On June 24, 1981, a miraculous event occurred in the small town of Medjugorje, in former Yugoslavia.
A Lady appeared to two children, Ivanka and Mirjana. The next day the Lady appeared to six children. She was a stranger, but far lovelier and wondrous than anyone had ever seen. A woman with an aura of bright light accompanying Her, and with a crown of twelve stars around Her head. She has blue eyes, dark hair, and was dressed in gray with a white veil. The children reported that She has a spirit of love as no one else, more beautiful than any other woman ever, with gentleness and favor and grace. They could see her very clearly. She was indescribably beautiful, with a soft and gentle voice like beautiful music. She was standing on a cloud. The children said it was a joy to look at Her and their hearts filled with love. She appears as Mother and as Friend, sometimes very sad, sometimes very happy, but always with the greatest of love for Her children... all the children of Earth.
On the following day they approached Her and asked who She was, and their incredible story began with this reply, “I am the Blessed Virgin Mary... I have come to convert and reconcile the world. People must reconcile themselves with God and with each other.” And from this answer the children knew that She really was Our Blessed Mother, and that these apparitions were not just for themselves but for all mankind.
As the children’s families were still somewhat afraid and in doubt, they had Vicka sprinkle Holy Water on the apparition. As she did this, Vicka said, “If you really are Our Lady, then stay with us. If not, leave us!” Our Lady smiled sweetly to Vicka.
That apparition led to daily apparitions. Today, the Blessed Mother, the Mother of Jesus, continues to appear to these visionaries bringing messages for all the world to hear.
During the apparitions, the visionaries are in a trance-like state. They can see the Blessed Mother. They hear Her. They talk with Her. They can even touch Her. No one else in the room sees anything unusual except for the behavior of the young people themselves. The visionaries appear to be talking, but their voices cannot be heard. Their
mouths and facial expressions change but no one can hear them. When the apparition is over, the visionaries all raise their eyes and heads at the same time and then one will say, “She’s gone!” They immediately return to their normal state, although they are very, very happy and in deep thought.
She is Our Lady - the Queen of Peace. After twenty-six years of appearing daily and bringing messages, she continues to appear but states that with the conclusion of these apparitions at Medjugorje, she will no longer appear anywhere on earth.
She continues to bring messages from God, messages of family love, world peace, conversion, love of our neighbors, and gentleness. She invites us to reconciliation, repentance, prayer, sanctity of life, the sacraments, and fasting as the means to achieve Heaven. As well, She brings secrets for this world to hear if we choose to continue on a destructive path. These messages are repeated during each apparition. In essence, they are a call back to faith, a call for a return to God.
She wants everyone in the whole world, all Her children, to be saved. Peace through conversion, prayer and faith. She wants families to pray together... especially to pray for the success of the plan of Her Son for this world.
She has said that prayer can stop wars, can alter the course of nature itself. She said that one great world catastrophe has already been averted because of the prayer and faithfulness of so many.
This sounds to be an incredible story. After all, why haven’t we heard of this if it was indeed real or if it wasn’t a practical joke?
The truth is, however, that these events are real. These apparitions were written about in “Life Magazine”, “Reader’s Digest”, “Time”, “Newsweek”, “Wall Street Journal”, “National Geographic”, and in numerous papers throughout the world. A video narrated by Martin Sheen tells the story, and scores of books, video and audio tapes are available.
At last estimate, over thirty million people have pilgrimaged to Medjugorje to visit with the visionaries, pray, and hear Our Mother’s messages. Many thousands have seen “signs” such as the dance of the sun as was seen at Her other apparitions at Fatima and Lourdes; or have experienced the turning of their rosaries to a gold color; or have seen the appearances of crosses and images at Medjugorje. Many have had healings and miraculous physical cures.... documented cures from multiple sclerosis, drug abuse, chronic pain, etc. Most importantly, however, are the spiritual miracles. Almost all who have gone to visit Medjugorje have had a profound transformation in their faith. They arrive with troubles and burdens and questions of doubt, and they leave en-heartened, with purpose and love, a deepening of faith, and a closer relationship with God.
Finally, the events of Medjugorje are best known within the scientific community. Numerous scientists documented results of physical tests with sophisticated medical instruments while the children were in the state of ecstasy. These tests were of a sensory nature. Such tests were unavailable for past apparitions, such as Fatima or Lourdes, but have provided indisputable scientific evidence of a phenomenon at Medjugorje defying human explanation. They prove well beyond any doubt, that the children are neither lying, nor experiencing any pathological or psychotic condition. They are, in fact, experiencing phenomena that defy scientific explanation... it cannot be explained by medical science.
Unfortunately, because of the current political climate in America together with the fact that the Church will not pronounce on the supernaturality of these apparitions until they have ceased, these apparitions and the subsequent miracles are minimized or ignored by both the media as well as greater society. The thousands of international prayer groups that have sprung up, have done so from a grass-roots, almost underground movement. But perhaps that is the way it should be if this world is to be saved; perhaps it is destined for the faithful to meet the challenge and burden of a world which is becoming increasingly evil.
In fact, America is now reported as having the greatest incidence of violence of any industrialized nation. This is seen as an increasing trend, with no end in sight. The 20th century has seen a level of violence and bloodshed unequaled in all history. Because the world is sinking into a great pool of depravity and sin, the Blessed Mother - the Queen of Peace has come to guide us home.
The people of America thirst for peace, they yearn for spiritual guidance... but they still don’t understand. They don’t know how or who to turn to for achieving peace. Our Lady’s Messages, are simple, they present a call to return to God. We all need to hear these messages with our hearts... and we need to hear the immediacy in that call.
For the first time in contemporary society, there is proof of the existence of God. There is physical evidence; an encounter of the most holy kind. This evidence, as presented in the apparitions of the Blessed Mother, has deepened the faith of many millions of believers, and has converted as many non-believers to the existence of God and the principles of Christianity. How many times do you hear, “Of course I would believe... if only I had proof that God exists?” Well, Medjugorje is that proof, and every day many thousands more find the Spirit of Love, and establish or deepen their relationship with God.
The visionaries (Ivanka Ivankovic, age 15; Mirjana Dragicevic, age 16; Vicka Ivankovic, age 17; Ivan Dragicevic, age 16; Maria Pavlovic, age 16; and Jakov Colo, age 10 at the time the apparitions first began) suffered political persecution at the hands of the communists, personal humiliation and embarrassment from the unbelievers, and were ostracized for their involvement. But they persisted, because they knew that the apparitions were not just for themselves but were for all mankind. The fruits of their faith are only now becoming obvious. In the United States alone, there are now over 200 Marian Peace Centers devoted to our Blessed Mother, in large part due to the messages at Medjugorje. There are thousands of prayer groups for youth and adults that have started across the world in honor of Our Lady of Medjugorje. And literally millions of people have experienced physical or spiritual healings and found closer contact with God as a result.
Mary comes back today in Medjugorje as a kind and loving Mother, pleading with Her children... with ALL Her children... to simply do what Jesus says. If we listen and respond to Her gentle requests, then the Lord through the Holy Spirit will bestow grace and mercy and love and works of peace in our individual hearts, in our families, in our communities, and throughout the entire world. Medjugorje has profoundly affected the hearts and souls of millions. Isn’t it time for the rest of us to reflect on these messages?