The Link of Miracles to Disasters


November 02, 1992|By ANDREI CODRESCU

NEW ORLEANS. — New Orleans -- I went to the St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Lafitte, Louisiana, to listen to a woman named Dolores talk about her encounters with the Blessed Virgin at Medjugordje, Bosnia. She had taken three journeys to see the Virgin, who calls herself the Queen of Peace, and has been speaking to the faithful since 1984 until recently. She may still be speaking but the faithful are staying away from the shelling.

The Virgin's messages these many years can be summarized as follows: ''Unite with my prayers,'' (March 22, 1984); ''Every family must pray family prayer and read the Bible,'' (slight Bosnian syntax here, February 14, 1985); ''I beg you to pray,'' (March 27, 1986); ''Pray without ceasing,'' (January 1, 1987); ''Pray, little children,'' (May 25, 1988); ''Therefore, little children, pray, pray, pray,'' (October 25, 1989); ''Make a decision for prayer,'' (February 25, 1990); ''Dear children! Pray, pray, pray!'' (October 25, 1991).

Each time Dolores went to see the Virgin she received, in addition to the above messages, reassurances about peace. She was told not to worry about war because Jesus would take care of everything. Dolores also received the gift of healing, which she promptly exercised on the mountain by restoring breath to a woman who was gasping for air. She also received a picture from a stranger who spoke English, a picture that had the face of Jesus hidden in a cloud.

When Dolores returned home her green enamel medallion turned to gold. Dolores pointed to her medallion but I was too far away to see the color. The Virgin also caused Dolores to write a poem, which was instantly published. When she needed an artist to paint a picture to accompany the poem, Dolores received a miraculous invitation to an art opening where she asked the artist to paint a picture of Jesus. The artist, reluctant at first, agreed. Dolores mentioned the war in Bosnia obliquely once more when she quoted a churchman saying that, ''Medjugordje is now part of us. We take it wherever we go.''

We left the Sixties-style modern St. Anthony of Padua church and went to Boutte's, a lovely fishermen's diner where the waitress wanted to know if mass was over so they could fry the shrimps and oysters for the crowd. Bosnia was far. But Hurricane Andrew came next day.

Andrei Codrescu is editor of Exquisite Corpse.

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