Case File: Medjugorje Miracles
Location: Medjugorie, Bosnia
Date: 1981 to Recent
Description: Medjugorje is a town located in western Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the Herzegovina region around 25 km (16 mi) southwest of Mostar and close to the border of Croatia. The town is part of the municipality of Čitluk. Since 1981, it has become a popular site of religious pilgrimage due to reports of apparitions of the Virgin Mary to six local Catholics. The visions occurred on a hill near a church.
History: In Chicago, Illinois, former model Jill Jensen is so strung out on cocaine, she gouged open sores all over her body. Five hundred miles away, mother of three Rita Klaus tries to overcome the debilitation of Multiple Sclerosis. The two women have one thing in common: Medjugorje, Yugoslavia. They, along with thousands of other people, flocked to the town after six young people claimed to have spoke with the Virgin Mary.
Several people have claimed to be healed at Medjugorje, including Joe Romano who claims to have been cured of abdominal cancer after he and his wife traveled to the village three times. Kevin Geebles was seven years old when he and his family went to Medjugorje, and several intestinal and stomach problems vanished after visiting there. Char Vance's right leg had been shattered in a farm accident and it healed miraculously after visiting the village.
Jill Jensen grew up in an upper middle class neighborhood in Chicago. When she was a teenager, experimentation with drugs led to a cocaine addiction. By age 26, she had a $500 drug habit. She went to several rehabs, but none had been successful. In 1988, Jill's aunt went to Medjugorje, and when she returned, she urged Jill to come with her. The next year, they went but Jill feared that she was not going to make it there. When she arrived, she met with an American priest in a confessional. For over an hour, she confessed about her drug habit. The priest put holy water on Jill's sores and within a few days, the sores were gone and she didn't experience any withdrawal. Jill then met with one of the visionaries, who prayed over Jill. Jill has not used drugs since then. She has spoken around the country to large groups, schools and churches about her experiences and tries continues to prevent share her story in hopes of preventing others from using drugs.
Another case of people being healed due to Medjugorje is that of Rita Klaus. Rita had always devoted herself to God, and when she was 15, she committed herself to an Omaha, Nebraska convent. A few years later she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and a she soon withdrew from the convent. She moved to Pennsylvania and taught special education, and soon met and married Ron Klaus. By now, her MS symptoms had apparently gone away. Within five years, they had three daughters, but soon afterwards, Rita developed the symptoms again. By 1984, she began losing her vision and lost use of her legs, among other problems. She was forced to use a wheelchair or sometimes crutches.
In 1986, Rita heard about Medjugorje and began praying to the Virgin Mary and fasting, just like the visionaries. However, she was unable to go financially, then one night, Rita claimed to have heard a voice that said "Why don't you ask?" and she began praying. The next morning, Rita was at a class when she felt her feet and toes and realized that she could lift her legs and then she realized that she could walk again and that she was completely healed. Six years have gone by, and none of the symptoms returned, and she believes that she was healed because of Medjugorje.
Background: Before civil war tore the land apart, thousands went to a church in Medjugorje, that was a small village in Yugoslavia, to meet six children who call themselves "visionaries" and that in 1981 they spoke with the Virgin Mary. One of the visionaries claims that the Virgin Mary visited them on a field near the church, and four of them still claim to communicate with the Virgin at 6:40pm every day. Ten years later, many claim to have been healed at Medjugorje.
Extra Notes: The case was featured as a part of the February 5, 1992 episode