Discernment & Scientific Study of the Visionaries in Medjugorje

Discernment & Scientific Study of the Visionaries in Medjugorje


Michael W. Petrides wrote a commentary that appeared in The Catholic Transcript, September 10, 1993 issue. Dr. Petrides has done extensive study in brain laterality and visual perception research at the Institute of Living, and has doctoral training in clinical psychology at St. Louis University. At the time this article appeared he was the director for the Psychiatric Outpatient Clinic’s mental health services for Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Norwich, Connecticut.

It is extremely noteworthy that the reported apparitions in Medjugorje are the first apparitions in history to be thoroughly investigated by science. Professor Henri Joyeux headed a team from the University of Montpellier, France. Dr. Frigerio and colleagues from Italy did further investigation. The regularity of the apparitions has made for consistent and extremely reliable findings.

Five alleged visionaries tested were found to simultaneously look at precisely the same spot, even though no reference point was visible, within one-fifth of a second of each other when the Blessed Virgin Mary allegedly appears. Such synchronization can only be explained by some external “object” holding their gaze—but one which those around them could not see.

During the same one-fifth of a second, there are simultaneous kneeling and the cessation of eye movements. There is no eye movement during the entire apparition, from 3 to 45 minutes. There is also the simultaneous raising of their heads and gazing upwards while remaining fixated on a spot moving upwards when the apparitions is finishing.

Two of the alleged visionaries do not blink at all during the apparition. They eyeball normally dries when there is no regular blinking (15-20 times a minute) to moisten the cornea, but lacrimal secretion does not seem necessary during the apparition. The other alleged visionaries blink about half the normal rate. None of them blinks in response to touching the eye during the apparition (cornea sensitivity to varying pressures is completely absent), although they blink normally at other times.

There is no reaction to pain during the apparition. When touched with an algometer, which causes a cetaneous lesion or skin burn, there was complete absence of sensitivity. The alleged visionaries react normally to pain at other times.

The interesting results of a hearing test before and during an apparition showed normal hearing, but during the apparition, an input of ninety decibels (equivalent to a loud explosion) showed NO reaction. Auditory evoked potential measurement (electrical activity of the ear) indicated normal ear activity with no transmission to the inner ear during the apparition. It is a measurable inhibition of hearing that is involuntary and inexplicable physiologically.

Electroencephalographic (EEG) tests confirm that the alleged visionaries’ brain functioning is normal and healthy. EEG tests rule out the possibility of epilepsy or psychotic hallucinations. They alleged visionaries are not asleep or dreaming either. Hysterical neurotic reaction or pathological ecstasy is also ruled out by the EEG testing.

What EEG testing showed was that before the apparition, the brain waves are predominantly beta rhythm interspersed by alpha rhythm (normal conscious attentiveness). At the start of the apparition, the beta rhythm remains for a short time and then is replaced by an almost uninterrupted alpha rhythm. Alpha rhythm is most often observed during relaxation, in a state or expectation, or engaged in mediation. It also usually requires practice to achieve such a diffuse response. Because most of the brain is devoted to visual processing, it is noteworthy that the alpha rhythm over the entire cranium was exhibited while the alleged visionaries had their eyes wide open throughout the apparition. Closed eyes would be expected with alpha rhythm because visual stimulation usually produces interference with alpha rhythm.

To test visual stimulation further, a 1000 watt light bulb was placed in front of the eyes of the alleged visionaries during the apparition. Not only is a 1000 watt light bulb usually painful to the eye but also it would normally cause increased blinking and influence alpha rhythm. There was no blinking movement of the eyelids to the 1000 watt stimulus. There was an interesting papillary response. The pupil contracted as one would expect in bright light but there was no change in alpha rhythm to the 1000 watt light. This is scientifically inexplicable and never seen before. FOR THE PUPIL TO RESPOND, THE BRAIN MUST REGISTER THE LIGHT BUT NO BRAIN WAVE CHANGE TOOK PLACE. Additionally, such intense stimulation normally causes a significant cortical response, but none occurred during the apparition period.

During the apparition period, another scientifically inexplicable event takes place. The alleged visionaries voices stop during the time that they are having the vision. Even though all the muscles involved in speech continue (all mouth, jaw and throat muscles), the larynx (voice box) shuts off. This is physically impossible. The laryngeal function cannot be physically isolated from the rest of the muscles of speech. The larynx ceases to emit sound during the apparition—except for one exception. In unison, during the apparition the alleged visionaries will be heard simultaneously praying, “Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name…” When asked, they report Mary is leading them in the Lord’s Prayer.

In summary, the unique aspects of the results of the scientific investigations point to the conclusion that nothing in the physical realm is allowed to interfere with the apparition experience. Scientific experts have defined the phenomena “as a state of active, intense prayer, partially disconnected from the external world, a state of contemplation with a separate person whom they alone can see, hear, and touch.”

The current attitude of the church after fourteen years of scrutiny is a kind of provisional approval. Both the Pope and the former Bishops are treating and nurturing Medjugorje as a legitimate place of pilgrimage. Our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II strongly believes in the fruits of Medjugorje. In response to thanks for what he did to free Poland from communism he has said, “NO, NOT ME, BUT BY THE WORKS OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN ACCORDING TO HER AFFIRMATIONS AT FATIMA AND MEDJUGORJE.” He also said, “MEDJUGORJE IS THE FULFILLMENT AND CONTINUATION OF FATIMA.” American Church leaders would do well to offer the same kind of provisional approval and pastoral assistance to those experiencing conversion through Medjugorje.

Caritas of Birmingham
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10 thoughts on “Discernment & Scientific Study of the Visionaries in Medjugorje”

  1. Brother Raymond

    Dearest AFOM: Being Like The Hound Of Heaven;With More Pondering On Radio Broadcasts;I Brother Raymond Connected Two Programs;A Snake And Two Fish;And-Why?;Are You A Gambler?Misery Loves Company!;And Stressing The Worldwide Lottery Gambling Craze Unjust Governments Legalized;Another Form Of False Hope Has Arisen By Peoples Worldwide Craving For;And Seeking Wealth As A Means Of Happiness! FOM Please Speak Out About These Lottery Fantacies! Protestants;Unlike Catholics Tithe To Their Pastors;And I See Where Catholics Go To Mass;Put A Dollar Into The Collection Basket;And Feel That Is A Favor To God;And Then Think Little About Spending 50 or 60 Dollars A Week Trying To Win Megabucks Or Powerball Multimillion Dollar Prizes;When The TRUE;And MOST IMPORTANT Prize Of Paradise Awaits Them Through The TRUE Catholic Church!On My Journey Home I Won $100,000 In;Cash 5 Drawing;That Was A Curse;And Pondering Winnings;In My Situation; I Would Have Lost My Low Income Housing& Become Homeless& Donated!

  2. Dearest AFOM: After Several Comments Submitted About A Snake And Two Fish Radio Program Subject;Another Inspiration About That Is That;We In The U.S.A. Have Economic Indicators;And Now There [IS] The New MISERY Index! The Results Have Been Self Help Bookwriters;And T.V. Gurus Preaching On How To Be HAPPY.!!!(Supposedly.)?;After Many Years Of Searching Subconsciously To Answer God’s Plea To Return To The Truth;And To [The] TRUE Happiness Of [IN] Gods Kingdom;Beginning On Earth.! In My Life’s Journey;In My Life Of Searching;Before I Returned To God’s Calling Me Back Home To HIM.-At About 24 Years Old;Another Person Noticed My Distressful Nervous Condition;And Suggested Taking The Well Known Guru;And The Dale Carnegie Course;In The Course I Learned A Little About Carnegie’s Logic About Worrying.An Example In Books He Wrote Was To Think Of The Worst Thing That Can Happen;And NEVER Does!NOW Spiritually;I Think-I Could Die And Go To Hell;If Unprepared;And Is Entirely Possible;GOD SAVE Me!!!

  3. Dearest AFOM: Concerning The Mej Radio Program A Snake And Two Fish;The Worldly Sociaties Modern Quest For More;And More Wealth In Peoples Short Lives;There Also Can Come To Exist An Even Much Better Way;A Spiritual Credit Union;With Spiritual Banking Of Holy Virtues;With Spiritual Rewards Hereafter;By Spiritually Investing In God’s Greatest Glory.! Our Spiritual C.E.O.’s MUST Be 12 Star Spiritual Crown Executives Of Our Lady Of Medjugorje;Such As Saint Michael;And Saint Joan Of Arc On The Spiritual Battlefield;Of;And For Holiness;That Rewards Us With Eternal Joy;And Happiness In Paradise With Our Lord Jesus Christ;And The Beatific Vision Of THE Holy Trinity For ALL ETERNITY In HEAVEN.! LOVE WILL PRECEDE;And Also Follow Us There.! So Shout An ETERNAL;-Amen;And AMEN – WITH Faith;And Confidence…!!!-AMEN…!!!!!!! – Field Angel – A Friend Of – A Friend Of Medjugorje – Brother Raymond – P.S. – Don’t Hesitate; Open Up That Spiritual; Heavenly Account Immediately!With Spiritual Joy.!

  4. Dearest AFOM: It’s Field Angel Brother Raymond Again With Some More Thoughts About The -A Snake And Two Fish Radio Program. When Writing In The Previous Feedback Notes The Mention Of New Currencies To Replace The Dollar In The U.S. ;Please Note Louis Even A Christian Man Devised A New Monetary Systen He Based On Christian Principals Called A Social Monetary System That Can Be Examined By Googling Louis Even On The Internet.It Sounds Good And It’s Supposed To Be A Godsend To Society According To Louis Even.;Another New Monetary Innovation Which Is Not Godly The Bitcoin Based On A Virtual System Of Currency On The Internet That Has A Limited Number Of Bitcoins Available; While The Bitcoins Vary In Value; And The Goal Is Like The Stock Market; Buy Low;And The Value Of The Coins Increases AS More People Buy Into The Bitcoins Limited Supply;With The Goal Of The Highest Possible Coin Resale Possible In The Scheme Of Things. INTERESTING But Worldly Wealth Is The Ultimate Goal. F.A.Br. Raymond

  5. Dearest Friend Of Medjugorje: Your Radio Broadcat A Snake And Two Fish;Reminded Me Of The Different New Monetary System Ideas That Were Thought Of And Designed In This Modern Of Ours To Replace The Old System.;And What Came To Mind Was The System Of God’ Old Bartering System. 5 Chickens In Exchange For A Piglet As An Example. Instilled In My Heart Was A Bartering Type System Based On Assigned Duty Where ALL Of The Needed Goods Of Life Would Be Totally FREE To Anyone In Exchange For Assigned Duties According To Individual Talents.! The Farm Worker Grows Crops Without Charge For Free To The Blacksmith Whose Duties Include Making Eating Utensils For Home Family Dinners. This Could Be Widespread Worldwide;And All Adults Would Have A Duty To Perform According To Their God Given Talents And Lives. A Spiritual DUTIFUL Bartering System;For God’ 1,000 Year Kingdom And Rein;For Any Worldwide Produced Item;Food;Clothing.Housing;Etc.;Etc.!NO COINAGE!Friend Of-A Friend Of Medjugorje F.A.Br. Raymond

  6. What is the Dollar backed by? Not silver or gold, there is not enough to keep up with demand. What is the Church backed by? Not Bibles or Statues. Both are backed by your FAITH IN BELIEF. Rioting zombie’s void of faith are slaves of fear. 330 million Americans live in the modern world and do not have skills with out the system. Debt is the currency of fear void of faith. Silver or Gold will be traded for lead to catch a fish. When there is a system silver and gold will be exchanged for dollars to bury the dead. When there are no dollars, this era and it’s failed beliefs, will be dust in the winds of Caritas. Reflecting on 2000 years of Christ, the winds change.

  7. Chic and Marie Paolini

    As Canadian Field Angels, what information can you give to us on purchasing Medjugorje Silver rounds? Please inform us as soon as possible. We have been your friends for many years!God bless you.Chic and Marie

  8. Fish represent Christians, Snake, Serpent of satan, & Buckshot, the Future condition of the Economy. The only way through is Faith in God, along with Our Lady’s Wisdom, to Prepare Hearts, & Our Way of Living, Closer to Soil. Recently, China held Trials of new Cyber Yuan, which makes it the 1st Digital Currency Tied Directly to a Countries Central Bank. This provides direct exposure to movements in the Chinese yuan relative to the U.S. dollar.  This Currency is the 1st time, where the World will have money that can be programmed to do things automatically; giving it enhanced functionality. It uses Blockchain Ledger Technology & included 19 local businesses, including the U.S. chains Starbucks, Subway and McDonald’s. China’s experimental ETF (Electronic Transfer of Funds) YUAN efforts continue in the cities of Suzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu & Xiongan. China plans to use ETF YUAN at the 2022 Winter Olympics. This Creates a Huge Potential to Elevate the Renminbi To a World Reserve Currency.

  9. Thank you God for all the blessing that you have given us. I pray for peace in the entire world, for the bad people and all the people who are making God and the Blessed Virgin Mary very unhappy. I pray for the restoration of trust, unity and peace for all people and for our great country, the United States of America. Dear Blessed Virgin Mother help me to alwlays be a good person and help me to always do the right thing.

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