On June 24th, 1981, Our Lady of Medjugorje began appearing to six young children from a small, unknown church in Bosnia and Herzegovina (formerly Yugoslavia) in a small town called Medjugorje.
These apparitions continue to this day. June 25th, 2020 marks the 39th Anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Medjugorje. On the 25th day of every month, Our Lady of Medjugorje delivers a special message for the world through Visionary Marija, and on the 2nd day of every month, Our Lady of Medjugorje delivers a message for nonbelievers through Visionary Mirjana.
In June 1981, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to six children in a small mountain village in Bosnia-Hercegovina named Medjugorje. Identified as the Queen of Peace, she came on a mission of Peace with a message for the world. “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”.
Since then, Our Lady has been appearing and giving messages to the world through these six visionaries, Marija, Vicka, Ivan, Mirjana, Jakov, and Ivanka. She has told them that God has sent Her to our world and that these years She is spending with us, are a time of Grace granted by God. She has come to guide us to Her Son, Jesus, and invites us to convert our lives back to God and to urgently pray for Peace with all our hearts. “Peace, peace, peace, and only peace. Peace must reign between man and God, and between all people!” She leads us by walking with us and guiding us step by step, message by message.
Our Lady wants to show us through Her messages the real face of Christianity and the path to peace. She says that we must realize that Satan is real and that 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, that we can use to defeat satan. They are:
Prayer – She asks us to Pray the Rosary: “Pray, pray, pray. Prayer is the basis of peace.”
Prayer is the first stone: You must begin praying now so that you may be transformed and raise yourself up with others as well. Priests, parents, and everyone must pray. Prayer is a gift and a principal weapon given to the Church. The Church is neither an idea nor a political party; it is a family that prays, a family that loves. This is the reason Our Lady insists that prayer is needed in order to transform the world. Pray the Rosary — Click here for How to Pray the Rosary
Fasting – “Let the people perform strict fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays, except the sick”, and “The best fasting is on bread and water.”
Fasting is the second stone: It can be fasting from cigarettes, from television, from an evil thought, from a negative project, and from food. Fasting demonstrates your individual capacity to love and affirms that you are important to everyone. Fasting is medicine and a sacrifice. With fasting, egoism is defeated. He who knows how to fast is capable of hearing his neighbor, of being available for others, and of understanding how to love the entire world. He who fasts sees himself and others truthfully and is aware of how to cleanse his inner self.
Eucharist (Holy Mass) – “The Holy Mass is the climax of prayer.”
The Eucharist is the third stone: In the Mass the Incarnation occurs, the transubstantiation of the bread and wine. This is also a sign of our transformation: from death, we are brought to life. The Mass transforms the Christian, transforms the Church because with the Mass Jesus is offered completely to the Church. The Mass is the origin of the Church, the Mystical Body. The Mass-Sacrifice renders the Church a holy family. In the Mass, one is born again if one’s own life is placed upon the altar as a sacrifice, in the manner of Jesus. We are the drop of water poured into the wine; the Church is united with the Blood of Jesus. Therefore, you must not just listen to the Holy Mass but live it. Without the Mass the Church does not exist; without it, the Church is an orphan.
The Bible – Read the Holy Scripture every day: “You have forgotten the Holy Scripture.”
The Bible is the fourth stone: It is not one of many books, it is the Christian’s flag. Deprived of the Bible, the Christian is no longer the same person. The Bible is born from the heart of the Lord; it is His Word. Therefore, it must remain first within the family. It must be set in a place of honor, and that place must be sacred for us. It must be the source of our prayer. The Bible illuminates the Christian’s walk amid doubt and conflicting ideologies today.
Confession – Confession once a month: “In confession, many blessings are received”.
Confession is the fifth stone. Our Lady requests us to make monthly visits to the sacrament of reconciliation. The purpose of Confession is not to recount one’s actions; it is not a psycho-analytical session. It is a sacrament and a source of peace with oneself in the meeting with the Lord. In Confession, we obtain the peace of the Lord so that we may transmit it to others. In confession, we open ourselves up before the Lord, asking Him to transform and renew our hearts. Confession is both a sacrament and a mystery.
Together, these five stones that Our Lady has given us through her messages of Medjugorje are the weapons in the battle of good and evil and are the medicine that enables us to heal and find true inner peace.
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 been revealed by the visionaries so far. 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 to 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. Our Lady continues to appear and give daily messages to three of the original six visionaries, Marija, Vicka, and Ivan, all of whom have received nine secrets. 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, Our Lady appears to her every year on June 25, the anniversary of the apparitions. 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 appeared to Mirjana on the 2nd of each month from August 2, 1987, until March 2, 2020, 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 stops 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, and suspend natural laws.”
Over 50 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 of Faith.
Fr. Jozo Zovko was the beloved pastor of St. James church at the time Our Lady began to appear in Medjugorje. Originally, he was skeptical and did not believe the children when they came to tell him that they had seen the Virgin Mary, and thought that it might be a trap or some strategy to discredit the Catholic Church by the communist authorities. But after just a few days, word of the apparitions began to spread, and on July 2, while alone in the church, Fr. Jozo began to pray intensely for guidance. While deep in prayer, he suddenly heard a voice say “Come out and protect the children. Then I will tell you what to do.” Fr. Jozo, immediately got up to leave, and as he opened the church door, the children ran toward him shouting ‘The police are chasing us. Hide us.’ He brought the children to the rectory and locked them in an unoccupied room. The police arrived soon after and asked ‘Did you see the children?’ and he answered ‘I did.’ Thinking that he meant that he had seen them running in front of them, so they continued running toward Bijakovici to try to catch them. After the police left, he went to talk with the children. He asked them to stay in the rectory so they would not be caught and shortly thereafter, Our Lady came to them in the room.
That evening, Fr. Jozo, in his homily, spoke about Moses “leading the children of Israel out Egypt and across the Red Sea”, and how God granted them signs throughout their 40-year journey to show His love and His nearness to them. And he said about Our Lady that She was, “the first believer who completely obeyed God and His call… Mary, as the first Christian, is here today with me, your priest, and with you as faithful Christians… “; and ended his homily with an invitation, “I beg you to start fasting, to fast tomorrow, to fast the day after tomorrow, taking only bread and water, so that God may reveal Himself to us and tell us what we have to do. There is no heaven so closed that, prayer, fasting, and penance may not find a way into it… “.
A few days later, Fr Jozo was visited by the police and a member of the Communist League and ordered to close the church, stop celebrating the evening mass, and put an end to the events that were happening at Apparition Hill. Fr Jozo refused to close the church, and on August 17, was arrested and accused of conspiracy to overthrow the communist constitution. Sentenced to three and a half years of hard labor with two fellow Franciscan priests, he was released early and moved to a parish near Medjugorje.
Medjugorje Today – Over 40 Years Among Us!
Through the years since Our Lady has been appearing and giving us messages for the world, Medjugorje has had to withstand the doubts and criticisms of many non-believers. The Vatican and the Catholic Church have also established several commissions to investigate the apparitions and the visionaries in an attempt to validate or invalidate their authenticity. Finally, in 2017, the Cardinal Ruini Commission concluded an investigation into the authenticity of the apparitions, and installed a permanent Visitor from the Vatican in Medjugorje! The commission also recommended to Pope Francis that the first seven apparitions that took place in Medjugorje during June and July 1981 be approved. In 2018, Archbishop Henryk Hoser became the official Papal Envoy to Medjugorje and confirmed Medjugorje Pilgrimage facts that “the devotion to Medjugorje is allowed. It’s not prohibited and need not be done in secret. Today dioceses and other institutions can organize official pilgrimages. It’s no longer a problem.”
Many believe 2020 to be a final year of trial and suffering before 2021, which will mark 40 years since the Virgin Mary began appearing in Medjugorje. The number 40 appears in the Bible 146 times, and it symbolizes a period of Testing, Trial, and Probation. Our Lady Queen of Peace began appearing in Medjugorje, on a mission of Peace, to bring us back to God and arm us with the weapons needed to fight satan along the way. She has lead us through the 40 years of Penance and Sacrifice, so that we may return to God, truly cleansed and able to enjoy the fullness and peace of Life.
Our Lady has called us to turn toward God, to Convert our Lives so that we may experience the fullness of His Peace. For many that conversion begins and is strengthened by a pilgrimage to Medjugorje. During your stay, you will experience the beauty and peace of this simple village and have the opportunity to share your faith with pilgrims from all over the world. Here are some of the activities planned for the week:
Daily Mass: Each morning, at 10:00, am (noon on Sunday), the group will assemble at St. James Church for Mass and the blessing of religious articles immediately following.
Climb Apparition Hill: Recite the Rosary while climbing the hill to the place where the visionaries first encountered Our Lady.
Climb Mt. Krizevac (Cross Mountain): In 1933, the villagers built a 30-foot high cross atop a mountain to commemorate Jesus’ passion and death on the cross. Climb to the top, stopping 14 times along the way to rest, and Pray the Stations of the Cross.
Join the villagers and fellow pilgrims in praying the Rosary in St. James Church at 5:00 pm (6:00 pm Daylight Savings Time), and stay for the apparition of Our Lady to the visionaries at 5:40 pm (6:40 pm Daylight Savings Time). Stay for the Croatian Mass the Blessing of the Sick immediately following.
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament: Our Lady has always called us to be close to Her Son. Join fellow pilgrims for Adoration on Tuesday and Saturday at the outside altar of St. James Church, and for Veneration of the Cross on Friday inside the church. Adoration is also available in the Chapel every afternoon.
Meetings with the Visionaries: Pending their availability, the guide will arrange meetings with the Visionaries.
Visit the Community of Cenacolo: Founded by the Sisters of Charity, Cenacolo is a community for young men and women who have lost their way in life and are on the road to recovery. We will hear their inspirational words about their journeys back to Jesus Christ.
Prayer at the Statue of the Risen Christ: Pray at the bronze statue located on the grounds of St. James Church, and witness the droplets of water that miraculously seep out of Christ’s right knee.
CatholicJourneys.com is the premier provider of Catholic Pilgrimages to Medjugorje. We provide pilgrims with the opportunity to increase one’s spirituality, grow in faith, and better understand God’s presence in our lives. Catholic Journeys has several base Medjugorje base pilgrimage itineraries. We specialize in helping you design your trip to suit your needs.
CatholicJourneys.com works with individual pilgrimage groups to customize their itineraries to meet your group’s individual needs.
The video below is from 1988 with Jimmy’s parents at Medjugorje. Jimmy’s father organized the very first pilgrimage tours from the USA to Medjugorje a few years earlier. Now his son Jimmy carries on the tradition of visiting Medjugorje.
Catholic Journeys – The only pilgrimage tour company 100% Catholic owned and operated with a priest on staff.