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A Marriage made in Medjugorje!

Bernard and Sarah Boras and their delightful daughter Leonie normally live in the unofficial Marian apparition town of Medjugorje, Bosnia Hertzgovinia, but earlier this year spent two months in the ancient monastic town of Lismore, in Co.Waterford, where the local people were very impressed by this young families attendence at daily Mass in St Carthage'e Cathedral, Lismore

Kiely caught up with Bernard and Sarah Boras and their little daughter Leonie before they left Lismore for England on their way home to Medjugorje, Bosnia Hertzgevonia, in the former Yugoslavia where they run a religious bookshop, and he spoke to them about their lives and their faith.

‘We have been renting a house on the edge of Lismore for a couple of months but would eventually like to buy a house here,’ said Bernard, who was born in Bosnia.

‘My wife Sarah has distant cousins in the Villiers-Town and Dromana area, so we do have  links with here, and we plan to return during the summer to continue our house search, as we both love this part of Ireland very much,’ he said.

Just over 10 years ago Bernard was working as a pilgrim tour-guide in, Medjugorje, Bosnia Herzgovinia, a small village where back in June 1981, The Blessed Virgin is alleged to have appeared to 6 young people, giving them messages about prayer, fasting, conversion, confession and turning back to God, and secrets about the future. Sarah (Scott) now his wife was in the late 1980s at that time an Anglican, studying in Cambridge.

Over the last 20 years millions of pilgrims have visited Medjugorje, including priests and religious of every nationality., where it is claimed Our Lady still appears daily and gives messages for the world to three of the original six visionaries.

Many of those who have gone there full of scepticism have come back converted and with their whole lives changed. One such person deeply affected by her recent experience there was TV reporter Mary Fanning, who now markets a video about the place, after her return from a programme making visit there for RTE's Nationwide, last summer. (1999)

Back in 1989 unknown to either of them at the time, Sarah’s mother, Mrs Cherrie Scott, a convert to the Catholic faith since 1980 and five times visitor to Medjugorje, had already been one of a group of pilgrim’s, escorted around the village by Bernard, her future son-in law.

‘I had gone there to pray for the conversion of my twin daughters Sarah and Natasha to the Catholic faith,’ said Mrs Scott who had been staying with her daughters for a few days before their departure from  Lismore.

Her daughter Sarah continued the story,

‘Around this time, in the late 1980's I felt myself been drawn to the Catholic faith more and more, and I remember I started going to Mass regularly, and that sort of thing, so you could say that in a way, even then I was a nominal Catholic,’ added Sarah.

When the war broke out in Bosnia, in 1991 the amount of pilgrims visiting Medjugorje. dropped drastically and Bernard’s job as a Pilgrim Guide ceased. Even though Medjugorje. itself was not bombed or attacked, the nearby town of Mostar, only ten miles away was devastated. '

During the Bosnian War I travelled to England, on business, which was when I met  Sarah for the first time, 'Bernard said.

‘A couple of years later , I was received into the church as a fully fledged Catholic, said Sarah with a smile.

  ‘We married in 1995 in Medjugorje, where we now mainly live. The following year on a trip to England our daughter Leonie was born and we had her christened in the Slipper Chapel in Walsingham, an ancient place of Marian pilgrimage for the English, which was once also visited by thousands of people in the Middle Ages from all over Europe, just like here in Lismore, and Thank God now my sister Natasha is now also a Catholic, Sarah said. 

By coincidence, Bernard was also a tour guide on Kiely's second visit there in 1990.. 

UPDATE: November 2002.

Bernard and Sarah and their daughter Leonie have recently moved back to County Waterford and have jiust bought a house in Lismore,Co.Waterford.

A new baby daughter was born to Sarh and Bernard in October called Mary Selene was born in Ireland.....Congratulations!....


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