Leo – Superman

Everyone calls me Superman because every day I wear a Superman t-shirt. I have 46 of them.

I was born in El Salvador. I live in Sweden right now, but I’m still Salvadorian. 

Before I came here, I didn’t believe in God. Not at all.

I grew up in a Catholic family, but when I was six years old, I was sexually abused. When you are so little, you think it’s your fault. I always heard people say, “God is like a father. God always protects you.” 

When I was six, I said, “Okay, if God does exist, where was He when this happened to me?”

At the age of eight, I said, “No. God doesn’t exist because He wasn’t there when I needed Him.”

I never expected to go on a pilgrimage. I hated when people said, “Oh I went on pilgrimage.” I said, “No way. Poor people. You are so naive. You paid a lot for a trip and then you are inside a bus. Never in my life will I go on a pilgrimage.”

There was a chance to go to this football match at the same time for Barcelona Football Club. I said, “Okay, I will go, but I will go to the football match.” 

But we came here, and something changed our lives.

I finished here after a day and a half. In a day and a half, my life changed completely. Not only mine, my wife’s too.

Everything started with Confession. I had not been to Confession for almost 40 years. When I was in Confession, it changed our lives. 

After Confession, we came here to the Mass. I was sitting in the Mass around 6:30, and I saw the sun spinning. I said, “What? This is impossible.” I saw all the people, and I said, “Come on. The sun is moving,” but no one in the Mass is watching. 

Suddenly, it was like all the people disappeared, and I was standing in a place where everything was white. It was huge. I know I didn’t black out because I was with the pilgrimage group, but I didn’t hear the Mass. I didn’t see the priests. I didn’t see anyone.

Then I heard a voice, not in my heart, a loud voice, a woman’s voice. I cannot say it was the Virgin Mary, but it was a woman’s voice. It said, “My son, my dear son, I was waiting for you. I love you.”

I felt happiness like I had never felt before in my life. I felt my heart was about to explode. I don’t know if it was ten seconds or one minute. The voice ended with, “Welcome back home, my son.”

Once again, I saw the priest, I saw the people, and I said, “What happened here?” 

I said nothing because I thought if I told my wife that I was five seconds ago standing in a place where everything is white and I heard a voice, she would think I was crazy. So I said nothing.

But I didn’t know that my wife, on Podbrdo [Apparition Hill], one day before, had the same experience, and she said, “I cannot tell my husband because he will think I’m crazy.” 

By the grace of God, we came on a pilgrimage with 50 people, but just my wife and I experienced this kind of thing. She said nothing and I said nothing until we went on the plane to El Salvador. I told her, “I need to tell you something.” 

She said, “I need to tell you something too.” She told me her whole story, and I told her my whole story.

Because we didn’t pray at home, we didn’t know how to pray the Rosary, we didn’t go to Mass, we fell on our knees for the first time, as husband and wife. Our prayer was very simple. We just said, “We want to go to Heaven.” We just said that, but we said it with all our heart. 

That was the beginning for everything. Now we’re organizing pilgrimages. Everything has changed. I’ve come here to Medjugorje 36 times.

I was sexually abused by a woman when I was six years old. A woman cut my relationship with God. Then later, a woman, Our Lady, She gave me back to God.

I didn’t know that a supernatural world existed, and in one day and a half, something supernatural happened to us and changed my brain.

Now, we are living in Sweden because it is the most secular. No one believes in God there, mostly. We asked God, “What do you want us to do?” We prayed, and felt in our hearts that we needed to go to Sweden and try to spread the word. 

We are not missionaries. I work as a graphic designer. We sold everything in El Salvador, house, car, business, everything, and we moved to Sweden to try to bring God. That’s something that is really crazy. It’s still crazy. Every day, I’m still asking, “Did I do right?”

This is what we do now, my wife and my family, we organize pilgrimages so that people can find what we found here. We came to Medjugorje, and it changed our lives. We want to bring as many people as we can so they can feel it themselves.

You can use your best words to try to explain what Medjugorje is, but I have found that it is impossible. I tell people, “You need to come and see for yourself; feel what it is.”

Medjugorje is a place where Jesus is still walking by your side. You can feel Him walking. It’s a Marian sanctuary, but for me, it’s like Jesus is sitting beside you, walking beside you. For me, it’s everything about God, about Jesus because of the Mother. 

Come and feel Jesus sitting beside you, eating with you, laughing, crying, walking with you. This is the best way I can describe Medjugorje. 

I thank God for this place because otherwise, it was almost impossible for me to get back to my Catholic roots, and to go back into God’s arms, God’s heart. It’s because of this.