For 30 years Medjugorje was an unknown rural village inside the extinct Yugoslavia. The families, mostly poor, worked on their tobacco and grape plantations. The children and young people worked in the fields and studied. Many left the region to seek better opportunities in other European countries. No one would ever elect Medjugorje as the destination of a holiday trip. The Catholic families carried a heroic story of resistance from their ancestors. And the generation of that era, when it all began, was oppressed by the communist regime.
In Medjugorje it was not customary to speak of the apparitions of Our Lady in Fatima or Lourdes or otherwise. So much so that several seers declare that they did not know that there were apparitions of Our Lady.
The beginning of the apparitions left everyone perplexed: the youth themselves (they lived a mixture of happiness and perplexity), their parents and relatives, the village people and surrounding areas, the local Church authorities and the administrative and police authorities of the time, the local medicine and other instances of scientific authorities.
At first the visionaries themselves had some doubt. Vicka, guided by her grandmother, took holy water on the third day, sprinkled the apparition and said: ‘If you are Our Lady, stay … no going away!’ Our Lady just smiled. In the early days his parents sought the local priest without knowing what to do. They said, “Father, I do not know what to do … my son says he sees Our Lady?” The priest warned the youth not to play with such a serious thing. The police took them for questioning and for psychiatric medical examinations. Doctors and social workers climbed the hill to witness the apparition and left the room perplexed. All tests always declared them normal. On the eighth day, fleeing from the police, they knocked on the door of the Church and asked for protection from Father Jozo Zovko. He took them inside and there Our Lady appeared to them and Father Jozo began to believe.
On June 24, 1981, when it was first said that Our Lady had appeared, it was a Wednesday. On the 27th, Our Lady presented herself with the Queen of Peace. On the fourth day, after the apparitions of the 25th, 26th and 27th, about fifteen thousand people from Medjugorje and surrounding areas were gathered on Sunday, the 28th, to follow the phenomenon. And from then on the flow of pilgrims never stopped growing.
Exactly 18 months after the apparitions began, on Christmas 1982 Mirjana, in a 45-minute appearance, was the first psychic to receive the tenth secret and no longer have daily appearances. Our Lady promised to appear on May 18 annually. On that December 25 Our Lady also gave her the ‘parchment’ where all 10 secrets are written with the date of its accomplishment. A little later, guided by Our Lady, Mirjana chooses a priest who will have the mission to reveal the secrets 3 days before they happen. She, who had the freedom to choose any priest, chose the Franciscan priest Pedro Ljubicic. The choice is approved by Our Lady.
The news of the apparitions had already spread through the world. In 1983 the Government of Yugoslavia authorized pilgrimages and crowds began to flock to Medjugorje. Also in 1983 and 1984, two universities in Italy and France undertook a profound scientific and medical-theological investigation under the direction of Dr Henry Joieux (France), Dr Luigi Frigério (Italy) and the great theologian, Marian apparitionist René Laurentin. about the seers and apparitions. The scientific commissions declare the suitability of the seers, their perfect mental sanity, and the positive identification of those phenomena, from the perspective of theology, with what mystical theology knows about the subject.
Despite this, the bishop of the Diocese of Mostar, Dom Pavao Zanic, which belongs to the parish of Medjugorje declares the apparitions to be false. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith presided over by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, future Pope Benedict XVI, does not accept this opinion and transfers to the Episcopal Conference of Yugoslavia responsibility for the investigations.
In March 1984 Our Lady begins to give the messages every Thursday through the seer Marija Pavlovic to the Parish of Medjugorje and consequently to the world.
In May of 1985 Ivanka Ivankovic receives the tenth secret and stops having the daily apparitions happening to have them them on June 25 annually.
In 1986, Ivanka, at the age of 19, married Rajko Elez.
In January 1987, Our Lady began to give messages through Marija Pavlovic, not every Thursday but once a month on the 25th, and these remain to this day.
In August of this same year the monthly apparitions begin for Mirjana Soldo every day 2 when Our Lady comes to pray with her for the unbelievers who, according to Our Lady, are responsible for the evils that happen in the world. Our Lady always refers to these people as those who do not yet know the love of God.
In 1989, Slavko Barbaric gathered around 100 young people from 5 different countries who wanted to deepen the understanding and experience of the message of Medjugorje and held the first Youth Festival with songs, prayers and testimonies. From this date, every year, there is a Youth Festival in Medjugorje with a growing number of young people from many different countries.
In 1989, the fall of communism led to the disintegration of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The fragile unity of the Yugoslav Federation maintained since the end of World War II by the leadership of General Tito, who died in 1980, and by the imperialist domination of the Soviet Union.
In September 1989 Mirjana Dragicevic, 24, married Marko Soldo.
In April 1991 the Theological Commission defined by the Church as responsible for Medjugorje officially accepted Medjugorje as a place of prayer and worship. And gave permission for private pilgrimages.
Ten years after the apparitions began on June 25, 1991, Croatia and Slovenia declare their independence from Yugoslavia by beginning the process of disintegration of that country. And in 1992 the Bosnian war began, which continued until 1995, causing the death of more than 200,000 people and the definitive dissolution of the Federation of Yugoslavia with the formation of six new countries including Bosnia and Herzegovina where Medjugorje is located.Medjugorje is not directly affected by war, but remains as an oasis of peace in the midst of conflict.
Jakov, 22, married on Easter Sunday 1993 in the Church of St. James in Medjugorje with Anna Lisa Barozzi an Italian girl
In September of 1993 Marija Pavlovic, with 28 years, marries with Paulo Lunetti
In 1994, at age 29, Ivan Dragicevic married young American Laureen Murphy.
In August 1996, Doctor Navarro Valls, the Spokesman of the Holy See, explicitly stated the position of Rome: “You can not prohibit people from going there unless it is proved that the apparitions are false. This has not happened so far;then no one can tell people not to go there if they so desire. When Catholics go somewhere they are entitled to spiritual care. Thus the Church does not forbid priests to accompany pilgrimages to Medjugorje in Bosnia and Herzegovina. “
On September 11, 1998, Our Lady communicated to Jakov Colo that the tenth secret would be revealed the next day. Jakov was traveling to the United States of America. The next day, Our Lady appears to him, reveals the tenth secret and announces that from that day she would appear to him once a year for Christmas and no more daily. Exactly three years after Jakov’s last regular appearance in the United States, the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon occurred on September 11, 2001.
Between April and December 1998 two new psychophysiological and psychodiagnostic scientific studies were carried out on the visionaries at the request of the immediate responsible ecclesiastical authorities by the parish of St. James (Medjugorje). The objective was to compare the phenomena in 1998 with those found in the previous French and Italian studies of 1983-1984. Participating in these studies were: the Institute for Phenomena Sciences – Austria (Innsbruck), the Center for Psychophysiological Studies and Investigations of States of Conscience (Milan – Italy), the European School of Psychotherapy and Hypnosis (Milan – Italy) Parapsychology (Bologna – Italy). From these studies it was stated that during the last 17 years (the examinations were conducted in 1998) from the beginning of their experiences related to the apparitions these people did not manifest or manifest any pathological symptoms such as trance disorders, dissociative disorders and sense of reality. That, in fact, these people manifested symptoms linked to stress reactions that are justified, because they arise due to a great exogenous and endogenous stimulation as a consequence of their daily life. From their personal conversations one discovers that the initial state of consciousness and the later transformed state arises because of the unusual experiences which they themselves have recognized and defined as visions / apparitions of the Virgin Mary.
In November 2000, Father Slavko Barbaric died in Medjugorje since 1982 and was spiritual director of the seers. Pe Slavko, who spoke five languages, was in Brazil in January of the year 1989. He died on Mount Krizevac. on Friday after the pilgrimage of the Holy Cross. In a apparition of the following day Our Lady reveals that he is with her in Heaven interceding for all.
In January 2002, at age 37, Vicka marries Mario Mijatovick in the Church of Medjugorje.
In 2005, new neurological examinations were carried out, which revealed that during the apparitions, when the seers with their eyes open, their brains remain in an alpha rhythm, that is, in deep relaxation.
The 25-year festival in 2006 attracted 200,000 people from 47 countries to Medjugorje.
The 18th Youth Festival in August 2007 again attracted thousands of young people to Medjugorje
In 2008, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Secretary of the Holy See for Relations with States (Minister for Foreign Affairs) visited Bosnia and Herzegovina from 26 to 29 April. In a one-hour meeting, Archbishop Mamberti conveyed Pope Benedict XVI’s greetings to all the Franciscans of that Province and reaffirmed the inestimable importance of the role of religious in the local Church and throughout the world.
The seers are all married and have children, and the three who have not received the ten secrets, but only nine, continue to have daily appearances. They all consciously continue to dedicate their lives to the mission entrusted to them by the Queen of Peace.
Vicka – Born in 3.9.64, married to Mario Mijatovic, she has two children, Maria and Antonio. She lives in Krehin Grac, near Medjugorje and continues to serve the pilgrims. Our Lady appears to you every day.
Marija – Daughter of modest farmers, was born in 1.4.65. Married to Paolo Lunetti with whom they have four children: Michele Maria, Francesco Maria, Marco Maria and Giovanni Maria. He lives with his family in Italy in the city of Monza and often comes to Medjugorje. Since 1984, through her, the Virgin Mary has given a message to the Parish of Medjugorje which is quickly distributed throughout the world in dozens of languages. Initially the message was weekly, and from 1987 it became monthly every day. Our Lady appears to you every day.
Ivan – was born on 25.5.65, married to Laureen Murphy. They have 3 children: Cristina Maria, Mihayla and Daniel. They live most of the year in the United States and part of Medjugorje. In addition, in the last 10 years Ivan has traveled the world carrying the message of Our Lady to the greatest number of people. In Hong Kong (China), Japan, Korea, Australia, Philippines, New Zealand, throughout Europe and the United States he has met with presidents, royal families, ambassadors, politicians, sports and poor people who can not go to Medjugorje. Ivan goes where he is invited (see article in Bulletin nº 2 – February 2008). He also holds prayer meetings in his home where he receives and welcomes the participants. Our Lady appears to him every day. Ivan once revealed that “There is a reason for me to be living in the United States and for Marija to be living in Italy”
The other three seers who have already received the ten secrets are:
Mirjana – Born on 18.3.65. She has been married to Marko Soldo since September 16, 1989 and has two daughters: Maria and Verônica. He lives with his family in Medjugorje. There are annual appearances since 1983 on March 18 and monthly appearances every 02 days since 1987 when together with Our Lady they pray for the unbelievers, that is, for those who do not yet know the love of God.
Ivanka – was born on 21.6.66. She has been married to Rajko Elez since 1986 and has three children: Cristina, José and Ivan. He lives with his family in Medjugorje. is the least appearing in public. It simply says that ‘we should pray more and live the messages of Medjugorje’. There are annual apparitions of Our Lady on June 25th.
Jakov – Born in 6.3.71, married to Anna Lisa Barozzi. The couple has three children: Arianna Maria, David and Miriam.He lives with his family in Medjugorje and is dedicated to attending to the pilgrims. He received the tenth secret on September 12, 1998 and has annual apparitions of Our Lady on December 25th.
Mirjana and Jakov have already received the ten secrets
Medjugorje is becoming more and more like a large Marian Shrine with an increasing number of pilgrims from the beginning up to today exceeding 30 million. Monthly thousands of people gather for the apparition of the day 02 to Mirjana. And millions follow the messages of the 25th to Marija Pavlovic Lunetti. The Youth Festival attracts thousands of pilgrims to Medjugorje. Science has already made the most important studies. The internet has become an important source of rapid dissemination. Thousands of Prayer Groups follow the messages of Medjugorje, Religious communities have been formed to follow more radically the guidelines of Our Lady. The Church follows in a calm and attentive way the events unfolding.
What is yet to happen
In this place Our Lady appeared for the first time and here will be the third secret – the visible sign
For the future what apparently everyone expects with more expectation is the accomplishment of the 10 secrets. But for those who have faith, it really should not be so. For those who have faith, the greatest concern must always be to seek to live well today before God. The seer Marija when asked if she did not care, if she was not afraid because of the secrets she answered that “whoever trusts God has nothing to fear, and that if she was afraid she would not have married and would not have had four children.”
However, it is a fact that the secrets appear as a prophecy for a very near future and, although we do not know the dates, they can be partially presumed to be linked to the life time of the protagonists of these apparitions.
Based on what we already know Father Pedro is 62 years old and it is he who, having been chosen by Mirjana and approved by Our Lady will reveal the secrets. Jakov the youngest seer was 10 years old when the apparitions began and now he is 37. Ivanka who was 16 now has 42. If we add an equal time the one that already passed we will find Jakov with 64 years and Ivanka with 69. And the priest Pedro. .62 + 27 = 89. We can reasonably think that if we consider the total time of these apparitions that we have already passed half the time.
As we have previously revealed the Croatian war, it began on June 25, 1991, exactly 10 years after the apparitions began on June 25, 1981. Jakov had his last regular daily appearance on September 11, 1998, exactly 3 years before the attacks of September 11, 2001 and he was in the United States of America. This makes us suppose that the dates of the last apparitions to the seers, or even the dates of apparitions, have associated with him whether there is any possibility of a future event. Mirjana even said: “People think that Our Lady comes to me on March 18 because it is my birthday. She certainly did not come on that date because it was my birthday. to begin to happen you will know because on March 18, because every 2nd day of the month and because Wednesdays and Fridays are days of fasting, then everything will be clear. “
Before the revelation of the secrets there are still three seers to receive the tenth secret. Mirjana received the tenth secret only 18 months after the start of the apparitions on Christmas Day 1982. Four years after the start, in 1985, it was Ivanka’s turn to receive the tenth secret. Jakov went to receive the tenth secret 17 years after the first appearance.Now it is almost 10 years without any of the seers the tenth secret being revealed.
Those who have not yet received are: Ivan who lives in the United States, Marija who lives in Italy and Vicka who lives in Medjugorje. Ivan’s statement that there is a special reason why he lives in the United States and that Marija lives in Italy for a special reason can be presumed for a few reasons. Marija, in an interview, was referred to as having a special love and concern for the Holy Father and this would be a reasonable reason for her to live in Italy. It would mean a sign of greater closeness of Our Lady to the Pope. The United States, the world’s greatest war power can also be cause for concern. Or the fact of living in the United States associates a greater visibility to the visionary Ivan who travels around the world taking the message of Our Lady of Medjugorje to important personalities of history in the most diverse areas of human activity.
We are still waiting for Vicka, authorized by Our Lady, to release the story of the life of the Virgin Mary that the Mother of the Lord herself narrated to the seer. In the interview with Fr Livio, Vicka revealed that one of the seers will continue to have appearances daily during the revelation of secrets.
Many people are in a position to reject apparitions by stating that “the Church has not yet approved …” The Church has spoken out about Medjugorje, for it is not only by the declarations that it manifests itself, but also a non-prohibition after 27 is a testimony in favor. The presence of bishops, thousands of priests, millions of laymen, private approval of John Paul II, Benedict XVI’s position taken in favor of Medjugorje when local bishops were prepared to repress the facts, the recent visit of Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the Secretary of the Holy See for Relations with States (read about this fact on the ‘News’ page of this Bulletin of June) The fraternal relationship with the Franciscans of Bosnia and Herzegovina … in all this the Church is speaking. Then, unless in the particular case of Medjugorje the Church changes its habitual practice of waiting for the end of the events to declare itself, no one will ever hear an official statement, for the appearances being true will evolve with the revelation of the secrets and they will not be over before all are revealed and we know that some of the secrets are catastrophic events. In addition, Our Lady said that ‘no one should wait for the secrets to believe, then it may already be too late.’
If the Church were against it, why would not it prohibit Father Pedro Ljubicic from making public statements as serious as the declarations about the secrets and the revelation of them?
In the first official statement of the Italo-French Scientific and Theological Commission which studied the visionaries of Medjugorje in 1984-1985, the Commission had already recognized the suitability of the seers and the supernatural nature of the phenomena (since it can not be explained by science) that it would be good for the Church to recognize the extraordinary nature of the Church. The following official statement was made by the Commission in item eleven: As a consequence it can be concluded that after a deeper examination of the protagonists of the events and their effects not only at the local level, but also about a response of the Church at a general level it would be good for the Church to recognize the supernatural origin and by this recognition to confirm the purpose of the events of Medjugorje:
On top of all this, the end of the apparitions as revealed by Our Lady is that the power of the enemy will be destroyed and that God will triumph. We do not know if we are going to live here on this earth … so we must be prepared to meet God even today … Are you prepared?
Participation in the Holy Mass, if possible, daily, monthly confession, daily reading of the Bible to practice it and the Gospel of Matthew 6, 24 to 34 on Thursdays, the daily recitation of the rosary and fasting on bread and water are the best forms of preparation.