May 12, 2023 1349 Marisana Arambasic

Hitting Rock Bottom

Semi-paralysed after a poisonous spider bite, Marisana Arambasic felt her life ebbing away. She still clung to the Rosary for a miracle.

I’ve been living in Perth, Australia for a very long time, but I am originally from Croatia. When I was 8 years old, I witnessed a miracle. A 44-year-old man with crippled legs was healed through the powerful intercession of Mother Mary. Many of us witnessed this miracle. I still remember running to him and touching his legs in awestruck wonder after he was healed. Despite this experience, I strayed away from God when I grew older. I believed that the world was my oyster. All I cared about was enjoying my life. My mom was worried because I was enjoying life in the wrong way. She offered Masses for me regularly. She asked Mother Mary to intercede on my behalf. Even though my mom prayed fervently for 15 years, I wasn’t any better. When my mom mentioned my case to a local priest, he said, “She lives at the moment in sin. Once she stops sinning, God will bring her to her knees, all the graces through the Holy Mass will be poured out, and miracles will happen.”

The Venomous Bite

This prediction came true when I turned 33 years old. As a single mom, I had hit rock bottom. Gradually, I turned back to God. I felt Mother Mary helping me through the difficult times. One day, a white-tailed spider bit me on the left hand. This is a venomous spider native to Australia. Though I was in good health, my body couldn’t recover from this spider bite. The pain was horrific. The left side of my body was paralyzed. I couldn’t see with my left eye. My chest, my heart, and all my organs felt like they were cramping. I sought help from specialists and took the medicines they prescribed, but I couldn’t recover.

In my time of desperation, I grabbed my Rosary and prayed like never before. At first, I prayed the Rosary every day on my knees. Soon my condition worsened, and I could not kneel anymore. I was bedridden. There were blisters all over my face, and people were reluctant to even look at me. This increased my pain. I started to lose massive amounts of weight. The only thing I could eat were apples. If I ate anything else, my body would go into spasms. I could only sleep for 15-20 minutes at a time before I woke up with cramps. The deterioration of my health was difficult for my son, who was 15 years old at that time. He distanced himself by escaping into video games. Though I was close to my parents and siblings, they all lived overseas. When I told them about my condition, my parents immediately went to Medjugorje, where they met with a priest who prayed for me.

At that exact moment, I was lying on a mattress on my kitchen floor because moving from one room to another was too difficult for me. I was suddenly able to get up and walk, although I still had some pain. I called my sister and came to know that a priest had prayed for the intercession of Mama Mary for my healing. I didn’t stop to think. I immediately bought tickets to go to Medjugorje. I was going against the advice of the medical specialists. My immunity was low, and my body was weak. Yet, I still decided to go.

Up the Hill

When I reached Croatia, my sister picked me up from the airport, and we reached Medjugorje that evening. I met the priest that had prayed with my parents. He prayed over me and asked me to climb up Apparition Hill the next day. During that time, I was still unable to eat anything but apples without my throat closing up. I still had blisters all over me. Yet I couldn’t wait to climb up the hill where Mother Mary had appeared. My sister wanted to come with me, but I wanted to go alone. I didn’t want anyone to witness my sorrow. When I got to the top, it was snowing.

There were not many people there. I had a special moment with Mother Mary. I felt that She could hear my prayers. I asked for a second chance at life and for more time with my son. I prayed, “Jesus, have mercy on me.”

As I came back down the hill, I was praying the Our Father. When I got to ‘give us today our daily bread,’ I felt sad because I could not eat bread. I deeply longed to receive the Eucharist but couldn’t. I prayed that I would be able to eat bread again. That day I decided to try and eat some bread. I had no negative reactions. Then, I slept for two hours straight. The pain and my other symptoms had decreased. It felt like heaven on earth.

The next day I went back and climbed the Jesus Hill, which has a big cross at the top. I felt an overwhelming peace. I asked God to show me my sins from His perspective. As I climbed, God gradually revealed sins that I had forgotten. I was eager to go to confession as soon as I got back down the hill. I was so full of joy. Even though it took a while, I am now completely healed.

Looking back, I realize that all of my sufferings have made me become a better person. I am more compassionate and forgiving now. Suffering can make a person feel lonely and desperate. Everything can fall apart, including your finances and marriage. During these times, you need to have hope. Faith allows you to step into the unknown and walk through unfamiliar paths, bearing your cross until the storm passes.

The article is based on the testimony shared by Marisana Arambasic for the Shalom World Program “Mary my mother.” To watch the episode visit: shalomworld.org/episode/i-grabbed-the-rosary-in-my-pain-marisana-arambasic


Marisana Arambasic

Marisana Arambasic

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