The Apparitions of Our Lady at Medjugorje
1981-present, Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina
On June 24, 1981, the Solemnity of the Nativity of John the Baptist, children in what was then still a Yugoslav village spotted a young woman hovering over a hill, pointing to a newborn baby she was carrying in her arms. Frightened, the children ran away.
The next day, June 25, however, the woman appeared again in the same place, this time alone, and this time the children ran to meet her and began a conversation with her that they say has not ended to this day.
She wore a light gray dress with a white veil, they told, had blue eyes and was surrounded by a wreath of twelve stars.
Again, a day later, the woman appeared a little way away to one of the girls alone once more with the words: "Mir, Mir, Mir - Peace, Peace, Peace . . ."
This has remained the core of all their messages to this day, although at the time they were still trying to stop them with tanks.
The mountain was cordoned off, the church boarded up. Exactly ten years later, on June 26, 1991, war broke out in Yugoslavia.
As the war engulfed and devastated all the countries of Yugoslavia one after another, this place was miraculously spared from all atrocities. Not a single shot was fired.
The Beginnings of the Apparitions
The First Day
On June 24, 1981, six young people observed an event that would change their lives and everyone's lives forever: Around 6:00 p.m., Ivanka Ivankovic, Mirjana Dragicevic, Vicka Ivankovic, Ivan Dragicevic, Ivan Ivankovic and Milka Pavlovic saw an incredibly beautiful young woman with a small child in her arms. This happened on the site of Crnica hill, also known as Podbrdo.
The woman said nothing, but gestured for the children to come closer. They were surprised and scared. Nevertheless, they knew right away that it was the Blessed Mother.
The Second Day
On the second day, June 25, 1981, the children decided to meet again in the same place. They had the hope of seeing Our Lady again. All of a sudden there was a flash of light there, the children looked up and saw Our Lady, this time without the child. She smiled very kindly and was indescribably beautiful.
With her hands, she indicated for them to come closer. The children encouraged each other and went towards her. They instantly fell on their knees and began to pray, "Our Father...", "Hail Mary..." and "Glory be to the Father...". Our Lady prayed with them, but not the "Hail Mary". After the prayer, she began to talk to the children. Ivanka asked her about her mother, who had died two months earlier. Then Mirjana asked Our Lady for some signs to show people that they were neither lying nor mentally ill, as some people had said about them.
Finally, Our Lady left the children with the words: "God be with you, my angels!" Earlier, she had answered with a nod of her head to the question of whether She would appear again tomorrow. The children later described the whole encounter as "indescribable."
That day, two children from the previous day's group, Ivan Ivanković and Milka Pavlović, were missing. Instead, Marija Pavlović and Jakov Čolo came with them to the place of the apparition. From that day on, Our Lady appeared regularly to these six children. Milka Pavlović and Ivan Ivanković, who were present on the first day of the apparition, never saw Our Lady again, not even when they returned to the apparition site, hoping to see Her after all.
The Third Day
On June 26, 1981, the children waited with excitement until about 6:00 p.m., the time of the earlier apparitions. They went again to the same place to meet Our Lady here. They were very happy, although their joy was mixed with apprehension as to what would come of these events. Despite all this, the children felt a kind of inner strength that attracted them to meet Our Lady.
Suddenly, while the children were still on their way, a flash of lightning lit up three times. For them and those who followed them, it was the signal that indicated Our Lady's presence. On this third day, Our Lady appeared in the same plain, a little higher than on the previous days. Suddenly, Our Lady disappeared again. But when the children began to pray, She appeared again. She was joyful, smiling serenely, and Her beauty was overwhelming.
The visionary children Vicka Ivankovic (17), Jakov Čolo (10), Mirjana Dragicevic (16), Ivanka Ivankovic (15), Marija Pavlović (16), Ivan Dragicevic (16)
When they left their homes, an elderly woman advised them to take holy water with them to make sure the apparition was not from Satan. Then, when they were at Our Lady's house, Vicka took the holy water and sprinkled it against the apparition, saying, "If you are Our Lady, please stay, but if not, depart from us!" Our Lady smiled at this and stayed with the children. Then Mirjana asked her her name and she answered: "I am the Blessed Virgin".
On that same day, when they came down from Apparition Hill, Our Lady appeared a second time. Now, however, only to Marija, and she said to her: "Peace, peace, peace and only peace." Behind her, Marija could see a cross. Then Our Lady, in tears, repeated the following words: "Peace, peace, peace. Peace must reign between men and God and among all men!" The place where this happened is about halfway between the village and the apparition site.
The Fourth Day
On June 27, 1981, Our Lady appeared to the children three times. On this occasion, the children asked all kinds of questions and Our Lady answered them. For the priests, she gave the following message: "May the priests stand firm in the faith and be concerned for the faith of their people!" Jakov and Mirjana asked again for a sign, because they were again accused of lying. "Do not be afraid of anything", Our Lady answered them. Before leaving, She was asked if She would return, which She confirmed. On the way back from Apparition Hill, Our Lady appeared once again to say. "Goodbye" with the words: "May God be with you, my angels, go in peace!".
The Fifth Day
On June 28, 1981, from the early morning, a large crowd gathered from all over, and by the evening there were about 15,000 people. On the same day, the local priest called the children to him and asked them exactly what they had seen and heard about the experiences of the previous days.
The Apparition Hill
At the usual time, Our Lady appeared again, the children prayed with Her and asked Her questions. Vicka asked, "Dear Blessed Mother, what do you want from us and what do you expect from our priests?" Our Lady answered: "People should pray and believe firmly!" As for the priests, She said that they should believe firmly and help others to do the same.
That day Our Lady came and went many times. On one occasion, the children asked Her why She did not appear in the church for all to see. She gave in reply: "Blessed are those who do not see and yet believe!"
Although the crowd was pressing the children with their questions and curiosity, and it was a heavy and sultry day, the children felt as if they were in heaven.
The Sixth Day
On June 29, 1981, the children were brought to Mostar for a medical examination. The doctor said, "The children are not mentally ill," which the person who had brought them must have believed.
The crowd on Apparition Hill that day was even bigger than before. As soon as the children arrived at the usual place and began to pray, Our Lady appeared. On that occasion, Our Lady said to the children: "Let the people believe firmly and not be afraid."
On that day, a female doctor had followed them and was observing them. During the apparition, she had a desire to touch Our Lady. The children guided her hand to the place where Our Lady's shoulder was and she felt a tingling sensation. The doctor, although an atheist, admitted, "Something strange is happening here!"
On the same day, a child, named Daniela Setka, was miraculously healed. Her parents had brought her to Medjugorje and had prayed especially for a healing for her. Our Lady had promised this healing in case the parents would pray and fast and believe very firmly. As a result, the child was healed.
From the Seventh Day
On June 30, 1981, two young women persuaded the children to go further away by car so they could walk in peace. In reality, they wanted to prevent the children from being at the apparition site at the usual time of the apparition.
Although the children were far from Apparition Hill, they asked to get off at the usual apparition time. As soon as they got out and began the prayers (seven "Our Fathers," etc.), Our Lady moved to them from Apparition Hill, which was over a kilometer away. Thus, the trick of the two young women did not succeed.
The Sanctuary Today
Soon after, the police prevented the children and pilgrims from going to the site of the apparitions. Then the children and later the people were forbidden to go there altogether. But Our Lady continued her apparitions in secret places, in their homes and in the fields. In the meantime, the children had found confidence and spoke quite openly with Our Lady. Eagerly they tried to follow Her instructions. They listened to Her warnings and messages. The events in Medjugorje continued in this way until January 15, 1982.
In the meantime, the priests of the parish began to lead the pilgrims to the Church, they made it possible for them to participate in the recitation of the Rosary and to join in the celebration of Holy Mass. The children also began to pray the rosary. Sometimes Our Lady would appear to the children in the church at this time. Even the priest himself, while praying the rosary once, saw Our Lady. Immediately he broke off the prayer and began to sing a well-known song: "Lijepa si, lijepa, Djevo Marijo." "O how beautiful you are, most blessed Virgin Mary". The whole church could notice that something extraordinary had happened to him. Afterwards, he testified that he had seen the Blessed Mother. And so he, who until then not only doubted the apparitions, but openly opposed the rumors of the apparitions, became her defender. He testified his support for the apparitions to the point of imprisonment.
From January 15, the children saw Our Lady in a closed room of the parish church. The parish priest made this possible because of the renewed difficulties and sometimes dangers from which he wanted to protect the visionaries themselves. Beforehand, the children had assured that this was done in accordance with Our Lady's wishes. However, because of the prohibition of the diocesan bishop, the children had to leave the room in the church as a place of apparition from April 1985. So from then on they went to a room in the rectory.
All the time from the beginning of the apparitions until today, there have been only five days when none of the visionaries have seen Our Lady.
The Sanctuary from behind
Our Lady did not always appear in the same place, nor did she always appear to the same group or individuals, nor did the apparitions always last a certain amount of time. Sometimes an apparition lasted two minutes, sometimes an hour. Also, Our Lady never appeared according to the will of the children. Sometimes they prayed and waited for the apparition, but Our Lady did not appear, and then shortly after, She came unexpectedly and unpredictably. Sometimes She appeared to one and not to the others. If She had not promised to appear at a certain time, no one would know when and if She would come at all. Also, She appeared not only to the predicted seers, but She also appeared to others, at different ages, of different stature, race, education, and walks of life. All this confirms that the apparitions are not imaginations. They do not depend on the time, nor on the place, nor on the prayer or desire of the visionaries and pilgrims, but only on HIM, on His will that allows the apparitions.
The Messages of Medjugorje
According to the common testimony of the visionaries, Our Lady gave a series of messages during her apparitions that you should pass on to the people. Although there are many messages, they can be grouped under five themes because all the messages lead to or clarify these five themes:
★★★ Peace ★★★
Already on the third day, Our Lady emphasized that peace is Her first message. "Peace, peace, peace and only peace!" After that, She said twice, "Peace must reign between God and men and among men". Noting that Marija saw a cross when Our Lady gave this message, this undoubtedly suggests that this peace must come from God. God who became our peace through Mary in Christ.(Eph.2:14) "Because He is peace among us"...This peace "the world cannot give"(Jn.14:27) and that is why Christ instructed His apostles to bring it to the world (Mt.10:11) so that all men might become sons of peace (Lk.10:6). Therefore, the Blessed Mother, as "Queen of Apostles" in Medjugorje points especially to herself as the "Queen of Peace". Who better and more successfully than you can convince today's world, threatened by destruction, of how great and how necessary peace is?
★★★ Faith ★★★
The second message of Our Lady is faith. Already on the fourth, fifth and sixth days of the apparitions, Our Lady exhorted those present to stand firm in faith, understandably She repeated this message many times. Without faith we cannot find peace. Not only that, but faith is a response to God's Word, which He not only speaks but wants to give us. When we believe, we receive God's Word, which has become "our peace" in Jesus Christ(Eph.2:14). When we accept it, we become a new creation with a new life in Christ and participation in the divine life (1 Pet.1,4; Eph.2,18). This path contains peace with God and fellow man.
There is no one who understands better the necessity and effectiveness of our faith than Our Lady. That is why She demands it at every opportunity and asks the visionaries to communicate the light of faith to others. In this way, Our Lady presents faith as the answer to everything that people ask for. She points it out as a necessary condition for all prayers, wishes and desires, in relation to health, to the whole and everything else that people need.
★★★ Repentance ★★★
Repentance, conversion, is another thing that is very common in Our Lady's messages. This one presupposes that She has detected a weakness or a total lack of faith in humanity today. And so it is impossible to obtain peace without conversion. True conversion means the purification or cleansing of the heart (Jer. 4:14), because a corrupt or disoriented heart is the basis for bad relationships, which then set in motion social disorder and unjust laws as their basis and prerequisite. Without a radical change of heart, without conversion of heart, there is no peace. For this reason, Our Lady also continually calls for frequent confession. The request is addressed to all, without distinction, because "not one of us is righteous..." "all of us have strayed, none of us does only what is right" (Rom.3:11-12).
★★★ Prayer ★★★
Almost daily, from the fifth day of the apparitions, Our Lady has asked for prayer. She urges everyone to "pray without ceasing," as Christ Himself taught (Mk.9:29; Mt.9:38; Lk.11:5-13). Prayer promotes and strengthens our faith; without prayer, our relationship with God is not in order, nor is our relationship with others. Prayer also reminds us how close God is to us, even in our daily lives. In prayer we give Him our recognition, we tell Him thanks for His gifts to us, and in prayer we are filled with hopeful expectation for what we need, especially salvation. Prayer consolidates the balance of the individual and strengthens us in our right relationship with God, without which it is impossible to remain at peace, either with God or with our neighbor. The Word of God has made Himself known to all people and awaits a response from humanity. It is precisely this that gives prayer its justification. Our response should be "spoken faith" or prayer. In prayer, faith is promoted, renewed, strengthened and sustained. Further, man's prayer gives birth to a witness to the Scriptures and to the existence of God, which in turn brings about a response of faith in others.
★★★ Fasting ★★★
As early as the sixth day of the apparitions, Our Lady frequently reminded people to fast because it strengthens their faith. The practice of fasting supports and strengthens us for our self-control. Only the person who is in control of himself is truly free, and only he is capable of abandoning himself for God and neighbor, as faith demands. Fasting guarantees him that his self-denial is safe and serious. It helps him to become free from all dependence, but especially from dependence to sin. He who does not really own himself is dependent in some way. Therefore, fasting helps the individual and prevents himself from seeking a disordered pleasure that would gradually make him a futile and useless existence, often wasteful of the true goods needed by others in order to survive.
With fasting we also regain the grace that makes live in us a real love for the poor and the weak and that, up to a certain point, also diminishes the difference between the poor and the rich. Therefore, it cures the desires of the poor and likewise the excesses and exaggerated luxuries of others. Furthermore, fasting in its own way brings about a dimension of peace, which today is particularly threatened by the difference in lifestyle between the poor and the rich.
In summary, we can say that Our Lady's messages emphasize that peace is the highest good and that faith, conversion, prayer and fasting are the means by which we can achieve it.
In addition to the five messages, which, as we said, are the most important that Our Lady immediately gave for the whole world, from March 1, 1984, She began to give special messages every Thursday, mainly through visionary Marija Pavlović-Lunetti, for the parish of Medjugorje and the pilgrims who come there. Therefore, in addition to the six visionaries, Our Lady chose the parish of Medjugorje, together with the pilgrims who come here, to be her collaborators and witnesses. This is already clear from the first Thursday message, in which She said: "I have chosen this parish in a special way and I want to lead it." She reaffirmed this again when She said: "I have chosen this parish in a special way, dearer to me than others, to which I went with joy when the Almighty sent me" (March 25, 1985). Our Lady also gave a reason for Her choice, saying: "If you convert in this parish, all who come here will also convert, that is my second wish" (March 8, 1984). "I ask especially you, the members of this parish, to live my messages" (August 16, 1984). First, let the parishioners and the pilgrims become the witnesses of Her apparitions and messages, so that then, in union with Her and the visionaries, we may carry out Her plan, which involves the conversion of the world and reconciliation with God.
Our Lady knows very well the weakness and nature of the parishioners and pilgrims with whom She wants to work for the salvation of the world. She is aware that this requires supernatural strength, so She leads them to the source of this strength, which is primarily prayer. Thus, she passionately calls us to prayer again and again. Before all prayers, she calls us especially to Holy Mass, (March 7, 1985; May 16, 1985) and reminds us again and again to venerate the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar (March 15, 1984). She likewise encourages us to venerate the Holy Spirit (June 2, 1984; June 9, 1984; April 11, 1985; May 23, 1988, etc.) and to read Sacred Scripture (September 8, 1984; February 14, 1985).
With these special messages to the parish and its pilgrims, Our Lady wished that the first messages addressed to the whole world would thereby be deepened and understood and accepted more by others.
From January 25, 1987, Our Lady began, through visionary Marija Pavlović-Lunetti, to give the messages on the 25th of each month, instead of the Thursday messages, and so it is to this day.
Message from November 25, 2021
“Dear children! I am with you in this time of mercy and I am calling all of you to be carriers of peace and love in this world where, through me, little children, God is calling you to be prayer and love, and an expression of Heaven here on earth. May your hearts be filled with joy and faith in God; that, little children, you may have complete trust in His holy will. That is why I am with you, because He, the Most High, is sending me among you to encourage you to the hope; and you will be peacemakers in this peaceless world. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
Message from October 25, 2021
“Dear children! Return to prayer because who prays is not afraid of the future; who prays is open to life and respects the life of others; who prays, little children, feels the freedom of the children of God and in joy of heart serves for the good for his brother-man. Because God is love and freedom, therefore, little children, when they want to put you in bonds and to use you, it is not from God. Because God loves and gives His peace to every creature; and that is why He sent me to you to help you to grow in holiness. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
Message from September 25, 2021
“Dear children! Pray, witness and rejoice with me because the Most High continues to send me to lead you on the way of holiness. Be aware, little children, that life is short and eternity is waiting for you to give glory to God with your being, with all the saints. Little children, do not worry about earthly things, but long for Heaven. Heaven will be your goal and joy will begin to reign in your heart. I am with you and bless all of you with my motherly blessing. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
Our Lady gives 10 secrets
Ten secrets each the Mother of God gave and gives to the six visionaries of Medjugorje. Three of the six visionaries have already received all ten secrets (Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo, Ivanka Ivankovic-Elez, Jakov Colo), the other three (Vicka Ivankovic-Mijatovic, Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti, Ivan Dragicevic) only nine. Ten days before the occurrence of the Mysteries, the visionary Mirjana will go to a certain Franciscan priest (Father Petar Ljubicic) and prepare with him for seven days through prayer and fasting. Three days before the mysteries occur, the priest will publish the secret. All the secrets (so far) are still in the future.
Our Lady with Baby Jesus
During a pilgrimage to Medjugorje, a pilgrim took a photo of Krizevac (Cross Mountain) - where the Mother of God appeared several times. After the development, the photo showed the face of the Mother of God with the Baby Jesus on Her arm.
Mary, The Mother of God
The picture was taken by a photographer who shot to the spot in the air where the Medjugorje children were staring as if in a trance. After the film was developed, this image showed up.