What is Medjugorje! What's Going on There!

Medjugorje is a small village located in Bosnia-Herzegovina (former Yugoslavia), across the Adriatic Sea from Italy. It is a favored place chosen by God in which the Holy Virgin Mary has appeared daily for nearly 30 years. All Began on June 24, 1981, on the Feast day of John the Baptist in the evening. The Virgin Mary appeared to two young people, Mirjana Dragicevic and Ivanka Ivankovic. The next day, four more young people, Marija Pavlovic, Jakov Colo, Vicka Ivankovic, and Ivan Dragicevic saw the Virgin Mary, bringing the total to six visionaries. These visionaries are not related to one another. In 1981 when the Virgin first appeared to them, Mirjana was 16 years old, Ivanka was 15, Marija was 16, Vicka was 17, Ivan was 16, and Jakov was 10 years old.

Statue of the Virgin Mary at the Courtyard of Saint James Church
in Medjugorje

The Blessed Virgin Mary has told the visionaries of Medjugorje that she would impart to them Ten Secrets. Very little is known about these secrets, though we do know that some of them have to do with chastisements for the world. We also know that the third secret will be a visible, lasting sign that will miraculously be placed somewhere on Apparition Hill. It will be permanent, indestructible, and beautiful. On the other hand, both Mirjana and Vicka have stated that part of the seventh secret no longer exists because of the prayers and fasting of the people responding to the Virgin’s messages.

Three of the visionaries, Mirjana, Ivanka, and Jakov, have all received ten secrets and no longer see the Virgin on a daily basis. Mirjana received the 10th secret in 1982, Ivanka in 1985, and Jakov in 1998. The other three visionaries, Ivan, Marija and Vicka, each have 9 secrets and still see the Virgin Mary on a daily basis, as of today.

Our Lady first appeared on Mount Podbrdo, known now as Apparition Mountain. Now She appears wherever the visionaries are. The visionaries do not have to be together for the apparitions. If they are in three different places, the Virgin will appear to each of them at the same time, wherever they may be.

The Virgin Mary usually appears for Her daily apparitions every evening in Medjugorje at 6:40 p.m. CET (Central European Time). She may appear to certain visionaries at a different time if they are traveling or for certain situations. Sometimes when Ivan has his prayer groups on Monday or Friday nights, She appears to him at 10:00 p.m.

As for the three visionaries who no longer see Our Lady daily, She has promised them that She will appear to them once a year for the rest of their lives. Mirjana’s annual apparition is on March 18th, Ivanka’s is on June 25th, and Jakov’s is on December 25th. Mirjana sees Our Lady once a month on the 2nd of the month to pray for non-believers.

The visionaries usually describe the Virgin Mary during the apparitions as wearing a long gray dress, with a white veil. She has blue eyes, long black hair, and rosy cheeks. She has a crown of twelve stars around Her head and floats on a cloud. On Her feast days, anniversaries, and birthday, She comes dressed all in gold. On Christmas, She appears with Baby Jesus in Her arms. All the visionaries say it is very difficult to find the words to describe Our Lady. Marija explains, “I consider words very, very weak to express what we experience with Our Lady. For instance, when we say Our Lady has a gray dress, this is not exact. Our Lady’s dress is of a certain color that does not exist on this earth. It has something to do with gray, so we say: ‘Her dress is gray.’ But it is the same for all the rest, we have some words we use to describe, but everything in the experience of Our Lady is beyond words.”

The Medjugorje apparitions have not been officially approved by the Church, but the Canon Law of the Church allows devotions in the interim. Pope Benedict XVI has commissioned in 2010 a team of scientific and theological experts to investigate the ongoing facts at Medjugorje and to prepare a full report to the Vatican in order for the church to take a decision with regards to Medjugorje. In the meantime, the apparitions are ongoing and are under the watchful eye of the Church.

No comments:

Post a Comment