children in a tiny, obscure, Croatian village gave new meaning and new
light to what it means to be a true pilgrim on life’s journey. Their
journey began on June 24, 1981 when the Virgin Mary appeared to them.
Her messages continue to stir millions of people of every race,
nation and religion. The
Virgin Mary has appeared before on earth, but never so often or to so many
people over such a long period of time as at Medjugorje, as she said: I
wish to continue giving you messages like never before in history
since the beginning of time.
Before March 1984, Our Lady sent personal messages to the visionaries to
strengthen them to carry the secrets she gave them.
She relayed other messages to St. James Parish.
After that, she directed the messages
to the entire world. Her
first messages to the children clearly indicated her concern for the
parish of Medjugorje:
for the unity of the parish because my Son and I have a special plan for
this parish. I invite you to
meditate on why I am with you for such a long time…I would like to
invite you to live always out of love what God is expecting from you.
Dear Children, I cannot help the world without you…to lead you on
the road I began with you…so that everything that God has planned for
this parish and for each individual can be realized.
Become missionaries of my messages which I am giving here through
this place that is dear to me. Live
with love the messages I give and transmit them to the whole world. God
has allowed me to stay this long with you…God sends me to you out of
love that I may help you to comprehend that without Him there is no future
of joy…there is no salvation.
In reality, our Blessed Mother’s messages are all contained in the
Gospels. Her words are simple
and direct, easily understood by all people, unlike the often lengthy,
profound and complex words of theologians.
For mothers react in simple terms.
A needy child goes to its mother, and she gives it simple words and
simple acts of love. Our Lady
speaks as a caring mother and instructor, as she urges: Be
carriers of peace, live the Gospel. You
are not alone. You can do all
things in Him who is calling you from the darkness into His wonderful
Our Lady identifies herself as the Queen
of Peace, the Mother of God, and the Mother of People on Earth.
She often begins her messages, Dear
Children…and she ends them with, Thank
you for having responded to my call. Her
messages, grown in volume into a library since 1981, last from minutes to
a half-hour. In each session,
she prays with the visionaries, for the main theme of her messages is
prayer--prayer for faith, fasting, forgiveness, conversion, and peace.
Other of her many messages regarding prayer are:
prayer, there is no peace…in prayer you will come to know the greatest
joy and the way out of every situation that has no way out…set a time
during the day when you can pray in peace and in humility and meet with
God the Creator. Prayer
changes all life on earth and hereafter.
The one who prays is not afraid of the future…open your heart to
my son and let Him enter, then you may be filled with peace and love.
Our Lady always asks that we pray for peace for only when we find peace
in God can we transmit it to others:
Children, I love you and I desire to bring all of you to the peace that
only God gives and that enriches every heart.
I invite you to become witnesses and carriers of my peace to this
unpeaceful world…do not speak about peace, but make peace…decide for
God…I desire to draw you ever closer to Jesus and His wounded heart.
During the most intense times of the war as the danger to the village
seemed close at hand, Our Lady spoke as a desperate mother pleading with
her children as on April 25, 1992:
Children…only by prayer and fasting can war be stopped…pray and by
your life give witness that you are mine and that you belong to me,
because Satan wants in these turbulent times to seduce as many souls as
possible. I invite you to
decide for God and He will protect you and show you what you should do and
which path to take. I am with
you and your suffering is mine.
Barbaric of St. James Church spoke of the crisis, "No war in the
history of the world has been so surrounded by prayer, by sacrifice, by
fasting as this war. Many people, many pilgrims, thanks to God, are
praying with us."
Many people the world over wonder why the Blessed Mother came to the
obscure little village and why she continues to appear.
Fr. Svetozar Kralijevic, a priest of St. James, believes
that she came to help keep the Church alive in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in
the world. He feels that it
is the blood of the martyrs of the Church and their years of imprisonment
that brought her to Medjugorje.
As a first-time pilgrim to Medjugorje, I sensed that this was a place of
deep faith by people who loved God and had a special attachment and
devotion to his mother. In a
Communist country besieged on all sides by atheists, this place seemed set
apart. Often deprived of the
simplest needs, all that these humble people possessed was faith, and this
faith held them together in a firm commitment to God.
They not only believed in God, they served God, exemplified by
their placing the massive cross on Krizevac Mountain.
(On August 30, 1984, Our Lady said, “Even
the cross was part of God’s desire when you built it!”)
Their building of an abnormally large church unsuited for their
needs is seemingly another way that God prepared a place for the pilgrims.
In the early days of the apparitions, Our Lady promised the six
visionaries ten “secrets” which contain the final chapters in the
history of the world. When
she has given each all of the secrets, she will stop appearing on earth
for she relates there will be no need. These ten secrets, which will
affect all of mankind, were written by a divine source on a parchment
listing the day and the date on which each event will occur.
Only Mirjana can read the parchment that she keeps in her home.
To date, three visionaries, Mirjana, Ivanka, and Jakov have received all
ten messages, while Ivan, Marija and Vicka have received nine.
Only the six visionaries know the secrets, and none has fully
disclosed them except to announce that they include chastisements for the
world and will unfold during the lifetimes of the visionaries.
The seventh secret is a punishment for humanity but has been
diminished because of the response to Our Lady’s requests for prayers,
fasting and conversion.
One of the secrets will relate to a visible and permanent sign that is
beautiful and indestructible (such as the spring that appeared in Lourdes
after Our Lady’s appearance) that will be left on Apparition Mountain,
the site of her first appearance. Our
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.
When the sign comes, it will be too late.
a mother I caution you because I love you.
The secrets exist. My
children! Nothing is known of
these now, but when they are known, it will be too late.
Return to prayer, nothing is more important than this. I would like it if the Lord
allowed me to reveal some of the secrets to you, but that which He
is doing for you is already a Grace which is almost too much.
None of the visionaries has disclosed the other secrets, which include
chastisements for the world but it is indicated that they, too, can be
lessened with prayers. Ten
days before each event, Mirjana will reveal the secret to Franciscan
priest Father Petar Ljubicic of Medjugorje.
He will fast and pray for six days.
Then, three days before the event, Father Petar will reveal to the
world what is to happen and where. This
will be the pattern for the rest of the secrets.
Mirjana says that after the events occur, those who are alive will
have little time to convert. She
insists that the painful events for humanity are very near, and that the
important thing is to pray, to pray in the family, and to pray for the
young who do not believe.
Further information on the messages and secrets given to the six
visionaries and on Medjugorje in general may be found on the many
Medjugorje Web sites on the Internet.
Bookstores also display a wide choice of books on the subject.
Or, see Medjugorje and learn first hand. It is a gathering place where the simplest of people of all
faiths meet. Even those
who do not consider themselves as overly religious or just plain
“laggards” feel at ease and at peace here.
It is not just a “Catholic thing.” Our Lady says:
religions are dear to my son. It
is you on earth who are divided. We
are all children of God. The
Moslems and the Orthodox for the same reason as Catholics are equal before
my son and me. All religions
are not equal. All men are
equal before God. It does not
suffice to belong to the Catholic Church to be saved.
It is necessary to respect and obey the commandants of God in
following one’s conscience. Those
who are not Catholics are no less creatures made in the image of God and
destined ultimately to live in the house of God.
Salvation is available to everyone without exception.
Only those who refuse God deliberately are condemned by their own
This photo of the Blessed Virgin Mary, according to
the visionaries, is the “nearest thing on earth that shows her
beauty.” It was taken
from a statue in the village of Tihkalijina, about forty minutes from
Medjugorje. The church ordered the statue from Italy several years before
the Blessed Mother began to appear, while the country was still under
Communist ruling, and the order for the statue was forbidden. When it arrived in Tihkalijina, the shipping crate was
destroyed, but the statue was untouched.
Pilgrimage 2000 Part 1