by Marco Corvaglia
Go to the page The New Age Origins of Medjugorje [Part 2]
In 1981, at the beginning of the phenomenon of Medjugorje, the visionaries, except for Jakov who was ten years old, were not children any more (Ivanka was fifteen and the others sixteen) but, as we are going to see, the events they narrated, in the first years, often appear fairy-like and consistent with a New Age-style atmosphere.
§ 5. Human, All Too Human
Several times, in 1981, the "seers" got to queue the believers so that they could in turn touch the Virgin Mary, while they guided their hands and explained which parts of her body the believers were touching.
Let us consider what Vicka declared in the interview-book with the Franciscan Janko Bubalo, A Thousand Encounters With the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Note that all Vicka’s answers were recorded by Father Janko Bubalo on magnetic tape; the book also contains a visa for compliance by Vicka herself, as you can see in the image below, from the Italian version of the book:
VICKA: Recently I was going through some notes of mine and I saw that just before Christmas of the first year of the apparitions, many touched the Virgin at the evening apparition.
FATHER JANKO: How did they touch the Virgin?
VICKA: Well, we told them where to touch and they touched.
[Janko Bubalo, A Thousand Encounters with the Blessed Virgin Mary in Medjugorje, Friends of Medjugorje, Chicago, 1987, pp. 108-109]
FATHER JANKO: On the 2nd of August, 1981 [...] while you were praying, the Virgin said that all who were present could touch her.
VICKA: And so?
FATHER JANKO: They claim that all lined up and then one by one approached and touched her. Marija told them where they were to reach out to touch her.
VICKA: And then?
PADRE JANKO: It was strange. After the touch of many, some sort of spot or fleck remained on the Virgin. And, that in the end, the Virgin looked all spotted and untidy.
VICKA: I knoow that. When those with an impure hearth touched her, a spot was made on the Virgin.
[Ibid. pp. 85-86]
In the same interview-book (conducted in 1983), Vicka says:
I remember that she [the Virgin] met us once on our way to Jakisa [Jakov]’s house, and she told us: "Hurry, I’m waiting for you". When we arrived at the house, she was already there.
[Ibid., p. 164]
But other times, according to Vicka, Our Lady is the one who is late and who does not present herself, being too busy.
On 25 November 1981, Ivan, Ivanka and Mirjana are not in Medjugorje: the first is in the seminary of Visoko, and the two girls in their homes, respectively, in Sarajevo and Mostar. We read in the Chronicle Of the Apparitions (Kronika ukazanja) document kept in the archives of St. James parish in Medjugorje and of the Diocese of Mostar. It was written almost daily by the assistant pastor Tomislav Vlašić:
Tonight, Our Lady did not come at the usual time. She did not come even after the regular prayers in the church. Jakov and Vicka were sad. Late in the evening, when they started praying, the Virgin came. She asked them if they felt strange when she did not come. She also said that, that evening, she had stayed a long time with Ivan, Mirjana and Ivica [Ivica is another way to call Ivanka – author’s note].
[Kronika ukazanja, vol. I, 25/11/1981. Original text: Te večeri Gospa nije došla u uobičajeno vrijeme. Nije došla ni nakon redovnih molitava u crkvi. Jakov i Vicka bili su tužni. Kasno na večer, kad su se počeli moliti Gospa je došla. Pitala ih da li im je neobično kad ne dođe. Također je rekla da se te večeri mnogo zadržala kod Ivana, Mirjane i Ivice.]
Previously, on 28 August, the Virgin had gaven reasons for her delay, saying that she was was with Father Jozo. Even the Medjugorje apologist Father René Laurentin reported the incident, drawing on information from the diary of Vicka (book 1):
At the hour of the apparitions, the seers wait in the room of Father Jozo, who is in prison. The Virgin does not appear. [...] They go to the church and pray. She appears to them:
- I was with Father Jozo. That is why I did not come.
[René Laurentin, Message et pédagogie de Marie a Medjugorje. Corpus chronologique des messages. Urgence du retour à Dieu, O.E.I.L., Paris, 1988, p. 151])
On February 16, 1989, Marija told the faithful gathered in the church of Rezzoaglio (Genoa) what allegedly happened during an apparition in the early years at Christmas time. Here is the audio file (click on the audio player):
Transcription and translation:
Once we had a great experience that made a deep impression on all of us, and during the apparition we even laughed with the Virgin. The Virgin came with the Child Jesus in her arms and coved him with her white cloak. We saw a baby just born, two or three hours – we thought. He was only just born. And while the Virgin was holding him in her hands, at some point the Child Jesus turned and hid under the cloak of the Virgin, and, again, he turned and looked in our direction, and again he hid and, when he turned for the third time, he winked at us.
Many years later, precisely on 25 December 2012, Marija described a situation that seems to be equally grotesque:
Our Lady came with little Jesus in her arms and she did not give a message, but little Jesus began to speak and said: I am your peace, live my commandments.
§ 6. Tele-Visions
As results from both the Chronicle Of the Apparitions and the diary of Vicka, between August 1981 and February 1982, the seers claimed several times that during the apparitions, the Virgin showed them some people, even living.
Initially, these visions were "mute".
On 30 August 1981, the Virgin said:
Mirjana is sad because she is all alone. Now I will show her to you.
[René Laurentin, Message et pédagogie de Marie a Medjugorje. Corpus chronologique des messages. Urgence du retour à Dieu, O.E.I.L., Paris, 1988, p. 152. English edition: Messages and Teachings of Mary at Medjugorje. Chronological Corpus of the Messages. The Urgency to Return to God, Riehle Foundation, 1988]
The diary of Vicka (first book) continues:
Suddenly we saw Mirjana’s face. She was crying.
Subsequently, the visions become somewhat interactive, allowing communication exchanges between the subjects, directly or through the Virgin.
In the diary of Vicka, on October 12, 1981, we can read:
[The Virgin] told them [the seers] that Father Jozo (in prison) greeted them.
[R. Laurentin, Racconto e messaggio delle apparizioni di Medjugorje, Queriniana, Brescia, p. 138]
Again in the diary (second book), on October 19, 1981, is written what follows:
The Virgin appeared at 18:10 [...] We saw Father Jozo. I'll certainly be condemned, said Jozo, but I am not afraid to die for my faith.
On 12 November, Ivan was in the seminary of Visoko:
The Virgin [...] has shown the seers Ivan Dragićević and has sent his greetings.
[Kronika ukazanja, vol. I, 12/11/1981: Gospa [...] je djeci prikazala Ivana Dragićevića i prenijela njegove pozdrave.]
On 24 December:
Father Jozo Zovko, smiling, suddenly had appeared to the seers. The seers have wished him a Merry Christmas.
[Kronika ukazanja, vol. I, 24/12/1981: Djeci se odjednom ukazao fr. Jozo Zovko nasmijan. Djeca su mu Božić čestitala]
Vicka's father used to work in Germany.
On 17 November what follows is reported:
[The Virgin] has appeared three times to Vicka and Jakov. Once she recited the Lord's Prayer, the Gloria and the Creed ... In another vision, she showed Vicka her father in Germany.
[Kronika ukazanja, vol. I, 17/11/1981: Tog poslijepodneva tri put se ukazala Vicki i Jakovu. Jednom je molila Očenaš, Slavaocu i Vjerovanje… U drugom viđenju Vicki je pokazala njenog oca u Njemačkoj]
On 10 December Vicka herself said:
She has shown me my mother in Germany.
[Kronika ukazanja, vol. I, 10/12/1981:Prikazala mi je moju majku u Njemačkoj]
§ 7. Paradise, Purgatory and Hell?
All six visionaries claim to have seen heaven. Here is a part of the interview that Father Janko Bubalo made with Vicka:
FATHER JANKO: You told me, and I read it in one of your notebooks, that on All Souls Day, 1981, you, the Seers – and all of you were gathered except Ivan, the Virgin showed you Heaven.
[Bubalo, A Thousand Encounters with the Blessed Virgin Mary in Medjugorje, p. 213]
Three of them, however, claimed to have personally entered heaven: they are Jakov and Vicka (November 19, 1981, see Laurentin, Racconto e messaggio delle apparizioni di Medjugorje, p. 142 and Kronika ukazanja, 11/19/1981) and Ivan (twice: March 6, 1983 and February 24, 1984, see Kronika ukazanja, vol. II, 03/06/1983 and 03/05/1984).
Here is a strange dialogue, broadcasted by Radio Maria, between father Livio Fanzaga and Vicka, concerning her alleged experience:
VICKA: In a moment the Madonna took me by the right hand and Jakov by the left and the roof was opened to let us pass.
FATHER LIVIO: Was it completely opened?
VICKA: No, it wasn’t completely opened, but only that part which was necessary for us to pass. In a few moments we arrived in Paradise. As we climbed, we looked down, the houses were small, smaller than when you see them from a plane.
[...] Meanwhile, I thought: "I wonder how many hours or how many days it will take." But in a moment we arrived.
FATHER LIVIO: Listen, I read somewhere, I do not know if it's true, that there is a door and, near, a rather old person.
VICKA: Yes, yes. There is a wooden door [...] It was closed, but the Madonna opened it and we entered. To the right of the door was St. Peter.
FATHER LIVIO: How did you know that he was St. Peter?
VICKA: I immediately understood that was him. With a key, rather small, bearded, a bit sturdy, with his hairs. He has remained as he used to be.
[Livio Fanzaga, La Madonna è nostra madre. Intervista di padre Livio ai microfoni di Radio Maria (“The Madonna Is Our Mother. Interview by Father Livio on Radio Maria"), Shalom, Camerata Picena, 2002, pp. 121-123]
Vicka claims to have personally entered also purgatory and hell, with Jakov.
Here is the conventional description of the hell:
FATHER JANKO: I suppose, the Virgin took you to Hell?
VICKA: Yes, yes! I already told you that.
FATHER JANKO: Will you describe it a bit?
VICKA: Well, we just described it before. Fire... devils... awful people. All are horned, with tails.
[Bubalo, A Thousand Encounters with the Blessed Virgin Mary in Medjugorje, p. 216]
§ 8. Embarrassing questions
Is it all normal, what has been documented here?
Why, then, today, do the seers no longer put people in a row so that they can "touch" the Virgin (and possibly stick their hands in the Virgin’s crown, as Vicka said: see § 2. The Crown of Stinging Stars, in the page Seers in Search of Inspiration: Medjugorje and Garabandal [Part 1])?
Why, today, do they no longer say that the Virgin was late because she was busy with the other seers?
Why, today, do they no longer say that after losing an object at home, they are told by the Virgin where it is?
Why, today, do they no longer tell us they asked the Virgin the results of the examination of one or the another?
Why, today, do they no longer say that the Virgin brings them into contact with the distant loved ones, and also shows them?
Updated on 22 July 2016