Medjugorje 101 History
Since 1981, in a small village in Bosnia-Hercegovina named Medjugorje, the Blessed Virgin Mary has been appearing and giving messages to the world. She tells us that God has sent Her to our world, and these years She is spending with us are a time of Grace granted by God. In Her own words, She tells us, “I have come to tell the world that God exists. He is the fullness of life, and to enjoy this fullness and peace, you must return to God”.
Our Lady’s mission is one of peace. She has come to earth to re-educate us and to help us convert and recenter our lives back to God. Our Lady’s role has always been one of guiding people to Her Son, Jesus. What an amazing opportunity we have before us! Our Lady’s call to conversion is urgent, and we should respond with all our hearts.
Our Lady continues to give messages to six people from the village of Medjugorje: Ivan, Jakov, Marija, Mirjana, Vicka, and Ivanka. These six people (referred to as “visionaries”) have received apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary since June 24, 1981. In addition to Her public messages, Our Lady is to give each of the six visionaries a total of ten “secrets” of happenings that will occur on earth in the near future. Some of the secrets pertain to the whole world while others concern the visionaries themselves or the local village. Only one of the secrets has so far been revealed by the visionaries. In the third secret, Our Lady has promised to leave a supernatural, indestructible, and visible sign on the mountain where she first appeared. Our Lady said: “This sign will be given for the atheists. You faithful already have signs and you have become the sign for the atheists. You faithful must not wait for the sign before you convert; convert soon. This time is a time of grace for you. You can never thank God enough for His grace. The time is for deepening your faith, and for your conversion. When the sign comes, it will be too late for many.”
When each of the six visionaries has received all ten “secrets”, Our Lady will stop appearing to them on a daily basis. Currently, Marija, Vicka, and Ivan have received nine secrets, and Our Lady still appears to them every day, wherever they are, at 6:40pm. Mirjana, Jakov, and Ivanka have received all ten secrets, and Our Lady appears to them once per year for the rest of their lives. For Ivanka who received her 10th secret on May 7, 1985, it is on the anniversary of the apparitions, June 25 each year. For Jakov who received his 10th secret on September 12, 1998, it is on Christmas day each year. And for Mirjana who received her 10th secret on Christmas 1982, it is on her birthday, March 18 each year. Our Lady has also been appearing to Mirjana on the 2nd of each month since August 2, 1987, for the purpose of praying for all unbelievers. Mirjana tells us that it is very important that all of us pray for the unbelievers in the world, who are described as those who have not yet experienced God’s love. No one knows when Our Lady will give the tenth secret to Marija, Ivan, and Vicka.
Once Our Lady has stopped appearing there will be three warnings given to the world. These warnings will be in the form of events on earth. They will occur within Mirjana’s lifetime, and Mirjana will be a witness to them. Ten days before each of the warnings, she will advise the priest she chose for this task (Father Petar Ljubicic), who will then pray and fast with Mirjana for seven days. Then, three days before each warning is to take place, Fr. Petar will announce to the world what, where, and when the warning will take place. Fr. Petar has no choice, and must reveal each warning. After the first warning, the other two will follow in a rather short period of time. That interval will be a period of great grace and conversion. After the permanent, visible, supernatural, and indestructible sign appears on the mountain where Our Lady first appeared in Medjugorje, there will be little time for conversion. For that reason, the Blessed Virgin invites us to urgent conversion and reconciliation. The permanent sign will lead to many healings and conversions before the secrets become reality. According to Mirjana, the events predicted by the Blessed Virgin are near. By virtue of this experience, Mirjana proclaims to the world: ‘Hurry, be converted; open your hearts to God.’
The ninth and tenth secrets are serious. They concern chastisement for the sins of the world. Punishment is inevitable, for we cannot expect the whole world to be converted. The punishment can be diminished by prayer and penance, but it cannot be eliminated. Mirjana says that one of the evils that threatened the world, the one contained in the seventh secret, has been averted, thanks to prayer and fasting. That is why the Blessed Virgin continues to encourage prayer and fasting: “You have forgotten that with prayer and fasting you can ward off wars, suspend natural laws.”
In addition to this basic message, Mirjana related an apparition she had in 1982, which sheds some light on certain aspects of Church history. She spoke of an apparition in which satan appeared to her, and asked Mirjana to renounce Our Lady and to follow him. By doing so she could be happy in love and in life. He added that following Our Lady would only lead to suffering. Mrjana rejected him, and immediately Our Lady appeared and Satan disappeared. Then Our Lady gave Mirjana the following message:
“Excuse me for this, but you must realize that Satan exists. One day he appeared before the throne of God and asked permission to submit the Church to a period of trial. God gave him permission to try the Church for one century. This century is under the power of the devil; but when the secrets confided to you come to pass, his power will be destroyed. Even now he is beginning to lose his power and has become aggressive. He is destroying marriages, creating divisions among priests and is responsible for obsessions and murder. You must protect yourselves against these things through fasting and prayer, especially community prayer. Carry blessed objects with you. Put them in your house, and restore the use of holy water.”
According to certain Catholic experts who have studied these apparitions, this message of Mirjana may shed light on the vision Pope Leo XIII had. According to them, it was after having had an apocalyptic vision of the future of the Church that Leo XIII introduced the prayer to Saint Michael, which priests used to recite after Mass up to the time of the Second Vatican Council. These experts say that the century of trials foreseen by Leo XIII is about to end.
Since the apparitions began in 1981, approximately 40 million people of all faiths, from all over the world, have visited Medjugorje and have left spiritually strengthened and renewed. Many bring back stories of miracles in the form of healings (of mind, body and spirit), supernatural visual signs, and deep conversions back to God. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones, to investigate with an open mind and heart the messages which are given to us by Our Lady of Medjugorje. I invite you to read these messages and decide for yourself how they will affect your life and that of your family.
Our Lady’s messages are meant to be assembled like a mosaic. To understand the full meaning and depth of these messages, we need to study all of the messages She has given us over these last 33+ years. “By means of the messages, I wish to make a very beautiful mosaic in your hearts.” (November 25, 1989). Our Lady has asked that we continually read, study, and meditate on the messages which She has given us. She said: “Little children, read every day the messages I gave you and transform them into life. I love you and this is why I call you to the way of salvation with God.” (December 25, 1989).
The technique of teaching which Our Lady uses, reeducates us to be Christians. She accomplishes this by walking with us, and guiding us step by step, message by message. Today, many people think it is not important to be a Christian. Others want to live a superficial form of Christianity which is easier or more convenient than living a true Christian life. Our Lady wants to show us through Her messages the real face of Christianity. This is a long process because we as a society have strayed far from the truth and God and are slow to learn. This is true both in the Church and outside the Church. We have to accept being totally reeducated, little by little, by the Mother of God. The problem with mankind is not so much that people have bad intentions; there are plenty of good hearted people. The problem is that we sometimes don’t see the truth; we are in darkness, and many of us are just blind. We do not realize that we have put ourselves into the hands of satan because we do not know how to tell the difference between right and wrong. Many of us become an image of satan without even knowing it.
I don’t think that anyone could argue, regardless of religious orientation, that today’s world is in a state of crisis. All one has to do is read the newspaper or watch television to be see how eroded the morals of our world have become. It is shocking to see and hear the examples of terrorism, inhumanity, cruelty, violence, abuse, drugs, war, crime, etc., etc. Much of the world has strayed far from a life centered around God and family. The answers which we need to redirect our life can be found by reading and living Our Lady’s messages and Scripture.
“You are ready to commit sin, and to put yourselves in the hands of satan without reflecting.” (May 25, 1987)
“Do not allow satan to gain control of your hearts, so you would be an image of satan and not of me.” (January 30, 1986)
“Children, darkness reigns over the whole world. People are attracted by many things and they forget about the more important.”
“Light won’t reign in the world until people accept Jesus, until they live His words, which is the Word of the Gospel.”
“Dear children, this is the reason for my presence among you for such a long time: to lead you on the path of Jesus. I want to save you and, through you, to save the whole world. Many people now live without faith; some don’t even want to hear about Jesus, but they still want peace and satisfaction! Children, here is the reason why I need your prayer: prayer is the only way to save the human race.” (July 30, 1987)
We must realize that Satan is real. He uses us for his own end and purposes. His main purpose is destruction. Destruction of love, peace, faith, family, and life. Just as God gave David 5 stones with which to defeat Goliath, Our Lady is also giving us 5 Stones or Weapons we can use to defeat satan. They are:
Daily Prayer (Of the Rosary)
Fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays
Daily Reading of the Bible
My Trips to Medjugorje
About the Visionaries of Medjugorje
Vicka is the oldest of the visionaries, and was born on September 3, 1964, in Bijakovici. She comes from a family of 8 children. Her prayer mission given to her by Our Lady is to pray for the sick. Our Lady appeared to her for the first time on June 24, 1981. For her, the daily apparitions have not yet stopped. Our Lady has so far confided nine secrets to her. Vicka married on January 26, 2002, and lives with her husband Mario in the small village of Gradac, a few kilometers north of Medjugorje. They have two children Sophia Maria, and Anton.
Vicka: “Before, I prayed from pure habit. Now I’ve turned completely to prayer. I commit my life completely to God. I feel sorry for those who do not believe in God, because Our Lady wants no one to be lost. We can help each other find the right way to God. It’s up to the people to obey the messages and be converted. Great things are happening here: Our Lady is among us. She wishes to attract everyone to Her Son. That’s the reason She has been coming so long and so often. Here, everyone feels the nearness and the love of God. As role model and example, Gospa began, in January 1983, to tell me Her life story, which took over two years.”
The information Our Lady dictated to Vicka over these two years is contained in two hand written notebooks and will be published when Our Lady tells Vicka it is time.
Ivan is the oldest of the two boys who see Our Lady and was born on May 25th, 1965 in Bijakovici. His prayer mission given by Our Lady is to pray for priests, families, and the youth of the world. Although Ivan and Mirjana share the same last name, they are not related.
Our Lady has appeared to him every day since June 24, 1981. Our Lady has confided nine secrets to Ivan. He is now married and resides half the year in the parish of Medjugorje, and half the year in Boston, MA. Ivan and his wife Laureen have four children.
Ivan: “The apparitions made a big difference in my life – the difference between heaven and earth. For example, I arrange my day now so that even during the day I find time to pray. Before, my life had no meaning. Now, I’m filled with inner contentment. The first time I saw Our Lady, a change occurred in my soul, and in my heart. Before, I often avoided prayer, but now the difference is so great, I really can’t describe it. I’m confident and not afraid, because I know who leads me, and therefore, I’m not afraid of death. People in our parish, and all people, should feel that way.”
Mirjana was born March 18th, 1965 in Sarajevo. Her prayer mission from Our Lady is to pray for all unbelievers. She is the second oldest of the seers. Very intelligent, Mirjana graduated from the University of Sarajevo where her family lived. Mirjana was the second to see the Blessed Mother that day, June 24th in Medjugorje. Although her family lived in Sarajevo, she spent the summers with her grandmother who lived in Bijakovici. That is how she came to be in Medjugorje that summer. She had daily apparitions from June 24, 1981 till December 25, 1982. On this date, Mirjana received her 10th and final secret from Our Lady. Mirjana was the first seer to receive all 10 secrets. Since that time, Our Lady only appeared to Mirjana once a year on her birthday (March 18) until August 2, 1987 when Our Lady also started appearing to Mirjana on the 2nd day of each month to pray with Mirjana for all unbelievers. Mirjana tells us that Our Lady defines “unbelievers” as those who have not yet felt God’s love. She tells us that if we only once saw the tears in Our Lady’s eyes for all unbelievers that we would all begin praying intensely for this intention. Mirjana lives in Medjugorje with her husband Marko Soldo. They have two daughters.
Mirjana: “I didn’t know Marian apparitions existed. I never heard about Lourdes or Fatima. The first day Ivanka had the vision of Our Lady, she was full of enthusiasm and wanted me to look too. I thought: “This can’t be real!” But, Our Lady gave us strength to accept Her as a Mother. I’ve changed a lot. I realize how empty my heart was. Now, I truly feel God, the Mother of God, and the faith. My relationship with Our Lady has become one of a mother and daughter. Jesus is like a friend, or an older brother. Whoever believes in God, and opens himself up to God, needn’t be afraid. God will be with him in the future too. If everyone believed in God, there’d be no war.”
Ivanka was the first to see Our Lady on June 24, 1981, and is the youngest of the 4 girls and was born on July 21, 1966, in Bijakovici. Ivanka’s prayer mission from Our Lady is to pray for families. Ivanka has one brother and one sister. Her Mother Jagoda, died in May 1981. When the apparitions first began, Ivanka asked the Blessed Mother about her mother. Our Lady told her that her mother was with her in heaven. God has allowed Ivanka to see and speak to her mother, who is in heaven, five times over the years.
She had daily apparitions from June 24, 1981, until May 7, 1985. On that day Our Lady confided to her the last of her ten secrets. Our Lady told her that for her entire life she will have an apparition every year on June 25, the anniversary of the apparitions. And so far it has been just that way. Ivanka is living in the parish of Medjugorje, is married and has three children.
Ivanka: “When the apparitions began, I was only a child. I prayed and went to church when my parents asked me to. Now when I pray, I feel united with God and Our Lady. Before, when I went to Mass, I didn’t feel anything special. Now, I know God is alive at the Holy Mass and gives Himself completely to us in the Host. Concerning my own future, I leave it completely to God – my path will go in the direction God leads me. I have some advice for young people: I want to tell them to turn to God as soon as possible because He’s the only one who can lead them to happiness and truth. We simply must pray more and live the messages of Medjugorje.”
Jakov is the youngest of the seers. He was born on March 6, 1971 in Bijakovici, and was only 10 years old when the apparitions started. His prayer mission given by Our Lady is to pray for the sick. Jakovs’ mother Jaca, died on September 5th 1983 and it affected Jakov very deeply since he rarely saw his father who worked in Germany as many men did in those days with no jobs available in Medjugorje or the surrounding area.
He has had daily apparitions since June 25, 1981, and on September 12, 1998, Our Lady confided to him his 10th secret. Our Lady now appears to Jakov only once per year on Christmas Day. Our Lady literally raised Jakov since his mother died when he was so young. It was very difficult for him to accept that he would no longer see Our Lady every day. He wondered how he would continue, and struggled for months until he tells us that through prayer he realized that he was now like all of us who do not see Our Lady. He tells us that Our Lady is with each one of us always, and we can experience her in our hearts. Jakov lives in the parish of Medjugorje, is married and now has three children.
In the early years, the presence of the young fidgety boy among the group of seers is special in terms of the authenticity of the apparitions. It was highly improbable that he would come to church for two to three hours of prayer every single day, in winter as well as in summer, in bad weather as well as in good, and for well over three years, simply to make believe that he is seeing the Blessed Virgin.
Jakov: “From the time Our Lady first appeared to me, my life has entirely changed. Now, I pray more and go to Mass every evening. I try, more and more, to fulfill the messages that Our Lady gives us. I feel I’m closer to God now. I believe we have to pray that God’s plans will be realized. I now want to live as a Christian. I begin the day with prayer, then go to school. when I get home, I help wherever necessary. To me, the Mass means an encounter with the living God. Our Lady always tells us to pray more.”
Marija is the third oldest of the visionaries. She was born on April 1, 1965, in Bijakovici. Her prayer mission given by Our Lady is to pray for all the souls in purgatory. She has three brothers and two sisters. When the apparitions started, she was studying in Mostar which is about eighteen miles away from Medjugorje.
Our Lady appeared to her for the first time on June 25, 1981. She still has apparitions every day, and is the visionary to whom Our Lady gives the public message to the world on the 25th of each month. Our Lady has confided nine secrets to her so far. Marija is presently living in Italy, is married, and has four children. She visits Medjugorje a number of times each year.
Marija: “Everything has changed in Medjugorje. People started to pray and listen to Our Lady’s messages. Before, I didn’t pray enough. Now I want to pray more and more. I’m sure God gives much to everyone who’s open to prayer. I tell people they should pray more, and Our Lady will give them peace in all that burdens them. It’s not I, it’s Our Lady who urges us to nurture prayer, to propagate peace, and to fast. She says that everyone who comes to Medjugorje, must be converted. They must encourage other people too, to pray and fast. God wishes us to pray and fast. God wishes to develop the parish and make it grow more and more in faith. If people accept the messages, God will lead them.”
The Fruits of Medjugorje Videos
Check out these YouTube videos. Please subscribe!
The most incredible close up video of Medjugorje Apparition with Ivan.
Interview with Ania Goledzinoeska
Interview with Patrick Latta
My Personal Story of Medjugorje
It was around Christmas 1995 that I first heard the word Medjugorje. I was raised Southern Baptist in Gulfport, Mississippi and married an Italian Catholic. They do not become Baptist; it’s the other way around, and yes I am a convert. My wife Suzie said I needed to go to confession because it was very close to Christmas and it was something that I had to do. Our Parish is St James in Gulfport, MS. While waiting in line; I asked a young lady Gyspy Davis why was the Lady always at church early and kneeling in prayer so much. She said she was the new teacher at St John and had gone to Medjugorje where apparitions of the Virgin Mary were occurring. Her name was Christa Lopiccolo.
BINGO, that was it. I said, “What? Apparitions? Medjugorje what is that?”. I do not think we had much of a World Wide Web at that time, but I started digging and digging till I could find out what in the world could all this be. Of course my wife, Suzie was happy at least I was getting more active in the Church. I somehow found a beautiful lady in New Orleans, Jackie Sigur, who had Trinity Retreats.
I asked when her next trip was, and she said early June. Our priest at the time was the Priest for that journey, Father Dominic.
I took along my son, John, and his religion teacher Mark Ropel, which is now Father Mark. We began a 20-year incredible journey that could only be led by our Lady. We arrived in Medjugorje after an excellent tour of Rome. We visited many places that I had no idea what the importance was of each Church. I knew the Vatican was a critical part of the Catholic Church.
I was on the Advance Team of President George Bush and traveled the world as a volunteer and visited many countries. One thing that I never understood was we had a 20-car motorcade press pool for a President, but when the Mother of God appeared to the visionaries, there was not a motorcade.
How it began was climbing Cross Mountain or Mt. Krizevac as we were doing the Stations of the Cross. Cross Mountain is central to one’s pilgrimage to Medjugorje. It is a penitential climb that leads pilgrims to reflect upon their relationship with God and what they need to change in their lives to draw closer to Him. Often deep healing, cleansing, and peace is experienced at the summit of the mountain and at the foot of the cross after pilgrims arrive at the top. Our Lady has made it clear in Her messages that it is Her desire to see pilgrims climbing both Cross Mountain and Apparition Hill. At Crucifixion: Jesus nailed to the cross, and we looked up and saw the spinning of the sun. What was interesting was the shape, it appeared that the Host covered the sun, and it was like etch-a-sketch, a game we had as kids, that started going around the sun and then it began pulsating like a heart. More to come…
Bob Sawyer Executive Producer
Bob Sawyer and a visiting Sister
Adoration Chapel before Apparition
Chapel outside Medjugorje
A pilgram from Italy
Dragon and family our wonderful guide
Rosary in Medjugorje that was given to Viska by The Virgin Mary
Bob Sawyer with friends in Medjugorje: Artie Boyle, Jack Sacco, Dragon and his wonderful family