The Catholic Defender: Picture in the Sky
March 26 1989 was a great day of fable. The following night after dark I was among a number of people joining me who climbed up Cross Mountain. I was speaking with a woman from England who shared her experience growing in the Catholic Faith as a result of the Blessed Virgin Mary's appearances in our day and times.
I was sharing my experiences as well. At night time we are sitting beneath the giant cross looking out over the landscape noticing the lights of Medjugorje. Just looking at this scene it looked like the word "love" was shining out through the lights. Very appropriate!
The following morning I awoke with the same kind of spiritual high that I came down the mountain with. My group mobilized preparing to go to the English speaking Mass and unlike the first three days, we were not there in time to get inside the church. This morning I ended up outside with the massive crowd surrounding the front of the church. I was over on the right side not to far from some trees over on the side.
At one point a bearded man taps me on my right shoulder speaking in broken English that he saw the face of Jesus in the sky as he pointed in the direction of the sun. I did not see anything myself, but one of the pilgrims that I had met was right next to me. I told her to take a picture and she did. At the time I had not seen the picture until she mailed me a number of pictures taken.
In October 1989 I transferred from Germany back to the United States and was assigned at Fort Campbell KY and was already there when I received the pictures in the mail. So impressed was I that when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, I ran a copy of the picture taken at Medjugorje off of a copying machine and it looked simply like a black and white photo..
My Command had a layout inspection of all our TA-50 and as a Squad Leader, I had my Leaders Book that had all the information of my Troops that I had to maintain. As I was preparing for my inspection, I took the picture and placed it on the back cover so I would have that with me. About that time the Company Commander comes walking by and he noticed my picture and warned me that in Saudi Arabia we are not allowed to take religious pictures with us.
I looked at my Commander and told him that this picture was one taken of the sky. He looked at me and then again at the picture. He looked at me once more and did not say another word. He just walked on shaking his head. I just smiled as I didn't tell him about the picture and where it came from. He just saw the picture of Jesus and that's all he knew.
I would share this story with many people right from my foxhole. Unfortunately, there were some agnostics in the Battalion Aid Station who resented my religious fervor so I did not want to cast pearls before swine. I certainly did not hide anything, but there were leaders who had no desire to check any of this out.
With all the stress surrounding the Gulf War, my faith was such an important asset to me. And many were interested in the Catholic faith as a result of our testimony.
In January 1998 I received orders to go to Korea, that was a year long obligation and I took all my trusty Catholic Bible and Catechism and also the picture. Korea was different from Germany and the Middle East, when we went to the field we had Koreans going out there with us. They had food, photographers, a number of things supporting troops but also to make money. I had the picture taken at Medjugorje and I wanted to have it placed on a wooden board that really made it larger and more stable.
Placing the original image on line I have found what looks like the very same image with the same markings as the one that I have. In the image to the right in our picture, I have more of a complete picture which shows the fullness of the forehead and hair.
I've asked people if they can make out the picture and some see it right off as did my Company Commander, others it is like a light bulb that hits them like a lightening bold. Others I have had to point it out. With the complete picture, you can see where the forehead over the right eye was where the sun was that I looked at and did not see this image that the man who tapped me on the shoulder pointing towards the sun saw.
I have seen a lot of images claimed to be a picture of Christ in the sky. I also had one similar to the above I did catch on Video at Medjugorje. But none seem as real and complete as that of above, especially my original. My copy placed on the board is black and white from the run off copy I took to the Gulf War.
When I was at the MEPS in New Orleans (Oct 2002 - October 2005), I had this picture placed in my office where many people, applicants and officers were able to see it. I certainly showcased it where ever I had served.
The Five Stones of Medjugorje:
praying the Rosary with our heart every day.
fasting twice every week.
visiting the Holy Confession every month.
receiving the Eucharist every Sunday.
reading the Bible every day.
"A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman* clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars." An image of Jesus would be the Son that Mary brought to the World.
The following is the movie "Gospa" which is about the Medjugorje story: