by Marco Corvaglia
§ 5. "Thank You for Having Responded to My Call"
As it is well-known, the ending formula often used by the Medjugorje Madonna in her messages is : "Thank you for having responded to my call."
It was attested for the first time on 13 August 1981 [cf. I messaggi della Regina della Pace, Shalom, Camerata Picena, 2010, p. 413]. As of this writing (June 2011), it is present in 480 messages of Medjugorje. In particular, it is always present in the main messages, those of the 25th of the month.
The strange heavenly thanks to faithful for being present, were not born with Medjugorje, but were a characteristic and recurrent element of the messages given by Clemente Domínguez. Here are, for the sake of synthesis, only one example (chosen from so many) coming back to 2 April 1972 (Our Lady to Clemente):
Thank you for your presence in this Holy Place.
[El Palmar de Troya. Mensajes sobrenaturales trasmitidos a Clemente Domínguez Gómez (with a foreword by Gerardo R. Alfaro), Difusora Mariana Argentina, Buenos Aires, 1976 (hereafter MCD, 1976), p. 227: Gracias os doy por vuestra presencia en este Sagrado Lugar.]
Let us compare it with the Medjugorje message of 27 March 1987 (given to Marija):
Dear children! Today I am grateful to you for your presence in this place, where I am giving you special graces.
[The Messages of the Queen of Peace (English Version), Shalom, Camerata Picena, 2007 (hereafter MQP), p. 108]
Now, let us compare further messages:
The Madonna to Clemente, 16 July 1975:
My heart has been filled with joy and happiness today, seeing and observing all these children of mine who came from so many nations to prostrate themselves at my feet. Thank you all.
[MCD, 1976, p. 584]
The Medjugorje Madonna to Marija, 25 June 1990:
…I am happy that you are here today in such great numbers. Thank you for having responded to my call.
[MQP, p. 133]
But now let us consider just the formula that distinguishes the Medjugorje messages: "Thank you for having responded to my call."
If we take the messages given by Clemente and go to 29 July 1973, we find what follows:
My dear children, thank you all for having responded to my call.
[MCD, 1976, p. 391: Gracias a todos vosotros por atender a mi llamada]
In the picture, page 391 of the book “El Palmar de Troya. Mensajes sobrenaturales trasmitidos a Clemente Domínguez Gómez” (with a foreword by Gerard R. Alfaro), Difusora Mariana Argentina, 1976.
On the right, the colophon of the same book.
For the sake of transparency, here is the translation of the expression "atender a una llamada", taken from the well-known “Collins Unabridged Spanish Dictionary “: Atender [...] [+ llamada]: to answer - "nadie atendió a nuestra llamada de socorro": "nobody answered our distress call."
It’s all very clear.
§ 6. Pray, Pray, Pray
In the messages of Medjugorje the triple formula “Pray, pray, pray" is typical and recurrent.
It was attested for the first time on 18 December 1981 [cf. I messaggi della Regina della Pace, cit., p. 415] and, as of this writing (June 2011), it is present in 71 messages (considering both the major ones, given by Marija, and those of the other seers).
But this triple exhortation was recurrent also in the messages of Clemente Dominguez.
Taking into account only the first five years of his messages, this urgent call (sometimes in the form "Orad, orad, orad", other times in the equivalent "Rogad, rogad, rogad") was repeated on the following dates [the source is MCD, 1976]:
- 11 June 1970 [p. 88]
- 9 August 1970 [p. 98]
- 23 November 1970 [p. 120]
- 28 January 1971 [p. 130]
- 5 May 1972 [p. 235]
- 8 July 1972 [p. 267]
- 21 November 1972 [p. 322]
- 6 March 1973 [p. 344]
- 19 June 1973 [p. 374]
- 30 June 1973 [p. 379]
- 19 September 1973 [p. 403]
- 7 September 1974 [p. 509]
- 22 October 1974 [p. 529]
- 21 November 1974 [p. 537]
Moreover, in Medjugorje, especially between 1982 and 1984, also the shorter form "Pray, pray" appeared [cf. MRP, pp. 420, 423, 425, 428, 430]. In this case too, there is a perfect coincidence with the messages given by Clemente: from 26 january 1972 to 2 december 1974, he used this expression for nine times [cf. MCD, 1976, pp. 207, 265, 283 (twice), 333, 370, 531, 535, 538].
§ 7. Peace, Peace, Peace... I Am the Queen of Peace
On 26 June 1981, the third day of the apparitions of Medjugorje, Marija Pavlović claimed to have heard from Our Lady the triple invocation "Peace, peace, peace" [I messaggi della Regina della Pace, cit., p. 412].
On the following 6 August, the Madonna presented herself with one of the names that are in the “Lauretan Litanies":
I am the Queen of Peace.
[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. 149. English edition: Messages and Teachings of Mary at Medjugorje. Chronological Corpus of the Messages. The Urgency to Return to God, Riehle Foundation, 1988]
Also in this case, everything was said by Clemente in the Seventies, precisely between 1972 and 1973.
Jesus to Clemente, 13 May, 1972:
Peace, peace, peace [Paz, paz, paz].
[MCD, 1976, p. 244]
Jesus to Clemente, 22 December 1972:
Dear son, today three masses must be celebrated in Palmar de Troya, in honor of my Mother, Queen of Peace, to implore the peace for the Church and the world.
[MCD, 1976, p. 331]
The Madonna to Clemente, 23 December 1972:
I am the Queen of Peace [...] Peace, peace, peace.
[MCD, 1976, p.332]
Jesus to Clemente, 19 April 1973:
Peace, peace, peace.
[MCD, 1976, p. 357]
The Madonna to Clemente, 22 April 1973:
Take my blessing to your nations so that in each of these peace may reign. I am the Queen of Peace.
[MCD, 1976, p.360]
§ 8. Further Correspondences
It is interesting to note that in the early years of the Medjugorje messages, further manifest similarities were present.
The Madonna to Clemente, 30 June 1973:
Thanks to all of you [...] for all the sacrifices and for all the prayers.
[MCD, 1976, p. 379: Gracias a todos vosotros (por este momento de vuestra plegaria y) por todos los sacrificios y por todas las oraciones.]
We can compare it with the Medjugorje message of 26 September 1985:
Dear children, I thank you for all the prayers. Thank you for all the sacrifices.
[MQP, p. 83. Further Medjugorje messages are very similar: 8 January 1987 ("Dear children, thank you for all the sacrifices and prayers...", 25 June 1990 ("Today I desire to thank you for all your sacrifices and for all your prayers", 25 November 1991 ("Thank you for all your sacrifices and prayers"), 25 May 1996 ("Today I wish to thank you for all your prayers and sacrifices...")]
Messages given by Clemente in Palmar and the first years of Medjugorje messages are also united by the same alternation of contrary sentiments expressed by the "apparition".
The Madonna of Medjugorje to Marija, 30 April 1984:
Only a really small number has accepted my Thursday messages.
[MQP, p. 59]
Seventeen days later, on 17 May 1984, again the Madonna of Medjugorje to Marija:
Dear children! Today I am very happy because there are many who want to consecrate themselves to me. Thank you.
[MQP, pp. 59-60]
Let's consider now Palmar de Troya. Jesus to Clemente, 5 February 1970:
I am very pleased, my children, with all of you. You are doing what my Mother asks. She loves you all.
[MCD, 1976, p.71]
Jesus to Clemente, 17 May 1970:
I'm calling you but a few of you respond to my calls [pocos atendéis a mis llamadas].
[MCD, 1976, p. 81]
§ 9. The Orthodox Clemente
Of course, Clemente was able to give fully orthodox messages, such as those which, when pronounced by the seers of Medjugorje, to many seem sublime (but, actually, are extremely simple).
A call to Eucharistic adoration (the Madonna to Clemente, 24 June 1971):
My children, I come as the Mother of Jesus and your Mother, to remind you that Jesus is left alone in the Eucharist. He is very lonely [in the adoration chapel].
[MCD, 1976, p. 153]
The Madonna to Clemente, 21 October 1974:
My dear children, I bring you all in my Heart, this motherly Heart that opens its doors to all its children so that they are purified and can enter into the Heart of Christ Jesus, my Divine Son.
[MCD, 1976, p. 523]
There are also sorrowful appeals. The Madonna to Clemente, 28 January 1973:
To all of you I make my call, the anguished call of a Mother [...]. Return, return to this sacred place! [...] How many of you have converted in this blessed place!
[MCD, 1976, p. 337-338]
§ 10. A Fortuitous Event
In 1981, the story of Clement was very recent. It is hard to deny that it constituted a "source" for the six youngsters.
After so many years, no one, including me, probably would have ever imagined a connection between Palmar de Troya and Medjugorje.
But one day, in March of 2011, I accidentally came across a message given by Clemente on 6 January 1970 (previously reported in a more extensive way, in the first part of this article, paragraph 3):
My children, you are in the place of the biggest apparitions in the world. There has never existed nor will there ever exist (another like this) [Ni lo ha habido ni lo habrá más.]
The words spoken in 1983 by Vicka automatically came to my mind, from the famous interview-book with Father Janko Bubalo:
The Virgin revealed herself here in a particular way. She didn't appear in this manner in any other place. And she won't! She told us that more than once.
[Janko Bubalo, A Thousand Encounters with the Blessed Virgin Mary in Medjugorje. The Seer Vicka Speaks of Her Experiences, Friends of Medjugorje, Chicago, 1987, p. 234]
After saying that "their" apparitions are the biggest (Clemente) or are particular (Vicka), they both added, redundantly, that neither in the past nor in the future, there ever was or there will ever be, such an event: it seemed a bit suspect.
The present research arose from this episode. If in 1983 Vicka, talking with Father Bubalo, had not pointed out the exaltation of Medjugorje, certainly I, casually reading that message given by Clemente, would have neglected it and would never have deepened my knowledge of this "seer" of Palmar.
Published on 29 June 2011