A different kind of Summit and Korean miracle
Following the Angelus prayer last Saturday, Pope Francis made a special appeal to the people in St Peter’s Square and around the world:
“Dear brothers and sisters, I would like once again to bring to the beloved Korean people a particular thought in friendship and prayer. The talks that will take place in the coming days in Singapore can contribute to the development of a positive path, which will ensure a peaceful future for the Korean Peninsula and for the whole world. This is why we pray to the Lord. Together, let us pray to Our Lady, Queen of Korea, to accompany these talks.”
South Koreans are among the many groups of pilgrims from around the world that visit Medjugorje in numbers each year. In fact there is a very visual feature of Medjugorje that connects to Korea – the statue of Our Lady Queen of Peace, located and blessed at the top of Apparition Hill in 2001, where it is said Our Lady’s first apparition took place in 1981. Millions of pilgrims have since climbed the hill of apparitions specifically to pray at the statue and petition Our Lady.
The beautiful sculpture was commissioned and presented to the Medjugorje parish as a gift from a Korean couple in thanksgiving for a wonderful miracle they and their son received through Our Lady’s intercession. The young boy was both deaf and dumb and his parents brought him to Medjugorje in the hope of healing.
When the pilgrimage had ended there was no change in the boy’s condition. While his father returned home his mother decided to remain with her son in Medjugorje until Our Lady granted them a grace. She rented a small appartment and daily climbed Apparition Hill and sometimes Mt Krizevac, carrying the child in her arms.
After three months, when climbing Mt Krizevac and at the fourth Station of the Cross (Jesus meets his Mother), she was overcome with an immense sense of love and unity with the Mother of Jesus, sharing the cross carried by Jesus and her own son, and was able to surrender and proclaim her ‘Fiat’.
After returning to her appartment the boy’s mother began to prepare something to eat while the child was in the other room. As she was doing this she looked out of the window and saw pilgrims making their way to Apparition Hill and seemingly singing “Ave Maria”. But then she realised that the sound was coming from the child’s room and it was her son who was singing! She called out to him and he responded: “When I sing ‘Ave Maria’ my heart leaps with joy!” The boy had received a miracle. He was no longer deaf and dumb.
The euphoric mother immediately telephoned her husband to share the good news. Because of this miracle the woman’s husband experienced his own conversion and later became a Catholic.
Filled with gratitude the Korean family commissioned a statue dedicated to the Queen of Peace and was given permission to erect it on Apparition Hill as a sign of Our Lady’s intercession and her Son’s miracle blessing.
They say Our Lady is never outdone in generosity. Since the placing of the Korean family’s gift to the parish and their acknowledgement of the miracle, millions of pilgrims have climbed the hill of apparitions to pray at the statue and petition Our Lady. Little wonder that Korea is favoured by Our Lady Queen of Peace.
Could it be that the countless prayers offered at the site of this beautiful gift brought from the Korean Peninsula may even have generated the grace to pave the way for the upcoming peace and unification talks due to take place in Singapore on Tuesday between the President of the United States and the Supreme Leader of North Korea?
• Another Korean connection to the statue: In 2015 the statue was vandalised. The nose and a finger were cut off. Sculptors came from Italy to repair the damage, completed on May 6, the same day in 1984 when Pope John Paul II canonised the Korean Martyrs en masse!