MYRNA'S TRIP IN GERMANY, BELGIUM, HOLLAND AND FRANCE
(SEPTEMBER 9th - OCTOBER 3rd 1991)
PURPOSES OF THE TRIP
The first goal was the holding of a three-day symposium on Soufanieh, in Münster in Germany. This idea was the one of a German priest, of Lebanese origin, after his first journey in Damascus, at the time of the seventh anniversary of Soufanieh, on the last week of November 1989. He is Father Professor Adel Théodore Khoury, dean of the faculty of theology of Münster. This symposium would be preceded and followed by a small prayer tour through Germany. Father Khoury took care of most of the journey's expenses. This date was set for between the 11th and the 14th September 1991.
A second goal emerged afterwards. Father Franz Van Der Voort, of Belgium, invited Myrna for a short stay at, exactly as had been done during August 1990. This visit was to follow the one to Germany's, between September 22nd and 27th.
A third goal was proposed, when Brothers (Priests) Pierre and Raymond Jaccard, invited Myrna to participate to the Festival of Hope, that they had the habit of organizing in Besançon in France for the past twenty years. This was setup for the two days of September 28th and September 29th.
Finally, the spontaneous idea of a prayer tour in France, centered on a visit to Lourdes emerged.
MYRNA'S TRAVELING COMPANIONS
She was accompanied by her husband Nicolas, their young son Jean-Emmanuel aged three as well as two priests: Father Boulos (Paul) Fadel and myself. Two Arab intellectuals from Damascus (Syria): Antoine Makdisi (accompanied by his daughter Lina) and Adib Mousleh were also part of the group. Mr. Mousleh had to leave us after the symposium. Father Boulos Fadel left us on September 22nd .
STAGES OF THE JOURNEY
(September 9th - 11th )
It is Father Joseph Moser (African Missionaries - White Fathers) who welcomed us at their Procure on Landstergerstrasse street.
On Tuesday 10th , oil appeared on Myrna's hands while she was praying at the hospital with a young Moslem boy suffering from cancer, and whose parents had solicited from Father Joseph Moser that Myrna comes to pray for their child. When Father Moser came the news to me, he cried. That same evening, the Holy Liturgy was celebrated by Father Moser and five other priests in one of the churches of Münich. Myrna was solicited at the end of the mass to recount her experience to an audience numbering several hundreds. Myrna gave a very brief and humble testimonial. Afterwards, oil-covered Myrna's hands. Everyone anointed themselves with the oil.
The following day, on Wednesday 11th , while leaving, the Fathers and Brothers of the Procure accompanied us outside and bid us farewell. Thereupon, oil covered Myrna's hands at the very moment when one of the White fathers was reminding Myrna that he had requested the day before, some oil for his mission in Africa.
( September 12th - 14th )
It had been decided that the participants would not exceed 25 in order to ensure a proper and discrete atmosphere of reflection and prayer.
In fact, we never exceeded twenty. In addition to the Syrian delegation, there was Professor Adel Khoury, Professor Vorgrimler, theologian, Rudolf Schmidt and his wife Véronique Perrin, Father Joseph Moser, Miss Maria Blume and her friend Rénata, Brothers Jaccard (priests): Pierre, Raymond-Marie, Xavier Jaccard, Mrs. Bibiane Bucaille de la Roque (French psychologist who arrived in the afternoon of the 12th ), doctor Riad Hanna and doctor Michel Obeid, both of them Syrians living in Germany. Other friends joined us later on and off.
We all stayed at the Collogium Borromäum, the seminary of the Diocese of Münster.
The program unfolded as follows: - in the morning, at 9:30, a lengthy conference, followed by a question and answer period. Another question and answer period was scheduled in the afternoon, followed with or preceded by a visit to churches or places of pilgrimage, in Münster or vicinities. In the evening, the priests celebrated the Eucharist with all the participants of the symposium. Sometimes friends joined us.
A question could be asked: Has anything special occurred during this symposium outside the usual program during the journey? YES, what happened was the oozing of oil: once from a picture of Our Lady of Soufanieh, and 26 times from Myrna's hands, in Germany as well as in Belgium, Holland, and France.
In this report, I will limit the documentation of these different effusions of oil, just mentioning the date, the place and the circumstances:
Thursday September 12th :
After the first words of welcome from Father Professor Adel Khoury, I presented the complete Phenomenon. I started with the exsudation of oil from the picture and the multiplication of this exudation on hundreds of reproductions of this picture during the month of November 1983, when suddenly oil exuded from the cover page of the Arabic booklet of the messages. Everyone witnessed it, and it was Father Khoury who noticed it first.
Thirteen minutes on the dot after the first exudation, while I was pursuing my exposé, and while documenting the exudation of oil from the body of Myrna, during prayer or ecstasies or simply during a conversation on the Virgin, Father Adel interrupted me to bring my attention to the oil-covered hands of Myrna seated to his left. General emotion. Everyone touched the oil and anointed his/her forehead. Some people present including Xavier Jaccard wept, while others prayed and sang for a moment. Then the meeting resumed.
Friday September 13th :
During the Holy Liturgy celebrated at the church of the Borromäum in the evening, oil covered Myrna's hands immediately after the Holy Communion. Father Khoury called Mother Superior to attend.
Saturday 14 September:
Father Adel Khoury celebrated Mass with Father Boulos Fadel and myself in the church of Altenberge, where he lives and where he has the habit to celebrate Mass with the vicar of the parish. It was a solemn liturgy, accompanied by a beautiful choir of men, in the Slavic musical style. The church was full of faithful, especially Germans. Immediately after the communion, Myrna's hands were covered with oil. Of course, everyone received the blessing.
Monday, September 16th :
Father Adel Khoury gave a conference on Soufanieh which was interrupted by the exudation of oil from Myrna's hands and when the attendance came up to take the blessing. Father Adel then carried on with his.
Tuesday, September 17th :
In the evening, we were invited in the house of Mr. Joseph Saadé, president of the A Christian Arab Association of Germany among many Arab and German friends. Afterwards, Mrs. Saadé invited us to pray. During the prayer, oil oozed from Myrna's hands. Mr. Saadé and his wife cried with joy, considering this event as a blessing for their home.
Wednesday, September 18th :
During the baptism of Christina, daughter of doctor Riad Hanna and Claudia, his wife, at the parochial church of Schlangen, oil oozed from Myrna's hands in such large quantity that it dripped on the floor in the presence of at least thirty people.
Thursday, September 19th :
During the liturgical celebration at the Salvatorian Sisters of Altenbeken, oil covered Myrna's hands in presence of a large crowd who filled their small chapel.
Friday, September 20th :
After the liturgical celebration in the house of the doctor Michel Sayegh, in Dissen, Myrna accepted to sing songs of Soufanieh so that they could be recorded. While singing the last song, oil flooded Myrna's hands.
Saturday, September 21st :
In the afternoon, Fathers Adel Khoury, Boulos Fadel and myself celebrated the Eucharist in the Church of Gelmer for the members of the association of the Christian Arabs who came numerous from different parts of the country. Oil covered Myrna's hands at the end of the Liturgy.
BELGIUM & HOLLAND
(September 22nd - 26th )
On Sunday 22nd, a car took us from Münster to Brasschaat in Belgium.
On Monday 23rd , Father Van Der Voort and myself celebrated Mass in a chapel in Banneux. After Holy Communion, oil covered Myrna's hands in presence of about sixty people.
On Tuesday 24th, Father Van Der Voort celebrated the liturgy with several priests and myself in a large church of Eindhoven, in presence of a large crowd. Oil covered Myrna's hands immediately after Holy Communion.
On Wednesday 25th, Father Van der Voort and myself celebrated Mass in his parochial church of Brasschaat. Oil covered Myrna's hands after the Holy Communion.
On Thursday 26th , Father Van der Voort celebrated the Liturgy with several Dutch priests and myself in a church of Maastricht at 14:00. Oil immediately covered Myrna's hands after the Holy Communion. That same evening, during a meeting with seventy young boys and girls from Father Van der Voort's parish, while I was recounting Soufanieh to these Blooming Flowers - as they are called by Father Van der Voort - and when I was about to pronounce Jesus' prayer to Myrna (Beloved Jesus, Grant that I rest in you...), oil covered Myrna's hands.
(September 27th - October 3rd )
Besançon, September 27th - 29th :
Festival of Hope
On Saturday 28th, the Jaccard Brothers celebrated the Holy Liturgy at the church of Our Lady of the Shelter. After Holy Communion, oil oozed from Myrna's hands and dripped on the marble floor in presence of a large crowd.
On the morning of Sunday 29th , during a lengthy liturgical celebration, and in presence of thousands of people, oil covered Myrna's hands while she was standing on the rostrum, near the altar - immediately after Holy Communion.
That same evening, during a prolonged visit at Madam Jacqueline Ellul's, oil covered Myrna's hands while I was narrating the oozing of oil from her hands on my first visit to Soufanieh in the evening of Saturday, November 28th , 1982. A minimum of 13 people were present, along with three nuns and the three Jaccard Brothers.
On the morning of Monday 30th , the Jacquard Brothers, several priests and myself celebrated Mass at the Chapel of Our Lady of the Shelter. The African theologian Jean Pliya gave the homily. Relating to the Pentecost and just as he was announcing the following words: O Virgin Mary filled with the Holy Spirit, send us the Oil of the Holy Ghost, oil covered Myrna's hands while I was sitting besides her translating the homily to her. I rose spontaneously and I interrupted the homily by saying: 'Jean, your prayer has been granted: oil has covered Myrna's hands.' General emotion and blessings...
Paris (September 30th - October 3rd)
In the evening of Tuesday, October 1st , Guy and Mylène Fourmann welcomed Myrna and Nicolas in their house near Compiègne along with some friends invited to dinner. During supper, we recalled Jean Pliya's homily and the instantaneous oozing of oil from Myrna's hands. Some people compared the event to a phone call, others to a telex. Myrna said: "it was a Telefax." And while saying that, she pronounced in English a small sentence: "Virgin Mary, give me oil" and instantly her hands were covered with oil... Later on Myrna confessed to me how surprised and touched she was; her request being granted so fast !
On Wednesday 2nd, at noon, in the house of two elderly sick ladies, Myrna was invited to pray with Miss Lucie Samsoen when oil oozed abundantly from her hands right on their beds in presence of about ten ladies who come to pray with us.
In the evening of this same day, we arrived at the Community of Beatitudes in Vaumoise, toward the end of the Mass. Mother Superior, Sister Marie-Marthe asked me to introduce Myrna to the Community in prayer, and then to pray with her. Against her will, Myrna stood in the middle of the chapel. Toward the end of the prayers, oil oozed from her hands and dripped on the floor.
This same evening also, around 22:30, after supper at the Fourmann's, we prayed the rosary and sang several songs. Oil covered Myrna's hands and dripped on the wooden floor of the lounge.
Myrna, Nicolas and their son Jean-Emmanuel left Paris for Damascus on the morning of October 3rd . The remainder of the journey in France has been canceled and deferred to another occasion.
WHAT CAN WE CONCLUDE ?
Let me simply recount some impressions:
As to Myrna; here is what a White Father of the Friant street in Paris told me about Myrna after a prayer told by Myrna, even though no oil had oozed from her hands at that time: What hits me with Myrna, is her discretion and abandonment.
Effectively, that is what has attracted the attention of all those who have approached Myrna during all her travels. Discretion, humility and peace. This did not prevent her spontaneousness and cheerfulness, in spite of all her fatigues.
As to Nicolas: he was patience and abnegation itself, with a good sense of humor at times.
As to the oil: In the course of nearly all liturgical celebrations, a short summary of the Phenomenon of Soufanieh was given, generally after the reading of the Gospel. It was given either directly or thru an interpreter.
The apparition of oil on Myrna's hands has provoked everywhere a movement of prayer in an atmosphere of full contemplation and silence at least as far as I and the ones who accompanied her could observe.
Many written testimonies have been mailed or given me personally, and we expect others to come soon.
Father Elias Zahlaoui
Damascus, October 25th , 1991.