Mary my Mother
The Miracle of Radio Maria
Susan paced the hospital corridor with her infant daughter crying in her arms. She was tense and anxious. Her leg muscles were weak from fear, and she was struggling to put one foot in front of the other. She was waiting for the paediatrician to call their two-year-old daughter, Eve for her appointment. The moment of truth lay in a blood test result sitting in her daughter’s medical file inches away from where she was standing. She and her husband Joe were already dealing with the devastating news of Eve’s leukaemia and the knowledge that she needed a bone marrow transplant. They’d been told that matching donors and patients is much more complex than matching blood types and that it might take time to find the perfect match. Both Joe and Susan had volunteered as donors, and they were awaiting the results at their scheduled appointment.
The consultant’s door opens, and Dr Grainne sees Susan and invites them to come forward. Susan shakes a little more, and her husband puts his arm around her waist to support her. The doctor speaks in a soft tone and asks how Eve has been since their last visit. She picks up on Susan’s anxiety and is gentle in her approach towards her. She speaks to Susan first and tells her that further tests will be needed to ascertain if she is the close to a perfect match. Dr Grainne then addresses Joe, and she tells him that he is not a match at all. He hears the words ‘not at all’, and he questionably repeats them. “Not at all! How is that? I’m her father!” The doctor retains a calm and steady voice, and she tells him that he has a different blood type to Eve.
Three months later the incomprehensible words are still sounding in his head. The reality of him not being Eve’s father sends volts of shock through him. The news hasn’t changed his love for his baby girl that he fell in love with the moment she was born. Susan had taken a gamble that Eve might be his child and figured that if she was, then she was taking the risk of telling her husband about a brief affair with a work colleague for no reason. “What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him” her friend had advised, and she thought it was a phrase worth applying to the situation. Science had proven differently, though, and the results had taken an overwhelming toll on their marriage. Joe was incredibly angry and had moved out of the family home. He continued to attend the hospital appointments, and at Susan’s invitation, she asked him for his input into decisions about Eve’s care.
Eve’s biological father relinquished all responsibility, and he refused to go for donor testing. He had a family of his own, and he didn’t want his life wrecked by this scandal.
It’s three years later, and Joe is attending the 25th Medjugorje Anniversary Conference at the RDS in Dublin. He still hasn’t come to terms with Susan’s affair and deceit, and he’s far from forgiving her. The conference committee has organised a captivating line-up of speakers from America and Bosnia-Herzegovina for the weekend event. Their stories of spiritual healing, physical miracles and conversions are a testimony to the power of prayer and God’s infinite, loving and tender mercy for the incurable, depraved, and lost souls. “One could be forgiven for thinking that nothing could be done with him”, Joe said, referring to Fr Donald Calloway’s ( from the Congregation of Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary) story about his raucous, rebellious and juvenile delinquent years. “Does it give you hope, Joe that maybe one day it will be possible to forgive Susan and to reconcile and return to your family home?”, I asked. “It’s certainly food for spiritual thought”, he replied. In the afternoon session, Colleen Willard from Chicago told the story of how she was miraculously healed in Medjugorje from thirteen complicated medical conditions including an incurable brain tumour and a ruptured disc that confined Colleen to a wheelchair. “How are you doing, Joe?”, I enquired when I caught up with him before the evening prayer programme began. “Wow”, he said, “I’m beginning to believe that everything is possible through prayer and with God.” I encouraged Joe never to stop believing that God could heal the brokenness of his marriage and his heart. “You know Jesus was betrayed too, and He knows the pain of that,” I said. Joe loved his wife and was very close to Eve, and she called him “Daddy” which constantly evoked tears of pain, pity and more often of joy.
Eve had received a bone marrow transplant and was in remission. Joe could not contemplate the idea of not having Eve in his life, and the word remission was one he ignored. Susan had invited him to adopt Eve officially, and he was pondering on the idea. He was hindered, though by his inability to forgive her. She had deeply suffered the consequences of her reckless actions, and her family had erupted into war with her. She was struggling with their coldness toward her, and she felt alone and isolated. She knew she had caused all this pain to herself and everyone else around her. She asked them for their forgiveness and had asked Joe many times also for his.
Our last speaker at the conference was Goran Curković from Medjugorje, and he was scheduled to speak on Sunday. His inspiring story of recovery from heroin addiction, homelessness, paranoid schizophrenia and self-harming over many years evoked tumultuous tears and roars of laughter from the attendees. Joe had heard more than enough to convince him that God existed and was the maker of miracles.
Joe didn’t leave the RDS without going to confession. He shared his story with many tears of anger and disappointment. He held close to his heart the advice his confessor told him, and it ran along the lines of; forgiveness will bring healing, peace and love. Bitterness and anger will culminate in more chaos and emotional self-destruction of yourselves and your daughter. It was time for Joe to make his mind up.
It’s now many years later and Eve is fourteen-years-old. Joe officially became Eve’s ‘Daddy’, and Susan and Joe reconciled. They are now a very active faithful couple and a silent witness to their journey of forgiveness.
On 25 January 1996, Our Lady gave the following message to the visionary, Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti.
Dear Children! Today I invite you to decide for peace. Pray that God gives you true peace. Live peace in your hearts, and you will understand, dear children, that peace is the gift of God. Dear children, without love you cannot live in peace. The fruit of peace is love, and the fruit of love is forgiveness. I am with you, and I invite all of you, little children, before all else, to forgive in the family, and then you will be able to forgive others. Thank you for having responded to my call.
Patricia Keane is the author of the critically acclaimed book Journey Of Ten Thousand Smiles and is an inspirational speaker and witness to her inner healing in Medjugorje. She hosts a weekly programme, Health and Faith Matters on Radio Maria and blogs at www.journeyoftenthousandsmiles.org. She submits a monthly article for the Medjugorje Messenger and a bimonthly to Shalom Tidings.
She received two International Awards for her humanitarian work with the ethnically displaced families of Bosnia-Herzegovina through her tireless work the charity Rebuild for Bosnia.