At Medjugorje, Dave Parks, Pele’s soccer partner, became my guide…

At Medjugorje, Dave Parks, Pele’s soccer partner, became my guide…

parksI met David Parks yesterday too. Ireland’s football legend, who dazzled in sixties and seventies. The player who played alongside Pele, the football legend..

He guided me to Medjugorje, both literally and spiritually. The onetime football legend today leads a mendicant life at the foot of the Holy Mother. In the FA cup tournament of 1970, this master footballer was a stronghold of Irish defence, eventually helping the team to win the cup. He was on his twenties then.

All of a sudden Dave Parks faded from the mainstream football. The reason was an incurable disease named Crohn’s. Fate kicked him out of the arena of luxury and mirth.

Desperate, he visited every hospital he could get access to for a cure, with all of them retorting with the same answer: “your life will not last long!” When all his pennies were spent, he began to muse over death. It was his spouse, Ann who beckoned him back to life with words of solace and encouragement.

Later, the world witnessed the ace footballer returning to the stage as a singer. He was successful as a singer. He became rich again, and famous too. But the fear of death and the pain of the illness haunted him.

At the age of 27, the medical science declared that he is nearing the end of his life. He looked haplessly on the last pennies in his purse. Adding to his sorrows the news came that his four year old son is fatally ill too. Cystic fibros.
“Where is this God?” David sang in the height of his voice in night clubs. It was a question he was asking within too. The condition of his son ‘Garry’ deteriorated day by day. His home was full of sorrows.

Then God intervened. It was a time when Medjugorje was just rising to fame by the Marian apparitions.
David underwent 30 surgeries by this time. One priest of his acquaintance asked him: “Why don’t you go to Medjugorje?” Thus, in 1984, the young man who, according to medical science, would live only for a few more days, set off to Medjugorje with the aid of life saving equipments. Just one day. It was healing session amidst the Eucharistic adoration. Father Rickey, the American priest, wailed aloud before the Lord for Parks.

David Parks emerged from his sick bed – to life! 31 years have passed now. Dave Parks, one time footballer whom the world watched with admiration, came down to the feet of the Holy Mother. Today, he is leading the life of a guide to the pilgrims at Medjugorje. A serene but inspiring presence that would guide you on…

 

Santimon Jacob.