Testimony of Pauline, France
Date: May 13, 2010 , Originally published August 15, 1999
"Before coming to Medjugorje, I had sunk very low. My parents are atheists. When I was 9, they divorced on grounds of adultery. From that day, I let myself be carried away by all the evils of society. At 13, I started on drugs. My broken family had gradually reduced me to a state of fear and being turned in on myself, I moved forward without seeing, without living, like a ghost. 'Emptiness', that is the word which best described my inner state. I threw myself into the 'pleasures of the flesh' and went completely adrift. Last summer, I attempted suicide, and when I woke up at the hospital, I felt that life was horrible, with no way out, no future.
"I had a Christian friend, Alice. She had changed her life in Medjugorje, and each time she mentionned Mary to me, I felt a kind of light entering me. One day, she called me: "Pauline, I'm leaving for Medjugorje, I've booked 3 seats and there is one for you, come with us!" I had a shock since Alice's words resounded as a call to me, it was really a call, and I immediately said "yes". At that moment, however, I was appearing in a film for television and I couldn't leave my job. Furthermore, I didn't have the money to go. I therefore called my father, reluctantly, since he had told me that he would no longer help me. A miracle happened, he immediately said yes, he would give me half the amount! Mum gave me the other half (I convinced her not to worry). Another sign was that the TV Studio called to say that we had a ten day break (in which the Medjugorje dates were included)!
"I arrived for the last day of the Festival. I went to adoration that night and then we climbed Mt. Krizevac for the Mass of Transfiguration at dawn. On the way up, I wished so much to live this moment with God but I just could not. I couldn't concentrate on prayer. I only felt emptiness. As I arrived at the top, I felt restless and I couldn't stay still, I felt terrible. I didn't even stay until the Mass was over. I went down the hill on my own. I had, so to say, a cement wall around my heart which suffocated me and blocked out God. I just couldn't make it with God, though I wanted to so badly. I realised maybe it was because I was not baptised, and I understood then the importance of Baptism.
"Later that morning, I met Pierrick who told me: 'Pauline, you should go to confession!' He was right. But I got into a panic at the idea of recounting all my foolish mistakes. I had never been to confession in my life, and I did not know how to handle the whole thing. (I didn't realize I needed to be baptized to receive this sacrament). Besides, my sins came back to my mind one by one, and I thought: 'How shall I say that and that? It is too horrible, I could never dare mention that!' But I had hardly started speaking with the priest, when he clearly saw the deep wound that was in me, and told me about the remedy: To take Mary as my mother, and be like a little baby carried in her womb. For that priest, what was most important was not so much the sins I had committed but rather the heart of God which was searching for me and was suffering with me. He gave me answers to questions I had always had and for which I thought nobody would ever help me. During this 'confession' and the prayer of blessing I received (the priest couldn't give me absolutioon, since I wasn't a baptized Catholic), the emptiness within me disappeared and I wept with joy. I even laughed! It was as if all the evil was leaving me. I felt my dirtiness emptying out of me. Afterwards, joy entered my heart more and more each day: at last, I could pray with the heart!
"Now, I get up early each morning and say my prayers, thanks to Fr Slavko's little book, the prayers of healing, the rosary, the consecration to Mary, etc. It is the first time that I feel my heart fulfilled. It's God's healing! In Medjugorje, God filled the empty spaces of my wounds with the love of Mary. I'm aware that I have to keep on the right track. 'Be strong and persevere': these are the words that come constantly to my mind. Now, I know I won't make it in life without the Blessed Trinity. The truth is there! It's so good to be happy!"