I couldn't kneel

On Wednesday, May 20, 1987, I made my first trip to Medjugorje. I was there for three days. I knew almost nothing of the apparitions there. A bit apprehensive, I decided to carry the Blessed Sacrament with me, as a priest would on a sick call. I felt that if these apparitions were from the devil, the presence of Our Lord would raise a veritable hell with him.


At that time, the apparitions took place in the rectory across from St. James Church, The apparition room was a cleric's study. There was one door. To the left of it and half way up the wall, there was a bookcase. Above the centre of the bookcase was a crucifix, to its right a sculpture of "Praying Hands." then a blank wall. I arrived outside the rectory at about 5.30 pm. There was a large crowd there. I was on the fringe. I felt I would never be able to get into the apparition room. Yet the Franciscan who guarded the stairway to the room spotted me. He beckoned me, parted the crowd and told me to go in. I attributed this to the Blessed Sacrament I was carrying.


 The apparition room was small but crowded. I was pushed against the wall; but I was content just to be there. At about 6.00 pm, young Jakov and Marija came with Fr Slavko and knelt in the doorway and began to pray the Rosary. They stopped at the third Sorrowful Mystery. Fr Slavko came into the room to clear a spot for the seers. That was just fine for
me because everyone in front of me was removed and I found myself right next to Marija.

The three of us were facing the wall, just to the right of the bookcase. The seers were praying the 'Our Father' in Croatian. Halfway through it their gaze became riveted on the bare wall. They fell to their knees as one, their faces transfixed on the wall; they continued speaking animatedly, but inaudibly. Fr Slavko snapped on the light so that those outside would know that Our Lady was present. It was a signal for all to kneel. All did - except me! I tried to kneel, but my knees locked. I couldn't. So I bowed low in order not to attract attentions. After the apparition I left the room to concelebrate Mass, and my knees were all right.

The second night I returned to the rectory. Again the custodian hailed me and told me to go into the apparition room. This was odd, for generally one could go in only once to give others a chance. I attributed this privilege to the Blessed Sacrament I was carrying. I went in, and once again when Our Lady appeared, I could not kneel. In fact, a priest tugged at my coat and told me to kneel. I told him I couldn't. I tried, but could not. So I bowed low. I returned a third night. I was invited in. When Our Lady appeared, I could not kneel. I asked Our Lady why. She seemed to say, "I do not want my Son kneeling to me."

I left Medjugorje convinced of the authenticity of what was happening there.


Adapted from the book: In Testimony, Priestly Reflections on Medjugorje. Published by the Reihle Foundation, Ohio.