New Castle News

February 21, 2014

Heaven on earth: Several residents are featured in book on divine visits

Lugene Hudson
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Communication with the living and those who have passed away is something Toni DiBernardo truly believes in.

Her experience after having surgery for pancreatic cancer sparked a new book from her friend, Josie Varga of New Jersey.

DiBernardo met Varga, who has written four other books, on a website called “After Death Communications” after she witnessed a divine experience the week that her mother died.

Varga’s latest book, “Divine Visits” features proof of miracles and divine encounters, and also focuses on the stories of several Lawrence County residents including DiBernardo.

Other local people in the book include Anthony “Bo” DeCarbo; Michael Occhibone, whose story is called “A Dream of St. Jude;”  Barbara  Wiley; and Lottie Supples, all of the New Castle area; and Orlando Bartolomeo and Rachelle Rozzo of Ellwood City.

But it was DiBernardo’s story after she was diagnosed with cancer that set the wheels in motion for Varga to write the book.

When Varga learned of DiBernardo’s diagnosis, she prayed for her and sent her friend a cross.

DiBernardo took that cross to the hospital and while there recovering from the surgery, she said she was awakened twice and remembered thinking she must be dead. The third time, she was tapped on the shoulder and saw before her a man who wore a white doctor’s coat but resembled a picture she has of Jesus in her home. According to DiBernardo, he related that he was of Israeli-Jewish descent.

“I told him he had the most beautiful eyes I had ever seen and he bent down and kissed me twice on the forehead and told me, ‘You are healed.’ ”

During follow-up, DiBernardo asked to speak to that doctor to thank him and was told there was no doctor who fit such a description. Additionally, the tests came back showing no signs of cancer and no additional treatment was required.

To Varga, who is also a motivational speaker and shares these types of stories with her audience, her friend’s story substantiated what prayer can accomplish.

Varga, a journalist who has cerebral palsy and bilateral hearing loss, also survived melanoma and a breast cancer scare. She prefers to live her life focusing on the positive.

She considers herself a spiritual person and said she experienced evidential after-life communication or visits from heaven, which is the title of another of her books.

“I realized I could help so many people by sharing stories,” Varga said, adding she did research on divine intervention. “People on the other side can communicate with us.

“The fact that so many people from New Castle alone had such divine experiences goes to show you that miracles are not only possible; they are happening all around us.”

Varga used 61 accounts in “Divine Visits,” which is available online and wherever books are sold, but talked to even more people while writing the book.

The accounts are from folks all over the world including the United Kingdom, India and Singapore, she pointed out.

“Toni DiBernardo’s story is a true testament to the power of prayer and the divine,” Varga said.

“I owe everything to my faith and the power of prayer,” DiBernardo noted. “Why with this death sentence was I blessed with life?”