Moira Lister, stage, film and TV actress (born in 1923) who made her brilliant career in London (see: http://www.tonyhancock.org.uk/moira.html), came on her second pilgrimage to Medjugorje in June 2005. With tears of joy, she gave her testimony.
“I came of a very catholic family. My mother’s brother was a priest; two of the family were nuns. I always had a devotion to Our Lady of Lourdes. I was born in South Africa. I left it in the middle of the war, with armed forces, and I prayed to Our Lady all the time across to England, and I got there safely. She always looked after me very well. When I came to get married, I think she must have got a big book of all the local boys around Lourdes, and she must have turned pages to see who she could find to be very good for me. And she found for me a wonderful Frenchman called Vicomte d’Orthez, from the city of Orthez, which is just right next to Lourdes! So, I married one of the local boys, and we had a wonderful marriage for 40 years. I have two lovely daughters – Chantal and Christobel, and I continued with my career in London all through my married life. I had enormous success; I worked with all the big stars of theatre and film. Now, I am coming to the end of my life and I am asking myself how it is going to end and what is going to happen…
About nine years ago, a girlfriend of mine told me: “My husband and I are going to Medjugorje, would you like to come with us?” I had no idea where Medjugorje was or anything about it, but I said: “Fine, let’s go!” So, we came and it was not as it is now. What a difference! Such a blossom and glow! I was very, very impressed with the faith that one felt here, it was almost palpable. People seemed to be imbued with an amazing faith. That time, I had an extraordinary experience. In the little adoration chapel, I was sitting and praying, and I suddenly felt as every cell in my body had an electric choc. It lasted for probably a minute, and then it went. It was extraordinary, I felt some sort of presence coming into me, it was a very strange feeling. However, I did not pay too much attention. But people were saying: when you go to Medjugorje, your life will change. I can only say that from that time everything I asked for or needed or wanted has fallen into place. It has been most extraordinary. Whatever I have prayed for. My life, my career, my children. I had cancer three times; I got over it each time, and I had bad ones, you don’t usually get over.
Now, I am thinking what is going to happen now? Yesterday, I went back to the little chapel, hoping I would have another experience, but I didn’t. Last night, I decided that I would walk up the Apparition Hill. I had a hip operation and I have a bad back, and after the first five steps I understood how difficult the climb is for somebody of my age, but I wanted to try, to see how far I can get. I started off and I realized that I am not going to make it. Suddenly, an arm came out. “Can I help you to get up that hill?”, he said. I didn’t know who it was. Suddenly, all my pain went, pain in my leg, pain in my back, and I went up without any pain at all. Like a goat on the stones. I couldn’t believe it, because I have a bit of a problem walking up stairs! We got to the top and he disappeared. I sat on the top there, and it was such a beautiful sight. Our Lady’s statue in the dark, like a shimmering, the moon was shining, and the star of Bethlehem was there... I looked around and I listened to the prayer, and I listened to the silence while Ivan was having the apparition. It was so impressive. Not a sound, not a cough, not a breath of air during those few minutes. And lights of the city below, the nearness of Heaven. When I was ready to go down, suddenly the arm was there again and said: “I will help you to go down”. And then again he disappeared. I couldn’t make it all out yesterday, but today, I went back to the little chapel, and suddenly it all fell into place what it meant: I still have a struggle ahead of me, that was me going up the stones. But God was there to hold me. When I got to the top, this was Him saying: This is what it is going to be like, in Heaven, but you’ve got a tuff time ahead of you. You are not ready to go there yet. Go down, it will be all right. I am there to hold you.
It is helping me to get through my last days. I know that I am not alone. I have to trot with Him. It has put everything in perspective for me. I can cope with the end of my life. When you come to my age, you don’t know what is going to happen. My beloved husband had a terrible stroke, for four years he could not speak and was paralysed. If I had a stroke, I don’t think I would make to cope. And others things, like Alzheimer… I see friends of mine who are going through terrible time... At the end of life, terrible things can happen to you. It has given me such courage to know that I am not alone. Always before, I was floundering a bit, was frightened. I just needed that strength. I feel now that I don’t need to be afraid any more.
This morning, the priest said: “Put yourselves in God’s hands, they are there for you”. And he also said: “If God takes so much trouble with the flowers of the field, why wouldn’t he take trouble with you?” That is true.”