CONSIDERING the historic and spiritual magnitude of the Medjugorje apparitions, I thought that most people in Catholic Philippines would be familiar with them by now. Wrong. Casual queries have told me most Pinoys, at least in my Pampanga surroundings, know Probinsyano on TV much better than Medjugorje. Some are totally ignorant of it.
Lamentable. The Church, though partially, has already approved Medjugorje as being supernatural and therefore worthy of consideration. It is such a waste that, in Asia's only Catholic nation, not enough attention is given to the Mother of God, Queen of the Universe reaching to each one of us from that village in Bosnia-Hercegovina (former Yugoslavia) in our times that, recent prophecies declare, rather apocalyptical. Even priests seem reluctant to cite Medjugorje in their homilies which, these days, seem more calculated to entertain rather than teach and inspire.
Allow me then to dwell on Medjugorje.
When asked whether you believe in Medjugorje, the reference is to the apparitions in a place in former Yugoslavia. Geographically, it is a village where, starting June 24, 1981, the Blessed Mother started to appear to four girls and two boys (now all adults with families of their own).
What's unprecedented is that up to now, the Blessed Mother still appears to them, although no longer on a daily basis as she used to in the early years.
The visionaries: Marija Pavlovic (born April 1, 1965), Ivanka Ivankovic (born July 21, 1966), Mirjana Dragicevic (born March 18, 1965), Vicka Ivankovic (born September 3, 1964, Ivan Dragicevic (born May 25, 1965), Jakov Colo (born March 6, 1971).
Ivanka was the first to see our Blessed Mother around 6 p.m. of June 24, 1981 on a hill known as Podbrdo. Eventually, all the visionaries began to see the Blessed Mother.
The apparitions continued on a daily basis for them until such time that 10 secrets were revealed to each individually. Separately, each was supposed to be given 1o secrets. After one has received all 10, daily apparitions ceased but still continued to see the Blessed Mother yearly, at a date specified by her.
Most of the children (now adults, of course) have already received all 10 secrets and therefore have visions of the Blessed Mother only once a year.
No less than 50 million pilgrims have visited Medjugorje since 1981 and many of them have had mystic experiences, too: dancing sun, metal links of rosaries turning into gold, photos that come out with images of the Blessed Mother, etc. But most significant are the conversions, even of hardened atheists and hardheaded scientists.
It is also important to note that the most modern scientific instruments were used by experts, with the permission of the Blessed Mother as conveyed through the visionaries, were used to determine whether the seers were not merely hallucinating or experiencing scientifically explainable phenomena during the apparitions. There are photos of the seers looking like Frankenstein with so many wires attached to their heads and other parts of their bodies while they were looking at the Blessed Mother.
The conclusion in these studies: the visionaries were not imagining things and were actually experiencing a tri-dimensional object (pardon the word, as this pertains to our Blessed Mother).
Because the Blessed Mother has been giving messages for all since her apparitions in 1981, it is easy to imagine the volume of messages tha have accumulated from Medjugorje.
Let me share some of them:
"You are ready to commit sin, and to put yourselves in the hands of Satan without reflecting."
"Children, darkness reigns over the whole world. People are attracted by many things and they forget about the more important."
"Light won't reign in the world until people accept Jesus, until they live His words, which is the Word of the Gospel."
"Dear children, this is the reason for my presence among you for such a long time: to lead you on the path of Jesus. I want to save you and, through you, to save the whole world. Many people now live without faith; some don't even want to hear about Jesus, but they still want peace and satisfaction! Children, here is the reason why I need your prayer: prayer is the only way to save the human race."
(More on Medjugrje in the next columns)