Dominik and the Youth FestivalA surprising event took place in Medjugorje on August 3rd, 2010. Since the articles on the internet about the events spread many errors, I wanted to make a serious inquiry before writing about it. So, below I have written the facts as I received them from Dominik’s family.
Dominik Juros, a young Slovakian of 16, born in a Catholic family from the village of Hran, came to the Youth Festival this summer with other young people from his area. During the preceding months, Dominik went through a period of inner rebellion, mostly concerning faith. He no longer wanted to serve at Mass as altar boy; and he refused to pray with his parents.
Although this group had signed up for a pilgrimage, they were not really interested in the Youth Festival or in God in general. They behaved more like tourists on vacation.
On August 3rd, the heat was extreme in Medjugorje. The group decided to go swimming at the waterfalls of Kravica with Janko, their guide, rather than follow the program of the Festival. Dominik slipped into the icy water, and sank 9 or 10 feet deep. He managed to surface several times, but no one noticed that he was drowning. Instead, people around him thought he was playing a game. Ten minutes later, Janko began to worry because he could no longer see him! So he swam to the spot where he had last seen him.
With the help of a few people, Janko was able to pull Dominik out of the water. But his heart had stopped. It took 15 to 20 minutes of resuscitation to make it beat again, but on the way to Mostar’s hospital, his heart stopped beating again. His lungs no longer worked. At the hospital Dominik was put into an induced coma and his vital bodily functions were taken over by medical devices.
The next day, his parents rushed from Slovakia to Mostar. After hearing what had happened, all the young people at the Festival started praying fervently for him, and this beautiful chain of love continued day and night! Even Dominik’s bus companions, suddenly seized by the fear of God, started to pray. Each went to Confession and they attended Mass with great piety.
On August 5th, surrounded by his family and with a lot of prayers, Dominik showed unexpected signs of awareness. Although unconscious, he would press his mother’s hand or shed tears. He woke up on August 7th, and his organs revived. His first reaction was to cry, begging his parents to forgive him. He grabbed the hand of his mother and asked her to pray with him, and to pray a lot. He wanted to confess his sins, so they asked a priest to come. He was then transferred to a hospital in Slovakia, where he began walking and talking freely. Four weeks later, he was back in school. His Slovakian doctor reports that Dominik’s recovery is shocking, considering what he endured.
Dominik shared some interesting aspects of his experience. For instance, although unconscious at the time, when he was taken out of the water, he saw his parents in Slovakia sitting in front of television, and he knew what they were doing and where they were going. On August 8th, according to people present and his own words, he became hypersensitive, felt intense inner struggles, and had unusual perceptions.
According to Dominik, while he was between life and death, he felt threatened by “dark figures” present in the hospital, some standing at the door and others causing havoc in the room, accusing him. These figures were constantly trying to prevent his mother from praying at his bedside. Dominik’s face lit up when he felt the presence of a person full of light, peace and joy, who he thinks was the Blessed Mother. When someone entered his room carrying some water, he knew that it was Holy Water and thought “Oh, blessed water! That will help me now!” He said he could perceive the prayers of his family as peaceful, positive, very helpful and full of life.
Dominik was able to see Purgatory. There he saw two young people, from a neighboring town, suffering. He saw that they had burned a car and later were killed in an accident. He saw Angels, splendid beings dressed in white, with beautiful faces. He said he saw Jesus face to face and said that Jesus had the most beautiful eyes. When his family was praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy at his bedside, he asked them, “Can you smell that wonderful fragrance?” “What fragrance?” His mother asked. “The blood of Jesus! It has a wonderful fragrance!” He answered.
There are many details to the story that will not fit here, however it is important to note that Dominik’s mother consecrated him to Our Lady at his conception.
Dominick often repeated that we should love each other and forgive one another; that love is the most important thing in life. He insistently asked members of his family to treat each other with much more love, even in the smallest things, and to always forgive and to have no enemies. With his short, but sweet taste of Heaven, Dominik regretted that the medical team had saved his life!
We know that normally, after a few minutes under water, the brain is damaged for lack of oxygen. But in Dominik’s case, only God knows whether it is, medically, a miracle. This is of little importance! What is beautiful in this event, is that it happened when 40,000 youth of the Festival were praying in Medjugorje. The Lord used this teenager, going through a crisis, to put all his friends on their knees, (those present in Medjugorje and those in Slovakia), to inspire them to go to Confession and to turn their hearts to God. Moreover, to some of those kids who put earthly things in the first place of their life, and who thought they could make it without God, Dominik’s experience revealed another world, other values, and reminded them of the most vital commandment of Jesus: “Love one another as I have loved you!”
Dominik does not remember everything, but the effect of grace is very obvious in his life. He has turned into a young man who today prays profoundly, who lives his faith with fervor, and who happily joins his parents and family in prayer. He shows great reverence for the Cross of Jesus and for Our Lady. All his relatives are grateful for what the mercy of God did for him. Even his grandfather, a former obstinate opponent of Medjugorje, now wants to come. Magnificat!
From Sr. Emmanuel’s Medjugorje September, 2010 newsletter