Medical and scientific tests conducted on the visionaries prove, beyond all doubt, that the visionaries are in fact experiencing an ecstasy, an apparition, and while they are in this state, they are literally in another world.
Various scientists, professors and psychologists have conducted through examinations on the visionaries both before, during and after their visions, and all have concluded that the visionaries are mentally sound, that they aren’t faking their experience or lying and that the apparition itself places them into a state that is “scientifically inexplicable”.
Tests on the visionaries by competent authorities began in 1982. Dr Ludvik Stopar, a Yugoslav psychiatrist and parapsychologist, interviewed all the visionaries and used various methods, including hypnotism, to conclude that the children were healthy and truthful in their testimony. “In Medjugorje” he said, “I had the impression of coming into contact with a supernatural reality”
In 1984 a team of doctors from Milan began tests on the visionaries during their ecstasy, and during one such test, observed how the seers don’t react to what’s going on around them. The doctor lifted the boy Jakov off the ground and found that he did not even flinch. When Jakov was put down ‘his legs went from the vertical to the horizontal in the most natural and spontaneous fashion’. This ruled out the possibility of catalepsy.
Dr. Lucia Capello, also from Italy, observed the strange synchronizations which occurred during the apparitions: the fact that the seers fell to their knees at the exact same time, how their voices became inaudible while their lips continued to move and how each seer’s voice became audible again saying the third word to the Our Father….obviously in response to the apparition beginning with ‘Our Father’. The seers did this with no outside prompt, and similarly, their eyes and heads moved in unison when the apparition ceased with the word ‘ode’ (she’s gone) coming after, and not before-again, ruling out the idea that there was anyone prompting or leading the group. As the doctors could see, not even the greatest mime artists in the world could pull off an act like that!
Dr. Capello also testified to the fact that seers weren’t misfits or strange in any way, but rather she found them, “discreet, well-mannered, careful in their dress and in their speech and absolutely aware of their surroundings. Their behavior seemed to conform perfectly with that of other young people of the same age.”
In April of 1984, Dr. Enzo Gabrici, a neuro-psychiatrist also examined the visionaries, and ruled out any psychosis or outside manipulation like hypnosis:
“Clinical observation has also excluded hallucinatory phenomena, as well as the habitual signs of epilepsy or any other malfunction capable of producing altered states of consciousness. There are no symptoms which would suggest that the subjects are living out something previously suggested under hypnosis. The visionaries can recall with absolute lucidity what has happened to them…They retain perfect consciousness of their own identity.”
Professor Maria Franchini found that the visionaries were a ‘group’ made up of individuals who had nothing binding them together other than the apparition:
‘The group is made up of a number of independent individuals. Each has his or her own attitude, but all are drawn towards an external object which holds their attention with an intensity which I have never before experienced, and which in my view makes their experience unique.’
A team of French doctors led by Professor Henri Joyeux in 1984 carried out what was up to then the most comprehensive of tests, looking in particular how the brain reacted to the apparitions. Electro-encephalogrpahs were made of the visionaries as were elector-cardiograms. The heart beats of the visionaries remained normal during the apparition, and only increased for the minute following. Tests during the apparition ruled out the possibility that the visionaries were dreaming or hallucinating as their brains remained ‘in the alpha rhythm, the rhythm of wakefulness and receptivity, the rhythm of the contemplative in calm prayer.’
Dr F Rouquerol conducted a sound test on the visionary Ivan both before and during the apparition which was most fascinating. Before the apparition, Ivan “jumped” when a 70 decibel noise was made next to his ear. But during the apparition Ivan didn’t react at all, even when the noise was increased to 90 decibels…the sound of a small explosion. Afterwards Ivan said that he’d “heard nothing at all”.
Dr. Rouquerol also investigated why the voices of the visionaries went quiet during the apparition, while their lips continued to move.
‘During the recitation of the Rosary before the apparitions began, the needle indicating that the larynx muscles were working moved up and down the scale. When ecstasy began the voice became inaudible, the needle stopped and the larynx no longer moved. The lips continued to move, as the visionaries spoke to the apparitions; but no sound was registered on the equipment. When the voice returned to normal on the third word of the Our Father, the needle moved again…the movements of the larynx returned.’
Doctors had never seen the voice box and the larynx operate independently of each other.
Professor Joyeux’s report concluded:
“The phenomenon is scientifically inexplicable. The visionaries of Medjugorje are not drop outs or dreamers, nor are they tired or anxious…they are free and happy. The ecstasies are not pathological nor is there any element of deceit. No scientific discipline seems able to describe these phenomena. We would be quite willing to define them as a state of active, intense prayer, partially disconnected from the outside world, a state of contemplation with a separate person whom they alone can see, hear and touch.”
In 1985 Professor Santini used an ‘algometer’, which measures one’s resistance to burns, to test the visionaries sensitivity to pain. A heated silver disc was applied to the seers arms before the apparition, and they pulled back within three tenths of a second-like most normal people do. However, during the apparition they didn’t react at all-even though the burning disc was applied for seven seconds!
Tests by Dr Paolo Maestri found the reason why there was no reaction: tracing the never impulses from eye and ear to the cortex of the brain, he found that ‘the visionaries consciousness was elsewhere, an did not reply’.
Professor Margnelli’s final report said:
“Ecstasy for these young people is invincible and spontaneous-and authentic. Normally an emotional stimuli provokes an immediate, though possibility brief, reaction from an individual. But in the present case, neither normally painful stimuli, nor a nylon thread in the eye, nor any of the other experiments provoked any reaction at all. In every case, the metaphorical telephone rang for someone who wasn’t there. We must therefore be dealing with an authentic ecstasy.”
The Medjugorje apparitions, therefore, are real. They are of supernatural origin. They confirm, to me, the existence of God.
But if they are of supernatural origins, some would say: well the devil could be behind it!
But what test do we use then to judge the apparitions? The test that Jesus gave us: look at the fruit!
The fruit of Medjugorje is very good: messages from the apparition call people to conversion, prayer, Confession, Mass, Bible reading, charity work.
Millions of people have been converted, and thousands have claimed healings of various medical conditions.
And the fruits with the visionaries are also very good: after more than 25 years of apparitions they remain happy, humble, completely sane people who are living very holy lives.
There can be no other conclusion that these apparitions are the real deal, that they are everything the visionaries claim them to be.
God has sent the Blessed Mother to call the world back to Him, to convert and make peace on earth. This enormous grace shows the great mercy and love of God, who is compassionate and patient with humanity.
(Sources for these tests found in Rene Laurentin and Henri Joyeux ‘Etudes Medicales et Scientificques sur Medjugorje’ Paris, OEIL, 1985.
Luigi Frigerio, L. Bianchi and Giacomo Mattalia, ‘Dossier Scentifico s Medjugorje’ Presentazione di Flaminio Piccoli, 1985
And Mary Craig, ‘Spark from Heaven: the Mystery of the Madonna of Medjugorje’ Hodder and Soughton, 1988 chapter. 13)