THE WORLD AROUND US
 
Messages from the Queen of Peace: Medjugorje Village, Bosnia and Herzegovina (In Croatian)      
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Today’s The World Around Us will be presented in Croatian, with subtitles in Arabic, Aulacese (Vietnamese), Chinese, English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Mongolian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Thai.

Halo faithful viewers. Today we invite you to come along to Bosnia and Herzegovina, a country where three main groups, the Bosniaks, Serbs, and Croats, live harmoniously together. More specifically, we shall go to a famous village in the south called Medjugorje, where most of the people speak Croatian, one of the main languages used along with Bosnian and Serbian. Medjugorje is famed internationally as a very special Catholic pilgrimage site. Today, we will understand why.

It was about 6 pm on June 24, 1981 in this small village.

Six Croatian children came upon a beautiful young lady standing on a hill and holding a child in her arms. She did not speak but gestured to invite them to come closer. The children were a little afraid and did not go closer. Later on, the adults did not believe the excited youths. The following day, four of the same children along with two new peers returned to the hill, wondering if the lady would be there again.

After three sudden flashes of light, there she was, this time without a baby. The children quickly kneeled and prayed the rosary. The lady graciously said the prayer with them. One of the young seers’ testimonies written in 2008 described her:

“My eyes never saw anything more beautiful than that. Our Lady has a gray gown, white veil, a crown around her head with stars. She has blue eyes and dark hair, and she’s standing on a cloud. At that very moment, we all knelt in front of Our Lady.”

On the next day, the lady spoke and identified herself as Blessed Mary, the mother of Jesus. On the fifth day, a large group of people went to see this vision for themselves, but only the children were able to see her. On the seventh day, she appeared again – to the children – but this time at a different site.

The apparition has come to be called the Queen of Peace, for she kept giving messages encouraging peace, faith, prayer, and fasting. Fasting with only bread and water was encouraged. Since that time, the original children of Medjugorje reported seeing Mother Mary regularly for more than a decade – and no matter how far away from the village they were living.

Also, starting in 1984 till today, the Queen of Peace consistently delivered special messages to the parish and pilgrims of Medjugorje. In the beginning, the messages came weekly on Thursdays through one of the original seers. Now, they are received on the 25th of every month.

Mary’s message of December 25, 2010, for example, was as follows: “Dear children! Today, I and my Son desire to give you an abundance of joy and peace so that each of you may be a joyful carrier and witness of peace and joy in the places where you live. Little children, be a blessing and be peace. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

In addition, the visionaries reported that the Blessed Mother told them nine secrets, and to some, ten secrets. Three of these individuals, who received all ten secrets, still have visions, but just once a year. Mr. Jakov Colo, the youngest seer, receives a vision on every Christmas.

As documented by the official Medjugorje website, Mr. Colo did, as on every Christmas Day, see Our Lady. At 2:25 pm for seven minutes, Mary spoke to him about the secrets and at the end said, “Pray, pray, pray.” Marian apparitions have been reported in many parts of the world. What makes this case unusual, however, is how long lasting and wide in location they were.

Most reported apparitions are short-lived and centered in a local spot. The Roman Catholic Church is still studying this case and has not confirmed the validity of the visions either as true or false. Meanwhile, writers, journalists, and others have conducted their own investigations. The deeper they explored, the greater their interest in the story of Medjugorje.

According to interviews with the original children by American lawyer and author Janice Connell, two of the women, who now are married and with children, have less frequent visitations. The others, however, continue to meet Mary. According to Ms. Connell, the message they all received is that God is present in the world and in people's lives, and we must repent to bring about peace.

It is this message, and not necessarily the miraculous nature of the apparition itself, that has fascinated and even transformed the lives of people worldwide. Ms. Janice Connell’s book based on the interviews, titled “The Visions of the Children,” is one of many works on Medjugorje’s history that have helped to convey the universal spiritual message involved.

According to another American writer, June Klins, who authored “The Best of the Spirit of Medjugorje,” the Blessed Mary stated: “I have come to tell the world that God exists. He is the fullness of life, and to enjoy the fullness and obtain peace, you must return to God.”

Ms. Klins is originally a mathematics teacher, not a writer. She was on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje in 1998, when a stranger approached her on the first day saying that she should take notes during the talks given there since she was a teacher. Oddly, the man had no way of knowing that she was a teacher.

Ms. Klins did take notes, soon after which a lady from the parish encouraged her to write her testimony for the local newsletter. One event led to another, and Ms. Klins became the newsletter’s co-editor and an author, dedicating her works to the messages of Medjugorje. The newsletter, which is now online at continues to inspire people with hope in their daily lives. Today, countless people come to the Medjugorje Shrine.

First, the Saint James Parish Church invites locals and distant pilgrims to worship and prayer. A marble statue of the Queen of Peace stands in the square of the church. Outside the church is an exterior altar, a spacious place accommodating about 5,000 people for occasions such as festivals. Near the church is the Adoration Chapel, a place for private prayer as well as a meeting hall for pilgrims.

Above the village of Medjugorje is Cross Mountain, marked by a concrete cross just over eight-and-a-half meters tall. It was raised in 1934. Relics from the Vatican are embedded on the cross. The visionaries of Medjugorje said that the Queen of Peace told the villagers in 1984: “The cross was also in God’s plan when you built it.” And then, there is Apparition Hill, where the first vision took place.

At the main site, a statue of Mary was placed in 2001 to mark the 20th anniversary of the apparitions. Till today, thousands of people come to Apparition Hill every time a vision may appear. Sometimes one of the original visionaries is there with them, to see Mary, like Ms. Mirjana Soldo. This is Ms. Soldo at Apparition Hill in January 2010, in just one of the videos recording the moment she is able to see the Blessed Mother.

As of 2001, there were 445 officially reported physical healings by parish members and visitors from all over the world. More importantly, a vast number of transformations occur within people’s hearts at Medjurgorje. Even the least faithful individuals, or those who had not believed in God before at all, would find themselves touched, blissful, and yearning for God.

The messages from Medjurgorje are believed to be for all humanity, going beyond religious denomination. In particular, the secrets, which have not yet been revealed to the public, send a compelling message, including of coming chastisements as a consequence of humans’ ungodly ways. Currently, as the secrets indicate, we are in a grace period that is soon ending.

When the apparitions first began, according to one of the original seers, Vicka Ivankovic-Mijatovic, who was 17 years old at the time, Our Lady brought her and 10-year-old Jakov Colo to Heaven, then to Purgatory, then to hell. Vicka reported, “Heaven is one, huge endless space. There is a special kind of light that does not exist on Earth at all. We were able to see small angels circling around. There is a special kind of joy in Heaven. I have never experienced anything like that at any other time.”

The testimony continues: “Purgatory is also one huge space, but we were not able to see people. We could only see darkness – an ashy color. We were able to feel the physical suffering of the people. They were shivering, and struggling. Our Lady said we need to pray for those people so that they can get out of Purgatory. As for hell, there is one huge fire in the middle.

…Our Lady says that, for all those who are in hell it was their choice, their decision to get there. Our Lady says for all those who are living here on Earth who are living against God's commands, even here they are living in a kind of hell so when they are there, they are continuing just the same life as before.

Our Lady says that there are so many who live here on the Earth who believe that when this life is finished, everything is finished, but Our Lady says, if you think so, you are very wrong, because we are just passersby on the Earth.”

Each of the visionaries was given a specific mission by Our Lady, a mission to pray for a specific group of people - families, the ill, etc. Visionary Ms. Mirjana Soldo prays for the “unbelievers,” who are defined by Our Lady simply as those who have not yet felt God’s love.

It is said that there will come a day when Our Lady will stop appearing. At that time, three warnings will be given to the world. They will be revealed to Ms. Mirjana Soldo, who will then advise one designated priest to announce them publicly.

But once the warnings begin, the visionaries have cautioned, there may be little time to repent. Thus, Our Lady has been asking humankind with urgency to reconcile with God. Ms. Soldo has encouraged people not to fear the future, for those who know God have no fear. Worry instead, she said, about ourselves in the present. “Are you ready to go in front of God?”

Since the first apparitions in 1981 till today, millions of people of all faiths, from all corners of the world, have visited Medjugorje. Many have left with renewed spiritual strength and hope, both for themselves and the world. What is truly remarkable is that Blessed Mary’s main message has remained the same throughout the years, the grace period.

We join in prayers for Heaven’s grace upon humankind, as we reflect again on the message from the Queen of Peace of Medjugorje: “I have come to tell the world that God exists. He is the fullness of life, and to enjoy the fullness and obtain peace, you must return to God.”

It was nice to have your company today on The World Around Us. Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television for Words of Wisdom, up next after Noteworthy News. May your life be graced with faith, protection, and love.

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