June 1989, Paris.
Here is a broad outline of Myrna’s trip to the United States.
He came there with his wife Claire and his two daughters. He spent there three days, no more, out of which they were devoted to a very meticulous scientific inquiry. Also present was the French journalist Christians Ravaz, who arrived in Damascus the day before, for an investigation on Soufanieh. In the evening, after the baptism, the oil oozed from the Icon and filled the marble cupola – great emotion.
Next day, July 16th, departure for Lebanon, to spend there one week of relaxation, as guests of Tony Hanna, in his village of Maad, North of Beirut. Myrna, Nicolas and Myriam were accompanying them. There, once more, the same phenomenon occurs, triggering an intense movement of prayer in the entire neighbourhood.
Back in Damascus, on the evening of August 2nd, 1987, he confessed to me: " Father, I have become crazy: what you have seen, yourselves, in five years, I saw it myself in two weeks. " Next day, just before this departure for the U.S., he delivered to us a brief report on this experience.
On the fourth day, he prayed kneeling in front of the miraculous icon, wept at length and told his friend, the singer Tony Hanna: " From now on, in the U.S., it won’t be you anymore who will talk about Our Lady of Soufanieh, but I. " And yet during this first visit, he had not witnessed any extraordinary manifestation.
He came there with his family and Tony Hanna, for the baptism of Myriam, daughter of Nicolas and Myrna, and which took place on the evening of the 15th of July.
On august 15th, 1987, around 9: 30 in the morning: phone call from Los Angeles. Dr. Mansour and his wife informed us that oil had oozed from a reproduction of Our Lady of Soufanieh, after a prayer ceremony held with some friend on the eve of the feast of the Assumption.
A Belgian psychoanalyst named André Patsalides was visiting Soufanieh at that time, for the purpose of investigating the phenomenon.
On the 26th, in the evening, in the midst of prayers, Myrna fell into ecstasy. This was preceded and accompanied with an abundant oozing of oil from her face and hands, in the presence, among others, of father René Laurentin who had been especially invited for the occasion.
At the end of the exctasy, Myrna dictated the following message, which was immediately translated to father Laurentin :
I am pleased that you have chosen Me, not only in words.
I want you to join My Heart to your gentle heart so that our hearts will unite. By doing so, you will save suffering souls.
Do not hate anyone, so that your heart not be blinded by your love of Me. Love everyone as you have loved Me, especially those who have hated you and have spoken evil of you, because in so doing you will obtain glory.
Continue in your life as wife, mother and sister.
Do not worry about the difficulties and the pains that will afflict you. I want you to be stronger than them -- because I am with you -- otherwise you will lose My heart.
Go and preach to the whole world
and tell them without fear to work for unity.
Man is not condemned for the fruit of his hands,
but for the fruit of his heart.
My peace in your heart will be a blessing for you and for all those who have cooperated with you. "
That same evening, around 11 p.m., phone call from Los Angeles: doctor Mansour and his wife wanted to know whether any thing had happened: they asked for the message to be dictated to them. A few days later, doctor Mansour telephones to invite Myrna and Nicolas to Los Angeles.
They felt concerned by the announcing of Unity to the whole world…. They were assuming all expenses and costs. But they were submitting this invitation to the decision of Fathers Malouli and Zahlaoui.
However, Fathers Malouli and Zahlaoui, decided, in writing, to ware Myrna and Nicolas as well as Doctor Mansour and his wife, against all risk of financial, social exploitation or even from the media. They were outlining the paramount and unique importance of prayer.
This was done in writing, in the form of two letters: one was addressed to Myrna and Nicolas and was hand delivered to them on the day of their travel. The other one addressed to Doctor Mansour and his wife and was to be delivered to them personally by Myrna and Nicolas.
Oil oozed from several reproductions of Our Lady of Soufanieh, in numerous houses, starting with the one of Dr. Mansour, on March 23rd, during prayer. We hold several written testimonials on the subject, especially the ones of Mgr. Joseph Tawil, Greek-Catholic bishop for the United States, dated 5th, of June 1988, of Mgr. John Chedid, Maronite bishop for the United States, dated 10th of June 1989 and of Mgr. Peter Healy, pastor of the "Church of Good Shepherd" in Beverly Hills, California, dated 12th of June 1989.
The oil oozed abundantly from Myrna’s hands, and sometimes it covered both her hands, either in churches or in homes. This used to happen especially during prayer and provoked it as well. There again, we hold numerous written testimonials, especially from priests belonging to different churches / father Paul Ramley, Greek-Orthodox, father Joseph Tarzi, Syrian Orthodox and father Charles Aboody, Greek-Catholic, all of them serving in Los Angeles.
However, TWO POINTS, regarding the oil, deserve to be made:
On the Evening of August 14th, 1988, Myrna fell into ecstasy just after the Holy Communion which she received during the holy mass celebrated by two priests, one of whom was the Maronite priest Georges Khalli. The oil flooded her face and her hands throughout the ecstasy. When she came out of ecstasy, she dictated the following message:
My peace I gave you, but what have you given Me?
You are My Church and your heart belongs to Me, unless this heart has a god other than Me. I told you: The Church is the kingdom of Heaven on earth. He who has divided it has sinned. And he who has rejoiced from its division has also sinned.
It is easier for Me (to accept) that an infidel believe in My name than that those who pretend to have faith and love swear by My name.
It is in God alone that you must place your pride.
Pray for the sinners who forgive in My name,
and for those who deny My Mother.
My children, I have given you all of My time,
give Me a part of your time. "
More than several hundred persons attended the mass and the ecstasy, a number of whom were doctors who examined and observed Myrna, as is the custom in Damascus. This mass was celebrated on the terrace of Dr. Mansour’s home.
3) Documents related to Myrna’s trip to the U.S.A.
. The dynamics of prayer triggered by all these phenomenon’s in a great number of people, especially the direct witnesses.
. The impression of peace, innocence and humbleness left by Myrna to all present.
- From those various testimonials, which we all keep in Damascus, I shall only signal the last three ones that have been given to me lately in Los Angeles: the ones of Mgr. John Chedid, dated June 10, 1989, Mgr. Peter Healy, dated 12th of June 1989, and gynaecologist Doctor Georges Iskandar, dated the 13th of June 1989. One will find photocopies of the above testimonials appended to this little memo. These testimonials are, of course, written in English.
4) Personal letters from Myrna, addressed to the priests in Damascus.
There are not many letters but they form a very simple relation (link), written by Myrna herself, in Arabic, with many grammatical mistakes. Father Malouli has translated all of them into French and has classified them under code ‘CORMIN’, which means "Correspondence from Myrna": l, 2, 3, and 4…. Father Laurentin has a copy of same.
5) Return of Myrna to Damascus
" My daughter,
I told you to overcome all your difficulties and know that you have endured only a few. Tell My children that it is from them that I demand unity, and I do not want it from those who act as if they were working for unity.
Go and preach.
And wherever you go, I am with you. "
Paradoxically, I draw my conclusion of Myrna’s trip to Los Angeles, from the impressions of my recent travel to the United States, between 28 of May and 18th of June 1989.
l) Even where Myrna has not travelled, people are waiting for her: in New Jersey, New York, Detroit, Sacramento, Berkeley, San Francisco and especially Los Angeles and Glendora. People are waiting for her and are inviting her…Some laity have even taken it upon them to print the image of Our Lady of Soufanieh at their own expense and to distribute it freely. Others would like to make extra copies of the Soufanieh videocassettes that have reached them from Damascus and distribute them free of charge. One of those benefactors has begged me to send him a good copy of a videocassette, promising to make one hundred copies at his own expense and distribute them gratuitously.
Father Elias Zahlaoui,
Paris, 23 June 1989
P.S. I have left out an important item:
Upon my visit on June 7, 1989, to the Psycho-analyst Doctor André Patsalides, in Berkeley, near San Francisco, he told me having presented the case of Myrna, during an International Congress held in Santa Rosa, California, between 9 and 14 October 1988. His conference lasted 45 minutes basing him mostly on videocassettes. I include to this memo three photocopied pages on this conference.