33 phenomenal years of grace

TimeOfGrace_72_3988TUESDAY, JUNE 24, 2014


By: Crown of Stars Blog

Ivanka Ivankovic was the first of the six visionaries to see Our Lady at when the Medjugorje phenomenon began 33 years ago on June 24, 1981.

Ivanka lives a discreet, almost private life, close to the village of Medjugorje.

This is a transcript of a talk she gave to young pilgrims visiting Medjugorje for a recent Youth Festival.

• I would like to greet you all with the most beautiful of greetings: Praised be Jesus and Mary. I am so pleased to be here with you today and even more pleased that you are ready to hear the message of Our Lady.

For all these years I have been asking God the very same question: Why did you choose me? I know that I was given a great grace and also I know that at the same time I was given a great responsibility.

I have accepted this as a gift but at the same time I have been praying all the time that God gives me strength to fulfil all the assignments he has for me.

I lived with my family at Mostar at that time and as always, after school, I used to come to Medjugorje. This is what happened that day on June 24, 1981 when I saw Our Lady for the first time.

On that day, like every day, I was outside the village with Mirjana and we were waiting for other friends to come. I do not how long we were waiting but we got tired of that and then we started walking towards the houses.

While we were walking towards the village I was really forced by something to look towards the hill and then I saw Our Lady. I said to Mirjana, “Mirjana, I see Our Lady on the hill” but Mirjana said, “Don’t tell me these foolish things.”

I followed Mirjana who was walking back to the village and then we met Milka, the sister of the visionary Marija. Milka saw that something was wrong with me and she asked me what happened, and I told the girls to come back with me, that I had seen Our Lady. We went back and then all three of us saw Our Lady. Vicka also came to us and then two boys, the two Ivans. The apparition kept calling us but none of us dared to climb the hill.

Our Lady was four or five hundred metres away from us. She kept calling us and emotions we felt in our heart were huge. We felt all kinds of emotions in our heart and none of us dared to get closer to her.

Whoever we told that we saw Our Lady that evening, they did not believe us. They told us not to tell such things. That night was the longest night in my life. I was only 15 and I questioned myself the entire night whether what I saw was true or not.

So the next day at the same hour we went back together to the apparition hill. Before we saw Our Lady we saw the light, three times, and when we finally got to her, I cannot describe that moment of meeting with Our Lady because we felt so much love, felt so secure, so much happiness in our hearts.

When we came to her we saw this most beautiful person, maybe 19 or 20 years of age. She had a crown of stars, white veil, greyish dress, and she was standing on a cloud She had the most beautiful blue eyes and long black hair.

I knew that it was the Blessed Mother You see, two months before that day my mother had passed away. Because I knew in my heart that this was the Blessed Virgin Mary I asked her, “Mother, where is my mother?” And she said, “Do not worry, my child, your mother is with me.”

Our Lady told us, “Do not worry. I’ll pray with you always. I’ll come again tomorrow.”

The word spread very quickly so that on the third day people started following us because they saw something was happening with us, so they gave us holy water to bless the apparition. On that third day when Our Lady came, Vicka blessed her and she said, “If you come from God, stay. But if you do not come from God, please leave us.” And then Our Lady smiled back at us and said, “I am the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Peace.”

On that day Our Lady gave the first public message, which was the message of peace. As the days passed by Our Lady asked us to convert, to fast, to do some penance, to pray and go to confession and attend Holy Mass. These are the main messages of Our Lady of Medjugorje.

From 1981 until 1985 I received the apparitions on a daily basis. During that period Our Lady dictated to me her biography. I wrote everything down. She also told me the future of the world and the future of our Church. When I have permission from Our Lady, this will be published.
On the 7th May, 1985, I had the last daily apparition and that was the longest apparition that I have ever had because Our Lady stayed with me one hour.

On that day Our Lady gave me the final and tenth secret and I was told that I would not have the apparitions on a daily basis anymore, but Our Lady promised me that she was going to appear to me once a year on June 25.

From 1985 to today I received the apparition once every year on June 25. But at that last daily apparition I was given the greatest gift, not just for myself but for the entire world. And because every single human being is asking is there a life after this life on earth, I am standing before you here today, I am standing before the entire world and I can easily answer that question. Yes, there is a life after this life, because by God and Our Lady I was given this great grace, that I was able to see my late mother during that apparition time and my mom told me: “My dear child, I’m proud of you.”

For 28 years Our Lady has been telling us which road we need to take in our life. She is showing us the way and we have to decide which road we are going to take in our life.

Our Lady has given a different mission to each one of us visionaries. My mission is to pray for families. So every day I pray for families.

The last apparition I had was this year on June 25 and that apparition lasted ten minutes and Our Lady spoke to me about the tenth secret and she advised for all of us to become apostles of peace and to pray for peace. Our Lady ended her message with “Peace, peace, peace.”

Let us be reminded in prayer. Let us pray for each other. Our Lady wants us to be be in peace, not to be afraid, to know that she is there for us all of the time.

Finally, when you leave Medjugorje I would like you to take peace and love from Medjugorje back to your home and to your country. Thank you all for everything.

• Ivanka will receive her annual apparition tomorrow, June 25.

source: crownofstars.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-first-of-visionaries-to-see-our-lady.html


The Miracle of: Dominik and the Youth Festival

Here is a confirmed story about the boy who drowned:

By: Sister Emmanuel

A surprising event took place in Medjugorje on August 3rd. Since the articles on the internet about the events spread many errors, I wanted to make a serious inquiry before writing about it. So, below I have written the facts as I received them from Dominik’s family.

Dominik Juros, a young Slovakian of 16, born in a Catholic family from the village of Hran, came to the Youth Festival this summer with other young people from his area. During the preceding months,Dominik went through a period of inner rebellion, mostly concerning faith. He no longer wanted to serve at Mass as altar boy; and he refused to pray with his parents.

Although this group had signed up for a pilgrimage, they were not really interested in the Youth Festival or in God in general. They behaved more like tourists on vacation.

On August 3rd, the heat was extreme in Medjugorje. The group decided to go swimming at the waterfalls of Kravica with Janko, their guide, rather than follow the program of the Festival. Dominik slipped into the icy water, and sank 9 or 10 feet deep. He managed to surface several times, but no one noticed that he was drowning. Instead, people around him thought he was playing a game. Ten minutes later, Jankobegan to worry because he could no longer see him! So he swam to the spot where he had last seen him.

With the help of a few people, Janko was able to pull Dominik out of the water. But his heart had stopped. It took 15 to 20 minutes of resuscitation to make it beat again, but on the way to Mostar’shospital, his heart stopped beating again. His lungs no longer worked. At the hospital Dominik was put into an induced coma and his vital bodily functions were taken over by medical devices.

The next day, his parents rushed from Slovakia to Mostar. After hearing what had happened, all the young people at the Festival started praying fervently for him, and this beautiful chain of love continued day and night! Even Dominik’s bus companions, suddenly seized by the fear of God, started to pray. Each went to Confession and they attended Mass with great piety.

On August 5th, surrounded by his family and with a lot of prayers, Dominik showed unexpected signs of awareness. Although unconscious, he would press his mother’s hand or shed tears. He woke up on August 7th, and his organs revived. His first reaction was to cry, begging his parents to forgive him. He grabbed the hand of his mother and asked her to pray with him, and to pray a lot. He wanted to confess his sins, so they asked a priest to come. He was then transferred to a hospital in Slovakia, where he began walking and talking freely. Four weeks later, he was back in school. His Slovakian doctor reports that Dominik’s recovery is shocking, considering what he endured.

Dominik shared some interesting aspects of his experience. For instance, although unconscious at the time, when he was taken out of the water, he saw his parents in Slovakia sitting in front of television, and he knew what they were doing and where they were going. On August 8th, according to people present and his own words, he became hypersensitive, felt intense inner struggles, and had unusual perceptions.

According to Dominik, while he was between life and death, he felt threatened by “dark figures” present in the hospital, some standing at the door and others causing havoc in the room, accusing him. These figures were constantly trying to prevent his mother from praying at his bedside. Dominik’s face lit up when he felt the presence of a person full of light, peace and joy, who he thinks was the Blessed Mother. When someone entered his room carrying some water, he knew that it was Holy Water and thought “Oh, blessed water! That will help me now!” He said he could perceive the prayers of his family as peaceful, positive, very helpful and full of life.

Dominik was able to see Purgatory. There he saw two young people, from a neighboring town, suffering. He saw that they had burned a car and later were killed in an accident. He saw Angels, splendid beings dressed in white, with beautiful faces. He said he saw Jesus face to face and said that Jesus had the most beautiful eyes. When his family was praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy at his bedside, he asked them, “Can you smell that wonderful fragrance?” “What fragrance?” His mother asked. “The blood of Jesus! It has a wonderful fragrance!” He answered.

There are many details to the story that will not fit here, however it is important to note that Dominik’smother consecrated him to Our Lady at his conception.

Dominick often repeated that we should love each other and forgive one another; that love is the most important thing in life. He insistently asked members of his family to treat each other with much more love, even in the smallest things, and to always forgive and to have no enemies. With his short, but sweet taste of Heaven, Dominik regretted that the medical team had saved his life!

We know that normally, after a few minutes under water, the brain is damaged for lack of oxygen. But inDominik’s case, only God knows whether it is, medically, a miracle. This is of little importance! What is beautiful in this event, is that it happened when 40,000 youth of the Festival were praying in Medjugorje. The Lord used this teenager, going through a crisis, to put all his friends on their knees, (those present in Medjugorje and those in Slovakia), to inspire them to go to Confession and to turn their hearts to God. Moreover, to some of those kids who put earthly things in the first place of their life, and who thought they could make it without God, Dominik’s experience revealed another world, other values, and reminded them of the most vital commandment of Jesus: “Love one another as I have loved you!”

Dominik does not remember everything, but the effect of grace is very obvious in his life. He has turned into a young man who today prays profoundly, who lives his faith with fervor, and who happily joins his parents and family in prayer. He shows great reverence for the Cross of Jesus and for Our Lady. All his relatives are grateful for what the mercy of God did for him. Even his grandfather, a former obstinate opponent of Medjugorje, now wants to come. Magnificat!

Boy visiting Medjugorje dies and comes back to life

A boy named Daniel, along with his mother, father, and a good male friend, traveled to Medjugorje for its Youth Festival, which occurred July 31st through August 6th, 2010.

During one of the days of their pilgrimage, toward the end of the festival week, they decided to travel to the beautiful Kravice Waterfall, located ten kilometers outside of Medjugorje, near the town of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

  Kravice Waterfall near Medjugorje

 They were hardly alone on their pilgrimage. Over 50,000 youth and more than 500 priests came from around the world to attend the popular festival. During a large midday gathering, one of the Franciscan priests in Medjugorje made a brief announcement, asking everyone to pray for a young man named Daniel. Then there was silence. Nothing more was said. The priest didn’t share any details. No one knew at the time why they were praying for him.

 What people didn’t know was that Daniel had been swimming in the waters of the Kravice Waterfall, and had just drowned. He had been under water for a full seven minutes, when his friend noticed he was gone. Panicked, the friend dove under water, found Daniel, pulled him up, and dragged his lifeless body to shore. Panick-stricken, Daniel’s father, a medic, tried to resuscitate him, but to no avail.

 They picked up Daniel’s heavy, limp body, and drove him to the town of Mostar, which had the nearest hospital, an hour away. But Daniel was corpse-like. His lungs were full of water, and any human being, who hasn’t received oxygen for twenty minutes or more, will inevitably suffer serious brain damage.

 At the hospital, the medical staff pumped the water from his lungs and tried everything they could do to save him. Yet their efforts were hopeless. After a short time, the hospital declared him officially dead. Daniel’s parents and friend collapsed inside, overcome with grief and shock.

 The following morning, Daniel started to move. He said to his mom, “I don’t really recognize you, but would you pray to Jesus with me?” Then later that day, his memory returned in full, and he asked if he could get a bigger bed, because he couldn’t stretch out his legs.

Untold joy and thanksgiving burst forth from Daniel’s hospital bed and traveled throughout Medjugorje. And to note the blessings which can come from charity, Daniel’s father had paid for the pilgrimage of the boy who rescued his son from the water.

 In Medjugorje, miracles abound, and this is one is perhaps the greatest yet. Through the intercession of Mary of Medjugorje and the prayers of faithful pilgrims, Jesus raised someone from the dead, just as he did when he walked the earth 2000 years ago.

 This true story was heard first-hand and told by Nancy Latta, (translator for Fr. Jozo and founder of Our Lady of the Sacred Retreat House in Medjugorje), to Jordan Lindsey, a Medjugorje pilgrim and seminarian, present during this Youth Festival.

Source: http://www.medjugorjemiracles.com/2010/08/boy-visiting-medjugorje-dies-and-comes-back-to-life/

By Christine Watkins, author of Full of Grace: Miraculous Stories of Healing and Conversion through Mary’s Intercession, as written on her blog medjugorjemiracles.com. Visit her website at www.christinewatkins.com.

Note to readers: I visited these Falls with my children at the Youth Festival this year. It was absolutely beautiful, but the water is very cold. Many pilgrims go there to cool off and swim. Please go with caution. The water is ice cold compared to our water in the States. – Mary Maddox

Anniversary of building of cross on Cross Mountain

On Tuesday, March 16th 2010 there was a 76th anniversary of building of the cross on Cross Mountain and celebration of first Holy Mass under that same cross. Only 52 days passed ever since the day when decision for the cross to be built on the highest hill in the area, January 21st 1934 due to occasion of Jubilee Year of Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, and decision was given to parishioners by their parish priest Fr. Bernardin Smoljan, until the day when cross was finally completed. Engineer Simun Boras from Mostar built the construction plan for the Cross, and Ante Dugandzic Redzo was monitoring all the works of construction.
Parish priest wrote in his report about those days the following: “On March 16, 1934 great group of people in procession started their journey towards the Mountain from the Church, and amongst them members of Franciscan Third Order, who carried the flag of their brotherhood with Name of Jesus, school children, priests and numerous people. The bells on the church rang all the time, husbands were shooting in the air with their festive guns, people prayed Rosary, sang Litanies of Blessed Virgin Mary, and this procession was slowly moving towards the Mountain whose top was already packed with people who were looking at this procession, as well as at other groups that approached from different sides. Holy ceremonies began at 10 a.m. I gave the appropriate speech to people, read letter from His Eminence Bishop, as well as other speeches of congratulation and regards from different sides. After that, solemn blessing of Holy Cross followed, and than with huge ovations from people I changed the name of mountain from Sipovac to Krizevac (Cross Mounatain). After blessing I held Holy Mass and Homily was given by parish priest from Studenci Fr. Grgo Vasilj.”
Already in the following year, on April 12th 1935 penance procession was held on the Cross Mountain and Holy Mass was celebrated at the end. In September of the same year celebration of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross was held on the Cross Mountain, all according to the order from local Bishop Fr. Alojzije Misic.
In the last three decades Cross Mountain became essential pilgrimage station on their journey while in Medjugorje, and every Friday pilgrims and parishioners climb the Cross Mountain while praying the Way of the Cross. — http://medjugorje.hr/en/news/anniversary-of-building-of-cross-on-cross-mountain,2902.html

Pope John Paul II “Medjugorje – The Spiritual Heart of the World”

By Daniel Klimek , source www.ministryvaules.com                                                                    

 March 13, 2010

Pope John Paul II once powerfully observed, “Today’s world has lost its sense of the supernatural, but many are searching for it –and find it in Medjugorje, through prayer, penance, and fasting.” The late pontiff and future saint, his holiness, spoke these words on August 1, 1989,while addressing a group of Italian physicians studying the apparitions inMedjugorje with medical and scientific investigations.

It is no secret within Rome that John Paul II absolutely loved Medjugorje, once even acquiring the nickname “Protector of Medjugorje” within the Vatican. Even eminent American intellectuals were no strangers to this reality. The great Franciscan intellectual, Fr. Benedict J.Groeschel, himself an investigator of supernatural phenomena, once admitted about John Paul II in a revealing interview: “I can tell you for a fact that the pope loves Medjugorje from afar and would go there in a minute if the theologians would let him.”

While it is known that the late Polish pope never personally visited Medjugorje, what is less known is that throughout the last two decades of his life Pope John Paul II held personal meetings and correspondences with Medjugorje visionaries, Medjugorje priests, even Medjugorje inner locutionaries, and numerous pro-Medjugorje bishops. His enthusiasm and love for Medjugorje’s mystics was overwhelming and filled with abundant respect and a joyful beauty overcome with hope. One such example is when Medjugorje visionary,Mirjana Dragicevic Soldo, met with John Paul II. She once shared the details behind this poignant, and somewhat humorous, encounter while addressing a group of pilgrims:

“I personally had a such a great honor to be able tospeak with late Pope John Paul II. That was so beautiful. I was in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome with all other pilgrims. Pope as he was walking by, he was blessing everybody. He blessed me and just walked away. And then this Italian priest I was with said ‘Holy Father, this is Mirjana from Medjugorje.’ He came back, blessed me again and he left. And I said to this priest, ‘Father, you see he just thinks that I need a double blessing’ [laughter]. However, in the afternoon we received an invitation tomorrow morning to come to Castelgondolfo,close to Rome in order to talk to Holy Father. I don’t have to tell you that I couldn’t sleep all night. Tomorrow when I reached the place, he saw that I was so excited. We were alone and then he started talking to me in Polish. He thought I would understand because both are Slavic languages. He wanted to make me feel comfortable but I didn’t understand a word because it’s not even close to our language. However, I was crying and I couldn’t catch a breath to say a word. So when I finally succeeded to say a word, I said ‘Holy Father, can we try inItalian ?’ [laughter]. Then we talked and among other things he said to me, ‘If I were not Pope, I would be in Medjugorje a long time ago. I know everything, I have been following everything. Ask pilgrims to pray for my intentions. And take good care of Medjugorje because Medjugorje is the hope for the entire world…’ ”

Beyond such personal words of encouragement and trust for the visionaries and the fruits of faith at Medjugorje, Pope John Paul II frequently displayed his appreciation in officially signed papal blessings as well. Two such official blessings were given by John Paul II to Fr. Jozo Zovko,O.F.M., the pastor in St. James Church at Medjugorje when the apparitions began, and to Vicka Ivankovic, one of the Medjugorje visionaries who stillr eceives daily apparitions. Vicka, like Mirjana, has also personally met with the Holy Father in Rome, exchanging gifts and warm sentiments of faith. The official blessing she received from the late pope hangs on her wall,beautifully framed, in her home.

Fr. Jozo met with Pope John Paul II in 1992, in the midst of the wars in the former Yugoslavia. John Paul II’s words to Fr. Jozowere striking: “I am with you, protect Medjugorje!  Protect Our Lady’smessages!” The passion and urgency of the Holy Father’s words for the protection of Medjugorje make clear how much the holy site, as to millions of Catholics, meant to him.

That Our Lady is appearing in Medjugorje, the Holy Father had little doubt about. The papal blessing he signed and gave to Fr.Jozo read:

“I grant from the heart a particular blessing t oFather Jozo Zovko, o.f.m. and I invoke a new outpouring of graces and heavenly favors, and the continuous protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary. JoannesPaulus II.”

The Holy Father’s own knowledge of Medjugorje and the major figures surrounding the events there was very impressive. Often his knowledge extended beyond the facts that many Medjugorje devotees may even know. For instance, most Medjugorje followers know that there are six visionaries. However, fewer may know that, in addition to the original sixchildren who reported experiencing apparitions of Our Lady in 1981, two also reported experiencing interior locutions (locution cordis), the mystical grace of seeing and hearing Our Lady in an interior way – through the heart, especially when in prayer. Jelena and Marijana Vasilj, distant cousins, were the two youngsters who reported experiencing this grace. At Medjugorje, they acquired the nickname of “the seers of the second generation,” being tenyear-old girls (compared to the older visionaries) during the beginning periods of the apparitions.

Of course, such idiosyncratic distinctions, between young mystics who received apparitions and those who received innerlocutions—while perhaps a bit perplexing to many observers—were no problem for John Paul II to discern. He didn’t miss a beat. In 1988, John Paul II receiveda group of Croatian Catholics into his private chapel in Rome. He instantly recognized two members of the group from photographs he had witnessed. Approaching the two young girls, he said, “Ah yes, Jelena and Marijana, who have the interior locutions.” John Paul II greeted the girls warmly and stared into their eyes for some time with much amusement.

Today, both Jelena and Marijana are, of course,mature women. Jelena’s path has especially been interesting. Traveling to the UnitedStates for her undergraduate studies, she completed her B.A. at the Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. Shortly thereafter, Jelena returned to Rome where she pursued a doctorate in theology at the Gregorian University, always displaying a sophisticated mind with a deep appreciation for the Catholic faith.

Only two years after the pope met with “the seers ofthe second generation,” John Paul II sent his friend and confidant, Bishop Paul Hnilica, S.J., then Auxiliary Bishop of Rome, to accompany Marija Pavlovic,another Medjugorje visionary, on a visit to Russia. Bishop Hnilica continually told Marija how much the pope wished to visit Medjugorje. Similarly to the words John Paul II gave to visionary Mirjana Soldo during their meeting, the Bishop emphasized how the Holy Father explained to him: “If I wasn’t the Pope,I’d be in Medjugorje already!”

Many bishops from around the world have had similar encounters with John Paul II on the topic of Medjugorje. In June 1986, in response to a group of twelve Italian bishops seeking advice on pilgrims traveling to Medjugorje, the pope recognized the indisputable fruits of faith present in the village: “Let the people go to Medjugorje,” he said, “if theyconvert, pray, confess, do penance and fast.”

Similarly, in April 15, 1990, the National Catholic Reporter quoted Bishop Michael D. Pfeifer of San Angelo, Texas. Bishop Pfeifer explained:

“During my Ad Lumina visit to Rome with the Bishops of Texas in April 1988, I asked our Holy Father his opinion about Medjugorje during the private conversation I had with him. He spoke very favorably about the happenings there, pointing out the good which had been done for people. During the lunch which the Texas Bishops later had with the Holy Father,Medjugorje came up for further discussion. Again His Holiness spoke of how it has changed the lives of people who visit it, and said that so far the messages are not contrary to the Gospel.”

Likewise, during his Mass Homily at the Notre Dame Conferenceon Medjugorje delivered on May 14, 1989, Bishop S. Treinen, Bishop of Boise,Idaho, related a conversation he once had with John Paul II:

“In the course of it [our conversation] I said:‘Holy Father, I have just come from Medjugorje. There are wonderful things going on there.’ The Pope replied: ‘Yes, it’s good for pilgrims to go to Medjugorje and pray and do penance. It’s good.’ That’s first hand, I heard himsay it myself.”

In February 1990, Bishop Murilo Krieger, then Auxiliary Bishop of Florianopolis, Brazil, reported a conversation with John Paul II about the apparitions, wherein the pope enthusiastically told him:“Medjugorje is a great center of spirituality!” Not only that but the Holy Father also happily assented to Bishop Krieger’s request, giving his papal blessings to the visionaries. Bishop Krieger explained:

 “In 1988, I was with eight other bishops and thirty three priests on spiritual retreat in the Vatican. The Holy Father knew that many of us were going to Medjugorje afterwards. After a private mass with the Pope, before leaving Rome,he said, without having been asked anything, ‘Pray for me in Medjugorje.’ On another occasion, I told the Pope ‘I am going to Medjugorje for the fourth time.’He concentrated his thoughts and said, ‘Medjugorje, Medjugorje, it`s the spiritual heart of the world.’ On the same day I spoke with other Brazilian bishops and the Pope at lunch time and I asked him: ‘Your holiness, can I tellthe visionaries that you send your blessing?’ He answered: ‘Yes yes,’ and embraced me.”

In addition to Pope John Paul II’s overwhelming support, in recent years Medjugorje has acquired some very influential supporters in Roman Catholic circles. Critics of Medjugorje, from the bishop of Mostar to German theologian Manfred Hauke, are given a lot of media attention. But what is noteworthy is how many cardinals have voiced their affection forthe shrine, including Cardinals Tonini Ersilio, Emmanuel Wamala, Jean Margeot,Frantisek Tomasek and, most recently, his eminence Christoph Cardinal Schonborn, the Archbishop of Vienna who visited Medjugorje as a pilgrim fo rChristmas 2009. Even theologians have shown their appreciation. The French theologian Fr. Rene Laurentin and the Swiss theologian and cardinal Hans ursvon Balthasar have been open Medjugorje supporters. Balthasar, in addition to being arguably the most eminent theologian of the twentieth century, is also known for co-founding—with his friend Joseph Ratzinger (the current Pope), and with others—the Catholic journal Communio.He frequently referred to the events happening at Medjugorje as “a theater of holiness.”  

Most recently, the popular American priest, Fr.Donald Calloway of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, published his autobiography, No Turning Back: A Witnessto Mercy. Fr. Calloway is the vocation director for the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, the author of numerous books, and a leading proponent ofthe Divine Mercy devotions of St. Faustina Kowalska. It was a book about Medjugorje, The Queen of Peace VisitsMedjugorje, which led to Calloway’s famous conversion, going from anagnostic and destructive youth wrestling with addiction, promiscuous sex, andillegal crime to someone who found hope, peace, and meaning in Medjugorje,leading to the priesthood and to his current life of spiritual maturity and personal unity with Christ and Our Lady. 

The messages and fruits of Medjugorje have reached an innumerable amount of people. From the faithful millions who have visited the village to the millions who have read about it, to some of the most influential members of the Catholic Church. Pope John Paul II, who many Catholics believe was a mystic himself, had a special relationship (in his immense spirituality and in his devotion to Our Lady) with Medjugorje. He asked others to protect Medjugorje and he believed that Medjugorje was thefulfillment of Fatima.  

Monsignor Angelo Kim, President of the KoreanBishops’ Conference, once wrote about his encounter with John Paul II in the Korean national weekly newspaper, CatholicNews, in 1990. Prior to the conclusion of the last Bishops’ Synode in Rome,the Korean bishops were invited to a lunch with John Paul II. Msgr. Kim addressed the Holy Father directly and said, “Father, thanks to you,Poland was able to liberate itself from Communism.” To this, the Holy Father responded, “No, this is not my merit. This is the work of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as She had predicted in Fatima and in Medjugorje.”

As mentioned, in the Vatican he was known as the“Protector of Medjugorje.” In reality, this relationship was mutual. According to the testimony of the Medjugorje visionaries, on May 13, 1982, on the anniversary of the Fatima apparitions and on the occasion of an assassination attempt on John Paul II’s life, Our Lady said, “His enemies tried to kill him,but I have protected him.”