A Brief Synopsis of Medjugorje
It was late afternoon on June 24, 1981. Two pretty girls were out for a walk, no doubt sharing the latest news or talking about a young man or two.
Fifteen-year-old Ivanka Ivankovic, from the hamlet of Bijakovici (part of the parish of Medjugorje) suddenly noticed a light high up on Mount Podbrdo, the large hill behind her village. Glancing up, she saw a figure shining with light, hovering above the ground. It stood a good distance away, perhaps over 200 yards. As she looked, speechless, their conversation forgotten, the figure seemed to form the shape of a young woman. Although she wasn't at all sure, she exclaimed to her friend, "Mirjana, look. There is Gospa." (Gospa is the Croatian word for Our Lady.)
Mirjana was sure Ivanka was joking. She didn't even bother to look where her friend was pointing. "Come on," she said, mockingly, "Would Our Lady appear to us?"
Convinced, Ivanka said no more and they walked on. A younger girl, Milka Pavlovic, asked for help rounding up her goats. Arriving back at the spot, all three now saw the figure. This time they knelt down. Vicka Ivankovic, another friend, happened by. "Look up there," they told her. Terrified, Vicka kicked off her shoes and ran. She met sixteen-year-old Ivan Dragicevic and his friend Ivan Ivankovic. Telling them what happened, they convinced her to take them to check it out. They, too, saw the vision. Ivan Dragicevic took off on a dead run for home.
Next day, four of the children felt drawn back to the spot.
Vicka then ran to get her friend, Marija, (Milka's sister) and ten-year-old Jakov Colo. They, too, saw the apparition the second day. Milka and Ivan Ivankovic did not return and never saw Our Lady again.
Gospa has appeared every day since then. The six young people say Our Lady looks about nineteen years old, is extremely beautiful, and has dark hair with blue eyes. She appears to the visionaries every day at 5:40 p.m.
Her overall message through the years is peace - to reconcile ourselves with God and with each other. Mary says she has come to bring the world back to her Son, Jesus. She asks us to pray, go to Mass, confess once a month, fast on Wednesday and Friday on bread and water and say the fifteen decade rosary every day. Three of the visionaries, Ivanka, Mirjana and Jakov have received ten secrets and no longer have daily apparitions. Vicka, Marija and Ivan have received only nine of the secrets and still have daily apparitions. The visionaries are all married and have two or more children.
Mirjana has been chosen to reveal the secrets and will tell a Franciscan priest, Fr. Petar Ljubicic, ten days before each one occurs. After prayer and fasting, he will tell the secret to the world three days before it happens. Our Lady also promised that a lasting sign would be left at the spot of her first apparition.
Each month, on the 25th, Our Lady gives a message for the world to Marija, who writes it down for the priests of St. James' Church to translate and send out.
Over thirty million pilgrims have been to Medjugorje, including priests, bishops and cardinals.