by Marco Corvaglia
Medjugorje in 1981 was a very poor and backward hamlet in the Communist Yugoslavia. Most of the approximately 3,000 inhabitants worked as shepherds or tobacco and grape vine growers.
The six who, since then, claim to see the Queen of Peace come from just two families.
In the book A Medjugorje con Maria. I segreti che la Madonna mi ha affidato, Vicka, one of the six, wrote:
Before the beginning of the apparitions I personally knew all the other seers. [...] We are, almost all of us, relatives of each other.
[Vicka Ivankovic-Mijatovic (and Father Michele Barone), A Medjugorje con Maria. I segreti che la Madonna mi ha affidato, Piemme, Milan, 2015, p. 25]
Mirjana Dragičević (daughter of Jozo)
Mirjana is cousin (with different degrees) of all the other five seers (on mother's side, she is second cousin of Vicka and Ivanka; on father's side, she is first cousin of Jakov and Marija and second cousin of Ivan).
Jakov Čolo (the maiden name of his mother, Jaca, was Dragičević)
Marija Pavlović (the maiden name of her mother, Iva, was Dragičević)
Ivan Dragičević (son of Stanko)
Mirjana, Jakov and Marija are sons of a brother and two sisters, who were first cousins of Stanko, the father of Ivan.
Reporting what happened on the first day of the apparitions, Vicka said:
Mirjana and Ivanka stopped by. We previously made plans that we would go for a bit of a walk at dusk. We are continually together.
[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. 5]
Vicka knew Marija and Jakov very well, too: she was the one who promised them (who had not been present on the first day) that she would call them if the apparition returned:
I told Marija and little Jakov that I would call them if we see anything.
[ibid., p. 10]
Updated on 30 June 2017