went down to her feet. She had narrow, square shoulders because I remember looking at HER and thinking, “you work out”. She wore a simple dress, but bathed in that golden light that was very clear and bright.
Looking at HER, what SHE communicates to you is an immense love, a personal and direct love. SHE looked at me like I was the only person in the universe and she loved me mightily. It was irresistible. I think at that moment I didn’t know who I was or where I came from, or anything else. I just knew I was looking at the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. She was around 16 years old. She didn’t look like any picture or statue of Our Lady. She was a girl, I want to emphasize that. I would never describe her as a woman.
My friend and I made the decision to finish our ascent to Krizevac and when we arrived between stations 10 and 12 and looked down towards Apparition Hill, SHE was there, with her hands in the position of the Immaculate Conception. At the top of Krizevac there was a couple from Florida but they didn’t see anything. We don’t talk about what we saw because we think it’s something very personal.
We walked down the mountain and went to the Church where the Croatian Mass had just ended and the church was empty. Kevin started walking around and taking pictures. I went to the image of Our Lady thinking and praying – thinking I had gone crazy. The children of Fatima saw Our Lady. Saint Bernadette saw Our Lady. But not people like me. I thought: “I will never be able to tell this to anyone. What this means ?” I was very disturbed by this.
I could have sworn on the Bible that I had seen a young girl made of golden light standing on the mountain, I couldn’t swear that it was just a voice in my head. Saint Teresa said that the voices in her head could come from God, the devil or her own imagination. So it was schizophrenia!
I heard a beautiful woman’s voice that said to me: “You are happy because you saw ME” . I replied: “Yes, I am very happy”. I was a little shy to ask but I said, “Who are you?”
She replied: “I am your MOM and I want you to tell everyone that you found ME and that I love everyone” Everything SHE said in the conversation was instantaneous, but SHE made me feel the feelings SHE had. I wouldn’t call it conversation. It was something very difficult to describe. When SHE told me “I am your MOTHER” SHE made me feel like she physically gave birth to each one of you.
It was as if SHE said: “this one is MINE, that one is MINE…” As if SHE took ownership. And when SHE said, “I love them” SHE crushed me with Her love and I felt like a banana coming out of its skin. It was as if I had come out of myself in joy, literally as if I were in ecstasy. It really was a powerful love, very powerful.
SHE loves each one of you as if each one of you is her only child and there is no other and as if SHE is looking only at you. I don’t know how SHE does it, it’s overwhelming. I was in tears, seeing Her and hearing Her.
I thought; “I need to see her again, how can I go about seeing her again?” So I said to HER: “Blessed MOTHER, I would very much like to die now, please”. SHE said to me, “Wouldn’t you like to live a little longer to help ME?”
I knew this would mean anywhere from 9 days to 90 years. So I said: “How annoying! I don’t want to hang around wasting time, I want to go with HER because SHE is so beautiful!”
I don’t know if SHE was giving me a chance, but I thought SHE was and I said, “Okay, but YOU better make it count.” I wasn’t being cheeky. I was just disappointed that I couldn’t die here and now. She laughed, but that was the only time I got what I wanted to say, after which SHE controlled the entire conversation.
Then SHE told me: “You will forget much of what I will tell you” . I replied, “No. This is the best day of my life and I won’t forget anything.”
But as soon as the conversation was over I forgot about most of it. There’s a big chunk that I can’t remember. I just have a feeling about what it’s about. It was like she had been given general anesthesia.
A part of your life disappears and you can’t remember. Then SHE said, “Don’t think you deserve to see ME. GOD gives grace according to HIS choice.
The day will come when you will regret having seen ME ” . I replied: “How can you say that, Blessed Mother? This is the best day of my life.” She told me: “The day will come when you will deny having seen ME”. I thought of Saint Peter and I didn’t answer because I was so happy to see her.
When I think about it, that I saw OUR LADY and that SHE spoke to me and showed me how miserable I am – that she would be sorry to have seen HER and that in the future she would remain miserable.
All of this came true five years later, when I was at medical school in England and I remember saying, “I wish I had never seen her!”
It was too complicated for me and I let it go. Afterwards many people mocked Medjugorje calling it a “mega-fraud”. I said that too and laughed. A priest I knew used to read Our Lady’s messages and I would go into his room and make fun of him.
What SHE said now: “pray, pray, pray” ?? “Thank you for having responded to MY call” ?? He used to answer me: “You are terrible Leon. Our Lady is still going to fix you.” And now he is the one laughing at me here [in Medjugorje].
There is a reason why all this happened. It happened because of me. I regretted having seen It and denied It. Everything is freely chosen by free will.
But I think my life is like a living parable of what will happen throughout the Church. If someone asked me: “Have you seen Our Lady?” I should have said “yes”. If someone asked: “why are you mocking Medjugorje?” I would answer, “I don’t know why I’m doing this.”
I have a strong feeling that the whole Church will do this, I mean most of the Church. I don’t remember what Our Lady said about this. She didn’t talk to me about the future. SHE didn’t tell me to be a priest, SHE never told me about vocations.
The problems I was experiencing at that time were quite significant. It was one of the worst moments 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 in trouble. No one in my family spoke to me for a long time.
So I told Our Lady about my problems. SHE said to give my life to JESUS, pray with firm faith and give my life to JESUS. At that time it felt like a slap in the face. I thought, “why are you ignoring me?”
I couldn’t bring myself to ask, because SHE controlled the entire conversation. I can see now that when SHE answered me, SHE told me what I needed to do and that I must do the right thing : give my heart to Jesus, pray with firm faith and give my life to JESUS .
So, for those who come to Medjugorje to pray for some special need or come to me to receive some wise advice, I have no advice to give other than what OUR LADY gave me: “Give your heart to JESUS, pray with firm faith and give your life to JESUS ′′ . This is what SHE told me. SHE told me that I shouldn’t look for HER, that I wouldn’t see HER anymore, except that SHE would come to me when I died. There are a few other things SHE told me that I don’t think are important to say at this point.
This is what happened. After that I was silent for a long time. I didn’t say that to anyone until recently. Those who are more observant will notice that I am being obedient to Our Lady. She asked me: “Tell everyone that you met ME, that I am their mother and I love them” .
Honestly I don’t want you to believe me. What I want is for you to believe that Our Lady loves you and that SHE looks at you as if you were HER only child in the universe and that SHE loves you so powerfully and so deeply .
Having seen Our Lady only once had two side effects: the first is that everything in life has become a bit boring. The most exciting things in life are boring and sometimes a little difficult. The second is that it made me not afraid of death. When people tell me they have cancer and they only have a few months to live, I say the right things to them, but deep inside I think, “You are so lucky. You’re going to see her.” So I try to imagine it from her perspective – it must be terrible. But I keep thinking, “Lucky you, you go see Her and SHE is so beautiful. Why do not you want to go ? I would if I had the choice. She is so beautiful.”