Brought home safely by God at the outbreak of the Balkan War
In 1991, I made a pilgrimage with my wife, a friend and two priests to Medjugorje in what was then Yugoslavia. In this place Mary has been appearing to several people since 1981. We had already been to this place of grace five times and were happy every time we could be there again.
This time we met a man in Medjugorje who came from our homeland and had set out on a 700 km pilgrimage on foot to Medjugorje with a cross on his shoulder. In the town of Knin in present-day Croatia, he had deposited a piece of luggage in the parish house there, because it had become too heavy for him to carry. Now he asked us to take the route via Knin on our return journey home, to pick up his luggage there and take it with us to Austria. Knin is about 200 km northwest of Medjugorje and was not far from the route we wanted to take on our return journey anyway. We were very keen to help.
At that time there were no navigation devices and so we used our map to find the route to get from Medjugorje to Knin. Since all five of us had been in this area many times before, we thought we would be able to find the right route.
The hinterland of what was then Yugoslavia was very poorly developed with roads. Many small roads were not marked on the map, nor were many villages. We lost our bearings, searched and asked, got lost again and suddenly ended up in Sarajevo. We were dismayed. Instead of heading northwest to Knin, we had lost our way to the northeast. This was a huge diversion. We looked for a new route from Sarajevo to the west in order to reach Knin. We got lost this time too and found ourselves far north of Knin. We were frustrated and started looking for the route that would take us north towards Austria. We drove on small side roads throughout and finally reached Austria via a small border crossing.
Only when we got home did we learn that war had broken out between Serbian and Croatian troops that day and that the route we had originally planned, which continued to Austria via Knin, was already closed due to the outbreak of war. Also at the border crossing "Spielfeld" between Austria and what is now Slovenia, where we originally wanted to enter, tanks had already driven up and there was already shooting. Since there were no mobile phones at that time and the Austrian radio could not be received on the car radio in what was then Yugoslavia, we were completely unaware of the dramatic warlike developments. We were just desperate because we had got lost so often, driven mainly on side roads and had not even managed to find the main road towards Spielfeld.
All of our relatives were extremely relieved at our arrival home. They had heard about the outbreak of the war on the radio and knew that the route of our journey home would take us over 500 kilometres right through the war zone.
In retrospect, we have the impression that heaven saw to it that during this odyssey with this large diversion around the area of Knin, we had driven around the war zone in a large semicircle and had also completely unsuspectingly avoided the battle zone around Spielfeld.
During this pilgrimage to Medjugorje, we were not only protected on the journey home. My wife was healed after a 13-year ordeal of severe and extremely painful arthritis. She describes this in her own testimony (Wölfl Adelheid, "Healed after 13 years of severe arthrosis").