Actual unretouched photograph taken on Easter Sunday, 1988 in Medjugorje, Yugoslavia, site of miracles and alleged apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to six shepherd children since 1981. The photographer, singer/songwriter Joseph Lee Hooker, had prayed for a "sign" to confirm the divine validity of the many supernatural occurrences there.
Specifically, he prayed for God to allow him to take a miraculous photograph if the events occurring in Medjugorje were "for real".
Though he had no formal training or experience as a photographer, he purchased a new camera specifically with the idea in mind that he hoped God would allow this unusual and admittedly bold prayer to be answered on camera. To his own amazement, the "Good Shepherd" photo was a powerful answer to that prayer.
Joseph snapped the photo of the skies over Mt. Krizevac (Cross Mountain), on Easter Sunday, 1988 in the late morning just as he desecended from Cross Mountain. He had climbed Cross Mountain for three consecutive days at dawn -- Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday -- in order to pray and present his recently-produced "Singing the Rosary" to the Lord.
After returning from the mountain on the third day, Joseph noticed what he describes as an "incredible, mysterious triangular cloud" which hovered overhead. He instantly thought of the Blessed Trinity -- Father, Son and Holy Spirit -- and he said the cloud seemed, "very powerful, and was moving within itself, like the powerful, billowing smoke you see in a volcano plume or moving storm clouds..." As he was in a hurry to get to 10AM English Mass, he did not at that moment see the distinct image of Christ with His staff, nor the many other images which appear in this cloud formation (e.g., the Father, the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove, a lost sheep...) although he suspected the cloud was very, very special.
Once Joseph returned to the US and realized just how amazing the photo was, he made over a thousand copies of this photo and returned to Medjugorje to freely distribute them. He repeated this same journey several times, and eventually, the photo became so popular that witness letters and requests for copies began arriving from all over the globe.
This image has been broadcast and published worldwide. FOX BROADCASTING features both the Good Shepherd and the White Cross photos on their recurrent special, "Miraclues and Visions: Fact or Fiction?" Numerous newscasts and television shows, national and local newspapers, worldwide media outlets and entertainment shows have also featured the incredible images, coupled with probing questions and experts left scratching their heads. The authenticity of these photographs has been verified by independent photo labs. Those who may doubt or question are freely challenged to attempt to discredit their divine origin (but they are also warned in advance that it will be a waste of time...!).
Most importantly, the Good Shepherd photo has been a source of inspiration and conversion to thousands. Even the most hardened atheists have a hard time ignorning the fact that "something incredible" did indeed happen at the moment the picture was taken.
Joseph Hooker can be emailed directly at: