The Story of Medjugorje
On June 24, 1981, the Feast of St John the Baptist, two young girls were walking along a path in the hamlet of Bijakovici in the parish of Medjugorje. Suddenly, 15 year old Ivanka Ivankovic saw a light on the side of Podbrdo (now known as Apparition Hill). Turning towards that light she saw the figure of a lady with a child in her arms. Ivanka said to her friend, Mirjana Dragicevic, age 16, “Look, there is Gospa” (Gospa is the Croatian work for Our Lady). Mirjana, not even looking in the same direction as Ivanka said, “Come on, why would Gospa appear to us?” they walked away.
Another friend from the village, young Milka Pavlovic, was herding her goats and asked the girls for help. But at Ivanka’s insistence, they went back to the spot where Ivanka saw the lady. At that moment, 17 year old Vicka Ivankovic happened to be in the area and was also drawn to the spot, as was 16 year old Ivan Dragicevic and his friend Ivan Ivankovic. They all saw the figure on the side of the hill. Ivan Dragicevic was terrified and ran home.
The next day, June 25, Ivanka, Mirjana, Ivan Dragicevic and Vicka went back to the spot where Our Lady had appeared the day before. Vicka brought along Milka’s sister, 16 year old Marija Pavlovic and 10 year old Jakov Colo. Our Lady appeared to them again; Milka and Ivan Ivankovic never saw Our Lady again.
Gospa has appeared every day since June 24, 1981. The visionaries say she appears to be 18 to 19 years old, is beautiful beyond description; she has dark hair, blue eyes and rosy cheeks. She always comes with twelve stars around her head and hovers above the ground. Sometimes she is accompanied by angels.
When the children, on June 25, asked her who she was, she lovingly introduced herself as the Queen of Peace. She said, “Dear children, I have come because My Son has sent me to help you. Peace. Let there be Peace in the world. Peace must exist between man and God and among mankind”. Our Lady says she has come to bring the world back to her Son. (The Anniversary of the Apparitions is celebrated on June 25 because this was the first day the visionaries spoke with Our Lady.) Our Lady’s requests are that we reconcile with God, convert, attend daily Mass whenever possible and pray the rosary, fast on Wednesdays and Fridays and live a life of peace.
Three of the visionaries, Ivanka, Mirjana and Jakov have received ten secrets and no longer have daily apparitions. Mirjana has an apparition on the 2nd of each month. Ivan, Marija and Vicka have nine secrets and see Our Lady daily. All the visionaries are married and are raising families.
Mirjana has been chosen to reveal the secrets and will tell Fr. Petar Ljubicic (whom she handpicked) ten days before each secret occurs. After prayer and fasting with Mirjana, Fr. Petar will tell the secret to the world three days before it happens. Our Lady has also promised that a lasting sign would be left at the spot of her first apparition.
More than thirty million pilgrims have visited Medjugorje, among them many priests, bishops and cardinals.