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Dear Spirit Daily:

I would be happy for you to include my account of what happened in Medjugorje. I think the presence of demons there actually points out the importance of Medjugorje. Satan realizes that so many (30 million are the figures I hear about now) have gone there to spiritually touch the Blessed Mother and God. Everyone leaves with a sort of spiritual boost or renewal. It's everything Satan doesn't want to see. So much so, that he places demons in the holiest of places to distract or confuse us. Likewise, I think it's important to point out to pilgrims going to Medjugorje that their group should include a priest as a spiritual director. I would never have recognized the encounter I had as something demonic had the priest in our group not put everything in perspective. (He had seen this type of thing happen on previous trips there.) Moreover, I would have harbored more anger much longer because my time on Cross Mountain was ruined. Had the priest in our group not been there and pointed out to me what I had just experienced, I might not have fully understood what had happened for quite some time. 

Just as the angels in the fields are found in many disguises, Satan has done the same thing with his demons. A lady in our group had been away from the church for 17 years. While she attended Mass with us at St. James, she had not been to Confession in as many years and therefore could not receive Communion. She felt a calling to come back to the church while in Medjugorje. What ever differences or bitterness that took her away from the church had dissolved and she was eager to have her Confession heard. One evening, she was standing in line where the priests hear confessions on the plaza next to the church. A woman got in line behind her and they struck up a conversation. While the conversation was casual and nothing out of the ordinary, our friend explained that she was going to Confession for the first time in 17 years and was quite excited about being able to receive the Blessed Sacrament. The stranger she was talking to began to protest that she shouldn't go to Confession there in Medjugorje, but should wait and go to Confession at her own church in Houston when she returned home. She went on to say that it was just a terrible mistake to not wait and go to confession at her own church back home. 

Of course, when I was told this story, I questioned why anyone would approach someone preparing for Confession and even suggest to put off something that important. In a subtle way, this woman like the demon I encountered was merely attempting to throw someone else off track and confuse them, create a moment of doubt. The lady in our group did have her Confession heard and tearfully received the Eucharist at Mass the next day. She did relate this story to the priest traveling with us and he felt that it was a demon. He pointed out that Satan is very sly. He doesn't have to create some horribly ugly moment to interfere with what is happening in Medjugorje. He can use the disguise of a sweet looking woman who is standing in line for Confession right on the church property. 

While Father Miller, our spiritual director did warn us on the first day of our trip that Satan is just as active in Medjugorje, most of us didn't really pay much attention. We think of demons in terms of the devil in The Exorcist or some ugly snarling animal-like monster. Like the Blessed Mother and the angels she has scattered through the valley of Medjugorje, Satan has disguised his demons from the top of Cross Mountain down to the steps of St. James Church. 

Again, having a priest with a group who has never been there is vital. People going to Medjugorje don't realize that they are walking through a battle field. The average person, like me, will take things at face value. If something happens which causes confusion or doubt, a priest can help discern what is really going on. 

A side note... as more friends hear about my trip, they tell friends and ultimately they meet someone who has been to Medjugorje. A friend I work with called me this weekend to tell me a story about her aunt who had been to Mejugorge for the third time. The aunt is getting up in age now. On this past trip, she made her usual climb up Cross Mountain and found that her legs were bothering her. She was about two-thirds of the way up when she found that she couldn't go any further. She quietly prayed to God that she was disappointed that she couldn't make it up to the cross. All of a sudden, three teen age boys rounded a bend on the path coming down the mountain. They walked up to her and said '"we're here to carry you up!" She gratefully accepted their assistance and got up the mountain. Once she was at the cross, she bent over to kiss the monument and turned to thank the boys. They were gone. As you know, it's a fairly wide open area on top of the mountain and not too many places to hide. At that, just getting back to the path over the rocks isn't something that can be done quickly. 

I wish you success in putting this book together. It occurred to me when I got home that the messages of Medjugorje aren't something that are being covered by CNN or any of the news organizations. The Blessed Mother's messages have, for the most part been spread by word of mouth and through books such as yours. Moreover, your style of writing is such that you remain open minded to not try and make your word, the 'final word', but offer very convincing evidence that make even the most skeptical person stop and think.

A friend of mine just finished reading my copy of your book. She fell away from the church ten years ago and had the issue of abortion to contend with. She'd had two abortions when she was younger. I pointed out the depth of Christ's mercy and forgiveness and that while abortion is a horrible sin, I told her to think about Peter who denied Christ three times. Christ's forgiveness was so great that he made Peter the first Pope. With that, she has since called to tell me that she has made an appointment with a priest this Saturday to hear her confession and get back into the church. It's this kind of thing that Medjugorje is responsible for. Even if my account of the trip and your book brings one more person back to the fold, I think Christ would find great favor in your efforts. 

God Bless!

Rick Danna

[below is Rick's previous account]:

Mr. Brown,

I was in Medjugorje last month for the 20th Anniversary of the Apparitions. A friend in our group had forwarded an article you wrote about encounters with angels. I was almost grateful to see that this isn't unusual behavior as the same thing had happened to me. 

Likewise, I want to point out that I had an encounter with a demon on my first day in Medjugorje. I had climbed Cross Mountain. Behind the cross, I had found a clearing where I could be alone and say the Rosary. I should point out that being on the mountain, you feel the presence and closeness of God that doesn't happen in every day life. At that, people are typically seen with tears in their eyes on the mountain because of the heart felt emotion.

A man began walking towards me and based on his looks, I thought he probably was going to ask me for money. He was about my age (mid 40's) or younger, but looked haggard. As he got closer, I began to stand and reach in my pocket to see if I even had any money. He walked to me and began talking in a language I didn't understand, probably Croatian. I just keep saying “English...English”. He then smiled at the confusion. He had some teeth missing and what teeth were left was something for the dental clinics to study. He then pointed towards the valley. Then he pointed at me and then him and then down the mountain. I told him, “I'm not ready to go down yet” assuming he was asking me to go down the mountain with him. He then put his hands together and placed them next to his face. I thought it was something to
do with prayer. I kept telling him that I didn't understand. I wanted to walk away. Then, he pointed at me, himself, put his hands together and again put the hands next to his face as to indicate sleep. I said, “Sleep? You, me.... sleep?” And then, like a hammer, it hit me. This guy was asking me to go to bed with him. My blood began to boil. How could this be happening here in such a holy place? Who would even think of sex or a sexual encounter here? In an instant I felt the blood drain out of my head and I felt like I was being robbed. When it really hit me what was going on, I just shook my head, told him to go away, and walked back towards the cross. I kept looking back at him, shaking my head and thinking, how could someone come to such a place just to seek out people for sex. And then, I began to get mad. Why did he seek me out? What sort of idiot didn't realize what hallowed ground this was? Lastly, why would God let this happen to me? 

It was almost 3pm and I had determined earlier that I would say the Divine Mercy Chaplet on the mountain. I walked to the other side of the cross, the side facing Medjugorje. I sat on a railing and tried to focus on the Chaplet. I would occasionally turn around and that ugly man was still back there watching me. For a moment I thought about just walking over to him
and slugging him. However, I felt such a holiness about this place that for me to even strike him would be a violation of what this mountain was all about. I finished my Chaplet. I turned around and he'd moved within feet of me. I also noticed that there were horse flies around him which just seemed to complete the picture. As I walked down the ramp to the path, I turned around and saw that the little faggot had moved to where I had been praying. I just
wanted him to disappear. I had my camera and as if to get the last word in, I took a picture of the guy standing in front of the cross. It seemed to make him mad. 

I descended the mountain with a great sense of disappointment. While I was ready to kill the guy that was trying to hit on me, I was equally disappointed in God. This place was known for its miracles and the peace people find there. Why would God allow this to happen, my first full day to be ruined by that disgusting troll? I made the 1700 foot decent in less than thirty minutes. The place seemed spoiled to me now and I didn't want to be there.

When I returned to the house we were staying in, I talked to the priest who was with our group. He suggested that it was merely a demon set out to destroy a beautiful moment I was having with God. 

This week, I got a phone call from a friend who knew about my incident on the mountain. She called to relate a similar story that happened to another group of pilgrims who had climbed Cross Mountain to pray. On top of the mountain, the group came across a woman they didn't know who was already there. She asked if she could pray with their group. The woman began to criticize how some people were praying. Ultimately, everyone was arguing and turning against one another. The group went down the mountain practically fighting. It wasn't until that night when the priest in that group
decided that the group needed to talk about their bad day. He asked, “What happened up there? What did that woman in the yellow dress do to start all this?” Everyone responded, “She wasn’t wearing a yellow dress!” In fact, everyone's description of her was entirely different from her physical looks down to her clothes. Father John realized what had happened. It was a demon who set out to destroy their prayer group. 

While I was listening to my friend tell this story, I remembered the photo I took of the ugly man that approached me. I found the developed picture, and found that the man doesn't show up in the photograph. 

The night after I climbed Cross Mountain, I decided to walk up Apparition Hill and be there at sunset. I walked from St. James Church and found some paths through the vineyards that were more direct than the roads. I came to the end of one vineyard and found an open field. As I turned the corner, I found a woman sitting on the side of the path. As I got closer, I
found that she had a small basket in front of her and it had money in it. I also saw that she was an amputee with only one hand. She was wearing a white dress and it was quite clean for someone sitting in that red sand. Of course it seemed very strange that a person would be begging in a field which for that time of day was not heavily populated with people. 

I had some money and as I got to her, I put the money in the basket. I felt pity for someone in such an existence. She had been looking down until I got to her. She then looked up and I just froze for a second. This old haggard woman had the clearest blue eyes which didn't reflect her age as the rest of her body did. As I stood there looking down at her, tears came to my eyes at the thought of what her life must be like. But her eyes were piercing and I just felt that this was something extraordinary. Her being an angel had not crossed my mind. She smiled at me and said something that
I guess was in Croatian. As I walked off, I thought, “God, why do people have to live like this? What could she have done to end up begging in a field like this?” I glanced back to check on the old woman and she was gone. I must have been only thirty feet from where I’d met her. I looked through the field and didn't see anyone coming or going. I walked back to where she had been questioning what had happened. 

The next day, our group had an audience with the visionary Vicka. During her speech, she happened to mention that the Blessed Mother had scattered angels in all kinds of disguises in the fields around Medjugorje. Sometimes people find beggars and a person's sense of charity might be put to the test. I suppose that's what happened to me. 

Medjugorje is a very simple place and I learned to take things at face value. Just as the Blessed Mother is seeking to bring souls to her Son, the devil realizes the importance of Medjugorje and is trying to take that from her even if only in the form of creating confusion and distancing people from God. 

I look forward to reading more of your stories about Medjugorje! And, thank you for your dedication towards the study of the apparitions. 

I had written you on July 31 relating a story about demons in Medjugorje. I was at a party on Aug 5 celebrating the Blessed Mother's birthday. Lee Bowers who conducted our tour clarified the incident with the woman in our group who went to Confession. It was actually a priest that spoke to the lady in our group and suggested that she not go to Confession in Medjugorje. I was told by someone else that a woman had walked up and suggested that she not go to Confession. According to Lee, it was a priest that walked up and made those claims. He was wearing a Roman Collar and regular priest attire. What priest in their right mind would ever suggest putting off a Confession. As the priest was talking to a woman that had been away from the church for so many years, it really did throw a curve ball at her.

I'm attaching my original email just as a point of reference to this story.

God Bless!

Rick Danna


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