Photo - Kaka

Kaka

I need Jesus every day of my life. Jesus tells me in the Bible that without Him I cant do anything. I have the gift and capacity today to play soccer because God gave it to me.

Photo - Ivona Škvorcová

Ivona Škvorcová

I noticed a little lump on my neck and it changed my plans and my life. We will have to remove it, exclaimed my doctor. It is just a simple operation… I spent three days in the hospital and I waited three weeks for biopsy results. I wasn’t worried at all. I was a 22-year old university student, full of energy and vitality. I didn’t expect it could be something serious. On 22 February 2006 the doctor told me: “It is positive“. I didn’t even understand what it means. Everybody in my family was shocked – I had CANCER. I was confused. I had lots of questions and fears.

Photo - Augustín Ugróczy

Augustín Ugróczy

Hi everybody, whoever you are and wherever you are – YOU ARE DISCIPLES. That’s the way I call my boys and invite them at our regular PAJTA meetings.

Photo - James Manjackal

James Manjackal

He prayed: "Father in Heaven, send your Son Jesus now to this priest suffering from kidney T.B., kidney stones and infections and restore him complete health of body and soul". Then I thought in my mind that he might have seen the hospital chart where my sicknesses were reported!

Photo - Róbert Slamka

Róbert Slamka

I am 52 years old and I am a lawyer. I have a beautiful beloved wife, Helena, and 5 beautiful children, Róbert, Jakub, Andrej, Annamária-Rút, and Lukáš.

Photo - Mudr. Silvester Krčméry CSc.

Mudr. Silvester Krčméry CSc.

If I have to be punished for what I did – i.e. for the goodness, truth, and Christ – I wouldn’t choose the smallest punishment, but the most terrible one; I would be so happy if I could die for Christ, although I know that I am not worthy of such a great grace.

Photo - MUDr. Emília Vlčková

MUDr. Emília Vlčková

I healed my daughter who had bronchitis, after antibiotics showed no effect. I had a wart and it disappeared on the following day after I had used my homoeopathic drugs.

Photo - Vlado Žák

Vlado Žák

I knew about God, but I didn't know Him. I saw God only as a strict judge. One of the predominant feelings when I thought about God was a sort of fear. Today, I know I was completely wrong.

Photo - Dominik Dobrovodský

Dominik Dobrovodský

Yes, bones were my life issue. I was born with a fracture. Since then I had several fractures during all my childhood, every time I fell down. I spent a lot of time in hospitals. I suffered a lot. But I also saw other people suffering. It was for me great life experience, great learning experience. During this experience I understood that God is always with me and He never abandons me. This attitude of praise became (and it is continuously becoming) my expression of love towards God.

Photo - Nick Vujicic

Nick Vujicic

I am thankful to have been born 31 years ago with no arms and no legs. I won’t pretend my life is easy, but through the love of my parents, loved ones, and faith in God, I have overcome my adversity and my life is now filled with joy and purpose.

Photo - Jozef Demjan

Jozef Demjan

When I was a child I was sexually abused by an older boy. We lived in poverty. I experienced occult practices, depression, homosexuality, and suicide attempts. Only faith in Jesus Christ brought light to my life.

Photo - Marek Nikolov

Marek Nikolov

The aim of the “Jesus Heals” prayer gatherings is experiencing the fact that God is Love. He is Love that wants to give itself to other people. God wants to show us His mercy even through healing, signs, wonders, and miracles.

Photo - Rick Warren

Rick Warren

People ask me: What is the purpose of life? And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven.

Photo - Renáta Ocilková

Renáta Ocilková

During chemotherapy I lost my menstrual cycle. After about half-a-year I asked my gynaecologist – oncologist about that. I was afraid I was going to badly react to his answer. He told me:
“It’s normal. Your menstrual cycles will never return.”

Photo - Anton Srholec

Anton Srholec

Faith and love for Jesus and for his cause filled all my heart and I was ready to offer my life for this.

Photo - Denis Blaho

Denis Blaho

I started to do fortune-telling and I said things that resulted to be truthful. I used to predict things that really happened in near future. Sometimes I read people’s thoughts. I disdained Christian religion. I had a bad opinion about believers and acquaintances who were not profound believers.

Photo - Bohuš Živčák

Bohuš Živčák

Despite persecution during the Communist era (or actually because of Communist persecution) my search of God became a continuous adventure. Pilgrimage and travelling rather than studying. When I studied at high school God came dramatically closer to me.

Photo - Veronika Barátová

Veronika Barátová

I always have wonderful memories of my return to God; still today they are pretty important. Everything happened during my university studies at times of normalizing Communism.

Photo - Oto Mádr

Oto Mádr

This epoch is not easy at all for Christians; but for big-format Christians it is a great and marvelous epoch. “If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.“ In such glorious moments the Church sings to the Lord a heroic song of love and faithfulness. It is a privilege and a gift: to live just now, to love, and to fight.

Photo - Lucia Tužinská

Lucia Tužinská

My core problem was – how can I trust God again?! How can I understand Him? What has happened? What we believed in before suddenly became not valid. We needed to reevaluate our faith from the foundation.

Photo - Martin Hunčár

Martin Hunčár

My conversion does not fall under the category “extraordinary”. I know you would like to hear about the miraculous conversion of a former drug-addicted or alcohol-addicted. I was neither drug-addicted nor alcohol-addicted. Maybe this is the reason why my conversion was even more miraculous.

Photo - Dan Baumann

Dan Baumann

The beatings would start and they would be slapping in the face, hitting in the stomach, sometimes kicking. “I struggled with faith, ‘Was God with me? Did He love me? If God is good why would He allow me to go through this situation?

Photo - Dária Miezgová

Dária Miezgová

But I was also interested very much in the communist ideals as in something that surpassed the ordinary life. So I became a member of a communist party – because I was convinced and I wanted it. And in spite of the fact I went to church and believed in God. I did not feel it as a contradiction

Photo - Matúš Demko

Matúš Demko

Then I directly felt that God is a living being, close to us. Back then, God, our Lord, clearly and expressly intervened into my life. He completely changed it. I became another person.

Photo - Richard Vašečka

Richard Vašečka

My grandfather from my mother’s side had a great influence on my life. Besides that he loved me very much and spent much time with me, he became my ideal and inspiration in a faith, but also in a male character.

Photo - Branislav Škripek

Branislav Škripek

I was born and brought up as an atheist and I can confirm that I had never been told me anything about God during my first 20 years of life. It was something that was an unknown concept for me.

Photo - Sasa Patalakh

Sasa Patalakh

Drugs, sex, Ukrainian mafia, and prison…
“…the story of a young man from Ukraine freed by God…”

Photo - Ondrej Tarana OFM cap.

Ondrej Tarana OFM cap.

I was indeed horrified that I don’t know God and His Love although I was ministering in the church.

Photo - Dominic McDermott

Dominic McDermott

Hearing from God through dreams. Biblical basis, Why God would use dreams, The process ...

Photo - Štefan Esztergályos

Štefan Esztergályos

I got more and more entangled in different occult practices. I applied myself to astrology, healing (reiki) and I practiced martial arts. Instead of prayer I meditated in solitude, which pulled me many times away from the life’s reality.

Photo - Geoff and Gina Poulter

Geoff and Gina Poulter

We had decided with a great sadness that we had to go where we were being fed and leave the Catholic Church. Just as we were about to make this public statement Geoff had an open vision which simultaneously was confirmed to Gina through a word from the Lord.

Photo - P. Raniero Cantalamessa, ofmcap

P. Raniero Cantalamessa, ofmcap

Something of the kind must happen once in our lives for us to be true, convinced Christians, and overjoyed to be so.

Story - Thiemo Klein
Why I am a Catholic?

small_7. Thiemo Klein_lc.jpg

FATHER THIEMO KLEIN was born in Herford in Germany in 1975. In September 1994 he entered a noviciate of Legionaries of Christ in German Roetgen. He studied humanities in Salamanka (Spain) and philosophy in New York. In 1999 he started an apostolic practice in Slovakia, the Czech Republic and in Poland. In 2008 he finished university studies of philosophy and theology at Pontifical Regina Apostolorum College in Rome. Since 2008 he leads work with youth in Bratislava in the religious order of Legionaries of Christ.

I am not a theologist but I know that it was Virgin Mary who brought me home from “war”. – This was an experience of my grandfather, which helped him to walk through a valley of death. He was a barber and as an officer during the Second World War he experienced explosions of bombs and shooting too. He suffered from malaria for the rest of his life.

When I hung up, I felt better. A testimony of my grandfather from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean brought a light into a darkness of my doubts. Doubts about a belief are like an earthquake: we have no place to hide; we have nothing to hold on. We suddenly suspect parents, friends, Church and teachers from a wrong teaching. Do they all live in an error? Or why do I have doubts?

At a back seat

“Let’s go children, clean your shoes, and get on the car!”

This was a part of a Sunday morning ritual. After a good breakfast with sisters we cleaned shoes and went to a mass with parents. I grew up in a catholic family in Herford – a rural town of 60 000 people in Westphalia in North-Western Germany. It was a big fun to play in a local forest or at a farm with friends, to build dikes in a brook. I was an expert in catching fish and shooting from a bow.

Our family was different than others. We ate fish on Friday and we gave up sweets during a Lent. None of my school mates from a primary school got up on Sunday at seven in the morning to go to a mass. Religion wasn’t important for them. Later I attended a catholic school; even it meant to commute much further than other children, what meant a considerable sacrifice for my parents. But this kept us together: we are Catholics.

But I still wasn’t on my own journey of faith. I still was sitting, said in a metaphor, at a back seat of a car of my parents and my belief was a black and white copy of their belief. A children’s Bible, classes of religion, a Sunday mass went through this “copy machine” and although my picture was the same as at my parents, some lines were not clear. A colour of a personal experience was missing. That colour was waiting for me in Canada.

A light form the North


During studies he was dedicated to apostolate in Germany and wrote a book „Von Gott erzählen“ (To talk about God).
“What a broad horizon!” I exclaimed after getting off the plane. In a school year 1991-92 in my 16 I flew to Canada as an exchange student. I lived in Barrhead, Alberta, in a town with 3000 people. A host family consisted of a divorced mother and two children. I was their tutor. I didn’t expect that right in that house I would meet Christ.

Joe, my good friend from a high school, invited me to a club of Japan martial arts jiu-jitsu, where he was a trainer’s assistant. I started to go there regularly. A trainer Phil had a black belt and he was a Lutheran. Dressed up in judo kit and between push-ups, kicks and hits we talked about theology: What did Jesus say about Eucharist? Why can we pray to Virgin Mary? Gradually I started to ask myself why I am a Catholic. Is it only because I was born in a Catholic family? I knew a teaching about Christ but as it seemed, Phil had experiences which I was missing. He had not only knowledge but also a personal relation with Jesus. His love to Jesus and piety impressed me very much.

In spring we head out to a martial tournament somewhere in Rocky Mountains in British Columbia. We travelled whole 24 hours. Phil was telling me on the way how when a child he stopped practicing faith and started with Asian meditation. He tried to empty his mind and to reach a state of nirvana. In one moment he was immersed in a spiritual world, when suddenly he felt darkness and a presence of a devil grasping his soul to seize it. He cried in panic: “God!” – and by saying this word a devil’s presence disappeared. Phil told about his experience to his girl friend who was a Lutheran. She took him to a pastor and under his guidance Phil found Jesus Christ again. Then he was teaching jiu-jitsu to pay for a study of theology. He knew his faith and he treated me very kindly. We celebrated my birthday at his home and his mother even baked a cake for me.

To be or not to be

I returned back to the house in Barrhead in early morning hours of a cold April day. All were still sleeping. It was snowing and the sun just started to come up. I sat at a sofa in a living room and I was looking out of a big window in front of me. I was meditating about last days, weeks, and months. What is really important? What does it all mean for me? Suddenly a light of truth lightened my soul: Jesus Christ is real! Jesus is a real living person, my friend and a saviour! He died for me on a cross! He cleansed me from my sins. He opened a way for me to an eternal life. I know that his love is the most important thing in a world. I had an indescribable joy in my heart and my life changed. Love of Christ healed something in me and I felt strong as never before. A chain, by which I was bound, was broken. “I am free!”

Now I want be really a Christian. I had many doubts and questions. I felt like an earth was moving under me. When I called with my grandfather who told me about how Virgin Mary helped him, I felt better for a while but I needed more. I wanted to speak with a priest.

A parish priest wasn’t at home then, but a bishop came on Sunday. Even after years I can remember that he came to preach about priest vocations. I wasn’t thinking about a vocation. I spoke with a bishop’s secretary, father Francois from Quebec, for two hours. He explained to me in detail how it is with our faith. We have a complete original, no shortened versions, no remix. It convinced me.

Rosary rebel

A father of my friend Joe told me once:

“Pray a rosary every day and you will have no more problems with a faith.” “Great,” I told him. “And how is a rosary prayed?”
I didn’t know it, because it wasn’t usual to pray this prayer in my parish. Joe gave me his rosary on a way home, a brief explanation with it and a little card with fifteen mysteries. I had to be afraid for my faith very much, because already at that night I prayed all 15 mysteries.

From that day I prayed a rosary every night; also when I came back home from a party early in the morning. It took me months, until I learned to share feelings with Christ and Mary. I got to like mysteries of a sorrowful rosary, from which it is possible to see how greatly Christ loves us. I wanted to tell the whole world about Christ’s love.

In July 1992 I returned back to Germany. Many old friends changed: discoloured hair, smoking, long nights at discos… They were looking for a personal freedom, which I had already found in Jesus Christ. They were rebels from a principle and they became slaves of passions, fashion and music. A rosary gave me an access to love outside this world too. I was myself because I leaned on Christ.

I had different feelings. Already as a catechist in our own parish I found out how much children need Christ. “A priest lives for Christ 24 hours daily,” I told myself. It is something to which I would want to dedicate my life. If I got at least one soul into heaven, I would do something, what would be forever. What better could I do with my life? When I talked to my best friend, he lifted his eyebrows and said: “You maybe have a priest vocation…” A though to become a priest left as it came, but it steadied in me with cumulating prayers. At the end it was a part of my personal rebellion. If you don’t understand, try to say:

“I shall become a priest!”
And you will provoke much more interest as any punkhead.

 

Later I learned to want to be a priest just for God’s love. My parish priest helped me by his example. I saw him praying on his own in front of a tabernacle. “This really is a God’s man,” I told myself. A priest at school in Bielefeld was also a good example for me.

A real thing

I met Legionaries of Christ at a spiritual recollection for youth in Bonn. A Father Eamon Kelly impressed me very much. He had a personal relation with God, a real love to Christ, Church, Virgin Mary and to the pope too. “I want to be a priest like this,” I told myself. A father Albert Gutberlet and a father Klaus Einsle were also there, who sang a song about vocations. When I read information about congregation, it was love at the first sight. I knew: „This will be my spiritual order“

At first however I had to finish a high school in 1994. When my parents drove me to a monastery, my mother said: “Lad, there is much you will have to change!” She was right – it wasn’t easy at all. But I had what I wanted: a good priest formation oriented at Christ and an environment of a real brotherhood.

My experience with Christ grew during studies of humanities in Spanish Salamanka; also during studies of philosophy in New York; as well as during four years of apostolic work with youth in the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia; and especially during studies of philosophy and theology in Rome. I found out that priesthood is not an employment – it means to live love.


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