by Marco Corvaglia
§ 1. Private Messages
The visionaries claim to continue to see and hear the Madonna, every day, or monthly, or annually.
Ever since the second half of the Eighties, those who claim to see her every day do not usually do it in public.
Considering the three who still claim to have daily apparitions, in fact, Vicka has usually had them in private, therefore with no outside witness, ever since 1985.
Marija, when she is in Italy, where she mainly lives, has apparitions in public only in the case of meetings with the faithful, organized by prayer groups.
The same goes for Ivan, when he is in the U.S. While, in the approximately six months a year he spends at Medjugorje, the alleged ecstasies are public only once or twice a week on the Apparition Hill and, sometimes, in the chapel he built in the garden of his Bijakovići house.
Contrary to what some repeat, therefore, the daily nature of the phenomenon can not be an argument for the credibility of the seers, who -supporters of Medjugorje say- after so many years should have been tired. Indeed this daily nature is alleged and can not be verified by external parties.
After the first few years, the "apparitions" have become a mostly private fact, even in the destination of messages.
Based on the current situation, every year the visionaries allegedly have,in total, more than 1,100 "talks" with the Madonna. The messages to the faithful, simple and objectively uniform in essence, are only a few dozen a year, the remaining apparitions being consequently presented as a purely personal "benefit" of the seers.
Ivan claims, referring to his more than thirty years of daily "talks":
Our Lady tells me about some personal issues and gives me advice on what is right to do [....] The messages are for me and my family.
[L. Fanzaga, I messaggi della Regina della Pace, ("The Messages of the Queen of Peace") Shalom, Camerata Picena, 2007, p. 131]
§ 2. The Messages: Essential or Trivial?
An historico-methodological clarification: during the early years, especially before March 1984 (when the so called "messages to the parish" began to be given), the Medjugorje messages were often related to questions asked by the faithful or contingent situations.
There is no complete collection of "messages" for that period. Those that are currently published and circulated are (as I have also been able to verify by consulting the original sources) selections and pieces partially extracted from very larger cronicals, that is, the parochial "Chronicle of the apparitions" (Kronika ukazanja) and (until the March 1982) Vicka's so called diaries.
Surely, in the first years the messages appeared more naive.
14 April 1982:
Carry blessed objects with you. Put them in your house, and restore the use of holy water.
[René Laurentin, Corpus chronologique des messages, O.E.I.L., Paris, 1988, p. 281. See also Livio Fanzaga, Gianni Sgreva, I messaggi della Regina della Pace, Shalom, Camerata Picena, 2010, p. 418]
21 July 1982:
There is a large number of souls who have been in Purgatory for a long time because no one prays for them. [...]
There is there [in Purgatory], different levels of which the lowest are close to Hell and the highest gradually draw near to Heaven. It is not on all souls day, but at Christmas, that the greatest number of souls leave Purgatory. There are in Purgatory, souls who pray ardently to God, but for whom no relative or friend prays for them on earth. God makes them benefit from the prayers of other people.
[Laurentin, Corpus chronologique des messages, pp. 178 and 186. See also Fanzaga, Sgreva, I messaggi della Regina della Pace, p. 419]
6 August 1982:
One must invite people to go to Confession each month, especially the first Saturday.
[Laurentin, Corpus chronologique des messages, p. 179]
18 July 1985:
Dear children! Today I call you to place more blessed objects in your homes and that everyone put some blessed objects on their person. Bless all the objects and thus Satan will attack you less because you will have armor against him.
[Fanzaga, Sgreva, I messaggi della Regina della Pace, p. 260]
Nowadays, the best known and most popular messages are those reported each month, on the 25th, by Marija (who says, however, she is having apparitions every day) and, secondly, those released every month, on the 2nd, by Mirjana.
Taken together, they seem to be characterized by an incessant rearrangement of the same thoughts and images (sometimes with slight variations, sometimes essentially unmodified), as everyone can see for himself.