MY LIFE WITH THE GOSPA “Medjugorje is the greatest form of evangelization of modern times”



Dear friends, at regular intervals, I tell you on the Blog the story of the apparitions of Our Lady in Medjugorje, as I have experienced it from the very early years until today (You can find the series in the “Medjugorje” section of the Blog)

35. The messages of Medjugorje are the greatest form of evangelization of modern times

With the messages given to the parish every Thursday and, starting from January 1987 every 25th of the month, we are faced with a turning point in the Gospa’s strategy. Even in the previous three years, Our Lady had given numerous messages, often answering the questions of the visionaries or intervening on particular events. Our Lady was keen to underline that every word she says is precious and that they will be asked to take account of them. There is a need for these messages, which are very lively and engaging, to be carefully examined and authoritatively published by the leaders of the parish community.

With the election of the parish which took place at the beginning of Lent 1984 and with the Thursday messages, a new phase begins, during which the Gospa exercises a real Magisterium, guiding first the local faithful and then all those who, in every part of the world they answer the call. Our Lady, as her mother, takes her children by the hand and guides them, among the darkness and dangers of the world, towards the light and joy of eternity.

Some are amazed at the number of messages that are given by the Queen of Peace. In fact we are faced with a unique event, which has never happened in the history of Marian apparitions. In Medjugorje all schemes and possible comparisons with the past disappear. The number of apparitions is extraordinary and the duration goes beyond all expectations. The echoes go far beyond the boundaries of the Church and extend into every corner of the global village.

Those who follow the Gospa’s messages are an ever-growing multitude and the effects on Christian life are visible in countless parishes around the world. The phenomenon cannot be dismissed with irreverent jokes, but must be taken seriously even by those who do not believe in apparitions. We are faced with a continuous, penetrating, capillary catechesis, which nourishes countless souls. The living water of the messages silently floods the arid and thirsty land of Christianity, making it flourish again. From Medjugorje radiates the new evangelization that blows everywhere like the spring wind, with the simplest and most effective means, a sure sign of the presence of the finger of God.

Our Lady does not give messages just to give them. She underlines several times the importance and the need to welcome them, understanding them in the light of the Holy Spirit, and to embody them in her life. In the first weeks of the messages addressed to the parish, the Gospa threatened not to give any more if there was no commitment to put them into practice. Our Lady often repeats that if we put the messages into practice, she will continue to give them to us in the future.

Those who do not believe in apparitions do not understand the messages and are annoyed by the impressive phenomenon of their continuous diffusion. The Mother, on the contrary, considers each of her messages a gift, which she is happy to be able to give to us, like a mother who feeds her children. On some occasions you give more than one on the same day. She never tires of instructing us and consoling us and encouraging us. She knows that only a small number of people practice them.

He knows the criticisms of the know-it-alls who sit in the chair and do not realize that She who speaks is the seat of Wisdom. However, he doesn’t give up and in the long run the fruits can be seen. The Gospa has her own precise strategy and one is amazed at the sovereign freedom with which she disposes of the visionaries. Each of them is a humble and docile instrument which the Madonna uses as she pleases. They don’t take center stage and everyone accepts the role assigned to them.

For regular messages to the parish the Queen of Peace has chosen the visionary Marija Pavlovic. I once asked Marija if there was a particular reason why Our Lady had given her such an important assignment. Marija replied to me that perhaps it was due to the fact that she has a poor memory and that in this way she learned to exercise it . In fact, Marija must remember every time to ask the Madonna for the message. The message is given during her apparition and immediately afterwards Marija writes it, remembering exactly every word that Our Lady spoke. After a while, however, the memory fades. Marija also observed that there is no comparison between the message that comes out alive from the mouth of the Madonna and the one that remains written on paper. The visionary, in her simplicity, does not realize that she is the instrument of the greatest work of evangelization of modern times.

Since 1987, the Gospa has taken a new initiative with the apparitions and subsequent messages given every 2nd of the month through the visionary Mirjana. The girl had stopped daily apparitions on Christmas 1982, when she was in Sarajevo for her studies, in the midst of a society marked by atheistic and materialist communism. The Gospa had instructed her to reveal the ten secrets to the world through a priest chosen by the visionary herself.

Suddenly the Madonna informed her that she would appear every 2nd of the month to pray for non-believers. Why the 2nd of the month? The most immediate reference is the feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the temple, which the Church celebrates on February 2, when Simeon announced that the Child Jesus would be a sign of contradiction and that a sword would pierce the heart of the Mother. Perhaps there is also a reference to August 2nd, the feast of the forgiveness of Assisi, as Medjugorje is a Franciscan parish.

The Queen of Peace comes to pray with Miriana and those present, but soon also begins to give regular messages, which differ from those to the parish due to a particular attention to the world of unbelief, immersed in the darkness of lies and death. The messages given through Marija and Mirjana are complementary and show Our Lady’s concern for all her sheep, those who are in the fold and those who are scattered in the deserts of evil.

However, the Gospa continues to give messages also through the visionary Ivan, both for her group, and sometimes also for the pilgrims present at the apparition on the mountain in the late evening, or on the occasion of prayer meetings. Jakov receives the message on the day of the annual Christmas apparition, as does Ivanka sometimes on the anniversary. Vicka is a case apart, because the Gospa at a certain point told her that she was alone during her apparition. This does not mean that in some cases the visionary may have the apparition during a crowded prayer meeting or with some people in particular.

 Vicka has composed an anthology of the messages from Our Lady that she has received and which she repeats when she speaks to pilgrims. She occasionally adds something new. While continuing to have daily apparitions, Vicka’s relationship with the Madonna is shrouded in great secrecy. From this picture emerges the great freedom with which Our Lady has the visionaries to give her messages. Each of them knows that they are “a useless servant” in the service of the Queen of heaven and earth. No one assigns roles to themselves and no one has ever contradicted themselves with others. It seems clear that it is a single hand that guides and that it is a single voice that speaks.

The regular messages given through Marija and Mirjana constitute a real project of catechesis and spiritual formation that Our Lady carries out with infinite patience. The purpose is to lead to perfect love of God and neighbor. It makes no sense to say that they are repetitive, for the simple reason that every Mother does nothing but reiterate the same things to her dull and distracted children. Even the Church has been repeating the same teachings for over two millennia.

The Madonna does not replace the Church, but joins it. She does not proclaim a Gospel of her own, but that of Jesus Christ. The messages of the Queen of Peace are to be understood as a help of extraordinary value that the Mother of God gives us to understand and live the Word of God in this time marked by a worrying crisis of faith.

On my first pilgrimage to Medjugorje, in March 1985, I went to visit Bishop Zanic for a long and cordial chat. Regarding the messages, he told me that they were evangelical, but that they were packaged by the friars of the parish. The first statement is impeccable, the second clearly unfounded. Medjugorje’s detractors should give a plausible explanation as to the origin of the messages and their indisputable value. It is a fact that for the people of God they are a source of fresh water, where they can quench their thirst for the absolute. The “sensus fidei” that guides the faithful has never sounded the alarm bell even for a single word uttered by the Madonna.

Our Lady in Medjugorje speaks as Mother of God and Mother of the Church. She addresses all men as “Dear children”. Her every word radiates wisdom, goodness, encouragement and hope. Nobody speaks like the Madonna. It is striking that, in so many messages, given through different visionaries, there is not the slightest error regarding the faith, in a time in which, without prejudice to the Magisterium of the Church, doubts, inaccuracies and even errors often come from the pens of theologians and from the pulpits of churches. The Gospa’s messages are short and simple, accessible to all, like the gospels, but never banal.

Our Lady urges you to read them by invoking the Holy Spirit. Those of the first three years in particular, being often occasional, need to be placed in the context in which they were given. Those who sit down to study the messages, without the openness of their heart and the desire to live them, risk being left outside the door, because they lack the key. The All Holy One gives messages that radiate holiness and that lead those who receive them to the peak of perfection.