From the beginning of Medjugorje apparitions in June 1981, Medjugorje (in Bosnia and Herzegovina, an Ex-Yugoslavia country in south Europe, see map) became an important place of pilgrimage and encouragement for faith and spiritual life for millions of people and thousands prayer groups. Many people experienced God's grace and presence in their hearts on this place and often receive motivation to lead a better, more valuable life. A life with love and opened heart for God and people, life of prayer and communion with God. Prayers, changed lives and humanitarian activities and projects influenced or inspired by Medjugorje without doubt help make this world a better place. Maybe more, than we would expect.
Over the years people questioned the visionaries of Medjugorje about Our Lady’s appearance, but the most successful inquirer by far was the author, Fr. Janko Bubalo, a Franciscan of the Hercegovinian province. He had followed the events associated with the apparitions from the beginning. For a number of years he heard confessions in Medjugorje and acquired an intimate knowledge of Medjugorje spirituality. One result of his interest is his book A Thousand Encounters with the Blessed Virgin Mary in Medjugorje (1985). It met with worldwide success and received a reward. In this book Vicka, the visionary, in answer to Fr. Bubalo’s questions, gives a detailed account of her encounters with Our Blessed Lady. It is true that Fr. Bubalo had interviews with the other visionaries, but in the end decided to publish only the conversations he had with Vicka, because it seemed to him that she answered his questions in the most comprehensive way. Besides, what the other visionaries had to say did not differ essentially from Vicka’s accounts.
For quite a while now, in Medjugorje (Čitluk, Bosnia-Herzegovina) six trustworthy witnesses, testify firmly under oath, that since the 24th of June 1981, the Blessed Virgin Mary, or the "Gospa", as she is affectionately known as here, appears to them every day up to the present.
On June 16, 2011, begins the Novena in thanksgiving for 30 years of the apparitions of the Queen of Peace. In Medjugorje, they will pray the rosary at Apparition Hill every day at 4 pm, and we unite with all our friends and with all the pilgrims all over the world through this Novena. The Novena ends on June 23, and on June 24, at 6 am, we pray for peace in the “Peace March” which leads us in a Eucharistic procession from Humac to Medjugorje. We invite all Our Lady’s pilgrims, wherever they may be, to unite in a joyful prayer!
Priests of Medjugorje
On June 24, 1981, at about 6pm, six young parishioners from Medjugorje: Ivanka Ivankovic, Mirjana Dragicevic, Vicka Ivankovic, Ivan Dragicevic, Ivan Ivankovic and Milka Pavlovic, saw on the hill Crnica (on the place called Podbrdo) an apparition, a white form with a child in her arms. Surprised and scared, they did not approach.
His Eminence Cardinal Dr. Franjo Kuharić, Archbishop of Zagreb
(Glas Koncila, August 15, 1993)
From day to day, pilgrims are drawn to the church of Medjugorje as one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. They come from all tribes and languages to celebrate the mystery of salvation in the Holy Spirit. The celebrating of the Sacred mysteries are at the centre of all events. Mary, Mother of Our Lord is present in these celebrations, as the caring mother and faithful instructor. She gently invites and at the same time thanks (Dear children, little children.... Thank you for having responded to my call!), but at the same time she is exacting; "pray, fast, be carriers of peace, participate in the mass, live the Gospel... You are not alone. You can do all things in Him who is calling you from the darkness into His wonderful light." She, the mother of Light, is offering us her Son, the Sun of justice, the Light who illuminates every man and enables him to be a light to the world.