In Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mother Mary has appeared to six teenagers since 1981, warning of coming calamities. The Blessed Mother has said that some of these could be mitigated through prayer and fasting. She has also revealed that because of the response to her messages, one of the calamities has been averted. This is a confirmation of what the ascended masters have been teaching us since the early 1950s. And it gives us great hope even as it goads our souls to more earnest prayer.
Mother Mary began her appearances to six youths in the small village of Medjugorje on June 24, 1981. Medjugorje is in what was then Yugoslavia but is now Bosnia-Herzegovina. The appearances were met with skepticism and persecution. The seers were aged 10 to 16 when the apparitions began. They were interrogated by authorities of the Communist government and the Catholic Church. At one point, the local police detained the youths, told them to recant and threatened to have them committed to a mental asylum.
The parish pastor and other priests at first doubted the authenticity of the apparitions. This caused one of the seers, Ivanka, to remark, “The only ones who do not believe us are the priests and the police!” The youths were subjected to medical, psychological and psychiatric examinations to determine if their behavior was being caused by drugs, hypnosis or other factors. And they were also closely examined while in the state of ecstasy during the Blessed Mother’s visitations.
As the throngs of believers continued to increase, the Communist government became alarmed at the religious revival taking place. Huge crowds of people would gather on a hillside overlooking Medjugorje to witness the apparitions. The authorities took repressive measures and several priests and nuns were arrested. For almost two years the police forbade anyone to visit the place of the apparitions.
For about six months during this time the appearances took place at various other sites—such as fields, woods, and the homes of the youths and many others in the village. Beginning in January 1982, the Blessed Mother appeared in the rectory, the sacristy and the choir loft of the parish church.
It is interesting to note that during the civil war that resulted in the breakup of Yugoslavia not one bomb fell on the parish of Medjugorje. A 1997 Medjugorje newsletter recognized the protection that the Blessed Mother has given to the apparition site: “Is it not clear that there is a tie between the devastating war that exploded in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the edifying message of Medjugorje? The destructive war has not conquered the place where God chose to spread this extraordinary message of peace and conversion. Today, Medjugorje, by the grace of God, is more beautiful and resplendent than ever.”
The messages of Medjugorje
The children said that during her Medjugorje visitations the Blessed Mother gave them messages stressing peace, conversion, prayer, fasting, penance and a sacramental life. Mirjana, one of the seers, said, “Our Lady continues to invite us to prayer and fasting, saying: ‘You have forgotten that with prayer and fasting you can ward off wars, suspend natural laws.’”
In addition to these messages, Mother Mary said that she would give to each of the visionaries a total of ten “secrets”—prophecies of events that will occur on earth in the near future.
Although the Catholic Church has declined to confirm that the visitations are authentic, Mother Mary said to us in a 1987 dictation that she was indeed appearing to the youths. Millions of people have made a pilgrimage to Medjugorje and many report having been spiritually strengthened and even transformed by their experiences there.
At both Fátima and Medjugorje the Blessed Mother has given the same message—that we can save ourselves and the planet if we will faithfully pray and give the rosary. I [Elizabeth Clare Prophet] believe that Mother Mary began her appearances in Medjugorje because her requests at Fátima have not been fulfilled.
The purpose of the appearances
Mother Mary spoke of her appearances in Medjugorje in a dictation in 1987 (five years before the beginning of the civil war in Bosnia):
Know, then, beloved, that I have also appeared in Yugoslavia to these special hearts, young in body but ancient of days, as the Queen of Peace. For peace is a pillar of fire that is thrust as a sword in the very midst of Communist territory.... Blessed ones, Medjugorje has become as a figure-eight flow where so many hearts give attention to me that the light may descend as judgment.
Understand, blessed ones, that I have come there to prepare this people for calamities to come. The simple of heart need to be reminded of their original faith. To deliver to them a message beyond that which they comprehend within the supposed security of the Church would only serve to neutralize the message and their opinions of its authenticity.
Thus, to depart from scripture or canon would be to obviate the very purpose of my coming, which is to draw a tremendous devotion of people of every faith to the heart of God and the Divine Mother, that in this sacred tie to heaven they might pass through a darkness to come....
I have desired, then, that you should see and understand the light, the determination, the joy, the confidence that the seeing of myself has given to the six—and which through them has been radiated to the many.
1988 Pearls of Wisdom, book 1, chapter 1.
Elizabeth Clare Prophet, “Update on Fátima and Medjugorje,” Pearls of Wisdom, vol. 41, no. 39, September 27, 1998.
- Mother Mary, “Be Prepared and Be at Peace,” Pearls of Wisdom, vol. 30, no. 23, June 7, 1987.