Medjugorje miracle of colored lightning, changing sun, and conversions, seen by Fr. John Gibbons, OFM

The first evening I was in Medjugorje, my tour group walked into the town church, Saint James, which was packed with people praying the rosary. I remember walking forward a ways down what was left of the center isle, feeling so much serenity, in the midst of all the hubbub and confusion of thousands of people converging to celebrate the anniversary of the apparitions. There, in that church, I felt the power of the Holy Spirit, fully present. Amidst a crowded situation, which should have been terribly chaotic, in a hot place where strangers sat packed together in the pews, while others came and went, all were blanketed with an incredibly profound spirit of peace. I am not very charismatic, but when I walked into Saint James Church, I dropped to my knees and stayed on them, overwhelmed for a very long time.

Fr. John Gibbons, OFM

It became clear to me during my week in Medjugorje that Mary was appearing there. Twice, she appeared to a visionary in a public apparition, and when this happened, I was near the apparition site on Apparition Hill and again felt a divine peace mixed with a collective excitement. I also saw two miraculous phenomena on two other days of our stay. One afternoon, I could look right at the sun—without squinting, with my eyes fully open and my face completely relaxed. People who had described this Medjugorje occurrence to me generally talked about seeing the sun spinning, but to me it looked more like a vibrating, even bobbling, illuminated, glowing host. When this happened, my friend Caren and I were walking along a road with several other groups of people, and I found it interesting that some of us could see it, and some of us could not. Caren could not even look up at the sun because it was so bright, and I consider her a more fervent Christian than myself. This did not ruin her day, though, because she could sense the excitement in the group; people were pointing to the sky and excitedly commenting to one another about the miracle. I looked at the sun for several seconds and looked away a couple of times, but every time I looked back, it was still bobbling. I stared comfortably into that host-like sun for a long time and didn’t go blind. I still have 20/20 vision.

On our last night there, Mary again appeared on Apparition Hill. I did not go up the hill with many of the other pilgrims to be near the apparition site. Instead, I stayed inside. At the time of the apparition, a lightning storm struck which I could view from the balcony where I was staying. I decided to run outside to better see the storm, and when I looked up, I witnessed lightning coming down in many different colors, blue, green, purple, yellow, red, all over the sky—an amazing and incredibly beautiful sight. Something miraculous was obviously happening, although it looked natural, i.e. it was supernatural but not bizarre. But of course the real miracle was Mary’s appearance and God’s abiding presence. The lightning, I felt, was merely God’s afterthought. With both the miracle of the sun and the lighting, I didn’t feel surprised. I remember thinking, “If Mary is really appearing here, then of course the universe is going to acknowledge that.”

For me, the most powerful sign of the authenticity of Mary’s presence and the Spirit at work in Medjugorje was the conversions that were happening. The conversion that most impressed me happened to a man I had met on the bus ride in. He was the successful businessman type, and he was only there because his wife had been keen on visiting Medjugorje and had connived him and their daughter into accompanying her. During the bus trip he had spent his time rolling his eyes, pooh-poohing the whole thing, throwing doubtful glances at his wife, and questioning her sanity. Well, I ran into them some days later, and now the picture was reversed. His wife and daughter were looking at him with bemused wonder as he preached to anyone who would listen about how Mary had turned his life around and about the importance of prayer and repentance. He was on fire. He had experienced his personal Pentecost and could not stop sharing the Good News with everybody.

Read more stories, such as this, in Watkins’ book, Full of Grace: Miraculous Stories of Healing and Conversion through Mary’s Intercession.

Click here to read more about Fr. Gibbons and click here to support his Franciscan Mission in Russia.

13 Responses

  1. shirani Jayatilaka says:

    I would love to visit Medjugorje.I pray to Jesus Christ and to Blessed virgin Mary that God will give me an opportunity to visit and pray at Medjugorje.

  2. Amy McCarthy says:

    Praise Jesus,
    I was blessed to go to Medjugorje in May of last year, and the graces just keep on flowing ever since I have come home. Thank you Sweet Mother for loving us so much! I pray My Mother for the conversion of the world if they only new the peace and joy that comes with the love of Jesus they would all convert today, I am blessed and grateful for your Love Thank you Sweet Mother! PEOPLE GO To Medjugorje and your life will change mine did!!!!! Amy McCarthy Wisconsin USA

  3. Ingrid says:

    I am going in a few weeks back home to Medjugorje. I can’t wait. Blessed be God and Holy is His Name! Thank you my Mother for letting me come home to visit again.

  4. Domingo says:

    God be praised forever!

  5. Anita says:

    I can verify Father Gibbon’s experience, as far as the holy phenomena that take place in Medjugorje. I was there in 1987 and was very much in awe of the presence of Our Lady, which is felt everywhere in that area. It was so strong during the apparition times that it caused me to be overwhelmed, and many times I sobbed and cried with joy, feeling she was so near. In fact, on her birthday, which as she states, is August 5th, I was at the Croatian evening Mass, and even though it is all in the Croatian language, I was given the gift of understanding everything that was said, not verbally, but rather interiorly.

  6. Joel Fago says:

    Fr. John Gibbons said, “If Mary is really appearing here, then of course the universe is going to acknowledge that.”

    Last year several apparitions of Mary were video-streamed live to the whole world through
    Ivan, one of the visionaries, said afterwards that he had never seen Mary look so happy!

    A “Medjugorje” rosary is video-streamed live daily at

  7. Marianne Johnpillai says:

    Dear Shirani,
    From personal experience, once a desire is in your heart to go to Medjugorje, that is a sign that our Blessed Mother is calling you to and She will make it possible. Don’t lose heart for, before you know it, the way will be open for you to visit. I have been there three times, and each time I know it was a meeting arranged by our Blessed Mother. In 2000, our Lady placed on my heart to pray for priests, and with God’s grace I have been faithful. Now I know why she told me to. Please join me in praying for them. God bless. Your sister in Christ, Marianne

  8. Elaine says:

    I was called to Medjugorje three consecutive years and it was life changing. It’s not about all the miracles you will witness but it is what happens to your heart. This is one of the most sacred places on earth and when I return it is like visiting your beloved Mother…it is home. I hope to return someday soon.

  9. Helena, sfo says:

    I pray that someday I will be able to go to Medjugorje. And I wish that I’d been there for these miracles!

  10. Christine says:

    I have been twice to Medjugorje. It is wonderful. Adoration is beautiful there. I saw the Host in the sun and could look into it. The statue of the risen Christ,was slightly weeping one day when I went,and I put my brown scapular on the knee part were it was weeping, and water started to pour out, which rather surprised me. I was the only person there at the time. I have heard that the water that comes out of the knee has been tested and found to be human tears!!! Jesus’ tears!!! I, too, was healed while there, and my life has changed so very much, thanks to Our Blessed Mother!!

  11. Kathy (Kata) says:

    I have a deep spiritual, heart-felt desire to visit Medjugorje and to personally experience the spiritual fulfillment of just being able to walk on, touch, and to kiss the sacred ground where the Blessed Virgin Mary has been enlightening the world and appearing to the six Croatian visionaries for nearly thirty (30) years. It is an incredibly moving story, and my eyes are always full of tears when I read or see anything about it. I sincerely hope that my heartfelt prayers will be acknowledged and answered by Almighty God and holy Mother.

  12. amanda says:

    I also felt the power of prayer in Medjugorje, and after visiting, I felt a big change within my heart and soul. God bless my aunty for thinking of me and taking me there. After almost ten years, I truly took the opportunity to open my heart and soul to God through the Sacrament of Confession. By being there, I understood the importance of Confession, the Holy Rosary, Mass, and the Eucharist.

  13. KIRSTEN says:

    I am so grateful to the Blessed Mother for the opportunity I had to go to Medjugorje last Sept 26-Oct 3. After that pilgrimage, my views in life changed–my thoughts, my prayer life. I received a total conversion, thanks to Mary’s Motherly love. Medjugorje is a place close to heaven on earth. I’m praying each day to be able to visit Medjugorje every year and that my family might see the place, too, especially my mother and father. I also witnessed the sun dancing, which then turned into the Holy Eucharist. My heart is filled with so much happiness after my trip to Medjugorje….

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