by Marco Corvaglia
In the first years (on this subject see: The New Age Origins of Medjugorje [Part 3]), a young girl named Jelena Vasilj came into the story of Medjugorje.
The alleged messages to Jelena arrived on the occasion of the meetings of the prayer group founded in May 1983 by her and by the assistant pastor Tomislav Vlašić. Also, the visionary Marija Pavlović joined this prayer group, since its establishment, as documented by the Echo of Medjugorje, No 11, 21 April 1985 and No 12, 8 May 1985 and, in particular, by an autographed statement of 21 April 1988 of Marija Pavlović herself.
It was published on page 15 of a booklet, Una chiamata nell'Anno Mariano ("An Appeal In the Marian Year"), published by the Associazione Amici di Medjugorje ("Friends of Medjugorje Association"), established in Nirone Street, 9, Milan.
In this statement (picture below) Marija writes, inter alia :
Since its formation I have joined the prayer group that Our Lady has guided through Jelena Vasilj and Father Tomislav Vlašić.
On 22 April 1984 the assistant pastor Tomislav Vlašić stated:
At the beginning of 1984, through Jelena, Our Lady expressed the wish that the parishoners meet one evening each week and it was decided to do so each Thursday evening in order to be guided by Our Lady. Our first meeting took place on 1st March and, on that occasion, Our Lady gave the first message to the Parish through Marija.
[Tomislav Vlašić, Slavko Barbarić, Aprite i vostri cuori a Maria Regina della Pace, Amici di Medjugorje, Milan, 1985, p. 18]
Therefore, there is, as we can see, a perfect coordination between Jelena and Marija.
I shall hereinafter often quote the Eco di Medjugorje ("Echo of Medjugorje"). This is a bimonthly newsletter with widespread diffusion, being published today in fourteen languages.
Jelena herself has been a collaborator of this bulletin, for which she held a regular column for a couple of years, between 2001 and 2003.
Let us see the strange way phenomena relating to her allegedly started:
On December 15, 1982 Jelena was at school, and when a schoolfellow of hers was
asked: What time is it?, she heard replying a voice that came from her heart: It's ten-twenty.
Then, intending to be tested, she heard the same voice that advised her to desist...
The mysterious interlocutor then told her to be an angel."
[Eco di Medjugorje, No 172 (2003)]
A few days later the voice (hereinafter, sometimes, visions) of the Madonna came and, finally, the voice of Jesus.
On September 8 (The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Feast Day), 1981 and 1982, when Jelena still had not become active, in the Cronicle of the Apparitions, compiled by the assistant pastor Tomislav Vlašić (a copy is still kept in the Curia of Mostar), we can read:
Later, however, Jelena, on the basis of an alleged message of 1 August 1984, declares that the birthday of the Madonna is on 5 August (with regard to the matter, see also the document issued on October 30, 1984 by the then Bishop of Mostar, Pavao Žanić, La posizione attuale, non ufficiale, della Curia Vescovile di Mostar nei confronti degli eventi di Medjugorje ("The present, unofficial, position of the Diocesan Chancery of Mostar Regarding the Events Of Medjugorje"), § 12).
The Chancellor of the Curia of Mostar, Don Ante Luburić, in the official organs of the Diocese, writes:
Rev. Vlašić writes on August 22, 1984 to Bishop Žanić that the 2000th birthday of Our Lady is on August 5th of that year! Already on August 4 and 5 a crowd gathered at Medjugorje to "celebrate" the "birthday" of the Madonna.
Probably the "Mladifest" (Youth Festival), held in early August is a memory of such Medjugorjan tall stories of P. Tomislav Vlašić.
[A. Luburić, Fra Tomislav Vlašić "u kontekstu međugorskog fenomena", in "Službeni vjesnik", 2/2008, p. 81 and in "Crkva na Kamenu", n. 8-9, 2008, p. 27; see also the online version]
The visionary Marija Pavlović, for her part, confirms what Jelena said:
Our Lady told us that August 5th was her birthday and we decided to order a cake.
It was 1984 and Our Lady had turned 2000 years, so we thought we'd make a nice big cake. In the rectory we were 68, members of the prayer group, plus the group that was on the hill, so we were a hundred in all, total, or all together. We decided to put us all together to make this great cake. I don't know how we succeeded in taking it whole, up to the hill of the cross! We put candles and there were so many roses of sugar. Our Lady appeared and then we sang 'Happy Birthday To You'.
[interview recorded in Medjugorje, on 11 April 2004 by Alberto Bonifacio Centro Informazioni Medjugorje Medjugorje Information Center) - Via S. Alessandro, 26 - 23855 Pescate (Lecco), Italy www.medjugorje.altervista.org/doc/marija/incontro.html]
Also Vicka confirmed the "correctness" of the date of 5th August, in an interview with journalist Žarko Ivković [Medjugorje Tribune, No 2, 2007. See also A
Medjugorje la Madonna è viva ("In Medjugorje, Our Lady Is Alive - Conversations
With Father Tomislav Vlasic"), Luci dell'Esodo, 2008, pp. 49-50].
It should be highlighted that 5th August was the very day of birth of the Madonna handed down by the Franciscans, that is, the religious who were close to the visionaries; so, the notorious French Medjugorist, Father Jean Derobert, commented enthusiastically:
The Franciscans have rediscovered an ancient tradition celebrating the Nativity of Mary... on August 5.
["Pour l'Unité", October 1984, p. 14. Cf. Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, Medjugorje en toute vérité, CRC, Saint-Parres-lès-Vaudes, 1991, p. 350]
The Echo of Medjugorje reported:
[On August 4, 1985] Satan has appeared to Jelena crying and saying: Tell her (Satan never utters the name of the Virgin Mary either of the Lord) not to bless the world at least this evening.
And he continued so to cry as to get or receive compassion. But soon after Our Lady appeared, who blessed the world, and Satan fled. I know him well - said Mary - now he has fled, but he will be back to tempt you.
[...] On 15 August [...] Mary blessed the gathered prayer group, through Jelena, and then said that she withdrew to prepare herself for the fight against Satan.
[Eco di Medjugorje, No 18 (September 1985)]
In the same month Jelena states also:
I saw Satan completely absorbed in his thoughts, who thought to himself: Yes, I have to contrive something against Medjugorje. Here, I'll move some members away from the prayer group and will make tepid the others. I will put in their head the desire for films, so immediately after the Mass they will run to home to watch TV programs.
[Eco di Medjugorje, No. 17 (August 1985)]
In 1986 Jelena communicates:
Even the children can hurt: evil, envious, disobedient: not all go to heaven.
[Eco di Medjugorje, No 29 (June 1986)]
A few years later, Jelena, who now lives in Italy, complains of not succeeding in going unnoticed and of being always in the spotlight. Our Lady says to her:
Also I suffer for being the center of attention, but if my presence serves to bring men to Christ, I continue my mission.
[Eco di Medjugorje, No. 126 (March-April 1996)]
Updated on 12 January 2009