In an interview published in the Italian Catholic Site La Luce Di Maria, the visionary Mirjana spoke of her encounter with Pope John Paul II.
On that day, Mirjana was on a visit to the Vatican with a delegation of the faithful from Medjugorje. Pope John Paul II was passing through the faithful to bless them all and when he came to her, a man at his side said to the Holy Father: “This is Mirjana of Medjugorje”
Mirjana says in her biography: After hearing this Pope John Paul II came back and blessed me a second time. Then Mirjana jokes, “Maybe he thought I needed extra blessings”
The following day the visionary was invited to the Vatican for a private interview with the pope, Mirjana felt shy, for she felt she was in front of a saint: “I can say I have been with a holy man. Because of how he looked, how he behaved he saw that he was a holy man.
He said to me: ‘If I were not Pope I would have already come to Medjugorje. I know everything. I follow everything. Keep Medjugorje well, because it is hope all over the world. Ask pilgrims to pray for my intentions. “
According to Mirjana, therefore, the pontiff believed in the apparitions of Our Lady, but the visionary would never have expected that the apparitions actually began in response to a prayer by Pope John Paul II himself.
To confess this secret was a friend of the Holy Father, Bishop Hnilica who went to Medjugorje to inspect the events himself. Mirjana explains: “He presented himself to me and told me that a month before the apparitions began in Medjugorje the Pope, while recovering from his bullet wound in the hospital, he kneeled then asked Our Lady for her to come back to earth.
He said, ‘I can not do it alone. There is the Berlin Wall; there is communism. I need you’. He was very devoted to the Madonna. After more or less a month they told him that Madonna was appearing in a communist state, in a small country. He saw this as a response to his prayer. “