"Miracle at Medjugorje"
UPDATE ON MEDJUGORJE
Published March 6, 1986
When the Blessed Virgin Mary reportedly first appeared to 16-year-old Mirjana Dragicevic on June 24, 1981, she was walking casually with her girlfriend Ivanka Ivankovic, 17, near a hilltop known as Podprado at a village called Medjugorje in Yugoslavia. Since that time, both girls and four of their young friends have been seeing this vision of the Virgin Mary regularly, often on a daily basis.
The total number of reported apparitions is now close to 2,000. Never in the history of Marian apparitions has such a condition existed. At an early point during these appearances, the heavenly visitor promised to reveal 10 secrets, or messages, to each of the six young people. While the content of none of the secrets is yet known, the seers say that only four of the revelations are common to all mankind; the others have to do with the individual visionaries or the Medjugorje community.
While the content of the messages is unknown, the main message given by the Blessed Virgin Mary has been made clear. It has been repeated many times over the course of the apparitions: conversion with God, repentance, increased faith, fasting, prayer, and peace refers to the individual and is a peace that is known only by those who have discovered the true meaning of a personal relationship with God.
Regular readers of The News & Shopper were able to read a four-part series on the events at Medjugorje which ran in December and early January. This article is an update on what is happening with the six youths who have been involved with the apparitions.
At present, only four seers have the regular daily apparitions wherever they may be. They are Vicka, Marija, Ivan and Jakov. Two others, Mirjana and Ivanka, do not see Our Lady daily any longer. They have already received the ten secrets each, Mirjana on Christmas day, 1982, and Ivanka on May 6, 1985. Since then they have stopped seeing Our Lady on a regular daily basis, the Virgin Mary promised to Ivanka that She would visit her on the anniversaries of the first apparition, except this year, and to Mirjana she promised to appear to her on her birthdays as long as she lives, and also in difficult moments of her life.
In an interview Mirjana was asked why Mary promised to appear and offer help in her difficult moments, but She is not coming in such a way to help the rest of us in our difficulties. Mirjana said: "I am not speaking of the ordinary problems of my life. My difficult moments stem from the secrets concerning the future of the world, which Our Lady revealed to me. At times, I hardly can cope with it when I seriously think of it. In those moments Our Lady appears and gives me the strength and courage to go on with my life.
Both Mirjana and Ivanka received from the Blessed Virgin, a piece of material which looks like paper, but it is not paper, like cloth, but it is not cloth. On this parchment, all ten secrets are written, with the dates, even the minutes. Each of these seers is only able to read her own secrets.
Mirjana's mother tried to read the paper given Mirjana by Mary. Mirjana said to her: "Mother, you will not be able to read this paper. This is just for me and for the priest who will announce the secrets."
The paper, or the cloth, or whatever it may be called, cannot be destroyed even by fire. Each of these two seers is told by Mary to select a priest to whom they will give that material on which the secrets are written ten days before the secrets are to happen. The priest, in turn, with the help of The Madonna, will be able to read the message of each secret and will announce it three days before it happens. He will describe the full nature of the secret, its time and even minute, and the place. The priest will then return the paper to the seer from whom he received it.
The priest will not be able to read all ten secrets at once, but just one by one when the time comes for it to be announced.
Mirjana has revealed the name of the priest she selected. According to Mirjana, Our Lady was pleased with her choice of the priest, who, She said, is a good priest.
Mirjana told of an incident connected with her selection of the priest. "When I chose the priest who would announce the secrets," Mirjana said, "I revealed his name to Fr. Tomislav Vlasic, O.F.M., (who at that time was the spiritual director of the seers). When he heard the name of my choice, Fr. Vlasic said: 'He is far away from Medjugorje, and you should choose someone who is close to the place.' My answer to him was: "Our Lady will take care of it." A short time after that, to be exact, in August, 1984. Bishop Zanic had Fr. Vlasic removed from Medjugorje and had him replaced with the priest whom Mirjana selected to announce the secrets.
The irony here is that Bishop Zanic is not a believer in the apparitions, and has done everything he possibly can to prevent them from continuing.
The fact that Mirjana has already selected the priest who would announce the secrets indicates that the time for the secret to happen is approaching. Other secrets, with short intervals, will then follow.
Ivanka said that she did not yet choose the priest who would announce her secrets.
Vicka, the oldest of the seers, has received only eight secrets. She completed writing the notes of The Blessed Virgin's life on earth, as dictated to her by Her. For the last two years she has been suffering from severe pains in the head caused by a water bubble situated between the small and the large brain. Doctors in Zagreb, Croatia, avoid surgery because of the delicate position. She suffers much, especially in the afternoons. Often she goes into a coma; however, she always comes out of it before the time of the daily apparition, which occurs in her small and simple room.
Vicka's friends, and the friends of Medjugorje who are trying to help her, offered all financial assistance for her travel, medical, and hospital expenses if she would be willing to come to the United States or London or Switzerland for surgery. When people try to convince her, her simple answer was, "NO!" Asking her why, she said, "Our Lady told me that God sent me this illness for a special purpose, and I accepted it.!" Has Our Lady ever told you, "that one day She would cure you," she was asked? "No, and I did not ask Her to do so!"
This girl is in the prime of her life, coming from financially poor family, is being offered such a royal treat for her physical health, but she refuses all because of the supernatural motives. Who then will dare to accuse her of fraud, of lies, of deception?
Vicka's life is full of God's spirit, which radiates on her face even when she suffers from excruciating pains.
Marija, who already received nine secrets, and is receiving from Our Lady messages for the parishioners of Medjugorje every Thursday, gives the impression of a saintly girl.
Ivan, who did not succeed in two seminaries, for various reasons, still hopes to become a priest some day.
Jakov, the youngest of all, is growing and maturing fast, but he is still full or restlessness. During interviews, he tries to speed up questions so he can go play. When posed a serious question, though, he immediately turns into a thinking young man and gives some very sober answers.
All six seers are well aware of the fact that they are misunderstood, criticized, and even condemned by those who should "respect and protect them," as the renowned theologian Hans Urs con Balthasar said, defending them in his letter to Bishop Zanic on December 12, 1984.
They are also convinced of the fact that the Blessed Virgin Mary appears to them and uses them as instruments of the heavenly messages to mankind.
Next Section - Visit to Medjugorje, a Phenomena Beyond Explanation