Struck By Lightning
Testimony of Goria Polo
On May 5th, 1995, something extraordinary happened to Dr. Gloria Polo Ortiz, a dentist from Bogota, Colombia.
She was taking shelter from a storm with her nephew, when both of them were struck by lightning.
What happened to her afterward was a miracle that led to her conversion and to a life of abandonment to the will of God.
Gloria Polo tells her story in many different countries around the world, and has the approval of her diocese in Bogota, Colombia, and her spiritual director. Her testimony is an inspiration for all of us, and will increase our faith in Christ Jesus and His Holy Catholic Church. (104 pages.)
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TESTIMONY OF GLORIA POLO
Brothers and sisters! It’s beautiful for me to be with you sharing this precious gift my Lord gave me in 1995.
I was attending graduate school, along with my nephew, who was also a dentist. My husband was with us that day. We had to pick up some books at the School of Dentistry on a Friday afternoon.
It was raining very hard and my nephew and I were sharing a small umbrella. My husband was wearing his raincoat and he approached the outside wall of the General Library. Meanwhile, my nephew and I approached the trees without noticing, while skipping puddles.
As we were about to skip to avoid a huge puddle, we were struck by lightning.
We were charred. My nephew died there.
He was a young man who, despite his young age, had given himself over to the Lord and was very devout to the Infant Jesus. He always carried the Infant Jesus’ image inside a quartz crystal next to his chest.
According to the coroner, lightning entered him through the image, ran through his heart, burned him on the inside and exited through his foot.
But on the outside, he was not charred or burnt.
In my case, instead, lightning came in this way and burned my body in a horrifying way, on the inside and outside. This body you see here, this reconstructed body, is through the mercy of our Lord...
"I did family planning using the copper-T intrauterine device.
Therefore copper, an excellent electrical
conductor, charred me.
It pulverized my ovaries."
I did family planning using the copper-T intrauterine device.
Therefore copper, an excellent electrical conductor, charred me.
It pulverized my ovaries.
I was left in cardiac arrest, lifeless, my body jumping from the electricity that remained in it. But look: that’s the physical part.
The most beautiful part is that while my flesh was there charred, at that instant I found myself inside a beautiful white tunnel full of joy and peace, a happiness for which there are no human words that can describe the grandeur of the moment. The climax of the moment was immense. I was happy and joyful, nothing weighed me down inside that tunnel.
At the bottom of that tunnel I saw like a sun, a most beautiful light. I call it white to name a color because no color on earth is comparable with that most beautiful light. I felt the source of all that love, all that peace.
As I was going up
I realized I had died.
At that instant I thought about my kids and I said “Oh, my God, my kids! What will they say? This very busy mom never had time for them!” That’s when I saw my life truthfully and I became sad. I left home to transform the world, and I couldn’t handle my kids and my home.
At that moment, I heard my husband’s voice. My husband was crying and with a deep cry, with deep feeling, he called out to me and said “Gloria, please don’t go!” And the Lord allowed me to come back, although I didn’t want to. I started descending slowly to find my body, where I found myself lifeless. My body was on a gurney at the medical center on campus. I saw how the doctors gave me electric shocks to pull me out of cardiac arrest.
Back to that instant in the operating room, I was really terrified! I saw demons coming for me and I was their pay. At that moment I saw many people coming out of the walls of the operating room. At first sight they looked normal, but with a look of hatred on their faces, a horrible look. At that point through some special insight given to me, I realized I owed each one of them. I realized sin was not for free and that the main infamy and lie of the devil was to state that he didn’t exist.
I went into some tunnels heading downward. At first, they had light and looked like bee hives. There were lots of people. But I started descending and light became scarce and I started roaming some tunnels in pitch darkness. That darkness has no comparison. The darkest darkness on earth is like noontime sunlight compared to it.
I finished descending down those tunnels and landed desperately on a flat spot. I used to claim I had an iron will, that nothing was too much for me. But that was useless now, because I wanted to climb up and I couldn’t. At that point I saw a huge mouth opening up on the floor and I felt immense emptiness in my body, a bottomless abyss. The most horrifying thing about that hole was that not even a bit of God’s love was felt in it, not a drop of hope. The hole sucked me in and I felt terrified.
AT THE GATES OF HELL
I knew that if I went in there, my soul would die. In the midst of that horror, as I was being pulled in, I was grabbed by my feet. My body was inside that hole, but my feet were being pulled from the top. It was a very painful and horrifying moment.
My atheism fell to the wayside. I started clamoring for the souls in purgatory to help me out of there. As I was shouting I felt intense pain because I realized that thousands and thousands of people are there, mostly young people...
I started screaming again, “Please, take me out of here, I’m a Catholic! Who made this mistake? Please, take me out of here!”
As I was shouting this second time, a voice was heard, a sweet voice, a voice that makes my soul shake when I hear it. Everything was inundated with love and peace and all those creatures ran away in horror because they don’t stand love or peace.
And there was peace for me when that precious voice called out to me: “All right, if you are a Catholic, tell me the Commandments of God’s law.”
What a failed attempt! I knew there were ten, but nothing beyond that. What was I going to do? My mom always talked to me about the first commandment of love.
Finally it paid out. Finally my mom’s “chatter” became useful. I had to repeat mom’s “chatter” here. I thought I could wing this one so the others wouldn’t show too much. I thought I could handle things here the way I used to on earth, always with a perfect excuse, always justifying and defending myself so no one would notice what I didn’t know.
But this was the real thing, so I started to say, “Love God above all and your neighbor as yourself.”
“Very well, “ I heard, “have you loved them?” And I said “I have, I have, I have!”
When I heard “No!” for an answer, that’s when I really felt the shock of lightning run through me even though I hadn’t noticed where the bolt had hit me.
“No, you haven’t loved your Lord above all things, and much less your neighbor as yourself!
You made a god that you adjusted to your life only when in moments of desperate need! Whenever you were in need and wanted money, you would say a rosary. Lord, please send me some money! That was your relationship with your Lord!”
I was shown how, as soon as I got my degree and made a name for myself, the Lord became too small for me and I started thinking myself better. Not even the smallest expression of love with my Lord. Being thankful? Never!
“And besides, you placed your Lord so low that even Mercury and Venus you entrusted more with your luck. You were blindsided by astrology, claiming the stars ran your life! You started walking in all the doctrines of the world. You started to believe that you would die and would start again!
And you forgot grace! You forgot that you had been ransomed by your Lord’s blood!”
They gave me a test on the Ten Commandments. They showed me that I claimed I adored and loved God with my words, but in reality, I adored Satan. A woman would come to my dentist’s office to offer her services as a sorcerer and I would say “I don’t believe in that, but put those charms right there, just in case, for good luck”. I had set in a corner, where patients did not know, a horseshoe and a cactus plant, supposedly to scare away bad energies.
They made an analysis of all my life based on the Ten Commandments. They showed me how with the same tongue with which I blessed the Lord, I would lash out against all of mankind. I used to criticize everyone. And they showed me how I was full of envy and always ungrateful. I never recognized all my parents’ love and selfless effort, to see me through college, to raise me...
When we came to the Fifth Commandment, the Lord showed me I was a horrible assassin and that I had committed the worst and most abominable in front of his eyes: an abortion. Money empowered me to pay for several abortions because I claimed women had a right to choose when they wanted to become pregnant or not.
I saw in the book of life and it hurt me deeply when I saw a fourteen-year old girl aborting because I had taught her. When one is poisoned nothing good remains. Everything that comes close to you is also spoiled.
WHERE ARE YOUR SPIRITUAL TREASURES?
The Lord asked me:
“What spiritual treasures do you bring?”
Spiritual treasures! My hands were empty!
That’s when he told me:
“What was the point in your owning two condos, houses, and office buildings? You thought yourself a successful professional. You couldn’t even bring the dust off of one of those bricks here. What did you do with the talents I gave you?”
“Talents?” I thought. “You had a mission. The mission to defend the kingdom of love, the Kingdom of God.”
I had forgotten I had a soul so I could hardly remember I had talents, that I was the merciful hands of God. Much less that all the good I didn’t do hurt the Lord.
Do you want to know what the Lord kept on asking me? About lack of love and charity. That’s when He told me about my spiritual death: “Your spiritual death began when you stopped feeling for your brothers! I was warning you by showing you their plight everywhere. When you saw media coverage on murders, abductions, refugee situations, and with your tongue you said, on the outside, ‘poor people, how sad’, but you didn’t really hurt for them. You felt nothing in your heart. Sin made your heart into a heart of stone.”
You can imagine my deep sorrow when my book closed. I had deep sorrow with God my Father for having behaved like that because, despite all my sins, despite all my filth and all my indifference and all my horrible feelings, the Lord always, up until the last instant, searched for me. He would always send me instruments, people, He would talk to me, He would yell at me, He would take things away from me to seek me. He looked for me up until the very end. God is always “begging” at each one of us to convert.
WHO DO YOU SERVE? GOD OR SATAN?
I couldn’t accuse Him of condemning me! Of course not. Out of my free will, I chose my father, and my father was not God. I chose Satan, he was my father. When that book closed I noticed I was heading down into a pit with a door at its bottom.
I lifted my eyes and they met the eyes of my mom. With intense pain I cried out to her, “Mommy, how ashamed I am! I was condemned, mommy! Where I’m going I’ll never get to see you again!” At that moment, they granted her a beautiful grace. She was still but her fingers moved and pointed upward. A couple of very painful scales fell from my eyes, that spiritual blindness. I saw a beautiful moment, when one of my patients told me:
“Doctor, you are very materialistic and some day you’ll need this. When you find yourself in imminent danger, ask Jesus Christ to cover you with His Blood, because He will never abandon you. He paid the price of blood for you.”
With that immense shame and pain I started to cry: “Jesus Christ, Lord, have compassion on me! Forgive me, Lord, give me a second chance!” And that was the most beautiful moment. I have no words to describe that moment. He came and pulled me out of that pit, and told me with all His love: “You will go back, you will have a second chance (…)”, but He told me it wasn’t because of my family’s prayer.
SAVED BY THE PRAYERS OF A STRANGER
“It’s normal for them to pray and cry out for you. It’s because of the intercession of all those foreign to your body and blood who have cried, have prayed, and have raised their heart with immense love for you.”
I began to see many little lights lighting up, as little flames of love. I saw the people who were praying for me. But there was a big flame, it was the one that gave out the most light. It was the one that gave out the most love. I tried to see who that person was. The Lord told me:
"That person you see right there loves you so much and he doesn't even know you."
He showed me how this man had seen an old newspaper clipping from the previous day. He was a poor peasant who lived in the foothills of the “Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta” (in northeastern Colombia). That poor man went into town and bought some processed sugar cane. They wrapped it for him in an old newspaper from the previous day.
My picture was there, all burned. When that man saw the news, without even reading it in full, he fell to the ground and started crying with the deepest love. And he said, “Father, Lord, have compassion on my little sister. Lord, save her. Look, Lord, if you save my little sister, I promise you I will go on pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lord in Buga (in southwestern Colombia), but please save her.”
Imagine a very poor man, he wasn’t complaining or cursing because he was hungry, but instead he had this capacity to love that he could offer to cross an entire country for someone he didn’t even know. And the Lord told me: “That is love for your fellowman” (…)
And then He told me: “You will go back, but you won’t repeat this 1,000 times. You will repeat it 1,000 times 1,000. And woe to those who don’t change their ways despite having heard you, because they will be judged much more severely, just like you will when you come back here again, even their anointed or their priests, or any of them, because the worst deafness is that of a man who refuses to hear.”